I would hate to think of how many times, and I’m sure I’m not alone in my annoyance here, where I’ve been enjoying a co-main event and watching two marquis fighters squaring-off in what is always an important divisional bout and often one with title ramifications on the line, only to have the fight disappointingly drawn to a conclusion at the end of the 3rd.
It’s usually not because either fighter was out of the fight decisively, but simply because the co-mains are only 3 rounders. It’s a drag to say the least. Particularly if you’re guy was getting his *** handed to him over the first two, only to have them rally in the third and return the favor to his/her opponent. It’s that “what if?” moment. What if your guy had another 2 rounds?
After the Sanchez / Ellenberger fight (February 15, 2012), which was a three round top-of-the card bout on the UFC’s debut appearance with Fuel TV and a fight that turned out to be a phenomenal, fan rousing war and one which left the live attendant audience of seven-thousand-plus clamouring for rounds 4 and 5, Dana White declared that from then on all mains would be five rounds and regardless of whether or not there was a title on the line. “The Boss” actually went so far as to say that the promotion had erred, “blew it”, in failing to have scheduled Sanchez / Ellenberger as a 5 round fight.
However and as much as that was the correct decision to gurantee 5 rounds for top-of-the-card bouts and certainly a decision which pleased the fans, one has to ask the question…why has White not applied the same standard to the co-mains?
For me, if there was one quick and easy change that I could make to the UFC it would be scheduling co-mains as 5 round fights. As a general rule, I believe fans are just as interested in the fight directly below the main as they are in the main itself. Certainly this was the case for the recent UFC 160 card. There were more people who were interested in and hyped for JDS / Hunt then there were for Velasquez / Silva. As it turned out they were right in doing so as Jr. and Mark put on a great fight, where CV / Bigfoot put on a bout that turned out to be 81 seconds of predictability.
So how do you feel about it? Are you happy with the status-quo or would you like to see Dana issue the mandate and make all co-mains 5 rounds?