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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."

« | Home | »

Gina Carano, honesty, and incestuousness in the media

By Zach Arnold | April 23, 2009

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I could have commented on Dana White’s new interview with Inside Fighting, but I’m not all that interested in it at this point.

Instead, how about we focus on this Gina Carano interview.

I will focus on one part of the interview that is just too good to skip over:

Let’s just say that you were a real free agent and not tied to any organization. Do you think you would have decided to sign with Zuffa instead of Strikeforce?

I think that I would probably pick Zuffa because that’s the big show, you know? To be a part of that would be amazing, but you know, here comes Strikeforce and they’ve got this CBS and Showtime deal and they are working their way up into being good competition. They have been respectful and haven’t tried to push it too far in terms of being competitors with the UFC. They’ve built their company on some good roots and now they are ready to branch out on Showtime and CBS. But as of right now, the UFC is the big show, and for a female, it would be an amazing opportunity.

It’s an honest answer, but it’s also burying the employer that’s paying your bills.

And speaking of paying the bills, take a look at who did the interview and who reportedly used to pay that person’s bills. Interesting how silent all the MMA web sites are about issues relating to conflict of interest, but yet they still want their MMA show credentials because they should be taken seriously, dammit.

Speaking of the media, Sam Caplan’s the boss at WAMMA now and John Morgan of MMA Junkie fame is chairing the rankings committee. If they keep adding more bloggers to their management structure, there won’t be many sites left with writers.

Update (4/24): For those who don’t get the media angle in this story, here you go.

Topics: Media, MMA, StrikeForce, UFC, Zach Arnold | 34 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

34 Responses to “Gina Carano, honesty, and incestuousness in the media”

  1. Mark says:

    I don’t think she said anything out of line. Scott Coker has repeatedly said the exact same things about Strikeforce that she said about them. They go out of their way to be humble.

  2. robthom says:

    When I read the title I didn’t even notice the part that said “…in the media”.

  3. kjh says:

    Of course, if Gina signs with Zuffa there’s a very good chance she’d end up in WEC fighting on Versus, which would be a step down not a step up. Really signing with Zuffa would be more of a gamble at this stage than sticking with Showtime/CBS.

  4. robthom says:

    Zuffa has no genuine interest in “wmma” other than Gina’s star quality.
    She’d get one or two fights and then probably get semi-shelved.

    (Although that wouldn’t necessarily bother me personally since she’s too pretty to be fighting anyway IMO)

  5. 45 Huddle says:

    Everybody has an agenda. Some are larger then others. Some hide it better then others.

    I like Gina’s honesty. She doesn’t sugar coat much. She is holding back to a degree, but not sugar coating her opinions.

    Ivan…. I don’t agree with that article, and I still don’t agree with the TUF hate. No matter who is chosen for the show, these guys have to prove themselves in the UFC. With the exception of Griffin & Bonnar, none of the TUF Guys are safe without constantly winning.

    And keep in mind that Jon Fitch ended up getting cut from TUF 2. And he still made his way to the UFC and eventually got a title shot. Real talent has a way of finding its way to the top, regardless of fight TV shows.

  6. Alan Conceicao says:

    Just for my own entertainment, 45, what point of mine that I actually made do you disagree with?

  7. Chris says:

    I think Gina needs some PR lessons. It’s nice to be honest. But she’s being overly gracious to an organization that has no interest in promoting women’s MMA. Which means they have no interest in her.

    She talks about StrikeForce not “pushing it too far” in terms of being competition with the UFC. It makes the organization that’s actually promoting her look small time, and is really biting the hand that feeds you.

    StrikeForce may not be pushing the envelope too hard in trying to be a competitor to the UFC. But the UFC views them as competition. Which is why they counter programed directly against the last StrikeForce show. And will probably continue to do so for every major Strikeforce card that follows. This will also include any card where Gina is one of the fighters being showcased.

