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Friday fight notes: Shamrock/Baroni happens tonight

By Zach Arnold | June 21, 2007

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Dana White interviewed by Entrepreneur. White is also interviewed in today’s Oregonian. He stated that Shogun will make his UFC debut on September 22nd. White also said this whopper of a statement:

“We’re already beating the NBA, Major League Baseball and NASCAR. The only think that is bigger in the (demographic) is the NFL.”

What has he beaten the NBA, NASCAR, or MLB at? Seriously… And on the issue of UFC being ‘U Fight for Cheap’…

“Fighters can make more money here or there, but the UFC is the place to create your legacy,” White said. “Fifty years from now, people are going to ask who was the best ever and the UFC has the best fighters.”

Phil Sheridan in The Philadelphia Inquirer has a good observation about how UFC built its core business from the ground-up. He compares the rise of UFC in relation to other sports, in particular the Arena League.

Sherdog is reporting that Sokoudjou has signed with Elite XC. If you didn’t believe that many of the PRIDE fighter contracts were not assignable (transferrable) to third parties in asset sale agreements (as in the case with DSE & UFC), then here you go.

The Daily Express (UK) has another disgruntled boxing writer calling for the halt to UFC’s momentum in the UK.

Onto today’s headlines.

  1. MMA Jerk: The Ultimate Fighter 5 Finale predictions
  2. The Flying Triangle: Survivor/Apprentice producer teams with Elite XC (Mark Burnett to do a reality MMA show)
  3. Fightlinker: Close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades for Charles Bennett
  4. MMA HQ: Elite XC/Strikeforce Shamrock vs. Baroni preview
  5. MMA Weekly: London calling – cage boxing in Britain?
  6. UFC HP: Jens Pulver goes for two in a row over BJ Penn
  7. UFC Mania: UFC 75 – Michael Bisping vs. Matt Hamill is official… finally
  8. With Leather: Gay journo-porn tackles the UFC
  9. The Amherst Bulletin (MA): UFC grows, gaining legitimacy (article about MMA.TV’s Kirik Jenness)
  10. The Amherst Bulletin: MMA – Amherst trainer teaches blood sport for the 21st century
  11. ABS-CBN Interactive: Unbeaten Fil-Am UFC grappler Brandon Vera on the rise
  12. The Creston News Advertiser (Iowa): ‘The Animal’ Enoch Wilson ready to stalk a victory at Wells Fargo Arena (plus Quinton Jackson will appear)
  13. The Corvallis Gazette-Times: Limb from Limb – arborist by day, pugilist by night
  14. Yahoo Sports (Kevin Iole): Jens Pulver eyes rematch
  15. The Saipan Tribune: Fight-filled Saturday in ‘Trench Warz VI’
  16. The Canadian Press: Scott Junk looks to shake up MFC
  17. MSNBC: MMA’s odd couple ready to take to ring
  18. The Newark Star-Ledger (New Jersey): Ringside talk with former champions Joe Frazier and Michael Spinks
  19. CBS Sportsline: Shamrock, Baroni ready to stop talking
  20. The Orange County Register: Little man Manny Gamburyan is knockout on Spike TV
  21. The Long Beach Press-Telegram: ‘Punk’ fights ‘idiot’ in StrikeForce bout
  22. The Farmington Daily Times (NM): Floyd Sword sharp enough for big time
  23. The Orange County Register: Jens Pulver puts bad times behind him
  24. The Memphis Commercial Appeal: World Cage Fighters at DCC

Topics: Boxing, Canada, Media, MMA, Pro Elite, StrikeForce, UFC, UK, Zach Arnold | 22 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

22 Responses to “Friday fight notes: Shamrock/Baroni happens tonight”

  1. Body_Shots says:

    I’m not so sure that all of PRIDE’s contracts weren’t transferrable. But regardless, the majority of the fighters should have new contracts in the future – whether they’re under Zuffa or not.

    [What has he beaten the NBA, NASCAR, or MLB at? Seriously… ]

    I guess he means in the male 18-34 demo, if not, then some other demo the UFC does exceptional in.

    Sounds like you’re not drinking Dana White’s Kool-Aid, you need to come aboard like Germany, France, Spain, Italy and Australia Zach. 🙂

  2. Ivan Trembow says:

    Quote from Entrepreneur article: “That WEC deal will be way bigger than the Pride deal, believe it or not.”

    The WEC drew about 400,000 viewers for its first live show on Versus. The Pride deal is going to be smaller than that?

  3. Ivan Trembow says:

    The Penn vs. Pulver Spike TV preview show is airing tonight… on Versus… head-to-head with EliteXC/Strikeforce…
    http://www.mmaweekly.com/absolutenm/templates/dailynews.asp?articleid=4191&zoneid=13

  4. Ivan Trembow says:

    Also, a great Jens Pulver article is up right now at http://www.mmaweekly.com/absolutenm/templates/dailynews.asp?articleid=4188&zoneid=2

    And there’s an article with TUF ratings, boxing ratings head-to-head with TUF (yes, 0.03 is possible), and Liddell-on-Letterman ratings at http://www.mmaweekly.com/absolutenm/templates/dailynews.asp?articleid=4192&zoneid=13

  5. AS says:

    “What has he beaten the NBA, NASCAR, or MLB at?”

    He’s talking about the UFC’s ratings in the coveted 18-34 male demographic where the UFC regularly trounces everything but the NFL.

  6. Jeremy (not that Jeremy) says:

    From everything I see, UFC is the most stable entity in the MMA world right now. They’re raking in revenue, and they’re spending within their means. Based on the publicly available gate revenues and purses, every event is breaking even on the ground before you account for television, PPV, and sponsor revenues.

    Fighters are coming into the ring looking like NASCAR drivers. The UFC may not pay out the top purses, but the visibility of the promotion’s events including their availability on free TV and the strength of the UFC brand itself, make these fighter sponsorships more valuable.

    The other promotions that even have the veneer of stability are paying smaller purses than UFC, or are boosted by deep pocketed interests (Bodog, Showtime) and may well be loss leaders to increase interest in related businesses.

    You or I can hate the UFC, and advocate for higher purses for fighters on the low end of the card, but the fact is that it is for all intents and purposes, the venerable great granddaddy of the sport. They’re coming up on 100 events now, numbers that no other organized promotion can match. If they’re here for another 15 years, I wonder how many of the other promotions that we see out there today will still be standing?

  7. Ultimo Santa says:

    Shamrock vs. Baroni tonight!

    Maybe Baroni can take a page from the Gracie playbook and pretend he’s injured, stumble around in circles and put a goofy look on his face like a 3rd grader trying to get out of gym class.

    That would be sweet.

    But in all seriousness, I’m excited to find out if Frank can actually compete at 185 with a tough competitor, or if the time off has hurt him too much. I don’t know where I’d rank Baroni these days in that weight class, but he’s certainly no pushover.

    Prediction: Frank by submission (kimura), R3

  8. macrobert says:

    zack, the ufc is beating mlb, nascar, nba at pay per view, and possibly ib dvd sales……of course those organizations are not relying on ppv revenue.

  9. chairibofjustice says:

    I don’t get the appeal of Nascar, watching cars go in a circle at high speeds?

    Must be a southern thing.

  10. Tomer Chen says:

    I don’t get the appeal of Nascar, watching cars go in a circle at high speeds?

    Must be a southern thing.

    The inevitable crash. Of course, it’s funny that the people get very sad when someone gets seriously hurt or killed (see Dale Earnhardt Sr.) given the inherent dangerous nature of the sport and the fans bloodlust for explosive crashes.

  11. D.Capitated says:

    Questioning “bloodlust” for explosive crashes among race fans on a site dedicated to combat sports is very much the pot calling the kettle black, I’m sure you’re all aware.

  12. Tomer Chen says:

    Questioning “bloodlust” for explosive crashes among race fans on a site dedicated to combat sports is very much the pot calling the kettle black, I’m sure you’re all aware.

    Well, I’m not exactly going “Why did ___________ die from all the punches to the face he ate?!” whenever a Boxer gets killed in the ring (like I saw lots of fans going when Earnhardt was killed in his crash). If someone can’t realize that the death/serious injury of a participant is linked to said bloodlust and can’t accept it as such, perhaps the sport is not a right fit for them.

  13. D.Capitated says:

    Race fans are not so stupid as to be unaware of the general reason why a race car driver dies. However, they, like boxing fans, are aware that there are things that can be done to prevent such death. The difference in boxing versus racing is that there’s been very little done to actually prevent fatal injuries or long term neurological damage in boxing, and there’s a 100 year track record of auto racing on a worldwide basis making serious changes to the safety of its competitors and spectators. Its why NASCAR mandated close faced helmets, HANS devices, uniforms, seat design, restraints, and why modifications to put in “soft walls” were added after the Earnhardt death. Virtually every series in the world has similar stories.

