Yesterday, I was prepping the idea of producing an article comparing the dreaded UFC 177 card to it’s contemporaries from the past two yeas-UFCs 147, 149, 151, 161 and 174. However, that was before the news that not only undefeated Olympian Henry Cejudo was hurt, but also former UFC Bantamweight Champion Renan Barao’s fainting incident sent shockwaves through the MMA stratosphere.
Now, with basically no fight of relevance, barring a sham title fight that only garners interest from those who expect a massive upset. The card was already expecting to garner a horrific buyrate, but very few people thought it would do worse than UFC 174, which took place just two and a half months ago.
On that card, UFC Flyweight Champion Demetrious Johnson defended his belt against a legit contender in Ali Bagautinov, while the co-main event featured what seemed to be a Welterweight title eliminator which predictably turned out to not have such high stakes. Also on the main card was an intriguing Heavyweight tilt between former UFC Champion Andrei Arlovski and Brendan Schaub, and a pair of solid Light Heavyweight matchups, with TUF 8 Light Heavyweight winner Ryan Bader facing former Strikeforce Champion Rafael Cavalcante, and Ovince St. Preux facing Ryan Jimmo to open the card.
Despite beign a decent looking card on paper, UFC 174 bombed beyond belief. The buyrate wound up being anywhere from 90,000 to 115,000, meaning it was not only the worst UFC buyrate on the past 10 years, but also potentially worse than Bellator’s first attempt at PPV from a month earlier!
At least the card had a few PPV worthy fights, as did UFC 149, 150 and 161, even though some of them had sorry ppv main event. This card, ladies and gentleman, doesn’t have any of that!
Take a look at the main card for this event, as of now:
Bantamweight T.J. Dillashaw (c) vs. Joe Soto
Lightweight Tony Ferguson vs. Danny Castillo
Women’s BW Bethe Correia vs. Shayna Baszler
Lightweight Ramsey Nijem vs. Carlos Diego Ferreira
Lightweight Yancy Medeiros vs. Damon Jackson
Do any of these fights look PPV worthy to you? Dillashaw/Soto is a fight that should not happen unless Dillashaw were to lose a few fight in a row, while all of the other main card fights are FOX prelim fights at best. Forget $55, I’m not sure how many people would dole out $5 for this card, or $20 if they went to Buffalo Wild Wings or something of the sort to catch it.
But, is it still a worse looking card than UFC 147 and UFC 151, after the cancelled Jon Jones/Dan Henderson fight?
If the latter get’s considered, let’s do the same for the recently cancelled UFC 176.
Here’s the potential UFC 176 main card, had it not gotten cancelled, as well as that for UFC 151.
Middleweight Ronaldo Souza vs. Gegard Mousasi
Lightweight Gray Maynard vs. Fabrício Camões
Women’s Bethe Correia vs. Shayna Baszler
Flyweight Jussier Formiga vs. Zach Makovsky
Lightweight Bobby Green vs. Abel Trujillo
Not too shabby, eh? If this was a Fox Sports 1 card, people would readily jump on board. But, for a pay per view, it doesn’t live up. However, all of these fights, barring perhaps the women’s bout, are all PPV worthy bouts, at least in my opinion. The main event may not live up to par with what UFC fans have expected over the years, but it’s still a pivotal matchup that many fans would probably like to see.
Here’s the UFC 151 card after the main event cancellation.
Welterweight Jake Ellenberger vs Jay Hieron
Featherweight Dennis Siver vs Eddie Yagin
Lightweight Dennis Hallman vs Thiago Tavares
Flyweight John Lineker vs Yasuhiro Urushitani
Now this, ladies and gentleman, is a horrible looking card, whether it be a Fox Sports 1 card, or since it was a 2012 card, on FX, FUEL TV, or even aired entirely on Facebook! Okay, maybe the latter would be ok, but any other platform would’ve been a joke. Ellenberger was originally supposed to face perennial UFC bad boy Josh Koscheck, but the latter had to pull out due to injury.
Clearly, UFC 151 was the worst looking PPV card ever, right? Or, does that distinct honor belong to UFC 147? Here’s a look at the UFC 147 PPV card, which actually wend down.
Catchweight (190 lb) Rich Franklin vs. Wanderlei Silva
Middleweight Cezar Ferreira vs. Sergio Moraes
Featherweight Rony Jason vs. Godofredo Castro
Heavyweight Fabricio Werdum vs. Mike Russow
Featherweight Hacran Dias vs. Yuri Alcantara
Not a great looking card by any means, and this card, which was essentially the TUF Brazil 1 Finale, tanked with a 140,000 buyrate. At the time of this card, back in June 2012, the UFC didn’t realize how uninterested most casual UFC fans were towards foreign TUF seasons, seeing how this was the first ever(not counting US vs. UK). As a result, all TUF Finales were broadcast on TV ever since.
As bad as that card was on paper, one has to wonder: was it really as bad as this card, or UFC 151? At least UFC 151 got cancelled. UFC 147 went on, since there were no notable injuries, and it’s too late to cancel UFC 177.
But, some could argue that at the time, Franklin/Silva 2 could’ve been a solid main card fight for any PPV, as would be the case with Fabricio Werdum against then undefeated Mike Russow. Dias/Alcantara, as well as the two finale fights would have best been served as FX or Fuel Tv main card fights, but at least the card boasted two ppv caliber fights!UFC 177 can’t even do that, no matter how hard anyone tries to persuade themselves that any of these fights are ppv caliber!
Dillashaw/Soto is an FS1 fight, Baszler/Correia and the other are prelim or FS1/2 bouts, and there you go: no ppv worthy fight in sight!
Unfortunately, this is the UFC’s doing. All the oversaturation, all of the shallow cards have resulted in crappy ppv events on paper, and for a PPV to look as bad as this one does, especially after the last one got cancelled, is as low as things can possibly get.