By Zach Arnold | June 18, 2013
Events: UFC 163 (Saturday, August 3rd in Rio at HSBC Arena)
- Light Heavyweights: Robert Drysdale vs. Ednaldo Oliveira
- Welterweights: Viscardi Andrade Guimaraes vs. Bristol Marunde
- Flyweights: Ian McCall vs. Iliarde Santos
- Featherweights: Rani Yahya vs. Josh Clopton
- Middleweights: Thales Leites vs. Tom Watson
- Welterweights: Sergio Moraes vs. Neil Magny
- Ladies (135 pounds): Amanda Nunes vs. Sheila Gaff
- Light Heavyweights: Vinny Magalhaes vs. Anthony Perosh
- Flyweights: John Lineker vs. Phil Harris
- Middleweights: Cezar Ferreira vs. Clint Hester
- Welterweights: Demian Maia vs. Josh Koscheck
- Light Heavyweights: Phil Davis vs. Lyoto Machida
- UFC Featherweight title match: Jose Aldo vs. The Korean Zombie
Events: UFC on Fox Sports 1 (Saturday, August 17th in Boston at the Garden)
TV: Fox Sports 1
- Lightweights: Ramsey Nijem vs. James Vick
- Light Heavyweights: Cody Donovan vs. Ovince Saint Preux
- Featherweights: Manny Gamburyan vs. Cole Miller
- Featherweights: Diego Brandao vs. Daniel Pineda
- Featherweights: Akira Corassani vs. Mike Brown
- Featherweights: Conor McGregor vs. Andy Ogle
- Bantamweights: Brad Pickett vs. Michael McDonald
- Lightweights: Joe Lauzon vs. Michael Johnson
- Middleweights: Uriah Hall vs. Nick Ring
- Welterweights: Matt Brown vs. Thiago Alves
- Bantamweights: Urijah Faber vs. Yuri Alcantara
- Heavyweights: Alistair Overeem vs. Travis Browne
- Light Heavyweights: Mauricio Shogun vs. Chael Sonnen
Events: UFC on Fox Sports 1 (Wednesday, August 28th in Indianapolis at the Fieldhouse)
TV: Fox Sports 1
- Featherweights: Darren Elkins vs. Hatsu Hioki
- Welterweights: Justin Edwards vs. Brandon Thatch
- Welterweights: James Head vs. Bobby Voelker
- Middleweights: Brad Tavares vs. Bubba McDaniel
- Middleweights: Court McGee vs. Robert Whittaker
- Bantamweights: Erik Perez vs. Takeya Mizugaki
- Ladies (135 pounds): Sara McMann vs. Sarah Kaufman
- Welterweights: Kelvin Gastelum vs. Paulo Thiago
- Lightweights: Donald Cerrone vs. Rafael dos Anjos
- Welterweights: Carlos Condit vs. Martin Kampmann
Events: UFC 164 (Saturday, August 31st at the Bradley Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin)
- Flyweights: Louis Gaudinot vs. Tim Elliott
- Heavyweights: Soa Palelei vs. Nikita Krylov
- Bantamweights: Chico Camus vs. Kyung Ho Kang
- Ben Rothwell vs. Brandon Vera
- Featherweights: Erik Koch vs. Dustin Poirier
- Featherweights: Chad Mendes vs. Clay Guida
- Heavyweights: Frank Mir vs. Josh Barnett
- UFC Lightweight title match: Ben Henderson vs. TJ Grant
By Zach Arnold | June 17, 2013
Event: UFC 162 (Saturday, July 6th at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas)
- Welterweights: Mike Pierce vs. David Mitchell
- Welterweights: Seth Baczynski vs. Brian Melancon
- Heavyweights: Gabriel Gonzaga vs. Dave Herman
- Lightweights: Edson Barboza vs. Rafaello Oliveira
- Lightweights: Norman Parke vs. Kazuki Tokudome
- Middleweights: Chris Leben vs. Andrew Craig
- Middleweights: Mark Munoz vs. Tim Boetsch
- Featherweights: Cub Swanson vs. Dennis Siver
- Middleweights: Tim Kennedy vs. Roger Gracie
- Featherweights: Frankie Edgar vs. Charles Oliveira
- UFC Middleweight title match: Anderson Silva vs. Chris Weidman
Event: UFC on Fox 8 (Saturday, July 27th at Key Arena in Seattle)
TV: Fuel TV/Fox broadcast
- Bantamweights: John Albert vs. Yaotzin Meza
- Lightweights: Aaron Riley vs. Justin Salas
- Middleweights: Ed Herman vs. Trevor Smith
- Ladies (135 pounds): Julie Kedzie vs. Germaine De Randamie
- Lightweight: Yves Edwards vs. Spencer Fisher
- Heavyweights: Brendan Schaub vs. Matt Mitrione
- Lightweights: Mac Danzig vs. Melvin Guillard
- Lightweights: Bobby Green vs. Danny Castillo
- Lightweights: Michael Chiesa vs. Jorge Masvidal
- Ladies (135 pounds): Liz Carmouche vs. Jessica Andrade
- Welterweights: Robbie Lawler vs. Siyar Bahadurzada
- Welterweights: Rory MacDonald vs. Jake Ellenberger
- UFC Flyweight title match: Demetrious Johnson vs. John Moraga
By Zach Arnold | June 15, 2013
Event: UFC 161 (MTS Centre in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada) on Saturday, June 15th
TV: FX (undercard fights), PPV (main card)
- Bantamweights: Yves Jabouin defeated Dustin Pague after 3R by split decision.
