Originally Posted by zath the champ
For years Dana said that his goal was to get onto network TV...
The biggest issue threatening the UFC these days is not the Fox deal or even the injuries; it is the ability of fighters to decline fights.
Hear me out:
When I'm working and my boss tells me to do something, I do it. If I didn't, I may lose my job. If I'm scheduled to work and my direct reports don't show up, I still have to get the job done.
If you're booked to fight at an event and your opponent is injured etc. , you should be contractually obligated fight whoever the powers that be can arrange.
If you're told that you are going to fight an opponent (as long as they are a sanctioned opponent by the state's athletic commission), you should be contractually obligated to do so.
I know that is not how combat sports have traditionally operated, but it would be a welcome change (from my POV at least).
I know some will disagree, but it would definitely add to the consistency of cards (IE. UFC productions) and it could even add to the excitement of upcoming events.
They still don't REALLY have that ability, but I agree with you.
I got massive into MMA maybe in 2009, and I posted on EastSideBoxing that the reason MMA was taking me from boxing was because it was basically run by one promotion. You dont want to fight? You get cut from the only meaningful promotion. Dana (or whoever else behind closed doors) decide who fights who. They dont get to pick and choose. The Jones situation isnt really a downside because it was at such short notice after all and Vitor was the best replacement possible. If Dana offered say Machida a fight agaisnt Jones in April, he';d definently take it. If he didnt want it, he'd still take it, because if he didnt he'd probably get cut for not wanting to fight. UFC has MMA under such great control that we don't have to see fighters like Mayweather decides who to fight and when. Anderson Silva has that option to a degree, but he's picking super fights over defending against low interest MW challengers so I wouldnt really liken it to the boxing situation.
If it ever gets worse, that will be a huge issue in MMA and could start it's decline rapidly, but for the time being I think the UFC has this sown up very well, going as far as giving Chael Sonnen a title shot for stepping up (even though that was a little bit too much, and it should have been a "Who do you want to fight that isnt a champion?" kind of deal).