TooMuch.jpg I remember back in 2007 talking to a friend about having to wait 2 or 3 months for a UFC show. Last week I was telling the same friend that I there are too many UFC events. In 2007 there were 19 UFC shows including pay per views, Fight Nights and TUF Finales on Spike. This year the UFC had their 19th show in early June. And with the two shows this weekend the UFC will have done 32 shows in 2014 and it’s not even September.

In 2007 when the UFC did a show you were excited. There was anticipation from having to wait a month or two to get to see the UFC put on a show with some big stars. Back then you had Matt Hughes, Georges St. Pierre, Chuck Liddell, Rich Franklin, Anderson Silva, Tim Sylvia, Shogun Rua, Forrest Griffin, Mirko Cro Cop, Rampage Jackson, Dan Henderson, Randy Couture, Tito Ortiz, BJ Penn, Andrei Arlovski, Matt Serra, and Diego Sanchez. Of all those guys listed only Henderson and Sanchez are still competing. Today the UFC is hurting for star power. With Brock Lesnar, Georges S. Pierre, and Rampage Jackson no longer in the octagon they have tried to build up Jon Jones, Ronda Rousey, Chris Weidman, Johny Hendricks and Connor McGregor. Unfortunately for the guys at Zuffa there are more shows and less stars than there used to be. Now when the UFC does a show you get a few notable guys in the main event and then you are lucky if you recognize the guys on the undercard from The Ultimate Fighter. Earlier this year the UFC rolled out Fight Pass and it was a blessing and a curse for UFC fans. We got more shows but most of the guys on the card are unknowns and you have no reason to root for them.

This weekend the UFC has two shows running on Saturday. The first show will air early Saturday morning on UFC Fight Pass from Macau and is headlined by Michael Bisping vs. Cung Le. That matchup isn’t that bad but is it worthy of headlining? Bisping is 2-3 in his last five fights and is nowhere near the title picture. Le is was one of the most popular fighters in Strikeforce but hasn’t fought since November 2012. The co-main features Dong Hyun Kim vs. Tyron Woodley. Kim has won four straight but outside of hardcore MMA fans no one off the street could pick him out of a police lineup. Woodley is coming off a terrible performance against Rory MacDonald. Bisping vs. Le is worthy of being on the undercard of a pay per view and Kim vs. Woodley could be the featured fight on the UFC undercards fight on Fox Sports 1. But instead they have to carry a show rounded out by Zhang Lipeng vs. Brendan O’Reilly, Ning Guangyou vs. Jianping Yang, Danny Mitchell vs. Wang Sai, Shinsho Anzai vs. Alberto Mina, Roland Delorme vs. Yuta Sasaki, Wang Anying vs. Colby Covington, Royston Wee vs. Yao Zhikui, and Milana Dudieva vs. Elizabeth Phillips.

I consider myself a fairly knowledgeable MMA fan but I don’t recognize anyone outside of the main or co-main events with the exception of Roland Delorme. I remember him from TUF and he’s fought on a lot of shows in the past. I understand the UFC has to do the show to have a finale for the TUF:China season they did but I’m not going to set aside 3 or 4 hours to watch the show. Then later that evening we get Rafael dos Anjos vs. Benson Henderson in the main event of a show that will air live on FOX Sports 1. Both men are at the top of the division and I could see that fight being featured as a co-main event of a payperview due to Henderson’s title run. The co-main however, is better suited for an undercard on a pay per view. Jordan Mein vs. Mike Pyle. Mein has gone 2-1 in the UFC but unless you are a hardcore fan he really has no drawing power. Mike Pyle has been around forever but he’s a gatekeeper at best at 185 and will never be in the title picture. Thales Leites has quietly gone 4-0 in his UFC return. Leites is a former #1 contender and deserves a spot on the card due to his long and successful career. He is facing Francis Carmont who has lost two straight fights. This fight is better suited for a payperview undercard on Fox Sports 1.

Rounding out the card is Clay Collard vs. Max Holloway, Valmir Lazaro vs. James Vick, Tom Niinimaki vs. Chas Skelly, Alex Garcia vs. Neil Magny, Beneil Dariush vs. Tony Martin, Matt Hobar vs. Aaron Phillips. Chris Heatherly vs. Ben Saunders, and Wilson Reis vs. Joby Sanchez. I am familiar with Max Holloway, James Vick, Neil Magny, and Ben Saunders. I know Joby Sanchez was with the XFC and have heard of him but everyone else on the card may as well be someone from the Macau undercard. If I was Dana White I would scrap the China card and do one show that has some guys that people know and care about. Here’s the show I would’ve put together for Fox Sports 1.

  • Michael Bisping vs. Cung Le (Main Event)
  • Benson Henderson vs. Rafael dos Anjos (Co-main Event)
  • Dong Hyun Kim vs. Tyron Woodley
  • Jordan Mein vs. Mike Pyle
  • Thales Leites vs. Francis Carmont

Undercard on Fox Sports 2

  • Alex Garcia vs. Neil Magny
  • Chris Heatherly vs. Ben Saunders
  • Clay Collard vs. Max Holloway
  • Valmir Lazaro vs. James Vick
  • Roland Delorme vs. Yuta Sasaki

Doesn’t that card look more appealing than the two other shows the UFC is doing? The main event and co-main event could be interchangeable but the five fights on the main card feature guys who are worthy of being featured on a UFC Fox Sports 1 card. The undercard I picked features guys from The Ultimate Fighter who the UFC can continue to build up. With UFC Fight Pass we are going to get more shows and with that more fighters. And with more shows and more fighters there really isn’t much time to build up the guys to give you a reason to care whether they win or lose. The guys at Zuffa are going to do more shows whether we like it or not but instead of doing 4 to 6 shows a month they should scale back to 3 or so to really make the fights matter.

If you think there are too many shows now, just wait another 5 years. By then we will have a UFC event every weekend.

One thought on “Too much of a UFC thing is a bad thing”
  1. I’m looking forward to UFC show in Macau and the exciting Chinese fighters. It is nice to see some new faces and hot Asian fighters. Really looking forward to watching Yang Jian Ping’s fight. Hope to much more of this Chinese superstar in the future.

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