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UFC Must Make Ronda Rousey vs. Cyborg

March 03, 2015 By: Category: Sports, UFC | Mixed Martial Arts

It took a combined 60 seconds for Ronda Rousey and Cris Cyborg Justino to dominate their opponents this past weekend. The time for joking is over, it’s time for Rousey to either fight or face the consequences that come with avoiding her most devastating opponent.

UFC president Dana White gets credit for a lot of things but his biggest failure as promoter has been his inability to deliver big super fights. Promises are often made, yet fights are never delivered. White can turn this all around by pulling off the biggest fight in WMMA history. How he continues to let this one slip past his fingers is just simply mind boggling.

The UFC is faced with an unenviable dilemma. Does the organization sacrifice an entire division for one super fight? Those are the stakes of booking Ronda Rousey vs. Cris “Cyborg” Justino. The fight is arguably the biggest fight the promotion could pull off at this time yet the ramifications of a Rousey massacre could be devastating. Without Rousey there is no WMMA. While that may be a harsh statement to make it is a fact. Nobody else, including Cyborg is pulling the kind of mainstream attention that Rousey is. Knowing that the odds of Rousey winning a fight against Cyborg as the same as Rousey losing, this has become one tough fight for the UFC to make.

Many will give the UFC credit. Many will say that the UFC has been attempting to make this fight since Rousey debuted in 2013. That may be true but there is a catch. The UFC has been attempting to make this fight at 135. See, Cyborg fights at 145 and walks around much heavier. Rousey moved down in weight in 2011 to 135. White and Rousey have said repeatedly that they’d take the fight at 135, giving Rousey a distinct advantage. Yet Rousey has been adamant that she will not fight a pound heavier, when challenged to a catch weight fight of 140 pounds and yet she continues to use this 135 shield to avoid criticism from her promoter and MMA journalists.

Justino is not well liked and this has worked against her when it comes to critics. Many speculated that Justino was on performance enhancing drugs for years as an MMA fighter. Nobody ever gave Justino the full respect she probably deserved over this speculation. Justino has tested once for PEDs, back in 2011. Yes she has tested once in her 10-year WMMA career for PEDs and yet she has had to bare this cross before and after then. Rousey would have pressure to fight anyone else in this situation but Justino will never get that kind of support. Justino has fought three times since and has passed all PED tests.

After demolishing Cat Zingano in 14 seconds, Rousey is now being compared to Mike Tyson. I couldn’t think of a better analogy. I watched Tyson fight seemingly every three months as a kid. He was an animal! Yet even I remember back then many of Tyson’s critics pointing out that he was avoiding top-caliber opponents. Once Tyson got in the ring with guys like Holyfield and Lewis, his aura disappeared. Rousey, like Tyson is avoiding her toughest potential challenge. Her legacy will not be cemented until she climbs that mountain.

“She’s not in the UFC. If she wants to come to the UFC and fight at 135, then yes, I would,” Rousey told Ariel Helwani after winning at UFC 184. “(She won) against some chick that I beat on like my second pro-fight ever, in what, 40 seconds? Not really (impressed).”

Rousey’s not impressed? This comes from the same Rousey who stood inside the octagon on Saturday night issuing challenges to Bethe Correia and Holly Holm. With all due respect to both women, each are big mismatches next to Rousey. Yet Rousey shows no interest in fighting her rival who just obliterated her opponent in under a minute on Friday night. How anyone can take this seriously is beyond me?

Dana White has pressed many former champions to take super fights in the past. White however has no problem with Rousey’s 135 pound demand. It was okay to pressure GSP, Anderson Silva, Jon Jones and others to take super fights with catchweights for years. I can’t understand how he can defend this with a straight face.

Rousey likes to carry the banner for WMMA. The biggest thing she could do for WMMA is fight Cyborg. That fight would be the biggest WMMA fight in history and could potentially break one million buys. The media attention for a fight of that magnitude would be enormous for WMMA. Yet she is perfectly content letting Justino fight in Invicta while she challenges subpar competition and WMMA continues to struggle. That’s just the facts whether you like Rousey, hate Justino, or just don’t care.

