For years, the UFC was forced to share the limelight
with Pride. This always sparked debates of who had the best fighters, Pride
On one occasion,
the UFC sent a contender to compete in Pride’s MWGP. Dana White assumed
that this co-promotion would go both ways, he sends Chuck Liddell to fight
in Pride and they return the favor by sending a fighter to the UFC. Well,
that reciprocation never happened. Now, Pride no longer exists and has
been, for the most part, absorbed by the UFC leaving start up companies
and compete with the beast that is the UFC. Now, with some of these new
companies getting lucrative deals, should the UFC consider co-promoting
and event with
For MMA fans, the number of dream matches is too
many to count. The problem is, often, at least one of these fighters
is tied up by an exclusive contract.
If the UFC were to allow co-promotion of an event, pleasing the fans
would be the only benefit that I could see. Fans would go crazy to
champion Cung Le vs. UFC champion Anderson
From a business standpoint, the UFC has nothing
to gain from co-promoting an event. Even with the CBS and NBC deals,
EliteXC and Strikeforce are not on
level ground with the UFC. By co-promoting an event the UFC would only
be giving recognition to a smaller, competing company. Unless another
comes to level ground with the UFC, they should not co-promote an event.
Champion vs. champion? That is a great concept,
but what happens to the credibility of the champion that loses? Can
you imagine if Cung Le defeated Anderson
Silva? Silva dominates the middleweight division in the UFC then gets
beat by the champ of another organization? Not only does that not look
the UFC champion, but risks the integrity of the whole weight-class.
The UFC would not and should not even consider
co-promoting an event. Not at this stage in the sport. Right now, UFC
is popular and MMA is becoming popular.
I believe that until a World MMA board exists that recognizes the UFC,
EliteXC, Strikeforce, Dream, and any other organization on the same
level and offers
a true World title, we will not see co-promoted events. If any co-promotion
takes place under the Zuffa banner, it should be through the WEC.