Like any fan, I often see headlines and think “Why would they do that?” Well, every once in a while I will see a headline that reminds me of just how smart the UFC is and why it is a successful company. Urijah Faber has found himself in a stalemate with the Bantamweight division. After failing to get it, three times actually, his teammate was finally able to grab it. Since Faber has not really commented on whether he would fight his teammate for the belt, he is seriously stuck in the division. He still wants to fight, so the UFC decided to put him as the feature prelim fight with Alex Caceres.
I cannot stress how great of an idea this is and it should be the norm from now on. The UFC cares deeply about the ratings that they pull on television, and it makes sense. The only real way to appease their network is to show good ratings. The only problem is that the ratings fluctuate heavily with who is fighting on the prelims. The UFC will always have a hardcore niche of fans who will watch anything on television, but to the more casual viewer, two Brazilians who are making their UFC debut is not that attractive.
Faber is a household name who can finish fights. The casual viewer knows who he is and enjoys watching him perform. Since he is fighting Caceres, or better yet, “Bruce Leeroy,” the causal audience will be even more involved with the fight because Caceres is a fighter with an image that the viewer can grab onto. I think that this will cause a huge push in the ratings and a major star should headline the prelims before every UFC event.