Sunday is my favourite day of the week.
One of the principal owners of World Wrestling Entertainment, Stephanie McMahon, took a shot at UFC when comparing it to her product.
Basically, she said that WWE is scripted (surprise!) and that WWE fans are guaranteed to get a great show, where the three hours given to a wrestling show are guaranteed to be filled.
However, the same isn’t so for UFC.
“The guy you were really rooting for that UFC has been building as a star gets knocked right off and suddenly that person doesn’t really matter anymore and all that investment is lost. You never have that with WWE,” she said.
UFC events face the dilemma of possibly being squashed, for lack of a better term: if all their fights are done in the first ten seconds of the first round, that’s it. Game over. There’s nothing more to it. The other two hours alotted to the show don’t matter anymore.
This poses the question: is UFC really worth it?
I think Stephanie is right and wrong. Yes, the WWE product is built to more of a spectacle where sometimes they’ll fight it out in the ring. Yes, there’s more emotional involvement with the matches and the wrestlers, and yes, you are guaranteed to get a full show.
However, what WWE lacks, UFC has. Not to drop the dreaded ‘r’ word for wrestling fans, but UFC has more realism. Their fighters aren’t ‘selling shots’ or ‘making it look real’, they’re actually beating the tar out of each other and intent on causing damage to their opponent if it means victory.
One thing that UFC also has is its unpredictability. Watching WWE, you can kind of tell what’s going to happen and who’s going to win, but with UFC, it’s a totally different story. Anything can happen in that octagon and nine times out of ten, it’s going to be sensational.
The frequency of UFC events also carries in their favour; as opposed to WWE’s four shows a week (five if you include NXT). The less frequent Fight Nights and pay-per-view events for UFC create more build-up and therefore make it more intriguing. Whereas a title in WWE can change hands in minutes (and it has – Jillian Hall Divas title, anyone?), it’s common for a UFC competitor to hold their championship for over a year.
And what’s more exciting to see a great fighting champion be dethroned after reigning their division for so long?
For those UFC fans going to Rockhold vs Bisping, I say enjoy the show. UFC’s product is like no other. Enjoy the brutality of it. Enjoy the spectacle that it is.