Scott Coker has had himself a pretty impressive week, and it's only Wednesday.
He scooped up the consensus top heavyweight in the business and agreed to a partnership with Japanese organization DREAM that could lead to some outstanding inter-promotional fights. Add in the signing of Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza, and it's be a busy couple days for the San Jose-based organization.
And how does Scott Coker plan to capitalize on all this momentum?
By sticking Fedor in a showcase fight with some schlub in the Fall!
In an interview with Tapout radio following the Fedor signing, Coker had the following to say about a fight with Strikeforce champion Alistair Overeem:
“[Fedor] and Alistair Overeem should be an amazing fight, and people that haven’t seen Alistair, you know, he’s an amazing fighter. I think we should do a couple of fights and build that one up, and then let their champion fight our champion, and let’s see what happens.
We’re hoping that Alistair will be ready to fight in the Fall, and we can put him on one of the cards with Fedor, and not fight against each other but fight against someone else, and let’s build that fight up”
Welcome to How to Potentially Ruin Your Organization 101
First, spend a lot of money to sign Fedor Emelianenko and enter into a 50/50 profit-sharing agreement with his management/promotional organization, M-1 Global.
Then, while everyone is talking about him and your company, instead of having him walk in and destroy your champion, thus adding to his mythic status, we'll have both of them fight on the same card against lesser opponents and see what happens.
Even if both fighters kick the snott out of their respective opponents, you've wasted a glorious opportunity.
There is never going to be more interest in Strikeforce MMA than right now, and their first fight card following all this activity. Why in the name of everything sacred in this world would you not throw everything but the kitchen sink into the mix and get your hooks into the fight fans who are dying to see Fedor?
No one wants to see him knockout Paul Buentello, and there is no point in feeding him Brett Rogers at this stage either.
Bringing in Jeff Monson might be interesting, but no one except Jeff Monson thinks Jeff Monson is going to win that fight.
Heaven forbid something ridiculous happens like Fedor looking flat or even losing to one of these guys. Then what do you do?
As Jake Rossen of Sherdog and ESPN said in his blog about this same topic, "Let's Build That Fight Up" isn't a good business strategy in a sport where anything can happen and you're not going to convince anyone that there is a more deserving title challenger in the organization (if not the world) than Fedor.
Three days in and you're already making mistakes.
Not a good sign.
E. Spencer Kyte is a freelance MMA journalist who authors the MMA blog Keyboard Kimura, as well as contributing to Watch Kalib Run and MMA Ratings. Follow him on Twitter or receive daily news and information through his Facebook Fan Page. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.