Last week, it was announced that Cody Bollinger signed a multi-fight deal with the World Series of Fighting. The news broke unofficially not long after the most recent airing of The Ultimate Fighter with Bollinger posting a picture on his Twitter feed of him holding his signed WSOF contract. With Bollinger expected to make his first appearance for WSOF in early 2014, we’ll have to wait a few months before we see just how dedicated he is to his fight career.

Many viewers of TUF are left with the impression that Bollinger is a quitter and didn’t do everything he could to keep himself at his fighting weight. Although Bollinger having a hard time making weight on the show may not be indicative of how he will do going forward under “normal” circumstances, he certainly isn’t making many friends on Twitter, where he is taking a “screw you all” type of approach to those who say anything but encouraging things to him.

However, WSOF saw the buzz Bollinger created for himself through the controversy from TUF and swooped in to sign the seven-year veteran before others could. At 22 years of age, “Bam Bam” already has 17 professional fights and was considered a favorite in the reality series competition before his weight-cutting issues. He has plenty of time to cement his place in MMA, but what does it say about an organization who signs the scraps of the UFC? It’s a trend that is surely not going to end anytime soon.

While some wonder why WSOF would sign Bollinger after the lack of discipline he showed on TUF, his young age coupled with his experience could pay dividends for the organization, even if Bollinger loses his first fight. Fans are going to be curious to see if Bollinger can make weight and fight, but if he doesn’t fight soon enough then he’ll quickly lose any buzz he had built.

Although WSOF may be looking to sign TUF castoffs as part of its regular business plan, it’s a better way of signing UFC fighters when compared to what Bellator is doing. Bellator has made a habit out of signing former members of the UFC roster who appear to be at the tail end of their careers. Tito Ortiz and Quinton “Rampage” Jackson were supposed to headline Bellator 106, and Cheick Kongo was part of the main event of Bellator 107. It’s unfortunate that a promotion that has as much exposure on cable television as Bellator needs to keep bringing in guys who have already run their course in the UFC. One of Bellator’s low points was Bellator 99, in which Houston Alexander and Vladimir Matyushenko headlined the card.

Organizations outside of the UFC need to find their own identity and figure out what they are trying to do. Bellator has a great thing going for itself. It has a good TV deal and a reality show, but the promotion needs to utilize its resources better and bring in fighters who aren’t labeled as wash-ups. There are some gems on the roster, but it will be hard to take Bellator seriously if it is trying to fool the MMA community into believing these ex-UFCers are still part of an elite group of fighters.

For the WSOF, it’s a good move in snatching up somebody like Bollinger, who is still in the early part of his career. There is nothing wrong with being a feeder organization to the UFC. The RFA promotion, headed by Ed Soares, is a perfect example of that. What you don’t want to come across as is an organization that simply signs somebody because they were once in the UFC. This appears to be an act of desperation and shows a departure from Bellator’s previously stated philosophy.

Whether it’s Bellator, World Series of Fighting or any other MMA promotion, promotions outside the UFC need to carve their own path in the fight game. Right now, it’s the UFC and everyone else. Overtaking the UFC is not a rational idea, but there are plenty of fighters and money in the sport for more than one organization to thrive.

Photo: Cody Bollinger (Dave Mandel/Sherdog)

About The Author

Joe Chacon
Staff Writer

Joe Chacon is a Southern California writer that has also spent time as a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report, as well as a Staff Writer for Operation Sports. Joe has a passion for the sport of MMA, as well as most other sports.

  • frank

    Thou shall not bear false witness son
    Exaggeration and. Congeture is false witness

    • darbycrash81

      What the Fu#* are you rambling about? But I digress, Cody is a jackass that did not endear himself to TUF viewers or Dana. I will watch his appearence on WSOF if televised with the hope he gets his ass handed to him. If not that fight then until someone makes it happen. Hopefully sooner than later.

  • fan

    Darby this is a 22 yr old young man , father husband who made weight
    Beat the best “Defteitas “was the number 1 pick made weight again then with “30 seconds before anouncment
    Of his fight was pulled so the coaches friend could fight the injured competitor
    Was asked to. Make weight 2 other times where he didn’t fight then was unable to go. On
    He was set up .He still should have overcome the adversity but didn’t
    Witch creates more adversity for him ,his family and UFC.
    So what you. Have left is a 22yr old standup guy father husband
    Who has another more lucrative opprtunity to overcome adversity
    So good Luck with your disgusting outluck on life I only hope it doesn’t devour too much of your time