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MMA Link Club: #UFC’s quiet debut in Washington D.C. for Versus TV

By Zach Arnold | September 30, 2011

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This week’s MMA Link Club featured stories

Five Ounces of Pain: Dominick Cruz on what it will take to beat Jon Jones

“The person to beat Jones in my opinion is the person who has great striking fundamentals in terms of checking kicks, great boxing…I think you’ve gotta pressure him with hands. You’ve got to be able to fight like a short fighter like Mike Tyson…and you’ve gotta have that wrestling aspect. You’ve got to be able to put him on his back.”

MMA Fighting (Mike Chiappetta): Dominick Cruz resets for Saturday title bout, while Demetrious Johnson hopes to complete underdog story

Cruz is as much as a 5-to-1 favorite.

“Story of my life,” Johnson said. “I’m the smallest guy probably in the UFC. It is what it is. Everyone sees me as an underdog. I don’t mind. It is what it is. Like I say, story of my life.”

Yet Johnson is every bit the story of determination as Cruz. Until recently, he held a full-time job in a Tacoma, Washington recycling plant. During his May win over Torres, he suffered a broken bone in his leg, but he was still back to work at the plant on the following Monday. After accepting the title bout with Cruz, he gave up the job to prepare for the biggest opportunity of his life.

NBC Sports: Dominick Cruz diary series (part one, part two, part three)

Cage Potato: What your least favorite fighter says about you

MMA Mania: Ultimate Fighter 14 ratings rise for episode two, average 1.6 million viewers (1.2 cable rating)

The screen capture of Dana White is worth the click alone.

5th Round: Quinton Jackson eyes boxing career after UFC

Bleacher Report: UFC Live 6 on Versus — why you should give a damn

The network sure hasn’t, though. Advertising has been nonexistent. Could we see a WEC-level rating of 0.3 or 0.4 for this show?

Middle Easy: Cooking with Tim Kennedy — Crème Brûlée with flame torches

Somewhere, Ron Yacovetti is either applauding or cursing at his computer screen.

Low Kick: Stefan Struve says he’s not afraid to strike with Pat Barry

If Roy Nelson and Travis Browne can send you flying, Pat Barry can do the same.

The Fight Nerd: Art Davie is bringing back X-ARM!

The greatest thing in all of my life is returning.

MMA Convert: XARM is back, so get ready to be bitch-slapped and top-popped

MMA Payout: Brazilian billionaire interested in entertainment company responsible for bringing UFC back to Brazil

Topics: Media, MMA, UFC, Zach Arnold | 16 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

16 Responses to “MMA Link Club: #UFC’s quiet debut in Washington D.C. for Versus TV”

  1. Alan Conceicao says:

    Once the UFC signed with Fox, it was carte blanche for NBC to stop advertising this show. It shows you just how much the UFC cares about the bantamweight title to put it back on Versus in a spot where it might not get any promotion.

    • 45 Huddle says:

      No proof of this, but I wonder if the UFC was contractually obligated to give Versus a title fight as part of the deal. Just the feeling I get. Either that, or it was done in good will when the negotiations were still going on.

      • Alan Conceicao says:

        They may have done it in good will then, but I’m sure the thought crossed their minds of “well, what if we don’t strike a deal?” Ergo: the title fight presented being a bantamweight one.

        Honestly, its kinda like this show is a demotion back to the WEC.

        • 45 Huddle says:

          1 fight demotion. It has no interest to anybody really. It wouldn’t even be a meaningful PPV co-main event. Faber/Bowles would be a better PPV co-main event and even that fight has 3rd billing on a non-title PPV coming up.

          I think this season of TUF will help these smaller weight divisions out. Even if the winners of the finale lose to eventual champions, it still gives the casual fans some context. Right now they have zero context as to who is good in these divisions.

        • Alan Conceicao says:

          Of course the fight has no interest level. No one cares about the bantamweights. Meanwhile, the UFC is doing nothing to promote them. There’s also no context to be created by having TUF competitors rise to the level of title contender given that it has been, what, 9 seasons since the program produced such a caliber of fighter?

        • 45 Huddle says:

          I don’t think it matters if TUF hasn’t produced a top level guy in a while. The fans will still be familiar with the fighters which will help out the division.

          It’s no different then filling up Featherweight with guys like Kenny Florian and Tyson Griffin. The known fighters either win and are more recognizable…. Or they lose and people know and care a little more about Jose Aldo or Dominick Cruz’s accomplishments.

          The divisions aren’t even a year old yet in the UFC…..

  2. ergface says:

    I’m straining hard to imagine something stupider than XARM sounds. WTF??

  3. Chuck says:

    My life is complete again. X-ARM is back baby! Can we just cancel regular MMA now that X-ARM is back? Now if only the World Combat League and Real Pro Wrestling came back THEN my life be truly worthwhile…

    • Steve4192 says:

      My life won’t be complete until the triumphant return of Strikebox. But bringing back X-ARM is a nice start.

  4. 45 Huddle says:

    TUF still has some life in it, even going into the 14th season. The talent level is high enough this season that I’m watching. Without much competition around, I have a feeling the level of athlete will be much higher for the next few seasons.

    1.5 Million fans seem about what the UFC can pull in for a TUF or decent Fight Night. That is the established average fanbase. It will be interesting to see what FOX can do with that.

    • Alan Conceicao says:

      Strikeforce not being around doesn’t really change anything. Unless they’re changing the format of the show to include guys they already have signed or guys at that caliber, I could care less that it is live. What I really find more interesting is “What will they do with the coaching spots”? They aren’t going to take fighters out of camps for 3 months straight to do this show, right?

      • cutch says:

        The coaches training camps will be included on the show, so I would assume their training camps will have to be relocated to Vegas

      • Steve4192 says:

        “Strikeforce not being around doesn’t really change anything”

        Sure it does.

        Strikeforce is no longer out there offering prospects another option. Guys who might have signed on to compete in the Challenger series in the past won’t have that option any more. That should lead to a deeper talent pool for TUF.

        This is particularly true in regards to up and comers at AKA. Guys like Wilcox and Rockhold were basically groomed for Strikeforce since Crazy Bob was their coach and Strikeforce’s matchmaker. I doubt TUF was ever a serious consideration for them. The next generation of AKA guys won’t have that outlet.

        It sucks for the fighters, but it should lead to a better quality of athlete on TUF.

    • Steve4192 says:

      “Without much competition around, I have a feeling the level of athlete will be much higher for the next few seasons.”

      I’m also hoping that the switch from SpikeTV to the sports division of FOX will have a positive impact. Hopefully, they will view TUF more as a proving ground for athletes rather than reality TV personalities. On the flip side, my biggest fear is that the FOX entertainment division gets involved in TUF and cranks up the reality TV shenanigans to 11.

  5. 45 Huddle says:

    Cruz vs. Johnson was a 10 times better fight then I was expecting. It was interesting to see how Cruz handled a fighter who was much faster then him. He had the right gameplan, despite obviously being caught off guard for a little bit.

    Will Bellator even get 100,000 viewers today? No name fighters. Going up against 5 college football games, UFC, and 2 MLB playoff games.

    • Steve4192 says:

      Bellator will definitely get 100K.

      MTV2 could air color bars and get near that number. Most of those things you listed as competition really aren’t competition for the MTV2 demographic, which skews VERY young (tweens and teens) and includes a good amount of females. I doubt major sporting events have a significant impact on MTV2 ratings.

      Bellator programming usually bottoms out around 130K, and I see no reason to suspect that last night was any different.


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