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« | Home | »

Thursday trash talk: Like your MMA in 3D?

By Zach Arnold | September 12, 2007

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Another failed drug test in MMA.

Photo of the day.

Over at Fox Sports, a new article titled Bisping’s blow-up bad for UFC. I also have an article on this topic over at Boxing Scene. Gregg Doyel at CBS Sportsline says Friends of MMA, unite against that awful stench.

A debate about who the casual American MMA fan is.

The last Komikazee MMA radio show.

Preparing for an MMA fight? Ditch the girlfriend.

More politics regarding fighting in Belfast.

Onto today’s headlines.

  1. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram (TX): Mark Cuban out for more kicks
  2. The Clitheroe Advertiser (UK): Michael Bisping demands rematch
  3. UFC HP: Forrest Griffin and the Fear that makes You Fearless
  4. MMA Junkie: Review of TUF 6 season debut show
  5. UFC Mania: Nate Marquardt eyes Octagon return in January
  6. MMA Madness: Interview with Kenny Florian
  7. MMA California: Palace Fighting Championships 4 – Project complete full card
  8. The Fight Network: Jorge Masvidal and Matt Lee set to fight at Strikeforce’s 9/29 Playboy Mansion show
  9. Fightlinker: Mark Cuban’s thing is good for the sport, meh for the fan
  10. The Pacific Daily News (Guam): Witness evolution of sport
  11. The Pacific Daily News (Guam): Team McCreadie aims to keep it standing
  12. The Pahrump Valley Times (Nevada): UFC bad boy Tito Ortiz recites tale of drug use
  13. Sportsnet (Canada): Mark Cuban launches HDNet Fights
  14. The El Paso Times (TX): Mark Cuban launches HDNet Fights to push MMA in 3D
  15. The Republican (MA): Extreme Fighting gains new site – The MassMutual Center on 10/27
  16. TV Predictions: Why Mark Cuban is getting into MMA
  17. 15 Rounds: Press release on HDNet Fights
  18. The Beloit Daily News (WI): Fighters set for ‘brawl at the Mall’ at Eclipse Convention Center
  19. The Canadian Press: Montreal Alouettes linebacker and amateur MMA fighter Diamond Ferri in hospital with pancreatitis
  20. Gambling 911: Kimbo Slice vs. Tank Abbott betting odds
  21. The Dallas Morning News: Cuban announces HDNet Fights – HDNet Fights to give MMA a professional look
  22. The East London Advertiser (UK): Cage Rage – Don’t mess with The Count!
  23. MMA HQ: Elite XC – Uprising event preview

Topics: Canada, HDNet, MMA, Media, StrikeForce, UFC, UK, WEC, Zach Arnold | 47 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

47 Responses to “Thursday trash talk: Like your MMA in 3D?”

  1. Ivan Trembow says:

    Regarding the Fox Sports’ article on Bisping’s tirade— so much for the UFC’s attempts at damage control in suggesting that it was a cornerman of Matt Hamill’s who asked the questions (as opposed to a journalist), or the notion that it was only one journalist that he was insulting.

  2. David says:

    I can’t handle the drama anymore. This is MMA not WWE.

  3. Jordan Breen says:

    Fuck yeah, rock on, Bisping. More UFC stars need to follow suit. I want Anderson Silva to tell Rich Franklin “I’ll fuck you till you love me, faggot.”

  4. catch says:

    “another failed drug test” at the top appears to be a broken link, this one works
    http://www.mmaweekly.com/absolutenm/anmviewer.asp?a=4689&z=13

  5. Ivan, I already mentioned this on Fightlinker, but the reporter who sparked off Bisping’s reaction was Oliver Copp, editor of a German magazine and commentator for German-released UFC DVDs. The second reporter, who said “you are the only one who thinks so,” was his publisher, Wolfgang Stach.

    As for this:

    “FOXSports.com then asked Bisping a seemingly benign question. “Do you think the judges scored the fight on volume of punching over hurtfulness of punching?”"

    The question was nowhere near as polite and was also, in my eyes, inflammatory.

    Its funny how I was the only reporter to ask Mike a question in a polite manner, and I received a full and polite response. Now is that because I know Mike or is is because I behaved professionally and didn’t look to incite him?

