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All main events will now be five rounders

Dana White pulls the trigger on five round main events:

“From this day forward, as we speak right here, right now today, every fight that is a main event that is not a title fight will be a five-round fight,” White said following a UFC 131 pre-fight press conference in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

When immediately asked if that applied to Evans vs. Davis, White corrected himself.

“Except that one,” White said with a laugh. “It should be, but what I don’t want to do to guys is fights that we’ve already made and they’ve signed the bout agreement, you’re mentally training for a three-round fight. To come back and say, ‘Oh, it’s five rounds now,’ you can’t do that to a guy.

“So all the fights that will be made from this day forward will be five rounds.”

So because they were made before yesterday, we can assume that means Dan Hardy vs Chris Lytle and Nate Marquardt vs Rick Story will be the last three rounder main events (although Dana did confirm that injury / replacement situations like Nate vs Rick would still be five rounders).

This could be both awesome and terrible, and I’m sure it will play out that way. For every Sanchez vs Kampmann there’ll be a Rampage vs Hamill, meaning we’ll spend half the time celebrating the change and the other half cursing. We’ll have to watch the blankets do their blanket things for two more rounds. Fighters ‘slowing things down’ to conserve energy for longer fights. Or gassing out because they didn’t.

In theory, more time will give fighters in main events the opportunity to do more awesome things. But in practice, the awesome fighters are going to be awesome in three rounds anyways, while the bummers are gonna bum you out over 15 or 25 minutes regardless. All we can do is hope the UFC’s matchmakers take this into consideration when booking their main events. Extra rounds don’t magically make better fights. Just ask boxing about that.

Also on the radar: a flyweight division. But you know how the UFC is sometimes. They say ‘soon’ and it means a year from now. Nothing wrong with that – shit takes time, Rome wasn’t built in a day, yadda yadda yadda. I’m just not getting myself up in a lather until the UFC starts signing guys. This will bring the UFC up to 8 belts, which will hopefully be enough that the UFC doesn’t have to rely on lots of five round non-title main events on UFC PPVs.

  • P W says:

    No surprise Dana is trying to make fights that don’t matter seem like they do matter by making them 5 rounds, since he hasn’t be able/willing to live up to his old promise of having a title fight on each PPV, not even with 7 belts X 2-3 defenses a year.

    I guess rounds 4 and 5 can no longer be referred to as “championship rounds” then.

  • fightlinkerReader says:

    I am totally against making all main card events five rounds.

    One of the reasons I prefer mma over boxing is that the fight are shorter. I got bored of most fights after awhile. Many times the action repeats itself every round. By the third, I am ready for it to end. Like the stripper out a strip club, no matter how gorgeous she is, by the third song, you are ready for a new stripper.

    And yes, gassing is going to be a huge issue. Very few heavyweight fighters can make three rounds without gassing out. Five rounds will be extremely difficult.

    Additionally, I am not sure this solves the problem it is attempt to solve – two fighters in close three round fight, if it were only a five round fight they would finally found out who the better fighter is. Only it wouldn’t. It would answer who the better five round fighter is, which is not necessarily the same as the best three round fighter. This is like extending the 100 yard track meet to 150 yards to determine who the best 100 yard runner is.

    Suppose you have

  • fightlinkerReader says:

    I am also against adding fly weights. I don’t think it adds to the diversity, it actually hurts diversity. I like the five weight divisions – light, welter, middle, light heavy, and heavy. Each division adds something different. They complement each other. Too much of any one division and it gets tiresome. The lighter divisions don’t add anything new, they are just lightweight++. The positives are lightweight fights are the lack of gassing. The negatives are the lack of power and consequently, the tendency of the fights to go longer (which means eventual boredom). Now the cards are going to be overly stacked the aforementioned negatives, which means less fights of the other divisions on the card. Consider with five divisions, you would expect 1/5 (20%) of all fights to be lightweight. Now with eight divisions, you would eventually expect 3/8 (37.5% more than a 3rd) of all fights to be lightweight or less. Ugh!

  • DJ ThunderElbows says:

    While I don’t agree with your 100-yard versus 150-yard issue – they just have to finish the fight or look like losers regardless of time –  I totally agree about heavyweights.

    Imagine if Mir/Nelson was 5 rounds?  Holy shit.