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Quotes of the Day – Lorenzo Fertitta

By Zach Arnold | January 2, 2008

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In a sit-down media session with Kevin Iole:

One of the greatest successes that we’ve had, for instance, is the last show we did in New Jersey (UFC 78 on Nov. 17). We had a fight being headlined by two guys who had never fought for a championship and, relatively, had never been proven to be pay-per-view draws. But we basically sold out the arena in New Jersey and we did very strong, above average, pay-per-view. So to me, while it wasn’t Liddell-Ortiz, that said more to me than one of what you might call one of our bigger fights did. It showed that our UFC brand can carry a whole show.

Plus…

And like I said before, we invest into the sport to try to grow it by doing things like going to Europe. We took major losses in Europe (in 2007). We didn’t make money on any of those European shows.

But looking forward five years, we realize that Europe is going to be bigger than the U.S. and a lot of those fighters are going to benefit from the way we’ve cultivated the European market.

Topics: Media, MMA, UFC, UK | 44 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

44 Responses to “Quotes of the Day – Lorenzo Fertitta”

  1. Sean says:

    That quote about UFC 78 is not good. I think we’re going to start seeing more shows with weak headliners in the future.

  2. Luke says:

    Sounded a lot like most Dana White interviews. At least they’re on the same page. Lorenzo is just more polished, which is surprising considering he doesn’t deal with the media as often as Dana.

  3. 45 Huddle says:

    How is that a shock that he is good in interviews? The guy probably has meetings all day long with high level individuals from both his own company and other companies. If he wasn’t like that, his business wouldn’t have lasted very long.

  4. Pierre-Luc Allie says:

    So why he dosn’t ask Dana to act the same way???

  5. klown says:

    Sounding “more polished than Dana White” doesn’t mean Fertitta is “good in interviews”.

  6. Yeah, I don’t know how Lorenzo basically saying “Haha, we can get away with calling shit gold and people will still buy it” is considered “polished”.

  7. Grape Knee High says:

    LOL at “basically selling out” an arena that was 25% empty. I expect that kind of baseless hyperbole from Dana White, not Lorenzo Fertitta.

  8. I’m somewhat concerned about the Calvin Ayresque attitude he seems to reflect when he talks about UFC brand. If the Fertittas are more concerned about putting over the UFC than promoting great fights, they’re going to alienate at least some fight fans. God forbid Alvin Robinson is headlining a card in 2009.

  9. Dave2 says:

    It’s no wonder why the UFC cards in general aren’t as strong as they can be when the owners think that they can get away with putting on lackluster cards. So as long as they slap on a UFC logo on the product of course.

    The fans are not that stupid though. After seeing Evans vs Bisping, I doubt the fans in NJ went home happy and a lot of those who bought the PPV felt cheated. As much as PRIDE is bashed for emphasizing excitement over sport at times, it makes sense. People go to watch fights for entertainment. Team sports are different because home team fans will continue to watch their own team play. And even then you have people complaining about how certain tactics make the sport boring to watch. But in an individual sport like MMA, the fans aren’t there to follow a home team. They are there to be entertained. The number one goal of a sports team is to WIN because winning means profits in team sports. But the number one goal of a promotion is to make money.

  10. David says:

    Is this quote really anything new for you up-and-coming writers to bash. Let the promoters do their dirty job and enjoy the fights.

    Critiquing fight promoters is like asking your herb dealer where he gets his product from, sometimes its just better to keep your mouth shut.

  11. cyphron says:

    Did people miss this line?


    “But looking forward five years, we realize that Europe is going to be bigger than the U.S. and a lot of those fighters are going to benefit from the way we’ve cultivated the European market.”

    They’re taking a loss now to grow the sport. The fighters will benefit in the end. Can M-1, IFL, EliteXC, or any of the other organization claim that? No, they’re just trying to take a piece of the US pie.

    And when the UFC have established the European market after sinking 40 mill or more over there, these other organizations will go over there and steal that pie as well.

    You guys are real cynical about the UFC but never see the good in anything they do.

  12. You’re missing the point. The sport isn’t about the promoters, it’s about the fighters. I don’t root for the MLB or the NFL, I root for the Tigers and sadly, the Lions. Just like I pull for certain fighters.

    What’s greatly troubling is that when posters here and elsewhere take issue with UFC criticism, like Cyphron and Dave in this thread, it’s almost like their favorite football team has been insulted. You people, the UFC is not your favorite team, nor should it be. The fighters are the people that literally put their lives on the line for the sport and for your entertainment. Who, or what exactly are you pulling for? Why is it so hard for you to disconnect the UFC from the athletes in its employ? Why, then, is it so hard for you to take criticism of the UFC?

