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Archive for the ‘UFC | Mixed Martial Arts’

Gina Carano Vs. Ronda Rousey UFC Rumors Continue To Swirl

March 21, 2014 By: Category: Sports, UFC | Mixed Martial Arts

What does the UFC do when they have run out of opponents for their superstar? Well they go back in time and bring back a star from the past of course. According to reports Ronda Rousey may be in for a big payday and an easy fight.

Dave Meltzer on the Wrestling Observer newsletter and MMAFighting.com reports that the UFC and Gina Carano are talking. The reports indicate that both sides are talking about a potential mega fight between Rousey and Carano this summer. The fight is not signed nor is there any indication that it is a done deal.

Rumors started heating up after UFC color commentator Joe Rogan teased a big announcement regarding Rousey’s next fight a few weeks back.

You might actually know, but I can’t tell you. I can say no more than I’ve already said. I will tell you this, and this is a KROQ exclusive, within the next probably week or so a huge announcement will come about women’s fighting and I’ll be back in [the studio] and we’ll talk some more. It’s going to be crazy. Madness. I wish I could [talk about it now], but I would betray the confidence of my friend and employer.

The UFC were in negotiations recently with undefeated boxing champion turned MMA fighter Holly Holm about a fight with Rousey. Holm’s management met recently with the UFC about a fight with Rousey. Those negotiations did not end well with Holm’s team wanting Rousey money and the UFC no longer interested in Holm.

The idea of the UFC billing a fight between Carano and Rousey as anything but a mismatch is a joke. Carano hasn’t fought in years and was brutalized in her last fight against Cyborg Santos (now Justino). This is the exact con the UFC perpetrated when they brought back Royce Gracie to fight Matt Hughes. We all know how that fight played out. I can’t see anything other than a repeat performance from the UFC champion here.

MMA analysts are hyped up on this fight predicting big numbers. I am not so sure that the number would be nearly as big as some are predicting. Carano was good but she was a novelty in Strikeforce. She also isn’t bringing in a “world’s greatest” reputation like Gracie brought into the Hughes fight. Plus, Carano isn’t a trash talker, Rousey respects Carano, thus there will be no trash talk to stir interest. I don’t think anyone thinks this will be competitive. I think it is pie in the sky to think that this will draw a million buys in 2014 without some kind of grudge.

The UFC has a problem on its hands with Rousey. She is in her prime as a draw and they have no opponents ready for her to do business with. Sure there is Cat Zingano and Alexis Davis but they aren’t rivals like Miesha Tate and Cristiane Cyborg Justino. They need to take advantage of her star power and the only way to do that is with a grudge fight.

Which brings me back to Justino. Rousey and the UFC continue to blow off the idea of Rousey moving up to 140 to fight Justino. I have believed all along that the UFC is deathly afraid of this fight because they know Rousey will get brutalized. There is no other explanation for the support Dana White has offered Rousey in not taking a big money fight. Rousey did herself no favors in my mind when she said she would move up to 140 to fight Carano. How the UFC can continue to back her up with a straight face is a mystery to me.

Unfortunately for MMA fans I don’t think you will get the Carano vs. Rousey fight. She has already been announced for a new movie to begin production next year according to IMDB.com. I can’t imagine a scenario where a producer would allow her time off to get her face beaten up before a big movie. All roads will eventually lead back to Cyborg and until they do, Rousey’s drawing power will continue to be underutilized by the UFC.

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Calling the Shots of Johny Hendricks vs. Robbie Lawler

March 14, 2014 By: Category: Sports, UFC | Mixed Martial Arts

A new champion will emerge on Saturday when Johny Hendricks and Robbie Lawler battle for the vacated throne in the UFC’s welterweight division. The obligation of being the champion is a burden with glorious purpose. Both fighters are in hot pursuit of this coveted achievement and have traveled down different roads to reach the same destination. UFC 171 presents an interesting scenario since being the champion in a post Georges St. Pierre world will bring increased attention and heightened expectation to the victor.

