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An open letter to Dana White and the UFC regarding Chicago

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Erik Koch vs Ricardo LamasI want to start out by stating that I am not one of those people who thinks they can run the UFC better than Dana White, Lorenzo Fertitta and Frank Fertitta. I understand that there are many things about running such an organization that I cannot begin to fathom. I am also not one of those that thinks the UFC just got to where they are by accident. I understand that it is a result of the decisions and choices that Dana the Fertitta brothers have made over the years.

Have they made mistakes? Sure, everybody does and it is impossible to never be wrong. Most people’s mistakes are either hidden or only known to a few. When Dana makes one it is often the lead-in for that night’s sport news program. It is a part of being the face of one of the biggest organizations in sports today.

One of the mistakes they made this last year was the Chicago card. Just one change would have transformed that card and event.

The main event was Benson Henderson versus Josh Thompson. I am a fan of both fighters and I enjoyed that fight but I was in the minority. It was not the type of fight to engage the casual fan or bring new ones to the sport. It was also not one that sold particularly well.

As I looked around the less than full arena I could not help in that moment but to wonder what the place would have been like if they had flipped the Henderson versus Thompson fight for the Jose Aldo and Ricardo Lamas one that took place one week later. That fight was the co-main event and would have better served as the main event of the Chicago card.

For those who do not know, Lamas is a local Chicago fighter. Articles on him appear in the local papers and magazines. His presence on the card would have sold tickets and as the main event against Aldo they would have packed the house.

I was always puzzled that this did not happen in the first place. This is usually what the UFC does so well. They understand their markets and usually fill the card with local fighters.

There were fighters like Eddie Wineland with local connections on the card. Nearby Milwaukee was well represented but there was that glaring absence of a local Chicago fighter featured on it.

The Lamas and Aldo fight would have taken care of that.

I hope you are coming back again next year and give us another chance, all that I ask is a couple of local fighters and maybe a few Irish and some from TUF: Latin America. They are two of the stronger communities here in Chicago and would support their fighters.

With the understanding that many things will happen and some of these possible fights will not be able to be made or fighters might not be available – here are my suggestions for the next Chicago card.

Conor McGregor versus Ricardo Lamas

This would be a fun fight and would have the fans going crazy over who to support. The place would be packed and loud. I know everybody is going to want McGregor if he continues to win. That is what makes this fight so great. If they both win their next two fights than this could be a title eliminator fight and be the perfect main event showcase.

If things fall into place for that to happen please give Lamas the Chicago fight he and the fans deserve. You could easily put in a Lamas rematch with Cub Swanson as well. Basically Lamas and any top fighter would sell, it is the McGregor fight that would make things epic.

Felice Herrig versus Anybody

Again, this is one of those simple no-brainer type of calls. Herrig is easily one of the more popular fighters just signed to the UFC. She is from Chicago and still lives here. Her popularity is about to blow-up when TUF 20 airs. She always comes to fight and lives up to her nickname of “Lil Bulldog”.

The fans love themselves some Herrig. Put her on the card and the place will go crazy. If she wins TUF 20 then make her first title defense here in Chicago and it would be a truly epic moment.

Bring back Clay Guida

Look, we know he trains in New Mexico with Jackson/Winklejohn, but he is still a Chicago guy. His local commercials still air here and the fans love his style. Guida will always have Chicago’s love and we will support him when he fights.

Cathal Pendred

He has proven to be one of the more popular fighters from TUF 19 and the fans here would embrace him. There are many fighters you could pair him with to get them excited maybe against fellow cast mate Dhiego Lima as a possibility.

Trust me Dana, Chicago can do better we did in January, but to be honest you can too. Just switching the Henderson/Thompson and Lamas/Aldo fights would have been better for the fans and helped the Chicago card tremendously. While I enjoyed the Henderson/Thompson fight we all can agree it would have been as a three round fight and the Aldo/Lamas fight deserved to be the main event for the Chicago card.

Sincerely,

A fan, The Fight Wolff

image credit – Esther Lin/MMA Fighting

 

An avid lifetime fight fan who loves to write about it. So kick back, get comfortable and let's have some fun! "Wants me to tell him something pretty." Al Sweargen "Going wrong is not the end of fucking things, Johnny. Fuck no! I have comeback from plenty of shit that looked like it was going wrong." Dan Dority "Deserve's got nothin' to do with it." Bill Munny

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