Ivan's Blog

Featuring Ivan Trembow's Self-Important, Random Rants on Mixed Martial Arts, Video Games, Pro Wrestling, Television, Politics, Sports, and High-Quality Wool Socks

Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Mixed Martial Arts--- Random Thoughts on a Variety of Topics
by Ivan Trembow

-UFC Primetime Debuts: After watching the first episode of UFC Primetime, I think it’s a very well produced show that is also a lot like HBO’s 24/7 series. It’s amazing to me (although no longer particularly surprising) to see how much the MMA media has been fawning all over the Primetime.

For a company that bashes every aspect of boxing as consistently as the UFC does, they sure don’t have a problem with emulating boxing-style promotion of a big fight. Wow, you mean that stuff filmed this week will be on the show just a day or two later? Oh my god, what a unique idea. It’s amazing to see how many web sites have described Primetime in that way (as if it’s a revolutionary concept), without also using the words “just like 24/7.”

There’s nothing inherently wrong with copying 24/7; it’s just hypocritical for the UFC to bash boxing all the time and then to duplicate 24/7 so blatantly. The style in which the music played over the training footage, the close-up camera angles on the fighters’ faces as they’re being interviewed, the footage of their home lives… it was all very well done, and it was all very much like 24/7... and again, there’s nothing inherently wrong with that. Hopefully, there will be more of this kind of show in the future. In contrast to the Trash TV of The Ultimate Fighter, Primetime treats the sport with the dignity that it deserves.

-K-1 Dynamite a Mixed Bag: Shinya Aoki vs. Eddie Alvarez and Daisuke Nakamura vs. Hideo Tokoro were very good fights. The various freak show match-ups were not.

-UFC's Awards for Best Fights of 2008: It’s April Fool’s Day three months early with what must be a tongue-in-cheek article on the UFC’s web site about the best fights of 2008. When they had an article in early 2008 about the best fights of 2007, I laighed when they had Griffin-Bonnar II in their honorable mentions for Fight of the Year, but they’ve really out-done themselves this time! Sean Sherk vs. Tyson Griffin? Paul Kelly vs. Paul Taylor? Antoni Hardonk vs. Eddie Sanchez? Chris Lytle vs. Paul Taylor? Aaron Riley vs. Jorge Gurgel? The Onion has nothing on them when it comes to satire, apparently.

-Affliction's Second MMA Event Coming Up: Affliction's first MMA event did better business than I thought it would from a PPV standpoint, but it will be hard for the second show to come anywhere close to that. It was funny to hear how delusional Trump lawyer Michael Cohen was during the recent press conference for Affliction's event. Affliction’s Tom Antencio said something like, “We know we’re not the UFC. The UFC is like the Q-Tip of MMA. We’re just trying to put on great shows.” Then minutes later, Cohen must have been confused because he said, “Just like Tom said, we are going to be the Q-Tip of MMA!”

Cohen also hilariously said, “Many members of the media have said that this is the MMA card of the century!” It’s a good card, sure, but I don’t recall even one member of the media (much less “many”) who has called it the event “of the century.”

Like some of his fellow MMA promoters, Atencio has also made a habit out of blatantly lying about business figures. Atencio's blatant lies will make it very hard to feel sorry for him when his MMA promotion goes out of business, which is what's going to happen if his second show loses as much money as his first.

-UFC's Lack of Competition Nothing to Celebrate: With that said (regarding Affliction potentially going out of business), the lack of legit competition to the UFC is nothing to celebrate. Rich Franklin vs. Dan Henderson is a good match-up, but not as the main event of a PPV event, especially when PPVs cost $45. The same was true of Matt Hughes vs. Thiago Alves last year. If the UFC had more legitimate competition, they would have much less of an ability to get away with sometimes offering sub-standard product at full price.

If the only defense to the sub-standard PPV main events is that they're inevitable when the UFC runs so many PPV events, then it’s a cop-out because nobody is forcing them to run 12 or 13 PPV events per year. So far, it has generally only been a few times per year that they have PPV main events that aren’t worthy of being PPV main events, so I’d much rather have 10 PPV events per year and have all of them be worthy of being $45 PPVs than have 12 per year and have a few of those with sub-standard main events.

If, theoretically, the UFC decided to cut two PPV events per year from their schedule, they could still have the same number of total main card slots in which to showcase fighters if they were to also add two free TV events per year to their schedule (or, for that matter, they could add more than that). They run into these problems where they are scrambling to fill all of the PPV main event slots with great fights, but that would happen less often if they didn’t have quite as many PPV main events that they had to book in the first place.

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