UFC 125 Edgar vs Maynard: Low Hype, High Ticket Prices
Even though the MMA community in general does not seem all too excited about UFC 125, ticket prices are telling a different story. The average price of a ticket for UFC 125 is $269.53, more expensive than both UFC 118, averaging $242.44 per ticket, and UFC 124, which averaged $264.41 per ticket. The high ticket prices for this event could possibly be attributed to a combination of two things: (1) there hasn’t been a major UFC event in Vegas since UFC 116 in July and UFC fans in Vegas are just eager to go see a major UFC event (2) UFC 125 is taking place on New Years Day and Vegas draws a large crowd for New Years weekend.
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Fans clamoring about a lack of star power and a weak main event for this Saturday’s UFC 125 should really cut the UFC some slack. While Frankie Edgar isn’t currently as sexy a champion as some of his colleagues, the UFC did have plans to bolster the event with the addition of Featherweight Champion Jose Aldo. After suffering an injury, his eventual removal from the event’s main card makes it all the more hard to market. Aldo isn’t a big name yet, but he can always be counted on for his highlight reel performances. It was another title fight, after all.
Edgar is still struggling to overcome the stigma of being an undersized — therefore short term — UFC champion. He hasn’t been favored in a fight since December of 2009 and has been an underdog in every fight since — including his fight this weekend with No. 1 contender Gray Maynard. Maynard — a fighter who some fans take much delight in writing off as a ‘lay and pray’ bore — isn’t bringing much hype to this fight. While I personally think Maynard is undeserving of his reputation, I’m not the average MMA fan. This is also a rematch of a fairly one-sided fight. While the UFC has been able to sell rematches between guys like Lyoto Machida and Maurício Rua at UFC 113, a rematch of a decisive beating from two non-stars makes this a tough sell. Add all of these story lines together and you have a recipe for low PPV buys.
Both of these fighters have changed and markedly improved since facing each other almost three years ago. Edgar has twice beaten a legend in BJ Penn and Maynard has continued an undefeated dominance over much of the lightweight division’s best. Each man is a different fighter, but I see this fight going much like the first. I don’t think Maynard will allow Edgar to continue to utilize his speed and will eventually use his footwork to corner him in the octagon. If Maynard can avoid the likely frustration of chasing an opponent not looking to stand and trade with him, I think he puts together a good enough fight to take the title. This fight will be won or lost in the first three rounds. If Maynard can put it on Edgar and score some takedowns I think he becomes the new UFC Lightweight Champion.