Fowlkes: How can WSoF avoid dying?

 

The fate of Henry VIII's six wives is told in a brief rhyme:
Divorced, beheaded, died;
Divorced beheaded survived.

Likewise the fate historically of competitors to the UFC can be divided into buyed and died (hey, they rhyme :-). The poem goes like this:
Buyed, buyed, buyed;
Died, died, died.
Buyed.

For the record, the shows are WFA (bought), Pride (bought), WEC (bought), ProElite XC (died), IFL (died), Affliction (died), Strikeforce (bought).

MMAJunkie's Ben Fowlkes asks where WSoF can fit into the national or international MMA landscape, given the dominance of the UFC. As a starting point, he notes that Andrei Arlovski was wearing UFC gloves in his WSoF main event, which illustrates the problem almost too perfectly.

The main card of WSOF 2 was 50% former UFC fighters, 70% if you include the ZUFFA -owned WEC and Strikeforce events:
Anthony Johnson  (ex-UFC) def. Andrei Arlovski (ex-UFC)
Marlon Moraes def. Tyson Nam
Dave Branch (ex-UFC)  def. Paulo Filho (ex-WEC)
Josh Burkman (ex-UFC) def. Aaron Simpson (ex-UFC)
Justin Gaethje def. Gesias Cavalcante (Strikeforce)

Just three fighters on the main card, Marlon Moraes, Tyson Nam, and Justin Gaethje had never appeared in a ZUFFA owned show.

Both main event fighters rose to prominence in the UFC, as did welterweights Josh Burkman and Aaron Simpson. And when Burkman won big, it was announced he would be fighting Jon Fitch next. Fitch too of course made his name in the UFC; and he already fought Burkman, in the UFC.

This is a problem not just for the World Series of Fighting, but for any organization that tries to cobble together its own product using UFC castoffs. The perception, whether right or wrong, is that these are fighters who are past their expiration date. They come with some baggage, even though that baggage is the same reason why they're main card draws to begin with: We saw them in the UFC. In most cases, we also saw why they aren't in the UFC anymore. Making them the stars of the show in a new fight promotion only furthers the perception that we're watching imitation UFC, a cheap knockoff brand for the kids whose parents won't buy them the real thing.

How do you draw a crowd without the UFC's leftovers? And, if you can't do that, how do you put those leftovers to work without drawing unflattering comparisons to the world's No. 1 MMA organization (especially if the product you put on TV is littered with flubs and missteps)? If you can't do either one, then how do you carve out a lasting niche that will keep you from falling into an early grave beside the likes of Affliction and the IFL?

I doubt there are any easy or obvious answers.

Read entire article...

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Recent Comments »

Haulport site profile image  

3/26/13 5:21 PM by Haulport

Best writer in MMA, LOL!- First, even the upper echelons of sports writers are despicable HACKS- 2nd, saying Ben is the best writer in MMA is like saying he's the smartest kid in the retard class- 3rd, guys like Jack Slack make Ben's "reporting" look like the complete joke that it is. And there are others like Zach Arnold who also run circles around that guy.And the way that Zuffa plays things is such that they turn anyone who isn't under contract with them currently into a "castoff" and undesirable and they make sure to let everyone know that if you ain't under Zuffa there is something wrong with you. This is why Dana feels compelled to comment on EVERYONE who is not under contract or cut like a mid-level guy like Riddle.So please....let's not get this twisted...

Haulport site profile image  

3/26/13 5:00 PM by Haulport

Whatever.Every article I have ever read from Ben comes off like a Jason Whitlock wannabe article (and I despise Whitlock's sensational, yellow-journalism style) and here Fowlkes is disparaging fighters, making it seem like they are garbage jettisoned from Zuffa.It is all about the CONTEXT and WORDING and you people seem pretty incapable of understanding what is going on here. I guess that's why this kind of shit WORKS.......

slamming site profile image  

3/26/13 4:49 PM by slamming

Mmmm dat meltdown. Such an angry man for someone that doesn't know the meaning of castoff.

CindyO site profile image  

3/26/13 4:09 PM by CindyO

Love me some HP but LOL@ this mini melt down! Examples of Ben's Zuffa shilling, please? Thanks!   Cindy

smoogy site profile image  

3/26/13 2:37 PM by smoogy

The problem with trying to build an MMA brand is that nobody is particularly interested in MMA brands -- especially brands that are built upon the spare parts of another brand. WSOF needs to cut salary big time and refocus on building big fights, not ludicrously expensive cards full of fighters making money only UFC can afford to dole out

Condit's Face Broke My Hand site profile image  

3/26/13 2:03 PM by Condit's Face Broke My Hand

He isn't even trying to give his opinion on how good they are at fighting. Just giving his opinion on the business sense of using former UFC fighters as your stars.

Condit's Face Broke My Hand site profile image  

3/26/13 1:19 PM by Condit's Face Broke My Hand

This is incredibly ignorant and stupid. Have you ever listened to the CME podcast? Fowkles disagrees with stuff the UFC does all the time. To the point people think he and Chad Dundas are too critical and cynical. Especially when it comes to the way the UFC promotes certain things and how some of their business is done, or having too many guys on the roster and shows. Do your homework before you start with the radical namecalling and internet temper tantrums.

BiggRiggWreckedGQ site profile image  

3/26/13 1:19 PM by BiggRiggWreckedGQ

Ben Fowlkes is arguably the best writer in MMA at the moment. I know you like to rail against all things Zuffa, but in all cases he mentioned except Arlovski(because he chose to leave), they are cast-offs. They got cut. Pretending otherwise because you hate big bad Zuffa doesn't change that fact.

Haulport site profile image  

3/26/13 12:56 PM by Haulport

Fuck that joke of a "reporter" Ben calling FIGHTERS "castoffs". He is just another SHILL repeating what the Zuffa PR people tell him to say.Fuck you Ben, why don't you get in the cage against Andrei and AJ and call them castoffs? If you want to say they where once with the UFC or Zuffa then call them "former" exclusively. Using the term "castoff" is incredibly derogatory and disrespectful.Fucking Keyboard Warrior........

Zed Wayne Zed site profile image  

3/26/13 12:15 PM by Zed Wayne Zed

I like the idea of no belts and just big fights.They won't compete if they try the title structure,but the big fights every 3 months thing is good with me.