Sunday, July 12, 2009

My Take On UFC and Dana White Following UFC 100

I am going to start this by openly admitting that I did not order UFC 100 due to lack of a financial situation that would allow me to do so and the high price tag. I will also openly admit that my blog tends to be more friendly in regards to StrikeForce and Affliction then UFC which has little to do with me hating UFC and more to do with trying to help build up MMA into more then just UFC as an option. That said, I have seen video clips on You Tube and the post fight press conference on UFC's main site and read many articles since the conclusion of the show and enjoy following the sport so I am not clueless to what happened. After all of that, I will have to say, UFC 100 is probably their most successful show to a mainstream audience I have ever seen but I think it is fair to say I think there is still room for improvement.

First let me start with the face of UFC, Dana White. Dana deserves all the credit in the world for saving UFC and quite possibly MMA and has helped make UFC not only a brand name but loaded it with a long list of creditable fights and fighters. Dana is brash and passionate and to me that is fine. I don't mind that Dana's cursing at times could make a sailor blush, in fact I think it shows a passion and fire inside him that is good for the sport. I don't have some ideal about how a company should handle itself in the public eye because I think all companies are different.

My only issue with him is actually a trait I understand business wise and that is his desire (or seems that way at times anyway) to make the business about his ideals only and UFC being the only name brand in MMA. The business can only be better with competition for both fighters and fans because competition fuels different ideas and brings about some of the best work in people. I understand he does a great service by putting good free fights on television but it is also amazing how often that occurs when a competitor is putting on their show, hoping to draw away from their audience. Dana wants MMA to grow, he should help and not try to fight against rival companies. He doesn't have to be ringside on Showtime at a Strikeforce crowd but he should at least work to not run shows on the same nights that they do or belittle other people's shows or women in MMA doing more then holding a card in a bikini or not giving someone like Bobby Lashley a shot when all he wants is the same chance Brock got with much of the same background.

Next, I would like to discuss Brock Lesnar. I saw his post fight antics and his apology at the press conference and I am willing to give him a break on this one. I do enjoy some great sportsmanship in any sport and it is very nice to see it in one the nature of MMA but I also do not judge someone based on one occurrence. The guy just had the biggest win of his MMA career (though beating Randy Couture was huge too) and he is probably tired of the lack of respect given to him due to his time spent in WWE. It is fine to mock his career choices but when he wins and laughs in your face, many are up in arms about it. Yes, the lines about his wife and going against a big time sponsor were stupid but we all make mistakes and it is more about how we learn from them then anything else. I believe his apology to be sincere and have no issues with him trying to laugh it off as well. I still don't understand how so many people hate this guy just because he is so successful just starting out against some top names in the sport. And sometimes when people jeer you like that, you will lash out when emotion gets the best of you.

Understand, UFC is not my enemy but there is more out there then UFC at times as well. Groups like StrikeForce and Affliction have been known to put on some great cards, including ones coming up like the StrikeForce card featuring Gina Carano and Cris Cyborg and one for Affliction with Fedor Emelianenko. I won't pay for a UFC pay per view nor will I for a wrestling one either, despite being a fan of them but that has more to do with my belief that those costs are way too high a price to pay. I do though enjoy the Ultimate Fighter series and try to catch UFC when they are Spike for free but paying that much is just crazy. UFC though does put on a good show and just because I don't promote them on my blog does not make me naive to what they do, it just means I enjoy rooting for the underdogs in this case. I think specifically StrikeForce is doing great things though I will admit that it is also convenient for me since we already have Showtime and I enjoy watching them grow. I do hope however that UFC starts learning to play nice with other MMA companies and maybe then, I will also learn to respect them more as well.

No comments: