ESPN rode the Oscar De la Hoya/Floyd Mayweather fight for as long as they could and now that the “fight of the century” has turned out to be the biggest waste of $55 since the last “fight of the century” it looks like the mother ship is ready to give the UFC some love. You know, the same Ultimate Fighting Championship that has been criticized by the world of “legitimate” sports news for years now. Well, ESPN doesn’t care about having a consistent approach to their professional beliefs; no, they are concerned with getting ratings and selling magazines. And that’s why the Iceman Chuck Liddell will be on the cover of the May 21st issue of ESPN The Magazine.
Could this be the push that the UFC needs to become a regular fixture on Sports Center? Will we soon be hearing Stuart Scott and Scott Van Pelt trying in vain to be funny as clips of Tito Ortiz and Matt Hughes performing some ground and pound techniques roll during the voice over? Only time will tell, but one thing we do know is that professional boxing is losing steam with every 12 round, snooze fest, split decision that comes down the road. So, it’s no coincidence that ESPN has jumped onto the UFC bandwagon just as one of the most anticipated fights in recent history comes rolling around.
UFC went out of their way to lure one of Pride’s best fighters over to the U.S. and on May 26 at UFC 71, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson will take on the light heavyweight champion, and current ESPN cover boy, Liddell.
We happen to be huge fans of the whole mixed martial arts scene here at Sportscolumn and, frankly, we don’t understand why it hasn’t moved past being considered a fringe sport long ago. So it’s no surprise to us that the UFC is on the verge of blowing up to mainstream proportions, and UFC President Dana White knows that his company can provide something that no boxing promotion has been able to do for quite some time, and that is have a fight that lives up to the hype.
Saturday night is what pisses everyone off,” said White. “It’s crazy. It just drives people further from boxing. You get one fight for 55 bucks. One fight for a $2,500 ticket. You get people all excited for the buildup and then the fight ends up sucking. Both guys try to outpoint the other and win a decision.”
“In the UFC, we give you eight or nine fights, they’re all good, and the guys are fighting their asses off trying to finish it. There’s tons of energy.
[BostonHerald.com]: Liddell, White have it covered