UFC's Learning Curve

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With the summer injury curse continuing into the fall, we should get a really clear indication of what UFC has learned about booking PPV, and big cards. Injuries, especially the late notice type have cut the quality of every PPV card since UFC 146. When it was first booked, UFC 153 looked like a card that was built to with-stand the trend of injuries... Aldo, Belfort, Rampage, Fitch/Silva, Davis/Prado, and Maia/Story was one of the deeper main cards that we have seen in awhile. But first the Belcher injury, and Jon Jones situation pulled Belfort off the card... then Rampage, and Aldo were gone in the matter of a few hours. Emotionally I wish UFC had done more to replace the main event of this card, but realistically I know that UFC has done a good job using its available fighters for this card, and giving the fans a couple of legends in Big Nog, and Anderson Silva.. even if nobody is giving their opposition much of a chance.

Now UFC 154 on 17 November is a card that has star power on top, but is not very deep past the first three fights. You also have to consider that an injury to the top fight, weakens the top two fights, as fighters will shift, and short of Nick Diaz, or Nate Marquardt somehow getting past their respective issues (Suspension/Contract) showing up in the co-main I don't see many options to make that fight more interesting.

The Card -

GSP vs. Carlos Condit - WW title... this card is built around GSP competing, and Dana White will be waking up from bad dreams of GSP clutching his knee for the next two months. .

Johny Hendricks vs. Martin Kampmann - Great fight, should an injury happen in the main event, either of these guys is in a position to step in on short notice, but who will step into the co-main?

Mark Bocek vs. Rafael dos Anjos - Great fight for two top 25 guys looking to move up and build some momentum, but it would look better as the 4th or 5th fight of the PPV Main Card

Patrick Cote vs. Alessio Sakara - Is there any doubt that the loser is getting cut (barring an EPIC war)

Tom Lawlor vs. Francis Carmont - Carmont is an interesting prospect, but Lawlor is a mid-level gate keeper at MW and nothing more. This fight screams FX prelims, not PPV.

Mark Hominick vs. Pablo Garza - Fading veteran on a 3 fight losing streak against a guy on a two fight losing streak, the loser isn't sticking around UFC much longer.

John Makdessi vs. Sam Stout - Two fighters coming off a loss, and Makdessi will likely be cut if he drops his 3rd straight.

Azamat Gashimov vs. Ivan Menjivar - Debuting prospect fighting a veteran who was disappointing his last time out

Stephen Thompson vs. Besam Yousef - Two young fighters with a combined 1-2 UFC record, both coming off a loss.

Antonio Carvalho vs. Rodrigo Damm - Interesting fight, but they have 3 UFC fights between them.

Cyrille Diabate vs TBD

Don't get me wrong, I see a few FOTN candidates on this card, but there is a lack of relevant fights... the ones that I want to spend time explaining to friends why they are important. I've been burned too many times telling my people how a fight will be awesome, and then watched something that didn't deliver (Guida/Maynard, Brimage/Blanco, Condit/Diaz (Which I enjoyed, but nobody else I talked to did)) At this point, the card has ten fights, and Diabate without an opponent, so realistically two spots left, and I think UFC should be planning for a worst case scenario (GSP injury) by stacking those last two spots. With two months to go, the cynic in me would be stunned if at least two fights did not fall through.

Options - For argument sake I'm assuming Pettis, TKZ, Koch, Hunt, and Lil' Nog are not going to be recovered from injuries in time for this card.

Frank Edgar vs. Jose Aldo - Aldo sounds like he isn't too far away from being able to get back to training, and that the issue that stopped this fight was an infection in his injured foot. UFC 154 is over two months away, and it would just be a month long postponement for the fight.


Renan Barao vs. Michael McDonald - Barao defends his Interim BW title in a fight that really should happen soon. This fight would add some quality depth to this card.

And then add 1 more quality fight...

Jim Miller vs. Clay Guida - Both guys have some level of name value, and are still top 10 fighters. Miller is from New Jersey, and Guida is from Illinois... so Toronto kind of splits the difference between their homes.


Chad Mendes vs. Manny Gamburyan - Gamburyan has been in with some of the best in the FW division... now he did lose to most of them, but he would still be a tough challenge to anyone he fights. Urijah Faber was quick to volunteer Mendes for a fight at UFC 153... and with the recent news, and potential legal issues, Chad might be happy to take a fight right now to keep him busy.


Urijah Faber vs. Hatsu Hioki - Faber was also quick to throw his name in the cage for a fight at UFC 153... why not offer him this fight. Hioki needs to get back on track after turning down a chance to have Aldo pull out of a title fight with him, and then losing to Ricardo Lamas. I have a feeling that Faber is just going to use his name value to take the biggest fights he can get at either BW, or FW because he is out of the title picture in both weight classes right now, in my mind this qualifies right now.

These are just some options I thought I would throw out there... of course UFC could just stick with what they have, maybe add Jimmo vs. Diabate, and another throw away fight, and then wait for the injuries and act surprised when people are not happy about the card.

\The FanPosts are solely the subjective opinions of Bloody Elbow readers and do not necessarily reflect the views of Bloody Elbow editors or staff.

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