Dana White Brings Mediocre UFC Show To South Florida, Then Complains About Low Turnout

Categories: Sports
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Mighty Mouse(right) beat Uncle Creepy (left) in a boring UFC fight.
The main event featured a 5'3" black dude with big ears nicknamed "Mighty Mouse" versus a 5'5" white dude with a ridiculous hipster mustache nicknamed "Uncle Creepy." If we didn't know any better, we would have thought we were going to watch a couple of midget wrestlers at a carnival side show.

Except, we were at a professional mixed martial arts show put on by the sport's number one organization, the Ultimate Fighting Championship. And while UFC fans may have voted online for these dudes to step into the octagon, the names weren't enough to sell out the Bank Atlantic Center in Sunrise for the UFC's Harley-Davidson Hometown Throwdown last night. And despite it's title, there were no fighters from south Florida on the bill.

Cultist had a ringside seat for the Hometown Throwdown alongside two dozen sports reporters on press row. From our vantage point, it was easy to spot all the empty seats in the hockey arena. The final attendance numbers were around 10,000, way below the venue's capacity for 22,457 people.

But, you can't blame south Florida MMA fans from staying away. When you're expecting folks to pony up between $43.75 for general admission to $178.75 for VIP ringside seats, you better damn make sure the main event features fighters most MMA fans know or that the earlier cards are stacked with local brawlers with loyal followings in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties.

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UFC President Dana White (standing) sulks at UFC Hometown Throwdown press conference podium.
But that was lost on UFC head honcho Dana White, who was fuming over the low turnout in a post-event press conference. More on that later.

First, let's recap the action, or lack thereof. The first eight matches were so boring we would have more fun downing shots of Dramamine while watching old people play a shuffle board tournament. By the end of the sixth bout, the crowd vented their frustration with the lackluster fighting with a torrent of boos.

The audience's enthusiasm picked up when former UFC champs Rashad Evans and Chuck Lydell made there way to their ringside seats as dozens of spectators mobbed them for photo ops. Their arrival signaled the start of the four main cards, which were being broadcast live on cable network FX. It's too bad we had to wait until 9 p.m. to finally see some real blood curdling mixed martial arts.

In a bantamweight bout, Houston native Eddie Wineland destroyed Tennessee son Scott Jorgensen in the second round, after both fighters spent the first round exchanging bombs. At first, Jorgensen seemed in control when he opened a nasty gash on Wineland's forehead, just above his left eye.

But in the second round, with blood pouring down his face, Wineland laid Jorgensen out with a right cross. Once Jorgensen's ass hit the canvas, Wineland walloped his opponent four times in the face to (insert Mortal Kombat voiceover here) FINISH HIM!

The crowd lapped it up, cheering wildly for Wineland. "I've been practicing my 1, 3, 2 punches," Wineland said afterward. "It was just BAM, then bam, bam, good night." Wineland's TKO earned him the night's $40,000 knockout bonus.

Their battle was followed by another bruising exhibition between welterweights Mike Pyle, fighting out of Las Vegas, and Josh Neer, hailing from Des Moines. Neer, a former UFC welterweight champ, was banging hard on Pyle's rib cage and abdominal area and seemed he had his 36-year-old opponent on the ropes.

But Pyle connected with a perfect right hook to Neer's chin. He dropped like a sack of rocks sinking to the bottom of Biscayne Bay.When the fight was over, Pyle admitted he was taking quite a beating before his knockout blow shortly at the end of the first round.

"He hit me pretty hard in the liver," Pyle said. "My plan was not to take that abuse. I got tired of making him look good. I had enough."

In the fight before the main event, up-and-coming Brazilian welterweight Erick Silva made easy work of mop-haired New Jersey boy Charlie Brenneman with a reverse choke. It was a beautiful submission in which Silva was on Brenneman's back like a crab, pinning his opponent's legs with his own while squeezing both his forearms around Charlie's neck.