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The Rock On Brock Lesnar, Dana White, MMA & More

January 16, 2015 By: Category: Sports, UFC | Mixed Martial Arts, WWE | Pro Wrestling

Former WWE Champion Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has made it clear in the past that he is a huge MMA fan. Johnson recently did a Q&A with UFC Magazine and here are the highlights.

On if he was a fan of MMA before or after Brock Lesnar entered the sport: I was always a fan of the UFC, dating back to UFC 1 in ’93. But what actually drew me to MMA was when I attended UFC 60, when Matt Hughes faced Royce Gracie in a non-title catchweight fight. I was interested in MMA at that time, so I went to the Staples Center early and sat in the front row to watch every fight that night— including all the prelims. I wanted to absorb as much I could and become somewhat of a student for the night. When the main event was about to start, they sat the Gracie family next to me. Specifically Helio Gracie—his energy and presence was powerful. I’ll never forget shaking his hand. Royce lost, but even in defeat, the grace, pride and poise he and the Gracie family showed that night was inspiring. I went home that night with such a greater respect for the sport and all its fighters.

On his favorite MMA fighters: I always have my eyes on the champions, specifically the heavyweight and light heavyweight champs. Cain Velasquez is an animal with the type of heart and conditioning that makes me want to run through a wall at 3 a.m. and do my cardio and training. My buddy Jon Jones is a very special fighter who bridges fighting and artistry like no one ever before has. They’re both incredibly inspiring champions who are needle movers in the world of MMA. And I bet 2015 will be the year of Anthony “Rumble” Johnson: a bad dude. When he becomes champion, I’m gonna have to claim him as my cousin! [Laughs]

Lesnar left the WWE in 2004 to pursue his NFL dreams, but failed to make the 53 man roster for the Minnesota Vikings. He went back to pro wrestling in late 04 and eventually into MMA a few years later.

On if he gave Lesnar any advice before stepping into the cage: I never spoke to Brock when he decided to compete in MMA. We’ve been good buds for years, and he always knew I supported his decision. To be able to accomplish what he did and become UFC heavyweight champion in that short amount of time was insane—historic.

Johnson asked UFC President Dana White to appear on his all new TNA show, “Wake Up Call”.

On why he reached out to White to appear on his show: On that episode of Wake Up Call, we have an 18-year-old high-school dropout who has one dream: to become a UFC champion. Despite the fact that his mom is in prison and he dropped out of school, he’s a good kid with a big heart and a dream. I told him if he meets me halfway and puts in the hard work, then I’ll provide the tools he needs to achieve his dream. I called Dana to see if he’d come down to Florida and take a look at this kid and see if he had any potential. I knew I could count on Dana to give it to me and the kid straight without any bullshit. Not only did Dana fly all the way to Florida, but he brought Mike Dolce with him. They put that kid through the ringer with training, conditioning and a shot to become part of Coach Libo’s [Ricardo Liborio] American Top Team up the road from where we live. I won’t give it away, but let’s just say that we may see that kid, Terrell Moore, in the Octagon one day. I can’t thank Dana and the UFC enough for their support of Wake Up Call.

You can catch Johnson’s show on Friday nights.

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Dana White Speaks About Jon Jones’ Positive Cocaine Test, Reaction & More

January 08, 2015 By: Category: Sports, UFC | Mixed Martial Arts

UFC President Dana White appeared on Fox Sports 1 America’s Pre Game yesterday to address all of the questions that comes hot off the heels of UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones testing positive for Cocaine before his fight with Daniel Cormier at UFC 182.

Down below are highlights from his interview.

“I was shocked, said White. Obviously, and this is one of those situations where it’s so different than if a guy gets busted for performance-enhancing drugs. You worry about the person first, you know? You forget about the fighting and the work side of it. You worry about the person, Jon Jones as a person. He got checked into rehab, they’re going to evaluate him and then we’ll go from there.”

