|10-15-2007, 02:33 PM||#1|
Kimbo Slice > Klitchko
Join Date: Aug 2007
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Fedor to M-1: Am I Professionally Required to Care About This?
The recent news that Fedor signed with M-1, and that Randy Couture has retired as a result of it, has elicited a wide variety of reactions, most of them nonsensical. As a public service I will clarify several points that have come up repeatedly.
Fedor Left Money on the Table
Although the terms of his deal were not disclosed it is believed by many that Fedor took less money per fight by rejecting the UFCís offer. Even if thatís true his current deal is likely more lucrative and here is why:
Fedor is injury prone. His hands are fragile and coupled with his hard-hitting style thatís not a recipe for durability. Fedor is almost the Jeff Fenech of MMA. Do you think itís a coincidence that he seemed disinclined to hit Lindland and Hunt? No he fought cautiously in those fights because he knew he could win them without slugging. In M-1 he is much less likely to get hurt fighting the lesser competition he will face than he would be in the UFC. He would still dominate in the UFC but he would have to work much harder to do so. Four fights a year at $1 million is better than 2 fights a year at $1.5. (these are speculative numbers)
The sponsorships and other non Ėfight revenue opportunities for Fedor are in Russia and M-1 promotes there. Is/was Fedor really going to be a huge star in America? Letís say he comes into the Octagon and thirty seconds later Randy leaves on a stretcher. After beating the hugely popular champion he follows it up with some dominating wins. How big a star would he be? How many endorsements would he get? I donít know but since those last few sentences accurately describe Anderson Silvaís UFC career and he isnít exactly doing Nike ads with Kobe Bryant, Iíd say the sponsorship market for non-English speakers is not that great. It should be noted that as a heavyweight Fedor could expect to do a little better than Anderson, even though Anderson has a better look.
Fedorís schools are in Russia, he speaks Russian, and he has/will get sponsors in Russia. To the extent he can become a star in America that fame will be based on extensive marketing and while the UFC has 99.8% of the market, they also have at least a dozen bigger stars they need to promote. M-1 will be all Fedor all the time. Being the 13th biggest star in the UFC is better than being the lead guy in M-1ís American invasion but is the difference significant enough to merit giving up the Russian opportunities?
Fedorís whole team benefits by this deal. One of the many non-monetary demands on which Fedor and the UFC differed was Emelianenkoís insistence that his boys get taken care of. M-1 is going to do that and it would be foolish to think Fedor wonít benefit from that.
Dana White is Not to Blame
(and should be commended)
This one hurts me to write since there are few pastimes more enjoyable to yours truly than taking potshots at the UFCís self-important Major Domo. To start Fedor has no economic value in the US. Thatís right none. Anyone who follows MMA closely enough to know Fedor is already buying UFC PPVs. For his star potential see above paragraphs.
The UFC made Fedor an offer that was grossly disproportionate to what they pay their other fighters and to what Fedor is worth in a strictly economic sense. That offer jeopardized their relationships with current stars and will make it more difficult to re-sign stars like Tito Ortiz. If I was Tito sitting down to negotiate, the first words out of my mouth would be: ďYou were going to pay some no-name Russian who canít speak English 1.5 million, Iíve sold more PPVs than anyone alive so I deserve more than that.Ē Randy is one of the fighters who, it is rumoured, was upset with the UFC breaking the payscale to try to get Fedor.
The UFCís offer showed that they are really committed to bringing in the best fighters even if it means upsetting the ones they have. The now-legendary no-Sambo clause derided by so many fans was a necessary hedge against the likelihood Fedor would get hurt. It shows that the UFC is willing to commit resources but they arenít stupid about how they do it.
The Compelling Matchup for Fedor is Not in the UFC
Down the road there are a couple semi-interesting fights for Fedor in the UFC. If Gonzaga improves he could eventually give the Russian trouble and Andre Arlovski has the physical tools to concern Fedor, assuming AA fights the fight of his life, but the fight everyone seems to want is a 44-year old who is 2-2 with two stoppage losses in his last four heavyweight fights and who has been stopped five times in his last 11 fights. This is the mega-unification, fanís wet dream matchup?
