Chaos: Weidman-Machida go balls out, Struve faints, Ronda asked to save Staples Center August UFC show, empty seats
By Zach Arnold | July 3, 2014
On Saturday afternoon in Florida, we had the World Series of Fighting debut on NBC broadcast television. As John Nash discovered before the UFC helped pass a secrecy law in Florida, the TV deal between WSOF and NBC is a barter deal. WSOF got access but NBC isn’t paying anything out of pocket. It’s a good news/bad news scenario. At least MMA is able to get on network television, but there’s no ad campaign whatsoever to promote anything. Just filler programming in the mindset of TV suits.
The WSOF card on Saturday had one fight in particular that I was extremely interested in watching. I thought it would be the most compelling fight this weekend. Well…
- Cody Bollinger defeated Pablo Alfonso in R1 in 2′37 by choke sleeper hold.
- Melvin Guillard defeated JZ Cavalcante in R2 in 2′36 by TKO.
- Jon Fitch defeated Dennis Hallman after 3R by unanimous decision.
- Justin Gaethje defeated Nick Newell in R2 in 3′09 by TKO.
— MMA Supremacy (@MMASupremacy) July 6, 2014
Then came the UFC 175 card at Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas. Perfect symbolism for UFC’s situation right now. Total chaos everywhere. Dana going nuts in press row and with staffers.
The amount of empty seats in this building is mind boggling. What the fuck happened?
— Ross Finkelstein (@rossfinkelstein) July 6, 2014
- Bantamweights: Urijah Faber (-1000, 10 to 1 favorite) defeated Bruce Leeroy (+700) in R3 in 1′09 with a choke sleeper hold.
- Bantamweights: Russell Doane (EVEN) defeated Marcus Brimage after 3R by split decision.
- Middleweights: Uriah Hall (-500, 5 to 1 favorite) and his busted toe defeated Thiago Santos (+375) after 3R by unanimous decision.
- Heavyweights: Stefan Struve (-160, 8 to 5 favorite) vs. Matt Mitrione (+150) was canceled due to Struve fainting backstage.
- UFC Women’s 135 pound title match: Ronda Rousey (-1000, 10 to 1 favorite) destroyed Alexis Davis (+700) in 16 seconds by TKO to retain her title.
- UFC Middleweight title match: Chris Weidman (-180, 9 to 5 favorite) defeated Lyoto Machida (+160) after 5R by unanimous decision in a gritty, gutty performance.
To show you the internal panic within UFC…
How fucking desperate is the UFC right now, putting Rousey on the spot for August 2nd. What a ridiculous plot. Embarrassing move.
— Fight_Ghost (@Fight_Ghost) July 6, 2014
In addition to Ronda, expect Faber to get asked for a quick turnaround to fight on the last-minute UFC booking at Arco Arena in Sacramento on August 30th. If you’re noticed, UFC has done their guy Andy Foster a big favor with three shows within 60 days in California. I personally consider it a political contribution of sorts with three $35,000 TV tax checks, but the flipside is that none of the A-listers are going to work any of the shows unless Ronda saves the day at Staples. And as we saw on Saturday night, she’s turning more into Brock Lesnar (big TV attraction more than a live gate attraction).
And in front of 6,500 people on Sunday night, BJ Penn was painfully put into retirement by Frankie Edgar.