Friend of our site


MMA Headlines


UFC HP


Bleacher Report


MMA Fighting


MMA Torch


MMA Weekly


Sherdog (News)


Sherdog (Articles)


Liver Kick


MMA Mania


Bloody Elbow


MMA Ratings


Rating Fights


Yahoo MMA Blog


Search this site



Latest Articles


News Corner


MMA Rising


Audio Corner


Oddscast


MMA Dude Bro


Sherdog Radio


Eddie Goldman


Liver Kick Radio


Video Corner


Fight Hub


Special thanks to...

Link Rolodex

Site Index


To access our list of posting topics and archives, click here.

Friend of our site


Buy and sell MMA photos at MMA Prints

Site feedback


Fox Sports: "Zach Arnold's Fight Opinion site is one of the best spots on the Web for thought-provoking MMA pieces."

« | Home | »

Why it is unlikely that Fedor is coming to the UFC

By Zach Arnold | June 30, 2007

Print Friendly and PDF

By Tim Leidecker

They call him the “Russian Emperor”, the “Baddest Man on the Planet” or “T-1000”. Russia’s Fedor Emelianenko is without a doubt the strongest martial artist of our generation, perhaps even of all time. Plus: He’s a free agent, at least sort of. After the collapse of Japan’s PRIDE Fighting Championship and subsequent sale to UFC owners Zuffa LLC., the contract extension the 30-year-old heavyweight champion signed with former owners Dream Stage Entertainment (DSE) in January is not worth more, than the paper it was printed on. As a result, a bidding war for Emelianenko broke out when his one fight deal with bodogFIGHT expired in April.

With UFC president Dana White’s bold exclamation of “we’re going to have them all” in allusion to all of PRIDE’s former champions and the promotion’s standing as clear-cut number one in the business, it would at first glance make sense for the #1 fighter to compete in the #1 league. There are a lot of factors why this “fairytale wedding” might still not happen. The first and foremost reason is that Fedor is not nearly as marketable enough to warrant his huge price tag. His last three-and-a-half years in PRIDE have earned him an excess of $6 million, (re-)signing fees and bonuses not included. His latest contract extension would have guaranteed him an estimated 120 million Japanese Yen ($1 milllion) per fight which would make him the highest paid fighter in the UFC by far.

After the fiasco with “Cro Cop” who was billed as the next big thing when he was brought into the UFC, Zuffa will have learned their lesson about signing a fighter to big money who is well-known in countries like France and Russia and a big star in places like Japan and Korea but virtually unknown stateside. And even if Zuffa decides to open their pockets just to cock a snook at the internet “smart marks” who have the audacity to doubt that the promotion is able to carry out their audacious plans, there are more obstacles for Dana White & Co. to dodge.

In the past, Fedor and his manager Vadim Finkelstein have always managed to put their whole team, Red Devil Sport Club, into the promotion, where Emelianenko was fighting at the moment. This not only paved the way for Fedor’s younger brother Aleksander to a career in Japan, but also gave lesser known and lesser talented Red Devil fighters like Ibragim Magomedov and Roman Zentsov the opportunity to fight in PRIDE on multiple occasions. When bodogFIGHT linked up with Finkelstein’s promotion M-1 for their first big show in Vancouver last December, the clever manager succeeded in getting no less than eight of his fighters onto the pay-per-view. Will something like that work with/in the UFC? I have my doubts, to say the least…

A valid point that cannot be underestimated is Emelianenko’s motivation at this point in his career? Is it money? Very doubtful with the payday he has earned and the modest lifestyle he his leading. Is it reputation? The man is hanging out with Russian president Vladimir Putin – it just doesn’t get any bigger than that! So what is it that still drives the “Russian Emperor”? He is quite simply a natural competitor. With the three greatest rivals of his generation (Coleman, Nogueira, Cro Cop) soundly and decisively beaten, Emelianenko is looking for new challenges. Challenges the UFC is, even though they have greatly strengthened their heavyweight division, still quite shy of. Nogueira, Cro Cop and Herring he has already beaten and even though many fans salivate at the thought of a fight between him and Randy Couture, I just can’t imagine “Captain America” to be up for this daunting task as he quickly approaches age 44.