- Lightweights: Mitch Clarke defeated John Maguire after 3R by unanimous decision.
- Bantamweights: Roland Delorme defeated Edwin Figueroa after 3R by unanimous decision.
- Welterweights: Sean Pierson defeated Kenny Robertson after 3R by majority decision.
- Lightweights: James Krause defeated Sam Stout in R3 in 4′47 by guillotine choke.
- Welterweights: Jake Shields defeated Tyron Woodley after 3R by split decision.
- Heavyweights: Shawn Jordan defeated Pat Barry in R1 in 59 seconds by TKO.
- Ladies (135 pounds): Alexis Davis defeated Rosi Sexton after 3R by unanimous decision.
- Light Heavyweights: Ryan Jimmo defeated Igor Pokrajac after 3R by unanimous decision.
- Heavyweights: Stipe Miocic defeated Roy Nelson after 3R by unanimous decision.
- Light Heavyweights: Rashad Evans defeated Dan Henderson after 3R by split decision.
Rashad Evans looked genuinely surprised he won tonight's UFC 161 main event: http://t.co/64dN3ho7vz
— MMAjunkie.com MMA (@MMAjunkie) June 16, 2013
By Zach Arnold | June 15, 2013
Josh Thomson is receiving the same kind of treatment that someone like Bill O’Reilly and Glenn Beck normally endures from political interest groups & the press. Why? The Huffington Post made sure to highlight comments Thomson recently made on Facebook about gay marriage. Let’s call it his Rick Santorum moment.
“Should you be allowed to marry whoever you want? Before you answer that, should u be allowed to have more than 1 wife?”
“I’m only asking a question. My next question is, should siblings be allowed to marry siblings? My point is, where do you draw the line? I personally don’t care who you marry but I also am smart enough to know that it opens a gateway to men/women trying to marry young kids, siblings marrying each other and people having multiple husbands an wives. You have to think all of these things are okay otherwise your stopping them from being happy as well which is hypocrisy. Equality doesn’t stop with gay marriage, it just starts with it.”
As you might imagine, this is playing out disastrously in New York where Sheldon Silver is regaining momentum to try to squash political desire to get a vote on the floor of the state Assembly to pass legislation to regulate MMA. Thomson’s comments have now given him some political cover and Zuffa some more heartburn. This will not end well for Thomson.
Next, we have the back-and-forth between Jon Fitch and Dana White over fighter pay and whether or not UFC should be considered a sport. As to the latter, Fitch says UFC is more like WWE than Major League Baseball or the National Football League. His point, on face value, is entirely correct. The audience cross-over between UFC and pro-wrestling fans is real and many of UFC’s viewers are not hardcore sports fans. As for the issue of fighter pay, Dana White has always disliked Jon Fitch — which is why there is great irony that Dana got worked up about Fitch claiming that UFC created a hostile work environment for him. After all, Dana & Lorenzo went after Fitch over video game rights. Dana’s larger point about Fitch hurting himself with some of his fight performances, however, is entirely accurate.
“Jon Fitch said he was working under a hostile work environment and that he never had an opportunity and should have double the wins he had with us,” White said. “He was complaining about what he had to go through here, about people saying stuff under their breath to him and all this bulls—. Jon Fitch is so full of s–t. He’s f—ing delusional. First of all, he had every opportunity that anyone else had. After Georges St-Pierre beat the living s–t out of him, did we treat him differently or anything?”
Fitch fired back on the money issue.
Responding to White’s assertion that he made $302,000 in discretionary bonuses, Fitch added up his fight purses, saying he was paid a total of $1,022,000 for 18 bouts with the promotion and “about $300,000 in bonuses,” which he said brought his total payout to $1,322,000.
“Sounds like a lot of money,” he said. “But let’s look at that a little bit closer. Out of the 18 fights in that fight purse, I paid 20 percent of that to management and the gym. So if you take that number, divide it by seven-and-a-half years, I was making roughly $176,000 a year before management and gym fees.”
After burying UFC, Fitch praised the World Series of Fighting and talked about how happy he was to be fighting for the new organization.
And then Friday night happened. For Jon Fitch’s sake, let’s hope that not a lot of people watched his fight against Josh Burkman. Burkman choked him out silly in 41 seconds and got a huge pop in the process.
I guess Josh Burkman is the new lineal UFC welterweight champion since WSOF repeatedly stated that Jon Fitch beat GSP.
— Robert Sargent (@MMARising) June 15, 2013
Fitch: "I got a little overconfident w/ my choke defense. I was going to try to slam him but he locked it in too tight. Mistake on my part."
