IF YOU believe UFC president Dana White, then UFC 251 is going to be one huge mixed martial arts event.
Yesterday, White was saying they have already outsold 2019 UFC merchandise in their stores. And this is in the midst of a pandemic.
MARKETING. Of course, he’s also the UFC’s main marketing mogul and consider that he just spent a gazillon dollars buying Yas Island off the coast of Abu Dhabi so he could stage UFC events.
Straight from Dana’s mouth, UFC has done 8,000 tests leading up to tomorrow’s event, flown in athletes and staff from all over the world.
You see, that’s the advantage if you have moolah and lots of it.
There’s a pandemic and everyone is contagious or presumed to be?
No problem. Let’s just buy our own island and decide who goes there.
Tests are limited in the US and medical personnel scarce?
No sweat. Source it somewhere else and hire doctors and nurses from other countries.
So he’s not just selling snake-oil here. This is a huge investment and clearly conditioned upon the Covid-19 pandemic being here for a while.
Ergo, White has to up the ante and justify every single penny spent and ensure it will be recouped and earn exponentially.
Of course, if by some miracle, tomorrow a vaccine is created and everything goes back to normal in a few months, then it’s a bust.
But then also, he just might be telling the truth. And part of that could just be Jorge Masvidal.
GAMEBRED. This former street fighter who made the mixed martial take full notice with that flying knee knockout of Ben Askren at UFC 239 in just five seconds, is certainly a crowd drawer.
Well, there’s no crowd in attendance for UFC 251, but he’s certainly a huge marketing draw. And for this event, make no mistake—he’s the straw that will stir the drink, even considering that he took this fight on just six days’ notice.
Kamaru Usman has the record and the talent to defeat Masvidal. But this early, I sense a lot of insecurity and facetiousness coming from him.
There seems to be a genuine beef between him and Masvidal, and they have been jawing at each other in press conferences and also in social media.
The other day, I saw him praise Masvidal and call the latter his biggest challenge to date. Yesterday, at the press conference he referred to him as a journeyman and a .500 fighter.
And he’s been harping about Masvidal having a built-in excuse for coming in as a late sub.
I never liked a fighter who does a lot of posturing. I have Masvidal winning this fight via unanimous decision.
LAST ROUND. It’s on my kumpare Rey Guttierez, who recently celebrated his birthday. Cheers!