in the past 2-3 months more fighters than i can ever remember at any other time have backed out of fights due to injury with ufc 85 being the hallmark for scrapped fights. well whats behind this?
one reason may be that the more popular mma becaomes the more important each fight becomes amd guys arent willing to risk a loss due to the fact that they are banged up because the climb back to title contention is longer and harder than ever. these guys are banking on a fatter check with each consecutive win they rack up and a loss doesnt help their chances of that big payday for a title fight, or main event fight.
another reason may be that the fighters are training that much harder due to the level of competition, not to mention with better sparring partners making each sparring session more harrowing than they are used to. once again this ties into the fact that winning=more money, and relevance in the sport. there are also a ton of good gyms out there now that are producing contenders and its not just the att, btt, chute boxe, mfs, team quest and the other "old school" although as the sport grows membership of top level fighters at these powerhouses continues to grow.
finally, playing devils advocate brings me to maybe its just a fluke thing. last year was the year of the upset, this year is the year of the injury. guys will get hurt training for a combat sport and when a couple guys have to pull out of one event in makes the situation look like more than just normal injuries.
im interested to see if anyone has any other theories on this because this wave of injuries has been brutal, but the depth of fighters in mma has made it possible to keep putting on quality events even through all the injuries.
i agree with your second point but me baind a pesimist have thought that they are pulling out becouse they think thell loose or didnt get the match they want and its a pro mma version of pouting but i could be way off and i hope i am.