Thursday, May 7, 2009

Hype Is Not Enough

Give Dana White and the boys at the UFC credit. They're doing everything they can to make UFC 98 seem like an event that everyone who loves the sport should be amped to see. Unfortunately, I don't think that is the case.

Title fights featuring two undefeated competitors don't come around all that often, yet this one still doesn't hold my interest. How can the UFC expect fans to get behind Lyoto Machida as a great fighter when it was only through an injury to Rampage Jackson that he landed this title shot in the first place?

Outside of his fight with Thiago Silva, most Machida matches are technically sound, excitement-lacking events where he picks an opponent apart without taking any damage. From a fundamental standpoint, he's outstanding, but I don't pay $50 for a display of sound fundamentals. It's the same reason I can acknowledge Tim Duncan's greatness but wouldn't pay a dime to watch him up close.

Then you have the long overdue Matt Hughes vs. Matt Serra grudge match. I think there are three words that accurately sum up the feelings of many MMA fans on this one: We Don't Care. It would have been interesting if it happened following Season 6 of TUF like it was supposed to, but we're more than a year removed and neither has done anything of note to make me want to watch. Sure, Hughes is a legend and a Hall of Famer, but his days of dominance are done and Serra is around solely because he knocked GSP out a couple years back.

Normally, the undercard is stacked with fights that I actually want to see, sometimes more than the big name bouts. This time, not so much.

Outside of Sean Sherk vs. Frankie Edgar, I can't say there is much I'm looking forward to. Chael Sonnen against Dan Miller will be a good tilt, but not one I want to pay to see and watching Drew McFedries inside the Octagon only makes me angry, seeing as he's still employed by the UFC while Canucks Jason McDonald and David Loiseau received their pink slips.

There is also rumblings that the winner of the Evans-Machida tilt might end up as a coach on Season 10 of TUF opposite #1 Light Heavyweight contender Rampage Jackson. While the show is certainly a great catalyst for building interest in a fighter and upcoming fights, we've seen Rampage as a coach and while Evans could surprise a few people, Machida doesn't strike me as the guy you want on camera for an extended period of time.

It's been a long time since there was a UFC card that didn't capture my attention. Now there are two in a row, as UFC 99 in Germany does nothing for me either.

Basically, I'm counting down the days until UFC 100.

65 to go...

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