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A Barren Landscape

Many observers of the MMA Industry are very interested to see what happens with Josh Koscheck, Andrei Arlovski, Tito Ortiz, and Tim Sylvia.  Of the 4, Tito is clearly the biggest deal, so I'll focus on him here.

The conventional wisdom that we are about to see one of the most competitive free agent markets ever may be wrong.  Pro Elite is reportedly 20 million in the hole, and while they may be able to offer Tito a decent amount, they are already watching costs, and it's hard to see them matching what UFC pays Tito.  Tito made 1 million dollars for his fight with Rashad, and on a huge PPV makes 2-3.  Unless the first show in April is some kind of smashing success, I do not see him going there.  I think his posturing is more to force Dana into signing him to a good deal.  

M-1 is even more unlikely.  Fedor is enough of a huge money burden, they have no TV, and no shows to speak of yet.  There's no way he's going to IFL or Dream, and Cuban is not looking to sign any fighters to regular contracts, he is more interested in one-off big fights.  

I guess a final point on Tito is that UFC has a right to match any deal he's offered in his contract, so unless someone can legitimately offer him a huge amount, it's hard to see him fighting anywhere else in the near future.

The market for fighters is not as strong as it seems.  I suspect Arlovski and Koscheck will re-sign, Sylvia will probably leave, and Ortiz will either re-sign or leave the fighting world for a while.  I guess we can come back in a few months and check out these predictions.

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