    I believe a lot of the furore around the press conference was the press’ on doing – yes, the reaction was over the top, yes, he behaved unprofessionally. We’ve heard the mitigating factors, except one – the behaviour of the press.

    excuse typos, I banged that out quite wuick. On a deadline right now..

  6. Grape Knee High says:

    In the rematch, Hammill should come out to “America, Fuck Yeah!” instead.

  7. Captain says:

    The MMA media trying to incite? Raking the coals? Fanning the fire? Muck raking? No way!

    This Bisping/Hamill affair has gotten way overblown just like the Babalu mess. By the way, how many so-called journalists were calling for Babalu’s blood after he held the choke and now how many are calling for Zuffa’s blood after they let him go? Ridiculous.

    Oh, and I watched the Bisping/Hamill fight again last night for the first time. Bisping was more competitive in Round 2 than I remembered. He was landing shots (albeit, not power shots) and Hamill did not do anything with his takedowns. If anything, I thought Hamill was more effective in Round 3 but everyone seems to give that round to Bisping because he let his hands fly a little more. The decision was flawed but not as horrendous as some are making it out to be.

    If you want to get the scoring system changed, then get out there and make it happen, but the enough with the melodrama.

  8. Manos says:

    You and your… THIRD dimension.

    “What about it?”

    Oh nothing, it’s cute.

  9. LR says:

    According to an older Mullen interview, he stated that even basic takedowns count for something. Clearly they didn’t in the Hamill fight because he stated that as one of the reasons he didn’t think Hamill took the round. I think the inconsistencies in his arguments from one interview to the next are rather confusing and show a need for training of MMA judges.

  10. cyphron says:

    Cuban’s quote:

    I started watching and got hooked. As we did more and more, our numbers went through the roof. So getting this heavily involved is both the result of being a fan and a business move.

    And here I thought he liked MMA. Cuban realized that MMA is growing and it may help his network grow as well. Is it any wonder that his first show is crap?

  11. cyphron says:

    Hywel,

    The press should ask hard-hitting questions. Should they have asked if he’d like to have some tea?

    Regardless of whether the press’ questions was polite or not, I am sure they were still professionals. Bisping was not. He should learn that if you mess with the press, you will get crucified. Just ask Barry Bonds.

  12. Luke Thomas says:

    That Greg Doyel column takes histrionics to new heights.

  13. Dru Down says:

    I appreciate Gregg Doyel’s point of view, but I think he’s off base in suggesting that the UFC judges are influenced by the promotion, or that they can change the scoring system of their own.

    The judges are appointed by the commission, and the scoring system was put in place by these same, boxing-centric commissions. It isn’t as though the UFC can change their scoring system when they go to england (or another non-commission sanctioned area.)

    Totally agree about fight purses though- Kos got 10gs in contrast to St. Pierre’s 140? Ouch.

  14. James @ FSM says:

    “Its funny how I was the only reporter to ask Mike a question in a polite manner, and I received a full and polite response. Now is that because I know Mike or is is because I behaved professionally and didn’t look to incite him?”

    Actually, he was civil in response to my question, too ;-)

    As for the rest of that article on the Fox website, it should be pointed out that there is some outright fabrication in Ben Cohen’s Mike Bisping “quotes”, most of which are completely made up. I’m not usually this anal about misreporting (especially on the internet), but since I was there, and since I’ve just been listening to my audio of the press conference, I think it needs to be pointed out that what Cohen is “reporting” is largely fictitious.

    ——-

    “Of course I (expletive) won. What the (expletive) do you know you fat (expletive) (expletive)?”

    What Bisping ACTUALLY said was:

    “Of course. Don’t insult me like that.” “Seriously?” replied Oliver. “What do you mean, ’seriously’? You wanna go three rounds? Cheeky bastard. Of course I f**king won the decision. Get the fuck outta here.”

    ——-

    “Staring aggressively at the hapless journalist, Bisping continued. ‘You can wipe that cheeky smile of you fat (expletive) face as well.’”

    What Bisping ACTUALLY said was:

    “Get that smile of your face too, while you insult me.”

    ——-

    “Well you are the only one who seems to think so,” came another remark from the press.

    Just being picky, but the ACTUAL remark from Wolfgang was:

    “I think you are the only one who think so.” (Just to illustrate that the Fox guy is fabricating the press’ statements, not just the fighters’.)

