So far in 2012 the UFC has had a remarkable string of solid cards. Coming off an epic UFC 144 with a slightly controversial if close decision victory for Ben Henderson over Frankie Edgar, the bar wasn’t that high that UFC on FX 2 had to clear. The new equivalent to the old Spike TV Fight Night, the flyweight tournament semi-finals were the perfect place for the four main fighters to make the UFC flyweight division’s debut at. And with the world’s #1 fighter in the division making his UFC debut after a short WEC career, and making his name as a flyweight outside of Zuffa, Ian McCall came into the tournament with perhaps the highest of expectations.
He was supposed to be the man who was the first standard bearer of the flyweight division but Demetrious Johnson had other ideas. Johnson would pull off a split decision victory that was marred by what was immediately thereafter and stands now as perhaps the worst judging decision of the year as it stands so far. And with Dana White’s admission that the scorecards were screwed up, and that the sudden death final round should’ve happened, we’re now left in a screwy situation. Dana White is making the right call by doing a rematch of McCall and Johnson while Joseph Benavidez waits for the winner. One thing needs to happen, though, as a just reward for the fight: it needs to be the co-main event of UFC 145.
If Dana White is looking to make it a fight for April, in order to maintain the integrity of getting a fight with a true winner, it needs to be in the best possible position as the co main event of UFC 145.
UFC 145 makes best sense for the placement, giving it a great co-headliner underneath Jon Jones and Rashad Evans. It’s a fairly stacked card so far in terms of hardcore fans with the most intriguing main event of the year so far to bring in the casual audience. More eyeballs are going to be on that card than perhaps any of the year because Jon Jones and Rashad Evans are bringing in fans by themselves. With this much intrigue surrounding it, a genuine moment is on the cusp of happening.
Demetrious Johnson and Ian McCall are about to become stars and need the status accordingly.
In preparing a card for UFC 145 there are plenty of lower weight fights aimed at getting what ought to be an excitable Atlanta crowd loud and boisterous once it starts. And if the first fight is going to be any indication then the Atlanta crowd is going to be insanely ready for Jones/Evans by the time McCall-Johnson ends. There are three things about this fight that justify its position directly underneath Jones/Evans.
It’s not a fight that deserves to open a pay per view or be stuck on the undercard.
It’s not a fight that should be stuck in the middle of a card like this, which doesn’t feature as many names or fights with title implications as this one.
It has direct title implications and will lead to a fight that’ll have a championship attached to it.
McCall/Johnson is a fight that’s an easy sell underneath Jones/Evans. Whereas Jones/Evans has the intrigue of their history with one another, McCall/Johnson comes in as the conclusion of perhaps the best fight to grace FX so far. It adds even more intrigue to a card that already has it in spades. Whoever comes away from this fight has the potential to be a star. The fight was extremely close and the result, which went from a bad judges’ decision to an incorrect decision to start with, adds intrigue into a rematch that people would be savoring over anyways.
Doing it so soon, presuming both fighters came out of the fight without any serious injuries makes the most sense in this bizarre scenario. It does throw a monkey wrench into the integrity of the flyweight tournament format but this isn’t a rematch because the result was controversial: it was incorrect and the real result, a fourth round, didn’t happen. McCall deserves another shot at Johnson and not the first crack at the title because a fourth round that should’ve happened didn’t.
Tags: demetrious johnson, Ian McCall, Mixed Martial Arts, UFC on FX 2