Monday, 15 June 2009
SIGNING WHILE THE FIGHT IS HOT
Recent news suggests that the M1 Global organisation may be willing to arrange Fedor Emelianenko a one fight deal in the UFC. The fight would be sometime after UFC 100, for the Heavyweight belt, against the winner of Lesner vs. Mir. As MMA fans we can speculate forever, but until the pen is put to paper, it is all just hypothetical. There has been much discussion and arguing about Fedor having a UFC contract. Demands from both sides about contact limitations and additional requirements, rights and wrongs on both sides and…….oh-God-please-lets-not-get-into-all-that-again. The back and forth bartering always takes time and weighs heavily on the premise that the star fighter in question will continue amazing form, so that dream match-ups are worthwhile. The outcome of all the fruitless negotiations meant that some of the super fights MMA fans have wanted to see have been denied to them, until eventually the match-ups begin to lose their lustre. I think it is more important to MMA fans, that there is a fight at all, regardless of contract. It is a given that the UFC would not accept anything less than Fedor being solely their property for the fight. They have no need to entertain the notion of cross promotion. A one off fight for Fedor with the UFC champion, followed by everyone going their separate ways, would at least give us one historical match-up while all competitors are still at their relative peaks. As MMA gets bigger it becomes easier for a fan to spot the potential super-fights, and also lament the ones that will never happen, or would happen too late. We will never see Kazushi “Gracie Hunter” Sakuraba face off against Rickson Gracie. The potential of Randy vs Fedor was scuppered early when Randy learned that the cash carrot offered to Fedor by the UFC was a bigger monetary vegetable than the one on his plate. He then threw himself out of the loop for such a long time that Brock became the much bigger draw. We were lucky to see Chuck against Wanderlei when we did. Both fighters had aged together, so they were able to put on a classic battle. Whilst their form has dropped since against other opponents, their fight lived up to the hype that had built for years. Shinya Aoki vs BJ Penn? I will have some of that unlikely scenario! I really hope Fedor does fight in the UFC while it is still relevant in terms of rankings. Although he seems unstoppable, he is only one loss away from reducing his value as the so called “best heavyweight in the world.” It would still mean great fights if Fedor came to the UFC following a loss. It would just not be THE great fight. And all eyes would then turn to “The Fedor Slayer.” And so on. And so on.