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UFC trying to break EliteXC’s back

On the surface, it should be kinda obvious that the UFC doesn’t want EliteXC to succeed with it’s network deal … Dana White would rather perform self-dentistry with a garden pruner than wish his competition well. But when you think about it, would it really help the UFC all that much if EliteXC crashes and burns with it’s first CBS deal?

You’ve already got companies like Golden Boy backing off MMA citing the poor performance of publicly traded companies like the IFL and ProElite. While the UFC likes to make the argument that it’s them and not MMA which is hot, will mainstream media digest that properly or will they look at a failed CBS show as a sign the ‘trend’ of MMA is now moving downward?

It’s not just important for the UFC to BE successful, they need to keep convincing the media that they are successful, that MMA is still hot, that it’s still growing. For the most part a lot of outlets only cover MMA reluctantly because they don’t want to seem behind the times if the sport does end up becoming mainstream. If there are signs that the sport is on the outs, I don’t doubt these same people will dump the sport onto the backburner once again, only to be covered by other bored sports writers on their respective off-seasons.

Anyways, the original point of this post was to talk about how the UFC is counter-programming shit against the EliteXC CBS show on May 31st – two hours worth of Chuck Liddell. Now I can’t imagine this scheme taking away any hardcore viewers, but of course no one is ever doing anything for the hardcores … the UFC is trying to dent viewership with mainstream Joes who might rather watch a fighter they know like Chuck than some event with people they’ve never heard of. It’s not a bad idea, if the purpose is to be the straw that breaks the camel’s back ratings wise for CBS.

But that brings us back to my original question: is it really in the UFC’s best interest for EliteXC to flunk out on their first show? I think we’ll all agree it’s not in the best interest of the sport. It’s kinda funny that what’s best for the sport is no longer always what’s best for the UFC. Strange times to be a fan, fo’ sure.

  • Atom

    If ZUFFA will allow SPIKE to counter-program against the WEC shows on VERSUS, of course they’re going to do the same thing to EXC on CBS.

  • jd

    Well said…

  • eugene

    this is just proof the competition between leagues is GOOD for MMA fans.

    because of Elite, UFC has provide more FREE programming to match Elite.

    I still dont understand why many MMA fans only want one dominant league to control everything… it is completely not in their interest.

  • godzillad

    EXC won’t even pull a 1.0.

    TV execs aren’t stupid. They know UFC is where it’s at. In 1998 you didn’t see networks putting rinky dink wrestling on prime time TV just because the WWF/WCW was doing massive business. Hopefully every other promotion dies out so UFC can become a league.

    And don’t pull that monopoly shit, UFC pays their fighter. I memmer when payouts for UFC 38 came out and everyone thought Hughes was making the big bucks for pulling in 10k. Now look six years later, the dude is making millions. All this payscale stuff will go away, its moving up at its own pace.

  • Jemaleddin

    @eugene: I don’t want one league to control everything – but I wish there was a way of allowing the best fighters to compete. The idea of non-exclusive contracts is dumb – there’s not sense spending months building up a fight only to have to call in a pinch-hitter because one of your guys got a medical suspension in another venue. And there’s no way for one promotion to satisfy all of the demand for MMA or to produce enough shows to keep every worthy fighter employed. Or is there?

    I would love to see the UFC (because let’s face it, they do have most of the top guys at this point) get a network deal and then start an MMA “season.” Have a 6 month span where fighters can compete in an ongoing tournament format like DREAM is doing and have fights televised ever Saturday night or whatever. once a week you have a bunch of fights in one particular weight class so that people are competing every 5 weeks or so (is that excessive?) and in the early stages just air the best fights. Crown a champ in each division at the end, and let the championship come with predetermined big cash prizes. How they would handle the off-season is left as an exercise for the reader (hint: cycling on steroids).

  • Captain

    “the UFC is trying to dent viewership with mainstream Joes who might rather watch a fighter they know like Chuck than some event with people they’ve never heard of”

    Dude, it’s Kimbo fuckin Slice. I think it’s safe to say there’s a higher percentage of mainstream Joes that know about, and will tune in to see, Kimbo Slice rather than Chuck Liddell.

  • kentyman


  • Lifer

    i always viewed EliteXC as more of a crustacean.

  • eugene

    are there any fighters who want the UFC to monopolize the sport?? or is it just some fans that want this?

  • Michaelthebox

    eugene: the UFC monopolizing MMA will bring benefits to future fighters at the expense of current fighters. So obviously few of the current fighters would be in favor of that.

  • KillerPMS

    I agree Captain. We hardcores assume that everyone knows (or should know) the top MMA fighters. That just isn’t the case. Kimbo is known. Kinda sad.

  • ninjitsu

    I’m going to be watching the EXC show live, and the Chuck Liddell documentary on youtube.

  • Rob Enderle

    > It’s kinda funny that what’s best for the sport is no longer always > what’s best for the UFC. Strange times to be a fan, fo’ sure.

    I thought when they bought PRIDE so they could close it was strange enough.
    Now we get to have just one organization who gets their fresh faces from a reality show and shows us weak cards.
    Competition means if you dont like the crap UFC puts out, you have something else.
    Its called choice and its NEVER a bad thing.

    Choice is good for the athletes and for the fans.

  • Nachtfalter

    @Jemaleddin: Off-Season? Seriously? You WANT an MMA off-season? I’m sorry, are you crazy?