If the rumours in circulation are to be believed then the UFC as we know it could be set for a massive overhaul that will affect PPV’s, weight-classes and its TV schedule.
It’s a development that has been met with some serious scepticism in its early stages but with the UFC’s continued move into the mainstream eye, the idea of seeing a monumental shift in the current format should be expected.
Whether it comes in the shape of the deal proposed in this prevalent rumour, remains to be seen.
According to reports that have been circling, the UFC are close to inking a deal with both ESPN and NBC which would completely change the landscape of the sport as we know it. New weight classes, the removal of The Ultimate Fighter and a lighter pay-per-view schedule are among the flagship changes mentioned but with the sport rapidly increasing in its popularity, such instances of mixing it up are only natural.
The changes mentioned are as follows:
6 PPVs per year.
The Ultimate Fighter replaced by the Contender Series.
Introduction of a men’s 165lbs and women’s 105lbs weight class.
ESPN and NBC to have exclusivity on certain fighters.
ESPN and NBC paying to pay for production.
BREAKING: ESPN And NBC To Split Expanded UFC TV Package (Details)https://t.co/4RUI6vwX2v
— Terez Owens (@TerezOwens) April 11, 2018
The sheer number of pay-per-view cards in any given year has been the cause of some criticism amongst the fans, who often complain about the fact that the promotion’s roster is being stretched thin. Having just six major PPV’s per year would certainly allow them to stack their marquee events to a greater extent and give each one some of a more glamourous feel.
The implementation of both a women’s 105lb division and in particular a men’s 165lb division will certainly divide opinion but alas, until we receive anything concrete, all we do is speculate as to the legitimacy of this admittedly insane prospect.
Cillian Cunningham, Pundit Arena