In the absence of the UFC and Bellator this past weekend, the organization formerly known as the World Series of Fighting took center stage with PFL: Daytona. The event no doubt attracted fans in need of satisfying their addiction to Mixed Martial Arts, but how did it stack up compared to the mainstays in the combat world?
Jon Fitch def. Brian Foster via submission (side choke) (R2, 3:12)
Herman Terrado vs. Joao Zeferino via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 30-27)
Jason High def. Caros Fodor via unanimous decision (29-28×3)
Ronny Markes def. Smealinho Rama via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
Pre Fight Hype: B-
Ray Sefo and Company came up with a unique concept of having their inaugural event at Daytona International Speedway mixed in with a very popular 4th of July NASCAR event. The concept alone attracted viewers but I believe more could have been done to advertise the event. With that said, the PFL budget is somewhat of an unknown and I imagine they did as much as they could financially.
Fight Card Quality: D+
The sad reality of the matter is the PFL card lacked any type of star power whatsoever. A card headlined by Jon Fitch is going to leave a bit to be desired. To the average fan, this card is unwatchable on paper. Luckily the event was strategically placed on a weekend without competition and proved to be slightly better than nothing.
Fight Quality: C-
Having a summer event in Florida is a risky play, the weather can often bring heavy rain and for the PFL it did just that. Rain forced the NASCAR event to suspend action until the next day, but the fights still went on. When they did, they were lackluster at best. The fighters struggled with footing all night and the majority of the bouts were anticlimactic. This event could have been a great introduction of MMA to racing fans, but a card with sloppy fights and only one finish is unlikely to gain new followers.
Broadcast Quality: B+
As noted above the weather played a huge factor in this event and led to a short period of technical difficulties when the screen went blank about midway through the telecast. The Broadcast team managed to handle this hiccup well and continued on flawlessly. Additionally, anytime we can hear Randy Couture and Bas Rutten on the same broadcast is a treat in itself.
Jon “The Cure for Insomnia” Fitch scoring his first stoppage victory in ten long years.
Mother Nature and her apparent disdain for Mixed Martial Arts.
I had high hopes for the PFL due to their league format and out of the ordinary approach to their inaugural event. In the end, like every non UFC promotion lately, they let me down. I still have faith in Ray Sefo, but he needs to show me something great in the next few events.