Bloody Elbow doesn’t hate all UFC fight nights, just most of them

UFC Fight Night: Kara-France vs. Albazi has a great headliner and not much else in the way of ranked fights.

By: Stephie Haynes | 4 months ago
Bloody Elbow doesn’t hate all UFC fight nights, just most of them
IMAGO/ ZUMA Wire Copyright: xAlejandroxSalazarx

UFC fight nights are a watered down mess

A couple days ago, UFC matchmaker Mick Maynard posted a tweet about the weekend’s UFC fight night card that said:

“Bet ya bloody elbow complained about the ufc card this weekend”

Those 11 words told me that the brass is paying attention to Bloody Elbow more than they’d like to admit and that they’re feeling sensitive about the criticism they’re receiving regarding their cards, specifically the Apex UFC fight night cards. I will admit, it was pretty amusing watching Maynard tell fans in a follow-up tweet how much he loved them as they were dragging this outlet.


For months now, the promotion has provided some of the most threadbare cards, almost completely devoid of ranked fights and fighters. For clarification, most consider a “ranked fight” to be one where both competitors are ranked within the Top 15. I should also make another clarification: UFC fight night cards that are held outside the Apex Center tend to have a little more beef to complement the potatoes. But even those aren’t guaranteed to have what fans and pundits crave; the best fighters actually fighting each other.

Cheap! Cheap!

So why do they water these cards down with regional level talent? Because it’s cheap. Fighters are frequently drafted over from the Contender Series on $10K show/win purses. This strategy provides economically-friendly talent to fill all the events they need to satisfy their contract with broadcast partner ESPN. Why do they keep holding so many cards at the Apex Center when they no longer need to maintain the Covid bubble? Again, because it’s cheap. The cost of running events with an extremely limited audience in a facility that gets used frequently is genius-level cost-cutting. They don’t have to take all that production on the road. All the equipment and setup is in one location.

Let’s take a look at this weekend’s offering, UFC Fight Night: Kara-France vs. Albazi, which happens to be yet another Apex card. The show features a dynamite flyweight bout in the headlining spot between Kai Kara-France and Amir Albazi which will undoubtedly provide all manner of action and excitement. Problem is, it’s the only ranked fight on the card. The only other ranked athlete aside from the main event players is Alex Caceres. There are 13 fights featuring 26 fighters and only 3 of them are ranked. In the eyes of many, my own included, that’s a problem.

Why is Bloody Elbow always complaining?

Why do we complain loudly and repeatedly? Because when you have a company that has both a monopoly and a monopsony on the industry, a company with a valuation of $12.1B, you kind of expect them to showcase their best and brightest more consistently. We’re not saying every UFC fight night card should be loaded from top to bottom with ranked talent. What we are saying is that there’s a need for more impactful matchups. Remember, those fight night cards aren’t actually free, they come with an ESPN+ subscription price tag of $9.99/month and that just keeps increasing roughly every 12-18 months. It’s expensive to be a fan. The UFC is giving less yet we are paying more.

What else?

We did have some other things going on in the episode besides UFC fight nights, including a select-bout-breakdown of this weekend’s event. We also did a round of salacious headlines, so there’s plenty to unpack.

Bloody Elbow has a hard-earned reputation as the source of record for MMA business and legal coverage.  If you want to see more of this kind of work, please subscribe to the Bloody Elbow newsletter and learn how you can support the site.

Join the new Bloody Elbow

Our Substack is where we feature the work of writers like Zach Arnold, John Nash and Karim Zidan. We’re fighting for the sport, the fighters and the fans. Please help us by subscribing today.

We’re still also found on Apple Podcasts, iTunes, Amazon Music, Audible, Spotify, Simplecast, TuneIn, Overcast, Castbox, Castbox Premium, Podchaser, Podvine,, RSSRadiom AntennaPod, Podkicker, Podkicker Pro, Google Podcasts, SoundCloud, iHeart Radio, SiriusXM, Pandora, Stitcher, PodcastApp, PocketCasts,, PodCruncher,, Podbean, Podtail, Owltail, Listen Notes, & iVooxApp. Also coming back to Castro, Podcast Addict, Podtail, Owltail, Podbean, Chartable, imdb,, Podcast Republic, DownCast, iCatcher!, Castaway, Castaway2, & BeyondPod soon!


Follow us as @BloodyElbow on twitter, facebook, instagram, and at & Follow Victor on Twitter @VicMRodriguez and Stephie @CrooklynMMA. Thanks for Listening!

Share this story

About the author
Stephie Haynes
Stephie Haynes

Stephie Haynes has been covering MMA since 2005. She has also worked for MMA promotion Proelite and apparel brand TapouT. She hosted TapouT’s official radio show for four years before joining Bloody Elbow in 2012. She has interviewed everyone there is to interview in the fight game from from Dana White to Conor McGregor to Kimbo Slice, as well as mainstream TV, film and music stars including Norman Reedus, RZA and Anthony Bourdain. She has been producing the BE podcast network since 2017 and hosts four of its current shows.

More from the author

Bloody Elbow Podcast
Related Stories