In recent years, the UFC has gone through many changes. Long standing, seemingly invincible champions like Anderson Silva and Georges St. Pierre are in completely different places now than they were just over a year ago. Dominick Cruz is back in the mix after rehabilitation from his injuries. There are also some great champions, but it’s difficult to name one that hasn’t been on the shelf due to injuries. Jon Jones, Cain Velasquez,  Johnny Hendricks, and Chris Weidman are all great examples of this troubling fact. Not long ago, the talk of the town was super fights. It seems that those opportunities are gone and the UFC has been struggling to put on the quality of fight cards that they have in the past due to the injuries sustained by their top stars.

On the other hand, some things have remained quite the same. There is a handful of fighters that have gotten to the top of their division and fallen to the champions, but have continued to devastate their opponents otherwise. What do you do with these athletes? They are great draws, but the options are getting slimmer and slimmer. Fighters such as Junior Dos Santos, Renan Barao, Urijah Faber, Joesph Benavidez, and Frankie Edgar come to mind. From a business standpoint, how can you make the most money possible and put on the most exciting fights given the landscape within their respective divisions? In a word, superfights.

Though the definition of a superfight typically involves two reigning champions, it may be worth the UFC’s time to consider applying the method to these stronghold contenders.  For the long time fan, the days of wondering who would win in a fight between a Pride superstar and a UFC superstar are gone. Most major organizations have been acquired by Zuffa, LLC so fans tend to be able to see the match ups that they have always dreamed of.  One fight that would draw big numbers and give the fans what they want to see is Frankie Edgar vs. Urijah Faber.

After this past weekend’s Fight Night, Edgar earned a dominant win over Cub Swanson in what may have been a number one contender-ship bout. With Conor McGregor’s star rising and Edgar losing to Aldo last year, things may not play into Edgar’s wishes of getting another crack at the title. If he doesn’t, Edgar vs. Faber would be the next best thing. Faber is in a tough position, as he has lost to the former champions Dominick Cruz and Renan Barao of his current bantamwieght division and also Jose Aldo of his prior weight class of featherweight.  Even more troubling for Faber is his teammate and friend T.J. Dillashaw holds the title now after dominating Barao. They have both said they would fight each other, but it would certainly stir things up at Team Alpha Male and would be best left alone if possible.

Considering that both men are the same height (5’6″) and they have both been champions in the past, it’s surprising this hasn’t come up. Many people see Edgar as a big featherweight because he dropped down from lightweight, but the truth is he was a very small light weight and could conceivably drop to bantamweight if he chose to. The fight could take place at a catch weight of 140lbs and both men would still be comfortable. If one of them loses, it doesn’t tarnish their standing in their respective division either. One more win after a defeat in a catch weight fight, and they are back in contender-ship. Ultimately, this is a win for both men financially and keeps them busy against top level talent in the mean time. More than anything, it’s a win for the fans in a year that has had many shortcomings in terms of quality, top level fights.

 

About The Author

Michael Davis
Director, Business Development/Senior Staff Writer

Michael Davis is a seasoned professional in the world of finance. In recent years, he has worked for Fortune 500 companies and consulted at one of the largest hedge funds in the world. After working closely with a mixed martial arts management company, he realized he could apply his skills to the sport he loved. The culmination of his professional experience and passion for MMA have led him to his role as Senior Staff Writer and Director of Business Development at The MMA Corner.