Zuffa has been ravaged by injuries of late, and it's been forced to move/change potential fights that fans have been looking forward to and that the company has already started promoting. After UFC on FX 3, there are some new options that are available to the paying public, and some that truly make a lot of sense when you think about it. Here's my plans to help bring about better fights to make fight cards that much better....
Some may say that this is too quick of a turnaround for Mighty Mouse, or ask if this fight can be promoted and watched by the amount of viewers that Zuffa and FOX ideally want. But Benavidez will be coming off roughly 6 months of inactivity and is probably chomping at the bit for his first official UFC title shot (at his ideal weight class as well), and Mighty Mouse has always seemed to stay in a rhythm when it comes to fights per year. Either way, this fight is everything that fans can ask for when you think about it, and putting it on free network TV in the US is exactly the way to make up for other lackluster cards (for example, upcoming UFC 147 looks forgettable, just as UFC on FOX 2 was). It's a title fight between two guys who will go all out for five rounds to become the first ever Flyweight champion in the UFC --- kind of a big deal. FOX wins because it's baseball season and they can promote this fight through all their baseball coverage, and of course because it's a title fight that should attract more casual viewers in. It may not be a heavyweight title fight, or have a "big name title fight" but the little guys have proven to be very entertaining when given the spotlight to potentially steal the show.
Now onto the original (changed/demoted now) main event of Mauricio "Shogun" Rua vs Brandon "the Truth" Vera; while this fight is essentially a highlight knockout or TKO for Shogun waiting to happen, it serves as a great lead-in fight for the broadcast to start off and to set the tempo for the night. Shogun likely beats Vera...and it sets him up for fights afterwards with either Machida to complete the trilogy should he beat Bader, or a likely sequel with Rampage. With Shogun/Vera, Travis Browne/Ben Rothwell, Machida/Bader, and the title fight of Mighty Mouse vs Benavidez, this could be the card to bring in viewers, satisfy fans desire for a title fight on network tv, satisfy FOX exec's and their demands for better fights, and help promote the flyweight (and lighter-weight) division(s) much more to the casual viewer.
UFC 149 Calgary Card: Aldo vs Koch
This card has a title fight with a Top 3 P4P fighter in featherweight champion Jose Aldo squaring off with highly-touted Erik Koch, and has a pretty solid main card set up behind that title fight as well; Kongo vs Nogueira and Siyar/Clements are solid main card fights, and the introduction of Hector Lombard to the UFC Middleweight division against Tim Boetsch (coming off a fantastic come-from-behind victory in his own respect) serves as a solid co-main event. Because this is Calgary's first UFC event many want to stack the card, but Canadians always show up and come out when the UFC comes to town, and no matter what fight you add to round out the main card, I don't see a matchup that makes one think it will influence the PPV buys that greatly. Fans can complain, but it seems Canada always gets a title fight while England hasn't had a title fight on one of their UFC cards in forever. Space out the big fights and spread the love around, not just to Canada.
UFC 150: Edgar vs Henderson II
My first choice for a UFC on FOX 4 main event was to put the lightweight title rematch of Edgar/Benson on network television, but with no other main event quality matches available they stay on the Denver 150 card. However this card really lacks depth as of now (only 2 months away), and is in need of a big co-main event to help put this over. Adding in a fight like Anthony Pettis vs Nate Diaz would accomplish a few things: (a) it would set up the lightweight division champion and #1 contender all in one night, and then promotion can begin on that fight by years end; (b) it would allow both Diaz and Pettis to stay active (and eliminate the whole "octagon/ring rust") while firmly establishing the next contender in a stacked division. Both have highlights and have won Zuffa Fight Bonuses in the past and have some very defining moments (Pettis with his win over Benson in the final WEC event and the Showtime "Kick Seen 'round the World", Nate schooling Jim Miller in the FOX 3 main event after dismantling Donald Cerrone at UFC 141). Yeah, Nate probably will need to be "pushed a little bit" to take this fight, and maybe he gets additional compensation for giving up his so-called "promise" for a title shot, but this is the kind of fight that can push a card into the exciting catagory and increase PPV buys. Adding a heavyweight fight (maybe Shane Carwin vs Roy Nelson) as well as a trilogy fight between Jamie Varner and home-town Donald Cerrone in addition to the Jake Shields vs Ed Herman fight, and this card looks that much better and presentable for PPV.