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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 | »

The state of MMA journalism in 2011 & GSP/Diaz officially announced

By Zach Arnold | June 1, 2011

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This video (Jimmy Kimmel aired this interview on his ABC show), the profound piece of art that it is, led to a debate about ‘motorboating’. Yes, because as Rampage eloquently put it, she’s “Jamaican me horny.” I am old and out of touch in terms of using words like ‘motorboating’ in that manner. Then again, I already felt that way after hearing word on Twitter that an MMA writer, partier, social scenester was reportedly doing this after UFC 130:

@ULTMMA I like my #UFC credentialed media to be active in the pool party & UFC post event after party scene w/ fighters #WaitWhat #MMA

So, after Rampage had a good time in Las Vegas this past weekend, he decided to have a good time on Twitter. With UFC’s new Twitter policy, why wouldn’t he have an incentive to be active?

RAMPAGE JACKSON: @KarynBryant u got it going on,we should go on a date one day,show u how a Alpha gets down

@KarynBryant I can make u do other things as well,I know how 2 treat a woman good and show her a good time

KARYN BRYANT: To: @Rampage4real I KNOW u would b a fun date! But I’m married 2 a good guy, not lookin 4 side action. If he sez I can creep tho I’ll holla! LOL

RAMPAGE JACKSON: To: @KarynBryant lucky guy! Hahaha great let down,I’ve had worst

So, while the socializing and schmoozing (if you want to call it that) continues, UFC announced within the last hour that Georges St. Pierre vs. Nick Diaz will fight at UFC 137 on October 29th at Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas. According to an interview Cesar Gracie did with USA Today, Nick Diaz has signed a new 8-fight contract with Zuffa that will allow him to fight in both UFC & Strikeforce but not in boxing. MMA Supremacy:

In other words, what Cesar Gracie & Nick Diaz did to negotiate a new deal w/ Zuffa & get tons of $$$ by using boxing as leverage worked.

Guess the schmoozing at the pool parties didn’t produce the goods on this news for some writers. GSP is still a 4-to-1 favorite on the sportsbooks to beat Diaz when the fight happens.

Topics: Media, MMA, StrikeForce, UFC, Zach Arnold | 38 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

38 Responses to “The state of MMA journalism in 2011 & GSP/Diaz officially announced”

  1. edub says:

    What a two day period. GBP makes up with TopRank and Zuffa appears to be working with Showtime now. Crazy.

    Anyway, Carlos Condit was still around and deserved the shot more IMO. But this is the fight now. So yay, I guess.

    • 45 Huddle says:

      I have no proof of this…. But my gut is telling me that Strikeforce will go away soon and the UFC will continue to run shows on Showtime.

      How many shows and the quality of them will be interesting to see.

      I also think if this happens, the UFC will quickly bring out the Flyweight Division and make more #1 Contender bouts that are 5 rounds.

  2. 45 Huddle says:

    1) Rampage acted disrespectful and rude in multiple interviews for UFC 130. Totally unprofessional.

    2) The using boxing as leverage thing is going away. Diaz was able to do it because of Strikeforce’s inabilities to properly write a MMA contract. That option just won’t be available in the future to exploit. Kudos to the Gracie camp for getting away with it while the option was there.

    3) Diaz really should have fought in the UFC once before challenging for the belt. As we have seen with many many other fighters…. Success outside of the UFC does not equate even a marginal record in the UFC. He should have fought one of the 6 fighters first: Fitch, Story, Alves, Koscheck, Penn, or Condit.

    4) While I don’t think Diaz deserves the title shot, I continue to find myself not really getting upset over these sorts of things. With basically all of the talent under 1 roof, the best will eventually rise to the top. It might take 1 to 3 more fights for certain fighters, but it will all eventually happen.

    5) This is a big benefit for Rick Story. I really thinks he needed one more big fight to get his name out there before fighting for the belt. This will give him the time to do so.

    6) UFC Primtetime for GSP/Diaz? I would think so.

    7) Giving Diaz a UFC & Strikeforce contract is funny. Strikeforce won’t be around for much longer anyways so it’s a useless piece of the contract.

    • Nepal says:

      The UFC isn’t a meritocracy.

      Never was and seemingly never will be. Diaz by virtue of beating lots of sub top 20 fighters albeit in an entertaining fashion gets his shot.

      UFC is a business and Diaz is the moneymaker.

