UFC as a Professional Organisation, at What Cost?
In the wash up of all the Jones & UFC 151 threads over the last few days, there has been one point which I think is mostly driving the debate but I've not seen it directly addressed.
The UFC offering a change in contenders for the title fight 8 days from the event was a 'bush league' decision. Offering a title fight to someone who is no where near the #1 contender position was a 'bush league' decision. Fighters accepting any challenge under any circumstances appear to come from the era when MMA fighting was entirely 'bush league'. The argument goes that this wouldn't have happened in any other professional sporting organisation.
The UFC, and I'd presume almost all fans, want the UFC to become a more mainstream and legitimate (in the eyes of the public) sporting organisation. Yet I personally don't want them to lose these kinds of bush league characteristics in the process, and I imagine a lot of other fans and fighters hold a similar opinion. But mainstream sports tend to become more about money, which usually means winning any costs and avoiding losing at any cost.
It's not just what has happened with Jones. Most fighters need an 8 week training camp and game plan designed around countering the other guy. Accepting a fight on 4-6 weeks notice is considered short term and a handicap. I still hold this crazy notion that an MMA fighter should focus on their own skills, and be able to turn up at an event without knowing their opponent and still be confident of winning.
So my question to you is: Are you willing to give up bush league decisions for the sport to grow in the mainstream?
*It's entirely possible that my whole argument is bollocks in the eyes of more knowledgable MMA fans, so feel free to shoot me down.