Jussier Formiga vs. Zach Makovsky: A Great Flyweight Fight Stuck on the Prelims

Nathan McCarterFeatured ColumnistAugust 15, 2014

Feb 21, 2014; Las Vegas, NV, USA; UFC flyweight Zach Makovsky participates in the UFC 170 weigh-in at Mandalay Bay Events Center. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

UFC Fight Night 47 plays host to one of the most pivotal matchups in the flyweight division—No. 6-ranked Jussier Formiga vs. No. 9-ranked Zach Makovsky.

And it is on the Fox Sports 2 prelims.

Formiga has exchanged wins and losses in his four UFC bouts, but he remains one of the best 125-pound fighters in the world. His grappling is elite level which was on display in his last outing in March. Formiga quickly put away Scott Jorgensen with a rear-naked choke.

Makovsky was one of the top flyweight prospects outside of the major promotions prior to making his UFC debut. He is 2-0 in the Octagon, and has looked mightily impressive in both outings. A win over Formiga would put him in the mix as a fresh, new challenger for Demetrious Johnson's (or Chris Cariaso's) flyweight title.

So why the hell is this fight on the undercard?

The UFC are not trying to add value to their own Internet channel with the undercard. There is no UFC Fight Pass prelims.

There was plenty of space on the main card. They even placed an extra fight on the main card as it sits as six fights instead of the usual five. A top-10 fight was not worthy of main card billing? The women's bantamweight bout between Sara McMann and Lauren Murphy has a similar argument although with less direct title implications.

Ask yourself this—is Shawn Jordan vs. Jack May or Seth Baczynski vs. Alan Jouban going to be more exciting than Formiga vs. Makovsky?

The likelihood of that occurring is so incredibly small it makes the UFC's decision to bury—yes, bury—this flyweight tilt seem idiotic.

Why do I say bury? The reach of Fox Sports 2 is small, and those that it does reach might have a hard time locating the channel on their cable or satellite packages.

The UFC should be trying to promote these potential contenders. Instead, they are choosing to promote fighters who are in the middle of the pack at best. Sure, the heavyweights may have a more distinct chance at a finish but the result means next to nothing.

Two upper-echelon flyweights who put on exciting, technical battles are playing second fiddle to lumbering mixed martial artists who can't crack the top 20 of their division. I understand putting spectacle ahead of sport when it is for a headlining fight that will sell tickets and pay-per-views, but this is not that case.

It devalues the UFC and the sport itself.

The UFC has failed its fans, these talented flyweights and itself. How are we supposed to take the UFC seriously when they are failing to promote the top-tier fighters they have on the roster? They cannot be shocked when flyweights fail to perform at the box office when they routinely show them no respect by placing them haphazardly on fight cards.

Tune in to Fox Sports 2 if you can find the channel to watch this fight. On paper, it is the best fight on the card. Perhaps you can show them the respect the UFC is failing to give them.