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MMA Link Club: The fatigue from MMA politicking

By Zach Arnold | March 16, 2012

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Here’s Bjorn Rebney putting over his tournament format (repeatedly) and emphasizing how Bellator is ‘real sport’ in terms of matchmaking. Listen to what he says about having to book ’super fights.’

Here’s Bjorn after Pat Curran’s beatdown of Joe Warren.

Member sites of the MMA Link Club

This week’s MMA Link Club featured stories

5 Ounces of Pain: Anthony Pettis says he will not move down to Featherweight, will stay at Lightweight

So, is he going to be fighting Gilbert Melendez in Strikeforce?

Cage Potato: Cesar Gracie says Melendez will fight Pettis or Penn next

Or is there a mystery fighter at play?

Middle Easy: Expect Takanori Gomi vs. Gilbert Melendez

Plus, click the link to find out about Urijah Faber & Miesha Tate w/ the Alpha Male drama.

MMA Fighting: UFC likely heading to Italy, Spain and France in near future

Fightline: Anderson Silva says he has 10 more years left as a fighter

You know who else has been saying that this week? Yeah, Rampage… who truly is “Mr. T’ in more ways than one.

MMA Mania (Brian Hemminger): Exclusive interview with reality TV star, MMA fighter, and pro-wrestler Jeremiah Riggs

I’m not the one to ever promise everybody a knockout or a submission in the first or second round but I promise you this. When the doors shut, you’re gonna see me go all out there 100 percent leave it all in the cage. I’ve got 15 minutes, three rounds, three five minute rounds to do what I need to do to finish the fight and get my hand raised whether it’s the first, second or third round. No one ever likes going to a decision but in my mind, I want to make him give up. I want to beat him in every round. If it takes me three rounds, if it takes 30 seconds, I want to make him hate life for these next 15 minutes. I’ve got 15 minutes on March 16 at Bellator 61. Me and Trey Houston, my prediction is to do what I need to do and make him hate life for 15 minutes in there with me.

5th Round: Shaquille O’Neal accepts Jose Canseco’s MMA challenge

Caged In (Bleacher Report): Nick Diaz continues to entertain MMA fans in the midst of controversy

Nick’s attorney is Ross Goodman. Grab the popcorn and watch Keith Kizer try to stare down a member of Las Vegas royalty.

Lowkick: Jose Aldo says if Frankie Edgar won’t go to Featherweight, he’ll go to Lightweight

And he’ll be even bigger physically if he fights Frankie at LW.

The Fight Nerd: Street Fighter vs. Mortal Kombat has finally happened, now go watch the video

MMA Convert: Lorenzo Fertitta feels like a women’s division can exist in MMA

Here’s hoping the Zuffa vision isn’t similar to how WWE views women’s pro-wrestling.

MMA Payout: UFC could go after viewers of illegal streaming web site

Going the RIAA route by suing individuals over piracy is going to work about as well as the strategy has for said RIAA has so far. (Answer: Terrible PR, lousy backlash.)

It does stress, though, just how much PPV is still the core of UFC’s business model.

Topics: MMA, Media, UFC, Zach Arnold | 26 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

26 Responses to “MMA Link Club: The fatigue from MMA politicking”

  1. 45 Huddle says:

    1) Bellator doesn’t even have a tournament format. There is no blind draw. There is no brackets from the beginning. They have a matchmaker create the 1st and 2nd rounds. Only the Finals is pre-determined by default.

    2) The tournaments scare away any sort of credible proven fighter as that is a horrible thing to do to your body. And Eddie Alvarez’s situation has taught us that one loss…. even in a fantastic fight…. puts you so far back in terms of getting back on top that it makes the format such a failure.

    3) How is it a “real sport” when Travis Wiuff beats your champion and then gets put on the undercard for his next fight? That is far more “politics” then anything going on in the UFC in terms of matchmaking.

    • Chuck says:

      Great points, especially how their tournament format works. You would think it would go like “The winner of the first fight fights the winner of the second fight. And the winner of the third fight fights the winner of the fourth fight” for the next show, but it hardly ever happens like that. Bellator has mixed and matched the semi-finals however they deemed so.

  2. charlesmc206 says:

    Melendez vs Gomi would be an absolute joke. I hope they weren\’t serious when they actually deduced that.

  3. Norm says:

    Is Bjorn Rebney really Winnebago Man’s son?

