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« | Home | »

Monday media marks: Fedor must make concessions for UFC?

By Zach Arnold | July 29, 2007

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Quote of the day from 411 Mania:

With due respect to both sides, this is really a bunch of needless whining. I’m sure the UFC would like nothing more than to throw a couple hundred thousand dollars at Fedor and have the number one fighter in the world in their pocket, and at the same time I’m sure Fedor’s people would love to get a stranglehold on the exploding Russian MMA circuit. Neither of these things is going to happen though, and its time for both sides to pony up and start making some concessions. Fedor will be just fine without the UFC and vice versa, but both sides will be better off working with each other and they know that.

Let’s see… Vadim Finkelstein is on good terms with Vladimir Putin. Putin is a man who does business on his own terms. Russia is a market known for certain politics. I’d say Vadim has a pretty good grip on the Russian MMA scene right about now, even if it’s a money loser.

Dumb, dumber, and dumbest

I have to comment on the following story here. There are two reports tonight (here and here) that troubled NFL star Adam “Pacman” Jones will become a professional wrestler for the TNA promotion. The great irony in all of this is a connect-the-dots situation. Pacman’s attorney is Manny Arora, who is also the attorney of Dr. Phil Astin, who was Chris Benoit’s personal medical doctor. I’m not making any of this up.

Another attorney for Pacman Jones, Worrick Robinson, is quoted in The Tennessean claiming that Jones will be a babyface.

Think about the mainstream media coverage for this debacle. Pacman Jones, a guy who a lot of the sports media has portrayed as a thug. Then, TNA signs the guy and the guy has the same lawyer as Chris Benoit’s personal doctor who was indicted by the Feds. So, now TNA is going to be associated directly with Jones and indirectly linked to Chris Benoit. During the entire Benoit tragedy, the media coverage has completely ignored TNA and given them a free pass. However, TNA now opens themselves up through the backdoor for some real hard media attacks.

Look at the absurdity of this decision. The only decision that might be more absurd is Hustle considering bringing in OJ Simpson for their Hustle Mania event at Yokohama Arena in late November.

TNA airs on Spike TV, and the network is close to giving the wrestling promotion a two-hour weekly Thursday slot (resulting in The Ultimate Fighter being moved to Wednesday nights). It was also Spike TV who was blamed by Dana White for booking Noah Thomas vs. Marlon Sims (the two TUF contestants who got into their own street fight) before UFC canceled the fight. In other words, I guess we shouldn’t be shocked that TNA’s move to acquire Pacman Jones is not receiving condemnation from Spike TV — yet.

News and notes

Dann Stupp on five fighters looking for big things with a victory.

Last week, I got angry when I thought that Luke Thomas was accusing various MMA writers of calling MMA fighters who use steroids ‘cowards.’ Well, if Luke wants a specific target on that front, look no further than Keith Kizer:

“The reason they do it is because usually they’re the underdog, or they don’t have enough confidence in themselves. They’re cowards. They’re cheaters, so they go in there thinking oh my God I’m going to lose. How am I going to feed my family if I lose? Or here’s my chance to be world champion, let me use steroids, or I want to retain my title so I use steroids. We’ve had all these situations, so I don’t think they lost because they used steroids. I think they used steroids because they’re losers.”

Onto today’s headlines.

  1. Art of War HP: AOW 7 Tournament results
  2. The Pantagraph (Bloomington, IL): Jiu-jitsu makes its way to area under guidance of Mike Lavazza
  3. MMA Madness: A grand plan to fix the IFL
  4. The Fight Network: Katsuya Inoue earns interim King of Pancrase honors
  5. 411 Mania: IFL semifinals preview – part 1
  6. UFC Mania: Video – Koscheck says GSP ‘doesn’t have a big heart’ or a ‘good chin’
  7. Sam Caplan: Josh Neer and Jeremy Stephens win on separate Iowa shows
  8. MMA on Tap: David Loiseau’s Ring Xtreme Challenge taking shape
  9. The UK Herald: The battle over cage fighting
  10. Gambling 911: SkillGround hopes to take advantage of MMA craze
  11. The Eugene Register-Guard (OR): Pros steal the show at eight-fight event
  12. The Saipan Tribune: Fighters wanted for ‘Rites of Passage’ event
  13. SLAM! Sports (Canada): “God of Wrestling” legacy on wrestling may be forever
  14. UFC HP: Babalu regroups and looks to rebound on August 25th
  15. Dave Doyle: Bruce Buffer – the voice of the octagon

Topics: Canada, IFL, Japan, MMA, Media, Pancrase, Pro-Wrestling, UFC, Zach Arnold | 15 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

15 Responses to “Monday media marks: Fedor must make concessions for UFC?”

  1. white ninja says:

    vadim certainly knows the russian market

    but if the russian market was making money, wouldnt he be putting Fedor in his own events in Russia?

    vadim and M1 and Euphoria all ran events in Russia and the US and they have all lost money – seems everybody lost money on the russian bodog event as well

    i dont think that they can convince Dana that he should be running losing events in Russia – and of course, there:s always that problem of the rule of law in Russia – you really think Dana wants to do events in Russia when there is no way he can be sure that his partner will fulfil his obligations?

    vadim is overreaching and it is not in Fedor:s best interests (unless Fedor has had enough of fighting big fights)

  2. Kev says:

    Zach, what did you going to on last paragraph on Spike TV? That TNA’s blunder could possibly hurt the UFC? Sorry, not trying to challenge what you wrote but I’m not sure how it follows.

