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UFC wanted to become like FIFA. They now have Sepp Blatter’s social street cred without FIFA’s $

By Zach Arnold | September 19, 2014

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Dana White & Lorenzo Fertitta should thank their lucky stars that Roger Goodell had his pathetic press conference on Friday discussing issues relating to domestic violence. If there was 1/100th of the media spotlight on UFC that there is currently on the NFL, Zuffa would be having a full-fledged meltdown.

I’ve been very consistent in stating that UFC has no idea how to deal with real-life challenges. They live in a fantasy world bubble. They don’t like being challenged and they don’t respond well to being challenged. They wrap themselves in a cocoon. They can’t defend themselves. Whether it’s anabolic steroids or domestic violence, they don’t know how to be proactive. They are merely reactive.

While Roger Goodell was getting eviscerated by the likes of ESPN (!) after his ill-fated New York presser, the UFC was busy dealing with scandals of their own making involving Thiago Silva & Anthony Johnson. Two guys with a colorful past that is not exactly a state secret.

The first shoe to drop was UFC indefinitely suspending Anthony Johnson (whatever that means) because Brent Brookhouse reported that the mother of Johnson’s children got a restraining order over allegations of threats & abuse.

The second shoe to drop was UFC cutting ties with Thiago Silva (again) after his ex-wife, who Florida police had trouble getting cooperation from, posted videos online of Silva allegedly high on cocaine and in possession of a gun. The ex-wife further alleged that she had to have an abortion after being physically assaulted.

In both the Thiago Silva & Anthony Johnson cases, the UFC is emulating similar behavior that the Baltimore Ravens franchise displayed when they handled the Ray Rice knockout incident with his fiancee Janay Palmer in Atlantic City. According to ESPN via their Outside the Lines reporting unit, the Ravens allegedly knew exactly what had happened with Rice in the Atlantic City casino elevator within a matter of hours after the incident but decided to supposedly overrule the wishes of their head coach John Harbaugh by keeping Rice around and campaigning for leniency. Kind of like how Dana White recently said that Thiago Silva deserves to earn a living. Furthermore, the ESPN report claims that Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti supposedly texted Rice with a message stating that he would have a future job in the Ravens organization.

For the Ravens organization, it didn’t matter what Ray Rice did or didn’t do in that Atlantic City casino elevator. It didn’t matter that he was becoming a washed up RB. All that mattered was the myth & belief that Ray Rice was such a great, upstanding citizen that no matter how heinous his personal behavior was that the organization needed to do everything possible to protect him and protect their image.

Similarly, UFC management doesn’t act as if they are responsible for delivering a consistent message on what kind of behavior will or will not be accepted. This organization doesn’t believe that the fish rots from the head down. It does. When you are hiring as many fighters as they book, you’re going to naturally attract people from the fringes. You’re going to attract out of control fighters who are over the edge due to the ultrahazardous nature of a very violent sport where guys suffer from traumatic brain damage & effects of significant drug usage. Cover-ups won’t work and don’t work. Making excuses and rationalizing criminal behavior is a losing proposition for UFC given their ties to Fox Sports right now.

The kind of security & investigative protocols currently in place in the UFC would be considered unacceptable at the casinos that the Fertitta family empire operates. Zuffa doesn’t need to create a pseudo-FBI investigative unit in the UFC but they do need some fresh perspective and a dose of common sense from upper management. Even if you accept the situational ethics from the powers-that-be, Dana White fighting for Thiago Silva’s job security is as stupid as the Ravens fighting for Ray Rice’s job security. These guys aren’t at the top of their profession.

Congratulations, UFC. You are getting close to the same level of credibility & respect amongst your fans as Roger Goodell & Sepp Blatter have with their disgruntled audiences. Unfortunately, your MMA company’s bank account will never match theirs. Fortunately, the people who love MMA really love MMA and will not let your poor judgment get in the way of their enjoyment of the sport.

Fox Sports has a lot of stake with both the NFL and UFC. Friday was not a good day for the Murdoch sports empire in America.

Topics: Media, MMA, UFC, Zach Arnold | 13 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

13 Responses to “UFC wanted to become like FIFA. They now have Sepp Blatter’s social street cred without FIFA’s $”

  1. 45 Huddle says:

    The UFC needs to sit down and write a comprehensive guide for its fighters. It needs to include:

    1) Drug Testing policy. That includes random drug testing and procedures.