    I don’t think FightOpinion or most other MMA sites would exist if their proprietors didn’t think the UFC was one of the most compelling athletic contests on the face of the planet. I’ve think we’ve moved past that stage of being MMA fans – but now, I think as responsible fans who have watched the sport for a considerable time, we have to think what’s best for the sport. And frankly, I don’t think there’s anything doubting that the UFC’s track record is spotty.

    Its president conducts himself with questionable dignity. Politics and gamesmanship define the promotion’s relationship with rivals, which has long snubbed fans of superfights, the most recent of which should have happened years ago. Disrespect on the part of management has played a role in the organization’s failure to land the best talent.

    So to say that criticism of the UFC is unwarranted is playing the role of a fanatic, not a fan. I think to look at the sport with any kind of sophisticated attitude, you have to dismiss your fandom of the product first, and think about what’s best for the fighters and for the sport.

  13. Zack says:

    “They’re taking a loss now to grow the sport. The fighters will benefit in the end. Can M-1, IFL, EliteXC, or any of the other organization claim that? No, they’re just trying to take a piece of the US pie. ”

    Well…Elite XC/Pro Elite did buy Cage Rage, and took a loss in doing so in order to run UK shows.

  14. cyphron says:


    You’re missing the point. The sport isn’t about the promoters, it’s about the fighters. I don’t root for the MLB or the NFL, I root for the Tigers and sadly, the Lions. Just like I pull for certain fighters.

    YOU feel it’s about the fighters only. I agree to a point. I watched Yarenoka! because of Fedor and Misaki. I didn’t dig the rest of the fights. However, MMA right now is also as much about the organization as it is about the fighters. If it wasn’t so, why would there be so many Pride fans reminiscing about the past?

    Most casual MMA fans will watch the UFC because they feature great fighters, great rivalries, great story lines, and most importantly great consistencies. Most people, myself included, do not want to switch organizations just to follow a fighter and then end up watching him fighting someone we don’t know. I have HDNET… I watch HDNET Fight. I don’t have Versus. Therefore, I don’t watch the WEC. I don’t follow fighters to the WEC.

    And why are you so insulted that some of us DEFEND the UFC? You act like we insult YOUR favorite team by defending them.God forbid that some of us defend the UFC. The ratio of anti-UFC to pro-UFC rants on here are 5:1. This is fight opinion not Fight-Opinion As long as you agree with us. Lets get away from the group-think of Dana and UFC bashing that occurs regularly on this site. Let’s not call everyone who defend the UFC a shill.

    Some of us like to inject a different point of view. Isn’t that the point of fight opinion?

  15. Dave2 says:

    “Most people, myself included, do not want to switch organizations just to follow a fighter and then end up watching him fighting someone we don’t know.”

    So basically you are saying that you would like the UFC to have a monopoly on all of the top talent? I’d call that UFC bias. A match like say Sakurai vs. Hasegawa may not be as compelling as say Sakurai vs. Hughes or whatever but Sakurai has to do what is best for Sakurai. The fans need to give these top fighters in smaller orgs a break. They are human, they aren’t just puppets for our entertainment. The fighters are doing what is in their best self interest. If the UFC had a monopoly on all the top talent, there would be even less of a fighters market out there. Competition is good for the fighters and the sport in general too because the top dog needs to be kept on its toes.

  16. dragomort says:

    There’s ‘bashing’ and there’s critiquing, it can be a fine line at times, but there is a difference if not in content than in intent.

    The UFC is promoting itself as the sport, (i.e. UFC fights are referred to more than MMA fights by most people) if they wish to achieve that level of notoreity, they must receive the criticism that comes with it. I critique the UFC more, personally, because I expect more out of them than most of the other orgs out there due to their experience and their ambition.

  17. D.Capitated says:

    So basically you are saying that you would like the UFC to have a monopoly on all of the top talent?

    I’d like a system where the best in the world fight each other instead of cream puffs. I know its an ideal and totally never gonna happen, but I’d rather ascribe to that than freakshows and absurdist mismatches.

  18. cyphron says:

    I never claimed to be non-bias.

    I never defended Lorenzo’s remark about UFC 78. I think it sucks.

    I was merely saying that even as we criticize him and the UFC, we should also give them credit where credit is due: They grew MMA in the US, and they’re trying to do that again in Europe.

