Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Jake Shield's Father Dies at 67

Some sad news today. Jack Shields the father and manager of Jake Shields was found dead at the age of 67. He went peacefully in his sleep. Back in 2010 Jack had congestive heart failure. As of this morning it isn't known if that was the cause of his death.

Jack Shields was a fervent supporter of his son Jake. He was his manager and brokered the current deal that Jake has with the UFC. He handled all of Jake's business needs including sponsorships and contracts.

Jake was extremely close with his father. His father would make often make long drives from his home to see Jake practice and was at all of his fights. So, I would not be surprised if he pulls out of his fight on September 17th with Jake Ellenberger.

I wish Jake Shields and his family my condolences in the loss of Jack Shields.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Spygate, MMA Style

Just when I thought today would be a slow day for MMA news, Rampage Jackson comes through to save the day. In an article I read on Yahoo, Jackson states that his next opponent Jon Jones has a spy in his camp.

Jackson states that he fabricated a hand injury and didn't tell anyone except the people in his camp. Within 4 hours, Joe Silva, the UFC matchmaker was calling him to inquire about the injury. Jackson's camp asked where he had heard the information and Silva replied from Malki Kawa, Jon Jones' manager. In the article he states that when he fought Rashad Evans at UFC 114 he believes Rashad had information that he had a knee injury, which prompted Rashad to punch him in the knee. Rashad also at one time had Kawa as his manager. Kawa denies having a spy and stated "I promise to God, I have no spy in that camp. It’s completely and totally untrue."

Now if this is true, this has some interesting implications. If Jones is found to have spies in Jackson's camp, would the UFC fine him or suspend him? Would the UFC strip him of his title?

On the flip side, what if Jackson is paranoid? What if he is making all of this up? This isn't the first time Jackson has done something crazy. Anyone remember his hit-and-run a few years ago after he lost the light heavyweight title to Forrest Griffin?

Time will tell how this all plays out.

Monday, August 29, 2011

UFC 134 Post Fight Thoughts

So UFC 134 delivered a lot of what I expected and one thing I did not.

Anderson Silva vs Yushin Okami

Anderson Silva crushed Yushin Okami. Although I did predict a 1st round KO. The fact that it made it to the 2nd round doesn't surprise me too much. I thought Okami had a decent game plan. He tied up Silva and used his slow methodical clinch work/dirty boxing. He actually caught Silva with a couple decent shots. But once Anderson separated, the fight was over. Right at the end of the first round Silva hit Okami with a beautiful head kick and Okami was saved by the bell. In the 2nd round, Silva toyed with Okami until dropping him with a jab. The end came quickly thereafter.

I think the fans want to see if Sonnen can repeat his performance against Silva. That in my opinion is the only fight left for Anderson in the middleweight division. I truly think he should move up to 205 and immediately fight for the title. I think Jones will defeat Rampage at the end of September. Anderson will probably get the winner of Stann/Sonnen and Jones will then fight Rashad. After that, say mid to late 2012 Anderson/Jones could happen. For Okami, maybe someone like Chris Leben.

Mauricio "Shogun" Rua vs Forrest Griffin

Shogun made extremely quick work of Forrest. I did not expect this type of fight. I had heard some rumblings before the fight that Forrest's mind wasn't in fighting anymore and it showed. Forrest is a slower fighter and his decision to stand with Rua, the quicker and superior striker was just insane. Let's also look at the finish. It was shades of his fight with Rashad in which he just took a beating. Put his hands in the air, made no attempt to block or pull guard. Just took a pounding until the referee saved him. I am a fan of Forrest, but I think he's done. He needs to retire or at minimum take some serious time off and try to find that fire to fight again.

Now Shogun didn't really show me anything special. The fight was too quick to see anything. If Forrest would have used his wrestling and made Shogun work, and pushed him into later rounds, then we could have seen if his mental state is still good. Jones beat him badly and if Forrest could have given him some adversity he might have broken Shogun. But we'll never know.

