March 11, 2018

March 2018 Is A Mediocre Month For MMA Fans

By Adam Martin

March 2018 is going to be a slow month for MMA fans watching the sport, and for the media covering it as well. The UFC only booked two cards this month, UFC 222 and UFC Fight Night 127. UFC 222, which took place last weekend at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, was not a great PPV card. The co-main event, featuring Brian Ortega knocking out Frankie Edgar, was the only truly jaw-dropping moment of an otherwise mediocre night of fights. There were a few OK bouts, like Sean O'Malley vs. Andre Soukhamthath, and nice finishes from Alexander Hernandez and Cristiane "Cyborg" Santos that stood out, but overall what looked like a mediocre card on paper turned out to be just that in practice. It wasn't a bad card by any means, but it wasn't good, and it's the only PPV until UFC 223 in early April.

The only other UFC card this month is UFC Fight Night 127, which takes place March 17 at The O2 Arena in London, England. The headliner is a heavyweight bout between Fabricio Werdum and Alexander Volkov, both of whom are coming off of big wins, over Marcin Tybura and Stefan Struve, respectively. This is a good fight, but not a great one, and surely not a main event caliber fight for Londoners who have been waiting a long time for a good card to go and see. It was disappointing that Michael Bisping couldn't headline, but after getting knocked out in November by Kelvin Gastelum, it didn't make sense for him to rush back into the Octagon. In addition to an okay-but-not-great main event, the co-main event is a bland rematch between Jimi Manuwa and Jan Blachowicz. Again, it's an okay fight, but not great. Overall, the UFC's two cards this month have not looked too hot.

And those two cards are it for the entire month of March. Just two cards, despite the UFC having nearly 700 fighters on the roster. It's very strange that the promotion is only holding one card in March when it's seemed like there's been a card every weekend so far this year. You would think the UFC would want to get the fighters the fights they're owed on their contracts as soon as they can, but for whatever reason this is a light month. Casual fans might not miss things anyway, since no superstars are fighting at the moment, but for hardcore fans, having only one UFC card kind of sucks. Even if some of the cards lately have been watered down, hardcore fans like the content. For media members who rely on covering events and writing about the fights to eat, having only one UFC card to cover is not ideal, either. So overall it's a losing month on all fronts.

It's even a slow month outside of the UFC. There was a Bellator card earlier this month and ONE Championship is putting on a few cards, but overall there isn't much going on in the sport in general. We all want the sport to grow and get bigger because it's good for everyone, as it creates more jobs and more fans, so when there's light months like this it kind of stings. As much as we complain about how shallow some cards are, at least there are fights to watch. It's months like March that make you realize how spoiled we are sometimes when there's a UFC event every weekend and we complain. But when it's times like this you start to miss it and it puts things in perspective. It's just a mediocre month for MMA fans, and thankfully April is coming up soon, meaning incredible fights like Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Tony Ferguson and Dustin Poirier vs. Justin Gaethje are just around the corner. We just have to get through this slow, mediocre month of March first.


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