The day of gifts and fellowship is approaching quickly and recently I thought of everything I could want this next year, at least when it comes to MMA. Then when I took a step back, I realized there were some MMA Christmas wishes that would be really cool. That is, if they became reality.
There are somethings that we know are going to happen but that still doesn’t mean we can’t get excited about them. So with that, let’s look over the top 10 gifts that the world of MMA may bring us:
~ 10 ~
Season 2 of Fight Master
This could be considered the gift that a kid wants, but can do without. The inaugural season of Fight Master: Bellator MMA was interesting to say the least. It differentiated itself from The Ultimate Fighter by allowing choices to be made by the fighters and not the coaches.
In addition there were four coaches instead of the two in TUF with no coaches fight afterwards. If the kinks were ironed out it’d be a good season 2.
~ 9 ~
Bring MMA Back to Showtime
Once again no one is going to die if this doesn’t become a reality but it would be nice to have. Showtime brought exciting shows during the partnerships with EliteXC and Strikeforce despite the fact that the former depended very much on the freak show power of Kevin “Kimbo Slice” Ferguson.
Ever since Strikeforce’s closure in January of this year, there has been ALOT of speculation on which promotion would be signed next and Showtime has been taking it’s time. One thing we do know is that network executives have expressed interest in bringing MMA back to the premium cable channel, even naming the all women’s Invicta FC as the front runner for the position. Time will tell if what will happen.
~ 8 ~
Sign Holly Holm to the UFC
Now this gift is still in the “will live without it” category, but just barely. Multiple boxing champion Holly Holm has made a name for herself in that sport but like TUF 18 Finalist Jessica Rokoczy, she had a desire to excel in another combat sports as well.
Holm already had a kickboxing background so she took to MMA first in 2011 where she went undefeated in her first two outings. However, this year she has done well, winning all four of her outings and finishing three of them. As a bantamweight, she would definitely make a challenging contender in the UFC.
~ 7 ~
An Impressive UFC Subscription Service
We know this is coming so it’s not unreasonable to ask for a good quality product from a good quality company. The UFC announced at the beginning of the month that in order to continue with their international expansion, it would be creating an internet based subscription service.
This service will allow US subscribers to watch UFC fights that are being broadcast prime time in international markets in vastly different time zones. However, pay-per-views will still be available during the standard 10/7 eastern pacific times in the US. In addition, subscribers will get access to not only the UFC fight library, but also the libraries to the World Fight Alliance, Pride FC, WEC, and Strikeforce.
~ 6 ~
Sign Ben Askren to the UFC
This was something that many fans had hoped for but was not delivered this year. Due to various factors, Ben Askren was released from Bellator, at which point Dana White immediately made it clear he wasn’t interested in signing the wrestling based Askren.
As a result Askren recently signed with Asian promotion ONE FC. Though the deal is a two year six fight contract, we can still hope. Time will tell on this one.
~ 5 ~
Give Fabricio Werdum a title shot
Longtime fighter Fabricio Werdum has long been just on the outside of competing for a major MMA title. However, he’s not only back in the UFC after what could be considered a pretty successful run in Strikeforce, but is also just outside the rim of a title shot.
Currently Werdum is ranked second in the UFC rankings, right under Junior Dos Santos who recently challenged for the belt.
The only downside is that Champion Cain Velasquez is out until late next year. Werdum can fight once or twice more but if he decides to sit out, I hope he gets the deserved title shot.
~ 4 ~
Bellator MMA Season 10 Light Heavyweight Tournament
In my opinion the Bellator Light Heavyweight division hasn’t been more talent filled then it has been at the present. It has a pretty even blend of MMA veterans in the likes of Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, Muhammad “King Mo” Lawal, Vladimir Matyuchenko and rising prospects like Liam McGeary and Mike Mucitelli, just to name a few in both categories.
The seeding would be an interesting issue as well, but it would be an exciting tournament overall. There’s no word as to what is going on with season 10, but judging from the use of four man tournaments in season nine, there’s definitely a chance that some light heavyweight tournament will take place, size to be determined. Time will tell whether this will happen.
~ 3 ~
Give Cat Zingano a title shot
This is all but a given considering it was going to take place before circumstances made it otherwise. Cat Zingano had earned a title shot and a coaching birth on Season 18 of The Ultimate Fighter by defeating Miesha Tate at The Ultimate Fighter 17 Finale.
However a knee injury forced her out at the last minute and as a result she’s had to undergo several surgeries in order to heal. The last recovery time table that was mentioned was a training date of sometime around March. Hopefully Zingano will get the winner of Ronda Rousey and Tate at UFC 168.
~ 2 ~
The Institution of Weight Cutting Regulations in MMA
In September, Brazilian fighter Leandro Souza died from a stroke related to his weight cut to flyweight for a Shooto event. Even though the event took place outside of a regulated region, it still brought up the issue of whether MMA regulatory bodies should institute weight cutting sanctions.
There are a few ways such sanctions could be instituted, one of which could be modeled after the high school and college wrestling weight loss regulations which makes calculations based on body fat percentage and hydration but requires day of competition weigh ins. A second which was suggested in an article by my colleague Tom Heffernan in an article about weight regulations, was to follow the WBC weight loss regulations of weighing no more then 10% above the weight class at a month before the fight and no more then 5% above the weight class a week before the fight. Anyone who objects to such a method of weight regulations should try to argue with Mike Dolce who’s helped fighters make weight.
~ 1 ~
Expansion of Women’s MMA in the UFC
It wasn’t that long ago that Dana White was saying women would never fight in the UFC, but nowadays he admits he’s been corrected. It was understandable that when women were added to the UFC roster that it’d start with one weight class. Now after the women’s bantamweight division was proven successful, it was recently announced that a women’s straw weight division would be added to the UFC roster.
While I was originally skeptical about this particular weight class, it actually makes sense because it allows women who are light for flyweights to cut down, and for atom weights to bump up and fight in the UFC like flyweights who bump up to bantamweight in the UFC. It’ll be even more exciting to see Season 20 of The Ultimate Fighter determine the first straw weight champion in a unique season.
This may sound cliche, but for those who are looking for a gift to give, take a look at the MMA Freak store. Leave a comment!