As the latest UFC newsletter informed me, the dream of watching MMA in Madison Square Garden will soon be realized. Only not really. In an apparent attempt to either drum up support or show the extent of the existing support for MMA in New York, Matt Serra will host a UFC 79 viewing party at the Garden on December 29. For just thirty dollars a head, you and your friends can join a bunch of jerks you don’t know to watch the UFC on a really big TV and stand in line for Serra’s autograph. What fun.
Of course, you could always just invite your friends over to your place, where you could all pitch in on the pay-per-view for $39.95. But then, who wants to watch the UFC in a comfortable setting with reasonably priced food and drinks and in the company of people you know?
It’s not as if I can’t understand why they’re doing this. New York ought to legalize MMA and a venue like the Garden would be a perfect place for a huge event somewhere down the road. Maybe if 10,000 people turn out to watch it live with Matt Serra, the UFC will have made its point to those who matter.
But seriously, who thinks this sounds like a fun time? Not me, and I’ve been known to go to extreme lengths to see the UFC. Before we had cable my girlfriend and I would pay twenty bucks each to cram into the Playwright Tavern in Midtown, which is oddly one of the few bars in the city that you can count on to show each event. Going down to the Garden and paying more for entrance and drinks seems to make even less sense, so I can’t imagine a lot of people are going to go for this. Then again, I never thought anyone would pay to see “Wild Hogs”, and look what happened there.
All I can say is that when MMA does come to the Garden, as in fighters are actually in the building to do more than sign autographs and pose for people’s camera phone pictures, that’s when I’ll get interested. As for rumors that I am no longer welcome in the Longman-Pearson private skybox at the Garden due to an incident during a WWE Monday Night Raw show, all I can say is that they shouldn’t have left all those free beers laying around if they didn’t want trouble.