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Not Enough Heat Between Forrest and Rampage?

So says Todd Martin at MMA Payout :

In fact, tickets for their fight have sold slower than for the most recent Las Vegas event featuring B.J. Penn vs. Sean Sherk. It seems highly unlikely Griffin vs. Jackson will do UFC’s highest buy rate of the year as was once predicted. The question is thus why that fight hasn’t sparked the interest that was almost universally expected?


Jackson and Griffin on The Ultimate Fighter don’t appear to have even a competitive rivalry, let alone a grudge. The Ortiz-Shamrock, Hughes-Serra and Penn-Pulver seasons of the show featured coaches who wanted to best the other at everything. Fans were left thinking, “If these guys want to beat each other so badly at bowling or ping pong, imagine how seriously they are taking their fight.” Jackson and Griffin have had the exact opposite effect. By joking their way through the show, fans are left thinking they don’t care as much about their fight as they actually do.

With UFC promising the most shocking development in Ultimate Fighter history this week, there is still time for Jackson vs. Griffin to become a hotly anticipated fight. But as it stands, their good-natured personalities have backfired in achieving the ultimate goal of the show, which is to build a big money fight at the end.

That's just a sad state of affairs in my opinion. But I think there is more to it than just a lack of interpersonal melodrama. Here's three factors I blame:

  1. The incredibly long time-lag between Jackson and Forrest's last fights -- neither man has fought since September of last year.

  2. The fact that the last TUF coach feud -- Hughes vs Serra -- never had a payoff fight due to Serra's injuries. The TUF audience seems to be saying, "Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice...won't get fooled again."

  3. The TUF show format is just played out. Fewer people are watching the show so of course a fight that's being promoted on it is disappointing.

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