Watching yesterday’s Affliction MMA event on pay-per-view it became very clear that the UFC remains the top brand for MMA enthusiasts. Here’s a quick list of things wrong with Affliction:
- Fights conducted in a boxing ring. Every time the fight went to the ground-against the ropes-the referee had to reposition the fighters. This broke up the momentum of the fight on many occasions.
- Megadeth. If I wanted to go to a hair metal show, I would have bought that on pay-per-view. Seriously, the between round entertainment just made a long event even longer and less interesting.
- Too much talk about celebrities, too little talk about the fighters. At one point, Michael Buffer actually read the names of the celebrities in attendance. Really? Does anyone care?
- Fight commentary. See below.
- Wasted time. See #2 & #3. A lot of the fluff surrounding this event could have been cut out reducing the time of this broadcast to less than 3 hours.
Bottom line is right now, the UFC understands their demographic better than the competition. The other MMA brands are trying to create something to appeal to a mass audience, while the UFC simply showcases a better product.
One of the best things the UFC has going for it is Joe Rogan. Do not discount the excellent commentary Joe provides during UFC bouts. A first time MMA viewer can watch a UFC event, and not only does Joe provide information about each fighter, throughout the matches he breaks down the strategy (yes I said it) that each fighter attempts to employ. It’s not just the fact that Joe knows the names of all the different wrestling holds a fighter might use, but he can tell the viewer why a fighter might use one technique over another. No other MMA brand has commentary that provides insight to MMA bouts like the UFC.
The next thing is a UFC pay-per-view or a free Spike TV event is all about MMA and the evening’s fights. No 15 minute entertainment breaks. No WWE over-the-top explosive entrances. No sideline dancers (which never get camera time anyway). When you watch a UFC fight, you’re going to see MMA action.
It’s a shame that Randy Couture is currently wrestling with the UFC over his contract. Last night Fedor Emelianenko was declared the MMA heavy weight to beat. A match between the two would bring in some dollars, but what company will promote the bout remains undecided.