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The state of the MMA union after UFC 178 (w/ audio discussion)

By Zach Arnold | September 27, 2014

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MMA optimists stated that the momentum would pick up for UFC after a lackluster Summer 2014 business campaign. All signs pointed to UFC 178 being that launching point over the next five months to re-heat interest.

Heading into UFC 178, a legitimate question: was it the right call to put Demetrious Johnson in the main event slot as opposed to giving Donald Cerrone and Eddie Alvarez potentially five rounds? The results turned out to be rather interesting:

Just like in Vancouver, the Las Vegas fans walked out during a Demetrious Johnson title fight. (Ed. — Those in attendance claimed the fans rushed out right afterwards rather than during the fight.)

No matter how many great performances he has on Fox or PPV platforms, fans don’t care. Amongst the MMA fans, the Flyweights are viewed as lawn jockeys. It seems that Bantamweight is as low as the fans will go. I can’t explain the psychology. It just is. Case in point: Dominick Cruz KO’ing Takeya Mizugaki in a minute and being treated as practically a hero after being ruthlessly booed three years ago. It’s a fait a’ccompli now that he will be fighting TJ Dillashaw shortly for the Bantamweight title match.

(Ed. — I have been called a racist for using the term lawn jockey to describe how MMA fans treat the Flyweight fighters. I did not use the term specifically against one specific fighter. That would be construed as racially insensitive. Read my reply to the person accusing me of racism if you’re interested.)

Would the outcome of the Cerrone/Alvarez have changed with five rounds instead of three rounds? Doubtful, but you never know. I’d rather have witnessed five rounds for that fight than the main event fight. Ironic that Spike’s bizarre attempt to attack UFC with their own Eddie Alvarez special gave us five rounders that the UFC didn’t.

As for the rest of the card, so many different outcomes will impact matches for the next year. Cat Zingano TKO’d Amanda Nunes. This means Zingano vs. Ronda Rousey in January for the 135 pound title. Yoel Romero and Tim Kennedy was supposed to clear things up as far as title hopes in the future. Kennedy said he was going to wear him out and he was in the process of doing that. Then came the smart gamesmanship and all attention would soon shift to a certain referee:

This was McCarthy’s first fight in Nevada since 2007. Somewhere, Keith Kizer is laughing his ass off.

The real star of UFC 178 ended up being this guy:

For a card with not a lot of casual fan fare, UFC 178 had a lot of relevance. The problem is, there’s not enough cards with enough relevant fights these days. There’s way too much filler. And way too many boneheaded decisions being made in and out of the cage.

The judge, Jeff Thaler, and I recently sat down to discuss the state of the MMA union for the rest of 2014 and headining into the 2015 campaign. Recently on Sherdog, I address the prospects of a Brock Lesnar comeback and also addressed how Bellator’s real competition isn’t the UFC but rather World Wrestling Entertainment. The only one that can stop UFC is UFC itself. If Bellator’s going to be competitive, they will have to build their own unique fan coalition.

We recently addressed some of the major problems the UFC is having with top guys getting injured and certain guys getting in trouble because of their anti-social behavior. Even when Jon Jones is given a public relations lifeline, the idiot savant manages to screw it up.

Download the show

RIGHT HERE: (http://fightopinion.com/podcasts/foradio-9-25-2014.mp3).

Subscribe automatically to Fight Opinion Radio: http://feeds.feedburner.com/fightopinionradio.

Time length of this week’s show: 32 minutes

Topics: Bellator, Fight Opinion Radio, Jeff Thaler, Media, MMA, podcasts, UFC, Zach Arnold | 16 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

16 Responses to “The state of the MMA union after UFC 178 (w/ audio discussion)”

  1. Tradition Rules says:

    Manny casual MMA fans are idiots.

    I get that some look at “the little guys” as just that- “little guys”…but to walk out on a main event?

    And I understand the bias and why you said what you said Zach: because how many view “small fighters”. But if you have a Champion on a fight card it should be the main event over a non title fight.

    That said.put the smaller weight classes on Fox Fight Night shows for free. Let them win over many(not all) casual fans.

    HUGE performance for Dominick Cruz. I love him-always have when most have hated him. This also being said I felt due to all his injuries in such a short span I thought he was probably done. So I was hoping Mizugaki (who I also love to watch) would have won to continue his climb upwards. Cruz proved me wrong in a big way and I don’t mind.

    Cruz KO’d the iron chained Mizugaki…maybe Cruz has always been able to KO opponents but was playing it safe when champ? He did admit once that he fought a certain style to be “safe” to cut down on wear an tear on the body. Ironic that he has suffered so many injuries during training.

    Didn’t see him throw many if ANY kicks though. Will be interesting to see if he does and how his knees/legs hold up.

  2. RST says:

    Thats too bad about Kennedy.
    He seems to have this recurring bad luck for getting cheated on and knocked out.

