The UFC has certainly had their share of pay-per-view events that weren’t worth the price of a movie ticket let alone the $45 they ask their fans to shell out each and every month. Now don’t get me wrong there have been events that looked awful on paper, but wound up delivering more bang for the buck than some of the more high profile events the organization has put on over the years.
The question I pose here is will UFC 147 go down as the weakest pay-per-view events in recent history. Without going over each and every poor pay-per-view card the UFC has produced over the past six years, I just wanted to go over this card briefly. Injuries happen all the time and when you participate in such a grueling sport there is just no way to avoid them.
Even before Vitor Belfort went down with a broken hand and forced out of his bout with Wanderlei Silva this card was weak and uninteresting to say the least. That’s not to say there aren’t any exciting fighters on the card, but as soon as the rematch between UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva and Chael Sonnen was moved to Las Vegas because of a conflict with the United Nations Conference the UFC should’ve moved this event to the FX or Fuel Network. There just aren’t enough interesting fights to warrant people opening their wallets for this event, and as such I expect one of the lowest buyrates in the company’s history.
The UFC has called upon company man Rich Franklin to step in and face Silva. Many of you may remember their first fight which took place at UFC 99 back in June 0f 2009. Franklin walked away with a very close Unanimous Decision victory, and, while the fight was certainly entertaining, it didn’t have fans clamoring for a rematch. Franklin hasn’t fought since losing to Forrest Griffin last February. Age and injuries have slowed him down considerably, but he deserves credit for taking this fight on short notice when the UFC was in a bind.
The rest of the card pretty much focuses on the first ever edition of TUF Brasil. Belfort and Silva coached their respective teams and there very well may be some extremely talented fighters, but how many people in the United States have watched episodes of the show online? The UFC is asking their fans to invest in a group of fighters they know very little if anything at all about. The co-main event is a heavyweight bout between Mike Russow and Fabricio Werdum!! Russow the part-time fighter, full-time Chicago Police Officer and Werdum, the man Junior dos Santos destroyed in his organizational debut at back in October of 2008.
Recently the UFC showcased a bunch of talented fighters at the Ultimate Fighter 15 Finale. The main event was also very entertaining as Martin Kampmann defeated Jake Ellenberger in a battle for welterweight supremacy. The two finalists of the show Al Iaquinta and Michael Chiesa were at least known to the fans in this country, and people had an opportunity to invest in this group of fighters throughout the duration of the show. Add in an entertaining featherweight bout between Jonathan Brookins and Charles Oliveira and the show was more pay-per-view worth than UFC 147 looks to be.
Dana White has said many times that you really can’t understand the value of a card until the event takes place. UFC 147 could produce 10 fights that could entertain the fans and have people talking for weeks, but when people are deciding on whether or not to purchase an event they want to see some star power, they want to know who they will be watching and if their history shows that they consistently put on great fights. Most fans aren’t willing to gamble their hard earned money on a group of fighters they know nothing about and haven’t seen compete inside the Octagon. I’m not a psychic, but when the numbers come in I’d be surprised if the pay-per-view buys for UFC 147 are over 150,000.
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC