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Zuffa’s IQ test

By Zach Arnold | January 17, 2012

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“Today, kids, let’s learn a new word in class, OK? The password is… Drostanolone.

Perhaps we’re starting to find out why UFC has been so aggressive against ESPN for their report on fighter pay and other issues relating to treatment of fighters in Zuffa. The pressure cooker has been boiling lately for the company and now we know why —

Jamie Penick: Looking at Lorenzo Fertitta’s full ESPN interview on fighter pay, perceived UFC monopoly, Bellator, and more

As I noted here yesterday, UFC’s ham-handed, overaggressive PR response to ESPN seemed over-the-top and really insecure. After all, why should they give any sort of oxygen to a network program with only a couple of hundred thousand viewers? Instead, Zuffa got too clever by half. They went on the offensive before the segment aired, giving people a reason to actually watch the segment instead of ignoring it. Then, once the segment aired, they went and gave ESPN more oxygen. Dana White getting into a Twitter battle with ESPN boxing Dan Rafael was just plain goofy.

It would be one thing if the ESPN report was damaging… but it wasn’t. Yes, the network wanted to create the impression to sports fans that fighters are as afraid to speak out against Zuffa management as political dissidents are in North Korea. However, most sports fans would simply shrug their shoulders at that and tell those athletes, ‘if you want better pay, find another profession.’ All of the PR huffing and puffing by Zuffa here on this little report has to be concerning. Why? The topics discussed on the ESPN piece have been discussed for years online, back and forth, non-stop. From a Zuffa perspective, none of the issues raised is exactly new. So why make it into a bigger deal?

What if a real scandal hits? Take a look at recent history to see what kinds of scandals we’ve had: a fighter dying in the ring/cage, organized crime scandal (PRIDE), blood testing scandal (as alleged against a trainer in Georgia), so on and so forth. Now, these are real scandals that can take down a company. If UFC is that paranoid about a Sunday morning ESPN report on fighter pay, how will they control their emotions in public when something grave eventually happens?

Here’s Georges St. Pierre stating that he expects to return to MMA action in November of this year. That’s really pushing the timetable of recovery from a torn ACL, given how most athletes take a couple of years to fully recover both physically & mentally from that kind of injury. That said, UFC can use all the good news they can get now with Brock Lesnar retired.

Topics: Media, MMA, StrikeForce, UFC, Zach Arnold | 52 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

52 Responses to “Zuffa’s IQ test”

  1. EJ says:

    I don’t agree with the idea that the UFC overeacted in fact they reacted the way they should have to a very poorly done hit piece. The UFC can’t just sit back and let a sham piece like that run without them hitting back and hard. That piece was below ESPN standards and really surprising in many ways, I expected better fron the worldwide leader than a Sherdog like article on fighter pay.

    As far as the UFC on Fox changes, they really don’t matter. The only way that Bisping vs. Sonnen makes more sense than Sonnen vs. Munoz is if you like trash talk and hype. As far as a fight goes it’s actually more one sided than the Munoz fight would have been. And Maia vs. Wiedman is also a less interesting fight than Maia vs. Bisping would have been.

    The only question I have is how long Anderson will milk his injury after Sonnen dominated and dispaches Bisping. Because we all know that if Bisping were to somehow pull it off he’d have a miraculous recovery just like Bones all of a sudden has when they talked about matching him up with someone other than Rashad.

    • 45 Huddle says:

      I like the FOX card much more now. The other card had a chance of being really boring. I don’t see Sonnen vs. Bisping being boring.

  2. Stel says:

    rather than a ham fisted bashing of N Korea, why not compare to politicians and medias fear of speaking out against zionist policies in america.

    Ed. — Want me to introduce you to Antonio Inoki?

    • Yeah Zach, leave North Korea alone, you big bully. Why don’t you instead talk about how rural Americans dug up their dead and ate them in the 1990s to avoid starving to death, huh? HUH?

  3. Simon says:

    Zach, you don’t think ESPN may of “dumbed” their report down, reedited it, because of Dana’s response to expose Gross, Barr, OTL, and ESPN?
    From the time they put out their preview, thru Gross’s companion piece, and thru to Dana’s promise to release the entire unaired Lorenzo interview along with any other footage, I think they saw the response from fans and from Dana and made a decision to go back and make it not as damning as they’d hope it would seem.

