If you were woefully undereducated like I am, you were probably expecting the Diego Sanchez vs Jake Ellenberger to go an extra two rounds last night. I was expecting it right up until both guys started victory flexing for the judges. It turns out that the UFC’s 5-round main event policy only applies to PPV events and FOX broadcasts, not FX and FUEL shows. No more, according to The Dana:
“Cause we blew it it should have been a five round fight. As I was sitting here again tonight I’m looking at the fight going yeah, this should have been five rounds. I think that when Diego and Ellenberger went back in for that fourth round the place would have gone crazy, people were ready for it at home. I’m not gonna throw anyone under the bus … but we blew it. We should have done it. They will be five round fights from now on. Everyone’s asking if it’s because of FUEL, FUEL would let us do 33 round fights if we wanted to. Yeah, they’ll be five rounds from here on out. Other than contracts that have already been signed.”
The original limitation to FOX and PPV events made sense to a degree: you don’t want a scrubby fight on top of a weak card to hit debacle levels by having both guys gassing out halfway through. Maybe the UFC can just use their brains when deciding if a fight should be three or five? Alas, you start picking yourself and it may be perceived as stacking the deck for either favoring lazy asses like BJ Penn or cardio machines like Nick Diaz.
Just so you know, those already signed 3 round main events: Thiago Alves vs. Martin Kampmann at UFC on FX 2 and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira vs. Alexander Gustafsson at UFC on FUEL 2. Both of which would have been even better with an extra two rounds.