White was asked why the UFC didn’t postpone or cancel the fight after learning about the test results?

“What happened was, so they do these tests leading up to a fight, these random drug tests, and he tested positive. No, (there was no talk of postponing the fight) because No. 1, he was healthy. No. 2, the reason you would stop a fight and the hammer would drop on a guy would be if he tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs.”

While gave some interesting news that Jones opponent at UFC 182, Daniel Cormier was not informed that Jones had tested positive before the fight.

“He was not (informed of the failed test) because he didn’t need to be. If he tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs, everything would have got shut down. The other thing people have to understand about this situation is Jon Jones was contracted to fight. We have a contract with him. Everybody thinks that we can just say, ‘Hey, the fight’s off. The fight’s not happening.’ Damn right he had the right to fight.”

Dana White continued to say that it is not about the UFC, the title or future plans for Jones. It is all about Jones getting help then the promotion worry about the future.

White stated repeatedly that he plans on talking to Jones soon.

“I talked to him yesterday before he went in, and I’m hoping that I’ll be able to talk to him tonight. He was in a good place going in there and I’m sure he’s in an even better place today. I look forward to talking to him today.”

White defended the promotion by saying that street drugs (cocaine) does not help a fighter, but hurts them. Thus the reason the fight was not cancelled. However, if Jones tested positive for performance enhancing drugs then the fight would be stopped right away.

“If you look at how shocked everybody was by this, nothing you saw in Jon Jones leading up to that fight would make you think that he used drugs. In a situation like this the last thing you worry about is his image right now. You worry about getting the guy healthy, he’ll come back, and whether you like him or you don’t like him, he’s the baddest dude in the world. He’s the pound-for-pound best guy in the world.

What’s even crazier is you do these tests to look for performance-enhancing drugs, the stuff he was doing, it hurts you. It doesn’t help you in any way, it actually hurts you. So imagine how good this guy’s going to be when he gets straight. Everything happens for a reason. It’s a great thing this happened. It’s a great thing this guy made a mistake. Who would have known? We would never know. We’ll get him the help that he needs.”

While I understand that UFC 182 would do huge business for the promotion, White cannot say that they are only concerned about the health of Jones right now. If so, why did you let him fight? Why not get him help in the first place. If he was already using the drug, wouldn’t have been better if he was clean a month ago. Jones could have overdosed and died. Can you imagine the backlash against a promotion like the UFC? While I enjoyed the fight, and the media coverage that came with it, you can’t argue that the person Jon Jones is more important right now because you already put business before his personal welfare.

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UFC Grudge Fights Rarely Deliver

January 06, 2015 By: Category: Sports, UFC | Mixed Martial Arts

After months of talking and threats, Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier delivered the fight I expected. Jones dominated Cormier in a long, boring, one-sided fight that surprised nobody who has followed the history of UFC grudge fights.

Grudge fights have become a blessing and a curse for the UFC. The blessing is that fans, casual and hardcore get caught up in the pro wrestling style banter leading up to the fight. Generally that interest returns a nice dividend for the UFC through big buyrates. The curse however is that new fans drawn to the UFC for the first-time who expected a fight for the ages are probably not coming back any time soon.

Unfortunately you have many in the MMA media who have incredibly short memories. Minutes after Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier got into their memorable press conference skirmish, those same media members took to social media and other outlets and became UFC’s best salesmen and saleswomen getting caught up in the hype and failing to report the obvious. This fight, like the big grudge fights before them, never had a prayer of delivering what was expected.

I didn’t buy it for a second. Any savvy fan could see the Jones-Cormier fight on paper for what it was. It was an over-hyped mismatch. Cormier’s 2-0 record at light heavyweight came against an unranked fighter and an aged veteran past his better years. Jones has been fighting the elite of the sport for the past few years and only once was he in a competitive fight. Yet for some reason fans and media got caught up in the moment failing to recognize the fantasy that was being perpetrated by the UFC.

