Ever since December 30th 2006, the UFC has been pumping out year end shows of epic proportions.
UFC 66 brought the fans Chuck Liddell vs Tito Ortiz II, something everyone wanted to see. UFC 66 broke the one million buy mark on pay per view and a record breaking gate of 5.4 million dollars.
The UFC followed up with UFC 79: Nemesis in December of 2007, which was a card for the ages. Welter weight phenom Georges St. Pierre took on the UFC hall of famer Matt Hughes for the welter weight title. It doesn’t stop there, light heavy weight legends Chuck Liddell and Wanderlei Silva finally squared off in what ended up being an epic back and forth battle.
Finally UFC 92 rolled out with the aptly named “Ultimate 2008”. Not to be outdone, the UFC put together a great card with a light heavy weight title match between Forrest Griffin and Rashad Evans. As if one title wasn’t enough, the UFC also gave us the interim heavyweight title bout between two greats in Frank Mir and Antonio Nogueira.
We are reaching the culmination of 2009 and although the year has been a year of tremendous events for UFC fans, the last few events have left much to be desired.
Of course, it is naive to think that every card can live up to the hype and expectations that surrounded UFC 100 this past summer.
Unfortunately for the fans, putting on a title fight once in nine events simply isn’t enough to keep the people satisfied.
The UFC had a lot of great fights scheduled, but the injury bug seems to have hit the UFC hard. Four of the five current UFC champions are actually out nursing injuries and that obviously makes Joe Silva’s job a nightmare.
All things being equal, Dana White and company could have worked a little harder to put something on for the fans to end 2009 and start 2010 on the right foot.
UFC 108: Evans vs Silva is painfully anti climatic for a year that started off as the most exciting year ever in UFC history.
There is no title fight in sight on the 2009 year end card and although there may be some interesting match ups, it’s hard to generate any hype for the card.
Rashad Evans vs Thiago Silva has potential to be a great fight by the mere fact that Silva is an aggressive striker with excellent Jiu-Jitsu and Rashad Evans is a counter striker with strong wrestling.
That being said, both fighters lost to the light heavy weight champion Lyoto Machida in embarrassing fashion and are probably another 2 fights out from title contention.
Mixed martial arts bad boy Gilbert Yvel is making his debut in the UFC against up and coming striker Junior Dos Santos. Both guys like the striking game, so it should be fun to watch. Again, both fighters are at least two fights out of title contention.
The rest of the fighters on the card are decent fighters, but none of them have major name recognition like the Brock Lesnar’s, Georges St. Pierre’s and BJ Penn’s of the sport. Sean Sherk is supposed to be on the card, but it hasn’t been made official yet. He is a name, but he isn’t the fighter he used to be.
Ultimately, it should have been Rashad Evans fighting Quinton Jackson as a co-main event, but Jackson has gone “Hollywood”.
For the main event we should have been seeing Anderson Silva square off against Vitor Belfort, but Anderson required surgery on a nagging elbow injury.
Of course there is nothing the UFC could do to avoid the injuries and disputes that took a lot of fighters out of action later this season, so fans can only hope for the best.
UFC 108 could turn out to be a night of great fights, but it doesn’t have that hype and feel that year end shows of the past have carried.
On the bright side, with a lot of guys scheduled to be recovered from injury by late this winter or early this spring, expect summer 2010 to be jam packed with stacked cards.
With the recent events in the UFC, it only begs the question, is the UFC over extending it’s current roster of fighters by putting on too many events? Only time will tell.