Does anyone really care about the UFC’s UFC on FUEL TV efforts?
Unfortunately, it seems increasingly evident that this series of live fight nights have become irrelevant in the eyes of many. Maybe it’s because it doesn’t really feature any big stars, or maybe it’s just a simple case of a lot of people not getting FUEL TV as part of their television subscription program.
No matter what the cause, the result is the same: I really don’t see much excitement for UFC on FUEL TV 3. And that’s something I’d like to correct.
So, in no particular order, here’s a jumble of reasons why you should be excited for UFC on FUEL TV 3.
You remember Facebook, right?
For a while, it was the be-all and end-all of UFC prelims (aside from the occasional one-hour Spike TV special). Thankfully, the UFC hasn’t completely abandoned Facebook, and even better, they have more or less perfected their Facebook broadcasts.
The last time I can remember getting any lag on a Facebook broadcast was very long ago. Now that I think about it, the last time I didn’t thoroughly enjoy a Facebook broadcast was very long ago, too.
If six free fights aren’t a good enough reason to tune in (and they really should be), you’ve also got some interesting match-ups on this preliminary card.
Jeff Curran is returning after a deflating loss to Scott Jorgensen, but before that fight, he had won four out of his last five. Carlo Prater returns to action in his second UFC fight following a very controversial DQ win which put a very sour note on what has honestly been a very interesting comeback run for the submission expert.
You’ve even got people like TJ Grant, Rafael dos Anjos, Brad Tavares and Cody McKenzie.
All in all, the prelims have plenty of “sleeper hit” potential.
Many of the main UFC on FUEL TV fights have good sleeper hit potential as well. More on that up next.
Pick a name, any name, on the UFC on FUEL TV fight card and chances are they can be counted on to give a good show, win or lose.
Amir Sadollah is a former winner of The Ultimate Fighter, and although he’s 5-3 overall, he’s rarely had a boring fight.
Yves Jabouin went 1-2 in the WEC, but he’s 2-1 in the UFC and just had two very tough but enjoyable split-decision wins. Igor Pokrajac is on a two-fight winning streak with both wins by (T)KO.
And finally, you’ve got Jason MacDonald going up against Tom Lawlor in what should be an exciting clash of middleweight journeymen.
Aside from his loss to Nate Diaz (who will be fighting for a title soon), Donald Cerrone has looked fantastic in the UFC.
Before that loss, he was on a six-fight winning streak with four of those wins coming by stoppage. Jeremy Stephens, meanwhile, last fought to a close split-decision loss to Anthony Pettis and before that had beaten Danny Downes after KO’ing Marcus Davis right out of the UFC.
This is an interesting fight for both men, and there’s more on the line than you might think.
If Cerrone loses this fight, he’s at a real risk of vanishing under the murky waters of the mid-tier, which is stacked with lightweight contenders looking to build their way up.
There’s nothing wrong with being in the mid-tier, but to go from one of the most promising WEC-to-UFC fighters, to just another talented lightweight that could become lost in the shuffle?
That’s definitely not where Cerrone wants to be at this point in his career.
For Stephens, it’s all about getting out of that mid-tier, gatekeeper role.
He almost did it against Anthony Pettis, and the close nature of that fight is probably why he’s getting a second chance to finally break out of relative obscurity.
Your status in the division is always at risk any time you step into the cage, but for this fight in particular, the fate of both men’s immediate careers may be in the balance.
Couple that with the fact that they’ve both consistently put on good fights recently, and this could definitely turn into the sleeper hit of the evening.
In just two fights inside of the UFC’s Octagon, “The Korean Zombie” has managed to both match and surpass the level of hype and fan adoration that surrounded him back when he debuted in the WEC in 2010 in a “Fight of the Decade” contender against Leonard Garcia.
His first win saw him use the "Twister" to beat Leonard Garcia in the last second of the second round in what many believe was 2011's "Submission of the Year."
Jung ended 2011 with an even more astounding win: He knocked out former championship challenger Mark Hominick in only seven seconds—one of the fastest KOs in UFC history.
With all this momentum behind him, it wouldn’t surprise me if Jung fought for a title if he’s able to beat Dustin Poirier.
And for a reason that baffles me, it seems that most of Dustin Poirier’s hype has died down.
Most people still consider him a great up-and-comer, but there’s a reason this event is called “Korean Zombie vs. Poirier” and not “Poirier vs. Korean Zombie”.
But look at the facts: Poirier is 12-1 with 10 stoppages. He’s got an even split of stoppages (five (T)KO’s and five submissions), so he’s a threat no matter where the fight goes. He’s on a five-fight winning streak with three stoppages and he’s even on a two-fight stoppage-streak.
I’ll wait until the smoke clears to dub it 2012’s “Sleeper Hit of the Year,” but I’ve got a great feeling about Chan Sung Jung vs. Dustin Poirier.
This is going to be a fight you should absolutely watch, and you really should be excited about the main event of this card, in particular and even the entire card, in general.