Thursday, January 23, 2014

Water Cooler Talk: UFC in 2014

If you think about the UFC and the best fighters in the sport usually three names come to mind: Anderson Silva, George St. Pierre, and Jon Jones.  These three fighters are usually the three names of who fans and commentators toss out for best pound for pound fighters.  Silva has recently lost two fights in a row and broken his leg in half.  Who knows when he will be able to fight again and if he will ever be able to compete at the level he used to.  St. Pierre decided to vacate his belt and give up fighting for a while.  Jones has not fought since September and has postponed his fight three times against Glover Teixeira.  With these three stars futures in doubt, I have come up with a few suggestions for what the UFC should do to continue its strong brand.   

My first suggestion is to allow Chris Cyborg her chance to fight against Ronda Rousey.  Rousey has been dominating her division.  She has won every fight by arm bar submission with only one fight making it out of the first round.  Cyborg was dominating her fights until the suspension for steroids.  Since coming back she has won both of her fights by TKO.  I believe these two would put on an amazing fight.  If Rousey beats Sara McMann in February, Cyborg would make the best choice for the next title fight.

My second suggestion UFC does not really have control over but is something that will hopefully happen soon.  Once New York finally legalizes MMA, the UFC has to put together one of its best cards ever at Madison Square Garden.  This card should have at least two title bouts one of which should be Jones and Alexander Gustafsson’s rematch.  I think this would be an easy sell out and would also produce a lot of PPV buys.  I am pretty sure this would probably be UFC’s plan if and when MMA becomes legal in New York and they know the revenue potential it will bring to the sport.

My final suggestion is to make sure that the digital network, Fight Pass, has enough unique content to make it worth it for the fans.  Fight Pass will be showing live international fight cards as well as behind the scene footage.  I don’t believe this will entice enough people to want to buy their digital network.  The time difference in some of these countries will make the live fights show at odd times in the United States.  What the UFC needs to do is to show one good PPV event that can only been seen on their digital network.  This will make a lot of people buy Fight Pass and see everything that it can offer.  Once enough people buy into Fight Pass, original programming can be created that will make even more people want to watch Fight Pass. 

Greg Monforte is a Drexel University Sport Management pre-junior from South Jersey.  Currently he works at Not Just Pizza in Sicklerville, NJ and Daddis Fight Camps in Philadelphia where he has social media and marketing responsibilities.  Greg is also the SMTSU Director of Marketing & Outreach.  Follow Greg on Twitter @Greg_Monforte.

Connect with Greg Monforte on LinkedIn.

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