Wednesday, April 25, 2018

The UFC recently announced their debut show in Liverpool, England – UFC Fight Night 130: Thompson vs. Till on May 27, 2018, at the Echo Arena. The event is headlined by undefeated local boy Darren ‘The Gorilla’ Till vs. two-time welterweight title challenger Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson.

The UFC Liverpool main card will air on FOX Sports 1, with the early prelims on UFC Fight Pass. The league sounded excited about the event poster.

That lands with a flop. Outside of Till’s tattoo of Hillary Clinton (H/T Jesse Holland, MMA Mania) the design is utterly devoid of anything. When the UFC was acquired by the talent agency WME-IMG, now Endeavor, the expectation was that the sport would soar to new heights of Hollywood-fueled creativity. Instead, it looks like they fired the art department, and hired an intern, from that art clique in high school that’s too high to actually create anything.

Where is Bob S when we need him?

In fairness to Buzz the Intern, the UFC has an unfortunate history with formulaic, uninspired posters.


What does “step into our world” even mean? What are Mousasi and Munoz looking at, good posters? Why is Minotauro in a step ladder match with Big Country? Why are Gus and Manuwa under water?

Bad UFC posters raise so many questions, but not the right one, which is I can’t wait to see this. But least they have stopped saying, “Step Into Our World.” And the same league that put together the posters above, can also move outside the box, sometimes with compelling results.


As baffling as bad UFC posters are, the league is also capable of creating inventive, compelling imagery that makes you want to plunk your butt down in front of a seat, or if you are in the USA, even reach into your pocket for the PPV, to buy the most exciting two hours in sports.

Bruce Lee even makes a cameo appearance in this one!

Posters are always a little cooler with some kanji. This is the UFC Japan poster, and below it the one they saw in Japan. It’s cooler.

There’s something about Japan…


When Ronda Rousey headlined UFC 157, there were both western and Japanese fight posters. This is what the English speaking world saw. It’s pretty formulaic.

Luckily, it is not the only poster made for the show.

This is what they used in Japan:

Posters are always cooler in Japan.

DREAM was created by former PRIDE FC executives and maintained some of the defining features from PRIDE, including great talent, announcer Lenne Hardt, and posters that are superior to their equivalents in the west. Dream ran from 2008 to 2012, putting on some 24 shows.


However, the greatest JMMA posters were not from DREAM, they were from the mighty, mighty PRIDE Fighting Championship.


For fight posters that bottle the mind, no one did it better than Japan’s PRIDE Fighting Championship.

Pride FC’s  inaugural event was held at the Tokyo Dome on October 11, 1997. Pride held more than sixty mixed martial arts events before its demise amidst scandal in October of 2007.

But what a run that decade was. And what cool posters.

Yep, those are sperm. This is probably the first and last time sperm were ever used on a poster for a sports event, but it worked. That’s not to say the UFC Liverpool poster needs sperm, but it wouldn’t make it worse.