FanPost

My issues with UFN 47, and what it should look like.


After a few weeks away, the UFC is preparing for yet another long stretch of UFC events. In fact, not only will there be a UFC event in each of the next eight weeks, but there will be a few days (August 23, October 4) where there will be two events in a single day! Basically, it will be a mammoth stretch of MMA, and that's not even counting the fact that starting September 5th, Bellator will begin its 11th season!

That gigantic stretch begins this Saturday, August 16th in Bangor, Maine, host of UFC Fight Night 47. Headlined by an intriguing Light Heavyweight scrap between eighth ranked TUF 8 winner Ryan Bader (17-4) and #10 Ovince St. Preaux(16-5). While the fight doesn't seem main event worthy to casual MMA fans, it does have the potential to be a fun one.

Also on the main card is a co-main event between former two-time UFC Lightweight Challenger Gray Maynard (11-3-1, 1NC) and TUF 9 winner Ross Pearson(15-7, 1NC), a Middleweight matchup between Tim Boetch (17-7) and Brad Taveres(12-2), a Heavyweight tilt between Shawn Jordan (15-6) and Jack May, and two other solid fights in Seth Baczynski (19-11) vs. Alan Jouban, and Thiago Taveres (18-5-1) vs. Robbie Peralta (18-4, 1NC). If that's too much to compute, here's another look at the main card on paper.

#8 Ryan Bader vs. #10 Ovince St. Preaux

#8 Gray Maynard vs. Ross Pearson

Tim Boetch vs. Brad Taveres

Seth Baczynski vs. Alan Jouban

Shawn Jordan vs. Jack May

Thiago Taveres vs. Robbie Peralta

Not a bad main card, right? A pivotal Featherweight tilt to kick things off, a Heavyweight matchup between two knockout artists, a pair of desperation fights, and a pair of potentially entertaining bouts to close things out. Well, here's the problem: the prelims on FS2 look just as, if not even more appealing.

Prelim Card

#9Zach Makovsky vs. #6Jussier Formiga

#4 Sara McMann vs. Lauren Murphy

Tom Watson vs. Sam Alvey

Nolan Ticman vs. Frankie Saenz

Honestly, this ticks me off. Yes, the card is damn good for a random Fight Night card that will begin a gigantic chain of pretty loaded UFC events, including the mega-stacked UFC 178, but the card placement is abominable.

While the main card is okay, there are some flagrant issues that need to be addressed. First off, why is Tim Boetch, a "fighter" who in ten UFC hasn't accomplished a damn thing with the promotion aside from losing via crazy submissions, winning some hellaciously boring decisions, and one comeback against Yushin Okami(his sole positive accomplishment with the organization) still in the UFC?

The guy is 1-3 in his last four, and the lone "win" was a bogus split decision over CB Dolloway, in a fight that many would argue should have gone the other way. The fact that he's still around is bad enough, so why place him on the primary portion of a televised card? Unless they're hoping to elevate Brad Taveres with what should be a win for the Hawaiian, this fight shouldn't be happening, and if it does indeed go down, the main card isn't where it should happen.

Then, there is the third fight of the main card between Seth Baczynski and Alan Jouban. Like Boetch, Baczynski has lost three of his last four, and is fighting for his UFC life. His opponent, Alan Jouban, is making his UFC debut. Both are exciting fighters, but why is either on the main card? If Conor McGregor has to fight twice on the prelims to earn a main card slot, Jouban should at least require the same, especially since this isn't a short notice fight for him.

Honestly, neither fight would bother me too much, if the prelims weren't so great looking.

Each fight, barring the opening bout between Ticman (4-1) and Saenz (8-2) features a pair of champions, including five in MMA. Makovsky (18-4) was Bellator's first ever Bantamweight Champion before becoming the first ever RFA Flyweight Champion while his opponent Formiga (16-3) was the former Shooto South America 123 lb. champion.

Sara McMann (7-1) may have lost her sole championship fight against Ronda Rousey at UFC 170, but she was a multiple time gold medalist in Freestyle Wrestling, in which she won a silver medal at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens. Her opponent, Lauren Murphy (8-0), was Invicta's Bantamweight Champion before she got signed. Granted, she was losing to Miriam Nakomoto in the title tilt at Invicta 7 before Nakamoto shredded her knee, but she's still the former champ.

Even Tom Watson (16-7) and Sam Alvey is a matchup of former champions! Watson was a UCMMA champion, before he became a champion at the much more recognizable promotion, BAMMA. Considered one of the top promotions in Europe, alongside KSW and Cage Warriors, BAMMA 3 was the event in which Watson won the promotion's Middleweight Championship, which he defended three times before being called up to the UFC. Sure, he may be 1-3 since entering the big show, but two of those were contentious split decisions.

Watson's opponent, Sam Alvey (23-5, 1NC), may sound familiar to casual MMA fans who may have watched TUF 16, arguably the worst TUF season to date. He was the first fighter chosen after his utter dismantling of Leo Kuntz just 47 seconds into their prelim fight, but lost to Joey Rivera in the elimination round. Since the loss, and the UFC's decision to only bring two non-finalists into the promotion, Alvey joined Maximum Fighting Championships.

In his first fight with MFC, Alvey lost a unanimous decision to then Middleweight Champion and now WSOF fighter Elvis Mutapcic at MFC 36. However, after Mutapcic got a chance to fight for WSOF, Alvey was scheduled to fight Jay Silva at MFC 37 for the now vacant Middleweight belt. Just over a minute into the third round, Alvey knocked Silva out, and got his championship belt.

