With the new year comes many new years resolutions. As is tradition, here are ten New Years Resolutions that the MMA world should make:
10) Someone should hire Bjorn Rebney
It was no secret that Bellator MMA creator Bjorn Rebney and Bellator’s parent company Viacom were butting heads for quite a while. Both sides had different ideas of where they wanted the company to go and were able to work together. However, the conflict finally culminated in Rebney resigning from the post of Bellator CEO and was immediately replaced by Strikeforce founder Scott Coker right away. There hasn’t been any news about Rebney’s plans since the departure, but another MMA promotion would be smart in picking him up in some capacity. Several promotions could use his guidance at minimum to help them expand and possibly build up to a possible TV deal.
9) Fighters need to stop using TRT
The ban on testosterone replacement therapy earlier this year had some immediate backlash when a few fighters still tested positive for elevated levels of testosterone or other banned substances helping to make up for the low levels. While some like Dana White thought it was a sudden departure, the matter of the fact is that the law is the law. If MMA fighters want to continue in the sport they need to maintain natural levels of testosterone or find other ways of dealing with their low levels in other ways besides using banned substances. The fact of the matter is that TRT was controversial to being with. It needed to be banned and fighters need to realize and accept that ban completely.
8) Chael Sonnen needs to discerning on ESPN
Chael Sonnen was disgraced in June when he tested positive for a total of four different banned substances over two random drug tests. He was released from the UFC, suspended for two years from MMA competition (he had already retired), released from Fox Sports as a commentator, and lost all of his endorsements. However, he has been given new life as an ESPN analyst for MMA. The fact of the matter is that Sonnen should consider himself fortunate for getting this opportunity and needs to exercise discernment. Not many get a second chance.
7) EA Sports should make the UFC games an annual series
The EA Sports deal with the UFC was a landmark deal in that it finally brought the UFC to a mainstream game developer. EA Sports is the same game developer to release the various other mainstream sports games that are updated annually. EA Sports would be wise to do the same with their new UFC game franchise. While new fighters are being added regularly there are always improvements that can be made to a game. This would allow the game play to improve as well as allowing other fighters to be added or dropped as needed.
6) The Rampage situation needs to be resolved
At The Ultimate Fighter 20 Finale, it was announced that Quinton “Rampage” Jackson had resigned with the UFC. This was surprising and not so surprising at the same time. Jackson had left the UFC on bad terms with the promotion and signed with Bellator. However, after expressing frustration with his new home, Jackson apparently resigned with the UFC. The problem is that Bellator claims that Jackson is still under contract with them and if that is the case, the UFC and Jackson are both in trouble.
5) One FC needs to ink a US TV deal
This made last year’s list as the promotion was still on the rise at the time and had appeared on American pay-per-view. Since then the promotion made a deal to broadcast events on the Canadian “The Fight Network”. That brings the promotions events to North America, however it is still dormant to the general US public. With former UFC Middleweight Champion Rich Franklin working as a Vice President for the promotion, One FC could find a way to break into the market. Maybe they should sign with AXS TV for tape delays.
4) Pick women as the coaches for one of the TUF seasons this year
Season 18 of The Ultimate Fighter saw Ronda Rousey and Miesha Tate coach opposite each other with drama and talent come out of the show. This year season 20 of the show saw women again compete, however it was coached by male coaches. However, should it have been coached by women there may have been a different angle to the whole show. Even if they coach all men, women should be brought back as coaches in some way. Rousey doesn’t have to be one of the coaches, but maybe two contenders could compete for a title shot.
3) Fighters need to cut weight smarter and healthier
While no fighters actually died from weight cutting this year, there were several fighters missing weight again. Not only is this not good for the sport, but it’s dangerous for the fighters involved. Health coach Mike Dolce is one nutritionist who can help fighters cut weight in order to make weight safely. Fighters should either seek out Dolce or someone similar. That way fights can actually happen and money come.
2) The UFC needs to hold their champions accountable
At the beginning of the year we witnessed Dominick Cruz vacate his title, Johny Hendricks defend his title only once as did Anthony Pettis, and Cain Velasquez didn’t defend his at all. This plainly needs to stop and champions need to defend their title at minimum once a year. If they don’t an interim championship needs to be created, which was in the case of heavyweight. Dana White recently did announce that Velasquez does need to fight in March or lose his title. This maybe unfortunate but it is all about accountability and legitimacy.
1) Dana White needs to start watching what he says
Three class action law suits have been filed against the UFC before the end of the year. Some of the points in said lawsuits point out Dana White‘s actions and behavior has been listed multiple times for reasons why the UFC should pay their former fighters. While some of the issues listed in the lawsuits maybe a little exaggerated, White’s antics cannot be in away way exaggerated. White is essentially his own worst enemy and he may find the company he essentially built paying millions of dollars because of his emotional outbursts. If White wants to avoid his own words being used against him in the future he needs to stop being reckless and exercise a little more wisdom.
Happy new year!