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Midnight Mania! What do UFC on FOX 30’s low overnight ratings mean for the sport of MMA?

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UFC on FOX 30, especially the main card, was the very best the sport has to offer: High level technical skill, meaningful fights, ridiculous violence. The main- and co-main events ended in incredible technical knockouts, Jose Aldo putting Jeremy Stephens away with a bodyshot from hell and Dustin Poirier overwhelming the durable Eddie Alvarez with an insane 50-strike combination in the second round.

And yet, UFC on FOX 30’s overnight ratings are the worst in the series’ history, even lower than the Jacare-Brunson ratings three events ago. Television ratings have been trending down since the FOX deal began; the sport is no longer growing, and UFC should shoulder much of the blame. By filling the airwaves with cards like UFC: “Hamburg,” it loses viewers even when its show is amazing, as this past weekend was. It doesn’t care, because the promotion is making money hand over fist even as MMA shrinks back into the niche it came from.

None of this will hurt UFC right now. It just signed a $300 million per-year broadcast deal with ESPN, which insulates its revenue stream through 2024. It will be interesting to see how being on ESPN affects popularity. The problem thus far has been saturation. Just as with their pay-per-view (PPV) events, which have seen their base levels drop from nearly a half-million to little more than 100,000 buys since the days of Machida-Shogun, television ratings have suffered a gradual decline year over year. However, on ESPN, more fights will be live streamed than will be on television. This may have the effect of creating tiers, with many fans only tuning into the television events and the hardcores — who still number in the hundreds of thousands — tuning in for most or all of it.

Will you stream UFC events on ESPN’s app?


Will you stream UFC events on ESPN’s app?

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How Covington has fallen.

In case y’all forgot:

Derek Brunson vs. Israel Adesanya is a perfect test for Adesanya’s prospects against the wrestlers at the top of 185.

Tim Kennedy delights in doing stuff other people would prefer never to do.

Cub Swanson points out why MMA fighters train in supercamps instead of having a gym centered around them.

Tony Ferguson working his knees

Derrick Lewis is a content machine in his own right

A post shared by Derrick Lewis (@thebeastufc) on

A post shared by Derrick Lewis (@thebeastufc) on

I would have loved to have seen McGregor vs. Jeremy Stephens in the cage.

wHo Da FoOk?!

A post shared by COMBAT SPORTS / MARTIAL ARTS (@thestranglesquad) on

I spent fifteen minutes imitating this footwork in my cubicle after seeing this. Lee Wylie is an excellent analyst.

Julian Jackson was one of the purest power punchers of all time:

Canelo working that Jose Aldo combination.

Dynamic padwork from Gaston Bolanos, who may be reliably found killing pads or opponents with spinning elbows.

Jon Jones says he’s been spending the past year living right, which I’m assuming means no more cocaine. We know he’s still throwing back the alcohol, possibly up to 100 shots a night, thanks to Mike Perry.

Sodiq Yussuf, who won a UFC contract last Tuesday, explains that convincing his mother to let him fight MMA was the biggest career obstacle of all.

Happy birthday to Japanes kickboxer Takeru, whose party was better than any I will ever have in my life.

Dustin Poirier is awesome.

I think they are going to make him fight Tony Ferguson and if they do that’s going to be an insane, insane fight. Ferguson is a nonstop cardio machine who never runs out of ideas, and Poirier is the man who drowned Gaethje in volume and threw a fifty-strike combination to end Eddie Alvarez.

Brazilians are amazing. They will make the toughest of men crumple up gasping for air, and then cry about it.

l Good one, coach

A post shared by Because jitsu (@because_jitsu) on

This sounds like a great scrap. Tonya Evinger is a local fighter, so I gotta support her as she goes into hostile territory against Ketlen Vieira.

This weekend will be fun. TJ Dillashaw vs. Cody Garbrandt 2 will be a volatile powder keg of a fight.

Quick Hits

Slips, Rips, KO Clips

This was a crazy brawl

31 seconds of utter insanity – just watch #LFA46 • • • @lfafighting – @axstvfights

A post shared by MMAjunkie (@mmajunkiedotcom) on

Sometimes you see them coming, sometimes you don’t.

Congratulations to Dustin Ortiz on the win this weekend

The benefits of a good hair day abound!

Toe hold!!

Front kick? Side kick? Doesn’t matter, it’s a KO:

Big dudes throwing down in boxing!

Karate Combat is a good watch for the production value alone:

Random Land


Eagle on Tundra

an epic landing.

A post shared by Ravi Vora (@ravivora) on

Burn them with fire. Seriously, though, this is amazing. Captain America worms!

Good dog!

Stay woke, Maniacs! Follow me on Twitter and Facebook @Vorpality