I want to start off here by saying that I love the UFC. Compared to the other MMA organizations they have — in my opinion at least — the right format with the cage, the right rules, the right promotion and the right announcers (Joe Rogan is a great voice for the sport). However, with the recent turmoil surrounding the resignation of Heavyweight champion Randy Couture and further rumors around the organization that fighters aren’t happy with how they’re being taken care of, the UFC and Dana White in particular need to take a hard look in the mirror and start making some changes.
This sport is still in its infancy. This is the NFL in early days before there was a merger. It’s still the era of the AFL and the NFL and while the UFC may be on the top of the heap right now, other organizations have potential of replacing them.
M-1 for starters is an organization to watch. They have an ownership that seems willing to spend the money that it takes to get the good fighters and promote the brand meanwhile a leader that knows the sport, that has a great deal of respect among the fighters and that is always an understated factor in the success of an up-and-coming organization. As UFC fighter contracts begin to expire, and I’m talking about ones like Andrei Arlovski’s (who currently is inexplicably sitting on the sidelines) and Dan Henderson’s, etc. If M-1 adds guys like this to a roster that already has Fedor (who in my opinion is as overrated as anyone can be BUT still he is a big name and will put on some good fights as he beats on the inferior competition) they could easily begin to make up some ground on the UFC in the control of MMA.
It’s going to be interesting to see what sort of rules they impose and whether they use the cage, etc. In the next couple of years the sport of MMA is really going to be established. I think you’ll see some more organizations merge together and fighters start to make what they deserve to be paid and fans start to get PPV cards that are constantly stacked with great fights. I don’t really want to get into a post here that rips on the past couple UFC cards but man! 77 was brutal and 78 is going to be just flat out embarrassing. To me their is no excuse for not giving the fans five great fights every month, not just one great fight. Andrei Arlovski should be back in the octagon, get him re-signed you fucking idiot Dana White. Get Kongo fighting Gonzaga. Put Rampage against someone! Just give him a fight.
Pique the interest and excitement of your fans by being creative. Who wouldn’t want to see an open-weight tournament of your 16 best pound-for-pound guys and seeing who is the best in the world after a 3-month tournament. Is there anyone out there that thinks that a Lightweight like Sean Sherk or Joe Stevenson would really have THAT tough of a time against the biggest heavyweight there is — Tim Sylvia?
And so what if they do, it’s still interesting. I dont think guys like GSP and Anderson Silva would have problems fighting Heavyweights if you let them put on whatever weight they want to put on. These guys are great fighters and they’re going to be able to control almost every fight they’re in. I still think Quinton Jackson or Andrei Arlovski would prevail as the top pound-for-pound fighter in the MMA but it would be awesome to see Silva fight GSP or Silva fight Jackson.
If you don’t want to do an open weight tourney, do a tournament within your divisions; light-heavy and heavy and welterweight for starters. It’s starting to get so jumbled up in the divisions that it’s hard to understand certain matchups and then where the winner goes on to. Make that known! It only excites the fans and keeps people interested if they know what’s going on and how you get from A to B with match-ups.
I just hope that Dana White takes a look at himself in the mirror and realizes this stuff. That ok, we’re on the top now but in 2 years who knows where this sport goes. I hope he asks, “What do we gotta do to improve?” And then does that. For one, he needs to check his ego a bit more. Certain fighters like Couture and Ortiz and Liddell etc. and etc. have earned respect from the UFC by making it what it is, so treat them fairly. And start treating the new faces of the organization like Silva, GSP and Rampage — who are going to take you to the top of the MMA heap and keep you there — the way they deserve to be treated.
Let’s go UFC, step your shit up. You should be embarrassed by the November PPV that you’re about to put on. Evans-Bisping, are you kidding me? They should both be coming off losses (to sub top-5 fighters in division mind you) if it weren’t for shitty scoring.