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Why the UFC should work with M1 (and why they shouldn’t)

Michael Rome (my blogger man-crush) is finally starting to turn me on … to the idea that the UFC is being stupid in refusing to work with M1 to make Randy/Fedor happen. By now you all know that M1 offered to do a co-promotion with the UFC but the UFC turned it down. Rome says that the downside of M1 doing this on their own is worth the UFC swallowing their pride and playing along:

Imagine this:   10 minutes into Sportscenter, the anchor interviews former UFC champion Randy Couture, who has succeeded in court against the UFC, and has now signed a 4 fight contract with a new startup organization.   He will fight Fedor Emelianenko, who many consider the best fighter in the world.   Randy goes on to put over the new group, and it is all over the news.

This is the only event that can really hurt the UFC at this point.   A co-promoted UFC show where M-1 is mentioned in the main event, Fedor is announced as a M-1 fighter, etc, really will do nothing for a company with no TV.   The only thing that can get them a meaningful deal is a contract with a big star like Randy Couture.

Of course, once I shake away the rose-tinted visions Michael weaves in my brain, I remember that there’s no way in fucking hell the UFC is going to let Randy Couture leave without giving them their two fights. If you ask me, it’s gonna be a Merchant of Venice-type situation, except instead of Jews getting fucked over it’ll be M1. The UFC will wait until things are announced, and then they’ll launch their court attack and totally fuck M1 over. Sure, they’ll look like massive cocks, but what’s worse … nice guys who lose Randy, or massive godzilla-like cocks who crush all competition?

  • Fightlinker Jackal says:

    Randy will never fight again for the UFC, and probably won’t fight again period.

  • dignan says:

    The answer, unfortunately, is massive godzilla-like cocks.

    The fact that we haven’t seen Fedor, Barnett, Gomi, Couture fight in quite a while is a shame.

  • TIGERTAO says:

    Bah Humbug!
    Bored of this topic now.

    Jackals have a fiendishly good Christmas wherever you are, I’m off to a tropical Island called Koh Chang (Elephant Island) to Sun myself whilst being soaked in pussy juice. See y’all in the New Year!

  • TIGERTAO says:

    Merry Christmas Ryan and Jake, I hope you both have a damn fine holiday you deserve it, best site on the net by far!

  • Mike Rome says:

    Well at least someone likes me!

    There will definitely be a legal battle. But really, it’s going to look really bad for UFC when all their mainstream coverage for months is just over a legal battle with a beloved champion. It really destroys the fan friendly image Dana has been trying to create for two years by putting cards on free TV, etc. Plus, who knows, they could lose, in which case they lose out on millions of dollars and give M1 a meal ticket to a TV deal.

  • Xavier says:

    The co-promoted show hurts the UFC more. If Randy goes on Sportscenter for two minutes talking about a fight with Fedor, that fight may generate 15,000 buys. If the UFC does a co-promoted show with M1 and Fedor beats Randy, two things happen…

    1. Fedor can claim to be the uncrowned UFC champion.
    2. All the UFC fans that watch every PPV, in bars, at homes, etc, will want to see Fedor fight. That means they will be buying M1 PPV’s, etc, etc.

    Both of those things would be disastrous to the UFC. Whoever this Mike Rome guy is surely doesn’t see the big picture. He thinks MMA gets tons of coverage in the mainstream media, but in actuality, it only gets a trickle. Couture isn’t going to get multiple days of coverage by Sportscenter in any meaningful way and most MMA fans aren’t watching Sportscenter each night anyways.

    Besides, the biggest negative? If Randy does get to fight Fedor in M1, it’ll be shitty production, a fucked up crappy ring, bad announcers, a crap venue and overall, include many things that will turn off anyone who likes the UFC to begin with. Even if Randy gets publicity for a hypothetical fight with Fedor in M1, vast majority of casual fans turning in won’t like the differences in these areas.

  • Higgz says:

    If M1 is serious and has the bankroll they are rumored to have, they should just schedule the fight and pay any lawsuits. That would never happen, but it sure would be a miracle on 34th street, eh?

  • Mike Rome says:

    Xavier, I think your concept of all fans instantly becoming interested in a company with no meaningful television and no big matches beyond the one that just happened is extremely unrealistic. The overwhelming likely response is that fans just keep watching UFC every month. Your also ignoring the strong possibility that Randy destroys Fedor, permanently putting M1 out of business.

  • Fred says:

    Michael Rose’s assumption is completely wrong. Randy’s never gonna take this to court, and he’s never going to try to defy the UFC. He’s going to sit out his year, and then try to put together the fight with Fedor. If he can do that, he’ll probably lose the fight anyway, and the UFC may very well come after Randy for some kind of breach of contract for not fighting out his remaining UFC fights. Randy is like a beaten dog in this whole thing. He just wants to get along with everyone and wants to cross his fingers that the Fedor fight happens in the distant future.

    As far as any UFC/M-1 partnership–it’s not smart to help your competition like that. M-1 is not PRIDE, and is not established. They need to show that they are a viable organization before the UFC even looks at doing something with them. Now, I’d like to see the UFC partner up with K-1. That would be great right now!

  • Xavier says:

    “Xavier, I think your concept of all fans instantly becoming interested in a company with no meaningful television and no big matches beyond the one that just happened is extremely unrealistic. The overwhelming likely response is that fans just keep watching UFC every month.”

    Precisely why your “Sportscenter nightmare” scenario isn’t realistic. It’s more realistic that a fan would want to watch a guy like Fedor who just destroyed Couture on a well produced typical UFC PPV than if they catch a one minute interview segment with Couture on Sportscenter.

