Dana White’s recent announcement only supports the stance Zuffa claimed they would maintain while running the biggest MMA promotion since they purchased it from the Gracie family, back in the day.
Never before has a sport allowed the fans to have such a strong voice.
“The way that I see it and I say it all the time,” said Dana in a video uploaded on YouTube, “is that I work for you and try to put on the fights you want to see.”
“If you don’t think that’s fair enough then I’ll tell you what,” said Dana. “The co-main event between Lyoto Machida and Brian Bader and the main event between Shogun and Vera, the fighter that wins most impressively on Saturday night between the co-main event and main event, will get the title shot.”
Initially the winner of Maricio Rua and Brandon Vera was going to get a shot at the light heavy (LH) weight champ, Jon Jones, assuming he makes it past Dan Henderson of course. Personally I hated the idea. No one deserves a shot at Jones on a meager two fight win streak, especially if they already were completely outclassed by the man. To be fair, Jones is going to make the entire LH weight division look bad for as long as he competes in the sport.
Interestingly enough the fans were just as unhappy as myself, which led to the video below of Dana White changing up the light heavy weight race to the top just a little bit.
VIDEO COURTESY OF THE UFC..
All four men are top contenders in the LH weight division and all four have been handedly finished by Jon Jones. This is a true testament to the level of skill of Jones and shouldn’t take away anything from the next man to face him. If anything it provides us with a great fight card on Saturday.
Fight cards with high stakes are notorious for crushing the high hopes of excited fans. Sometimes fighters focus more on winning than what we pay them to do which is fight and who can blame them? For many of us it’s the price of a couple overpriced drinks in a crowded sports bar while painfully trying to avoid the Ed Hardy/Affliction wearing meat heads. For them its maintaining their legacy and putting their kids through college.
Luckily for us, Dana White seems intent on breaking the recent streak of lack luster fight cards by putting the LH weight division, and vicariously the rest of the UFC elite on call. If you want to fight big fights and make good money; fight.
On Sunday night we will see competitors enter the cage in the main events with more incentive to finish a non-title fight than ever before in the sports history in my opinion.
My Prediction: I believe Shogun will crush Vera, and will promptly earn the next title shot since that fight seems to be more of a lopsided ordeal than Bader vs. Machida. Crazier things have happened though. I’ve definitely been proven wrong time and again.