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 411mania » MMA » Columns

The Round Horn 4.10.14: Is UFC Oversaturating the Market into Destrucity?
Posted by Koeddy Laemmle on 04.10.2014

Competition was extremely close this week with all our panelists but the scores have been finalized and it is now ELIMINATION time for our panelist with the lowest score:

Joseph Santos: 18
Paul Lapointe: 18
Robert Practor: 16
Chris Rini: 14

This marks the end of the road of "Fightland"'s Chris Rini. I highly recommend checking out some of his amazing MMA wood engraving art work including a beautiful wood engraving of Dan Henderson's legendary knockout of Michael Bisping at UFC 100. Once again if you personally would like to compete on a future edition of The Round Horn shoot me an e-mail at koeddyblaemmle@gmail.com and we will try and get you signed up as a contestant on a future edition.

You can participate and cast your votes over at The Round Horn Subreddit. Voting is open until Tuesday. The person with the lowest accumulative points for all of their answers will be eliminated and the results will be announced in next week's columns. Let's get back into the mix of things:

This Friday two of the UFC's most popular Heavyweight fighters of all time meet one-on-one with both needing a win. Who will you be rooting on when Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira takes on Roy Nelson?

Joseph Santos: As a fan, I'm hoping Noguiera can get the submission and leave the fight without too much inevitable harm from Nelson.

As an analyst, I have to go with consistency and Noguiera's motor skills have steadily lost reliability since coming to the UFC. Werdum was unable to submit Nelson with a deep armbar set up and Werdum is not lacking in motor ability like Noguiera. Even as a great technician on the ground, Noguiera's execution and approach are no longer good enough to get quick wins, and may not be good enough for late wins either. Being Noguiera is a scary thing right now. Without counting Noguiera out completely, Nelson will have more advantages in this fight provided he has no serious injuries. As a heavyweight, Noguiera will certainly have a punchers chance. I wish him the best.

Robert Practor: While Roy Nelson says and does some cooky things here and there, he is still a guilty pleasure of mine. I respect Noguiera but I've never particularly been a fan of his. He has put himself through so much punishment throughout his long career and just like Dan Henderson and Shogun Rua, I'd much rather he retire than continue fighting, going through surgery, then fighting again. Nelson has showed he has a definitive ceiling but I don't see Big Nog being above that level, and I see Nelson landing a big overhand right for the knockout.

Paul Lapointe: I honestly cannot say I am rooting for one over the other. That may sound like a cop out but its true. I can say who I think will win which is "Big Country" sometime in the 3rd round. Check out more on this at 411mania's Bellator/Fight Night Round Table NOW!!! Ok now with the plug out of the way I will say this fight is a turning point for both these gladiators. For one Roy is slipping into Dan Henderson territory with his only weapon being an overhand mallet of unconciousness and Big Nog has done all that he can to stave of retirement. These two men have given us some true wars and going forward the UFC's HW ranks will be a fascinating playground to watch grow. And lastly with a loss is this truly it for Big Nog?

EXCLUSIVE FOOTAGE from the future!!!
UFC Fight Night 457: Shogun vs Henderson 4- March 24th 2015

Do you believe the increased amount of UFC cards over the past few years has an more of an overall POSITIVE effect (by creating more memorable moments and keeping hardcore fans busy on a constant basis) or a NEGATIVE effect (by over-saturating the market and alienating casual fans feeling like they can't keep up)?

Robert Practor: Definitely a negative. The UFC has been damaged by the ridiculous amount of fight cards being presented. Take a look at the UFC's SCHEDULE and you will see that there are NINE events in the next 60 days. I understand the company's thinking as they are branching out into new countries and markets with most of these Fight Night events, but the sheer amount of events is flooding the market and making UFC events too commonplace and less special than they used to feel.

Paul Lapointe: Positive: By the narrowest of margins. As mentioned even in the opening statement above it stands to reason that more events have the potential to create more crazy moments and have us rabid MMA nuts appetites quenched. On the flipside of this with more events it could just lead to more lackluster performances and point fighters being introduced to us and the world at large. But that is looking at this statement as an open ended and ultimately selfish need for what WE as fans want as opposed to the sport itself and the fighters worldwide.

"World Fucking Domination" the new mantra of the Fertittas and Dana White some few months ago. And given how there current schedule of events and bloated roster is at the moment the brass sure is putting their hands in every damn jar in the kitchen. So again, good or bad thing? Ultimately its much more positive on the whole. By bringing the product around the globe on a more constant basis it raises awareness of our growing sport by leaps and bounds. By introducing MMA in countries that do not have a high ratio of exposure to the sport or a very isolated troop of athletes in the sector it allows for their passions to maybe someday lead them to the big show. The UFC is not the only game in town as well with them creeping into other territories it puts more emphasis on athletes in the region to step up along with promoters/organizations and allows for futures to be had by fighters who practiced for fun or challenge to have a potential goal in mind. To UFC's credit as well though they have helped try to nurture this aspect of the sport as well with international seasons of TUF in Brazil, China and the Nations and Smashes seasons being produced so far.

Ultimately though its up to each individual fan to make this decision in the end. Why would that truly ever be the case? Well the UFC is a BUSINESS as well as the head of a growing SPORT so if they can make money by expanding then who can truly blame them. If you do not like whats offered then don't watch and in time the UFC will again change there business strategy in the meantime just enjoy what you can or look elsewhere. I hear Bellator, WSOF, OneFC and CWFC are still around and they are expanding as well. Man its a good time to me an MMA fan.

