Life Happens While You're Making Other Plans -- Mallory's Thoughts on a Crazy Couple of Weeks
By Mallory Mahling
It's been a chaotic couple of weeks. First, a Raw fan comes out of the audience and becomes the Intercontinental Champion in Milan, Italy. A dream come true. Right? Okay, so we're talking about professional wrestling, where an unknown pinning the fearsome monster Umaga is not uncommon in a world of predetermined dreams.
But then on Saturday night a virtual unknown got into the Octagon with the venerable Mirko "Cro Cop" and knocked him out cold. This was definitely a dream come true, at least for Gabriel Gonzaga. UFC is, after all, as real as it gets.
But the fact is, UFC had been making other plans. They thought they had a dream match coming.
Mirko "Cro Cop"--Member of Parliament, crime fighter in his native Croatia, and a HUGE acquisition by UFC, was on the fast track to the UFC Heavyweight Championship. That is, until he fell victim to the type of devastating kick he'd have used himself if he'd had the opportunity. After all the hype, the lesser known Gonzaga left Cro Cop sprawled on the mat. To be fair, anybody can have a bad day, and Cro Cop is still major star.
Gonzaga now has a chance to become a major star, too. His next fight is with Randy Couture for the Heavyweight Championship, a title that has eluded Cro Cop, at least for now. Will it have the marquee magic of a fight between Cro Cop and Randy Couture? It could, and in the weeks prior to that fight I expect that UFC will make Gonzaga the biggest thing since…well…U-u-u-maga.
How, you ask?
Well, consider this. A major announcement by Dana White during UFC 70 was that the next season of "The Ultimate Fighter" will feature the Welterweight Division, with new champ Matt Serra and old champ Matt Hughes as coaches. A year ago, that would have been a "so what" announcement. But given the hard feelings that built during TUF 4 between the arrogant guest coach Hughes and the come back kid, Serra, people will be eager to see the match between those two at the end of the sixth season because UFC adeptly turned the Hughes/Serra feud into pure gold.
My point is, with the right spin, UFC can turn the Gonzaga/Cro Cop upset into gold, too.
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Thanks for reading and see ya next week.
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