Posted 06/26/2014 by Mike Fagan in Untethered MMA

UFC Fight Night 43: James Te Huna vs. Nate Marquardt Preview

Hey, man, it’s your boy, Phil. Oh, what’s up, Phil? Hey, man, come on out and have a good time. We hanging with the ladies. Naw man, sorry. I got things to do. Yo, what you got to do, my guy? It’s one in the morning. There’s some UFC fights I’m gonna watch. UFC fights? At one in the morning? Yeah. Well, what channel they on? Maybe we can get a bar to put it on. It’s not on TV. Word? It’s on Fight Pass. The hell is a Fight Pass? It’s an online, uh, channel. I…I watch on my laptop. Phil? Phil, you there? Don’t ever speak to me again, homie.


UFC Fight Night 43 airs live from New Zealand with a main card start at 5 a.m. ET and the opening prelim bell ringing at 2:30 a.m. ET. No one in their right mind in the continental United States is watching this card live, which leaves unlucky MMA media types and “Just Bleed” superfans as the viewing audience on Fight Pass. I, unfortunately, belong to the former.

The early start creates an interesting dilemma: Do you go to bed early and wake up for the prelims or do you pull an all-nighter and crash mid-morning? Or, perhaps, do you take a supernap before and after the event?

The Fight Pass shows in Singapore and Macau earlier this year didn’t have this problem. The prelims for those events both started around 6:30 a.m. ET. That’s still an ungodly hour, but most people (at least those in the Eastern and Central time zones) could, theoretically, pop a few melatonin, knock off around 9 or 10 p.m. the night before, and catch enough shut eye to disqualify you from a sleep deprivation study.

This all raises an important question: Who benefits from this card airing at this hour? I mean, yeah, sure, New Zealand UFC fans get to watch a live event in local prime time. But that local event won’t include the biggest MMA star fighting out of New Zealand. (Mark Hunt, dummies.) It will feature local boy James Te Huna – he of the two fight losing streak – and not-at-all-local-boy-but-multiple-time-drug-cheat-and-loser-of-three-straight Nate Marquardt. Robert Whittaker, another fighter out of New Zealand, fights someone named Mike Rhodes on the main card, but Whittaker lost his last two to Court McGee and Stephen Thompson. Essentially, New Zealand is getting a regional-level MMA show with UFC.

So, New Zealand gets to watch a C-level card live while American Fight Pass subscribers get…the privilege of paying $10 per month to watch that same C-level card while the rest of the country sleeps?

Now, I’m not saying the UFC shouldn’t put on a card like this. Kevin Iole rambles for a while without providing any support for his conclusions in this article on UFC saturation, but there is a point to be made about the UFC expanding into new markets and not forcing them to host live events catering to American prime time hours.

What I am saying is that this isn’t the sort of value I expect when I pay those $10 every month. If anything, the cost of my time and throwing my sleep schedule out of whack to watch a below-replacement-level event makes this a negative value. And, yet, watch it I will.


Let’s steal an idea from Mookie Alexander and Patrick Wyman at Bloody Elbow (an idea they stole from Drew Magary at Deadspin) and run down why everyone on this main card sucks.

James Te-Huna: Debuted in the UFC and rattled off a 5-1 record with wins over no one of consequence. Proceeded to lose two straight to Glover Teixeira and the bionic remains of “Shogun” Rua. Now making his first appearance at 185 pounds.

Nate Marquardt: Tested positive for nandrolone in his UFC debut against Ivan Salaverry. Docked two points for illegal infractions against Thales Leites. Removed from the main event at UFC on Versus 4 and subsequently released for messing up a therapeutic-use exemption for TRT. Moving back up to middleweight because God told him so.

Soa Palelei: His current 11-fight winning streak includes names like Pat Barry, Sean McCorkle, and Bob Sapp. Has losses to both Choi Mu-Bae and Eddie Sanchez.

Jared Rosholt: Younger brother of UFC washout Jake Rosholt. Soa Palelei is the first opponent in his career – which includes two fights in the UFC – with a Wikipedia page.

Hatsu Hioki: Fought Ricardo Lamas in lieu of a title shot against Jose Aldo. Lost. Then lost to Clay Guida. Then lost to Darren Elkins.

Charles Oliveira: The five fighters Oliveira has beat in the UFC have a combined 13-16 record. When we exclude Darren Elkins, that record drops to 6-13.

Robert Whittaker: His two wins in the UFC came against Brad Scott and Colton Smith, who I’m pretty sure are actually junior hockey players.

Mike Rhodes: As noted, has no Wikipedia page. Lost his UFC debut against George Sullivan. Nickname: Biggie.

Mike Fagan is a weekly contributor to MMA Owl. He also hosts Untethered MMA every Thursday at 7 p.m. ET. Follow him on Twitter

Mike Fagan