Johny Hendricks, as well as many others, believes he is fighting for something that should have been his four months ago. He took it to GSP like no one has before, and he is unquestionably the favorite going into the bout. Hendricks was touted as a serious prospect from the get-go and has exceeded expectations. Twelve years ago, Robbie Lawler was pushed as the next big thing, but faltered after an impressive start. A move to middleweight garnered mixed results with no real sign of the ruthlessness we once knew. Hendricks evolved over the years from wrestler to knockout artist while Lawler remained a striker for most of his career. However, Lawler embarked on a career renaissance last year by racking up three consecutive wins against opponents who were expected to take him down with ease and pound him into oblivion.

It’s no secret that both fighters are knockout junkies, but it’s their difference in application that makes this matchup intriguing. Lawler has one punch KO power and is the more refined striker of the two. His best chance at victory is to circle away from Hendricks power at all times while keeping the fight in the center of the octagon. If he is taken down, it will be easier to get back on his feet if his head isn’t pressed against the fence by the two time national champion.

Hendricks is a solid boxer who is able to find his range faster than most and is the harder-hitting fighter. The Oklahoma native will be at a reach disadvantage, so pressuring Lawler early is a must. Using angles to control where the fights takes place is essential because getting into a firefight in the center of the cage plays into Lawler’s strengths. Of course, if all else fails on the feet he can go back to what brought him to the dance with his wrestling. Beware his jiu-jitsu, though because it is vastly underrated and it could catch Lawler off guard.

This is a tough one to pick because both of these men have lucky punch written all over them. Hendricks’s recuperative abilities are a mystery, while Lawler, as shown in his fight against Melvin Manhoef, can put your lights out even when he’s rocked. Lawler is no longer a turtle on his back so Hendricks will have trouble keeping him down.

The fact that Robbie Lawler is fighting for a UFC belt in 2014 is amazing and serves as an opportunity to substantiate the hype over a decade ago. He has a great chance of winning, there are just too many factors in Johny Hendricks’ favor. Lawler has greatly improved but Hendricks is better at mixing it up, therefore controlling where the fight takes place more often than not.

Verdict: Johnny Hendricks via unanimous decision

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UFC Fighters Need To Stop Complaining About Pay

February 28, 2014 By: Category: Sports, UFC | Mixed Martial Arts

A hot topic that never seems to go away in MMA social media is UFC fighter pay. Every once in awhile a current or ex-UFC fighter will succumb to tension and stress and go public with his salary complaints. Nate Quarry is the latest and I hope the last to cry poverty.

I have about had it with UFC fighters complaining about their pay. Recognizable names such as Chris Leben, Tim Kennedy, Jon Fitch, and of course Nick Diaz with Quarry being the latest have publicly cried about their financials to the sympathies of many fans and bloggers. Here is one blogger that wishes to bury this topic and move on.

Nate Quarry recently ranted about this after reports came out about the UFC instituting fighter uniforms which would reportedly impact fighter sponsorship deals. Quarry, who had his back surgery paid for by the UFC and was turned into a celebrity on The Ultimate Fighter (a show the UFC almost went broke producing) believes the UFC should have done more.

People have no clue from the outside what it’s like to fight for the UFC,” he wrote. “After spending 10-15 years chasing your dream, only to see that the company it’s been your dream to fight for cares nothing about the fighters and only cares about the bottom line.

Quarry also went on to whine about the salary he received for fighting the world champion. “I fought for the world title for $10,000. Not a penny more. No bonus. No cut of the PPV. The gate alone was 3.5 million dollars. The third highest gate in UFC history at the time. And they must have loved the fight cuz they show the final punch at the start of EVERY UFC PPV. :-)

Quarry’s buddy Chris Leben was not nearly as eloquent when he recent revealed on Twitter that he is broke. Leben later retracted the comment yet regardless of the retraction, he put it out there. Keep in mind that Leben has had documented problems with substance abuse.

