Yea, this was definitely a special fight card in that there were 3 huge upsets (with spectacular finishes in all three), and all three former champions happened to be snarky loud-mouths.
But, as Danielle acknowledged, this kind of marketing is unfortunately some of the best ways to grab new fans and boost PPV sales. We see this partly in other divisions, as even when talks surround our favorite Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson as being one of the greatest of all time, we know that he doesn’t bring in that many buys (partly because of his size, partly because of the lack of controversy/fanfare in his pre-fight marketing). This is turning around for Mighty Mouse now, I think, but it’s the best example I can think of.
At the same time, I like to think, in my own head, that the fighters don’t always mean the things they say and there’s a kind of “silent agreement” between two big fighters that they’re doing it for the cameras. This card was a good example of that, as I am confident that both Bisping and even the abrasively arrogant Garbrant were able to show their class after the fight.
Also, as a fan of the sport, it’s not too hard to ignore the marketing, and let it attract more people to buy tickets, more people to start fighting, more competition, and thus more excitement for me.