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“Pride Goeth Before The Fall” – Is The UFC Setting Itself Up For Failure?

The end of an empire?

While putting a negative spin on every piece of media that doesn’t involve social justice seems to be the thing for modern day media, we over here at Cage Potato have a genuine concern for the direction of the UFC. Hate it or Love it is the biggest and BEST promotion for MMA and has a concentration of talent that is unrivaled. However, with the recent going ons as well as trials and tribulations, the UFC is going to have to open up that iron fist if it wants to keep that title.

If you know anything about Machiavellian theory, the worst things you want to do is keep up multiple conflicts over a long period of time. With The recent start up of the MMAAA (Mixed Martial Arts Athletes Association), the UFC now has a considerable amount of fires it has to put out. Sure, the association may not go anywhere, but to a certain degree the fact that is has gained media attention shows that it has already won. It also a stepping stone for those who want to attempt a union in the future.

The fact that Bellator is gaining steam doesn’t help much either. Sure it helps in the scope of MMA as whole but for UFC it doesn’t bode well. With pioneers like Ben Henderson and Rory MacDonald making the switch, and homegrown talent like Douglas Lima, and Michael Chandler, the promotion is becoming more and more of a legitimate option. They actually pay fighters not named Conor McGregor.

Free agency is another beast that feeds into the Bellator option. With fighters like Lorenz Larkin and Ryan Bader up for grabs. UFC can’t play the take it or leave it game they’ve played in the past. Lorenz Larkin is an explosive prospect that could pay dividends in the future. Besides being an in octagon dynamo, he’s got a personality to boot. Not a big one, but if you listen to him he’s actually got something to say, a quiet confidence that could take off if promoted right.

“My management spoke with Bellator and they are very interested in talking with me,” he said. “That’s a good thing. And I know RIZIN is interested, too. I feel like there’s interest there.”

“If the promotion doesn’t believe in me, then what’s the point?” he says. “I’m kind of seasoned now. It’s not the thing I just want to be cool and tell people I fight in the UFC. That doesn’t do anything for me. Every fighter, they want a promotion to believe in them and believe they can do something and maybe put a little push behind you. I understand I won’t get pushed with everybody, but I feel like I have talent, I’m a fan-favorite to watch, I have an exciting style, I’m not boring in the cage, so my whole thing is, ‘use it.’

Bader, although always a bridesmaid, has made a good case for a pay rise. Stopping Ilir Latifi and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira in his last two fights, he manages to always stay in the top 5 in an otherwise paper thin division. Sure, he looked bad against Rumble Johnson, but he keeps improving and always puts himself in position. Could he eventually get the belt? In MMA you never know.

But besides free agency, the general consensus of the fighters seems to be one discontent. With Cole Miller recently posting about his lack of compensation due to the Manila card cancellation, Fabricio Werdum pretty much having a cold war with Reebok, and some of it’s most well known fighters starting an Athletic Association to get their needs met, the UFC’s position is less than ideal. Even strong leadership has to keep its citizens happy.

The new ownership is obviously more business minded, we get it. But you can’t keep cheesing with the Conor McGregor move and neglect the other fighters on the roster, and it’s starting to backfire. Multiple sources reported a less than ideal turnout for the TUF Finale 24 last saturday night even though it was headlined by their pound for pound Demetrious Johnson. While Entertainment might bring the fair weather fans, the backbone will always be the die hards. You have to start promoting the sport AS WELL AS the entertainment! You can’t rely on the pop from spectacles such as UFC 205 to keep the promotion afloat. UFC has to find a way to make the sport the lifeblood and the entertainment the cherry on top, instead of the other way around.

The stronghold the UFC had on the sport and its fighters seems to be a thing of the past. The real question is will the UFC give a little to get a little, or stick to their guns to the bitter end?

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