— Shaun Al-Shatti (@shaunalshatti) June 15, 2013
The choke was done so quickly and effectively that Steve Mazzagatti figured it out after Burkman got up and let Fitch go on the canvas. Lead TV announcer Todd Harris called Mazzagatti a great MMA referee a few minutes later.
Glad Burkman stopped. Mazzagatti is a clueless idiot who will hurt someone and continue to ruin guys legacies. Much respect Josh
— Dana White (@danawhite) June 15, 2013
NSAC needs to seriously do something!! When you have been a ref that long and still don't know what u r doing its time to go away!!!!!
— Dana White (@danawhite) June 15, 2013
After losing in humiliating fashion, Fitch was classy in defeat but appealed for a rubber fight with Burkman if Burkman becomes WSOF’s champion. You could practically hear the champagne corks popping from Manitoba after Fitch got humiliated on television. Fitch’s only consolation prize from Dana is that he wasn’t defending Mazzagatti on Twitter.
@AUshayneomack I was gonna say something nasty to u then I saw u were from Alabama and realized u have been punished enough.
— Dana White (@danawhite) June 15, 2013
I guess Dana’s not a fan of Alabama’s new regulations regarding pro-wrestling or something.
And then we have the execrable comments from Roy Nelson about Daniel Cormier during a pre-UFC 161 interview with Ariel Helwani of MMAFighting.com.
ARIEL HELWANI: “You saved the day, you stepped up to the plate but you said recently that others didn’t. Specifically, Daniel Cormier, right? And Daniel Cormier took exception to that and he said he wants to fight you next and not only does he want to kick your ass, he wants to kick your ass “for Dana White.” What did you make of that?”
ROY NELSON: “How did I take that? I was like… wow. But from my understanding is the UFC called me, said hey you want to fight or “you’re going to fight Daniel,” not “do you want to fight Daniel?” You’re going to fight Daniel and I said, OK, and then they’re like, OK, and then a day later, uh, “No, you’re not fighting Daniel, you’re fighting somebody else,” and I’m like, OK. And then next thing I know Daniel, you know, didn’t take the fight and then something about his medical clearance or whatever and I don’t think the UFC, I hope a billion-dollar company would know who’s cleared and who’s not before they make those phone calls. If not, there’s a lot of idiots running it and they need a smart guy running it.”
ARIEL HELWANI: “So, you think he turned down the fight?”
ROY NELSON: “I don’t know, I mean, that’s what I would say, assume to because it just makes logical sense but I’m not genius, just smart.”
ARIEL HELWANI: “What do you think when he says he not only wants to kick your ass but he wants to do it for Dana White, kind of like a hired gun?”
ROY NELSON: “Uh, you know, having a lot of black friends, they would say that would be more of an Uncle Tom move.”
ARIEL HELWANI: “Really?” Why would that be an Uncle Tom? How does one have to do with the other?”
ROY NELSON: “Why? I just, just from that’s what my friends were saying and that’s what I just like, WOW… and… hey, it is what it is. I mean, you got to what you can do for the boss but you know they called me up and they said jump and I said, how high, and they said 161 and I did it, OK.”
ARIEL HELWANI: “So, do you have a score to settle with him? Do you want to fight him next?”
ROY NELSON: “Is he Heavyweight champ?”
ARIEL HELWANI: “No.”
ROY NELSON: “Then who cares?”
ARIEL HELWANI: “You’re not interested?”
ROY NELSON: “It’s Daniel Cormier. He had his chance.”
Brent Brookhouse slammed Nelson’s comments and put them in appropriate context:
The “my black friends said it” excuse should not fly in this case. Uncle Tom is a vile, racist term. There’s no room for other interpretations of what it means.
For those unfamiliar with the term, an oversimplified explanation would be referring to a black man who sides with “the white man” to gain favor. It’s a term with a long and very ugly history.
Nelson’s manager, Mike Kogan, may have stepped in it a bit himself earlier today when he tweeted out “Fag shoe contest Jordan vs Ariel who wins ? I say Jordan outpinks Ariel Helwani.”
Kogan recently defended client Nate Diaz’s use of “fag” by clumsily stating that it isn’t a term for a gay man where Diaz comes from.
Kogan and Nelson’s comments come on the heels of Josh Thomson’s bizarre anti-gay marriage ramblings on social media in the past few days, making this a less than positive week for the promotion in terms of PR.
As Cage Potato aptly put it, MMA Moron Week continues. “It hasn’t even been 24 hours since a notable MMA figure said something unbelievably stupid.”
By Zach Arnold | June 11, 2013
An excruciatingly long 8-hour meeting in Los Angeles on Monday for the California State Athletic Commission didn’t produce many headlines. However, one critical development did arise from the session that will not make the UFC happy.
On the meeting’s agenda, there was this item: “Subcommittee on Therapeutic Use Exemption — Discussion and possible action regarding draft policy.”
