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UFC & Frank Mir have everything to gain in the 2015 Fedor sweepstakes

By Zach Arnold | July 16, 2015

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You can’t trump star power in combat sports, even with ugly Reebok uniforms.

Ronda Rousey was making waves at the ESPY awards in Los Angeles with another remark about Floyd Mayweather. Her troll game is supercharged. Fedor was making names because he’s coming out of retirement. The Russians want his next fight. Nobuyuki Sakakibara and those desperate to stay relevant in Japan would be interested in Fedor’s services.

However, the real money for Fedor is in UFC. He knows it. UFC knows it. They may have struck out on Fedor/Brock Lesnar and Lesnar/Mir bouts… but Fedor vs. Frank Mir is still a real possibility and would be a fight that makes sense for all parties involved.

First, keeping Fedor away from the Japanese would be a good thing. Who’s he going to fight in Japan this time around? Satoshi Ishii’s star is dead. Kazuyuki Fujita?

Second, keep Fedor away from Viacom. Fedor vs. Kimbo Slice is the fight they would want to promote and it would sell on PPV. The casual American fight fan would want to watch it. It would give Bellator a big image boost if they could pull off signing that fight.

Third, UFC needs some exciting fights for the Heavyweight division. Todd Duffee got hammered by Frank Mir in San Diego on Wednesday night. Nobody is sure how many fights are left for Cain Velasquez. Fabricio Werdum is the Heavyweight champion. If Fedor could find a way to beat Frank Mir, you could immediately book Fedor vs. Werdum in a revenge match.

The dawn of a new era in California

While Nevada is busy holding workshops to hash out the new rules & regulations on beefing up their drug suspension policies, California is ramping up the penalties. Assembly Bill 469, which would jack up monetary penalties up to 40% purse fine for a positive drug test, is in Appropriations. It’s only a matter of time before it gets passed.

Which means that minimum suspensions of at least two years for fighters who test positive is here to stay. Physiques and fight performances for some veteran fighters will undoubtedly be altered. The question is whether or not the new drug testing policies will impact UFC the same way MLB’s clamp down attempts on steroids has impacted their sport in the last few years.

The San Diego card was B-level, at best, on paper but turned out to be a wildly violent affair. Jessica Andrade. Tony Ferguson. Frank Mir. My goodness.

A part of me felt bad watching Josh Thomson struggle in what may be his last UFC fight. He’s 1-3 in his last 4 UFC fights and has lost 5 out of his last 7. The scorecard loss to Ben Henderson in January of 2014 derailed his career. It’s cute for Dana White to yell at fighters to not leave it in the hands of the judges but you can’t control what you can’t control when you’re in a three or five round fight. One bad decision by a judge can cost a fighter millions of dollars.

Speaking of judges, referee/judge Mike Beltran had a curious night in San Diego. Holly Holm had a one-sided fight and won every round but Beltran gave a round to her opponent. In the Ferguson/Thomson fight, neither Beltran nor judge Derek Cleary gave Ferguson a 10-8 round despite Andy Foster pushing for more 10-8 rounds.

Topics: MMA, Media, UFC, Zach Arnold | 25 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

25 Responses to “UFC & Frank Mir have everything to gain in the 2015 Fedor sweepstakes”


    frank Mir, when asked about future opponents should say,
    “i’ll fight anyone the ufc puts in front of me, as long as they have a russian name”
    Mir vs Arlovski is that great fight that never happened, as is Barnett Fedor.
    And LOL at skanky wsof claiming to be able to afford Fedor.

  2. Chris says:

    Fedor-Mir Mir would be a ticket seller for the UFC. If that fight could be signed, I would be hard pressed to pick Mir, who’s become more hittable. And that “Boxing” display put on by Mir and Duffe was sloppy and terrible by Tough Man standards. I would still take Fedor by stoppage with strikes. But it would be fun while it lasted.

    • Mark says:

      But I think Mir would remember the Werdum fight and try to get it to the ground ASAP. Sure, he could say “I’ll bet he isn’t as good on his feet as he was.” But if a guy gave you a blueprint on how to beat him, you take it. And I’m sure it’s very important for Frank to be able to say he beat Nogueira, Cro Cop and Fedor, so he can say he really won the 2000s, and not the more respected PRIDE fighters.

  3. rst says:

    I’m not convinced that Fed is looking for challenges. Its really quite befuddling to figure out this sudden change of heart. Does he need money? He hasn’t fought for the legitimacy of the sport since 2005, at the latest.

