Dana White was pretty hyped for UFC 149 before the event started. Despite all the card changes, he felt like he had an event that would entertain the Calgary fans and live up to the live UFC experience. Unfortunately, rather than some past cards that have fallen apart on paper but ended up barnburners, 149 fizzled badly once the main card began. That led El Presidente to vent his frustration after the fights:
“I said this the other day and it’s true: We make money,” he said. “This company makes money, and I like breaking records. We broke the gate record tonight and I’m embarrassed by it. I was excited when I heard and now I’m embarrassed. The undercard delivered — they were awesome — and the main card did not.”
“I’m bummed out about it, I don’t know what else to say,” he said. “I’m pretty honest about it. I’m not out here saying that’s the greatest show you’ve ever seen. It wasn’t. When you buy tickets, we come into a market like this, we break the record and do the kind of gate we did because people believe in us. People believe in the UFC, and that when we come to town, we’re going to bring you the best fights possible. And then our guys go out and they deliver. Like I said, this is a partnership between us and the fighters. We do our part and they always do theirs. Unfortunately, I was so excited to stick this one up everybody’s a– that said this card sucked, and we didn’t.”
You can’t argue that. Cheick Kongo and Shawn Jordan engaged in 15 minutes of wall and stall, Tim Boetsch and Hector Lombard stood in front of each other and pawed, and Renan Barao vs Urijah Faber was all leg kicks and hand holding. Not helping was Calgary’s reaction to things … the event featured endless booing and regular derisive chants – ‘Bullshit’ and ‘Refund’ being the two that stick out in my mind. And I’m sure a lot of fans at home were mouthing similar words.
This is one of the problems with a sport like the UFC. You can have a low scoring games in hockey or football and fans don’t seem to mind. But it’s hard not to notice when several fighters lay stanky eggs in the cage. Be it via timidity, bad gameplans, or just stylistic nullification, bad fights suck the life out of an event, and you have to wonder how many events like this a new fan coming off the high of UFC 148 will buy before deciding maybe he’ll watch a sport that doesn’t cost 50 bucks per event instead.