This brings in rival promotions like bodogFIGHT and K-1. Both could offer Fedor a far greater amount of fresh matchups: bodog has the world’s greatest grappler in Roger Gracie and the “man-mountain” Antonio Silva under contract, while K-1 (HERO*S) has Bob Sapp, Jerome Le Banner, Hong-Man Choi and Brock Lesnar on their roster. Especially Fedor vs. Lesnar is a fight that could be a huge draw, both in Japan and the United States. And if that wasn’t enough, both promotions would still have the option to promote the highly anticipated super fight between Emelianenko and Josh Barnett, arguably the strongest American heavyweight right now and a fighter who is highly unlikely to ever do business with Zuffa again.

So, in a nutshell, signing with the UFC is a move that makes little sense, both from a promotional as well as the fighter’s point of view. There are just too many intangibles, which make this “marriage” a very risky one. What happens if Fedor, who has shown a great susceptibility to cut injuries in many of his previous fights, loses his first bout in the UFC on a doctor stoppage? That would equal the “destruction of capital”, to speak in economic terms. Sure, every fighter has to lose sometimes, but for Fedor to lose against an opponent he is supposed to beat with few problems, this would see his marketability, which isn’t that great to begin with (average physique, speaks little to no English, prefers a groundfighting style misunderstood by many UFC fans), plummet to less than zero.

You can visit Tim Leidecker’s web site by going to www.groundandpound.de for more information.

Topics: BoDog, Japan, Media, MMA, PRIDE, UFC | 44 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

44 Responses to “Why it is unlikely that Fedor is coming to the UFC”

  1. Chuck says:

    I agree with Nog, Cro Cop, Herring and Couture not being much of a match for Fedor. However, I would like to see him fight Vera, Gonzaga, and Arlovski. Let’s see if he’s still undefeated after that gauntlet.

    Brock is a free agent. Barnett is willing to do business w/ the UFC; he has said this in recent interviews. Roger Gracie and Lesnar are not ready for Fedor and would be defeated with relative ease. Hong Man Choi, lmao.

    Antonio Silva is the only guy in Bodog that could pose any kind of a threat to Fedor. According to the man himself, Bodog is out of the running for him and it is down to Zuffa and K1. Most recently Fedor’s web site reported that he is very close to signing w/ the UFC.

  2. MoreThanUFC says:

    Yeah, Zach. I dont get the comment Barnett is unlikely to do business with Zuffa. On LatinBoxing.com I think, I they interviewed him after 71 and he said he would happily fight in the UFC again. After the ADCC, he had dinner with a UFC rep ( read lawyer ) about a possible return, though I never got that confirmed by a second source. FYI and FWIW.

  3. Zach Arnold says:

    I never said anything. 🙂

    Barnett is likely facing Kurt Angle soon for IGF. They planted the seeds for that angle today.

  4. Lynchman says:

    Yes, the comment about Barnett could not be more incorrect.

    Josh stated that he showed up at UFC 71 without tickets and Dana put up front.

    He said he had a conversation with him and the Fertittas that would a good one.

    He also said he could certainly see working with them again, once his contract expires with DSE.

    Another point: Brock Lesner is a free agent. His contract was for one fight only.

    And after Sapp’s latest beatdown, is anyone really looking to see him compete again?

  5. D. Capitated says:

    This is ridiculous.

    -Calling MMA fans “smart marks” is the legit dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. You know, one of these days, Dana will have to submit to some independent criticism at the highest level. The idea that every sports writer covering the MMA beat isn’t going to know about Fedor is ridiculous.

    -Barnett is a non-draw in this country, no matter how good he is, and he’s unlikely to ever become one. No one cares about his promos, and being a giant japanophile isn’t going to appeal to anyone who would actually watch a fighting sport. He and Fedor do 40,000 buys tops for Bodog unless something drastically changes with their TV deals.

