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Archive for the ‘UFC | Mixed Martial Arts’

Brock Lesnar Leaning Towards A UFC Return

November 20, 2014 By: Category: Sports, UFC | Mixed Martial Arts, WWE | Pro Wrestling

The rumors of Brock Lesnar back to the UFC have taken on a whole new meaning. These tidbits are no longer rumors as it does appear that Lesnar could be returning to the UFC in 2015…or elesewhere according to one report.

Dave Meltzer dropped a bombshell on his latest F4Wonline.com podcast. Meltzer not only confirmed Dana White’s statements earlier this week about Brock wanting back in, but Dave reported that Brock is leaning towards a return to the UFC. The former UFC champion could return to the octagon at age 38 in 2015 in what could be one of the biggest returns in UFC history.

Meltzer also mentioned that Brock may have another option. According to Dave, Bellator is very aggressive right now, especially coming off a monster rating for the Ortiz vs. Bonnar fight. Meltzer speculates that Bellator will get in the Brock Lesnar game and could make Brock a very enticing offer. Meltzer did point out that as of his podcast, there had been no talks between Lesnar and Bellator.

Brock will become one of the hottest free agents at the perfect time next spring. While Brock has always had plenty of leverage to negotiate the WWE and the UFC against each other for his services, he now has a new suitor in the mix. Brock is not known for his company loyalty so it will come down to what Brock Lesnar’s goals are in 2015 and whether UFC, WWE, or Bellator can meet them better than the others.

The timing of this story couldn’t come at a worse time for the WWE. The economics of the company have completely changed with the network. The money and incentive to sign Brock back in 2012 just don’t make sense under the new business plan. Could they outmatch the others? Sure, but it makes no fiscal sense to do so. In 2012 they had much more leverage with better finances and a Brock who was coming off his worst fight in UFC history. Those advantages won’t exits during these negotiations.

Making matters worse is that Brock is currently walking around with the WWE title. The working plan was to leave the belt on Brock through WrestleMania and have the Beast Incarnate drop it to Roman Reigns. I think that changes with these stories. If these stories are out now, imagine how hot these rumors and stories will get by Mania. Remember the last time Brock worked a WrestleMania on the way out? It didn’t go well. I would be shocked if Brock leaves the Rumble with the title in light of these latest developments.

I think if Brock is getting back into the MMA game that there is no question he is signing with the UFC. Brock is a guy that appears to want the best competition in whatever sport he is competing. He could have played football or tried out in the CFL but instead went to the NFL. He could have went to Strikeforce but instead went to the UFC. This is a guy that wants to fight the best and the UFC is the only place that is going to happen.

Let’s be frank. The UFC needs Brock Lesnar more than Brock needs the UFC. He is the biggest draw in company history and has yet to be replaced. I have no doubts that the UFC will do everything in their power to bring him back. I don’t think he is beating Cain or JDS but you never know. Maybe he gets lucky against a couple of guys and catches someone like Werdum in transition? It can happen.

Nobody ever expected him to win the heavyweight title the first time. I won’t bet against Brock Lesnar.

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WWE: Can We Just End This Madness Now?

November 20, 2014 By: Category: Sports, UFC | Mixed Martial Arts, WWE | Pro Wrestling

Can we just get this over with already? Can Brock Lesnar finally leave the WWE so John Cena or Seth Rollins or Judy Bloom can win the damn WWE World Title and put an end to all this madness? Do we really have to endure another four months of lousy pay-per-views, “go home” Raw programs and the sight of John Cena clinching his fists like he is the only wrestler in the world that thinks he can save the entire planet with one punch?

Monday Night’s “Go Home” show with Survivor Series right on the horizon was about as excited as watching Florida Gators football. The addition of Ryback to Team Cena does nothing for me and the surprise addition of Erick Rowan to counter the Authority’s ad of Luke Harper is as bizarre as the latest infatuation with Kim Kardashian (that’s a story for later).

The latest news around the horn is that Lesnar has the itch for get back in a octagon which should set the wrestling world ablaze about how he should not be at home with beer and chips watching all the shenanigans go down with the company that signed him to a contract that pays him tons of mullah and allows him to be a part-time champion.

What in the name of Lou Thesz is going on?

UFC President Dana White revealed that the current holder of WWE World Heavyweight Championship belt is now “interested” in returning to MMA, and it’s possible the switch could come shortly after WrestleMania 31.

This would all work and flow together as a storyline, given the fact Lesnar can leave the WWE after March.

