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With the exception of being able to physically “do something” to someone you have issues with; MMA has been kinda normal. The UFC will always be the gold standard in the business. That’s just the way it is, simply because they were the first to do it. Recently over the last few years thanks to the growth of  BELLATOR“FREE AGENCY” has come alive. Add on a newly rebranded PFL; and things were on the verge of becoming interesting. The more organizations that are successful in their “ponds” are good for unhappy fighters. It provides options to go where they will get what they feel they deserve and be treated fairly. It’s no longer a “ONE HORSE TOWN”. When fighters left the UFC for Bellator they were questioned “why do that”? Now there’s a new player in the game. Former Wall Street hedge fund guy  CHATRI SITYODTONG and ONE CHAMPIONSHIP. Especially since they just obtained a couple of billion; with a “B”; in investments. Their first big splash into the market? EDDIE ALVAREZ for a cool 8 figure contract. On ARIEL HELWANI’S MMA SHOW; Eddie told Ariel that “big things” were coming to One Championship; formerly ONE FC. Boy was he right.

Now here comes just about the final step to be like other pro sports. Trades. For quite along time DANA WHITE has not been happy with the men’s flyweight division. He’s on occasion even threatened to close shop for the 125ers. While it is hard to think of adult males being 125 pounds; it’s just the way it is. It now looks as though the 52 gentlemen with contracts to fight at 125 will have some decisions to make. A- retire, B- sign on with another organization, or C- move up in weight. That’s because if all the “i’s” get dotted and all the “t’s” get crossed the long running face for 125 pounds will be traded. Yes traded. Kinda. Demetrious Johnson and long time what if UFC fighter Ben Askren will be immediately released simultaneously and sign with the opposite organization. So in essence; traded straight up for one another. Twitter across the MMA world exploded upon hearing the news. Die-hards have had their minds blown up.

But my dear MMA fans, whether it’s a cross promotion (a hot rumor between Bellator & Rizin bantamweight champs in a super-fight), or trades; those are good things. DJ’s trainer/mgr Matt Hume is one of One’s match-makers. There is a line a mile long of great match-ups waiting for Ben in the octagon. Most of which you have cried “what if….” like Diaz, GSP, Khabib, Woodley, Maia, to name a few. Well; now’s the chance to see it. It also comes with another little diddy. If the UFC shuts the door on 125; it will need a new division to take up the slack. As we all know; right now they have issues filling cards. Take a division away and they’ll be in more trouble. So could this be the setting up of a much discussed 165 division? If it is classes will have to be changed. The most likely one is keep 135, 145, 155, add 165, move 170 to 175, keep 185, (a pipe dream for many a 195 division too), 205, then heavyweight. In theory then it would be DJ for Askren and a 165 division.

This truly is some exciting and thrilling times to come if companies work together to heat things up in a cold winter.


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