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Brawls at pressers won’t damage UFC but canceled fights will erode trust

By Zach Arnold | August 12, 2014

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Last week’s logic: The brawl between Daniel Cormier and Jon Jones at the MGM in Las Vegas will be used as a weapon against MMA by critics.

Last week’s worries: “Did the feud peak too soon before the fight on September 27th?”

This week’s worries: The fight got postponed until January 3rd, 2015.

So much for the UFC being able to pad their 2014 PPV numbers. Not so much now. Now the company is scrambling to issue refunds to those who bought tickets but those refunds can only come from where consumers bought their tickets from.

Jon Jones, September, and Nevada do not mix. Jones got injured and so his fight got pushed back. Meanwhile, Alexander Gustafsson is rightfully saying that since the fight got pushed back due to his injury that he should step back in the front of the line. That ain’t happening, but he has a legitimate gripe. And Daniel Cormier is stuck on the sidelines for months. He’s now knocking Jones for backing out of the 9/27 date due to injury because Cormier was going to fight on a busted knee.

It’s been a really lousy year for UFC in Las Vegas outside of the Ronda Rousey fight, which in the end reportedly drew 500,000 buys on PPV. Vitor Belfort already blew up their May event there and he’s one more failed drug test away from blowing up their December show. The UFC will now be running three shows in Las Vegas in the time span of two months. Something has to give. One of those shows isn’t going to draw. Which one will it be?

It’s not the end of the world but having fights get canceled so often can shake the trust of the fans. Make no mistake, however… issues regarding domestic violence involving active fighters is a much bigger problem than any postponed or canceled fight. Domestic violence is a societal problem and not an MMA-exclusive problem but MMA is an ultrahazardous business that cannot afford to have that kind of stigma and crime associated with it in any way. Unacceptable.

Topics: Media, MMA, UFC, Zach Arnold | 17 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

17 Responses to “Brawls at pressers won’t damage UFC but canceled fights will erode trust”

  1. Chris says:

    Your Sherdog article nailed it perfectly when it comes to Domestic Violence and fighters.

  2. 45 Huddle says:

    Look at the UFC 177 and 178 PPV cards. Be shocked if either of them does a decent buyrate. What an epic failure the UFC has been this year. And a lot of it is because of management.

  3. Jonathan says:

    I have never really been more unsettled with an MMA fighter than I am with Jon Koppenhaver right now. That is truly a new low in a sport that is known for its’ lows.

  4. Omar says:

    Uhhhh….ya\’ll need to get off the Rousey train. The Ronda Rousey fight didn\’t draw 500K buys, UFC 175 did. UFC 175 headlined by Chris Weidman and Lyoto Machida.

    • 45 Huddle says:

      I agree. His last 3 PPV’s all got 500k or more. He is the biggest draw in the company yet nobody wants to acknowledge it. His fight with Vitor will also do over 500k.

  5. Chris says:

    Just heard Ben Saunders on Sherdog talking about Jon Koppenhaver. He spoke about how there were “holes” in Christy Mack’s story regrading their breakup, and how he’s “sorry” for everyone involved. Sorry for him?

    Is there any way to make it that no MMA fighters or managers are allowed to answer any questions about this issue until they get some damn common sense? Jesus!

    • Jonathan says:

      No, sadly, everyone can put their foot in their mouth anytime they want.

    • Nepal says:

      Perhaps Ben is saying he feels badly that Jon got himself into this situation and that he got himself so fucked up.

      Additionally, Christy clearly got beaten up and Jon deserves many years on jail for doing this. However, her story does seem to include a healthy amount of bullshit.

      Her nose was broken in 2 places…. with no apparent swelling?
      She had 18 broken bones in her eye…. riiiiight.
      2 teeth knocked out and many more broken…. with a bit of a cut lip.
      She looks like she took a good kick to the thigh but ruptured liver? I have no way to confirm or deny this but she seems to have exaggerated about everything else so why not that too?

      • klown says:

        Who cares if, in your expert medical opinion, there are “holes” in her story? What point are you trying to make?

        • Nepal says:

          Klown, probably the same number of people that care about what you post.

          I was just responding to Chris. Relax man.

  6. Ryan says:

    Was reading a forum on sherdog with people talking about how they felt burned about the situation. One guy spent 1700 bucks on tickets travel n hotel. Dunno what the UFC is supposed to do about it – injuries happen, and will only happen more if random drug testing actually makes some guys stop steroiding.

    Fighters are literally leaving it all in the gym. Maybe the UFC should consider an overhaul of how the whole camp thing is done. No more 2/3 month camps. Healthy fighters stay in the rotation and fight way more often. Obviously training is important, but there seems to be something seriously wrong with gym culture when so many guys are taking more damage in training than in the cage.

  7. SOTA says:

    Wrestling is the cause for most injuries IN & OUT of the game, it’s also the most boring aspect of the fight and the most grueling in training. Most people are not built to go through that type of regimen without the use of enhancements. Not everyone can be a Randy Couture.

    • Nepal says:

      Are you suggesting that Randy, the guy whose head is now much bigger than when he entered the UFC at UFC 13 did not take steroids???

      Sota, please…………

    • 45 Huddle says:

      Yeah wrestling is a brutal sport. Most people I know who wrestled for any sort of length of time have some type of injury that effects them the rest of their life.

      You will notice that it is also a young mans sport. Most people don’t wrestle until they are 40 but a lot of MMA fighters try to do it.

      The human body wasn’t meant to fight for a living. Especially at the level these athletes expect of themselves.

  8. edub says:

    “It’s been a really lousy year for UFC in Las Vegas outside of the Ronda Rousey fight, which in the end reportedly drew 500,000 buys on PPV.”

    If you think Ronda had more to do with selling that PPV then Chris did then I have some magic beans you might be interested in.

  9. Diaz's cashed bowl says:

    “It’s horrible, man. Horrible. And every time I gotta look and see, ‘Ex-UFC fighter’ when the stories are written. He fought twice [in the UFC], six years ago! He’s a current Bellator-Viacom fighter. I had my staff calling these reporters”

    So Dana, in a basic projection move to take some attention off Dana’s ACTUAL UFC fighters like Grispi who’s violence towards his ACTUAL wife was premeditated, has his staff waste time yelling at reporters for reporting ACTUAL facts.

    That’s a classic american example of trying to alter history for your own benefit, or to cover your mistakes.

    Police-“Your son Jack murdered that woman.”
    Father of murderer-“He aint no son of mine.”

    Yeah Dana, lets not acknowledge what may have contributed to this recent spate of violence against women. Namely, young Jack having just one skill, fighting, and spending 5 days a week fighting makes Jack a very aggressive boy when things don’t go Jacks way.

    Not to mention the steroid and brain damage angle.


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