UFC



  • Deadspin commentary this morning. (Ouch!)
     
     
    Whatever Happened To The UFC?
     
    Imagine if the NBA added 30 expansion teams over the next two years, and then sent out a favored reporter to lecture the public about how true fans should appreciate the diminished quality of play. This sounds impossibly stupid, and yet it's more or less what's happening in one increasingly dim corner of the sports world.
     
    This Saturday, the UFC will run a card in Auckland, New Zealand, to be broadcast on their online subscription service. The main event will feature New Zealander James Te Huna, who's lost two straight, and Nate Marquardt, who's lost three straight; the rest of the card isn't much more inspiring.
     
    Also this Saturday, the UFC will run a card in San Antonio, Texas, to be televised on Fox Sports 1. The main event will feature Jeremy Stephens, a featherweight with a 10-8 UFC record best known for once having been arrested the day before he had a scheduled bout, leading to thankfully failed negotiations in which promoter Dana White tried to convince the Hennepin County sheriff's office to let the guy out of jail just long enough for him to fight. The co-main event will feature Nicholas Musoke, a welterweight so obscure he doesn't even have a Wikipedia page.
     
    Including these two, the UFC has 24 events scheduled for the rest of this year, five more than they ran in all of 2009. The ever-increasing number of cards—and, more than that, the consequent decline in their quality as good preliminary bouts become iffy undercard bouts and passable undercard bouts become lousy main events—has been a problem for long enough that a lot of serious fans are just dead tired of hearing about it. (In 2011, when the promotion ran a mere 27 shows, I asked White if he wasn't running too many; he said the only problem was that they weren't running more, and apparently he meant it.) It's so bad by now, though, that the usual word for it, oversaturation, doesn't quite cut it. This is something more like hypersaturation.
     
    You can tell this is a live issue because Kevin Iole—a Yahoo Sports writer and a thoroughly reliable guide to what the UFC would like people to think—felt compelled to go in hard earlier this week with an article titled "Why the UFC's saturation strategy makes perfect sense." The UFC's His argument is basically that hardcore fight fans should stop bitching, because the awful cards aren't meant for them, but for people who don't actually watch fights.
     
    The dirty little secret here is that the seeming overload of shows the UFC is staging here, there and everywhere was not designed for the hardcore fan base. ... [T]he seeming glut of shows the UFC is staging will serve its purpose if it persuades some who watch infrequently or not at all to become casual fans who may, every now and then, buy a pay-per-view.
     
    This is a strange argument only because it makes absolutely no sense. The only people who could possibly have any interest in a fight card headlined by James Te Huna and Nate Marquardt are UFC ultras, degenerate gamblers, and maybe curious New Zealanders. The method by which watching bad fights will turn members of this last group into people willing to pay money to see fights goes unexplained, but it's hinted at when Iole describes the prevailing thinking within the UFC: "all that people need to become fans is exposure to the sport on a regular basis."
     
    Calling this magical thinking would be doing it a bit too much credit. When the sport enjoyed a surge of general interest in the mid- to late aughts, it had to do with compelling athletes and compelling fights. People didn't become fans because of some accidental exposure to the sport, as such; they became fans because they were exposed to rivalries like Chuck Liddell vs. Randy Couture, or because they saw an incredible highlight reel of Anderson Silva knockouts online, or because they heard that pro wrestler Brock Lesnar was going to try his hand at a real fight.
     
    For a lot of reasons—the aging of a generation of stars, the promotion's habit of running downits own fighters, and bad luck, among others—the UFC, even though it runs some great shows from time to time, doesn't have those kinds of broadly compelling athletes or fights on offer right now. What it does have is its #brand, and a Rovellian faith in it—a belief that you can't run too many shows, that fighting is destined to be the biggest sport in the world, and that if you can get people to watch a UFC card, any card, you'll make some new fans.
     
    That may have been true five years ago, when the #brand stood for cards featuring fighters people cared about in main events that mattered, with quality fights on the undercard. When it increasingly comes to stand for main events featuring non-contenders on losing streaks, though, or regional-level competitors in meaningless scraps, not so much. And when even the big cards feature a lot of detritus and headliners no one has ever heard of, they start to actively run old fans off, rather than make new ones, as even a cursory look at the promotion's pay-per-view performance of late makes pretty clear. Which is, after all, the point of the complaints that the UFC Iole is dismissing. This isn't so much about whether a promotional strategy of running thin and bad fight cards makes any sense in the abstract as it is about fight fans complaining about feeling ripped off when they're asked to pay $60 for a card featuring maybe one good fight. You'd figure that Iole—a boxing writer, once upon a time—would know all about that.
     
    Iole would surely counter that even if this is true, none of it matters: Running terrible cards featuring faceless, generic fighters is to the benefit of the marketing company that is the sport's leading promoter, so the tradeoff between good cards and boring ones is one "that most true fans would gladly make," and anyway no one's forcing anyone to watch. ("Consumers have choices when spending their entertainment dollars," as he puts it.)
     
    This is a strange thing, in the way it asks fans to value the interests of the businessmen who own the UFC more than their own interests as spectators. It's even stranger than that in how utterly anachronistic it is.
     
    One of the minor pleasures of being a fight fan is seeing the UFC reenact the development of any major sport as if captured by time-lapse photography. It's born; it struggles; it captures public interest; and now, it reaches beyond its grasp. The actual sport, as such, has grown incredibly quickly, so that the best fights the UFC can now offer are as far beyond what they could promote a decade or so ago as an early '80s Celtics vs. Lakers game was beyond some slow and erratic early '60s NBA contest. The infrastructure around it—the promoters, the fawning press, and so on—has meanwhile grown in real time, slowly and painfully. It will all come together at some point. In the meantime, fans will talk about how they want to see good fights, and various people with stakes in the game will tell them to pipe down and pay up, and it will all continue to be too stupid to be true.



