The UFC has officially hit the zenith of its blandness. Maybe it’s the lack of Conor McGregor or too few stars in general, or maybe it’s the fact that the UFC is putting on way too many events. As long-time MMA fans, we love getting our MMA action on a regular basis but fighting for fighting’s sake will only go so far. The UFC needs to change things up for the betterment of their product, the enjoyment of their fans, and the health of their fighters.
We have some ideas.
Over the next few weeks, Uproxx will be breaking down the challenges facing the UFC and how the old way of doing things just isn’t cutting it anymore. This week, we present to you five ways to fix the broken UFC.
The tournament birthed the UFC and now the format can save it. Make the tournaments single night or over multiple events to establish stars and personalities of the sport. Get the up and comers into a tournament that will immediately propel them to being an attraction via face time in the cage. Develop storylines not unlike TUF, but with more prestige and fewer people drinking pee.
With multiple fights and a built-in storyline showing someone’s rise through multiple, easily trackable opponents in a tournament, you can also ease fighters into a life under the bright lights. The meat factory assembly line that defines the current event structure doesn’t allow for too much mic or promotion time to a young fighter making their way on the prelims. Through a tournament, their fists can do the talking and it’s not difficult for fans to follow.
Start by nixing a pointless Brazil card that’s weak all over and throw a single-night tournament in there. Make it the UFC Sao Paulo invitational. Anything but the same old, same old. We know the Dana White Answer™ to this is: “We sell out every UFC Brazil card blah blah,” but this for the TV viewers. And then they can pack even bigger stadiums by translating the success in the future.
Think about it — names like Paul Varelans and Oleg Taktarov or even Tank Abbott are remembered because of these tournaments. They churn out stars. Heroes.