Today Brent wrote an article regarding Dan Hardy’s tattoo, and his position regarding their pandering toward China. Brent is a fine editor, and has a fine point, but I tend to disagree.
I do not agree with some Chinese policies, especially in the humanitarian sense, but I do not believe we can expect a business to risk monetary gain in pursuit of social change. This is not because business is evil, but because such such a pursuit is quixotic in nature. Google would be a fitting example. No one can deny Google's financial power, but leaving China over censorship was nothing more than a statement (and a fine one too). However, not everyone can sacrifice revenue like Google can.
China is a gigantic market that ultimately has citizens willing and able to pay for the UFC's product. At a time when our burgeoning sport attempts to hit the main stream market in the United States, it seems foolish to offend a pool of customers (for whatever reason) who frankly have a lot to offer in the capacity of new fighters and new fans.
This is a concept that extends beyond China. After some bad press, thanks (and thankfully) in large part to Bloody Elbow, the UFC elected to ban HR as a fight sponsor inside the Octagon. If we look at this move from an objective and non-emotional fashion we see the machinations of a savvy corporation. Zuffa didn’t ban HR because of their dubious ties, even if their own moral inclinations were against it; they banned HR because associating with HR was unacceptable to the American people and media.
I do not intend to come off as callous or misanthropic. I hope that in the future China makes strides in the social arena. I also want the UFC to continue to grow and prosper. Since China can live without the UFC, but the UFC would clearly benefit from having China I choose not to connect those two ideals and risk losing both.
On a side note, this is my first fanpost, and I would love feedback so I can correct any errors I make for future posts.