After the news that Demetrious Johnson vs. Chris Cariaso would move to the UFC 178 pay-per-view, the already-lackluster UFC 177 card took a massive hit. The flyweight title fight was set to serve as the co-main event of the card, which has now been replaced by a lightweight tilt between Danny Castillo and Tony Ferguson – neither fighters being ranked, and fighting their last bouts on the preliminary card.
Headlining the Sacramento card is a bantamweight title fight between champion TJ Dillashaw and challenger Renan Barao, who Dillashaw dominated for four rounds before earning a TKO in the fifth just three months ago. Many feel that Raphael Assuncao was more deserving of the shot, and it is hard to predict the fight going any different to the first.
With the cancellation of UFC 176, the promotion promised that future cards would be stacked, and this has been fulfilled with many. However, the UFC seemed to be focusing solely on the main event of pay-per-view cards, and putting little attention to the rest of the bouts on the card. While there are exceptions, looking at the UFC 174 card, which left a lot to be desired, shows that the sheer number of cards have left the PPVs lacking something special.
While UFC 178 is still stacked with big names outside of the main event, with Conor McGregor, Dominick Cruz, Cat Zingano and Tim Kennedy all set to compete, the UFC 177 card is quite possibly the worst in recent years.
There are other contenders for that ‘award’ – UFC 147, for instance, which was headlined by a catchweight fight between Wanderlei Silva and Rich Franklin, and featured a lack of star names with the exception of Fabricio Werdum.
While some may suggest that UFC 149 was weak, on paper it was quite the opposite – the highly touted debutant Hector Lombard facing a tough test in Tim Boetsch. Renan Barao trying to get his biggest win against the popular Urijah Faber. Heavy hitters Cheick Kongo and Shawn Jordan squaring off. But the card ended up being woeful, the main card in particular, though on paper the UFC cannot be blamed.
UFC 174 was also lackluster, with four of the main event bouts going the distance, including a gruelling-to-watch three-rounder between Andrei Arlovski and Brendan Schaub. Tyron Woodley also looked unimpressive in his decision loss against Rory MacDonald, and same with Rafael Feijao against Ryan Bader.
So while it may be nice to get a card like UFC 175 with two title fights, or a free UFC on FOX card full of top contenders, there needs to be an equilibrium, and stacking UFC Fight Night cards (i.e. the upcoming Japan event) over a pay-per-view which the UFC expects it’s fans to pay for is promotional malpractice.
Vote in the poll below on which pay-per-view card you think is the weakest in recent history, and give your views in the comments section below.
Here is how the UFC 177 card stands.
TJ Dillashaw (c) vs. Renan Barao
Danny Castillo vs. Tony Ferguson
Shayna Baszler vs. Bethe Correia
Richard Odoms vs. Ruslan Magomedov
Carlos Diogo Ferreira vs. Ramsey Nijem
Preliminary Card (FOX Sports 1)
Derek Brunson vs. Lorenz Larkin
Henry Cejudo vs. Scott Jorgensen
Justin Edwards vs. Yancy Medeiros
Anthony Hamilton vs. Ruan Potts
Preliminary Card (UFC Fight Pass)
Anthony Birchak vs. Joe Soto