Is UFC 221 the worst UFC PPV we have ever seen? Well if it’s not, it’s certainly in the conversation. Let’s have a little look at the main card in a bit more detail.
Yoel Romero v Luke Rockhold, despite the needless interim title tag, is a decent enough main event which in fairness is a short notice fight due to Robert Whittaker falling off the card. However, it’s more of a co-main event on a PPV or the main event on a Fox show.
Mark Hunt vs Curtis Blaydes, I think is worthy of being on a PPV, albeit not as a co-main event.
Tai Tuivasa v Cyril Asker, two heavyweights outside the top 10, should be nowhere near a PPV, the same applies to Jake Matthews and Li Jingliang, again both ranked outside of the top 15 in the welterweight division.
At least the Tyson Pedro v Saparbek Safarov features a ranked fighter, Pedro at number 13 in the light heavyweight ranks. But both are coming off defeats, and again the fight is not PPV worthy.
Remember fans are being asked to pay $65 for this, is this really value for money? I would say absolutely not. I think this will draw astronomical low numbers, in my opinion its an unbelievable poor card. The UFC can’t realistically expect fans to pay for this, certainly not in large numbers.
It just highlights the current problems the UFC has, it can’t expect the PPV numbers to increase with cards like this. It’s not being disrespectful to any fighter on the card, it’s just that three of the five fights should not be on a PPV.
As I have said before there is an over saturation of the product, far too many shows, which dilutes the quality of the product the UFC is offering, its talent is being spread far too thin. The UFC is a promotion and I don’t think it promotes its fighters well enough. In recent times some of its champions seem to be at war with the company, buried even, instead of the company truly getting behind its talent. The likes of Conor McGregor know how to play the game and know how to promote themselves, some fighters could do more, but they need a helping hand from the UFC in doing so.
The UFC has needed a change in direction for quite some time, cash and burn short-sighted matchmaking isn’t working, it needs to be more progressive with one eye on the future, 2018 could be a pivotal year for the UFC.
Yoel Romero vs. Luke Rockhold
Mark Hunt vs. Curtis Blaydes
Tai Tuivasa vs. Cyril Asker
Jake Matthews vs. Li Jingliang
Tyson Pedro vs. Saparbek Safarov