UFC’s Competition

I have been critical of Dana White’ abilitiy to sign the free agents in the MMA world.  I think the bottom line is that Dana is unwilling to bend.  I just heard that Jacare, an excellent jiu-jitsu guy signed with DREAM.  The negotions broke down with the UFC because Dana felt they wanted too much money.  Maybe he is right, but nevertheless Jacare is now in a competitong organization.  Furthermore, it seems the UFC fails to sign top notch fighters especailly Japanese guys like Ishida, Ayoki or Sakurai.  There are other top level fighters that the UFC couldn’t sign.  Worse than that there are several top tier guys I don’t know if the UFC even cares about (Jakes Shields, JZ Calvancante, Gilbert Melendez).  He won’t sign Fedor.  He won’t sign Lindand.  In my opinion UFC will never be a monopoly and has some serious competition. With some of the internal problems and some of the UFC stars upset we could see another organization become the “big dog” in MMA.  In my opinion here is UFC’s biggest competitors.

1. EliteXC.  Dana’s feud with Shaw hasn’t helped.  Shaw is a much more typical commissioner than White.  The CBS deal will bring them in a lot of viewers, but will also help all MMA.  They have some stars in EliteXC (Nick Diaz, Jake Shields, Cung Le, Robbie Lawler). They are willing to take chances as seen by the future star Kimbo Slice.  They offered Fedor, and may get him.

2. WEC – I know it is Zuffa owned, but they have some great fighters that the UFC should bring over to the UFC.  I don’t know why you have another organization with top level fighters.  They have some great guys that would translate well anywhere (Paulo Filho, Carlos Condit, Urijah Faber, Miguel Torres, Doug Marshall, Brian Stann, Rob McCullough, Jamie Varner, Chael Sonnen, Leonard Garcia and Jens Pulver)

3. DREAM – Not much competition now, but has some good fighters (Sakurai, Cro Cop, Calvancanti, Ishida, Aoki, Denis Kang, Yamamoto, Joachim Hansen, Eddie Alvarez and Mark Hunt).  The American market is next to nothing though.

4. World Victory Road — Josh Barnett and Takanori Gomi enough said.  A few more big names and they have something good.

5. Strikeforce.  Not great competition, but still have a few guys any monopoly would want (Frank Shamrock, Josh Thompson and Gilbert Melendez)

6. ICON.  They have Jason “Mayhem” Miller and a future star in Kala Hose.

 Right now the UFC is doing fine.  They have a few competitors, but they are still the big leagues.  They have the best fighters.  Some divisions they are better than others.  For example at Light Heavyweight they have a near monopoly and at welterweight they are doing pretty well.  There are several key free agents out there (Fedor, Arlovski, Couture).  If EliteXC or someone else picks up the other guys they can really compete.

Advertisements

UFC News: Fedor’s Open Letter to Dana White

fedor3.jpgdanawhite.jpg

I found this on mmamania.com

Numerous times have I read mister White’s statements on Internet concerning myself. In my opinion, allowing yourself to say those things is not a sign of a gentleman or a grown man at all! If he candidly wants to prove himself right then let my fight with Randy happen or let me face the reigning UFC champion Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira. In the future I wouldn’t want to hear those statements in my address ever again and I won’t tolerate that. My last fight in Japan proved that I’m ready to fight anybody with any height advantage, skillset or experience. I have fought and still wish to fight the best athletes. The Randy fight is my goal number one right now, he’s a great fighter and this is a very unfortunate situation when too strict and one-sided UFC contracts don’t let this fight happen. The whole world is eager to see me fight your champions, people don’t want to listen to your press-conferences. I’m signed with M-1 Global and this promotion is ready to organize such fights under our banner or in co-promoted events.”

The Collapse of the UFC’s Heavyweight Divison

It all began after Randy Couture beat Gabriel Gonzaga.  Everything was looking promising for the UFC’s heavyweight divison.  The divison has the most popular of the title holders and had many contenders lined up.  Then out of nowhere Randy Couture left the UFC and the feud began with Dana White.  Randy didn’t care to fight anyone the UFC had, he wanted Fedor.  When Fedor decided to sign with M1 over the UFC it lead to a collapse that is still making ripples.  The UFC was once strong, but now guys like Brandon Vera, Frank Mir, Cheick Kongo and Eddie Sanchez are becoming the top contenders.  Why?  It is because of the collapse. 

