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UnderGround Forums >> Each UFC card should only Feature 1 Weight Class


12/13/12 1:59 AM
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MMALOGIC
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Edited: 12/13/12 2:05 AM
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Eventually, each UFC card should only feature one weight class.  An undergournd member (i believe client 9) mentioned this idea and I thought it was brilliant.

Everyone from the hardcore fan down to the casual fan will be able to visually see where every fighter stands in each weight class, and how relevant every fight is to the title picture... this also mitigates the injury problem because you'll have a batalion of guys in the same weight class who are prepared and who you can move around.

It would be like a round robin ladder system... a never ending tournament if you will... 

Let's take a fight like Eric Silva vs Jotn Fitch..  to a casual fan this is just a fight.  However, hardcores understand the relevance this fight has in the division and thus the importance.  place that fight on a card with all the other top welterweights and casuals will easily understand and see the relavance of this fight.

the divisions will also become the product... not just the fighters.  and the casuals will be able to follow along no matter when they begin following the sport.

You schedule 3 events a year per weight class.  if you have 9 divisions (115lb to HW) that means 27 events a year.  if someone cant make an event the next guy in line takes their spot and they'll have to wait for the next event in 4 months (including the champion, in which case interim titles will be awarded).

main cards should be 3 hours with 5 fights... (which consists of the top 10 guys who are presently active in that weight class) prelims should be 3 hours with 6 fights (guys who want to break into the top 10)

as guys fall out of the top 10 they get moved to the prelims and as guys get  into the top 10 they get moved to the main card.

let's look at what the next WW card could look like in this strutcure:

Main card:

GSP vs Hendricks (title fight)

Diaz vs Nate Marquart (title eliminator)

Rory vs Condit (winner to potentially be in next title eliminator)

Jon Fitch vs Damian Maia (winner to potentially be in next title eliminator)

Ellenberger vs Josh Koscheck (winner to get back into the mix)

Prelims:

Siyar vs Dong Hyun Kim

Hardy vs Matt Brown

Pierce vs Seth Baszinski

Mike Pyle vs James Head

Eric Silva vs Jay Heiron

Thiago Alves vs Che Mills

and then 4 months later the next welterweight event with mostly the same guys shuffled around, some new guys shuffled in and some guys shuffled out based on who won, who lost, how, and new comers.... who can still fight and who's out with an injury, etc...

People think in chunks.... they could follow 20 weight divisions if you chunk and present the participants together consistently. you mention the welterweight division their mind will automatically picture the top 10 guys up to the top 20 guys, the same for the HW division and every other division because they are chunked together.  if they can remember GSP they can remember every other guy who is consistently on the same cards as he is.

This would revolutionize fight sports.

This would mean around 27 events a year.... but these would be mega events.  there are logistical challenges like which cards are ppv and which cards are free on fx or fox, or fuel...  which cards are domestic and which cards are held overseas... and how do you effectively grow globally with this structure?  .

for one, i believe this structure translates across all cultures, languages and customs so you wouldnt need to be so dependednt on customizing local events to build a tv audience.

secondly tuf is already being customized to the local market and you can revamp tuf to be a 4 man tournament aired on a one hour episode every week customized to the local market.  the winner gets a ufc contract and enters the prelims for these mega events.

As far as the TV distribution... for now you keep the 170 and above main cards on ppv and the lighter weights on fx, fuel and fox. I believe with this structure you can eventually do away with ppv... the UFC would be a mega sport... I believe the divisional centric fight cards would be so popular the licensing fee's and/or a subscription model would more than replace the ppv model.

Imagine if every viewer had the same divisional understanding as a hardcore fan?  they'd view the sport differently, they'd view each fight with more interest and they'd understand the sport more like you and i do.   

This would revolutionize fight sports.

12/13/12 2:01 AM
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WestCoastMXC
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I approve this idea. Phone Post
12/13/12 2:02 AM
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TheBulgarianAssassin
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Sounds good to me!
12/13/12 2:03 AM
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TheBulgarianAssassin
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12/13/12 2:05 AM
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Rear Naked Chode
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Very interesting, pretty cool idea but I doubt they take a chance like this.
12/13/12 2:06 AM
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Rear Naked Chode
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The thin divisions would be kind of hard to build a card with no?
12/13/12 2:08 AM
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MMALOGIC
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Edited: 12/13/12 2:11 AM
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^ yes... but really all you need is the top 24 to 30 fighters in a division.  go to russia, eastern europe and guam if you have to.

I would start with just one division.  170 or 155.  then move every division into this structure once you see how successful it is.

12/13/12 2:09 AM
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MMALOGIC
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Rear Naked Chode - Very interesting, pretty cool idea but I doubt they take a chance like this.

all they would have to do is set up a pilot program with just one division... keep just one division in this structure and see what happens.

They tried something similar with ufc 146 (all HW main card) and the ppv was better than expected even with one of the main eventers dropping out.

Just try it with one division... schedule just one division using this structure consistently and see what happens.

