UFC 147 takes place tonight live and only on pay-per-view, with prelims on FX and Facebook. In addition to the rematch of the UFC 99 classic betweem Rich “Ace” Franklin and “The Axe Murderer” Wanderlei Silva, Fabricio Werdum faces Mike Russow, Yuri Alcantara welcomes Hacran Dias to the UFC, and we crown featherweight and middleweight winners of The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil as Rony Bezerra faces Godofredo Pepey and Cezar Ferreira faces Sergio Moraes.

Aside from Felipe Arantes’ bout with Milton Vieira, the undercard consists of fighters from this season of TUF Brazil, which has some looking at this card in the same way as they may have looked at a TUF Finale card on free TV.

It almost makes you wonder if anyone would actually pay for a TUF Finale-esque card, doesn’t it? I know it’s had me flirting with that question all week, even before the prelims were annouced.

It’s understood why the card is still a PPV card—most would be hard-pressed to find a reason to not pay to watch Franklin or Silva fight. The same can be said for Werdum and Russow, while Alcantara is just one of those guys who has to belong on a PPV card sooner than later with the way he’s blazed his trail of destruction through the featherweight ranks.

However, does it mean that anyone will buy a TUF Finale card?

The answer is a tough one to reach, as those TUF Finale cards can be tricky. A fight can either produce a Clay Guida-Diego Sanchez type of classic, or it could result in something lackluster and forgettable. Depending on who is on the card, however, it’s possible to make it work, but the bottom line is marketing and promotion.

It doesn’t matter if a Frankin fight or a Silva fight is on the card, nor does it matter if there’s a title eliminator, because if nobody knows that the event is happening and that the card will deliver a masterpiece dipped in awesome-sauce for as long as the fights themselves last, who cares?

Of course, marketing and promotion is never an issue with the UFC, even if there aren’t as many commercials advertising the card as one would like, but when it comes to these TUF Finales, the challenge is helping the masses to truly comprehend the capabilities of the fighters featured on the card, especially when they’re not considered a “major” name.

Maybe it’ll take a while for people to warm up to buying these cards in the form of events such as UFC 147, or maybe it’ll be a cold day in Hell before anyone fathoms the notion of having to buy an Ultimate Fighter Finale card on PPV, but as the old saying goes, “you’ll never know until you try.”

UFC 147 will draw some numbers at the end of the day, and the promotion runs the risk of flopping horrendously at the same rate that it holds the potential to receive the reward of critical acclamation from fans and experts, but the promotion will not know what long-term benefits can come from a TUF Finale card live on pay-per-view until it knows that long-term benefits exist from such a move, and they will not know if any long-term benefits exists from such a move until they make this move with tonight’s event.

Strap on your seat belts, folks. Regardless of whether anything comes of this in the long-term for the company, this one promises to be one of MMA’s wildest nights to date, from the opening bell of the the first fight of the night until the main event of the evening.

Photo: Wanderlei Silva and Rich Franklin (Sherdog.com)

About The Author

Dale De Souza
Staff Writer

Dale De Souza is a 22-year-old kid straight out of Texas, who grew up around Professional Wrestling but embraced the beauty of Mixed Martial Arts and Combat Sports at a young age. Dale is a Featured Columnist at Bleacher Report MMA, a writer at The MMA Corner.