      Really, even if title shots were granted based on merit, there isn’t anyone out there that qualifies. Does anyone really think 5 rounds of Fitch will be any different next time? Story isn’t ready yet, 2 more good fights and he’ll be better, more experienced and hopefully a legit contender. Otherwise, there is only Condit. He had pretty meh outings vs Rory MacD and Kampmann. One great KO of Hardy hardly is title-shot qualifications.

      Diaz on the other hand, although most knowledgable fans are certain GSP will handly beat Diaz, Diaz has a huge fan base. He’s a real fighter and fans can see that.

      Bottom line, UFC is a business – full stop. Diaz vs GSP can drive a great PPV, if GSP vs Sheilds, (somebody that only hard cores know)can do 800K buys then GSP vs. Diaz can do much more.

      The idea of giving Diaz a warm up fight in the UFC is stupid. What if he loses? Then his value is gone. He can’t headline a show vs. GSP. Realistically Dana knows Fitch, Story, Ellenberger, Hendriks, Koscheck, GSP and maybe others would have a better than 50/50 chance of beating Diaz. No way would Dana let that happen. He’s all about the money.

  3. EJ says:

    I was really hoping that the rumors of this fight were wrong but it appears that the UFC has finally done something that would make me not buy one of their cards.

    This fight is a joke, Diaz has no business being anywhere near the title picture let alone being handed a new contract and title shot right off the bat.

    Seriously I don’t know what’s going on with Zuffa as of late but they are starting to lose even me with alot of head shaking matchmaking. Some of it I could excuse like Brock vs. JDS on TUF but this there is no excuse to pull a SF here, I expect better from Dana and company the UFC is supposed to be where guys earn their shots.

    If I’m Fitch, Condit or anyother top WW i’d be livid right now because a guy who went out of his way to duck bad match ups. Is being rewarded for his behaviour, the most sickening thing about this is that tons of people will hype Diaz up to be GSP’s great challenge. And will turn around and be disapointed when GSP outclasses him for 5 rounds and proves everything i’ve said about him not being a top WW is true.

    • Jonathan says:

      Don’t really disagree with alot of what you said, but you say this, and I have to scratch my head:

      “GSP outclasses him for 5 rounds and proves everything i’ve said about him not being a top WW is true”

      First off, if everyone GSP outclasses is not a top WW, well, then, there are no top welterweights. Doing bad against GSP does not automatically disqualify someone from being a top-flight WW….i.e. Jon Fitch

      And second, a minor point, you’re not the only one who thinks that Diaz does not deserve a shot…I would say ALOT of people feel that way…so it is not really a “unique” position.

    • Steve4192 says:

      “This fight is a joke, Diaz has no business being anywhere near the title picture let alone being handed a new contract and title shot right off the bat.”

      Diaz deserves it at least as much as Dan Hardy did. Or Matt Serra. Or Brock Lesnar. Or Thales Leites. Or Patrick Cote. Or Randy Couture (vs Sylvia). Or …. you get the point.

      This is hardly the travesty you make it out to be. Diaz is on a 10 fight win streak against credible competition. He is no less qualified than some of the other guys Zuffa has given title shots. He might not be the most deserving challenger ever, but he is certainly not the worst.

    • BuddyRowe says:

      You think the Diaz fight is a joke? What about GSP vs Dan Hardy? Anderson vs Patrick Cote? I hope you were just as outraged at those fights. Diaz is a game fighter. JON FITCH DOES NOT DESERVE A TITLE SHOT right now. Condit I don’t think has earned it either. What? Condit deserves a title shot for beating Dan Hardy?! Not to mention that Condit and GSP train together at Jackson’s. So really Diaz is a good option until somebody seperates themselves from the pack and really earns a title shot. Diaz may not have totally earned his shot here but he’s no worse in my eyes than a lot of the other options.

      • edub says:

        Condit has beaten better competition, in just as exciting a fashion as Diaz did. Condit has already said he would leave Jackson’s to fight GSP.

        Jon has a better winstreak than Diaz, and has a better skillset to at least give GSP problems.

        Just because someone would probably lose to contenders, doesn’t mean they shouldn’t prove themselves.

        It’s not our job to worry about buy rates, or how much hype an overrated fighter would lose if he were to get beaten by better contenders. Let the promoter worry about it.

  4. Jonathan says:

    I cannot wait for the day when there are no more paper promotions out there and all we have is the UFC, and that’s it.

    Life will be so much simpler, we will all fight less (with one another on the boards) and rankings and what not will actually matter.

