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If UFC Sacramento is a taste of things to come for the “new UFC”, fans should panic fast

By Zach Arnold | December 17, 2016

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Saturday’s UFC event at the Golden-1 Center in Sacramento put a lot of egg on the faces of management.

The marketing and hype packages by Foxified TV consultants in conjunction with WME certainly felt different than the Lorenzo Fertitta-era UFC. UFC went all-in on Paige VanZant. They treated viewers as children by hyping VanZant for going to multiple high schools and filming a Bissell commercial at age 13. There was the nauseating Erin Andrews interview spot. Fox Sports 1 spent the whole week focusing on VanZant, including PVZ not wanting to fight in front of her mother because she bled during fights. And right on cue, Fox aired a 4G LTE commercial with Paige VanZant after VanZant’s fight ended.

The problem, of course, is that VanZant got choked out and destroyed by Michelle Waterson. It was an adult vs. a child in the cage. Waterson was in the main event and you wouldn’t have known it until fight night. Someone from production was barking at Waterson to hurry her ring walk by giving second-by-second instructions. She was viewed as the B-side of the main event by the powers-that-be. Of course they would treat Michelle Waterson like that.

The bloodletting continued with Sage Northcutt getting worked over by CM Punk slayer Mickey Gall. Fox hyped Northcutt as being discovered by Dana White on his Fight Pass show looking for a fighter. The prodigal son got beat up. It’s a good thing the focus was on Dana discovering this young man. Too bad Dana wasn’t actually there on camera to watch the festivities.

Dana White and Joe Rogan were nowhere to be found for Urijah Faber’s retirement fight. It’s entirely valid to point out that Faber was not a Dana creation and became his own star outside of the UFC universe. Even by that measure, White not showing up on camera to pay respects to Faber sent a rather interesting message to the fans at home. Faber was the clear cut star on this show along with Nick Diaz getting his ringside cameo.

Faber had a chance to submit Brad Pickett in round one of their fight but couldn’t pull it off. I joked that Skip Bayless would give a hot take on Fox saying that WEC Faber would have finished the fight but that UFC Faber just didn’t have the clutch gene to do it. An hour later, Fox was airing a Skip Bayless hot take skeptical of Ronda Rousey having success upon her return in two weeks to fight Amanda Nunes. It was the basest of Jamie Horowitz plays and to the average viewer came across as a copy of the horrible Monday Night Football half-time First Take shoutfest between Stephen A. Smith and Max Kellerman.

UFC barely acknowledged Fabricio Werdum (recently punished for comments) vs. Cain Velasquez (now associated with Bjorn Rebney’s association) coming up in two weeks.

And to cap off the WME Foxified TV consultant crapfest, UFC went into promo mode with a one-sided insult fest between Dominick Cruz and Cody Garbrandt. Another man vs. child scenario, this time on the microphone.

Speaking of childish, California State Athletic Commission main athletic inspector and Andy Foster point man Mark Relyea was in his camera-hogging glory by getting in on the TV shots before and after the Urijah Faber fight. Nobody is a bigger mark for Mark than Mark himself.

If this is what the WME era of UFC on Fox is going to be, the folks at Viacom should be very, very happy with their growing position.

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

26 Responses to “If UFC Sacramento is a taste of things to come for the “new UFC”, fans should panic fast”

  1. West Brown says:

    Oh yeah, and how about Sage Northcutt being jacked to the gills and no mention of drug tests to be found.

  2. 45 Huddle says:

    Good article, but you didn’t go far enough….

    1. Right now UFC 207 only has 4 fights for the PPV. If that stands, it will be the fewest number of fights on a Main Event PPV card in the history of the UFC. Talk about screwing fans over with less….

    2. The use of Interim wasn’t great during the Zuffa era. It is already becoming a joke in the WME era. Holloway vs. Pettis for a belt was bad enough. Now there are rumors that Khabib vs. Ferguson might be for an Interim belt, despite the fact that Connor is perfectly healthy and will fight within a year.

  3. Tradition Rules says:

    Even my elderly mother was pissed that they were rushing Waterson to the cage. She even said “Aren’t they going to talk about the other girl?” And my mother watched Van Zant’s last fight with me and she loved the jumping KO kick.

    She asked me “Who do we want to win?” I said “I’m pulling for Michelle, you can cheer for whoever you want.” šŸ˜‰

    She also thought Garbrandt was obnoxious during his interview.