    From what they tried to make it seem like when it was first announced, along with that shit piece Gross wrote, after the final report actually aired, it seemed to no longer be the hard hitting piece they promised.

    Neither side presented any new facts or shed light on anything that wasn’t already assumed.

    In fact, most of what ESPN presented is still rooted in hearsay and assumptions and comes from questionable sources.

    Maybe ESPN didn’t realize what kind of vindictive, grudge-holding person Josh Gross really is.

    I’m aware Gross is respected among his peers, which amazes me considering he’s despised by several different groups of fans.

    He showed just how unprofessional he is with that open letter to ZUFFA years ago.
    Why no one in his own field didn’t call him out on it is anyone’s guess.
    He came off like a spoiled and entitled brat whose feelings were hurt because a group of successful casino owners and a self professed street wise hard ass didn’t let the little brat play like he wanted, instead opting to run their business the way they wanted, since they owned it and everything.
    I bring up Gross because he tried to distance himself from the whole thing, despite the fact he had already wrote the companion piece, it’s obvious who John Barr and OTL producers turned to in order to determine what fighters to speak with, which interviews would nab them the most quote worthy, the most slanted, and even the nice and accurate.

    From what was released, it looks like what they got was Matt Serra, Liddell and Forrest Griffin.

    No one else found it weird, not even the producers at ESPN, when Gross made light of Ken Shamrock’s credibility due to Ken’s contentious history with UFC?

    I just think if there was a story here, ESPN fumbled the whole process. Frank Shamrock and Matt Lindland, who are way more credible and who have shown they don’t censor their opinions, would of been better choices than Ken and Ricco. And they would of been man enough to put their names on it.

    I can’t trust any journalist willing to use or come up with a “anonymous source”. I don’t trust them and neither should anyone else, especially fellow journalist. That should would never fly in the past and it shouldn’t now either.

    • I think they saw the response from fans and from Dana and made a decision to go back and make it not as damning as they’d hope it would seem.

      That doesn’t jive. No way would ESPN respond to a big spike in attention and increased viewership by taming the piece. Just the opposite, actually.

  4. Zach Arnold says:

    I just think if there was a story here, ESPN fumbled the whole process. Frank Shamrock and Matt Lindland, who are way more credible and who have shown they don’t censor their opinions, would of been better choices than Ken and Ricco. And they would of been man enough to put their names on it.

    We don’t disagree that in terms of this being a ‘damaging topic’ for UFC that it isn’t.

    I understand the tactic of preparing the fans first for what is coming from ESPN. With that said, UFC overplayed their hand here and got too aggressive. It created this ‘are they hiding something?’ buzz that really didn’t exist. These topics about champion’s clause, fighter pay, so on and so forth have been discussed for a few years online. Everyone’s had practice making their arguments.

    That, to me, is why I think this has not been a good PR Showing for UFC. Unlike OTL pushing the phone conversations of Bernie Fine’s wife in regards to a real scandal, charges & allegations of sex with boys, I never saw anything remotely ‘damaging’ by ESPN/OTL on the report theme itself. What, are people who are currently UFC fans going to stop watching UFC because fighters are getting paid 25% instead of 50%?

    Again, the topics raised in the ESPN piece are important to industry insiders & hardcore followers, but for a casual fan ordering a PPV to see Brock Lesnar fight? That audience doesn’t care. Which is why UFC took a minor deal and gave it oxygen unnecessarily (from their end).

    The overreaction PR-wise gives me pause in regards to how UFC would handle a legitimate crisis down the road. This was a small test for them PR-wise and so far I don’t think they came through well.

    • Mark says:

      I think it’s obvious why they went with Shamrock and Rodriguez over Lindland and Frank: starpower.

      The show is a “sports news show”, but they also are out to get ratings, so their journalistic integrity does stop at a point (not unlike the “real” nws these days.) Lindland may be a Silver Medalist, but he’s also totally unknown to all but hardcore MMA fans. Frank Shamrock is one of the best fighters of the pre-boom period, but he’s also as unknown to casual and non-fans as Lindland. And let’s not forget Lindland is the manager of Chael and doesn’t want to cause his friend backlash for something he didn’t do. Because God knows Chael gets in enough trouble on his own.