    -There’s enough talent right in the UFC to very much offer challenges to Fedor. There’s also enough talent outside the UFC to very much offer challenges to Fedor. Either way he’s fine. He has nothing to worry about historically. He’s Fedor. He’s the champ. If someone wants to knock him off the pedestal, they have to beat him, not the other way around.

    -Competition? Pffff. Fedor wants to amass a fortune. He cares chiefly about money, which is why he hasn’t already signed to the UFC for something like $200,000 a fight and 2% of buys. The writer himself acknowledges how much Fedor was to make for PRIDE and briefly touches on Fedor’s value to Bodog.

  6. chairibofjustice says:

    While I appreciate the fact that must have take a little time to write, I don’t agree with Tim’s analysis at all.

    Instead of theorizing about Fedor’s motivations, wouldn’t have been more practical to just interview the man? I know it would have been far more interesting to hear from the man himself rather than Tim’s conjecture.

  7. Fred says:

    chairibofjustice has appreciated the correct! Tim’s analysis is poor. Witness the following quote:

    “And even if Zuffa decides to open their pockets just to cock a snook at the internet “smart marks” who have the audacity to doubt that the promotion is able to carry out their audacious plans, there are more obstacles for Dana White & Co. to dodge.”

    …..the above quote has got to be one of the dumbest, most pretentious things seen on an MMA site. LOL. The Fertittas and Dana are actually sitting in a conference room at Zuffa headquarters; scratching their heads and saying: “Lorenzo: how can we f**kin’ cock a snook at these online posters?? I know! Let’s shell out the money to get f**kin’ Fedor! That will show those online guys!”

    The other point in Tim’s article which is completely stupid is the idea that Fedor can find “new challenges” outside of the UFC. Fedor himself has said how much he respects Randy. Fedor has to be aware of fighters like Gonzaga and Vera. NOG is still the recognized #2 in the world. Cro Cop gave him a great fight before. Fighting Rulon Gardner, Antonio Silva, and Roger Gracie (an MMA novice) is not even in the same league in terms of competition. What a joke!!

    I’m not familiar with Mr. Leidecker, so my apologies if he’s actually an expert on MMA; but judging from this article, he’s not worth reading.

  8. Boog says:

    I’m with chairibofjustice in saying this analysis is lacking.

    Tim posits that Fedor’s motivation at this point is the challenge of fighting the best, and then argues that’s a reason why he WOULDN’T sign with the UFC?

    Utterly absurd. The UFC has the dominant heavyweight division right now. Tim writes about Fedor seeking a “challenge” in one breath and then writes the names Hong-Man Choi, Jerome LeBanner, and Bob Sapp in the next, presumably without irony.

  9. 45 Huddle says:

    This has no substance.

  10. Jeremy (not that Jeremy) says:

    Cro Cop getting knocked out by Gonzaga probably isn’t a fatal blow to his career (although, I gotta say, I always get a charge every time I get to see the guys down the road in Ludlow or up the road in Boston win ;)). He’ll bounce back and go on a nice little win streak here. It’s not like he has a spotless record.

    Hopefully he’ll take it as motivation and redouble his efforts.

  11. Michaelthebox says:

    Everybody above me already pointed out that the UFC has much better competition for Fedor than freakin Antonio Silva and company.

  12. Ultimo Santa says:

    Dana White says he pays less, but fighters should want to come to the UFC and build their legacy anyway. That’s absolutely disgusting.

    Every time I see $3,000 payouts I get sick to my fucking stomach. Especially since after each PPV Dana runs to any reporter who will listen and brags about the milti-million dollar gates, and the tens of millions he’s making from PPV revenue.

    D. Capitated:

    Cares only about amassing a fortune??

    Fedor deserves $300k – $500k a fight – minimum. He’s the best in the world and should be paid accordingly. Dana White will likely not pay him this, so Fedor will fight where he can get paid fairly and save money for his future. Who can blame him?