  4. Manapua says:

    I think Rebney is better frontman that Dana White and presents himself in a far more professional manner. I am interested to see what they can do once Spike is able to put their full support behind them.

  5. Manapua says:

    “The tournaments scare away any sort of credible proven fighter as that is a horrible thing to do to your body.”

    Fighters will do anything if they are paid fairly to do it. PRIDE was doing tournaments spread over several shows and the best guys in the world had no problems with doing it because they were getting paid well. UFC has no competitive process in their matchmaking and it leads to them rematching fighters over and over to a boring degree.

    • 45 Huddle says:

      The percentage of rematches in the UFC is extremely low.

      And look at some of the Pride fighters and how broken down they became. Nogueira, Cro Cop, Wanderlei, Gomi, and others. They look like shells of themselves. Sure some of it is age, but a lot of them aged much quicker then their UFC counterparts who had a better defined schedule for their fights.

      Plus, no established stars want to participate in the tournaments because cutting weight 3 times in 3 months is bruta on the body. That is why they have not signed the free agents that they should have like Nathan Marquardt or Anthony Johnson. Those guys were tailor made for Bellator. And yet they couldn’t sign them.

      • Jonathan Snowden says:

        “cutting weight 3 times in 3 months is bruta on the body.”

        Yeah! Who would ever think about doing such a thing? Except, you know, every amateur wrestler ever for 70 years!

        • 45 Huddle says:

          Wrestling is a whole different ball of wax when it comes to weight cutting. I take it you have never wrestled, because if you had you would know it.

          1) Wrestlers typically cut less weight as they have to compete 30+ times in a season.

          2) MMA is a much more brutal sport. Combine the training punishment along with the big weight cuts, and 3 fights in 3 months is tough.

          I don’t really see a huge problem with a young fighter going through a 3 months tournament early in his career to make a name for himself. But when you see some Bellator guys going into their 2nd or 3rd tournament in a row…. It puts up red flags.

          There is a reason why Bellator is putting their cards onto Indian Reservations. If they put them on in states like Nevada or NJ, some of their winners would be medically suspended and their tournaments wouldn’t work.

          Any established entity…. Like the AC’s or the UFC knows that putting a lot of fights on a fighters body in a short time is not good. This is why they have put place guards in place to not overuse the athletes.

        • The Gaijin says:

          Smaller point, but wrestlers also have more weight classes to compete in so you’re not seeing guys make HUGE weight cuts in order to get down to the next available weight.

        • Jonathan Snowden says:

          “Wrestlers typically cut less weight as they have to compete 30+ times in a season.”

          Based on what? I remember talking to Mike Van Arsdale about cutting almost forty pounds before every meet the year he won the NCAA tournament.

        • Jonathan Snowden says:

          “There is a reason why Bellator is putting their cards onto Indian Reservations. If they put them on in states like Nevada or NJ, some of their winners would be medically suspended and their tournaments wouldn’t work.”

          Is there a reason we are still being forced to listen to this guy? I’m not even the biggest Bellator fan and I can tell you without looking that they run in New Jersey routinely.

        • 45 Huddle says:

          And Van Arsdale is not the norm for college wrestling. Guys in general cut less weight. And they are cutting that less weight at 19 or 20 years old. That is a whole different world compared to 30+ year old guys cutting even more weight.

          As for where they are holding events. They have only ever held an event in New Jersey ONCE for the 1st round fights. They typically keep them away until later in the tournaments in order to no screw things up as much.

          If you look at this history of their events for their first rounds… They are mainly going to Indian Reservations or weaker AC states. It’s fairly obvious why….

        • Jonathan Snowden says:

          “There is a reason why Bellator is putting their cards onto Indian Reservations. If they put them on in states like Nevada or NJ, some of their winners would be medically suspended and their tournaments wouldn’t work.”

          “They have only ever held an event in New Jersey ONCE for the 1st round fights.”

          When the goalposts start shifting you know it’s troll city. They run tournament shows in New Jersey routinely. They each have the potential to gum up the works. But I do admire your willingness never to let the facts get in the way of your arguments.

      • Jonathan says:

        You are talking about guys who have been fighting forever. I could just as easily say guys like Militech, Liddell, Arlovski, Ortiz…guys who fought primarily in the UFC who are just as broken down as the other guys you have listed.

