With no UFC events scheduled until April 14th, and no Pay Per View until April 21st, I think we can officially say we're in a UFC 'off season'...or a drought, if we'd like to be more poetic. Sure, we have The Ultimate Fighter Live and Bellator Fighting Championships every friday...but it's just not the same. Most viewers...well, anywhere, don't have Fuel TV.
That means that UFC 145 is the next big thing, it's the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, the twin sunset on the horizon of Tatooine. MMA fans everywhere will be clamoring for it, it's being headlined by the long-coming friends-turned-enemies grudge match between Jon Jones and Rashad Evans. It's going to be pumped up by a Primetime series and is going to be the first PPV in nearly 2 months. It'll be huge...
But as far as I'm concerned, this card may as well be called the Kool Aid Man, why Kool Aid Man? Because the Kool Aid Man is top heavy, Kool Aid man has a big, round body that's full of red Kool Aid. Kool Aid man has tiny legs, Kool Aid man could easily be knocked off balance....Kool Aid Man.
That's what UFC 145 is to me. It's top-heavy. At least the main card of the Pay Per View is. As a whole, the card has some solid depth throughout...the quality of the fights on FX and Facebook are more than solid. It's the Pay Per View portion of the broadcast I am worried about. Jones vs Evans is a HUGE headliner considering the circumstances: UFC drought, Primetime, long time coming, used to be training partners etc etc...so the buyrates are pretty much good to go.
But even with the great headliner that virtually everyone is dying to see...the PPV portion of the card as a whole still feels a little light:
Co-Main Event - Awesome in their violence are Rory MacDonald and Che Mills, Joe, but a little less Michael Jordan-esque in there star power they are. For our english-only readers, that means that these guys just don't have the name value or even the divisional relevance to be the co-main event of a PPV.
Miguel Torres vs Michael McDonald is more relevant divisionally and features a former champion. On top of that, the winner of this fight could very likely fight someone like Ranan Barao in a #1 contender match next...so yeah, that's kind of a big deal. Swap these fights out! Angel vs McD as the Co-main of the PPV and MacD vs Mills as the main event on FX.
Third Fight Down - Brendan Schaub getting knocked out by Nogueira brought joy to the hearts of many, as did Ben Rothwell being the subject of a near-fatal Hunt-Bar. They should be thanked at least a little for their contributions to those moments...but their value to the paying public does not go up after losses like they had.
Meanwhile, Travis Browne is undefeated and more often than not, uses the dynamite in his hands to win by knockout. He is also fighting this Chad Griggs guy, who has awesome mutton chops, and kind of always brings it...ya' know, the kind of thing people pay to see. Browne vs Griggs as the Third Fight Down while Schaub and Rothwell Co-Main FX.
Fourth Fight Down - Mark Hominick is awesome, is pretty highly ranked, and is a former title challenger. He also got dusted in 7 seconds by a certain Asian Re-animate. He is on a two fight losing skid, and needs a win to make him look awesome. That is basically what Eddie Yagin is for. He is a warm body for Hominick to style on and pretend is Chan Sung Jung. Upsets can always happen...but the intent and expectation of this fight is very clear.
Then you have Matt Brown vs Stephen Thompson down on FX. Neither of these guys are ranked as highly as Hominick...but this match as a whole is superior. Thompson and Brown are certainly more even in skill and placement within the division than Hominick and Yagin. Also, Brown seems to have a bit of a problem with Thompson and his undefeated kickboxing and MMA record. Rumor has it that he has a problem with Thompson because Thompson has some kind of issue with him. So whatever, there is some lukewarm blood potential there, that's pretty sellable. Thompson also has a bit of hype about him and Matt Mutherfukin Brown is a bit of a fan favorite. Let Hominick commit assault on FX while Thompson and Brown go to town on the PPV card.
Presto change-O, you swap those three fight placements and the value of the PPV portion of the card goes up quite a bit. Some would argue that the FX portion of the card would lose value, but it's free and everyone would watch ANYWAY because of three certain letters....UFC, for those of you who aren't smart.