      But Ken Shamrock, as a guy around for both UFC boom periods in 1994-96 and 2006, as well as a former WWF wrestler is more well-known to casual and non-fans. And Ricco was on Celebrity Rehab, which gets fairly good ratings on VH1, so far more people are likely to know who he is than Matt. And you are far more likely to care about someone you’ve heard of than somebody who is unknown to you.

      • Also, Lindland and Frank Shamrock are…how can I put this diplomatically? A little crazy and stupid.

        • Jonathan Snowden says:

          Two of the smartest fighters I’ve ever talked to.

        • fd says:

          Wait, you’re saying that because the alternative were people who were crazy and stupid, they put on Ken Shamrock?

          Also, Snowden, if you think Frank Shamrock is one of “the smartest fighters you’ve ever talked to” you clearly didn’t talk to him for very long.

        • Say what you want about Shamrock, but he actually gives a better interview than either of those other two guys.

        • Jason Harris says:

          “Also, Snowden, if you think Frank Shamrock is one of “the smartest fighters you’ve ever talked to” you clearly didn’t talk to him for very long.”

          Or hasn’t talked to anyone since the SEG era.

  5. Steve4192 says:

    “They went on the offensive before the segment aired, giving people a reason to actually watch the segment instead of ignoring it”

    I could agree more.

    I know I for one would never have seen the show had Dana not gone off the deep end. Zuffa’s reaction probably doubled the ratings for the show. They would have been MUCH better off ignoring it rather than throwing gasoline on the fire.

  6. 45 Huddle says:


    The UFC’s change has zero effect. I can see why they did it. They purchased Strikeforce, and now that they have fighters being tested more. Cyborg & Lawal got busted. And Overeem dodged a test. It is obvious that Strikeforce has a slightly bigger steroid problem then the UFC. I assume Bellator is this way too.

    However, despite this pre-screening having no teeth….. It still takes the discussion off the UFC. They can say they are doing something about it. It takes a 3 paragraph response to really explain why there are holes in the system.

    Even MLB…. Who took so much BS from the federal government, isn’t testing athletes like they should be during the off season. These leagues do not care. They do enough testing to say: “Hey we are doing something about it.” But they don’t do enough that it hurts their sports revenues.


    ESPN was able to produce no names in their attack on the UFC. Since then, fighters have come out to talk against it…. while actually using their names.

    McCorkle wrote an interesting post on The UG that not only went against ESPN, but talked about how he was not in favor of a union.

    The UFC released a video with Liddell, Griffin, and Serra all praising the UFC’s pay.

    And MMA Junkie released the best article so far with Phan, Roop, & Volkmann. Junkie produced hard numbers, including sponsor pay. All 3 are not superstars at all, and there pay would be considered above respectable.

    At the end of the day, the fighters are happy enough that things wil stay the way they are.


    WHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!! The best news I have heard in a long time. The market is telling the UFC to stop putting on 15 PPV’s.

    I think the UFC’s biggest problem is that they don’t have the talent to house 19 big time main events…. Which would be 15 PPVs and 4 FOX shows. Personally, I would love to see 8 PPVs and 4 FOX Shows….. But I know that probably won’t happen. So I’m willing to settle for 12 PPV’s and 4 FOX Shows.

    The smaller divisions just aren’t fully ready yet to take the full load of the number of cards Zuffa is trying to put out. At Heavyweight & Light Heavyweight, the UFC can headline a card with a title fight or a really good #1 contender fight. When you get down to the lower weight classes, a #1 contender fight is a co-main event at best. And the title fights aren’t interesting to the fans outside of Urijah Faber.

    Keep in mind…. By the time the Montreal show was cancelled…. The UFC would have already heard of the preliminary numbers for the Aldo/Mendes PPV. The numbers couldn’t have been good.

    • Mark says:

      The UFC released a video with Liddell, Griffin, and Serra all praising the UFC’s pay.

      So ESPN is biased for producing guys with grudges, but UFC is not biased for producing two out of the four guys Dana pledged to take care of for life in 2006 (the other two being Bonnar and Hughes)? That is ridiculous on their part. Practically any fighter they employ would have done this video to score points with Dana, why grab two guys far too close to Zuffa to be taken seriously?

