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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 | »

MMA critic Bob Reilly draws media attention; Dana White and his ‘big announcement’

By Zach Arnold | October 28, 2010

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There’s the good and the bad as far as PR goes for Bob Reilly. The good (for him) is that The Albany Times-Union has endorsed him for his re-election campaign. The bad (for him) starts with blowback to this.

I won’t be around initially when Dana White makes his ‘major announcement’ at 1 PM EST, so I’m sure you will be commenting on what it is here to this post. If the announcement has to do with a “UFC Network,” all I can say is good luck. The only way to make that play viable long-term is if Comcast has a major stake in ownership. Even with those kinds of business circumstances, I don’t know what kind of appetite there is for a 24/7 UFC-themed channel. I already thought we had one in Spike.

Last night’s Ultimate Fighter show was brutal television.

Tonight on Fox Sports Net/Comcast Sportsnet from Hollywood, Florida, Bellator has the finals of their 115-pound women’s tournament featuring Megumi Fujii vs. Zoila Frausto. Hector Lombard also fights on the card.

Did Cain Velasquez use an illegal strike to beat Brock Lesnar? Morgan Campbell of The Toronto Star says that Cain’s win over Brock is impressive, but not historic.

Jake Shields has an honest assessment of how his fight with Martin Kampmann. Meanwhile, Jake Ellenberger is trying to troll him on Twitter.

Marcus Davis says he is heading to 155 pounds (Lightweight) and will retire soon.

Someone in the San Jose Mercury News did a review of the EA Sports MMA game (mixed) and, given where Strikeforce is headquartered (SJ), ironically blasted the game for being a ‘Strikeforce MMA’ game. Here’s a more positive review of the video game. This review says it’s a solid entry-level game.

Why Digg is like Brock Lesnar.

Patrick Cote has been released by the UFC.

Mayhem Miller loves watching Brock Lesnar fight.

Topics: Bellator, Media, MMA, UFC, Zach Arnold | 46 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

46 Responses to “MMA critic Bob Reilly draws media attention; Dana White and his ‘big announcement’”

  1. robthom says:

    I gave up on digg about two years ago.

    It was a good idea and kind of fun at first.
    But pretty soon there wasn’t any room for any POV that differed from the bury/digg mobs.

    It got real highschool.

    (Speaking of which, has anyone else noticed how bad mma.tv has gotten lately?!)

    Unfortunately they had the best interface of those news aggregate sites.
    I just couldn’t get used to the reddit layout.

    I thought newsvine was the next best layout that had tolerable discussions.

  2. Fluyid says:

    “Speaking of which, has anyone else noticed how bad mma.tv has gotten lately?!”

    I haven’t been by there or posted there since 2007.

    • robthom says:

      That was around the last time that I posted there also.

      Sometimes when I’m bored I’ll head over there to scrounge around for Gifs. But recently I cant even scroll through the topics for more then 10 minutes without upsetting myself.

  3. I like mma.tv….because they have a better fightfinder than Sherdog.

    Also, is there any doubt that today’s monster announcement is that they’re booking the Skydome?

    • robthom says:

      I didn’t even know they had a fight finder.

      Interesting.

      There’s still a few decent posters on there, but they\’re so drown out now its like celebrity spotting on a UFC PPV.

  4. Jason Gatties says:

    People also felt trying to air rugby matches on Fox Soccer Plus in the United States would ruin that network when it launched. People actually thought the rugby coverage is what killed Setanta Sports in this country (false). Nearly a year later, their subscriptions are higher than when Setanta Sports was still in business here. Plenty of rugby fans subscribe who never have any intentions on watching the soccer coverage offered.

    You’d be shocked. Not only would a 24/7 UFC Network work, it could be huge.

  5. The Gaijin says:

    If the WWE can have a successful 24/7 network I’m sure the UFC can…they’ll have plenty of programming to trot out given their library of old UFC’s, WFA, Affliction, PRIDE, WEC (do they own the earlier stuff?), TUF, Primetime, Countdown, Unleashed, etc.

    I’m sure they’ll want to do edited versions or something in order to keep DVD/Blu-Ray sales viable, but I think with something like live fighting the 24/7 network is preferable to amassing a DVD library to viewers anyways.

  6. IceMuncher says:

    UFC/WEC merger was the announcement. Of all the possibilities that have been speculated on, this is probably the one with the best overall outcome. We get a 40% boost in top 10 talent, but the number of shows will barely increase, so we’re going to see a lot more depth on the cards.

