UFC Over-Saturation Ė Quality Over Quantity
Original article by CagesideMMA.com
Back in 2005, after the TUF (The Ultimate Fighter) boom, when the UFC first burst onto the scene, UFC fanatics couldnít get enough MMA. Nearly every UFC main event was filled with must-see stars and must-see fights. However, today there are so many UFC events that many believe the product has become over-saturated. Itís this over abundance of events which many argue has resulted in a decline in the quality of cards the promotion offers. The proof is in the pudding. This recent UFC overload has resulted in less people tuning in to watch certain events.
So has the UFC grown too quickly for its own good? Considering developments in recent years, itís definitely a valid question.
As of today, the UFC has one PPV event lined up in November and December. In analyzing both events, itís hard to label the cards unworthy considering they both boast highly anticipated matchups. On November 17, UFC Welterweight Georges St. Pierre returns from a long hiatus to take on #1 contender (and Interim Champ)Carlos Condit at UFC 154. On December 29, UFC Heavyweight Champion Junior Dos Santos meets Cain Velasquez at UFC 155 in a highly anticipated rematch.
The issue obviously doesnít lie with the last two UFC PPV events of the year. The issue lies more with the mediocre cards that were put together during 2012. Events such as UFC 142 Ė Aldo vs. Mendes, UFC 147 Ė Silva vs. Franklin II, UFC 149 Ė Faber vs. Barao, UFC 152 Ė Jones vs. Belfort, and UFC 153 Ė Silva vs. Bonnar, left much to be desired. Itís these types of cards that fans are beginning to grow weary of.
In all fairness, the decrease in quality over the last few years could be attributed to several factors.
1. The UFC is now everywhere and itís not always PPV. The UFC has free events on FOX, FX, The Ultimate Fighter series, and now Strikeforce (acquired by UFC ownership in 2011). Thereís a gazillion events to go around but not enough quality ďhousehold nameĒ fighters to fill them. Hence, the regurgitation of past prime stars and uncharismatic up-and-comers fans donít really care about.
2. Over the last few years, UFC stars have seemingly become more susceptible to injury. Previously Brock Lesnar held the heavyweight division hostage by being out for a year and welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre has been out for a year and a half. In a desperate attempt to salvage cards and avoid taking a financial loss, the UFC has often scraped together any type of card to save the day. Thatís why fans were recently subjected to a pathetic main event like Silva-Bonnar.
What should the UFC do to combat the over-saturation label?
The optimistic view holds that 2013 will be much better now that all the previously injured big names have healed. With that being the case, the UFC should side with decreasing the number of weak PPV events it serves per year. The emphasis should be more on quality over quantity.
The UFC also needs to begin focusing on creating more big names for the promotion. Their overall roster certainly isnít void of talent. Therefore, itís time it began marketing certain fighters a lot better. Itís not like they donít have experience in this area. Flashbacks of Chuck Liddell and Tito Ortiz bring rays of hope.
Lastly, matchmaking can always be improved. Fans would prefer to see a 2-3 round war rather than a one round submission victory. Improvement in this area would go a long way.
In a nutshell, the UFC product has indeed become over-saturated in recent years, but the promotion still has the potential to modify things to take it to the next level. All things considered, it should immediately take the necessary steps to improve its product. The MMA fanatics that ultimately pay the bills, deserve better than to spend their hard earned money on watered down cards. Enough is enough.