Like Snuggies® at small college football games in the fall, UFC has now officially taken over the world. The L.A. sports bar I shoehorned into Saturday was overwhelmed with TapOuted cranks trying to crash UFC 100. The only time I can remember SoCal *sports* fan reax even approaching that was Lakers NBA Finals-time.
(Opposite day! White counsels Lesnar on couth)
UFC’s PPV buys, attendance figures, gate receipts, merch sales and coverage from MSM outlets has passed critical mass. UFC now IS MMA. They might as well rename the sport.
And with that suffocating coverage comes increased scrutiny. Scrutiny that led to the extensive public comment on Brock Lesnar’s regrettable post-fight behavior at UFC 100. And the deliciously ironic response from pro sports’ biggest a-hole, Dana White.
Following Lesnar’s post fight slights of fallen opposite Frank Mir and UFC title sponsor Bud Light, White reportedly lectured the fighter on the fine art of how to act in public.
In other words, it was opposite day! Read more…
This weekend was a very big weekend for UFC as they held their UFC 100 pay-per-view event in Vegas, and though I’m not sure of the numbers they did, I’m pretty sure it was rather successful. All I know is that a lot of people I know who had never watched any UFC before in their lives were watching it on Saturday night and everybody has been talking about it since.
Still there’s no doubt that the sport is looking for a way to get even bigger and more mainstream. While I’m not sure how Brock Lesnar’s antics after beating Frank Mir will help or hurt the sport, there is one way I know that would be a sure fire way to increase the amount of pay-per-view buys from folks who don’t normally watch MMA. Put Shaq in the Octagon. He wants to be there, and so far, Dana White isn’t ruling it out.
(Note: SbB Senior Writer Tuffy couldn’t find a taker for his kidneys (though they are lovely ones, at that; quite pert), so he pulled up to UFC’s beach blanket beatdown at Mandalay Bay Beach for the simulcast for this report.)
Admittedly, it was a tough sell for some people. One person stopped us on the way in to ask if we, too, had spent $50 mistakenly expecting to walk into the arena of the most-touted event in UFC history and somehow found ourselves on a beach like we were Leo DiCaprio. Others (clearly comped) mocked those around them for dropping a wad of cash on a TV show when they could have “gone to a bar”.
For those people, we could only nod solemnly as we would for those who feel they’ve outsmarted the system by cruising the same three-block stretch for an hour to find a parking spot with a half-filled coin meter. Some people cannot be taught. Like Brock Lesnar, for example. Boy ain’t right. (Which reminds us… has someone checked in on his wife? Has she been flattened into crepe-like proportions?)
(Note: SbB Senior Writer Tuffy is on the ground in Vegas this weekend for UFC 100 and provides this report.)
The festivities surrounding UFC 100 aren’t limited to the activities under the purview of Dana White. From the professional nightclub/porn card distributors that somehow slipped into Mandalay Bay after the weigh-in to meet the crowd just outside the doors to the banquet halls of nearly every casino in the city with a big-screen TV and enough money to cover the PPV, everyone wants in.
However, the event closest to UFC’s roots occurred last night as up-and-coming amateur promoter Tuff-N-Uff put up a card with a twist: 10 matches, all women. (This from the group that brought us the MMA debut of former Playboy model LaTasha Marzolla last May.)
Marketed as the first all-femme gig in Vegas history, at least 4,000 fans (many in town for UFC 100) came out to see 20 women grapple on a Friday night.
(Note: SbB Senior Writer Tuffy is on the ground this weekend in Las Vegas; he provides this report on UFC 100.)
If you weren’t convinced that MMA had hit the big time when you turned on SportsCenter this morning and were baffled by the presence of two MMA fighters sitting at a remote desk with an ESPN anchor chattering about UFC 100 as if the Worldwide Leader had been covering the sport since 1979, you would be if you had stepped into the heart of the festivities Friday in Las Vegas.
(Hey! Hands off the merchandise, lady!)
It wasn’t just the sheer number of the masses or the presence of the Other Buffer Brother in the Topps booth, but the makeup of the crowd suggested new room for even further growth in the sport. (On the other hand, that might have been the presence of booth babes every twenty feet. The sport, she is not about ze subtlety.)
Follow after the jump for a look at the UFC Fan Expo and UFC 100 weigh-in. If that doesn’t appeal to you, we’re sure there’s an “Ace of Cakes” marathon on somewhere. Read more…
UFC 100 is coming up, and with it, a mea culpa. I didn’t give MMA its due. I thought it was a fad. But the premier promotion is up to their 100th event with no signs of slowing, and I have to admit that at this point in time, MMA is healthier than boxing.
So, as someone less than immersed in the scene, I have to wonder if MMA fans aren’t disappointed in the main event for what’s being billed as UFC’s “biggest event ever.” Brock Lesnar, he of three career UFC bouts and a background in fake fighting, is your UFC heavyweight champion and main event headliner. Does this piss on everything MMA’s worked so hard to become?