UFC



  • Brock Lesnar, still to this day the most popular and polarising figure in MMA even in retirement, was given too much far too soon by the UFC based purely on his ability to put bums on seats. He didn't really, if we are all honest, earn his title shot. He brought a lot of crossover fans to MMA from WWE and then when shit got real, thanks to Cane and Alistair he fucked off quicker than you can say "where do I sign Vince?". What the UFC learned, I hope, is that flash in the pans aren't good for growing a fan base. Creating stars from within your own ranks will ultimately be the making of any sporting organisation.

    While I agree with the overall argument, I really can't agree at all with some of the things you said, so I'll pick this one apart because it's just ridiculous.
     
    First off, putting bums in seats is the most important part of the business and pushing popular fighters to the front of the queue in order to capitalise on their popularity ASAP isn't exactly rare (see: Rousey, Tate, Sonnen, Faber, etc.). I don't really have a problem with that aspect, to be honest, so long as it's not TOO frequent and they're somewhat deserving (which I think Lesnar did show in beating Couture, Carwin and Mir in their second fight).
     
    Second, the two bouts of diverticulitis clearly took a pretty big toll on the guy, so him "fucking off" was pretty fucking understandable. Wrestling 3 or 4 times a year is a much easier schedule on the body than fighting 3 or 4 times a year, since there's a shitload more training that goes on in fighting.
     
    And third, I'm not even sure what you're trying to argue with that last part. Are you seriously trying to say that signing Lesnar was actually bad for the company? Even ignoring the semantics of who made Brock a huge draw in the first place (WWE made him a star, UFC made him a mega star), what does it matter if a star is created within the UFC or outside of it? At the end of the day, they're only going to be able to fight x times a year, it's not going to do anything for shitty cards like the Auckland one, and for those few times they do fight, a million buys sure as hell looks a lot better than Cain's ~300k buys.

    The biggest problem today is that the guys who are stars, names not just athletes, are all dropping like flies into retirement. Couture, Ortiz, Liddell, Franklin now Sonnen and most likely Silva. But these guys had the balance of being great fighters as well as great personalities. I purposely left out GSP because he's got no character at all apart from being a funny Quebecer. Quebecers always sound so funny and slightly slow. Just like Kiwis do to Aussies I guess.

    That funny Quebecer is the second biggest draw the UFC has ever had. He was a better babyface than John Cena.
     
    Anyway, between the ridiculous amount of shows, quality of the cards/shows, fast expansion into new markets and complete lack of stars, the UFC is in a pretty shit place right now. Can't say I feel sorry for them though, since Dana is a complete toss and can't keep his mouth shut to save his life.



  • While I agree with the overall argument, I really can't agree at all with some of the things you said, so I'll pick this one apart because it's just ridiculous.
    First off, putting bums in seats is the most important part of the business and pushing popular fighters to the front of the queue in order to capitalise on their popularity ASAP isn't exactly rare (see: Rousey, Tate, Sonnen, Faber, etc.). I don't really have a problem with that aspect, to be honest, so long as it's not TOO frequent and they're somewhat deserving (which I think Lesnar did show in beating Couture, Carwin and Mir in their second fight).
    Second, the two bouts of diverticulitis clearly took a pretty big toll on the guy, so him "fucking off" was pretty fucking understandable. Wrestling 3 or 4 times a year is a much easier schedule on the body than fighting 3 or 4 times a year, since there's a shitload more training that goes on in fighting.
    And third, I'm not even sure what you're trying to argue with that last part. Are you seriously trying to say that signing Lesnar was actually bad for the company? Even ignoring the semantics of who made Brock a huge draw in the first place (WWE made him a star, UFC made him a mega star), what does it matter if a star is created within the UFC or outside of it? At the end of the day, they're only going to be able to fight x times a year, it's not going to do anything for shitty cards like the Auckland one, and for those few times they do fight, a million buys sure as hell looks a lot better than Cain's ~300k buys.
    That funny Quebecer is the second biggest draw the UFC has ever had. He was a better babyface than John Cena.
    Anyway, between the ridiculous amount of shows, quality of the cards/shows, fast expansion into new markets and complete lack of stars, the UFC is in a pretty shit place right now. Can't say I feel sorry for them though, since Dana is a complete toss and can't keep his mouth shut to save his life.
    I didn't say gsp wasn't a draw card I said he lacked personality and his fighting ability, streak, comebacks were never in question.
    Lesnar argument is that they gave a guy not grounded in MMA too much too soon and when he left so did a lot of the fans that came with him. He was a flash in the pan. I'm not saying he didn't bring good things with him I'm saying he was and is still their biggest ever draw card and he wasn't an in house product. Why this matters to answer your question is that it helps maintain the longevity of a fan base. Watching a guy come up and then create a long, storied career is what any fan wants isn't it?
    I'm not saying Brock was a mistake as much as it highlights the UFCs lack of in house talent and why they will struggle.
    I'd have to be a massive hypocrite to have a problem with Brock lesnar and then be a massive fern champion for SBW...



