The website GracieFighter.com has revealed that a planned welterweight title bout between Hayato Sakurai and Nick Diaz that had been scheduled for July 21 in Osaka, Japan during DREAM.5, has been canceled by EliteXC.
GracieFighter.com, a site owned and operated by Diaz’s trainer, Cesar Gracie, indicated that EliteXC made the decision to cancel the bout due to “contractual obligations.”
While no official announcement has been made, multiple sources have informed Five Ounces of Pain that rematch between Diaz and K.J. Noons for Noons’ EliteXC lightweight title is expected to be added to the promotion’s next primetime broadcast on CBS on July 26.
Sources have also indicated that plans to hold “Unfinished Business” in St. Louis have been scrapped and that the July 26 show is now likely to be held in at the Stockton Arena in Diaz’s hometown of Stockton, Calif.
According to an unnamed source, it’s considered likely that the event is being moved from St. Louis due to a concern that several major sporting events are already scheduled to take place in the city during a close proximity to the July 26 event.
One of the chief concerns in hosting the event in St. Louis is that there is a large Monster Truck rally that already has had tickets on-sale for an extended period of time. The belief is that due the concentration of events taking place around that same time period that ticket sales might suffer.
By moving the event to Stockton, EliteXC will be able to capitalize on the local drawing power of not only Diaz, but Jake Shields as well, who is scheduled to compete for the vacant EliteXC welterweight title vs. an unnamed opponent.
EliteXC: Unfinished Business will headlined by a EliteXC middleweight title rematch between incumbent Robbie Lawler and challenger Scott Smith.