    • KBoucher says:

      That makes no sense!!! Where would the UFC find their fighters if there are no other promotions. How would guys work their way up to the big show.
      Does that also mean that once you’ve been released from the UFC you can’t fight anymore? Lifelong training down the drain cause Dana don’t like you? Makes no sense ay all!
      Diaz has faught in the UFC and was released not because he lost, more like an attitude thing. Therefore he is of the same caliber as those guys and amongst the top WW in the world. No question. The reason for this fight other than money, is the fact that it WILL be exciting. There’s a clear good guy vs. Bad guy here. Not to mention that Diaz will force GSP’s hand and he’ll have no choice but to fight with everything he has. You guys need to watch a few of Diazs fights before saying he’s a joke! To the casual observer maybe he is…However UFC 137 will prove otherwise wether he wins or loses, it will showcase a set of skills GSP hasn’t had to show us yet!

      • KBoucher says:

        Also the ranking systems takes all professional fighters into account. Not just those fighting in the UFC. they use a very complex algorythm developped be fightmatrix.com, which takes everything into account including difficulty of opponents, time between fights and hundreds of other things. It’s not a clear WIN vs. LOSS there are so many other factors. Nick Diaz has been amongst the top WW in the world for a long time!
        PS I’m not a diaz fan, however I think that saying he shouldn’t be fighting GSP and that he’s not a great fighter is ridiculous! Also only having one promotion has the be the funniest thing I’ve ever read. “So we would argue less”? What would be the fun in that? and really even the NHL need their farm teams, when the call up a player it’s usually cause he’s spectacular not because he totaly sucks! Same with Diaz they aren’t calling him up so GSP can destroy him, if he couldn’t destroy Sheils this ones not going to be any easier because of the style of fighting. There’s going to be lots of tense momments and more then likely; like all Diaz fights LOTS of BLOOD!

      • edub says:

        If you don’t frequent this site much, take a step back on commenting about “we need to watch certain fighters more”. Pretty much everyone on this site knows what they’re talking about when making points, this isn’t a site like Sherdog, Junkie, or even BE to an extent.

        We comment on Diaz not being worthy, or getting destroyed against GSP because that’s what history points to. He is a great boxer/BJJ practitioner that struggles with good wrestlers who have submission defense. His scrambling is sub par for WW, and he hasn’t gone up against guys he’s struggled with for almost 5 years now. Knocking out strikers, winning decisions against LWs, and fighting generally sub par competition shouldn’t set you up with a fight against arguably the best wrestling mixed martial artist in the world.

  5. David M says:

    YES WE CAN! YES WE CAN!

    All the clowns who are cheering against this fight, stop your whining. 2 champions, in their prime, the most dominant fighter in the world against the most entertaining fighter in the world, who also happens to have a style that could pose serious problems to the Greasy Frenchman.

    Diaz is a draw; check his numbers on Strikeforce and on Youtube. People know who he is, and unlike just about every fighter in the UFC WW division other than GSV, everyone ENJOYS his fights. As a general rule, anyone who sees a Jon Fitch or Jake Shields fight wants to never watch mma again, whereas someone who sees Nick Diaz is hooked on the sport.

    45 + Edub = internet fans.
    David M = MAINSTREAM AND RIDING THE UFC BANDWAGON! đŸ™‚

    • 45 Huddle says:

      1) Getting 500,000 fans on Showtime does not mean anybody is a star. If you could hear crickets for Shield’s entrance into the UFC for his 1st fight, Diaz would get a light applause by comparison.

      2) So you are happy you have an uneducated opinion on this subject matter? That sort of seems like what you are gloating about.

      3) Diaz is a paper champion. His belt means nothing.

      4) At the end of the day, this is just a minor glitch in how the sport is moving forward. Soon there will be no more champion vs. champion fights unless if a UFC Champion moves up in weight. All of the top fighters will have to work their way up the UFC rankings just like everybody else. Sure some might get better matchmaking then others, but they all will have to basically go down the same road. The Diaz path to a title shot is going away.

      • David M says:

        Dude you are missing the forest for the trees. Do you think Dana would have made the fight if there weren’t a lot of hype and buzz behind it? I mean, how dense are you? People who watch mma, who buy shows, who are fans of the sport, all want to see this fight. Why? Because it is a great fucking fight.

        MMA fans know who Nick Diaz is, and they like him. Your theory about having someone have a fight in the UFC before a title fight is ridiculous; see Shields, Jake for evidence. Shields looked horrid in winning a gift split decision that he had no business receiving, and that totally killed any buzz behind him. What if Diaz were to fight Koscheck or Fitch and lose a horrid 3 round decision where the masters of lay n pray just took him down to avoid having to actually fight? Then his momentum is shot. This is the optimal time to make this fight; both guys are at their peak and both seem unbeatable.