Lorenzo Fertitta, Zuffa CEO recently responded to these salary complaints to Yahoo Sports. “This fight Nate is talking about (UFC 56, Franklin vs. Quarry) was so long ago and clearly the business wasn’t where it is today. It was in its infancy and we were coming out of a period where we suffered millions upon millions in losses. It wasn’t an insignificant amount of money. And I’ll tell you this, Nate is a smart guy. Absolutely he is. He knew when he signed his contract exactly what he’d be paid.

Just for kicks I decided to take a look at the fighter salaries from the UFC’s most recent pay-per-view event, UFC 169. The minimum salary for the night was $8000 while Alistair Overeem topped the list with $407,143 for a fight that wasn’t even a co-main-event. These numbers don’t take into account unreported bonuses and sponsorship deals but you get the gist of it.

I am sorry but I am tired of these fighters complaining. UFC fighter pay is not a secret. It is reported after every show. These guys chose to become fighters and knew very well what the pay scale is. Hey listen, I love radio, did it for ten years, but opted not to make a career of it for one simple reason. The chances of me making a secure, high salary in that business are about the same as someone who wants to try their hand in the UFC or MMA. I could have gone down that road and while I’d certainly be happier at my full-time job, I would have sacrificed a better life for myself and my family. That’s why I do podcasting…as a hobby!

Nate Quarry didn’t have to become a UFC fighter and he certainly didn’t have to accept a world championship fight. Quarry could have done something else with better earnings potential and practiced MMA as a hobby. Quarry was also given a shot at a golden ticket by even getting that fight because a win would have propelled him into a different salary range. Quarry could have also cut pro wrestling-style promos on Franklin and actually promote his fight, which in turn would have made him a star. Quarry lost in the first round and said nothing but complimentary things about the champion. He blew it.

Unless you truly believe you have what it takes to beat the best and if you don’t, go out there and promote your fights like it is show business, you have no right complaining about your pay. There is a reason we see so few superstars and draws in the UFC. Chael Sonnen was in the same situation as Quarry and turned that impossible task into an opportunity that made him a star. Quarry didn’t do that, nor have most of the fighters who complain about pay.

So the next time one of these fighters who made a choice to turn a hobby into a career goes on social media to complain about pay to fans who are working just as hard and making much less than they deserve, don’t do it. I don’t want to hear it and most of the fans don’t want to hear it. You don’t want to wear UFC uniforms, quit and do something else with your life. You made your career choice now live with it.

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Cyborg Santos Challenges UFC Champ Ronda Rousey To 135 Fight

February 22, 2014 By: Category: Sports, UFC | Mixed Martial Arts

Ronda Rousey’s nightmare is not going away. Cris Cyborg Santos may be fighting in Invicta but she still has her eyes set on Rousey and the UFC. Dana White has said numerous times he’d consider the fight if Santos dropped weight. Well it’s time to start the negotiating.

Santos left the UFC last year after failing to secure a fight with Ronda Rousey. It amazed me then and it amazes me today that the UFC let that fight get away but they did. Rousey went to Invicta yet the war of words between Rousey and Santos haven’t stopped. Rousey has always said that Santos needs to drop to 135 to fight her. Santos has finally said she’d do it.

Santos released a statement to Inside MMA where she proclaims that she will drop to 135 for three fights. Santos wants one fight against Invicta’s 135 pound champion this summer and says she will remain at 135 for two fights with Rousey. According to Cyborg, there will be no more excuses not to make this fight.

You have fought 154 in the Olympics and 145 in MMA. You can meet me at 140 easier than for me to go down to 135. The only reason you want the fight at 135 is because you feel that is your only chance because you hope the weight cut will affect me. You guys say I’m irrelevant, yet watch my highlights. The true MMA fans not only know me, but know I’m the best. Sad that you give the true MMA fans no recognition by saying that they don’t matter.

I’m currently training to fight at 145 on March 28 and in early May. My team has hired a medical doctor to help me make 135. I plan to challenge and win the Invicta 135 Championship in the summer and challenge you, champion to champion, for your 135 belt in December.”

