Today, the UFC will host perhaps the biggest trilogy in the history of the organization, between Dustin Poirier and Conor McGregor, a series that is currently 1-1.
UFC 264 will take place at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
McGregor is the sport’s biggest star, hands down, and was the first “Champ Champ” in UFC history, simultaneously holding the organization’s featherweight and lightweight titles. Poirier is currently the UFC lightweight No.1 and was previously the interim lightweight champion but failed to unify the belt in 2019 when GOAT lightweight Khabib Nurmagomedov choked him in the third round. .
For some information, McGregor and Poirier both eliminated each other, with McGregor taking the first victory in 2014, and Poirier winning the rematch earlier this year at UFC 257. The two were responsible for inflicting their first defeats on each other. by direct elimination.
This fight is huge, like any McGregor fight, but it shouldn’t just be huge because of the Irish superstar. MMA should be as huge as other mainstream sports, but the bitter truth is, it just isn’t.
It is a difficult and expensive sport to play. You have to know the ins and outs of every aspect of mixed martial arts, or take the time to learn it, otherwise you will be bored after some fights.
Grappling matches are difficult for casual fans to tackle because instead of someone being knocked out or suffocated, a fighter usually dominates on the ground without any “real” action happening. This is a big reason why those in attendance tend to boo whenever a fight is stuck in the melee or on the ground for too long.
A referee can lift these fighters up, which usually results in cheering, but as long as one fighter stays busy and the other is defending intelligently, he can’t and shouldn’t.
Besides having to learn all the details of the fight, MMA is more expensive than any other sport.
For the UFC, to watch pay-per-views, you need an ESPN + subscription, which costs $ 5.99 per month, or you can save with an annual subscription of $ 60. On top of that, you have to pay $ 70 each time you want to purchase a PPV, which is usually once or twice a month.
However, on the other hand, with an ESPN membership, there are free UFC Fight Nights that usually have strong headliners, but not enough cards to justify a $ 70 price tag.
For example, the first event of 2021 was between former featherweight champion Max Holloway and competitor Calvin Kattar. The fight was a one-sided slaughter, with Holloway having one of the best performances of the year, landing 447 strikes in total against 134 for Kattar.
And this fight was free. It was available on ESPN + but also on ABC, so that even more viewers could experience a UFC fight, without having to pay anything. If the UFC had more events like this, more people would casually present it like any other sporting event. But, because you have to buy it, casual viewers are less likely to tune in.
So why should people care? Well, sport is beautiful. Not beautiful in the way that the fighters can be seriously injured, but beautiful in the techniques of the different fighting styles and the stories that can come out of the fights.
Watching a jiu jitsu specialist fight a master attacker is an example of an exciting clash, to see which style will prevail. After all, that’s what the UFC was first based on.
While most fighters are now more complete, meaning they have experience in all aspects of mixed martial arts, some fighters are definitely leaning towards a certain style. On this weekend’s card, the main co-event is a welterweight bout between karate expert and striker Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu specialist Gilbert Burns.
Second, these fighters dedicate their lives to the sport, and they should be recognized for it. The UFC brought the sport into the mainstream and erased that first mixed martial arts label being “human cockfighting”.
So if you’re wondering what the allure of MMA is, check out a map, and 264 would be the perfect opportunity to do so, as you would see the sports superstar in his first trilogy fight, looking for a redemption. on possibly one of the best boxers in the UFC.
Along with that, the classic stylistic match between Thompson and Burns, rising star “Suga” Sean O’Malley, the black belt return of jiu jistu Ryan Hall and the guaranteed 170 pound banger between Niko Price and Michel Pereira. are all a few things to look forward to.And if you didn’t know, the preliminary fights are free on ESPN +.
And there will likely be a few knockouts, and while there aren’t, it’s going to be one of the most exciting cards of the year so far.