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MMA Link Club: What to do about UFC’s empty seats problem in Las Vegas?

By Zach Arnold | February 6, 2012

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There are quite a few takeaways from this past weekend’s UFC event in Las Vegas… and they’ve already been debated ad nauseam online. One topic that hasn’t been discussed much is the fact that the Las Vegas shows are becoming more and more deserted on television for UFC undercard fights.

We know the prelim fights are a great source of content for UFC programming on the Fox family of networks. However, the whole point of having a prelim show is to sell PPVs. It doesn’t look very good if most of the seats that are on camera are empty and there isn’t an energetic crowd to cheer fighters. Yes, it’s every fighter’s dream in the States to fight for Zuffa but that doesn’t mean that it feels great to have maybe a couple of thousand people at most watching you in a huge arena.

Las Vegas crowds are notorious for not showing up to see all the fights. The same is often said for Los Angeles sports crowds showing up ‘fashionably late.’ However, the problem of having empty seats for a lot of fights is a trend that is recently growing for Zuffa. Look at the San Jose show last November. If the purpose of UFC being on Fox is to reach a new audience of sports fans, guess what — a lot of those fans will look at the fights with nobody watching and, if they are on the fence about ordering a show, probably will take a pass. If you’re a baseball fan, you’re more likely to stick with a game if there are 40,000 people in the stadium as opposed to a quarter-filled Dodger Stadium game. If you watch college football bowl games, you’re more likely to stick with a B-level bowl game if there’s at least 2/3rds of a crowd as opposed to the ridiculous amount of games that have maybe 30% capacity. It’s a visual turnoff. I don’t think having all the empty seats on camera serves Zuffa well.

Today, there’s news that UFC is going to have two shows within 45 days of each other in Las Vegas (late May and early July). Vegas is proving to be a very soft market now for the company. So, the question I posted online last night was this: how can they fix the problem of all the empty seats for the undercard fights? Excluding Fox using some sort of CGI magic to fool your eyes on screen and put imaginary people in seats, I don’t know if there is a solid answer.

Someone proposed to me the idea of treating the undercard and main cards like a baseball doubleheader. You have undercard tickets, main card tickets, and then a standard full-event ticket. The idea would be that you sell full event tickets and on the day of the show whatever seats you have unsold, you can sell undercard tickets at a discount. Once the undercard fights are done, those fans go out and you can open the seating back up for the rest of the ticketholders. It’s not a likely or workable solution but I can understand where the person is coming from.

Someone else suggested that fans who pay for cheaper tickets get moved down to the floor for the undercard fights in order to create a better appearance on camera. That, to me, doesn’t sound workable because high rollers will be coming in right before the main card starts wondering why the hell someone is in their floor seat.

All I know is that the more Vegas shows UFC runs, the more empty seats they’re going to have to contend with. It doesn’t make UFC or the casinos paying the site fees look great from an image perspective.

I am completely amazed at how much acrimony there is on both sides of the coin for the outcome of the Nick Diaz/Carlos Condit fight. I’m sure UFC is not thrilled with Condit winning and they’re even less-thrilled that he did it using a point-fighting strategy. Instead of people wanting to see Condit vs. GSP and being enthusiastic about that fight, I sure don’t feel much excitement for that fight coming at the end of this year, do you?

I do agree with a few writers who pointed out on Twitter that there is an odd, quirky behavioral pattern for MMA fans who want everyone to look at UFC as a sport but yet feel the need to punish a fighter for performing like an athlete would with a smart game plan as opposed to just ‘putting on a good show.’

Question: How much did Carlos Condit decrease the amount of interest for his upcoming fight against GSP in your mind? (1-10 scale, plus give me your reasoning.)

The last takeaway from UFC 143 is that Josh Koscheck has split from American Kickboxing Academy.

(You can click on the links down below to find out more on why he left the team.)

The way UFC has booked the Welterweight division, it is a mess. Johny Hendricks blasted Jon Fitch into oblivion. Josh Koscheck didn’t look great against Mike Pierce. In fact, so much so that Dana proclaimed that Pierce won the fight. You have Jake Ellenberg vs. Diego Sanchez coming up in a week and, should Ellenberger win that fight, he is the next man up to face Carlos Condit or the Condit/GSP winner.

Who does Josh Koscheck face next? Jon Fitch? Nick Diaz?

Member sites of the MMA Link Club

This week’s MMA Link Club featured stories

Five Ounces of Pain: Ronda Rousey trashes Carlos Condit’s fight performance against Nick Diaz

She does love her some Nick Diaz and MMA’s bad boys.

MMA Fighting: No robbery here — Carlos Condit earned decision win over Nick Diaz

Judging by Nick Diaz’s reaction to his unanimous decision loss to Carlos Condit at UFC 143, you’d have thought he’d just been robbed on live TV. You’d have thought he’d returned home to find that judge Cecil Peoples had made off with all his most prized possessions, from his road bike to his Tupac CDs. You definitely wouldn’t have thought that he’d merely lost a close decision in a close fight, though that’s exactly what happened.

Cesar Gracie says judging was a ‘perfect storm of incompetence’

“I don’t think the judges like Nick,” he said. “He comes off, he talks in the ring… Carlos was running at one point, and Nick slapped him in the face said, ‘Quit running.’ We were there for a dogfight. Carlos said he’d provide for the fans a dogfight, a great fight where they were going to go at it. That was not a dogfight. It takes two to make a dogfight. One guy running away is not a dogfight.

