M-1: Douchebag of the Month - August 2009You know that episode of the Transformers where the Autobots and Decepticons team up to take on an even worse enemy?
No, I'm not talking about the...
Shia LeNotBuffButStillSomehowBoningMeganFox version, I mean the 80's cartoon.
Well imagine if Optimus Prime had given Megatron the finger and rolled out back to chill at Metroplex and do shots of energon with Ironhide and Ratchet instead. Yeah, that's right, the Earth would have been screwed.
The good guys don't get to take a break. When you're the Underdog, and the Legion of Doom calls you desperate for help in defeating the Hulk, you get your ass over there like Speedy Gonzales, even if you know it might be a Trapô (Acme Corp.)
Because that's what it means to be the "Good Guys". You put yourself in impossible situations, and do so in order to protect the
EarthSport, even if by doing so you face great risk.
Why are we referencing cartoons to such an extent? Because the M-1/UFC wrangling over coming together to let Fedor fight is a goddamn cartoon. Only in this episode, everything's ass-backwards. The ultra-powerful villains are trying to do what's best for everyone while the loveable scamp who fights the uphill battle against all odds, is instead bitching because he won't get enough credit for saving the day.
Come on, M-1, we've all been rooting for you to take your place next to the UFC at the top of the heap; ever since Pride was dismantled the door's been open wide for you to do it. And now Zuffa themselves have just taken a sledgehammer to that entrance and blown out half the wall, in an attempt to let you come play at the top.
When you're in the business of entertainment as is any sports franchise or promotion, your business decisions must revolve around what makes the fans happy. Because the fans are your business. And while you may "own" a fighter (at least temporarily via contract), if your shenanigans piss off the fans, that contract is worth less than that fighter's discarded jock strap (except maybe in Japan where they have vending machines for used underwear).
We love you M-1, but really? Strikeforce?
From a business perspective, of course, it's great. But you only operate a business while thumbing your nose at the customer for so long, regardless of how awesome your product is. Fedor is your product, M-1. Hell, he's an investor as well. But having him fight in the B-league (although props to Strikeforce for building an organization that will eventually rival the UFC), is pretty much the definition of thumbing your nose. It makes you look cheap, and your product look substandard; like if Burberry started selling clothes at Target. I shop at Target all the time, but if I want a really nice pair of jeans I'm definitely not going there for them. If you've got the best in the world, you put it up there with the best.
There's a lot of analogies in this article, and that's intentional. They're helpful in communicating a simple message about a complicated subject. We know that all the details surrounding the business negotiations are not public knowledge. We know that at the end of the day, money is the deciding factor.
But we also know that none of that means anything when it comes to determining who's truly the best fighter in the world. And sometimes, in order to do that, you've got to make a deal with Megatron; not the GoBots.
Total Comments 20
8/11/2009 10:10am, #2
- Join Date
- Jul 2003
1. Fedor says that the UFC's actual offer was nowhere near as generous as what they posted on the internet. I believe Fedor over Dana White.
2. Josh Barnett should have been the douchebag of the month.
8/11/2009 10:18am, #3
He was going to be, but then this set of shenanigans popped up. The main point is that a fighter should care more about being the best in the world than having the best contract. When money becomes the prime motivator for a fighter, you end up with the clusterfuck that's overtaken Boxing.
8/11/2009 10:49am, #4
I agree that Fedor going to Strikeforce was a bad call for the fans. I'm not privelege to the details of the contracts from UFC or Strikeforce, so I can't argue the merits for either side. I do think, however that Fedor going to a smaller organization with less capacity for promotion, a lesser overall talent pool, and far smaller fanbase is a huge mistake.
Even if Fedor is trying to build Strikeforce, it will take years for it to blossom and rival UFC. And frankly, Fedor himself isn't a big enough draw to bring new fans to the Strikeforce league, greatest p4p fighter ever or not. By and large fight careers simply don't last long enough for Fedor to be a factor when (if) Strikeforce becomes a rival league, so his legacy is cemented - there will always be question marks beside his name because he never had the opportunity to fight at the top tier of the top organization. (edit here - he HAS fought at the top, but isn't staying AT the top in a changing landscape.)
From the viewpoint of doing something good for the sport my question is this: "how many new fans are going to spend $40-50 to see this one guy they've barely heard of fight another guy they don't know at all?" Knowledgeable fight fans know Barnett, Arlovski, Emilianenko, et al, but NEW fans have no idea who these guys are. All they know is Lesnar is a real fighter now and he's the best - I mean Joe Rogan, Yahoo and Dana White say so. In those minds this Russian guy CAN'T be as good as Lesnar because he's fighting in some organization they don't know about.
I flash back to Michael Jordan playing baseball - Jordan has hardcore fans to this day. But how many tuned in to watch him when he was wearing a ballcap and cleats? Who gives a **** if you're the best basketball player in Major League Baseball? And who cares if you're the best fighter in the world if you're in the equivalent of the minor leagues?
Besides which, is actually it in the best interest of the sport to have another competitive leage? We don't need another NFL, NBA, or PGA. For these sports one major organization in the US is great. If Strikeforce emerges as a force, we'll end up with the boxing alphabet soup bullshit - "my organization is better than yours and my belt is more meaningful in this weight class".
Fedor and M-1 have done a disservice to the sport, and to themselves in the long run. I agree with shawarma to some degree - Barnett is a definite contender for Douchebag of the Month, but I certainly can't defend M-1.
Last edited by tao.jonez; 8/11/2009 10:53am at . Reason: clarification on "never fought at the top" statement
8/11/2009 10:53am, #5
Don't worry, with diaz out of the 15th fights, Strikeforce will soon be a distant memory as well.There is no cheating, there is only jiu-jitsu.
8/11/2009 10:53am, #6
- Join Date
- Jul 2003
When you become a UFC champion, you get to decide what a fighter "should" be doing. Until then, this is Sherdog level armchair quarterbacking.
Barnett = unofficial douchebag of August.
8/11/2009 11:07am, #7
8/11/2009 11:11am, #8
Originally Posted by Phrost
- Join Date
- May 2002
8/11/2009 11:14am, #9
8/11/2009 11:24am, #10