    Barnett is a non-draw? No one will care about his promos?

    Give me a f’ing break. Just like “no one cares” about Ortiz and Shamrock’s promos? It made them legends! EVERYONE, including you, cares about promos, because they sell fights – period.

    Give Josh Barnett a mic and some air time and I guarantee he’s the #1 draw in the UFC within 6 months.

  13. PizzaChef says:

    Just hear say from another forum. Appearantly on Fedor’s website months ago he answered some people’s questions. I read the Q&A session, and one of them was about the UFC/PRIDE thing. If I remember correctly, Fedor said SOMETHING on the lines about a bit of a small fiasco with Zuffa over the PRIDE belt. But he said they settled it and that the belt is in his room or office or something…..

  14. D. Capitated says:

    Cares only about amassing a fortune??

    Fedor deserves $300k – $500k a fight – minimum. He’s the best in the world and should be paid accordingly. Dana White will likely not pay him this, so Fedor will fight where he can get paid fairly and save money for his future. Who can blame him?

    Exactly. So then, you argue my point. Its not about competition, its about paying him money. Who pays him the most gets him, not who has better opponents. Who really thinks that Hong Man Choi or Bob Sapp are better opponents than Vera or Gonzaga? That history would define him in a better light by beating Mighty Mo instead of Couture?

    Barnett is a non-draw? No one will care about his promos?

    Yeah. Barnett didn’t draw squat for PRIDE in the US before, and he was UFC Heavyweight champion for a single fight during one of the darkest periods for the promotion. He’s a non draw. Not only that, he’s a giant fucking dork with a spare tire around his stomach. Watching some dude talk about Kenta Kobashi and quote Fist of The North Star will garner ZERO buys. He doesn’t look any better physically than Tim Sylvia, even if he is more entertaining while in the ring. People overrate Barnett’s ability to sell himself to the American people because he’s a puro fanatic/japanophile like them, and no one who isn’t looks at the guy and thinks “breakthrough mainstream American star”.

    Give me a f’ing break. Just like “no one cares” about Ortiz and Shamrock’s promos? It made them legends! EVERYONE, including you, cares about promos, because they sell fights – period.

    Shamrock and Tito were already draws at that point. When Barnett was a nothing and nobody, Tito was the backbone of the UFC holding it together. Ken Shamrock is Ken Shamrock. Josh Barnett wishes he had a quarter the drawing power of Ken Shamrock.

    Give Josh Barnett a mic and some air time and I guarantee he’s the #1 draw in the UFC within 6 months.

    LOL

  15. Ultimo Santa says:

    LOL?

    FU.

    Barnett is not only American, he’s top 5 in the world, and cuts a better promo than anyone else in MMA. You think UFC fans WOULDN’T get behind him? Give him some air time and he’s money in the bank.

    You know nothing. Which makes you WORSE than a “giant fucking dork”. It makes you an ignorant giant fucking dork.

    Have a great weekend.

  16. D. Capitated says:

    He’s a big lumpy white guy who says a ton of nerdy stuff that other nerds gravitate to. He was never a giant draw in Japan or in the US, and likely never would be. He certainly had his chance, and when it came down to it, he was never able to pull it off. He does make lots of allusions to pro wrestling though, and the smark converts to a real sport love that crap. The people who actually watch MMA and make it get these 1,000,000 buy shows don’t give a crap about that. They don’t know who he is, they’d think he would look a mess like Sylvia or Buentello, and they’d care about as much for him talking his trash as they would Joe Generic Fighter.

    Who is he going to beat that’s going to make him this huge star? Oh wait, you must think promo ability is what counts in sport where people actually compete to win. Yeah, I’m sure after he chokes out Pendergast or Carmelo Marrero and then gives his super duper promo, the press will be knocking his door down. The US crowd cares significantly more about Fedor, and he barely matters in the mindframe of the casual MMA fan.

