UFC 221 isn’t exactly stacked, in fact, it’s quite the opposite. What’s it worth? Let’s find out.
UFC 221 takes place Saturday night. It’s taking place in Perth, Austrailia and features Luke Rockhold and Yoel Romero in the main event. That’s a really interesting fight, and I’m all in for it. That said, does that one fight justify the 65.00 price tag for this event? Well, let’s break down the PPV card and apply a value to each fight. In the end, we’ll know whether UFC 221 is an investment worth making.
Luke Rockhold vs. Yoel Romero
This Middleweight clash is for the new Interim title. Yes, another interim title ladies and gentlemen. Let’s first try and remember why this fight is for an interim title. Michael Bisping was the undisputed champion, but the UFC felt he was out for too long, so they had Yoel Romero fight Robert Whittaker for an interim title with the goal being that winner facing Bisping to unify the titles. Nope.
Michael Bisping lost to Georges St-Pierre who then opted to drop the belt and take an extended leave of absence. So Robert Whittaker was going to meet Luke Rockhold for what the UFC was going to determine was the Undisputed world title. Nope. Robert Whittaker was forced out of the bout with a horrible infection, and now we’ve got Yoel Romero and Luke Rockhold for an interim title. Yes, Yoel Romero lost his last fight, for the interim title, and now will once again, fight for the same title. At least Rockhold is coming in off of a win.
The fight itself is pretty interesting, Luke will have a speed and sharpness edge and Yoel will have a power advantage. If Luke can survive the first 7 or 8 minutes, he’ll cruise the rest of the way. However, he will need to weather an early storm, and that makes this fight interesting and in turn, worth some money.
I’d be willing to pay $20.00 for this fight alone.
Curtis Blaydes vs. Mark Hunt
Um, there’s no nice way to say this. This fight is not very interesting to me. I like Mark Hunt, always have and always will, but his performances have been less than compelling and while Blaydes might be a legitimate up and comer, he doesn’t set the world on fire either with his style.
The heavyweight division is shallow, really shallow. Mark Hunt is 3-3 in his last six fights, yet somehow remains ranked in the top five in the UFC’s official rankings. Curtis Blaydes is ranked 9th, so while you can advertise this as a battle of top ten fighters, I think we know that this isn’t must-see tv.
Blaydes has won three of his last four, not counting a no-contest after a positive Marijuana test, but those wins come against fighters who are combined 3-7 in their last 10. He’s not exactly a world-beater.
It’s always interesting to see Mark Hunt lumbering around the cage looking to land the one shot to end the fight. I don’t love this fight, and it’s certainly not typical of co-main event status.
I’d be willing to pay $7.00 for this fight. *Includes $2.00 Mark Hunt bonus.
Cyril Asker vs. Tai Tuivasa
Cyril Asker is 2-2 since joining the UFC back in 2016. He enters this fight on the heels of a victory over Yaozong Hu. Tui Tuivasa is an undefeated prospect out of Austrailia who will be fighting for the second time in the UFC Octagon.
This should be a fight for Tuivasa to showcase his skills and earn a high profile stoppage victory. He closed the show in his UFC debut with an exciting flying knee and will look to impress again. With the heavyweight division being paper-thin, he knows it won’t take long to get into the mix with a series of wins.
This fight is likely to produce a knockout, and for that reason and that reason alone I’m offering up cash for this.
I’d be willing to pay $5.00 for this fight.
Jake Matthews vs. Jingliang Li
To say this fight doesn’t interest me at all, smacks of an understatement. Jake is 1-2 in his last three and some of the lusters has been lost on a fighter who many felt was a can’t-miss prospect. Jake will be fighting in his home country so that’s a plus for him. The fans will be happy to see him compete.
Jingliang Li is simply put, nails on a chalkboard annoying to me. He enters the fight on a four-fight winning streak and will be the favorite again this Saturday night. The combined UFC records of those four fighters Li has defeated is a subpar 3-9. So what he actually brings to the table is unknown.
If someone said, if you pay 1 dollar, you can watch this fight, I would, begrudgingly. Two dollars? Go fish.
I’d be willing to pay $1.00 for this fight.
Tyson Pedro vs. Saparbek Safarov
Huh? Who? Wait, what? I kid, I kid. I know Tyson Pedro and so do you. Interestingly enough, Tai Tuivasa who we spoke of earlier is married to Tyson Pedro’s sister, and Tau and Tyson have a podcast together. That being said, Saparbek is making his second trip to the Octagon, after being knocked out by Gian Villante in his debut.
Tyson Pedro is 2-1 in the UFC and enters this fight having lost in his last outing against Ilir Latifi. He’s a big slugger and should have a willing opponent Saturday night. That said, this is not a fight that would typically find its way onto a PPV main card and as such, I’m not willing to pay for it. This is a Fox Sports 1 fight if ever there was one.
I’m not buying this fight, I’d pay $0.00 for it.
Cost of UFC 221 – $64.95 for HD via Xfinity, Directv, Dish Network and UFC.com.
Estimated actual value – $33.00.