  • Mobb Deep says:

    I agree with Xavier, even though I would like to see the fight, it would be a stupid business move and a huge risk on the UFC’s part. Also I highlty doubt that there will be any “mainstream coverage of a legal battle with a Randy. The UFC hardly gets any mainstream coverage as it is (Inside MMA doesn’t count cause no one gets HD Net). Moreover, most fans don’t give a shit about legal battles and don’t have any alternative to the UFC. Hardcore fans might hear about the legal battle and bitch about Dana, but we’ll still buy PPVs and watch TUF anyways cause we can’t help it.

  • Interestingly enough, what if M-1 holds the card in Europe or Asia, away from legal jurisdiction of the U.S.?

  • Dru Down says:


    Great question. Could they sue Randy for breach of contract? What was the resolution with the lawsuit against BJ Penn?

  • Xavier says:

    They could sue Randy for breach of contract, just as the WWE sued Lesnar for working in Japan.

    Of course, the Lesnar suit didn’t go all that great for McMahon and co., so it’s not a precedent Dana should bank too much on.

  • Wu Tang says:

    Well what ever happens happens. There may be a stigmatism that the US holds the best MMA that has to offer, but does it? Granted it is the only production of MMA that holds the spot light and attracts new talent, along with the top teir fighters, yet if the UFC keeps their noses high, away from anything that might be desaterious to their image, then they are doing nothingbut harm to themselves. I remember reading a joke that they pay more to their lawyers than their fighters, this may be true on a legal standpoint, yet is this the image that they want to create for them? Lets go back to boxing, boxing has alot of little productions and only a few big ones. There is no one staple place where a boxer wants to fight at their peak, HBO or Showtime. Say a boxer has a choise for one of these… And then theres another fighter, who claims to be top dog in the opposing production, what will happen? Big money!!! That is right, if both of these boxers were to fight, you would bet your ass that marketing would eat this up.. As long as they are known, which both of these productions can generate enough income sothat the fat fucks on top can reap the dividends for the rest of their lives! Yet, reputation plays a key factor here. Who cares if Fedor or Randy will get destoryed, that is why this match up would is promacing in the first place. Randy is known in the US, and by the US fans that were before the TUF age. While Fedor has been dominating in the MMA oversees for many many years. Back to where i amgetting at with my circle argument, UFC is currently top dog in the US, but does that mean they will be top dogs in the international scene? Either now or in the next 2-3 years? M-1 has many branches. Let me put it this way, if there is only one store in NYC that has alot of customers, yet a rival store just opened next door close to it, and that same exact store has also opened up in NJ, RI, MASS, TENN, WASH, HELL, you bet that your ass that little rival store will generate enough profits and credibility to derail their top rival… Iftheir product is appealing to generate customers…

    AKA. UFC better shape up and not worry about their lawyers and be more concerned about other things… Their fighters, their fighters pay, image of the UFC, ect ect.. if my writing made sense…

  • Well, this is very different. The WWE agreement with Lesnar basically said lesnar was never allowed to wrestle for anyone else. That’s an unfair agreement. The UFC is going to argue that they deserve their two fights and until Randy gives them their two fights he’s breaching contract by trying to fight for someone else

  • Michaelthebox says:

    Mike Rome: I think you’re badly overestimating how negative the press would be to the UFC. When Randy first announced his resignation, the entire internet fandom ripped into the UFC and supported Randy. As more information has come out, the UFC has been getting more support and Randy has lost support. While a court battle wouldn’t be good for anybody, a LOT of people would see the UFC as the good guys, and Randy as the bad guy.

  • ilostmydog says:

    Wu Tang: I didn’t find your argument very compelling or accurate.

    M-1 Global claims to have many branches and that they are going international, but is this accurate? Finkelstein’s original M-1 MFC only ever held events in Russia. They’ve yet to show that they can actually become a truly international organization, or more importantly, show that they can actually be successful and make a profit doing so. What they are talking about doing is completely on their part, and there’s no way to quantify whether they’re going to do a good job of doing it.

    As for the example of the stores, I think this would be a more accurate analogy: There’s a very popular store in NY that has many customers. A rival store has an ‘Opening Soon’ sign in the front window and has had this sign on for the past two months with no real updates on when they are actually opening. They say they’re going to open up in other states too, but there’s been no updates on those either. Two months ago they said they’d be releasing a full lineup of products (aka roster of fighters) fairly soon. Still, they’re only offering a single product (Fedor) and have produced no signs of getting more products to add to the lineup. Why would the store next door want to sell that stuff for them?

  • spike says:

    Dana is always saying the UFC has the best fighters, if that is the case set up the fight with M-1 and Fedor and lets see. Randy wins you are basically putting M-1 out of business if he doesn’t then I guess the UFC doesn’t really
    have the best fighters. Either you do or you don’t Dana which is it? It’s time to put up or shut up.

  • Well, he HAD the best fighters. Then M1 interfered and gave Fedor’s management carte blanche to do whatever they wanted and that caused Fedor not to sign, and then caused Randy to leave. So really, this is all M1’s fault to begin with, kinda sorta.

  • spike says:

    I gotta disagree FL, if Dana “HAD” Fedor this point would be moot. Since he never signed Fedor the debate rages on. They didn’t cause Randy to leave, Randy left because he was getting some bad advice. UFC called his bluff and he came off looking really really bad in all this. I would love to see this fight as much as anyone but I really wish Dana would just stop talking period. First time poster tonight, I gotta tell ya I have read this blog for quite some time now and you really crack me up. Keep up the good work. Merry Christmas!