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Fight Opinion Radio #76: Thaler family MMA get-together

By Zach Arnold | February 15, 2008

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Jeff Thaler and Thaler family members join us this week to recap the WEC 32 event from Wednesday night in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Does Carlos Condit deserve the praise that he is receiving online? Where does he stand in terms of worldwide rankings in his weight class? Plus, what’s the best sports analogy to use to compare WEC’s stature to UFC’s stature.

Our second segment focuses on the start of DREAM, the joint venture between K-1 & DSE staff. We try to figure out and rationalize how MMA fans are getting excited about a company whose grandmaster is currently sitting in a jail cell.

Plus, the world-famous grab bag takes a look at the latest Xyience news in bankruptcy court and Phil Baroni’s new deal with EXC.

The 76th edition of Fight Opinion Radio is now online and available to download. Download this week’s show here.

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Topics: Fight Opinion Radio, Japan, Jeff Thaler, K-1, Media, MMA, podcasts, PRIDE, Pro Elite, UFC, WEC, Zach Arnold | 15 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

15 Responses to “Fight Opinion Radio #76: Thaler family MMA get-together”

  1. a guy says:

    I agree that Condit needs to fight a top 10 fighter before we know if he’s top 10, but don’t brush him off. Carlo Prater is supposed to be a world class submission fighter, only losing one fight by submission, and Condit subbed him in under four minutes. Remember, also, Condit only finishes most of his recent fights by sub because the other fighters are too scared to stand with him. Great striking and great guard and great subs? He’s still only 23, also. Plenty of time for improvement. 😉

  2. Iain Liddle says:

    I listened to #74 and #75 recently and very much enjoyed them. Looking forward ot this one.

    The analysis offered is equal to and often better than pretty much any other podcast I’ve heard.

  3. Grape Knee High says:

    We try to figure out and rationalize how MMA fans are getting excited about a company whose grandmaster is currently sitting in a jail cell.

    Call me crazy, but maybe they just don’t care about any shadowy, zainichi yakuza named “Mr. I” and they’re looking forward to exciting fights?

  4. Samscaff says:

    Thank you Grape Knee High.

    Zach just keeps floating further and further from reality.

    Newslfash, Arnold, fans dont give a F#CK who runs the organizations. American boxing fans havent cared for the past 100+ years and MMA fans certainly DO NOT CARE now.

    We didnt care that Pride was owned by Yakuza. We dont care that K1 is controlled by a tax evader. I wouldnt give a sh^t if a child molesting murderer ran my favorite MMA organization, as long as they put on good fights.

    So call me crazy, but I am trying to watch some top quality fights, not judge the moral character of the man who runs sh^t behind the scenes. After all, we are watching men try to virtually kill eachother, so cut the sanctimonious bullsh^t.

  5. Donk says:

    If nobody cares about shadowy figures and shady dealings that go on within organisations, then there will be no pressure on the big promotions to keep within the law. Large organisations have big power and influence, and this has the potential to lead to corruption if left unchecked.

    We are seeing with the Zuffa/Xyience and Zuffa/Pride scandals but most of all with the old Pride/Yakuza scandal, that operating without pressure to work within the law has the potential to bring organisations down. This will dirrectly affect the fighters ability to make a living and also affect us as fans of MMA. As we have seen with the Pride scandal many fighters have not fought for nearly a year and fans over the world have been devastated.

    I think it’s the job of media outlets like fightopinion and others to keep this pressure on, as otherwise down the line big organisations that support the fighters and entertain us as fans may be short lived. MMA organisations may then only have long lives (i.e. decades) in small promotions.

    So in my opinion, Zach and others are doing the right thing. It’s an example of quality research and investigation. Which can only serve to keep pressure on the industry and keep it standing.

    I’m not saying this is the way it is. But it’s the way i see it. I could be wrong.

    Just my two cents.

  6. Samscaff says:

    Its not that I want MMA orgs to be run by criminals, but if it makes for good fights, so be it.

    The point is that Zach is trying “to figure out and rationalize how MMA fans are getting excited about a company whose grandmaster is currently sitting in a jail cell.”

    That just doesnt make sense. Do fans get excited about the promoter of a fight?? Of course not, they get excited about the fighters. Only Zach Arnold judges an organization by the backroom business politics, and not the quality of the actual athletic competition.

