Designing a Super Bowl-Level Event for the UFC
As MMA continues to grow as a sport, its events will get bigger and bigger.
It may be a while before the sport's biggest organization, the UFC, tries to create an event as big as the Super Bowl, but it could very well happen at some point in the future.
Let's take a look at what a Super Bowl-type UFC show would look like.
Selecting the Perfect Venue
A huge event like this needs to have an iconic venue.
While there are many options across the world, what better than Madison Square Garden?
Although there are bigger venues that could hold an event like this, the Garden would be special given the history and fight that MMA is currently having to be sanctioned in New York.
Once MMA gets sanctioned in New York, it will only be a matter of time before a UFC event takes place there anyway.
If MMA is still in a battle with New York, other options could be an outdoor stadium in Brazil, Rogers Centre in Toronto, or the standard MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Have a Huge Build Up
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The UFC has done a great job in hyping its shows over the past few years.
From making UFC 100 one of the biggest events in the history of the sport, to getting millions of viewers to tune in for UFC on FOX 1, the UFC knows how to hype its shows.
Much like those two events, hype and promotion would have to go into overdrive.
With the UFC now featured on many FOX channels, the organization has plenty of outlets to promote the event.
Get the Legends Involved
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What would the Super Bowl be without legends of the sport getting involved?
While you most likely won't see Bas Rutten or Royce Gracie presenting a fighter with a title, they could be involved in other ways.
Fighters like Rutten or Randy Couture could do commentary for some of the fights.
There are also opportunities like cageside interviews that could take place with some of the greats of the sport.
More Exciting Fights on the Main Card
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In MMA, sometimes a fight that looks good on paper does not always produce the most exciting outcome.
But most of the time, when you put guys together that just want to entertain, they leave it all out in the cage.
There needs to be more fights like this on the main card of an event like this. Big names sell the fights, but fans would rather see Nick Diaz slap box somebody for 15 minutes as opposed to one round of Jon Fitch.
More Main Card Fights in General
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UFC 144 recently featured seven main card fights.
That's more than any other card before it.
Although it could have been a bad decision, most of the fights were exciting.
Having more main-card fights gives fans more action, especially considering some fights are over in a matter of seconds.
Have Some Outside Entertainment
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Some people may be against having a halftime-like show, but it's become a part of the Super Bowl.
It doesn't have to be a big spectacle like Madonna and Nicki Minaj, in fact most MMA fans may start a riot if that were the case.
But bringing in a big name or two to perform a few songs would show just how big MMA has gone mainstream.
Feature One Important Title Fight as the Main Event
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An event this big could feature multiple title fights.
If it were ever possible, maybe the whole main card could be title fights.
But considering they could go 25 minutes a piece, and that a main card of this caliber may already feature five or more other fights, just having the best possible title fight available would work.
The fight would have to feature two of the biggest names in the sport.
It would have to feature two fighters who can put on an exciting fight as well as be able to tell a story both inside and out of the Octagon.
A fight like Jon Jones vs. Rashad Evans or Anderson Silva vs. Chael Sonnen or even Georges St-Pierre would have to be the kind of fight that headlines this event.
One title fight, with a sudden-death round in case of a draw, could work best.
PPV or FOX?
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If an event like this were to ever happen, Dana White would have a huge decision to make.
Do you put something like this on free TV or continue the successful PPV model?
Putting the event on FOX could bring in more viewers and bring in potential revenue from commercials.
But the money from putting the event on PPV could also be great.
This would all depend on just how big the UFC and MMA as a whole are, but something like this could be put together.