“This would leave Lesnar a free agent and it’s believed that Brock has a been a negotiating beast with Vince McMahon and Triple H, using the possibility of his return to the UFC as leverage for getting a better deal. The question is whether the WWE considers him worth the price of doing business, and whether or not this bargaining chip holds any weight. After all, Lesnar is set to turn 38-years-old in 2015, which is quite advanced in years when it comes to the MMA world.”

The only thing that this does right now is leave the current state of the WWE World Title in limbo.

There has not been a situation like this that the WWE Champion has been in this kind of limbo. Even with The Rock’s short title reign, he did promos, made appearances on Raw and kept the fans in suspense – wanting more. Where there was heat on the company, the idea that “Superman” would sve the WWE was a major part of the company’s angle.

It’s time to bring back the WWE World Title and for it to be defended at every single pay-per-view. But the lure of potentially getting back into a ring with the UFC combatants sours the fans’ impression of not only the wrestler, but also the title – as if it does not mean anything to the company right not.

Weren’t the days of CM Punk and John Cena getting in a ring and trading verbal abuse before they tore down the house grappling more fun than this?

No WWE Champion and 10 wrestlers (11, if you count Cesaro, who is the best jobber the WWE has ever had).

Now, with Survivor Series ready to mellow us all out, isn’t it time for the WWE to demand that its champion be present and accounted for since the final pay-per-view must tantalize you before it puts us all to sleep? No reversal of power is going to do that and at this moment, the WWE champion may not be able to do that either.

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UFC Prez Says Brock Lesnar Wants To Fight

November 18, 2014 By: Category: Sports, UFC | Mixed Martial Arts, WWE | Pro Wrestling

The quarterly Brock Lesnar to UFC rumors have reared their ugly head again. Thanks to UFC boss Dana White, the hot topic is back in conversation and according to the UFC president, it is a real possibility.

The UFC held a big press conference on Monday to announce…well nothing of note. UFC president Dana White took questions from the media and the name Brock Lesnar popped up. White told the media that while Lesnar is under contract to the WWE right now, he is healthy and has expressed interest in fighting again.

This isn’t a new story. The Brock back to UFC story has popped up several times in the last couple of years. The irony is that as much as Dana White says he hates rumors, he is generally the one to start the talk. That said, I certainly can’t blame him when you look at the void Brock has left in the UFC.

Brock Lesnar was the biggest draw in UFC history. There are certainly a variety of reasons but it is not coincidence that the UFC has not been the same since Brock left. No, he didn’t single handedly kill the momentum of the company. However, his departure took money away and attention away from the UFC that they haven’t gotten back.

As Dana said, Brock is still under a WWE contract. Brock’s contract expires with his WrestleMania 31 match. There are no rumors at all indicating that Brock and the WWE are in talks to re-negotiate. Several pro wrestling pundits have raised concerns about Brock being a lame duck champion heading into Mania. This UFC talk certainly won’t help quell those concerns.

A year ago it was a given that Brock and the WWE would agree on a new deal. Yet the economics are much different today for the WWE. With pay-per-view revenue off of the table and the emphasis on WWE Network subscriptions, an objective look at the landscape says that it will be very hard for the WWE to justify giving Brock a new deal.

I am a big Brock fan but the bottom line is the bottom line and he hasn’t been the draw for the company that most thought he would be. He hasn’t brought new viewers with him. His last PPV appearance against John Cena drew a disappointing buyrate. In the ring and on television he has been solid, but there is no indication he is moving any needles under the new business structure. It would certainly be in Brock’s interest to drum up these rumors because quite frankly I don’t know what kind of leverage he is going to have this spring when it comes to negotiating a new deal.

I suppose there is always the potential for the WWE and UFC to work out some kind of arrangement. There is all kinds of buzz about the WWE wanting Ronda Rousey for a match or appearance. There is always the possibility that Dana and McMahon could work out some kind of swap allowing Brock to fight in the UFC and Ronda to appear or wrestle a WWE match. I don’t foresee that ever happening but the deal would certainly be advantageous to both sides. Especially if the WWE could keep Brock yet lease him out the UFC to offset some costs.

Who knows what will happen in 2015. The UFC is desperate for stars and would likely make Brock a deal, giving Brock one last huge MMA payoff as he enters his forties. At 37 and with a history of injuries, I can’t imagine Brock being competitive in the current UFC landscape. The heavyweight division was much different when Brock came into the UFC in 2008. The UFC could always give him a favorable fight against a Big Foot Silva or even Mark Hunt. If Lesnar wins, I would expect the UFC to thrust him right into a title fight. If he loses, everyone wins with a big payday and a ride off into the sunset for the Beast Incarnate.

2015 could be a very interesting year indeed.

