"Unhappy is the land that needs a hero." - Bertolt Brecht
In the community of mixed martial arts, below the pristine houses of casual viewers and apartment buildings of diehard fans, there lies a culture of computer creatures. Each one is YouTube-clip hungry and blood thirsty. They slovenly type their bilious criticisms of no fight being violent enough, no UFC decision being smart enough and no champion being good enough. They lurk in the bowels of MMA's underbelly waiting to proclaim the next unknown prospect, like a hipster signing their allegiance to a no-name band. Sure, champions such as Georges St-Pierre and Anderson Silva have fought a gamut of contenders, but this fighter, this unrecognizable face to the masses, this prospect will surely present issues these titleholders have never seen before in their career.
And, yet, "Rush" and "The Spider" still hold their belts.
However, what if the hi-tech hecklers were right? What if their was such a prospect? What if there were two - one, a middleweight, named Chris Weidman, and the other, a welterweight, who goes by Johny Hendricks? And they both had the undeniable ability to dethrone the two greatest pound-for-pound fighters in the world during the same year! What then? How would the UFC handle it?
One could imagine a riot at the UFC headquarters. One where the UFC brass are immediately whisked away in a limousine through the streets of Las Vegas into the sun-soaked desert, where after miles of driving, they exit the vehicle into a bunker. It is there, inside of the steel walls, UFC matchmaker Joe Silva would repeatedly slam his face into the floor, while UFC President Dana White could avoid questions about immediate rematches, the eventual drop in pay-per-view numbers, and the penultimate death of promised super fights.
Or, perhaps there is a viable business plan. At least, I hope so.
Remember B.J. Penn? When he was lightweight champion, Penn was able to transform the division from a veritably unknown commodity to overwhelmingly popularity. However, when he lost back-to-back fights against Frankie Edgar, the response was immediate. PPV numbers plummeted so quickly for the division's title fights, one can only witness the now lightweight champion, Benson Henderson, on the free television channel Fox.
So if this is the year when MMA witnesses a loss by Silva and St-Pierre, and subsequently possible super-fights, I hope the computer creatures are finally happy, if only for a moment. Because, despite their potential joy, UFC will have lost two of their finest heroes.