    2) Drug Suspension Criteria. So fighters know exactly what the consequences are. For example, if a fighter tests positive for a specific substance, they can look in the guide and know exactly how long their suspension is for. This would also include closing the loop holes with the athletic commissions. So if an athletic commission tests a fighter out of license and he pisses hot, the UFC should suspend them.

    3) List of punishments for outside legal trouble.

    If there was a definitive guide to all of this, it would cause the UFC so much less issues.

    • Diaz's packed bowl says:

      Sounds great of course, but they have a two tier fighter system in which the Sonnens constant drug cheating and Jones extracurricular illegal activities are smoothed over quickly, so as to keep the cash rolling in. While the “low cash” fighters such as High or Baraos are shown the door and disrespected for minor issues withing the sport.

      Also they are racist. Pretty much constantly pushing the white fighter over the black or brazilian fighter

      I hope to see Wand fighting in oneFc destroying asians again soon.

      • 45 Huddle says:

        Well, then they will continue to have major issues going forward and probably lose more fans because of it.

        I have noticed a lot of black vs. black fighters in the UFC. More then the statistical average….

        • Diaz's packed bowl says:

          Well asian fighters have complained about the pay, after training camp and travel costs they’re making cost+. Stun gun has changed his winning style, now he’s expected to be another zombie.
          UFC signed no russian fighters since cebamov suloev and arlovski for how many years?

          If you are a gracie you have one shot in the ufc. Lose, and you are shown the door. Gracie bjj made the ufc yet they are disrespected.

          You could say its racist ignoring the Russian and Gracie fighters for 10 years. Or you could say that those nationalities fighting styles are grappling heavy and therefore aren’t represented as much as the ratings popular stand and bang fighter, due to a financial element. But the whole Brao thing really shows their true stripe. He should have had the championship belt long ago, he complained about his poor treatment and well you see whats happened now…
          Even Hunto, as great a character and fighter that you could ever find, gets douched around by the ufc and he has to complain publicly about it just to get the minimum respect. And you saw the two absolutely epic main events he put on. The guy is#4 right now and really should be fighting for the title after cain v werd.

          And now with wands scathing public chastising, the ufc is as Joe puts it, “HURT VERY VERY BADLY!”

  2. RST says:

    Friggen brookhouse at it again. Getting dudes who work hard for a living to feed their families and children fired while he apparently sits in the house living under his wifes skirt. I’d like to slap that guy, but that might be violence against women.

    Did Rumble knock all kind of teeth out of his baby momma mouth 2 years ago? Maybe. I dont know, I wasn’t there. brookhouse wasn’t either. But chicks do make allegations sometimes just for revenge and power as long as thats enough for the brookhouses of the world to run with.

    You should have to prove stuff like that.
    But brookhouses fruity little trick is scouring public records for dui’s, unpaid parking tickets and kicking a door in to prove something else that he has no proof of, but wants to be true.

    And so the video of brookhouses other victim Silva is just him allegedly high on cocaine and having a gun?
    We already knew he probably did cocaine and had a gun!
    And another ACCUSATION of chick abuse without any proof!
    Well thats just grand.

    I dont follow other sports, but as far as I can tell this whole sexual abuse/domestic abuse national “scandal” thats got obama in a tank is rice, one other dude and the guy who whipped his kid with a switch?
    (The ole unrelated, but heres the proof trick.)

    Thats it?
    Thats the national emergency thats everybody elses fault?
    Or is that just the national agenda of the brookhouses living like trolls underneath womens skirts.

    Oh yeah, there was a UFC last night.
    Thats a good win for Hunt. These old dogs like him and AA still in there is fun to see. But I have to add that Country looked especially tubby. We know he’s always fat but he pulled in it a little bit for a few of his last fights. It was all filled back out in its full glory last night. But although that may affect his gas, that doesn’t effect his chin or right over hand.
    Good job Hunt.

  3. Chris says:

    Nice to see that Dana White is concerned about the important things, like dissing people on Twitter. Like I’ve said before, the C in UFC stands for Clueless.

  4. klown says:

    Did anyone else catch Schiavello’s long interview with Fedor? It was pretty cool.


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