Rashad, Rampage and Dana White’s plans for global domination are wearing me out
Two days out and my enthusiasm for UFC 114 is in second gear. I don’t blame the card, which actually looks pretty solid on paper (Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, Todd Duffee, Diego Sanchez, etc).
But the somewhat long-awaited, extremely over-hyped main event between Rashad Evans and Quinton “Rampage” Jackson doesn’t have quite the pop it would’ve if it had taken place following their Ultimate Fighter stint like it was supposed to. And all the “Rampage and Rashad hate each other” rivalry feels a bit too premeditated, manufactured, theatrical, like Hulk Hogan’s mutual hate-on for Randy “Macho Man” Savage. I know they’ve butted heads since back in their pre-UFC days but tell me some TV cameras and a few million viewers isn’t adding fuel to the fire. I guess this is what qualifies as “the biggest grudge match in UFC history.”
Still, that’s not what’s dampening my enthusiasm. Maybe I’m just burnt out on MMA. Too many cards. Too many mediocre-to-lousy cards. And with UFC prez Dana White indicating he’s looking toward the time when they can put on 100 events a year, I have to say enough is enough.
That’s two events per week. Even if only half of those 100 events are pay-per-view, who can afford to watch them? I’m not one to sit in a bar and sip half a pint on fight night – it’s me, some buddies, some drinks and food and good times and hopefully I’ll remember who beat whom the next day. That adds up.
But it’s not just the drain on my bank account and brain cells that worries me about White’s plans for expansion. It’s the watering down of cards which are often pretty diluted. Remember UFC 109? UFC 110? Thought not. At 100 shows, every one threatens to become a bad TUF Finale.
Of course, there’s a very good chance that a lot of those shows will never be shown in North America. They will be local events in places like China and India featuring local fighters and targeting a local audience. That’s fine. But I’m still wary of the UFC spreading itself too thin, along with my patience.