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Fight Opinion Radio: Episode 26 (with Total-MMA.com staff)

By Zach Arnold | September 28, 2006

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It has been a very busy week for MMA news, and we cover all of it in this week’s edition of FOR. Our special guest is Iain Liddle from Total-MMA.com, who previews the upcoming big Cage Rage event (Mark Pickering has a preview of the event on our site).

Show update: Kazuhiro Nakamura vs. Marvin Eastman has been booked for PRIDE’s 10/21 Las Vegas event.

Other topics on the show this week include: The latest update on Kazushi Sakuraba (and whether or not comparisons of Sakuraba to Kurt Angle are fair/unfair), a detailed recap of UFC 63 and where it leaves UFC matchmaking-wise for future shows, the death of Shelby Walker (and the issue it raises about abuse of pain killers in the fight industry), the bickering back-and-forth between PRIDE & UFC, and Vince McMahon’s latest gimmicks to try to counteract UFC programming that runs opposite of his TV shows.

The 26th edition of Fight Opinion Radio is now online and available to download. Here are your options for listening to the show:

Broadband (MP3) | Dial-up/Streaming

More information on listening to this show (if you click the full-post view).

We definitely are interested in new sponsors. We are also interested in getting audio clips from each of you (and here are more details on how you can contribute).

Or you can use the great flash player to listen to it streaming (without having to use an external program). Check it out (down below).

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

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With the listenership for Fight Opinion Radio dramatically increasing week by week, we definitely could use your financial support for the Fight Opinion project. If you want to contribute to us in a way that directly helps us out with our web server costs, you can donate directly to our web host – A Small Orange. Please help us out. I will personally contact you and give my sincere thanks if you make a donation.

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To contact us for show feedback, you can e-mail any of us on the Fight Opinion radio staff.

Topics: All Topics, Erin Bucknell, Fight Opinion Radio, Jeff Thaler, Luke Nicholson, Media, MMA, podcasts, UK, Zach Arnold | 4 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

4 Responses to “Fight Opinion Radio: Episode 26 (with Total-MMA.com staff)”

  1. MMA T-Shirts says:

    Helloooooooo.

    Cecil Peoples, although a complete moron, didnt actually give the fight to Danny Abbadi – he just filled in his card wrong (hence proving that he is a moron… like how can you fill in two columns for a 3 round fight wrong)?! Fight Finder does still have it as a split decision but it wasnt.

    I’m really enjoying these shows by the way guys. I love the fact that they’re over an hour long – with the Beatdown and stuff, it feels like it’s almost finished before it’s even begun, so it’s nice to settle down and listen to something a little longer.

    Great to hear a CR breakdown too (I’m from the UK). In case you didnt know, you can get a stream of the show from their site. Last time it was only $10 I believe.

    Only negative – I am getting pretty bored of the constant Pride doom mongering. I dont think there has been a single show for the last 6 months in which you havent had a dig at the org, their business practices, their future, their marketing, their card (US), their ticket prices. I’m sorry but you’ve covered it like 5 times already but feel the need to regurgitate the same reasons they are going to fail every week. Personally I dont think they will fail in the US. They may not have sold 12,000 tickets but it is far from rediculous. Strikeforce on their first show sold ?18,000? – now THAT was a show with 0 brand recognition. What Strikeforce also illustrates is how many people will turn up for something the first time it appears in a State (for State see Country with regards to Pride).