  8. robthom says:

    “And keep in mind that Jon Fitch ended up getting cut from TUF 2. ”

    Really?!
    I never knew that. The most interesting thing I’ve heard in months.

  9. Ivan Trembow says:

    The story as told by Meltzer at the time was that Fitch was told that he was chosen to be on TUF, was actually at the airport about to fly out to Las Vegas as the show was about to start filming, and was called just before leaving to be told that he had been replaced and would not be on the show (which was a decision that was made because they felt he was not TV-friendly enough).

    As for Carano, I think she is just following the Scott Coker template… you know, maybe if we kiss the UFC’s ass enough, they won’t come after us with the kind of predatory business tactics that they have used against other competitors. So far, I’m not so sure that’s going to make a difference, based on Strikeforce’s debut on Showtime (that’s Showtime, not CBS) being counter-programmed by an all-day UFC marathon on Spike TV, including the first cable airing of GSP vs. Penn II.

  10. Ivan Trembow says:

    Coker and Carano, by the way, are not the only people who take the position of, “Maybe things would be better if we just kissed the UFC’s ass a little bit more.”

    Examples: A significant portion of the credentialed MMA media, and most recently Ricardo Arona, who wanted to make it extra, extra clear in an interview with Tatame that he had never said anything bad about UFC president Dana White, who recently said in an interview that Arona sucks so much, he [Dana White] would fight Arona himself.

  11. Nepal says:

    Zach, could you please explain for those less smart than yourself what you are referring to with:

    “And speaking of paying the bills, take a look at who did the interview and who reportedly used to pay that person’s bills. Interesting how silent all the MMA web sites are about issues relating to conflict of interest, but yet they still want their MMA show credentials because they should be taken seriously, dammit.”

    Ambiguity does not make for a good blog.

    Additionally Gina is not at all burying her employer. It is, as you point out “honesty”. Nothing more and I’m sure Coker understands that clearly.

  12. Jeremy (not that Jeremy) says:

    I’m a little surprised that she was sitting at home waiting for Zuffa’s phone call from the stag party inviting her over.

    That couldn’t have ended well in any case.

  13. Andy says:

    Don’t really understand why Zuffa is an option when they don’t do female MMA nor plan to any time soon…

  14. 45 Huddle says:

    “Coker and Carano, by the way, are not the only people who take the position of, “Maybe things would be better if we just kissed the UFC’s #ss a little bit more.””

    I love this line of thinking. Only in MMA do people feel the need to bash the largest organization around. And if somebody doesn’t, they are put down for it.

    Alan…. People have bashed The Ultimate Fighter since TUF 4. Making the same argument you made, that the talent in the show is below par. And since TUF 4, the show has given fans: Nate Diaz, Gray Maynard, Ben Saunders, Matthew Riddle, CB Dollaway, Amir Sadollah, Ryan Bader, & Efrain Escudero. Some of that talent might dwindle off, but the show has a constant track record of producing quality fighters, even when every season people declare it talent void.

    Now, there is always a chance for a dud season, like Season 6 wasn’t overly good. But as a whole, the show produces solid talent for the UFC, despite the constant critics.

    Also, your comment about the number of non-TUF fights on the finale…. For the last few seasons, the UFC has cut back the number of TUF Fighters. And lately their cards have been 12 fights, so 5 TUF fights on the finale would be in line with a few of the previous seasons.

  15. Kool G Rap says:

    I think she needs to stfu untill she can make weight for once in her life.

  16. Chuck says:

    “I love this line of thinking. Only in MMA do people feel the need to bash the largest organization around. And if somebody doesn’t, they are put down for it.”

    Naw, pro wrestling industry is like this too. Bashing WWE is cool anymore for the past however so many years, and bashing New Japan was cool in the early 2000’s when they were dabbling in MMA.

  17. Leslie says:

    “I love this line of thinking. Only in MMA do people feel the need to bash the largest organization around. And if somebody doesn’t, they are put down for it.”

    They aren’t talking about kids on the internet, they are talking about a fighter and promoter in a competing organization. Those people don’t need to go out of their way to praise UFC, that’s what they have fanboys and hacks for.