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Cruz, McGregor, Zingano impress at UFC 178

September 29, 2014 By: Category: Sports, UFC | Mixed Martial Arts

On paper UFC 178 was spectacular. A former champ looked amazing, a current champ seems unbeatable, we have a Cowboy on a roll, and a Cat on top, and it wouldn’t be a UFC card without some controversy. Here are my lessons learned from UFC 178.

Flyweights Need Love Too

I say this every time one of the top flyweights is fighting and I will continue to say it until people get on board. If you can’t appreciate what the flyweights, Demetrious Johnson in particular, does inside the Octagon; you do not truly love the sport of Mixed Martial Arts. The best flyweights in the world are blazing fast, exceptionally technical and a ton of fun to watch fight. They embody what the sport of MMA is all about.

When DJ’s opponent was named we all stopped and said, who? Chris Cariaso is definitely not a household name but it’s hard to find challengers when the champion has pretty much cleaned out the division. Was Cariaso deserving of a title fight? That’s not my job to determine but it’s not going to stop me from watching a Mighty Mouse fight. There were reports from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas that fans were actually leaving before the main event. Apparently, it was because they knew he was going to win and win easily. Early in his career, we all knew Mike Tyson was going to destroy his opponent and did that stop me from watching? No. It’s pretty much a forgone conclusion that Floyd Mayweather is going to win by decision and does that stop me from watching? No. As a hardcore fan of fighting, I enjoy watching the best fighters in the world fight. When it comes to the best all-around fighters in the UFC, Demetrious Johnson is easily one of the best. It’s time that he and the rest of the flyweights start getting the respect that they deserve.

The Champ is Back

The best story of the night came from Dominick Cruz. After a ton of injuries and three years outside of the octagon, he finally made his return and it was amazing. We saw a new side of Dom in his destruction of Takeya Mizugaki. He was aggressive and visually you can tell he was out for the finish. It was simply a “thing of beauty.”

I’ve always been a big fan of Cruz, and I’m sure a lot of that comes from my time working with him at Fox Sports, but I had no idea what he was going to look like in his return. I honestly wasn’t confident that he would be close to what he was. I knew he was putting in the work because that’s just who he is but his style is all based off of his footwork and striking angles. Having multiple ACL surgeries on the same knee, it seemed almost impossible. He made it back into the Octagon and looked better than ever.

So what’s next for the former bantamweight champion who never lost his belt? It’s easy, title shot. There’s no question that he should be the next in line for TJ Dillashaw. Dana White confirmed that he would get that fight at the UFC 178 post-fight press conference. Dominick Cruz taking on Team Alpha Male one more time for the title! It doesn’t get much better than that.

Hype Train Moving Fast

There is no question that there could be something special about Conor McGregor, but I feel like the hype train is moving a little too fast. I still need to see more from the brash Irishman before I jump on board.

I predicated that Dustin Porier would defeat McGregor and I was obviously wrong with that pick. I believed that Porier’s style would give McGregor some issues but it was the other way around. McGregor was very impressive with his striking, finishing Porier in the first round. I do think he will be a tough matchup for anyone who’s primarily a striker. We still haven’t seen him in the cage with a high caliber wrestler and there are a coupe of them at the top of the division. That’s the toughest test in my opinion. Not sure if someone on Twitter was joking or not, but they said Clay Guida beats McGregor. I don’t know about that, but point taken.

McGregor was on the UFC post-fight show with a UFC Title saying Jose Aldo gave it up to him. He also said at the press conference that he would maul Chad Mendes. He clearly already believes that he’s the best and should be fighting next for the belt. Right now, I really don’t think he’s deserving of a title shot. In my opinion, he needs more than one win over a top-10 opponent to get a shot at the title. So, let’s look at the options.

He just beat Porier who was ranked fifth. Ranked number four is Ricardo Lamas who fights Dennis Bermudez, who’s ranked seventh, on November 15th. Third Ranked Frankie Edgar is fighting second ranked Cub Swanson on November 22nd. Finally, number one contender Chad Mendes is fighting for the title against Jose Aldo on October 25th. Personally, I would like the UFC to take their time with him. I know he’s really hot right now and people really want to see him fight but there’s no need to rush him. I want the deserving fighter to get the title shot not the more popular fighter. The winner of Bermudez-Lamas could be a good fight for him. The winner of Edgar-Swanson should be next in line for a title fight. If McGregor destroys the winner of Lamas-Bermudez then we can talk number one contender fight. Until then, lets pump the breaks a little.

