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Random thoughts heading in the November MMA schedule

By Zach Arnold | October 30, 2009

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I want to apologize to everyone for not updating more this week — I spent a lot of time in a courtroom, so… as you can imagine, thankfully I’m done. Not having other writers on hand for the site is a problem, but it’s been a problem for years and you continue to read Fight Opinion. I’m thankful for that fact.

Onto some news topics heading into November:

Topics: DREAM, Media, MMA, StrikeForce, UFC, Zach Arnold | 19 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

19 Responses to “Random thoughts heading in the November MMA schedule”

  1. Dave says:

    Strikeforce absolutely isn’t running the show anymore. I’ve had a pretty decent relationship with Mike over there and have always gotten credentials and more from them with no problem. For this CBS show it was completely out of his/their hands and it showed. The show looks OK, but I’m growing weary of Strikeforce. They have such a limited talent pool.

    This season of TUF has some of the worst fights I’ve ever seen.

    DREAM shows are great no matter what. I love the hyper push of Alistair Overeem. He really is one of my favorite fighters at the moment, I know everybody wants to scream STEROIDS, but until we get a failed piss test I’m willing to give him the same benefit of the doubt I gave Barnett until he failed his. Overeem is an elite kickboxer and his grappling is extremely good. I know this isn’t a popular opinion, but I think a fight against Fedor would be very competitive.

  2. 45 Huddle says:

    Strikeforce already lost the battle for buzz on Fedor te second he signed with them.

    Dana White was all over the Internet and radio talking about the great deal they offered Fedor. It really swayed public perception. Strikeforce needed to be out there at the same time, telling the story that they got the #1 Heavyweight and the UFC was going to be hurting because of it. It’s too late for that now. Combine that with CBS basically running the show, and it is easy to see why overthr long haul, SF could be in trouble. I wouldn’t be shocked if SF was still around on Showtime in 2 years, with Coker forced out so Showtime could put one of their own in charge. Somebody who likely doesn’t know the sport very well.

    And people have bashed Dana White for not taking certain deals. He looks more like a brilliant businessman everyday that passes.

    And yes…. TUF is horrible. I stopped watching. I just hope at least 1 solid Heavyweight emerges from the show. The UFC always stayed away from that division after Season 2. It was only Kimbo who made it worth it to go back to it. They really should have mixed in another division to make it at least respectable.

    As for Alistair Overeem…. If the UFC or SF fed him cans like DREAM did, there would be tons of angry fans. It’s such a blatant double standard that it is laughable.

    Personally, I am hoping for DREAM or Sengoku to go out of business. A nice condensing of Japanese MMA would be better for the fans. And some better match-ups too.

  3. Dave says:

    Oh obviously I’d love to see Overeem fighting top competition, DREAM just doesn’t have anybody to pull up on short notice like that. Overeem is a great fighter and the only fighters who would fight him on short notice are morons (see: Thompson).

    That was obviously a tune-up fight to bring attention to the WGP this year. I’m fine with that, I got to see Overeem choke a sucker out.

  4. David says:

    Zach, great post. I’ve missed your writing for too long so it’s good to have you back in full effect.

    Regarding MMA and press, I totally agree with your colleague Rob Maysey in that MMA is press driven at the moment, and Dana absolutely spins everything which is why the UFC is so big and why Machida won.. but that’s another story. I wish Strikeforce the best!

    “Enjoy the Japanese promotions in terms of the gaijin fighters they book while it lasts.” – agreed.

  5. Steve4192 says:

    Why would you watch the first round of fights on TUF and then quit watching when the quarterfinals and semifinals are about to begin?

    The first round of fights have always been terrible. The quality always picks up once the guys the SpikeTV & Pilgrim brass picked for their ‘entertainment value’ get eliminated.

    I anticipate some very solid fights involving the big four (Nelson, Schoonover, Schaub, Wren) now that the chaff has been eliminated. Those four guys are all legitimate UFC caliber fighters, and chances are we will see them face off in the semifinals.

    I forgot to add (feel free to combine with previous post) ….

    If you are going to skips TUF episodes, skip the early ones and tune in for the quarters and the semis.

  6. Dave says:

    I’m with Zach on the TUF front. Do the fights get better? A little bit, sort of marginally. The guys that won in the first round were really not much better than the guys that lost.

    I give up on TUF every season, it just happens.

  7. ULTMMA says:

    For all of Elite XC’s flaws they did know how to get people talking about their events.
    see Gina Carano , Kimbo Slice and their mainstream media appearances on ESPN’s E:60, ESPN the magazine, various late night talk shows

    plus they had a absolute army of PR people to keep the MMA dedicated websites busy.

    The S and S team already dropped the ball once with their female title fight

    It also should be noted that with Rogers personality and Fedor’s lack of English is working against them but they knew that when they booked the fight.

    If you can’t promote the top female in the sport and the ebst HW in the sport what can you promote?

  8. Ivan Trembow says:

    After watching the latest awful fight on The Ultimate Fighter this past Wednesday and hearing Dana White rave about it (even calling it “awesome” after the dreadful first round), at least now UFC fighters know exactly what he wants.

    As if the strange choices for Fight of the Night bonuses didn’t already indicate this, as if the selling point on the Countdown show before almost every PPV being “these guys are going to stand in front of each other and bang!” (even promising no wrestling or Jiu-Jitsu in the Machida-Shogun fight) didn’t already indicate this, now it has been made all the more clear exactly what a great fight is to Dana White: Two guys gassed out after less than five minutes of fighting, with their hands down at their waists, their mouth wide-open as they gasp for air, their defense non-existent, and their hands throwing wild and sloppy arm punches at their opponent’s face.

