Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Game of Thrones Part 2: An Outlook and Perspective on the Direction of Combat Sports Entertainment Approaching 2012

This is part 2 of a three part series. Read Part 1 here. associate writer "Fight Pimp" offers an outlook on the good, the bad, and the ugly of the ratings wars between the big three in combat sports entertainment -- boxing, MMA, and pro wrestling.

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The House of the Octagon

King of the Octagon: Dana White
The most powerful and most hated man in the sport of Mixed Martial Arts has placed his league UFC at the top of the totem pole in the new sport of Mixed Martial Arts and has eliminated all serious threats of competition. His plan is simple…destroy all potential rivals handicapping the growth of the sport outside of the UFC. With their new position at FOX, this strategy has put them in the 'big time' and has rendered every other mixed martial arts league ‘2nd rate’ and obsolete within the perception of the mass audience. They’ve done such a great job that if you ask a person do they know what ‘MMA’ is they’ll scratch their heads. If you ask them do they know about ‘UFC’ you’ll get a resounding yes.

Lords of the Cage: The Brothers Fertitta
If you are familiar with the film trilogy ‘The Godfather’ you may remember a character by the name of Moe Greene. If you do, just know that Moe Greene gave the father of the Ferttita Brothers his first job…need I say more?

King of the Sword: Brock Lesnar
This man is the only fighter on the UFC roster capable of single handedly drawing one million plus Pay-Per-View subscriptions with his name on the Marquis. Brock Lesnar has ‘firemen carried’ maturing WWE fans that grew bored with the ‘PG Era’ of Wrestling over to the octagon of UFC. Sidelined with an intestinal illness at the age of 34, Brock may have very few good fights left. His return bout will be a ‘million-plus’ buy rate hands down. His ability to draw in the future will be based upon his wins. Going against 'The Demolition Man' Alistair Overeem is an MMA dream fight of colossal proportions akin to Godzilla versus Ghidra. Its a great way to end the year and close out on a high note.

King of Slumber: Georges St. Pierre
Here you have a classic case of a fighter gone Hollywood. He has the Hollywood look, with an elite set of skills combined with a freaskish aptitude of athletic brilliance in the talent department. In fear of tarnishing his brand he chooses not to engage with opponents in the cage. He’s content with ‘winning on points’ with the total non-display of “killer instinct”. His drawing power in decline although he is still undoubtedly the #2 guy in the UFC and in typical GSP fashion he is reluctant to engage in a ‘catchweight’ dream match up with the #3 guy Anderson Silva. We thought we were going to see him in a knock-down drag out war with Nick Diaz but that idea was foiled when Nick went AWOL like Ray Mercer. Carlos Condit is a good fighter but not the draw like Nick Diaz, Zuffa knows this and have elected to keep Diaz on the card placing him against BJ Penn that should be a legendary slug fest.

Most Powerful Force: Fox Network
99% of American Citizens have at least one television in their homes. 99% of working television sets (not the one on the bottom used as a prop to make the one on the top eye level) have FOX. Abundantly exceeding the homes that subscribe to Spike TV, need I say more?

Sacrificial Lambs: Cain Velasquez /Junior Dos Santos
So let me get this straight? FOX and the UFC are going to broadcast their first offering (for free) on the same night as Manny Pacquiao vs Juan Manuel Marquez on Pay-Per-View. General consensus is that if you shell out $60 bucks for a PPV, you’re going to watch the whole damn thing. In addition, UFC will be going up against the heart of BCS college football season with match ups like this…
  • Alabama vs Mississippi St. 
  • Oregon vs Stanford Miami vs Florida St
  • Florida vs South Carolina 
  • Auburn vs Georgia Texas vs Missouri
And a host of flexible possibilities formatted to draw in the highest numbers on CBS, ESPN and ABC….good luck with that homey.

The Threat of Doom: Federal Trade Commission, The Unions, TRT
The very same union that has kept UFC from becoming legal in the state of New York has filed paperwork to have UFC’s parent company ZUFFA investigated by the federal trade Commission under the auspices that the UFC is operating as a monopoly with unfair business practices. Secondly, fighters on the roster have been vocal about other fighters using ‘Testosterone Replacement Therapy’ ‘Human Growth Hormones’ and other performance enhancing drugs…that’s a land mine waiting to be stepped on. And Bob Arum will be happy to toss stones on the minefield as Zuffa straddles the thin strip of land on this issue.

The Threat of Pestilence: Fighters w/ HIV
And lastly the nuclear, landmine waiting to be stepped on is the revelation of fighters competing with Hepatitis A, B, C and HIV…our investigation has not been complete on this issue but will be wrapped up by November.

2011 Pay-Per-View Estimates to Date: 3,440,000

The Ace up the Sleeve:
They bought out the #2 MMA Promotion STRIKEFORCE, they made a landmark deal with FOX…there’s nothing left for them to do in 2011. All there cards have been played...unless they buy out Bellator.

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