    Obviously, they expect to profit from it. They’re no saints. But the fact of the matter is that they still deserve the credit for the growth of MMA. And I don’t blame them for retain their rights to their monopoly as I don’t blame all the smaller orgs from trying to take a piece of the pie.

  19. cyphron says:

    This is what we got from the “monopoly” of UFC swallowing Pride:

    Nogueira VS Sylvia
    Silva VS Liddell
    Henderson VS Anderson Silva

    We know who’s the best fighters in the world.

    This is what we get from the fracturing of the UFC/M-1 debacle.

    Fedor fighting HMC
    Couture retired/quitting/litigation

    I’m selfish and I just want to see the best fights. Liddell drives a Ferrari and Silva drives a nice Lincoln SUV. Couture got 500k for a signing bonus alone. Why am I feeling sorry for these guys again?

    The little guys are not making the money, that’s true. But not everybody is cut out to be doctors and movie stars either.

  20. Cyphron, I’m trying to say that we’re giving the UFC plenty of credit by even talking about them. How many MMA sites are there? How many talk about the UFC? 99 percent. When we criticize the UFC at FO or anywhere else, it’s implicit that we’re consuming the product and enjoying it. Otherwise, we wouldn’t want to change the way it works for the better. Like I said, I don’t think there is a poster here that doesn’t think the the UFC is an enormously compelling athletic event.

    PRIDE fans continue to pull for ex-PRIDE fighters because the PRIDE aesthetic greatly appealed to them. But they suffered from the same complex that UFC fanatics do – one need look no farther than Zach Arnold’s posts on the yakuza scandal and subsequent fallout to see the reaction on the part of PRIDE’s fans. Their problem is yours: they were fans of the promoter over the fighters. They defended how PRIDE went about their business because of the great fights that happened in the ring.

    While you take a more nuanced approach to the argument, it’s still fundamentally the same thing. The logic is inexcusable. Just because a promoter promotes great fights doesn’t mean it can run roughshod over talent or conduct itself in a manner that’s wholly unprofessional. The UFC doesn’t get a free reign because its fighters are great. They don’t make great fighters. Great fighters make themselves. And great fighters make great fights.

    The UFC doesn’t get a free pass. It’s the dominant mixed martial arts – not ULTIMATE FIGHTING – organization on the planet, and it should act as the caretaker of the sport. It should respect the sport. And that means respecting the fighters that make it so compelling. When it fails in this duty, criticism is not only warranted, but a lack of it, especially on the part of journalists, is a serious failure.

    I give the UFC plenty of credit. And so does every other poster on FO. But I refuse to value the promoter over the talent that is responsible for its existence. Nor will I ever equate the UFC with MMA. MMA is much more than the UFC’s marketing team is pushing. I thank the UFC for bringing MMA where it is today. But I think it’s everyone responsibility to make sure it’s behaving in a way that’s professional and respectful. Commisioners in the MLB or NFL would have never gotten away with some of the crass comments and crude actions representatives of the UFC have made.

    So I say before the ship sinks in the sea of negative public opinion, we do what’s good for the sport and act as the watchdog journalists that keep the other sporting organizations up to spec.

  21. My problem isn’t that people criticize the UFC. What I find most discouraging is the embarassing level of misinformation and ignorance coming from most (not all mind you) of the Dana- and Zuffa-haters.

    While Lorenzo might have come across like he was bragging at the success of a lackluster card, you forget that it wasn’t the originally planned card and nor was Jardine vs Liddell. Many times things don’t go as planned and Zuffa is making the best of bad situations. But please don’t spin it like Zuffa is intensionally trying to put together terrible cards because its rather disrespectful to the efforts of Joe Silva and its quite the opposite of what’s actually going on.

    Another example of lack of perspective from the haters is how they point to Matt Lindland as proof of how Dana White holds grudges and is preventing better match ups (as Iole brought up to Lorenzo). Nevermind that Matt Hughes and Tim Silvia, two Militech camp guys, were UFC champs during the height of UFC’s legal battle with IFL. Did Dana White’s antics hold back either fighter? If Dana White and Zuffa are so horrible, why did the all high and mighty Hughes call them “family” and swore to never fight for anyone else after UFC 79?

    Say what you will about guys like Huddle 45 and cyphron, but at least their arguments are usually accurate, well informed and bring balance to these threads.

  22. Dave2 says:

    “This is what we got from the “monopoly” of UFC swallowing Pride:

    Nogueira VS Sylvia
    Silva VS Liddell
    Henderson VS Anderson Silva

    We know who’s the best fighters in the world.

    This is what we get from the fracturing of the UFC/M-1 debacle.

