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Fox Sports: "Zach Arnold's Fight Opinion site is one of the best spots on the Web for thought-provoking MMA pieces."

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Yahoo Sports should give credit to MMA Payout on the UFC/360 deals story

By Zach Arnold | January 27, 2009

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MMA Junkie and MMA Payout are two great MMA web sites. One is a content partner with Yahoo Sports (Junkie) and one is not. One site wrote about UFC looking into the idea of ‘360 deals’ on January 5th. Steve Sievert (formerly of the Houston Chronicle) wrote about this topic yesterday on MMA Junkie. We’ve had Steve on our radio show several times and I consider him to be a very reputable writer.

So, given these facts, it should be of no surprise that Yahoo Sports would choose to give credit to MMA Junkie for this news item discovery instead of MMA Payout. It is not as if it was a big secret that MMA Payout was the first site to discuss the possibility of UFC using 360 deals, as I wrote an article on this topic on January 21st. My article essentially was adding a new layer to the discussion started by the Payout web site.

Yahoo Sports owes Adam Swift, Robert Joyner, and the rest of the MMA Payout crew the credit they deserve for mentioning this story several weeks ago. They don’t deserve to get the shaft here.

Why I covered the second Affliction MMA show the way I did

To make a long story short, read this article by me today and find out why I am not enamored with the Affliction MMA promotion. I realize that I name-dropped a two-decades old pro-wrestling reference when talking about UFC getting into the gym business, so be prepared to read the new article on Affliction and discover which wrestling analogy I used this time to describe what (in my view) Affliction’s MMA operation resembles.

(And, yes, I don’t know why the MMA Memories web site is attaching Dave Sholler’s name to my articles over there.)

Topics: Affliction, Media, MMA, UFC, Zach Arnold | 96 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

96 Responses to “Yahoo Sports should give credit to MMA Payout on the UFC/360 deals story”

  1. D.Capitated says:

    Arlovski/Nelson was an Affliction fight that happened to be on an EliteXC Card. It’s not like they loanded their fighters out for other promoters to use.

    Which they’ve done with Babalu and Noguiera, BTW. Yeah, Affliction booked their guy a fight when activity was an issue. Clearly, these are scumbags and we must be fearful of the repercussions.

  2. D.Capitated says:

    Strikeforce is a promotion that lives within their means.

    Which brings us back to the “Why watch MMA if you don’t care about the fights?” thing.

  3. 45 Huddle says:

    They didn’t do with Babalu. Despite Babalu fighting in Affliction first, it was actually STRIKEFORCE in which he signed on with before Affliction. And Nogueira has been signed to contracts with other companies that allowed him to fight in other organizations, such as Affliction.

    And Affliction didn’t book the fighters due to inactivity. They booked exactly 2 guys because one of their shows was CANCELLED!!! A company can’t screw over a a bunch of fighters more then when they actually cancel a show.

  4. 45 Huddle says:

    D Cap,

    You do a lot of cherry picking. I have noticed that you will take one line that you think you can argue with, and quote it an go off on it. But completely leave other very reliable statements alone. It doesn’t help your case when trying to debate the issues.

  5. Grape Knee High says:

    For those of you who chirp that you should watch the fights or care about the fighters only, I have news for you — MMA fans care about who is promoting fights. They want to know that the event promoter is not going out of business the next show.

    I don’t have an opinion on the pro-wrestling angle of Zach’s article, but this quote above from his article is definitely true for me.

    I would’ve bought the last PPV if I had any confidence that Affliction would be in business past this show.

    My major concern is that they are *massively* overpaying their fighters and it is simply not viable in the long run. Why should I throw my good money in with their bad?

    I would have no problem shelling out $45 if they were a legitimate long-term competitor to the UFC (as PRIDE was). I want there to be a legit org other than the UFC and I want to be able to support it. But Affliction is not it.

  6. ajz123 says:

    “2. Fedor has the personality of a brick wall. This hurts to hear it, but that matter in selling a fight.”

    You clearly are one of those fans that needs more than the talent of the fighters and the reality of the fight itself to get you interested. You apparently need Dana White, or Jerry Millen, or Joe Rogan, or Tom Atencio to tell you why you should watch the fight. You can’t see for yourself. Fedor has no personality….so what? He has amazing skill, an incredible mindset, and puts on an amazing show every time he fights. All of his fights seem to turn into highlight reels. What does he possibly need to say to you to make you want to watch?

