Sometimes a break is nice.

Lately more than ever, the folks at Zuffa have been shoving the sport down the throat of fans. The old adage says to strike while the iron is hot, and that is what they have been doing. But without UFC 151, the Labor Day weekend event that crumbled into non-existence upon Dan Henderson’s withdrawal from the main event and Jon Jones’ refusal to accept an alternate opponent, approximately a month and a half will have gone by until the next event, giving the promotion an extended bye week.

Sure, the UFC will have programming in the meantime, as The Ultimate Fighter 16 is set to kick off on Friday, and The Ultimate Fighter: The Smashes will be available to watch online the following week, but if the ratings for the last season of the reality show tell you anything, it is that the fans are seeking the events, not the shows.

One FC was in a great position to benefit from the canceled card. With big names on its card already and a strong amount of hype behind it, the Asian promotion received great exposure as the top MMA card of the weekend. Fans who paid the $9.99 saw top-ranked bantamweight fighter Bibiano Fernandes control his fight en route to a decision victory, a controversial ending to the fourth installment of Tim Sylvia and Andrei Arlovski, and a big effort put in by a fading legend of the sport, Jens Pulver.

Some may call it smart planning that One FC was trying to kick off a weekend of big time MMA that would eventually lead into UFC 151. Some may call it lucky that One FC happened to turn into the weekend’s feature attraction after the debacle that became UFC 151.

But they weren’t the only ones experiencing a bit of luck.

The UFC was lucky that there weren’t more events planned during the promotion’s now lengthy absence from the table.

Had this happened when Bellator was in its season mode, the rival promotion could have potentially held up to six events since the time between UFC 150 and UFC 152.

And yet, there will be various promotions such as Legacy Fighting Championship holding fight cards on AXS TV, just scratching the itch of the fans until Zuffa reassembles the Octagon in Toronto. But that is just what those cards will be, itches. Don’t sleep on a smaller promotion like Legacy FC, but at the end of the day it lacks the collective star power that most MMA fans desire.

The way the dominoes fell, the UFC came out of this in good shape. Its next event is set to be bigger than ever, with the buzz swirling around the now main event between light heavyweight champion Jon Jones and Vitor Belfort. A second title fight is on the docket with the inaugural flyweight championship bout between Demetrious Johnson and Joseph Benavidez, and a middleweight fight with huge title implications will take place when Brian Stann battles Michael Bisping.

Let’s face it, UFC 151 was a weak card. With it now gone, the new main event at UFC 152, and Frankie Edgar filling in for Erik Koch against Jose Aldo at UFC 153, the next two pay-per-view’s are locked and loaded. Sprinkle in all of the other fights from the canceled card to their respective new cards, and you have a lot of great upcoming events, rather than diluted, watered down ones.

In the end, the short hiatus from a sport that has become a weekly commitment for fans has been perfect in recharging the batteries of even the most tireless of those enthusiasts. Now, not only will fans have a renewed interest in the action, but the UFC will have re-energized its lineup.

Yes, indeed, sometimes a break is nice.

Photo: UFC President Dana White (Rob Tatum/The MMA Corner)

About The Author

Brian McKenna
Staff Writer

Brian McKenna was born and raised in the suburbs of Boston, Massachusetts. A sports nut from as long as he can remember, he came to be a fan of Mixed Martial Arts from a roommate watching The Ultimate Fighter while attending Westfield State College. Brian came to writing by starting his own blog, Four Down Territory, which focuses on Boston based sports, life, and of course MMA.