The ramifications of UFC's 1st cancelled event in a nutshell
With UFC's first cancelled event in history now official; we know now nothing is saving that card from being scrapped. I found myself thinking what a fighters perspective might be on this. There has already been talk about being upset due to the loss in purse money, sponsorship money, and any other kind of promotional money. However, I'm talking about the psychological impact this will have on fighters in the future. With an idea finally becoming a reality, UFC fighters will become more weary in training and pull out of less fights.
The reasons I believe this to be true and a direct result of UFC cancelling it's first event are as follows:
1. Fighters do not want to let other fighters down and affect their finances. This has been a big reason Jones has gotten a lot of flack for his decision to not fight Chael.
2. Fighters do not want to build bad animosity between teammates. Often times we see cards with fighters from the same camp, your negligence caused your teammate to be effected by your drop out.
3. Fighters do not want the bad stigma that follows the cancellation of an event. Jones's public image is taking a huge hit, a hit that will take a long time to recover from.
4. Fighters acknowledge the reality that the UFC is willing to sacrifice an event if the star power standards are not maintained. Fighters always knew it was a possibility, but it never happened until now; as reality sets in fighters will realize their negligence can have a big impact.
5. Fighters will attempt to stay in better shape off-season. It would be wise for the UFC to publicly address the possibilities of cancelling events from now on to encourage fighters to step up to the plate when a fighter does become injured, this only helps them market the card even more.
Those reasons acknowledged I believe the UFC cancelled this event to make a statement. That statement is that fighters need to be more weary when they train and avoid injuries through behavior that puts them at a higher risk of injury; fighters need to be more conscious of their actions and realize their actions can have a big impact in their lives and that of others. Furthermore, the UFC values and encourages fighters who are ready to go when shit hits the fan.
One last thing I wanted to touch on again was in reason #5. I believe we'll see the UFC use event cancellation marketing to it's advantage in the future as a way to market a card. Although it seems counter intuitive to market an event in a way that under prepared fighters will save a card from being extinguished, we have to take into account that the average UFC viewer is not concerned with the quality of the fighters as long as the star power and hype is there to win them over. The UFC implying an event could be cancelled creates more views, articles, videos, and talks about an upcoming card. Public reception will be that the card was not cancelled because it became a card worth viewing. As long as the media keeps the card in the spotlight and the talks going, the public will remain interested and sales will be higher. This sounds almost ridiculous in a way, but I think the UFC gained a lot from cancelling 151 because of the marketing power that comes with the willingness to sacrifice an entire event due to injuries and providing a quality standard.
This is just my perspective on the business obviously. For all I know the UFC is not operating with the mentality I had and it is all coincidence, but the opportunity is there for them to reap the benefits of the precedent they set. I'm very interested in seeing how this actually plays out, but if it does end up working the way I see it, with a decrease in injuries, and the UFC/Dana threatening to cancel an event if certain match ups don't take place as a marketing tool, I can say I called it :P