Of course the Rousey defenders will dismiss this challenge and accuse Santos of using PEDs. I always found that to be a bogus excuse because if she does use them, she’ll get popped. Santos is upping the ante on those critics and addressed that concern head on.

“You can even have me tested every week up to the fight. That way you will not have an excuse after I kick your ass.”

So there it is. I never understood how a guy like Dana White always calls out fighters for ducking fights yet continues to defend Rousey for not fighting Santos. To me the answer has always been obvious. He is afraid that Rousey will not only lose, but get pummeled, thus exposing his self-proclaimed “biggest star ever.” That’s the only reason in my mind that White could justify Rousey passing on a fight that could do the biggest buyrate of all-time.

I also think Rousey has gotten a free pass from most of the media and fans for ducking this fight. Rousey has always used the weight excuse. Yet, as Cyborg points out (and I have been pointing out for almost a year), Rousey has fought at higher weight. The UFC have desperately tried to make super fights with fighters in different classes meeting at a catchweight. Why 140 has never been an option is just mind boggling to me. Rousey has fought at 140 or higher so the idea that she refuses to come from 135 for a fight that would be gigantic doesn’t make much sense.

The ball will be in Ronda’s court and the pressure will be on her if Santos makes 135 and wins her fight. There are no excuses from that point forward. Rousey could use the undeserving challenger excuse but let’s face it. The UFC 135 pound belt was handed to her in the first place and Miesha Tate certainly wasn’t deserving of a shot. Ronda has done a lot of talking about Cyborg. I don’t see any way out if Cyborg makes weight.

I am pulling for Cyborg only to see how this story plays out. If Santos makes weight and wins her fight, the next move will be Ronda’s and it will be fascinating to see what she does. It will be even more fascinating to see what Dana White does if she says no.

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Big UFC Fights Missing In 2014

February 12, 2014 By: Category: Sports, UFC | Mixed Martial Arts

With Anderson Silva and GSP on the sidelines, the UFC will need to count on new stars to fill those big fight slots this year. Unfortunately an early look at 2014 exposes a dull year and one of the most turbulent periods of the Zuffa era.

While the UFC has become a watered down product over the last couple of years, there have always been a couple of big fights to get excited about. A 2014 doesn’t show much promise when it comes to these big fights. I looked up and down the list of scheduled fights and potential fights and there is absolutely nothing for a casual fan to get excited about.

Dana White has had a lucky run the last few years. His two biggest stars, Anderson Silva and Georges St-Pierre continued to carry the company while cards became watered down and stars became harder to make. Now White is left with Jon Jones and Ronda Rousey, both unproven and somewhat unstable in their positions. It may be time for the UFC president to press the panic button.

If there is a big fight to get excited about in 2014 I don’t see it. When I mean big fight I am talking a fight expected to draw 700,000+ buys. Sure there are some intriguing fights that will appeal to the hardcore fans and maybe even some casuals, but where is the can’t-miss event of 2014?

Let’s take a look at some of the pay-per-view headline fights already scheduled for 2014. Excuse me while I grab a pillow.

Ronda Rousey vs. Sara McMann UFC 170 – This is the test for Rousey. There are many who believe that Rousey is the biggest star in the UFC. She certainly had a hand in that impressive UFC 168 buyrate but what has she done on her own? If Rousey can break 500,000 here I will concede that she is the biggest star in the UFC. If she can’t, it is a real dose of reality for the UFC who have hyped her more than any fighter since Brock Lesnar. Rashad Evans vs. Daniel Cormier in the semi is about as exciting as a sleeping pill. I would say thus far there is less buzz going into this Rousey fight than her previous two which isn’t a good sign.

Johny Hendricks vs. Robbie Lawler UFC 171 – I like the fight, like it a lot, but is it a draw? Hendricks drew a disappointing buyrate with GSP and let’s be clear, it was GSP drawing the number. I think a lot of casual fans still see Lawler as a Strikeforce castoff, which he certainly isn’t. I think it is going to be a fun fight but I can’t imagine many people scrambling to get together watch Robbie Lawler vs. Johny Hendricks.

