With the recent release of Jon Fitch
, a lot of people have been clamoring about how this is ruining the sport and it's not sporting and the sport is now becoming entertainment, blah, blah, blah. Personally, I find that to be a bit of historical revision. Some time a very long time ago, a group of people figured out thatwhen two guys started kicking each other's ass, or trying to kill each other, spectators would gather round. Someone even smarter than that realized they could make money taking bets. Combat Sports, and sports in general, are entertainment. We wouldn't watch them if we weren't entertained by it. Today, of course, it costs a lot more than a couple copper pieces so we have to choose wisely where we spend our disposable income, thus you're making a choice to be entertained while watching a sport. They go together. Gladiators weren't hailed as heroes because they won; they were adored because they won in spectacular fashion.
So that aside, maybe the team concept isn't a bad idea. We have AKA and the Blackzillians and Blackhouse, etc. So, why not set it up to where the "team" gets paid a portion of the PPV and gate and the team can then pay their fighters what they think they are worth to bring them onboard. This bypasses the need for a union as the promotion isn't responsible for paying anymore and the team takes on the burden of providing quality fighters, paying for training camps, and paying their fighters a living wage. Instead of getting 6K to show and 6K for a win, the lower tier fighters could start at a salary, say 25 K, from their team and the team would bear the burden of putting them in enough fights to be worth the salary, time, and training. The fighter would still get to manage his or her own sponsors and still recieve bonuses from the UFC, but the promotion would no longer be responsible for paying the individual to fight.