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Tag: UFC 173

Late Replacement Main Events: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

By Jared Jones

In a year that has seen nine pay-per-view headliners slip through the UFC’s fingers, Cain Velasquez’s injury and subsequent removal from UFC 180 might the biggest blow of them all (I hear a nasty tumble down a flight of stairs is to blame for all this). The TUF curse has now gone international, folks, and while I’m not prepared to start nailing the UFC’s coffin shut, I will say that the champ’s most recent injury has cast an ominous shadow over the UFC’s first trip to Mexico.

Then again, the UFC was able to book a hell of a replacement opponent for Fabricio Werdum in Mark Hunt, and an interim title fight between the two is probably the best thing us fans could ask for, all things considered. Late replacement main events are always a mixed bag, but before we start rioting, let’s all take a deep breath and try to remember a few last-minute headliners that actually worked out…

The Good

UFC 128: Shogun vs. Jones


(This and all photos hereafter via Getty.)

That’s right, the event that marked the beginning of the end for light heavyweights with title aspirations was never meant to happen.

Having just ended the Machida Era™ at UFC 113 in stunning fashion, Mauricio Rua was actually scheduled to face Rashad Evans at UFC 128 until a knee injury forced the latter out of the contest. Rua, who had just had his own knee repaired following the Machida fight, was then matched up against a resurgent and likeable at the time contender named Jon Jones, who had unleashed an And-1 mixtape of asskicking on Ryan Bader just two events prior.

Although it was Rua who held the tremendous experience edge, it was Jones who would dominate the fight from start to finish. Flying knees, oblique kicks, and likely an eye poke or five from the challenger had Rua in defense mode until a particularly vicious knee put him away in the third round. Despite being called up to the biggest fight of his life on a month’s notice, Jones emerged a champion and sent a chilling message to the rest of the light heavyweight division.

That message: “Hey pussy, are you still there? None of you will ever defeat me.”

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Wild Rumor of the Day: UFC 174 Did Less Than 100,000 Pay-Per-View Buys


(*crickets* / Photo via Getty)

Yesterday, MMAFighting’s Dave Meltzer reported that UFC 173: Barao vs. Dillashaw pulled an estimated 200,000-215,000 pay-per-view buys. While that number is certainly on the low end of UFC buyrates, it’s not a disaster by any means. Keep in mind that UFC 169 — a card that featured a Renan Barao vs. Urijah Faber rematch, Jose Aldo defending his featherweight belt against Ricardo Lamas, and a high-profile heavyweight bout between Alistair Overeem and Frank Mir — only earned an estimated 230,000 buys back in February. On paper, UFC 173 was arguably a weaker offering, but the buyrate wasn’t that far off. Basically, it could have been a lot worse.

The bad news is, last weekend’s UFC 174: Johnson vs. Bagautinov event might have done a historically awful, Bellator-caliber buyrate. First, here’s Meltzer discussing the early estimates in his newsletter yesterday:

“It’s too early to get accurate numbers, but every indication we’ve gotten was very bad, and that it showed a steep decline from UFC 173, which was among the lower numbers of the last eight years. UFC PPV shows usually range from 200,000 to 500,000 Google searches after the event, and are usually in the top few searched for items in the country. A bad show may only do 100,000. Bellator’s show last month hit 100,000. A big show can top 500,000, with the shows that hover around 1 million buys usually doing anywhere from 1 million to 5 million searches. This show did less than 20,000, unheard of for a PPV…

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Daniel Cormier Suffered Knee Injury Before UFC 173, Still Whooped Dan Henderson’s Ass


(Props: Getty via UFC Instagram)

As if Daniel Cormier‘s total domination of Dan Henderson at UFC 173 wasn’t impressive enough, it turns out that DC managed to do it all on a bum knee. As Ariel Helwani reported on yesterday’s edition of UFC Tonight, Cormier injured his lateral collateral ligament (LCL) just ten days before his fight against Henderson, and briefly feared that he’d have to pull out. Instead, he soldiered on and the rest is history.

Cormier will have his knee assessed in the next few weeks, and may decide to have surgery to fix an existing problem with his ACL. While that plan would put him out of action for the rest of 2014, he had already planned to wait for a title shot against the winner of Jon Jones vs. Alexander Gustafsson, which is tentatively scheduled for August 30th. In other words, the timing could be ideal — unless Gustafsson wins in a controversial split-decision and the UFC decides to do an immediate rubber-match. As Dana White recently pointed out, waiting for your title shot rarely works out the way you want it to.

Cormier also busted a tooth while slamming Hendo to the mat during their fight, and had to get it pulled on Monday.

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UFC 173 vs. Bellator 120: Which Did More Web Traffic?

By Matt Saccaro

Despite the UFC’s legal team being among CagePotato’s most avid readers, we can’t convince them to give us any insights into the UFC’s PPV business. We can only judge a card’s interest by the PPV estimates that circulate a few weeks after an event has passed.

There’s another way to judge fans’ interest in a particular fight card though: Web traffic.

In between discussions about which IFL team was the best (I’m a huge Quad City Silverbacks fan), we at CagePotato headquarters started opining about how Bellator 120: Rampage vs. King Mo would compare to a low-level UFC PPV. Some of us said it’d bury an event like UFC 173: Barao vs. Dillashaw in terms of traffic, some of us said it would get buried.

Now that fight week(end) is over, we can jump into AnalyticsPotato mode and see which fight card wowed the web more. And to be clear, I’m using unique page views as the primary metric to judge interest. And by “coverage” we mean articles before/during/after the card that are about the card. Seems obvious but it’s important to be clear.