  • Also the fight night is going off. The prelims have all been awesome. First one was a slug out seeing out the 3 rounds. The 2nd has a home town boy win by tko in the 1st round fighting his way out of a solid submission attempt. Third there's a rampage slam off a triangle attempt and then a second round KO. Pretty bloody good so far. I wish I was there.



  • Dana is one of the most contradicting dudes I've seen and the Fertitta brothers know it and use him to deflect criticism from themselves. The irony is Dana always laughed at boxing for saturating the market and having a stink card propped up by a good main event and then followed the same template himself, which led to the Bones - Hendo fiasco that had to be cancelled.
     
    The red bolded is pretty much meaningless, Te Huna and Nate are good exciting fighters who happen to be in slumps, MMA doesn't have the luxury of wrapping fighters in cotton wool, jabbing away at cans for 30 fight winning streaks like boxing, a loss can come from anywhere at anytime and losing to guys like Shogun is not something to criticise someone for.
     
    Pretty sure this isn't an official "UFC" event anyways even though it is fighters from their roster, I believe it is a UFN card which is basically like the lower NPC division for the NZRU or that lower NBA league Steven Adams was supposedly meant to play for. Basically these guys are on the fringe and fighting for a shot at the big time.



  • That funny Quebecer is the second biggest draw the UFC has ever had. He was a better babyface than John Cena.

    And yet cast as a villain heel in the last Captain America movie.



  • He was a flash in the pan.

    His legacy will be remembered for ending "The Streak."



  • I didn't say gsp wasn't a draw card I said he lacked personality and his fighting ability, streak, comebacks were never in question.
    Lesnar argument is that they gave a guy not grounded in MMA too much too soon and when he left so did a lot of the fans that came with him. He was a flash in the pan. I'm not saying he didn't bring good things with him I'm saying he was and is still their biggest ever draw card and he wasn't an in house product. Why this matters to answer your question is that it helps maintain the longevity of a fan base. Watching a guy come up and then create a long, storied career is what any fan wants isn't it?
    I'm not saying Brock was a mistake as much as it highlights the UFCs lack of in house talent and why they will struggle.
    I'd have to be a massive hypocrite to have a problem with Brock lesnar and then be a massive fern champion for SBW...

    Eh, "personality" hasn't really been his thing. Like any good babyface, he's always been the sympathetic guy up against assholes like Penn, Shields, Koscheck and Diaz.
     
    How's that a flash in the pan though? The casual fans were always going to leave when he left, that's what casual fans do. They were never going to stick around and watch a bunch of nobodies fight, just like casual boxing fans aren't going to stick around with boxing after Floyd Mayweather retires. That's how the fighting (or sports entertainment) business works.
     
    I don't think it matters at all where the UFC gets its stars from or how long they stick around, so long as they actually have them. Doesn't matter if they're built up from scratch like GSP or come from somewhere else like Lesnar, if they draw then that's the right option.



  • Considering the number of ho hum rugby matches at all levels served up every week I'm more than happy with how the UFC is evolving.
     
    Not every bout can be a classic.
     
    And it's only 9 minutes of your life after all.



  • This is pretty funny. Almost.
     
    How The UFC's Biggest Show Of The Year Turned Into A Fiasco
     
    [...]
     
     This is PED Inception.
     
    [...]

    The whole thing has to be read to be believed...



  • And I missed this. Ugh.

    UFC commentator announces Jonah Lomu as an “Australian Rules” football player
     
    WELL, this is one massive fail.
     
    During last night’s UFC Fight Night in Auckland, an American commentator made an embarrassing error when introducing one of New Zealand’s greatest sporting heroes.
     
