There are a few things that annoy me when it comes to MMA. And I am not talking about the sport itself, or the fighters (ok, Frank Trigg and Phil Baroni definitely get under my skin), rather about things that are related to it, namely fans.
There are a lot of MMA fans who woke to the sport, who started watching it and became fans, with TUF 1. That's not a reason to be ashamed of, of course. But many of these more recent fans, that started watching when it all went mainstream in the US, are utterly clueless. It's like those NBA fans that think that there wasn't anything before Michael Jordan's Bulls came along.
I am giving the example of Fedor here. Fedor is a powerhouse, a very complete and skilled MMA HW fighter who just happens to have beaten almost every HW of interest, while at the same time never having been submitted or KOed. He's lethal on his feet and has slick submissions on the ground. However, with the untimely demise of Pride FC, he became more or less inactive. I want to make things clear: when Fedor was PRIDE FC's HW champion, the best HWs in the world were in PRIDE, the UFC HW division was more or less a joke (there was Arlovski, Sylvia, and that's it). At that time, and during many years, Pride FC was overall a better MMA organization than the UFC. That's another thing that puzzles many fans, but it's reality.
Fedor has beaten the likes of Mark Coleman, Ricardo Arona, Semmy Schilt, Minotauro Nogueira (he beat the current UFC HW champion twice!), Bob Sapp, Fujita, Kevin Randleman, Cro-Cop, Mark Hunt, Matt Lindland, etc.
At last many non-hardcore US MMA fans will get to see Fedor in action (yes, because the more knowledgeable US MMA fan knows who Fedor is, of course!). Affliction Banned, on July 19th, it is; the card itself looks very promising, the production value of tv spots that have been broadcasted are top-notch, and this may indeed become a US alternative to the UFC, in terms of MMA (EliteXC and the IFL? not so much).
Fedor is going to fight Tim Sylvia, which is good because everyone knows Timmy. Fedor is a better striker than Sylvia, and he is in a very different class when we start talking about grappling. So I am basically predicting Fedor to "murder" Sylvia, thus showing the more recent MMA fans who he is, and what he is capable of.
I once (some months ago) did a MMA throwdown here on Fannation about the world's best HW MMA fighter. I lost that TD. I chose Fedor and my opponent chose Cheick Kongo (really!?!?!). The average US MMA fan knows Kongo, but not Fedor, apparently.