Cowboy Riding High

Donald Cerrone had the tall task of welcoming Eddie Alvarez into the UFC and looked phenomenal doing it. Ignore that 14th ranking next to Alvarez’s name because he’s much better than that. If you aren’t familiar with Eddie, he was a two-time Bellator lightweight champion and one of the best 155 pound fighters in the world who was riding an impressive 3-fight winning steak.

Cowboy started slow but picked things up in the 2nd and 3rd rounds and went on to dominate the fight. Cowboy has now won 5 fights in a row with 4 of them being in 2014. For his own sake, I hope he takes the rest of the year off so he can do things the right way. But for a guy who was wakeboarding everyday the week of one of his biggest fights ever, I don’t expect him to slow down at all. He is potentially one win away from a title fight and I would love a matchup with Russian standout, Khabib Nurmagomedov.

Other Notes:

Cat Zingano looked amazing in her win over Amanda Nunes. As promised by the UFC, Zingano will get her title shot. There is no question that the champion, Ronda Rousey has never fought anyone like Cat, but I still don’t think it will matter. She could be the toughest challenger to date, but I still think it will be an easy win for Ronda. Cat’s style will play right into Rousey’s style. Technique will always defeat strength and aggression.

What happened to Tim Kennedy was an absolute travesty. If a fighter does not get up to answer the bell, he loses the fight. That did not happen on Saturday night. Yoel Romero received a reported 37 seconds of extra time to sit on the stool and after almost being finished moments before. Romero receive over a minute and a half to recover between rounds and it may not sound like much, but that’s an eternity. Kennedy is going to protest the result, as he absolutely should. Romero should not have been allowed to continue. The Commission should do the right thing.

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Dana White Blasts Gina Carano For Failed UFC Deal

September 25, 2014 By: Category: Sports, UFC | Mixed Martial Arts

After telling fans the biggest WMMA Super Fight in history was all but ready to go, Dana White has once again let another one slip away. Gina Carano isn’t coming to the UFC after all and the UFC president isn’t happy about it.

Here we have another case of Dana White teasing fans with a Super Fight that was never going to happen. Whether it was Anderson Silva vs. Georges St. Pierre, Silva vs. Jon Jones, and now Gina Carano vs. Ronda Rousey, the big super fights continue to elude the UFC and MMA fans.

Rumors were in the air that a Carano vs. Rousey fight was all but signed and ready to take place on the same card with Jon Jones vs. Daniel Cormier. Over the last several months White has guaranteed that Carano would be coming to the UFC. White was telling reporters three weeks ago that the deal was done with the exception of one snag! Let’s take a look at some of White’s teases over the last few months.

She’s going to come back when she wants to sign,” Dana was asked about Ronda vs. Gina he replied “I’d do Ronda and Gina.” – April 9, 2014

Yeah it’s complicated, but I think we’re close,” White said. “I think we’re close.” – August 23, 2014

There’s just one more little thing (in the negotiations),” White said. “It’s close, but it’ll be done (before the end of the year).” – September 1, 2014

It’s even more complicated today and it appears that the fight is close…to never taking place. White has now taken to the offensive and is blasting Carano’s management team and Carano for failing to make a deal because you know, it is always everyone else’s fault when the UFC can’t make a deal. White vented to FoxSports.com and revealed that negotiations are no longer taking place.

The hardest human being we’ve ever dealt with and I didn’t see it coming,” White said about trying to sign Carano. “I don’t know, we’ll see how these things play out. Just incredibly difficult. We’ve dealt with (Brock) Lesnar, Tito (Ortiz), Chuck (Liddell) was f–king king of the world, Ronda Rousey, we’ve pretty much done deals with everyone on Earth and she is the hardest f–king athlete we have ever dealt with.

It is typical Dana White to play the victim card. At some point the UFC president and the organization need to take responsibility for failing to pull off these super fights. I think it is pretty clear that the fighters realize the leverage they have in negotiating these fights and the UFC isn’t willing to ante up. White is the first person to blast boxing for not making Pac vs. Mayweather. White on the other hand has failed to close the deal on several big fights.

White isn’t ready yet to throw Gina completely under the bus. White is putting all of the blame squarely at the feet of her management.

The problem is she allows herself to be handled by these Hollywood f–king idiots. It’s absolutely crazy. We’ve had all the biggest superstars in the world.

If you didn’t know any better you’d think that Dana was talking about negotiating with Fedor.

You have also had all of the biggest superstars in the world who probably didn’t have the means to have the representation that Carano has. How is it that Carano’s “f-cking idiot” managers can’t make a deal with the UFC but can make deals with billion dollar movie studios? Carano just signed for two movies and has become a real action player in Hollywood yet her managers are the idiots while he is left with no super fight.