With this win, Shogun is right back in the hunt. My thought is Machida vs Shogun 3. Both are in title contention and people would like to see that fight I believe. Winner could get title crack if Anderson doesn't move up to 205 like I hope.

Edson Barboza vs Ross Pearson

As I predicted, the fight was fun to watch and Dana White agrees giving them the "Fight of the Night" bonus. After a close fight, Barboza won a split decision. Other than being a fun stand-up war to watch, I don't have too many thoughts on this fight. A good hard fight battle.

Going forward, I think Barboza should get a guy like Takanori Gomi or Sam Stout. For Pearson, maybe someone like Mark Bocek.

Antonio Rodrigo "Minotauro" Nogueira vs Brendan Schaub

In my prediction blog, I said that a healthy Nogueira is almost unbeatable and that he has very underrated boxing skills. I predicted that Nog would submit Schaub in the 2nd round. But he utilized those boxing skills to get a 1st round knock out! I truly believe that if Nogueira can stay healthy, he could take one more run at the title.

In conversations with my friends, several of us agreed that Schaub was overrated and didn't belong in any title contention talks. Schaub is a good guy and has potential, but he really needs to work other facets of his game. Schaub is a one dimensional striker and now has 2 knock out losses to show for it. He either needs to get a really good striking coach or start learning clinch work and a ground game. At the rate he's going he'll get knocked out by every decent striker he fights if he doesn't evolve.

Going forward, I would like to see Nogueira fight one of 3 men. A rematch with Frank Mir, Brock Lesnar or Shane Carwin. I think a victory over any one of those fighters puts him right back into the title hunt. For Schaub I think a fight with the loser of Matt Mitrione and Cheick Kongo would be entertaining.

Luis Cane vs Stanislav Nedkov


When I was doing my prediction blog I really expected Nedkov to utilize his superior ground game. Instead he chose to stand and strike with Cane. Cane was absolutely picking Nedkov apart until Nedkov caught Cane with a big shot. The fight ended rather quickly from there leaving Nedkov still undefeated.

Moving forward, Cane is in jeopardy of being cut in my opinion. He has lost 3 of his last 4 fights. I think a fight with Ryan Bader would be in order. Loser gets the axe. For Nedkov, I liked to see him fight someone like Vladimir Matyshenko. It would be good test against a tough veteran.

Rousimar Palhares vs Dan Miller

Now I have to comment on this fight. Is Palhares mentally challenged? Now he rocked Miller, and he had him hurt, but at no time did Herb Dean wave him off. This after he decided to stop fighting and complain about Marquardt's leg a couple fights ago that caused him to get knocked out. In his last fight he held a submission well after the referee called the end of the bout. I'll give him the benefit of the doubt that there is a language barrier. Hopefully someone in his camp will give him an education on what he should be doing in a fight.

Dan Miller, even though he lost another fight shows just how tough he is. He has 6 losses on his record all by decision. You just can't finish this guy. However, he's definitely in the hot seat now that he's lost 5 of his last 7 fights.

Moving forward, I'd love to see Palhares fight the Demian Maia/Jorge Santiago winner. For Miller it really is tough. He is a tough guy who obviously can't be finished. But he keeps losing to all the upper echelon fighters. I think a fight is in order between Miller and Akiyama. Loser gets shown the door.

Final Thought

Looking back at the UFC 134, it was a good event. Hopefully this will usher in a new era where the UFC goes to Brazil more than once a decade.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Back in Brazil

I just read an article on Sherdog about Dana White's excitement about finally going back to Brazil. After reading this article, I couldn't agree more. Here is the article. Long story short, White is excited to be expanding UFC operations into Brazil for the first time in 13 years and sees it as a vital piece in global expansion for the UFC. He also goes on to note that Brazil has a strong fight culture.

