FanPost

UFC 151 – Establishing the Golden Rule

We know the deal - Dana tried to hold 151 together by throwing Chael against Jones. It didn't workout so what did Dana do? He acted like a spoilt child. He tipped over his toybox and cried about how bad a day he had. Dana cancelled the whole 151 fightcard, went to the media blaming Jones and Jackson and to date, that I'm aware of, said very little probably because he's still sulking on a swing set in a playground somewhere.

But it showed everybody his hand. The UFC needs their champions to fight... and desperately. In a year when the UFC has seen fightcards decimated by injuries, championship fights few and far between (how many times has Silva, GSP and JDS fought in 2012?) and some very hyped fights end up deadest boring (Hector's fight in the UFC was just fugly). I think we actually heard Dana venting about Jackson's coaching style (fight to win, not to entertain) during the media call. And by Dana focusing on the short-term problem of UFC151 he missed an opportunity to teach Jones and Jackson the Golden Rule: Don't ever, and I mean ever, turn down a fight when you are the UFC Champion.

What should have Dana done mid-week? Said, fine, you don't want to fight Chael, no worries and hung up the phone. Then he should have called Machida and Shogun and explained an LHW Interm. Title was up for grabs next weekend in Vegas and did they want in? Once he got two good fighters (anybody that has won their last fight would do) to agree to fight terms, Dana could have thrown the UFC PR machine behind those two guys. Hello LHW champion, goodbye Jones and all within two weeks. Then when he got the call from Jones and Jackson a couple weeks later looking for the Machida rematch timetable, he could ignore them. No interviews about Jones in the media and definitely no booking Jones for a fight anytime soon. Yep, park Jones on the bench for 9 - 12 months. Take the heat out of Jones completely, make Jones happy to fight anyone. Again.

It's short term pain for long term gain. Jones was just signed to a major sponsor (Nike) so I'll bet he needs to continue his media profile to earn some coin. If Jones doesn't fight for 9 - 12 months do you think Nike would pull his contract? If he doesn't fight, does the UFC need to pay him? And people would get sick of the inevitable, ‘Dana won't let me fight' interviews that would follow so he'd be on the outer with fans. So in 9 - 12 months Jones would be poorer, with less fans (and sponsors) then ever, questioning his coach's/manager's advice and be more mindful of what Dana ‘suggests'. This lesson would shift the power back into the hands of Dana (and the UFC) and away from the coach/manager. It would also send a timely message to all UFC fighters. You are in the UFC. You fight when we say, against anybody we say and for how much we say. Don't like it, have you heard of Bellator?

I know this isn't seeing the whole chessboard (e.g. fighter could ‘fake' an injury) and maybe Dana did try this out for size without our knowledge (and if this was suggested by someone in the comments already, sorry, I don't want to steal your thunder) but I think Dana, as a promoter, missed a chance to cut Jones (and Jackson) off at the knees. And if the Interm. Title solution did workout, it would have put some life back into the LHW division and established the Golden Rule.

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