For a big fight like the sequel to Benson Henderson vs. Frankie Edgar on UFC 150 Saturday night, a great deal of promotion is necessary to ensure a huge success.
The UFC's Facebook stream of the night's preliminary bouts does just that.
As with any growing product, massive exposure is the biggest key to ensuring constant success for Dana White's brand. The UFC is still trying to get out of the shadows of professional wrestling and boxing in order to establish itself as a premier sport, and these are the types of moves that White needs to continue making.
Social media has quickly shifted from being a trendy fad to a near necessity in order to be a relevant member of society, and no company has had a bigger impact on that transition than Facebook.
One of the biggest and best websites in the world is a heck of a place to promote your brand. Putting UFC on Facebook is masterful promotion for the brand.
The free events that the UFC has offered don't cost the league any money, as it still has the regular fight card. The events help to set the stage for the fights that follow.
That's exactly what the Facebook stream has done for this Edgar-Henderson card. The fight needed a great deal of promotion, as their first fight during UFC 144 was one of the more memorable in the sport's history.
Part II is shaping up to be a stellar bout.
This isn't the first time that Edgar has been in a big rematch. In fact, it's getting quite normal. All the more reason to put his name and face out there on the Facebook stream—it could greatly help pay-per-view numbers for UFC 150.
Edgar and Henderson embarked on a high-flying, violent fight the first time they faced off, and those are the kinds of storylines that appeal most to the novice UFC watcher. The ability to relate to their favorite sport is a main gateway to getting interested in another sport, and the overplayed "redemption" storyline beat to death by major American sports media applies heavily to this main event.
Giving every person who has a Facebook profile a free stream of the preliminaries for an exciting fight card exposes hundreds of millions of people to the UFC brand and its world-class broadcast, which is well worth the subscription.
Steven Cook is a TNT breaking news writer and Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter for unabashed analysis and coverage of all things sports.