UFC: Too much of a good thing?

JOSE RODRIGUEZ, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:34 PM ET

With more Ultimate Fighting Championship cards than ever before, the question has to be asked: Is it too much of a good thing?

In 2009, the UFC hosted 21 events in Europe and North America. There were 15 numbered cards, four Fight Nights and two The Ultimate Fighter finales.

The bulk of the events were pay-per-views and outside of some questionable judging decisions, most were worth the money.

But the downside of hosting too many events in too short a time period will become clearly evident as the world’s biggest fight club rolls into 2010.

What used to be decent co-main events are jumping to the top of the marquee.

UFC 108 on Jan. 2 will feature Rashad Evans taking on Thiago Silva as the main event. Originally, Evans was to take on rival TUF 10 coach Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, but Jackson preferred to film The A-Team movie.

The replacement fight —in this scribe’s humble opinion — isn’t worthy of top billing. Paul Daley will take on Dustin Hazelett at 108 as well — a good fight but not a co-main event.

At UFC 109 on Feb. 6, 46-year-old Randy “The Natural” Couture will take on 45-year-old Mark “The Hammer” Coleman. An interesting scrap for nostalgia buffs and a passable main event had the undercard fights been stronger.

Also on the card is Josh Koscheck looking to avenge his loss to Paulo Thiago and Matt Serra taking on Frank Trigg.

For UFC 110 on Feb. 21 in Sydney, the fight club is going Down Under for the first time.

But again, there is no belt or brewing-bad-blood battle to speak of.

Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira will take on Cain Velasquez in a heavyweight scrap, but, with Shane Carwin and Frank Mir waiting in the wings as champ Brock Lesnar recovers from illness, it is not a No. 1 contender fight.

Wanderlei Silva taking on Michael Bisping is a decent co-main event on any card, but needs a supporting cast.

It isn’t until UFC 111 in Newark, N.J., on March 27 that a champ will put his belt on the line. Montreal’s Georges St-Pierre will take on Dan Hardy for the welterweight belt and the rumour mill has Carwin and Mir fighting for an interim heavyweight belt as Lesnar recovers.

UFC president Dana White can’t be faulted for trying to capitalize on the sport’s growing fan base and fighters are thankful for the additional paydays.

But the fight club needs to be wary of over-saturation.

And at $60 a pop for the HD pay-per-views, second-rate cards shouldn’t be an option.

Perhaps the UFC needs to get back to hosting fewer events and stacking the cards.

jose.rodriguez@sunmedia.ca


Videos

Photos