    This is not to say they need to bash them either.

  18. Grape Knee High says:

    Alan, after nine seasons have you still not figured out that the primary purpose of TUF is to obtain viewers by entertaining them? Spike wants ratings and the revenue that comes with higher ratings. The UFC wants ratings and the higher revenue that comes with converting TUF fans to UFC PPV fans.

    I know you understand that the most skilled, unsigned fighters may not be the most entertaining or charismatic ones so I don’t get why you bother to bring up such a tired point.

  19. Ivan Trembow says:

    In response to post #12— As the linked article says, Ariel Helwani’s old web site (MMA Rated) was owned by The Wasserman Group, the same company that employs Gina Carano’s agent. These huge conflicts of interest have a tendency to slant coverage, and the same kind of thing has happened to the sites that have “editorial content partnerships” with the UFC.

  20. Tinfoil hat time says:

    OK, let’s take the premise behind this post to its ultimate conclusion: Arnold once wrote a column about steroids for Sportsline.com, which is owned by CBS, whose parent company is Viacom. Viacom had a financial interest in the success of Elite XC and now Strikeforce.

    Now, why doesn’t Zach feel compelled to remind everyone every time he posts on EXC or Strikeforce that he had an “incestous” relationship with CBS/Viacom/Elite XC. Either a. This “media incestousness” conspiracy is getting ridiculous or b. Zach is playing his usual game of “do as I say, not as I do.” Probably both.

    Ed. — Let’s discuss this like we would in journalism school, shall we? I never was paid by CBS Sportsline to write any article. Period. Ariel Helwani worked for MMA Rated, which was reportedly financed by Wasserman which is the power source of MMA agent Matt Walker, whose clients include Gina Carano and Randy Couture. At no time, to my knowledge, on the MMA Rated site was such financial back disclosed. The idea that a person getting paid by the power source of an MMA agent is somehow impartial or not affected by politics is absurd.

    The fact that few people are willing to connect the dots or even care about it speaks volume about the so-called ‘journalistic integrity’ of the MMA writing field. Furthermore, it’s even more evidence as to why it’s laughable that UFC should even bother giving media credentials to MMA sites. Between WAMMA picking up MMA bloggers and other sites using guys who were or are paid by agents or power sources of agents for clients in the MMA business, it’s funny to see the cries for people to take everyone as a serious news writer or source.

  21. Mike Rome says:

    Even funnier, this is one of the least friendly interviews ever done with Carano. Usually guys just tremble and ask easy questions, he mocked her for her weight and suggested a 200 lb catchweight. And he asked a tough question that got an interesting answer about Zuffa.

    There was no problem at all with the interview.

    I write for BE, and go to school in California. California tax dollars help pay for my public education. Those tax dollars also fund CSAC. I will disclose from now on whenever I write about CSAC.

  22. Tinfoil hat time says:

    Now that’s hilarious. Zach Arnold pretending to be a journalism professor. If you ever stepped into a journalism 101 class in your life, which you haven’t, you’d know that the mere appearance of a conflict of interest runs contrary to journalistic ethics. By appearing on CBSSports.com, whether you got a check or not, you are using them to raise your profile, and people who found out about you through that site and clicked on your site and on to the ads on your site put money in your pocket. You were affiliated with a Web site that was part of a company that profits off the success of several MMA companies. Unless you begin noting every time you write about Strikeforce or Elite XC that you were once affiliated with a company with a vested financial interest in those companies, you have no moral high ground to stand on and no right to criticize anyone else.

  23. Jeremy (not that Jeremy) says:

    Wow, wow.

    Tinfoil?

    Wow.

  24. Alan Conceicao says:

    Also, your comment about the number of non-TUF fights on the finale…. For the last few seasons, the UFC has cut back the number of TUF Fighters. And lately their cards have been 12 fights, so 5 TUF fights on the finale would be in line with a few of the previous seasons.

