ESPN Primer: "Ultimate Chaos"
Ultimate Battleground. Ultimate Cage Combat. Ultimate Ring Fighting. Ultimate Conflict. Ultimate Throwdown.
There may be a decided lack of imagination on the part of mixed-fight promoters -- and there's simply no competing with the UFC's "Ultimate Ultimate" events of 1995 and '96 in terms of caffeine-fed hyperbole -- but you may not much care about the marquee. If so, that's good news for "Ultimate Chaos," a debuting event courtesy of Prize Fight Promotions (the local ticket-pusher for numerous high-profile boxing events) and Ricky Derouen's Fight Force International.
Durouen told ESPN.com (more specifically, me) that he expects a crowd of 6,000 to 7,000 people to congregate in Biloxi's Gulf Coast Coliseum on Saturday; I expect all of them to experience severe butt cramps for having to wade through a 17-fight card. Your mileage may vary.
It's also little coincidence that several Affliction participants -- Gilbert Yvel, Pedro Rizzo and Chris Horodecki -- are appearing, which Durouen attributes to an "unofficial" dialogue with Affliction Vice President Tom Atencio and his promotion's need to keep contracted fighters busy. (Atencio himself will be competing on the undercard.)
It's a good, cheap card. It's also an expensive summer to be an MMA fan. Running a pay-per-view event two weeks before the industry's biggest brand runs its biggest event ever might not the ultimate in business strategy.
What: "Ultimate Chaos"
When: Saturday, 9 p.m. ET on pay-per-view
Why you should care: Because even though Pedro Rizzo can be sluggish, Gilbert Yvel has no reverse gears and will force him to engage; because returning Javier Vazquez is a ground artist who should find a comfortable home at 145 -- if he can get past Din Thomas; because even though Bobby Lashley versus Bob Sapp promises to be an ugly mess, there will always be a guilty appeal in watching 600 pounds' worth of violence in a ring; and because $29.95 for eight televised fights is a better deal than we're used to.
Fight of the night: Thomas-Vazquez, far and away the two most skilled athletes on the card.
Preemptive complaint: Durouen and Prize Fight have one-fight deals with all talent, which may indicate a one-and-done future -- particularly if their profit forecast is expecting unreasonable pay-per-view numbers in a UFC-dominated climate.
Hype quote of the show: "I will treat him like he cut me off in traffic." -- Din Thomas