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UFC 170: Empty seats, short PPV, and onto the road of Cyborg/Ronda?

By Zach Arnold | February 22, 2014

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Herb Dean is taking a beating on social media tonight.

No Ariel Helwani on Fox (again). Now UFC is openly talking about Cris Cyborg with Tito Ortiz no longer managing her. “He really did do some severe damage to her career.” Dana White issued a “no comment” regarding Bellator’s offer to Gilbert Melendez. They didn’t name Bellator.

Event: UFC 170 on Saturday, February 22nd at Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada
TV: Fox Sports 1/PPV

Event: UFC Fight Night 36 on Saturday, February 15th at Arena Jaragua in Santa Catarina, Brazil
TV: Fox Sports 1

Topics: Media, MMA, UFC, Zach Arnold | 40 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

40 Responses to “UFC 170: Empty seats, short PPV, and onto the road of Cyborg/Ronda?”

  1. 45 Huddle says:

    Once again, having too many cards is hurting the UFC. Pyle/Waldburger & Thompson/Whittaker are not PPV worthy fights. Not even close. If they combined the two cards and gotten rid of all of the lesser talent, the PPV would have looked like this:

    Ronda Rousey vs. Sara McMann
    Rashad Evans vs. Daniel Cormier
    Lyoto Machida vs. Gegard Mousasi
    Rory MacDonald vs. Damian Maia
    Ronaldo Souza vs. Francis Carmont

    Now that is much more in the way of a PPV worthy card.

    You can feel the collective energy coming out of the fanbase this year. Not good.

  2. klown says:

    Interesting development: Sherdog reports the UFC is moving away from “Knockout out of the Night” and “Submission of the Night” bonuses, and switching instead to “Performance of the Night”. The “Fight of the Night” bonus will remain.

    Is this a sign that the UFC is hearing the criticism around the “culture of brain damage”? Or is it just a cosmetic change – and if so, why? And how will the performance bonus be awarded?

    • 45 Huddle says:

      I get the feeling that this has nothing to do with concussions and everything to do with the last card having so many decisions.

  3. Diaz's cashed bowl says:

    I bet Joe says “crotch” (in place of groin for men) again during the girl fight.
    Funny… for the last 20 years of ufc its been referred to as groin or groin area, but now that girls are fighting its sexy, they have crotches. “She needs to get her leg in the crotch for leverage”

    And that “knock out of the night” sure sounds like that knock out game the thugs play. And “submission” is not a nice word, what with the ladies around now. Performance of the night just makes it sound like you did a good professional job.

  4. 45 Huddle says:

    Oh that PPV just got even better. Rashad Evans is injured. So if they can’t find a good replacement, the PPV is going to look like this:

    Ronda Rousey vs. Sara McMann
    Rory MacDonald vs. Damian Maia
    Mike Pyle vs. TJ Waldburger
    Stephan Thompson vs. Robert Whittaker
    Alexis Davis vs. Jessica Eye

    The UFC, with the exception of a rare stacked card a few times a year, he completely turned into boxing. So sad….

    • David m says:

      That ppv card (especially sans Evans v Cormier) looks like something that would be on Fuel, not something that anyone would pay $60 to see. Garbage.

  5. Nepal says:

    This PPV has exactly one fight I’m really interested in. Rory vs. Maia.

    I’ll definitely watch the Thompson fight because he has cool kicks and I also enjoy watching Pyle even tho he loses a lot.

    Luckily my cable service includes all the PPV’s. Otherwise this is the kind of card that would direct me to an illegal site.

    It’s stupefying that Dana could rail against internet thieves when he suggests people should pay for a card like this. I realize it wasn’t his fault the biggest fight on the card was cancelled but if you don’t factor that in ahead of time, it’s your fault.

  6. Alan Conceicao says:

    The biggest difference between a card like UFC 170 and a show in the past like UFC 78 or 83 is that the top fight is a women’s bout. UFC “turned into boxing” with regards to match making? Nah, it almost always really was.

  7. 45 Huddle says:

    Dana White is a great war time general. He is an attack dog.

    The problem is that Zuffa is no longer at war. They have dominated the MMA space. And Dana White’s personality can’t handle that. He needs somebody to go after.