Rule 303 (modified text here), which was pushed to try to open up the Therapeutic Use Exemption process for testosterone use, was challenged at Monday’s hearing by none other than Department of Consumer Affairs lawyer Michael Santiago. Santiago happens to be the only lawyer worth anything in DCA’s legal office, for what it’s worth. Karen Chappelle, the ethically-challenged attorney from the Attorney General’s office in Los Angeles who loves to interfere in combat sports regulation, backed the current behavior regarding allowing fighters to use testosterone despite not having any text passed by the state legislature. Santiago, who rightfully has a professional dislike & disregard for Chappelle’s opinion, said that until there is a statute/regulation on the books regarding testosterone that the commission should not be using an ‘underground’ policy of approving T usage. He argued that testosterone is considered a banned substance.
The end result is that fighters like Dan Henderson, Chael Sonnen, and Frank Mir will not be allowed to use testosterone while fighting in California until a law is on the books that explicitly spells out approval for T usage. Chappelle was not a happy camper about this and the UFC will be furious about this development given how many guys they have fighting in California who love testosterone. Vitor Belfort’s sympathy plea for continued testosterone usage means he won’t be fighting in California any time soon.
I applaud Michael Santiago for putting a stop to this. The underground T policy basically put doctors like Paul Wallace in an unenviable position of having to administer & oversee testosterone usage. Santiago’s stance also will piss off UFC doctor Jeff Davidson. To that I say the following: good. Santiago’s position will now put UFC in an interesting dilemma — will they huff and bluff by backing away from running shows in California or will they accept the new reality on the ground? If UFC backs away from California, it will cost the commission’s budget big time. UFC wants to talk tough about testosterone usage now, so let’s see if they will back up their public talk by walking the walk with future California events.
In other news, an update about a story we wrote last week regarding California’s position on kids pankration contests. The commission on Monday formed a subcommittee for further discussion on the matter and Sacramento has sent a cease & desist order to the USFL. My guess is that they will now run shows on tribal land or will focus entirely on Arizona.
For anyone wondering whether or not a half-point scoring system will gain traction in MMA, the answer is no. Momentum is dead. You will not see the half-point system in California survive, you won’t see the ABC (Association of Boxing Commissions) pushing it any more, and any sanctioning bodies currently using it are allegedly ready to dump it for good. Nelson Hamilton will not be happy about this news. One regulator on background, paraphrased, framed their opposition in this manner:
“We have enough bad MMA judges. If bad judges can’t handle a 10-9 system, how the hell are they going to handle a half-point criteria? The half-point system makes bad MMA judges even worse.”
Last week, we noted on Twitter that Bellator was going to moving to Friday nights. A month ago, we noted that the two options left for Bellator were Tuesday or Friday nights after Spike inexplicably decided to give TNA preference over MMA. Beyond comprehension. It’s also beyond comprehension that Spike chose Friday nights, a dead zone, over Tuesdays. California needs Bellator to be successful because the Bellator events in the state have been great. What will the impact of the move to Fridays mean?
By Zach Arnold | June 5, 2013
Last week, the New York Daily News ran with a headline that doomed any hope of New York state passing Mixed Martial Arts legislation: Push to legalize mixed martial arts threatened by Vito Lopez sexual harassment scandal
To make a long story short, New York state Assembly boss Sheldon Silver allowed a settlement to take place between two women and Lopez over sexual harassment charges. Lopez, a Brooklyn Democrat, quit after he was named in investigations for bad behavior towards other women.
Silver and other top state Democrats have said that the sex scandal with Lopez has made powerful female politicians & political activists angry and that this same constituency is the most vocal in blocking support of MMA legislation in New York. On Monday, Silver was confronted by Anthony Bourdain’s wife in regards to how many women support MMA in comparison to those who oppose it. Silver told the press that if they want to support MMA in New York, they can — by watching it on television.
Silver is now using the ‘angry female card’ to hide behind putting MMA legislation on the floor. It’s no surprise. As long as Silver is in power in Albany, MMA legislation will never make it to the floor for a vote. The faster UFC recognizes this political reality, the more money they will save in terms of lobbying in the state. But will Zuffa have to wait much longer for Silver’s departure?
How concerned are New York Democrats in maintaining their lock on the female vote? Andrew Cuomo is ready to roll out a ‘10 point plan’ to ’strengthen women’s rights’ all while defending Sheldon Silver and maintaining that Silver did nothing wrong in how the Vito Lopez sex scandal situation was handled.
Right as Cuomo was defending Silver, the New York Daily News came out with this report: Damning email omitted from Vito Lopez sexual harassment report suggests Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver had inappropriate relationship with top aide
The email, obtained by The News, claims Lopez “repeatedly” told one of the women “that he wanted their relationship to be the same as Mr. Silver’s to his Chief of Staff and was explicit in what that meant.”
The email also claims that the groping victims were so afraid of Silver and his chummy relationship with Lopez — and so upset that the Assembly had failed to “fully investigate” their allegations — that they declined an offer to take another job in the Assembly.
This development is ratcheting up the pressure significantly on Silver to resign from his position as Assembly leader. The New York Daily News and NY Post are having a field day. If he were to resign, the doors would officially swing wide open for MMA legislation to make it to the Assembly floor for a yes-or-no vote.
According to The New York Times, a recent Quinnipiac poll suggests that more than half of New York state voters wants Silver to resign.