    Comparing Pride the the WFA for ticket prices is rediculous too. WFA doesnt have 1000s of fans waiting for years to be able to see a live show from their org. Pride does. There are no WFA nuthuggers. And anyway, let’s be honest, Pride has “NO brand recognition in the US”? Isnt it on Fox like every week? Cro Cop won the “baddest man on the planet” poll on some Fox show, Gomi has been on too as I’m sure have many others. Promotion is irrelevant for them anyway – there are simply enough hardcore fans out there who have been waiting for this for ages, to get a decent attendance, then add a few thousand casual UFC fans and it’s a BIG crowd. Seriously, you have a go at Sherdog (rightly so) for having their pro Pride, anti UFC bias, but you guys are just as bad when it comes to constantly picking apart Pride with every minute detail of what they do. If they actually DO something and it fails, fair play, but you predict failure for absolutely everything they INTEND on doing. According to you guys, shouldnt they have folded by now? Yes, they have multiple problems and naughty naughty people running the show but sooooooo much of big business is corrupt. Football / Soccer over here is in the middle of a bungs scandal and guess what’s actually going to happen… nothing… because at the end of the day most people dont really care and it’s extremely hard to prove anything even with a good degree of evidence. Sorry guys, but you just keep setting yourselves up for a fall.

    Hey anyway, I don’t take time out of my day to produce a radio show for other people to enjoy and listen to, so enough with my bitching but it has just been something which I was initially really impressed that you covered with so much verve but now it’s just like meh, not this again… can’t we just see what happens?!

    Again to re-itterate though, great show, really enjoyed it and I hope you dont mind me sharing my ‘fight opinion’ or in this case business opinion 😛

  2. Zach Arnold says:

    I don’t think there was much “doom mongering” about PRIDE this week on the show. The discussion was whether or not they were charging too much for ticket prices for a debut show in a debut market, and the WFA comparison I thought was a pretty fair one.

    UFC charges $350 maximum for their big shows in Las Vegas, and Dave Doyle at Fox Sports claims that the avg. ticket price for the PRIDE show is $343 (whether or not that’s skewed because of the $700 front row seats, I am not entirely 100% sure). That’s a lot, a lot of money to go to a debut show.

    PRIDE really wasn’t on the format sheet much this week at all. The bulk of the coverage was about the chickenfight with Dana White and Jerry Millen.

    In terms of brand recognition in the US, PRIDE appeals to the hardcore fight fans. It isn’t what I would call a product that has attracted huge mainstream media attention. Now, we’ll see if the Las Vegas show can attract that spotlight. If it does, they’ll be in a good position. However, so far the Fox Sports Net shows have been disappointing and not a true reflection of the product PRIDE presents to their Japanese audience.

    Seriously, you have a go at Sherdog (rightly so) for having their pro Pride, anti UFC bias, but you guys are just as bad when it comes to constantly picking apart Pride with every minute detail of what they do. If they actually DO something and it fails, fair play, but you predict failure for absolutely everything they INTEND on doing. According to you guys, shouldnt they have folded by now?

    I don’t think I was harsh on Sherdog at all this week. I just stated that right now, the majority of MMA web sites more or less mirror what you see with the various Hollywood media outlets (Entertainment Tonight, TMZ, etc.) You’ll hear some dirt about the industry, but the majority of the content is video clips and more or less giving the fighters a sympathetic outlet to get their message out on.

    I tend to take a global perspective about the fight industry. The fight industry does not revolve around UFC. At the same point, if PRIDE wants to expand into a different market place, then they should have the courage to say in English what they tell their home fans back in Japan. You want to insinuate that UFC is low-level entertainment? Fine. You want to insinuate that Tim Sylvia is scared of Emelianenko Fedor? OK. But don’t say one message in Japanese and then turn around and say something different in another language (or not even acknowledge what was said in Japanese in the first place).

    Regarding PRIDE’s triple-play of Japan-Vegas-Macau, we were ahead of the curve on what they were trying to do. If you read the original article, I said that this plan would be their best case scenario to hit it off with Tyson and Fishman.

  3. MMA T-Shirts says:

    That was a quick response 😛

    In no way did I say the Pride doom mongering was a major part of the show, I said that I cant remember a single show since the Yakuza thing came out, where you havent at least had a small dig at something Pride does. If I am wrong, please accept my apologies.

