Sunday, 29 January 2012 00:56
I am a huge fan of the Fox network. I'd rather watch national MLB and NFL games on Fox than any other network. The production is always slick and hip. The announcers are straight to the point without the seemingly endless pre-game chatter that NBC Sports presents. Everyone always comes across like they are really having fun and enjoying their work along with the viewers watching the games.
All that being said, in watching UFC on Fox both times it feels like there is something missing from these shows. Maybe it's adjusting to carrying a new sports product. But the fun and energy of other Fox Sports coverage just doesn't seem to be here with UFC. Everyone comes across nervous, stiff, and serious during the bout preview segments.
Goldberg and Rogan called the action as if people are already supposed to know UFC rules and all the fighter's MMA history on the show. I'm a less than casual viewer of UFC. I only watch it when it is on Fox these days! The broadcasts don't come across as welcoming to new viewers. I'm sure rabid MMA fans will defend it and say that it's the fault of the new viewer for not doing homework.
As far as the action went, there was nothing impressive at all about UFC on Fox. It sure as hell didn't get me excited to catch a ppv in any form (at home, bar, or streaming). All I saw was a bunch of guys trading sluggish punches.
I was watching with a friend who knows much more about UFC than I ever will. He said it's starting to get out of hand that they have a show every week or every other week. It's even getting tough for him to keep up with it all! Here we had a show tonight and they promoted not only a ppv for next week, but a show in April! I guess that tells me as a less than casual viewer if there are any other UFC events in Feb. or March they must not be worth talking about!
Chael Sonnen gave me flashbacks to the good old days of Jim Crockett Promotions promos! LOL.. First time I ever heard him talk after reading a lot about him! The highlight of the show!
Best fight; Evans vs. Davis-due to Evans' stellar performance.
Worst fight; Maia vs. Weidman
I gave the Fox show a thumbs down. All 3 fights seemed to be in near slow motion, especially the Maia bout. Good win for Weidman though on only
11 days notice. Maia simply seemed unmotivated & not there at all. Huge loss/disappointing was Maia. Sonnen vs. Bisping a real disappointment. Bisping looked as if he was just happy to be there & Chael didn't really. Just a work day for both, it seemed. Evans looked very good though in totally dominating Davis, who is simply too green for Evans caliber. The production was nice & the addition of the fighting Robots helped, but again they need to develop their own identity instead of using the NFL's theme music, regardless of what that theme stands for (Big time Sporting event music). The announcing was straight forward as there was no controversy nor any big moments for Rogan to flip his lid & mess up over. Judges decisions right on. Overall though this will only result in less people tuning in, & Dana really needs to be worried now as the curiosity factor is now over, & the result is a failure indeed. And that's not good for the sport, we fans nor anyone else except maybe the haters. I don't see UFC on Fox in store past 2012, sadly.
With the failed steroid tests, the retirements of so many superstars, Chael Sonnen is so important to MMA in 2012. While his fight wasn’t as spectacularly dominant as I’d hoped, his post-fight promo was so money. With Sonnen’s promos and persona, he’s already the best pro-wrestler on TV. I’ll also give Bisping credit, despite his constant heel tactics of grabbing the ropes (cage) for leverage and pulling of the tights (shorts) throughout the fight, he actually fought his best fight I can recall, is clearly better than he was a few years ago. But he is still an upper mid-level guy with a big UK following, as he has lost to every top level guy he’s faced.
From the moment Phil Davis started rehearsing the fight in his head during introductions I knew he was going to lose. It seemed pretty clear the Davis camp went in looking at this fight as a “learning experience” and not one that he actually wanted to win. Similar to rookie Kobe Bryant nonsensically getting the last minute shot from the bench in Game 7 against the Houston Rockets back in the 90’s. Rashad was his usual self, showing an inability to finish and Davis being his usual self, being boring. It was an interesting move to make Rashad the babyface in the prefight setup with his family. Wondering if they’re toying with the idea of a double turn with Jones? Speaking of Jones, after the Rashad fight was done, his promo should’ve included an actual emotional recounting of history, directly at Rashad into the camera. Not only to remind us of their history and get us excited, but to educate new fans on the significance of their matchup.
As for the production, I still don’t like the FOX NFL music being played, and I don’t like their analysis and hype from the press box so high up in the arena. I think the modern, one analyst with three athletes format is better. And it’d be better on the arena floor too. I do think Curt Menafee does a good job as being believable in “hosting” an UFC show, as opposed to CBS’ Gus Johnson who still came across as a network sports guy who happened to be covering MMA at first.
I'm thinking more and more that these fights need to be taped in order to prevent the borefest that we recieved tonight. And the hype is terrible, Dana has no idea how to market and create buzz around his product, let alone his own shows. He's losing touch with the audience fast and it shows.
There's a reason Vince McMahon has kept his company on top for over 40 years, and it's because he knows how to PROMOTE. UFC is about to be a flash in the pan if they don't right this ship.