As the year ends with a bang in mixed martial arts, it's time to start thinking to 2008. To help things along, I have a few resolutions to share for the big names in the business.
Dana White: There is no fight fans want to see more than one between Randy Couture and Fedor Emelianenko. For the good of the sport, the UFC president should put everything else aside and do what he has to do to make this fight happen.
Randy Couture: Should make a concession and defend his UFC heavyweight title if White agrees to allow him to fight Emelianenko.
Fedor Emelianenko: The man who once was universally regarded as the world's top MMA fighter continues to fight questionable opposition. Emelianenko owes it to the sport and his fans to take on quality fighters. If it's not Couture, then he must insist on it being Josh Barnett.
"Big" John McCarthy: The famous ex-referee should promise candor in his new role as an analyst for The Fight Network. He's collected many great stories during his years as an official and he should promise to share them with his viewers.
Monte Cox: He needs to make a promise that he'll either be a promoter or a manager, because you can't do both effectively.
Quinton “Rampage” Jackson: The UFC light heavyweight champion has to promise not to get caught up in stardom and continue to prepare the way he did when he was on the way up.
Roger Huerta: The UFC lightweight should promise he'll be patient, because while he's got the skills to one day be a world champion, that time is not now.
Ben Rothwell: The IFL's star heavyweight in 2007 is a free agent. He should promise to sign where he can get the fights to prove himself as one of the game's elite.
B.J. Penn: The Hawaiian should promise to commit to his conditioning, because when he's in shape and focused, he's the best mixed martial artist in the world.
Jay Larkin: The new IFL president should commit his league to adopting the unified mixed martial arts rules.
Tito Ortiz: The former UFC light heavyweight champion should remember he's a fighter and not a celebrity. Ortiz can still be a major factor in the 205-pound division if he decides that's what he wants to do.
Michael Bisping: Kudos to the one-time Ultimate Fighter winner on his move to middleweight, but he owes Matt Hamill a rematch at light heavyweight and should publicly commit to it as soon as possible.
Gary Shaw: The Elite XC president should concentrate on buying up quality fighters instead of organizations that mean nothing. He should recall the lyrics of the old Billy Preston song, "Nothin' from nothin' leaves nothin'. You gotta have somethin', if you wanna be with me."
Bill Goldberg: Should promise to actually call the fights honestly instead of shilling for the home team.
Takanori Gomi: Make a vow to return to competition in 2008.
Anderson Silva: Promise to treat the title of the world's greatest fighter with the respect it deserves.
Diego Sanchez: A promise to follow through on his promise to drop to the lightweight division.
Urijah Faber: Promise to take nothing for granted, because he's a treat to watch the way he is.
K1/Heroes: Should resolve to surrender its promoter's license if the best it can do is the absolutely horrendous card it staged in June at the Los Angeles Coliseum.
Dana White, part two: Mend fences with Matt Lindland.
Frank Shamrock: Commit to at least three fights in 2008 against quality opponents.
Cung Le: Promise to take on a legitimate opponent so we can determine how good you really are as a mixed martial artist.
Tank Abbott: Promise to retire before you're seriously injured.
Frank Mir: Should resolve to make the same commitment to MMA he had before he was UFC heavyweight champion.
Brock Lesnar: Like Huerta, discover the virtue of patience. You'll be one of the game's elite heavyweights once you truly learn the sport.
Marcus Davis: Promise to fight with the same energy and passion in 2008 as you did in 2007, when you broke out and became one of the game's most entertaining fighters.
Mauricio “Shogun” Rua: Figure out what went wrong against Forrest Griffin and fix it.
CBS and NBC: Promise to understand that mixed martial arts is a legitimate sport with world-class athletes and to strike a deal to air fights regularly in 2008.
All fighters: Should keep their promise to drive steroids out of the sport.
- Fedor Emelianenko
- mixed martial arts
- Randy Couture
- Dana White