About a year ago, I had the opportunity to attend the UFC at the Saddledome in Calgary, Alberta. The main card, when I purchased the ticket, was sick, and then the fighters unfortunately all got sick and the marquee value of the card became shit.
I am an optimist however, and held out hope that a solid night of fights would make up for the absence of name fighters. To my utter disappointment, aside from Faber Barao, the main card was terrible, and even during the main event, the crowd was so choked at the whole of the card, a skirmish between a couple of douchebags in the stands elicited the most excitement of the evening.
I do not learn lessons quickly, I bought presale tickets for Winnipeg. It was a sick card. Again, fighters started to get sick and the card started to look like shit, the main event was pulled, and then the co-main event was pulled.
UFC 161 is not the same event quality as initially advertised, and while the card is subject to change, at some point a card is so different that one does not get what they bargained for at the time they initially purchased the tickets.
The UFC has always done a good job of selling the UFC first and the fighters second, for example, one does not go to the GSP fight, they go to UFC XxX, whereas in the 80's one went to the Tyson fight, not to see Don King Promotions. If Tyson pulled out, you can be certain the remainder of the card would not have simply been bumped up, but the UFC approach, while admirable, does not demonstrate similar respect to fans when a cards deficits are not cured. Sonnen Shogun, is a cure, pulling Shogun, not replacing the fight, and pimping up a card whose tickets have not been sold yet, is, in practical terms, a bait and switch, and while not theft, something not far off.
The UFC cannot account for injury, these things happen, but the absence of contingency plans, when you have seen all kinds of injury wreak havoc on cards in 2012, is, frankly, inexplicable. Unfortunately, it is not unforgivable, as the fans will continue to show enough devotion to routine sell out events, despite the lack of respect shown to fans by the UFC, by not appreciating the value of the fans dollar and giving them what they pay for.
Someone told me before, with respect to boxing, it's not about 2 guys fighting, it's about these 2 guys fighting, the fans have to care about one of the fighters, it's has to move them either to see someone win or someone lose. That's the difference between a massive draw and a crowd of people dressed like chairs. When you lose a main event, or co main event, you lose the these 2 guys, and it just becomes 2 guys fighting, it is simply not, as much as the UFC would like you to think otherwise, the same. It's not what you bargained for, it is akin to buying a plane ticket to London, England, and upon arriving at the airport, you notice that your ticket, in fact, says London, Ontario, which is fine, I'm sure it's nice, but if the goal of the trip was to see the Tower of London, you will end up disappointed.
At some point Dana White cannot simply shrug his shoulders and spew something about 'real fight fans' or 'you can't judge a card before it happens' etc., at some point it ought to be recognized how offensive it is to ticket holders to see a fight be yanked from a sold out card and used to stack another card, that someone like myself will think is a sick card, and buy presale tickets for, with their fingers crossed that a fight from that sick card, doesn't get pulled to sell another card 2 months down the road.
Anyway, I'm hoping the Rogan show at the Burton Cummings Theatre on Friday night goes off as planned, it would a shame if Rogan gets sick and his opener gets bumped to the main event, but at least I would still be seeing a night of comedy. That's the same. Right? We are comedy fans, right?