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Eight years later, the more things change the more they stay the same

By Zach Arnold | December 30, 2014

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Christmas 2005. That was when Fight Opinion was created. Those were the days. Barely the notion of sports podcasting, let alone an MMA podcast. I was crazy enough to believe it could amount to something. I was lucky and fortunate to work with a man named Rob Sayers. Southern hospitality through and through.

The last decade has seen a million twists and turns but one thing has remained consistent — my opinion that no one will be able to make a consistent living in the MMA media remains truer than ever. Those who are doing their best to make a paycheck really have to hustle. It’s not easy and it’s not getting any easier, either.

Lots of names of the past remain as relevant (or irrelevant) today as they did a decade ago. Wanderlei Silva is in Japan for the Inoki NYE show at Ryogoku Kokugikan. His appearance long ago was billed as something of a guest spot as a commentator. In the last few days, that narrative has changed in the country’s press and now all the spotlight is whether or not Inoki will pay him what he wants to have a retirement fight in Japan. It will be interesting to see if UFC will seek an injunction in Vegas and then try to get it enforced in Tokyo.

Quinton Jackson is back with the UFC. Well, sort of. Probably not. Or maybe he is. The reality is that he has had legal issues big-time with Juanito Ibarra in Los Angeles Superior Court. I remember my previous reports on the matter and Rampage went through several lawyers. I don’t know what the current status of the case is but last I checked, it’s headed to trial. If Rampage hasn’t settled that case, there’s a fair shot that he could lose.

And now you throw into this legal mix the prospects of Bellator/Viacom potentially going after Rampage in a California state court, likely LA Superior, for declaratory & injunctive relief over his fight contract. Such a court battle would force Rampage (and UFC?) to come to the table for a settlement or else file a counterclaim arguing breach of contract. It is my personal opinion that UFC will be happy with whatever the outcome of the situation is. Time spent in the courts means Rampage not fighting in the Bellator cage. If Rampage can break free out of the contract, it’s another “name” guy for UFC to throw on TV or PPV to squeeze one last ratings or buy rate number out of. The idea that we’re talking about Rampage being a relevant Light Heavyweight player in 2015 is somewhat mystifying to me.

Then there’s the whole “everyone anticipates Brock Lesnar returning to UFC” ordeal. Combine this with the rumors of perhaps bringing in Alberto Del Rio/Dos Caras Jr. and what you have is UFC turning into a less fun yet just-as-bizarre version of PRIDE in a cage with lesser production values than their Japanese counterpart.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m interested in watching the Jon Jones/Daniel Cormier fight, although the more Jon Jones talks in the press the less interested I am in investing any sort of emotion supporting or booing the guy. He is what he is. The Anderson Silva/Nick Diaz fight along with Chris Weidman/Vitor Belfort are fights that I’m interested in but I’m not sure how the fans will react in terms of picking which one they will pay to watch and which one they won’t. Something has to give here.

Since Fight Opinion started, I’m surprised at how many of the old names are still hanging around despite the vicious injury & drug cycle that has plagued the industry for so long. Here’s hoping 2015 turns out to be a much better year than 2014 for big fights and less cancellations.

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As for the future of the site? I hope there is a future and that it’s an active one. Truth be told, I’m trying to rebuild a lot of things in my life right now and am facing some big professional challenges. To make a long story short, we could really use your financial support right now to pay for the costs to operate Fight Opinion and to pay for the research & legal costs that we need to pay going forward.

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Here’s hoping for a Happy New Year in 2015.

Topics: Bellator, Media, MMA, UFC, Zach Arnold | 8 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

8 Responses to “Eight years later, the more things change the more they stay the same”

  1. Dick Tracy says:

    Out of curiosity what sort of legal costs would a small independent website like this be facing? Are you getting sued or something?

  2. 45 Huddle says:

    I don’t know how much of a cut they take, but it wouldn’t hurt looking into a service like patreon, which allows people to donate to your website easily.

    On an MMA related note…. The theater near me was supposed to have Jones/Cormier and now it looks like they will not. Probably what happens when only a handful of people went to the last show.

  3. sam says:

    The end of Inoki Bom Ba Ye really made me sentimental.

    Cro Cop and Fujita squared off and started shoving. Fedor protected Lenne Hardt as Wanderlei scurried out of the ring. Bob Sapp had to eventually break it up just as Josh Barnett appeared. It made me miss the old days.

    The reverence and respect for the athletes I think is what is missing from US MMA (UFC). Joe Rogan screaming about what “animals” and “savages” they are as his blood vessels seem ready to explode just doesn’t represent the same respect that the all time greats are given in Japan. Just my take.

  4. rst says:

    So whats Cormier?
    The third man in history to get a round off of Jones.
    After Lyoto and Gus?

    And took him to full rounds.
    Thats not a bad accomplishment.

  5. rst says:

    “Those who are doing their best to make a paycheck really have to hustle. ”

    Its always frustrating to me that someone who I really enjoy like Fowlkes always ends up on the most intolerable websites.
    I feel torn.

    But I understand that he has the fortitude to do that to make a living at it.
    I admire him for it, but I still feel torn catering to it.

    I know investigative reporting take resources,
    but I’d rather hear you just write opinion pieces in your free time then give up on the sport like Rossen did.
    (I’m not sure what happened there.)

  6. rst says:

    I dont know,
    maybe Jon should have been a bit forgiving in the post press conference.

    Or maybe thats why he’s the winner.

    And the looser is apologetic.

    • Mark says:

      People have been begging him to play up the villain side of himself. Now they’re angry at him for the “Your tears mean nothing to me” line.

  7. Mark says:

    Cormier doesn’t deserve a rematch any time soon. Dave Meltzer wants them to run Cormier/Velasquez at Texas Stadium, but Cain has to fight Werdum first, and I don’t think him winning that fight is a guarantee.


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