Why the UFC is missing an opportunity with TUF 14

Dominick Cruz is one hell of a fighter.  He fights with both tenacity and elusiveness.  He's one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world.  But Dominick Cruz is not a star.  He has the potential to be one: a (thus far) dominant champion with an exciting fight style, but as of this moment, he is not by any means a UFC star.

Urijah Faber once was the poster boy of the WEC.  He dominated all challengers as the WEC Featherweight Champion, including Dominick Cruz.  Faber has already shown marketing power, and nobody is denying that he has a good chance of taking the bantamweight crown next fight.  That being said, he too is nowhere near the likes of a UFC star.

So why are these two men, exciting fighters at the top of their divisions, not stars?  If you guessed their size, you'd be wrong.  The correct answer would be "exposure."

The UFC has already proven that fighters' size does not prevent them from stardom.  Georges St. Pierre is currently the face of mixed martial arts, and he fought in the 2nd lightest weight class until the WEC merger a few months ago.  BJ Penn rose to superstardom as the lightweight king.  Even mid-level lightweights like Clay Guida have proven able to captivate fans.

That road doesn't stop at 155.  Featherweight and bantamweight are the two undiscovered gold mines for the UFC.

By putting Faber and Cruz on the Ultimate Fighter, it would provide the UFC with more than just two coaches to launch into the spotlight.  They could be carrying two entire divisions into prominence.

WIth Sonnen and Bisping, we know what we'll get, and frankly, it would be awesome.  It would probably draw huge ratings and provide some of the most epic trash talk in the world.  It would probably make Sonnen a star (I assert that on American soil, Michael Bisping is the most dislikable disliked fighter in MMA).  But like I said, we know what we're going to get.

However, with Faber and Cruz, the UFC would not only help build two new stars, it could propel the numbers 135 and 145 to the same level of popularity as 205 and 265.

It should happen.  Dana, get it done.

\The FanPosts are solely the subjective opinions of Bloody Elbow readers and do not necessarily reflect the views of Bloody Elbow editors or staff.

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