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OTHER ITA SITES:
Can Mixed Martial Arts Survive With Only One Big Show?
I could feel a movement in the force.
Seriously, I felt like Luke Skywalker detecting Darth Vader. Except this time it was Dana White buying Pride FC.
And to be fair and accurate, it was Dana White using the Fertitas Brothers money to buy the struggling Japanese promotion.
It has the underground MMA forums buzzing. Can MMA survive with only one big show?
It's amazing how a group of pimply-faced teenagers pretending to be adults on an anonymous chat forum can stir up so much testosterone. The arguements ranged from geo-political, to criminal (the Yakuza!), to the conspiratorial, to invoking the RICO act and jailing White for his crimes against humanity.
At the end of the day, there is truly only one threat to MMA.
If you watch reruns of Pride FC on Fight Network, or old K-1, or ancient UCC from Quebec, you get to peer into a time machine to the earlier days of this sport. I saw the Butterbean vs Gomi match the other day. The first time I saw it I laughed. You'd never see a 350 pounds man vs a 150 pound man in the UFC. Or would you?
But the novelty of the match wore off super quickly. And frankly I can't watch it again because I know how it ends. There is no dazzling displays of skill, technique or MMA wizardry.
There is a place for David vs. Goliath freakshow matches...but that place is rapidly shrinking.
What match do YOU want to see? Butterbean vs. Gomi or George St. Pierre vs. Matt Hughes Part two? I blew out a tonsil screaming for GSP in that match. And the promise of part three has me forking over the PPV dollars, guaranteed.
My message to Dana White is simple. You have been entrusted with a responsibility to this sport. You've looked like a genius so far. Just don't be boring.
Personally, I can't wait to see what mixed martial arts looks like by 2010!
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Travel Part B