    Fuelling the American stereotype of being completely ignorant about other countries, the US commentator announced, “Here tonight in attendance, Jonah Lomu of the All Blacks, one of the greatest Australian Rules Football players of all time.”
     
    Jonah Lomu is, of course, not one of our greatest AFL players, but rather one of the world’s greatest Rugby union players. You know, the sport that the All Blacks compete in.
     
    Not only did the commentator get that wrong, but he also pronounced Lomu’s last name wrong as well, calling him,“ Jonah La-boo.”
     
    Epic fail.



  • And I missed this. Ugh.

    He also repeatedly referred to the city in was in as "Oakland" New Zealand.



  • UFC Fight Night 45 was great start to finish, top to bottom.



  • And UFC Fight Night Dublin wasn't far behind.
     
    The crowd noise was phenomenal.



  • I’d take any article from Deadspin with a grain of salt but then I’m a bit of a UFC fanboy so anything I say is under suspicion. There are some significant problems for the UFC at the moment as its established stars either retire or have extended absences and the promotion moves from being PPV focussed to spreading itself over multiple distribution platforms. The UFC will have run six events in just over 30 days once this July 4th weekend’s double-header is done. That’s more than they ran in the whole of 2004. The expanded schedule is a topic of much debate and, unfortunately for the UFC, has coincided with the retirement of GSP and Anderson Silva (who have been the most bankable PPV stars of the past few years), long term injuries to Cain Velasquez, Anthony Pettis and Dominic Cruz (which has taken three titles out of circulation) and injuries to almost every other title holder causing fight delays and postponements in 2014. At this stage it doesn’t look like any title will be defended three or more times during 2014 which is what you’d like to see from a champion.  
     
    On the topic of developing stars, it seems strange to me to criticise the UFC for not developing stars while simultaneously criticising it for holding too many events. It seems to me that the best way to develop stars is to bring guys in and give them a chance to develop within the UFC rather than trying to sign/buy guys who have managed to build significant records in other organisations which brings its own set of problems. Creating stars, it isn’t an exact science - especially if you’re talking about fighters that are able to make an impression with the wider public as well as general sports fans or MMA fans. The right combination of skill, record, personality and timing rarely come together and the UFC, and any other promotion, can only do so much to try and identify and promote fighters who they think can become stars. The flip side of this is when fans feel like the UFC is pushing a certain fighter, giving them additional coverage and even preferential matchmaking they flip out.   
     
    As an aside, a group of us went to the Te Huna v Marquardt card last weekend and it was awesome. There was an interesting moment when, on trying to enter Vector, we were re-directed from the gate to the ticket office but instead finding that I’d stuffed the booking it was to upgrade us from the cheapest of the nosebleeds to the front row right where the fighters walked in 20 metres from the cage. Good fights - Soa v Rosholt aside - which showed that star power isn’t necessary for an entertaining card. Without the expanded schedule there’s no way that NZ would be getting a UFC card. As things stand, we might be getting a UFC card every couple of years and while we’re unlikely to get title fights or the biggest names, I think that this is preferable to no live NZ UFC events.
     
    Yes the expanded schedule has diluted PPVs, but on the flip side it means more fights. For those of us who like watching fights, this is mostly a good thing. There are only a few “special” events are year but that’s mostly been true in previous years.
    As Mike said, the last two Fight Nights have been really entertaining cards despite the lack of top-tier talent. I’m not sure if that has been good matchmaking, luck or, more likely a combination of the two.



  • Cruz was stripped of the Bantamweight title in January and Barao's interim title was upgraded to the proper title. And the only reason why that belt won't be defended three times this year is because Dillashaw beat the crap out of Barao. Their rematch in August will be the third time it's been on the line this year though and I'm expecting to see a fourth later in the year.
     
    While having more and more events may mean they're trying out way more fighters, it also means there's far less possibility of making a star. Why? Because there's less eyes watching most of those cards, so you can have a true star making performance like the one Matt Brown had against Eric Silva a few months ago and no-one comes out of it a star because it was stuck on Fight Pass, which only the super fans have.
     
    But regardless, yeah that Irish card was fucking awesome.



  • Totally right on the Bantamweight title being put up three times this year. I'll believe four when I see it.
    Matt Brown v Eric Silva was on Fox Sports rather than Fight Pass. I don't think they've had any US Fight Pass cards yet. Granted, Fox Sports doesn't have the reach of Fox or Spike but it's not behind an internet paywall.



