Originally Posted by Alvin
Before I finish on this subject I'd like to mention Matt Lindland.
Matt Lindland was booked to fight at Cage Rage 16 & they advertised the fight with him being once a top contender at UFC an-all. His match was a big selling point with Cage Rage (a growing promotion). However a few weeks prior to fight night he bailed on them cos he got offered a better deal fighting in the US.
I can't blame him from doing it cos he's got mouths to feed, but as Cage Rage used to sign up fights based on the honour of the fighters word they didn't have a leg to stand on. Now the are introducing legal contracts for their fighters.
Anderson Silva was another of their fighters & was their World MW title holder. He has now signed to the UFC leaving them without one of their most exciting fightes & biggest draws.
So with that said you can kind of understand why promoters use legal contracts to keep their assets (fighters) in house. It gives them & their fans a little bit more security.
This post got me thinking a little. My knee-jerk response was ‘who cares about the promoters?!? Of course they want long term contracts, but they’ll be fine - it’s the fighters and fans that matter most!’ However, I quickly realized that you make a point that deserves far more consideration:
“[Promoters use legal contracts to give] them & their fans a little bit more security.”
I think there are several types of fan, with two types being relevant here: Local and Global (I’m only talking about real fans, not the beer swilling blood lust crews btw).
--- Global is fairly self explanatory - they are the fans who are knowledgeable about the worldwide MMA scene and care to see the best fights regardless of the promotion or location. Most fans that frequent forums such as this are global fans even if they have a strong preference for one promotion or region.
--- Local would be fans that are mostly passionate for a portion of MMA (such as the UK scene, or a single promotion like UFC). IMO, many local fans simply aren’t well educated in MMA (eg fans who feel UFC is –the- promotion for MMA). Most of these fans will become global soon enough through the ‘schooling’ of other fans. Some local fans, however, are well connected to their scene (such as the UK) through having friends who compete there or who assist in the promotions. These fans may currently, and in the near future, have little interest in the global scene.
NPO style single fight contracts would, as you suggest, cause quicker and more regular migration of the best local fighters. This, as we’ve already established, would be much better for the fighter, who can now earn better money and win new fans without having to see out an unfavourable long contract against weak opposition. There is no doubt it would also be much better for the global fans, so we are left with only the effect it has on the local fans….
The migration of fighters would assist in the ‘globalization’ of single-promotion local fans. Take a UFC fan for example – and let’s say Anderson Silva takes Franklins belt. UFC fan could then become interested in where this badass came from, and googles his name. Immediately he will be introduced to Cage Rage and Pride amongst other promotions, and realise that there is more than just UFC out there to follow. It works the other way round too. A Cage Rage fan could be gutted that Silva is gone, just as a Rage/Warriors fan would have initially been gutted to see Bisping go (how ironic that CR booted him out anyway for no good reason lol). However, this disappointment will be replaced with elation the moment they see their favourite fighters kicking ass on the big stage. This will also help globalize even the die-hard local fans – ‘I was watching him when…’ etc.
Although the draw may be lower until a replacement is warmed to by local fans, this will be offset by global fans attending due to their newly acquired knowledge that there –is- good fighters/match-ups right on their doorstep outside of, for example, UFC/Pride. A huge draw ‘homecoming’ fight would also be a possibility too with NPO. After the old boys have done their thing on the world stage, they can simply out-bid the big promotions. That is a possibility that is currently implausible with the bully type contracts utilised by the big promotions, and would be superior for both the finances and reputation of the local promotion than an extra couple of squash fights before the fighter moves on.
I know you said you are finished on the subject, Alvin, but I do appreciate your opinions and I hope that, now we’ve had a break lol, you can find the time and energy to continue for another post or two.
Originally Posted by Matt Boone
This is one of my favourite debates in the short history of the new version of this forum. You two are doing an awesome job.
Thanks Matt, I’ll be replying to your excellent points later – this is hard work for me because I’m not naturally too good at debate, so I am grateful for the compliment.