The near monopoly of UFC/Zuffa in the worldwide MMA biz is taking its toll. Some great fighters are getting the squeeze.
Fighters like Andrei Arlovski:
While the UFC matchmaker stopped short of saying the organization doesn't need the former heavyweight champ, comments such as "where else is he going to go" and the contract "has to make sense for us" send a clear message as to who has the upper hand in the ongoing negotiations. The UFC won't book Arlovski until the contract issue is resolved.
The light heavyweight sensation Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou who tore through the best competition in PRIDE earlier this year and is now cooling his heels:
BZ: With your two most recent knockouts putting you near the top of the Light Heavyweights, who is next in your crosshairs? Who do you have the most desire to fight?
RTS: At this point, I don't really know. I'm not tied down to anyone or any organization. I wanted Shogun, but as of now, no one is lined up. I don't have a job, man! (Laughs) It's hard to call anyone out when you don't have a job.
BZ: In your words, what happened with the EliteXC deal?
RTS: There were too many changes on the contract. And I guess the details were never hammered out. Man, I'm not a lawyer and they hand me some 20 page contract for me and Parsons to look over, but that's not my job. My job is to fight. We had a lawyer check it out; I don't know exactly what happened but we chose not to sign. I just want to train and get ready instead of dealing with contracts.
Zach goes on to elaborate on the Ed Fishman lawsuit against PRIDE and makes some assertions that seem a bit hyperbolic to me, but then again, Zach's been right before.
The main thing of concern to me as a fan is -- will the great fights happen? Again, Zach isn't optimistic: