MMA Access: The UFC on FOX 3 and The Average Viewer
Last Updated on Thursday, 3 May 2012 12:24
Written by PunchDrunkGamer
Thursday, 3 May 2012 12:24
BEHIND THE SCENES MMA ARTICLES & INTERVIEWS
The UFC on FOX 3 and The Average Viewer
By Chris “sLapDatSuCKa” Jester
The last two outings of the UFC on the main FOX channel have been considered disappointing by the majority of UFC and MMA fans. Despite Junior Dos Santos’ roaring knockout over then heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez, or Rashad Evan’s clinical dissection of tough prospect Phil Davis, a rather larger mass of the MMA community has still yet to see a fight that has excited them.
The JDS-Velasquez fight aside (since it was the only fight broadcasted from that night’s card), the last UFC on FOX was three bouts that all went to decisions and garnered mixed reactions among the MMA fandom. However, the winners and losers of the three bouts realized much about themselves and their careers. Chris Weidman who came in on short notice is now likely considered even more of a contender in the UFC middleweight division despite gassing in the fight. Chael Sonnen is moving on to face Anderson Silva again, and Michael Bisping who nearly pulled off the victory (some believe he did) gained some new fans and is firmly etched into place as a top 10 middleweight. Evans went on to face Jon Jones at the recent UFC 145 and lost by decision. Phil Davis suffered his first career loss and it was a great learning experience.
Each of these fights, while good in their own right, has yet to catch the attention of the common television viewer and has given them no reason to keep their eyes entrenched on the television screen. This weekend should change this.
The four fight main card that will be broadcasted on FOX has numerous fighters that have a huge draw. Most of them are fighters from now classic match-ups in the UFC. In the main event, Nate Diaz and Jim Miller will do battle and this is a fight where both fighters like to leave it all in the Octagon. This fight guarantees action as each fighter likes to press forward with their crisp boxing, but neither has any problem taking it to the mat. The mat is likely where this fight will be decided as each is a great jiu-jitsu practitioner. However, Diaz’s reach could turn this into a boxing match and in either case whether standing up or on the mat, this match-up should deliver fireworks. Likely, score one for FOX when this match is on.
Josh Koscheck versus Johny Hendricks is quite an intriguing match-up. Each fighter has knockout power in their hands, and great wrestling to back it up. However, Koscheck is moving up in age and Hendricks is just now revving up the victories over big names in his career. The 12-1 Hendricks just came off a stirring knockout over Koscheck’s old teammate Jon Fitch, and is looking to move up to be a contender in the division. A win here would do just that. As far as the match-up goes, Koscheck has a bad habit of letting others push the pace in his fights, particularly when they’re standing up. While each fighter is looking to trade on their feet, Koscheck will likely look to take down the former NCAA All-American, which is easier said than done. However, look for the surprising knockout power of Hendricks, who has shocked numerous fighters such as Amir Sadaollah, Charlie Brenneman, TJ Waldburger, and Jon Fitch with just how much power he has in his hands. In the end, this fight could go either way based on excitement.
The fight between Rousimar Palhares and Alan Belcher is an interesting one. This fight will not likely be a war on the feet, and there may be some stalling on the cage here and there, but what makes this fight so exciting is that it could end in any time. Rousimar Palhares has the most deadly submission maneuver in the sport today. His patented heelhook comes quick and brutal. The kickboxing heavy Alan Belcher could play directly into Palhares’ game with his thunderous kicks and he gets taken right into kneebar or heelhook territory. If it goes that way, this will be a quick night for Belcher. Belcher has some submissions of his own however, as he has submitted Sean Salmon, Denis Kang, Patrick Cote, and Jason MacDonald in the Octagon. Look for this fight to have moments of excitement sprinkled throughout the whole bout, but be wary of the fight ending at any moment in this submission oriented match-up.
FOX couldn’t have gotten a better match-up to start their night. Joe Silva, UFC’s matchmaker extraordinaire, gift wrapped the perfect heavyweight fight for the average viewer. Pat Barry vs. Lavar Johnson is already a potential Fight of the Night contender. Very few people come in to excite the fans more than Pat Barry does and Lavar Johnson proved in his last fight that if you come to fight, he’ll happily oblige… with his fists. He knocked out Joey Beltran on the prelims of the last UFC on FOX in the very first round; a feat that no one had done. This fight is not likely to go the distance, and if it does, it should be an instant classic. FOX and the fans should both benefit from this fight of heavyweight brawlers.
FOX may have gotten the short end of the stick in their previous two outings with the UFC. But Saturday May 5, 2012 should not disappoint. There are some great match-ups that are combined with some thunderous implications. With Barry/Johnson there should be excitement from bell-to-bell, and with Diaz/Miller there should be excitement in all aspects of the game. FOX should have a huge draw after this one and no fan, whether casual or hardcore, should be disappointed in the outcome of this one!
Follow Christopher “sLapDatSuCKa” Jester on Twitter @sLapDatSuCka
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