    Compare the difference in safety features for tracks and cars in 1994 when Senna and Ratzenberger died to what the NSAC did following two deaths on their watch a couple years back. F1 spend probably half a billion dollars on car and track improvements. The NSAC mandated 10oz gloves for smaller weight classes.

  14. Mike says:

    One of these days the folks whining about how the Zuffa pays undercard fighters will crack open an economics book and learn concepts like supply and demand. If a fighter refuses to fight for UFC because he wants better than his 3K to show/3K more to win, there will be 100 other fighters willing to stop in and take that shot, for the exposure and the chance to become the next Liddell or Hughes, money-wise. Just like any other business with low pay for entry-level help, high rewards for the people at the top, and far more applicants than available slots.

  15. Tomer Chen says:

    The difference in boxing versus racing is that there’s been very little done to actually prevent fatal injuries or long term neurological damage in boxing,

    What, exactly, can be done to stop the concussive force of punches in Boxing? The concussions are caused by the momentum (mass x velocity) of the gloved fist hitting the head, with the kinetic energy of the strike causing the brain to rattle. I don’t really think there’s any real way of preventing the brain damage inherent in Boxing (besides banning it altogether), unless you have some sort of new study that shows otherwise…

    F1 spend probably half a billion dollars on car and track improvements. The NSAC mandated 10oz gloves for smaller weight classes.

    Apples and oranges. Cars can be modified to try and protect the passengers and there is a constant evolution of automobile technology. There is no way to stop the concussive damage of a punch in Boxing (besides banning it as a whole).

  16. D.Capitated says:

    What, exactly, can be done to stop the concussive force of punches in Boxing? The concussions are caused by the momentum (mass x velocity) of the gloved fist hitting the head, with the kinetic energy of the strike causing the brain to rattle. I don’t really think there’s any real way of preventing the brain damage inherent in Boxing (besides banning it altogether), unless you have some sort of new study that shows otherwise…

    The obvious answer is to do better neurological screenings before fights and to give the doctor more leeway in stopping fights, perhaps even recommending that he do so more often. There has to be more willingness on the part of commissions to cancel fights that are not competitive. The fact is that most fights that turn out fatal or extremely dangerous are seen as such far in advance by casual fans. How many times do we need Teddy Atlas screaming out that a fight should be ceased before it becomes obvious to commissions? There are lots of problems and no serious interest from anyone to try and reasonably fix them. When Indonesia was having 4 deaths a year, at least some of the sanctioning bodies refused to do business there until things changes. There has been no such reform here.

    Apples and oranges. Cars can be modified to try and protect the passengers and there is a constant evolution of automobile technology. There is no way to stop the concussive damage of a punch in Boxing
    (besides banning it as a whole).

    Nobody in racing dies from extended periods of repetitive head trauma. You don’t wreck for 36 minutes straight. There are most assuredly things that can be done, its just that no one wants them to be accomplished. Are you telling me that the injuries sustained to Victor Burgos recently could not have been avoided by an earlier stoppage?

  17. Tomer Chen says:

    The obvious answer is to do better neurological screenings before fights and to give the doctor more leeway in stopping fights, perhaps even recommending that he do so more often. There has to be more willingness on the part of commissions to cancel fights that are not competitive. The fact is that most fights that turn out fatal or extremely dangerous are seen as such far in advance by casual fans. How many times do we need Teddy Atlas screaming out that a fight should be ceased before it becomes obvious to commissions? There are lots of problems and no serious interest from anyone to try and reasonably fix them. When Indonesia was having 4 deaths a year, at least some of the sanctioning bodies refused to do business there until things changes. There has been no such reform here.

    Nobody in racing dies from extended periods of repetitive head trauma. You don’t wreck for 36 minutes straight. There are most assuredly things that can be done, its just that no one wants them to be accomplished. Are you telling me that the injuries sustained to Victor Burgos recently could not have been avoided by an earlier stoppage?

