What, if anything, is worth waking up to watch on Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 79 event from Seoul, South Korea?
MICHAEL BANE, MMATORCH CONTRIBUTOR
The answer to this question may largely depend on how late you stayed up the night before. One of the things I like about the constant barrage of MMA events is I no longer feel the need to watch every single one of them. Rather, I can pick the ones I like, watch the few select fights I care for, and not feel like I’m missing out on anything. Some people call it over-saturation, but I really have no problem with it as long as they’re willing to put cards together. Some of the “smaller” events have had outstanding fights, or fighters I’ve wanted to watch for various reasons.
Having said all that, there’s not really much I’m looking forward to on this card, even though I am of South Korean descent. That’s not an indictment of the sport or the event, rather it just doesn’t interest me enough to carve out a block of time for it. I appreciate the UFC branching out to an area they’ve never been to before, and I expect that the MMA fans there will as well. Benson Henderson was a smart choice to main event, both as a talented fighter and being half Korean himself. The fight between him and Jorge Masvidal will likely be one of two that I bother watching that morning, the other being Dong Hyun Kim vs. Dominic Waters. They’re the only two that immediately jump out as having any potential title, or even top 10, implications.
Henderson is not the most exciting fighter, but he’s technically sound and the Korean fan base may appreciate that. Rich Hansen pointed out it would have made sense to have Dong Hyun Kim step in to face Henderson when Thiago Alves got hurt, as he is already on the card. I believe the reason the UFC ultimately decided against this was so as not to split the crowd by having two Korean fighters in the main event. I suspect they would lean toward Kim in their cheering, but with this format they have the potential to have a hot crowd for both of the main and co-main events. I’ll be curious to see the crowd’s reactions to those two fights when I tune in, or watch it on my DVR in the event Friday night lasts a little too long.
FRANK HYDEN, MMATORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Well, the Dong Hyun Kim vs. Dominic Waters and Benson Henderson vs. Jorge Masvidal fights are fights that hardcore fans would find worth waking up for. For others, no. You could just watch the highlights or a replay of the event later and be fine. This is a South Korea card for South Korean fans. For those of us not on that side of the world, we may not care as much, but this isn’t for us. It’s a fine card, but I’ll just catch a replay or the highlights.
BRAD WALKER, MMATORCH COLUMNIST
Aside from watching Bendo fight and the cool, yet weird, fact that there is two Dong Hyun-Kim’s on the card I can’t find a lot that gets me excited to watch this card, it doesn’t scream entertainment or competitive fights to me. UFC made a totally passable card here but with it being in Seoul and on at such a weird hour I’m going to politely DVR it and watch when I have some free time later in the day.
DAYNE FOX, MMATORCH CONTRIBUTOR