Sunday, July 15, 2012

Take Away Service - UFC 148: Silva Vs. Sonnen II - Edition

Welcome to another edition of It's Fighting Stupid's Take Away Service. Where we, do you, the service of letting you in on all the key take-away's from UFC 148: Silva Vs. Sonnen II and the UFC on Fuel 4. First up on the menu....

UFC 148: Believe The Hype
Silva Vs Sonnen II was hyped as the biggest fight in UFC history and though the buy rate may fall short of UFC 100, It definitely felt like the biggest fight in UFC history on Saturday night. Both Silva and Sonnen delivered in spades with Sonnen doing exactly what he said he was going to do by putting Silva on his back and beating him up for the entire first round. Only to have Anderson Silva do what he does best by capitalizing when Sonnen fell after a spinning elbow attempt with a picture perfect knee to the American Gangster's sternum to close the show.

What's next for the Middle Weights?
With Anderson Silva putting away the #1 contender Chael Sonnen in decisive fashion and Chris Weidman taking out the concensus #3 middleweight Mark Munoz in devastating fashion the Middleweight division needs some very well thought out match making going forward in order to establish a clear hierarchy to the division while maximizing the marquee value of each contest. Here's what I have in mind after hitting the reset button on the current matchmaking at 185lbs.....

Michael Bisping Vs. Rashad Evans
These two had an incredibly close fight at 205lbs back at UFC 78 and both are good names to have at the top of the card. Bisping is easily a top five middleweight and Rashad Evans credentials speak for themselves. This fight would do a great job of drawing viewers while establishing a #1 contender that would draw well against Anderson Silva going forward. They currently have Stann facing Bisping at UFC 152 in Toronto, I'd sub in Evans who just so happens to be from neighboring Michigan.

Chris Weidman Vs. Allan Belcher
Chris Weidman made a huge statement with his incredibly dominate TKO of former #3 middleweight Mark Munoz, establishing himself as a top five middleweight and one of the hottest prospects in the UFC. Allan Belcher is coming off a huge win of his own over Rusimar Palhares at the UFC on Fox in May, and also occupies a spot in the top five. This fight would be good in a co main event slot as it would clearly establish the #2 contender while allowing both guys an opportunity to increase their marquee value.

Chael Sonnen Vs. Rich Franklin
Chael Sonnen probably won't get another title shot for a while, that said he still is one of the best in the division and maybe more importantly, he's still the number two draw at middleweight and one of the biggest stars in the company. Rich Franklin is coming off a big win over Wanderlei Silva at UFC 147 and still has his eyes on another title run. A win over Chael Sonnen would catapult him right into contender status, while providing the UFC with a marquee match up, that is only made better by the legitimate heat between the two.

The other matches I would make have the winner of Wanderlei Silva Vs. Vitor Belfort take on the winner of Hector Lombard Vs. Tim Boetsch, I would have Brian Stann take on Jake Shields, as well I like Cung Le vs Chris Leben, and CB Dollaway Vs. Ed Herman, all of which should work together to do a good job of clarifying the pecking order for the rest of the top ten.

The UFC should look for better "Fuel Efficiency"

If the UFC is serious about making the most out of the fights that they're putting on the fledgling fuel channel they need to make some serious adjustments in order to make the most out of the limited platform that they seem to be investing serious content in. 

First establish a day that these fight nights are going to happen and stick with it. Have these fight nights every other Wednesday with a miniature countdown show on the Wednesday before. This would allow your fans to establish a pattern and to know where and when to look for your programing. With the countdown show adding some background and framing the narrative for people who may not be familiar with some of the fighters being featured. 

Second I think moving Kenny Florian over to the play by play chair while allowing Stephan Bonnar to move down to the color commentary position would really make the broadcast a lot better. Jon Anik is a great broadcaster with an excellent knowledge of the game but he generally ends up in the background while Kenny Florian does both play by play and color which he handles adeptly. I would keep Anik in the booth doing all the in ring, post fight interviews, vignettes, history packages and commercials, etc. and leave the actual play by play call to Kenny Florian which he is essentially doing already. Adding a Stephan Bonnar or a Chael Sonnen to the booth to handle color commentary would add a fresh voice and a different tone to the broadcast and both guys have done a great job whenever they've been in front of the mic.


1 comment:

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