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Did you think they were just being nice?

The UFC has been showing a heck of a lot of prelim fights on PPVs lately, and I think I finally figured out what’s caused the change of heart. No, I don’t think it has to do with any of us screaming and whining and holding our breath over it. Nor do I think it’s ‘added value’ since the UFC hiked PPV prices up another 5 bucks. I think they’re doing it to help develop new stars faster.

The UFC is starting to realize that exposing the general public to one really good performance from a fighter is enough to propel the winner into the spotlight. Just look how that worked out for them with Houston Alexander, who’s really a mediocre fighter at best but will be able to making a living off of the rep he established from destroying Keith Jardine.

Randy Couture, Andrei Arlovski, Tito Ortiz, and Tim Syvlia have left the UFC. And there’s a lot of other loyal guys who are none the less getting older and might not be fighting for much longer. Simply put, the UFC needs to work harder at creating new stars – and by harder I mean outside of the realm of TUF. While hoarding the prelim fights for 2 bucks a pop online might make a few extra buck off us hardcore fans, the best way to build interest in fighters is to show as many dominating performances as possible during their pay per views. That’s where the real exposure is.

  • pauli says:

    hand in hand with this, it strongly encourages the undercard fighters to put fights that don’t suck.

  • maybe if they used the same production team as WEC they could include even more fights. Less advertisements and pointless interviews would also help. I mean really how much $ is Ninja Gaiden really bringing in?

  • Bandildo says:

    I thought that UFC aired the prelims just to fill up the 3 hour PPV. If the show has short fights, they’ll put more prelims to fill.
    I’m not being ironic, just want to know why this thought is wrong.

  • Tertio says:

    What would really be great is if the UFC decided to show the undercard on spike for free before the PPV. I am sure it would not only help promoting new talent it would also increase their PPV revenues. Some people watching it for free that would not usually buy PPV would be tempted to order it just because they want to see “how it ends”

  • Foojita says:

    I thought it was for purpose of putting on a stellar card the week before EliteXC debuts on NBC.

  • Ross says:

    At UFC 84 they skipped over the pre-fight videos, entrances and (I think) the Buffer introductions for all of the prelim fights. It allows them to shave off close to 10 minutes per fight and it’s why we saw nine fights instead of seven or eight.

    Hope they do the same at 85. A quick post-fight interview with Rogan is all the exposure the prelim fighters need for now.

  • Jeremy (not that Jeremy) says:

    They definitely do it to fill out the PPV, but in the past they have had some really long gaps between the last main card fight and the headliner, and may not have shown another fight even if the headliner finished in a couple rounds.

    I think we just lucked out with 84 in that there were a lot of “exciting” fights that wrapped up quickly on the undercard.

  • Not a bad idea, Tertio!

  • tertio says:

    To be fair its not really my idea. I read it somewhere on the net this morning and thought it was a great idea. I really dont remember who said it though…Could be Caplan

  • Jeremy (not that Jeremy) says:


    It may have originated with Adrenaline. IIRC, they’re planning to show the undercard on some form of free cable television.

  • Tertio says:

    Elite XC are streaming their prelims on the net. I tought Afflictions prelims were being showed on HD net ?

  • Jeremy (not that Jeremy) says:

    I wasn’t sure if the prelims were on HDNet, or whether they were on Fox Sports, with the main card on HDNet.

    Either way, it’s basic cable to me.

  • I have to respectfully disagree Junkie, the real exsposure if free TV. When you think about what it means to be a big star in the UFC, its generally the guys you are as perceived as that by the casual fan.

    The casual fan may not always buy every PPV, their main way of seeing the UFC is free TV. The UFC has to better utlize UFN’s to showcase up coming talent and most importantly needs an undercard only showcase series. I think that would be the real key to launching new stars, make a show devoted strictly to the non-featured fights which are shown on Unleashed.

    A companion show in the same format but that would feature only the premliminary fights that generally no one other than the die-hard paying internet few ever really get to see, the way they operate now they’re completely wasting those bouts.

  • Nah, I disagree. While episodes of UFC Unleashed *might* create a bit of water cooler conversation, it’s the PPVs which everyone talks about the monday after. When someone gets smashed, it turns into a big hype thing because EVERYONE talks about it.

  • rex says:

    I think Tertio is on to something…

  • Todd says:

    Most likely we got to see the undercard fights because they need to fill the time that they had for the complete payperview. When the main card fights are to short and don’t fill the whole time they fill in the space with the good pre-card fights. They have been doing this for awhile, but they usually put them at the end of the show.