I completely agree and my only question is why it took so long for the UFC to go back to Brazil, in essence, to go back home. The UFC was the brain child of Rorion Gracie, a man who immigrated from Brazil. Royce Gracie, Rorion's little brother won the first tournament and eventually won 8 straight fights before he stopped fighting in those early days. The sheer dominance of Gracie Brazilian Jiu Jitsu was incomparable. The world had never seen the likes of BJJ before. The Gracie's started a revolution.

In today's world of MMA BJJ is a staple. Without at least a knowledge of BJJ defense you have no very little chance of being successful. All this started in Brazil when Helio Gracie, Royce Gracie's father adapted Jiu Jitsu a primarily Judo based martial art into a ground fighting system. Helio was a small man and not capable of many of the moves due to his small size. He learned that if he could get the fight to the ground, the moves still worked but he was no longer at a disadvantage due to his size. And at that moment, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu as we know it was born.

So to get back on topic, MMA as we know it, all got its start in Brazil. Without the Gracie's and the Brazilian fight culture, MMA would not exist. And it's about time that the UFC goes back to Brazil to bring those fans a great show. Some of the greatest fighters in the world have come from Brazil. Fighters like Anderson Silva, Wanderlei Silva, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, and the Godfather of MMA Royce Gracie.

Now the UFC is already planning another event in Brazil for 2012 when they go to Manaus. UFC 134 is being held at HSBC Arena in Rio de Janeiro which only seats 14,000 people. On the return trip next year, the event is being planned in an arena that can hold 100,000. Considering the major demand for UFC 134 tickets, the 2012 event has the ability to sellout and break all existing attendance records for the UFC.

I'm glad the UFC is finally going back to Brazil. Now I have even more reason to go there!

Friday, August 26, 2011

UFC 134 Weigh-In Results

So it's a pretty slow day in the MMA world with everyone waiting on tomorrow's huge event in Brazil. So I thought I'd pass on the weigh-in results for UFC 134:


Anderson Silva (184) vs Yushin Okami (183)
Mauricio "Shogun" Rua (205) vs Forrest Griffin (205)
Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (243) vs Brendan Schaub (247)
Ross Pearson (155) vs Edson Barboza (155)
Luiz Cane (204) vs Stanislav Nedkov (203)
Spencer Fisher (156) vs Thiago Tavares (156)
Rousimar Palhares (185) vs Dan Miller (184)
Raphael Assuncao (134) vs Johnny Eduardo (135)
Paulo Thiago (169) vs David Mitchell (171)
Yuri Alcantara (144) vs Felipe Arantes (145)
Erick Silva (169) vs Luis Ramos (171)
Yves Jabouin (135) vs Ian Loveland (135)

I guess the only thing that I find strange is how many fighters came in underweight including the main event with both Silva (184) and Okami (183) coming in low. In all 9 fighters came in underweight. That is interesting to me. Hopefully tomorrow's fights will live up to their potential.

My final thought, I know I predicted Silva to win in my prediction but I will be rooting for Okami. Hopefully he can shock the world!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

UFC = Major League

Among my friends I have been saying for some time now that the UFC is now the major league of MMA and all the rest will be relegated to the minor leagues. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy watching any MMA event I can. But the way I see it, the UFC is the major league of MMA. Now, I read a lot of MMA forums and I see people constantly complaining about how the UFC is creating a monopoly and that they are hurting the sport. I completely disagree.

This simplest way I can break this down is this: it has worked for baseball, only one major league; it has worked for football, only one major league; and it has worked for basketball, yet again, only one major league. I was not around when the ABA and the NBA merged, or the AFL and the NFL but I am sure that all the negative people with monopoly burning on their tongues were present there too. But what has happened since then? The leagues grew and expanded, everyone made tons of money, the players unionized and got better benefits. So I ask, why is it bad that the UFC is now becoming the sole major league of MMA?

In a recent article I read on Sherdog even the fighters are in favor of this. Check it out here.