The majority of fight fans do not realize just how much power these kinds of politicians have when it comes to regulating combat sports. One politician, on a whim, can make a decision that impacts the business in a negative manner. And, as we have seen in California, politicians not only interfere in combat sports regulation but often insert their political cronies to screw over good people and to give political cover to whose who use governmental resources to ruin the lives of those they choose to destroy.
By Zach Arnold | June 3, 2013
Next Monday, the California State Athletic Commission will hold a meeting (read the agenda) in Los Angeles. There are plenty of newsworthy items on tap for the session but the topic that will garner the most controversy & attention will be the political battle between Sacramento and an organization called the United States Fight League, an organization that sanctions children & teenagers who compete in both pankration & MMA bouts. The USFL-sanctioned MMA fights feature a limited MMA rules platform and also a traditional MMA rules platform. Different Class levels.
The idea of children’s MMA is not politically acceptable in Sacramento and, as one might expect in this one-party dominated state, Democrats aren’t exactly down with the USFL’s sanctioning ideas of allowing children to fight in pankration & MMA contests, especially with the fights available on Youtube for viewing.
So, there is a reported effort to crackdown on these kinds of fights and put a stop to it. The USFL has other plans. The USFL is currently running shows throughout California & Arizona, both on tribal land and at locales that normally the state athletic commission would regulate. If CSAC is against the USFL being in the sanctioning business for children’s MMA, then it naturally means there will be an attempt to crack down on such events. The USFL has events booked in California throughout the Summer. You can check out the USFL rule guidelines for fights right here. Their Facebook group on Kids MMA can be viewed here.
If you take a look at the USFL’s Youth League page, there are many young fighters who train at some well-established MMA gyms. The USFL has fighters sign a standard waiver to not hold the sanctioning body liable for any injuries suffered in competiton.
“I understand that participation in this event/activity has a certain a mount of risk of injury, serious injury or death.”
The waiver also grants the USFL the right to sell fights on DVD & other video platforms.
So, why should you care about this issue if you live outside of California? Because, according to the USFL, they’re about to get national exposure in a big way.
“We are pleased to announce that the United States Fight League (USFL) has signed an exclusive agreement with Pilgrim Studios, producer of The Ultimate Fighter TV show to develop of a TV series in conjunction with our USFL Youth Pankration program.
We received offers from several other company’s and independent producers but ultimately selected Pilgrim Studios because of their long history with MMA and their commitment to promote the youth version of our sport in a positive manner.”
The USFL held an event this past weekend at Agua Caliente casino in Rancho Mirage, California. Here is their post about Pilgrim Films being in attendance:
Thanks to everyone who came out and supported the Spartan League Youth Show yesterday at Agau Caliente. As always the kids preformed and we were very happy that the coaches and fans did their part. So much was at stake and I think we pulled it off !
Pilgrim Studios were extremely happy, as was promoter Cops 4 Kids and Communities and I think the general manager of the venue was content as well. On the down side, we had one serious injury, a possible dislocated elbow and wish that competitor a speedy recovery. Referees had a good long constructive debrief as well as the organizing staff.
Now we just need everyone who forgot their unsold tickets to please get them back to Jeff Penn or Don Orosco. The tickets are accountable to the casino and will be counted against the promotors if not returned. The evening Battle of the Badges Boxing sold out so we hope this helps our cause.
Again thanks for the support. Next Show is June 28th at the Blue Water Casino in Parker, Arizona.
The footage Pilgrim Films is shooting obviously doesn’t revolve around a bunch of young kids locked in a house TUF-style, but such an idea of locking up kids in a house and having them turn into mini-Chris Lebens reminds me of a funny skit from The Jamie Kennedy Experiment TV show where Kennedy pretended to be a slick-talking TV producer who was trying to convince parents to sacrifice their kids in a Survivor-style reality show called Child Island.
Next Monday’s CSAC meeting in Los Angeles promises to be contentious and combative.
By Zach Arnold | May 30, 2013
It started out this way on Thursday afternoon:
My ex took my poor children away from me for NO reason. He did drugs and faked drug tests for UFC. I all my time with my babies, he partied
— Jenna Jameson (@jennajameson) May 30, 2013
You didn’t even show your face while the boys grew, now you want to beat me up????
— Jenna Jameson (@jennajameson) May 30, 2013
I will start posting pics of Tito and his drug use. Lets talk the truth!!!!!!
— Jenna Jameson (@jennajameson) May 30, 2013
Which led to two pictures being posted…
The first picture quickly drew mocking:
Who injects ibuprofen? Tito is weird. EZ release capsules man! RT @jeremybotter Oh, wow. Ibuprofen! The hard stuff
— Jonathan Snowden (@mmaencyclopedia) May 30, 2013
The second picture? Well…
The label “Anazao Health” and “Bacteriostatic Water.”
The pictures being posted promptly led to this response from Tito Ortiz online:
“The unfortunate allegations being made against me are simply not true. I would never do (cont) tl.gd/lufein
— Tito Ortiz (@titoortiz) May 31, 2013
Full text: “The unfortunate allegations being made against me are simply not true. I would never do anything to jeopardize my family. Being a great father and protecting the well-being of my children remain my top priority. I thank my family, friends, and fans for their kind words of support at this time. For my children’s sake, I appreciate you respecting our privacy.”- Tito Ortiz
When Jenna realized that her pleas might be falling on deaf ears (despite the fact that Tito’s name was trending on Twitter), she concluded her trolling right after Tito’s statement:
I am so done with twitter
— Jenna Jameson (@jennajameson) May 31, 2013
Only to come back online a few hours later.
