Felger & Mazz On: Violence In Ultimate Fighting
[photogallerylink id=41078 align=right]Felger & Mazz discussed Sunday night’s UFC 118 pay-per-view at the TD Garden. The guys praised the overall entertainment value of the program, including the spectacle of the build-up to James Toney’s embarrassing loss. But they also explained why casual fans like them can easily tune it out, and what UFC should do to attract more new viewers.
Felger: “There were some things that happened on that card that had me rewinding the DVR and watching it two or three times. There were some things that were horrifying and brutal- and must-watch stuff! Tremendous…There were other things that bored me to tears. The main event had me out walking the dog. The James Toney-Couture thing, in terms of buildup and anticipation, was awesome! The fight itself was something of a joke…But when it was all said and done, I can see why people watch. I can see why it’s replaced boxing. It was more entertaining than any boxing card I’ve seen in a long time. I see why it’s big. But after one night, I can tell you the sport’s problem. Two reasons: Too much skill, and not enough violence.”
Mazz: “When I was covering the Red Sox, visiting teams used to watch these ‘super-fights,’ which was the primitive version of Ultimate Fighting. It was horrific, what these guys did to each other. In all honesty, I couldn’t stomach to watch it…If the sport is as barbaric as it began- and it was pretty bad- it won’t make it. It’ll turn off casual fans. There will be a good segment of casual fans who will say ‘Oof! That’s way too much.’ I think it’s creeping into that area now…If you see a good fight, you can live with the blood. You never wanna see anyone get killed or maimed or anything like that in any sport…Based on what I’ve discovered, there have been three deaths [in UFC]…I think that there’s been a mainstream resistance to it, because people say it’s barbaric- well how’s that different from football, or auto racing or boxing? There’s lots of sports that presents those threats.”