    ——-

    “You can (expletive) off, too. Who the (expletive) are you? Let’s see how many rounds you can go in the octagon you fat piece of (expletive).”

    Not only is this misquotation, this is SHEER FALLACY, as Mike said no such thing. In fact, he didn’t say ANYTHING, as Marshall Zelaznik interjected, saying: “I don’t think that’s right – there was a professional judge, two of them, that felt that way.” It was then Rampage who stepped in and made a comment (which I can’t make out on my recording) about Oliver and Wolfgang. Mike said NOTHING, and at no time did he make ANY comment about the men’s weight.

    Just thought it was important to set that straight, as there is arguably even more wrong with Ben Cohen posting falsehoods than there is in a fighter speaking out of turn at a press conference. If you want to take Bisping to task for the way he reacted, you’ve got more than enough fuel to do so – you don’t need to LIE.

  15. The press should ask hard-hitting questions.

    Cyphron, I don’t disagree. But a little thing called ethics dictates that you don’t have to be a dick in the process.

    James, good work blowing Cohen’s piece out of the water. Weren’t you sat next to Wolfgang?

  16. Actually James if you don’t mind I’d like to post your comment over at the Cage Warriors forum. Shoot me an email if you’d prefer me not to, I;ll have back until I get back from the gym (about 8pm)

  17. D.Capitated says:

    That article about the “casual MMA fan” shows, IMO, a gross ignorance about team sports and their role in America at the college level, and I have always disagreed with the viewpoint that UFC was dependent on pro wrestling for their fanbase increasing following Ultimate Fighter’s introduction.

  18. James @ FSM says:

    Hywel – no problem, mate. Go right ahead!

  19. Euthyphro says:

    It’s amazing the caliber of commenter this site gets sometimes. Glad to see James and Hywel setting the record straight on this.

  20. Rollo the Cat says:

    About the Tank v Kimbo article, are there any other old timers who feel sad about Tank whoring himself out like this? The guy was a legend in early MMA and much more talented than he was given credit for. His thug image was largely manufactured by SEG and I found him to be an intelligent guy in person, though maybe without the good judgement that leads to success in life.

    His contribution to MMA was greater than imagined too. He drew viewers and demolished MA myths. Tank’s pulverizing of black belts and other martial masters helped to define the modern MMA technical repertoire, if only by exposing innefficient methods. With the current ownership as paranoid as they are about their image as well as their disinterest in the sport’s history, it is unlikely Tank will ever get his due.

  21. cyphron says:

    That’s pretty bad. You can’t put something in quotes if it’s not a direct quote. Isn’t that yellow journalism? Doyle’s got some explaining to do.

  22. Dru Down says:

    “That article about the “casual MMA fan” shows, IMO, a gross ignorance about team sports and their role in America at the college level, and I have always disagreed with the viewpoint that UFC was dependent on pro wrestling for their fanbase increasing following Ultimate Fighter’s introduction.”

    Totally agree about their take on college sports. It really has more to do with the style of play and the atmosphere created by the rivalries.

    Re: pro wrestling, I think you’d be a little naive to think that the WWE lead-wasn’t a major factor- probably the single greatest factor- to the runaway success of TUF. None of us wants to be associated with the pro-wrestling audience, but they now compose a huge percentage of the UFC audience. Why do you think that Brock Lesnar, 1-0 in MMA, is getting so much attention?

  23. D.Capitated says:

    I think the talk about how the WWE influenced the UFC’s success is far, far overrated. On the few occasions they’e run head to head, there’s been no change in ratings. I don’t doubt that there was some crossover, because that would be foolish, but to ascribe the popularity of the UFC to pro wrestling is largely facetious and, IMO, is more a construct of pro wrestling fan’s minds and opinion on the WWE’s wrestling product as it is reality.

  24. Euthyphro says:

    I wouldn’t go so far as to say gross ignorance (especially since I wrote it!) but I’ll freely admit that I don’t follow college sports to a great extent. I watch the BCS and March Madness, bu that’s about it.

    It’s my theory, but I’d be happy to hear more about others’ views on the popularity of college sports. I’d venture to say that no matter what it is, it’s because college sports in some way provide a different product — they don’t try to be the same as the NFL, with a simply inferior group of players.