      • 45 Huddle says:

        Correct… Just purely purely having those guys talk is meaningless if not biased.

        But listen to what they say. They are going through the motions. They are giving much better examples then anything in the ESPN piece.

        And add that to other fighters coming out of the woodwork to defend Zuffa’s pay…. And it paints a completely different picture then what ESPN is.

  7. 45 Huddle says:

    880,000 for the FX Prelim card.

    Probably a combination of new channel, bad PPV, and Patriots vs. Broncos on at the same time.

    Should be interesting to see how these ratings progress….

    Certainly not a solid start like the FOX show was….

  8. I’m with you on this. The UFC totally gave us more to talk about and question with their pre-emptive assault than the actually segment itself did.

    I finally watched it yesterday. Even turning off the parts of my brain that would dissect it and trying to view it as if I was someone who didn’t know anything about the sport, I found it lacking. In fact, it was downright lazy. They could have done SOMETHING with the presentation or acquired any information to at least strengthen the questions they were posing. Instead, we got a very light piece that hammered home the point, over and over, that they don’t know if fighters are receiving just compensation, or even what that would be.

    I would say they would have been better off putting more emphasis on the idea that the UFC is “monopolizing” the sport, but again, the bottom line here is that it was a crap piece and they just did not do the work for it. Par for the course with them.

    • (actual, not actually)

      I should also note that, in fairness, any accusations of the UFC obtaining a monopoly in a sport is likely to get dismissed by fans of the NBA, NFL, MLB, so on and so forth. Sports are given a pass that others just aren’t.

  9. Darkmader says:

    Yes the Montreal card is cancelled but Meltzer said yesterday in his radio show that they will make up that PPV probably in June/July.

  10. Megatherium says:

    It’s funny that the fighters with the most interesting things to say are all retired now, as if they’ve been waiting around to get this stuff off their chests. I wish they had talked to Ivan Salaverry, that would have been a good listen.

    I guess I just wish we had the protection of the Ali Act to finally shine some sunlight on this fighter pay issue once and for all.

    • 45 Huddle says:

      The sport is so young an has changed so much that the fighters who are alreay retired competed in a sport that is completely different then it it today. From the structure of the sport, to the popularity, to the fighter pay, to the media attention.

      There opinions are generally irrelevent.

  11. Simon says:

    There is a small segment of the media, and so called “insiders” (self proclaimed, by the way) who seem to only want the UFC to crash and burn.

    This is mind boggling. I get that there are certain people who have been burned/scorned by Zuffa before. But for those same people to hold such a grudge as too take every opportunity to ensure the UFC’s downfall…Wow. It truly hurts my mind thinking about it.

    All that negativity, and there is no shortage of it, really turns you off of mma all together. If all you see and hear about is “The sky is falling, look, I have proof. Well, sort of. I have inside sources and I talk to people who KNOW what’s really going on inside ZUFFA”, that type of thinking is shallow and borderline conspiracy theory thinking. There are several “writers” who, on the one hand are trying to make a name for themselves, but go about it in such a creepy fashion it leaves you wondering what their true motives and agenda’s really are. And then you have people who, according to their peers, are considered to actually be “Journalist”. I know these people (not personally) and in truth, most of them have a one-sided opinion, usually predetermined and close minded, who really aren’t as good as they think they are. Not even as good as their peers consider them to be.

    I don’t have to list any names, though I will if need be. Most of you know who they are already, some read this site daily. Others are so delusional, and have their heads so far up their ass, they think what they are doing is some sort of noble deed.

    Journalism is dead.
    As dead as some MMA “journalist” (HA!) wish, hope and pray the UFC will be.

    • Megatherium says:

      Really? Most of the mma journalists I’m familiar with just co-sign the shit ZUFFA spins.

      • Jason Harris says:

        Eh, I hear this all the time and I honestly don’t see it. For every site that just reposts the facts, there are two that BloodyElbow it and manufacture something inflammatory just to bump up their pageviews.

  12. RST says:

    “UFC’s ham-handed, overaggressive PR response…”

    Wasn’t any more than the fanbio hype.