The fight was everything I thought it would be. It was five rounds of Jones at his best and Cormier failing to do much damage. Sure, Cormier had his moments in Round 2 but that was hardly the fight the frenzied fans expected to see. Even today some MMA pundits are trying to convince themselves it was a good fight. To hardcore MMA fans, yes it was an intriguing battle. But for the casual audience that expected to see a war, it was a waste of time, money, and energy that they should have seen coming.

I started thinking about the great grudge matches in UFC history and how those fights turned out. I picked ten of what I thought were some of the greatest grudge fights in UFC history. All of these fights had the talking, the threats, the hype, and all of the promises of a war that you could have asked for. Yet very few delivered what many would consider great fights. Let’s take a look.

Ken Shamrock vs. Tito Ortiz – Some will call this the greatest rivalry in UFC history, yet all of their fights were one-sided, destructions in favor of the same guy. As great as their promos and hype were leading up to the fights, they did not deliver the fight fans expected.

Tito Ortiz vs. Chuck Liddell – Let’s stay with Tito for a minute. Like his fight with Shamrock, both fights were one-sided destructions. The difference was that Tito was the one getting pounded in these uneventful fights. I’ll say this. They were certainly intense going in, but neither were the battles fans expected.

Brock Lesnar vs. Frank Mir II – The number one selling fight in the history of the UFC was Brock vs. Mir. Mir’s insults and Brock’s threats had fans on the edge of their seats expecting a war. What they got was Brock dominating Mir for under ten minutes, giving Mir nothing in the fight. Again an intense fight for sure, but nowhere near what was expected.

Chael Sonnen vs. Anderson Silva – Now this is the outlier in this list. I feel that both fights delivered as expected. The first was a classic, maybe my favorite fight of all-time. The second, while over in two rounds, I think went exactly was you’d design it if you were scripting it.

Jon Jones vs. Rashad Evans – Jones biggest fight up until Cormier was Rashad Evans. The storyline was taken right out of an old-school pro wrestling territory. Fans were expecting Evans to hang with Jones and teach him a lesson (as the teacher of course). Instead what they got was a snoozer that saw Jones win a unanimous decision that made Jones-Cormier look like Silva-Liddell.

Rashad Evans vs. Rampage Jackson – Let’s stick with Evans, who has talked his way into some of the biggest fights in UFC history. Unfortunately for the fans who bought into his big mouth, they were served up a big plate of boring and it doesn’t get more boring than this one. Sans a flurry late in the fight by Jackson, it was a one-sided affair which saw Evans tie up Jackson for five rounds and take a unanimous decision.

Nick Diaz vs. GSP – The man who coined the term “Wolf Tickets’ would know a lot about them as he sold plenty for his fight with GSP. Diaz made a lot of promises and offered some of the craziest quotes you’d ever hear leading up to a title fight before the match. Fans were pumped, the media was pumped, and GSP was pumped to dominate the living hell out of Diaz for five, one-sided, dull rounds winning a unanimous decision 50-45 by all three judges.

GSP vs. BJ Penn – This one had all of the makings of a classic fight yet wound up producing a frustrating, uneventful rematch. This rare battle of champions saw GSP (accused of greasing by Penn), just ground and pound an outsized Penn for four rounds, brutalizing the champion before Penn’s mercifully stopped the carnage.

So there you have it. Two guys cutting promos on each other for several months, pushing each other at press conferences, and the UFC president telling you about his next biggest fight of all-time does not make for a good fight. The odds of the fight delivering the brawl you are hoping to see are slim to none with none being the better bet.

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CM Punk in the UFC is the Height of Hypocrisy

December 08, 2014 By: Category: Sports, UFC | Mixed Martial Arts, WWE | Pro Wrestling

This thing isn’t a joke. You don’t just decide “I’m a professional wrestler I think I’m going to fight.” It takes a lot of time, dedication and hard work — just like wrestling does. I’m sure these guys have to train hard and have to get in great shape to professional wrestle. You can’t just jump up one day and say, “I’m going to be a pro fighter and I think I’ll fight next month.” It doesn’t work that way. It doesn’t even come close to working that way.” – Dana White 2007

CM Punk will be returning to action…but not in a WWE ring. The former WWE world champ is stepping into the UFC octagon in a move that has a lot of WWE fans excited and a lot of MMA fans asking questions.