    Fedor fighting HMC
    Couture retired/quitting/litigation

    I’m selfish and I just want to see the best fights. Liddell drives a Ferrari and Silva drives a nice Lincoln SUV. Couture got 500k for a signing bonus alone. Why am I feeling sorry for these guys again?

    The little guys are not making the money, that’s true. But not everybody is cut out to be doctors and movie stars either.”

    Well at least you flat out admit to being a UFC shill. If you think it would be good for the sport if the UFC had a monopoly on all the top talent (which it doesn’t), which would put the fighters at the mercy of one promoter and make the fighters market even worse, fine. There are those of us, however, that don’t mind the fact that many top fighters out there aren’t contracted to the UFC because the competition is good for the sport and the fighters market. If the UFC had all the top fighters in their stable (which they don’t), Lorenzo Fertitta would get even more lazy and cocky than he already is and their product would suffer just like the WWE (which peaked during the Monday Night Wars and then stagnated after buying WCW). It’s good to see those UFC stars getting paid well. And you know why they are? It’s because Dana White knows that if he isn’t treating his top fighters well, they could walk away and work for another promotion like Randy Couture is likely going to do.

    I give credit for Dana and the Fertittas for helping to grow the sport in America but I’m not about to worship them and be their lapdogs just like Vince McMahon’s minions do with him. Yes a lot of those who criticize the UFC watch their product. It’s a given because you can’t legitimately knock a product without trying it. But just because someone watches the UFC doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t criticize the product at all.

  23. Dave2 says:

    Also you make it seem like the big fights can’t happen unless all the fighters are in one promotion. Just look at Boxing to see how wrong that is. The two biggest events on PPV this year were co-promoted boxing HBO PPVs by Golden Boy and Mayweather Promotions. The issue is that Dana White runs the UFC using the WWE business model, not the boxing business model.

    So why are you putting the blame on the fighters instead of Dana White for not making the biggest fights happen? You see co-promotions in boxing. Why not in the UFC? But it’s oh so typical. Zuffa lackies would rather blame the fighters rather than the promoters. Just like how it is in the WWE where Vince McMahon is made into a star of the show and has his own cult of personality. Dana White is the Vince McMahon of the UFC.

  24. cyphron says:

    Well at least you flat out admit to being a UFC shill.

    You were doing so well until you start throwing accusations. I want to see the best fighters in the world fighting in one place makes me a shill? Should I call you a shill for M-1 or EliteXC then?

    So why are you putting the blame on the fighters instead of Dana White for not making the biggest fights happen?

    I didn’t blame Dana or Fedor. Read what I wrote. Let’s not put words in my mouth or jump to conclusions. I merely demonstrated two examples of what a dominant UFC “monopoly” gave us and what a fractured state of MMA gave us. I prefer the first option, you would rather take the second. We agree to disagree.


    But it’s oh so typical. Zuffa lackies would rather blame the fighters rather than the promoters.

    That’s twice you called me names and accusing me of being a Zuffa lackey. Your hatred of the UFC is showing.

  25. cyphron says:

    Cyphron, I’m trying to say that we’re giving the UFC plenty of credit by even talking about them. How many MMA sites are there?

    Let me be clear that I was not accusing you or this site directly. I was making a general statement of opinions on this site. There have been a deluge of negativity against Dana and the UFC. I never wanted to take sides, but merely to point out some of the positives in the interview.

    But as predicted, any time anyone say something even remotely positive about the UFC, we get labeled a UFC shill. That means most people who want to say something positive stay away. And eventually, we’d end up with a fight opinion forum group-think of anti-UFC sentiments. That’s unfortunate.

  26. Michaelthebox says:

    Aaron Crossen: you’re still using a fighter-centric viewpoint. They aren’t saints out to provide a wonderful viewing experience for the watchers, and they aren’t each responsible for the sport; the sport would exist just the same even if every fighter in the UFC vanished. They are just independent contractors who the UFC pays.

    You equate respecting the sport with respecting the fighters, which is a false conclusion. The fighters can disrespect the sport just as much, and often do. Fedor chooses to fight inferior competition because he wants to fight sambo, or because he wants special exceptions made because of who he is? That reeks of disrespecting the sport.

    I don’t expect the fighters to be perfect, and I don’t expect them to act in a way to benefit myself or benefit the sport, they are individuals working to make a living. But the UFC, more than any organization in the world, has shown a commitment to respecting the sport. They give it a similar image to boxing. As best they can, they give title fights to the right contenders. There are several extremely boring fighters in the UFC right now who would struggle to get big fights anywhere else. They treat it as a sport first and spectacle second, which is better than any other major or semi-major promotion has ever done.