  25. Zack says:

    There are a bunch of people who got into MMA due to people like Tank. As a teenager, I definitely didn’t think Royce was an exciting fighter. In fact, back then I really didn’t like Royce or Severn at all. However, once Vitor/Tank/Frye burst onto the scene, it was a whole new ballgame.

  26. Euthyphro says:

    D.Capitated — look at the share of pay-per-view spending: the fans who used to spend money on wrestling PPVs are now spending it on UFC pay-per-views. Wrestling has fans who will watch the weekly shows no matter what, but to the extent that the weekly shows are vehicles to sell the PPVs (and they are now, especially since WWE no longer gets a cut of ad revenues), it shows that WWE has suffered because of the UFC. They’re losing PPV revenue, and it’s going to Zuffa.

    On your point about those TV ratings — the idea in the article is that the pro-wrestling fans who left for the UFC did so before the Ultimate-Fight-Nights ran head-to-head with WWE programming. Ratings didn’t change in those matchups because the fans who had switched over already made that switch, so ratings were static.

  27. D.Capitated says:

    D.Capitated — look at the share of pay-per-view spending: the fans who used to spend money on wrestling PPVs are now spending it on UFC pay-per-views. Wrestling has fans who will watch the weekly shows no matter what, but to the extent that the weekly shows are vehicles to sell the PPVs (and they are now, especially since WWE no longer gets a cut of ad revenues), it shows that WWE has suffered because of the UFC. They’re losing PPV revenue, and it’s going to Zuffa.

    The connection about PPV buys is tenuous and anything but proven. No one has ever polled current UFC fans about whether or not they got into the sport via pro wrestling connections. In fact, the only polls ever done on anything close to the subject were marketing polls Zuffa did years ago that established that the people more likely to watch MMA were far more often both casual and hardcore boxing fans, not pro wrestling fans.

    Furthermore, significant dips in buyrates had already occurred before the entrance of the UFC into being a big time PPV player last year at UFC 60. Talk about poor buys for WWE PPVs goes back 4-5 years.

    On your point about those TV ratings — the idea in the article is that the pro-wrestling fans who left for the UFC did so before the Ultimate-Fight-Nights ran head-to-head with WWE programming. Ratings didn’t change in those matchups because the fans who had switched over already made that switch, so ratings were static.

    But there was no significant dip in ratings for Raw prior to or after TUF’s entry into the market. If, as you claim, the majority of UFC’s fans were pro wrestling addicts who switched over, then there should be a correlatory drop in WWE programming ratings. There isn’t one. You can look at the ratings for Monday Night Raw (their A program) for the last 4 years, and they’re incredibly consistent, with perhaps only drops during the holiday season, for Thursday shows, and other extenuating circumstances. Attributing it to the UFC is, as I’ve said before, an attempt to perhaps more strongly link UFC with pro wrestling, something I’ve said is foolish.

  28. D.Capitated says:

    I wouldn’t go so far as to say gross ignorance (especially since I wrote it!) but I’ll freely admit that I don’t follow college sports to a great extent. I watch the BCS and March Madness, bu that’s about it.

    It’s my theory, but I’d be happy to hear more about others’ views on the popularity of college sports. I’d venture to say that no matter what it is, it’s because college sports in some way provide a different product — they don’t try to be the same as the NFL, with a simply inferior group of players.

    There’s several reasons why, in particular, professional basketball and football are extremely popular. Their widespread popularity generally predates that of their pro brethern. There are only 32 pro football teams, but there’s something like 119 Division 1-A squads, each bearing the name of the states and towns they reside in, allowing fans something to possess more closely. 10,000 people can’t graduate from the Pistons every year, but 10,000 people do often graduate from Michigan or Ohio State at the end of the spring semester. Notre Dame was instrumental in the acceptance of Catholics in this country. The players, almost always from local high schools and whom attend classes, are seen as more approachable. Even the tickets are cheaper, and students can easily gain access to college football games to root on their alma mater. In essence, the ability for so many to have a passionate interest in their local college team is often easier than it is for the pros because they so closely mirror the inhabitants of the place in which they live.

