If it wasn’t for all the heavyweight fights, UFC 146 looks awesome. You have the UFC debut of Glover Teixeira, the frontrunner for “Submission of the Night” in Jacob Volkmann-Paul Sass, Evan Dunham-Edson Barboza and a slugfest like Duane Ludwig-Dan Hardy. Now that Alistair Overeem is out, I can’t think of a single reason why anyone would pay $60 to watch Junior dos Santos mollywhop Frank Mir or any of the other heavyweight bouts. Is there a compelling reason to buy 146? I feel I’m getting the meat and potatoes for free and paying full price for the salad. -- Stephen from Nova Scotia
Brian Knapp, features editor: Judging by the public reaction to the UFC 146 lineup, your feelings regarding the main card fall in line with those of the majority. The UFC took a chance with a pay-per-view lineup comprised entirely of heavyweights, choosing novelty over quality. Time will tell whether or not it was a prudent decision financially, but the UFC has the resources to take such risks. Boom or bust, Dana White & Co. will move on to the next show.
I prefer variety and balance, so, personally, I’m not a fan of committing an entire pay-per-view roster to one weight class, especially heavyweight. I’m having flashbacks to Ben Rothwell-Mark Hunt and Travis Browne-Rob Broughton already. Yes, those bouts went down in Denver’s thin air, but that fact would make me no less comfortable if I was deciding where to spend my money.
To be fair, UFC 146 was extremely attractive when it was topped by the blockbuster Dos Santos-Overeem matchup. Alas, our good friend Elevated Testosterone entered the fray and ruined all our fun. Considering the lack of depth in the heavyweight division, the UFC was left with little choice other than to promote Mir to the main event. It may not be your ideal headliner, as dos Santos, on paper, appears to be a horrendous matchup for Mir, but stranger things have happened.
That leads me to the answer to your question. Why buy? Well, you buy UFC 146 for much the same reason you buy any other UFC event: the unknown. The truth is mixed martial arts rarely plays to script, and one punch can alter the course of history. More than once, a hotly anticipated event has failed to deliver. On the flipside, plenty of shows with tepid expectations have come through with unforgettable moments. All sports have that trait. We buy into them, not for what we think they will provide but for what they could provide.
Continue Reading » Page Three: No ‘Bones’ About It