  3. Zach Arnold says:

    Zach, what did you going to on last paragraph on Spike TV? That TNA’s blunder could possibly hurt the UFC? Sorry, not trying to challenge what you wrote but I’m not sure how it follows.

    I think it was more or less an indictment of Spike TV and their judgment. :)

    Think about it – even if Dana did have a hand in the Sims/Thomas booking and then canceled, Spike TV was anxious in promoting it in PR leading up to that show. So, when I heard the news that TNA would be bringing in Pacman Jones (a very questionable move), I wasn’t all that surprised given Spike TV’s role in backing TNA.

  4. Liger05 says:

    I hope the media starts going after TNA. From what I have heard Kurt Angle last week looked stupidly big. TNA are just lucky that no-one has has had a heart attack under there watch yet. TNA bringing in NFL players is no surprise considering Russo is in that company.

  5. [...] Hat tip: Fight Opinion. [...]

  6. Jeremy (not that Jeremy) says:

    Does Spike produce TNA?

    ===

    I think Keith is right, BTW. I think it kind of shows some screwy priorities for the fighters too. They claim that they need to feed their families, but my calculus says that if you’re doing things that will cause you to lose your job, then it might get a little harder to put food on the table.

    The proactive thing to do would be to find a more stable career, frankly. Fighting is a young man’s sport.

  7. AS says:

    TUF moving to Wednesday night has nothing to do with TNA’s expected move to two hours. The UFC wants to get out of Thursday night in the fall where they face college football and the NFL. Football is the only sport they fear as they draw from very similar demographics. TNA on the other hand hits a younger and older demo than the UFC, therefore no worries.

    I don’t follow pro wrestling in general or TNA in particular very closely, but given my understanding of their situation, this is a good move for them. They are fighting for market share, and failing badly, this will definitely get them some main stream exposure. Like they say, all publicity is good publicity. I agree with Meltzer that its terrible timing for the industry as a whole, but TNA doesn’t have the luxary of doing whats right and protecting the industry’s reputation. They’re just trying to survive.

  8. KennyP says:

    “Does Spike produce TNA?”

    Nope. TNA is run by a group consisting of Dixie Carter (not the actress; this one is a fmr. Nashville PR exec), her father Bob Carter (Panda Energy International), Jeff Jarrett (family was longtime TN wrestling promoters). The on-air product is created by a group consisting of Jarrett, Dutch Mantell (former pro-wrestler), and Vince Russo (part of the WWF Attitude-era creative team, helped destroy WCW from within as head writer in 99-00).

    However, while Spike doesn’t produce TNA, they have played a significant role in shaping the company. Certain creative directions (removing violence against female characters, limiting planned blood spots) have been given from Spike and have altered the TNA product. Also “big-name” wrestlers like Sting have been signed in the past with Spike paying their salaries (or at least a major part). Spike was also rumored to have tried to broker a Bill Goldberg deal in the recent past.

  9. Grape Knee High says:

    Continuing from steroid topic…

    Since the athletic commissions have approval over the MMA matches that promoters try to set up, why not make all matches pending successful drug tests (on top of mandatory day-of-fight testing)?

    This would serve several purposes:

    1) Since most fighters in the UFC generally fight at least every 6 months and the higher profile matches are generally set 2-4 months ahead of time, this might effectively prevent steroid cycle timing (at least for some steroids), since tests would minimally come every 2-4 months if you are actively fighting.

    2) Also, this would prevent the need for random testing and the problems that that kind of testing presents: is the fighter active? injured? taking a break from fighting? who makes up the list of the current body of fighters that the ACs need to test? would the CSAC need to test Cro Cop, who hasn’t yet fought in CA? etc etc

    3) This way, you will tend to catch fighters before they fight, rather than afterwards. I think this will lessen the impact of bad press on MMA, and also serve as another deterrent for fighters to use since they wouldn’t even get their fight salary nor their sponsorship money if they are caught.

  10. Ian Dean says:

    Did anyone read #9 The UK Herald: The battle over cage fighting

    Spot the error below (it’s shocking that professional journalists have such bad researchers)

    Saturday’s event sees UK promoters jostling for position: at Braehead the organisers are Cage Wars; a Cage Rage promotion attracted 14,000, including Wayne Rooney, in Manchester recently, while the UFC brand had its own sellout show at Wembley Arena.

  11. David says:

    I am sick of the steroid discussion, it goes nowhere, over and OVER again…

  12. Luke says:

    I don’t know Keith Kizer personally, but only a real sack of shit clueless poseur would every say anything like that.

  13. UFCGirls.com says:

    Great blog, a lot of good comments too. Keep up the good work.

  14. 45 Huddle says:

    “AS” is correct on the reason for TUF moving to Wednesday. I assume he got that info from Meltzer. It was reported that basically the only sport that SpikeTV fears to go up against is Football.

  15. 45 Huddle says:

    I have a new respect for Keith Kizer after reading that interview. His thoughts on the issue are clear cut and really brings a few issues to light.

    Hopefully they start testing all of the fighters soon.

    As for his points on fighters cycling through steroids that close to fight time…. I think that makes a second drug test that more important. A fighter should be tested one month before the fight. While I am not an expert on how long it takes to cycle, I would assume that would basically remove any steroid use from MMA as a fighter competing 3 to 4 times a year would have no chance to cycle through his roids.

    Also, I agree with their stance on cortisone shots. I wish sports such as baseball would have the same stance, because allowing athletes to use such products is asking for semi-crippled athletes once they retire.

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