The end of the article states this: The hope for many promoters, fans and fighters is that the deal will solidify the UFC as a major sports league, à la the NFL or Major League Baseball. Looking toward the future, Hendricks believes the time will come when that hope becomes a reality.

“I know the UFC has everything to compete [with the other major sports leagues],” he said. “If the UFC can tap into couple more fans, they might steal some from watching football or baseball. If that happens, the next thing you know, [MMA] is going to explode.”


 I understand people have favorite fighters that they follow in the so-called minor leagues and do not want that organization to be label "minor", but the truth is, they are minor leagues. Just like the minor leagues in baseball, these organizations will be a proving ground. When a fighter has proven himself, he should move up to the majors, the UFC. The vast majority of the top fighters already compete in the UFC. Only a handful of other top fighters compete in other organizations against lesser competition. I hope that they realize this and make the move to the UFC so that all the top fighters around the globe are under the UFC banner. When this finally happens, there will no longer be a question of what organization is the major league of MMA.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Warrior

"Warrior", the MMA movie set to premier nationwide on September 9th, sounds like it should be amazing and a good representation of mixed martial arts.

Here is the synopsis from IMDB: Two brothers face the fight of a lifetime - and the wreckage of their broken family - within the brutal, high-stakes world of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighting in Lionsgate's action/drama, WARRIOR. An ex-Marine haunted by a tragic past, Tommy Riordan returns to his hometown of Pittsburgh and enlists his father, a recovered alcoholic and his former coach, to train him for an MMA tournament awarding the biggest purse in the history of the sport. As Tommy blazes a violent path towards the title prize, his brother, Brendan, a former MMA fighter unable to make ends meet as a public school teacher, returns to the amateur ring to provide for his family. Even though years have passed, recriminations and past betrayals keep Brendan bitterly estranged from both Tommy and his father. But when Brendan's unlikely rise as an underdog sets him on a collision course with Tommy, the two brothers must finally confront the forces that tore them apart, all the while waging the most intense, winner-takes-all battle of their lives.

Now I have seen a ton of horrible mixed martial arts movies, the worst by a man named Hector Echavarria. He somehow manages to get a vast multitude of UFC fighters to be in his movies. These movies are absolutely horrible. Watch them only if you are extremely bored and your only alternatives are to watch paint dry or grass grow.

Gavin O'Connor is the director and one of the writers for the film. O'Connor is known for "Miracle" the film about the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team that beat the Soviet Union. If he brings as much class and passion to "Warrior" as he did to "Miracle" this film should be great. People are already clamoring that this is the "Rocky" for MMA. I truly hope it is that good.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

UFC 134 Main Card Break Down/Predictions

Alright, time for the main card predictions.

Luiz Cane(11-3, 1 NC) vs Stanislav Nedkov(11-0): This looks to be a classic striker vs grappler matchup. Cane has a ton of UFC experience while Nedkov will be making his UFC debut. The main thing I see in this matchup is that in all of Cane's UFC appearances he has yet to face a pure grappler. When he fought Lil Nog, Nog chose to stand with him. Nedkov is a beast on the ground. I expect Cane to be in some uncomfortable spots in this fight. My prediction is Nedkov by 3 round TKO via ground-and-pound.

Ross Pearson(12-4) vs Edson Barboza(8-0): This is a tough fight for me to predict, however, this should be a fun fight to watch. Both men like to stand and trade. Pearson is coming in winning 5 of his last 6 fights. Barboza is undefeated with 7 of his 8 wins coming via stoppage. 6 of those wins by TKO/KO. I expect Pearson to be a more technical striker trying to win a decision on points. Barboza will be looking for the KO. This fight really could go either way.My prediction is Barboza via 1st round KO.

