Ever since the UFC decided to have a flyweight division in their organization, there has been push back. Some of the push back had to do with the size of the fighters, and others would point out that they weren’t likely to produce exciting knock outs. Neither argument is valid. The division is filled with some of the best pound for pound athletes that have ever been in the UFC, and they definitely produce exciting fights and highlight reel finishes.

With UFC 186 on the horizon, there is a lot of discussion about the quality of the event and if it’s worth the pay-per-view purchase. Demetrious Johnson’s marketability has been the subject matter of conversations surrounding the down fall of this event, but there are a number of other factors to take into account.

The recent discussion was sparked after Quinton “Rampage” Jackson was removed from the event due to a legal battle with Bellator MMA. The reality of the situation is that the card originally had two title fights, and now it has one. The main card also feature a bout between Rory MacDonald and Hector Lombard. Now, just over a week out there is only one title fight, Rory Macdonald and Hector Lombard aren’t fighting, and Rampage isn’t making his return. The event has been plagued with a number of issues, and the UFC has done everything they can do to prevent canceling the event.

Another major factor to consider is the depth of the flyweight division. Johnson has cleared out the division, and is now forced to fight opponents that really shouldn’t be fighting in championship fights yet. In his last outing he fought Chris Cariaso and as most people expected Johnson finished him by the second round. At UFC 186 he is scheduled to fight Kyoji Horiguchi. After Horiguchi’s last win he public commented on his desire to get more experience before challenging for the title.

There is no way to market fights like this well. Think about the greatest title defenses in recent times in terms of build up. The fights I’m talking about are Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier, Anderson Silva and Chael Sonnen II, and the next one being Jose Aldo and Conor McGregor.  In almost every case the challenger elevated the defending champion, and in every case the defending champion had been dominant for a long time. It was exciting for the back story, the conflict, but it was even more exciting because people thought, or think (in the case of Aldo vs. McGregor) that the challenger has a chance to win. The only fighters that could possibly defeat Johnson have all already lost to him.

Don’t blame Johnson for being a humble, quite, family man. That is who he is. When he gets in the cage he puts on a display of martial arts that is what we ultimately pay for. I’m all for a great back story, but it’s not on him to carry the weight of the promotion. It’s on the promoter to find an opponent that can realistically challenge him and it’s up to the promoter to find the best angle to sell the fight.

Lastly, the UFC isn’t just putting on huge events for the heck of it. They are trying to offset the financial losses from 2014, and also attempting to restore the faith of creditors. If you are a fan of the sport, and a fan of the UFC and you were planning on buying UFC 186 you should still do it. It’s circumstantial that this event isn’t what it once was, and it’s also a rough patch. If you look on either side of UFC 186 you will see some of the best events the organization has ever put on.

About The Author

Michael Davis
Director, Business Development/Senior Staff Writer

Michael Davis is a seasoned professional in the world of finance. In recent years, he has worked for Fortune 500 companies and consulted at one of the largest hedge funds in the world. After working closely with a mixed martial arts management company, he realized he could apply his skills to the sport he loved. The culmination of his professional experience and passion for MMA have led him to his role as Senior Staff Writer and Director of Business Development at The MMA Corner.