    Both your counter-arguments deal with human error/incompetence rather than a mechanical defect or impurity in the sport itself. Bad reffing, doctor stoppages and match-making by the commission can only be fixed by clean-ups from those commissions or possibly federal intervention (as Teddy Atlas always argues). It has nothing to do with a lack of R&D into softening the blows, which was what your comparison to NASCAR would have required in order to be a valid analogy, hence my refutation.

  18. D.Capitated says:

    Both your counter-arguments deal with human error/incompetence rather than a mechanical defect or impurity in the sport itself. Bad reffing, doctor stoppages and match-making by the commission can only be fixed by clean-ups from those commissions or possibly federal intervention (as Teddy Atlas always argues). It has nothing to do with a lack of R&D into softening the blows, which was what your comparison to NASCAR would have required in order to be a valid analogy, hence my refutation.

    Ultimately both require money and time. Not all safety advances are purely research oriented. They’re often well known in advance of when it is deemed “necessary”. Multiple drivers died in NASCAR from basal skull fractures in the years immediately prior to Dale Earnhardt’s death, and the HANS device was originally designed in the mid 1980s. It was only upon the death of their biggest star that it was forced upon NASCAR that changes needed to be made. I understand that you think racing is for the lower class or animalistic (especially funny, particularly when you consider how big boxing and MMA are in Monaco compared to racing), but the idea that boxing is beyond being able to do anything to protect its fighters, or that racing fans have a special bloodlust or ignorance that boxing and MMA fans are devoid of is actually really hilarious.

  19. Tomer Chen says:

    Not all safety advances are purely research oriented.

    but the idea that boxing is beyond being able to do anything to protect its fighters, or that racing fans have a special bloodlust or ignorance that boxing and MMA fans are devoid of is actually really hilarious.

    Once again, I’m asking for specifics on how to protect the fighters beyond the factor of human error/incompetence (which can only be corrected in an administrative capacity). It’s nice that you’re trying to continue this ‘argument’, but I’ve seen nothing discussed regarding how slovenly Boxing has been with regards to research on preventing brain damage. As I posited before, so long as you can hit a guy in the head with a gloved fist, there will be concussions that can lead to brain damage and possibly death. How can we solve this short of banning it entirely? I’m interested in hearing.

  20. UFC Junkie says:

    If a fighter refuses to fight for UFC because he wants better than his 3K to show/3K more to win, there will be 100 other fighters willing to stop in and take that shot, for the exposure and the chance to become the next Liddell or Hughes, money-wise.

    There would also be 100s of fighters willing to do it for free.

    But at some point, it just seems like smart business sense (especially from a PR perspective) to pay what people would perceive as a competitive salary to its low-end fighters.

    Just seems a couple extra thousand bucks would go a long way toward curbing come of the criticism the UFC has to deal with on a daily basis.

  21. Jeremy (not that Jeremy) says:

    How low is reasonable though?

    Median total household income in the United Stats is $46,326.

    Is 8/8 a reasonable figure? Assuming that your average fighter wins half his fights and fights four times a year, he’d be earning $48,000 per year before sponsorships (and how much are these guys earning for sponsorships? Are they paid by the appearance, or do they have term contracts?) and bonuses.

    Some people would argue that because fighting is inherently dangerous (something they’re happy to turn around and minimize when talking MMA vs. boxing), and professional athletes have short professional careers, that they should make more than that.

    If UFC provided all fighters the option to participate in an unmatched 401k, and gave them 100% medical for 10 years following their retirement, would that make up the difference?

    Plus there is the point that there is a tiered system in place. Typically, by the time someone is ready to fight for a belt, they’re doing OK for themselves (barring idiots who act as their own manager, seriously guys, get a freaking lawyer), and when they’re a name brand in the title fight on the card, they’re able to pull down some serious moolah.

    There should be a reasonable bottom limit, but I think that it is highly unlikely that we’d all agree on what it is, because no one knows what’s in the contracts, we don’t have reliable information on bonuses, we have limited information on what fighters are getting from sponsors, and some people just have unreasonable views on what the average person in the US is really making.

    IMHO, 3k is too little, and 8k to 12k is about right, and I think that fighters should all be permitted to participate in a 401k, and the ability to vest into a decent health plan.

  22. Jason Gatties says:

    I wonder what Zack will do if the UFC ever goes out of business? I mean, he made it a habit to do nothing but rip Pride and now that there is no Pride (and there will never be a Pride again in my opinion), he does NOTHING but rip Dana & the UFC.

    Does Zack ghost write at Sherdog by any chance?

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