Jon Jones vs. Glover Teixera UFC 172 – Again this is another fight I can’t wait to see. I am not the casual fan and casuals probably aren’t as hyped about Teixera as I am. Jones has not been the draw he should be given his star power (or lack thereof). His fight against Alexander Gusftafsson didn’t even break 400,000 buys! That is pathetic. The problem with Jones is Jones. The only time the guy draws is when his opponents like Rashad and Rampage do the talking. I don’t expect a lot of smack talk from Teixera here and thanks to Jones minimizing his opponent as he always does, I’d be hard pressed to expect anything more than 300,000 buys here.

Vitor Belfort vs. Chris Weidman UFC 173 – Of all the fights on paper this is the one I am most excited about. That said, how many times are fans going to get bit by Vitor Belfort’s championship chokes? Belfort is an exciting fighter whenever he is not challenging for a title. I think this is the most intriguing fight on the docket yet I don’t know how many fans are going to buy into Vitor. Add in the TRT controversy and Belfort is more of a turnoff in this situation. The saving grace here is Wanderlei vs. Chael which could push this event past 500,000 buys.

Quite honestly the more intriguing headliners to me are on the free shows. Lyoto Machida vs. Gegard Mousassi, Dan Henderson vs. Shogun Rua, Michael Bisping vs. Tim Kennedy, Roy Nelson vs. Bog Nog, and Travis Browne vs. Fabricio Werdum are better fights to me than most of the headliners.

Looking at the rest of the year there is nothing I can see that will fill the void left of by GSP in regards to pay-per-view buyrates. I don’t trust Jon Jones at all in selling the Gustafsson rematch. Teixera winning and a rematch with Jones could be a big one. Cain Velasquez will fight later this year but neither Fabricio nor Browne are opponents that anyone will get excited about. Machida vs. the Belfort vs. Weidman winner could be interesting but Machida has never been a big pay-per-view draw. Rousey vs. Cat Zingano is a fun fight but I don’t see either one doing the kind of promotion necessary to push it over the top. A miracle BJ Penn win over Frankie Edgar could make him an unlikely title challenger in what would be a huge fight. Any hope that GSP will come back and fight the Hendricks vs. Lawler winner seems to be dissipating with Dana White’s classless verbal attacks. If there is a big one I am missing let me know because all I am seeing is a bunch of okay fights lacking star power.

What is the UFC to do? There are no super fights available to solve this problem. The only super fight that is out there is Jones vs. Cain and according to Jones, he wouldn’t even entertain that until 2015. The UFC are going to have to work hard at creating new stars and using 2014 as something of a rebuilding year. Professional franchises do it all of the time. The UFC can still have a decent year while getting new faces and new stars ready for the future.

If not, 2015 is going to be an even uglier year for the UFC.

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Brock Lesnar Will Never Return To The UFC

February 06, 2014 By: Category: Sports, UFC | Mixed Martial Arts, WWE | Pro Wrestling

Dana White loves to tickle the feather of UFC fans. First it was promised Super Fights he couldn’t deliver and now he is dangling Brock Lesnar as a potential return. Just like those dream fights he guaranteed, he knows and I know that there is almost no chance that Brock ever fights in the UFC again.

TMZ.com had a story a week ago about UFC president Dana White saying that Brock Lesnar wants to come back to the UFC.

“He wants to. We’ll see what happens. He feels that, because of the illness he had while he was here, he feels that he wasn’t 100-percent and he’d like to take another run at it. We’ll see what happens. He wants to do both. He’s doing great over there and when his schedule opens up, he’d like to fight. Yeah, I got a good relationship with him.”

A few days later he backtracked saying that Brock is not returning. How long until we hear him tease Brock coming back again? This story repeats itself every few months, kind of like White’s promises and then denials of a GSP vs. Silva super fight. I can’t blame him for dreaming but he needs to stop screwing with his fans and get off of the Lesnar fantasy because it’s not going to happen.

