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Around The Horn Sounds Off On UFC 100’s 1.5 Million PPV Buys And The Destruction Of The Sport

July 14, 2009

So says Tony Reali on yesterday’s Around The Horn. I haven’t been able to find any other outlets reporting any figures yet, but if it’s true… wow. Dana White said before the show that if UFC 100 did reach anywhere near that number, he’d do a backflip off Mandalay Bay. None of the major blogs have reported him doing a flip of any kind, so I remain unconvinced. However, if 1.5 is accurate – those are Mike Tyson numbers.

As for UFC 100 leading yesterday’s episode of ATH, who thinks that went well? Mariotti and Blackistone quickly showed themselves to be in the anti-MMA camp. Blackistone backed it up with a column comparing Brock Lesnar to Reggie Bush, Sean Avery, Randy Moss and Zach Randolph. Because they’ve all caused their sports irreperable damage, you see? Yikes.

But if MMA in general, and UFC in particular, is going to live up to its stated desires to be the next big thing in sports, and not just some niche happening, it is going to have to demand that its athletes respect the game — and those who watch it — just as is required of athletes in other sports.

That’s why Moss, Bush, Avery and Randolph are all unemployed at the moment.

You know what the problem is with columnists whining that MMA needs to clean up its act in 2009? It’s a total crock.

If 1.5 million is the real number, it already is mainstream. And UFC 100 did nothing to turn anyone away.

So get used to it because the UFC isn’t going away and neither is Brock Lesnar. The heavyweight champ spoke freely after his fight and pissed off some of the people who sign his checks. Then he apologized.

I’m fairly certain none of his checks were canceled.

I’m sure Dana told him, say what you want – just don’t piss off our sponsors again. The UFC and its fans love the characters that compete in the Octagon. The candid post-fight interview is where most of us decide who our favorite fighters are. That’s why Brock Lesnar expanded his fan base by being a smug sumabitch Saturday night.

This all took place on Pay-Per-View Saturday night. 45.99 for the standard definition broadcast at 10pm Eastern. If you don’t like the way some grownups talk, maybe you should have went to bed or changed the channel instead of feigning disbelief that someone would act so crassly. Why must people have opinions on subjects they know absolutely nothing about?

As for Mariotti – who cares if he doesn’t like something? Ask anyone with a newspaper subscription in Chicago or a regular viewer of ATH how they feel about Mariotti’s contrarian views. His dismissal of the UFC is as good an endorsement as the UFC could ever hope to get.

So the older folks in the dreaded mainstream media can go on pretending the UFC hasn’t “arrived.” It’s OK. They’re old. Old people are terrified of new things. And politicians can go on trying to keep MMA out of their states because its so barbaric, while children are killed in rodeo accidents. Keep complaining. Just remember, they’re only making Brock Lesnar and the UFC more famous.

[MMA Mania]

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. July 14, 2009 4:07 pm

    i feel like a trendsetter…i have been watching the UFC since the very beginning…and now its all growed up. fucking a. i wouldnt just lay the blame on old people. it is people who wont take the time to study mma and learn about the techniques that go into doing alot of stuff on the ground. i have ran into a bunch of people like that and all i can say about them is that they are either a perosn who has never been in a fight or think that a real life fight is gonna look like a boxing match

    • July 14, 2009 4:16 pm

      It’s like NASCAR circa 2003, 2004: Now you have to keep the casual viewers involved and make sure those leading-edge people don’t get too jaded.

  2. July 14, 2009 5:25 pm

    I love how UFC allegedly has zero margin for error. They have required to have perfect events with non-stop excitement and 100% entertainment value for everyone to get behind it.

    Imagine if that PPV would have been like last year’s NFL game in England. Or 90% of regular season baseball games.

  3. July 16, 2009 9:47 am

    “If you don’t like the way some grownups talk, maybe you should have went to bed or changed the channel instead of feigning disbelief that someone would act so crassly.”

    Why would this be the assumption when people complain about what Lesnar did? I think Lesnar’s antics were a bad thing because they just seemed so forced and were ridiculously lame.

    I’m a fairly casual UFC fan, I’ll come back for more, probably won’t watch another Lesnar fight at this point, but like most of the rest of what I see.

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