Being a UFC fan is serious commitment.
Do you remember the last time a Saturday went by without blood shed in the Octagon? It’s been a few months, as the Fourth of July proved an important enough holiday to disrupt UFC’s endless march (Halloween did not). If Wikipedia is to be trusted, Christmas has also been deemed too significant to book fist fights, with December 25th standing firm as the next skip week for the promotion.
For anyone interested in keeping count, that’s 25 Saturdays in a row.
Even short events tend to last at least six hours, which makes for a significant chunk of time. Fight promotion tends to speak in such absolutes that it is difficult to tell how important an event is; it almost assumes fight fans are without loved ones or hobbies. No, UFC fans, you cannot take your wife to dinner on a Saturday night, not while the fights are on! There are underpaid “Contender Series” newcomers to watch! Someone is breaking into the title mix right now, and the winner of this next fight could be ranked come Monday!
A more honest approach would reveal that some events are totally skippable without consequence, UFC Vegas 14 certainly being one of them. The night did not produce any title contenders. The rankings will shift a bit for Rafael dos Anjos, but it’s territory the former champion has walked before, and he’s still several wins away from any title shot. Most of the favorites won via decision, and nothing terribly dramatic happened.
Fortunately, I liken bad UFC events to cold pizza: they’re still decent. Even the most mediocre cards — and UFC Vegas 14 was a serious contender for the 2020 throne of pedestrian events — have worthwhile moments, the occasional reward for our faithful viewing.
Last night, the main event was the primary example. Dos Anjos is a well-respected veteran, and it was a pleasure to see him fight a foe other than a physically overwhelming wrestler. Paul Felder earned all the props in the world for stepping up on short-notice, and the two delivered an entertaining main event.
There were no major shifts in momentum, nor did the bout result in any great storyline, but it was technical, competitive fighting for 25 minutes. That’s worth watching!
The co-main event delivered too. “The Oxfighter” Khaos Williams destroyed his opponent in just 30 seconds with a brutally perfect cross, and now he’s a one to watch. Welterweight has a long history of vicious knockout artists, and Williams just may carve out a place in history among them.
Even beyond the big pictures of divisional relevance and overall career direction, it only takes a bit of personal interest in one fight or fighter to make all the difference. I train with Cory McKenna, so her nail-biter main card opener vs. Kay Hansen was a dramatic and memorable bout. That fight and outcome may not have really mattered in the grand scheme of the sport, but it was the most important moment of my night watching fights.
In fact, it doesn’t matter at all if you’ve never personally met a fighter. Simply being a fan of one specific athlete makes all the difference. Watching that fighter compete can prove as thrilling or crushing as any high-profile main event or title fight, provided you genuinely care.
A competitive battle, great performance, some personal investment — it really doesn’t take much for even a mediocre card ravaged by illness and injury to demonstrate its value and keep fans tuned in for next week.
For complete UFC Vegas 14: “Dos Anjos vs. Felder” results and play-by-play, click HERE!