Brendan Schaub(8-1) vs Antonio Rodrigo Nogeuira(32-6-1, 1 NC): The up-and-comer versus the legend. This fight for me really boils down to which Nogeuira shows up. If Nog is healthy he is almost unbeatable. Schaub is still a fairly one dimensional fighter relying on his knockout power. Nog is notoriously hard to knockout. Also, Nog has very underrated boxing skills. If a healthy Nog shows up he will win. If the Nog that fought Frank Mir and Cain Velasquez shows up, Schaub will knock him out. My bet is on a healthy Nogeuira. My prediction is Nogeuira via 2nd round choke out.

Mauricio Rua(19-5) vs Forrest Griffin(18-6): I believe both fighters have mental issues coming into this fight. Shogun is coming in off the destruction he faced against Jon Jones. Griffin has not looked the same since Anderson Silva ate his soul. And both me are looking to redeem themselves from their first meeting. Rua wants to avenge his loss to Griffin and prove it was a fluke. Griffin wants to prove that he is better than Rua and that first fight was not a fluke. I expect Shogun to utilize his muay thai with vicious leg kicks and try to keep the fight on the feet. I expect Forrest to attack him like he did in the first meeting by taking him down and working ground-and-pound and submissions to try an tire Shogun. The biggest factor in this fight for me is still Shogun's mental state. If he can shake off that beating he took he could very easily win this fight. If he looks hesitant and is unwilling to commit, Forrest will have his way with him. My prediction is Forrest by grinding out a unanimous decision.

And now, the MAIN EVENT:

Anderson Silva(30-4) vs Yushin Okami(26-5): This fight is being hyped as "the last man to beat Anderson Silva". However, in that fight Anderson was destroying Okami and then hit him with an illegal upkick and was disqualified. Both have similar records but the level of competition is tremendously weighted in Silva's favor. The only question in this fight is which Anderson Silva shows up. The one who dances around and toys with his opponent, or the one who is out to destroy you. My prediction is the Anderson that wants to destroy you shows up to avenge his loss. The Spider by 1st round KO.

Here are my UFC 134 Main Card Predictions. Please feel free to leave comments.

Monday, August 22, 2011

UFC 134 Prelims Break Down/Predictions

Today I am doing to break down UFC 134's preliminary fights.

Yves Jabouin(15-7) vs Ian Loveland(14-8): This is a tough fight for me to predict. Both fighters are coming in off losses. Jabouin to Pablo Garza via Flying Triangle Choke and Loveland lost in his last fight by unanimous decision to Joseph Benavidez. Looking at there past records, it appears both men like to stand and trade. Jabouin has 15 victories to his credit, 11 has been via TKO/KO. Looking at Loveland's record, 4 of his last 5 victories have been by TKO/KO. So it looks like we should see a slug fest in this matchup. My prediction is Ian Loveland via 1st round TKO.

Yuri Alcantara(25-3) vs Felipe Arantes(13-3): Both men look well rounded with a fairly even mix of wins via TKO/KO and submission. However, Alcantara's experience should play a huge factor. He has twice as many wins as Arantes and a 92% finish rate. I expect Arantes to respect Alcantara's submission game and keep the fight on the feet. My prediction is Alcantara winning via 1st round TKO.

Raphael Assuncao(16-4) vs Johnny Eduardo(25-8): This looks like a battle between 2 high level jiu jitsu practitioners. I expect Eduardo to take this fight to the ground as fast as he can. Then we will see a jiu jitsu display from both men. My prediction is Eduardo winning by 3rd round choke submission.

Paulo Thiago(13-3) vs David Mitchell(11-1): Both men are coming in off losses. Thiago is on a 2 fight skid losing decisions to Martin Kampmann and Diego Sanchez. Mitchell is coming off the first loss of his career in his UFC debut. Their records are very similar, but I believe the experience edge goes to Thiago who has fought in the UFC since February of 2009. Both men possess great ground games with a combined 17 submission wins between them. I expect Thiago to use his superior striking skills to dictated the fight. My prediction is Thiago via unanimous decision.