        There is nothing uneducated about wanting to see 2 of the best fighters, in their primes, both incredibly popular, face off. Uneducated would be saying something like “Nick Diaz isn’t popular”. You don’t know more about the sport than the people at Zuffa who make the matches, do you? Do you think they would risk bringing in someone if they didn’t think it would draw?

        Nick Diaz hasn’t lost a fight since 2007; he has in that span gone 9-0 with 8 stoppages.

        As I predicted, Diaz was just using the boxing thing to get a bigger payday with Zuffa.

        I also predict that his fight with GSV will be a lot more competitive than the wrestling ‘huggers think. Diaz is a better striker and has better jiu jitsu. GSP just stayed and played with Shields on the feet to avoid Jake’s jiu jitsu, but against Nick that will get GSP knocked out. In a 3 round fight I think GSP would be a heavy favorite, but given that GSP couldn’t finish my grandmother and that Diaz has incredible stamina, I find it hard to believe that over the course of 5 rounds, Nick won’t land something that hurts Georges. How will GSP react to that? When Serra hit him, GSP tapped out. When BJ busted him up, GSV held on for dear life and channeled his inner Fitch.

        This is the fight I am most excited for in all of mma.

        • 45 Huddle says:

          1) Diaz is not one of the best fighters at this point at Welterweight. Just look at the odds for this fight. People aren’t even giving him a chance. Rick Story would have better odds at this point.

          2) You are living too much inside the MMA bubble. Outside of it, most people have no clue who Diaz is.

          3) The UFC is doing this because Diaz can talk during preview shows and they are desperate for any sort of fresh face to fight GSP.

          This isn’t even a close fight on paper, and people who really follow the sport know this. Diaz isn’t as technical of a striker. Doesn’t have the takedown defense. Doesn’t really have good enough submissions either. There is nothing Diaz has for GSP.

        • edub says:

          This fight is happening, so I’ll deal with it.

          The only thing people need to realize is Diaz poses no threat whatsoever to George. His wrestling is beyond poor, his BJJ is great but that won’t help against a guy who is notoriously slippery on top, and he cuts easily. The striking will mean little, because Diaz will have nothing for GSP on the ground.

          Diaz is going to be destroyed, but that’s probably what Dana and co are banking on.

  6. matthew says:

    I think this match up is a pretty good one. I think that Diaz is willing to take the chances that will either get him KOd or Subbed by GSP or he will end up catching GSP and subbing him. I think with GSP not finishing fighter latley is causing him and the UFC to lose some fans. Giving him an exciting fight with an opponent who will push the pace is a great way to turn that around.

    With that said, am I totally happy with the fight, no. I think they are doing it for the money and the reasons stated above but currenrly other than Condit, Fitch, or Story what other match is there to make?

  7. BuddyRowe says:

    Damn, how awesome would it be if Nick just talked so much crap leading up to the fight, during the fight started doing his aggressive hands in the air taunting, and actually lured GSP into a brawl. Regardless, of who got the upperhand I would just like to see someone really get under GSP’s skin and get him to open up and FIGHT.

  8. mr. roadblock says:

    I don’t see why people are against this fight. I suspect they’re just trying to be internet snobs.

    Diaz is the most exciting fighter in the world today. He has the best chance of anyone at 170lbs of making GSP have and exciting fight.

    Diaz’s style and makeup is such that even if GSP holds him down and grinds on him, Diaz should be ready to make the fight exciting again at least at the start of the next round.

    Jon Fitch does not deserve at shot at GSP. He has shown no change in his game since GSP clobbered him and is coming off a draw with BJ.

    Anyone saying Condit is more deserving should schedule a drug test for him/herself. Condit should have lost to Kampmann and all he did is beat Dan Hardy. What would be different in Condit vs GSP than Shields vs GSP?

    This is going to be a fun fight with a good build up. If Diaz wins it sets up some great fights. If he loses he goes to SF for a bit and maybe Zuffa can send Kampmann over to fight him.

  9. Michael Rome says:

    I don’t really see anything wrong with Karyn Bryant’s interactions with Quinton. Quinton was a complete jackass in their first interview, but instead of making a huge case out of it she brushed it off and joked back with him on twitter. There aren’t a lot of females in the press room, and she’s generally doing a good job standing out.

