Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images
Zuffa decided to try out a new interactive gimmick at UFC 124: let the fans choose which fighters are awarded the "Fight of the Night" bonus. Fans became an amalgamated Commodus, offering a virtual thumbs up or thumbs down on the UFC's website. The UFC eschewed giving the idea a test run on a smaller show, allowing fans to collectively control the dispersement of $200,000.
Well, UFC fans, you've been fired. Steve Cofield details Dana White's comments from the post-fight press conference over at Cage Writer:
"The reporters aren't happy with it," Dana White joked at the postfight press conference. "It's one of the hazards. (The fans) are always chirping about how we mess it up and here we are."
The UFC and White even tried to give the fans a gentle nudge by showing the fight on the pay-per-view.
If you cast a vote at UFCvote.com, hope you enjoyed the chance to be the boss, now you're fired.
"They blew their chance," White said. "That's it. It's over."
This seemed like an inspired idea that wasn't fully thought through by the Zuffa marketing team. Voting tends to become a popularity contest, as any glasses-wearing nerd running for high school class president will tell you. That the main event between uber-popular Georges St-Pierre and hated villain Josh Koscheck won is no surprise - the event was built around that one fight, after all.
But there was bigger flaw in the idea: what happens to the prelim fights that weren't aired? Are they automatically disqualified? Dana White believed that Pierson and Riddle put on the fight of the night - and rewarded them for it, but what would have happened if the two lightweight fights went the distance?