UFC 118: The Aftermath; The Penn Era is Over

Posted: August 30, 2010 in Local MMA, Marketing, PR, UFC

Photo from Boston.com

The UFC has entered and left Boston, MA.  The experience overall must be considered a massive success for both the MMA promotion and the commonwealth. The UFC had fans buying tickets, merchandise and PPV all weekend.  The city of Boston had restaurants, shops and bars filled with excited fans pumping money into their collective pockets.

All last week I focused on the media reviews of the UFC here in Boston across print, online and broadcast outlets.  As a true testament to how seriously Boston took this event, veteran and widely respected sports writer Bob Ryan of the Boston Globe wrote the wrap up piece on the event.  Although the article “Ultimately, this sport is a big hit,” is a mixed review and more of a personal opinion of Ryan than a full event recap, there is one statement that showcases the true power of MMA:

Last night’s card represented the largest dollar gross of any event in TD Garden during this calendar year. Tickets were scaled from $75 to $600. For many in attendance, this was undoubtedly a dream scenario, seeing their beloved UFC up close and personal after watching all those matches on television.

Well done, Dana White.

Now, before we discuss the fights, let’s look at the marketing  dollars that kept the lights on in the Garden. During the event I noticed the following ads: Bud Light, Xyience, BSN, Harley Davidson, Cazadores Tequila, SPIKE TV, UFC.com, TD Garden, TapOut, Memory Tribute to Charles “Mask” Lewis, LumberLiquidators.com, The Ultimate Fighter GSP vs Koscheck, U.S. Marines,  UFC 119 Mir vs Cro Cop, HaloReach, Affliction and Resident Evil 3-D.

Interesting to note, this was also the first card that I have seen two new sponsors on fighter clothing: Alienware and Kmart.  Looks like computers and blue light specials have taken to MMA.

The Undercard:

Photo from Yahoo! Sports

My dreams came true during this PPV for my hometown wishes.  Bridgewater native Joe Lauzon won his fight and Dover native Kenny Florian lost an embarrassing 3 round decision. Joe Lauzon came in on the SPIKE prelims and gave the fans exactly what they wanted.  A driven Lauzon finished off a sloppy Gabe Ruedigar in vicious and fast fashion with a nasty armbar.  Florian on the other hand, after a week of getting his back patted by media, never showed up to the TD Bank Garden.  Although physically he stepped into the Octagon, his mind never did.   This fight sends him back down the ladder away from contendership and firmly re-establishing him as a gatekeeper.

The Main Events:

The question of” MMA or Boxing?” has finally been answered.  Randy “The Natural” Couture dispatched James “Lights Out” Toney in a mere 3 minutes and 19 seconds of the very first round.  “Captain America” continues to defy age and looked twice as good as half the fighters on the card that are half his age.

In the title fight for the 155 lb championship, I’ll have to admit I was wrong.  I thought after a controversial win by points in their first encounter that Penn would quickly destroy Edgar and take back his title.   Instead, he once again looked stiff and out of shape.  Congratulations to Edgar on a hard-fought win and for his first successful defense while at the top of the food chain.

What does this mean for the UFC?

Photo from Yahoo! Sports

James Toney has been silenced. His MMA career should be over.

Frankie Edgar will now face  Gray Maynard in his next title defense.  I’ll be honest, unless they have a stellar card lined up with potentially another title fight, I think I’ll pass.  Joe Rogan kept saying, “Styles make fights and Gray Maynard is a bad style for Frankie Edgar.”  I’d argue this match is a bad for all MMA fans.  This will be a 5 round wrestling match.  I love grappling and I love wrestling, but  this will just be a battle of take down artists.  This would be fine if it were back to UFC 42 watching Hughes v Sherk…

The most disappointing part of this PPV is the realization that although he is still one of the best MMA fighters in the world, the B.J. Penn era is officially over.  Although he will definitely go down as one of the greats, his reign as the 155 lb king of kings has been put to rest…even if just for a small period.

What did you think of the PPV?

  1. UFC 118 – “Submission Fest 2010”

  2. […] As we get closer to 2011 we see the deluge of top 10 lists from every outlet on earth.  Frankly, I tend to turn my eyes from them.  However, as a local Boston guy who is addicted to his Globe sports page – I did like seeing the UFC listed in The Boston Globe’s Top 20 local sports stories of 2010.  The inclusion was for all the hustle & bustle around UFC 118. […]

  3. […] Never Out at Taco Bell” Toney tried his hand at MMA on the international UFC stage and was brutally humiliated by Randy “The Natural” Couture. Now there is talk of Chad “OchoCinco” […]

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