While UFC 196 will be the company’s biggest show of the first half of the year, the ramifications based on the results of the top two fights are far greater than perhaps any show the company has ever produced.
Conor McGregor continues to be a game changer as UFC heads to what looks to be its biggest show of the first half of 2016 on Saturday.
This Saturday night is not just a big show, but the ramifications of the two top fights greatly impact the potential of the two biggest fights in company history.
When featherweight champion McGregor (19-2) steps into the cage for the main event at welterweight, fighting 25 pounds up from his previous weight class, against Nate Diaz (18-10), it will break the Zuffa tradition by having a non-title fight be put in the top position above a championship fight.
McGregor already broke tradition twice last year, in the sense UFC had the rule if there were two championship fights on the same show, the heavier weight class would be the main event and go on last. But McGregor vs. Chad Mendes at UFC 189, for the interim featherweight title, was put on top of Robbie Lawler vs. Rory MacDonald for the welterweight title. At UFC 194, McGregor’s unification match with Jose Aldo was on top of Chris Weidman’s middleweight title loss to Luke Rockhold.
In the past, when UFC had highly marketable big fights that were far bigger in the fans’ eyes than title matches on the same show, they still pushed the title fight as equal in promotion even though it wasn’t and put it on last.
The best examples of that were UFC 61 in 2006, where Tito Ortiz vs. Ken Shamrock’s second fight was the most anticipated UFC grudge match up to that point in history, and ….View full article
Source:: mma fighting