Couture-Fedor is not that interesting. Thatís right I said it. Randy has a nice win streak going with solid victories over two top 10 guys but there are several heavyweights with win streaks at least as impressive. Noguiera just beat Barnett and Herring. Can you honestly say wins over Gonzaga and Sylvia are more impressive? Kongo just beat Silva and Cro Cop. Randyís wins are slightly better than Cheikís but these three guys are all roughly the same in their last two fights and if you go much past that Randyís record at heavyweight starts to look lousy. Remember those arguments people used to make about why Sylvia should be ranked higher? ďBut he has the beltĒ the uninformed would simper. That argument is no more compelling when made on behalf of Randy.
Fedor has not only faced and beaten competition far superior to Randy, he has dominated it. Nogueira has been the no. 2 HW forever and his other wins are so impressive that we tend to forget that Fedor didnít just beat him, he kicked the hell out of him. In the UFC those fights would have been 50-43 decisions. The difference between Fedor and Nogueira is equivalent to the difference between Noguiera and the no. 10 heavyweight. In no other division and at no other time in MMA history has the gap between 1 and 2 been so gaping.
Fedor is bigger, stronger, faster, more skilled, much younger and hits harder than Randy. He also fought a fighter very similar in style to Randy four months ago. Lindland is about twenty pound lighter than Couture but Matt is also a better wrestler and more skilled at submissions. Fedor submitted him in two minutes without throwing a punch.
For six years Fedor has dominated all comers. He has won four fights against men who were ranked number 2 in the division when they fought and he was never seriously threatened by any of them. In contrast Randy has fought two, arguably three top 5 fighters and two of them stopped him.
Fedor has fought elite wrestlers, submission artists and kickboxers and destroyed them all. The closest he ever came to losing was against Kevin Randleman, who dominated Randy for a couple of rounds, and that fight took 90 seconds.
What is Randy going to do that those guys couldnít? Is he a better wrestler or takedown artist than Mark Coleman? NO. If he can get Fedor on his back is there any reason to think Fedor wonít submit Randy as easily as he did Matt Lindland? NO. If they stay standing is there any reason to think Randy will get the better of Fedor when Cro Cop couldnít? NO.
There is one compelling matchup available for Fedor and its Josh Barnett. Josh is a better fighter than Randy but more importantly he has the diverse skill set and size to match up with Fedor. Unlike Randy, Josh would have several advantages if he fought Fedor. Josh is probably a little better at submissions, is probably a close match standing, and has 20-30 lbs on Fedor.
|10-15-2007, 07:31 PM||#4|
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I found that article more than a little retarded.. while there's some truth to a lot of it, its mostly overexagerated and some of it's plain bull****.
For instance, Nog. barely beat Herring and has lost twice to Fedor. The UFC owns 99.8% of the market?? Well, they own a lot, but thats a gross exageration. If it was true, then its time to open an antitrust suit.. however, it is not true.
Sometimes its not just who you beat, but also how you beat them. Randy's last 2 wins have been very impressive. Styles make fights, and maybe slugging it out with a guy with Chuck's style simply wasn't the way for Randy to win those fights.
This comment just took the cake:
Comparing Couture to Cheik Kongo?? LMAO.
Then there was this:
Mark Coleman?? Yeah, I like him, but he has 1 weapon: Ground and pound.. and no submission defense to boot. Besides, Fedor new exactly what Coleman was going to do in those fights.. and Randy is an olympic alternate in his own regard.. and in Grecco, so its tough to compare him with a Freestyler like Coleman.
Matt Lindland is a ****ing Middleweight and he gave Fedor a tough run. And him and Randy are longtime training partners.. with Randy's additional size and more all-around skills, there's no reason to say he'd go out the same way as Lindland.
Crocop?? Had a good run, but he is 1-dimensional.. not to mention that Randy's standup is NOTHING AT ALL like that of Crocops, so how can you even compare them?? Kinda similarly to Coleman, Crocop fights his fights one way. Crocop's fights are no comparison for how Randy might fair.
That said, Fedor would probably win, and may dominate. But if anything, the Lindland, Coleman, and Randleman fights have shown a ***** in Fedor's armor.. however small, and a vulnerability against wrestlers.
And don't get me started on this comment:
And don't anyone come on saying I'm delusional because I think Randy will win.. I don't, but that was pretty much as ****ty an article as I've ever read, and Randy does have a chance, whether or not this particular keyboard warrior admits it.
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