Rousimar Palhares(12-3) vs Dan Miller(13-5, 1 NC): I see this as a one-sided battle. Palhares, king of the heel hook is fighting Miller. Miller has lost 4 of his last 6 fights all by decision. Palhares has dominated everyone he has fought with the exception of his TKO loss to Marquardt when he decided to stop fighting and complain to the referee. Miller is a game fighter who will have a good game plan in place, but I believe Palhares one-track mind for the heel hook submission will keep him focused. My prediction is Palhares by 1st round heel hook.

Thiago Tavares(15-4-1) vs Spencer Fisher(24-7): This is a classic grappler vs striker matchup. Both men have not looked good recently and both are coming off losses. Tavares is a ground specialist and will want to get this fight down fast. Fisher is no slouch on the ground, but prefers to strike. I expect Fisher to keep the fight standing. My prediction is Fisher via unanimous decision.

These are my predictions for the UFC 134 prelim fights. Keep checking back because later this week I will break down the main card. Please feel free to leave comments.

Curran Counter Striker Extraordinaire

I was a bit off on my prediction for Curran vs Sandro last Saturday. I thought Curran would use his counter-striking skills to win via unanimous decision. Who knew that he would land a beautiful head kick that would end the fight.

At the point in the fight when he landed the kick, I actually had Curran down on the score cards. It was late in the round and I had Sandro winning round one and it looked like he was going to win round two as well. But Curran was patient. As we have seen before, he is patient to a fault sometimes. In his loss to Eddie Alvarez he was extremely defensive and was not quite quick enough to be an effective counter-striker against the champion. But on Saturday it worked in his favor.

Congrats to Pat Curran for being the first fighter to win two Bellator tournaments and good luck in your title shot against Featherweight champion Joe Warren.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Sando vs Curran Bellator 48 Prediction

On Saturday, Marlon Sandro will fight Pat Curran in the Bellator 48 Featherweight tournament final. Before I make my prediction, let's break down the two fighters.

Marlon Sandro trains out of Nova Uniao alongside UFC Featherweight Champion Jose Aldo. Because of this you seem flashes of Aldo in his striking. Sandro is definitely a striker. He has good jiu jitsu and has three finishes in his career by submission, but he would prefer to stand and strike. I see Sandro have an advantage in the striking department.

Pat Curran trains out of Team Curran with his cousin and coach Jeff Curran. Pat is more wrestling based in his MMA approach being a high school stand-out wrestler. However in the last few fight his striking has improved and he did go the distance against Bellator Lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez, after defeating Roger Huerta and Toby Imada.

Both men cruised through the tournament with relative ease. Sandro is listed as the favorite heading into this fight by Vegas odds makers. However, I believe Curran's defensive/counter striking style favors him in this fight. I also believe he will utilize his wrestling to try and put Sandro on his back.

Curran via Unanimous Decision.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Brock Lesnar is Back

Brock Lesnar is back.

In an video release by Fusion Ammo Brock Lesnar declares "I'm back!". Lesnar states that "I feel like a new man; great, healthy, strong. I feel like I used to feel." Lesnar goes on to say that his health is 100% and he wants his title back.

This is huge news for the UFC. Brock Lesnar is one of the most polarizing figures in MMA. You either love him or hate him. No matter which side of the fence you sit on, this is going to be a big boost for UFC pay-per-views coming up. Lesnar always draws huge viewer turnout for his fights. There has been seven UFC events to record one million pay-per-view buys, of those events, four have been headlined by Lesnar. So to say that Zuffa is chomping at the bit to get him on card is an understatement.

Now the rumor mill is cranking out tons of theories. The two most popular are that Lesnar will return at UFC 140 in Toronto and the other is that he'll be fighting Alistair Overeem.

My thoughts on these two rumors are mixed. Brock has never fought outside of the U.S. and I don't know if he would want to go to Toronto. The timing is good and that card doesn't have a main event yet. But I just don't see Lesnar fighting on that card. Time will tell.

The second rumor is the big one. If Zuffa resigns Overeem under the UFC banner that would be huge. I however see a lot of obstacles to making that happen.