  7. Kelvin Hunt says:

    I support the merger…been calling for it…

    • SixT-4 says:

      I’ve wanted this for a while but didn’t expect it to happen for another couple of years.

      It’s great. Now the Featherweight and Bantamweight divisions will get the attention they deserve.

  8. 45 Huddle says:

    Merger is AWESOME!! We are going to see a good number of 155 fighters move down because their paydays won’t be effected by it.

    This is a great thing for the UFC in so many ways. It’s the best for competition. It’s the best for international expansion.

  9. 45 Huddle says:

    Jose Aldo is going to be defending his belt at UFC 125.

    This brings the depth the UFC needs. The very last step in this entire process is to eventually open up a Flyweight Division.

    • 45 Huddle says:

      Also, Edgar/Maynard is going to fight Henderson/Pettis to unify the belts.

      This actually isn’t that special really, but it does give the UFC Champion an easy story line fight as they try to develop the next #1 contender. That might be BJ Penn getting 2 wins and working his way back. Or it could be somebody different….

    • The Gaijin says:

      “Jose Aldo is going to be defending his belt at UFC 125.”

      I called that 100 miles away…I’m not sure if it was here, but you could just see the pieces falling into place for that to happen.

      • 45 Huddle says:

        Which would also make sense why they are talking about Hominick fighting him. It’s the perfect style fight to introduce the UFC fans to the Featherweight Division.

        It’s better to build up Aldo/Grispi for a later card when it gets some hype behind it.

        • edub says:

          Hate to say it because I don’t think Hominick is qualified for it, but I agree. Perfect high paced stand up war.

          Well done Zuffa, well done.

  10. Jonathan says:

    45 Huddle I can tell that you are excited man, and for once, I completely agree with you. There is something strangely intoxicating about the words “Jose Aldo
    at UFC 125”

    What makes me most happy about this announcement is that the other fighters in the WEC will start to make the kind of money that only Faber was seeing.

    • Jonathan says:

      And currently, Shedog has zero reporting on this announcement. I would say that this is as big of an announcement as you could have in MMA.

    • 45 Huddle says:

      This new version of the UFC is the closest thing fans have ever seen to an all-in-one MMA organization.

      Plus, it gets rid of one more pointless title belt in the mix. My guess is that Flyweight will be added in 2012. They are going to want to see how this expansion plays out before they make an additional change.

      There are 5 organizations of interest now left in MMA. UFC, Strikeforce, Bellator, DREAM, and Sengoku. I predicted that DREAM or Sengoku was going to go out of business in 2010, and it seems like I’m wrong. They are on life support. DREAM needs money and is barely running events but they are still around.

      I could easily see by the end of 2012 MMA being down to the UFC, Strikeforce, and 1 “major” Japanese organization. Hopefully when Bellator goes out of business, they easily merge with the UFC or Strikeforce and just make the consolidation easier.

      • Jonathan says:

        Part of me thought/thinks that Sengoku and DREAM already came together? I do agree that there might only end up being major J-MMA promotion, but ones like DEEP and Pancrase and Shooto will stick around.

        • 45 Huddle says:

          They have shared some talent recently I think but have not mergered.

          I would hope that DEEP, Pancrase, and Shooto would stay in business. Japan still needs to develop talent, and those are the organizations to make that happen.

      • Steve4192 says:

        Sengoku doesn’t qualify as a top flight organization anymore. They cut loose all their expensive big name talent a while ago. These days, there really isn’t anything to distinguish them from Pancrase, DEEP, Shooto, or any of the other minor Japanese promotions.

        • fd says:

          For American fans, there’s a distinction between Sengoku and Pancrase, DEEP, Shooto, et al in that (if you have HDnet) you can watch Sengoku on television, which isn’t true of the latter.

          It’s a small difference given HDnet’s market share, but it’s still a difference.

          How much of a difference the TV rights make in Japan I have no idea.

  11. MMA Tycoon says:

    This is great news and yeah, I’m surprised there’s nothing on Sherdog. Ariel Helwani had an exclusive vid nearly 5 hours ago so surely someone from Sherdog saw that.

  12. kobashi says:

    that first EA MMA review was terribly written and pure anti-non UFC at its finest!!

  13. David M says:

    Thank God! No more shitty fat slobs with no cardio on ppvs; finally we get to see high-level, talented, athletic fighters. This is also going to make the sport more international because there are a lot more 150 pound people (who would cut to 135) in the world than 200 pound people.

  14. cutch says:

    Their will still be fat slobs fighting on PPV because some of them are top 20 Heavyweights and they aren’t going to forget about the big boys.

