No matter how passionate you are about something, there comes a time when you need a break. As the saying goes, absence makes the heart grow fonder -- a phrase not associated with MMA these days with an event nearly every single weekend.
Those who strictly follow the UFC will get a break from shows for the next six weeks, the longest consecutive gap since a five week stretch from the July 2nd UFC 132 to UFC 133 last year. Sure, we'll have The Ultimate Fighter on Friday nights but when it comes to what brings in the money, it's vacation time.
Say what you will about UFC president Dana White, but even the most anti-White zealot would be hard pressed to call him lazy. Seemingly traveling way more than he's actually home in Las Vegas, White is on a mission powered by energy drinks, fanfare and all that comes with being a celebrity in pro sports.
But a lot can get done in the next six weeks that will make the following 30 weeks even better. To save the big guy some time from making a to-do list, I went ahead and came up with four things I want to see him to do.
Take a week off from everything
While this is as realistic as Tim Sylvia fighting Brock Lesnar in a UFC main event, White should grab the family, board the jet and go on a vacation where no one can reach them. The business needs him at his freshest and if that means a week off Twitter and dealing with the day-to-day of the UFC, he should do it.
I don't care who it is: the grind of this schedule and pace will get everyone at some point. He's done remarkably well so far, but there have been a few signs of cracking, notably not coming out for the UFC On Fox 2 post-event presser because he didn't want to deal with criticism of the fights.
Like him or hate him, MMA is better with Dana White at 100%. Take a break, boss man. Lorenzo and the rest of the all-star team has got your back.
Figure out what's going on with one Henderson...
After fighting in an instant classic against Mauricio Rua last November, we've been asking the same question: what's next for Dan Henderson? The answer seems obvious: a UFC light heavyweight title shot. However, there hasn't been a ton of movement in any direction. Hendo wants big fights and it makes sense to have him fight the winner of April's Jon Jones vs. Rashad Evans clash in Atlanta. Here's hoping White can confirm that prior to the event, so we immediately have another big fight to look forward to this summer.
What two other things did I add to Dana's list? One might surprise you, but it's something I bet you'll agree with. Find out after the jump.
...and then decide what's going on with the other Henderson.
Was White's enhanced interest in Frankie Edgar dropping to 145 pounds to help make his No. 1 contender decision that much easier? Not likely, but it certainly would help. New UFC Lightweight Champion Benson Henderson has two great options in front of him: a rematch with the surging Anthony Pettis or a rematch with Edgar. Either way, it's a great fight. Either way, someone's left out in the cold for now.
I am flipping back and forth on this, but am leaning toward Bendo/Pettis II on a Fox show later this summer as the smart move. I get why Edgar doesn't want to move down to 145, but a title match against Jose Aldo would be a hell of a lot of fun, wouldn't it? It's a good problem to have, but White needs to figure this one out so all of us can start talking about it.
Fix UFC Countdown
This is a personal gripe of mine and now that White is done worrying about Strikeforce, I'm making a personal plea to blow up and rebuild the approach to the Countdown specials. Designed to get people hyped to buy the pay-per-views, they are ridiculously formulaic. They use the same music, always feature the challenger first, have plenty of Bruce Buffer announcing names, Joe Rogan being emotionless explaining things, a trainer saying, "He's in the best shape of his life," etc. I think I could predict the layout before I even see each show.
Fight promotions live on hype and these shows are dreadful at doing their job. I'd actually be fine with them giving the production to Fox and treating them as real sports shows. Talk about guys losing and be honest. Fans get into the reality of situations rather than having smoke blown up their butts by pretending fighters are what they aren't. Create drama and create emotion filled hours that make you feel dumb if you don't hit 'Buy'.
What else should Dana work on during the next six weeks? Comment below and let's grow his list.