I’ll be talking about some recent MMA news in this edition of Buckley Blog Bits.
- I had to laugh when I heard about Canadian fans boycotting UFC 206 due to the ongoing Georges St-Pierre/UFC drama. Sure, I understand the frustration that Canadian fans have because of GSP not being on the card, and his current exile from the organization, but judging by the lack of ticket availability, this boycott won’t even put a small dent in UFC 206’s ticket sales or popularity (side note: the card really isn’t that good outside of the main event to be honest, especially when you compare it to the incomparable UFC 205, as well as UFC 207, so I was surprised to see ticket sales being as good as they are).
- On that note, if St-Pierre does indeed get to test the free agent market, then Bellator HAS to sign him in my opinion. Without question, he would be their biggest signing to date as he’s one of the biggest pay-per-view draws in MMA history (PPVs headlined by GSP have sold an average of approximately 700,000 during his career), and he’s not far removed, if even removed at all, from his prime. Alongside Rory MacDonald, GSP would be a great asset for Bellator, not only to draw massive television ratings and possibly venture into the pay-per-view market, but also to tap into the Canadian market as well.
- Kudos to the World Series of Fighting for really going all out for their New York City card on New Year’s Eve. While I’m still not a huge fan of them holding the card on New Year’s Eve itself (at least the main card portion is at 4:00pm), this card is unquestionably the best one they’ve ever produced on paper with 4 title fights. Even though I’m probably going to be unable to make the trek to Madison Square Garden that day for the fights, I’ll be sure to tune in wherever I am that day.
- Friday night’s “debate” between Tito Ortiz and Chael Sonnen during Bellator 162 was cringe worthy, and that’s being polite. I love that Bellator tries to embrace the pro wrestling-style promotion sometimes, but sometimes they try too hard and this was an example of that. While I’m sure the exchange between Ortiz and Sonnen was unscripted, it just felt way to orchestrated and non-organic for my liking. Nonetheless, you know I’ll be tuning in to watch that fight in January because I’m a fight fan and a lifelong fan of Tito Ortiz.
- It’s refreshing to see a fighter call it quits before they’ve tarnished their legacy, so it’s nice to see Urijah Faber opt to retire after his upcoming fight against Brad Pickett in December. While he’s still a top ten bantamweight in my opinion, it’s clear that Faber will never be a champion again as he’s gone 0-4 in UFC title fights, and has now dropped fights to fellow contenders Jimmie Rivera at bantamweight, and to Frankie Edgar at featherweight.