White does him no favors when he tells fans and media that negotiations or close or guarantees a fight that isn’t signed. White is giving all of the leverage away at that point. I think fans have caught on but he really needs to keep his mouth shut on super fights until they are signed.

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Ronda Rousey Meets Ric Flair At WWE SummerSlam 2014

August 18, 2014 By: Category: Sports, UFC | Mixed Martial Arts, Videos, WWE | Pro Wrestling

What happens when arguably the greatest pro wrestler of all-time meets his female counterpart in the MMA world? Ric Flair and Ronda Rousey met for the first time at WWE SummerSlam and Middle Easy cameras captured that magic moment for all of us to see.

This is a very cool video as Middle Easy took video of Rousey and her friends throughout the night at SummerSlam. What makes the meeting between Rousey and Flair so special is that Rousey and her friends travel in a group known as the 4 Horsewomen with Rousey of course known as the Ric Flair of her group.

I am not a big Ronda Rousey fan but I did come away with a more favorable opinion of her after watching this video. Rousey is a big WWE fan and it was great to see her having fun as a “person in the crowd” at SummerSlam, cheering her favorites and booing their opponents. It’s a very cool video and shows a real innocent side to Rousey that I have never seen in the UFC.

Rousey made her presence known throughout the night with several pictures and videos of her showing up in social media with other WWE stars including Brock Lesnar, Paul Heyman, and Stephanie McMahon. It had nothing to do with getting publicity or pushing the UFC as it was just Rousey enjoying a night off as a fan.

So Rousey was at SummerSlam after all. I wouldn’t be surprised to see her in the ring after her UFC career winds down, at least for one match and I think it will be huge.

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Jon Jones vs. Daniel Cormier Delayed Until UFC 182

August 13, 2014 By: Category: Sports, UFC | Mixed Martial Arts

UFC fans will have to wait for the biggest fight of the year. An injury to UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones has delayed his upcoming grudge match with Daniel Cormier until January 2015 and take place at UFC 182.

News broke on Tuesday of the delay which comes a week after some pundits predicted blockbuster numbers for the fight coming off of a press conference brawl and a couple of verbal scraps on television. Tensions boiled over last week when Jones and Cormier got into it at a presser. A satellite feed of ESPN’s interview with the two showed a side of Jones none of us had ever seen where he mocked Cormier and called him “p*ssy” several times. By week’s end interest in this fight had grown to levels not seen since Sonnen vs. Silva 2.

Jones is pulling out of the first due to an injury suffered in training. A torn meniscus and a sprained ankle Jones suffered Monday wrestling is the cause of the postponement. While this may sound perfectly reasonable to most, MMA fans are seething at Jones for the delay. Fighters fight with these types of injuries often and Jones delaying the fight due to this is not sitting well with many…including Daniel Cormier.

“I said from the beginning that Jon Jones isn’t afraid of anyone,” Cormier said. “But if I can go in there with a partially torn ACL, I think he should have fought; tough it up and fight.

“I don’t know the extent of his injuries, and if it’s really bad, I’ll take it back. But on the surface, I heard he hurt himself. But people hear ACL, they think you’re out for a year. I’ve been hurt, and I’ve been training. I wish he would have just fought.

“I’m saying tough it out sometimes,” he added. “Sometimes you’ve got to go in there and tough it out and just fight.”

As upset as Cormier is, the postponement may work in his favor. The delay will allow him to seek care for his partially torn ACL, an injury Jones would have surely targeted in the fight. Cormier could likely seek arthroscopic surgery for the ACL and fight closer to 100%. The irony here is that many critics believed the reason Jones wanted to fight Cormier so badly was because he knew Cormier was hurt and wanted to get him before he had surgery.

At first glance this is terrible news on the business side for the UFC. However, Dave Meltzer reports that the UFC would like to stack the January 3 Las Vegas event with Jones vs. Cormier and Ronda Rousey vs. Gina Carano. According to Meltzer, Carano is still in play between Bellator and the UFC. Meltzer predicted a buyrate of anywhere between 1.1 and 1.8 million for that double main-event. I think he’s freaking nuts but I do think it would be a blockbuster.

I do wonder if the buzz will subside between Cormier and Jones by the time we get close to the event. By that point the press conference brawl and verbal spats would have already been several months old. Many of the casual fans will be knee-deep in football by that point. I still think it will do great business, but how long the shelf-life is on this buzz is the big question. Cormier is confident that won’t happen.

“I think people recognize that it’s a big fight,” he said. “I think by January, people will understand, and maybe people will stop thinking about us fighting on stage or getting caught cussing each other when the cameras were on.

