Opinion: Will UFC 165 Be a Bang or Bust?
By Jesse Heitz
Here we are on the day of UFC 165, and I’m left with the typical question that seems to plague my thought process when MMA fans are gearing up to, or already have for that matter, shelled out half of a c-note for a MMA pay-per-view. The question is, will the card be worth the fans’ hard-earned money, or is a card better-suited for being broadcast on cable television?
The card does feature Jon Jones, who UFC President Dana White recently spoke of in an interview with The Telegraph’s Gareth Davies, stating,
“Fighters are what they are. Jon Jones comes off as a heel because people don’t like him. For whatever reason people don’t like him, you know….
“There’s plenty of black fighters. People loved Rampage. People love Anderson. I don’t think it’s a black or a white thing. I think its something about his personality that people don’t like.”
The card is headlined by a bout between UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jon “Bones” Jones and challenger Alexander Gustafsson, which is certain to be a sound fight, one definitely tuning into. Gustafsson with an impressive record of 15-1, not having lost in roughly three and a half years, is one of the premier talents with the capability of unseating Jones. Does that mean it will happen? That’s an answer I cannot provide. Also on the card is Renan Barao vs. Eddie Wineland, which should also be an excellent fight. Yet, the rest of the card, save Mitrione vs. Schaub, is rather lacking in star power.
Certainly this card, with its mere inclusion of Jones, will undoubtedly be a financial success. Jones is surging, he’s wildly popular. Whether you cheer him or jeer him, countless fans from both camps tune in to watch him go to work. However, this leads to a bigger question, one that has been hinted at and even briefly discussed in other pieces. Is the UFC overstretching itself with the rather weak on names cards as of late, or is it perfectly permissible for a $50 pay-per-view event to be essentially based on one or two higher profile fights? Personally, I prefer stacked $50 dollar cards. Then again, even my love of MMA can’t fully overcome my thrifty nature.