UFC 121: The Aftermath

Posted: October 25, 2010 in Marketing, PR, UFC

Photo from ESPN.com

Well, I’m man enough to admit when I’m wrong and I was wrong – Cain Valasquez is the NEW UFC heavyweight champion. Unbelievable.  I did not think he stood a chance against the raw power and speed of Lesnar.  He proved me wrong and put a vicious beating on “The Baddest Man on the Planet.”

Let’s break down the main card:

Photo via ESPN

Ortiz/Hamill: Matt “The Hammer” Hamill did what many dream of and defeated his former mentor and coach “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy” Tito Ortiz.  Although it was the best Ortiz has looked in years in terms of performance, it was still a one-sided beat down.  Hamill controlled the pace, beat up Ortiz and showcased the ground n’ pound skills his mentor was once known for.  Hamill is far from title contention, but this fight had to be a huge boost in terms of confidence for him.

Shields/Kampmann: Jake Shields did what I thought he would do – he won.  It may not have been pretty, but a W is a W.  The weight cut was done poorly and it showed.  However, it did not keep him from victory. Shields showed the UFC some world-class grappling and I wanted to see more.  Drawn and gassed, Shield was still able to hold a fresh Kampmann to the ground and move him where he needed in order to edge out a decision.  If Shields can lose weight in a “smarter” way next go around, then I would gladly welcome GSP vs. Shields as the next big PPV buy.

Photo via Yahoo! sports

Lesnar/Valasquez: This was a strange way to end the month of “Brocktober.”  My hat’s off to Cain, but I do not see him becoming the next solid king at Heavyweight.  Lesnar made a mistake in bull-rushing Valasquez.  The younger challenger unleashed a blitz of punches and put the champ away.  Now, he took a ferocious assault from Shane Carwin but he survived.  Why did he buckle this time?  I’m guessing it was a bit much to see his own blood in his eyes.  Lesnar bled badly and some fighters have trouble with that the first time.  I think Brock was taken out of the game mentally.

The Marketing:
Before we forget, let’s take a look at who kept the lights on.  Renting space in the Octagon and on-screen this PPV was: Boost Mobile, Harley Davidson, Bud Light, BSN, Xyience, Affliction, Star Wars Unleashed II, Cazadores Tequila, Saw-3D, U.S. Marines, and Playboy Magazine.   A new twist to the ad game came through the ring girls Arianny and Chandella.  I noticed this go-around that the round cards had advertisements on them.  Is this new, or have I not been paying attention?

My take on what’s next:
Some people have commented on the fact that you could see the disappointment in Dana White’s face when he put the title belt around Cain’s waiste.  I definitely saw that.  The reasons are multiple. 1) This now puts AKA in a position of power.  This school has been a thorn in Dana’s side and now – to some extent – he may have to play ball with them as they have  champion in the ranks. 2) Brock is 1000x more marketable than Cain.  His unique size, unpredictable mouth and the fact that he hides from the media creates this mythical beast of a  man that people want to see in action.  Although the next heavyweight fight will pit Valasquez vs. Junior Dos Santos, who will shell out the money to watch it? The next heavyweight draw will be Lesnar v. Mir III.  Mark my words, it will happen. Fans want it, the fighters want it.  As much as I love Frank Mir, I’ll be scared to see what the next version of Brock Lesnar will look like by then…

For pro wrestling fans, please enjoy the now highly discussed “altercation” between Lesnar and The Undertaker.

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