    If Finky is still involved, I call sour. There’s something wrong with that fella.

  4. rst says:

    Fed has been evolved past by the modern HW.
    They’re bigger, stronger and more talented.

    I’ll only take him seriously when he remakes himself at 205.
    He’s not any bigger then Randy without the gut.

    • Mark says:

      I don’t think he’d do any better there. Could he beat Johnson, Gustafsson, Jones or Cormier? I think in either he’s just beating mid-level guys. And when you look at what would he actually draw on PPV with, it’s PRIDE nostalgia rematches. They’d love to put him on a Japanese show against Cro Cop or Hunt.

  5. Liger05 says:

    Floyd Mayweather truly is a superstar. His detractors always seem to mention his name. Ufc fighters never seem to get bored of taking about the Mayweather.

    The hate is real.

  6. Rob Maysey says:

    And what is the reason Floyd was able to obtain that star?

    Is he genetically different than MMA fighters?

    Or is the industry in which he is working built differently?

    The answer is not difficult. . .

  7. Mark says:

    Nobody was a bigger Fedor fan than I was. But he is not anything but a TV draw, and even that won’t come close to the CBS number he got with Brett Rogers. He had the mythological hype coming in for that from people who didn’t see PRIDE but saw tons of talk on him. But when he started losing on Showtime, people said “that’s it?”

    And is he still with Finkelstein? Because if Dana can say he wasn’t worth the headache for a Brock fight, he damn sure isn’t worth it for a Mir fight. I know his leverage is gone so he’ll have to come in humble, but he’s still going to be a pain in the ass that Dana is going to blow up at.

  8. 45 Huddle says:

    I don’t want to see GSP or Fedor or Couture or Hughes or Liddell or Shamrock (both) or Penn fight ever again. Stay retired please.

    I think a fighter gets it in their head that they are still great without realizing they have lost a step.

    • DIAZ'S PACKED BOWL says:

      “I think a fighter gets it in their head that they are still great without realizing they have lost a step.”

      Thats the “UFC HW division” for short.

      • 45 Huddle says:

        The sad part is that the younger Heavyweights are so bad that they are allowing the older fighters to stay around longer and take even more damage. No other division in the UFC has that many veterans who are practically shot and still making a run at the title. Boy is it ugly.

        • Diaz' spacked bowl says:

          Yep. UFC mythical whale graveyard. New guys? struve could
          die from a heart attack at any moment, Stipe is deathly afraid of being KTFO’d. Dufee getting KTFO by shot Mir. Big brown and woman beater brown are no shows most likely due to their fear of getting the living shit kicked out of them by some old guy. Jr is shot, big foot is super shot, Hunt is a lazy bum any more… those fighters are easy targets for Fedor.

  9. Safari_Punch says:

    It’s a long shot, but there could be another potential suitor for Fedor outside of Zuffa and Viacom and the usual Japanese suspects.

    Floyd Mayweather has been on record as saying he wants to promote MMA (as reported in Oct 2014). Maybe now is the time he gets things going? Mayweather is connected with the WWE. Could he work out something with WWE for Lesnar’s services? Would the WWE be receptive to loaning out Brock Lesnar? Would Lesnar be willing to face Fedor or was his jockeying between Zuffa, Viacom and the WWE just a means to drive up his price tag? Would he fight in MMA if given an opportunity to enjoy the best of both worlds; collecting paychecks from both the WWE and Mayweather Promotions?

    • Mark says:

      No, WWE will never want anything to do with MMA beyond a fighter working a wrestling match like Rousey will in the supposed Rousey/The Rock vs Stephanie McMahon/Triple H match at Wrestlemania.

      They had a chance to buy PRIDE, Shane McMahon really loved PRIDE and asked Vince to look into it and he said no. And they probably could have bought any of the other orgs that UFC ended up acquiring if they really wanted it.

      But Vince sincerely doesn’t like MMA. He’s a casual boxing fan, he was fascinated with early UFC enough to want Shamrock and Severn working for the WWF in the late 90s, and he was very fond of Ken. But that had more to do with him being desperate for anything that would get viewers during their war with WCW than wanting to be apart of it.

      Plus, with Brock, if he were to get spectacularly KO’ed, then who knows how his standing would be hurt to wannabe tough guys like Vince and Hunter.

      • Mark says:

        And the legitimacy of anything they’re slightly involved in with MMA would be questioned. Vince becoming even a minor partner in MMA would mean “I’ll bet this is worked” from the media. They were convinced he was going to work the XFL until they saw how awful it was and knew nobody would fake football games that looked that sloppy.