        We know that you are pro-UFC, but don’t make it so blatantly obvious.

        • 45 Huddle says:

          There is a difference between getting old like Liddell orr the sport passing you by like Fedor or Ortiz…. Compared to what we saw with guys like Nogueira, Wanderlei, or Sakuraba. They were abused by the Japanese matchmaking style… And their bodies… Even at a young age showed for it.

          Bellator is doing the same thing to their athletes. This is not a pro or UFC thing.

          I really have no problem with seeing a fighter go through 1 tournament early in his career to get some name value. TUF or Bellator is great for this.

          It is when you see athletes entering their 2nd or 3 Bellator tournament that it gets scarey what this schedule will eventually do to them.

        • 45 Huddle says:

          Take for example Vitor Vianna.

          He happened to lose last night. But say he made it to the finals for this tournament again.

          He would have competed 6 times in 8 months.

          This is a guy who had 12 fights in the first 6 years of his career. And now he is signed up for 6 in less then a year.

          1 tournament good. More then that and we are looking at issues….

        • The Gaijin says:

          I agree with 45 – the schedules that the stars of PRIDE fought on likely shortened their careers (and maybe lives). Yes, sometimes they got “tune-up” or “stay active” fights but they still went through training camps (and probably a cocktail of things to keep their bodies going) and with guys like Wandy and Nog, those camps were tougher than a lot of their fights.

          Look at how quickly Silva fell off a cliff after they asked him to step in to the OWGP (his grip on the LHW division was starting to lessen mind you). He fought Fujita (who was like 50lbs bigger than him) then a little over 2 months later fought Cro Cop and then after that devastating KO fought Hendo 5 months later and got seriously KO’d. He’s never looked the same since.

          Nog is another great example, particularly a guy that fights the style of fight he does (absorb punishment to take the win). He fought SIX times in 2001 (granted he had a couple of RINGS fights), FIVE times in 2006, 2004 and 2002 and three times in 2003. He had over 20 fights in PRIDE from 2001 to 2007…that’s how you spend a fighter.

          Think about it Silva and Nog are like 34-35 years old…that’s it. And they look like they’re in their mid 40s…that lifestyle and abuse on their bodies was incredible.

  6. Manapua says:

    The percentage of rematches in the UFC is extremely low.”

    I don’t think I can count on one hand how many PPV worthy headliner fights the UFC can put on that are not rematches of some sort, Almost everyone of importance has fought everyone else already. Fights like Evans vs Jones are becoming more and more of rarity in the UFC because they have no competitive structure to what they are doing.

  7. Manapua says:

    Fighters in Bellator have more of a chance to dictate what happens for them than in the UFC. In the UFC fights are made on personality, twitter etc. In Bellator the fighter can earn his way by winning and nothing more. That is the great thing about the tournament format that they are running and with Spike behind them they will be able to add more quality depth to their divisions. MMA needs competitive structure like wrestling does. Let the fighters compete until one guy is left standing on the planet and that guy is without a doubt the best in the world.

    • 45 Huddle says:

      Like Travis Wiuff who beat the champion and then gets put on the undercard for his next fight instead of a title rematch?

      Yeap, that system is working really well.

      There is a reason why Bellator can’t sign the Anthony Johnson’s or Nathan Marquardt’s of the world….

      • The Gaijin says:

        “There is a reason why Bellator can’t sign the Anthony Johnson’s or Nathan Marquardt’s of the world….”

        I think that has a lot more to do with them wanting to be able to jump back to Zuffa once the internet and Dana’s temper have died down. Signing with Strikeforce or Titan Fighting, which are orgs that don’t seem to have an issue with letting guys jump back to the “big leagues” is an obvious pit stop – signing with Bellator means you’ll likely have to fight out your contract.

  8. Manapua says:

    UFC puts some of their best fighters on the undercard in every event, in some cases leaving them off the PPV for worse TUF made fighters. Don’t forget that Spike came up with the concept that saved the UFC. Dana White was completely against the Ultimate Fighter and it saved the UFC from going under.

  9. Manapua says:

    I am interested to see what Spike can do with Bellator after making the UFC into what it became. They will be able to do the same things that worked and eliminate the stuff that didn’t from previous experience. I also agree that the tournaments should be an open draw. I would like to see Spike air a presser like K-1 used to do showing the entire draw and how the brackets broke down.

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