Is the UFC Oversaturating the MMA Market?

UFC has never been more popular, and the fight calendar has never been so packed. Over the last 12 consecutive weeks (from September to November), there has been a UFC event held every week. However, the breakneck pace of the organization raises an interesting debate. Are there simply too many shows and is the sport at risk of saturation?

There’s no doubt that at this moment in time fans are demanding UFC events. Those people pay with their wallets by attending events, placing bets on locations such as NetBet slots, and buying merchandise. Despite the continued success, there is a concern too many events could lead to fans eventually becoming bored.

Here we will look at the good and bad points of such a busy UFC schedule.

Let the Good Times Roll

UFC events will continue to come thick and fast right until the last event of the year on Dec. 21 That’s when Brian Ortega and Chan Sung Jung (the so-called “Korean Zombie”) take headline billing. When the 2019 calendar is complete, the UFC would have held 42 events across 15 countries during the year. 

Let’s remember, there are only 52 weeks in a year, so there is no doubt that 42 shows is a lot of events. Having said that, many people in the sport say if demand from fans remains sky-high, then even more shows should be added. 

Rapid expansion is the staple of every business as it moves through areas of success. It is worth noting that Dana White is a businessman who always wanted UFC to become the most popular of the combat sports. He has gone after rival sports such as boxing and even WWE and sees UFC as a direct rival for the eyes and money of spectators and viewers. 

In other words, White was never in it for the purist and was always chasing dominance. If the fans are interested and pay, Dana White will continue to seek expansion, whether that’s by travelling to new countries or by holding more shows. 

Hardcore MMA fans are probably not going to the UFC for their dose of heavy action. What they are going for is entertainment and to see the world’s best mixed martial artists in the octagon. 

Enough Already

On the other side of the debate are MMA fans who believe UFC is oversaturating itself. They argue that more almost never means better and almost always results in a lack of quality. It cannot be debated that the overall quality of the average UFC card has dropped since the good old days of events every three months. 

Over the last 12 weeks, the UFC has hosted 147 fights across its various consecutive events. Not only are cards becoming underwhelming, but there is also a good chance people will eventually become turned off. There is already a feeling that disinterest is creeping into the average UFC viewer.

Certainly, big fight buzz is reserved for only the top tier bouts and the average UFC event is now viewed more like an episode of a TV show. Some don’t agree and argue boxing has always been popular despite its hectic schedule and varying degrees of fight quality. 

With both sides having valid points, it seems the debate over too much UFC or not will rumble on.

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