Going by Twitter and nothing more since I haven’t had much of a chance to read anything overly in depth on the subject, people seem pretty happy about the UFC’s decision to bump all of the main event fights going forward up to 5 rounds from 3.
Personally, I don’t much care for the idea. Maybe it’s the wrestling brain in me, but making every main event fight look the same as a title fight diminishes the importance of the championships. Let’s face it, not everybody who appears in a main event fight is going to get a title shot. Some guys are just in the main event because somebody has to go on last. Fighting for a title is supposed to be different. It’s supposed to be harder, hence why 5 round title matches make sense. I would be fine with this idea if it only applied to fights that would determine the number 1 contender because it would prove a guy could handle the championship rounds, but that’s not what this is.
I just don’t get how seeing a couple of guys who are nowhere near contending for anything have an average fight that takes longer is going to help anything. Are people really going to buy more pay-per-views or tune into the Fight Night specials in greater numbers because 2 guys get 2 extra rounds to essentially fight over nothing for no reason? I don’t think so. The shows that don’t sell as well aren’t selling poorly because the main events are too short. They’re selling poorly because people aren’t excited about them. and if people aren’t excited about something, the last thing you should be doing is giving them more of it. Sure there are some 3 round fights that you’d love to see go longer, but you never know when that’s going to happen. There are also some 5 round affairs that I wish wouldn’t have even gotten 3, so it cuts both ways. A longer fight isn’t going to always mean a better one.
To me, this is the kind of gimmick you would use in a desperate attempt to prop up a promotion that’s failing, and unless there’s something somebody’s not telling me, the UFC is hardly failing.