  17. MMA Game says:

    The UFC has the most legit test for Fedor and I can’t believe knowledgeable people are arguing otherwise. Gonzaga, Arlovski, Vera, Werdum, Chuck, Randy – that’s a far more creditable list than any other promotion can put forward. It’s certainly far more noteworthy than Lesnar, Hong Man Choi and Sapp! Christ.

  18. 45 Huddle says:

    Last time Barnett was fighting in the UFC, the fans booed him. They couldn’t stand his chubby body and his corny talking.

    The UFC is the ONLY place with a fresh level of top talent for Fedor.

    Let’s say Gonzaga beats Couture… Which is likely. If he does, then he will be Top 3 in the world (I have him ranked #3 already). That is a big test for him. Bigger then anything outside of the UFC.

  19. Diamond Dave Williams says:

    D. Capitated, promos aside, if Barnett defeats the yop of the UFC heavyweight pecking order, the American fans would likely jump on his bandwagon. As far as the Fedor situation, which fighter out there would not jump at the opportunity to make the most of their skills. The sport is about the fighter first and the promotion second. I would suggest that Fedor’s people could set up a high priced fight with Fedor and the opponent with the highest ranking that is not in the UFC. If or when Fedor would defeat the fighter in this event, he could legitimatly call out the UFC HW champion which could force Dana White into sending the UFC champ to fight Fedor on Fedors terms or shoot down the UFC “legacy” for having the Best fighters in MMA.
    Fedor Emelianenko is that one fighter out there right now that has the potential to steer MMA into a fighter VS fighter sport and the not the fighter that is forced to fight someone strictly because they fight within a certain promotion. Did anyone take notice in which promotion that the Mayweather vs De La Hoya fight was under? The fans only cared about the fight itself and the relevancy of who was the promotor was moot.
    If any fan out there wants to be treated to the best vs the best, they must keep supporting the game and hope that the UFC either loses its grip on its monopoly or that more top fighters like Fedor Emelianenko continue to break free from multiple fight contracts to one organization and seek the high paying mega fights on their own.

  20. YouTapped says:

    Good article with a few flaws as being pointed out here in the comments section. Nonetheless I can’t understand how some argue that the UFC indeed would have the bigger challenges than K-1 HERO’s and the Alliance or bodog right now.

    “Gonzaga, Arlovski, Vera, Werdum, Chuck, Randy – that’s a far more creditable list than any other promotion can put forward.” Gonzo is a legit challenge, I’ll give you that. But Arlovski isn’t his old self anymore and Werdum needs many more fights to get used to the cage (and probably the fans). I saw him in the netherlands and I was shocked of his poor performance against AA. Vera is on his way to the LHW division, Chuck has other problems on his hands right now and Randy can hardly be called “a fresh” challenger. People who’ve been following Fedor’s career want no match more desperately than Fedor-Barnett or a possible Fedor-CroCop II, which probably will never happen with the retirement plans in Team Cro Cop.

  21. MMA Game says:

    YouTapped… who is this supposed bigger test please? That’s all.

  22. YouTapped says:

    As stated a couple of times now: Josh Barnett. Who’d you suggest?

  23. MMA Game says:

    So one guy? I already gave my list of NEW people from the UFC he could face. Whichever org he signs with he will be with for a couple of years. How many times do you want him to face Barnett? Anyway, as has been stated, Barnett may well be signing with the UFC afterall.

    Here’s the MMAWeekly top 10 heavyweights.

    #1 Heavyweight Fighter in the World: Fedor Emelianenko
    2. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira UFC
    3. Mirko Cro Cop UFC
    4. Josh Barnett ?
    5. Randy Couture UFC
    6. Gabriel Gonzaga UFC
    7. Tim Sylvia UFC
    8. Andrei Arlovski UFC
    9. Fabricio Werdum UFC
    10. Aleksander Emelianenko – can’t fight his brother

    I seriously can’t believe anyone thinks there are better challengeS outside the UFC. Anyone who does must be a massive MMA snob.