    I chuckled at the interaction. I wonder how much the outrage police really want a stifled, fine-fearing atmosphere that other major sports have. Part of the fun of MMA is the wacky, outrageous fighters and the silly shit they do. After all, they’re not guys who put golf balls, they fight in a cage for a living. People should stop trying to justify the fact that they love watching it by getting on high horses all the time.

    • mr. roadblock says:

      Amen.

    • The Gaijin says:

      Gee I wonder why she’s not making any issue out of it…hmmm…I mean, Zuffa has never had a policy of blackballing/punishing reporters who stir up controversy for them have they? Glad we’re applauding her for sucking up her dignity and playing along with the boys more or less because she has to or she’ll risk getting shunned or have her credentials yanked.

      “I wonder how much the outrage police really want a stifled, fine-fearing atmosphere that other major sports have.”

      That’s a pretty convenient all or nothing fallacy there broseph. I think there’s a big difference between asking someone to be respectful and not sexually degrade a female reporter and having fighters giving canned/PC answers for fear of being fined – it’s far from the binary dilemma you’re depicting.

      • Michael Rome says:

        Of course, I am referring to their interaction on twitter and not their initial interview, which I thought was pretty outrageous and disgraceful. What I was responding to here was Zach’s mocking tone for Karyn’s tweets with Quinton. They were playful at worst.

        The nice part of not censoring athletes is it lets fans get a better picture of who they really are. Whether they’re worth supporting with money, cheering for, etc. The bright side is you get much more interesting insights into athletes’ real personalities than you do in other sports where every press statement gets run by a publicist before it goes out. The downside is sometimes the real side of guys is ugly. I’d rather see it all.

        • The Gaijin says:

          Ahh..my bad. Yeah, the Twitter stuff was for the most part harmless, but is still married to the first distasteful incident.

          As you pointed out she’s acquitted herself about as best as can be expected, which is unfortunate that it’s almost expected that she “play along” for the good of her career when she should really tell him he’s a f##king pig.

          In the end, I don’t think we should be too surprised to see the “real Rampage” as he’s got a bit of a history of this stuff.

  10. Rob Maysey says:

    I for the most part agree with Rome, that said, the tweet could have stopped at, “I’m married, he’s a good guy.”

    The “creeped” portion doesn’t add anything to the jocularity–and at some point, you take yourself seriously as a professional, or you don’t. Things matter–even when you think they don’t, even when they seem trivial. Especially when you are doing and saying things for the public to consume.

    • Michael Rome says:

      Fair enough. I thought it was a pretty funny line, and obviously sarcastic.

    • KBoucher says:

      I agree 100% with Maysey! I do take some offense to the title of this article however. “The state of MMA journalism” Suggesting that all MMA athletes would conduct themselves in this way… That is not the case at all. “Rampage” does not represent the whole of MMA fighters.
      The “creeped” portion was a bit much and I don’t think all journalists would have reacted the same way either.
      Jackson was very disrespectful and if you look at the video he even looks drunk! I still don’t think that the entire MMa journalist profession and MMA athletes as a whole should be targeted. Not fair!

  11. sammy says:

    Actually I dont think that this matters at all… No one is going to be talking about this in years to come..

  12. 45 Huddle says:

    Anthony Johnson is injured.

    Nathan Marquardt vs. Rick Story in the new main event for the Versus card this month.

    Is the winner of this fight the #1 contender at Welterweight?

    • edub says:

      Probably more deserving than Nick, but I can’t see the winner getting a title shot before Condit or Fitch. Maybe the winner of this vs. Fitch or the winner of Kim-Condit.

      • David M says:

        Why does Fitch deserve a title shot? He got a draw in his last fight, he has no chance at beating GSP, and everyone hates to watch him fight.

        There are maybe 13 people on Earth who want to see Jon Fitch fight for the title again, and 9 of them are his blood relatives.

        • The Gaijin says:

          “There are maybe 13 people on Earth who want to see Jon Fitch fight for the title again, and 9 of them are his blood relatives.”

          ha-ha-ha…sad but true.

        • edub says:

          How exciting he is, compared to how deserving his it are to different discussions.

          Fitch beat the crap out of Penn, and was unlucky to step away with a draw. However, he still hasn’t lost to anybody outside of GSP since 2002 in a fight at LHW.

          There are people who wanna see Diaz fight GSP. There are also people who think it’s a garbage title fight because Diaz has no chance.

  13. […] fact that all of these guys make their own fates to some extent. Quinton Jackson does absurd things sometimes like motorboating and not being as dedicated as he could be in the gym. Rashad Evans has prickly comments at times […]

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