I’m an idiot. Whoa! Calm down…not all the time, but over the last couple of weeks I was proven to be an idiot for asking the question “Is there too much MMA (UFC) available right now?”I asked the question on Clinch Gear Radio wondering if the product was becoming watered down with fights seemingly every weekend. It took two pretty boring Saturday nights to see the light. Dana White was correct when telling the media in Houston “As long as we continue to put on good fights, we could run a card every week.” At the time I thought that might have been a slight reach, but now I’m not so sure.
As we look ahead to the next couple of weeks, we will see BJ Penn fight Nick Diaz, Chris Leben take on Mark Munoz, Cain Velasquez defends the heavyweight title against Cain Velasquez and Dan Henderson will face “Shogun” Rua just to name a few. I know I left off plenty of fights, and that proves White’s point.
We as MMA fans will watch as many good fights as the UFC can serve up. The tough part of White and matchmaker Joe Silva is finding the right balance between fights shown on Pay-Per-View and fights shown on free TV.
We took a lot of calls last week of people complaining that Penn vs. Diaz was the new main event for UFC 137, due to welterweight champ George St Pierre suffering a knee injury.
It’s hard for me to find fault with the decision made by the UFC considering the timing of the injury. St Pierre injured the knee with less than two weeks until fight night. It wouldn’t be fair to Condit to try and shoe-horn another fighter into St Pierre’s spot in order to save the card.
If Josh Koscheck were to fight (and defeat) Condit, what would the UFC do? Are there any fans that need to see another fight between Koscheck and St Pierre? I’m a huge Koscheck fan, but I have no interest in a third go-around between those two after the one-sided beating we saw the last time.
The UFC understands a card with an aging BJ Penn facing Nick Diaz and Matt Mitrione taking on Cheick Kongo in the top two slots will not do huge business, but that is the hand they were dealt so they will play it and move on.
I’ll never tell you how to spend your money, but I’ve learned over the past twelve months that fights I don’t really care about usually turn out to be some of the best ones.
Diaz and Penn have spoken openly of their friendship and mutual respect. That is a red flag for me wondering if it could lead to a boring fight. As soon as I write that, I try to think of a fight that either guy has been involved in would be described as “boring”. I know many of you will point to Penn’s fight with Jon Fitch, but I blame that on Fitch who I can’t ever remember being in an exciting fight.
I would tell you this…maybe this is the card where you and a couple buddies split the cost, that way if the card IS weak you are only out a few bucks.
I am not a gambler, but I bet we see plenty of highlight reel moments on Saturday night. Either way I am glad the fights are back.
“Filthy” Tom Lawlor joins Stephen Quadros and me this week on Clinch Gear Radio. Tune in Wednesday from 4pm-6pm ET/1pm-3pm PT on Sirius 94/XM 208.