Was last weekend’s fight between Anderson Silva and Thales Leites the worst main event in Zuffa history? Not quite, but it’s close. Here’s Dave Meltzer with his number one choice:
But UFC is resilient. As bad as this show was, and really, aside from the main event it would have been categorized as an average show, it was nothing like the disaster on July 8, 2006. That show featured a much-anticipated Tito Ortiz-Ken Shamrock rematch that drew record PPV numbers at the time, and lasted only 1:18 when fans believed it was stopped early. Then, it was up to heavyweights Andrei Arlovski and champ Tim Sylvia to save the show, and they had a match somewhat similar to Saturday’s main event.
At the time of UFC 61, the Zuffa LLC version of UFC was still in its infancy as far as a proven top-level, pay-per-view performer, and there was genuine concern they had the largest audience ever see the worst show ever and had turned hoards of potential new fans off.
Instead, the next few months saw Shamrock vs. Ortiz set a television ratings record and Ortiz vs. Liddell drew a pay-per-view record, so any thought that Saturday’s show did long-term damage should be dismissed.
That’s a classic case of taking lemons and making lemonade, right there. Unfortunately, I can’t think of a neat and simple way for him to salvage the Anderson Silva situation.