Mike Brown is not the #2 ranked featherweight in the world because of some kind of fluke. This is a man who worked his way up to the heights of the 145 pound division and then beat Urijah Faber. Twice. And yet tomorrow night Mike Thomas Brown, the #2 ranked featherweight in the world, takes on #14 ranked Diego Nunes on the untelevised undercard of UFC 125.
Meanwhile, a bout between Phil Baroni and Brad Tavares will be broadcast on the Ion TV televised portion of the undercard. I'm sure some will say that with Dana White trying to squeeze three bouts into the Ion broadcast that Baroni/Tavares got the spot because it is "more likely to end quickly." But it's also far more likely to possibly be 15 minutes of two guys who are below what should be considered "UFC quality" throwing gassed out arm punches. But given Dana White's reaction to the fans not voting for a terrible stand-up "war" between Matt Riddle and Sean Pierson for Fight of the Night that may simply be what the UFC values more.
How many top ten fighters in the lightweight through heavyweight divisions have the UFC not televised when they were planning for 7-8 fights to make the air? How many bouts between what is basically a fight between #2 and #9 in a UFC division (given the UFC not controlling a few of the top featherweights) would be among the 3 of 11 fights to not make the air?
The question really becomes how seriously the UFC views the lighter weight classes in the "big picture." Yes, Josh Grispi is going to make the broadcast. And as a rising star Grispi absolutely deserves the attention. But it's also far more likely that Grispi and Poirier will "slug it out."
So how about it? Are the bantamweights and featherweights around to provide exciting fights more than to feature the top fighters in the top fights? Or is this simply a one off situation where fights like Tavares/Baroni make the air and middle-of-the-road fighters like Chris Leben and Brian Stann get featured in the nights penultimate contest.