  • Yup. There are too many fighters, too many shows and too many poor fights. Instead of taking on boxing, which was a very good idea considering that sports farcical decline in recent years , they are taking on Vince McMahon. In the sense that they are putting the product out there for mass consumption on a weekly basis.
    Vince has a product that delivers because it's all spectacular, mostly. The athletes/stars are larger than life and give the fans what they want.
    UFC can do that some of the time but not all of the time, he'll not even 50% of the time. Whole events can be lacklustre, and there aren't really any crossover over stars. No one grabs anyone's attention and by anyone I mean people not immediately interested in MMA.
    I don't think its intentional to be competing with pro wrestling but Dana White and the Fertitta brothers have heavily borrowed from the WWEs business model. There are still aspects of MMA that do not sit well with certain demographics. The blood is real, not that the wrestlers is fake, but it can often be pouring out of clearly visible gaping wounds. Compound fractures and forced dislocations aren't usually enjoyable things to watch either but often occur in MMA. Kicking and punching a prone opponent isn't exactly something you want your 10yo watching either. Wrestling can go week in week out because there are always new kids being introduced to John Cena, HHH and the Undertaker. Parents know that it'll push the boundaries but there's no cursing, much less TnA and far less blood. It's almost wholesome entertainment.
    Me personally, I love MMA, it showcases everything in a fighters abilities and exposes their weaknesses more so than any other combat sport. It's unfortunately also a fledgling sport where the product seems to be less important than its persona. Fighters are promoted ahead of their time to title fights based on their look, fighting style and attitude. It's still fairer than anything in boxing but when you are more concerned about stylistics the product will ultimately suffer.
    There are always going to be exceptions to the rule, Hunt vs Bigfoot easily the best heavy weight bout in recent memory if not ever, but mostly fighter need to headline based on merit. Earning their spots not just because they pose a "what if this guy fought this guy, Bruce Lee vs Jet Li" type scenario.
    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.
    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.
    There's no personality coming through. No guys you love to hate. Jon Jones is annoying and clearly has a god complex but he's got no witty repartee at pressers. He's so fucking boring it almost completely over shadows how awesome a fighter he is. Velasquez is too nice, too likeable and again shows fuck all personality. It's like this through through every division.
    I like the direction Dana and co, as a whole, have taken the sport. But they need to slow down and work on making a smaller roster of quality fighters house hold names by having fewer events with a greater amount of high performances from match to match.



  • Yup. There are too many fighters, too many shows and too many poor fights. Instead of taking on boxing, which was a very good idea considering that sports farcical decline in recent years , they are taking on Vince McMahon. In the sense that they are putting the product out there for mass consumption on a weekly basis.
    Vince has a product that delivers because it's all spectacular, mostly. The athletes/stars are larger than life and give the fans what they want.
    UFC can do that some of the time but not all of the time, he'll not even 50% of the time. Whole events can be lacklustre, and there aren't really any crossover over stars. No one grabs anyone's attention and by anyone I mean people not immediately interested in MMA.
    I don't think its intentional to be competing with pro wrestling but Dana White and the Fertitta brothers have heavily borrowed from the WWEs business model. There are still aspects of MMA that do not sit well with certain demographics. The blood is real, not that the wrestlers is fake, but it can often be pouring out of clearly visible gaping wounds. Compound fractures and forced dislocations aren't usually enjoyable things to watch either but often occur in MMA. Kicking and punching a prone opponent isn't exactly something you want your 10yo watching either. Wrestling can go week in week out because there are always new kids being introduced to John Cena, HHH and the Undertaker. Parents know that it'll push the boundaries but there's no cursing, much less TnA and far less blood. It's almost wholesome entertainment.
    Me personally, I love MMA, it showcases everything in a fighters abilities and exposes their weaknesses more so than any other combat sport. It's unfortunately also a fledgling sport where the product seems to be less important than its persona. Fighters are promoted ahead of their time to title fights based on their look, fighting style and attitude. It's still fairer than anything in boxing but when you are more concerned about stylistics the product will ultimately suffer.
    There are always going to be exceptions to the rule, Hunt vs Bigfoot easily the best heavy weight bout in recent memory if not ever, but mostly fighter need to headline based on merit. Earning their spots not just because they pose a "what if this guy fought this guy, Bruce Lee vs Jet Li" type scenario.
    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.
    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.
    There's no personality coming through. No guys you love to hate. Jon Jones is annoying and clearly has a god complex but he's got no witty repartee at pressers. He's so fucking boring it almost completely over shadows how awesome a fighter he is. Velasquez is too nice, too likeable and again shows fuck all personality. It's like this through through every division.
    I like the direction Dana and co, as a whole, have taken the sport. But they need to slow down and work on making a smaller roster of quality fighters house hold names by having fewer events with a greater amount of high performances from match to match.

    Great post Raz, especially given it is about a sport I know little about.
     
    I agree, there has to be someone to "hate". Hating someone cos they might be a bit boring is clutching at straws, never did Lewis or the Klitchkos any harm. Hell even George Foreman wasn't the big scary ogre everyone made him out to be. Look at him when interviewed now, crikey, what a nice fella even if naming all his sons George is a tad weird....



  • 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.