Remember back in December, when the UFC decided to experiment with three shows, in three days (FN 80, TUF 22 Finale, UFC 194) culminating with Conor McGregor laying out Jose Aldo? Well, the UFC are back at it again with the three-show extravaganza, this time scheduling Fight Night 90, TUF 23 Finale July 9, and the expected-to-be-biggest-show-ever UFC 200.
Fight Night 90 will kick the festivities off on Thursday, July 8 and is headlined by a Lightweight title fight between current Champion Rafael dos Anjos and #1 Contender Eddie Alvarez. Now, fans have taken an issue with two parts of this announcement:
Fight Night 90 is being broadcast exclusively on Fight Pass
The show is on a Thursday night
Personally, I just can’t seem to find the issue here. Eric Winter (General Manager of Fight Pass) in an excellent interview with MMAJunkie outlined how much the UFC values its streaming service. I mean, I thought that was pretty obvious when the UFC gave us Silva vs Bisping. Or when they started making Fight Pass headliners out of lower-card action fights.
Fight Pass shouldn’t be an issue here. I’ll let you in on a secret: I’m a pretty hardcore fight fan. I’m a dos Anjos fan (have been for awhile). I’m not a Fight Pass subscriber. I’ve been considering it though, and this announcement is pushing me closer to turning into a paying customer. We’ll see how the card fleshes out.
The Thursday aspect that people are upset about also shouldn’t be a problem. Thursday is good enough for the NFL. It’s good enough for WWE. Friday night is just not a popular day for live television. There’s not a whole lot of news for what’s going to be on the Friday TUF card, but I have a sneaking suspicion that the Fight Night card will be stronger.
The clear implication here, I think, is that there won’t be a dos Anjos vs McGregor fight any time soon. With Edgar vs Aldo scheduled for an interim title fight at UFC 200, it seems incredibly likely that McGregor, win or lose, will finally be returning to his division to face his rightful opponent.