Posted by Mastodon2
Shogun hasnt begun his reign of terror as champ...yet...
I don't think winning a belt is a requirement to be "big", although I will say that a lot of UFC fans (as opposed to MMA fans more generally) probably don't know Shogun at all.
I think Dana White actually said "nobody in the States knows who the [bleep] Shogun is", and he's probably right. I thought Nogueira got a pretty tame reception from the UFC 69 crowd, and it seems like a lot of people think Arlovski is going to walk through Werdum.
So, from that perspective, the "next big thing" in the UFC could be all of the former Pride fighters that many casual or new American fans have never heard of. Cro Cop and Rampage could surprise some people, and even Heath Herring and Jens Pulver should raise their games dramatically after horribly underestimating the caliber of fighters in the UFC.