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The new landscape of mixed martial arts

Dana White’s latest Tweet

I’m here to gloat, ladies and gentlemen. About Fedor’s loss? Oh reader, you know me so well but you don’t know me at all. I’ve had Fedor as the #1 heavyweight on Earth sine I got into the sport. He’s incredible. I don’t like his management and I don’t like parts of his resume, but none of that caused me to disrespect the man’s resume. He is still a top five heavyweight, and I would watch him fight the winner of Werdum/Overeem. No, I’m here to gloat about the fact that the aforementioned parenthetical will sell about 80,000 Pay Per Views. Tonight was the end of more than one era.

There will never be a #1 ranked fighter outside of Zuffa’s umbrella ever again. The consistent arguments for co-promotion – dispersed talent, ambiguity as to who was really the best – are now nullified. As of July 3rd, the #1 heavyweight (Lesnar/Carwin), light heavyweight (Shogun), middleweight (Silva), welterweight (GSP) and lightweight (Edgar/Penn/Florian/Maynard) in the world will be in the UFC. The #1 135er and 145ers will be in the WEC, though I’d like to see Warren and Fernandes there, among others. There will never be another debate over who is #1 at a weight class – it will be whomever holds Zuffa’s belt.

That’s huge. It’s never been that way in a combat sport, let alone mixed martial arts. We’re going to get superfights, relevant divisional stylistically appealing match-ups, fighters are going to make more money and be more popular, and the mainstream media will find it easier to follow one league instead of many. People may call my gloating premature and fret over what Zuffa domination will do to/for the sport. These people are wrong. I am right. And time will show by just how wide a margin.