    He needs to see the ghosthunters or a tarot card reader about that.

    • Machismo says:

      Recurring bad luck for “getting cheated on and knocked out?”

      This is the ONLY time it has happened to him in his career.

  3. sofian says:

    Lawnjockey’s seriously? When talking about the flyweights and their champ you use a racially controversial term as a descriptor…lawn gnomes, kids, etc any of those would have made the same point as what you made yet you went with racial imagery to describe the champ…..seems like your inner feelings accidentally came out in your writing here. Such a racist fucking douchebag you are.

    • Zach Arnold says:

      1) I’m defending Demetrious Johnson as far as his skill set, his fight performances, and his ability to positively represent the sport.

      2) It is an unfortunate truth that a lot of UFC fans treat the smaller guys sub-Featherweight as if they are gnomes or little kids and rush for the exits.

      I think Demetrious Johnson has done practically everything in his power that you could possibly ask for in a UFC champion to not only deliver in the clutch moments but get finishes as well.

      As for your attack on me in which you are labeling me a racist, you are talking out of your ass here. The terminology used had nothing to do with the race of the individual and the context in which it was used made it very clear that the only focus in the discussion was about how UFC fans treat fighters in different sizes & weight classes.

      Your IP address is [redacted]. Try posting your full & real name next time in your drive-by attack on me.

      • Sofian el keurti says:

        There my name is posted….i seem to have hit a chord…not my fault you chose racially insensitive terminology…in your response you use gnomes and kids as a descriptor….what changed? Admit your choice of words was racially insensitive!!! As a “journalist” you should know when to admit fault and practice better editing. As for posting my ip address im not really sure of your point….you got very defensive zach.

        • Zach Arnold says:

          Times vs. Sullivan pretty much allows you to say whatever the hell you want about a public figure. And in this case I certainly haven’t modified or censored your remarks.

          Your original comment intentionally twisted the context of the remark.

          Article comment:

          Just like in Vancouver, the Las Vegas fans walked out during a Demetrious Johnson title fight. No matter how many great performances he has on Fox or PPV platforms, fans don’t care. Amongst the MMA fans, the Flyweights are viewed as lawn jockeys. It seems that Bantamweight is as low as the fans will go. I can’t explain the psychology. It just is.

          Your comment:

          …you went with racial imagery to describe the champ…..seems like your inner feelings accidentally came out in your writing here. Such a racist fucking douchebag you are.

          My advice to you moving forward is to quit digging a deeper hole for yourself. You’ve already disgraced yourself enough as it is. You just thought I would ignore it and let the drive-by attack go unanswered.

      • no no no no! you knew what you were doing…as i said you could’ve used gnomes or anything else but you used lawn jockey which is a racially insensitive term….i really wonder if the champ wasn’t black would you have used the same term? Again in your response to me or explanation you no longer use lawn jockey…what hole am i digging? Your pussy ass reveals my IP address publicly and follow it with a dumb remark about posing my full name…you had your chest so puffed out your idiocy didn’t allow you to notice that my email is my name…nobody is hiding from you man…you’re the one hiding and you got called out and realize you fucked up and that’s why you keep responding to me…ask yourself Zack…who the fuck am I? I’m a schmuck sitting at home reading sites…you’re a “writer” and you feel the need to actually attack me rather than eloquently explain why you used racially insensitive imagery to paint your point…..it’s you digging the hole shitwad. So in your infinite wisdom you post my IP cuz you must hope hackers get a hold of me and fuck with my comp…that would really suck for me as I use this as my main computer for school work….so because you felt butt hurt by something i said fairly legitimately you wish to turn this into a personal vendetta….talk about playing DOWN to the level of your opposition…shame on you Zach, you lack integrity in a major way and your bully tactics show it…you have such a small mind that as soon as you feel even the slightest bit attacked you lose all reason….btw what’s with you loving the term drive-by attack? Aren’t all attacks on the web technically drive-bys? isn’t the fact that I put my name on it make it exactly the opposite of a drive-by? So now you’re using ghetto imagery….next you’ll start comparing this issue to you being lynched and decry the fact that you’re slaving away trying to create content for us while you get lynched…see that guy you see in the mirror every morning? Love him a little more and be less angry at the world ok.

  4. The Gaijin says:

    Damn it, Eddie! Crushing. He actually looked pretty tiny compared to Cerrone – he may be too undersized for 155 in the UFC.

    I have to say, along with the Miller fight, Cerrone fought one of the smartest, most strategic fights I’ve seen him fight in the WEC or UFC.

    In any case, I thought Eddie clearly showed he belongs in the bigs and might have blown himself out in that first round trying to go for the finish…he even looked like he was on his way to winning the third round until he let his leg get chopped to pieces (don’t mean to take away from Cerrone re. “let it happen”, he took full advantage of Eddie’s inability/unwillingness to check kicks) – that was some bad mid-fight game-plan changing on Eddie’s part…not sure if that was part of the “Octagon jitters” or just a limitation of his skills.