    He is now cannibalizing his own business with his actions. He is attacking fighters he has no business attacking. He is pissing off fans with these actions. It isn’t going down a good path, that is for sure.

    I really think he needs to be replaced at this point as the figure head of the company. He is doing damage to the UFC….

  8. Todd says:

    Patrick Cummins is he Legit? Can this be a cinderella story fight with Daniel Cormier.

  9. rst says:

    Machida couldn’t hurt him.
    I suppose in retrospect as cold and reliable as Gegards standup game is, his stalking footwork was never a good style matchup against the brazilian jumping bean. Gegard has all the natural talent in the world, but he still needs to invest in a wrestling for dummies book or CD. He got Machida down a couple of times, which is almost your only chance against Machida and where a wrestler would have been all over him like a cheap suit. But he didn’t capitalize, he let him up. And in the fourth round when you find yourself getting out-wrestled by machida, you have to say to yourself that something is missing here.

    Gegard will be fine, he’ll beat most guys but he’s not going to be able to seal the deal without mixing his martial arts a little more.
    Machida looked great as usual. Maybe a little look of frustration on his face around rd3 that he couldn’t get Gegard to spook,
    but physically as dynamic as ever.
    I’d almost like to see the perpetually animated and high kick throwing Machida vs. vitor the TRT hedgehog,
    but thats not a sport.

  10. Jim Allcorn says:

    Wow, I don’t know if I’m just in a really shitty mood or what, but I found tonight’s card to be about as dull as dishwater & felt rather cheated out of the time I invested in watching it. Anyone else left with a bad taste in their mouths from it?
    It certainly didn’t help matters that I went out on a limb & against my better judgement & was actually picking Gegard via a big upset to anyone who would listen. Yet another example of my stupidity when it came to over valuing the transplanted Iranian Dutchman’s accomplishments in DREAM & STRIKEFORCE.
    Honestly though, I really thought that his particular skill set would wreck havoc with Machida’s Karate & allow him tyom take him out late.
    Unfortunately, he wound up following Machida around the cage rather than cutting it off like I thought he would & that enabled the Brazilian to do what he does best & pick him apart over five, mostly dull rounds. Had I known that Mousasi was going to be THAT damned one note & predictable, I’d have asked around to see if he could just mail his performance in, for all the good it did him.
    Oh well, I suppose there are still some decent match ups to be made with him at both ’85 & 205. But any serious title aspirations he may have had before tonight would seem to have been rather greatly dimininshed by tonight’s pedestrian effort one would have to think.

    • 45 Huddle says:

      It wasn’t you. I have that same feeling all year watching the UFC. They expanded too quickly and we are left watching too much junk.

  11. david m says:

    I only had interest in the main event and it was what I expected. A technical, high-level match.

    RST your comments on Machida’s wrestling are entirely off-base. Other than Jon Jones nobody has outwrestled him. He got Rashad, Tito, and Sokodjou (sp) down with his foot trips, and has excellent jiu jitsu and sweeps. I thought Mousasi did surprisingly well on the ground, especially when he reversed him.

    The big problem for a guy like Mousasi is that there are no corners in the Octagon. It is just much harder to cut someone off. I think Machida would beat Mousasi in a ring as well, but it would have been a different fight I believe.

  12. klown says:

    Gilbert Melendez took up Dana White’s challenge and signed a deal with Bellator.

  13. Jim Allcorn says:

    I really hate to make so many excuses for him, but I believe that another thing that may have adversely affected Mousasi was a good old fashioned case of ring rust.
    Going back to his stint in Strikeforce & this past year in the UFC, I just don’t think he’s been nearly active enough. Not that his having had another bout or two over the course of the past 12 months or so would have necessarily guaranteed him a better outcome/performance on Saturday night, but it certainly couldn’t have hurt. Know what I mean?
    Gegard did, in fact, seem to have some difficulties “pulling the trigger” against Machida so… perhaps, had he’d been more active, he’d have done better.
    Just a thought.

  14. klown says:

    Another ugly brain damage-fest today with the Pyle-Waldburger late stoppage. To rub the point home, at the start of the fight, Joe Rogan noted that TJ Waldburger was coming off a “brutal knockout” in his last fight and added, “I like to see a guy take a bit more time before coming back, but only TJ knows where he’s at, and I’m sure that if he’s here today, he’s ready to fight.”

