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UFC’s plan for “World Fucking Domination” needing professionalism & perspective

By Zach Arnold | November 21, 2013

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The UFC put this image on their Twitter feed & now it’s gone. On Instagram.

Heading into 2014, the UFC has no rival on their global level as an MMA property. Bellator has some building blocks for a successful 2014 campaign but is nowhere near the UFC in terms of business metrics. The only thing that can stop the UFC from growing is the UFC itself. They can be their own worst enemy.

Putting on corporate pep talks with a backdrop of the Earth in the shape of an Octagon.

If the UFC wants to grow, not shrink, their business in 2014 then they will have to change their behavior. You can’t simply rely on a fan base that worships the cult of Dana White & Lorenzo Fertitta. They need to expand the base and attract casual fans. They’re struggling in that department.

Part of attracting new fans is to not turn off potential casual fans by acting like irrational testosterone-fueled idiots. Another part of the equation is finding a new way to build up new stars that the fans view as credible championship contenders who also aren’t socially awkward.

The UFC needs a star-making concept that is completely different than The Ultimate Fighter. Wednesday night’s episode on Fox Sports 1 proved how much of a train wreck the show has become and how far the once highly-valued franchise vehicle has crashed. Ratings are at an all-time low. The show no longer attracts top-class prospects because the UFC is signing such prospects without sending those newcomers onto TUF. The format is completely played out and few of the reality show winners go on to have big success in UFC. The show, at this point, only manages to drive up the negatives for most of the people who appear on it.

The UFC likes to say that they are real as it gets. Wednesday’s one-hour show about contestant Anthony Gutierrez missing weight for his semi-final bout against David Grant was raw, brutal television.

Gutierrez the “nutritionalist” was bragging about eating what he wanted to. The editors set up his demise like they did with Shayna Baszler to start the show’s season. Ronda Rousey cried about anything and everything throughout the show. She was busy channeling her inner Bud Adams by giving Miesha Tate double-barrel middle fingers after winning a stupid rock climbing challenge and yelling, “fuck you, bitch!”

Gutierrez weighted 150 1/2 pounds, resulting in Ronda chewing his ass out and telling him not to eat burgers. With four hours to go, he was 9 pounds overweight and soaking in a tub with Epsom salt. With two hours to go, he was 143.5 pounds. At weigh-in time, he was 140 pounds and was given one hour to lose the weight. He broke down crying in the sauna because he knew he was failing. Ronda told him, “if you quit, you quit for the rest of your life.” Gutierrez went to the shower and said “I just drank the bathwater” with Epsom salt. He quit.

Dana White confronted Anthony Gutierrez. “You want to say anything?” He disposed of Gutierrez in a calm fashion. “This is the craziest one ever. Leave.” He spouted that Gutierrez should go find a real job and make MMA his hobby. Uncle Dana consoled Ronda who told the boss that she would cut weight to make 135 pounds on the show in order to show the fighters that you have to be a professional. Dana told her it wouldn’t make any difference and hugged her because it wasn’t her fault that Anthony Gutierrez wasn’t a professional.

This is a far cry from the way Dana White has been treating Georges St. Pierre, the company’s top PPV ace, over the last week. Dana White is treating GSP the way he should have treated Anthony Gutierrez.

Mike Fagan: A history of Dana White throwing fighters under the bus

Deadspin: Dana White says some more ridiculous things about GSP

Stephen Brunt (Sportsnet): Dana White is no longer the anti-Don King

Randy Couture likes to say that Dana White is the laser beam that Lorenzo Fertitta points towards the fighters he’s mad at. In other words, if Lorenzo is upset with remarks Dana makes, he’ll tell Dana to shut up. Dana isn’t shutting up about GSP. He’s doubling down on his attacks. On the UFC Tonight infomercial show on Fox Sports 1, White repeated his comments about GSP not being in the right in terms of wanting to take time off and that he owes the fans more fights.

On Monday, I wrote about how different UFC’s behavior towards would be if the Ali Act was in place to give fighters a legal route to address concerns with promoters. The article knew enormous site traffic on Fightline. On Wednesday, before Dana doubled down on his GSP remarks, I wrote a new article stating that GSP leaving would be the best thing for UFC. Even if you disagree with my positions about the UFC’s behavior, I would recommend you check out both articles as there is plenty of food for thought.

Both the UFC & GSP would benefit from St. Pierre taking an extended or permanent leave of absence. Rushing to book the re-match between St. Pierre and Johny Hendricks at such an early date is not a great idea if you are worried about St. Pierre’s health. This isn’t like the Anderson Silva/Chris Weidman situation where Anderson got caught being arrogant. St. Pierre has absorbed some heavy damage over his last three fights.

It’s hard for the UFC to credibly take pot shots at Bellator for not treating fighters right given the way they are publicly dressing down Georges St. Pierre. Between the bloodhounds of the UFC and TMZ, it seems everyone is smelling blood in the water. The UFC would do themselves a big favor by backing off and giving St. Pierre some space. Put the “pro” in promoter by being a pro(fessional). St. Pierre is your number one PPV draw, after all. Compare and contrast the way WWE treats The Rock versus the way UFC treats St. Pierre. The Rock will never be a full-time wrestler again in WWE but Vince McMahon damn well knows that Rock can be gold in the right circumstance. Same with GSP.

