In a move that shouldn’t surprise anyone but somehow still manages to surprise everyone, the UFC is working hard to put a free event on Spike on July 19th … the same day as Affliction’s first event. While the UFC is known for counter-programming specials or episodes of Unleashed against other promoters’ events, this is the first time in a while they’ve pulled out the heavy guns and actually planned an event specifically to crush the opposition.
While this certainly sucks for Affliction, the short term outlook for fans is good: more free MMA … and good MMA. Right now they’re talking about Wanderlei Silva vs Brandon Vera or something similar to headline the card, which means they understand they need to pull off a pretty sweet card to keep people from tuning in to Affliction. It’s worth noting the UFC is only doing this as a killbot response to perceived danger. Competition is an inherently good thing – if it wasn’t for competition we’d probably seeing a lot more shitty New Jersey style fight cards being put together.
So yeah, on one hand I’m pretty happy that we’re getting a bonus event in July, but that doesn’t really offset the fact that the UFC is trying to crush their opposition and maintain a virtual monopoly on the fight scene. Of course, everyone could always put their money where their mouths are and still buy the Affliction PPV. But I’m betting most average fans will watch the prelims on free TV and then change the channel to Spike. Well played, UFC. You guys are magnificant bastards.