First, Overeem would have to sign an exclusivity contract with the UFC. So no more K1 fights and no more Dream fights. I don't know if Overeem would accept those terms.

Second, his management company Golden Glory is not in the good graces of Zuffa. Golden Glory has a different policy for fighters than most other organizations. They take the pay and then pay the fighters. In the U.S. the fighter is paid and they in turn pay their respective management. This has been an issue for Zuffa.

The last obstacle I see is the fight itself. Brock as we've seen doesn't like getting hit. Overeem tends to like opponents who want to engage in a kickboxing fight. Stylistically I don't think either fighter wants a piece of the other.

However, if this fight does come to fruition, I will predict that Brock Lesnar would win the fight in vicious ground-and-pound fashion. I will be the first to admit that I believe Alistair Overeem is a paper champion. If you look at his fights back in Pride, he lost to every good opponent he faced. Since the demise of Pride he has fought K1, Dream and Strikeforce simultaneously. That is rather impressive. However, in my opinion, he  has fought against sub-par competition the entire time. Let's face facts, he won the Strikeforce title from Paul Buenello who has never beat a Top 10 fighter in his entire career.

Brock on the other hand has fought Frank Mir, Randy Couture, Cain Velasquez and Shane Carwin. That's an impressive list even with the loss to Velasquez.

So again, if this fight does happen, Lesnar by vicious ground-and-pound.

UFC on FOX is Official

UFC on FOX

So today the Dana White announcement made it official. The UFC will be on Fox for 4 live events per year, 4 to 6 events to air on FX, plus 2 seasons per year of The Ultimate Fighter on FX and Fuel TV will be carrying Prelim fights.

To put it lightly, this is MASSIVE. This deal will go a long way to bringing MMA into the mainstream.

The first event to air on Fox will be on November 12th. Mark your calendars!

The other interesting thing to come out of this announcement is the format change for The Ultimate Fighter.

"The Ultimate Fighter will now be filmed over 13 weeks and edited in real time before airing on Friday nights followed by a live fight. Fans will now be able to vote on each week’s matchups, while the extended taping will see The Ultimate Fighter coaches hold their training camps alongside the show." -  of MMAFrenzy.com

Again, this is a huge deal for all of MMA. The more accepted the UFC becomes in the mainstream, the more the other organizations around the world such as Bellator or Dream will get more attention.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

UFC Agrees to Deal with FOX

Fox Deal

The short story...
The deal is for 7 to 8 years on Fox, FX and the Fuel channels. FX will take the role of Spike and host The Ultimate Fighter.

This is huge to say the least. Fox will be airing 4 events per year on national broadcast television. This will be enormous for MMA.

Past Events:

In the past we have all been subjected to a horrible EliteXC show featuring Kimbo Slice fighting James Thompson. That was not a good representation of the sport to the uneducated viewer. Kimbo Slice is a poor example of a mixed martial artist. And James Thompson was a bottom-tier fighter his entire career.

The other network broadcast was the Strikeforce event headlined by a good fight between Jake Shields and Dan Henderson. This unfortunate event I believe hurt MMA in the mainstream due to Team Gracie fighters Jake Shields, Nick Diaz, Nate Diaz and Gilbert Melendez attacking Jason Miller during the post fight interview. This debacle makes the casual fan think MMA is fake wrestling. The more dire consequences of this debacle make politicians and members of sanctioning committees see MMA has a bloodsport. I think this event alone could be a reason why New York has yet to sanction MMA.

The Future:

I see this as a huge step to making MMA mainstream. The UFC to me is the major leagues of MMA. Their events are well planned and executed. Their live broadcasts rarely have technical issues. Their fighters are the best in the world. The UFC is what the uneducated viewer and the politicians need to witness. Not terrible fights between terrible fighters or a brawl on national television. They need to see a professional, polished organization with top level competition.

I am excited for the future.