Ready or not, we're in the future now. Preparation time is over. The thing is at hand.
It might take a while to see the full effect of what UFC 168 set in motion. The smart money says Anderson Silva's fight career is finished after a gruesome leg fracture suffered in the main event, marked down as a TKO loss to very good, very vanilla champion Chris Weidman. This followed a main event in which women's bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey—maybe the biggest star now in the UFC—was virtually booed out of the cage after defeating Miesha Tate.
The key headline, though, was definitely Silva. And that little bit of tragedy happened just a handful of days after welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre took an indefinite leave from the sport, for reasons that were, are and will likely remain a mystery.
So if you're scoring at home, that's the two best fighters of this and maybe any era making abrupt exits one after the other. Sure, there is more talent and other stars. But don't kid yourself; there's a gaping hole at the top now, as sure as if a bolt of lightning had knocked the belfry off a tower.
But you know what? Life goes on. It finds a way. And maybe the UFC will, too. Personally, I believe that prospects are our future. Teach them well is what I say. And then you let them lead the way.
International expansion is also a key piece of the puzzle, as are new ways of bringing the product to the public.
With all this in mind, UFC Fight Night 34, going down this Saturday from Marina Bay in Singapore, could not come at a more important time.
It's the first UFC event to take place in Singapore and one of a select few to take place in Asia, a historical hotbed for MMA fandom and also home to a pretty good amount of people. It also features a lot of interesting fighters, young and old, who are going to be new to the UFC and its eyeball base. It is also the first UFC event offered to North American fans on UFC Fight Pass, the UFC's spanking new digital subscription network.
Only time will reveal the direction of these various trend lines. But there's no time like the present—as in, right now, right this second—to get them started in earnest.
In the meantime, here's a primer on Saturday's Fight Night 34 card, including predictions, viewing information and information capsules on the fights and the fighters, many of whom will be anonymous to most MMA fans.