Fightline: Josh Koscheck still being cryptic about why he dislikes Javier Mendez and left AKA

Cage Potato: Josh Koscheck says that Javier Mendez throws fighters under the bus who lose

MMA Mania: GSP is a -350 favorite to beat Carlos Condit

And I’ve got the odds of this fight going to a decision as a PICK ‘EM and the over/under for PPV buys at 600,000 because of the sour taste in the mouths of a lot of fans after UFC 143.

I don’t blame Greg Jackson & Carlos Condit for their game plan, either, but it’s about as friendly as watching the old school New Jersey Devils trap-scheme from the 90s.

5th Round: Cyborg divorces her husband

Bleacher Report: Was Carlos Condit’s run from Nick Diaz bad for the sport?

Make no mistake—Condit’s performance was masterful. Diaz is a fighting machine, an angry man who pursues you to the bitter end. At that end, he was still coming after Condit like it was the first round. Carlos matched Diaz’s cardio and passion with his own. It was amazing to behold. But it’s hard to call what Condit did “fighting.”

Middle Easy: 27 times a champion — Renato Laranja’s greatest hits

He don’t want no heefer. Only the devil does!

Low Kick: Fedor defeats his younger brother to capture Sambo championship

The Fight Nerd: War Machine heads back to the slammer

MMA Convert: Carlos Condit stands no shot of beating Georges St. Pierre and Nick Diaz is still the better fighter

MMA Payout: Rampage Jackson enters the phone app market

So, that’s what he’s up to… because ever since that loss to Jon Jones, it’s as if UFC has decided that he’s in a witness relocation program and can’t be promoted for his upcoming fight in two weeks.

Topics: Media, MMA, UFC, Zach Arnold | 82 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

82 Responses to “MMA Link Club: What to do about UFC’s empty seats problem in Las Vegas?”

  1. Jason Harris says:

    “Oh yeah, I was going to watch that sporting event, but then the stands looked empty, so I turned it off” – Nobody Ever

    Ed. — You’re wrong entirely about this. Atmosphere does matter for casual sports fans watching a game on TV.

    • Chuck says:

      What Zach said was absolutely true. It’s a big reason why WWE is the biggest wrestling promotion on the planet and Ring Of Honor isn’t even as big as ECW got in its heyday. I can’t bring TNA into the equation because they have WAY bigger problems (that they created).

  2. 45 Huddle says:

    1) This Diaz/Condit “controversial” decision talk is a bunch of balony. Diaz easily lost. Every judge scored it for Condit. So did every major website. So did Dana White. There is zero controversy. Yet that hasn’t stopped these websites from trying to push the idea that it was some sort of problem with the scoring. I think when you have MMA only related content, and there isn’t an event for another week and a half…. This type of stuff is going to happen. They need to fill their pages with eye catching headlines, no matter how wrong they are.

    2) Don’t confuse Nick Diaz’s crazy small vocal fanbase with the rest of the fans who had no problem with the fight. Carlos Condit had a great gameplan and made Nick Diaz looked like an amateur.

    3) As for the crowd situation, they should black out the crowd until more people get there. I think it’s a simple solution that will work in any arena. What the UFC does need to do is EXPLAIN THE CROWD. I was shocked that Rogan and Goldberg made no mention of the uniqueness of the crowd. They need to also do that for the Japanese crowd.

    4) Josh Koscheck vs. Nick Diaz makes sense.

    5) Want a SIMPLE solution to the Welterweight Division?? Put Carlos Condit vs. Johnny Hendricks as the main event of the UFC on FOX 3 card. It gets Carlos Condit another fight, but it also gets him on TV to get some major exposure. It gives the fans a free title fight. And it helps the UFC get people caring about GSP’s next challenger… Especially since Condit/Hendrick wouldn’t sell on PPV.

    I have no clue why nobody is mentioning this as an option. Heck, if they don’t want Hendricks, then put the winner of Ellenberger/Sanchez. Either way, it’s a win/win.

    • Jason Harris says:

      If they need another defense for Condit before GSP gets back, I’d vote for the winner of Ellenburger-Sanchez

    • RST says:

      “Every judge scored it for Condit.”

      Interestingly, it was ceacil pupils and the chick who scored it 4-1 Condit.

      The Japanese guy Had it 3-2 Condit, which IMO is the correct score.

      The right guy still won, but most of the judges are still a mess and made it look more skewed than it should have looked.

  3. Chromium says:

    I do gotta say that Vegas crowds tend to suck. I would say more consistently great crowds (like say, the Rio crowd but really almost any market that isn’t Vegas or maybe L.A.) definitely help you get into the fights, and that would make a meaningful difference in the long term to the UFC’s popularity.

    I know they are trying to keep costs down by running Vegas more and Dana White and his staff don’t want to get burnt out flying all over the place, but there are so many places clamoring for major league MMA and I’m sick of seeing dead crowds. When Stephen Thompson did that sick-as-fuck low-high head kick, the building was less than a quarter full. There was a momentary crowd pop and then it was back to “meh.”

    Almost anywhere else that ending would have brought the crowd to their knees.

    I know Brazil is a bit special since the crowd is stacked with Brazil vs. foreigner fights, so it’s basically like a football game for them (either type of football) where they’re the the hometown crowd. Jose Aldo running through the crowd damn near brought me to tears it was so beautiful. You will never, ever see that in Vegas, even with so many local fighters.

    But maybe that’s an extreme example. Another one might be Mike Easton’s UFC debut in Washington DC where he TKO’d Byron Bloodworth. If that were Vegas there might be a momentary crowd pop with half the crowd not even there yet. In DC, the hometown guy representing with the DC flag t-shirt got a pop like the Redskins just scored a touchdown (which is to say people were on their feet cheering). It was amazing, and it was an undercard match on a B-show. It was a star-making performance with a near-superstar reaction and Easton is now a rising star in the BW division. Stephen Thompson got KO of the night and has secured his spot on the roster but some job-security and a paycheck are the only things he really got from that.