  24. Jeremy (not that Jeremy) says:

    Profile, legacy, competition, however you want to put it, Fedor and UFC legitimately need each other. There’s going to be a point that will come to pass, though, where Fedor’s profile will drop if he’s not fighting people who are arguably the best in the world. Somewhere in between now and then, Fedor’s price tag and UFC’s wallet will arrive at the same dollar amount.

  25. Andrej says:

    Heavyweight is loaded in the UFC right now! How could anyone forget who will be heavyweight champion at the end of the year in Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira!!!
    Fedor Emelianko would be great in the ufc right now with there packed house (Cro Crop, Big Nog, Gonzaga, Andre Arlovski, Werdum, Couture, Tim Sylvia, Brandon Vera, Jake O Brien (if he still fight’ s again).
    Fedor’ s best fight out there that is not in the ufc is Kurt Angle (moneymaking wise) a huge popular American pro wrestler vs an mma champion. Now that will sell I Think don’t you????

  26. Michaelthebox says:

    Wow, Diamond Dave Williams. Are you pointing to boxing as a model as to how promotions should work? I think it would be a disaster if it ever became solely about the fighters.

  27. steve says:

    “and being a giant japanophile isn’t going to appeal to anyone who would actually watch a fighting sport.”

    Actually I’ve watched every UFC for a year with a bunch of huge anime nerds. I agree that even mentioning the “Japanophile” thing wouldn’t be a good idea because those people are a minority in the U.S. but I’m just pointing out that nerds like violence too.

  28. D.Capitated says:

    D. Capitated, promos aside, if Barnett defeats the yop of the UFC heavyweight pecking order, the American fans would likely jump on his bandwagon.

    He’s fought two guys in it already and lost to both of them in his last contests with them. He lost to one of them three times.

    Fedor Emelianenko is that one fighter out there right now that has the potential to steer MMA into a fighter VS fighter sport and the not the fighter that is forced to fight someone strictly because they fight within a certain promotion. Did anyone take notice in which promotion that the Mayweather vs De La Hoya fight was under?

    This is the most nonsensical thing I’ve ever heard. Any fighter who breaks through into being a major superstar can do it as long as their contract comes up while they have the title. Its a matter of timing, and its an inevitability.

  29. D.Capitated says:

    Wow, Diamond Dave Williams. Are you pointing to boxing as a model as to how promotions should work? I think it would be a disaster if it ever became solely about the fighters.

    It is solely about the fighters. Isn’t that patently obvious?

  30. Michaelthebox says:

    Why would that be patently obvious?

  31. Well he names all the fighting organisations he has worked for in the past (Pancrase, K-1, Inoki) and states that he got along very well with all of them, except for one: The UFC.

  32. D. Capitated says:

    Why would that be patently obvious?

    Because they’re the ones in the ring? They are the commodity and they are the stars. You take Randy Couture out of the UFC tommorrow with his belt and he’s still gonna sell a bazillion PPVs. He’s there because Dana offers him the best chance at making huge money. That will not always be the case.

  33. zeroecho says:

    When are you people done using randys age against him? I was done counting randy out back at liddell vs couture 1. I suspect he will be the underdog due to age even if he does continue to beat the best.

  34. YouTapped says:

    @MMA Game

    #1 Heavyweight Fighter in the World: Fedor Emelianenko
    2. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira UFC – defeated
    3. Mirko Cro Cop UFC – defeated
    4. Josh Barnett ? – not fought yet
    5. Randy Couture UFC – lets see how long he sticks around after RC-GG
    6. Gabriel Gonzaga UFC – good matchup
    7. Tim Sylvia UFC – lol
    8. Andrei Arlovski UFC – subpar performance against Werdum
    9. Fabricio Werdum UFC – subpar performance against Arlovski
    10. Aleksander Emelianenko – can’t fight his brother – you are right

    So basically the only really competition out there that’d be fresh and someone new would be Gonzaga. Arlovski and Werdum both have not been very impressively lately, except for Werdum-Emelianenko, but to be honest, Aleksander did not looked really focused in that fight as it was a minor org and nothing was on the line career-wise.

