Thursday, August 11, 2011

UFC is NOT the NFL of MMA, It’s the UFC of MMA

It will be an uphill journey for the UFC starting this Fall.
By: The Fight Pimp

Not Hatin', just Tellin' like It Is.

Fan attendance looks like a ski slope. Pay Per View Buy rates 2011 on a downward spiral...
If you’re antics entertaining; you get reprimanded, if you’re a great but boring fighter you don’t get the shot that’s rightfully yours. Injuries, lame fight cards, a spike in pay-per-view prices, television deal in limbo and the ‘Marlo Stanfield’ handling of Strikeforce gives you the perfect look at the first 3/4s of 2011 for the UFC. Talk about hedging your bets -- the 4th quarter is stacked with the big show in Brazil, followed by Rampage vs Jon Jones, GSP vs Nick Diaz and the finale of The Ultimate Fighter reality series. Sounds like the cards are in the favor of Zuffa to close their shaky 2011 campaign BUT…let’s take a look at the other players in the game that are going to sit at the high stakes table of ‘sports fan’ dollars and attention.

Floyd ‘Money’ Mayweather returns in September 17th.
UFC Fight Night starring Jake Shields vs Ellenberger…not a good match up. You’re going up against the Boxing King of PPV and since this event is in New Orleans, it might not bode well ratings wise due to the college football season. One good thing is the LSU Tigers don’t take the field on that night. Rampage v. Jon Jones is later in the month but by then, the light wallets of American Sports fans (especially combat sports) will have already paid for the spectacle of the PPV King.

Edgar v. Maynard III on October 8th
The fights have been pretty good, some would even argue great. However, ‘Fast Foot Frankie’ vs ‘The White B-Hop’ is not a huge draw. Some times it takes a special ‘panache’ more than skills to draw the almighty dollar out of the pockets of the general public. None of these guys have it.

Nick Diaz vs Georges St. Pierre on October 29th
If they let Nick Diaz be NICK DIAZ then we’ll have a set of the best pre-fight promos this side of Chael Sonnen. However, with Lex Luthor wanting the UFC roster to ‘Play The Game’ we may be deprived of the only thing that will convince us to sit through what may very well be another boring GSP fight. Taking Diaz from the STRIKEFORCE roster was done with two purposes in mind…to begin the process of dismantling the newly acquired promotion for the sake of boosting Zuffa. I hope it works. If not, then the general public will save their money two weeks later for the following…

Manny Pacquiao v. Juan Manuel Marquez III on November 12th
Now here’s a trilogy that has it. And if you haven’t noticed…I said "Manny Pacquiao".

UFC 139: Not the return of ‘Brock Lesnar’ on November 19th.
Cain Velasquez is a great fighter as well as Junior Dos Santos. Too bad everyone will have spent their PPV budget the week before. I skipped UFC 138 because it will air in England for free via tape delay. The NFL is too big to do that. No Brock, No huge PPV numbers.

The Ultimate Fighter Finale...Its Christmas time, good thing it’s free!
The NFL is built upon the long storied history and tradition of organizations that have competed against each other in the hallowed halls of sports history with characters and showdowns that have etched themselves in the psychological fabric of the American Sports Fan. UFC hasn’t been around long enough to do that just yet. In addition, the NFL is predicated on the reasonable competition of its franchise cities -- the Cowboys don’t buy out the Patriots and vice versa. UFC has kept a grasp of the power ring in the first 20 years of the sport buy purchasing smaller/financially mis-managed promotions. In all their time on top they’ve made stars out of Chuck Lidell, Tito Ortiz and sub-leased Brock Lesnar’s stardom from WWE while burying Kimbo Slice for no apparent reason. The Ultimate Fighter franchise has introduced us to fighters yet has only cranked out one legitimate PPV star which is GSP. With the series ‘Jumping The Shark’ I doubt another will come from this show. With a position that’s shrinking in the leverage department regarding a solid TV Deal, loss of attendance, shrinking ppv buy rates, a crappy reality tv show, pissing off the rest of the mixed martial arts world (if you get Bas Rutten questioning your motives you definitely have a problem), 2012 will be a critical year for Zuffa. As the sport grows MMA fans have to ask themselves: is this the best that the world has to offer? For now, YES, but no run lasts forever.

No comments:

Post a Comment