How come THAT DUDE isn’t a budding MMA superstar?
Sure, the cage combat faithful are jazzed up that Pretty Tony is returning to the cage this weekend, but why hasn’t he crossed over to become the Hollywood-esque martial artist we all thought he would?
If you started from scratch and tried to build the ideal MMA fighter, you might come out with a hodgepodge that closely resembles Mr. Pettis.
Reason for superstardom #1: His fights are ELECTRIC. He does stuff that only ninja’s in subtitled Japanese flicks do.
Reason for superstardom #2: He FINISHES fights. During the Edgar/Henderson era, didn’t we all desperately call for a fight finisher at 155? Well, now we have one. Still, it seems there is little to no buzz when his fights arrive.
Reason for superstardom #3: He somehow ended up on the COVER of a Wheaties box and none of us seem to care. Where is the love for Showtime?
There are a few answers I’ve been casually mulling over as UFC 185 approaches as to why Pettis hasn’t spun off into a stardom supernova.
We are all probably experiencing a Ronda Rousey hangover. Even though her last tilt only lasted 14 seconds, we have been talking about her future for what seems like eternity. Can Cyborg make 135? Is Holly Holm ready? Can Ronda beat a male? Will she decapitate a moose in the cage? Ronda. Ronda. Ronda…
Ronda Rousey queries have thankfully run their course and now we are free to talk about upcoming fights, yet the MMA twittersphere is still failing to realize the epicness we have on deck this weekend. (Mayweather/PacMan coverage doesn’t help the cause either…)
The strike for strike most exciting fighter in the sport is lacing them up this weekend and there still a serious lack of chatter surrounding this thing. It boggles the mind!
In my mind, the real issue lies in the hands of Pretty Tony’s opponents. They simply can’t sell fights. Gilbert Melendez is the fighter’s fighter. The toughest SOB this side of the Prime Meridian, yet he doesn’t exactly make you want to shell out your cold hard cash for a PPV. Showtime’s last outing (against Melendez), UFC 181 did 400K PPV buys, which is decent in this day and age, but it was also the co-main event of the night.
Hendricks/Lawler II caught top-billing that night and rightfully so. While Hendricks is booked for a scrap with the modern incarnate of Rasputin, Matt Brown on Saturday, it lies 3 fights down on the card. Will the Carla Esparza/ Joanna J******* fight help move the PPV needle at all? No sir.
The sales lie on the shoulders of our main event fighters and Rafael Dos Anjos isn’t exactly pulling his weight. Over at Bleacher Report, the homey Chad Dundas broke down this problem a million times better than I could. If you didn’t click over, let me sum it up for you: RDA is the ultimate nondescript Brazilian fighter. He has a seemingly web-generated Brazilian MMA contender name and a look that doesn’t make him stand out from the crowd.
His Embedded scenes show him training and praying. Nothing to write home about here. Woo hoo. It takes two to tango, brother. It’s safe to say that RDA won’t be the Chael Sonnen to Showtime’s Anderson Silva, if you catch my drift.
Let’s hope an off-the-cage triple-axle moonsault hadouken can vault Pettis into MMA luminary status. Otherwise, I simply don’t know how to sell you this guy.