UFC should try Wrestlemania-type extravaganza event
The Ascension, Konnor and Viktor, tag team champs from the WWE's NXT roster, get the crowd pumped up for the big Wrestlemania show in this file photo. (QMI AGENCY)
WWE’s Wrestlemania 30 took place on Sunday and it got me thinking — could the UFC put on a yearly event that rivals the longtime pro wrestling extravaganza? Yes, I know we are comparing apples to oranges, but is it really out of the realm of possibility?
Many will tell you that the UFC and the WWE are not competitors. Vince McMahon and other WWE officials have said they are not worried about the UFC eating into their pay-per-view revenue or television ratings. Their view is that one is a sport and the other is entertainment, which is true.
What they fail to tell you is there is a battle for the lucrative males 18-49 demographic. The WWE has always beaten the UFC with young and old viewers. With television ratings and PPV dollars being so important, the battle is raging for more crossover fans on both sides.
Both companies have come out with online networks that allow viewers to pay a monthly fee of $9.99 to view live events and a library of fights and wrestling matches. The shift to a Netflix-type service is being done for different reasons. The WWE feels the PPV model is dying, while the UFC is just looking at it as a value-added service.
So could the UFC put on a yearly Wrestlemania-type show? Jeremy Brand of MMASucka.com doesn’t seem to think the logistics would work.
“I don't think they could,” said Brand. “With the possibility of injuries and fans being so used to the amount of events we see on a yearly basis, I just don’t see how that would be feasible. If they did try to pull it off, one other problem that could arise is that it would force top talent off of other cards, which in turn would create even more complaints.”
I’m of the belief that eventually you will see the UFC put on one large stadium show a year. If planned properly, you could stack the card with a couple of title fights and a few other interesting bouts. If the NHL can put on large outdoor stadium shows with their product and market it as more than just a hockey game but an event or festival, there is no reason why the UFC couldn’t do the same.
Currently the UFC already does this on a smaller scale with their end-of-year, Super Bowl and July 4 cards. It isn’t out of the realm of possibility to have one big annual UFC slugfest.