Can Manny Pacquiao Knock Out Dana White, UFC?

Manny Pacquiao has long-since been accepted as boxing’s lone shining star, the one fighter who has made himself a mainstay on the sports spectrum despite his craft’s dying popularity. Now, however, the Filipino superstar has the opportunity to send a booming message that goes beyond the ring: don’t mess with me, UFC – I’m still the biggest draw in combat sports.

A number of interesting things occurred during Fox and the UFC’s blockbuster announcement that they had agreed to a deal which would bring MMA to a much wider audience – the first step in a longstanding mission by UFC head honcho Dana White to make his combat sport as prominent among mainstream sports fans as boxing used to be. The most inadvertently interesting take away from the proceedings, though, is the confidence that White and his new Fox partners seem to have in their product. They’re so confident that people will love what they put in front of them, in fact, that they’re willing to bet that they can outdraw their main competitor’s biggest draw on November 12.

Pacquiao, of course, will meet long-time rival Juan Manuel Marquez this coming November in the final part of what prior to this coming match was a very epic trilogy. Despite the storied history involved between these two men, most boxing fans -- and sports fans, in general -- are fairly resigned to the fact that Pacquiao will dominate Marquez from start to finish en route to an easy victory.

For what it’s worth, though, despite the Filipino superstar’s romp through boxing over the past few years, the notion that he was superior to his opponents and thus the fight wouldn’t be entertaining hasn’t ever stopped people from tuning in before.

The UFC is hoping to change that. By giving away a free event on network TV that White will surely decorate and make memorable as only he can, MMA may be able to siphon off the fringe combat sports fans who would rather see something interesting for free rather than a foregone conclusion of a match for fifty-plus dollars. And make no mistake about it, this won’t be a Strikeforce on CBS type of exhibition. White is far too crafty for anything like that. For his first real pitch to a more mainstream audience, the UFC boss will pull out all of the stops to keep fans coming back for more.

As polarizing as the UFC is, you can’t help but feel as though Pacquiao is the one guy who White should have had more respect for than to challenge like this. A congressman, international icon and widely respected athlete, Pacquiao has the clout to make fans buy a product that they know won’t be good just because he’s being featured. He has the innate ability to evoke loyalty from supporters like no other athlete in recent memory, so it would hardly be surprising to see his more tried and true following purposely ignore the UFC’s free show in favor of supporting their guy.

If there was one man who could singlehandedly fight off the entire UFC, Pacquiao is that guy.

Will White’s aggressive plan to overshadow Pacquiao v. Marquez III pay off in the form of killing boxing’s biggest event in months? Only time will tell. What is for certain, however, is that the most interesting bout in the foreseeable future won’t occur inside of a ring or a cage, but rather, in the media as Pacquiao attempts to thwart the UFC’s attempts to take over combat sports once and for all.

"..What is for certain, however, is that the most interesting bout in the foreseeable future won’t occur inside of a ring or a cage, but rather, in the media as Pacquiao attempts to thwart the UFC’s attempts to take over combat sports once and for all."

We still haven't gotten past boxing and boxing writers inability to accept the fact that Dana isn't out to harm boxing or shut boxing down or even compete with boxing.

It's public record that Dana loves boxing and while he freely admits there are numerous problems facing boxing right now, it's not up to him to fix them.

But he has never said he's out to destroy boxing.

That's boxing writers speaking out of fear and a lack of understanding of what the demographics of combat sports are looking for.

Fight fans no longer want to see two fighters standing in the ring circling each other for 12+ rounds.

They want to see fighters who come to fight, not pick up an ungodly amount of guaranteed money for doing absolutely nothing more than defensive jabbing and circling/clinching.

The UFC on Fox card was scheduled on the same day as the Pacquiao, but not for the reason's most people assume.

One reason is, that date, November 12 is a significant date in MMA and more importantly the UFC's history.

It was the date of the first UFC event, held under the previous ownership of SEG, now owned by Dana and best friend Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta under the company ZUFFA LLC. I'd say that is reason enough to hold it on the 12th.

But there are still a couple other reason's.

One, it's a Pacquiao fight nite, which affords the UFC to put on a show the same nite, just at an earlier time slot.

That gives the UFC an opportunity to pick up a few on-the-fence fans who are waiting for the Pac-man fights to start, so they tune into watch the first ever UFC event on cable TV.

One thing boxing enthusiast can never accuse the UFC of being boring is how exciting UFC's undercards are.

Boxing on the other hand have lately put on some uneventful and lackluster undercards and it has hurt them over the past few years because of it.

The UFC uses it to their advantage, showing the undercard and prelims live on Facebook and on SpikeTV or other outlets, as a lead-in to the PPV.

People flipping channels see a great undercard fight, then they decide to purchase the PPV, getting their monies worth.

Boxing PPV's, you get the main event and that's it.

There might be a fight or two on boxing prelims that turn out great, but you'll never see them, as they are never promoted correctly.

The other reason for the date is, the UFC keeps a pretty loaded schedule every year and there are only so many dates available.

Usually, the UFC tries to book events several months in advance.
With the deal with FOX, the UFC has to keep the dates they've reserved up to that point with the venues that are currently scheduled, so that leaves very few dates.

With this being such a monumental occasion, it makes very good sense to put on the first of many huge cards on the same nite as one of boxing biggest draws.

It's smart business and has nothing to do with destroying boxing or competing with boxing.

It has everything to do with maximizing eyeballs and getting as many fans, new and old alike, to turn into what will become the greatest thing to happen to MMA and the UFC in 15 years.

That's not to say there isn't greater things in store for mixed martial arts.

What it does mean, however, is that boxing and mma can co-exist, on the same nite, and that doesn't have to mean UFC is out to put an end to boxing.

I dunno, this wouldn't be the first time White has tried to compete with a Pacquiao card. Do you remember when he had Brandon Vera, a Filipino fighter, fight Couture that same night? I can't help but think he was trying to siphon off Filipino viewers. So this attempt to do it again during a Pacquiao fight is most likely meant to do the same.

each sport has its own core fan base. Pacman, the boxer and the person however has a following of a different kind. They are not fan of boxing, but they watch whenever Pacman fights.

Pacman is on a different level.