Take a sad song and make it better

Posted: September 23, 2010 in Marketing, PR, UFC

Can you tell me your definition of PED?

Some times the PR gods do smile on us.

I feel like there needs to be a t-shirt made “I could have had a rematch, but all I got was this shirt.” It is official, Chael Sonnen has tested positive for steroids based on samples provided after his battle with middleweight champion Anderson Silva.  As such, he has lost his upcoming January title shot. Do not pass go, do not collect $200k. I guess Karma is a bitch after all.

According to Dana White yesterday on Twitter, Sonnen is out of the January rematch and now the battle we wanted to see months ago will happen:  Anderson “The Spider” Silva vs. Vitor “The Phenom” Belfort.  Although I prefer the ground game, this sets up the type of striking battle other fans crave.  If you want to see two knockout artists go to war – this is your fight.

For you ground kids (like me) don’t you fret.  The number one contender spot will now be fought between Nate “The Great” Marquardt and Yushin “Thunder” Okami.  As a big Marquardt fan, I’m excited to see if he has learned from his loss to Sonnen with a focus on his wrestling game.  Similarly, this isn’t a fight that Okami will be able to just grind out, it will be interesting to see what extra work will be emphasized in his stand up and submission games.

From a marketing and business standpoint this is the right move for the UFC.  As the loudest voice against PEDs and MMA regulation, the organization could not justify still giving this shot to Sonnen.  Plus, there were many fans that thought the end of the Silva/Sonnen fight was just that – and end. So there was no need for an immediate rematch the way there was for Edgar and Penn (which had come to a close decision).  Ultimately, I think there is more potential to gain further ad revenue from large brands across these two fights than there would be a middleweight sequel.

Plus – and more importantly – both of these fights should provide much needed fireworks for fight fans.  As for Sonnen, it will be nice to see the dust gather on someone else for a while.

Lesson learned kids: drugs and fighting Do Not Mix.

  1. […] the Sonnen I remembered returned.  A WWE style “Loser goes home” match during Super Bowl weekend was shouted from the […]

  2. […] in the “I’m not surprised at all” category, we had a steroid failure in MMA this past weekend. You’re probably thinking “finally they bagged Overeem!” […]

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