UFC 112 has gone and past, but it isn’t completely old news contrary to what some people may think. UFC 117 just passed and Anderson Silva fought Chael Sonnen in what became fight of the night for a change and was a far cry from Anderson Silva’s previous performance at UFC 112 against Demian Maia.
At UFC 117 Chael Sonnen backed up his trash talking campaign and really brought the fight to the current middleweight champion Anderson “The Spider” Silva before getting tangled in the champion’s web. Chael Sonnen arguably won four rounds of the five round fight using his relentless pace and surprisingly effective striking to setup his takedowns. The fight took place mostly on the ground with Sonnen on top working effectively to grind Silva out.
In the end it wasn’t meant to be for Chael Sonnen as Anderson Silva managed to dig deep, show what champions are made of and pull off a slick triangle choke from the bottom with less than two minutes to go. In any case, Chael showed the fans where Silva struggles the most and it is with the wrestling aspect of the sport, Olympic calibre wrestler Dan Henderson exposed Silva for one round a couple of years back and Sonnen did it for four rounds just recently. The guy who is going to defeat Silva is the guy with top of the food chain wrestling and sound Brazilian Jiu Jitsu defense.
UFC 117 aside, let’s take a look back at Anderson Silva’s previous fight against Demian Maia at UFC 112: Invincible in Abu Dhabi. Demian Maia has the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu skills to submit just about any fighter in the UFC all the way up to heavy weight. Many people thought he would be the one to finally take Silva down and submit him in the Octagon. The one problem for Maia, he isn’t a wrestler, he couldn’t get the fight to the ground like Sonnen and Dan Henderson were.
To no surprise, Maia was tentative to stand with Anderson Silva for three rounds of the five round fight and Silva was having none of Maia’s take down attempts. Silva showed flashes of brilliance in the first 2 rounds of the fight and after winning enough rounds to retain his title he resorted to dancing with the stars like former light heavyweight champ Chuck Liddell, refusing to engage his opponent and backing away from the fight until the final horn sounded.
Dana White refused to put the belt around Anderson Silva’s waist and left the task to Silva’s manager Ed Soares. White went on to address the media stating that he was disgusted with Silva’s performance. UFC 112 was the first event ever scheduled in the Middle East and it was frustrating for the UFC to have such a lack lustre event for their first foray into that market.
One would figure that after Silva’s performance against Sonnen that the bad memories of UFC 112 were erased and to a certain extent they were, but one very important statement made by Dana White remains relevant today even four months after the UFC showed up in Abu Dhabi:
“I apologize, and I will – I don't know how yet – but I will make this up to the fans who bought this [expletive] tonight."
Dana White was asked about how he would make it up to fans prior to UFC 113 in May and his response was :
"Give me some [expletive] time. I will. I've got to find the right time and the right opportunity."
Dana White is most definitely mulling it over and trying to figure it out, but it is the media’s job to bring things like this back into the limelight every so often just to make sure it doesn’t wander off into limbo for too long and finally being forgotten. Anderson Silva’s victory over Sonnen probably had a lot of fans forget Dana’s promise way back in April.
The obvious answer to making it up for fans would be to put together a big card for free television either on Spike, VS or a maybe for the first time on major network television.
Mr. White has expressed some openness to the idea of putting on a fight normally scheduled for pay per view on free television, but expressed concern over the fact that a fighter like Anderson Silva makes way too much to put on free television.
The problem here is if Anderson Silva makes way too much to put on free television, then what marquis fighters on the UFC roster have a small enough salary to put on free television? I don’t think such a fighter exists.
Of course if the UFC puts a big fight on free television that doesn’t make money, it doesn’t make business sense. Business sense aside, if a company promises to make something up for their previous shortcomings that usually involves taking some kind of hit. In business, image can be as important as profit and showing loyalty to the fans would definitely strengthen an already strong image.
White has told MMA Weekly the following earlier this past June:
“What I’m going to end up doing is probably taking a big, huge fight that should have been on pay-per-view and put it on free TV. I’m actually working on it right now,” said the UFC president.
“I said I’d make up for that, and trust me, I’m gonna.”
Judging by what Dana White had said about Anderson Silva fighting on free television and what he is saying here, is pretty much telling fans and media alike that he still isn’t sure what to do. This quote is over two months old and we still don’t have any news on what was done to make up for UFC 112.
In any case, here are a few things Dana White could consider.
Make the Georges St. Pierre vs Anderson Silva fight actually happen. This match up has been talked about before and it is something fans would love to see, especially after the wrestling clinic Chael Sonnen put on the middleweight champion at UFC 117. Every time fans and media think the St. Pierre vs Silva fight might happen, it seems to be disregarded and put back on the shelf. This super fight would most definitely please the fans and it wouldn’t even cost the UFC all that much, because the pay per view on a Silva vs St. Pierre event could be huge.
Georges St. Pierre and Josh Koscheck are coaching against each other on the reality television juggernaut “The Ultimate Fighter” and the two are scheduled to square off against each other on December 11th
Make a Fedor Emelianenko vs the UFC Heavyweight champion fight happen, whether it be Lesnar or Velasquez or whomever, even if it means offering a one fight contract and co-promoting with M1 Global. The UFC could have their heavyweight champion square off against Fedor Emelianenko and to avoid having Fedor walk off with the title, don’t put the title on the line. Of course it isn’t perfect, but co-promotion and single fight contract aside, the pay per view money generated by a card involving Fedor and quite possibly Brock Lesnar would be staggering and it is most definitely something worthy of making up for what happened at UFC 112.
Even if Fedor does win against the UFC heavyweight champion, there are four very strong divisions still supporting the UFC and a sister promotion in the WEC. Also Fedor recently lost for the first time in a long time to UFC exile Fabricio Werdum and there is no reason to think that the UFC heavyweights would be heavy under dogs against the Russian at this point in time.
Obviously there are a lot of options and ways to make it up to the fans and the ideas here maybe aren’t the best, the point was to illustrate that this isn’t something impossible to deal with and hopefully fans and media will have an answer before the end of 2010, come to think of it, why not put on that normally stacked year end show for free this coming holiday season? I am sure that would make everyone happy.