    Last season, there were two non-TUF fights on the finale. This time, there are 7. I’d be shocked to see any more than 11 fights come to fruition on the card, which means that like season 7, they’ve pretty much given up on the bulk of the guys already.

    Alan, after nine seasons have you still not figured out that the primary purpose of TUF is to obtain viewers by entertaining them? Spike wants ratings and the revenue that comes with higher ratings. The UFC wants ratings and the higher revenue that comes with converting TUF fans to UFC PPV fans.

    TUF has usually had a number of good prospects in the mix because they’re looking to use the show as a vehicle to promote them. That is how they convert TUF fans to UFC PPV buys: certainly you understand that is how its done, not just because of HOT FIGHTING ACTION. Generally, fighters who are good, exciting fighters don’t end up getting passed over for boring midwestern journeymen. In this case, that’s exactly what happened. When you think about it like that, its really funny that many of the UK’s prospects are so bad they need to drag in tomato cans just to make them not look horrible.

    I must not be the only one noticing in the US: Last episode was a 1.0. For their sake I hope they get some decent midcarder out of this for the UK market.

  25. Jeremy (not that Jeremy) says:

    Actually, I think that if the rating is about 1.0, you probably ARE the only one noticing.

  26. Shane says:

    How many other shows almost in their tenth season are still pulling in the same rating or higher compared to earlier seasons? Even juggernaut reality shows like American Idol are declining.

  27. Matt says:

    Lost in tinfoil’s Rampage-on-Chuck style KO of Arnold is that if Arnold agreed to have a piece go on a major site like Sportsline without pay, then he’s a gigantic mark.

  28. Mr. Dream says:

    zing

  29. Chuck says:

    “How many other shows almost in their tenth season are still pulling in the same rating or higher compared to earlier seasons? Even juggernaut reality shows like American Idol are declining.”

    South Park for the most part. The season opener of this year got a solid 3.41 million viewers. That is basically what South Park always gets with new episodes, if not a little bit higher.

    Look at it this way. TNA Impact is beating TUF in the Nielsen ratings. And TUF used to get in the high 2’s. That is a hell of a drop.

  30. Mike Rome says:

    They’ve been doing the 1.0-1.2 range for 3 or 4 seasons now. Comparing it to the third season is just cherry picking stats, they had a huge decline after the third season and it’s been relatively stable for the last 3 or 4 seasons. 1.0 is really all they need, if it regularly drops to .8 or so then they will have to revamp.

    The goal of TUF is to just keep the million to 1.5 million fans watching Spike and staying interested in UFC-related stuff. It’s been a long time since they were using it to look for new talent.

  31. Fred says:

    I think a lot of fans are blinded by Gina’s looks. Yes, she looks great. She’s beautiful. But, she is unprofessional in expressing preference for a competing organization while under contract with another. She’s a fatty who can’t make weight for fights. And she’s a lazy attention-seeker who only wants to fight once a year.

    So no, she shouldn’t ever be in the UFC. I’d like to see her in a movie where she is in various states of undress; but she is not credible as a dedicated, professional fighter. The skills may be there; but she’s a bubblehead and undisciplined.

    Forget it.

  32. Ivan Trembow says:

    Fred— Putting aside the ridiculousness of the rest of your post, there’s also the fact that Carano isn’t under contract to Strikeforce, at least not yet.

  33. Grape Knee High says:

    Generally, fighters who are good, exciting fighters don’t end up getting passed over for boring midwestern journeymen. In this case, that’s exactly what happened. When you think about it like that, its really funny that many of the UK’s prospects are so bad they need to drag in tomato cans just to make them not look horrible.

    I don’t really follow TUF that closely, but it sounds like you answered your own question. They’re trying to open up the UK market and having all the British fighters beaten to a pulp would be counterproductive. It’s a marketing effort, not necessarily a “find the best fighter” effort.

    I did watch this week’s show today and the highlight of the show was the random Kid Yamamoto ringside cameo.

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