  7. 45 Huddle says:

    http://fiveouncesofpain.com/2009/01/28/5-oz-video-jay-hieron-talks-about-getting-bumped-at-day-of-reckoning-and-koing-jason-high/

    More proof that Affliction is bad.

    Jay Hieron wasn’t even told he was a swing bout. Was warmed up and everything. Not to mention that didn’t even air his fight, despite having 1 hour left on the PPV feed.

    A very unprofessional way of doing things.

  8. 45 Huddle says:

    ajz123,

    I wasn’t speaking for myself. I as speaking for why Lesnar/Couture was a bigger fight for most fans.

    I’m a really big Jon Fitch fan. He is about as plain as vanilla. No trash talking. Just wants to compete to prove it to himself. Real old school in that regard. So I’m far from somebody who needs to be pumped up for a fight.

    Do I like Fedor? Not really. But that has to do more with his managers and how they not only handle his career, but the way they mishandle the careers of most of the Red Devil Team (watch the abomination that was Baby Fedor’s Fight). They are about as good at grooming fighters as Team Quest.

  9. D.Capitated says:

    Strikeforce is a promotion that lives within their means. Plus Babalu is their LHW champion right now, a title that doesn’t mean anything, but a fighter that definitely does.

    On second thought, let’s revisit this. Affliction is bad because they paid Babalu more, didn’t tie him into a guaranteed contract, and gave him competitive fights, all while Tom Atencio lost money off his vanity promotion. Strikeforce is awesome because Scott Coker made money, Babalu continued along the STORY LINE~! by fighting and winning a BS title he very well may never defend in a fight against a 38 year old TUF washout who lost to a middleweight two fights prior, and also because Scott Coker made money.

  10. D.Capitated says:

    They didn’t do with Babalu.

    Let’s cut to the chase: Who is Affliction going to keep from fighting? Do you have any names?

    And Affliction didn’t book the fighters due to inactivity. They booked exactly 2 guys because one of their shows was CANCELLED!!!

    …and the alternative was that they were on the shelf. They had no contractual obligation to book either Nelson or Arlovski for a fight on someone else’s card.

    Jay Hieron wasn’t even told he was a swing bout.

    If he fought and was paid to fight, its not his business.

  11. Jeremy (not that Jeremy) says:

    It sounds like the Hieron fight is going to be included in the HDNet replay of the show this week or next week actually.

    It’s pretty clear that there’s no discussion to be had with D here, it’s best not even to respond to him :/

  12. Dave says:

    You could also argue that there is never a point to argue with 45. 45’s posts are always embroiled with the same type of hyperbole, carefully chosen arguments and so on.

    The moral of the story is arguing on the internet is generally just an exercise in semantics.

  13. D.Capitated says:

    It’s pretty clear that there’s no discussion to be had with D here, it’s best not even to respond to him

    Buddy, I wasn’t the one who went and said that the promotion that gave Babalu a one off fight for a meaningless title against a nobody was better for the fans than the one who booked him to fight good fighters based on whether or not it made the promoter money. Maybe you should re-examine your thought process when it comes to these matters?

  14. 45 Huddle says:

    “If he fought and was paid to fight, its not his business.”

    Are you serious? To tell somebody they are on the undercard… To have him fully warmed up… Then when he is ready to fight tell him he is a PPV swing bout…. That is totally unprofessional. Making a fighter warm up twice for a fight is actually just flat out wrong.

    You said Affliction loaned out Babalu & Nogueira. I proved you wrong and stated that he signed with Strikeforce FIRST, so it wasn’t Affliction loaning him out. Then you change the topic. Not very logical.

    And nobody is saying they were forced to put Arlovski & Nelson on the EliteXC Card. But they also left 20 or so fighters in the dark when they cancelled a show. These guys had been training, likely had to pay for training camps, and then get the event cancelled and have to revamp everything. I don’t see how that is good for the fighters in any sort of way.

  15. D.Capitated says:

    Are you serious? To tell somebody they are on the undercard… To have him fully warmed up… Then when he is ready to fight tell him he is a PPV swing bout….

    Happens. Florian fought a swing bout for the UFC under the same circumstances.

    You said Affliction loaned out Babalu & Nogueira. I proved you wrong and stated that he signed with Strikeforce FIRST, so it wasn’t Affliction loaning him out.

    Then what can Affliction do to stop them from fighting? Oh, that’s right, nothing.