12/13/12 2:10 AM
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NorthFromHere
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Average fans wouldn't give a shit about flyweight, bantamweight or even featherweight only cards.
12/13/12 2:15 AM
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TheBulgarianAssassin
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Also a problem with this is if the UFC is coming to your town and you wanna go but don't like that weight class. Current UFC PPV's have different weight classes to suit all preferences.
12/13/12 2:18 AM
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MMALOGIC
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NorthFromHere - Average fans wouldn't give a shit about flyweight, bantamweight or even featherweight only cards.

the wec pretty much only the lighter weights and they pulled over a million viewers on versus.  I would place the lighter weight on fuel or fx.

you're telling me

Barao vs Mcdonald (interim title fight)

picket vs wineland

faber vs menjivar

etc...

cant carry an FX card?  that wont pull 1.2 million viewers?  I bet if you builf that division on fx it will start pulling 2 million plus viewers because people will become more familiar with these guys and this division.

Edgar vs Aldo title on fox?

siver vs swanson, etc... on the undercard...

people dont care about the lighter weights or guys not named gsp, anderson, jones, etc... because these fights are scattered around and mixed.... there's no context.

with this structure there would be context and relevance to every single fight.

 

12/13/12 2:20 AM
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Rear Naked Chode
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But then the little guys never get their ppv % and that would kind of suck for them.
12/13/12 2:24 AM
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Troll Hunter10
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I like this idea but I think doing 2 or 3 weight classes a ppv is more realistic. Casual fans will not want all little men cards, even for free. This will curb the growth of those divisions because they will be seen by even less eyes if left on their own cards Phone Post
12/13/12 2:26 AM
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OnlyTheStrongSurvive
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I would hate this. Plus injuries would ruin it Phone Post
12/13/12 2:26 AM
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MMALOGIC
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TheBulgarianAssassin - Also a problem with this is if the UFC is coming to your town and you wanna go but don't like that weight class. Current UFC PPV's have different weight classes to suit all preferences.

there are logistical challenges like the one you mentioned... but i believe this would be far superior.  people primarily buy tickets not because they like a certain weight class, but because they like certain names on the card.

So cards are developed and targeted to a market based on names and what the gate that market can produce... bigger names go to the markets with bigger potential gates.  lower names to smaller markets.

you'd do the same but from a divisional standpoint.  less popular divisions go to smalle markets... more popular divisions go to bigger markets, etc... 

the biggest problem i see is that you're not gonna have enough events to service the gate demand... but if you look at it from an 80/20 perspective (top 20% produce 80% of the results) I would just stick to the top 20 markets that prodduce 80% of the revenue. 

around 27 mega events a year is more than enough to service the top 20% of the markets that produce 80% of the revenue. 

12/13/12 2:31 AM
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MMALOGIC
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Rear Naked Chode - But then the little guys never get their ppv % and that would kind of suck for them.

the little guys and their divisions will be household names if their consistently on free tv so the ppv will come.  but eventually I believe this structure will be so successful ppv will go away as license fee's through free tv and/or a subscription component will more than make up for it.

12/13/12 2:31 AM
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kingkoopa
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I like this idea a lot. Maybe 2 weight classes on display though.
IE. WW top 10 on main card and flyweight below top 10 on prelims. Cycle through and so on Phone Post
12/13/12 2:35 AM
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MMALOGIC
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Troll Hunter10 -  I like this idea but I think doing 2 or 3 weight classes a ppv is more realistic. Casual fans will not want all little men cards, even for free. This will curb the growth of those divisions because they will be seen by even less eyes if left on their own cards Phone Post

the wec put on some of the most exciting and best cards and they were all little people.  and they also happened to be the only org able to pull over a million viewers on basic cable.

12/13/12 3:00 AM
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KZTT_W85
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I like it Phone Post
12/13/12 3:06 AM
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MMALOGIC
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Edited: 12/13/12 3:07 AM
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since the lighter weights are the sticking point for some here... let's look at what the next FW card could look like in this structure:

MAin card

Jose Aldo vs Frankie Edgar

Siver vs Swanson (title eliminator)

Erik Koch vs Ricardo Lamas (also a potential title eliminator)

Korean Zombie vs Darren Elkins (also a potential title eliminator)

Chand Mendes vs Hacran Diaz (winner gets into the mix)

Prelim

Clay Guida vs Hioki

Nick Lentz vs Diego Nunez

and you can mix and match the rest :

Diego brandoa, Charles Oliviera, Darren elkins,dennis bermudez, jonathan brookins, hacran dias, akira, max holloway, rony jason, nam pham,   justin lawrence, porier, etc...

You put this main card on Fox and the prelim on FX the babies will get on their knees begging for buttermilk.

you put the next 2 on fox and this division and the guys in this division will become household names.  this will become a premiere division.

