It’s Thanksgiving Day in the US — a time of gluttonous eating and football-watching.
Tradition dictates Americans think of what they’re grateful for this time of year.
But, 2014 has been a frustrating year for the fight fans, to say the least — and I don’t think that’s in dispute.
In fact, maybe the last few weeks have summed the year up pretty well.
There was the huge Ultimate Fighting Championship press event entitled “The Time is Now.” Only, the time wasn’t now, or then, or who knows what it was supposed to be. UFC President Dana White took the podium to inform the press and fans in attendance, well, we didn’t make the big announcement happen in time.
Shortly after, Bloomberg reported that the UFC was enduring a 30-40% loss of revenue in 2014. The report described the losses due to injuries and cancelled bouts. (Conventional wisdom is that a sense of apathy at the huge numbers of events, with the MMA talent pool thinned down, is also to blame.)
The toll of those injuries has been pretty drastic. It’s easy to think about what we didn’t see in the last eleven months from the UFC — from Cain Velasquez’s return to Alexander Gustaffson vs. Jon Jones. Or, it’s replacement, Daniel Cormier vs. Jon Jones. When the replacement to a replacement ends up on one of the year’s biggest shows, you know it’s been a rocky year.
Also this week, GLORY recently announced the Grinch who stole kickboxing has cancelled their December event. According to GLORY, all’s well, he’ll find his heart and it will happen in February instead — but sadly for us in Whoville, world class kickboxing won’t be on our TVs next month.
Just in case anyone still imagined Manny Pacquiao vs. Floyd Mayweather Jr. happening by now, let’s mention that too. Check.
But come on guys, there’s been some great action all the same. Think a bit more about the last few weeks: Mark Hunt and Fabricio Werdum in a memorable heavyweight bout at UFC 180, and the resurgent, new-look Bellator MMA on the same night.
Think back a little more. Maybe GLORY has had its disappointments but they also offered the most consistently entertaining fight events of the year. If you missed it, here’s one of the year’s most memorable from GLORY 14: Davit Kira challenging Andy Ristie for the promotion’s welterweight title. Here’s my gift to you, courtesy of our friends at GLORY who were kind enough to make the fight available at their YouTube channel:
So yes, it’s been a frustrating 2014, but we’ve still got lots to be thankful for.
Me, I’m thankful for the chance to write for you, so I’m thankful for the good people who run this site.
More than anything — thank you for reading, listening, and watching. From one fight fan to another, Happy Thanksgiving.