The Wrestling Observer pointed out that UFC 86 got snubbed hardcore by ESPN, with competitive eating getting ‘1000 times more coverage’:
ESPN News last night ran about 30 seconds of highlights of the Griffin vs. Jackson match. It was not played up as any kind of a big sporting event this weekend on ESPN. On Sports Center, it was No. 9 on plays of the day and that was it, about a ten second clip. There was 1,000 times as much coverage for the Hot Dog eating contest.
Now the Big Lead is asking why:
Is it a “star” thing? Are the stodgy, old school corner offices in Bristol still not sold on the sport? Or did MMA simply fall victim to a Red Sox-Yankees weekend that also included allegations that A-Rod has been cheating on his wife with Madonna, a significant MLB trade and an epic tennis match?
Perhaps. Or is it simply that Dana White didn’t want to play ball with ESPN last year, and when the two couldn’t reach a partnership, sports fans – that’s you guys – get stuck with Spelling Bees and Hot Dog Eating contests and MMA is relegated to the ‘other sports tab’ on the front page of ESPN’s website. This must be how hockey fans feel.
It’s worth noting that the lack of coverage has nothing to do with a lack of interest in the UFC. Personally, I think it’s because Dana White wouldn’t go all the way with ESPN. After all, you can only dry hump for so long before it shreds your dick up hardcore. I learned that the hard way … I think I spent half my teenage years limping around like someone had attacked my penis with a weed whacker. Let’s hope Lorenzo Fertitta knows some nifty tricks that will get ESPN interested again – I hear some religious folks think you can do anal and still be a virgin. I don’t know how that analogy would carry over into this UFC / ESPN situation, but Lorenzo is a clever guy. I’ll let him work it out.