(Props: MMA Scraps)
The UFC’s latest “Primetime” series premiered on Spike TV Wednesday night, whereupon we learned that Dan Hardy is a mouthy British punk and Georges St. Pierre is a determined, focused professional athlete. If that sounds like an oversimplification of the matter, that’s because it is. It’s also the angle that “Primetime” spent the better part of a half-hour hammering into our skulls.
The good news is the show garnered an average audience of about one million people, making it the most-watched episode since the series began with the GSP-BJ Penn showdown in January of 2009. In terms of cold hard numbers and objective reality, the newest incarnation of the show would appear to be a success. When it comes to telling us anything new about the fighters, and avoiding the empty phrases and broad stroke storytelling that is so often the worst part of fight-hyping TV shows, there’s nothing spectacular here.
Then again, what do we expect? The role of these types of shows is to give us something about each guy that we can latch onto, something to serve as an easy stand-in for an actual identity, and then contrast one fighter with his opponent as much as possible. It’s not exactly a genre that lends itself to complexity. Instead it’s a genre that involves a lot of looking into a camera and talking about how you’re going to beat the other guy up, which is exactly what we got from episode one.
Just out of curiosity, anyone feeling like this fight is going to be more competitive now that you’ve been officially pumped full of hype? I mean, Hardy did shake hands with Matt Serra at the end, right? For a guy who’s being given nothing more than the slimmest of puncher’s chances, there may be no better mentor.