  5. The Gaijin says:

    Remember when the sport was fractured and we all lamented how we were forced to watch title fights that featured the likes of Jeremy Horn, Justin Eilers, Paul Buentello, Jeff Monson and Nate Quarry….but if everyone fought under one roof we’d have all the best title fights possible?

    Now in the last year we’ve had Chael Sonnen (coming off a 2nd title fight loss in the division below), Joe Soto, Chris Carasio and Ali Bagautinov, headlining title fights.

    Lovely.

    • 45 Huddle says:

      That is more of a result of too much expansion.

      • The Gaijin says:

        Oh, I don’t disagree – just saying that we were all thinking one org to rule them all was going to be the solution to non-stacked cards, and clearly we’re still complaining about the same things (just different reasons). The latter is obviously completely inexcusable.

  6. Zack says:

    I was there. People didn’t leave during the DJ fight but they left right after and the crowd wasn’t loud. Still, they stuck around and that was good. When you walked around it was McGreggor fans everywhere. The building filled up for the main card and stayed crowded until the end of the main event. The two biggest pops of the night were the Cruz and Zigano wins, even though Connor was the biggest star.

  7. Alan Conceicao says:

    The UFC has no idea how to promote the flyweights. They should start by spending time putting together fights to establish a challenger and then put that challenger in with Demetrius Johnson. Since they don’t and instead just give title shots to whomever, he feels like an afterthought champ because he is one. He’s Ricardo Lopez for MMA.

    As for McGregor, they’re hoping he puts on a Hatton/Tszyu performance – the kind where a prospect who’s been handled with kid gloves and molded into a draw manages to actually win at the next level. Even if you don’t believe McGregor is a legitimate threat to Jose Aldo, they’ve still managed to actually create a guy that generates interest simply by matching him smart and getting the kind of finishes they hope for. Why they don’t do this more frequently instead of having crapola like Doomsday/Ebersole on TV undercards, I have no idea.

  8. Zach Arnold says:

    sofian elkeurti wrote:

    no no no no! you knew what you were doing…

    You originally accused me of intentional racism. Then you went to the “well, what you said was racially insensitive” stance. Now you’re back to defining intent.

    Prove the intent. You can’t. You won’t. There is no evidence. You came on here with a character assassination attack on me. Anyone can do that. You manufactured a grievance.

    as i said you could’ve used gnomes or anything else but you used lawn jockey which is a racially insensitive term….i really wonder if the champ wasn’t black would you have used the same term?

    I’ve used the term in the past to describe how fans disrespect and treat fighters who are not Lightweights. It’s not a new argument from me, either. I mentioned this problem in my recent Sherdog Bellator battle plan article. Dana White has talked about this issue in regards to Jose Aldo and how it’s tough selling fights sub-155 pounds.

    You took a size issue and inflamed it into a racial issue. That speaks to your intent in commentary, not mine.

    Your pussy ass reveals my IP address publicly and follow it with a dumb remark about posing my full name…

    You came on here with a drive-by attack and flamed me with an incendiary allegation. You didn’t think I would defend myself and my reputation? I use my real name unlike a lot of writers. I never hide from a debate or a fight. What you see is what you get.

    ask yourself Zack…who the fuck am I? I’m a schmuck sitting at home reading sites…you’re a “writer” and you feel the need to actually attack me rather than eloquently explain why you used racially insensitive imagery to paint your point

    You called someone a racist and a douchebag, got challenged on the attack, and now you’re playing the victim card after you lodged an accusation based on a publicly written comment that you twisted out of context and misinterpreted.

    There is nothing “eloquent” about any of the comments you’ve posted on this site.

    it’s you digging the hole shitwad. So in your infinite wisdom you post my IP cuz you must hope hackers get a hold of me and fuck with my comp

    All IPs are logged for comments on web sites. If a court issued an order to turn over evidence relating to a comment on this site, I would turn over such evidence. It has nothing to do with “hacking” your computer system. You only revealed your full identity after you were challenged to do so.

    In my opinion, you’re trying to legally scare me and lay the ground work for damages in court by claiming that you’re computer security has been somehow jeopardized now.

    So, to address your concerns, I have redacted your IP address from the initial comment.

    talk about playing DOWN to the level of your opposition…shame on you Zach, you lack integrity in a major way and your bully tactics show it…

    You raised yourself as a moral arbiter by calling me a racist. Now you’re claiming that you’re lower in stature than I am. Which is it? Many people have said many things about me over the years, but questioning integrity and honesty? Not so much.

    I want the public to see exactly what I have to put up with. You have no legal ground to stand any for any claim whatsoever.

    https://twitter.com/coconono/status/516677400156180481

    Up until this point, I’ve allowed you to comment to your heart’s desire. That’s over. Challenging me to a fight on Twitter? Your 15 minutes of fame are up.

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