Earlier in the week, we reported on the CagePotato twitter that Bellator 120 received about 34% more traffic, but that calculation was made in error. There were a couple of articles in our UFC 173 coverage that I forgot to include in the tally. However, even with these pieces added, Bellator 120 still wins out. Bellator 120′s coverage, on the whole, received 11% more traffic than UFC 173′s.

Other random insights:

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Will UFC 173 Force the UFC to Learn Its Lesson About Promoting Fighters?


(Photo via Getty)

By Matt Saccaro

Regarding Renan Barao and the bantamweight division, the UFC had a promotion problem. Barao was one of the sport’s greatest fighters, yet he couldn’t fill a bar showing the PPV if they gave away free food and free beer.

Fans didn’t care about Barao, and there was nothing the UFC could do to change that. While Barao’s inability to speak English, rugged good looks, and total apathy regarding the salesman part of being a prize fighter certainly didn’t make promoting him easy, building Barao was still the UFC’s job. And they continuously failed.

MMA Junkie’s Ben Fowlkes analyzed this issue in the days before UFC 173 [Editor's note: Hilariously, Dana White grilled Fowlkes for the article but admitted to not reading it...]:

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UFC 173 Video: Dumb-Ass Doctor Steps on Jamie Varner’s Broken Foot


(Props: HunterAHomistek)

For f*ck’s sake, doc…Hippocratic oath much?

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UFC 173 Results: TJ Dillashaw Knocks Out Renan Barao in Masterful Performance, Daniel Cormier Puts Dan Henderson to Sleep


(Not bad, but it doesn’t quite stack up to the original. / Props: MMAFighting)

I’ll start with the good news: Tonight’s UFC 173: Barao vs. Dillashaw pay-per-view features two of the UFC’s greatest talents — bantamweight champion Renan Barao and undefeated light-heavyweight contender Daniel Cormier — and seeing those guys in action might be worth the PPV cost in itself. True, Barao and Cormier are both competing in lopsided odds-mismatches that are bordering on indefensible, but why focus on the negative?

In addition to “The Baron” defending his 135-pound title against Team Alpha Male standout TJ Dillashaw, and Cormier looking to earn a title shot with a win over legendary slugger Dan Henderson, tonight’s card will feature a high-level welterweight bout between Robbie Lawler and Jake Ellenberger (who are both coming off losses). Plus, Takeya “Teriyaki” Mizugaki and Francisco Rivera will attempt to build on their win streaks in the bantamweight division, and Jamie Varner kicks off the broadcast against fellow fan-friendly lightweight James Krause.

BG will be sticking round-by-round updates from the UFC 173 main card after the jump beginning at 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT. Refresh the page every few minutes for the latest updates, and follow us on twitter for extra analysis and yuk-yuks. Thanks for coming.

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‘UFC 173: Barao vs. Dillashaw’ Weigh-In Results: Is Hendo Suffering From Shrinkage?


(Props: YouTube.com/UFC)

All 24 fighters competing at tomorrow night’s UFC 173: Barao vs. Dillashaw event in Las Vegas successfully made weight earlier today, and everyone managed to keep their hands to themselves. The only noteworthy moment was co-headliner Dan Henderson coming in at 199 pounds — a full six pounds below the light-heavyweight limit — for his fight against Daniel Cormier. Is he shrinking without TRT, or has he finally cut all carbs out of his life? A little of both, maybe?

Full UFC 173 weigh-in results are after the jump, via MMAWeekly. Be sure to come back tomorrow night for our liveblog of the main card.

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Gambling Addiction Enabler Head-to-Head: UFC 173 Edition


(Damn it, TJ. You’re supposed to hold the imaginary title belt above your head.)

UFC 173 may not be heavy on star power, but it presents some interesting opportunities for the MMA fan with a crippling gambling addiction looking to make a few bucks this weekend. Join staff writers Jared Jones and Seth Falvo as they break down their favorite fights, underdogs and the most creative ways to flush your hard earned cash down the crapper in a “versus” style edition of the gambling addiction enabler. Will Renan Barao extend his winning streak? Is Daniel Cormier a lock against the aging Dan Henderson? Read on for our picks – with odds courtesy of 5Dimes.eu- and may the winnings be yours.

The Good Dogs

Jared: I’d like to start by preemptively shaming you, Seth, as well as the Potato Nation, and truly, every last so-called “MMA fan” who isn’t giving Dan Henderson a smidgen of hope against Daniel Cormier tomorrow night. Seriously, you guys are the worst.

I don’t care if he’s fighting Fedor on Zeus’ shoulders and both can punch but only Zeus can kick, Dan Henderson should *never* be listed at anything worse than even odds. He’s defeated heavyweights, light heavyweights, middleweights, supposed Emperors, and more legends of the sport than pugilistic dementia. That he’s currently hovering around the +600 mark is not only an insult to the man, the myth, the psuedo-Native American that is “Hollywood,” but a disgrace to this sport on par with YAMMA Pit Fighting. TRT, SchmeeRT, Dan Henderson will walk through Cormier’s punches before delivering his greatest H-Bomb to date, at 2:03 of the second round, amen. Say it with me, folks: Dan. F*cking. Henderson.

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Wednesday Links: Tito Ortiz Gets Probation for DUI, Lawler vs. Ellenberger Subject to Enhanced Drug Testing, Tiny Hamsters Eating Tiny Burritos + More


(Gervinho: The lovechild of Tyra Banks and Klingon Worf. Check out more awful soccer hairstyles at HolyTaco.com.)

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