Sunday, September 3, 2017

UFC 215

Demetrious Johnson is marvelous fighter. That's without question. Getting paid depends on getting people to watch you, and the fact more people aren't interested in watching Johnson fight is one of the more unfortunate things about MMA right now.

That said, almost no one has the ability to be a huge draw all on their own. A strong card helps a lot in getting good PPV numbers for basically anyone outside of McGregor. So what the fuck is this UFC 215 card?

I know Johnson's cleaned out the division. I know it's his choice to take on the only person who can even theoretically be put forward as an opponent. No one who knows anything is giving Ray Borg a chance, and being in a fight where everyone thinks they know the outcome is the way to make minimum money. That's on DJ.

Amanda Nunes is fantastic, and Valentina Shevchenko is the #1 contender and most logical opponent. She's going to get her ass beat, but she's still the most deserving challenger. I'd love for one or both of them to hit star status; Nunes might be there if she'd been the one to stop Ronda Rousey's reign, but now I'm not sure what it would take. Nunes' English is also just ok; Shevchenko's is good enough, but she doesn't have that broken accent charm of Gennady Golovkin or Joanna Jedrzejczyk (someday I'll be able to spell that without looking it up). They're not going to add as much to the viewership as their skill levels should demand.

Neil Magny's a very good fighter who's too far down the 170 ranks for casual fans to know. Rafael Dos Anjos is fucking shot. Magny's probably going to win. Who gives a shit.

Ilir Latifi is called The Sledgehammer for good reason. Hardly anyone knows who he is. I don't even know who Tyson Pedro is.

Jeremy Stephens is and forever will be best known for getting his shit verbally pushed in by Conor McGregor at a press conference. Gilbert Melendez was considered a top lightweight while in Strikeforce, eventually came to the UFC, and has promptly lost four out of five fights. Or not so promptly, seeing as it's been almost four-and-a-half years since he joined the organization. This isn't even a main card fight, except they're probably paying Melendez too much to not try and make use of his name recognition for a few more PPV sales.

This feels like Dana White being pissed at Johnson, pissed at Nunes, pissed at Melendez (or just about him losing so much), and writing this one off as a loss while he counts his May-Mac boxing money. Unfortunate.

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