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Gina Carano Rumored to Sign with Bellator MMA

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

There is a big rumor swirling around the world of MMA today. Bellator MMA is expected to make a big announcement later today and the word on the street is that Scott Coker will announce the return to Gina Carano to MMA.

Wait a second, didn’t Dana White all but guarantee that Gina Carano vs. Ronda Rousey would happen in December in the UFC? Well he did and this will go down as another one of his long list of super fight guarantees that he couldn’t get done. Carano has been negotiating with the UFC for the last several weeks so Bellator stealing her away from White and company is a big, big story.

At first read you’d wonder why Carano would opt for Bellator over the biggest MMA company in the world. Yet once you take a step back you can completely understand her choice and I am sure it came down to more than just money. Bellator is owned by Viacom and I am almost positive that television and movie work came along with this deal. For someone like Carano who is a rising action star in Hollywood, the decision makes a ton of sense.

I also think Carano was smart enough to know she was walking into an embarrassing loss in the UFC. I know, you know, and most of us know she didn’t stand a chance of beating Ronda Rousey. Carano hasn’t trained or fought in years and Rousey is superior to Carano in both stand up and ground. I don’t think it would have been the mauling Carano received from Cyborg but it was a no-win situation.

Quite honestly I think it is a great thing for the UFC. Now the UFC will be forced to go back to the negotiating table with Cyborg. Rousey vs. Cyborg is the fight to make here. I don’t think it’s intentional that Dana White has been blowing that fight off. She knows that Rousey would be walking into a buzzsaw. Now that Bellator is back in the WMMA game, there is no way White can let Cyborg hang around out there and risk losing that fight to his competitor.

The announcement is expected to come Tuesday afternoon. Marlos Coenen is also expected to be announced as a new signee. I would guess that Coenen vs. Carano would be put on the books immediately. This is a step in the right direction for Bellator and the first stamp Scott Coker has put on the company since taking over leadership.

I look forward to the Dana White spin on this one.

Update: Scott Coker denied the story to Ariel Helwani for what it’s worth.

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Stephanie McMahon and Triple H Explain Why WWE Is Better Than UFC

August 07, 2014 By: Category: Sports, UFC | Mixed Martial Arts, WWE | Pro Wrestling

Triple H and Stephanie McMahon recently took part in a chat with investors and were asked about the UFC. The WWE execs not only dismissed the UFC as competition and explained why the WWE is much better than its non-competition.

This is going to stir a lot of people up today. The happy couple participated in a “Fireside Chat” with Senior Business Analyst Laura Martin at the Needham Interconnect Conference for investors. The UFC was brought up as potential competition which Triple H was quick to dismiss and here is why.

They aren’t really a competitor to us and I explain this to our talent this way in the Performance Center and every time I say it people will say to me oh, that made it very clear for me: people like UFC, they like boxing, but it’s completely different from what we are. We are like the movie Rocky. We’re a story. We’re a great story that just happens to take place sometimes in the wrestling ring, so if you think about us less of Floyd Mayweather in a boxing match which you’ll watch one time and on pay-per-view and then once that fight’s over it’s kind of done, you know, and you’re really not going to go back and watch it a bunch of times unless you’re a connoisseur of boxing science, you’re gonna watch it one time. But Rocky the movie you will watch over and over and over again. It’s the story, it’s the characters. Boxing is irrelevant to the movie really. It’s a triumph story, it’s a love story, it’s all those things and that’s what we do. We create characters that you gravitate towards, that you connect with, that you passionately engage with, you believe in on a visceral level, whether you hate them or love them. We put them in unique storylines with creative passions and good guys and bad guys and the drama and sometimes love throws. We were married and divorced once on TV long before we did it for real, you know? It was a dry run, that’s why it works so well, we got it out of our system. You know, you have all those components, but that’s what makes us so successful and at the end of the day that’s what makes the Network successful because while a sport, who is gonna go back to watch the Superbowl from ’84? Yeah, right, unless you’re a massive technical football fan! Or who’s gonna go back and watch boxing from five years ago, you’re not, or UFC, it’s the same thing, it’s the same component. But our product is evergreen, because its the characters and the stories that you engage in, that’s what makes a passionate fan of the WWE and it’s lifelong, because even if you move away from it, even if you become a lapsed fan, you get out of college, you don’t have a lot of free time anymore, you get a job, you have kids, you do all those things, and now all of a sudden your kids start to watch, and you get on the Network and you start to watch the Attitude Era or the ’80s, that Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage and The Ultimate Warrior that you watched when you were a kid and all that emotion comes flooding back to you and it’s something that you don’t put down, that you don’t walk away from, it’s always there and it’s very easy to get hooked back into it to watch it again.

