Ngannou vs Fury might be the biggest PPV of 2023.
On October 28th, UFC Heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou will face boxing champ Tyson Fury in a regulation boxing match in what is likely to be the biggest PPV event of 2023. This event is sure to rankle the UFC’s biggest star, Dana White, but perhaps the crafty old tomato still has a couple tricks up his sleeve.
Many years ago a rival MMA organisation named Affliction pulled off a coup of sorts by booking and event headlined by Fedor Emelianenko against Tim Sylvia. For historical context, Sylvia had fought Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira six month previous for the vacant UFC Heavyweight title.
The UFC, having never been able to sign Fedor, was rattled by this event’s star power and quickly booked a free event on Spike TV headlined by Anderson Silva in a light heavyweight bout versus James Irvin. It was a shrewd move by the promotion and we shouldn’t be surprised if they try something like this again on October 28th when Ngannou vs Fury kicks off.
However, the UFC is severely lacking in star power these days so instead of an actual fight, we’re going to run through a couple of “content” ideas because all that matters these days is the brand anyway. Ngannou vs Fury is almost too special for this Apex-era UFC.
UFC Jeopardy with host Jon Anik in place of Alex Trebek and commentary booth Joe Rogan, Daniel Cormier, and Dominick Cruz as contestants. The categories would be:
Anik – For $100, this strike is thrown at distance with the fighter’s rear hand in a long looping motion similar to that of a baseball pitcher.
Cormier – “oh man Jon, that’s an overhand right!”
Anik – “I’m sorry DC but your answer must be in the form of a question”
Rogan – HE’S HURT!
Anik – again, your answer must be in the form of a question and that is also not a strike. Dom, would you like to take a crack at this?
Cruz – The strikes are one thing, but what about the ref? Is he going to give you time to fight back or just rush in there with a whiskey soaked early stoppage?
Anik – Alright then, moving along to our next category: SCORING FIGHTS. For $200, this is the most important criteria in judging which fighter wins a round.
Cruz – “Underhooks.”
Anik – “I’m sorry Dom, that is not the answer.”
Cruz – “Like hell it isn’t. They’re the most neglected part of the fight game and these young fighters have got to -“
Anik – “anyone else?”
Rogan – “You know if a guy lands a takedown in the final 30 seconds you just don’t know how these judges are gonna see that. Because what if one guy got out struck but you can’t even say strike these days, everyone’s getting cancelled and losing their platforms. I’m afraid to be a white man in American these days. Wait, what?”
Cormier – “I’m sorry I wasn’t paying attention, I thought this buzzer was my phone.”
Izzy, Dricus, and Maury
Israel Adesanya and Dricus DuPlesis will be seated across from each other on a Maury Povich-style set and take a 38 and Me, I mean 26 for Thee, I mean Buy Two Get One Free, whatever it’s called, you know, the DNA test. Both fighters will submit samples and while they wait for the results will answer a series of questions read by guest moderator Mike Perry.
The entirety of this show’s transcript has been censored, so just imagine an extremely unfunny and uncomfortable set of exchanges culminating in Mike Perry screaming “You are ….NOT the African!”
Leverage the UFC’s cozy relationship with Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg to create a deepfake version of the all-time stinker of a fight: Francis Ngannou versus Derrick Lewis. In the AI-assisted version Derrick Lewis will look like Tyson Fury. The UFC can then run this fight on a loop during the Ngannou vs Fury card in hope of tricking casual fans into thinking they’re watching the UFC champ have the most boring fight possible while siphoning away their potential PPV dollars. The legality of this approach is questionable but anything goes when we’re brainstorming in the WAR ROOM.
Actually Book Some Fights to counter Ngannou vs Fury
If all else fails, the world’s premiere combat sports promoter could actually book some fights that pique the interest of casual fans. The card could be headlined by Jon Jones versus Tommy Fury. Sure the UFC couldn’t get Tyson Fury, but they got a Fury and he’s got little to no ground game just like many of the UFC’s current heavyweight contenders.
A top heavy card isn’t enough to combat Ngannou vs Fury, we need something more: a nostalgia fight! The co-main event would be a gift to all the old-school fans, finally book Georges St. Pierre vs Anderson Silva. Sure, it’s not the two greatest fighters of a generation in their primes, but a name is a name and nostalgia never dies. If you’re curious as to why this is possible, I am sad to let you know that GSP is still under contractual bondage with the UFC. So let’s give one final try at getting Geriatric St. Pierre vs Olderson Silva in the cage.
Hey all, thanks for having some fun with me today. I’ll be updating the Fine Art of Violence art book on the substack on Thursday with new artwork. I’d encourage you to subscribe ot the newsletter to get some serious art that will stand the test of time. Take care of yourself and I’ll be back here on Monday. Chris
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