3 Fighters the UFC Should Sign Right Now.

You might have seen the clip of Dana White talking about the Epic Dan Henderson/Shogun Rua fight and how it would’ve been a disaster had it aired to Fox’s audience, exposing them to a brutal war right out of the gate… and I have to agree. While it was certainly one of the greatest UFC fights of all time, new fans on free television would likely have difficulty with it.

I think that Fox is doing the right things with the UFC: Advertising the hell out of it, introducing the audience to the fighters and their backstories and limiting the fights it airs.

As the UFC raises its profile via the deal with Fox, the fighters it chooses to feature become more important than ever. With that in mind, here are three fighters I would sign immediately if I were in charge:

Neil Grove
An exciting, experienced heavyweight, Grove is friendly, articulate and knowledgeable. In other words, a great ambassador for MMA. Moments away from landing a gig commenting for Bellator (only to return to the cage instead), Grove has the media potential to perfectly align Fox’s priorities with the UFC’s as they bring more bouts than just their Main Events to the network broadcast.

Matt Horwich
We’ve had some fun with Matt, and that’s the point: Horwich brings something totally unique to MMA. He is a fascinating personality. I think that with the right exposure, and Fox is the king of making celebrities out of edge-dwellers, Horwich could be quite the draw for the broadcasts. Its important to draw the size of audience Fox has the potential to draw that there be something to balance out how serious and dangerous the sport can be. Not that Matt doesn’t take his philosophy totally seriously, but he could provide some levity in the midst of all this “war” going on…

Now, I would’ve tried to bring Fedor over much earlier, but we can’t live in the past. Fedor must be brought over immediately, made to work to 205, and given significant fights. This move wouldn’t be brought to Fox right away: Fedor is the bone the UFC throws to the hardcore fans. The PPV buyers. End the speculation, let’s see Fedor fight in the Octagon™!

The UFC is poised to expand beyond anyone’s wildest dreams. Fox may be the perfect conduit for that expansion worldwide. I believe these three fighters who are currently not in the UFC have three important traits the promotion needs. And if I were in charge, these are the three guys I’d sign first.