    People should stop equating hardball tactics that the UFC pulls against the fighters as being some sort of disrespect of the sport. The fighters aren’t looking out for the sport, they are looking out for themselves. So is the UFC. And the UFC is much more the sport than an individual fighter can ever be.

  27. IceMuncher says:

    “Also you make it seem like the big fights can’t happen unless all the fighters are in one promotion. Just look at Boxing to see how wrong that is.”

    You haven’t followed boxing very long have you? Boxing is notorious for having champions duck the #1 competitor until the money is right, if they ever fight at all. The UFC, for all its faults, puts the most deserving fighters in the title fights and routinely gives tough, competitive fights to the top ranked guys.

    There is no doubt in my mind that if Fedor signed with the UFC, within the first year or so he’d have fought 3 of the best guys the UFC could throw at him. It’d be Fedor-Couture, then something like Fedor-AA, Fedor-Gonzaga, Fedor-Nog etc until he cleaned out the entire division. As an MMA fan, those are the types of fights I want to see, and UFC has shown that they are not afraid to give us those big fights. In fact, compared to other promotions, it’s not even close.

  28. Dave2 says:

    “You were doing so well until you start throwing accusations. I want to see the best fighters in the world fighting in one place makes me a shill? Should I call you a shill for M-1 or EliteXC then?”

    I want to see great fights too. But why is it automatically the fault of the fighters for not signing with the UFC rather than the promoters themselves (Dana White and the Fertittas) for not making those fights happen? Boxing co-promotions are common and made for the top two drawing PPV events in 2007. Why is it that all the criticism is levied at the fighters and the promoters aren’t getting a piece of it? K-1 and Zombie PRIDE teamed up to bring us a fight we wanted to see: Misaki vs. Akiyama. Strikeforce and EliteXC teamed up to provide a solid co-promotion earlier in summer 2007. Co-promotions are good for the sport just like they are good for boxing, which had a strong year in 2007. Wouldn’t it be great if M-1 Global lent Fedor to the UFC to fight Couture and give us a fight that the fans want? Why is it that the fighters get all the slack for not making the fights happen?

    I’m not a shill for M-1 Global or EliteXC. I just want to see competition in the fight game for the good of the sport and the fighters that entertain us. I will watch good fights regardless of the organization, including the UFC.

    “That’s twice you called me names and accusing me of being a Zuffa lackey. Your hatred of the UFC is showing.”

    How does it logically follow that I hate the UFC? There is a difference between hating an entire organization and criticizing a product. If there is anything I dislike (hate is a strong word), it’s the fans that are apologists for the UFC and talk trash about fighters who happen to not want to sign with the UFC, not the UFC organization itself. The “Zuffa lackey” remark is aimed directly at the many UFC apologists and fanboys I see on MMA message boards these days. Those who worship organizations over fighters, the ones who are out there to entertain us, are the worst fans of the sport.

  29. Dave2 says:

    “You haven’t followed boxing very long have you? Boxing is notorious for having champions duck the #1 competitor until the money is right, if they ever fight at all. ”
    What’s wrong with boxers wanting to get paid? They’re the ones who fans pay to see. Top prizefighting boxers may be greedy but promoters like Don King are a lot worse.

    “The UFC, for all its faults, puts the most deserving fighters in the title fights and routinely gives tough, competitive fights to the top ranked guys.”
    They don’t put the most deserving fighters in the title fights all the time. Win the TUF, title shot. You call that deserving? Title shots in a lot of MMA orgs (not just UFC) often come off as a joke. Title shots are often influenced by marketability rather than by earning it.

    The UFC gives competitive fights to top-ranked guys because they obviously have more of the top talent. No argument there, what’s the point? I never argued the UFC didn’t have the most top talent out of all the orgs. They just don’t have all the top talent though and I think that’s a good thing for the sport. As long as you have organizations out there willing to pay top talent good money, the UFC isn’t going to “catch ’em all.”

    And What’s so wrong with this? Why is it all of a sudden the fault of the fighters for not signing with the UFC and not the promoters for not being more open to co-promotional matches? What is with the Vince McMahon-esque cult of personality loyalty and allegiance to Dana White? The fighters are the ones who are out there entertaining us.

  30. IceMuncher says:

    “What’s wrong with boxers wanting to get paid? They’re the ones who fans pay to see. Top prizefighting boxers may be greedy but promoters like Don King are a lot worse.”

