It doesn’t matter if you’re the biggest UFC fan in the world or you’ve never heard the name Chuck Liddell in your life. Odds are, you want to see CM Punk vs. Jason David Frank. You may not admit it. You may be the MMA purist that says, “it’s just a gimmick, it’s not a real fight.” And you’re probably right. But guess what. No one cares! It’s a frickin’ Power Ranger vs. the former WWE champion! People will pay to see that!
So, even though it’s definitely a long shot, I’m going to lay out the reasons that it should happen. Starting with...
1. People will pay to see that!
You bring in all types of people by promoting this fight. Your typical fans are still going to buy tickets and pay for the pay-per-view because, let’s face it, this wouldn’t be the main event on the card. Make this the first fight on a pay-per-view card that features Anderson Silva or Ronda Rousey. Fight fans will buy it.
But this fight will also get you the non-fight fans. Anyone who was a big Power Rangers fan (and there’s a lot of us) will be freaking out to see Tommy Oliver in the octagon. Anyone who’s a WWE fan (and there’s a lot of us) will line up to see the self proclaimed “greatest wrestler in the world” step into the cage.
Bottom line, this will make money. And yeah, it becomes a bit of a circus and looks like a publicity gimmick. But that just brings me to my next point...
2. It’s already kind of gimmick-y. So just commit!
Listen, you just signed CM Punk. I know, the guy’s name is Phil Brooks and he’s someone that is serious about getting into MMA and blah blah blah blaaahhhh. You can package it any way you want. What really happened here, is the UFC signed a former WWE champion because people got excited about Brock Lesnar fights in the past. In other words, they signed CM Punk to make money.
So stop trying to play this off as a move that’s in the best interest of the sport. It’s not. It’s a move to make money. So commit to that and make the fight that will make the most money. Sure, some people will pay to see Punk fight anyone. But if you think CM Punk vs. some 28-year-old guy with a couple pro fights that no one has ever heard of, will sell as well as CM Punk vs. the Green Ranger... well then... you’re... you’re just wrong.
And that’s what we would get. You’re not going to see Punk vs. some UFC star that everyone loves. No, you’re going to see someone else making their UFC debut. Dana White has already said he wants to put him up against someone with the same MMA experience (meaning none) or slightly more. Which, again, leads to my next point.
3. Jason David Frank actually has some MMA experience.
The key word here is SOME. Yeah, he’s a lifelong martial artist. But that’s different from actually stepping into the cage. Frank is 3-0 in amateur fights and 1-0 in professional fights. That means he has one more pro fight than CM Punk. Hey Dana, you’re not gonna find anyone else that is closer to “slightly more” experience.
And this fact is a double sided coin. Going back to the gimmick thing, people might think that the UFC signing the Green Ranger is a joke. Well if that’s the case, then what is the signing of Punk? Jason David Frank has 4 fights under his belt (which by the way, is black if we’re talking about karate). CM Punk has no MMA training whatsoever. Frank is a legitimate MMA threat, winning all of his 4 fights in the first round. Punk hasn’t won anything since he hit John Cena with a “Go To Sleep.”
So you tell me, which one of these guys belongs in the UFC?
4. The rivalry is already built
It may seem like I’m building up some controversy between these two guys. But guess what. It was already there! What’s better than seeing a fight where the two guys genuinely don’t like each other? Not much.... not much at all.
Now that may be overshooting a little. Frank has repeatedly said that he likes Punk and he thinks he’s a great guy. But he has also called him “naive” and said that Punk could be “scared.”
See, about two years ago fans presented the idea to Punk that he should fight Frank. This was long before he signed with the UFC, but Punk acknowledged the idea. Then when he was asked about it after he signed, he denied ever hearing about the challenge and laughed it off. That didn’t make Frank happy. So now you have Punk saying that the fight would be a joke, and Frank saying that Punk wanted the fight before but is now backing out. Sounds like controversy to me.
As a matter of fact, when I talked to Frank in Philadelphia he agreed that there is something here.
“He said he wanted to fight me in a panel,” Frank said. “I’m just doing what he said. In the fight world, you can’t say ‘I’ll fight you’ and then don’t.”
Controversy is the ultimate fight promoter. People want to see two guys fight more when there’s that extra edge there.
“I mean, what was the motivation behind the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight,” Frank said. “It was a lot of controversy. Everyone was talking crap. It’s just the industry.”
And that controversy leads me to my final point...
5. People.... will pay.... to see that!
I know, It’s a bit repetitive. But I mean, come on! The marketing writes itself! You have two pop culture icons who, for the most part, don’t like each other, are around the same age and weight, have close to the same amount of professional experience and at least at some point both wanted this fight to happen!
And who wouldn’t go nuts when these songs hit in the arena...
This is a win-win for the UFC. People pay to see the fight, and one of these guys wins and can be built up for future fights. If Punk goes up against someone we’ve never heard of, and loses, well... good luck trying to build him up for another fight. But if he fights the Green Ranger and loses, well then I guess people will pay to see the next Green Ranger fight.
And don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying Punk would lose (though that is how I would most likely pick it). I’m just saying the result can only be good for the UFC. If Punk wins, well then obviously they can build him up for another fight.
I understand all the reasons not to have this fight. I’m a big UFC fan myself, and I get the argument that this fight would not be the best thing for the sport of mixed martial arts. But you know who it is good for? It’s good for the fans. It’s good for the UFC. And it’s not like it’s making a complete joke of the sport. It’s just two guys, getting their first shot at the big time. Whether they deserve it or not is a matter of opinion, as is the case with any new talent making their debut.
So, Mr. Brooks, Mr. Frank, Mr. White and Mr. Silva. For the sake of the fans, let’s make this happen!