Originally Posted by stin4tw
create a developmental league / farm system, whatever you want to call it.
With the implementation of Fight Pass, the 2-3 cards a month, the deal with FOX, and a roster of 537 according to their website - http://www.ufc.com/fighter/Weight_Class
- now is the time for the UFC to truly make a farm system.
Here's why: (btw Dana, if you read this feel free to PM me and hire me)
a) TUF is not enough. Taking 16 guys (and more recently, women) across either 1 or 2 weight classes, spreading it out over months from the time of airing to the time of the finale does not help. Doesn't even take into consideration that recent seasons have been ... not good. It's cool that they're expanding globally, but at the same time, we will see more and more of these on Fight Pass which leads to
b) Fight Pass. Why not expand their current offering (which I have loved since subscribing at the Berlin card) to specific cards of typical undercard guys and market it as a "Future UFC stars"? We've seen guys like Jones and Velasquez come through the undercards on PPVs or Fight Nights, and those are just two current champs. Hell, throw some of these on the FS1 cards and call it a day.
c) Increased number of weight divisions. In the last couple of years, we've seen the weight classes DOUBLE IN SIZE with the addition of BW/FlyW/FeaW/WBW/WSW, which leaves us with TEN WEIGHT CLASSES BETWEEN MEN AND WOMEN. I don't think people truly understand that the amount of 'world champions' has doubled. No longer do we just have HW, LHW, MW, WW and LW. It's pretty much fair to assume that as the UFC grows globally, we'll most likely see a 115 men's division, and probably a 105/125 women's added. That will only bring in more and more to the roster as time goes on, which would leave more space for "top dogs" on the PPV's / UFC on FOX cards, which leads to
c) "Not Enough 'Stacked' PPVs / Too Many Watered Down Cards" - Why not go back to the once-a-month PPV offerings with the top guys/gals in the division? With fighters typically having one fight every 2-3 months (or 4-6 if you're the champion), you could go back to stacking PPV's and Fox Cards with #1 Contender / Title Eliminator / Championship Fights.
d) Other orgs are no longer feeder programs. Due to Zuffa's aggressive business model, the WEC/StrikeForce/Pride no longer exists. With Bellator having a strong showing of their PPV being (potentially) capable to match UFC's lower cards (Dillashaw/Barao), Bellator is gaining steam. IIRC, only Invicta seems to be the true feeder system for UFC, and it's mainly the women.
e) Direct feeder system. Much like the MLB's A/AA/AAA systems, the UFC has the roster ability to create a farm system with their total roster size. I would imagine that as the involvement of regional organizations grow, the UFC will most likely continue their aggressive absorption of these groups.
Does this make sense or
This is pretty much what they do and have always done, except instead of making a separate farm league, they created Fight Night. It started off with unaired prelims, which were only a few fights per card. That eventually grew to sometimes as many as 8 prelim fights. They added TUF. Then they added Fight Night to showcase those fighters from TUF and also to farm prospects. It's precisely what it was made for.
In regards to doing one PPV a month, that is pretty much what they do now. They've been doing 13 a year, which is just one more than one a month.
The problem with stacked cards is that people pull out of fights, for whatever reason, injuries being the most abundant. By the time an event rolls around, it's nothing like it was originally designed to be.
Look at UFC 170 and what it could have been:
Rousey vs. McMann
Cormier vs. Evans
MacDonald vs. Maia
Melendez vs. Nurmagomedov
Dos Anjos vs. Khabilov
But Evans and Khabilov got injured, and Melendez got caught up in contract negotiations, and we were left with this:
Rousey vs. McMann
Cormeir vs. Cummins
MacDonald vs. Maia
Pyle vs. Waldburger
Thompson vs. Whittaker
You have to fill the card. You bump up prelim fights, you bring in fights that were on other cards, you make new fights, and you come up with late replacement fighters, sometimes at the last minute, etc.
"Watered down cards" at the PPV level aren't caused by the expanded roster. If anything, an expanded roster should help strengthen them. You have twice as many champs and twice as many contenders as you once did (well, 9 champs until after TUF 20). They are hurt by injuries (etc.) and the need to make adjustments to keep the card together. If it weren't for the injuries and other things causing replacements, you wouldn't see as many prospects and lesser known fighters on PPV main cards.
I think the current system they have works just fine, personally. I don't think the UFC needs to cut back. Maybe some fans just need to cut back. If you are like me and you love the big names and little known propsects alike, the only real problem is that nearly every Saturday night is devoted to MMA (unless you DVR it, watch replays, etc.) But then again, when there isn't a UFC event, I often wish there was and end up watching other promotions or old fights on Fight Pass.
But for the people who don't care about the Rashid Magomedovs or Aljamain Sterlings of the UFC, why not just skip it? I think if people would skip the Fight Nights and even some of the PPV prelims, unless there is a fight they want to see, and only focused on the PPVs, they would probably be a lot happier with the product. Sure, you are going to get some Pyle/Waldburger type fights on PPV undercards when you need a replacement or need to bump up a prelim fight, but that has always been the case. Guys like Cummins in the co-main is the very rare exception, not the rule. So with a few exceptions, you can usually trust the UFC to tell you who to watch. They put guys on PPVs usually because they either belong on there, or they are on the cusp of belonging there.