UFC 176 joins UFC 151 as the only events that have been canceled (or “postponed,” as the UFC brass likes to say). Although two out of over 100 events isn’t bad odds, it is telling that it’s happened twice in the past three years.

The card was hanging by a thread following the injury to UFC featherweight champ Jose Aldo. The promotion hoped Ronda Rousey would emerge unscathed from her showdown with Alexis Davis at UFC 175 and fill the void. Although Rousey dominated, she’s going to be on the shelf for a while. Therefore, the UFC decided to scrap the entire event and disperse the remaining fights among future UFC cards. The move provides all the ammo one could need to bring up the “oversaturation” argument, and for good reason. The product has become oversaturated.

Holding two pay-per-views in the same month was never a good idea in the first place. Yes, it provides fans with two bigger events, but that also means more high-profile names are required in order to make it happen. With so many fighters scheduled to complete in such a short space of time, it makes sense in terms of matchmaking. Winners can be paired up conveniently in the future, but it doesn’t leave the UFC very much flexibility in terms of finding replacements on the fly. If one key fighter in the lineup goes down with an injury, the whole event can come tumbling down.

It also forces fans to have to choose which event to buy. The average MMA fan simply doesn’t have the kind of money to shell out for two events in a single month’s time. If you combine the cost of both cards with the $10 the promotion asks fans to pay for UFC Fight Pass, you’re looking at over $100 for one month of fights. For many, that’s a week’s worth of gas to get to work, a week of having to make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch or a week’s sacrifice of eating ramen noodles for dinner. The UFC should want fans to purchase every event, not force them to cherry pick between cards. Holding two events in such close proximity ultimately hurts both shows.

Although the backlash over UFC 176 being canceled likely won’t hit the fever pitch of animosity spewed toward Jon Jones following UFC 151, the same problems from 2012 exist in 2014. It seems as though the promotion has failed to learn from its previous errors.

The fact was that UFC 176, like many recent events, was extremely top-heavy. The title fight headlined the card, and a pair of top-10 middleweights in Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza and Gegard Mousasi were slated to square off in the co-main event. Those two fights are compelling for a number of reasons, but once you get past those two marquee match-ups, the rest of the card could easily be mistaken for a Fox Sports 1 event. For example, Gray Maynard and Fabricio Camoes are both on two-fight losing streaks, yet were scheduled to be in the “feature fight” (third fight on a pay-per-view card) for UFC 176.

Simply put, the UFC events have lost their luster. For a number of people, a UFC event was must-see TV a few years ago. But since the UFC has expanded to become a global entity, very few events have that special feeling to them. UFC 176 and UFC 151 were headlined by title fights, but both cards featured a weak supporting cast, something the UFC has struggled with recently. Its headliners usually are on point as a marquee match-up, but the rest of the card is often times relegated to being nothing more than filler. With injuries cropping up so frequently, one would think the UFC would’ve learned to at least have a pay-per-view quality fight in the co-headlining slot instead of having to scrap an event.

It’s one thing to hold an increasing amount of events. That’s inevitable with the growth of the sport. It’s quite another to not learn from previous mistakes and expect the paying customers to be okay with that. Would you be happy if you bought a car and sent it in for a recall, only to have the company not fix anything? Of course not. That’s exactly why fans should make it known that they won’t fall for the same trap. Of course, that’s not going to happen. The UFC is still lining its pockets with money, so why make the change when it doesn’t have to? The watering down of events, multiple events in a day and cards falling apart due to one fighter’s injury are going to keep happening until the UFC sees a loss where it really counts, in its checkbook.

About The Author

Kyle Symes
Staff Writer

Kyle is a recent graduate of Aurora University, where he obtained a Bachelor's in Communications. Kyle resides in Illinois, just outside of Chicago. He played baseball and football in both high school and college, but is now focusing on an amateur MMA career.