When ProElite -- a competitor he claimed to have never taken seriously -- announced it would be filing for bankruptcy last week, White gloated like a kid who'd just won at kickball. Magnanimous it wasn't, but if we expected anything different from the outspoken White we have only ourselves to blame for our disappointment.
As much as it pleases White to see another competitor go under, the reality is that it leaves a lot of people unemployed in lean economic times. And no, I'm not just talking about
At the moment, no one is going anywhere until the murky contract situation gets cleared up. But when it does, as it eventually must, there are five fighters the UFC should sign, and quick:
The most talented fighter on the ProElite roster, the welterweight champ is almost certain to find himself in the Octagon. He doesn't come with an exorbitant price tag (which is always a bonus for Dana White & Co.), and he's a fresh face for a division that threatens to be cleaned out by
Two Diaz brothers in the UFC? Isn't that just a little too hardcore for one company? I sure hope not. The Diaz brothers may be a constant headache and a roaming sideshow, but they also put on a show every time they step in the Octagon. Nick might have to come down on his asking price a little and maybe even give up his medical marijuana card, but the UFC could certainly use him. Besides, he's going to be at all his brother's fights causing trouble anyway, so why not make him an employee and get the benefits along with drawbacks?
Like Diaz, he had his run in the UFC before his EliteXC days. But Lawler has become a different fighter since then. Hard-nosed, hard-hitting and no-frills, he could bring something new to a middleweight division that is painfully thin right now. As long as he doesn't price himself out of the running, there is no reason for the UFC to let him get away.
No one suffered more from Slice's collapse against
Perhaps the least known of the bunch, the light heavyweight Feijao is athletically gifted and ready to break into the big time. If the UFC doesn't sign him now, someone else will. He still needs a little time to grow (which is another way of saying the UFC won't have to pay through the nose to get him), but he could be a major contender in the 205-pound division within a year or two.