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> Monday, February 1st, 2010 > Sports > MMA parity is a bad thing
MMA parity is a bad thing
Click here to read more Interrobang articles written by Trent Williams
Published: Monday, February 1st, 2010
First it was PRIDE, then the emergence of EliteXC and Affliction, with several other MMA organizations popping up and then disappearing along the way. Now, Strikeforce the biggest organization out there, is attempting to challenge the UFC’s monopoly.
Strikeforce started out as a small time organization, putting on fights with relatively unknown fighters and it has turned into a power house with top fighters like Fedor Emelianenko, Dan Henderson and Jake Shields to name a few.
However, is this challenge to the UFC and their overbearing power on MMA supremacy a good thing?
Though healthy competition is typically considered a good thing; in this case, it’s actually the fans that lose out.
Sure, having two organizations means more fights, but in this day and age the interest lies more with quality then quantity of fights. With a handful of top fighters in other organizations, it makes it hard for fans to see the “best fights out there.” In some cases it’s alright, there’s hardly a welterweight or light heavyweight outside of the UFC that would pose a challenge inside the octagon, but that doesn’t hold true for all weight divisions.
For example, no one will ever know who the best heavyweight fighter in the world is until Emelianenko fights Brock Lesnar. While “The Last Emperor” is fighting with Strikeforce, he’ll be fighting B level competition, and though he has a flawless record, it will always be skewed because in recent years he hasn’t fought any top competition. This wouldn’t be the case if there were one major league that oversees all professional MMA (think the NFL, NHL, MLB, NBA etc).
It makes the most sense that the UFC would be this overall governing body for a union of all MMA. The organization has been around from the beginning and has the biggest fan base. Where the UFC is a brand, essentially UFC is MMA, Strikeforce is another organization that just hosts fights and it will never be considered legitimate while the UFC is still around. The way things work now is when fighters become “free agents” they are able to sign with whatever organization they want, and there is actually a lot out there, the only two that stick out though are the UFC and Strikeforce. Once those fighters decide where they want to sign and who offers the best opportunity for them, the talent of MMA fighters gets spread throughout the organizations essentially robbing fans of seeing the best fighters in the world fight each other on a regular basis.
In hockey, each and every player strives to reach the NHL; it’s the pinnacle of what a hockey player can reach, and for MMA to become the same way it has to be that way with the UFC. As fighters progress, the ultimate goal has to be to become a UFC champion. Sure, other championships and awards along the way are great but what’s going to make the sport even more legitimate and accepted is if there is one overall organization that professional MMA takes place in. It may be a silly dream or hope but for the next generation of the sport it’s what is going to have to happen for the growth and legitimacy of MMA to continue.