I don't want to suggest deja vu taking place, especially considering UFC 142 opened 2012 and really did not underwhelm, but look back at UFC on FX 7 and try to sell it to even the most uneducated MMA fan as the perfect way to open 2013.
I guarantee that no one will successfully sell the event as the most fitting start to 2013, despite the fun it presented on paper. Then again, this card did remind the majority of the masses of just why fights rarely play out the same live as they do on paper.
With finishes from Francisco Trinaldo, Ildemar Alcantara, Edson Barboza, Gabriel Gonzaga, Khabib Nurmagomedov and Vitor Belfort, fans should've gotten more than their fill from the card. However, controversies and lackluster decisions made the card incredibly difficult to enjoy for some of the fans who watched the event.
Mind you, they did get treated to exciting tilts, such as the Godofredo Castro-Milton Vieira preliminary contest, as well as the co-headliner of C.B. Dollaway vs. Daniel Sarafian.
However, while Dollaway-Sarafian proved a close encounter that only went as it did due to Dollaway's late-round efforts in the last two rounds, controversy struck in the Castro-Viera fight when Castro took the win despite many scoring the bout as either a draw or a Vieira victory.
Yuri Alcantara's bout with Pedro Nobre going to a no-contest despite Alcantara landing what appeared like clean blows did not help matters, nor did the somewhat late stoppage in Khabib Nurmagomedov's knockout win over Thiago Tavares. Even Gonzaga's win over Ben Rothwell turned in a decent-at-best first round, though some would rightfully question how decent a first round that bout turned in.
And please, do not start on Andrew Craig vs. Ronny Markes.
Though most won't mind which way the decision went, the bout itself inspired a pessimistic, albeit still mercurial view of Markes' long-term upside. If anything, it should help us to get excited about Craig's emergence as one of the shining stars on the rise from the state of Texas, despite this fight bringing his first pro loss.
Remember, the MMA world has seen situations like Craig's before. Undefeated fighters lost their "0" only to break out after losing their aura and become "the future" of the sport. Craig can do it as well, as long as he stays with what he currently does and shores up the holes he showed against Markes.
Also remember that cards like UFC on FX 7 should not give us the immediate forecast for UFC events of 2013. Given the standard to which the UFC holds itself, this event will go down as an arguable mulligan, with UFC on Fox 6 and UFC 156 bringing forth a better array of expectations for 2013 in mixed martial arts.
So with that said, will 2013 bring forth a year fans will want to remember, as opposed to a year that fans will not wait to forget?
Ask me this question after UFC on Fox 6 next week, and hopefully, I'll assure you that it will.