The UFC presently reigns supreme in the MMA landscape. For some years, UFC and Pride FC were the dominant forces. For the most part, Pride FC was #1 in the world.
I always thought that having matches between the UFC and Pride FC was going to be a big deal. Indeed we had some "invasions", as Chuck Lidell had some Pride FC matches.
What we're seeing now is that the lack of competition has turned the UFC into a more stale product. Organizations are scrambling to become the next "Pride FC", as the big japanese market is pretty much up for grabs.
In my opinion, the UFC needs to change a few things:
- Title shots: why do title shots have to be given out in such an easy manner? You have just too many title shots during a full year, and some of these involve fighters that don't deserve them. Examples: Nate Quarry challeging Rich Franklin, Paul Buentello challenging Andrei Arlovski. Title shots should only be given to deserving contenders, not as a way to sell a few more tickets.
- More international talent: this situation has been improving, since the demise of Pride. But there are still too many american and canadian nobodies that somehow make their way into the UFC.
- Fedor: the best Heavyweight in the world isn't a current UFC fighter. Enough said.
- Tournaments: this was one of Pride FC's greatest features. There is no better way to get a contender than to make tournaments. This is the stuff legends are made of.
I really hope a new organization emerges in Japan, to fill the void left by Pride FC. In the meantime, let's see if the UFC can improve its product (which isn't bad at all, of course).