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Interpromotional Nonsense

Jake Rossen has an article up at Sherdog lamenting the lack of interpromotional fights in MMA:

Like the televised clown convention that is the WWE, the UFC has a stable of athletes unavailable for lending -- kind of like those musty reference books at the library.

That stands in sharp contrast to boxing's business model, which tends to acquiesce to fans' demands. Lennox Lewis was an HBO commodity. Mike Tyson was on Showtime's leash. Yet, the two networks understood that remaining contentious was just leaving money on the table.

With $106 million in the till, the Lewis-Tyson fight was the second most profitable pay-per-view of all time.  MMA's current problem is that no one -- fans, media or otherwise -- are demanding promoters to make important bouts before age and ring wear make them obsolete.

What follows is a list of matches that are either uninspired or niche fights that hardly "need" to happen.  Faber/Yamamoto and Penn/Aoki both sound nice, but they are hardly worth destroying the only successful business model in the history of American MMA over.  Most of the fights on the list sound completely unappealing anyway.

Nothing irritates me more than citing boxing cooperation as an example of the kind of thing that needs to be done in the name of the fans.  The UFC has provided more marquee fights in the last 3 years than boxing has in the last 8, even though they have access to dreamy interpromotional fights.  The same can be said of Pride, a promotion that put on numerous dream fights even when it stayed within the organization.  The perils of an open fight market without major promotions are stunningly obvious, the results are right before our eyes. 

The idea that MMA would be better off if BJ Penn could go fight Aoki in some money losing show in Japan instead of fighting GSP in December in a mega fight is simply absurd.