It looks like Monte Cox wasn’t joking when he said things would start moving quickly without the need to deal with any of those kooky Russian guys. In the days since the split, ‘M-1 Global’ has now become ‘Adrenaline’, Tim Sylvia and Ben Rothwell have been signed (hopefully REALLY signed and not just sorta signed like Fedor was), and a show has been announced for June 14th featuring Jeff Monson vs Mike Russow.
It’s really too bad that Monte Cox has spent the better half of a year looking like a clownshoe on behalf of M-1 Global. I remember when he signed onto the company he was the shining beacon of integrity, the main reason anyone actually gave the new company a chance. But now after everything that’s gone on, the shine has worn off this guy and he’s going to have to prove all over again that he can handle anything bigger than an amateur event at a steak & ribs house.
The other issue everyone is pointing to is how that whole “Conflict of Interest” thing played out. Both Sylvia and Rothwell are managed by Cox, and both of them have just made career moves that are good for Cox but questionable for their own careers. BloodyElbow reminds us that Cox “managed Ben Rothwell right out of the IFL Grand Prix”*, and you have to wonder about the sanity of anyone walking away from the UFC. While most of us are saying “Good riddance” to Tim, from a business standpoint he’s taking a huge risk.
Some people say it’s a fighter’s market out there, but in my opinion the market only comes to town twice a year if you’re lucky. How many ‘free agents’ are there sitting on the sidelines fighting once or twice a year in poorly matched events? At least with the UFC you were practically guaranteed 3 or 4 events a year against opponents of a decent caliber.
Anyways, while lots of people are screaming conflict of interest, I’m thinking the moves had just as much to do with what was going on in the fighters’ pea brains as with what Monte was pushing. Sign number one that you think you’re better than you are: calling out Fedor. And while Tim Sylvia has a right based on multiple championship wins and a career that spans years and years, Ben Rothwell is just some fat guy who did okay in the IFL. These guys obviously think they’re the best and should be treated as such. It will be interesting to see how that mindset fares in the ‘real world’.
*Re: Rothwell, it is also worth noting that the IFL made his participation in the Grand Prix contingent on his signing a new contract for this year’s season. So that fact does go a long way to justifying his decision to fuck off from that promotion.