Dave Doyle of Fox Sports is pondering a question which raises some very significant concerns fans have had since this past weekends UFC 71 event: Do short main events hurt the UFC in particular and MMA at large?
Here is a list of all the PPV main events from the start of 2006 and how long they lasted:
UFC 57: Liddell KOs Randy Couture, Round 2
UFC 58: Rich Franklin decisions David Loiseau after five rounds
UFC 59: Tim Sylvia TKOs Andrei Arlovski, Round 1
UFC 60: Matt Hughes TKOs Royce Gracie, Round 1
UFC 61: Sylvia decisions Andrei Arlovski after five rounds
UFC 62: Liddell TKO’s Renato Sobral, Round 1
UFC 63: Hughes TKOs B.J. Penn, Round 3
UFC 64: Anderson Silva KOs Franklin, Round 1
UFC 65: Georges St. Pierre TKOs Hughes Round 2
UFC 66: Liddell TKOs Tito Ortiz, Round 3
UFC 67: Silva TKOs Travis Lutter, Round 2
UFC 68: Couture decisions Sylvia, five rounds
UFC 69: Matt Serra TKOs St. Pierre, Round 1
UFC 70: Gabriel Gonzaga KOs Mirko Cro Cop, Round 1
UFC 71: Jackson TKOs Liddell, Round 1
I think this might be a concern for the UFC in the immediate future because, with the UFC getting major media exposure, it wants events that follow through on hype. UFC 71 fulfilled the hype for me although I am sure a lot of first time and casual fans felt shorted when the main event lasted under 2 minutes.
As the above list expresses only 3 UFC main events have gone past the 3rd round providing a lot of concern for the UFC. On one hand they can market the action the UFC provides over other sports, such as boxing. On the other, however, this presents a serious concern with perceived value for customers. People who buy (or are thinking about buying a PPV) want to “get their moneys worth” and when a fight lasts mere minutes casual fans will feel shortchanged and “ripped off” more often than not.
While most fans will agree that quick KOs, submissions, and stoppages are a part of the sport, will casual fans ultimately be turned off by the quick main events?