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Did the UFC do the math?

The Calgary Sun reports some disappointing news:

It appears the much-anticipated mixed martial arts bout between rival champions Chuck Liddell and Wanderlei Silva, scheduled for November, might be off.

“I don’t even know if Silva’s going to happen,” said Dana White, president of the Ultimate Fighting Championship. He cited problems in dealing with the Japan-based Pride Fighting Championships that is home to Silva.

White said UFC 65 will instead probably feature Liddell against Tito Ortiz in a rematch of UFC 47 in 2004.

As a fan, I cannot believe that the two organizations cannot get their acts together to give us the biggest fight on the MMA horizon. But if I owned the UFC, I might order Dana White to do something just like this.

The UFC has little to gain and everything to lose if Wanderlei Silva and Chuck Liddell fight. Silva got a luke warm reception when he challenged Liddell at UFC, which left the impression that Liddell’s beating Silva would not do too much for the UFC’s American, TUF based audience.

On the other hand, Silva would be favored in a fight against Liddell. If Silva beats Liddel, Pride would use his new UFC title as a launching pad for its big U.S. push (which is the strategy Pride has been touting). Remember, Silva would remain under contract to Pride and hold the UFC’s premier title.

If you do the cold hard math (and put aside what your fan’s heart tells you), you can see why the UFC would suddenly find difficulties in making the fight. But, I still hold out hope that the organizations will get their acts together and give the true MMA fans the fight they want.

(via FightOpinion.com)

Update 8/13: A good point I saw in the commets and elsewhere on the web is tha the UFC should have thought this through – and signed a deal – before they announced the fight. If the fight does not come off, the UFC will take a hit for not delivering.

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6 Responses

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  1. I don’t understand how or why one would get in the ring and announce a fight if contracts haven’t been signed. That just defies all logic.

  2. Pride did the same thing in that Press conderence. Both sides should have kept their mouths shut until the deal was done.

  3. Anonymous said

    There are so many different perspectives this situation can be seen from. My take is that the UFC doesn’t want a big Pride vs. UFC competition, they just want Liddell vs. Silva. Whereas Pride, supposedly financially hurting needs to take a risk and wants a big competition.

    A big competition is more risky for the UFC than Pride. If Silva loses vs. Liddell, Pride doesn’t gain anything. However, in a big competition Pride can at least come out even IMO and that would go a long way to securing their position in the USA, while weakening the UFC.

  4. The way I see it, Chuck vs Wanderlai is great for MMA and what is great for MMA is great for the UFC even if Chuck lose.

  5. Does anyone know for sure whether a contract was actually signed for Silva-Liddell before White announced it? It is my understanding that a fight cannot be announced by a promoter unless there is a written, signed contract in place.

  6. Dana was probably expecting PRIDE to pay Wanderlei’s purse.

    I doubt anyone in the ufc would be pleased to have Wanderlei making more than the rest of the combined payscale.