12/13/12 3:25 AM
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MMALOGIC
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BW (135)...  Let's look at what the next card could look like:

main card:

Barao vs Macdonald (Interim Title fight with Cruz getting next shot)

picket vs wineland (winner could be in title eliminator)

Faber vs Menjivar (winner could be in next title eliminator)

Bryan Carawy vs Raphael Assancoo (winner goes into the mix)

Bowles vs Mizugaki (winner goes back into the mix)

Prelims:

mix and match what you think makes sense with:

tj dillahaw, mike easton, jorgenson, kid yamamoto, perez, jabuoin, alex caceres, etc...

you keep this division on FX until it develops more.

a barao vs mcdonald title fight will do just fine as a fight night on FX in terms of doing as well if not better in the ratings and gate.  a unification bout vs dominick could even work on big fox.

as you keep them together everyone of these guys in the division will become more well known... all a person would have to do is remember Urijah faber and they'll automatically recall all the other fighters who are consistently on the same cards as he is.

12/13/12 3:41 AM
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MMALOGIC
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Edited: 12/13/12 3:46 AM
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stars only last a few years... so you have to constantly be creating new stars.  Conversely, Divisions/ are immortal.

This is why the giants are still in business and sell stadiums.  people follow the Giants not eli manning.... why they follow the knicks, not patrcik ewing. etc...

divisions need to also become the product.  when you develop cards with more than one division you confuse the marketplace because they dont really understand why this or that fight matters... the context and relevance of the undercard fights are lost.  so it's just watching fights for the sake of watching fights.

if people wanted to watch football for just the sake of watching football they'd just go down to the local highschool field.  same with basketball.  there needs to be context and relavence.

The only context and relevance in the UFC are title fights, #1 contender fights and fights that are manufactured grudge matches.  everything else is just filler.... at best "oh i know that guy, i like his fights" or "i like that guy", "i dont like that guy".
... 

mostly it's just watching a fight to watch a fight and more often than not it's watching a fight waiting for the main event.

12/13/12 3:55 AM
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MMALOGIC
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This structure also creates a zegarnik effect... a cliffhanger of sorts.  When you establish an open loop the mind wants to close it.  which is why shows like "Lost" are so popular... you wanna know what happens next.

with this structure you're gonna wanna know how the the winner of the fight vs the winner of that fight will do, how the champ will do against the new challenger, where the winners will go, where losers will go, how those who are close to being cut will do, etc...

12/13/12 4:10 AM
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MMALOGIC
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Imagine if weidman became the #1 contender under this structure... the Anderson/weidman fight would be huge because weidman would be on every card Anderson Silva is on and you'd see him progress until climax.  The weidman/anderson fight would be an MMA orgasm.

Instead weidmans fights were all over the place with little to no context or relevance to Anderson Silva.

Imagine if Hendricks became the #1 contender under this structure instead of having his fights sporadically all over the place where people have no clue what the context of the fight is or why it's relevant...  the Hendricks/GSp fight would be an MMA orgasm wating to happen.

That's why zuffa has to resort to these silly "grudge matches" because the way things are structured now you become as much relevant with your mouth - and sometimes more relevant - than you do with your skills.

names, stars and big fights would develop way faster under the structure im proposing than the current structure.

12/13/12 4:58 AM
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MMALOGIC
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Edited: 12/13/12 5:15 AM
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^ the main problem i see is logistical... in terms of flexibility in tailoring a card for a certain market, building local talent, etc....  I dont see any sponsoship problems - not that it means there arent any... i just dont see it being a factor which I could be wrong.  

From a promotional stand point again building local talent, etc... would be more difficult. 

but, all of this can be mitigated if you are a divisionally centric product instead of a fighter centric product.

this structure i believe transcends and translates accross all cultures and languages where you wouldnt need to create customized cards for certain locations.

if you focus on the top 20% of the markets that produce 80% of the revenue you bypass all of this. if you're country/market cant produce a guy who can hang with the top 20 in a certain weight class then it's not a market or country worth focusing on at the moment.  and you also have tuf you can customize for it and to develop markets.

it's not worth focusing on the 80% that only produce 20% of the revenue.  what markets are the top 20%? msg/new york, las vegas, montreal, toronto, frankfurt, rio, etc... figure out where to hit once a year, where to hit more then once a year and what locations to rotate in bi yearly and you got 27 locations that are gonna produce 80% of the global revenue.   sometimes less is more... id rather have 27 mega events for which venues and markets all over the world are bidding on then trying to penetrate 100%.  

Id rather cut the 80% that only produces 20% of the potential revenue and focus more on the top 20% that produces 80% of the potential revenue.

because of injuries and other reasons why athletes wont be able to fight 3 times a year you're gonna need around 40 guys per weight class under contract.   that's more than enough roster space for a global product.

If you want to create customized fight nights for different markets you can do that to... but that's a different product. the main UFC product in my propsosition is roughly 27 divisionally centric (1 weight class per) event series.  

if you dont wanna do 3 events per division, you can do 2 which would be roughly 18 mega events per year and then have a fight night series that's mixed and matched in the current structure.

I personally would prefer 3 a year...  the giants dont schedule games based on eli manning or even sell tickets based on whether eli manning will be in a game down the road.  also having 3 impressions on the marketplace per year is better. 

but this is all theory... You can start with just one weight class (170 or 155 as they are the deepest)... see how it works... if it's successful which I believe it will be you then perfect the system and roll it out with the next division, and then the next until completed.


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