As I see it, there are two questions about this Twitter campaign:
1. Is it even up to White whether Big John returns to the UFC?
2. If the answer to (1) is yes, will White do something just because fans tell him to do it?
Although the state athletic commissions hire the refs, I believe the answer to (1) is yes. The UFC is powerful enough to influence the state commissions, and that means if White pushes the California State Athletic Commission to put Big John in the Octagon for UFC 104, it will. If he pushes the Commission not to put Big John in the Octagon, it won’t. (And for UFC 105, which is in the UK, there is no state athletic commission and it’s completely up to White.)
But as for the answer to (2), I think White already knows that the fans like Big John and would like to see him back in the Octagon, so I’m not convinced this Twitter campaign will be effective. When Big John was working as an MMA commentator, he became, in White’s eyes, a competitor, rather than a partner. It’s true that other people who became competitors, including Tito Ortiz, have made peace with White, but Ortiz makes fans buy fights on pay-per-view. McCarthy, for all his popularity, does not.
Truth be told, I’m not convinced this twitter bomb will work either, but when are we ever convinced anything will work before we try it? There was no guarantee emailing Spike for 3 hour UFC Fight Nights would work but that was still a positive thing to do and we got what we wanted! I’m going to keep trying to convince other blogs to at least pass the message on to their readers to tweet this if they support the cause:
@danawhiteufc BRING BACK BIG JOHN! #UFC
We’ve already got a few hundred tweets done and it’s early in the day. If we can get any kind of traction and support from other MMA sites there’s no reason we can’t easily hit a thousand and from there a few thousand more?
Big thanks to MMA Convert, Watch Kalib Run, MMA Fanhouse, Cage Potato, and everyone else who’s passed on the word about this. You can help do more by asking your friends to retweet or talking about it on forums or in the comments section of blogs!