    But they also left 20 or so fighters in the dark when they cancelled a show.

    What 20 or so? You got a bout sheet you want to read off?

  16. Chuck says:

    “What 20 or so? You got a bout sheet you want to read off?”

    That’s probably an accurate number considering that they were planning on an October show. You can’t have a fight card with just a few guys, right?

  17. D.Capitated says:

    That’s probably an accurate number considering that they were planning on an October show. You can’t have a fight card with just a few guys, right?

    Which guys were on the card? I seriously doubt the opener was booked 3 months in advance.

  18. 45 Huddle says:

    Florian was told he was a swing bout and he was treated as such.

    Hieron was told he was on the undercard, then right before he was ready to walk out, they told him he was a PPV swing bout.

    Huge difference.

    They didn’t cancel the event the second Affliction show 3 months in advance.

    Word hit the fighters around September 10th. The card was scheduled for October 11th. So only a month. And whether or not the entire fight card was announced by this point in time, the majority of the fighters likely already knew they were going to be on the card and started to train for the event.

  19. D.Capitated says:

    Florian was told he was a swing bout and he was treated as such.

    He was set for the unaired portion, they ran out of time, and he ended up coming out after the main event. Same deal.

    Word hit the fighters around September 10th. The card was scheduled for October 11th. So only a month. And whether or not the entire fight card was announced by this point in time, the majority of the fighters likely already knew they were going to be on the card and started to train for the event.

    Who are these fighters?

  20. 45 Huddle says:

    Arlovski vs. Barnett
    Matyushenko vs. Nogueira
    Hieron vs. Fickett
    Lauzon vs. Horodecki
    Lindland vs. Prangley
    Buentello vs. Nelson
    Pyle vs. High

    I believe there were supposed to be a few more besides that, but that was what the card was supposed to look like.

  21. 45 Huddle says:

    As for Florian, it is completely different. At least admit you are wrong on this one.

    Florian was a swing bout who was treated as a swing bout. Hieron was an undercard fight that when he was ready to come out was switched to a swing bout.

  22. Joseph says:

    Wow 45 Huddle,

    We all know you HEAVILY side with the UFC, but criticizing Affliction who is new to the Promotion game and has run 2 shows is just ridiculous.

    Same statement goes to Zack:

    These guys are doing it the RIGHT way and only putting on shows when it makes sense. They can also learn from their mistakes and improve their product, which they drastically did from Affliction 1 to Affliction 2. Criticizing them to be on par with the UFC after 1 show is just plain ridiculous, and their improvements and intentions should be what is judged.

    For my take, Affliction 2 was a GREAT event, and chills were felt as Fedor and Arlovski were introduced. It had more appeal than the bogus Randy vs Lesnar fight, since its not a WWE Guy vs a 45 year old guy. Arlovski and Sylvia are the UFC’s greatest HW Champions, and Fedor ran through them in Affliction proving to be the Best Fighter in the Planet.

    I’m sorry, but if that’s not compelling enough for some of you, then I am not sure what is. Unless you are a mindless fan who needs the UFC Hype machine to tell you what you should care about and how awesome this fight will be.

  23. Joseph says:

    Like one of the websites you have linked here said Zack:

    “Affliction 2 in a Nutsack: One of the Best PPVs of All Time”

    Yes, it had that type of environment and feel.

  24. D.Capitated says:

    And in the meantime, Nelson fought. Arlovski fought. Noguiera fought. Lauzon fought. Hieron fought. Pyle fought. Prangley fought. Did Affliction prevent any of those guys from fighting? No. What is your evidence that they would?

    Florian was a swing bout who was treated as a swing bout.

    He was an undercard bout treated as a swing bout. Same deal.

    http://sports.yahoo.com/box/news?slug=dd-ufcnotes070707&prov=yhoo&type=lgns

    That, or Kenny Florian was lying.

  25. 45 Huddle says:

    Florian knew this AHEAD OF TIME. Heck, everybody who followed the event knew it ahead of time.

    Hieron found out right before he was ready to go out.

    Not sure how else to say it. I guess you will believe what you want.

  26. D.Capitated says:

    Florian knew this AHEAD OF TIME. Heck, everybody who followed the event knew it ahead of time.

    The UFC has never run a “swing bout” in history, but they did for Kenny Florian? Who devised a grand entrance and scrapped it when he was rushed out? Who had been getting warmed up since 6PM?

