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Old 06-04-2007, 02:50 PM   #1 (permalink)
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My MMA Thesis (long-read)

DISCLAIMER

First off: Please, no one take this as a dig on the UFC in any form. Fighters and what the fighters are allowed to do (rules) make the org. UFC owns most of my favorite fighters at this point, and I won't pretend they aren't still the shit.

INTRO
Seeing Pride dwindle and all but disappear, and then events of late led me into all kinds of trains of thought:

((FIELD COMMENT--)I completed my collection of Pride events today... short of the 2002 GP, I've purchased all of the DVD's out there, and have watched 95% of them...)

THE PAST, FROM A PRIDE-HUGGER PERSPECTIVE

First off, I was mad. DSE did it for me whether their tactics were sound or not. Seeing them suffer from some bullshit and STILL unfounded "Yakuza scandle" and watching Fuji high-tail away at it's very mention pissed me off.

Then I got depressed. Watching Pride in the states (knowing that it was poisioned and desprately scrabbling for somebody to snatch it up in the US and get back on cash life-support) sucked, but still trumped all other contenders.

Once the Fertittas bought in, I was sad. Seeing Pride sans the ASS KICKING RULE SETS hurt enough, but to know that they were about to be gone for good was tears. Screw the 10-pt round judging. I wanted my Matt Hume system, I wanted my soccer kicks, I wanted my yellow and red cards. All of that created top-notch action, and everybody knows it.

I then landed in denial. Of course the Ferttias would bring knees to the heads of downed opponents. Of course the UFC and Pride would swap players and clash on every event. Of course Pride's suitor was "very good", and Sakikabara could rest on his success.

ERRRNT!!! WRONG!

Everybody knows the next step: Acceptance. Pride is through. UFC ate it, and smartly, I will admit. Why wouldn't it? It bought a time-bomb, but a damn good-looking time-bomb indeed.

THE PRESENT:

You could tell the UFC's focus was to smash out Bodog and Elite XC just by the Pride 34 intro vid. It targed Fedor, of course. Dana swung a bat at Fedor's head with threats, but he forgot that FEDOR absorbs Fujita punches, Cro-Kicks and Randleslams for his robot-fuel.

The UFC dominates the talent pool, but we all know that the talent pool is about the up-and-comers, not the already established. That's not saying that UFC recruitment isn't better, because it truly is.

PREDICTION: THE GHOST OF PRIDE

There is a ghost that is floating around from Pride's untimely and mostly unjust demise. I think that Pride's fighters and announcers knew this well before I figured it out. It's got the UFC's number, but by no means am I saying that the UFC can't defend itself.

I think the ghost has found it's new home back where it came from. Mauro is the smartest man in MMA regardless, and I think his landing speaks for itself. That being said, Royce and Saku are frightening Pride monoliths, and EVERYBODY knows pro-wrestler abduction has Pride's eternal stamp on it.

PREDICTION: THE GHOST, FEDOR AND K-1/HERO'S

Saku and Royce swung open the gates for new fighters and displaced Pride fighters. If K-1/HERO'S supports open contracts, it's likely that Fedor will find his home there along with Bodog, and wherever he wants, such as the proverbial 800lb gorilla that he is.

Fedor vs. Lesnar! It's a NEW FIGHT! I don't want to see Fedor re-challenge everyone in the UFC, he's already beaten them all. Send them back at him constantly enough, and he will eventually lose, and none of us will care when it happens.

Should that go down, it's an MMA emergency. The UFC was busy stamping out Pride and shooting missles at Bodog/KOTC/Elite XC/etc. In this meantime, the ghost found it's new body, and will be back with a venegance.

PREDICTION: PRIDE REPLACED/CLASH OF THE TITANS

Give me my soccer kicks back!! Give me my Bushido fight scoring w/the Hume! Give us that badass 10 min yellow-card/"stop! don't move (but still move) square-ring action that isn't found anywhere else!

The UFC scored a great victory, but they will have a new Titan to slam heads against. This time the competition will actually have the US's attention. Now we, the fans may get to see the big boys fight!!

Where's my Soku/Barnett/Trigg/Yvel/Zleg/Baroni/Gomi/Chonan/Sakurai?!

HERO's perhaps? I hope Dana smells blood. I hope HERO's smashes back and we get to see the new market. I hope this sport blows wide-open, because I think we, as the prude US are ready for MMA to become the new football.

Buy your stock now.

...but maybe not... That's just my opionion. What's yours? (Can I graduate yet?)
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Old 06-04-2007, 04:46 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FromHereOn

Fedor vs. Lesnar! It's a NEW FIGHT! I don't want to see Fedor re-challenge everyone in the UFC, he's already beaten them all.
Fedor hasnt fought everybody in the UFC!.......would none of they guys to put a great fight :AA,RANDY,GONZAGA,VERA
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Old 06-04-2007, 05:05 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Interesting read, but I think there are alot of issues with the theories you bring up.