    Zach does a great job of reporting all of the insider information and I love to read about it but sometimes he loses touch with reality.

  7. Ultimo_Santa says:

    Samscaff, that’s some harshness, dude.

    I do agree that – for me at least – it doesn’t matter who runs a fight promotion. If I love the product, I love the product, period.

    However, I don’t agree with your “we’re watching people try to kill each other so who cares about anything” mentality. Competing in martial arts is a sport, and has been for thousands of years. Just because the UFC is throwing that art into a cage doesn’t make it a vicious bloodsport, or anything immoral.

    And while I don’t particularly care that a tax evader or yakuza boss is running a promotion, I do want to know that the men and women risking their health in this dangerous sport are being compensated fairly.

    Having said that, although I love the insider information I get from Fight Opinion, I would like to hear a little more than 5 minutes dedicated to discussing a MMA card on a Fight Opinion Radio show. The last UFC event was almost completely swept under the rug…surely you guys can give the fights a little more time and attention? I love hearing your pre and post fight comments, so keep them coming!

  8. The obvious argument here is that since people don’t care how boxing is run, it’s run terribly.

    Urging MMA promoters to abide by the law is the first step to ensuring that we don’t get paper champs, canfests, steroid-fueled win streaks and a dearth quality of opponents fighting one another. If you sweep the management’s wrongs under the rug, you risk losing the value of the core entertainment product.

    Don’t disassociate bad management with a bad product, cuz the two have historically gone hand-in-hand.

  9. Tomer Chen says:

    Its not that I want MMA orgs to be run by criminals, but if it makes for good fights, so be it.

    So you would have been OK with Frankie Carbo and his ‘associates’ running the 40s & 50s Boxing scene (causing dives, screwjobs, etc. en masse and causing what is generally regarded as the decline of Boxing the sport through their actions) because, hey, we can get a few good fights with the Mafia-run promoters?

    To quote the great John McEnroe: “You can’t be serious!”

    Newslfash, Arnold, fans dont give a F#CK who runs the organizations. American boxing fans havent cared for the past 100+ years

    That’s kinda weird, since there were plenty of letters that great Boxing writers from the 40s & 50s IBC-run Boxing era such as Dan Parker and Jimmy Cannon posted showing concern about the Carbo influenced IBC killing Boxing by the Boxing public…

  10. Jeremy (not that Jeremy) says:

    Tomer, but no MMA promotion *cough*Pride*cough* would do that.

    I listened to most of the Fightlinker interview namedropped at the end of this podcast. That guy has a really bad habit of talking himself into things, and taking rumorangs from the web and using them as if they were actual facts.

    There are some odd things going on between the Fertitas and Xyience, no doubt, but when you start citing reports as facts, and start saying that it is KNOWN that fraud has been committed without very solid evidence or a conviction, I get very very nervous. It’s no wonder this guy is being sued.

    There are differences between circumstantial rumor based suspicions and actual factual evidence, and I’m not comfortable with his ability to discern between the two. Especially when he starts ranting about all the little guys getting fucked over while fat cats take windfalls, less than half an hour after admitting that he asked for (or considered asking for) a million dollars to walk away quietly.

    I’m about as staunchly anti-corporate as they come when the circumstances justify it, but this guy talked himself from an interesting source with some good information into a raving maniac in front of my ears.

  11. karat3 says:

    How can you call Hayato Sakurai a journeyman, he is one of the best in the world at whatever weight he chooses to fight at.

  12. Jeremy (not that Jeremy) says:

    Journeyman isn’t a term of disrespect. Maybe you prefer “master,” but either way, it indicates that he’s accomplished.

  13. Zach Arnold says:

    How can you call Hayato Sakurai a journeyman, he is one of the best in the world at whatever weight he chooses to fight at.

    You won’t get an argument from me on this.

    The problem for Sakurai is finding the right opponents and getting booked at this point on enough shows. His last booking was a ShootBoxing fight, so he’s stuck in limbo right now.

  14. karat3 says:

    So basicly you are saying that evryone outside the ufc are journeymen bcoz they might not have a consistant flow of opponents. Sakurai fought and won on NYE aswell.

  15. Jeff says:

    Boxing fans do are about organizations. How anyone concluded otherwise is delusional or grossly out of touch.


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