    So in short, fuck Vegas, more UFC in places that aren’t Vegas plz. Dana White can send out Reed Harris to a show now and then in his place if he’s feeling burnt out or whatever, it’s not life or death that he be at every single one of them.

    • RST says:

      “I know they are trying to keep costs down by running Vegas more…”

      I would assume that vegas would also seem attractive because of people betting on the fights.

      Although that may be the exact problem since that wouldn’t necessarily include enthusiastic MMA fans, who would show up for the undercard, more than sleazy gambler types who might show up to see the fights that they put money on.

  4. Norm says:

    My interest in GSP v. Condit is virtually nonexistent. Condit’s turned that corner where now there is far too much to lose by not being calculated with the way he fights. The hype leading up to the fight will be some of the most cordial non trash talk we have ever heard.

    • RST says:

      Awww, Bummer!

      And the trashtalk was the only part that he liked.

      • Zack says:

        You’re cute when you try to thrash everyone’s opinion, but the truth is really no one cares about GSP vs Condit, especially after Condit’s performance.

        It will be the same interest level as GSP vs Hardy or GSP vs Kos rematch. That’s not terrible by any means because GSP can carry an event by himself, but Diaz vs GSP was the money fight. Or if Condit smashed Diaz he may have gotten some momentum. But face it…you now have 2 guys in the ultimate out-point-him matchup.

        • cutch says:

          No one cared for GSP-Sheilds apparently and many other GSP fights and they still did great buy rates, maybe the casual fans actually do care about GSP.

  5. 45 Huddle says:

    On the subject of empty seats in the stands coming off bad on TV…

    The crowd needs to be mic’d better.

    Look at how a football game sounds on TV. It’s like the crowd is cheering the entire time.

    The UFC sound often sounds dead on TV, which is not a good thing at all.

    • Chromium says:

      UFC Rio sounded like a football game (by which I mean soccer) the entire time because the arena sounded like they were at a football game the entire time. I don’t think it’s a problem with mic’ing the crowd, it’s Vegas. They’ve had a ton of huge events here and they’re just jaded as fuck as a result. Take the UFC to fans who have never been to a UFC event before, or where it’s a truly rare event, and you will get a better crowd.

      Also, I do not get all the hatorizing on the Condit/Diaz match. It was not a slobberknocker but it was tense and technical with dudes trading shots and Condit sticking and moving as he damn well should against a dude who throws more strikes than anyone else in MMA and ended up outstriking him by about 50% in a fight that was almost entirely standing. It was a damn good fight.

  6. Megatherium says:

    48-47 Diaz. But if this is what passes for fighting these days it doesn’t matter anyway. I won’t watch.

    After all, I still have my memories and my old IVC collection to console me.

    • RST says:

      After watching it again, I can see how people could see it for Diaz.
      It was much closer then I thought the second time.
      But that was no robbery.

      There is something wrong with Diaz though, and with his crybaby fans who keep whining about it like this.

      Stomping their feet and holding their breath and threatening to never watch MMA again because they didn’t get their way.

      Lol @ your IVC collection.
      I tried to watch those things and they’re archaic.
      Like UFC 8 or something.

      You have fun with that.
      This herd needs thinning anyway.


      • Megatherium says:

        You blaspheme against the Holy IVC! The greatest vale tudo event in history!

        You can’t know anything without knowing the sports past.

        • Jason Harris says:

          The sports past looks like watching a schoolyard fight. I like guys who are actually skilled and talented, thanks.

          It’s hilarious to me that there are people who want the sport to stay in it’s worst era. “I liked back when it was banned from cable and only on crappy cards in Alabama or overseas!”

      • edub says:

        Ive watched it twice. Diaz did nothing to win rounds 1, 3, or 4. It’s not a debatable decision. It wasn’t a robbery. It was a close fight in which the right guy won. No question about it.

        • Megatherium says:

          Well the debate rages on regardless. Personally I thought Diaz won a close one, but I was more pissed with ol’ Greg Jackson than anything.

          I think Duke Roufus said it best in his tweet ” I’m done teaching guys to fight! Gonna teach them to run like a bitch & hold guys down like a bitch it wins! How do you like that fight fans?”

          The point is , what if Roufus and the rest of his peers all convert to the Jacksonite win at all cost philosophy.
          Who is still going be around watching that?

        • Jason Harris says:

          The only person trying to hold anyone down in the fight was Diaz. He kept trying to stall up against the cage and Condit would spin out and punish him for it.

      • Megatherium says:

        You would have hated watching the young Wanderlei da Silva emerge in IVC 2. And you would have especially hated the final fight between young da Silva and the veteran kickboxer Artur Mariano. That was a shocking display.

        That stuff is just not for you guys.

  7. Zach Arnold says:

    “There’s still a large contingent of people, that they just want to see these guys almost die, or the other guy almost die and come back, and sometimes fights are like that,” says Greg Jackson, one of the best-known trainers of athletes in the Ultimate Fighting Championship. “But sometimes you get technical masterpieces too, and to hate a beautiful, technical fight — you’re not really a fight fan. You’re just there to watch the car wrecks, you know what I mean?”

    The comments in the article are a ticking time bomb of PR backlash waiting to happen.

    • Mark says:

      I don’t know if Jackson is going to turn anybody against him. Fighters have been saying that kind of thing since the dawn of NHB. Remember they had Dan Severn go out and give a lengthy interview at UFC 10 defending his performance at UFC 9.

