UFC 178 main event 5th on list of interest?
UFC 178: Johnson vs Cariaso takes place on September 27, 2014 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. And as Dave Meltzer explains it is unique in UFC history.
UFC 178 has the unique distinction of having a championship fight and main event, that, at best, is the fifth on the list of the fights the public will most care about on the show. Given that, it creates some interesting questions regarding both match order and preshow promotion, because the usual tradition of building around and emphasizing the title fight will pay minimal dividends.
UFC has a rule of thumb that if there is a championship fight on a card, it is the fight promoted the hardest, it is the fight the show is pushed synonymous with, and it goes on last, in the main event position. Most often, that's simply logic. The title fight is, more than 90 percent of the time, going to draw the buyers and have the most interest. While there are outliers, like big grudge matches that can garner more interest than a title match, they are rare. In those cases, UFC has almost always gone with the idea of sticking to tradition and presenting the title match as the main event.
In looking at a marketability quotient, using U.S. Google search interest in the names over the past year, which, historically correlates extremely well to not just public interest but importantly, to eventual pay-per-view buys, UFC 178 is different from any show to date.
McGregor vs. Poirier and Alvarez vs. Cerrone both score 12s. Tim Kennedy vs. Yoel Romero is a 10. Cat Zingano vs. Amanda Nunes is a nine. Both Dominick Cruz vs. Takeya Mizugaki and Johnson vs. Cariaso score fives. It is unheard of in UFC history to have a television undercard fight (Cruz vs. Mizugaki right now is scheduled for the FS 1 prelims, not the pay-per-view), to have equal interest in the pay-per-view main event.
It means that if UFC builds the show around Johnson vs. Cariaso, they are minimizing the potential audience to a scary degree, and this show at best is going to struggle.
The reality is, almost nobody cares about this fight, and barring something unforeseen, nobody will, no matter how hard it's pushed. J
UFC 178 Main Card (PPV)
Demetrious Johnson vs. Chris Cariaso
Donald Cerrone vs. Eddie Alvarez
Dustin Poirier vs. Conor McGregor
Tim Kennedy vs. Yoel Romero
Cat Zingano vs. Amanda Nunes
Preliminary card (Fox Sports 1)
Dominick Cruz vs. Takeya Mizugaki
Jorge Masvidal vs. James Krause
Patrick Côté vs. Stephen Thompson
John Howard vs. Brian Ebersole
Preliminary card (UFC Fight Pass)
Jon Tuck vs. Kevin Lee
Manvel Gamburyan vs. Cody Gibson