The UFC has been showing a heck of a lot of prelim fights on PPVs lately, and I think I finally figured out what’s caused the change of heart. No, I don’t think it has to do with any of us screaming and whining and holding our breath over it. Nor do I think it’s ‘added value’ since the UFC hiked PPV prices up another 5 bucks. I think they’re doing it to help develop new stars faster.
The UFC is starting to realize that exposing the general public to one really good performance from a fighter is enough to propel the winner into the spotlight. Just look how that worked out for them with Houston Alexander, who’s really a mediocre fighter at best but will be able to making a living off of the rep he established from destroying Keith Jardine.
Randy Couture, Andrei Arlovski, Tito Ortiz, and Tim Syvlia have left the UFC. And there’s a lot of other loyal guys who are none the less getting older and might not be fighting for much longer. Simply put, the UFC needs to work harder at creating new stars – and by harder I mean outside of the realm of TUF. While hoarding the prelim fights for 2 bucks a pop online might make a few extra buck off us hardcore fans, the best way to build interest in fighters is to show as many dominating performances as possible during their pay per views. That’s where the real exposure is.