    That may sound to you and me like the worst that MMA has to offer, but to Dana White, it’s “awesome” (and he hasn’t been hesitant to say when fights on T.U.F. haven’t impressed him in the past).

    When the same kind of fight took place earlier this year between Shogun and Mark Coleman and it inexplicably won the Fight of the Night award and bonus, it wasn’t just a case of the UFC losing its mind for one night and somehow giving that fight the award/bonus. That’s exactly the kind of fight they want to see, and that’s exactly the kind of fight they’re always promising on the Countdown specials (“These two guys are going to stand in front of each other and bang… and so are these two guys… and so are these two guys…”).

  9. Jeff says:

    Dave,

    I don’t have a problem with showcase fights for top fighters – but don’t make it the main event. It’s factors like that why I do not watch DREAM anymore. Could you image the online outrage of a main event of even a Spike card was Gonzaga vs. James Thompson? Or if the UFC wanted to boost a PPV and made Lesnar vs. Thompson? DREAM has become an event where it books a fighter with a decent name against a can that also have a decent name.

  10. klown says:

    Ivan is right on the mark, as he usually is.

    Sometimes it’s fun to see fighters “stand and bang” but not at the expense of quality and technique.

    Financially rewarding sloppy “stand and bang” may win PPV buys in the short run but will damage the sport in the long run. And while we know about the “Fight of the Night” bonuses, who knows what kind of behavior (in and out of the cage) is being incentivized by the infamous “locker room bonuses”?

  11. Jeremy (not that Jeremy) says:

    The fights on TUF this season that I’ve watched (the first few episodes) were quite literally unwatchable.

    I’m shocked anyone is still watching it.

  12. jr says:

    Scott Junk was like King Hippo from Mike Tyson’s Punch Out. CBS sees Strikeforce as “weekend crap we don’t have to promote” like Fox does with Cops and America’s Most Wanted.

  13. Ivan Trembow says:

    On a note that isn’t entirely unrelated to my previous post, Phil Baroni, with his 13-11 career record in MMA, has been moved up from the prelims of UFC 106 to the main card of UFC 106.

  14. 45 Huddle says:

    Phil Baroni on the main card is funny. Guaranteed gasser. Is there another fight that is more interesting to put on that card? Seems like everything the UFC touches is falling apart right now.

    1. Brock Lesnar postponed fight.
    2. Shane Carwin admits to Swine Flu.
    3. Mark Coleman injured.
    4. Ricardo Almeida injured (opponent #1 for Fitch).
    5. Thiago Alves injured (opponent #2 for Fitch).
    6. Kurt Pellegrino Injured.
    7. GSP might be out until March now.
    8. Machida needs surgery. No immediate rematch with Rua.

    Yikes!! This is why the Featherweight & Bantamweight Divisions are needed so badly. They need more championship fights to justify PPV purchases. And when you only have 5… And they seem to all be injured or sick…. It is necessary.

    Of course, as a fan…. I prefer to see the little guys in the WEC. High level fights for free. But from a business perspective…. Things need to be changed.

  15. MMAmadman says:

    Dana White’s “awesome” proclomation after the first round of Junk/Mitrione was a bit puzzling. Lol. I think they must’ve edited that in from some other fight, cause while they did throw down for like 30 seconds, the fight was insanely plodding with both guys blowing up just minutes in. In Junk’s defense, apparently he had a leg injury and may have suffered a broken orbital bone early in the fight rendering him unable to see. Something was definitely off with Junk. Mitrione is just an idiot.

  16. King Famous says:

    The ufc has been he mcburger of mma. I know what I’m getting with production, play calling and fights.

    The latest japanese card in dream was cool and I really enjoyed watching the fights much more than the ufc show.

    Tuf is a nice 1/2 hour to completely shake off a work day, but the quality is quite low — I don’t care if Kimbo comes back to fight or not — and Rampage, is an idiot as usual.

    Revamp the show — somehow.

    I could care less how cbs promotes Fedor or Brett — as long as they show up and fight, I’ll be happy.

  17. Fluyid says:

    Yeah, this is all fine and dandy, but did you hear that War Machine is now a porn star? That’s the big story.

    http://sports.yahoo.com/mma/blog/cagewriter/post/Former-UFC-star-making-the-transition-to-adult-f?urn=mma%2C199366

  18. Ivan Trembow says:

    That was an amazing fight between Joseph Agbeko and Yonnhy Perez. Twelve full rounds of incredibly fast-paced and highly-skilled action. Unfortunately, the fight also served as an example of why Nevada needs to have instant replay in boxing/MMA for more than just fight-ending strikes (not that it would have changed the outcome in this case, but at least Perez wouldn’t have had that 10-8 round).

  19. klown says:

    Since we’re doing random thoughts…

    There’s a solution to the dilemna of Anderson Silva fighting at LHW. The trick there is that he doesn’t want to challenge Machida for the title, and there’s no sense in having him knock off contenders if he won’t. Yet he is undoubtedly Top 5 at LHW – so who does he fight?

    I say, match-up against the losers of title shots. Those are Top 10 fighters hungry to prove their continued relevance after a title fight loss. The Griffin fight fits the bill, as would an Evans fight.

    If Rua loses to Machida in a rematch, I’d throw Rua in with Silva for a chance to avenge himself against Black House. That would be a killer fight!

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