The funny thing here is that Brock is under contract with the WWE. From all reports it would appear that Brock is not allowed to fight in the UFC. Brock is under contract for another year. At that time Brock will be 37-years old, closing in on 38. Brock has had multiple health issues which forced him into retirement. If you think a 38-year old millionaire who makes big money to “fake fight” three times a year is going to risk his health and reputation in a UFC octagon you probably believe Dana White when he tells you that the UFC is going to be bigger than the NFL.

Now White did a 180 this past weekend when he told reporters that Brock is not coming back. ”I mean does he want to come back? I mean we’ve talked about him wanting to come back. He feels like he wasn’t 100-percent while he was here and he feels like he sold himself a little short and all the stuff that I’ve told you guys before, but no he’s not (coming back).”

I don’t blame White for teasing TMZ and the fans. What else does he have? He is coming off of a pay per view that is reportedly forecasting low buyrate estimates which wouldn’t be so bad if it didn’t have two championship fights. He has zero super fights on the table for 2014 and is down to one true superstar in Jon Jones who isn’t exactly the “company man” his past stars were. As a promoter what else does he have to hype in 2014? Nothing!

It is time for White to close the door on Brock coming back once and for all. Sure he did a good job of quieting the buzz down over the weekend but it was just a few days earlier where he teased Brock returning. Don’t tease, don’t hype, nor entertain the questions at this point. The biggest draw in the history of the UFC is not coming back and it’s time to tell your fans the truth. Stop feeding the beast!

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Anderson Silva Wants To Fight In The UFC Again

January 15, 2014 By: Category: Sports, UFC | Mixed Martial Arts

Don’t count Anderson Silva out just yet! The former UFC champion is about to begin a long road back to the octagon. The former world champion says he will fight again after suffering one of the most gruesome injuries in UFC history.

It shouldn’t surprise anyone that The Spider is crawling his way back to the UFC. The former champion is set to begin rehabilitation which could culminate in a return to the UFC. While that fight probably wouldn’t take place until 2015, Silva’s management are already throwing out possible opponents. Some of which probably won’t surprise you.

I bet you won’t be shocked to read that Silva wants Chris Weidman…again! Silva’s management are already politicking for a third fight with Weidman. But hey if they can’t get Weidman they’d be happy to take Georges St-Pierre…who isn’t fighting anymore.

I mean, GSP’s definitely an option, but like we always say, who knows? At the end of the day, Dana [White] and Lorenzo [Fertitta] decide — if Anderson decides to come back. There’s a few options. It could be him. It could be who knows, a Michael Bisping?

It could be even a Chris Weidman because at the end of the day, people look at Chris Weidman’s two wins — and in a way it’s almost unfortunate for Chris — but like you said, they are controversial wins. Who knows? Maybe even a rematch if it came up would make sense, but like I said, at this point in time I still feel it’s too early to talk about that.

Well Weidman’s win in the first fight was controversial but I hate to break it to Team Silva but there was not much controversial about win number two. Quite frankly Team Silva are lucky the fight wasn’t stopped in the first round because it probably should have been. I certainly wouldn’t have ever counted Silva out in that second fight but he did nothing to lead me to believe that he had any answers for Chris Weidman.

What does the UFC do with Silva when he is ready to return? I can certainly understand why Silva wouldn’t want his final career moment to be him screaming in pain on a stretcher. But what do you do with the Spider when he returns? This whole idea of a GSP fight is a pipe dream. It’s never going to happen and it makes my skin crawl every time I hear Silva’s team or Dana White bring it up. So who do you book?

I think there are a few ways you can go. I think Michael Bisping would probably be a good choice. Bisping is a name and he will talk enough smack that the fight would probably be do exceptionally well. It is a very winnable fight for Silva, almost a layup if you will from the UFC. I would almost look at it as a tune up fight. While beating Bisping doesn’t prove a whole lot, I think it is a great way to get Silva back in the mix without exposing him to one of the bigger wolves of the division.