The irony here is that he has some very valid points yet also winds up contradicting himself in the process. The point about the UFC having a five-year shelf life with its fans while the WWE has an infinite shelf life may be one of the dumbest things he has ever said. I would take that statement and flip it. While I am not a big UFC fan anymore, I look at the UFC like any sport. I can stop watching baseball today and jump into a game next week, next year, two years from now, five years from now, etc and get right back into it. Chances are while I may not be a hardcore fan of that sport forever I will always have an affinity because essentially the sport will never change. I think the same can be said about the UFC. While you may not be as hardcore as you were when you originally discovered it, you will likely stop on a free event on TV long after your fandom declines. That can’t be said about the WWE.

Look at the WWE audience. They are targeting to kids and families. Kids grow up, find other activities, and are less likely to go back to the WWE. If he was right, where are the millions of people who watched pro wrestling during the Monday Night Wars? It’s been over fifteen years and most of them still haven’t come back. I think his point about the soap opera/entertainment aspect separating them from the UFC is accurate. I never found the crossover in UFC and WWE to be as high as some people. But his analysis is completely off in my opinion.

Quite frankly his wife made more sense in explaining the differences, the differences I have always pointed to as to why they are so different.

In addition to that with UFC you can pay money to watch a pay-per-view and it can be a terrible fight. Right? The guy you were really rooting for that UFC has been building as a star gets knocked right off and suddenly that person doesn’t really matter anymore and all that investment is lost. You never have that with WWE. We strategically build all of our Superstars and characters and we know when they are going to win and we know when they are going to lose. Uh, we do! [audience laughs] And we build characters and make them these megastars, it’s all very intentional and you’re guaranteed to get your money’s worth. It might not necessarily be the outcome you want, but you’re guaranteed to have a great match, to have a great pay-per-view and you’re guaranteed to be entertained.

She is dead on. That has always been the difference in my eyes between the WWE and the UFC. That is why I never can understand why they are so frequently compared. The WWE can script their matches, stories, and market their stars without fearing they will lose their big matches. The UFC cannot. Nobody is disputing that and it’s definitely the biggest obstacle in creating stars. It has to be organic.

Unfortunately you aren’t always guaranteed to get your money’s worth. She obviously hasn’t watched Payback.

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Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier Fight At UFC 178 Press Conference

August 04, 2014 By: Category: Sports, UFC | Mixed Martial Arts, Videos

The UFC has finally got a blockbuster on its hands. Fireworks erupted today between Daniel Cormier and Jon Jones in a brawl that has everyone talking. The buzz is now in place to turn this fight into the biggest rivalry since Sonnen vs. Silva.

Daniel Cormier and Jon Jones don’t like each other. That isn’t news. What is news is that a fight broke out at a UFC press conference for the first time I can remember. Jones put his head on Cormier, Cormier put his hands on Jones, and chaos ensued on the MGM Grand floor in a video that has quickly become viral.

To say that the UFC needed this is one of the biggest understatements you will ever read on here. 2014 has shaped up to be a grim year for the UFC with no grudge matches, cancelled cards, and one super fight signed that won’t even happen until next year. That has changed. Judging from the press this brawl immediately received and the buzz created, it is not inconceivable that this fight could top one million buys, saving an otherwise tough year on pay per view.

What may be more interesting than the brawl is a dual interview that took place on ESPN SportsCenter a few hours later. Cormier and Jones were interviewed with a split screen, each giving their versions of the fight. Jones and Cormier also discussed the origins of their beef which goes back a few years. The video is great, specifically with an arrogant Jones telling Todd Grisham that he thought it would be harder to take Cormier down since he is an Olympic wrestler.

I have to admit that when news broke of the brawl, I thought it was a work. After watching this interview I am convinced it was 100% real for one reason. Jones was completely monotone and seemed almost disinterested in the whole thing as opposed to Cormier who was red hot. My biggest criticism of Jones is that he is horrible at promoting his own fights. He is lucky that Cormier sees the big picture otherwise this scuffle probably would mean a lot less.

Unfortunately all of the selling in the world won’t convince me that Jones isn’t going to walk through Cormier. Cormier has a bad knee and has never been in an MMA fight with anyone close to Jones’ level. I think Jones will pick him apart on their feet and Cormier will have a real rough time going into deep waters later in the fight.

Check out the brawl along with several interviews following the melee.

