Opinion: Is UFC 153 Worthy of Pay Per View Money?
By Jesse Heitz
For the UFC, the last portion of 2012 has so far hasn’t been anything but pure disappointment for many MMA fans, as well as the UFC brass themselves who have undoubtedly watched their bottom line suffer significantly as of late.
The first stumble for the UFC was September’s UFC 151, which was to feature the long-awaited Dan Henderson vs. Jon Jones bout. However, as we all know, Henderson was sidelined with a torn MCL in his knee. The UFC quickly approached Lyoto Machida as Henderson’s replacement, but Machida declined the offer. Out of the blue Chael Sonnen steps up to the plate, but this time Jon “Bones” Jones declines the fight. The maddening end result was the cancellation of the entire event.
The UFC looked as if it were once again gaining a solid footing and righting the wrongs of UFC 151 by presenting a favorable card at UFC 152, which is set to take place on September 22. Then disaster strikes again for UFC 153, which is slated to be held on October 13 in Rio. The initial main event between Featherweight Champion Jose Aldo and former Lightweight kingpin Frankie Edgar had to be scratched when Aldo became injured. Quinton “Rampage” Jackson was scheduled to face Glover Teixeira, but then “Rampage” fell injured and was scratched from the card. The bout between Alan Belcher and Vitor Belfort had to be scrapped due to Vitor’s shuffle to the main event of UFC 152 as well.
Dana White and company have kept UFC 153 afloat so far, however, the current lineup is significantly less than impressive. The new main event is to be a light heavyweight bout between Anderson Silva and Stephan Bonnar. Bonnar, essentially retired from active competition, was originally approached to be Rampage Jackson’s replacement against Glover Teixeira, but declined due to the latter’s limited “visibility”.
The main event of UFC 153 effectively pits the best fighter in the world against a 205 pound gatekeeper. Even though Bonnar is riding a 3 fight win streak, he’s a man who has been out-dueled by Forrest Griffin on two different occasions, and now he’s to lock horns with the man who made Griffin, among many others, look like absolute amateurs. Don’t get me wrong, Bonnar is beyond tough, but I don’t believe that will be enough to defeat Anderson Silva.
For the rest of this card we have: Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira vs. Dave Herman—who has been dropped in his last two fights, Glover Teixeira vs. Fabio Maldonado—who has lost his last two fights, Jon Fitch vs. Erick Silva, Phil Davis vs. Wagner Prado—a rematch following their No Contest at UFC on Fox: Shogun vs. Vera, and Demian Maia vs. Rick Story—who is 1-2 in his last three fights. This card borders on being an abomination. Virtually all of the fights on the main card have suspect relevancy to any title chase.
While I applaud the UFC’s dedicated efforts to overcome the injury bug and keep this card alive, the end result is hardly worth the near $50 dollar asking price for the pay-per-view. Offering this card on regular television would have drawn no complaints, but trying to peddle this watered-down card certainly isn’t the way to get back into the fans’ good graces after the promotionally disastrous UFC 151 debacle.