If UFC 91 falls short of expectations, blame the undercard
White is predicting a record-breaker this weekend, estimating that the event headlined by
In other words, it's an outrageous claim. As with most such claims, it succeeds in getting attention for the man who makes it, but it isn't likely to come true.
White is betting on this fight's crossover appeal among pro wrestling fans, as well as among the existing MMA fans who have been eagerly awaiting Couture's return to action. With the intersecting storylines in this bout -- the ageless, prodigal champion against the flashy, beastly newcomer -- there's reason for optimism.
But the UFC's mistake is in pinning all its hopes on the main event, hoping fans won't notice the lackluster undercard. It's more like something you'd see on a boxing pay-per-view: one big fight, and the rest mostly filler. That's simply not the UFC at its best. It's the opposite of the strategy that got the organization to this point, one of stacking cards with compelling bouts like they've done with December's UFC 92 card.
That's why if UFC 91 doesn't live up to White's expectations (and it almost certainly won't) he can't blame Lesnar and Couture, but rather the mediocre lineup he's backing them with.
The lightweight clash between
Stevenson already had a shot, and he fell very short. There's no reason to think a rematch would go any differently. As for Florian, didn't he establish himself as the No. 1 contender with the win over
Florian-Stevenson should still be a good one to watch, but the penultimate bout on what's being billed as the year's biggest pay-per-view? Hardly.
The good news on the UFC 91 undercard is the
Quarry's never been submitted in his pro career. He's also never gone up against anyone like Maia. Say what you will about "The Rock," but he's smart enough not to willingly go to the mat with the jiu-jitsu phenom the way
The two other televised bouts for UFC 91 aren't likely to be on anyone's list of must-sees. Fresh off a comeback win against
In a bout that was bumped up from the dark portion of the card due to