Alvey defended his title against Jason South at MFC 38, and then Wes Swofford at MFC 40. The fight against South was a tossup until Alvey got the knockout win with just four seconds remaining in the fight, while the Swofford fight ended via knockout in the fourth round this past May. Just three weeks later, submission start and UFC Lightweight Champion Anthony Pettis' teammate Gerald Meerschaert, whom he defeated via unanimous decision.

Makovsky vs. Formiga could be a Flyweight Title Eliminator, while Murphy vs. McMann could result in the winner being next in line for Ronda Rousey's title, after the Cat Zingano/Amanda Nunes winner.

Even though the Watson/Alvey and Tolman/Saenz fights should remain on the prelims, the other two should not.

The prelims will not only not be available to view on Fight Pass since the fights will air on a FOX network, but since it's airing on FS2, the availability will be far more limited than if they were on FS1. So, what exactly was the UFC thinking when piecing this card together? If all the fights were to be on FS1, this would still be an issue, but since they're airing on a much smaller, less available network, they're only hurting themselves here, by keeping casual fans from experiencing some truly compelling and important fights hidden.

Now, imagine if this was the main card:

#8 Ryan Bader vs. #10 Ovince St. Preaux

#8 Gray Maynard vs. Ross Pearson

#9 Zach Makovsky vs. #6 Jussier Formiga

#4 Sara McMann vs. Lauren Murphy

Shawn Jordan vs. Jack May

Thiago Taveres vs. Robbie Peralta

Boom! All of a sudden, you've got one of the most intriguing Fight Night main cards in recent memory, one which could easily rival the Condit/Kampmann 2 card, and wouldn't be too far from the first card in FS1 history, Shogun vs. Sonnen.

The main event would stay the same, as would the co-main event. That way, the UFC would still be able to boast their former two-time title contender who was also on one of the most revered TUF Seasons ever, TUF 5, in Gray Maynard.

The UFC wouldn't have to worry about placing McMann/Murphy or a potential title eliminator in a weight class that's not very popular amongst casual fans as a co-main event, but why not put both on the main card?

The Baczynski/Jouban fight is one pitting two names that are extremely unknown to the masses, and Jouban doesn't scream "potential title contender" just yet. If anything, Jouban might be a candidate for the list of fighters who may have been called up a fight too early.

I've already addressed my displeasure with two of the fights on the main card, but the top two prelim fights should clearly be on the main card. Typically, the fourth fight of a six fight Fight Night main card is a potential title eliminator, or title eliminator setup fight. Examples of fourth Fight Night main card fights that fit the bill would be Iuri Alcantara vs. Urijah Faber, the cancelled Sarah Kaufman vs. Sara McMann bout, Joseph Benavisez vs. Jussier Formiga, current UFC Bantamweight Champion TJ Dillashaw vs. Mike Easton, and most recently, John Dodson vs. John Moraga back in June 7.

Makovsky vs. Formiga would not only fit the same bill, but might actually be a more pivotal matchup than most of the ones on the list. Besides, doesn't the UFC want to showcase the Flyweight division? The first and only time a Flyweight fight headlined a UFC PPV card, UFC 174 on July 14, the card tanked with possibly less than 100,000 buys, the worst in the modern era of the UFC.

Why not showcase your promotion's Flyweight talents, by marketing them on "free tv" before setting them up against Demetrius Johnson? Ali Bagautinov did get some main card exposure before his title tilt at UFC 174, but that came at UFC 167 and UFC 169. Both were ppv cards, and not on basic or cable television. In contrast, neither John Moraga, or upcoming challenger Chris Cariaso got much tv exposure, at least not on Fight Night or Fox main card lineups. At least the UFC could've done that with this fight, and gotten people excited for one of them to face Johnson down the road, likely in the FOX 13 main event on December 13.

Speaking of showcase, why not showcase more women? There was a downward trend of entertaining female fights in the UFC, but of late, there have been entertaining showcases put forth by Elizabeth Phillips and Valerie Letourneau, Leslie Smith, Claudia Gadelha and Tina Lahdemaki, Ronda Rousey, amongst others. The fight between Sara McMann and Lauren Murphy could very well set up the next Women's Bantamweight Title Eliminator, and for it to be on a Fight Night Main event would be quite a treat!

The other two main card fights would maintain their place, since Jack May vs. Shawn Jordan would be a classic "knock out or gas out" Heavyweight bout, while the Featherweight tilt between Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt Thiago Tavares and Taekwondo black belt Robbie Peralta would serve as exactly what every promotion would like to have in any main card opener: a potentially fun fight between contrasting styles, taking place amongst a pair of potential top ten guys.

For those who care about the prelims, Tim Boetch vs. Brad Tavares would serve as a terrific headlining FS2 prelim bout, and nobody would be forced to see the fight on the main card over two much more deserving ones. The same would be the case between the Baczynski/Jouban fight. Alvey/Watson and Ticman/Saenz would continue to be on the prelims, and all in all, for an FS2 prelim portion, you'd have a damn good set.

So, a pair of entertaining scraps amongst mostly ranked fighters at the top, an entertaining title eliminator and a potential title eliminator in the middle, and a pair of probably entertaining bouts to open up shop. That, ladies and gentlemen, is what the main card of UFC Fight Night could have been.

Unfortunately, we have yet another case of the UFC messing up and failing to giving fans not only what they want, but also what they deserve. I'm not sure if another promotion exists(now that Rebney has left Bellator), that opts to have sores on its main cards instead of surefire gems. Alas, it is what it is, and as fans, we all just have to live with it, or do we?


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