The Vitor Belfort-Chris Weidman loser probably makes the most sense. The only problem here is if Belfort beats Silva you have him back in the title mix once again after losing to Weidman this year. I have to think that the UFC don’t want him anywhere near the mix if he loses. It is anyone’s guess at this point if Silva could take Belfort coming off of such a long layoff.

I could see the potential here for Silva vs. Weidman III if Weidman loses. I don’t know that I’d necessarily be against hot shotting him to a title fight either against Weidman. He lost twice and while I hate the idea of anyone coming off of two losses getting a title shot, less deserving title shots have been booked. I highly doubt it goes down this way but at the end of the day this is a business and if that is what is best for business it could happen.

Silva is confident that he will be back and that is a promise. “When I saw that my leg was broken, I was terrified, I couldn’t tell if the fracture was exposed or not. Then, I spoke to the judge who was there with me so they could put my leg in place as quickly as possible, and the pain was absurd. I only thought one thing: Is it over? Will I ever walk again? Am I alright? But, I am confident that I will succeed. I will return.”

Is Silva done? Has he past his prime? It is so tough to say. Could it be that Chris Weidman is just that good? Weidman possessed the perfect arsenal of tools to beat Silva and he has been impressive throughout his UFC run barring one fight on short notice. I am curious to see Silva tested as I don’t think there is anyone out there that can dominate him like Weidman. I still think that Silva had a chance if the fight went deeper but none of us will ever know. Seeing him against Belfort or Bisping will answer a lot of these questions.

Regardless of who wants to fight Silva next it is a long road back to the octagon. Silva has some brutal months ahead of rehab and nobody knows how his leg will hold up once he starts training again. I won’t count him out yet I have to wonder if this is truly the end of an era or the start of one of the greatest comebacks in sports history.

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Georges St-Pierre Says The UFC Has A PED Problem

January 14, 2014 By: Category: Sports, UFC | Mixed Martial Arts

The MMA world is still reeling from losing Georges St-Pierre. The UFC champion vacated his title last month, leaving amidst a ton of questions. GSP has finally answered one and you may be surprised to hear what really pushed GSP out the door.

GSP has nothing to lose at this point. He is a wealthy man who can fight again in the UFC whenever he wants. That is great for him and bad for the UFC. Without any ties to the organization, GSP is free to talk about whatever he wants and the subject may be the most taboo of all within the UFC. PEDs!

GSP held a press conference this week to announce that his foundation would be giving money to six athletes. The subject of PEDs came up during his chat with reporters. GSP was not only willing to talk about it, he almost seemed giddy when the question was asked. The champ admitted that concerns over PEDs in MMA is what pushed him into an indefinite retirement.

It bothered me enormously.

That’s one of the reasons why I stopped fighting. Not really to teach them a lesson, because that would also punish me. I wanted to do something for the sport. I love the sport. I see the direction it’s going, and I don’t think it makes any sense. This is stupid.

GSP had been accused by previous opponents of juicing and taking PEDs several times over his UFC career. He has never tested positive for anything according to the UFC. These accusations are what prompted GSP to sponsor drug testing for his last fight, offering to pay for both he and his opponent to get tested. Johny Hendricks wasn’t interested and Dana White said they both looked “stupid.”

Ironically it would appear that Dana White was the stupid one here. White’s ignorance or disinterest in the matter contributed to the loss of his second biggest drawing card. If White had been supportive of GSP or had a different attitude about testing, it is possible that he would still be promoting GSP today. Instead he is left with a vacated title and a superstar who has no interest in fighting.

“The whole thing was done very weird. And if he feels like we didn’t support him, I don’t know. The whole thing’s [expletive] weird. I haven’t talked to him about it. He’s very fired up about it because he went out and started this thing and it’s turned into a [expletive]. I get it. I don’t know what to say. I don’t know what to tell him. The whole [expletive] thing’s weird.