By Zach Arnold | May 28, 2013
“It’s unfortunate for Cat, her injury, but the UFC’s all about opportunities and I was so stoked when I heard that I was going to get the potential spot, you know, to coach not only coach against Ronda, you know, and our rivalry I think makes for better TV and I get to fight her again. So, I’m stoked all around.”
And then there’s Ronda.
“I’ve said it within the same sentence that, you know, I think she’s entirely legit but I don’t really feel bad about hitting her.
“I’m actually honored to be coaching [opposite of] her on the show and I think that this is really what was fated to happen and I’m really lucky to have a rival like her. If I didn’t have her around, I would suffer.”
It’s been an interesting year for UFC when it comes to making money. One of the issues of interest for Lorenzo Fertitta is his online poker play, Ultimate Poker. UFC 160 PPV watchers were greeted with a mini-infomercial about the project.
Why doesn’t anyone ask the esteemed UFC President how they intend 2 ensure kids dont use the online gambling site the UFC promotes for $.
— MMA On The Reg (@mmaonthereg) May 26, 2013
With injuries & veteran fighters retiring, ensuring the ability to draw cash on PPV and combining it with ratings success on Fox media platforms has never been more key. Ronda Rousey is now a top-five PPV meal ticket for Zuffa. She’s a much more talented, skilled version of Gina Carano and at times can be a hyperbolic promoter in the mold of Hulk Hogan when it comes to making claims. Read Kevin Iole’s Yahoo article from Tuesday to see her throwing out Ali & Frazier analogies about her feud with Miesha Tate.
Gary Shaw said he was in the Gina Carano business and the UFC is in the Ronda Rousey business.
The UFC needs to desperately kick-start some life into the expired, played-out Ultimate Fighter reality show. Given that it’s launching on Fox Sports 1, they went with a Real World format and went with co-eds. They wanted Rousey and Miesha Tate as coaches. At the end of it all, they would fight as a top PPV match for the year-end December show in Las Vegas. So, there was a match between Tate and Cat Zingano in Las Vegas and Zingano blasted her for the win. It ended up being Rousey and Zingano as coaches.
Kevin Iole reported that Zingano needed ACL surgery and that Tate would replace her as a coach on the show. The angle UFC is pushing to the masses is that Rousey was upset and thought she was getting replaced, which makes zero sense logically-speaking.
I don’t really buy that Ronda was surprised by Tate showing up. She would’ve needed to agree to the fight, no?
— Jeremy Botter (@jeremybotter) May 29, 2013
Nevertheless, that’s the company line and the organization is trying to save a reality show that’s way past its date for usefulness. So, now we have Tate vs. Rousey (again) and we’ll have more ‘drama’ involving Bryan Caraway. If he’s not getting heat for being second-fiddle to Tate, then he’s getting heat for rubbing others the wrong way. We’ll be spoon fed talking points from Tate that she got ‘cheated’ by Kim Winslow during the Zingano fight but none of it will matter because Rousey will be such a huge favorite to win the December fight.
Strikeforce used to get rightfully bashed for giving fighters title shots off of losses, but the UFC is doing much more of that this year.
— Robert Sargent (@MMARising) May 29, 2013
The whole thing is uninteresting BS but I get why they’re pushing it. It’s the same reason they pushed the testosterone king, Chael Sonnen, for the Jersey fight. Right now, they’re on fumes and they need anything that can attract PPV buys no matter how much credibility is sacrificed. If there is one important takeaway, it’s the fact that UFC is certainly become more… selective… when it comes to pushing fighters and holding some fighters to a higher (or lower) standard on the issue of wins/losses in order to get a title shot.
I must be getting old… I still remember when MMA fans would crucify promotions for giving title shots to fighters coming off losses. #ufc
— MMA Supremacy (@MMASupremacy) May 29, 2013
— Jonathan Snowden (@mmaencyclopedia) May 29, 2013
@mmasupremacy All of them with a history of rivalry between champ and challenger. Looks like you don’t need to actually win to earn a TS
— Guilherme Cruz (@guicruzzz) May 29, 2013
The irony about what’s going on here with UFC needing more star power is that The Ultimate Fighter was supposed to be a showcase to find new stars & elevate them to become players in the company. Now, the show simply attracts fighters who the UFC has decided not to sign as free agents in the first place… which means very few of the winners from the show have long-term success in the UFC and the show becomes irrelevant in the minds of fans at home. Now the show’s only purpose is simply to maintain a rating to keep the cable property going and to promote a super fight between the coaches.