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Rampage Jackson Says TNA Had No Idea What They Were Doing

August 01, 2014 By: Category: Sports, UFC | Mixed Martial Arts, Videos, WWE | Pro Wrestling

While most of the pro wrestling community was surprised to learn that TNA Wrestling would not be renewed by Spike TV, one former TNA star was not. Rampage Jackson says he saw the writing on the wall which is why we won’t ever be seeing him in TNA again.

Rampage was the first major MMA star to agree to work with TNA and earned TNA some much needed publicity when he came over. Many were skeptical but a hot confrontation between he and Kurt Angle created enough buzz to quiet any doubters. Fortunately for those doubters TNA immediately dropped the able creating frustration among fans and the former Pride FC champion.

Rampage recently appeared on The Fight Nerd and talked about his frustrating tenure in TNA. Jackson opened up for the first time about his frustrations and the lost opportunity between him and Angle.

To be honest with you, you haven’t seen me in a while. I soon as I saw the operation, there were no plans for me to go back. They had a lot of momentum with me when I came out with Kurt Angle…I was supposed to wrestle Kurt Angle. They lost all momentum. They didn’t utilize me. I gave them a couple of ideas on how to utilize me. They wanted me to wrestle professional fighters in pro wrestling. They had no idea what they were doing in my opinion so no you won’t see me in TNA ever again.

That is just absolutely amazing to me. I know TNA has its defenders but those plans are indefensible. According to Jackson they were going to book him to wrestle MMA fighters because you know, fans would rather pay to watch the same two guys go through a worked wrestling match as opposed to a real fight. That is just ludicrous to me! If that is the case and I have no reason to doubt him, he is right. They had no idea what they were doing and it’s a damned shame because for one week they had something special with Jackson and Angle. To be fair to the current creative team, Rampage’s creative was handled by the Hogan and Bischoff regime.

Jackson also tells the interviewed that he “saw the writing on the wall” in regards to TNA’s current instability. It’s fascinating in the sense that this guy, who has never worked in pro wrestling, knew how to book his angle better than the actual pro wrestling company.

Check out the interview and more on Rampage’s brief tenure in TNA below.

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Anderson Silva vs. Nick Diaz Makes For A UFC Classic

July 31, 2014 By: Category: Sports, UFC | Mixed Martial Arts

The UFC are wasting no time announcing their biggest fight on the docket. The UFC announced the return of two of its biggest stars this week and have signed the biggest fight of 2014 on January 31 in Vegas.

Anderson Silva is planning on making a miraculous return next year as he takes on Nick Diaz in a middleweight fight. The fight was signed shortly after Nick Diaz signed a new contract with the UFC a couple of weeks ago. Both fighters are coming off of a loss, one coming off of one of the most brutal injuries in UFC history.

I have to admit that I am surprised by this one. I never expected Silva to come back after suffering that horrific injury against Chris Weidman. It wasn’t the desire I questioned but at his age I never thought he would be able to rehabilitate to an elite level that quickly. That said, I can certainly understand why any athlete with the pedigree of Silva’s does not want his lasting image in the octagon to be of him collapsed and crying in pain.

Nick Diaz is a welcome headache for the UFC. You will rarely see Dana White put up with as much crap as he does from Diaz. Diaz brings an intangible that is currently missing in the UFC and that is personality. Nick is one of the best characters in the history of the company and probably the only one who can sell a fight these days. Forget about the fact that he got demolished by GSP in his last fight, the trash talking, tax evader is back!

The fight injects a much needed boost into the UFC. The UFC came into the year losing three of its top draws in GSP, Silva, and Diaz. While Ronda Rousey has been able to pick up some pieces, she can only do so much without any real competition in her division. 2014 has been the first year I can remember without a true, honest-to-goodness UFC super fight and no matter how you slice it, that has to hurt.

As for the fight I find it to be one of the most intriguing matchups in recent memory. The styles make a very exciting fight on paper. You have two guys here who are at their best when they are on their feet and vulnerable to the takedown. It is to both men’s benefit to keep this one up high and keep it a strike fight. It truly has the makings of an all-out war.

We are still a long way away from Anderson Silva testing his wheels in an actual training camp. The progress has been remarkable but there is nothing like a gritty training camp. I won’t go as far as to say I’ll believe it when I see it, but I do have my doubts. If he can get through a training camp I don’t have any doubt that he’ll be ready to fight. I can’t imagine the Spider getting into the octagon and sacrificing himself to Diaz if he isn’t physically ready for the bout.

The bad news is that we have to wait six-months to see the fight. The good news is that the delay gives us six-months of Nick Diaz trash talking. It’s a win-win for everyone!

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