MMA Payout now has a more even keeled ‘What killed Affliction’ article up, and Randy doesn’t even break the top five list. The last two items were kinda interesting though:
4. The presence of the UFC. The sport’s most popular fighting organization drew the ire of many hardcore fans for its hard-line stance and opposition to Affliction. By refusing to co-promote, refusing to acknowledge the existence of Affliction, and waging competitive broadcasts during Affliction events, the UFC helped to cut off the casual MMA fan from knowing about, hearing about, or watching Affliction events.
5. The state of the sport itself. MMA simply isn’t yet popular enough to sustain a full-on competitor to the UFC. There isn’t enough disposable cash in the current economy, there aren’t enough marketable entities outside of the UFC’s control to make it happen, and, dare I say, there just isn’t enough interest in the sport as of right now.
This seems to be the general opinion going around right now: you can’t compete with the big dog, because the big dog has a stranglehold on the market and will rip your throat out if you try to get in on their business. While it may seem like Dana White has hit a new Kumbaya stage in his life lately, I think most of the reconciliations that have happened have more to do with people realizing the UFC has ‘won’, rather than any other factor.
Look at the rest of the scene: DREAM is dying a slow death due to indifference and Sengoku is basically a Japanese Strikeforce – respected by fans but not exactly setting any underwear on fire. Speaking of Strikeforce, they seem perfectly content to play the #2 role in North America. Maybe they’re waiting for the right moment to strike, but it would take something pretty epic like Dana saying ‘nigger’ on ESPN to open the door even a crack for them to move in.
There always seems to be a steady supply of idiots out there who dream of running a fight promotion into the ground, but I’m starting to think we might be nearing the end of the MMA promotional wars. There’s always going to be a handful of smaller promotions floating around and thank God for that, but it will be interesting to see if anyone comes close to becoming competition for the UFC. And interesting to see how the UFC will react once they’ve finished mopping up.