By Zach Arnold | May 23, 2015
Luca Fury has long argued that fighters who are testosterone users don’t really end up with a winning edge over their opponents. He’s right. Vitor Belfort’s performance at UFC 187 was proof positive. After a spirited flurry of punches, Chris Weidman dispatched of Vitor with relative ease. The whole fight seemed to have an odd hype dynamic heading into the encounter. Weidman went the Randy Orton legend killer route by stating that a win over Belfort would finish off all the Middleweights from the Brazilian-dominated era. Meanwhile, it was ixnay on discussing why Belfort has had trouble fighting in Nevada (read: testosterone). Throw into the mix the tough article by Patrick Wyman on Weidman, Frank Mir, and Fabricio Werdum <"http://www.deadspin.com/why-are-ufc-champions-hanging-out-with-an-accused-russi-1705763244">hanging out with an alleged Russian war criminal and you ended up with a nuttier-than-usual public relations battle on Saturday.
Truth be told, there wasn’t much drama to be expected from Weidman’s title fight. The real interest was in the main event and whether Rumble Johnson would knock out Daniel Cormier. He couldn’t but not for a lack of trying. And Rumble was summarily taken apart. He’s still a very scary man.
The fight result now leads us to a rematch between Cormier and Jon Jones and I’m not sure there are as many fans this time who think Cormier has a chance of winning as there were for the first encounter. It will sell a lot of tickets, however…
Andrei Arlovski took care of Travis Browne. I suppose Tim Sylvia could come out of retirement. Given UFC’s Heavyweight division in 2015, why not? Where does Arlovski rank in terms of Greg Jackson’s most successful rehabilitation projects?
The highlight of 187 was Uriah Hall getting psyched out over Rafael Natal only for Natal to immediately kick Hall in the nuts within a couple of seconds. Hall not only got kicked in the nuts at the beginning of the fight, he got kicked in the nuts after the score cards were read and he lost.
Both John Dodson and Zach Makovsky are tough, smart fighters. However, if Dodson is going to prove that he’s a title contender, you have to finish opponents and make a statement. The wrong kind of statement was made.
There was a touch of irony seeing how a fight card that UFC thought would captivate the masses ended up doing the opposite. This turned out to be a card for the hardcores. It had a little bit of everything. And yet the hardcores online were blown away by Mariusz Pudzianowski knocking out Rolles “Flair Flop” Gracie.
I actually thought that what was happening outside of the cage was more interesting & newsworthy than the show itself. The Reebok deal is unfolding the way UFC wants it to:
Mike Pyle, 36 fights. This is his 15th in the UFC. His Reebok bonus would be $10,000.
— Suzanne Davis (@SoozieCuzie) May 24, 2015
You have fighters ripping on a lack of quality managers in MMA (which is true). You have fighters like Joe Benavidez ditching managers because, hey, he can save a few bucks and why do you need a manager now when UFC controls everything?
Meanwhile, I’ve yet to see a cohesive argument explaining why sponsoring UFC gives an advertiser any bang for their buck. Other than pushing their own pet project in Xyience or Mickey’s, what brands have been built off the back of UFC advertising campaigns? Dynamic Fastener? Reebok can’t be happy with all the negative PR campaigns against their sponsorship with UFC due to what UFC is paying fighters, but UFC is getting exactly what they want in busting fighter/manager relationships.
And to put the cherry on top of that sundae, the $30,000 they have spent lobbying for a California senate bill to change the way costs are distributed for athletic commission arbitration hearings means indigent fighters who had no recourse to break free from adhesive contracts without an attorney will find themsevles priced out of paying attorney fees to the state’s AG office. Ho hum.
Dominick Cruz said “I think the rankings are crap.” And yet those rankings now are financially important to the fighters under contract.
Joe Rogan said Andrei Arlovski had a serious injury heading into his fight with Travis Browne. Donald Cerrone claims he had two serious injuries (including his ribs) and nearly pulled out of his fight. This coming off of Nevada’s athletic commission drawing huge heat for Manny Pacquiao and his torn rotator cuff. Rashad Evans said he had fractured three ribs before his fight with Phil Davis.