By Zach Arnold | May 25, 2013
Promoters and athletic commissions don’t turn down potential cash, no matter how brutal (and I mean brutal) the fan response is to Fallon Fox. Fallon’s support base amongst political activist organizations & elements of the media is growing. There will be promoters who think they can turn fan heat against Fallon into a “watch and see if a real woman can kick this person’s ass” kind of momentum to see tickets, similar to what we saw in Memphis in the early 80s when Andy Kaufman had his intergender title matches on the undercards of Mid-South Coliseum shows.
The next domino to fall is which athletic commissions give the OK for Fallon to fight. Florida is step one. California, a state that has been trying to recruit Invicta shows, could very well be step two. The political climate would also be favorable for getting match approval. Evidence here.
Just one problem… Brett Atchley is Fallon’s manager and he just got banned from Invicta events.
“I see similarities between Jackie Robinson and myself … he wasn’t understood, just like I’m not understood.“
By Zach Arnold | May 16, 2013
While Dana was busy getting into Twitter wars with someone named Kandy Wilson over who looks uglier…
@kandywilson u might be attractive by “southern Indiana” standards but welcome to the rest of the world. That nappy hay hair has gotta go!!
— Dana White (@danawhite) May 15, 2013
@kandywilson don’t need help. People can see the white hay and crossed eyes on their own ???????? feeding time!!!
— Dana White (@danawhite) May 15, 2013
Dana defended the UFC’s policy of taking away cash from Pat Healy:
@_royy it’s known up front that checks are held until everyone passes the drug test. Brian Caraway get the SON now. Healy did himself dirty.
— Dana White (@danawhite) May 15, 2013
Nate Diaz voiced his displeasure with the UFC over the cash confiscation:
I feel bad for pat Healy that they took a innocent mans money and I think the guy who took the money is the biggest Fag in the world .. #sorryasslittlebitch
— Nathan Diaz (@NateDiaz209) May 16, 2013
— Nathan Diaz (@NateDiaz209) May 16, 2013
Nate’s manager, Mike Kogan, responded with the following to MMA Junkie:
Kogan, however, defended Diaz’s choice of words. He did not advise the fighter to delete the tweet and advised his Twitter followers to look up the meaning of the word “f-g” in the Urban Dictionary.
“Nate voiced a personal opinion about an incident that took place involving Bryan Caraway in which he chased Dana all over Twitter to try to get a bonus, which was taken away from Pat Healy, got the bonus, and then had the nerve to go back out there and bash the guy and talk s–t about weed-smoking and how much he hates it and how it’s wrong, which was, at best, a s–t move on his side,” Kogan said.
“Guess what? The word f—-t, at least in Northern California, and where Nate is from, means bitch. It means you’re a little punk. It has nothing to do with homosexuals at all. So when Nate made the comment that he made, he didn’t make it in reference to homosexuals or calling Caraway a homosexual. He just said it was a bitch move.”
On top of this, the Nick Diaz Promotions web page was hacked last night with a message that stated: “Nick Diaz lost to Carlos Condit. Get over it.” In loud Times New Roman font.
— teamgDp (@teamgDp) May 17, 2013
Remember the UFC Fighter Summit where the company brought in a social media guru and encouraged the fighters to Tweet as much as possible in order to win bonus cash? How’s that policy working out for Las Vegas right now?
By Zach Arnold | May 15, 2013
On Tuesday, Jonathan Snowden published a hell of an article regarding UFC fighter contracts. Just remember as you read the piece that fighters praise the quality of UFC’s contracts in relations to Bellator/Viacom fighter contracts.
Who knew that article would be viewed as positive public relations compared to the news that broke on Tuesday night. Another marijuana meltdown for UFC management.
We know Nick Diaz’s history and how he has tried to fight the Nevada State Athletic Commission. UFC went after Thiago Silva for failing a marijuana drug test in Macau. Matt Riddle found himself kicked to the curb after failing tests. Dave Herman has tested positive for marijuana metabolites after his Brazil fight and was sent to rehab for 30 days. Then there was Robert Peralta in Sweden. Now, we have Pat Healy. Not only did New Jersey suspend him for 90 days, the UFC is reportedly set to confiscate a lot of bonus money away from him. Six figures worth of cash lost. Over testing positive for marijuana. Not cocaine. Not a performance-enhancing drug. Marijuana.
“I would like to start off by apologizing to the UFC, Jim Miller, the MMA community, its fans, my family, teammates and coaches for my positive testing for marijuana after my UFC 159 fight with Jim Miller,” he stated. “I was fully aware of the UFC and state commission’s drug policies and made poor life choices.
“I stand behind the UFC and state commission’s disciplinary actions. I support efforts to make MMA (and sports) a clean, safe and fair place to compete.
“I made a very poor choice to socially use marijuana and now I must face the consequences of that choice. I can assure you that I will do everything the UFC and state commission asks of me and beyond. I will make a conscious effort to be a better role model within the MMA community.”
Marijuana is not a performance-enhancing drug, despite what Keith Kizer and Joe Rogan continue to claim publicly. The reason athletic commissions test for marijuana is because it’s easy to detect the metabolites and it’s a quick way to confiscate cash. The only logical reason to test for marijuana with fighters is if you have a pre-fight drug testing policy in which you get drug testing results before a bout takes place and if the presence of said metabolites is so recent that it could de-hance (if you want to call it that) the performance of the fighter in question who is caught using marijuana.