      But to me, this is just deja vu from a few years ago when Machida was working his way to a title shot. Fans would come on boards saying they don’t think he’s worth paying to watch and they’d beg UFC not to give him a title shot, other fans would reply claiming they didn’t understand MMA and wanted Toughman-style brawls and say UFC wasn’t fair for not giving him a title shot sooner. And in the end, Machida got the title and it didn’t kill UFC’s business in the least. And then most fans softened their stance on him or at least stopped complaining.

      But MMA fan “knowledge” is as good as it’s going to get. It’s better than it was 5 years ago. But North America is never going to be Japan where a crowd will ooh and aah over position changes on the mat. So people should just accept different fans watch MMA for different reasons and get over it if they disagree. Unless it’s a particularly stupid statement like a few in this thread. 🙂

      • Chromium says:

        You have fans that get the infield fly rule in baseball, or who get the nuances of different technical plays in American football, or who are dazzled by footwork in soccer that ends up just being a pass. These fans are hardcore fans, but there are so many of them because those sports are national pastimes in places.

        If MMA gets large enough, damn right you’ll see a more educated populace. The biggest problem is it isn’t a team sport, so a lot of the time there’s no clear crowd favorite, but if boxing was the #2 sport in America from the mid-30’s until the late ’50s, and was still #3 into the 1970’s, I think the UFC has the potential to become a very major sport where nerds like us who analyze every aspect and appreciate the nuances of positional advantages are not uncommon.

        I’m not saying it’s definitely going to happen, just that the UFC has the potential to go above its current ceiling on popularity, particularly if they shift away from their current PPV-centric model a bit, and with that will come more fans, and more hardcore nerds like ourselves.

  8. RST says:

    “How much did Carlos Condit decrease the amount of interest for his upcoming fight against GSP in your mind?”

    Not sure I understand the question.

    Decreased from Diaz/GSP?

    Or decreased from Condit/GSP before Condit exposed himself as smarter than an idiot?

    (Ironically not always a smart thing to do.)

    And why is “decreased” the only option?

    Because 12 years olds are butthurt and “never gonna get excited for another condit fight! Snifff!”.

    “Who does Josh Koscheck face next? Jon Fitch? Nick Diaz?”

    I certainly hope its not Fitch.

    Why disrespect a friendship for Danas whim when he’d only fire you a second later if he felt like it anyway.

    And “champion material” Nick Diaz doesn’t need this isht anymore.

    Gosh Dana is becoming an annoying old man.

    If he hasn’t already disrespected Condit enough trying to force that stupid Diaz/GSP fight (how many times now? 3?), now this baldheaded nitwit wants to try it again because he’s been on twitter chatting with little kids like some sort of pervert.

    If the inmates are going to be running the asylum then we dont really need dana anymore do we?

    @ ronda rousey,

    I’ve heard constant gap coming out of this chick every other day and have never even seen her fight.

    Where was she 3 months ago?

    When I do see her fight, especially if she fights cyborg, I want to see her stand and bang!

    None of that rolling around humping and holding each other stuff.

    If I wanna see two broads humping I’ll throw on some porn.

    • Chuck says:

      Rousey isn’t fighting Cyborg anytime soon. Zuffa cut Cyborg and spped her of the Women’s 145 lbs. SF title after she tested positive for anabolic steroids. Rousey is fighting Miesha Tate for the 135 lbs. SF title.

      • RST says:

        Yes I understand that.


        And I’ll be rooting to Tate to whoop her arse.

        What I’m saying is I dont see where rousy suddenly got the privilege to come out of nowhere and dog on Condits strategy, that it wasn’t aesthetically pleasing to her and if she wants to see someone running around she’ll watch track.

        I’ve only noticed her in this sport for a few months, and mostly for talking isht on the internet.

        But I’ve heard that the ONLY thing she does is subfight.

        And if thats true, who the hell wants to see that?!

        So when she fights Tate or anyone else, I wanna see that loudmouth wear her words, stand up and throw them and do something aesthetically pleasing to me.

        And dont run.

        If I want to watch something crawling around on the floor I’ll look at a bug.

        • Megatherium says:

          You better start preparing yourself for a big letdown then because Ronda is going dominate that fight and probably end it quickly. She is really in an athletic class of her own in women’s mma today. And much like Frank Mir or Toquinho, she has a pretty hard core attitude when she gets her hands on a limb. Something might brake if Meisha doesn’t tap quick.

      • Chromium says:

        “Zuffa cut Cyborg and spped her of the Women’s 145 lbs. SF title after she tested positive for anabolic steroids.”

        Do you have a link for Zuffa cutting her? I’m pretty sure she just got suspended and stripped of the title. Half the reason Zuffa is holding onto WMMA is so no one else can have the very best female fighters and they can defend their monopoly, and retaining Cyborg would be part of that. The other half is that the right fights can still draw money.

    • Megatherium says:

      Ronda Rousey is an Olympic bronze medalist in judo.

      Perhaps she can find the time, what with her busy training schedule and all, to come by and give you a demonstration champ!

      • RST says:


        If I get beat up by a broad I’ll deserve it.
        But we would’t be sparring Judo cupcake.

        Never the less, I stand by my statement.

        I never claimed to be a professional fighter, I’m only a neutral observer.

        But if claims to be a MMA fighter and she’s going to insult another MMA fighter then assuming that she’s implying that she can do it better.

        And so therefor I’ll expect to see her do what she is implying.

      • RST says:

        I’m looking at randy roosy’s fights on youtube right now and all she does everytime is lurch at her opponents with both hands out like frankenstein chasing a zagnut bar so that she can grab them, hip tackle them and bully in that armbar.