To say that the UFC ate PRIDE made it sound like they swallowed it and, let's face it, that would give even the Butterbean-esque behemoth that is the UFC indigestion. The UFC trimmed away lots of parts of PRIDE. In my opinion, most of that was fat as gristle, and the UFC is slowly starting to take in the good stuff: Rampage, Shogun, CroCop and Big Nog. I can only hope that they don't miss some of the best, and most beneficial, parts of PRIDE: Fedor, Barnett, Sokoudjou, Gomi and Hansen.

I agree that there is a ghost of PRIDE, but I think that ghost is more of an attitude that alot of the hardcore fans (myself included) have. It's the understanding that even though Rampage and Shogun and CroCop are fighting in the UFC, they aren't UFC fighters. It's this idea that all of those guys are ambassadors of PRIDE, even if PRIDE doesn't exist anymore. I see that as the ghost of PRIDE, and I see the fact that PRIDE fighters are now holding titles as part of the repurcussions of that ghost.

You make the point that the UFC can target Fedor all they want. He wasn't in violation of their contract, though Dana was saying "sue him, sue him, sue him" and beating his chest. Frankly, I won't respect the UFC heavyweight division or recognize a UFC heavyweight champion as any kind of champion until Fedor is in the division. That is a part of the ghost, in my opinion, and I think that Dana White, and all of the guys that are involved in the UFC contracts, should recognize that Fedor is the greatest heavyweight in the world, because its disrespectful to the sport as a whole to say otherwise.

Fedor has not fought nearly as many of the UFC guys as you say. He's beaten CroCop and Nogueira, but that's about it. He still has to fight Barnett and there are plenty of other guys who give him a more interesting matchup than Lesnar, but I understand your point. I don't care if Heroes puts together that fight, but I would like to see Fedor defend his title and his #1 spot under PRIDE rules. You said it already, but I'll say it again: give me my yellow cards and head stomps any day.

I agree with the last bit about putting together a PRIDE rules style environment and keeping those PRIDE fighters around.

Defend your dissertation, and we'll see where you go from there.
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Old 06-05-2007, 11:09 AM   #4 (permalink)
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--yeah, that was a straight up mistake for the most part.

If I retrace a little, yes, Fedor certainly hasn't seen a fight with any of the aformentioned UFC heavyweights, and any outcome is a guess.

Regardless, we've had an apparent lack of new MMA star heavyweights. Finally at this point, UFC doesn't own stock in ALL belt contenders. This is me basing everything on one fight, but there is finally a heavyweight without Dana's mushroom stamp that we have to find out more about (much like the deal with soku).

Personally (which doesn't count) I feel that if anybody loses to Tim Sylvia, Fedor will clean house with them. That leaves Randy, and (almost) Randy alone.

No matter how I feel, Dana better put his tail between his legs and fry up some crow quick. He needs to figure out that there's about two or three fights he can offer.

IF one other org can offer two or three fights (or even one) and has an open-contract, guess who gets the man. I'm almost positive that Fedor would skip Randy/Gonz/unknown over having his hands tied as long as there was some action elsewhere.

Looking at Japan's penchant for international recruiting, it's only a matter of time before we see a new "Pride-ish" heavyweight division spring up from our Pancrase/Abu-Dahbi/Vale Tudo/Olympic Wrestling-Judo/Gracie Dojos/Takda Dojo etc.

One other guarantee: K-1/HERO'S will pay MUCH better. They WILL garner more fans and bigger, more spectacular events. It's now a decision between UFC's already established division and HERO'S potential division. I like the latter.
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Old 06-07-2007, 02:50 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I guess I just straight up disagree with you on some of these points but that's cool, I'm always up for debate.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FromHereOn
If I retrace a little, yes, Fedor certainly hasn't seen a fight with any of the aformentioned UFC heavyweights, and any outcome is a guess.
Yes and no. The fact is, you can still look at the matchups for fighters and look at stylistic resemblances that they have to other fighters.

For instance, Gonzaga KO'd CroCop. So what? So did Randleman and we all saw how Fedor finished Randleman. It's a different matchup. Gonzaga is a bad matchup for CroCop, but he's a good matchup for Fedor. Same thing with Randy.


Quote:
Regardless, we've had an apparent lack of new MMA star heavyweights. Finally at this point, UFC doesn't own stock in ALL belt contenders. This is me basing everything on one fight, but there is finally a heavyweight without Dana's mushroom stamp that we have to find out more about (much like the deal with soku).
Again, I guess I just have to disagree. I think that Kongo and Vera a great up and coming heavyweights. So is Thompson, from PRIDE. Granted, it's the slowest growing division, but its still growing and I think that we will see some great fighters come into the division in the next six months, and I have my eye on a handful of up and comers.

