7 Things Dana White Should Accomplish in 2014
As the very best commissioner in all of sports, UFC president Dana White always does what's best for his glowing promotion.
Whether it's signing the best talent available, evolving the brand on an international scale or shouting his honest opinions in front of onlooking media members, the outspoken fan-turned-boss never seems to back down from a challenge.
However, during a time when champions are disappearing and UFC pay-per-view numbers aren't excelling at the rate the organization would hope for, White arguably has more on his plate than ever before.
Here are seven things "The Commish" should accomplish in 2014 to maintain marketability and productivity.
7. Give Jim Ross a Shot
According to a blog post published on his own website, long-time WWE announcer Jim Ross is close to a deal with Fox Sports.
That means he would essentially be in the mix to one day commentate on UFC action.
I know this is more of a young man's dream than blazing priority, but when you consider how long current spokesman Mike Goldberg has been around, it may be time for a change.
It wouldn't hurt for the UFC to let Ross do his thing in 2014 and see what he can bring to MMA.
6. Host an Event South of the Border
Mexico has an undiscovered pipeline of massive proportions.
From new fans to budding prospects, the UFC's international plan would come full circle if they were able to successfully tap the Mexican market.
That's why hosting an event sometime in 2014 would officially spark a new relationship between the world's biggest MMA promotion and one of the biggest fight outlets around.
An injury to Mexican heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez may have stalled the process, but White and company must host an event south of the border by any means necessary.
5. Bring Back Nick Diaz
When news broke that former top welterweight Nick Diaz turned down a rematch with Carlos Condit, people suggested that the outspoken California bruiser would never return to the Octagon.
Whether Diaz is simply waiting for a title shot or didn't feel comfortable fighting "The Natural Born Killer" again is unknown. However, it shouldn't stop White and the UFC from trying to bring him back.
As one of the biggest draws in the sport today, Diaz is among the leading candidates to at least attempt to fill the pay-per-view void that former champions Georges St-Pierre and Anderson Silva have left.
In any case, bringing Diaz back is easily one of the smartest moves the UFC could make in 2014.
Whether you like him or not, it's impossible to deny his Octagon appeal.
4. Bring Back Brock Lesnar
Speculation is speculation. It holds no ground until something actually comes to fruition.
Lesnar is the biggest draw in UFC history, so a return should warrant a publicly-stirred three-ring circus.
Nobody knows for sure if Lesnar would ever actually return or not, but if there was ever something for White to accomplish during a time when pay-per-view headliners run scarce, it would be to bring the bruising phenom back.
Even if it was only once a year, a new contract with Lesnar would once again prove that White can do anything in this sport.
3. Makes Amends with GSP
As arguably the greatest champion in UFC history, Georges St-Pierre's opinion most certainly matters.
Therefore, it caught many people off-guard—especially a "disappointed" Lorenzo Fertitta—when GSP told the Canadian Press via Yahoo! Sports that the UFC's lackluster drug testing fueled his promotional departure.
What the Canadian's recent comments mean for the UFC is that they need to do everything in their power to please the biggest name in the sport.
St-Pierre hasn't suggested he will never return to the Octagon, so White and Fertitta need to keep a good line of communication flowing between both parties. Whether or not they want to fix what GSP is frustrated with is completely up to them.
2. Get into New York
New York is arguably the biggest sports market in America.
From top-notch venues to millions of suitors, the city that never sleeps offers limitless potential for a growing sport like MMA.
The fact that a Las Vegas culinary union is literally the only thing stopping the UFC from invading NYC is sicker than a mid-December flu.
For White to truly capitalize on a budding product dressed for success, he needs to pry his way into New York this year. A city like that, one which encompasses a palette of diverse opportunities, would launch the UFC into another hemisphere.
1. Improve Drug Testing
Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva is the latest addition to the UFC's doghouse. He's just another name on a long list of promotional wrongdoers who have challenged the sport's integrity.
It's truly unfortunate, especially when fighters like Silva light the cage on fire, but you have to slam the hammer down when the nail is acting up.
With that said, despite the lengthy suspensions and public outcry for more honest actions by its growing roster, the UFC needs to adapt a more strict regiment when it comes to drug testing.
It may be difficult to catch blood-doping hooligans and other fraudulent frequenters, but White and company need to improve with the times.
Hopefully it happens by the end of 2014.
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