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Inside the Octagon


Dana White set to change the landscape of MMA for the next five years


UPDATE: I wrote this piece last Sunday, when the Dana White announcement rumors first surfaced. I got a little ahead of myself, and was pretty excited when I read the quote that Dana White will “change the face of MMA”. In order to do that, you have to be ready to make a pretty huge change in the game. Since that time, several more rumors came to light, including the sale of Zuffa to Dana and WWE, an action figure deal, Chuck Liddell vs Anderson Silva, Grand Prix tournaments, etc. etc.

The announcement is supposed to be made today, but there are more rumors floating around that it won’t be made. Regardless, I jumped the gun and got excited when I read that Mayweather may have signed with the UFC. here are some thoughts I jotted down immediately after that rumor surfaced.

Just when Gary Shaw thought he had one up on Dana White, Dana is apparently going to show the world why he is the king of mixed martial arts.

Dana White has rented out a hall to make a major announcement on Thursday. The announcement is set to change the landscape of MMA for the next five years.

In an interview with ESPN, White says:

“There’s something no one else has heard. You have no idea some of the stuff that we have planned. I’m going to make an announcement next week that is going to blow people’s minds. That deal is done, but my employees don’t even know yet. I’m renting out a place next Thursday and I’m going to tell them. Then we’ll make the announcement later that day. It’s an indicator of where this business is going over the next five years,”

Many MMA sites are not reporting about this announcement, because there is no concrete evidence of what the announcement will be. Many garbage filled pro wrestling newsletters are reporting that Floyd Mayweather has already signed with the UFC, but have no facts to back that statement up.

One garbage website boasts this headline:
“HUGE EXCLUSIVE: Mayweather signs with the UFC”

If you go on to read the article, it has no concrete evidence, nor ever mentions a 100% guarantee that Mayweather signed. I won’t even link to the site because they don’t deserve the traffic. If you look hard enough, you will find it.

Typically Dana White’s “huge announcements” aren’t very exciting. His last huge announcement was that Bud Light became a sponsor of the UFC. Obviously this is huge to the UFC, but I am sure it left many fans in the arena curious as to why they were still paying 9 dollars a beer. The casual fan doesn’t care about a corporate sponsorship.

Now obviously there is no announcement that warrants the UFC to rent out a hall other then to announce the signing of a huge superstar to the UFC. Since Mayweather has retired, it is not out of the realm of possibility that he has come to terms with Zuffa.

I’d be pretty excited if the UFC signed Mayweather, so here are my PURELY SPECULATIVE thoughts on what is to come on Thursday, and how the UFC will change the face of MMA.

As far as changing the landscape of MMA in the next 5 years, I think Dana White will also announce the introduction of new weight classes – a direct result of the possible Mayweather signing.1floyd09.jpg

Mayweather is retiring as the Welterweight champion boxing champion and according to the rules I have read, a welterweight boxer fights around 147 lbs . The closest division to this is the UFC lightweight division, which is 155 pounds. The problem is that Mayweather has boxer’s strength, and his physique shows it. Now obviously Mayweather is a machine. I’ve seen this guys training regimen. He is constantly training, but since he has been training for boxing his entire life, strength training has not played a significant role in his regimen. In MMA, wrestling plays a huge part in an athletes fighting arsenal. In order to be a good wrestler, you must have power.

Now the UFC has no division under 155 lbs. It’s cousin organization, WEC, does, but WEC does not air fights on PPV and they wouldn’t sign Mayweather just to throw him in the WEC.

I believe the UFC is going to implement new weight classes following the signing of Floyd Mayweather, if and when it happens, for the following reasons:

1) As already stated, I believe Floyd would have trouble dealing with the strength of the average lightweight fighter in the UFC, and if the UFC is going to protect any fighter it is going to be Floyd Mayweather.

2) Joe Rogan has repeatedly mentioned the need to introduce more weight classes in the UFC. He mentions it every PPV. Some fighters are cutting 20-25 pounds in one day in order to make weight. In the past year or so, we have seen an increased number of fighters fail to make the necessary weight. This weekend, Thiago Alves was 4 pounds over the 170 pound limit of welterweight status. A lot of fighters are struggling to make weight and they are attempting to fight at weight classes that are simply close to impossible to make.

3) The UFC has to have a championship fight every PPV. There have been a few instances where they had to scrap main event title fights because of injury and the replacement fight is not a title fight. This past weekend there was no championship fight and I am sure it hurt PPV numbers. When we are paying 45.00 for a PPV, we really need to see a title fight, not a last minute rush job or a fabricated grudge match.

4) Uriah Faber – This guy is rolling through every opponent they put in front of him in the WEC. The problem is he fights at 145 pounds, a division the UFC does not have. Faber has a huge fan base, has legitimate skills, and is quite personable. This guy is too good to be fighting on the versus channel and I think the UFC has finally realized this. He can make a lot of money for the UFC. The introduction of a 150lbs weight class and a 160lbs weight class would allow a guy like Faber to move to 150 and a guy like Sean Sherk to compete at 160.

Once again, these are purely speculative thoughts regarding the announcement on Thursday. Take them for what you will, and leave any thoughts or comments you may have.

One thing is for sure. I’ll take Floyd Mayweather over Kimbo Slice any day.

This entry was posted on Sunday, June 8th, 2008 at 11:52 am by lvollmer. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
Category: Dana White, Floyd Mayweather, Sean Sherk, sms, UFC, Uriah Faber




About this blog
Web programmer by day, practicing mixed martial artist at night, Larry Vollmer Jr. brings the latest news from the Ultimate Fighting Championship and the rest of the mixed martial arts world - a fast-spreading obsession on TV and online. These are the bouts - they occur in an octagon-shaped "ring" - that test men's souls.