    And if I had to decide if I wanna see Fedor-Gonzaga or Fedor-Barnett, then I’d chose the later one.

  35. D.Capitated says:

    I don’t get why people have such a hard on for ranking Barnett AND Cro-Cop over Gonzaga, considering that, you know, he just KOed Cro-Cop brutally.

  36. chairibofjustice says:

    Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira at 2? Oh hell no.

  37. D.Capitated says:

    Noguiera is as good a choice as exists. He has a win over Cro Cop in their only bout, as well as the fact that he got the W over Barnett last time out. You can’t slot Barnett, Cro Cop or Couture over him based on recent results. Gonzaga doesn’t have the large career to put him at #2 either. I see it as justified.

  38. MMA Game says:

    YouTapped… OK, so how many times do you want him to fight Barnett??? One challenge which you prefer does not mean signing to some half arsed promotion is the better plan.

    As for the rest of your analysis, that’s just your biassed opinion. Couture, Sylvia, Arlovski, Werdum and Gonzaga are all top 10 guys who Fedor hasn’t faught. Simply by definition they will therefore be better test than anyone else outside the UFC (other than Barnett), because if X fighter was a better test, THEY would be top 10.

    @ D. Capitated

    NOBODY could leave the UFC and sell anything over maybe 200k ppvs tops, I don’t think. I don’t know the numbers of any other promotions other than the UFC but I think they’re all less than 100k, including Pride feat Fedor. Am I wrong??? Anyone? Fact is you stick with what you know because it’s easy… and people know the UFC.

  39. D. Capitated says:

    NOBODY could leave the UFC and sell anything over maybe 200k ppvs tops, I don’t think. I don’t know the numbers of any other promotions other than the UFC but I think they’re all less than 100k, including Pride feat Fedor. Am I wrong??? Anyone? Fact is you stick with what you know because it’s easy… and people know the UFC.

    People know the fighters in the UFC because its the most visible organization. The UFC can’t just produce anything and sell 700,000 PPVs, and you and I both know it. Without star power, the UFC is screwed. I’d be shocked if Franklin/Okami did more than 350,000, and frankly I expect significantly less than that. If Randy Couture, Chuck Liddell, or Matt Hughes left and self promoted (at least in part) a show they headlined, they would do a more than adequate number. You can’t have MMA blowing up without the fighters blowing up and becoming stars, and the public and media isn’t going to be so stupid as to not cover a major superstar leaving the UFC for more money. Again: There are those who are delusional nonsports fans and would compare this to Kurt Angle leaving the WWE, and there are those who think of Dr. J giving legitimacy to the ABA (ultimately allowing it to merge with the NBA) or Mike Tyson shifting from HBO to Showtime.

  40. MMA Game says:

    Of course the UFC isn’t going to sell shit loads of PPVs without stars but that’s a COMPLETELY different point all together. Even if the biggest star in the whole of MMA (Chuck Liddell) left the UFC, I reckon he’d only pull 250k PPVs tops in any other org.

    People are lazy. People are apathetic. People might like stars but unless this imaginary other org spent millions on advertising, they would NEVER just stroll into PPV numbers the level of the UFC.

  41. D. Capitated says:

    Of course the UFC isn’t going to sell shit loads of PPVs without stars but that’s a COMPLETELY different point all together. Even if the biggest star in the whole of MMA (Chuck Liddell) left the UFC, I reckon he’d only pull 250k PPVs tops in any other org.

    People are lazy. People are apathetic. People might like stars but unless this imaginary other org spent millions on advertising, they would NEVER just stroll into PPV numbers the level of the UFC.

    I think you’re completely and totally wrong. The idea that people hold their brand affiliation more strongly than the fighters they follow is ridiculous, and that the media would help to perpetrate such a myth equally so. Chuck Liddell vs. Matt Lindland or Fedor Emelianenko does 350,000 buys minimum without the UFC. No doubt in my mind. Saying people are apathetic is not a legitimate criticism here, as they obviously do care about particular fighters and only when those particular fighters are involved, thus explaining why you have as many households buying Chuck Liddell fights as watch TUF 4’s finale or UFN, and not that same number buying Anderson Silva headlined PPVs.

