Last week I received a shiny new copy of Anchor Bay’s UFC Ultimate Fight Collection 2 and after several days of using it to check out every random fight I had an itch to watch, I’m ready to give it a pretty solid two thumbs up. In my opinion, these DVD sets are the most important addition to the UFC catalog since UFCs 1 through 15 appeared in bargain VHS bins for 8 bucks a pop back in 1997.
The UFC is an expensive sport. If you happened to buy all the PPV events included in this boxed set, it would have run you over $750 in total. Wanna legally go back and enjoy an event again? That’s 20 bucks per DVD. You could download stuff off the internet, but in the words of the UFC’s Lawyer King Laurence Epstein, “People who steal from us, frankly, aren’t our fans.” So it’s extremely cool that Real Fans now have the opportunity to affordably pick up a set that contains all the worthwhile fights from July 2011 to June 2012.
It’s interesting to note that you may not always agree with the UFC’s definition of worthwhile. 2011’s Ultimate Fight Collection featured fights from both the main cards and prelims, with only the shittiest of the shitty fights removed from the lineup. In the 2012 edition’s case, events focus mostly on main card fights with occasional prelim additions for the bigger cards.
Prelim fights weren’t the only matches to get the axe. Don’t be expecting to see every fight you saw on the PPV version of an event. Only main events were safe. Proof? Maynard vs Guida is still included. But even fights with names like Koscheck, Akiyama, Hioki, Kongo, Koch, Hunt, and Shields were zapped out of existence. The TUF Brazil finals were held at UFC 147, but were not included in this boxed set.
This just goes to show you that the quality of the fights were of paramount importance, more so than name recognition or historical importance. This might bug some of the hardcore fans looking for a more complete package, but it undoubtedly makes the DVD flow more tightly for the casual fan. You can pop any disc from this set into your player and know you’re not going to get any 15 minute humpfests or wall’n’stalls.
As for the fights included, this set reminds us that even in the midst of a terrible unending Gypsy Curse, there have been a lot of great fights. Highlights for me include the rare Benson Henderson vs Clay Guida fight, Shogun vs Henderson, Jones vs Machida, Diaz vs Miller, Mir vs Nogueira, Pettis vs Etim, and the list goes on and on and on.
The packaging is sleek and sexy and a nice contrast to the jet black 2011 edition. The listing of fights at the front is pretty small though and kinda difficult to look through, and the included fights are not repeated on individual pages or the DVDs themselves, even though there is room. The fights themselves include the intro video and then jump right to Bruce Buffer announcing the fighters. No walk outs, not even for the main event. While the set is only available in DVD, it still looks better than I’m used to seeing it. The menus are simple and efficient, and while the set doesn’t include any special features like 2011’s did, I don’t consider that much of a loss.
The UFC Ultimate Fight Collection definitely does what it says on the tin: it compiles over 50 hours of the best UFC fights from the past 12 months into one easy to browse collection. I can’t think of a better Christmas present for an MMA superfan or someone on the edge of becoming a superfan. And at around 100 bucks, it’s an absolute steal.