First things first, before I get into UFC on FOX 2; I’d like to take a minute to address the piece I wrote two weeks ago about Anthony Johnson.
A real man can admit when he’s wrong and let me be the first to say, I WAS DEAD WRONG! I still believe in Anthony Johnson’s potential as an elite fighter, but obviously his work ethic and commitment to the sport are questionable at best. Believe me, the trolls on the message boards have been letting me hear about it and I fully accept the criticism. Let me say this though, at least I had the cojones to make such an outlandish claim in a public forum.
The backlash from the Monday morning quarterbacks does not bother me at all though. I liken it to pro wrestling; they say the worst thing to happen to a pro wrestler is to get no reaction at all. They’d rather get booed out of the arena than hear crickets. At least I’m getting a reaction….
Now to the task at hand; UFC on FOX 2. This will be short and sweet and will not contain any bold predictions. But the fact of the matter is, the UFC’s 2nd venture into network television needs to go much better than its 1st.
To say that UFC on FOX 1 was a complete failure would definitely be an exaggeration.
Tough decisions were made as far as how many fights would air, which fight would air, the production, etc. No matter what Dana White and the UFC say, that event definitely did not create the time of mainstream buzz that they had hoped for. They decided to go with the heavyweight title fight, which had potential, but fans and newcomers to the MMA world were ultimately left with 64 seconds of fighting and 59 minutes of talking… not a recipe for success. They didn’t necessarily lose any fans due to that broadcast, but I’m not sure they gained any either.
UFC on FOX 2 is a different beast altogether though. They’re giving us 3 different fights, all with title implications. There is a lot more personality being injected here with polarizing guys like Chael Sonnen, Michael Bisping, & Rashad Evans. Even if 1 of the 3 fights is a snoozer, there are still 2 other fights to help erase people’s memories. The crowd in Chicago should by hype as always and if the fighters give them something to cheer for, it could make for exciting programming. I’m tired of defending the UFC to dinosaurs who don’t understand the sport. A competitive, exciting fight card on FOX would go along way in educating people as to what this thing is all about and what it’s true potential is.
I’m sure some (definitely not all) of the 1st time viewers from November will tune back in and give it another shot. But if we get another lackluster card, I’m not sure they’re going to tune in for a 3rd time. This is one of the most important cards in the history of the UFC and I think they bet on the right horses.
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Nick Frank is an avid sports fan active in fantasy leagues of all major sports and has been following mixed martial arts closely since the inception of UFC 1 in 1993. Nick hosts RotoRadio's "Cauliflower For The Ears" every Monday night at 9:30 ET on blogtalkradio alongside Brian "The Butcher" Brown and Mike "Delicious" Dolan. You may contact Nick @ firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @nfrankrotoex