The UFC Live: Cruz vs. Johnson event will take place on Saturday night will be the first time that a UFC title fight has been on FREE tv since UFC 75 which took place back in 2007. Of course the title fight is important, but there’s also an important welterweight bout that will take place between Anthony Johnson and Charlie Brenneman. Let’s get to some of the more pertinent questions heading into the event.
Let’s be clear when I say that Demetrious Johnson is a very good fighter. BUT. He should be fighting at as a flyweight(125lbs) instead of as a bantamweight. Unfortunately for him the flyweight division isn’t available at the moment, but it’s on the way. Johnson will be giving up a ton of size against Cruz and his two strengths(wrestling and speed) are also strengths of Cruz. I guess the better question is will Cruz finally be able to finish an opponent, but I’ll have more on that later this week.
•Does Anthony Johnson become a legitimate contender with a win over Charlie Brenneman?
I have to mention that Johnson has the tools to give anyone in the welterweight problems on any given night. He was last seen winning a decision against former title challenger Dan Hardy but it was a fight in which he fought relatively safe as he used his wrestling to dominant Hardy with takedowns. Brenneman will be a solid test for Johnson as he has a wrestling base as well and also is a decent sized welterweight. Johnson has won 4 out of his last 5 while finishing three of those opponents. Brenneman is coming off the upset victory over Rick Story after taking the fight on extremely short notice. So he’ll be looking to legitimize his place in the welterweight division.
•What’s the over/under on the ratings for the show since there’s a title on the line?
I mentioned that this is the first time the UFC has put a title fight on FREE tv since 2007. The average ratings for UFC events on the Versus channel is around 750,000 viewers. Cruz is still relatively unknown even though he’s a champion and that’s definitely the case for Johnson. This is a solid event on paper. I wonder if the title fight could push this event over the 800,000 viewer mark? What do you say over or under?