        • Safari_Punch says:

          I’m not talking about the WWE being involved outside of loaning out Lesnar, collecting a fee and/or getting Mayweather for appearances in return,etc. and very much staying very much in the background. I’m sure Mayweather and Showtime would want to limit the WWE’s involvement to the very minimum if they were able to entice Lesnar into a fighting for them.

          Yes, Lesnar could potentially look bad against Fedor, but we have to remember that Fedor is nearly 39 years old and is not the same fighter. As long as Lesnar isn’t destroyed, it could be a win for all parties involved in terms of everyone making money. If Lesnar were to be demolished, you know he would play the diverticulitis card like how he did with Overeem, thus giving him a sympathetic exit (which was pro wrestling at its finest).

          I don’t think that Vince wants Lesnar as his top guy for very long as a part-time player, especially paying him at his current rate. If Lesnar does get demolished, it will only affect his next contract with the WWE and shift the leverage back to Vince.

        • Mark says:

          If they don’t do anything beyond let him do it, there’s no incentive for them when you run the risk of having Fedor do what he did to Sylvia by dominating him for a minute.

          Fedor definitely has had MMA pass him by, but so has Brock.

          Even if they did use the diverticulitis, it’s still going to be awkward when you have him come back to WWE in a month having Heyman screaming about what a killer he is. “Really? Because I just saw a 40 year old has-been beat the hell out of him?”

        • 45 Huddle says:

          I agree that the sport passed Fedor by.

          When he started his 3 fight losing streak, he was only 33 years old. Still prime years for a Heavyweight. I think the level of competition just got better and he couldn’t hang anymore.

          The thing about Fedor is that we really have no clue when the sport actually passed him by. From 2005 (post Cro Cop) and until he went to Strikeforce, he wasn’t really being tested by the best in the sport at that point.

  10. Diaz's packed bowl says:

    The thing about Fedor is… Hendo and Bigfoot were both rocking the trt juice at the time, and Herb stopped the Hendo fight too soon.Werdum is just that good and caught a full of himself at the time Fedor.
    Who really knows what Fedor is thinking now, he might just be replaying his beloved tom and jerry cartoon over and over again in his mind. But the fact is he would drop the current HW rouges gallery(which is littered with fedor’s previously crushed cans, like hunt, crocop, minotaro and arlovski) like targets in a carnival sideshow.

    UFC should go all in with the Fedor show. They already own his fights in pride strikeforce and affliction… so a best of Fedor and “the Fedor story” dvd are a must.
    Also Reebook might want to do a little exclusive 7 figure deal with Fedor as well. maybe do something that actually looks good?
    Fedor is the last of the upper crust, he’s still remembered as the meat of mma’s HW divisions pie. So regardless the time of his layoff, and he should be treated like royalty and a potential potent force. But is the UFC in a position to do that? They have a bad track record but im confident ufc can acquire the actual fedor this time around.

  11. 45 Huddle says:

    Stitch got let go for speaking out about the Reebok deal. And he wasn’t even that bad about it. Just spoke the truth in a nice way.

    • Jonathan says:

      I saw that, and frankly, I’m still in shock.

      How petty can they be?

      What happened to our sport guys?

      • 45 Huddle says:

        It really is petty.

        The sport has been replaced with soccer uniforms and guys on top who have thinner skin then almost anybody.

        The fighters are also to blame. None of them have the balls to do anything, even guys like GSP who had all of the power….

        • Diaz's packed bowl says:

          I hope Fedor signs with Bellator or just does another NYE.
          It would be great to see him fight some fighters under contract with ufc, but it would be sad to see him fight for the UFC.

          What a sleazy outfit that would fire the top cutman in the business for no reason whatsoever. UFC and its scummy mob boys have shown time and time again that it cares nothing for the welfare of its employees or contractors or whatever they are, they are just easy money marks in the eyes of their scumlord bosses.

          Memo from Dana to fighters…
          “Hey fuckers! that cutman that kept your face from falling off? we’re firing him, He’s fucking done here! You fighters can follow him if you don’t like it. What you need to understand is we are a multi million $$$ fucking company and you fuckers are our little fucking coin boxes!”

  12. chimp says:

    Fedor is a natural cruiserweight fighter.

    He is not going to fight at 205 any nicer than at heavyweight and probably worse actually. He is going to want to fight midgrade fighters or old well known PRIDE fighters.

    Bellator or ONE seem like good promotions for Fedor to fight for.


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