As most of you know by now, I’m a huge fan of “Mr. Sunshine” Steve Cofield’s work on Fox Sports Radio out of Las Vegas. Steve is a general sports talk show host by trade, but shows mad love to boxing and MMA on his program.
Steve’s interviews with MMA figures are always top notch and I’m not sure why a TV outlet or fight promotion hasn’t hired this guy to do their post-fight interview. It’s not like he needs another job though, because he already hosts like 50 radio shows.
In addition to his radio work, Steve has also been submitting MMA columns to FoxSports.com. His latest submission is an article discussing the current growth pattern of the UFC and MMA. In it, he has quotes from UFC president Dana White, EliteXC live events president Gary Shaw, and fighter/commentator Frank Trigg.
The Shaw quotes are especially noteworthy, as he shows no mercy in going after White, challenging the UFC president in a number of areas, such as:
“It was easy for UFC before there was competition. There was no other choice in the past. Once you have choices, there’s a problem,” said Shaw. “You can’t stuff a pay-per view down the throat of the fan every month if there are other choices out there. I don’t know what their real pay-per-view numbers are, but I guarantee you they’re not doing the 700,000-800,000 pay-per-view numbers now. And you don’t hear them bragging about it.”
Shaw also believes that EliteXC is promoting its fighters in a different fashion than the UFC:
“Their philosophy is different than ours. No one is bigger than the fighter in Elite XC. In UFC, no fighter is bigger than Dana and the company. My thought is the athlete is the single most important component of our company. We’re more interested in making great, fan-friendly fights than who we’re going to pick to be our next champion.”
Is it possible UFC could be headed for the same fate as Vince McMahon’s World Wrestling Entertainment? WWE saw record profits in the late ’90s, only to plateau and fall back over the last seven years.
“It’s just like the McMahons. No wrestler was allowed to be bigger than Vince,” said Shaw. “UFC’s model is flawed. They keep recycling stars. If you ask people about UFC fighters, they will give the same four names. For as long as they’ve been around, they really haven’t developed many big names.”