  • Still plenty of time for a fourth fight after August, especially with so many champs out injured, though it could always slip into next year as well.
     
    Ah shit, you're right, the use of the Fight Night name for both Fox Sports and Fight Pass cards confused me. It's definitely a bit better than the internet paywall but still limits the amount of eyes watching it, especially since no casual fan is ever going to bother watching every UFC card. It just makes creating stars an even harder job to do.



  • With UFC 177 on 30 August a fourth Bantamweight title in 2014 would be a fairly quick turnaround for either Dillashaw or Barao. Especially when you consider that the opponent that makes the most sense regardless of who wins at UFC 177 is Dominic Cruz who would have to win his fight against Takeya Mizugaki at UFC 178 on September 27 and be in condition to fight again quickly which seems overly-optimistic given his recent history.
     
    You’re right that the lack of available champions may encourage the UFC to try and schedule a fourth Bantamweight title bout in 2014 with the champ versus Assuncao or any available top ten fighter just to fill out one of the December cards. Assuncao is an interesting fight for Dillashaw and a decent fight Barao (in Brazil at least) but not one that is going to get casuals super-interested.
     
    Which brings me back to the oversaturation, while casual fans (by definition) aren’t going to watch every card I was under the impression that ratings for the Fox Sports Fight Night main events were higher than most PPVs or the PPV prelims. I’d have thought that fighting in the five-round main event on a smaller card would be a better way to get casual fans interested in contenders than having the same fight as a three-rounder on the main card of a PPV.
     
     
    Gustaffson out and Cormier in to face Jon Jones at UFC 178 and they've also added McGregor v Poirier. The card is looking pretty stacked.
     
    Edit: Formatting



  • With UFC 177 on 30 August a fourth Bantamweight title in 2014 would be a fairly quick turnaround for either Dillashaw or Barao. Especially when you consider that the opponent that makes the most sense regardless of who wins at UFC 177 is Dominic Cruz who would have to win his fight against Takeya Mizugaki at UFC 178 on September 27 and be in condition to fight again quickly which seems overly-optimistic given his recent history.
     
    You’re right that the lack of available champions may encourage the UFC to try and schedule a fourth Bantamweight title bout in 2014 with the champ versus Assuncao or any available top ten fighter just to fill out one of the December cards. Assuncao is an interesting fight for Dillashaw and a decent fight Barao (in Brazil at least) but not one that is going to get casuals super-interested.
     
    Which brings me back to the oversaturation, while casual fans (by definition) aren’t going to watch every card I was under the impression that ratings for the Fox Sports Fight Night main events were higher than most PPVs or the PPV prelims. I’d have thought that fighting in the five-round main event on a smaller card would be a better way to get casual fans interested in contenders than having the same fight as a three-rounder on the main card of a PPV.
     
     
    Gustaffson out and Cormier in to face Jon Jones at UFC 178 and they've also added McGregor v Poirier. The card is looking pretty stacked.
     
    Edit: Formatting

    It's not that quick. Dillashaw vs Barao 1 was on May 24th, while Faber vs Barao was on Feb 1st. That's just under four months between Barao/Faber and Barao/Dillashaw 1 and just over 3 months between Barao/Dillashaw 1 and 2. With four months left in the year after UFC 177, I think there's a pretty decent chance they'll fit another one in there.
     
    As for the next contender, I'd go with Assuncao, yeah. I don't think there's any Bantamweight fight, outside of Cruz, that'll really get the casuals interested, but I think Cruz is probably a few wins off being in range of a shot and it depends entirely on how well he comes back. Three years is a long time in sports.
     
    Fox Sports Fight Night main events are higher than most current PPVs, but then that's not really an achievement these days. I'm just not sure how many of the people watching them are actually casual fans, since they're basically buying the Fox Sports channels specifically for UFC. There's a huge difference between those and the FOX cards (which typically get 2+ million viewers) or old Spike cards.
     
    Cormier vs Jones is actually a disappointing replacement in my eyes. Cormier has a knee injury that he was scheduled to get surgery on but he's put it on hold for the fight. That was one of the main reasons why Jones wanted to fight Cormier instead of Gustaffson in the first place. It's going to hurt his wrestling and his chances in the fight.
     
    McGregor vs Poirier should be great though.



  • Another solid card at Fight Night.
     
    Lawler v Brown was a cracker.


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