UFC on FX 1: Ushering in a New Era
Let’s get one things straight: MMA is a war – in every way, shape and form.
The UFC and FOX have promised us a series of wars over the next seven years. In November of last year they treated us to a preview of the violence we can expect, with a clear and decisive victory by way of knock-out by Junior Dos Santos. If that first event in November on was a preview, then the first official event on FX this past weekend was the very definition of what a war is…A series of hostile and decisive battles.
By that definition, the brass at UFC and FOX could not have possibly asked for more out of the event on Friday. Many felt that the one hour teaser that they were treated to in late-2011 left much to the hearts desire – a lot of talking, almost no fighting. This event, was four hours of decisive fights, showcasing up-and-coming talent across all of the weight classes in the UFC.
While the fights were great, leaving us like a room of George W. Bush cabinet members, wanting more – there were some moments where the old school UFC fans were definitely feeling like they were under order of a new regime. The production of the event felt less like a ZUFFA event, and more like a FOX Sunday football game (right down to the theme music); the whole thing felt over-saturated with commercials, commentators and an almost false sense of enthusiasm at times.
My biggest criticism was that of the commentating; I can forgive the over-the-top production value and commercial density – that’s just FOX being FOX. The absence of Joe Rogan and Mike Goldberg, definitely left a void in the colour commentator category. Jon Anik and Kenny Florian were putting me to sleep with their commentating during the fights; and if not for the pace of the action, I very well may have. Like any war, the media plays an important role – if you fail at effectively speaking to people, your propaganda machine, and thusly support will start to die. Jon Anik and Jay Glazer sounded almost like they didn’t know what they were talking about – which is unfortunate, as it’s not true. This all said, a head bow to Ariel Helawani, I did enjoy his post-fight interviews (even if they did seem redundant).
When all is said and done, I look at this as being the first war in a conflict ridden world. It was the first full event, and for that I think it was a success! Yes, there are kinks to work out – but, it was a good watch and it was free. I just hope Dana White doesn’t lose too much creative control to FOX; that will be the true testament to the “partnership” over time.
Main Card Results:
- In the main even Jim Miller choked out Melvin Guillard with a rear naked choke in the first round. I think Miller is poised for a title shot (despite his recent loss), and I think he is ready for it.
- Josh Neer returned to the UFC in style, with a first round guillotine choke on Duane Ludwig.
- In a battle of less experienced fighters, Mike Easton won a majority decision over Jared Papazian.
- In what was anointed the Fight of the Night (should have been KO of the Night too), Pat Barry finished off Christian Morecraft with a clean shot to the chin.
… and that is the last word.