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Impact Report: Signing of Sokoudjou could benefit UFC’s bottom line

After going through a period of negative news that included Randy Couture’s resignation along with a potential deal with HBO falling through, the UFC has rebounded nicely with a string of positive announcements.

First, it was the signing of Brock Lesnar, which is a move that has the potential to pay huge dividends for the UFC from a mainstream perspective.

Soon after that they made hardcore fans very happy by overlooking recent results and signing a long-awaited dream match between Chuck Liddell and Wanderlei Silva for UFC 79.

Now comes an official report on announcing the addition of Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou to the promotion’s roster of contracted fighters along with his debut at UFC 79 on Dec. 29 against Ryoto Machida.

The UFC has been riding a huge wave of momentum but there was reason to believe that their growth could slow for the first time in recent memory. The company has benefited greatly from the introduction of The Ultimate Fighter reality TV concept but the promotion’s biggest revenue producer is pay-per-view. When it comes to PPV, Couture, Liddell, Tito Ortiz, and even Matt Hughes are the company’s most recognizable stars and biggest draws. Unfortunately, the long-term future of all four stars are uncertain. It’s unknown when or if Couture will ever fight under the company’s banner; Liddell is 37 and coming off back-to-back losses; Ortiz is 32 but has a lot of tread on his body and his fighting style is somewhat dated; and Hughes has expressed a personal belief that he only has 2-3 fights left in him.

In short, there was a brief period where a strong case could be made that the UFC’s long-term future was somewhat cloudy because it wasn’t apparent who could step in and replace the likes of Couture, Liddell, Ortiz, and Hughes. However, following the signing of Sokoudjou, one of the hottest young commodities in the fight game, it’s apparent that the UFC definitely has a nice young tier of talent that has the potential to evolve into top drawing cards.


  • Zack says:

    I agree with this word for word. Sokoudjou has all the talent, charisma, and looks to be a huge star. He has that “big kid” smile that gives him a friendly giant feel.

    I know some of our past heroes are potentially on the wane (Wandy, Randy, Liddell, etc.), but I’ve never been more excited to be an MMA fan than right now. We should be embarassed to have this many exciting fighters just in the UFC (not to mention all the other orgs)…Rampage, Houston Alexander, Sokoudjou, Forrest Griffin, Anderson Silva, GSP, Karo, Tyson Griffin, Clay Guida, BJ, etc.

  • Dizzle says:

    I’m betting that Sokoudjou will be a UFC champion before end of 2008.

  • Jeremy says:

    I thought that was a very well thought out article Sam. You raised alot of good points about Sokoudjou. Can’t wait to see how it eventually turns out. I am really interested in seeing how Machida reacts during this fight as well. I thought he looked a little more aggressive his last fight, so this could be a real big test for him in that aspect.

  • ttt says:

    interesting article sam, but it appears most of your argument hinges on sokoudjou beating machida. machida is no slouch and i don’t expect him to get knocked out as quickly as lil nog and arona. the LHW division is such a mess that although a loss isn’t so bad because everyone’s beaten another contender, a loss would prevent him from a title shot for at least a year

  • hbdale309 says:

    Wow. Great blog, Sam. This may be the best one you’ve put together. I couldn’t agree more w/ everything you said. Don’t forget GSP though.


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