    UFC/Dana DOES pay attention to the fanboi hype.

    They/he shouldn’t.

  13. Sean says:


    Eddie Goldman did an interview with John Barr of ESPN. Really worth a listen.

  14. Chromium says:

    -The UFC’s pre-contract screenings weeding out the stupidest fighters is a start if nothing else. They probably don’t want fighters that stupid under contract. Otherwise I agree it is a PR thing, but it’s certainly not a negative.

    -The Montreal thing was a smart move because yeah, I’d actually been wondering who the hell was available for either a Championship match or a major #1 Contender match and the answer apparently is no one. As for fighters being “stretched to thin” though, by my calculations they are slightly oversaturated in the UFC on fighters and extremely oversaturated in Strikeforce where they’re only doing 8 events this year, supposedly. They have 331 fighters on their website with probably like 15 Flyweights incoming shortly, not including BWs who drop down in weight. For a roster of ~345 fighters you’d need 35-36 events to average 2.3 fights-per-fighter-per-year.

    -I agree their response to ESPN was pretty damn hamfisted and really only served to add fuel to the fire where people are debating fighter pay. When it comes down to it the UFC has not provided any hard figures or percentages that could be compared to the major sports like baseball/football/basketball/hockey that they are aspiring to be considered on the same level as. At the same time they still have people at the bottom of their cards who aren’t making enough money from the equation of fight purse + sponsors + discretionary bonuses – living expenses – supporting a family – training expenses to live off of without a second job. If you are in the UFC ideally you should be able to dedicate yourself full time to being a fighter. I think a monthly stipend of like $1000 plus a small signing bonus of about $2500 could certainly help without breaking the UFC’s budget.

  15. There’s rumblings, at least, of the UFC initiating its own random drug testing. Cynical as we may be about it, I wouldn’t be surprised at all if they did end up adopting it because unlike the NFL and other sports, it would be in the UFC’s best interest to do it and do so legitimately because of Commission testing. It’s one thing if your guys aren’t stupid and know how to cycle, but if they keep getting popped like this, it’s going to cost Zuffa money NOT to do it.

    • Mark says:

      But, to play Devil’s Advocate, the problem with in house testing is the general public sometimes think it doesn’t pass the laugh test. Let’s say they get a jacked-up heavyweight with a body like a pro wrestler one day and everybody thinks he’s on steroids. If they say “No, we drug test this guy and he’s clean”, then people are going to roll their eyes just like they do when the WWE swears up and down Mason Ryan and John Cena always pass their PED tests. So, really, it could be seen as a waste of money if they’ll get tested anyway, since it won’t impress the public.

      The public distrust drug tests (and this goes for the AC ones too) when nobody ever seems to get caught but the expendable non-stars except once every other year when a semi-main event fighter gets busted. Granted this is because the lower level guys can’t afford the good stuff that either passes through your system quick or the Balco-like designer drugs, but it’s what happens and the general public think it means the organization is protecting the guys who draw them money. It is so much easier to say ACs do it and you don’t touch the tests than to do it yourself.

      Plus if they lose money one day and can’t afford doing both in house and AC tests, then when they drop the in house testing, they open themselves up to claims of turning a blind eye to drug abuse. The WWF had this problem when they ran into money problems and dropped drug tests in 1996, the public went right back to “maybe they care they are clean” to “See, they’re enabling steroid abuse!” UFC probably won’t ever have the financial problems the WWF did, but it is a possibility if PPV revenue drops and FOX wants out of their deal in a nightmare scenario.

      • 45 Huddle says:

        Don’t all of the major sports technically do “in-house” testing for their athletes?

        • edub says:

          45- Wholeheartedly agree with this.

          I don’t think things being in house should be looked at as bad specifically because they are “in house”. Especially, when the commissions aren’t any better on their own.

        • Alan Conceicao says:

          They do. But then hockey and football are given a different level of leeway to police themselves because the sports are not definitively licensed assault.

        • 45 Huddle says:

          Yeah, because Hockey, Baseball, and Football players don’t get seriously hurt because of collission type of plays that also include equipment that makes it worse.

