Timing is very important in many different parts of life. The same is said for professional sports. There’s reasons that seasons run during particular points of the year and events are held on specific days. For example, the UFC has consistently held an event that coincides with the NFL’s Super Bowl weekend which is a perfect weekend to capture the attention of the sports world. This weekend, the MMA community may see an example of the exact opposite when card planning goes wrong for World Series of Fighting 5.
In asking a casual fan what major sports event goes on this weekend, there’s a good chance their answer will be football; which started its season last week. Some more knowledgeable sports fans will respond with the answer of Floyd Mayweather versus Canelo Alvarez – what is expected to be 2013’s biggest boxing event of the year. Unfortunately, there’s no telling how many times you will have to ask the same question before the answer “WSOF 5” is given. For a number of reasons this card has flown tragically under the radar.
There is no denying it that World Series of Fighting 5 is an extremely weak card when it comes to star power. Mainstream fan or not, there is a level of marquee name that needs to be featured in major events in order to catch the attention that is needed to be deemed a success. This card is truly devoid of that individual.
Andrei Arlovski is filling in for Anthony Johnson to face Mike Kyle in the main event. Neither one of these fighters would be considered in the top 20 of best fighters in the division, but at this point in time they are the best offering available by the promotion.
The bright spot of this card is the four man tournament to determine the first ever WSOF Middleweight champion. David Branch, Danillo Villefort, Elvis Mutapcic and Jesse Taylor are all set to face off in a tournament over the next few events. While these names do not grab space in the brightest of MMA lights, they have the abilities to put on some great fights for those in attendance and in front of the television.
Still, the expectations for ratings for this event should be relatively low. The last few weeks of MMA action have featured some big name UFC events and even their ratings tapered off towards the end. With Jon Jones and Alexander Gustafsson set to face off next weekend, it wouldn’t be a surprise if the MMA demographic took this weekend off to either catch the boxing match or go create some other adventure.
WSOF should keep a close eye on the ratings this weekend but not hit panic mode if they are low. This card doesn’t feature the star power they currently do have in Johnson, Josh Burkman, Jon Fitch, Nick Newell, Marlon Moares and others. Perhaps they are planning their next card to feature more of their prominent names. On the other hand they could begin spreading out their roster across these potential cards as well. Either way, this coming card is not a negative barometer of the promotion’s overall strength.
The fall season is the most busy time of the year in the sports world. This weekend is just one of the hectic moments that will come in the next few months with so many different leagues going on at once. The World Series of Fighting is literally fighting for the limited attention of sports fans in the community. This weekend may not generate the best results for the promotion but it will not be a condemning threat either.