The Best: The undercard on FX. One of the main reasons behind airing the preliminary bouts for free on FX is to lure viewers into ordering their pay–per-views. Therefore, the UFC has concocted a unique formula to persuade viewers into ordering them. This weekend was an outstanding example of this strategically thought-out formula, for even with a few decisions, the undercard bouts were exciting, intriguing and left me thirsty for more. There were decisions, TKOs and submissions – there was a little bit of everything, including a lot of action. The bouts on FX most certainly lived up to their part of the deal as far as pitching in. Understandably so, this being the UFC’s Super Saturday event, it was a given that they were planning to stack the card. The undercard bouts were only half of the equation – but needless to say, they didn’t miss a beat.
The Best: UFC Superfights. The 2013 pay-per-view schedule kicked off with a long-awaited superfight between featherweight champion Jose Aldo and former lightweight champion Frankie Edgar. Boxing is littered with examples of huge high-profile fights that never came to fruition. From the recent talks of Mayweather Jr and Manny Pacquiao, to the long-gone Bowe and Lewis implosion, it’s widely known that when major fights like these are signed, fans know they’re in for something incredibly special. It’s rare that we get a superfight in general, and rarer still that a superfight is signed when both fighters are in the prime of their careers. We got to see this last night thanks to the careful supervision of the Zuffa brass. 2013 is only beginning and Aldo/Edgar has set the bar quite high. I look forward to potential superfights later in the year, but only after I re-watch Aldo/Edgar a few dozen more times.
The Best: The Flyweights. The UFC played a very smart game by opening up the pay-per-view with an exciting flyweight bout. If there were any doubts that the flyweights belonged in the UFC after the Demetrious Johnson/John Dodson title fight – I have no idea how there would be – the opening fight between Joseph Benavidez and Ian McCall should eliminate them. We saw what’s best about the lighter divisions in a three-round fight between two fighters coming off a loss (coincidentally to the same fighter). They both felt as they had their backs against the wall and came out to put on a show. I have high hopes that casual fans are warming up to accepting the lighter fighters who provide just as much, if not more, action, knockouts and edge-of-your-seat suspense.
The Best: The UFC Heavyweights. The lone heavyweight bout of the card delivered what we tend to expect from a heavyweight fight. In an era where heavyweight boxing is ruled by a set of tactical brothers who initially made a splash in the sport with outstanding knockouts, it’s extremely refreshing to see two heavyweight monsters throw down the way we saw Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva and Alistair Overeem throw down last night. The UFC’s heavyweight division has long been considered their weakest division, particularly during the time of PRIDE. It’s ironic that these two fighters, who came from another promotion, came through with the first major heavyweight knockout of the year. Overall, this event as a whole was one of the best fight cards in quite some time, giving a little bit of everything, enabling this card to cater to just about every type of fan watching. The UFC delivered again on Super Saturday by putting together a sensational event to kick off the 2013 pay-per-view schedule – and hopefully, this is just the beginning of more superfights to come this year.