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3/26/14 12:27 PM
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Underground Blog
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SI's mighty Jeff Wagenheim details a problem.

The UFC had two title fights at UFC 169, Ronda Rousey at UFC 170, Johny Hendricks at UFC 171, and has 11 more PPVs in 2014.

You need a champ to headline a successful PPV. The UFC did 13 PPVs in 2013, and the only one without a champ. Former UFC light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans vs. legend Dan Henderson did just 140,000 buys, the worst of the year.

Of the UFC's nine champs, Chris Weidman, Johny Hendricks, Cain Velasquez and Anthony Pettis are injured. Ronda Rousey is shooting movies. 

Of the remain champions ready to fight, only Jones has major drawing power. The PPV numbers for Jose Aldo, Renan Barão, and Demetrious Johnson are not nearly in keeping with their extraordinary abilities.

Are there enough champs left to carry nearly a dozen PPVs?

Velasquez has targeted a November return from shoulder surgery, so that takes care of one show. If Jones escapes UFC 172 healthy, he's probably good for one more 2014 fight. Weidman goes on July 5 and might have one more in him, too. Hendricks is aiming for a fall return after biceps surgery. Pettis, recovering from knee surgery, also is being penciled in for a fall return, taking on Gilbert Melendez after the two coached a season of The Ultimate Fighter. So, if all goes well, these champions might account for six of the 10 PPVs that'll likely remain after Jones vs. Teixeira.

If all goes well.

Even in the healthiest-case scenario, the UFC will have to rely on Rousey and its littlest belted men -- Aldo, Barão, and Johnson -- to carry the load on the four other PPVs. 

So yes, injuries affect all fighters, from the bottom of the roster on up. But the ones that hurt the bottom line are the ones that allow a shiny belt to collect dust.

Of course, maybe expectations are different in the UFC's office these days. The company has grown into more locales and onto more platforms. Earlier this month, it put a light heavyweight No. 1 contender's bout on Fight Pass, its new streaming subscription service. In May, it will present events in Germany and Brazil on the same day. PPVs will always be part of the business model, White insists whenever one of these innovations is announced, but maybe pay cards no longer are asked to carry as much of the load as before. Still, there's nothing like the shimmer of a championship belt. It mesmerizes us, and fans pay to sit in its presence. And boy do we notice its absence.

Read entire article...


3/26/14 12:42 PM
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PrestigeWorldwide
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Doesn't look too good for them. They need to cut down on ppv fights or add a cruiser weight division either at 195 or 225. Phone Post 3.0
3/26/14 12:48 PM
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JerodR
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Too many cards and too many fighters. It is extremely hard to build up a fighter in terms of popularity when you have so much going on. Less fighters means that they will fight more often. The more exposure a fighter gets, the more popularity they get to sell fights. Shift the pay to favor finishing fights, and allow fighters to fight more often. That will yield better fights, more exposure, and ultimately lead to more PPV buys.
3/26/14 12:50 PM
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dabigchet
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the solution is simple: add cards!
3/26/14 12:56 PM
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Glovegate
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There's no problem here. They're more than happy to put on card after card without star power.
3/26/14 1:01 PM
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HenryO
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PrestigeWorldwide - Doesn't look too good for them. They need to cut down on ppv fights or add a cruiser weight division either at 195 or 225. Phone Post 3.0

Where there already isnt enough talent? Any division to be added would need to be much lower. 177 or 162 maybe
3/26/14 1:16 PM
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HenryO
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dabigchet - the solution is simple: add cards!

Really I think the complete watering down wouldnt be a big deal if they cut the PPVs to 6 or so and if people actually knew what channel and when their events were on

3/26/14 1:17 PM
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mpalan09
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Watered-down cards and lack of stars. I'm against adding more weight classes (even Flyweight is a stretch). That isn't the issue. PPV's need to be more stacked. This is UFC's problem, not the fans. We vote with our money.

To me, if the PPV doesn't excite me, I just don't buy it.
3/26/14 1:19 PM
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Koreanyachtteam
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We need Andy back Phone Post 3.0
3/26/14 1:23 PM
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bigtreechris
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The UFC could have some pretty big named non title fights if they had contendors fighting each other instead of letting them sit out and wait in line. Phone Post
3/26/14 1:35 PM
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sparkuri
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Koreanyachtteam - We need Andy back Phone Post 3.0
Please

And you DON'T need champs, you need a matchmaker and company that knows how to satisfy the fans.

As far as AS, I think anyone with common sense who heard that he was walking and wanting to fight, knew that after GSP's hiatus, the fight that made the most sense was GSP/ Anderson retirement fight somewhere in early/ mid 2015.
"THE BIGGEST FIGHT IN UFC HISTORY!"

They each get paid 2 million, with the rest of the card full of cheap hungry fighters.
Then go from there depending on the performances, which GSP would not be impressed by.

Meanwhile, they'll keep the fans clammoring for another year about an Andy comeback with weekly, if not daily updates. Phone Post 3.0
3/26/14 2:13 PM
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PrestigeWorldwide
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Edited: 03/26/14 2:31 PM
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HenryO -
PrestigeWorldwide - Doesn't look too good for them. They need to cut down on ppv fights or add a cruiser weight division either at 195 or 225. Phone Post 3.0

Where there already isnt enough talent? Any division to be added would need to be much lower. 177 or 162 maybe

.....

3/26/14 2:19 PM
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bigtreechris
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175? Whos the champ there? Phone Post
3/26/14 2:27 PM
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PrestigeWorldwide
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bigtreechris - 175? Whos the champ there? Phone Post
Lol oh man il going to get flamed here Phone Post 3.0
3/26/14 2:28 PM
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Jason
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I think the UFC needs a radical change, so most will just call my ideas stupid. 