I tried to do something to change the sport,” he said. “Unfortunately, there were other people, for different reasons, maybe for money, in fear of losing money, because if you canceled the fight because someone tested positive there are millions of dollars [lost]. Also, the sport’s image … If you start testing everyone, how many will get caught? I don’t want to say in public because I don’t want to accuse anyone, but the sport’s image will be hurt.

What may have been the most damaging statement of all is this one.

Don’t forget, I have internal information. I’m an athlete. I know what goes on, so that disappointed me greatly.

PEDs are a huge problem for MMA. MMA reporters have made enough cryptic remarks over the last year to confirm it without confirming it. Dana White was once adamant against TRT use for one thing but has since greatly changed his stance. Vitor Belfort is making a complete mockery and a sham of this with his TRT exemptions and he is just the tip of the iceberg.

It amazes me that a sport will blatantly allow their fighters to increase their levels of testosterone with a doctor’s note. To me, this has put a big black mark on the sport. Quite frankly it has helped push me away from the sport as a fan. Seeing Vitor Belfort mock the system has made some fans and media quite angry. Seeing GSP walk away due to the same issue is more heart breaking than anything else.

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UFC Could Greatly Benefit From WWE Network

January 14, 2014 By: Category: Sports, UFC | Mixed Martial Arts, WWE | Pro Wrestling

It didn’t take long for the UFC backlash to begin when the WWE Network was announced. Immediate comparisons were made to UFC Fight Pass with UFC being heralded as the big loser. Yet a closer look reveals that the UFC could be a big winner here after all.

I am still in the camp of bloggers who believe there isn’t as big of a crossover between the UFC and the WWE as some would lead you to believe. Which is why I was a bit surprised to see the UFC Fight Pass lumped into all of the WWE Network talk online. Why weren’t other streaming companion sites brought into the equation like the UFC? It doesn’t matter because the vast majority of fans like to compare them so I may as well play ball.

The timing of the WWE Network coming only a couple of weeks after the UFC Fight Pass was announced predicated the comparisons. I don’t think anyone praised the UFC’s efforts over the WWE streaming network. Every comparison ended with the UFC being body slammed by the wrestling kingpin. Yet a deeper look at the situation tells me that the UFC may wind up winning very big thanks to the WWE Network.

Let’s start first with pay per view. The WWE will be placing all of their pay per view events on the network at no additional charge. Pay Per View companies are livid at the idea that they will be undercut with some threatening to remove WWE events altogether. This could be absolutely huge for the UFC!

The UFC will be the big and only consistent game in town for the broadcasting companies. Now the UFC will receive a bigger cut of the advertising dollars these same companies would allocate towards the WWE. Whether they all remove the WWE or not, I would suspect that most won’t be as interested in promoting these events. Where does this advertising budget go? It is now allocated to the UFC. This is an immediate win for Zuffa!

What about the fact that fans still have to pay for UFC events? The WWE is a great guinea pig for the UFC. The UFC can sit back and watch how successful or not so successful this network will be. If the WWE Network is successful, the UFC can migrate their pay per view events online. Maybe they stick them on Fight Pass and bump up the subscription rate or they just stream them elsewhere for $30?

Zuffa or anyone else doing pay per view events have to split the revenue 50/50 with the pay per view broadcasting company. You better believe the UFC would love to find a way around this. Maybe the fighters would get a better percentage of the orders if the UFC aren’t splitting revenues with the satellite providers?

If there is this crossover that some believe there is between UFC and WWE fans, choice would be eliminated when it comes to pay per view. If the WWE and UFC have pay per view events on the same weekend, there wouldn’t be any more debate about which show to buy. One would presume that the allocated pay per view budget would go immediately to the UFC. I can’t see this being a big win but it could add a few dollars here and there.

So before you start to tear the UFC a new one when comparing the WWE Network to the UFC Fight Pass you may want to think about the long term ramifications. Maybe in the end the UFC are the smarter ones, sitting back and waiting to see what happens? Believe it or not they are already seeing benefits and with the potential upside, the UFC may wind up cashing on the WWE’s experiment sooner than you think.

UFC Ultimate Fight Collection 2013 DVD

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