  29. Euthyphro says:

    Why is this link between UFC and WWE foolish? I think for some fans who didn’t take that route, it’s an elitist stance designed to cover over any link that could be used to disparage MMA. Zuffa now feels that a link to the WWE is a negative, but they don’t when going after Brock Lesnar (they know he’s a draw) and they didn’t when matched up with the WWE for TUF1 (they knew it would bring in viewers from their target demographic). It’s clear that the WWE lead-in benefitted the UFC, in terms of initial ratings. Who else was watching SpikeTV at this time?

    Again on ratings, it’s pay-per-view spending that matters here. You can say the link is tenuous, but I don’t see an opposing theory that makes sense.

  30. Euthyphro says:

    There are only 32 pro football teams, but there’s something like 119 Division 1-A squads, each bearing the name of the states and towns they reside in, allowing fans something to possess more closely.

    That’s essentially my point B – there is a college team in close proximity, but not a pro team.

    10,000 people can’t graduate from the Pistons every year, but 10,000 people do often graduate from Michigan or Ohio State at the end of the spring semester. Notre Dame was instrumental in the acceptance of Catholics in this country. The players, almost always from local high schools and whom attend classes, are seen as more approachable. Even the tickets are cheaper, and students can easily gain access to college football games to root on their alma mater. In essence, the ability for so many to have a passionate interest in their local college team is often easier than it is for the pros because they so closely mirror the inhabitants of the place in which they live.

    That makes complete sense to me. I think it’s something I touched on very vaguely in the article:

    Some will find things that appeal to them more in one league than another — maybe it’s a hometown star, or a particular ruleset

    …but that’s a much better way of putting it.

  31. Preach says:

    Btw, Pro Elite’s shopping spree continues, they just announced that they acquired King of the Cage (which had been rumored for a while)

  32. SB says:

    Haha Cuban looks like hes been havin a late bender with Rich Franklin & Dave Batista

  33. Ivan Trembow says:

    There was more breaking news on MMAWeekly this morning, this time about Shawn Tompkins of the IFL.

  34. You mean formerly of the IFL :-p

  35. [...] info was from a comment posted on the always interesting comments section of FightOpinion.com. Zach’s site is a safe haven of sorts for intelligent people who like to discuss MMA in a [...]

  36. D. Capitated says:

    That’s essentially my point B – there is a college team in close proximity, but not a pro team.

    Pitt has no problem filling their stadium even though they have the Steelers. The Sun Devils do a better job of getting fans to watch football than the Arizona Cardinals. Boston College flourishes in the middle of the city while the Patriots play south. South Bend isn’t far from Indianapolis, Ann Arbor isn’t much further from downtown Detroit than Pontiac was, so on, so forth. Its not true. Not even close.

    Some will find things that appeal to them more in one league than another — maybe it’s a hometown star, or a particular ruleset

    That’s an incredibly vague thing to say. Of course people find things that they like more about College Football. That’s why there’s 100,000 seat college football stadiums and most NFL joints seat no more than 65,000.

  37. D. Capitated says:

    Why is this link between UFC and WWE foolish? I think for some fans who didn’t take that route, it’s an elitist stance designed to cover over any link that could be used to disparage MMA. Zuffa now feels that a link to the WWE is a negative, but they don’t when going after Brock Lesnar (they know he’s a draw) and they didn’t when matched up with the WWE for TUF1 (they knew it would bring in viewers from their target demographic). It’s clear that the WWE lead-in benefitted the UFC, in terms of initial ratings. Who else was watching SpikeTV at this time?

    A) How is Brock Lesnar a “draw”? He’s drawn nothing in MMA thus far.

    B) What other choice did they have? The UFC was nothing before TUF1. They had been spinning their wheels for years and apart from Shamrock/Ortiz, gotten nowhere fast.

    C) What proof is there that the WWE’s revenue began falling due to UFC? Just in March of this year, I remember Dave Meltzer saying that wrestling seemed to be set for another boom period, as indicated by rising ratings and DVD sales. Is this about attempting to legitimize the value of pro wrestling through shadow participation in the rise of a real sport, or discussion about MMA causing pro wrestling to hit the skids?

    D) A pro wrestling program has seen neither large gains nor large losses even though they play the lead in for MMA. How is this? Shouldn’t MMA have buried TNA?

    Again on ratings, it’s pay-per-view spending that matters here. You can say the link is tenuous, but I don’t see an opposing theory that makes sense.

