Statistically, like a lot of you, I became a gigantic fan of MMA through a combination of boxing and pro wrestling in the 90s and early 2000s. Now while I tend to keep my eye on the wrestling scene, primarily on the indies (CHIKARA!), my attention is on the true combat sports.
However, my nearly two decades-worth of following pro wrestling wasn't a waste of time. I studied every match and card like I study every round of MMA/Boxing like I do now, and there are some worthwhile gimmicks that professional wrestling introduced me to that can actually be applied to MMA.
This is one. Mystery Opponents.
I know what you're thinking. "Mystery Opponent?! How gimmicky! Who's gonna come through the curtain? Goldberg?!"
Ok, cool, but don't tell me you weren't glued to the set watching to see who that would be.
1. BV, how would athletic commissions allow this?
-Simple. You tell the ACs way ahead of time who you plan to feature in this fight, they make their ruling, and cannot publicly comment until after the fight.
2. BV, how will the fighters know?
-Simple again. Privately gather a group of, say, eight fighters, and tell them that one will take on another, give them a month or so to prepare knowing one of the seven might be their opponent. Tell one that he's gonna fight one of the other seven. No title matches, because that's too important.
3. BV, will this work?
-I'll tell you what. I'll give you two examples. Say, we're in early December and Strikeforce announces Trevor Prangley vs. A Mystery Opponent at LHW, and fucking Roger Gracie walks out. Tell me you wouldn't have marked out like a little girl. Or say the card in Columbus is Tim Kennedy vs. Mystery Opponent and schoolgirls run out for Mayhem's entrance followed by Jason and company. You wouldn't be jumping up and down? This can work. Gegard vs. a mystery opponent and King Mo comes out, or vice versa? C'mon, that shit is awesome.
4. BV, why? This seems really gimmicky.
-Why the fuck not? If you're Strikeforce, the HW Grand Prix is cool, but Bellator has the market on tournaments, UFC has the name value, I've been saying for years that Strikeforce needs to become Pride 2.0, and they're actually going that way with fun fights, tournaments, loose contracts, and Japanese involvement. Why not do more stuff that the UFC would never do? If I'm Strikeforce, I see everything the UFC does, and I do the exact opposite, this would be a fantastic draw and something the UFC would never dream of.