TUF 16 Finale, UFC on FX 6: Takeaways From a Busy Weekend for the UFC
Hosting so many UFC fights in a two-day stretch is definitely a double-edged sword.
On one hand, this weekend provided a steady stream of bouts that ended in a variety of memorable finishes many hardcore fans should've enjoyed.
But on the other hand, it was a murderous march through several commercials, endless broadcasting segments and more than a few replays.
With that in mind, here's a few final parting thoughts on the action and everything else surrounding it this weekend from UFC on FX 6 and The Ultimate Fighter 16 Finale.
The UFC Is More Than Capable of Handling Back-to-Back International Shows
More than ever, this was one major weekend where the UFC was stretched rather thin in terms of staffing and production crew.
Thankfully, the promotion handled it with amazing efficiency.
For the TUF: The Smashes Finale, the event went off without a hitch, as commentators Jon Anik and Kenny Florian called the action. Veteran announcer Joe Martinez also provided a booming presence for the Octagon, solidifying himself as a solid replacement for Bruce Buffer.
All in all, the only sore spot was UFC commentator Mike Goldberg's performance at the TUF 16 Finale in Vegas. Although both events were small, the promotion still managed to get to the finish line.
The UFC Needs Shorter TV Cards
That being said, the TUF 16 Finale was brutal to watch from start to finish.
With nine out of 11 fights that ended early, it's remarkable that entire thing took seven hours of broadcast time, with an additional two hours of pre- and post-fight analysis.
That's utterly ridiculous.
No professional sporting event, not the Super Bowl, not an NBA Finals game and not even some of the longest MLB World Series games, asks that much of their fans.
With all the acquisitions and deals the UFC has made over the years, they have more than enough fighters to run one event a week on rotating networks with shorter fight cards.
Instead of 13 or 12 fights, why not six?
Make no mistake, the UFC is completely over-saturating the market, and long events like the TUF 16 Finale may eventually start to be a hindrance to the promotion as they cram more and more fights down MMA fans' collective throats.
It's Now or Never for the Ultimate Fighter
Ratings and viewership numbers mark up the grim truth: TUF 16 was one of the show's worst seasons ever.
But you have to give credit to Dana White and Joe Silva.
Rather than crowd the finale card with the lackluster fighters from this past season, they instead billed some talented regional athletes and put together one of the year's most exciting cards.
Now, they just have to follow it by pulling their flagship show out of the gutter.
Are UFC champion Jon Jones and Chael Sonnen going to be enough to bring the ratings back? Will moving the show to Tuesday nights on FX make a world of difference?
God, this author hopes so.
Even though Jones and Sonnen have gotten sickeningly chummy over the course of filming, it'll still be nice to have that show to look forward to during a normal week night. Now, if only the UFC would just stop running events on Friday altogether, some of us (well, this author) could finally starting having a weekend social life again.