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11th Feb 2016

13 frustratingly pointless things the UFC could really do without

No need

Ben Kiely

Are these really necessary?

It may be a cardinal sin to answer your own rhetorical question, but the short answer is no. For the longer answer, continue reading.

Pound-for-pound rankings

If you’re top of the P4P list, congratulations! You’ve just become the highly disputed hypothetical weight champion. Your prize? Sweet fuck all, except the knowledge that some slack-jawed yokel who washes himself with a rag on a stick and never leaves his house in Hillrod City USA is of the opinion that you’re the greatest.

The nickname “Pitbull”

Zero marks for originality.

Pitbull nickname

Promos for Conor McGregor fights

We’re pretty sure ‘The Notorious’ doesn’t need any help promoting himself. At this stage, every MMA fan knows about the Irishman, from what his current haircut is to when he’s fighting next.

McGregor has already done a phenomenal job of propelling himself into superstardom. He’s unquestionably the biggest star in the sport now that Rousey seems to be taking a hiatus and the idea of the UFC making an expensive promo for McGregor’s next bout is a bit like a hotel putting a giant billboard in every room informing people why they should stay in the hotel.

We’re in, you’ve already sold us, we don’t need any more convincing.

UFC merchandise

Take a look at the following items available for purchase from the UFC’s online store. You’ll notice that they all share one commonality, they’re completely pointless.

merch UFC

We can only assume “few left” actually means that few were stocked to begin with as who in their right mind would pay $800 for a gaudy piece of silver with a leather strap. That being said, how could you not buy a hot dog brander for the low, low price of $15? Feel guilty about including that one.

Non-main event title eliminators

Yoel Romero vs Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza at UFC 194 is a prime example. That could have easily headlined a Fight Night, but for the sake of making the event “stacked”, they decided to shove it in below the middleweight title fight.

Unsurprisingly, the fight went to controversial decision with two of the three judges scoring it in favour of Romero, but many thought Souza had done enough to get the nod while there was also the argument that it should have been ruled a draw.

Fans were deprived of a potentially epic fight and getting a definitive number one contender because it ended two rounds too early.

Hackneyed walkout songs

Shipping Up to Boston by the Dropkick Murphys? Ok, we get it, you’re either Irish or what’s more probable, wish you were Irish. Sandstorm by Darude? Make your way to the Octagon, Wanderlei tribute act. Any country song… Yee-haw, Murica!


Flyweight title fights

The last eight have had the same result and it appears as though no one else is going to come close to dethroning ‘Mighty Mouse’. The problem is that Demetrious Johnson seems to be so far ahead of the curve already while also improving at a greater rate than everyone else in the division.

McCall came close the first time, not so much in the rematch. Benavidez took him to a split decision, then got leveled in the first round. Dodson almost knocked him out, but was completely outclassed the second time around.

DJ crazy

Who’s left? Henry Cejudo? If not him, then that’s a spotlessly clean division thanks to DJ.

Edmond Tarverdyan

The one time his star pupil Ronda Rousey needed his advice during a fight, when she wasn’t in a squash match and was being completely outclassed on the feet by Holly Holm, he told her the following,

“Beautiful! Stay nice and patient [and] relax. Breathe, okay? Champ, beautiful work.”

Rousey steps back up, gulps down a thunderous headkick and that’s all she wrote. The biggest hole in Rousey’s game is her stand-up and Tarverdyan specialises in boxing… supposedly.

rousey punch

Fan Q&A’s

Here’s a phrase you never ever hear, “The news was broken at the Fan Q&A event”. There are a few reasons for this.

It’s a sad truth, but the reality is most fans don’t ask fighters good questions at these events. In fact, a lot of fans don’t even ask questions at all – count how many times people take up valuable question-asking time by requesting a t-shirt or a photo at the next one.

Alcohol is also usually involved which is also a sure-fire way to turn a normal questions and answers event into a “let’s relentlessly hurl abuse at that trained murderer who’s fighting the guy we like” session.

Striking/takedown statistics

Obviously in a lopsided bout, these statistics are very telling, but the failed takedown and strikes missed statistics are becoming progressively more pointless as the sport evolves.

The two athletes who best illustrates how pointless these stats are perhaps Conor McGregor and Frankie Edgar. ‘The Notorious’ doesn’t try to land with every strike he throws. Check out this hook kick he threw against Dustin Poirier.

McGregor hook kick

Some of these flashy strikes are just warning shots used to control distance and goad his opponent into becoming over aggressive. Everything he does in a fight is geared towards setting up the finish, even if it means he doesn’t necessarily intend on landing with everything.

Similarly Edgar doesn’t always commit to the takedown. He often fakes the takedown, forcing his opponent to try to stuff it, then pulls out and scores with strikes up top. He’s a wrestler-boxer, it’s what he does. Let expert MMA analyst Robin Black fill you in on how this process works as if I do it, you’ll be reading words and waiting for GIFs to load up all day.

Trying to beat Demian Maia on the ground

Gunnar Nelson is considered to be one of the finest BJJ practitioners on the continent of Europe, and look what happened to him when he tried to out-jitz the master.

maia ground 1

Trying to beat Joanna Jedrzejczyk on the feet

Yeah, good luck with that.

Trying to beat Jon Jones

So far, Matt “The Hammer” Hamill is the only blemish on Bones’ record. How did he manage to achieve such a feat against arguably the greatest fighter to ever grace an Octagon? Why, by cleverly tricking Jones into smashing an elbow at a slightly more vertical angle. It’s genius, really.