    The guys outside the UFC don’t have any headlining UFC talent right now, and are trying to scratch by without the guys that have been built by what is seen as the premier organization in the US. When one becomes available and does defect for the money, we’ll revisit this argument. I’d have no problem betting money on the success of such a venture if the star is big enough.

  42. MMA Game says:

    Liddell vs Lindland? Come on! To me that just shows that you don’t understand the situation. The majority of PPV buyers now don’t even know who Matt Lindland is! You don’t seem to understand the difference between hardcore fans and the people who make up the majority of the PPV audience.

    People buy things because they are told to. Then once they’ve bought it once, they buy it again just because they bought it before and it was good. To get “them” (the mass market fan) to buy something new it has to be
    a. socially acceptable / cool
    b. easily accessible
    c. heavily promoted

    To get massive PPV numbers you need to get an entire group of friends to want to buy it – not just one person. If one guy in a group wants to watch it, he then has to convince all his friends to buy it too… That’s the point – it’s a massive job to convert entire groups of people and that is something you can’t just do over the course of one event – not on PPV at least!

    Anyway, just as a general point you’re saying Chuck vs Fedor does 350k outside the UFC. Well inside the UFC it would probably do 1.5million, so doesn’t that kinda prove the point?

    If a big star does defect to e.g. Elite XC, that star will build the brand of Elite XC with them as the star and eventually people will say “you wanna get the Elite XC card this weekend?” – that’s just the way the sport works. People have grown to expect a nice card, so they’re not suddenly going to just start thinking about one fight just because one person leaves the UFC… If the UFC suddenly started doing 1 fight cards they might but they won’t, so any new promotion will be judged on the strength of the CARD, simply because that is how the brand leader works.

  43. D.Capitated says:

    Liddell vs Lindland? Come on! To me that just shows that you don’t understand the situation.

    I completely understand the situation. Almost no one bought Liddell/Jackson II because of Quinton Jackson. Hell, about 250,000 people bought Liddell/Horn II a year before the UFC really hit its stride on PPV. Chuck Liddell is a major draw. He’s the guy ESPN has on their network representing MMA on their “Who’s Now” poll. If Chuck left right now and went to anyone anywhere, it would be a huge deal for the media and they’d make big money.

    People buy things because they are told to.

    No they don’t. They buy things they’re interested in. You can try to sell total boring crap to the consumer dressed up as something nice, but rarely does it work. You say they buy things because they’re supposed to? So where were they when UFC 67 and 69 were going on? Where’s the monster buyrates?

    To get massive PPV numbers you need to get an entire group of friends to want to buy it – not just one person.

    You think UFC headlined by Evan Tanner, Sean Sherk, and maybe Shogun is an easier sell than Chuck Liddell outside the UFC?

    Anyway, just as a general point you’re saying Chuck vs Fedor does 350k outside the UFC. Well inside the UFC it would probably do 1.5million, so doesn’t that kinda prove the point?

    I don’t think it does 1.5 million in the UFC because Fedor is a nondraw in the US. However, that’s not the point. Total buys means dick to the athlete if he’s not getting paid accordingly. If I was fighting for a living, and had the choice of $80K guaranteed and 2% of PPV buys or $5 million guaranteed, you know what I’m picking? The larger guaranteed number. But you’re not thinking like that for whatever reason. Sure, the UFC may one day do a 2.15 million buy number like Floyd/Oscar. Will either of them get paid like Floyd and Oscar were?

    If the UFC suddenly started doing 1 fight cards they might but they won’t

    They practically already are. What’s the difference between what they do and what HBO or Showtime has done for 20 years with their PPVs?

Comments

*
To prove you're a person (not a spam script), type the security word shown in the picture.
Anti-spam image