No one can argue against the meteoric rise of the UFC in recent times. In the past two decades, UFC in particular and MMA at large have largely gained traction. A number of factors have been driving the success of the UFC chief among them being the power of the internet which has made the sport reach all corners of the world and also the calibre of fighters that the UFC administrators have managed to lure. This massive rise in UFC’ stock has seen it overtake Boxing in terms of pay per view purchases thereby rendering it a valuable sport.
While there can be no argument that UFC has grown into a prominent sport globally, one can also not dispute the fact that in the past couple of months, UFC’s image has been tainted by some unwanted and unnecessary fracas especially the one that followed after the much-hyped Khabib vs McGregor fight. As such, there is a strong need for the UFC to go on a massive drive to change the negativity currently surrounding it. The onus is on the UFC to prove to the world that it’s not a sport of sheer brutality as was the case in days gone by when it had no rules, no gloves, no weight classes, and no time limits.
One way in which the UFC can change the negativity currently surrounding it is through allowing high calibre fights such as the one being muted in UFC circles between Khabib Nurmagomedov taking on boxing great Floyd ‘Money’ Mayweather. If it materializes, the fight would see two undefeated fighters take to the ring as Mayweather is currently on a 50-0 winning streak and Khabib is on a 27-0 winning streak. Such a fight would be massive for the UFC especially for its image despite some reservations being ushered by prominent administrators chief among them Dana White.
Below, let’s take a look at the ways in which a Khabib vs Mayweather fight would help the UFC.
Would let the world talk
They say any kind of publicity is good publicity be it good or bad. While this may apply to any other personalities, it’s not exactly the case with the UFC. The negativity currently surrounding the UFC needs nothing short of good publicity. This good publicity can come out of a high profile fight between the UFC’s own and one of the most celebrated sporting personalities of all time in Floyd Mayweather. You can bet on the match on Betser and when signing up you get a good Betser bonus. Floyd Mayweather has on several occasions shown the world that he can make the world talk and bring the spotlight wherever he goes. One such case is his recent fight with another UFC fighter in Connor McGregor. The fight between these two which was dubbed the ‘Money Fight’ lived up to its hype and if Mayweather can be part of another fight in the same mould then the UFC can bank on him to restore some lost pride.
Creation of a cult figure
For any sport to rise up and compete with some of the most valuable sports, it has to have a cult-like figure who commands a huge following. When one talks of soccer, the likes of Maradona, Pele, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi come to mind. When one talks of basketball, the likes of Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant and LeBron James come to mind. Talk of Formula 1 and the likes of Sebastian Vettel, Michael Schumacher and Fernando Alonso come to mind. With UFC, there isn’t an athlete who has managed to create a huge following which automatically makes even non-UFC fans get attracted to him and ultimately to the MMA; Connor McGregor and Ronda Rousey have done their bit but there are not exactly cult-like figures. If Khabib manages to do what no other athlete has managed to do i.e. defeat Floyd Mayweather, then there is no doubt that he and the UFC at large will automatically get on the world map. Everyone even non-UFC fans will want to know the man who defeated arguably the world’s greatest boxer of our generation. Subsequently, they will start following him, in turn, following the UFC also.
Rope in lucrative sponsorship deals
It’s very difficult to pick any other athlete besides Floyd Mayweather who is followed (and to a larger extent sponsored) by some prestigious global organizations. UFC to date boast of only two major deals i.e. the television deal with TV giant FOX and the sponsorship deal with Reebok. With the former being signed in 2011 and the latter a couple of years later, there is no doubt that UFC is in serious need of more sponsorship deals. What better way to position itself strategically than to align with an athlete (Mayweather) who is loved by all the big brands and global organizations.
Opportunity to correct past mistakes
The melee between Khabib, his team and McGregor and his team after their fight tainted the image of the UFC. As such, there is a need for the UFC to show the world that the unfortunate events of UFC 229 were a one-off and not a regular occurrence. With a high profile fight featuring a man who commands a huge following in Mayweather, if the fight goes by smoothly, then the UFC can show the world that it can organize and conduct highly professional matches.