    You’re not making much sense. You want promoters like the UFC to cross-promote to make the big fights a reality. Then you say you don’t mind having the big fights ducked constantly because the fighters are afraid of losing, resulting in them making less money in the long-run. Make up your mind. As a MMA fan, I’d rather have lots of big fights, even if the top fighters are only making like $3 million in two fights, compared to boxers who only have one big fight every 2-3 years for millions more.

    “They don’t put the most deserving fighters in the title fights all the time. Win the TUF, title shot. You call that deserving? Title shots in a lot of MMA orgs (not just UFC) often come off as a joke. Title shots are often influenced by marketability rather than by earning it.”

    TUF 4 is really the only thing you can hang over the UFC’s head. Even then, Serra still pulled the upset, so it was only half bad. Aside from that, it’s been good. In this year alone, we’ve had Anderson-Franklin, Anderson-Marquardt, Liddell-Rampage, Rampage-Henderson, Couture-Gonzaga, Couture-Silvia, and Sherk-Franca (Sherk-Penn was canceled due to the steroid issue). Sometimes there wasn’t a clear #1 contender, which is why Couture and Forrest got title shots, but they didn’t clearly leap-frog anyone more deserving. I don’t think you’d find any boxing or MMA org that had as many worthy title fights in 5 divisions in a year.

  31. IceMuncher says:

    “And What’s so wrong with this? Why is it all of a sudden the fault of the fighters for not signing with the UFC and not the promoters for not being more open to co-promotional matches? What is with the Vince McMahon-esque cult of personality loyalty and allegiance to Dana White? The fighters are the ones who are out there entertaining us.”

    I’m only stating the things I like about the UFC. They are superior in many ways to boxing and other MMA orgs, and for that I am thankful. I don’t blame Fedor for signing with M-1, but as a fan I know I would be more satisfied if he signed with UFC, period. When it comes down to it, the UFC gives the big fights we want to see with the guys they sign. I can’t be sure other orgs or cross-promotions would be able to give us the same level of quality match-ups.

    I can’t help but worry that having many promotions will just lead us into the same problems boxing has. The organizations will avoid having their posterboys fight other organizations champs, for fear of hurting their own bottom-line in the process. We saw it with the UFC and Pride (Silva-Liddell took how long to happen? And I can’t help but notice it was the UFC and the UFC alone that put it together). We’re seeing a repeat of it now with the UFC and the Couture-Fedor fight. I can’t blame Fedor for taking a better deal and M-1 for wanting the co-promotion, and I can’t blame the UFC for refusing a horrendous business deal. But it all adds up to NOT getting the fight we all want to see.

  32. klown says:

    We criticize the UFC as fans and consumers of their product. As fans and again as consumers, we have the right to make these demands. For the record, the only MMA promotion I have ever paid to enjoy its product is the UFC.

    In addition to being fans and consumers, we (the internet fanboy elite) are students, analysts, and proponents of the sport in its many dimensions. So we have an added right, even a responsibility, to vigilantly criticize the industry’s premier organization, the UFC.

    Of course, most organizations suffer from the same problems (or worse) that we criticize in the UFC. Pointing to their shortcomings is no defense of the UFC. Critics of the UFC do not shy away from criticizing the other promotions – in accordance with those promotions’ popularity and power, and no more.

    Finally, I would like to thank the pro-UFC writers for their contributions to this site. Most are well-informed and make reasonable and passionate arguments that generate good discussion. But I am heartened by the overwhelming reaction against them; it proves that, at least among the fanboy elite, there is a concern for the sport’s ethics and impact on society, and respect for fighters’ wellbeing and rights.

  33. Dave2 says:

    “You’re not making much sense. You want promoters like the UFC to cross-promote to make the big fights a reality. Then you say you don’t mind having the big fights ducked constantly because the fighters are afraid of losing, resulting in them making less money in the long-run. Make up your mind. As a MMA fan, I’d rather have lots of big fights, even if the top fighters are only making like $3 million in two fights, compared to boxers who only have one big fight every 2-3 years for millions more.”

    I would like to see the UFC cross-promote and I would like to see the best fighters fight but I’m not going to start bashing the fighters or the promoters for not making those fights happen. My only gripe about this whole Fedor/M-1 thing is the attitude that certain fans have where they think that fighters and fighters alone are obliged to make big fights happen. Thankfully you don’t have such an attitude but unfortunately it’s one that I see a lot with UFC fans.

    As for Couture-Fedor, it probably will happen in late 2008. Couture said he wanted Fedor and Fedor has stated multiple times that he wants to fight Couture. Couture will be a free agent this year and will be free to fight outside the UFC October 2008 at the earliest. Unless Couture isn’t pleased with the contract that M-1 Global offers him, this super fight will happen.