    It is tenuous and, IMO, largely nonexistent, except in the minds of those who think Pancrase has something to do with the rise of MMA in the middle of this decade and want it so badly to be so that we get circle jerk writing of the same 4 dudes posting that view and then linking to each others articles. Pro Wrestling can blame its poor writing and scandals more than it can MMA for the problems it has right now.

  38. JThue says:

    And speaking of the pro-wrestlnig link, those UFC conference call comments about testing really sounds like it’s taken straight out of the post-Benoit WWE public appearance directions.

    “Jardine says he thinks the current way fighters are tested is fine: “I don’t think there’s a problem.”"

    Freakin’ yikes.

  39. Zach Arnold says:

    C) What proof is there that the WWE’s revenue began falling due to UFC? Just in March of this year, I remember Dave Meltzer saying that wrestling seemed to be set for another boom period, as indicated by rising ratings and DVD sales. Is this about attempting to legitimize the value of pro wrestling through shadow participation in the rise of a real sport, or discussion about MMA causing pro wrestling to hit the skids?

    UFC on PPV is a big enough threat that Linda McMahon has to address it at WWE quarterly conference calls. PPV is WWE’s cash cow. TV is not. Without PPV revenues, WWE’s financial model would be in serious trouble.

    It is tenuous and, IMO, largely nonexistent, except in the minds of those who think Pancrase has something to do with the rise of MMA in the middle of this decade and want it so badly to be so that we get circle jerk writing of the same 4 dudes posting that view and then linking to each others articles. Pro Wrestling can blame its poor writing and scandals more than it can MMA for the problems it has right now.

    I am begging you to tell me the history of pro-wrestling in relation to MMA, starting with the first UWF in 1984. I’ll be waiting with baited breath to hear your response.

  40. Pain4Blood says:

    wow.. Fox Sports updated the article. It is now exactly as is quoted here. Just wanted to give you guys a heads up in case you didnt notice.

  41. As of 3.17am GMT the article shows it was updated 49 minutes ago, and now has the ‘correct’ quotes as in James’ earlier post.

    With no mention of an edit whatsoever.

    So for the hundreds if not thousands of people who have already read it, what now? Will they be informed of the doctored piece?

    I doubt it.

  42. [...] facts around the circumstances of the Bisping media session. Read the comments by Hywel and James here and [...]

  43. el feo says:

    No mention of an edit…proof once again of the difference between Fox and journalistic integrity.

  44. Grape Knee High says:

    Why is so hard to fathom that there might be some pro-wrestling crossover amongst the current UFC fanbase?

    We know one thing is true: pro-wrestling fans love half-naked, sweaty guys in tights macking all over each other. And MMA certainly has no shortage of that.

  45. D.Capitated says:

    UFC on PPV is a big enough threat that Linda McMahon has to address it at WWE quarterly conference calls. PPV is WWE’s cash cow. TV is not. Without PPV revenues, WWE’s financial model would be in serious trouble.

    Their entire business is based on PPV revenues. Still, I fail to see the proof that MMA has significantly affected buyrates anymore than pro boxing has. Even Meltzer believes that Vengeance’s buyrate was affected by De La Hoya/Mayweather.

    It is tenuous and, IMO, largely nonexistent, except in the minds of those who think Pancrase has something to do with the rise of MMA in the middle of this decade and want it so badly to be so that we get circle jerk writing of the same 4 dudes posting that view and then linking to each others articles. Pro Wrestling can blame its poor writing and scandals more than it can MMA for the problems it has right now.

    I am begging you to tell me the history of pro-wrestling in relation to MMA, starting with the first UWF in 1984. I’ll be waiting with baited breath to hear your response.

    I know the history of shootwrestling in Japan. The problem with endlessly reiterating this point over and over is that shootwrestling in Japan was watched by literally a couple hundred people in the US while it was going on. Attempts at putting UWFi shows on PPV failed miserably during the initial MMA boom back in the mid 1990s, and Pancrase on PPV didn’t do much better. It had no effect on the pro wrestling industry in America apart from influencing in a very, very, very tertiary way the NWO/WCW feud. I mean, really, are you going to argue that Kevin Nash was America’s Takada?

  46. D.Capitated says:

    BTW, if anyone would like to explain what Fujiwara Gumi had to do with Art Davie watching Gracies In Action and deciding to run a PPV based on their no holds barred challenge, please, by all means, educate the masses.

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