I've been watching the episodes online and last night I caught what I suppose is the most recent episode on the Ion network. I'm a MMA fanatic and for me to be as bored as I was is saying something. Unless I've seen a fight more than 5 times, I'll never change the channel when MMA is on...until last night.
Now let me say I don't blame the fighters. BodogFight has put together some great fights and great fighters. On that account, everything is up to snuff and I don't wish to bash them. But that just proves my point: if you're sitting on that much talent and I still can't watch the show, something is deeply amiss.
And I believe BodogFight cares about the sport and the fighters. I've heard those fighters involved say they are treated like premier athletes. BodogFight doesn't skimp on the dollars and they are trying. As a fan, I greatly appreciate the effort.
Alas, that doesn't change things. So what are the problems? Here are the major issues as I see them:
- It's boring. There are many reasons for this, but the main one is how the fights are broadcast. The build-up is decidedly without import. Most of the fighters don't carry a lot of weight with their name and so unless the fight is particularly good, the outcome seems arbitrary and unimportant. The announcers are very knowledgeable, but their style (at least on this show) can be dull.
- It's difficult to care. I was up doing work late last night when I quite literally stumbled upon the show as I was flipping through my TV guide channel. That a) I've never even taken the time to figure out when the show comes on and b) to be on at the cherry time slot of midnight does little to make me - the hardcore fan - interested. Now let's imagine how the casual observer views the same thing. That is, doesn't view the same thing.
- It's got no identity. I get the feeling when watching BodogFight that I'm watching some cheap imitator. That is, BodogFight isn't a cheap imitation, but in the presentation of their product I continually fail to see how it's not some Johnny-Come-Lately knock off. If you're entering the market AFTER the UFC and AFTER the IFL, there better be something distinctive about your product. So what is it? Better fighters? No. Better venues? No. Better fights? No. Better rules? No. Better commentators? No. Better anything? You tell me.