THIS. Not sure as an MMA fan why you disliked Pride but that's beside the point.
The fun factor in the UFC is undoubtedly shrinking. There are too many ways to win via not fighting, the rules, referees and judges they have to use are completely flawed, the commentary is bland and on Goldy's part horribly inaccurate.
I still watch every event, either live or the next day with Sky record. I still find it exciting and still see great fighters emerging all the time. I definitely get more fun out of the lower ranked fights lately though, guys who don't have a huge name, guys on the prelims. There will always be that fierce tension of a renowned fighter walking to the cage, but too often over the past year are those big fights a bit bland and frankly unimpressive.
Money, fighters, and the combination of the two is not the problem. Fighters must be paid, and like anyone else they try to get as much as they can as easily as they can, which is fine. Just eliminate the easy paths to the dough, like the way fights are scored and refereed, and the fights will change. None of these guys are scared to fight, but lately I see the fear to lose. If you are prepared for a fight, confident in your body, your skills and mental strength, losing is not an option. You think you can't lose. Then if you do lose, you come back even hungrier. I don't see that in certain fighters lately even when they claim to be highly prepared.
I don't want to watch mindless brawling, I don't want to watch full body fencing either. I want to see skilled aggression and defense, I want fighters to see the 15 or 25 minute limit as a challenge, you have this amount of time to impose your talent and stop this human from doing the same. Don't look at it as how long you've got to stall and look busy, then nail cardiovascular exercises for three months.
not sure why i could not get into pride either, ive tried many times too
Too much pressure is put on winning and not enough on putting on a great fight, honestly for me putting on a boring fight should hurt a career more then losing when your trying your hardest. I know dana feels the same way and im not sure why he has not figured out a way to solve the fact that allot of his fighters dont fight anymore.
You say you like prelims more now and i cant agree more, i think a big reason why they are better is ko of the night, sub of the night and FotN bonuses mean more to them since they are not making the money the bigger name guys are.
There needs to be a crappy fight of the night negative bonus where if you put on a piss poor boring fight you get money takin away, this will have some controversy as so very exciting figters could be help down all fight or have to chase their the other fighter all match but its there fault for not figure out how to neutralize the fighter also imo.
I just hate that i am getting less and less excited each ppv, this is the only sport i love and have done so for a long time but i have been getting bored way more then i should as of late.
If this is affecting me as a long time fan the way that it is i cant imagine what it is doing to the casual fan or new comers