Friday, November 27, 2009

Mayweather vs. Pacquiao head to head against the UFC bad for both events?

The proposed bout between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather will clash with a UFC event if the two are both held on May 1st. That date has come under threat for Pacquiao recently, who might be held up by his running for political office.

If Pacquiao is forced to pick a different date, then the UFC will no doubt view it as a victory with their struggle for market share against boxing. Although many people tend to like one or the other, as Bob Arum so tastefully points out, there are a lot of crossover fans as well. The card itself is one of the bigger events of the year, although lacks the UFC's biggest draws such as Brock Lesnar, who brings a lot of attention because of his previous career as a professional wrestler.

If both events go off on the same date however, what kind of effect will they have on each other?

In the past, the UFC has achieved big pay per view numbers, although the frequency of their cards has meant a lot of watered down events as of late. A rash of injuries to current champions is also hampering their efforts at the moment, although by May this should be resolved and they should be back to full strength. In the past the UFC has switched pay per views that were up against major boxing cards to free events, securing larger audiences than they would have if they were charging for them.

Mayweather vs. Pacquiao represents a bigger challenge than most boxing cards though, given that it will undoubtedly be the biggest fight in years if everything goes off without a hitch. Whether the UFC will have a big impact with a pay per view seems unlikely, but a lot of casual fans will probably be swayed by the prospect of a free event rather than an expensive pay per view. The fact that most fights can be found for free online the following day is another factor which can tend to put a lot of fans off paying for something.

UFC 113 is one of the bigger UFC events (AP Photo)Looking back to past events for some kind of guide is difficult, because in the past both sports have tended to avoid direct competition on the same night.

UFC 103 did go up against Mayweather vs Marquez though, so this is a good place to start. This particular UFC event did about 400k buys compared to Mayweather doing slightly over 1 million, although the UFC was lacking its biggest draws on the card.

I imagine the UFC behind closed doors will abandon trying to compete with Mayweather vs. Pacquiao, purely because of the interest that the fight will generate in the months leading up to it actually happening. When you couple this with the fact that many conventional news sources tend to ignore MMA even more than they do with boxing, and you have a recipe for disaster if they try to rely on pay per view buys for the event. A free show or change of date will be the most likely decision that the UFC is forced to make, with Mayweather vs Pacquiao perhaps even eclipsing previous records achieved by De La Hoya vs Mayweather.

No comments:

Post a Comment