As I boringly wrote an essay for history, I drifted, much as every student does, to sites that have nothing to do with the objective that actually needs to be accomplished. Suddenly, as I scrolled down, I saw a headline reading "Fighting Fedor Reality Show in Works". Trump sure isn't a slouch for marketing!
The concept of this show would be to have an ultimate fighter style tourney of some of the top prospects who would be going for the prize of all prizes, a title shot on an Affliction PPV against the legend himself, Fedor Emelianenko.
Who is going to be on the show remains unconfirmed, but M-1 Global and Affliction are looking for worthy suitors, so the kid who wins doesn't fall an under a minute victim to Fedor's overwhelming skills. Although, after seeing Sylvia get destroyed, who could blame him, (whoever that may be)?
The strange thing for me is that with all of the talent at heavyweight in Affliction, including top notch talent Josh Barnett, along with a partnership with EliteXC and the possibility of dipping into their "talent" pool, if that's what you want to call it, they can't seem to find a worthy opponent? I realize that Fedor is fighting Arlovski in January and I honestly believe that Fedor is going to...smash Arlovski unrelentingly. What did you think I was going to say?
After that, however, they are left dumbfounded with nobody? Please. Anybody whose been around knows that there are plenty of candidates including stars in Dream and Sengoku who have non-exclusive contracts.
It's even been rumored that a possible match between the winner of Overeem vs. Cro-Cop II and Fedor may happen. This premise is, of course, banking on the marketability of Mirko Cro-Cop's high kick. Then again, who wouldn't market that beauty?
Another point though is that when a different company steals your shtick and adds a whoppingly interesting twist, you must counter. The UFC is the king of MMA right now and they know it. Challengers aren't exactly welcomed either.
The UFC is either going to up the ante of the next TUF season or find some extravagant way to attract attention away from their rival. As far as Dana is concerned, Brock Lesnar and Randy Couture are both better than Fedor. That may be subject to MASSIVE amounts of bias though. I believe the consensus is that Fedor would beat either one of them.
So, if Fedor can beat those two and pretty much everyone in the top 10 picture, why isn't he tested against them? Why revert to a "grand prix to Fedor?" I'll tell you why. It's been a recurring theme in this article and the idea is; marketability.
Dana boasts about how much better his fighters are than anyone elses, but the truth is, HE'S AFRAID! Yes, I said it, Dana F***in White is afraid. My proof? Please recall when Chuck Liddell went over to fight in the middleweight Grand Prix in Pride and Dana talked Chuck up so much, only to see him manhandled by Rampage Jackson.
At this point in time, where the UFC has only a few marketable heavyweights against Fedor's reign (i.e. Lesnar, Couture, and yes Fabricio Werdum) and losing one or two of them to him would destroy the integrity of the UFC heavyweight division.
How is this related to the TV show? Simple. Fedor doesn't have any competition because of the exclusive contracts of the UFC and the unwillingness of Dana to lose his breadwinners to the insurmountable obstacle known as Fedor Emelianenko. Although it may seem frivolous amongst the slew of options that Affliction has at its disposal, I believe any true fan will be watching the show. M-A-R-K-E-T-A-B-I-L-I-T-Y!