We have been hearing chatter for some time now about Paul Heyman making a move into MMA. It is clear Heyman believes that pro-wrestling's best days are behind it and that its fans have transitioned to MMA. Recent PPV buying trends seem to tell us he is dead on in his analysis. Naturally, he would look to make the move and recently he made his first step into the world of MMA.
Paul Heyman, and his production company, have been hired to promote the new EA Sports MMA game. Over the course of the next few weeks we will see him profile five fighters like Fabricio Werdum and Gil Melendez. In the installment below Heyman profiles Nick Diaz. In this short vignette we see what Heyman can bring to MMA. He introduces Nick Diaz to the casual fan. He does so with humor but he also gets the point across that Diaz is a world class bad ass. He demonstrates he has the ability to highlight a fighter's strengths and abilities and more importantly why you should care about him. He is aware that some MMA purists might be wary of his involvement in the sport but he is smart about how he will sell himself and the fighters.
"You can look at the pieces -- because all five are very different from one another -- I think you can look at these pieces as a demonstration to the MMA world that I have great respect for mixed martial arts and I have a great respect for the sensitivity that the audience may have that I can come from the wrestling world and that, in my mind, professional wrestling is alive and well and thriving today in the United States, only its name is mixed martial arts. It's the logical evolution of the business and it has evolved into the one thing that sports entertainment can't touch, which is that it's real."
We have all been watching Strikeforce's stuttering and stammering lately. We have seen the tired face of Scott Coker try to lead the company with constant frustration. But, watching this short vignette, raw as it is, tells us what we could see if Heyman becomes more involved in the company. How he can elevate fighters, potentially how he could elevate events. He has a natural ability as a promoter.
The next 12 months are crucial for the company. The heavyweight division is primed to break out and potentially take the company to another level. The Light Heavyweights also have some amazing possibilities in front of them. There is talk of a dream match between Eddie Alvarez and Gil Melendez. In the middle of all this the future with CBS hangs by a thread and the clock is ticking on the SHO contract. It's make or break time for this nascent organization. The direction has to be razor sharp and incredibly clear to bring the company to the next level. It doesn't have to be Heyman, but it is obvious this this company needs new blood to make the next 12 months successful. Maybe these promos are a warm up. A test. I'm just happy to see the possibility starting to become a reality. Hopefully all of Strikeforce's possibilities become reality as well.
NICK DIAZ of Strikeforce with Paul Heyman on THE HEYMAN HUSTLE - Season Two - Episode 1 (via HeymanHustle)