While James Wilks did a good job of cleaning DaMarques Johnson’s clock, I don’t think any of us are convinced that he’ll be able to hang with the majority of the UFC’s 170 pound division. But now that the UFC has spent so much time and effort setting up some new UK stars, they’re going to need a way to keep Wilks in the public’s eye. Oh, and I suppose Ross Pearson too, even though he kinda stunk up his coming out party. MMA Junkie’s Captain John Morgan has the perfect solution, a way to give UK guys experience and exposure without watering down PPV cards:
While European fans are guaranteed to be fed a steady diet of Terry Etim, Hardy, Rick Hathaway, Paul Kelly, Dennis Siver, Stefan Struve and Paul Taylor in the coming months and years, an influx of developing talent like Wilks, Pearson and “TUF 9” semifinalist Nick Osipczak could prove beneficial for the marketing of future European events.
And with the more compact venues, smaller live gates and decreased buy rates typical of the UFC’s European-based pay-per-view events, the “Fight Night” model, broadcast live or via tape-delay on Spike TV in the U.S. and live in Europe on the myriad broadcast partners the UFC continues to secure overseas, may prove the most manageable for the organization and fairest way to bring along it’s newly identified talent, especially considering their country of origin.
In other words, a few UK Fight Nights a year would allow crappy British fighters to develop to the point where they could potentially win a fight against the UFC’s hardened crop of US gatekeepers – ya know, the ones going nowhere fast that are currently feasting on the majority of UK and European talent. I personally love the idea of a UK Fight Night … they’d allow the UFC to televise a bunch of fights featuring UK fighters that would otherwise be confined to the prelims of PPVs, never to be seen by anyone but those who were at the event and those few who buy or steal prelims off the internet. There’s gotta be a better way to develop regional stars than that, and a regional Fight Night is the perfect fucking answer. If the UFC still has a TV deal in a few months, that is…