Most fight announcements, even the big ones, have the feel of carefully scripted routine. They're words on paper or a listless television announcement, a token of gratitude dealt from the bottom of the deck to major media players who trade in favors and secrets.
Like all big-time combat-sports promoters, the UFC has done more than their fair share, even on premium outlets like ESPN's SportsCenter. A guy is fighting another guy. On pay-per-view. Buy it— with your money.
In fact, the UFC, in hardcore circles, has developed a bit of a reputation for promising a big announcement and delivering something about as exciting as paint drying. Come for a super fight that will make history, leave with a toy line that will sit on store pegs for an eternity. You can imagine my skepticism, then, as UFC Director of Publicity Dave Sholler spread the word that major news was coming.
Tuesday's announcement, however, was different. There was a delightfully madcap energy cascading through the MMA universe that doesn't flow on a daily basis. It was the kind of energy that surrounds an extravaganza, the crackle you feel in the air as the lights dim and a superstar prepares to make their long trek to the cage.