Bloody Elbow Roundtable: UFC On FX 4 Vs. UFC 147

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Tim Burke: The UFC is promoting events on consecutive nights this weekend, and they're making you pay for one of them (UFC 147). That card might end up being the worst-selling UFC PPV since 2005. Is the UFC on FX 4 event actually better on paper than UFC 147, and do you expect 147 to outperform the bottom-feeders of recent Zuffa PPV sales like UFC 136 (225k)?

Fraser Coffeen: The FX show is a better card for the simple reason that it has a better featured fight. As a fight fan, Maynard vs. Guida grabs my interest far more than anything 147 has to offer (though, to be fair, I was excited by the prospect of Silva vs. Belfort II). I guess I'm intrigued by Werdum vs. Russow, but outside of that, 147 really doesn't do much for me. I admit that I did not watch TUF Brazil - maybe that would have changed my opinion.

As for how it will do? Terribly. It has no hype, no one watched TUF Brazil, and the UFC has totally thrown in the towel on promoting it, instead focusing on the much more important 148. Yes, I think it dips below 225.

Ben Thapa: The TUF Brazil guys are going to rock your socks off - especially if you've not seen them fight before. Unfortunately, Daniel Sarafian, one of the brightest prospects there, is out with an injury, but the rest combine to make for the best TUF cast since TUF 5.

The UFC on FX card has five fights I want to see (Pague/Stone, Hioki/Lamas, Ebersole/Waldburger, Stout/Fisher and Guida/Maynard). UFC 147 has NINE fights I want to see and I'm okay with the other two. I'm well aware my tastes skew towards the less popular point of view and that this won't be the perspective that the vast majority of regular PPV buyers will take. In a better world, UFC 147 would do better than UFC 149 and much more than the 225k basement.

In this world that we actually live in, I think we see a 150k basement established. The Brazilians will fight their hearts out (and have done so all season long on TUF Brazil), but this won't persuade the PPV buyers to crack open their wallets like usual.

SBN coverage of UFC on FX 4

SBN coverage of UFC 147

Brent Brookhouse: There are obvious reasons why it can't be done (network obligations, buildings already being booked, fighters already booked..etc) but it's a shame that they couldn't combine the two cards into one "mega event" with a Fuel undercard for 2 hours, FX for 3 hours and then a 3 hour PPV. I mean, that's way too much fighting and everything, but the PPV is kind of weak for a PPV.

In addition to the card quality (in terms of name value, big fights, etc...not how talented the unknowns are) the show will also be hurt by the FX card. Asking casual fans to pay for an event when they can watch a live event the night before for free that is arguably better isn't a recipe for success. Of course, 147 wasn't supposed to be a weak card. When you can put a free show on before a big card, it serves as a neat appetizer and advertisement for the next day. In this case I think it just serves as enough to dissuade the casual fans from feeling they need to pay money since they just got their fight fix.

Tim Burke: I agree that having the cards so close together will damage the buyrate even more. Like Ben, I'm interested in the UFC 147 card because I watched TUF Brazil and I feel that they're the best collection of TUF talent since the fifth season. But even hardcore fans are going to have trouble justifying the need to spend money on a card with no top-shelf talent on it (besides MAYBE Werdum). UFC on FX 4 really does very little for me. Guida's either boring or exciting, and Gray's usually boring. And nothing else on the card sticks out to me. I still think 147 is the better card overall, even on name value.

I figure that UFC 147 will do around the same as WEC 48 - 175,000 buys. I think that's their basement.

TP Grant: UFC 147 is going to be a real test balloon for Brazilian hunger for UFC cards. Since injuries have destroyed this card I think the UFC has given up on American interest in the card and is looking to see how much in the way of viewership their TUF Brazil show is going to create in their product.

KJ Gould: UFC 147 is a TUF Brazil Finale card, period. It was going to be this great event but through a combination of the injury bug and logistical impossibilities, we're left with what we have. If the UFC is banking on the free FX card to whip up its fanbase into enough of a frenzy to buy the PPV the next night, that's being delusionally optimistic at best. The FX card has more fighters that the UFC audience is familiar with, and very few outside of Brazil watched the Portuguese language TUF show.

If both were shows on FX, Silva vs Franklin II might be the more high profile main event, but on paper the Maynard vs Guida card is the better and more relevant all around. Werdum should beat Russo pretty easily, and the first Silva vs Franklin fight was to be fair average at best and I think most believe Franklin will beat Silva pretty easily this time out. Maynard vs Guida has real divisional implications, and even the Hioki vs Lamas fight does despite it being buried on the prelims, while Stout vs Fisher and Ebersole vs Waldburger have awesomeness written all over them.

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