ROUNDTABLE: Which do you consider to be higher profile, opening the main card or headlining the prelims and why?

BY MMATorch Staff

Which do you consider to be higher profile, opening the main card or headlining the prelims and why?

JOSHUA GARCIA, MMATorch Contributor

I think the higher profile fight would be headlining the prelims.  If you are headlining the prelims, you are being asked to put on a great fight to get those last minute PPV buys that someone was on the fence about.  If you have a great fight that could possibly generate more money for the company and would put you in a good light.  It is also the fight that more casual fans just happen to have on as a primer as friends are coming over and getting ready for the main card, so if a good fight is on, they may not know the fighters, but may come to want to see more of those guy’s or girl’s fights.  The opening fight on the main card is a good fight, but this does not gather more buys. The people that are going to buy the PPV have already bought it by now and this won’t really generate additional buys.

DYLAN BOWKER, MMATorch Contributor

I think both have their merit but I would say opening the main card. This position is normally reserved for fighters that are held in high regard, and the sort of combat athletes that are known for having exciting fights. To set the main card off and set the tone for the top of the marquee bouts is crucial. Headlining the prelims is normally indicative of certain talent being groomed for bigger positions going forward. Therein lies some intrigue. It also acts as the final sell for a prospective viewer to check out the main card. All things considered though, opening the main card just edges it for me.

SEAN COVINGTON, MMATorch Contributor

I consider opening the main card much higher profile because most people don’t watch the prelims. People are usually just interested in the main event. Every time I host a fight party, which are quite often, people just want to be there in time for the main card, the prelims aren’t even something they ask about. If you open the show you get to set the tone and a much higher chance of having the fight of the night. I just think it gives the two fighters an overall edge both physically and psychologically.

FRANK HYDEN, MMATorch Columnist

I think opening the main card is more high profile, but it’s close. The opener usually gets more excitement because generally the energy builds throughout the night. Not always, of course, but I think that’s the exception rather than the rule. The UFC has made headlining the prelims a pretty big deal, though, so I think it’s close enough that it’s splitting hairs and I could see the other side. I just personally think that being able to say you’re on the main card has a little more cache to it.


If I were the fighter I would always prefer to be on the main card. The main card, in my opinion, will always have more prestige. Many people don’t start watching an event until the main card starts and the more eyes on you, the higher the profile.

ZACK HEYDORN, MMATorch Contributor

Opening the main card. Why? It’s a higher card position. Bottom line. Fighters should be working to move up the card and not down it. I believe that is how they see the two positions and my opinion is in line with theirs.

RICK MONSEY, MMATorch Contributor

Opening of the main card is a bigger deal because you are part of the card that people have paid to see.  I know that headlining the prelims is a big deal for the television and they want the bigger stars to attract people to buy the PPV.  That being said, I still think the main card is more important.

NOW CHECK OUT THE PREVIOUS ROUNDTABLE: Who wins the Michael Bisping vs. Kelvin Gastelum fight and why?

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