At 10:30 p.m., the main event got underway. But the fight already had enough built-in drama to make wrestling tycoon Vince McMahon green with envy. The last time Demetrious Johnson, aka Mighty Mouse, met Ian McCall, aka Uncle Creepy, the former won a controversial split decision in March. Immedietely after that fight, White held a press conference to announce that the judges had messed up royally. They should have called it a draw. That set the stage for last night's rematch.

The crowd was clearly in McCall's corner as chants of "Let's go Creepy!" echoed through the Bank Atlantic Center. But despite all the hype, Mighty Mouse and Uncle Creepy played a nice game of duck-and-dance for three straight rounds. McCall had some nice takedowns, including a few suplexes, but it wasn't enough to counter the strategic punches and kicks Johnson was able to score. Mighty Mouse emerged victorious.

After the event, the press corps was ushered upstairs to a post-fight press conference in which White dismissively blamed south Florida's fickle sports fan base for the low attendance figures, but even he admitted that eight of the 12 bouts were terrible. Although he insisted the four main card fights, including the Johnson-McCall rematch, were worth the price of admission. "The main card delivered," He said. "The main card was awesome."

White pretty much assured the UFC, which had not put on a show here since 2003, won't be back in south Florida. "We go anywhere else and sell out or come close to selling out," White said. "Florida is a tough market. I am not going to say we won't ever come back, but it is going to be a while. I hope you guys like Las Vegas."

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10 comments
Fresco01
Fresco01

Agree. Fuck Dana and UFC!!! I don't even watch the free fights. Stay in Vegas asshole!

Mike
Mike

Is there anything worse than writers who throw attitude at their subject matter while their stories are littered with factual errors? Josh Neer has won as many UFC title as you've won Pultizers, Francisco. The Neer thing's only one of a half-dozen mistakes. Try less snark and replace it with a tiny little bit of research next time dude.

Sonatine
Sonatine

So much for "the fastest growing sport in the world"....

TheNewMcQ
TheNewMcQ

Horribly uneducated article. Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, but.... 1) It's Chuck Liddell... not Lydell 2) 2 of the 8 boring fights were a 1st round TKO and a 1st round submission (not boring by common standards) 3) Josh Neer is not a former UFC welterweight champion 4) UFC held 3 events in Hollywood, FL in 2006 and 2007.  Therefore, 2003 was not the last time the UFC had been in south Florida. 5) You misspelled several words such as suplexes, immedietely, and a mix-up of there/their I hope you're either new or filling in for the sick guy who was supposed to write this article.

Cleotis Yam
Cleotis Yam

I think it was more related to rigatoni with owl penis sauce.

Debris
Debris

The Hometown Throwdown location was voted on by the fans, so f*** 'em for not showing up. The ticket prices were very reasonable for a card of this nature; compared to the $1,000+ you would spend in Vegas or Atlanta for floor seats to a title fight.  This was an opportunity to see an entertaining live event for a fraction of the cost to watch Jon Bones Jones carry an evening on his back.

Shocbomb
Shocbomb

Dana White is 100% correct, the Florida fan base when it comes to prize fighting are known as fair weather fans who will not travel, actually the more I think about it the same holds true for baseball. It has been a complete Embarrassment seeing how many fans show up for a Rays game over the last few years. Now onto the Florida Athletic commission they are by far one of the worst out there in the country.Could the Ref's and Judges done a more horrible of a job friday night ? I Agree 100% with Dana White on this topic and I say take the UFC to a place the fans will care and be happy to see it roll into town and that seems to be no where in Florida ?

SEE YAA
SEE YAA

Did I say it was a PPV, "dumbazz"?

Bradley Wharton
Bradley Wharton

Chuck Lydell is the best Ultimate Cage Fighter ever! *rolls eyes*

trey walker
trey walker

This was not a PPV, dumbazz. There is at least one free night of fights each month, usually more!

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