        I cant wait to see these sophisticated striking techniques on roosy that have given her the position to insult Condits striking.

        • Megatherium says:

          How much cycling and running away did you happen to observe in her four pro fights might I ask?

          Whats that? None?

          That’s what I thought.

        • Chromium says:

          Yes, she bullied the armbar against Julia Budd, former Muay Thai top contender, or the gigantic kickboxer Charmaine Tweet. Both of them have top notch stand-up pedigrees, and Budd managed to tag Rousey twice. Rousey had no need to stand with either of them, she just used her incredibly slick clinch takedowns to end up quickly in full mount and “bully” an armbar (read: transition faster than greased lightning, like she does in judo).

          Why stand and bang when you can tear the other girl’s arm off in under a minute? Jesus, you’re like a retarded Diaz fan only 10 times worse.

    • Megatherium says:

      Ronda Rousey is a phenom. She is easily the biggest talent to hit female mma and might be the one to put it over with regular fight fans. She has blown through the competition in literally seconds in her four pro mma bouts and is already lined up for a title shot.

      I would think that you would appreciate such a special performer, you know, being kind of ‘special’ yourself and all.

      • Chuck says:

        well, to be fair, there really is no one else for Tate to defend her title against. Kaufman/Davis winner I guess afterward? And Zoila Frausto/Gurgel is in Bellator, so the talent pool is spread very thing for women’s MMA.

        • Chromium says:

          Kaufmann had absolutely been in line for a title shot and Rousey leapfrogged her. Her fight against Carmouche was for a title shot. She also holds a win over Tate.

          Right now the next shot should go to the winner of Kaufmann/Davis. Meanwhile Nunes vs. Carmouche makes perfect sense. Bring in Vanessa Porto to fight Shayna Baszler, have the winner fight the winner of Nunes/Carmouche for the next fight after that. Sign mega-prospect Holly Holms. Try and re-sign Marloes Coenen. Sign Bethany Marshall. Use Julie Kedzie some more. Try and sign Sara McMann, Kaitlin Young, Rin Nakai, and Kelly Kobold too. Use Germaine de Randamie some more. Try and get Julia Budd to drop down in weight since W145 is essentially closed. Maybe make an offer to Ediane Gomes as well, if she can make 135.

          Also, why are you mentioning Zoila Gurgel? She’s W125, not W135. I’m not going to claim any female division is terribly deep, but there’s way more talent in it than it gets credit for. People get the impression it’s barren only because they don’t know who the talent actually is, because most of it is still on the indies.

          W125 is considerably deeper than W135 and would be a great addition to Strikeforce.

  9. EJ says:

    The only people who feel less excitement for Condit vs. GSP for the unified WW Title are the still sore Nick Diaz fans. Condit fought a brilliant fight, the only thing he did was back up my faith in him and with his ability to stick to a gameplan GSP’s days as the king of 170 imo are counting down. Condit unlike Diaz isn’t a guy whose about hype, he’s a guy about results i’ve been saying he had the tools to beat GSP since he was in the WEC.

    I also disagree with this idea that GSP vs. Diaz was a megafight it’s not it would sell because of GSP like all of his fights do. Condit vs. GSP will sell just as much and will actually be a better and more competitive fight because Condit isn’t a one trick pony.

    There is no controversy or mess in the WW division, things have actually worked out fine for the UFC. Diaz now has to actually earn a title shot if he wants it and if GSP is out for longer than Condit vs. Ellenberger 2 will be a great freaking fight.

    • RST says:

      “The only people who feel less excitement for Condit vs. GSP for the unified WW Title are the still sore Nick Diaz fans.”

      Thats what it looks like.

      Condit/GSP is a better fight than Diaz.


      Because the Diaz fight would be a one off.

      Diaz will never beat a wrestler.
      Probably not GSP and definitely not all the Fitches and Koshchecks or even Diego’s at 170.

      Condit may not have wrestling now (?), but he appears at least willing to grow.
      He’s got wrestlers at his team

      And he’s smart enough to think about what he’s doing in the ring.

      Diaz isn’t.

      Plus if this is the way Diaz acts and these are the kinds of fans that he attracts, then I can live without him.

      Let alone anywhere near a title.

  10. Megatherium says:

    Greg Jackson wouldn’t by chance have a background in American football would he?

    Hmm. I wonder.

  11. 45 Huddle says:

    I didn’t read the entire transcript, only the between rounds stuff.

    Nick Diaz needs better cornermen. It’s that simple. It’s the same thing that we saw with BJ Penn. Not being critical enough. It’s like they put their own fanboys in their corner and then wonder why they are shocked with the outcomes.

    Say what you will about Greg Jackson, but he is very accurate about how the round went and give his fighter sound advice.

    • RST says:

      “Not being critical enough.”

      Nick actually tells Nate “dont lie to me” at one point in that transcript, but Nate just continues to worship him.

      Nate isn’t even that great of a fighter, and an even lesser coach or cornerman, but thats Nicks decision to have him near even to his own detriment because he loves him.

      Nick isn’t much better of strategist himself.

      • RST says:

        Actually take that back.

        Nate may be a perfectly fine coach and cornerman.

        He’s just not a good cornerman for Nick Diaz.

  12. Alan Conceicao says:

    Has anyone been able to prove that airing undercards increases PPV buyrates? The argument for boxing never doing it was that it was ineffective, and unless you think that the UFC’s buyrates would be below 200K for a lot of these second rate shows, I’m not sure why you’d believe that they do anything now. If people are supposedly getting in large groups to watch these shows (which is what the UFC claims happens per their media research), they aren’t impulse, last second buys and never will be.

