The news that Alistair Overeem and Curtis Blaydes‘s heavyweight bout had been bumped from the UFC 225 card to make room for a featherweight contender bout between Holly Holm and Megan Anderson was met with significant backlash from the fans. This backlash had nothing to do with Holm and Anderson’s placement on the main card. The prevailing feeling, instead, was that if there was any fight that should have been bumped off the main card to make room for the featherweights, it was CM Punk’s fight with Mike Jackson, not Overeem’s fight with Blaydes.
Punk and Jackson, after all, both have 0-1 professional MMA records, and are only positioned on the main card due to Punk’s residual WWE fame. He is simply thought to be more of a money-maker than Overeem or Blaydes. This is not speculation, but fact, as confirmed by UFC President Dana White.
“Listen, when Alistair Overeem sells as many pay-per-views as CM Punk does, we can argue,” White said late last month, at the UFC Liverpool post-fight press conference.
White’s reasoning is understandable from a business standpoint, but it has not been enough to convince many fans that Overeem and Blaydes belong anywhere other than the UFC 225 main card. Yet in the opinion of Colby Covington, who battles Rafael dos Anjos for the interim welterweight title in the UFC 225 co-main event, Punk’s position on the main card makes perfect sense.
“This is the entertainment business,” Covington said on the latest episode of BJPENN.COM Radio. “I don’t even know who the second guy (Curtis Blaydes) is. I know who Alistair Overeem is, but he’s kind of coming to the end of his career. No disrespect to him, he’s had a solid career, but he’s over the hill now. And whoever the other guy is, no one’s ever heard of that guy before. This is the entertainment and show business, we do what puts fans in seats and what gets the fans talking. CM Punk’s a draw. People want to see him fight.”
What do you think of Colby Covington’s comments on CM Punk’s position on the UFC 225 main card?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 6/4/2018.