  27. 45 Huddle says:

    The UFC use to do the swing bout all the time. It just happens that none of the bouts when long enough, so the viewers didn’t know it. Now they don’t run swing bouts. They haven’t for over a year.

  28. Wolverine says:

    As for Hieron, Greg Savage said on sherdog radio that Jay apparently lost 15k of sponsorship money because his fight wasn’t shown.

  29. D.Capitated says:

    The UFC use to do the swing bout all the time.

    Name a UFC swing bout.

  30. Wolverine says:

    Hazelett vs. McCrory was a swing bout, I believe that C.B. Dollaway vs. Massenzio also

  31. D.Capitated says:

    Those are scheduled UFC undercard bouts. Looking at the UFC 73 undercard, it looks like Florian might have been scheduled for the TV portion, so I admit I could be wrong. Still, I find the double standard to be kinda funny that the UFC can have guys warm up all night and its no big deal but for Affliction its awful.

  32. Dave says:

    “As for Hieron, Greg Savage said on sherdog radio that Jay apparently lost 15k of sponsorship money because his fight wasn’t shown.”

    See, that sucks. But with how Affliction tosses money around, we can only hope that they would make it up to the guys bumped off the main card.

  33. Leslie says:

    “That seems to be what many people have been saying. They said the same thing about EliteXC.”

    I never read anyone say that about EXC. Maybe you did, but I never saw anyone seriously suggest they were just fanboys when they were on Showtime and CBS prime time being more watched than UFC.

    I’m much more worried about fighters being benched and held back by the increasingly McMahonian business initiatives of UFC than the potential closure of Affliction.

  34. Zheroen says:

    It’s rather amusing how much of a crusader 45 Huddle is against fighters being WITHOUT FIGHTS FOR MONTHS~! considering the UFC iced Arlovski himself for about a year prior to his fight with Jake O’Brien. Care to comment on that, 45?

  35. Jeremy says:

    DCap,

    Every UFC card has a bout in which the fighters are told that if they run short on time, that bout will be cut.

    Florian’s bout was one of those.

    Do they officially announce what the swing bout it? Not usually, but it has been a regular thing.

    If it happens, it sucks. But ppvs (UFC or any other company) has limited time and things do happen.

  36. Zack says:

    I 100% disagree with “nothing compelling” about Fedor vs Arlovski. I thought he was one of the worst style matchups for Fedor going in, and was right. He looked great until he made a dumb mistake. If he stayed calm and fought smart, he could’ve possibly served up Fedor his first real loss. Arlovski was definitely capable of doing so, since he’s fought a “just win” style in the past (3rd Sylvia fight & Werdum fight off the top of my head.)

  37. Zack says:

    Regarding swing fights, I’m pretty sure Cummo/Goulet went on after the Anderson Silva vs Chris Leben main event.

  38. Ultimo Santa says:

    “The IFL had a suspect talent pool, but got UFC level press coverage.”

    This is the type of completely hilarious statement that I love to read on fightopinion.

    Articles about the UFC online must have outnumbered IFL 100-1 at the time, if not 1,000-1.

    “UFC level” press coverage? The casual fan doesn’t even know something called the IFL even existed!

    Elite XC or IFL could have put on the greatest fight of all time, but virtually no one would have talked about it because it didn’t happen in ‘the octagon’.

  39. Lester Grims says:

    Without FREE TV and National Media outlets to promote their business agendas, Affliction will suffer the same fate as Pride FC and other MMA organizations. Plus, putting your chips behind FEDOR (a Russian who can barely speak any english and a proven PPV bust) is a already a death spell for the t-shirt company. No matter how iconic Fedor is looked upon by hardcore fans, he still can’t sell a profitable PPV to the masses. In the end, this is what really counts for any fight promotion – MAKING MONEY.

    In addition, hardcore fans (ie. readers of Fight Opinion), do not have the means to support Affliction to the same level as the UFC. The real money lies with the casual viewer.

    This is why the UFC is laughing all the way to the bank with their reality show and media coverage. All the UFC hate mongering in the world will not change this simple economic reality.

    Pioneering television executive Roon Arledge (ABC SPORTS)once said in regard to “Monday Night Football, “FUCK the (HARDCORE) fan, they’ll watch anyway. Let’s go after the casual viewer.”
    And look where MNF and the NFL is today – a national pastime for 5 months of the year.