There are alot of heavyweights without Dana's stamp on them. It's not like Dana owns the heavyweight top ten. He doesn't have Fedor, sure, but he also doesn't have Barnett, he doesn't have Hunt and he doesn't have Kharitonov or Thompson or Aleks Emelianenko.

There's also not that much to find out about Sokoudjou. He's only had five fights, pretty much everything impressive about him is on record. That's not to say he's not great or not impressive, just that he's not an unknown. Maybe he is for you. He's also an LHW, not a heavyweight.


Quote:
Personally (which doesn't count) I feel that if anybody loses to Tim Sylvia, Fedor will clean house with them. That leaves Randy, and (almost) Randy alone.
No, not really. I think that this Randy isn't that great, compared to as freakishly good as he used to be (and I think he would have finished Sylvia at that point in his career), and that old Randy had trouble with Randleman. A Randleman that Fedor destroyed in PRIDE. I don't even think that an old-school Randy could last with Fedor, but that's just my opinion.

Quote:
No matter how I feel, Dana better put his tail between his legs and fry up some crow quick. He needs to figure out that there's about two or three fights he can offer.
I don't agree with that. I think there are plenty of matchups that we could see that would be interesting. Arlovski v Kongo, CroCop v Kongo, Werdum v Couture, Werdum v Gonzaga, Arlovski v Gonzaga, Arlovski v Couture. I think all of these would be interesting matchups. The fact is, though, that he needs better heavyweights to give the division so credibility among the circles of hardcore fans.

I consider myself a die-hard MMA fan, not just a UFC fan, and I think that without Fedor and Barnett I have a hard time giving the UFC heavyweight division credibility. I also think that they need Hunt, because he really would be the ultimate gatekeeper for guys who should fight Fedor. He's not a great contender (as he proved in his last fight), but he will push any fighter to their absolute limits and make any fight interesting.


Quote:
IF one other org can offer two or three fights (or even one) and has an open-contract, guess who gets the man. I'm almost positive that Fedor would skip Randy/Gonz/unknown over having his hands tied as long as there was some action elsewhere.
I don't think so. I think Fedor likes proving that he's dominant and he'll fight anyone who calls him out. I think that Fedor would love to get his hands on the UFC belt and the money that the UFC has to offer him. I think it's an issue of the "I want to fight in Russia" clause in his contract.

What the UFC should do is sign Fedor and debut him in Russia. I think that would be great motivation for Fedor to come over, and I think that if they offered him a good matchup he would be excited to come over to the UFC. Give him a Gonzaga or a Couture, the kind of matchup he hasn't already had, and I'm sure he would love to prove that he can make that kind of money.


Quote:
Looking at Japan's penchant for international recruiting, it's only a matter of time before we see a new "Pride-ish" heavyweight division spring up from our Pancrase/Abu-Dahbi/Vale Tudo/Olympic Wrestling-Judo/Gracie Dojos/Takda Dojo etc.
I don't think so. I think that another organization will be able to put together a credible heavyweight division without taking the entire leftovers of the PRIDE division, and even that is questionable without CroCop and Nog.

It will take at least 10 years for this next generation to take over. Then it could happen, but I don't see it will happen outside of the UFC until then, and if Dana plays his cards right and gets Fedor, Barnett and Hunt, the rest of the guys will follow. You will start to see Yoshida and Thompson filling up the ranks in the UFC heavyweight division and the recruiting of foriegn fighters and younger fighters will get alot better.


Quote:
One other guarantee: K-1/HERO'S will pay MUCH better. They WILL garner more fans and bigger, more spectacular events. It's now a decision between UFC's already established division and HERO'S potential division. I like the latter.
How does K-1 put together the money. They still have the Asian market, but there isn't as much money in that as there is in the US and the European market. I think that the UFC is going to overtake Europe and eventually end up in Asia as the next step. The question is whethere they decide to buy K-1 or just put them out of business and buy their fighters for less.

The reason why I don't think that K-1 will last is because they don't have a credible heavyweight division and so it's hard to motivate great fighters to come over. No one wants to fight competition that is going to diminish their credibiliy unless they are making alot more money than K-1 has to offer.

I see Lesnar ending up in the UFC and K-1 shrinking to a smaller show, if they don't disappear altogether or get swallowed by the UFC.

I don't like to see this kind of monopoly, but I think that it's good for the fans (who will get to see the matchups that they always wanted to). It will also be good for the smaller shows, who will have their niche as the recruiting grounds for fighters.
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Old 06-08-2007, 10:20 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I think that a few of our points above actually agree with each other, I may have put them in the wrong light.

I hope you see our disagreements as being an opinion clash, and not that I'm flat out wrong in most of these cases (I hope I'm not). Thanks for the input!
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