    Vegas has fight cards because casinos pay more money than actual fans are willing to shell out to see shows like this. Period. End of story. The fact that they finally stopped going to crappy prelim fights only shows that the audience is smartening up to what they’re being given.

    As for Condit – I’m impressed as hell that he beat Diaz given his style, but unless GSP comes back from this injury completely shot, I don’t see how he doesn’t beat Condit. Condit’s weakness, untested in this fight, is to the shot of good wrestlers. GSP has the most effective double in MMA today. Its possible that with the ACL repair that explosiveness that made the double possible goes with it, but we won’t know that until he gets in the ring. I’m certainly more interested in the fight now than I was 3 months ago, no doubt, but its as much GSP’s physical condition that intruiges me as Condit’s career best win.

    • 45 Huddle says:

      After the first few, I never thought prelims upped the PPV numbers much.

      But it does give a lot more exposure to the undercard guys and gets fans familiar with them. That to me is the most important part of them.

      The fights are going to happen anyways…. Mine as well get as many eyeballs on them as possible.

      • Jason Harris says:

        I agree with 45 here. The point isn’t to get some guy flipping on Spike to suddenly drop his $55, it’s so the next time Evan Dunham fights you actually saw him beat down Nick Lentz, or you saw this Wonderboy kid with his phenom KO and you’re excited to see him fight because you saw him before, not just because you heard he was good or a boxing-esque inflated record.

        • 45 Huddle says:

          And FX loves it too because if they draw 1.5 Million for the 2 hour program, they are getting advertising dollars. And then even if 500,000 people switch the channel to the PPV, they still have a great lead-in for the Saturday Night movie they are putting on next.

          It’s a win/win for all parties involved.

    • Mark says:

      They are hoping a really exciting prelim fight airs and makes people say “Wow, this is going to be a good show!” But they also risk having an awful fight that stinks up the joint that would make somebody less likely to buy.

      I don’t know if anybody ever studied this. But I do know when PPV carriers would run “pre-game shows” for boxing, MMA and pro wrestling a half hour before the PPV started, that they’d get last minute buys. But it’s different, more like if UFC aired their Countdown special in the same timeslot. And if I had to guess I’d say Countdowns do more last minute buys than prelims.

      I did buy the Liddell/Franklin show due to a prelim airing on Spike once. But that was just because I forgot it was coming on that night, thinking it was next week or something.

    • Chromium says:

      1) Prelim fights directly earn money through tv rights fees.

      2) Prelim fights popularize undercard fighters who sometimes end up being future stars. They also serve as good advertising for MMA and the UFC in general.

      3) WEC 48 got 175k buys, which is far higher than anyone expected and some of that is attributed to the pre-fight show on Spike which included TKZ vs. Leonard Garcia. So yes, they do add PPV buys, even if it’s not always a lot.

      Any one of those three reasons would be enough to air prelims. The three combined are far more than enough. And really, the prelims are often better than the main card fights even if they aren’t as relevant, and anyone who doesn’t like prelims at all I find hard to believe is a true MMA fan.

      • Alan Conceicao says:

        I have no issue with them doing prelim fights on TV. I understand the justification of why you do them. Whether or not anyone thinks they’re better fights than the PPV is irrelevant to the argument Zach put out here, which is that for some reason, the UFC needs to have people sitting in seats cheering during the prelims.

        TBH with you, I don’t care that much about the prelims. I’m not terribly interested in their PPVs and I’ll watch the prelims by DVRing them or whatever, but I find the quality of the fighter on those shows to be basically the equivalent of what was on HDNet 2-3 years ago, except with slightly better TV production surrounding it. If you are really excited to watch shitty guys like Bruce Leroy fight, kudos to you for still having that level of enthusiasm.

        • Jason Harris says:

          So since you don’t really have interest in UFC PPVs and you think the prelims are low quality, what exactly do you watch? Your hobby is just to come on here and talk trash about a sport you don’t watch?

        • Alan Conceicao says:

          I like the bigger PPVs and the better free TV cards they put on. You know, because I recognize the difference between scrubs and Rashad Evans.

        • Chromium says:

          I find the quality of the fighter on those shows to be basically the equivalent of what was on HDNet 2-3 years ago, except with slightly better TV production surrounding it. If you are really excited to watch shitty guys like Bruce Leroy fight, kudos to you for still having that level of enthusiasm.

          Forgetting the fact that Bruce Leeroy is a really fun fighter and just going straight for relevancy: in the last few months you’ve had Miguel Torres, Dustin Poirer (twice), Anthony Pettis, Ben Henderson, Clay Guida, Gabriel Gonzaga, Demian Maia, Donald Cerrone, Dennis Siver, Ryan Bader, Michael McDonald, Diego Nunes, Stun Gun, Mike Pierce, Mike Russow, Ross Pearson, and Takeya Mizugaki all fighting on UFC prelims. This is just since September. Not to mention that a majority of top fighters that have come up in the last three years started out in the prelims. Jon Jones started in the prelims.

          But yeah, totally, these are all King of the Cage-quality fighters, right? One former World Champion, one current #1 contender, three former #1 contenders, and several dudes who have been in title eliminators. In fact one prelim was a title eliminator and a barn-burner at that.

        • Alan Conceicao says:

          [quote]Forgetting the fact that Bruce Leeroy is a really fun fighter and just going straight for relevancy: in the last few months you’ve had Miguel Torres, Dustin Poirer (twice), Anthony Pettis, Ben Henderson, Clay Guida, Gabriel Gonzaga, Demian Maia, Donald Cerrone, Dennis Siver, Ryan Bader, Michael McDonald, Diego Nunes, Stun Gun, Mike Pierce, Mike Russow, Ross Pearson, and Takeya Mizugaki all fighting on UFC prelims. This is just since September. Not to mention that a majority of top fighters that have come up in the last three years started out in the prelims. Jon Jones started in the prelims.[/quote]

          Everyone starts in the prelims. I get that. The problem is that it really is “everyone”. Oh no, I don’t appreciate Chris Cope fights! A tragedy.

          The prelims that matter discussing are the ones since Fox took over, because now there’s more shows and more need to take fights like Maia/Santiago and move them into better positions than mere preliminary bout status. This year’s preliminary crop features total no names, dudes in the twilight of their career (like Gonzaga), failed prospects, and so on. We’ve already had 4 prelim shows and its not even the middle of February.

  13. Nottheface says:

    Pretty fascinating. It’s what the script for Warrior should have looked like.

  14. On a scale of 1-10, with 1 representing “total non-interest” and 10 as “interested,” I would say that Georges St. Pierre vs. Carlos Condit puts me at a mild 5 or so.

    At least with Nick Diaz, I could’ve looked forward too some genuinely interesting fight build-up and UFC Primetime shows. With Carlos Condit, I have the feeling that I’m going to be looking at boring, canned, responses: “I respect Georges St. Pierre; always respected him; fighting for the title is a dream come true.” Boring.

    And given the style of fighting Carlos displayed (and lack of Greg Jackson), I can guess that GSP is going to eat Condit alive.

    • edub says:

      “And given the style of fighting Carlos displayed (and lack of Greg Jackson), I can guess that GSP is going to eat Condit alive.”

      The problem with that logic (or more lack there of) is Diaz isn’t anywhere close in terms of style to GSP. So the thought that Condit will fight anything like his match with Diaz against GSP is incredible unintelligent.

    • RST says:

      “At least with Nick Diaz, I could’ve looked forward too some genuinely interesting fight build-up and UFC Primetime shows.”

      Thats funny that people keep saying that.

      I dont know if you remember, but the reason you didn’t get Diaz/GSP in the first place is because Diaz doesn’t bother to show up for any promotion.

      I guess we will miss out on Diaz filming himself with one hand and driving with the other while cursing at other people on the freeway.

      I’ll miss that too.

    • Mark says:

      The drama of the fight is going to be all about GSP’s bum knees. Wrestlers, especially a wrestler like GSP who uses speed so much to get the takedowns, could lose something, or even lose confidence he can do what he used to. He might have to revert back to his old stand up heavy fighting style. So he might not have the speed anymore that was the reason he was so great. Condit might have a chance if GSP loses some speed or can’t take him down like he used to.

      With the Diaz fight, while it’s obvious to say he’d heavily wrestle since Diaz has problems with wrestlers, Jackson also might not have wanted to risk GSP going into Diaz’s guard since he’s good off of his back. He could have given him the same strategy Condit used. Or GSP would do what he did against Koscheck by breaking his will with jabs to the eye until it’s shut. But there’s the same drama of what will GSP look like when he comes back, too. And there’s a good chance that could happen since ACL’s are so crucial and tons of athletes were never the same coming back.

      But the same GSP from his last fight would beat both of them no question.

  15. spacedog says:

    Interesting that Greg Jackson has had his fighters accused of greasing three different ways now. With Vaseline, with water, and Rashad via baby oil in the bath.

    Obviously, it is just hearsay but frankly it fits right into GJ and his “do anything to win, always back a winner at all costs” philosophy.

    • 45 Huddle says:

      It’s not illegal to pour water over your fighters head between rounds. It’s the AC’s responsibility to determine if the fighter is too wet and use a towel to dry them off. And once water comes off, there is no slipping.

      It’s a non issue on the Condit camps part.

      • Mark says:

        Usually the referee will request a guy get toweled off before he starts the round. I recall McCarthy barking “GET HIM A TOWEL!” at a few cornermen.

  16. Stel says:

    The best way to deal with the empty seats is to move the the people in the bleachers down to the front where they serve as space savers for the actual front row ticket holders.
    This should in the long run result in greater ticket sales, as the casual fan would be more likely to buy a ticket if they could possibly watch a portion of the show in the first rows.
    No need for cgi trickery.

    As for Diaz Condit disgrace, I believe Don the dragon Wilson said it the best in this comment from uufc 1
    “If Oleg were to fight like Ruas is fighting, what would we be watching? two guys backing up.” “You can’t win a fight backing up”

    • cutch says:

      It’s about the prelims not the actual show, you can’t get the people to move for the prelims and tell them to move when the main matches start.

  17. 45 Huddle says:

    Let’s rate the fighters in terms of skill. Georges St. Pierre is a 10. Carlos Condit is a 9. Nick Diaz is a 8.

    So people are less interested in GSP fighting a better skilled opponent?

    Go back to the WWE where they can set up story lines and get the guy with the biggest “push” a WM Title Shot.

    This is a real sport. Carlos Condit had a real sports like gameplan. He is the #1 contender both in the eyes of the fans and in the lineal rankings (do the history and it’s actually true). As a sports and MMA fan, Condit vs. GSP is an awesome upcoming fight. Couldn’t be happier.

    The Nick Diaz fanbase is certainly butt hurt over their favorite fighter losing. They remind me of the BJ Penn fanbase. In those fans eyes, their fighters have never lost a fight. And if you ask Nick Diaz…. a man with EIGHT career losses…. How many times he thinks he lost, it’s probably 1 time. No man can have that bad of luck. He just doesn’t bring the winning like his brain thinks.

