As much as the demand from the fans is there, none of these fights will ever take place. The simple reason for this is “marketing.” Not because the fans wouldn’t pay for it, but because there is a singular problem with pitting champion against champion: one of them would have to lose.
In the process of becoming more main stream and socially acceptable, the UFC has used each of its division king- pins as the “faces” of the sport. One of these champions losing in a “super fight” could diminish said fighters mystique and marketability. Unfortunately, we as the fans will be left wanting.
Or will we?
The UFC has a unique opportunity to offer up its first “Super Fight” that will be highly marketable, and won’t pose any of the previous issues. Are you ready? Wait for it…
Dominick Cruz vs. Jose Aldo
While the UFC made long steps to promote a rubber match between current bantamweight champ Cruz and Urijah Faber, the bout was canceled after Cruz was injured in training. With a long recovery ahead of Cruz, the UFC was faced with a void that needed to be filled. Scrapping the original headline, they recovered by scheduling an interim title match between Faber and Renan Barao.
While Cruz coming back to unify the bantamweight title is interesting, it would only be really marketable if Faber is successful in obtaining the interim title, re-igniting the grudge match in the process. What if we did something different, instead? Although Faber and Barao will be contesting the bantamweight title, the fact of the matter is that Cruz has not been beaten since winning the strap…which makes him a “homeless” champion.
Although his dominance isn’t regarded at the same level of GSP or Silva, Cruz has held his strap comfortably, going 19-1 in his career (the singular loss coming from Faber at 145 which he avenged at 135).
While Aldo is highly regarded as the top striker at 145, Cruz has the speed and foot work to give him fits. Aldo is a BJJ black belt, and Cruz has a strong wrestling pedigree. Aldo is big for the division, but Cruz is long and lanky. Everything about this fight would be competitive. The UFC could promote its first “Champion vs. Champion Superfight.”
Win or lose, Cruz would still be able to go back and challenge/ re-unify the bantam weight title, leaving the UFC with its original storyline.
After a recent string of mostly lack-luster cards, I would gladly pay $44.99. Shoot, for a Super Fight, I might just splurge on the extra ten dollars and get it in HD.
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC