The UFC aims to compete head to head with the NFL, NBA, and MLB, and beat them. However, the UFC is a for-profit business, unlike the governing bodies for the nation’s other major sports leagues. Just because the New England Patriots sell the most apparel doesn’t mean that they will get in the Superbowl. By contrast, fights are regularly put together in the UFC not because the most deserving, #1 challenger is available, but because it will put asses in seats.
For example, UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz fights #6 ranked contender Cody Garbrandt. In Garbrandt’s defense, he is a perfect 10-0, with all but one win coming by way of T/KO. However, what about #5 ranked Bryan Caraway, #4 ranked Jimmie Rivera, #3 ranked Raphael Assuncao, #2 ranked John Lineker, and #1 ranked TJ Dillashaw?
“Some people say somebody deserves it, that doesn’t matter to me,” said Cruz. “I don’t care what anybody else thinks or what anybody else deserves because there’s no validity behind that. There’s nothing.”
“Rankings don’t mean anything. I don’t care about rankings. I care about sales. And right now, Cody Garbrandt is running his mouth enough, he’s writing such a big check that he can’t cash, that I can’t wait to take it all from him and stuff it down his throat.”
“What the difference is, is that he comes from a storyline of guys that I’ve been beating down for 10-plus years from a camp called Alpha Fail and his biggest coach is a guy that I’ve been smashing for 10-plus years. It’s just there. It’s all there for the taking. It’s all there for everybody on their entire squad that’s going to be sad and crying again after I smash their boy. So it’s perfect for me. I love it.”
“What I care about is what the UFC lines up for me to make money, because they’re worth $4.2 billion and they make the matchups, not me, not T.J. Dillashaw, not anybody else.”
Cruz has the most innovative style of any champion in mixed martial arts. He is a thinker and cites Conor McGregor as the source of his views on title validity.
“I didn’t think talking would mean anything,” said Cruz. “I thought it was just talk. But it’s not. It’s actually not. Because the fans grasp ahold of talking and that’s what matters, is the fans. Not the UFC. The UFC thinks what the fans think. That’s what the UFC thinks, because they’re smart. They don’t care what the fighters think, they don’t care what the media thinks, they care what the fans think. And when you care what the fans think, you get sales.”
Cruz fights Garbrandt in the co-main event of UFC 207 on December 30, 2016, at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Ronda Rousey hasn’t fought in a year and was crushed in her title loss to Holly Holm, but she fights women’s bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes in the main event.
There will be sales.