Masked Rantings- The Failures of MMA part 1 a.k.a. Why lightweights should always be undercard.
I have been following MMA ever since UFC 1, I have stacks of old UFC tapes from way back when in the good old days before weight classes and the multitude of other things that in my mind have watered down the sport and I’m going to write about a few of the things that I see as failures of the current MMA world and UFC in particular since they are the premier promoter in the world of Mixed Martial arts.
Lightweights, flyweights, bantamweights….how did they end up getting a push… I know this is an unpopular thing to say, especially amongst so-called MMA purists… but this shit just bores me to tears. Seriously, I used to watch 125-145lbs guys fight all the time, in Junior High… and it was as exciting to watch then as it is now. It’s interesting for a few seconds, but the crowd watching is (like the fighters) smaller and at the end of the year everyone is talking about the two linebackers who fought in the cafeteria instead.
Sorry, but just look at the buyrates… who puts asses in the seats? Heavyweights and Light heavyweights, that’s who! Why? Well it is funny because this is something the wrestling business learned decades ago. Much like in MMA, wrestling purists and dirt sheet nerds all whine and complain about how some guy or another who is smaller than the rest and doesn’t have the “look” but has the “talent and skill” should be World Champion and how they don’t get enough airtime. The truth is that while the purists love to see these guys, the general public doesn’t care. People want to watch Hulk Hogan and Ultimate Warrior clash, they want Fraizer vs. Ali, Tyson vs. Holyfield… People want to see MONSTERS battle, not two guys who look like they left the local hipster bar and accidentally wandered into a cage (I’ll bitch more on that in a second). The average person is not going to be motivated to shell out $65 to watch a couple scrawny guys roll around, they want to watch Brock Lesnar, Shane Carwin, Cain Velasquez etc… they want 200+ lbs animals battling it out for dominance in that cage… not accountants. Look at what UFC chose to lead the first foray onto network TV, a smart move with Velasquez vs Dos Santos… because people will watch. New Years Eve? Lesnar vs Overeem. Why? Because they know that people will delay or build their holiday plays around watching monsters battle. I, for one, long for the days of no weight classes.
Another problem I have with the under 170 crowd lately is… the look. Seriously, the beards, the hair, the tats… a lot of these guys are a PBR and a three wolf moon shirt away from total hipsterdom. This is fine if you are into that sort of thing, but doesn’t exactly scream “fighter”.
Do not get me wrong, I’m taking nothing away from the talent of the small guys, not at all. Many of these guys are, in fact, very talented great fighters, but they have their place… the undercard. No main event should have a man under 170lbs in that cage. I know people will disagree, but you have to look at the business side of the sport. It won’t grow on the backs of guys too small to carry it.
That’s all for part 1, I started with this because it is the smallest (no pun intended) with the current problems in MMA and how MMA can grow. My next upcoming rants will include The Ultimate Fighter, the need for entertaining performers, too many titles and a few more bits to get your hackles up.
The Masked Writer