Hosting a big event on Super Bowl weekend has been a UFC tradition for years and has often proven to be successful strategy, but it could prove to be a major headache for the promotion next weekend.
This year the Super Bowl takes place in New Jersey and as things stand the weather conditions are looking dire for next Sunday, with severe wintery conditions forecast, and that’s left NFL bosses contemplating a late switch to Saturday instead.
If so that would be disastrous for the UFC who are scheduled to host their pay-per-view event that night featuring two title fights – Renan Barao Vs Urijah Faber II at 135lbs and Jose Aldo Vs Ricardo Lamas at 145lbs.
A week ago Dana White had appeared unconcerned about the possibility of the Super Bowl being switched, but on Thursday his tune had changed and he admitted it would be a big blow for the UFC, and last night after ‘UFC On FOX 10’ the promotion revealed that they were now planning to push the show back a day if the NFL do pull the trigger on the move.
UFC Senior Director Of Public Relations, Dave Sholler confirmed to MMAJunkie that they are now drafting up a “contingency plan” that would see UFC 169 moved to Sunday night, though he admitted it would be a major logistical challenge to do so at this late stage.
It’s an unprecedented move and in all honesty if the Super Bowl does get moved it’s a lose-lose scenario for the UFC no matter what they do.
If they stay on Saturday night then they’d be completely drowned out by the Super Bowl which attracted a whopping 108 million viewers last year. On the other hand, Sunday night is a bad night for PPV’s and at this stage it’s likely a late switch would also catch a lot of fans unaware.
That being said, a Sunday night switch would definitely be the lesser of two evils for the UFC, but ideally what they’ll be hoping for in the coming days is that there will be some sort of shift in the weather patterns that’ll allow the Super Bowl to remain in it’s traditional Sunday spot on the calendar.