    Omigawa was saying he wanted a WEC fight in December if he didn’t get Aoki at Dynamite (it looks like he will fight Melendez) and I would think he would be even more likely to join the UFC again.

    • edub says:

      He’s not worrying about Fernandes, Hioki, or Sandro. I would think he’d wanna go after those guys before jumping a weight class.

      Hopefully he stays at 145.

  15. EJ says:

    Honestly unless this is the first shoe to drop this merger right now makes no sense to me. The UFC already has too many fighters under contract and adding 2 full divisions and the possibility of a third is insane. Unless of course this is the first step of a bigger plan like them getting another tv deal which will bring more shows and give an explanation as to why they are adding so many more fighters to their roster. But as a singular move it’s a head scratcher to me, so hopefully more will come out in the next few days about all of this.

    • SixT-4 says:

      UFC doesn’t have too many fighters under contract… it just has too many crap fighters. They have cards headlined by Mir vs Crocop, Coleman vs Couture, Bisping vs Akiyama, Marquardt vs Okami etc.

      All that will happen we’ll see better main events, with the undercards being filled with much more quality talent.

      • robthom says:

        “…it just has too many crap fighters.”

        ^^

        I’d have to agree with this.

        There’s fat that can be trimmed, from the UFC AND the WEC rosters.

        I’m thinking maybe 10 at best of the WEC guys are still gonna be around in a year.

        And I’m sure they can find 10 fringe players in the UFC roster to send back down if they need to.

  16. cutch says:

    People constantly bitch about the UFC cards not being stacked. They just had a PPV with Frank Mir Vs Mirko Cro Cop and in the same month gave away a Jose Aldo title fight. They could have added Aldo-Gamburyan and Torres-Valencia say and put 2 UFC 119 fights on a Versus card.

  17. Jonathan says:

    And let’s not forget that this forces Strikeforce and Bellator’s hands. Bellator focuses on the small fighters and Strikeforce “focuses” on everyone else…but now, they are all focused on by the UFC.

    Could we see a Bellator/Strikeforce merger now?

    • Nicholai says:

      Strikeforce has a history of using local amateur fighters in there undercard’s and I think they are happy with that buisness model. The only thing Bellator has are fighters under contract. If Bellator and Strikeforce merge how are they going to use all the fighters on there roster’s. Hell strikeforce has problems booking guys already how are they going to do if you add about 20 other fighters to that list. Dosen’t make much buisness sence.

      • 45 Huddle says:

        Very valid point about not being able to use all of the fighters.

        What the merger does do is up the payscale of Featherweight and Bantamweight. It won’t happen overnight, but it will happen as contracts come up. This will make Japan and Bellator much less attractive.

        I don’t even think Strikeforce uses anything below Lightweight at any sort of serious level at this point.

  18. cutch says:

    I don’t think we would see a Bellator-Strikeforce merger but according to the M1 guys, Strikeforce is not exclusive on Showtime and they (M1) were looking for a deal on there.

    With Bellator having a crap TV deal, could they try and get on Showtime as well? That could be why Strikeforce are reluctant to do a Melendez-Alvarez fight.

    • 45 Huddle says:

      1) Strikeforce first got introduced to Showtime through their co-promoted event with EliteXC. So I’m sure Scott Coker is fully aware of the dangers of allowing another promoter to showcase what they have on the same channel you depend on.

      2) M-1 has nothing to offer Showtime other then Fedor Emelianenko. And he just lost. What main event can they even provide to Showtime without having to co-promote with Strikeforce? There is no benefit to Showtime to sign on M-1 as a promoter.

      3) Same thing sort of applies with Bellator. There is no fight they have lined up that would interest Showtime. some of their champions matching up with Strikeforce champions might be slightly interesting, but as we have seen with boxing, that co-promotion stuff never really works out on a consistent basis.

      • Even though Strikeforce was known to Showtime, I have little doubt that they weren’t familiar with other promoters as well. They obviously knew who Terry Trebilcock was because he was booking all the ShoXC shows, and in the end they chose not to go to him. Instead, he found HDNet’s money.

        What M-1 can offer Showtime is more MMA programming and they can offer it potentially at a cheaper price than Strikeforce. This doesn’t mean that Strikeforce now loses dates as much as it means that Showtime might be looking to expand programming. That might be difficult to comprehend if you’re of the belief that Showtime is desperate to ditch them, but then we’ve reviewed that before. The other side issue is Fedor – supposedly they’re willing to trade some dates for M-1 Challenge events in exchange for Fedor. I wonder if Affliction similarly supported M-1 Challenge on HDNet back in the day?

