It’s the second week of January but it’s not too late to make some New Year’s Resolutions. Here are some resolutions I’d like to see for the MMA world in 2018.
For the UFC– Quit treating the rankings as if they don’t mean anything. If the #1 contender isn’t fighting for the title, why is he (or she) the #1 contender? If the champion has already beaten that fighter and has cleaned out the division, so be it, but let’s not have a repeat of what happened to the UFC middleweight division in 2017.
For Bellator– If you guys want to keep having your freak-show, special attraction type fights, that’s fine. As long as the fighters aren’t in danger of dying or getting permanently injured. However, don’t make those fights the main events over title fights or fights involving people in their 20s and 30s. Nostalgia can be powerful, but you should also be focused on growing your business, not relying on old UFC retirees to bring in the ratings.
For Conor McGregor– If you don’t want to fight in the UFC anytime soon, I don’t blame you. You have to strike while the iron is hot. You have to get the money when and while you can. However, don’t string the UFC along. More importantly, don’t string the UFC lightweight division along. It’s been fourteen months since you won the UFC lightweight title and you haven’t defended it once. There’s contenders out there, too, it’s not like no one has a case. If you want to box and make a bunch of money, that’s cool. Vacate the title first, though. Or defend it, whichever you want to do. Don’t string the division along, though.
For Dana White– Try not to say stupid things. Don’t just say the first thing that comes to your mind, give yourself time to consider what you’re saying. You’ve done a lot of good things, but you also have a list of dumb stuff you’ve said that’s longer than your arm. In the new year, you should resolve to be more mindful of what you’re saying and the possible consequences of those statements. Whether it’s saying Floyd Mayweather is coming to the UFC or saying that Conor McGregor isn’t in danger of being stripped of his title, or saying that he knew that Georges St. Pierre would vacate the UFC middleweight title and drop back down to welterweight if he won that title. There’s a dichotomy with White, where he can be a good interview because he doesn’t give cliché answers, but other times he brings in controversy where there shouldn’t be any.
For the UFC– Be more dedicated to putting on the best cards possible. Whether that means putting on fewer events (the most popular choice probably), paying the fighters what they want in order to get them to fight more often, or just don’t allow champions to sit on the sidelines for months longer than they should, something should be done. It would benefit almost all sides, except the fighters who wouldn’t be on these weak cards if they got rid of some of them.
For Khabib Nurmagomedov– Whatever you were doing that made it where you only fought three times in 44 months, quit doing that. Injuries, bad weight cuts, etc.; some of that can be prevented. Maybe your training techniques need to be changed, maybe you need to bring in a coach solely dedicated to keeping you healthy, maybe you just need to carry a rabbit’s foot, I don’t know. Something needs to change, though, because you’re way too talented to have fought so infrequently.
For Cain Velasquez– See above
For Demetrious Johnson, Max Holloway, Stipe Miocic, and Cris Cyborg– Keep doing what you’re doing in the cage, but hire someone to be your full-time hype man. Or use one of your friends, it doesn’t matter. The point is, the UFC doesn’t seem to be as heavily involved in promoting you as they should; so, do it yourself. Get someone to run your social media accounts on a constant basis, someone who can provide a connection between you and your fans. Build your fanbase bit by bit. Sure, all those mentioned have the fighting style to be extremely popular, but they haven’t become as big as they should. They don’t have that Conor McGregor outsized personality and talking ability. You don’t have to have that to be a big star, though.
For myself– I’m going to try to be as positive as I can in the new year. We’ll see how it goes with that, hopefully well.
For everyone (including myself)– I would like to see everyone do their research and find out the facts before giving an opinion. There’s too many people out there who try to divide people and create strife. Seek the truth and don’t let anyone mislead and fool you.
Comments and suggestions can be emailed to me at email@example.com and you can follow me on Twitter at @hydenfrank
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