Last year when the news broke that the UFC had signed a multi-year with FOX the MMA world expected the sports' number one company to transcend to another level from a popularity standpoint. And about five months in, the UFC hasn't really progressed all to much. At least, not yet.
Calling the UFC expansion to FOX a failure or anything close that at this point is like saying that Albert Pujols isn't going to have an All-Star year this season due to his slow start. It's premature.
The most important part of the relationship between both parties are the nationally televised UFC on FOX events.
An "okay" or "average" FOX show isn't acceptable if the expectation is that those nationally televised MMA showcases are meant to lure in the common fan that has never ordered a PPV before. Those events need to be memorable, so that it converts people to follow the sport.
Let's face it, the first two FOX shows left more to be desired, but I don't think they were bad enough to scare people off from the product. That's why I believe the upcoming UFC on FOX 3 show is paramount to the progression of the UFC in the national eye.
Don't get me wrong, this event isn't the end-all, be-all, but it'd certainly help if it was an amazing, entertaining spectacle that attracted more fans to the sport of Mixed Martial Arts.
As a person that enjoys viewing things from both ends of the spectrum, I thought it'd be a fun practice to look at the best and worst case scenarios for UFC on FOX 3: Diaz vs Miller. So without further a-do, here's a tragic scenario that'd likely cause the death of the UFC.
The scenarios after the jump.
Worst Case Scenario
-In the pre-fight, in-studio introduction Curt Menefee butchers the pronunciations of all the main card fighters name. He get's bitched out in his ear-piece, mutters "fuck it", and leaves the studio.
-First fight is Lavar Johnson vs Pat Barry. Within the first couple of seconds Barry hits Johnson in the family jewels, Johnson takes the whole five minutes to recover. As the fight resumes Barry accidentally hits Johnson again in the groin. After another five minutes, and a point deduction the fight resumes. Another Kongo-esque groin shot by Barry, and Lavar Johnson pukes in the ring. DQ win for Johnson.
-Joe Rogan and Mike Goldberg kill time as the puke is cleaned from the ring. Rogan makes a politically incorrect joke so bad that he's escorted from the broadcast immediately after saying it. Goldberg's flying solo.
-Middleweight Bout between Alan Belcher vs Rousimar Palhares. Palhares dominates, locks on the heel hook. Belcher taps, but Palhares continues to hold one. "Toquinho" ends up ripping off the foot of Belcher.
-Cut to one of those live shots of the fighters in room prepping for the fight. Only problem is that it's a naked Nate Diaz meditating.
- Josh Koscheck vs Johnny Hendricks. Koscheck does nothing, but set the distance with a jab for all three rounds. The most boring fight in UFC history. No scores from the judges as two of three fell asleep. The only exciting moment was one of the ring card girls slipping on the stairs.
- Goldberg apologizes and promises that the main event will deliver.
- The main event is canceled as Jim Miller slips on his way to the octagon and injures himself.
- 20 minutes of dead air.
Okay, that was pretty bad. Now the following show I think would create a larger following for the UFC, and make some stars in division that need them.
Best Case Scenario
- Lavar Johnson vs Pat Barry goes one round, and it's a back-and-forth slug fest that is similar to Kongo/Barry on Versus. Barry gets the KO win after being rocked a couple times, and he cuts a memorable promo afterwards.
- Rousimar Palhares vs Alan Belcher. Belcher looks good on the feet, but Palhares takes the fight to the ground. He dominates from then on locking on a devastating heel hook that gets the tap with less than a minute left in the first period. Palhares holds onto the submission a couple seconds after the tap to get some heel heat.
- Johnny Hendricks vs Josh Koscheck. Hendricks breaks the UFC shortest fight record as he knocks out Koscheck in the first couple of seconds. Hendricks calls out a top WW, and talks about his KO power.
- They show the prelim fight between John Dodson vs Tim Elliott. Dodson thrashes Elliott in the first round and comes across like a star. Says he'd love to fight the future flyweight champion.
- Nate Diaz vs Jim Miller. The first round are unbelievable. Back-and-forth, on the ground, on the feet, in the clinch. One of the best fights of all time. In the fourth round Diaz starts to assert himself in yet another excellent round. Diaz finishes Miller in the fifth round with a submission.
- Post-fight, Dana White comes in the ring. He announces that Frankie Edgar is injured and that Nate Diaz will replace him to fight Ben Henderson. Henderson comes in the ring, and they have a confrontational face-off.
So there is what UFC on FOX 3 could look like from both extremes. Obviously it'll probably be a middle of the road show with a slobber knocker for a main event, but you never know when it comes to MMA.