(The following post first appeared on MMAFrenzy.)
The Ultimate Fighting Championship’s busy summer schedule continues this Saturday, as UFC 227 is going down in Los Angeles. Will the double championship fight card be able to score some big pay-per-view numbers for the promotion? Or ratings for the prelims? That might be a tall order.
The Fight Pass Prelims
Yes, it’s kind of a broken record these days with the Fight Pass prelims: only hardcore fans are going to be tuning in….
Chances are casual fans haven’t heard of any of of the competitors scheduled for this part of the card, but there is a very intriguing bout booked between prospect Jose Torres and Alex Perez. Torres is a former Titan FC bantamweight and flyweight champ, and Perez is riding an eight fight winning streak.
The televised prelims for UFC 226 didn’t feature many mainstream commodities, other than perhaps Uriah Hall, and that’s the case once again with the prelims for UFC 227. The feature bout is a bantamweight scrap between Brett Johns and Pedro Munhoz, which yes, will draw the attention of the hardcore base. But, if we jump back to say the televised prelims for UFC 225, which featured Alistair Overeem taking on Curtis Blaydes, it would be extremely surprising if this Saturday’s line-up pulled above average ratings. Especially after UFC on FOX 30 – a card that had a ton of buzz in the MMA bubble – pulled the worst ratings to date in the series.
The Main Card (PPV)
This Saturday’s main card will feature not one, but two title fights, and from a technical perspective, it doesn’t get that much better. After all, bantamweight champ TJ Dillashaw will be taking on Cody Garbrandt again, and one of the all time greats, flyweight champ Demetrious Johnson, will battle Henry Cejudo…again.
So, from an action and technical vantage point, there’s lots to love about this card, and there’s no question that a lot of die hard fans will be tuning in. But…since both bouts are do overs, there just doesn’t seem to be much buzz about these fights. Further, despite the fact Johnson is one of the most entertaining and talented fighters to ever step into the Octagon, he’s struggled to garner mainstream attention.
When you factor those considerations in, and the fact that even UFC 226, which featured a superfight between Daniel Cormier and Stipe Miocic isn’t believed to have cracked 400,000 PPV buys, UFC 227 could be in trouble.
Here is the complete line-up for UFC 227.
MAIN CARD (PPV/10 p.m. ET)
UFC Bantamweight Championship
TJ Dillashaw (c) vs. Cody Garbrandt
UFC Flyweight Championship
Demetrious Johnson (c) vs. Henry Cejudo
Middleweight: Thiago Santos vs. Kevin Holland
Strawweight: Polyana Viana vs. JJ Aldrich
Featherweight: Cub Swanson vs. Renato Moicano
PRELIMINARY CARD (FX/8 p.m. ET)
Bantamweight: Pedro Munhoz vs. Brett Johns
Bantamweight: Ricky Simon vs. Montel Jackson
Featherweight: Matt Sayles vs. Sheymon Moraes
PRELIMINARY CARD (UFC Fight Pass/6 p.m. ET)
Flyweight: Jose Torres vs. Alex Perez
Bantamweight: Ricardo Ramos vs. Kyung Ho Kang
Strawweight: Danielle Taylor vs. Zhang Welli
Bantamweight: Marlon Vera vs. Wuliji Buren