          Do you really want a 300 pounder lineback on steroids knocked down the quarterback? Or a guy who just injected steroids into himself 2 weeks ago running into the catcher at home plate.

          It’s just as big of a deal in those other sports and they self police themselves.

        • Mark says:

          Don’t all of the major sports technically do “in-house” testing for their athletes?

          Yes. But:

          1) They often don’t pass the laugh test. Many baseball tests weren’t revealed until years later. All the NFL drug failures seem to be the minor-name players and the guys who are the superstars people believe are using something are never caught. So UFC has it easier than the sports leagues by saying “We pawn off the duties to AC’s.”

          2) Look at how mysterious UFC handles the overseas show testing. I have a feeling that they’d be just as mysterious with their in-house testing, which will probably rile up conspiracy theorists. UFC’s overseas shows got come credibility by catching Chris Leben. But if they didn’t have that, if no top prospect ever gets turned down from joining UFC because he got caught being a doper, people are going to speculate it’s a conjob. Not saying it is, it probably is on the up-and-up. But the public is more trusting of the AC’s being outsiders doing things than in house is my point.

      • “But, to play Devil’s Advocate, the problem with in house testing is the general public sometimes think it doesn’t pass the laugh test.”

        Right, but as was already pointed out, combat sports is the only place where the drug testing ISN’T just done in-house. Also, my point was that it’ll be more important for them to do it for their OWN sake to prevent these guys from getting popped from Commission tests.

        • Mark says:

          Also, my point was that it’ll be more important for them to do it for their OWN sake to prevent these guys from getting popped from Commission tests.

          There’s another level of distrust you can add to it. They can say “Hey, Fighter X, your drug test came up positive for steroids. So pull out of the fight and we’ll keep it quiet from the media.” Which isn’t “get off drugs”, it means, “do a better job cycling.” I don’t think that’s a good thing, I think that could be enabling if that’s what they’d do. And they’d be very tempted to do it if you’ve got a guy like Overeem with a shady reputation who draws money. If he gets pre-AC tests from Zuffa, even though these guys are doing the same thing on their own more than likely, it is enabling if Zuffa is going to do that for them. And unless they were going to tell their lab “announce the failure immediately”, they’ve also got the temptation of keeping it hush-hush if a guy is a draw: keep him out a month, then let him fight and pretend like he hurt his knee in training.

  16. Mark says:

    I think having just as many years of being unknowns as being knowns is to blame for the stupid overreactions Zuffa always does when the MSM says something beyond the approved talking points (ie, Zuffa cleaned up MMA, got better ratings than a World Series, is on track to being bigger globally than NFL, blah, blah, blah)(

    It’s a combination of that and living under a “everybody is out to get us” mentality from their long struggle to acceptance. They really need to hire a PR firm that heavily coaches the proper reactions to have to the media, to teach them not all negativity is a crisis.

    Or even study Don King. The man has fended off the most horrific claims by the media with a smile and some zany plugs and slogans. Find some kind of media cartoon persona for Dana beyond his current one as the profane loose canon, and they could be on to something.

    • Jason Harris says:

      I can’t help but laugh at all of the people who think Dana White needs to change in any way, shape, or form. The dude has more twitter followers than any UFC fighter or 99% of any athlete in any sport. The guy is super popular. As much as internet forums get enraged any time Dana says a bad word or gives an honest opinion, the rest of the world is thrilled to have someone in charge who doesn’t BS them.

      • 45 Huddle says:

        I think he is in the Top 250 followed people on Twitter.

      • edub says:


        I may not believe half of the shit that comes out of his mouth, but then again I don’t believe half the shit that comes out of David Stern’s mouth either.

      • Mark says:

        I’m not saying the guy doesn’t have his good qualities, he’s great in a lot of ways. But his negatives could be extreme negatives when UFC’s boom period ends. And Frank and Lorenzo could then wish they put a leash on him when they had a chance.

        The guy is a tireless worker, his passion for what he does is a huge reason UFC is where it is today, so I’m not being like Eddie Goldman who’d be negative on him if he saved babies from a burning building. But one of these days, his temper tantrums and unprofessionalism could come back to haunt Zuffa when they’re no longer in the catbird seat.

