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What might the MMA world look like post-Coronavirus threat

one of the world
one of the world's toughest sports; cage fighting
Modified 19 Mar 2020

The fact of the matter is only in tragedy does change happen. Now that tragedy is a matter of perspective; but tragic none the less. Everything from autoracing's HANS device to Olympic security post Munich, and all point in between.

There's a reason gyms are being shuttered worldwide. They're breeding grounds for bacteria. Even the cleanest of clean ones. When men and women workout for a living, disease is easily spread. If not to each other, to their families, and neighborhoods.

Recently "The American Gangster" Chael P. Sonnen had an interesting take on the fight that everyone who loves MMA is lusting after; Tony vs Khabib. And what might be looked at as some foreshadowing he may have just predicted the future.

What if Ferguson versus Nurmagomedov was a one fight card with no one but absolutely essential people there. As much as the pay-per-view model of doing business is slowly dying; this would take "dark matches" to a whole new level. Especially since streaming platforms have proven to be winning formats financially. And it would dramatically cut the bottom line tremendously for the company.

In most forms of entertainment there are openings and features before you see what you came to see. In boxing while there is an undercard, it goes on in an almost empty arena. Even a solid co-main feature venues are almost empty. It's not till a main event everyone piles in.

So what if the UFC used it's brand new baby; The Apex for one fight cards. Or even a 2-5 fight card. What if that very well became the new norm. It would triple if not quadruple the amount of cards needed, which means more eyes watching in the long run. It would also mean the company cuts overhead. No more travel expenses, no having to deal with the public (which some of you may be upset about, but they don't like having to deal with outsiders.) are just two examples.

They could then control where fighters are at all times, they'd have control over press availability for the most part, and there would be no state or country taxes, no venue fees. It would be a win-win for the company. You may ask what about fans in attendance. Well; The Apex is in Vegas. Open it to high rollers and family only. Like a super-sized version of The Dana White Contender Series. If you wonder about concession stands; well venues get anywhere from 60%-100% of that. That money loss can be recouped in other ways, especially with them saving so much in others.

As far as other organizations like Bellator, One FC, RIZIN, Invicta go; they all have their own "home base venues". But the business model would have shown others it could work. And when one company shows others it can make money while cutting costs; they follow. Like the pied piper.

Yes, the move would be dramatic and shocking at first. But we humans seem to adapt quite well to change. Especially when we have no say in the matter. Which here we don't. Sure there may be public debating back and forth, but in the end it's all about the companies. And their money. They'll do whatever they want and need to do to save a buck.

Published 19 Mar 2020, 05:32 IST
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