    • Jason Harris says:

      This entire “controversy” reminds me of the same thing with the Penn-Edgar fights. Penn fans in denial were using any excuse or complaint they could to say that Edgar didn’t win and forced a rematch, where Penn lost even worse. Now that the fans in denial have come to terms with it, nobody considers either of those wins the least bit controversial.

      Same deal here. After the Diaz fans in denial realize that their guy was beaten at his own game by a smarter, faster, longer lasting fighter, they’ll stfu about it. But for now we have to listen to a bunch of griping about this “controversial ending” when really the only fight that was controversial was Koscheck-Pierce.

  18. Mark says:

    Disclaimer: I am not talking about the Diaz/Condit fight, I am talking about MMA in general.

    Like I have said 10 trillion times on here: as long as UFC is a pay-per-view business, you cannot make the comparison to other sports besides boxing. The others are on free network television or basic cable where it matters a lot less if a “boring” strategy is used to win. If people pay for fights they think are “boring”, then they might feel ripped off and never buy another one. Whereas if they see a boring NFL game then they don’t feel ripped off because they didn’t pay for it and will give it another chance next week.

    So if UFC goes 100% to Fox/FX/Fuel and never works another PPV again, then we can start talking about them like “just another sport”. But until then, they are different to where they must have fans leaving the show happy if they want them to buy the next one.

    Another thing is, MMA fans are lying to themselves or have their head in the sand like an Ostrich if they don’t think trash talk is one of MMA’s lifebloods. This whole “I don’t want to see guys do phony conflict storylines and trash talk” thing is mindboggling to me. I’m not saying you have to love it, but if you think it’s bad for MMA you’re nuts. Look at nearly any UFC buyrate over 500,000 buys and chances are there was some kind of “phony conflict” that drew casual fans in. Hardcore fans are perfectly happy just judging the show on its fight quality, but the casual fans love the idea of two guys who hate each other fighting. Even if it’s clearly fake they don’t care, it makes the fight more exciting for them. And casual fans are what make the difference between a show doing 300,000 buys and 600,000+. And some horrible fights have sold when people overlooked the fight quality because they thought the conflict was real.

    Take out “phony conflict” and you erase the buyrates of: Shamrock/Ortiz 1 & 2, Liddell/Ortiz 1 & 2, Evans/Jackson, Silva/Sonnen, Lesnar/Mir 2, GSP/Koscheck 2, GSP/Serra 2, just to name some. So what does UFC have to hang their hat on with those shows removed?

    • Jason Harris says:

      “If people pay for fights they think are “boring”, then they might feel ripped off and never buy another one.”

      It’s really hurt Mayweather’s drawing power.

      • Mark says:

        Ah, but Floyd Mayweather draws by doing a gimmick, which revolves around the second point of my post.He makes sure you know he’s a pompous ass and that you tune in to see him take the beating he never does. If Floyd was Machida or someone without the personality to make up for not being the “stand in the middle and trade bombs” fighter, that would be another story.

        • Mark says:

          PS, to put it in MMA terms:

          Rashad and Rampage will definitely have another huge buyrate if they were to have a rematch. It won’t matter that everybody hated their first fight, because the casuals were so sure since they “hated each other” they were going to stand and trade bombs, but Evans turned it into something completely different. But they would both talk up more conflict to where the public wants to see Evans get his comeuppance from Quinton, even though they now know there’s a chance it will go a lot like the first fight. Same for Mayweather fights: even if not everybody appreciates Mayweather’s style, he’s talked them into them wanting to see him get defeated, so they’ll buy the show time and time again in case it finally happens.

  19. 45 Huddle says:

    1.4 Million for the UFC 143 prelim show. That is up by about 100,000 from the last UFC on FX show. The ratings are slowly going back up to SpikeTV numbers.

  20. 45 Huddle says:

    Carlos Condit vs. Nick Diaz 2 is going to happen. So is the rumor. What a bunch of BS. The UFC is going down the WWE route, where they are trying to basically pick winners. If your boy doesn’t win the first time, do it over again.

    The funny thing is that the 2nd fight will just look worse. Just like Penn/Edgar 2.

    3rd FOX show is going head to head with the Olympics in early August.

    If they do a rematch, they should do it on the 2nd or 3rd FOX shows…. Don’t make the fans pay for it again….

    • Megatherium says:

      I personally have no interest in seeing those two fight again.

      Now 27x jui jitsu world champion ‘Renato Laranja’ is a whole other story, that has got to be the funniest character ever to be around the mma scene. The funniest bit that ‘Renato’ ever did was when he solemnly presented his gi to Junie Browning.

      It’s to bad that the Browning bit was left out of the compilation but given Junies’ recent troubles I guess it’s understandable.

  21. Dave says:

    When did 45 Huddle become the rational one and RST took his place as the resident troll [making much less sense]?

  22. edub says:

    Condit and Kawa accepted the fight. Hopefully, they’re getting at least 2-3 mill for it.

    I’m a huge Nick Diaz fan, and personally I see this as disgraceful. Nick didn’t win. It was not the type of fight that could go “either way”. The right guy won, and now we’ll have to watch the same thing happen again.

    • Jason Harris says:

      Penn fans in denial forced Penn-Edgar 2 when the outcome of the first fight wasn’t questionable, now Diaz fans in denial (hrmm…how many of those people are the same as the Penn fans from before?) are forcing Diaz to get beat up for a second time too.

      I don’t see what anyone who saw that fight thinks will be different the next time. Diaz came out and brought the same game that won his last ton of fights, got outstruck, outmoved and outworked.


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