        Honestly, if they were to throw other promoters dates for Challengers shows, who could complain? Maybe Bellator would stick around once killing the tournament format and going to straight up megafights, a la IFL in its dying days (except with TV money to support it).

        • 45 Huddle says:

          I don’t get the sense that they are trying to increase their fight cards. It can be debated if they are happy with SF or not…. But Showtime has put zero effort into MMA for the 2nd half of MMA, showing signs that there isn’t really interest for more cards.

          And I don’t see how M-1 can do Challenger shows for less then what SF is doing them. SF has amateur undercards and is having payrolls at like $50,000.

          I could see Showtime thinking about bringing in other promoters into the fold, but that would just cause more issues. Bellator and M-1 don’t have ready made fights for the “Championship” events which means they just become another expense in putting together fights.

        • I don’t see how they have put zero effort into the 2nd half of the year. Strikeforce barely has the talent to put on the 12/4 card, what, they’re gonna demand they run every weekend they don’t have boxing?

          If M-1 gets half of what Strikeforce gets right now for a Challengers level show, they should easily be able to clear a profit so long as they run at a casino and get a site fee. They don’t even have to sell a single ticket. I guarantee you the last Strikeforce Challengers event made a tidy profit, and it didn’t even have a live gate of $100K. Didn’t matter, actually.

        • Oh, to finish: They probably wouldn’t give them Championship level dates and money. Challengers shows are probably overpaid for right now, and I’m guessing Bellator would be amazed to even get $50K a show. That’s less than what Showtime is paying Strikeforce for a second tier event.

          Its pretty easy to do this. They already tie up boxers with their various promoters to network exclusive contracts and write in that they have veto power. If they could do that with Bellator, they could give Bellator dates in exchange for the rights to Alvarez fights. And instead of seeing Alvarez fight the usual assortment of Bellator chumps, he’d fight Melendez. Of course, the peanut gallery would bitch, because they wouldn’t do enough video promo pieces or give him a squash match to “introduce him to Strikeforce fans” first.

        • David M says:

          Is Fedor still alive? God, what a moron he is. If he had accepted the millions of dollars Dana was throwing at him instead of trying to promote his worthless, unknown, insignificant brand in America, he would have beaten Lesnar and would have shut the mouths of all the UFC huggers. Now, he is at the very tail end of his prime and is spending his years on the sidelines; pathetic.

        • robthom says:

          “Is Fedor still alive? God, what a moron he is.”

          Lol.

          I also miss fed.

          But methinks there’s something admirable enough about early retirement if you can get away with it.

          Tear your body apart and work yourself to the bone, what for?

          😉

          He paid his dues and moved on.
          Its okay IMO.

          (Anything he’s done deserves more respect then barnett!)

  19. robthom says:

    I dont know how earth shaking this is, but its a good idea.

    Personally WEC was always hobbled in my mind by having “extreme” in the title.
    (I just can’t take things that say “extreme” seriously.)

    And it certainly wasn’t loaded enough in the roster for PPV.

    There just wasn’t much justification for it.
    And it was somewhat of a purgatory for the 3-4 best fighters.

    Of course like everyone else already said, cant wait to see Aldo stack up in the big show.

    Aldo/Penn would be lovely IMO.

    I know Penn would likely be bigger in every way.
    But I dont think it will make as much difference against a killer like Aldo.

  20. Personally, I love the fact that we’re finally seeing the demise of the WEC and the incorporation of those fighters into the UFC. Been waiting for it for years. I also expect to hear in the not distant future that the UFC will probably have some sort of network deal to try and make up for some of the Versus shows they lost (they are doing 6 less TV shows now than last year). Bringing in the tiny dudes then allows them a place to promote those fighters at the championship level and expose them to as many fans as possible and do the occasional #1 contender fight like at UFC 122 without it feeling like the card is less than stacked while also not being a huge financial loss for the UFC.

    Well, at least I hope the part about the network is true. The downside is that without more TV shows, we’ve sorta lost 6 MMA events. Mind you, they weren’t really MMA events I was watching, but yeah. The plus side is that with the financials of the feathers and bantams changing, guys that should be there might finally make the move down to fight in the weight classes they belong. Suddenly Aldo will have a plethora of legitimate challenges (many of which I’d even pick to beat him) – yeah, the defenses might not be free anymore, but they’ll mean something, and that’ll make ’em worthwhile.

    Glad to see the big announcement being big.

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