Dominick Cruz vs. Demetrious Johnson: Lighter weight divisions struggle with fansPosted on October 2, 2011, 10:46 PM by Trent Reinsmith
One question that lingered following UFC on Versus 6 was, why do the lighter weight divisions struggle to find footing with the casual MMA fan? Once a fight drops below welterweight it seems like it just does not draw the fans in like even the most mediocre heavyweight scrap can and that’s a shame.
Dominick Cruz and Demetrious Johnson both delivered solid performances on Saturday night during their main event, a fight that saw Cruz defend his bantamweight title for a fourth consecutive time. Cruz and Johnson, two of the fastest fighters in the UFC put forth a sustained pace that few fighters competing in the heavier weight classes could even dream about. Yet for some, the matchup between Johnson’s striking and Cruz’s wrestling, strength and tenacity wasn’t enough.
Are the more technical aspects of a fight such as Saturday’s main event lost on some fans or is it simply a matter of wanting to see two behemoths stand in the center of the cage and swing until one gets knocked out? Yes, this is an oversimplification of the issue, but when it’s all boiled down, there is a huge disconnect in fan appreciation between the heavier and lighter fighters.
This theory will once again get put to the test on Saturday, October 8 when Frankie Edgar puts his UFC lightweight title on the line against Gray Maynard. The fight will be the third between the two competitors and if the scrap the two competed in on January 1 was an indication of what to expect at UFC 136 the fight has “Fight of the Year” candidate written all over it, but will the fight draw the eyes that it deserves?
Add to the Edgar and Maynard fight a featherweight title bout between Jose Aldo and Kenny Florian and you have two of the three lighter weight belts being contested on the same fight card. Fans should be tuning into this card in droves, but will that happen?
To put the problem in perspective, what do you think the pay per view sales would be if the UFC held an event that had a welterweight and a middleweight title fight on the same card or a light heavyweight and heavyweight title bout?
So, what do you think LowKick’ers, why do the lighter weights struggle to get the appreciation they deserve?