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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.