Ah, yes. We’re back with more questions for the ever jovial and articulate fan favorite, Dana White. I’m sure that Dana is so consumed by his work that he may never find the time to ponder my first five-questions from the Part One article.
But Dana has got to retire sometime, right? Perhaps one day he’ll get a chance to contemplate my queries during a lull his busy schedule. Of course, by then, Dana will be living a life of luxury at some posh senior citizen rest home called—Club "Medication" or something.
And even then, Dana will still be busy—busy watching Court TV and playing shuffleboard, checkers, and poker, using buttons for chips. Also, there’s water aerobics, Dana will be the instructor.
And by a cruel twist of fate, some night-shift joker will compel Dana to watch DVD’s of past Pride events— Bushido tournaments and all!
So, in an effort to stay on Dana’s good side, I’ll ask him only two more questions—for now.
(1) Where do you see the UFC five years from now?
The UFC already has a potential MMA rival called Strikeforce. Right now, that organization is still only a tropical storm, but the waters that spin Strikeforce are warm enough to possibly escalate this possible UFC challenger into hurricane force.
And what’s to say that, by chance, the stars won’t align themselves to improve and stabilize Affliction?
Within five years, an arms race could ensue. And I think Dana would agree that “this town ain’t big enough for two (or more) of us.”
The UFC presentation is getting stale. Maybe the UFC battleship is due for a dry-dock inspection. The production is getting dreary. The same monotonous theme music, the same sounds of booing fans, and the entire enterprise rings with a tone of desperate anger and aggression.
Bruce Buffer brings his same preset shtick to the UFC. I guess the front office considers Bruce’s fighter introduction spiel to be top-notch material.
Have you ever noticed that, after an UFC fight, the winner has to make sure that the label on that precious can of energy drink is facing the camera? How do they remember to do that? Does the UFC conduct energy drink holding drills? After three rounds of eating punches and elbows, I’d be lucky to remember my home address.
And Joe Rogan (having donned his usual Johnny Cash hand-me-downs and sporting his Elvis Presley sideburns) stands in the octagon, screeching out an interview with the fighter who’s clutching the can. During these generic interviews, you can occasionally spot Dana White milling about. In the right angle, the ceiling lights bounce off of Dana’s shiny dome like a mirror facing the sun.
Will the UFC edge past its sell-by-date (without change) within five-years? Who knows. As Lt. Columbo would say, “It’s all those little things—they add up.” Basically, the UFC needs a face-lift.
But the UFC policies and procedures are not very flexible. And, for now, they don’t need to be. But eventually the UFC will have to get creative—or else.
When any corporation reaches a point where they feel their current status quo is adequate to keep them at the top, indefinitely, this usually is a signal that it won’t. Money can by fancy bells and whistles, but it can’t buy imagination.
(2) If you had some control of the State’s Athletic Commission, what changes would you like to see implemented?
Well, for one thing, there’s that problem of fighter uniformity. To watch fight after fight, restricted by unvarying rules, gets boring. Why not present some sort of Martial Arts demonstration in between the fights once in awhile? Nothing fancy—just a few acrobats in silk robes, swinging swords and bow staffs, while somersaulting around in the cage.
And how’s this for a special UFC event? “A Tribute to Past UFC Fighters.” Dana and Joe Silva should gather some willing old-time UFC fighters, who once bare-knuckled each other for $500 paydays.
Only, the fighters won’t come there to politely bow and say nice things about the UFC that Dana scripted for them. No! They came to fight—each other! Yes, rematches abound. This special event should be held twice a year.
I’ll bet that Kimo Leopaldo would want to avenge his loss to Royce Gracie. How about a rubber match between Dan Severn and Ken Shamrock? And Don Frye needs one more chance to beat mark Coleman.
Use the original UFC rules. None! Well, not quite none—just no eye gouging, no biting, and no fish hooking. Gracie gets to wear his gi, and Harold Howard can don gi pants and a white tank top.
And here’s an idea. Hold a UFC event called, “Brave Drunks in the Crowd!”
Instead of ripping off the fans by charging ridiculous prices for beer, let them bring their own booze. Of course beefed-up security would be necessary—not to keep the fans from fighting each other, but to prevent them from throwing bottles into the cage. After all, MMA fans are interchangeable, but UFC fighters are worth millions.
So, any fan will be allowed to fight a real MMA fighter! They’ll be six or so professional fighters available to take on the fans, just not a fighter contracted by the UFC. There will be a secure area outside the building for fans to hold tailgate parties, starting at 6:00 AM.
By fight time at around 8:00 PM, there should be plenty of drunks looking to vent. All they need to do is provide their health insurance card and sign a waiver stating: “If I murder a fighter, I will be charged and tried. If a fighter murders me, he is exempt from any civil, State and Federal lawsuits or any other form of legal or illegal retaliation.”
The fans that are looking to fight get no breaks. They fight three rounds or five minutes per round, as if some guy is going to last for five minutes. I don’t think so. The fans get no headgear—they must wear what the fighters wear. Now that could be fun!
See? Already, the old barnacles and fading paint are being chipped away from the port side of the UFC battleship.