    Neither did I say that you were harsh on Sherdog (and other MMA sites). I said you were fair in your criticism that they were slow to pick up on certain news items, due to their particular bias… I hadnt thought that it would be anything to do with merchandise by the way so if that’s the case, it’s more interesting than simply a personal preference, which I thought it must have been. However, if one site does something which basically annoys you, it’s surely fair to accept that some might find your Pride stance nit picky.

    My outbust wasnt because of todays show anyway, it was a cumulative thing – I’ve listened to every one of the shows you’ve ever done. I for one believed everything you said would happen to Pride because of the Yakuza scandal (and voiced that opinion elsewhere too)… As it has been proved to be incorrect, so I have felt a mug and have grown weary of the constant critique of everything Pride do.

    Regarding ticket prices specifically. I am not too sure about those UFC prices you quote. Perhaps that is the case in Vegas, I dunno but I know for sure I’ve seen much higher prices than $350 for UFCs in the past and top tickets for 64 are $450. That isnt in Vegas though. I dont really want to guess but I swear I’ve seen more like $600 for a UFC in the past.

    Specifically, whilst Pride has some very expensive tickets, they do have a lot of reasonably priced tickets – $52 is the cheapest, which is about the same as I would have to pay to go see Soccer at Nottm Forest (my club) who are in the 3rd division. Generally, Cage Rage for example charge (roughly) $50, $75, $100, $200, $400 for their tickets – also pretty expensive. So yeah, Pride probably have priced some of their tickets too high but it is still accessible to all and if they can sell most of the expensive ones too, their pricing structure is surely vidicated.

    It’s about supply and demand vs saturation. If Pride held events as often as UFC do, they might not be able to charge those prices. They dont hold events that often though so the demand from hardcore MMA fans (which are not as few in number as I think you believe) enables higher prices.

    As for their marketing BS, it isnt anything we havent heard from just about every other fighting org. Cage Rage will try and tell you that Mark Epstein is world class this weekend. UFC will tell you that Royce was undefeated. KOTC (i think) recently claimed that they had the top 4 fighers in the world at some weight class, in an ad banner. It might not be nice but with most other orgs you will ignore it and look at the final product – that doesnt seem to be the agenda when it comes to Pride.

    Please accept my thoughts for what they are. I think you do a very good job, however I think you have a tendancy to over play the importance every decision which Pride makes. Taken on it’s own todays show is entirely innocent but to be honest it was just like I was waiting for the “have a dig at Pride” section of the show – it took a post on some forum about the supposed attendance to get it in there but it was still there.

    Sorry for semi-hijacking the comment with negativity, it would piss me off if it was my site… I just felt like verbalising my internal groan/sigh.

    p.s. I tell you one thing Pride should do – sell their tickets on Ticketmaster… I cant see them on there, only on some other junk ticket site. That is a mistake.

  4. cjfighter says:

    I don’t really think comparing Pride and WFA on ticket prices is rediculous. WFA was promoting several “local” fighters on the under card and Pride is promoting a couple of ex-UFC fighters on their card. Granted Pride is putting on their show in Vegas where there is a larger fight crowd, but for a first show to claim a 12,000 ticket sale one month before the show at the prices being charged is pretty outrageous (not impossible but highly improbable). Also, Pride has created much of their negative press themselves. If it is not talked about on a regular basis, then there won’t be much to talk about concerning the organization. It’s not like we get to see their fighters on a weekly TV series or anything, so in order to keep everyone’s darling org. in the spotlight let’s just talk about the news that they create for us.
    Talk about beating a dead horse, let’s hear how many Americans can bash the man (D. White) who brings them monthly, and often bi-monthly MMA shows, when as little as two tears ago they had to wait six months or more for a show. Like his personality or not, the man has done GREAT things for MMA fans in America and I for one would like to thank him. If so many Americans love Pride and hate the UFC then simply let them watch Pride when they can and turn off the tv when the UFC comes on.
    Wait, I said I would never rant on any of these sites. Sorry.

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