    Couture vs. Fedor in a non-title, co-promoted superfight would be a reasonable compromise but Zuffa doesn’t want to do it. So now Zuffa won’t see any revenue from this superfight and M-1 Global will see all the revenue. But I’m not going to hold that against Zuffa just as I’m not holding this against Fedor. It’s only when fans blame the fighters and only the fighters for not making the fights happen that I have a problem with.

  34. Michael,

    I can’t possibly imagine taking a promoter-centric viewpoint. To me, this goes back to the team vs. league problem: am I going to root for the Tigers or I am going to root for the MLB? If I said I was an MLB fan and that the teams were simply hired guns that didn’t care about the sport, you’d call me a dolt. And you’d be right. How many post-fight interviews have you seen wherein fighters say they’re in it for the fans, and that they wanna put on a good show? Don’t lie to yourself. These are human beings, a fact that is often overlooked.

    I’m not equating respecting the sport with respecting the fighters, and I understand that not all fighters are in it for the sport or for anybody but themselves. But in trying to play devil’s advocate, are you trying to tell me that all fighters are simply sub-contractors like parts suppliers to GM? I won’t believe that, nor would any intelligent person. Not after paying attention to the sport for several years and listening and reading and watching hundreds of interviews with its athletes in which the opposite sentiment is on display.

    I do not equate respect for the sport with respect for the fighters. But in respecting the sport, the UFC can’t simply dismiss talent out of hand in the way that it has done (Lindland, Fedor), even going as far as having its representatives (White) publicly decry the skills of a fighter it sought to pay $1 million per fight.

    But I think where we fundamentally disagree is on the UFC’s role in MMA. As White and the Fertittas will constantly lament, no one believed in the UFC back in 2003. Literally, every interview with just about any representative of the organization is just polluted with self-laudatory wankery. It’s some kind of complex – the UFC doesn’t need anybody, not Coke, not you, not anybody. It’ll just push forth with the strength of sheer will and put over its product at the expense of whatever else. It’s gotta be the only organization in history with a Napoleon complex.

    My concern is that the UFC cares more about the UFC that it does its talent, the available talent, and mixed martial arts itself. If you were to ask Bud Selig if he thought the MLB was more important than baseball, you’d have to be disheartened if he said MLB.

    But my concern shouldn’t be confused with some kind of dislike about the UFC. I wouldn’t have written these words, nor likely clicked on my FightOpinion bookmark in the first place, if I didn’t like the UFC. I do like the UFC. But I like MMA more. As goons on the Sherdog forums are so quick to say, I’m a fan of the fight sport before any given promoter.

    Not to say that the asendancy of the UFC bothers me just because it’s the UFC. I like to see the world’s best talent in the same league. And belive me, I’ll be happy when that conclusively happens. But to say that my entertainment is more important than how the UFC treats its talent, goes about acquiring new talent, and carries itself in general is just incredibly stupid. If you feel that way, you should be ashamed.

    If the UFC truly respects the sport and its fans – and moreover, if it really wants to be the world’s ultimate proving ground for mixed martial artists – it has to change the way it does some things. Plain and simple.

  35. THE HUNTER says:

    Here’s a outsider’s viewpoint of this website’s message board (which is what I am calling the replies part of the news)

    I pretty much stopped reading the replies a few months back and now only occassionally read the replies, maybe like once every two weeks or so. I just happened to read this one tonight and to no surprise, yet another back and forth spitting match between the same two groups.

    Basically, my opinion is that this site is filled with a bunch of wanna-be psuedo journalists who try oh so hard to sound intelligent and ‘nuetral’ to impress people…..while still having the same damn biases and other bs found over on the trash bin known as ‘sherdog forums’. Personally, I prefer the forum ‘stonecoldbillyray.com’, as at least people there just feel free to say things as they are. Call a spade a spade and not try to pretend they are something else.

    Just my two cents. Carry on trying to be polite and ‘journalistic’ while you argue the same things we do over on the other boards.

    Keep up the good news though Zach, that part is very appreciated.

    peace!!!

    THE HUNTER

  36. Mr. Hunter, sir, some people, actually, are capable of looking past their biases, if only momentarily, to analyze the issues at hand. While not all of us at FO succeed in doing this all the time, and while we are all occasionally prone to making the same errors of judgement you are, saying FO is anything like the majority of MMA discussion going on on the Interwebs would be something of a misconception.

