Every so often, whenever there's a lull in the news cycle or a slow day, the MMA media/amateur bloggers like myself like to bust old a cherished classic.
You can chart this story like a lunar eclipse, which makes sense because it's roughly as regular as one and almost as easy to predict.
This story is the a**hole Dallas Cowboys fan of MMA news: No matter what you do, where you live, or how far you travel, you just just keep encountering it. It's cyclical, recurring, and just a fact of life. Like rain, death, taxes and MMA vs. Pro Wrestling debates.
What am I talking about here, exactly? Only the ageless, guaranteed to provoke, “Smoke on the Water” of MMA stories: the “UFC/MMA is on the verge of disaster!” articles/editorials/group therapy sessions.
The headline isn't always as clear cut as that one, but variations of it just keep cropping up every so often. Declining ratings for the ultra-disappointing “Whoops, Brock's actually not a pr*ck” season of The Ultimate Fighter? That means interest in MMA has “plateaued” and may even be beginning to decline.
The loss of every big star—Fedor, Brock, Liddell, Randy one of the 55 times he retired—spells certain doom for the UFC's PPV fortunes. The inability to get on network TV means the UFC can't break through to the mainstream sports watching audience.
Every scandal in MMA, every in-cage brawl and profanity laced interview and pretend motorboating and controversial finish is the “black mark” that's “holding the sport back.”
Tell me you haven't read a story like that. Tell me you haven't read a story like that this week.
The latest version of the story has centered around the UFC's summer PPV schedule, which can be summed up in two words: not so good, Batman (it can also be summed up in more then two words). Since the record setting UFC 129 in Toronto, the promotion has moved from one disappointment to the next on PPV.
By most people's standards, anyways. I remember when people cracked champagne for 50,000 PPV buys. But now I guess 350,000 for Dominick Cruz's UFC debut is “disappointing.” But I digress.
Then, you have the almost supernatural confluence of injuries, scratched fights, and plain old back luck surrounding next month's UFC 133. I mean, seriously, at this point I wouldn't be all that shocked if the Wells Fargo Center got hit with a meteor or something.
In short, many in the blogosphere are calling for 2011 to be the year the UFC “falls off the perch” of PPV supremacy, and ultimately off casual sport's fans radars.
In a word: wrong. In three words: wrong, wrong, wrong. Here are 5 reasons the UFC is going to have a huge (second half) of 2011.