    You can hate Dana White, the Ferreta’s, Silva’s matchmaking, the UFC’s lack of a so-called heavyweight division, etc. But in the end, they’ve done a spectacular job brining MMA to the masses, especially when past and future competitors continue to fall flat in their face.

  40. Asa says:

    Well, as a former pro-wrestling fan I can say that I was THOROUGHLY amped for Fedor/Arlovski. Just because their hand-styles were so well juxtaposed.

    But I was the guy who left during the Katie Vick angle. I came back briefly when Benoit got his run, but tuned-out the night after his Mania win when the show was all about HHH and HBK.

    I think Zach should have covered the fights a bit, but he never offers fight opinions, just well-researched promoter opinions. Its most likely the smark in him. He can’t help it.

    And its a shame cause he is a good writer.

  41. Joseph says:

    At the end of the PPV, there were some questions as to why Affliction didn’t show the fight knowing that they had more time in their PPV block. The answer is that it was an HDNet contrracted undercard bout, and were not able to air it due to time constraints. Fans have brought up the fact that Jay and Jason lost sponsorship money due to not being aired, and cost the fans the opportunity to see one of the best finishes of the night.

    HDNet is now making up for it. Jay Hieron will appear as a guest panelist with veteran Tank Abbott and current UFC LHW Steve Cantwell. The fight will be aired on this Friday’s InsideMMA show, and his representatives will be hosting a trivia contest, which Hieron will explain how to enter during his appearance on the show.

    “A welterweight match-up between former IFL champion Jay Hieron and Jason High that didn’t broadcast at “Affliction: Day of Reckoning” because of time constraints will air in its entirety on Friday’s new installment of “Inside MMA” on HDNet.

    The fight was originally slated for the Jan. 24 event’s HDNet-televised preliminary card.

    However, the swing bout didn’t take place until after the night’s main event between Fedor Emelianenko and Andrei Arlovski — after the pay-per-view broadcast had also concluded.

    The fight, though, was one of the night’s best and ended in dramatic fashion.”

    The winners will receive one of six prize packages from his sponsors.

    “Fans can log onto MMAAgents.com and proceed to the news section where they can answer Jay Hieron trivia.

    The first six contestants to e-mail the correct answers to info@MMAagents.com will receive a prize package, including products from Bulletproof Athletics (Bulletproof Athletics), Hoodlum Fight Gear (Home), Evo Energy Drink (Drink EVO) as well as Gammo-O (Gammao | Gamma Oryzanol |testosterone boost).”

  42. Wolverine says:

    Good for Hieron! Can’t wait to see the fight, I heard the KO was brutal.

  43. Jeremy (not that Jeremy) says:

    No time is kind of hilarious. They ran at least 20 minutes of PPV hype at the end of the HDNet show.

  44. Joseph says:

    Jeremy,

    In order to make that choice, you have to assume that Nog vs Vlady would go the distance and Hieron vs High would go the distance. That doesn’t give them the amount of time needed to fit in the fight unless they delayed the Showtime PPV portion of the fight, which I am sure they were not allowed to do.

  45. Chris says:

    #74 “D.Capitated Says:

    And in the meantime, Nelson fought. Arlovski fought. Noguiera fought. Lauzon fought. Hieron fought. Pyle fought. Prangley fought. Did Affliction prevent any of those guys from fighting? No. What is your evidence that they would?”

    Fedor wanted to fight on the K1/DREAM New Years Eve show but Affliction wouldn’t let him. His plan was to fight NYE in Japan and then for Affliction in Spring/Summer but then Affliction cancelled their October show so they could get Fedor to fight for them in January…

  46. dave2 says:

    Affliction didn’t allow Fedor to fight NYE because Fedor had to fight 24 days later! Affliction was right to enforce the “30 days” clause that they have. What if Fedor injured his hand at NYE? Then what? No Fedor vs. Arlovski. That’s what! Though when you aren’t signed to an exclusive contract, you are always going to run that sort of risk whether you have the extra 30 days or not.

    From the promoter’s point of view, I think exclusive contracts are the way to go. After all in boxing, they sign exclusive deals no? The only difference is that Bob Arm, Golden Boy, Don King, DiBella, etc. are open to co-promote with each other and UFC isn’t open to co-promote.

    But I think their should be a clause in the contract that if a fighter doesn’t get offered a fight every X amount of months, he can go fight one-off in another promotion. Just so that fighters aren’t unfairly iced.

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