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|Think Mayweather would get in the ring with Chuck Liddell, the UFC light heavyweight champ?|
Look no further than the present if you're still playing the b.s. "UFC isn't mainstream" card. First, just last week, the majority owners of the Ultimate Fighting Championship agreed to buy their biggest mixed-martial-arts rival -- the Japan-based PRIDE Fighting Championships. PRIDE is to Japan what the UFC is to the U.S. Yes, PRIDE had some financial problems in the past, and there were even rumors of bankruptcy. But with UFC's acquisition of PRIDE, the future of MMA looks as bright as the Las Vegas strip. "When somebody buys a company for 65 million dollars, that tells you it's pretty mainstream," said Mike Goldberg, the play-by-play announcer for the UFC. "You're bringing together the two main entities of the sport. This obviously opens a lot of doors for huge fight opportunities all over the world. It's huge. It's just huge." Said Lorenzo Fertitta, majority owner of the UFC: "This is really going to change the face of MMA. Literally creating a sport that could be as big around the world as soccer. I liken it somewhat to when the [old NFL] and [old AFL] came together to create the NFL."
|Looks pretty exciting, doesn't it?|
"We're definitely there. If Floyd Mayweather is being asked about UFC and he is commenting about UFC, no matter what he's saying, we've arrived," said Goldberg. "The fact that it's coming up in a boxing press conference speaks for itself." So Pretty Boy, as you prepare for your big bout, don't take the UFC's success personally. You've got bigger fish to fry. None of us in Camp UFC are trying to take anything away from the tradition and historical significance of boxing. We're just not interested in it. We're smarter than Don King. (Plus we think UFC prez Dana White could take him down.)
We know what we want.And if I may reference "Fight Club" one more time, "If you don't know what you want, you end up with a lot you don't." We want our UFC. Mary Buckheit is a Page 2 columnist. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.