Sunday, May 27, 2007

That was quick

UFC fights tend to be short, I mean title fights can only go a maximum of five rounds anyway. But this one was over in the blink of an eye.

Less than 2 minutes in, Rampage Jackson nailed the Iceman with a solid roundhouse right to the face. Lidell went down and Jackson went to town on Lidell's face. That was it. And let's be honest, this can't exactly have been what the UFC was hoping for. UFC president Dana White was billing this fight as something that would kill boxing forever.

So this actually brings up an interesting question. Although mixed martial arts has already basically gone mainstream, will short fights keep it from becoming everything it could be?

It's definitely a possibilty. Two of the undercard fights ended in the first round as well. Also a UFC title fight can only go a total of 25 minutes (5 rounds of 5 minutes) while a boxing title fight can go for 36 minutes (12 rounds of 3 minutes). The bonus of course with mixed martial arts events is that the undercard is usually huge. UFC events normally have nine fights total.

The problem though is that as tonight showed, the main event can be over really quickly. And that was probably the main reason you paid $40 to get it on pay-per-view or it was the reason you bought incredibly expensive seats at the event.

Essentially, anyone who watched ESPN tonight saw the main event for free. Now of course the same thing can happen in boxing, which has always annoyed people. But just from having watched UFC a fair amount, the fights tend to be over quickly.

That has its pluses and minuses of course. The intense nature of mixed martial arts fights is what people like about it and what I like about it. Boxing can often be slow and tiresome as fighters circle around each other throwing weak jabs at one another. But boxing tends to be longer and more involved. Of course we've also seen how boxing has had a serious decline in viewership over the past few years.

I guess it's basically a personal taste question, but I can't help feeling like there could be something that could extend UFC fights to a degree (particularly non-title fights, which only go 3 rounds of 5 minutes) while also keeping them at the intense pace people have come to love.



Tanner Boyle said...

Oh please... that is exactly what makes MMA interesting. The fights can end in the blink of an eye. I was entertained for three hours.

What was the last boxing card where you watched more than 2 fightss? That was the great card with????

If you want longer fights there is always the WWE.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, but this is everything that's wrong with MMA. Once a guy is out, he's out.

There's this never ending internal conflict in the UFC: not wanting fighters to get seriously injured, but attempting to avoid fights like that. Chuck was caught with a weak hook and fell like a ton of bricks. The fight was stopped at the right time. Chuck's arms were dead at his sides, and the elbows from Rampage weren't stopping themselves. If he had let it continue than it would have been worse. So we pay 40$ for a main event that has less than 5 seconds worth of action.

PS-UFC PPV's usually only broadcast four or five fights, depending on length. Mayweather-De la Hoya had 3 fights if I remember correctly. And I'd take Maweather-De la Hoya, or a replay of a real war like any of the Morales-Pac Man fights, over a five second ass-whooping any day.

Anonymous said...

That is a brilliant analysis. I'm really impressed how you managed to capture the essence of MMA judging only from one show.

Needless to say some shows will have short fights and some will have longer, so naturally you need to a slightly larger sample than just one show.

Perhaps your conclusion is a valid one, but you need to support it a whole lot better.

Anonymous said...

Personnaly, I've never watched a UFC PPV live. I have, however, seen 20+ UFC events on DVD, where you get to see every fight that takes place that night.

A perfect example of what I was talking about was Ortiz-Shamrock II, which a fair few peole thought was stopped early. People came in expecting a war for three round like the first fight, and got less than two minutes worth of action. Ken wasn't that out, and every time I see a fight like that I think, that fight culd have gone on longer with no real medical threat to Shamrock at all. He wasn't that out in that fight, nor was he that out in their third fight.

The most memorable fights are the longer ones. I have no beef with someone getting knocked out, especially in MMA considerring the joke that is an MMA judge's decision, but if you really want to make people happy, figure out a fair way to let a fight continue after something like this. Test the idea in your farm leagues (KOTC or Rumble at the Rock) and get back to us with results.

Unknown said...

In many cases, the referee doesn't wait for the fighter to get knocked out to stop the fight, he waits until he can no longer intelligently defend himself.

The slugfests that go on forever are memorable because they're rare. However, I'll take a few flash knockouts and anticlimactic matches over the constant boredom that comes from boxing any day.

I really don't understand how you could possibly continue a fight after a knockdown from a 4 oz. glove and the resulting shots. It would be absolute murder to keep a fight like that going.

Tanner Boyle said...

We saw 7 fights on Saturday. The UFC will show as many fights as they can squeeze into their 3 hours. That is about as much asction as you will see in two years worth of boxing.

When was the last time you saw anything like the Alexander vs. Jardine knockout. That was awesome.

You can pick out two fights over the past year to compare to a monthly UFC PPV. It is nice to see that boxing got in their annual interesting fight close to the showcase UFC event of the month.

As more Pride fighters start coming to the UFC the intensity and skill level is going through the roof. Henderson, Vanderlei Silva, Shogun Rua, Minotauro and someday hopefully the scareiest man alive Fedor Emilianenko.

In the meantime enjoy the John Ruiz comeback bout. Maybe Vinny Pazienza will fight Danny Bonaduce and we can get fired up for that.

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