1.) If you have to be out 6+ months as a UFC champion you should have to give up your belt. The two highest ranking contenders should just the fight for the belt, no intermin title tag. The former UFC champion would be given the 1st available title shot upon thier return from injury.

or

2.) The biggest complaint fighters and champions have is that the are constantley in fight camp and its hard to stay on top. UFC needs a 6 month season. Champions could fight every 2 months barring injury and then EVERYONE has 4 months off + 2 to get ready for the season. At the end of the season you could put on a card with 5 title fights for the main card. It would probably sell 10mil+ PPVs.

3/26/14 2:39 PM
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Jone2tone
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People seem to put a lot of the weight of the watered down card issue on Joe Silva. I disagree. I'm not saying he's perfect at his job, but it's easier to stack cards when you're planning 10 PPVs instead of 15.

Sure, he could stack a card top to bottom with great fights, but that puts a lot of pressure on him for the next PPV as far as the card, the available fighters (and even more there with the possibility of training camp injury!).

Better cards would happen if the talent wasn't stretched so thin. If anything's going to fix it, I'd think hiring more talent. Phone Post 3.0
3/26/14 2:42 PM
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dabigchet
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actually jason, i think 2 6 month seasons, split by specific weight divisions is brilliant (no homo) and would solve a lot of problems.
3/26/14 2:42 PM
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Outlaw'd by Lytle
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Who the hell wrote that article?

"?You need a champ to headline a successful PPV. The UFC did 13 PPVs in 2013, and the only one without a champ, former UFC light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans vs. legend Dan Henderson did just 140,000 buys, the worst of the years of the year."

Lol @ 'the worst of the years of the year'!!! Phone Post 3.0
3/26/14 2:43 PM
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AdmiralCackbar
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Adding more champions is not the answer. That doesn't change anything outside of the fight's label. It also things out divisions even more.
3/26/14 2:59 PM
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Rookie Fighter
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Seasons are a great idea but its not optimal money maker, the ufc is all about money. Phone Post 3.0
3/26/14 3:31 PM
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ShowtimeWreckedMyLeever
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Jason -

I think the UFC needs a radical change, so most will just call my ideas stupid. 

1.) If you have to be out 6+ months as a UFC champion you should have to give up your belt. The two highest ranking contenders should just the fight for the belt, no intermin title tag. The former UFC champion would be given the 1st available title shot upon thier return from injury.

or

2.) The biggest complaint fighters and champions have is that the are constantley in fight camp and its hard to stay on top. UFC needs a 6 month season. Champions could fight every 2 months barring injury and then EVERYONE has 4 months off + 2 to get ready for the season. At the end of the season you could put on a card with 5 title fights for the main card. It would probably sell 10mil+ PPVs.

I like your ideas, however I do not see the UFC pulling 10 million buys in the next10 years regardless of the card. Sports just not big enough. Phone Post 3.0
3/26/14 3:34 PM
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AdmiralCackbar
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ShowtimeWreckedMyLeever - 
Jason -

I think the UFC needs a radical change, so most will just call my ideas stupid. 

1.) If you have to be out 6+ months as a UFC champion you should have to give up your belt. The two highest ranking contenders should just the fight for the belt, no intermin title tag. The former UFC champion would be given the 1st available title shot upon thier return from injury.

or

2.) The biggest complaint fighters and champions have is that the are constantley in fight camp and its hard to stay on top. UFC needs a 6 month season. Champions could fight every 2 months barring injury and then EVERYONE has 4 months off + 2 to get ready for the season. At the end of the season you could put on a card with 5 title fights for the main card. It would probably sell 10mil+ PPVs.

I like your ideas, however I do not see the UFC pulling 10 million buys in the next10 years regardless of the card. Sports just not big enough. Phone Post 3.0

This


And imagine if they all went to decisions.
3/26/14 3:46 PM
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dabigchet
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i think you could definitely increase PPV buys with a season format.

there is going to be 10 champions after the womens strawweight is crowned. so, 5 champions per 6 month season. that's 10 scheduled championship fights, minimum. every season the 2 champions who fight in the first month fight 3 times in that season. so 6 PPVs in the season, 12 championship fights. some of those, of course, are going to be affected by injury, but like i said earlier if you are expected to be injured for the whole season a new champion is crowned. all of your FS1/2 and fightpass cards in that same season stick to the same 5 divisions only, which would increase interest as the season progressed.

entirely possible that a fighter no one knows on month 1 could fight for a title at the end of the season with this format.
3/26/14 3:58 PM
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Jason
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dabigchet - actually jason, i think 2 6 month seasons, split by specific weight divisions is brilliant (no homo) and would solve a lot of problems.

split by divisions, PERFECT :)

3/26/14 4:02 PM
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Watch Bellator on Spike
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Edited: 03/26/14 4:06 PM
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You have 3 title fights ready:

Mighty Mouse vs Baugotinov

Aldo vs Mendez

Barao vs Assuncao

You can save the schedule:

 

UFC 173:

Mighty Mouse vs Baugotinov

Barao vs Assuncao

JDS vs Miocic

 

UFC 174:

Aldo vs Mendez

Rory vs DIaz

Cormier vs Hendo

 

UFC 175:

Weidman vs Machida

Ronda vs Carano/cyborg

Hector vs Woodley

 

UFC 176:

Jones vs Gustaffson 2

 

and then by the fall the injured will have recovered.  Regardless, this is not going to be a great year in total ppv revenue compared  to past years but you can atleast get the baseline back up to where you're not pulling sub 200k anymore.


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