Jim Lampley: UFC will never be as big as boxing, Mayweather vs Pacquiao

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The UFC is a rising sport, gaining popularity all the time and gaining fans all the time.

 Where the UFC, and MMA in general has been rising, boxing - the more traditional combat sport - has seen an unfortunate fall in popularity and clamour from supporters.

Speaking to Bill Simmons on his podcast, HBO boxing commentator Jim Lampley revealed that he thought Dana White's organization could never overtake boxing as the true number one in the business, citing the fact that the top fighters in the division always fight each other - making it almost impossible to have true superstars because they eventually lose.


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"[UFC] make the top people fight against the top people," Lampley told Simmons. "It's more like the NFL model where any given Sunday top guys are going to fight top guys. But, of course, what that eliminates for them is the pinnacle event."

Lampley went on to say that was why the UFC could never put on a fight of the magnitude of Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao, because everyone who reaches the pinnacle of the sport is eventually beaten by someone. 

"When everybody has four to five losses you can't put together Mayweather-Pacquiao because the public wants to see people rise up way above the normal universe and then get together in some sort of summit meeting and that's when you get the million buy Pay-Per-View, or in the case with Mayweather-Pacquiao the 4.4 million buy PPV."

"UFC will never be able to construct an event like that as long as they use the model they're using. I'm not saying it's wrong. I think there are intelligent reasons for them to do what they do but we're always going to have the bigger showcase events when they happen."

Simmons countered by pointing out that the UFC holds far more consistently high-level events. Maybe not on the level of a Mayweather-Pacquiao, but that's quite the measuring stick.

Lampley wasn't done, though, taking a shot at the UFC's fans and their lack of attention spans.

"That's why they're doing so well," Lampley responded. "It's a lesser amount of rounds and shorter rounds and it's more violent so it suits cyber-era attention spans better than the 12-round fight does. There are a lot of reasons why for young people at this moment the UFC is probably more popular that boxing, but we're not going away."

Let's face it, the UFC right now is the fastest growing promotion in the world. That is going to change. Until boxing actually decides to reinvent itself for the 21st century, they might get stuck in a rut for a while.

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