          The UFC lost its star and champ in Randy Couture.  They missed out on the best in all MMA in Fedor Emelianenko.  Andrei Arlovski, the former champ and who many consider to be a top 3 heavyweight is disgruntled and seems to be on his way out of the UFC following his fight with Jake O’Brien.   Mirko Cro Cop, who at one time was the most feared fighter in MMA has lost two in a row and Dana is giving him an ultimatum.  He may fight once more in the UFC and finish his contract, but after that I can’t imagine Cro Cop in the UFC.   It is now reported that Tim Sylvia may be looking elsewhere after he finishes his contract.  He wants more money.  He is frustrated that an unproven guy like Brock Lesnar would make more than he does.  I can’t blame him.  All the problems that have come hinge from three things, which I believe are colossal mistakes by the UFC and Dana White. 1. The failure to sign Fedor 2. The rift between Randy Couture and the UFC 3. The failure to pay some fighters what they feel they deserve and the marketing of unamed and unproven guys like Lesnar.  Arguablly the biggest heavyweight names is the UFC are Arlovski, Couture, Sylvia and Cro Cop and they want out, mostly because of pay issues.  It looks like the UFC messed with the wrong guy when the messed with Captain America.  Dana White has never been one to back down, but this time it has bit him in the butt.  They not only failed to work things out with Couture, but they have attempted to hurt him.  They are suing him, forcing commentators to say little about him, and banning Affliction sponsorship.   They messed up when they failed to sign Fedor and even more so messed up when they rejected M1’s offer to work the fight out between Fedor and Randy.  Well, now we see the collapse of the UFC.  Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira is a great champ regardless, but who is left.  It looks like Werdum is now the number one contender.  The You have Cheick Kongo and Frak Mir.  Then you have others good fighters like Brandon Vera, Jake O’Brien and Heath Herring.  You have a potential star in Lesnar, but when Eddie Sanchez makes it into the top ten of the heavyweight divison you know the divison has gotten weak.  The UFC better do a few things.  First, it better reconcole with Randy Couture.  Second, they better pay proven fighters better.  Third, they better get another couple good heavyweights, because with the departure of Arlovski, Cro Cop and maybe Sylvia M1 could become deep at Heavyweight and UFC weak.  I would go get a big name guy if I was Dana, like Josh Barnett or even Kimbo Slice, but he keeps burning those bridges.  The ball is in your court Dana!

I Have Another Idea Dana White…

It seems obvious that UFC is attempting to market worldwide.  They have choosen their venues wisely for fights and they have been strategic business moves.  Dana White may be stubborn, but he is a brilliant busisness mind.  He has marketed well in Canada, with an expected fight there in April.  No doubt Georges St. Pierre will be on that card win or loose against Matt Hughes.  I would say Dana has a dream of St. Pierre vs. Serra for the title in Canada.  St. Pierre has to beat Hughes first.  He has marketed very well in England, with England’s love for Michael Bisping helping him out.  Perhaps Roger Huerta’s plea after beating Guida for a fight night in Mexico will come true.  I would almost bet that there will be a fight in Mexico in 2008.  Possibly a title shot for Roger Huerta? So, I admit it is brilliant to market MMA worldwide.  I would suggest to Dana two ideas.  One, a fight night in Brazil.  Perhaps later in the year.  Assume with me Anderson Silva beats Dan Henderson, let him fight fellow Brazlian Paulo Filho.  It would be a good chance to market the UFC in Brazil with some of the other Brazilian fighters (Wanderlai, Thiago Silva, Lyoto Machida, Gabriel Gonzaga, Nogueira, etc.)  Not only that, but pit them against your mopre exciting American fighters, perhaps they can win over some fans.  Look for Brazil to be a fight locale in Fall or Winter of 2008.   My grand idea…I know there are legal issues behind selecting a locations, but suppose with me you could get a fight in Europe, more specifically Eastern Europe, maybe Russia.  You remember the scene in ther Rocky movie don’t you?  The Russian crowd, the monster Russian, the communist Russian leaders, the passionate speech by Rocky calling people to change.  What a moment.  I know that was the movies and that was boxing and that was 20 years ago.  Imagine a main event of: Mirko “Cro Cop” from Croatia vs. Andei “the Pitbull” Arlovski, from Belarus.   That would be a cool fight.  Plus, Dana, you have to get Arlovski back in the octagon.  He has a huge fan base, is a great fighter, too good to loose to another organization, as a few organizations are a few good fighters away from competiting seriously (WEC, M1, EliteXC, and even K1). There is my new idea for the week.  It was free for you Mr. White, but one day I will charge for all my brilliant ideas.