However, that is not the system we have right now in place. Athletic commissions (along with the UFC for overseas events) do pre-fight and post-fight drug tests. The point of drug testing should be to prevent those using performance-enhancing substances from actually fighting in the cage when they’re on something. Instead, the drug testing protocols are completely backwards.
The UFC’s attitude of prosecuting fighters for marijuana usage by confiscating cash, having them apologize publicly, and sending them to rehab is something out of the 1980s war on drugs playbook. If the UFC & athletic commissions can prove that a fighter is competing while immediately under the influence of weed, that is one thing. However, they can’t. So why are they in the business of regulating weed usage? $, $, and more $. The UFC isn’t law enforcement trying to stop an idiot for DUI behind the wheel of a car. They’re busting the chops of fighters who use marijuana recreationally because it’s a quick cash grab and an even quicker PR stunt.
It’s easy to go after fighters for marijuana usage and not so easy to go after testosterone users if they aren’t using Carbon Isotope Ratio testing to catch fighters who are using testosterone gels, creams, or pellets via micro-dosing.
Chael Sonnen, the poster boy for testosterone usage in MMA, headlined the UFC 159 PPV in Newark, New Jersey. He continues to get rewarded for being a .500 fighter who uses the base chemical for all anabolic steroids. Juxtapose that with the reported $135,000 hit UFC will unleash on Pat Healy for the presence of marijuana metabolites in a drug test. The message UFC is sending about an anti-marijuana, pro-testosterone tolerance policy is so absurdly irrational and dangerous… and the various state athletic commissions go along with the charade because they want to continue doing business with the UFC and not lose that PPV & TV cash.
Which brings us back to how the UFC structures their fighter contracts & bonus system for as much leverage as possible with the fighters they use. Because of a positive drug test for marijuana metabolites, the UFC will be able to confiscate $135,000 in bonus cash from Pat Healy? It would be one thing if the company used their power and leveraged it against fighters who abuse testosterone & other performance-enhancing drugs. Instead, they are leveraging their power to go after fighters over marijuana usage.
The irony of this company drug policy, given the prime demographic they target (18 to 34 year old males), is incredible.
The only thing worse is that $900,000 fine against Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. in Nevada. When Chavez got hammered, the boxing press & political advocacy groups went hard after Keith Kizer. So far, the reaction amongst the MMA writers at-large over Healy’s suspension has been muted. We’ll see if that changes.
With the testosterone passes flowing in Nevada and other prominent state athletic commissions, I found a touch of irony in this self-serving press release about what a great doctor Tim Trainor, Keith Kizer’s right-hand man, is. You read that right — Trainor posted a press release about how he is America’s top sports doctor. I’m sure Dan Henderson (fighting on June 15th in Winnipeg), Frank Mir, and many other testosterone-using fighters would agree.
Have a permission slip to use testosterone? Things are peachy. Get busted for elevated levels of testosterone without a permission slip? You’re a horrible person. That’s the standard we have now in combat sports.
The UFC’s company policy of confiscating cash from fighters who test positive for marijuana metabolites, along with sending them to rehab and having some of them apologize publicly, is quite different from their level of inconsistency when it comes to dealing with steroid users.
Vitor Belfort fights Luke Rockhold this weekend for UFC’s latest show in Brazil.
By Zach Arnold | May 9, 2013
John Carvelli, 51, of Newport Beach, has been appointed to the California State Athletic Commission. Carvelli has been executive vice president at LIBERTY Dental Plan since 2004. He was president of Medimanager Inc. from 1999 to 2003 and a health care consultant at Empire Pacific LLC from 1995 to 1999. He is a member of the Team 100 Food for Kids Board of Directors and the Parents Television Council Advisory Board. This position requires Senate confirmation and the compensation is $100 per diem. Carvelli is a Republican.
Here is his bio from the PTC:
John is a Director and EVP of the Liberty Dental group of companies. Liberty Dental is a dental managed care insurance company.
John recently completed a multi-year project as President and director of the former Lincoln Hospital Medical Center, Inc. in Los Angeles, CA. The project included the management and work-out of one of the oldest and largest community clinic organizations known as Clinica Medica Familiar.
In 1996 Carvelli established Empire Pacific, LLC, a business and public affairs consulting company. Empire Pacific and affiliates, provide business and public affairs services for healthcare, financial and information technology companies.
Carvelli has been active in numerous political, legislative and campaign activities for approximately 25 years. He served as a press aide to former U.S. Senator Bill Bradley of New Jersey and for a member of the California State Assembly in 1986, John served as manager of a CA statewide political campaign for Lt. Governor. Carvelli was a delegate to the CA State Republican Party and is the Chairman Emeritus of the ‘400 Club of the Republican Party of Orange County.
In 1984, Carvelli received a BA degree from The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. While in Washington, D.C., Carvelli also worked for the Republican National Committee and in The House of Representatives.
During the 1980’s, John took part in a fact-finding mission in war torn Nicaragua with the National Conservative Foundation.
John and his wife Kate and three daughters, live in Newport Beach, CA.