It (fighting MMA) was always in the back of my mind since then. There was a fork in the road, I chose one direction. I’m fortunate to be able to revfisit things and take another fork in the road.

Punk has signed a multi-fight deal to join the UFC. The announcement comes less than two weeks after Punk returned to the spotlight after a series of podcast interviews in which he blasted the WWE and gave his side of the story on his exit. Ironically the things said in those interviews make very little sense in light of his latest announcement.

Punk talked extensively about the injuries he has suffered over the last several years in the WWE. He talked about concussions, bad knees, and MRSA infection, and broken ribs to name a few. Punk talked about burnout and went on a lengthy rant about Ryback in particular injuring Punk during their program. For a guy who has been so badly beaten up in a pro wrestling ring the last several years, the move to an actual combat sport doesn’t seem very logical does it?

My first reaction to hearing the news is that this may be the height of hypocrisy for CM Punk. Especially when you look back on all of the harsh statements Punk made against The Rock coming back to the WWE.

I have no personal problems against Dwayne. It’s very frustrating being here and watch a guy come in and get credit for a WrestleMania buyrate when he didn’t do anything on the show. He certainly didn’t do anything entertaining.

Let’s fast-forward to 2014 and compare the situations. You now have a guy (Punk) who is getting a UFC fight without any professional or amateur athletic background simply due to his star-power. This is a guy who is taking a spot away from an MMA fighter who has made the sacrifices and trained hard to get a coveted UFC spot. It would be one thing if Punk had to earn it on The Ultimate Fighter but he has never even had an MMA fight. His spot on the UFC card is undeserving no matter how you look at it and he is now that guy walking into the UFC locker room, without even an amateur fight or background, and taking someone’s spot. It doesn’t get any more hypocritical than that.

And then there is Dana White. The same Dana White who blasted competitors in the past for signing fighters with no MMA experience for their celebrity.

Which athletic commission is going to let this guy fight?” White asked. “Who the f**k are they going to find to fight Herschel Walker? A guy in a wheelchair?

Great question! Which athletic commission is going to let CM Punk? At least Herschel Walker had a professional sports background and the same can be said for James Toney who got a fight in the UFC. They also did not have a history of concussions. Keep in mind that a couple of years ago when Kurt Angle expressed interest in joining the UFC that Dana White was going to make Angle go through TUF to get a UFC spot and Angle is an Olympic gold medalist in wrestling! CM Punk is getting a contract and a fight simply for being a professional wrestling superstar.

I don’t have any doubt in my mind that Bellator was the key factor in getting this deal done. There was no Bellator aggressively signing fighters back when Angle wanted in. Bellator is aggressively going after the UFC and there is no doubt that they would have given Punk a fight on network TV if the UFC didn’t jump first. I also don’t care what anyone from the UFC says, this move is about a company that is struggling mightily on pay-per-view and looking for a Hail Mary. Even with Anderson Silva coming back, the UFC will be lucky if they get two fights out of him in 2015. The UFC has been unable to create new stars and the numbers don’t lie. They need something and signing a popular WWE star is about as good as it is going to get.

Signing with the UFC is one thing. Getting into a UFC fight is another. Punk had a problem staying healthy in a worked pro wrestling sport for the last several years. Granted he wrestles a more physical style than most but it is pro wrestling. Will his body hold up through a full training camp? Has he even put in a full training camp to see if it would? That is a big question.

Regardless, it will be a must-see event the day Punk steps foot inside of the octagon. My suspicion is that a guy without one MMA fight, one camp, and no amateur wrestling or boxing background is not going to fare well.

But we’ll all be watching and as far as Dana is concerned, that’s more important that credibility in 2014/15.

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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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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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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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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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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.

UFC Ultimate Fight Collection 2013 DVD

UFC shirts and videos on Amazon.com