Some may call me crazy, some may call me a conspiracy theorist and some think I am full of a lot of hot air. I have been a life long fan of the WWE and the UFC. I use to love the old school UFC style tournaments when size didn’t matter and when the referees didn’t stop it until they absolutely had to. The fights were considered very violent and everything about them was real. I knew from a young age that pro wrestling was predetermined and scripted. From then on I studied the trends of the business. I looked at what was hot and what was not. I looked at what made the company money and what didn’t make the company money. These studies and trends have really made me wonder about how many other sports and entertainment businesses out there use the same concepts as the WWE.
Let’s look at the last month alone in the UFC. Ronda Rousey was the hottest thing in the UFC because she was the first dominant female in the UFC. She took an absolute beating from current champion Holly Holm in pretty timely fashion. I don’t think the beating she took was fake but lets look at the facts and trend. Rousey even said before this fight she was going to take time off and disappear for awhile. Let’s also look at the fact that fans started getting bored with her and hated her attitude towards opponents. Now ask yourself, why would Dana White keep the title on someone who was going to take time off and not any money off of them? Sports is a business just like any other business. If your stars aren’t performing then you move on to someone who will.
Then let’s take at Conor McGregor versus Jose Aldo Jr. Aldo hadn’t lost a fight in ten years and he was dominant for the decade he went undefeated and looked to be pretty unstoppable. As we all know McGregor has become the people’s choice. So what’s the smart business move? Put the title on the fighter who is most over with the fans. It’s like what WWE did with CM Punk. They put the title on the wrestler who fans wanted to see the most. They knew it would make them a ton of money and have some really great viewership. You can’t honestly tell me that a guy that who hadn’t lost in ten years all of suddenly steps into the octagon and forgot how to fight. Again it’s about making money and whats trending. Conor McGregor is trending and is going to make the UFC a lot of money.
Lastly, you have the last UFC on Fox of 2015. The main event was Donald Cerrone versus Rafael dos Anjos for the UFC Lightweight Championship. There are two very interesting aspects to the main event that caught my attention. The show was suppose to end at 10pm and before the fight began it was just past 10pm. The person I sat I watched the fight said what do you want to bet that the fight doesn’t go past the first round because UFC doesn’t want to upset Fox by going way over their time-slot. Sure enough the fight was over in 66 seconds. Cerrone hadn’t lost since August of 2013 and that loss was to non other then Rafael dos Anjos. Irony or coincidence? Can you honestly sit here and tell me that Donald Cerrone can beat everyone he’s faced in the last two years but forgot how to fight against the last guy he lost against? I feel like my intelligence is being insulted with some of the obvious results we have been seeing. Also on UFC on FOX, multiple fighters called out Conor McGregor wanting a title shot. All of them sounded like a scripted promo to get that big money fight. When in UFC history have you seen 3 or 4 fighters call out the same guy in one night? It’s UFC’s way of keeping you on the edge of your seat to find out who will get the title shot.
We have seen three examples all in the last month of UFC using WWE’s concepts but if you look really hard these concepts started awhile back. I remember the first thing I ever saw that really made me question the legitimacy of the UFC being completely real. In April 2005, at the The Ultimate Fighter 1 Finale Rich Franklin took on Ken Shamrock. Franklin was on the rise and Shamrock was on the decline. I remember Shamrock went for a kick and missed. He then planted his feet and fell which led to Franklin jumping on top of him and winning by TKO. The next fight Franklin had he became UFC Middleweight Champion and Shamrock would not win an MMA fight for another four years.
Let’s take a look at Randy Couture. He won the UFC Heavyweight Championship in March 2007 and then had some major disputes with Dana White and the UFC after his title defense against Gabriel Gonzaga in August of 2007. He kept stating he wanted to fight Fedor Emelianenko and was willing go through lawsuits and everything else to do so. Well the UFC’s answer was to file a lawsuit and win and then get Couture back in the octagon so he could lose to the title. In November 2008, Randy Couture lost the UFC Heavyweight Title to Brock Lesnar ensuring the UFC would have a fighting champion that people would tune in to watch. Love him or hate him, people tuned into Brock Lesnar’s fights to see what was going to happen. As of September 2015, Brock Lesnar was featured four times on the UFC’s top ten of highest selling pay-per-views of all time. Lesnar used his WWE heel tactics and his aggressiveness to get the attention of MMA fans. Anyone remember what happened when Lesnar was no longer healthy? He was humiliated by Cain Velasquez and Alistair Overeem. Why? Because he could no longer make the company any more money. Do you really think Lesnar would have gone back to WWE if he was completely healthy? I think it’s safe to say he would still be fighting and people would still tune into to see what was going to happen in his fights.
Lastly, I want you to think about Chuck Liddell, Tito Ortiz, Randy Couture, BJ Penn, and Matt Hughes. Do you want to know what they all have in common? They all lost their last UFC fight. Everyone except Couture lost their last two or three fights because Dana White was trying to get them to retire and he knew they didn’t have the value they once did. Other the Georges St, Pierre please name me one fighter with a huge name that was a huge draw that ended up leaving the UFC on top while still making the company money? It’s no different then a WWE wrestler who retires. They always walk out with a loss. With all this evidence in-front of you, do you still it’s coincidence? Do you still think I am crazy? Do you still think it’s a conspiracy theory? Is really that far fetched to think UFC as sports entertainment like UFC? The physicality of the fights are very real but so is the idea of making money and making business decision that make you more money. Think about that the next time a fighter starts trending and gets the fans attention. You’ll see the reality right in-front of you.