“Over saturation” has been a huge topic amongst MMA fans and media members for the last year or so. Many people in the MMA community believe the UFC has overextended themselves and went too far with the amount of fight cards they are putting on each year.
Now you may not think this is such a huge issue if you are an avid MMA fan and enjoy watching the UFC’s cards almost every weekend, but just to prove my point, the UFC is set to put on 43 fight cards in 2014 and even more in 2015. They have increased the amount of cards by ten since 2012 just two years ago, and will continue to go up over time.
Another stat to think about is that there are 52 weeks in a year. Putting on 43 fight cards a year is extremely close to having a card per week. This would have been unheard of in the UFC’s glory days from years past.
This “over saturation” topic poses a few major problems in my opinion. The obvious one is that with all these cards happening it makes each card less stacked because the company needs all these fighters to fill the large amounts of cards happening. Cards are simply just not as appealing anymore. Don’t get me wrong, there have been some great cards this year and great fights that haven’t looked good on paper.
But let’s be honest, when was the last time we saw a card that had even remotely close to the amount of star power that UFC 100 did back in July of 2009?
Another major problem is that when injuries occur, which seems to be more often than ever nowadays, the UFC simply does not have enough fighters available to step in. This has caused events to be canceled, cards to be completely ruined, and fans disappointed in what the company calls a pay-per-view (PPV). For example, Dan Henderson getting injured caused UFC 151 to be canceled as well as Jose Aldo’s injury causing UFC 176 to be nixed just four short weeks ago.
This specific issue has come to full fruition today regarding tomorrow’s (August 30, 2014) UFC 177 PPV event live from the Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento, California. The bout was supposed to be headlined by a very anticipated rematch between T.J Dillashaw and former bantamweight champ Renan Barao. The co-main event was expected to be a flyweight championship bout between Demetrious Johnson and Chris Cariaso. Two championship bouts gave the card a decent appeal, despite a lackluster undercard to go with it. However, the injury bug struck again.
Jon Jones, who was supposed to be headlining the highly anticipated UFC 178 card, suffered a leg injury during training which left the card without a main event. The UFC quickly announced that Johnson vs. Cariaso would be moved to the main event of that card. This helped save UFC 178, but left UFC 177 feeling weak. The problems did not end there for the UFC, as it was announced today (August 29, 2014) that Renan Barao became ill during his weight cut and would not be able to compete. The UFC announced that unknown bantamweight Joe Soto would make the jump from the prelims to take on Dillashaw for the belt in his UFC debut.
In my opinion, this unfortunate serious of events has left UFC 177 looking rather pathetic. And all of this goes back to the problem of over saturation. The UFC had no one to step in to save this event which was already a disappointing looking card again due to over saturation.
If the UFC would just cut down on the number of events they run, we as fans would get more well-rounded cards rather to just more cards. This seems to be a serious issue in today’s age, making the UFC just another weekly event rather than fans experiencing the exciting build-up to a stacked card. Fans don’t even have enough time to get hyped for a card now a days, forgetting the fact that the card may not even be interesting.
Do you prefer the almost weekly cards, or would you rather the UFC put on the blockbuster events we remember from a few years back?