      • Chromium says:

        I can’t help but laugh at all of the people who think Dana White needs to change in any way, shape, or form.The dude has more twitter followers than any UFC fighter or 99% of any athlete in any sport.

        Yes, because running a business is all about how popular you are on Twitter. Jesus, this is just as bad as people who bust on the guy for no good reason. And I’ll give the Dana has the No Bullshit persona down pat and probably is more honest than Vince McMahon, but the idea that Dana never bullshits is hopelessly naive. He bullshits quite a lot. It’s inherent to being a promoter and is often (not always) at least partially justified when he does it.

        You’re also missing the argument entirely. This is not about Dana, it’s about Zuffa, of which Dana owns 9%, and it’s also about fighter pay, which is an ethics question, not a popularity one.

        • Jason Harris says:

          “Yes, because running a business is all about how popular you are on Twitter.”

          If you want to question the business acumen of UFC, go ahead and break down from a numbers perspective how they’re doing bad business. They’re growing every single year and making more and more and more money. With Dana White at the helm.

          All the armchair quarterbacks on the forums love to say they should be doing it differently, but the fact is, what UFC is doing is working pretty damned well for them.

        • The Gaijin says:

          “If you want to question the business acumen of UFC, go ahead and break down from a numbers perspective how they’re doing bad business. They’re growing every single year and making more and more and more money. With Dana White at the helm.”

          Ok – pretty big drop in ppv buy numbers (even with more ppvs than ever) and avg. buys per ppv, with a new and far lower baseline set for ppvs – which has been and continues to be their biggest revenue driver by far (~75%). And their expansion efforts into Europe-UK have been a pretty big, money wasting bust and created exactly 1 “semi”-star out of the whole money pit.

          There are far, far more positives than negatives for the company, such as, PPVs remain a lucrative money generator, Canadian/Oz/Brazilian expansion have been a runaway success, Fox TV deal gets them a big network tv deal and exposure as well as diversifies their revenue streams. But mma fans that just latch onto his nuts and act like he shits gold just blow my f**kin’ mind day-in and day-out – NEWSFLASH: He’s not going to give you free tickets or $$$ because you nuthug him and foolishly defend him with some naive and ridiculous arguments on message boards and blogs.

  17. 45 Huddle says:

    I bought the most recent UFC magazine…. It’s not exactly the best magazine in the world, but it’s a nice skimmer to read while on the pooper.

    Anyways, they did publish the tenative scheule for the first half of 2012. Including the cancelled Montreal card, there is a total of 18 events. Here are the events for April, May, and June….

    April 14th – FUEL TV Show
    April 21 – UFC PPV

    May 5th – FOX
    May 21st or 22nd – Fuel TV (That’s a Monday or Tuesday)
    May 26th – UFC PPV

    June 1st – TUF 15 Finale
    June 8th – FX Show
    June 16th – UFC PPV
    June 29th – FX Show

    A few interesting things. First is that they are doing a Monday or Tuesday show on FUEL TV. Next is that they are running 3 FX shows in June (including the TUF Finals). I wonder if that will hold up or was some sort of typo and one of those events will be on FUEL TV.

    And Mark Cuban is saying with HDNet changing directions, that it will actually increase the amount of MMA on the channel. So far I haven’t been overly impressed with the level of fighting on those HDNet cards (had the station less then 6 months). Not sure if more of the same will make much of a difference.

    • Mark says:

      HDNet is clearly a low budget station, as the non-MMA programming looks cheaper than hell. So they can really use all the help they can get.

      But they’re not out there professing the MMA they broadcast is better than UFC. So the people who are watching it are just enjoying the fights and not sitting on their couch yelling “HEY! THIS MMA IS NOT ZUFFA SANCTIONED! GET IT OFF MY TELEVISION!” at their TV.

      And Schiavello, while campy and annoying a lot of times, is still much better than Mike Goldberg.

    • cutch says:

      I doubt they have any venues booked, except for Fox & PPVs, so those dates will most likely change.
      It looks like TUF UK Vs Australia, with the finale in Brisbane Australia. I have no idea who they could get to coach and I doubt Micheal Bisping will be doing it again.

      Maybe George Sotiropoulos Vs Paul Sass or Terry Etim and I would assume it will be on Fuel in the US, just like the Brazilian version.

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