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Direction of the UFC
*The above article is not linked below because it is indicative of a pattern of behavior in some fighters - it is not intended to be the sole point of the topic.*
So where to start...??
As the UFC (and world wide MMA) grows in scope there have obviously been bumps in the road.
The latest centering around Jon Jones has been well documented and does not need to be rehashed for the millionth time.
As a fan, I have always wanted to see MMA grow in popularity. With that in mind, I find myself questioning how the vision I once had is changing. I thought that the bigger and more accepted (as a sport in the mainstream) MMA became, the better it would be.
I do not see this as the case anymore. I watch MMA because it is the most entertaining and exciting use of my time. I spend money on the PPVs (even when I was not financially in the best position to do so) because it is my passion.
However, if something is no longer about what made it appealing initially, how does that impact those who made it successful?
We are quickly approaching the *exact* same issues that have destroyed boxing as a sport. Fighters are not in it for the same reasons that the pioneers of the sport were.
As a fan, I am seriously wondering if I would rather see the best in the world (Jon Jones in this case) compete, or if I would rather see what attracted me to MMA in the first place: Heart - Passion - Dedication - Enthusiasm. **** the perfect technique, precision business decisions, and flawless W/L ratios of today, that dictate the direction the sport is going. I miss the "never back down; leave it all in the cage; do it for the fans who pay your bills" mentality.
Even some of the fighters I once supported are starting to do this.
I suppose my question for those of you who understand my frustrations is this:
Would you rather see the sport plateau and be more focused on the entertainment; or do you like where the sport is heading (growing pains and all)?
Thank for taking the time to read. - Zath
It's not the "boring" fights that will kill MMA, hell look at Nascar. that's the most God awful thing that's ever been created, I mean cars going around in a circle? What the **** is that shit? But it's got a GIGANTIC fanbase, so if something that terrible can have a legion of fans I'm sure the UFC and MMA can survive a few wrestlers dominating.
The one thing that will hurt MMA is the big stars not fighting and that's what guys like Anderson and Jones need to get over. I can see points for both of them(Weidman not being marketable, Chael potentially knowing Hendo was hurt for weeks) but I still don't like them doing it.
yeah man i 100% understand fighters that think about their careers and money, i dont blame them or hate them its the logical thing to do, but i love fighters that fight just to fight...just for the love of the game, and you know what? this is a problem in many sports IMO, in other sports there are those guys that simply love what they do and the other ones that whatever makes them the most money they do.
there are many fighters that dont seem to have that warrior spirit, i know this is stupid to say because just to step into that cage they all are in fact warriors and i respect all the fighters that put their body on the line
but im trying to become a fighter right now, im not good, i probably wont make a dent in any MMA scene but i dont give a shit because i love mma, i love the idea around this sport, i would be those guys that started fighting for peanuts...there are many fighters that are still like this, look at lauzon man, that guy doesnt fight to collect a paycheck, he fights to finish you!
same with wandy, his whole career was just him fighting to finish you, did he enjoy the $? obviously, i bet hes asked for a raise and stuff like that, but its obvious he just loves fighting and i respect that, i wish more fighters had that old-school spirit because really back in the day anyone who fought sure as hell wasnt doing it for the money
nowadays you see many athletes that choose MMA not because they love fighting, but because they think they CAN be good at it and be very famous and have lots of $...hell isnt that what JBJ has admitted to in many interviews? thats why he got into this game...he still has amazing fights but i hate to know THAT was his reason to start fighting....money...
Well the athletic commissions would be to blame for some of the issues, poor training and little to no accountability for judges and referees.
The big issues facing the UFC are the fact that the UFC stretched themselves too thin with the fox commitments and the unintended consequences of fighter insurance.
Both issues have overlapped and caused some issues but the larger issue is that they can't expect ppl to plop down 50 bucks every month sometimes twice a month in this economy. Not to mention the quality is lacking.
They don't want to put the most popular fights on Fox because then they cant charge pay per view money for them so we get shit cards that lead to bad ratings on TV.
The PPV model is struggling because they have less fighters to choose from coupled with fighter injuries. It all leads to watered down cards.
They need to put title contention fights on fox, tell a story get ppl hooked in so when that guy hits PPV to challenge for the title ppl have a interest in the outcome.
They need to do less ppvs, if the future is free programming, lets see it? They can recover the loss of small pay per view events buy booking big events again.
Three or so title fights a PPV and use fox to build it up. Regardless of what they do I think we can all agree they need to do something.
Of the 4 events so far, the've had 1 HW title fight and 3 #1 contender fights, all with popular fighters.
UFC on FOX 5 will have the LW title fight, a possible LHW #1 contender fight and a fight between one of the most popular fighters of all time against one of the most popular up-and-coming fighters.
They are all cards that would be considered at least reasonable for a pay-per-view event.
I think there are definitely growing pains for the UFC right now as they explode and continue to grow. One of the things for fighters is job security and a paycheque. Not every fighter makes GSP/Bones/Silva money with outside endorsements and have to fight to pay rent etc.
One of the things the UFC could do to counteract that downside is sign fighters to longer contracts ala other major sporting organizations. Think about long-term multi million dollar contracts in football, baseball, hockey etc. Offer fighters a multi-year contract with X number of fights a year, money guaranteed plus bonuses.
Something like that would give a fighter less of a fear of a loss on their record, but their overall performance over that contract period would dictate their future earnings.
It's not like the yankees spend $$$ and don't ever lose, so should the mentality of a fighter. Sure, the best fighters will probably have an above .800 win/loss record over 10 fights, but the overall value to the company can also factor in to a potential contract.
"We are quickly approaching the *exact* same issues that have destroyed boxing as a sport. Fighters are not in it for the same reasons that the pioneers of the sport were."
I'd say this is the UFC's biggest problem right now, although maybe not in exactly the same way you meant it.
The UFC's problem is they aren't even trying to be a meritocracy anymore. The best fighters don't fight the best fighters, the belts mean less and less with every passing fight, they are turning into the WWE.
When an organization, in the space of 10 days or so, offers a shot at the LHW belt to a MW on a losing streak, and offers a shot at the featherweight title to a LW on a 2 fight losing streak, you can stop watching MMA, because it is officially a joke.
If I want to watch the WWE, I will, and thats where the UFC is headed, fast.
I never liked the WWE, and I never liked boxing with it's absurdly padded records, and MMA is getting more like both of them all the time.
Though, I think a better case could be made for Frankie Edgar since he was actually champ for a little while.
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