Does UFC Have A Over Saturation Problem? Hear Me Out…

One of the complaints that I hear most frequently is about UFC’s over saturation.  I have long argued that the problem wasn’t over saturation of the market.  My UFCLOGOquestion is:  what should we expect?  How many events should we expect the UFC to host each year.  Many of us remember a time when there was a much smaller UFC roster and much fewer events.  UFC events seemed like bigger deals because they were not as frequent.  Being a UFC fighter once meant more than it does now.  However, some of the arguments do not hold water.   Yes, the quantity of fighters in the UFC is higher, but I would argue that the quality of fighters is much better than it used to be as well.  Let’s make a comparison to other professional sports.  However, the question when answering the overs saturation issue has to be, is the proper comparison for the UFC another sport, a sport’s league or a sports team.

If we compare the UFC to another sport, we probably make a mistake.  While there are tons of UFC events annually, there are thousands of professional MMA events taking place each year.

If we compare UFC to a sport’s league…what league would we compare it to?  The NFL?  The NBA?  MLB?  In the NBA there are 30 teams who play 82 regular season games…that is over saturation, my friends.  In MLB there are 30 teams who play 162 regular season games.  That is over saturation.  The ratings reflect that.  Granted, the average NBA or NFL game does much better numbers that UFC cards do.  The point is that in MLB and NBA most regular season games do not mean that much.  I mean, they mean something because they add up.  But, the more games a team plays in a season the less important each game really is.  For example, a NFL team plays 16 regular season games.  A loss is a much bigger deal to them than it is to a MLB team.  So, is UFC like the league?  If so, the fighters would be like the teams?  Well, kind of.  That argument would break down when we consider that the average fighter might fight 3 or 4 times a year.  We want UFC to be run like a league. We like the structure and hierarchy of professional sports leagues.

Perhaps we would compare UFC to a particular sports team.  I am a Baltimore Orioles baseball fan.  There is no way I would watch all 162 of their games though.  I will watch quite a few.  I am a Washington Redskins fan.  I will watch all 16 of their games.  I wouldn’t complain about additional games either.  So should we follow UFC, like we might follow our favorite football team?  Football might be the best comparison because our favorite teams play one time a week during their season.  UFC events are usually once a week things.  Maybe we would liken UFC’s structure more to NASCAR or even Golf.

The reality is each comparison breaks down somewhere.  UFC is unlike any other professional sport.  Maybe it is more like boxing than any other.  My point is that I am not sure over saturation is what the problem is.  Maybe we just need to understand that UFC of 2014 is different than UFC of 2010.  That is not bad or good.  It is just different.  When there is a big game on in other sports I will be compelled to watch…as will millions of others.  When UFC puts on a compelling card, I will watch.  But maybe, we need to be okay with the possibility that not all UFC events will be created equally.  Not all UFC events will interest me.  I still think UFC has the roster to put together 30-40 really good shows a year if they play their cards right.  We never accuse MLB, NFL or NBA of over saturation…we just don’t watch every game.  We don’t accuse our favorite teams of playing too many regular season games…we just don’t watch the games we don’t want to watch.  Maybe we need to just be okay not watching every UFC event and every fight.  The tough thing is that we are fans.  We like to watch fights.  What happens when we start thinking about all the other promotions that have cards we want to watch?  The reality is we can’t watch them all, but we pick and chose based on the quality of event put forth….and that is okay.



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