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The 9 Most Pathetic Hooks the UFC Has Used to Draw PPV Buys

6. The House that Royce Built.


By 2006, the UFC ran out of opponents for Matt Hughes to demolish.

Their solution: Call up a 40-year-old Royce Gracie who hadn’t been in the UFC over a decade and was 1-1-2 in his last four fights.

Anyone with half a brain knew how this fight would go. Gracie was a jiu-jitsu guy and not a modern mixed martial artist. Even in his physical prime in the early 1990s, Gracie had trouble dealing with fighters who could handle his grappling and rudimentary takedowns. How could Gracie possibly deal with a decade-plus of MMA evolution?

He couldn’t, but it didn’t matter. The UFC had everyone’s money anyway by towing the “Return of the Old Legend” angle.

7. A “Fun Fight”?

(Source: Getty)

Last October, the UFC handed Stephan Bonnar, glorified mid-carder and soon-to-be-disgraced steroid cheat, a main event bout against Anderson Silva.

Dana White justified this match making sin by saying it was “a fun fight.” He also tried to hype up how Bonnar-Silva was a real-life version of Rocky.

Here’s what really happened: Anderson Silva looked bored out of his mind while Bonnar desperately tried to hurt him. Silva ended up pulling an Obi-Wan Kenobi and just standing there, totally defenseless. Even then, Bonnar couldn’t strike him down. Silva, out of sheer disinterest, ended the fight before the first round (maybe he wanted to go sing to some whoppers, who knows).

It wasn’t a “fun fight.” Instead, we got the MMA equivalent of The Undertaker stuffing a jobber into a body bag.

8. Jon Jones vs. Chael Sonnen: Worst. Title Fight. Ever.

Chael Sonnen shouldn’t have fought Jon Jones. He hadn’t fought at light heavyweight in years. Even when he was a light-heavyweight, he didn’t accomplish anything significant. Furthermore, he was coming off a loss and moving up a weight class. Sonnen wasn’t fighting a chump. He was fighting Jon Jones, a rare oddity in MMA — A Next Big Thing™ who was actually worthy of the praise he was being showered in.

The UFC attempted to sell the PPV by reminding the world that Jones was “too afraid” to fight Sonnen on eight day’s notice when Dan Henderson dropped out of UFC 151. They also resorted to the typical, Chael Sonnen crap.

If the beef between Ortiz and Shamrock was legitimate beef, the beef between Sonnen and Jones was as legitimate as taco bell horsemeat “beef.”

Watch the promo package and see for yourself.

Did the fight deliver? Nope. Sonnen, at best, is a middling light heavyweight and Jones is a killer (but not on the level of Che Mills, of course). Jones smashed Sonnen into the canvas. Despite the disparity in skills, Zuffa walked away with an estimated 550k PPV buys.

9. Couture vs. Coleman: Two ACTIVE Hall of Famers

(Source: Sherdog)

We’re big fans of Joe Silva but UFC 109 wasn’t his best work. With Randy Couture vs. Mark Coleman at the top of the card, it had one of the worst main events in recent MMA history.

The UFC tried to use old men fighting in the card as a selling point. Watch two ACTIVE UFC HALL OF FAMERS fight in the octagon in an ULTIMATE WAR OF LEGENDS!!!11

Was the UFC seeing if audiences would positively respond to a senior citizen’s division?

Not quite. Coleman was broke, Couture was just there, and one of the UFC’s marketing interns was just dying to use the “Ultimate War of Legends” line ever since Wizards of the Coast rejected it as a name for the newest Magic: The Gathering set for being too cheesy.

Alas, not even that EPIC line could save this PPV. It bombed, coming in at an estimated 275,000 buys (the lowest buyrate since UFC 85 in 2008).

Honorable mention: Randy Couture vs. Tim Sylvia — Not Bad for an Old Man

(Source: Getty)

Before you rush to the comments, hear us out on this one.

When the UFC announced that Tim Sylvia would be defending his heavyweight belt against Randy Couture, it looked about as bad as giving Chael Sonnen a title shot against Jon Jones.

Couture was 44 years old, hadn’t fought in a year, was coming off a loss, and was moving up a weight class. The deck was stacked against him and nobody wanted to hear about how “Captain America,” the Venerable Old Veteran™ could still pull one out, yet that’s the line the UFC gave everyone.

This time, it turned out that their bullshit happened to be right. Couture embarrassed Sylvia — before embarrassing Tim Sylvia was easy.

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Cagepotato Comments

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Mr_Misanthropy- June 11, 2013 at 11:07 pm
C'mon man. The IFL died because that team theme shit was corny as hell. Some good fights but the Seattle Tigersharks? The San Jose Razorclaws?

The only good thing that came out of that shit was Don Frye saying he kicked everybody off the squad because they fought like Girl Scouts with skirts on.
Hutch- June 11, 2013 at 11:07 am
Keep this article handy, as I'm thinking Rousey/Tate 2 will quickly surpass all of these.
algiersheadkick504- June 11, 2013 at 10:59 am
Yu missed one...ever promoting Brock lesner as the baddestt man on planet.
Gobbleston- June 11, 2013 at 8:33 am
Your Chael on TRT analogy disappoints me, CP. It's not as if he's exactly been a "Phenom" on the stuff. It's not like his lack of "horse-beef" made him get dropped by a mythological beast. See what I'm doing there?
As Good As Anyone- June 11, 2013 at 7:38 am
Love the Magic the Gathering reference. ZOMG LEGENDZ!!!11!
El Famous Burrito- June 11, 2013 at 7:25 am
These are pretty lame marketing hooks, but aside from Jones/Sonnen and Silva/Bonnar, they are all from an era of UFC that was actually fun to watch.

Things have been so god damn boring lately.