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Bob Meyrowitz Still Doesn’t Get It

(Not Bob Meyrowitz, but close enough.)

Entrepreneur Bob Meyrowitz — who founded the Ultimate Fighting Championship in 1993 with his company Semaphore Entertainment Group before running it into the ground and selling it to Zuffa in 2001 — has emerged from obscurity to throw his hat into the cage once again. According to Dave Meltzer in the Wrestling Observer, Meyrowitz and leading event promoter Live Nation have signed a deal to start a new MMA promotion, with more details to follow in the next two weeks. Though Bloody Elbow argues that Live Nation’s network television connections give the yet-unnamed promotion an immediate leg up, we can’t help thinking that another addition to the MMA landscape would sink under a lack of available stars.

Meyrowitz’s first foray into MMA ended after he tried to market the UFC as the deadliest, most outrageous spectacle on pay-per-view; Dana White and the Fertittas proved that it could thrive if it was presented as safe, mainstream entertainment on basic cable. There’s no question that Meyrowitz will be taking cues from his disciples, but there’s more to launching an MMA organization than following the UFC’s lead. With all the nation’s truly talented MMArtists already signed to one promotion or another, Meyrowitz will have to cull unproven, inexperienced fighters to fill the ranks of his new show. Sure, that might be enough for the teenaged stoners looking for low-impact entertainment on Saturday afternoons — the same demographic that watches dudes jump around a halfpipe on Live Nation’s Mountain Dew Action Sports Tour on NBC — but for a new promotion to truly catch fire with MMA fans, it would need star power, or at least a large amount of undiscovered talent. If Monte Cox and Fedor Emelianenko can’t attract a decent talent pool, we don’t see Bob doing it either…

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