UFC 86 is almost upon us and the greatest hype for this event is that....there is no hype. Many fans and bloggers have voiced their opinions on Zuffa's undercachieving build for this fight and lack of promotion on the current 205 champ. Here's an excerpt from Sherdog's Jake Rossen:
"Stranger still is an auspicious lack of promotion for Jackson, who has easily earned an hour's worth of highlights in his Pride career. Why not package a propaganda piece prior to the show that elaborates on his impressive history? Wasn't that more or less the point of acquiring that video library?"
I have to disagree...Zuffa has accomplished the following for Rampage:
1. Provided a tailor-made highlight reel KO opponent in Marvin Eastman.
2. Fast tracked him to fight arguably it's most well known champion in Liddell in only his second fight in the UFC...which he won in devastating fashion.(exposing him to millions)
3. Put his fight with Dan Henderson on Spike TV for FREE.(exposing him to millions)
4. Put him on TUF to expose him to millions of fans on Spike TV for FREE.(exposing him to millions)
5. Now they are letting him face the biggest star that TUF has produced in Griffin.
Could Zuffa have done a couple of things different with Rampage? Sure they have areas in which they could improve...but to say that didn't give him any promotion isn't factual. Actually, I think BE's own Luke Thomas hit it on the head here:
I'm somewhat mystified by the lack of mainstream enthusiasm for Rampage as well, but we forget that Rampage's appeal is driven by both his endearing personality and in-cage performances. It's the one-two combination that he possesses that makes him so likable to the hardcore fan base: you laugh when he talks, and cry for his opponents when he brutally slams them to the canvas.
The report from MMAPayout is that UFC 86 is almost completely sold out. So with an underwhelming undercard, and a main event that's pretty one-sided on paper. I think Zuffa's done a pretty good job while not doing much at all.