Joseph Santos: Definitely positive.

Over-saturation is relative and comes with the easy solution to turn off the TV.

Exposure is everything in professional sports. The average fighter today is more competitive and educated than he was in the past, making the sport more entertaining today than it's ever been. It would be a shame if today's athletes didn't get this kind of exposure. It's not only up to the UFC to recruit star athletes, it's our job as fans to spot them and we have a better chance to do that with more fights to watch. The increased amount of events is also good for the evolution of the sport. It's now easier for new and veteran fighters to look at growing trends in the sport to try to keep up, get ahead or stay ahead of the game which means more competitive matches - when guys feel like they know the game, they fight more confidently.

This sport is also not as big as it can get. This much exposure of this level of athlete is necessary for the growth of the sport.

If a positive outcome due to increased exposure of this sport means a greater fan base, better athletes, and a chance to establish itself as a respectable sport then the more frequent cards are definitely positive.

BUY OR SELL:The fact that the buyrate for UFC 171 headlined by Johny Hendricks and Robbie Lawler is in the same ball park as UFC 170: Rousey vs McMann disproves the belief that Ronda Rousey is currently the biggest draw on the UFC roster.

Joseph Santos: SELL: It's too soon to know. Rousey and Hendricks have each headlined two pay per views. Two occurrences does not establish a pattern. Both athletes are due back in the fall. Let's see what kind of numbers they generate then before we attempt to answer this question definitively.

Paul Lapointe: BUY: I never really bought that Ronda was the biggest draw in the first place. The matchups are the true money makers now that the big guns have moved on like A. Silva and GSP, well at least for the time being anyhow. Sure, Ronda is new and exciting in a time the UFC is in a flux of self discovery so where do all the benjamins come from? More events, better matchmaking and the creating of new buzzworthy attractions is what brings the people to the dinner table not social media awareness...though it does help. Really though, the Rowdy one is the queen of a newborn division and a weak one at that as the top three prospect opponents have a broken arm, lost a muay thai fight or are retired. And when it comes to biggest draws? Cain Velasquez brings in the cash I think more so in the ling run.

Robert Practor: SELL: Ronda Rousey is clearly the biggest star as far as publicity and media coverage goes. As far as the PPV numbers goes, just because Johny Hendricks was able to draw "in the ball park" of Rousey's latest PPV, that doesn't mean it completely disproves the idea of Rousey being the biggest draw. Who knows, Hendricks could end up catching up to or surpassing Ronda Rousey and Jon Jones, but if I had to pick one person to name as the biggest draw without GSP or Anderson Silva, I'd have to go with Rousey.

BUY OR SELL:Chris Weidman's injury and postponing of his scheduled title fight against Lyoto Machida will force Vitor Belfort to win one more fight before he gets his long awaited title shot.

Paul Lapointe: SELL: Nah. I do not think for what its worth the UFC wants to build another contender in the MW division that is as sellable as Vitor is right now. Granted the MW division is as stacked as it has been over the years right now Vitor has been a walking highlight reel and nothing is as easy to sell to a viewer then ultra violence TRT be damned. Plus with the extra time on the bench and the so called 90 day cleansing period being reported as the main reason Vitor was sidestepped for the title to begin with in mind "The Phenom" will have more time to show us who he really is. By the time his turn comes up he will 100 clean, focused, humbled and with an full camp and hopefully no injuries. If that does become the case we will see for ourselves whether or not Vitor's recent rampage of death was from a career re-dedication or a doctors prescription. Time will tell.

Robert Practor: SELL: Vitor Belfort needs time to properly wean off of the Testosterone Replacement Therapy (although how Chael Sonnen didn't need the same three or so months they say it requires is still fishy to me) so he will work on that for a few months then begin a camp for a title fight against the winner of Weidman-Machida. Now, some are skeptical that Chris Weidman will even be able to make it back for the proposed July title fight, and if it were to get pushed back again to September or later, then I could see Belfort taking another fight, maybe another Light Heavyweight bout. But if Weidman-Machida goes down in July as hoped, I don't see Belfort needing to win one more fight before getting the next title shot.

Joseph Santos: SELL: Until Belfort clears his name by proving he did not fail the random drug test done by the Nevada State Athletic Committee, there is no point in discussing his place in the division. We were told by the Pennsylvania Athletic Committee that Belfort will be required to show the random test results the next time he applies for a license to compete anywhere in the US, as part of the more thorough testing that's required of athletes who are Belfort's age. Until the government reveals the test results to the public, this question won't be safely answered. Upon returning, if Belfort stays out of the US to compete then his legitimacy will become even more questionable.

My guess is that it's not in the UFC's interest to have a champion who could be stripped of the title for a failed drug test later down the road. I don't think the UFC wants to put the legitimacy of the organization and the sport at risk for one star athlete. There's no reward in doing so.

Before anybody flames me for using the word "destrucity" in the title, I am well aware it isn't actually a word and was put there in homage to the sudden passing of one of my childhood heroes, the Ultimate Warrior. Although he may not have ever had any real connection to mixed martial arts, the intensity that man brought to the ring and the larger than life persona he possessed was something that captivated many children such as myself in a passion that would eventually evolve into combat sports as a whole. It's almost comforting in a bleak manner that he was able to say good bye to all his fans with his WWE Hall of Fame induction this past week. My condolences go out to his family who were luckily able to spend most of his final days with him.


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