The UFC has had a bit of a down year in the ratings department, as they have not hit the numbers with PPV or TV ratings that they have in the past. In November, the UFC has their traditional top draw, George St Pierre returning from injury, and the Heavyweight title will be c0ntested between Junior Dos Santos and Cain Velasquez on December 29th. Interestingly, in the potential Ronda Rousey versus Cyborg Santos female MMA match, the UFC has a bout that could potentially outdraw everything they have. So when will we see it?
Rousey is technically under contract with STRIKEFORCE, the Zuffa entity that has cancelled two shows in a row and promised a comeback show in January of 2013.
That fight would air on SHOWTIME, and that network has a good record of hyping fights and getting exposure. The Cyborg Santos versus Gina Carano match did very well for SHOWTIME in terms of viewers, as have several men’s MMA matches.
But would the UFC use their dying brand on a network they don’t have a long term deal with to air that fight? Unlikely. So what does that leave us?
The match should probably be added to the UFC 155 show on December 29th. Some may say this is too soon, but the Dos Santos-Velasquez main event is so stale it could pass for passover bread, and the card could use an injection. Earlier today they announced Phil Davis is on the card. As non-descript as his name….
The UFC rushed to make Chael Sonnen and Jon Jones the coaches for the next season of ‘TUF’, their reality series. That series would have been a good outlet to reintroduce Rousey and Santos, and then they would meet in the April time frame. Holding the match off until Season 18 of ‘TUF’ means we wont see the fight until September or October of next year, and that means the UFC has just plain mismanaged another piece of their roster.
It is hard to see where the line will come out at the sports books when the match is finally made, but I expect the betting public to come in big time on Rousey, as Cyborg will at least keep the line from stratospheric levels of previous Rousey lines.
As the saying goes, Dana make it happen. The sooner the better.