Despite the UFC making the kind of history they would rather avoid by cancelling UFC 151, there is a major silver lining that they should not ignore. The upcoming cards are going to be stacked with added fights, strengthening cards for the near future. I think this is something the UFC can certainly learn from. Without paring back the schedule too much, you can have much stronger cards, which ultimately leads to better buyrates.
UFC 151 was card that was panned for being nothing but a main event with no real supporting cast. Jake Ellenberger vs Josh Koscheck would have been a nice co-main, but the injury bug took that away as well. Ellenberger vs Jay Hieron just didn't have the co-main luster it needed, but it makes for a really nice addition to the UFC on FX 5 card, along with two other really good matchups.
Two LW matchups from UFC 151 have been added to UFC on FX 5, as Shane Roller will take on Jacob Volkmann and Danny Castillo battles Michael Johnson. We are left with an absolutely stacked 13 fight card, on free tv. It doesn't have a big main event, but it has solid fights all over the card.
UFC 152 has gotten quite a boost as well, as it has added a 2nd title fight in Jon Jones vs Vitor Belfort (in the conclusion to the strangest day in MMA history), as well as an interesting welterweight bout between Kyle Noke and Charlie Brenneman. UFC 152 has all of a sudden become arguably the best PPV of the year, and it was all by mistake.
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The UFC should seriously consider lessening their amount of PPV's slightly. Look at the difference to the surrounding cards when one overall weak card dissolves. The cards around it are going to be loaded, and if they just cut out a PPV card here and there, they would have a much better product to air. If the top people at Zuffa realize the lesson to be learned here, it could pay major dividends down the road for the company and the fans.
If the UFC wants to maximize buyrates, they have to put out a consistently good product, and they simply aren't doing that right now. Some cards turn out to be good, but very rarely do they have a very compelling feel. UFC 152 will be a 2 title fight PPV, and it will give significant exposure to the first ever UFC flyweight title fight. If the UFC focuses on having strong cards top to bottom, rather than hinging an entire event on one fight, it will leave them in a position where injuries will never force the cancellation of another card. One big fight PPV's have killed boxing, and the UFC should do anything necessary to avid that fate.
Let's all be realistic here, this was not good a good day for MMA. As a sport that is still trying to gain mainstream acceptance, one of its most dominant champions comes out looking like a coward in the media and the company looks like they are incompetent for not having a contingency plan for this sort of thing. Injuries are always going to happen in MMA; it is just a part of the game. The UFC has to prepare for the situations by having deeper cards, and hopefully they will see how much stronger they can be with a slight drawing back of the PPV schedule.
I won't ever attempt to speak for all fans, but it is hard to keep up with all the MMA accessible nowadays. Oversaturation can kill any brand, and I have concerns that the UFC is on the edge of that. PPV's are expensive, and the average fan struggles to afford the extra $100+ per month it costs to watch the UFC without skipping events. If fans are going to shell out their hard earned money in tough economic times, they deserve a quality product. Cutting just a few events per year out would pay for itself in the long run, by establishing the brand as a strong one from top to bottom, no longer relying only on the achievements of a few big names to sell fights. It would also save the loyal fans that purchase every event a little break in their wallet, which can go a long way. The stronger, albeit fewer cards will eventually draw more casual fans, where the big money is.
Hopefully this bizarre day will work out well in the long run, and in the short term we get some really solid cards to look forward to. If you have anything to contribute, please do it in the comments. If you want to insult me, you can do it there as well I guess.