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Old 11-26-2008, 03:40 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Fighters with leverage (who matter) in the UFC

I thought this was a pretty good article and I am curious what other fighters some of you guys would add to this list.

http://mma.fanhouse.com/2008/11/20/w...-his-leverage/

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The lesson that Jon Fitch learned when he lost his job with the UFC is a simple one: If you're a big enough draw to fight in the main event of a pay-per-view, you've got some leverage with UFC. If you're not, you don't.

In the case of Fitch, he had his chance when he was in the main event at UFC 87, where he lost to Georges St. Pierre. If he had won that fight, he'd be the UFC welterweight champion of the world, and the UFC wouldn't be so quick to cut him loose for refusing to sign over the rights to his name and likeness in a video game. By losing that fight, he lost any leverage. He's just not a big enough draw for the UFC to care all that much about losing him.

This isn't a judgment about who's right and who's wrong on the merits in the dispute between Fitch and the UFC. It's just the reality of the business: There are a handful of fighters who make enough money for the UFC that the UFC can't afford to cut them loose. Fitch is not in that handful.

I got to thinking about how many fighters who are so important to the promotion that they have real leverage with the UFC, and I could only come up with 14. My list is below. I'm curious to hear yours.


Michael Bisping
Randy Couture
Rashad Evans
Forrest Griffin
Matt Hughes
Rampage Jackson
Brock Lesnar
Chuck Liddell
Frank Mir
Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira
B.J. Penn
Anderson Silva
Wanderlei Silva
Georges St. Pierre
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Old 11-26-2008, 03:43 PM   #2 (permalink)
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hm... i would add florian to that list
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Old 11-26-2008, 03:44 PM   #3 (permalink)
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That's a pretty good list, but I'm not sure how true the article is. They cut Tito and he was a HUGE draw in the UFC.
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Old 11-26-2008, 03:45 PM   #4 (permalink)
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That's a pretty good list, but I'm not sure how true the article is. They cut Tito and he was a HUGE draw in the UFC.
Was Tito really cut though? Thought it was also his choice to leave.
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Old 11-26-2008, 03:46 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I think you could lose Nog, Mir and Rashad depending on how the HW and LHW title pictures pan out and maybe Hughes so you're left with 10 fighters that have any real power in the UFC. That sucks.
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Old 11-26-2008, 03:47 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I'm not 100%, but if he had as much leverage as is implied by the article, why would he need to leave?
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Old 11-26-2008, 03:47 PM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Tito's conract ran out and neither side had a serisous desire to work out a new one he was never "cut",

I would add Rich Franklin to that list though, Franklin is beloved by the fans and even when they were in Canada the fans loved him and they werent very welcoming off very many other Americans.
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Old 11-26-2008, 03:50 PM   #8 (permalink)
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im surprised rich franklin didn't get a mention, he's twice the draw frank mir will ever be. you can add in dan henderson as well. i would say sean sherk, but im not sure he's that big of a draw to casual fans.
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Old 11-26-2008, 03:55 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Tito's conract ran out and neither side had a serisous desire to work out a new one he was never "cut",

I would add Rich Franklin to that list though, Franklin is beloved by the fans and even when they were in Canada the fans loved him and they werent very welcoming off very many other Americans.
The odd thing with Franklin is that he is one of the most liked fighters who is a great ambassador for the sport but judging by his PPV numbers he isn't a great draw.
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Old 11-26-2008, 03:57 PM   #10 (permalink)
 
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Id guess better than Anderson Silva is.
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