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.
Filed under: Aleksander Emelianenko, Andrei Arlovski, Ben Rothwell, Brian Stann, Carlos Condit, Chael Sonnen, Cung Le, Dana White, Denis Kang, Doug Marshall, DREAM, Eddie Alvarez, Eddie Sanchez, EliteXC, Fedor Emelianenko, Frank Shamrock, Gesias Calvancante, Gilbert Melendez, Golden Boy Promotions, Hayato Sakurai, Jamie Varner, Jason "Mayhem" Miller, Jeff Monson, Jens Pulver, Joachim Hansen, Josh Thompson, Kevin Randleman, Kimbo Slice, M1, Mark Hunt, Matt Lindland, Miguel Torres, Mirko Cro Cop, Mitsuhiro Ishida, Murilio "Ninja" Rua, Nick Diaz, Norifumi Yamamoto, Paulo Filho, PRIDE, Randy Couture, Ricco Rodriguez, Rob McCullough, Shinya Aoki, Strikeforce, Takanori Gomi, Urijah Faber | Leave a comment »