The UFC has been doing its very best to promote the most significant fights they can on FOX.
While championship bouts involving Anderson Silva, Jon Jones, Georges St-Pierre and Jose Aldo are better left for pay-pay-view, the UFC has most definitely given their budding fanbase the biggest free fights possible.
UFC on FOX 6 this past Saturday was no different. But exactly where does this card stack up against the other five events featured on national television?
In any case, a relevant FOX card always needs a title fight. It helps to maintain interest and promote the event as a whole. Well, UFC on FOX 6 had just that.
The always quick and formidable Demetrious Johnson battled it out with a smiling John Dodson for five straight rounds for the UFC flyweight championship. The bout featured numerous knockdowns at the hands of Dodson, excellent clinch work by Johnson, controversy from an illegal knee, quick in-and-out exchanges and a retained title.
But as good as the fight was, unexposed fans watching for free around the world will forever have a difficult time realizing that flyweight championship fights are just as good as welterweight or light heavyweight. Unfortunately for Johnson and Dodson, most fans outside of the UFC's loyal group of followers don't understand how technical the smaller weight classes truly are.
Instead, they wish upon brutal knockouts and bloody affairs. That's all well and good, but sometimes it's nice to sit back and watch two guys throw leather at the speed of light.
So in that regard, even though the main event was a smashing success as far as the UFC flyweight division is concerned, its mass appeal didn't quite stand up under the compared light of other FOX title fights like Benson Henderson vs. Nate Diaz and Cain Velasquez vs. Junior dos Santos.
Outside of a title fight, the second-most intriguing aspect to a FOX card revolves around the grudge match. It's something that also boosts ratings and gives fans something extra to cheer about. Not only did UFC on FOX 6 possess a grudge between wily veteran Rampage Jackson and rising light heavyweight star Glover Teixeira, but it featured yet another one with Anthony Pettis vs. Donald Cerrone in a No. 1 lightweight contenders fight.
The essence of Jackson's last fight coming against a guy like Teixeira, who called Rampage out back in 2012, ultimately helped bolster the rest of the card. Now while there was no knockout and both fighters looked gassed after two rounds, the slug fest withstood the pressure of national television.
On the other hand, Pettis vs. Cerrone did feature a knockout—one that came just 2:35 into the first round. Pettis more or less showcased his elite athleticism and ability to precisely position unorthodox strikes in the heat of the moment against the unsuspecting Cerrone.
The fight was originally billed to last a little longer in hopes of turning Cerrone's pre-fight trash talk into a potential barn burner, but Pettis was too good for even that.
With that said, even though neither bout took home Fight of the Night honors, they were good enough to stand alongside past FOX grudge matches like Chael Sonnen vs. Michael Bisping and Rory MacDonald vs. BJ Penn.
Taking all of that into consideration, as well as Ricardo Lamas' bloodied elbows, where exactly does UFC on FOX 6 rank among each and every FOX card?
To be frank, right in the middle. It wasn't quite good enough to take the crown from UFC on FOX 4: Shogun vs. Vera or UFC on FOX 3: Diaz vs. Miller, but it most definitely stacks up against UFC on FOX 5: Henderson vs. Diaz and completely shatters UFC on FOX 2: Evans vs. Davis.
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