Zuffa As Glavlit

One of the most interesting stories over the past year has been Zuffa's attempt to control information.  This started with the Randy Couture situation, where UFC decided to simply never mention him again, and banned his name and likeness entirely from their broadcast.  Some predicted this would backfire, but it did not.  Frankly, they got away with it, because they are still doing very good numbers, and it's not as if there has been a fan backlash.

The next attempt was the Sean Sherk situation, where they refused to mention his steroid conviction, and instead promoted a BJ Penn vs. Joe Stevenson match for the Lightweight title without explaining anything.  Now, as Sherk and Penn get set to collide, the Zuffa censorship machine is hard at work again.  If you just watched official UFC previews and hype, you would think this was simply a battle between a champion and an ex champion.  

The irony in all this is that just like all censorship, it is pointless at best, counterproductive at worst.  If UFC 84's hype show was built around the real hatred between Sherk and Penn (including Penn's shots at Sherk), as well as the feud between Ortiz and Dana and the real importance of the match, it would do gigantic numbers.  Frankly I think it would do the best numbers since Quinton/Chuck.  The best stories are the real stories, and hiding them is just costing UFC millions of dollars for the sake of controlling information that really does not need to be controlled.

 

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