    I think one of the things that needs to happen in the sport is fights need to be stopped sooner. This will come at the expense of “giving fighters a chance”, in some rare cases. It seems like that option never gets contemplated or talked about very much.

    • Diaz's cashed bowl says:

      then Herb “a-hole” Dean pulls a Uriah early stoppage in the main event. Great job Dean!

    • edub says:

      I’d take that over what happened in the main event, honestly. If that makes me a sadist, that’s fine (I know you came no where close to demeaning that mind set), but I really can’t stand early stoppages.

  15. 45 Huddle says:

    Did not order the PPV, but just saw a gif of the main event stoppage. Wow, was that really really really bad. McMann wasn’t even hurt, was on her way back up, and he stops the fight.

    This has been a horrible year for the UFC so far.

    1) Too many watered down fights.

    2) Two PPV main events stopped way too early.

    3) 64.7% of all fights have ended in a decision. Yes, I calculated that.

    Can it get any worse?

    And it isn’t looking much better for March. The UFC is putting on FOUR cards. Three of them are really watered down Fight Night cards. Two of those are on Fight Pass which means most people won’t even get to see them.

    And then there is a solid PPV in there. So potentially one good card for the entire 1st quarter for the UFC. Yay expansion!!

  16. Diaz's cashed bowl says:

    Wonder boy and the grizzled vet Pyle were the only positives from 170. Though it was marred by Deans late stoppage.
    Speaking of which, Dean looked like a rookie tonight. He was out of position during Pyle v TJ fight. While TJs getting punched in the face Deans looking at his back.
    he Didn’t tell TJ to “fight back, or i’ll stop it” or look him in the face.
    Then Dean does the exact opposite and begins stopping the girl fight because one of them fell down.
    Sara was not rocked by any head strikes, she takes a few to the liver and drops to a knee. Dean immediately runs in and without “assessing the situation” or telling her to fight back stops the fight after 1 punch to the side of her head. Rhonda lands a couple more WHILE Dean is stopping it.
    Sara’s partially upright body position alone should tell even a moderately competent ref that the fighter is not OUT. And like uriah vs barao, she wasn’t in an indefensible position at the time of the stoppage.

  17. Diaz's cashed bowl says:

    When you’re White you’re wrong.
    checking the latest headlines…
    White in no rush to make Rousey-Cyborg
    Diaz wants title shot; White’s not giving it
    White on Rousey-McMann: It was a good stoppage.

    for ufc fans 2014 has their favorites either injured, retired, fired, jumping ship, or prevented from fighting in the ufc.
    I am really looking forward to bellator this year. They have a 66% finish ratio!

    • 45 Huddle says:

      Bellator is even worse then the UFC right now.

      The 66% finish rate is because of so many squashes being booked.

      And not letting guys like Alvarez leave was bad.

      And having rematches like Strauss/Curran is horrible.

      MMA is in a bad state….

      • Zheroen says:

        I thought a virtual monopoly of MMA by Zuffa under the UFC umbrella was going to lead the sport into the Promised Land, 45 Huddle? That’s the type of rhetoric you were laying on thick in the wake of the demise of the IFL/Elite XC/Strikeforce et al.

        • 45 Huddle says:

          It would if the fighters formed a union. Which would mean all of the best fighters in one location AND fighters getting a say in the process.

          A combination of the fighters having no backbone and too much expansion have done things in.

        • Alan Conceicao says:

          LOL, blaming the fighters as always. Because if the fighters “grew backbone” and either left or were forced to leave by management, then they’d be a bunch of pussies again. But what’s new? We’ve only been repeating this for years on end and will continue to so long as we feign interest.

        • 45 Huddle says:

          blaming fighters?

          The perfect situation for MMA has always been one organization with all of the top fighters and then a fighters union to create a checks and balances system. In that system, the UFC, Fighters, and Fans win. It is a system that has worked in many other sports.

          When we have the UFC & Pride, talent was so split up it stunk for the fans. Since then there has been only little non-contenders popping up delaying the inevitable. And many of those organizations going out of business has put fighters on the shelf for a long period of time as the business issues got worked out. Not good.

          Look…. Right now, you have a few fighters under contract that have name value, a good reputation, and do not need to fight. Guys like Georges St-Pierre, Rich Franklin, and a few others. These guys have very little to lose by pushing towards a UFC Fighters Union. It would make things much better, and yet they make no attempt at it.

