Mark Pavelich, the head of Canada's Maximum Fighting Championships, is vexed. He recently noticed how long average MMA events go, and compared them to other major sporting events. Via a press release:
Why is a mixed martial arts fight card an epic production that lasts for hours? Look at our counterparts in other sports:
The average length of an NHL game — 2:19
The average length of an NBA game — 2:30
The average length of an MLB game — 2:47
The average length of an NFL game — 3:11
Even in the age of multi-million dollar summer blockbuster movies, the average movie now is only 2:09.
Of course it's understood that there is no set time in MMA — a fight can 15 or 25 minutes or it can be over 45 seconds. But there has to be a solution out there. It's become a mission of mine to find it.
But considering that fans are tuning into not only pay-per-views, but the internet streams of preliminary fights, is this really a concern?
Yes. With so many fight events on the schedule, fight promoters need to be aware of fight fatigue for fans. From the end of May to the first weekend in July, Zuffa has seven events. Add in smaller events like Pavelich's MFC 10 on Friday, Bellator starting up again at the end of the month, and it's just too much to give up so much time to catch every fight.
No. If fans don't want to spend time watching every fight, they don't have to. The addition of Facebook fights are a nice bonus for fans. Not to mention, the comparison doesn't work because of how frequent MLB, NBA and NHL games are, and the NFL takes over a whole day.