  37. cyphron says:

    My concern is that the UFC cares more about the UFC that it does its talent, the available talent, and mixed martial arts itself. If you were to ask Bud Selig if he thought the MLB was more important than baseball, you’d have to be disheartened if he said MLB.

    I don’t believe this is true at all. You may believe it is true. The UFC, Dana, and the Fertitas are all smart business men. They know talent is what make the UFC the premiere organization. That is why they sign up all the big talents out there. That is why they offered Fedor $1 million per fight! That is why they gave Liddell the contract they did. They gave him the Ferrari as a bonus. They gave Matt Hughes $1 million bonus for beating Gracie. They are loyal to their fighters when their fighters are loyal to them.

    I still have no idea what the beef is with Couture. But I surmised that he believe he didn’t get the bonus and that Hughes and Liddel got…and that to him equates respect. But how could he have known unless he stayed there long enough to find out?

  38. cyphron says:

    Basically, Hunter is telling us to throw rhetoric and reasons out the window in our arguments, revert back to our grade school education, be less polite and question each other’s sexual orientation.

    No thanks, Hunter. We got fightlinker for that. 😉

  39. Chuck says:

    Folks, just ignore Hunter. He is obviously just trolling to get us pissed off. I have to say this, this argument (especially from the people defending the UFC) proves that MMA is scarily close to being pro wrestling (especially WWE mentality) and its fans are scarily close to being wrestling fans. Mostly with the pro-organization mentality over pro-competitor opinions. No one here can’t say with a straight face that UFC is NOT like the WWE, or even TNA (but more WWE because Dana White does have a Vince McMahon complex).

    And about orgs making big, attractive fights. Yes, UFC has had the most in the past year, but I think EliteXC comes in second. In the past year, EXC has had Ninja Rua vs. Robbie Lawler, Baroni vs. Frank Shamrock, etc. UFC is top dawg, but other feds (specifically EXC) are awfully close behind.

  40. Dave2 says:

    “have to say this, this argument (especially from the people defending the UFC) proves that MMA is scarily close to being pro wrestling (especially WWE mentality) and its fans are scarily close to being wrestling fans. Mostly with the pro-organization mentality over pro-competitor opinions. No one here can’t say with a straight face that UFC is NOT like the WWE, or even TNA (but more WWE because Dana White does have a Vince McMahon complex).”

    There is an article that touches on this topic somewhat.

    http://www.blickees.com/articles/35/1/Dana-White039s-Blueprint/Page1.html

    I feel the same way. Not that I have a thing against pro wrestling. I used to be a fan until the WWF/WCW merger and invasion nonsense and after that I only watched WWF/E here and there occasionally. I haven’t watched at all in like almost four years. I look back at pro wrestling with nostalgia but even watching the classics now, let alone the new sacrilegious WWE stuff, I don’t care for it anymore. I’m more interested in watching pro wrestling documentaries (for nostalgia value) than I am watching pro wrestling.

    Yes I understand the ring psychology and skill involved but I can’t get over the fact that pro wrestling is worked. I can’t watch anything besides a shoot now. It seems pointless to me to watch this stuff when I can watch not just UFC but EliteXC, HDNet Fights, Zombie PRIDE, K-1 HERO’s, WEC and whatever else I wish to watch. Pro wrestling, particularly the really old-school catch wrestling roots of it and Puroresu, deserves respect for contributing to Mixed Martial Arts though.

  41. cyphron says:

    You won’t get any argument from me about that. MMA is like the best of pro wrestling combined with the best of boxing. That is one of the primary reasons why the MMA appeal to so many.

  42. Chuck says:

    Best of boxing? If you are talking about hype up to big fights (this can be attributed to pro wrestling as well) then yes you are correct. But actual punching technique’s in MMA? Unless your name is Takanori Gomi, Liddell even (irregardless of his awkward haymakers), Ackah, etc. there is NO WAY MMA has the best of boxing. Most MMA-ists don’t know how to properly throw a punch. They put no leverage in their punches. They fight like “typical clubfighters” or even refined Toughman fighters, with just winging their arms, hoping for the best.

    But the best of pro wrestling? Absolutely. Sure, you won’t see and Schweins, Kudoh Drivers, phoenix star splashes, etc. MMA really does pro wrestling better than many pro wrestling companies.

  43. cyphron says:

    I was talking about the sport aspect of it. The prize fighter part of it.

    We already know there are fundamental differences between the two sport. Lets not get into this again.

  44. cyphron says:

    BTW, Sokoujou and Alexander shows us that no matter how good a stand up fighter you are. Once you’re on the ground, you’re nothing but a innocent bystander.

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