          Am I blaming them? Not really. They are looking after themselves for the NOW instead of the future GSP or Franklin of the future. But it is hard to feel bad for the fighters when they act all tough and then don’t do anything to force the sports well being.


          With all of that said…. I am at a point that I am caring less and less about it. Same thing happened to me when I was watching Pro Wrestling. Around the year 2000, I was still going online checking the news websites, but when it was actually on TV, I just didn’t care much about it. It took about 6 months of this and finally I just stopped following things altogether.

          The same thing has already happened with the UFC. I have barely watched a fight without fast forwarding through it in 2014. And there are a lot of fans out there like me who are in the “who cares” stage of being a fan. I am still checking the websites like this one, but man the sport is so bad right now.

          I’m already trying to figure out what my next hobby is going to be. I was a Pro Wrestling fan for about 13 years of my life. I have been a MMA fan for about 17 years. Those two things sort of overlapped each other. Not sure what will replace that void.

          But it is certainly obvious that MMA is not really something I am interested in as much anymore.

        • Fubar says:

          45- Maybe you should try knitting buddy.

        • 45 Huddle says:

          I will add that to my list.

        • nottheface says:

          It’s unrealistic to expect the fighters to serve as a check to a monopoly. First they can’t form a union becasue they’re classified as independent contractors. The best they can do is form an association which doesn’t give them the right to strike or collectively bargain. So even if they did form an association they still wouldn’t be able to match a monopoly/monopsony promotions leverage.

          Second, a monopoly promotion has even more leverage to exert on fighters making it that much more unlikely for them to organize.

        • edub says:

          In the end, it has to be on the fighters to unionize. I really don’t see any other way of it happening. Although with GSP’s recent comments I don’t think he’s going to take the reigns.

      • diaz's cashed bowl says:

        But bellator is slowly getting better, and they don’t have a megalomaniac playing pretend fighter squashing fights fans want to see. UFC is going downhill FAST.

        So that Cormier v coffe man wasn’t a squash match? UFC signed someone to LOOSE to DC. +It was co main event while the bellator squashs are in the prelims.

        Not letting Alvarez leave is good for bellator! Ed is in it for the money, he’s the champ in bellator but would get lost in the LW ufc shuffle, like Gil.
        Now we may see him vs Gil.

        with Curran Its a rubber match, questionable but not horrible. And pitbull gets his shot next, its not like he lost his shot(which happens to everyone but Cruz in the ufc, the guy was on the shelf for 2 years most likely because the ufc desperately wanted a white or Hispanic fighter as champ).

  18. rst says:

    “…and onto the road of Cyborg/Ronda?”
    My first reaction is that thats not likely.
    Bringing real comp in to potentially stomp londa lousy in the londa lousy division?

    But then we remember that dana is only in the londa lousy division for a buck.
    Although the londa lousy division is great for front pages on the huffington post, if its not making PPV money dana isn’t above throwing anybody under a bus for some superfight profit.

  19. Omar says:

    Not the biggest Helwani fan, but he just had a kid a week ago. He’s taking paternity leave to spend time with his newborn. I don’t blame him.

  20. Bully4me says:

    Regarding this UFC 170 empty seats and low 1.5m gate.

    So, don’t know how to say this politely but the empty seat thing is absolute BS!!! I was there and (other than the typical lets arrive late after the main card starts because we are in Vegas)there certainly didn’t look like there was any empty seats to me. The place was packed! End of story. As for the gate being really low, well duh, the UFC put the tickets on sale right from the beginning for half price. We picked up very close floor seats which usually sell for around a 1000 bucks and got them for just under 500 with all the ticketmaster and venue fees included. How then can anyone expect it to be a huge gate when the tickets were on sale. The way I look at it is if they sold for the normal price the gate would have been over 3 mil and everybody would be saying “WOW” great. The funny thing is nobody even realized the UFC put the tickets on sale, so I don’t know what good it did as far as selling any more tickets, it just made the people who were going to buy them already very pleased. I talked to a number of people at 170 and it was the same thing over and over again, nobody even realized the tickets were going to be on sale for 50% off until they were buying them.. Bad sale promoting by the UFC if you ask me.


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