The fact that I’m favorably comparing Vince McMahon to the UFC for the way they book & treat a mega super-star speaks volumes about how much UFC management needs to grow up if they want to achieve “World Fucking Domination” in 2014.

Topics: Media, MMA, UFC, Zach Arnold | 26 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

26 Responses to “UFC’s plan for “World Fucking Domination” needing professionalism & perspective”

  1. 45 Huddle says:

    http://www.fightopinion.com/2011/10/19/ufc-dana-white-future/

    This opinion piece was written two years ago and many of the problems addressed in the article have gotten worse as the company loses its fanbase in the US.

  2. 45 Huddle says:

    I personally believe if a champion is healthy he has an obligation to the sport to continue fighting until he loses the belt.

    With that said, DFW is hurting the UFC and looking like a tool in the process. It is in crisis mode right now only Fertitta is blind to it.

    • The Gaijin says:

      But the problem is the champion is not healthy mentally or physically.

      • 45 Huddle says:

        He is healthy physically.

        And according to Fertitta, he thinks he will have the fire to fight again after a brief vacation.

        And speaking of Fertitta… Helwani interviewed him and the video is now up at mma fighting. That guy needs to be the UFC President. Much more well spoken and a better voice of the sport.

        • LeonThePro says:

          Yes and Lorenzo stated they will have 40 something events next year. Wow, that’s a lot. International markets must be growing.

        • 45 Huddle says:

          They are working there way towards about 65 events… which would be a weekly Wednesday live event and like 16 Saturdays a year for PPV and FOX.

          I’d imagine there would be no more Top 10 fighters competing on untelevised parts if that was the case.

          Either way, we are still years away from seeing what the finalized version of what the UFC will look like. That is both in terms of weight classes and number of shows.

          My guess it will end up at about 65 shows per year and 9 or 10 male classes and 3 to 5 female classes…

        • The Gaijin says:

          Yeah, y’know other than the blurred vision in his eye, reconstructed knee and the whole memory loss/blackouts, insomnia and depression…other than that, totally healthy physically.

        • Alan Conceicao says:

          But I thought he wasn’t allowed a vacation, 45? Which is it?

        • 45 Huddle says:

          Now you are just confusing words on purpose or out of stupidity.

          Why would he not be allowed to take a vacation?

          I said he shouldn’t be taking a long term break and putting the title in limbo.

        • Alan Conceicao says:

          I’m not “confusing words.” If Lorenzo lets him not fight again until September or October, that’s what happens. I guess then, it would be OK because it gets cosigned by the owners, right?

  3. Diaz's cashed bowl says:

    I don’t like that image. Say whats the # for the culinary union? i’m thinking of joining the resistance.

  4. Andrej says:

    Maybe cutting there PPV’s in half would fix the problem. At least I would have an easier time to get excited for it and maybe heaven’s forbid get a little more anticipation as well.

  5. Chris says:

    The UFC wanting to do 54 Events in 2014 = a lot of crappy fight cards.

  6. 45 Huddle says:

    From Dave Meltzer:

    “–Lorenzo Fertitta did a press conference today. He said UFC would be doing 54 shows next year, but later said he misspoke and the number was actually 46. Many of those shows, including planned dates for a European arm of the promotion, will not air on U.S. television.”

    Fertitta did say he had something planned for some of these extra shows for the American Audience. But said he would wait for Dana White to break the news.

  7. Alan Conceicao says:

    From the 2011 thread linked by 45:

    “Dana is as good as anyone to run the UFC. I don’t blame him solely for the structure of the way the UFC runs things, which is my greatest caveat towards them.”

    As someone told me a long time ago, to become a fight promoter means trading in your soul. Just about anyone in Dana’s position Saturday night does the same thing. Not because it is right, but because getting these guys in the ring or cage to inflict damage on each other is how they generate income.

  8. Zheroen says:

    LOL at that picture…there are no words that do justice to the hilarity. Exhibit A as to why MMA will never be anything more than a niche sport, and has been fortunate to be in the mainstream for as long as it has.

  9. klown says:

    GSP should retire. He’s rich and he’s the best. He owes nothing to anybody, and he doesn’t have anything to prove. I really hope he withstands the pressure.

  10. UFC is going after world domination. Totally monopolizing our sport. This happened in the Past. MMA was approved in 2000 in California. But when Zuffa bought the UFC in 2001 all of a sudden the sport was not legal in California until 2006 when they locked in television and put there guy Armando UFC Garcia in charge at the CSAC. Armando UFC Garcia was caught with $350,000.00 in a unlocked drawer, now he works for Zuffa as head of security. If you would like to see all the documents and more proof just e-mail me back. Look at the attachment letter and this recent photo. If the CSAC is allowed to regulate this light contact sport of Pankration then the UFC has won in world domination.

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