    I picked Gall to beat Northcutt, and again, it DID seem like they have become more interest in pushing “IDOLS” instead of giving even coverage.

  4. Diaz's packed bowl says:

    While I agree with your article, It was early Christmas for me, and I got what I wanted… Sunny Jim and Jill schooled fooled and choked the f out.

    But that’s not what I typically watch MMA for is it?
    Back in the day, most everyone wanted to see bullies like tank or hess get rolled up. Now I want to see nice polite pretty teenagers get their a$$ handed to them?!!?

    The ufc is again lowering the bar for what passes for Ultimate fighting.
    UFCs first lowering occurred back in the Arlovski vs Buentello days in what I called the wal-martization of the ufc. Pride had the good fighters and UFC was looking like something from UFCs dark days from 20-29.

    Then UFC got it together for a while after getting pride. But the second lowering would come when they bought every other promotion and began putting on too many cards with lesser fighters.

    Through these times of lowered expectations the UFC created few stars. GSP is pretty much it, Penn Jones a couple others were failed stars. RR is the ugliest failed star you never want to look at. Conner is legitimately the only star UFC has/helped created.

    Now they are slapping star labels onto any new pretty face, regardless their fighting skill.
    While the real stars like Faber are unceremoniously broomed out of the spotlight.

    I really miss Bjorns Bellator, it treated MMA as the real sport. Sure the tournaments had some PVZ and Sage type clinkers, but they always got eliminated in the first round and we wouldn’t have to see them again, and definitely not headlining a show.

    Pages and sages are happy go lucky media personalities, not REAL fighters. Why would you even fight if you were privileged whitey? too stupid to realize they suck? Are they listening to the UFC hype and believing it? Is it the easy money? Regardless they are promoting fashion over function, and fad over fighting.

  5. Diaz's packed bowl says:

    I forgot to say how cringeworthy the commentating was during the main… “man Page is tough” while shes getting choked out. Any other fight it would be “Watterson has that choke tight” “pvz has no answer for it” Felt bad for the commentators for lying like that, they must sit in the shower and cry after cashing their checks. The thing is karate hottie isn’t all that great of a fighter either, yet she made PVZ look stupid.


    “I was meant for the spotlight, and Iā€™m going to continue to be in the spotlight,” VanZant

    she sucks bad, she’ll never learn… she was going for that pathetic hip toss again!!

  6. Tradition Rules says:

    Waterson may not be a great fighter,….But she is a VERY GOOD fighter, particularly as an Atomweight fighter.

    She is a good striker who has greatly improved her wrestling and grappling, as well as quite durable. I was fully expecting her to win.

    • Diaz's packed bowl says:

      Watterson was is very good, and she is hotter than monkey face van sant.
      We haven’t seen Watterson for some time, and pvz isnt a real “test”, so I have reservations with calling her great after a year off…but she did look great against pvz.

      • Tradition Rules says:

        I also PERSONALLY think Waterson is hotter,… But I’m biased, I like Asian women.

        But if she was over-hyped like Van Zant is, I’d still call out the UFC for overhyping

        • 45 Huddle says:

          I’m not typically into Asian women and Waters on is both hotter and a better fighter then Paige. By a large margin in both categories.

  7. turd says:

    i was glad to see waterson win, the attention van zant and treatment she has gotten is disgusting.

    i bet stann was trying his best to sugar coat van zant.

    what is really horrible is the fact that sage northcutt

    makes more money than proven ufc veterans do and this clown does not even belong in the ufc.

    the new owners i going to do everything they can to make the biggest buck fast .

    they are sitting on about 2 billion dollars in debt and interest payments at 125 million a year ouch !

    • Cutch says:

      The main event peaked at 4.8 million for the main event and did over 3 million, safe to say the people at WME IMG know more than everyone slagging off this card on here.

      This is the biggest Fox show in December in 4 years, that includes two title fights and a former HW champion fighting in the main event.

      • Zach Arnold says:

        They popped a rating on Faber’s retirement and destruction of two young stars in PVZ and Northcutt.

        Yes, the rating will be nice when WME shops UFC around for a new TV deal and cashes out afterwards. But it’s a Pyrrhic victory and insight on things to come with Fox controlling production & storylines.

        • Tradition Rules says:

          The way the UFC has hyped PVZ & Northcutt really makes me think “IDOL” instead of “ATHLETE ” or “MARTIAL ARTIST/FIGHTER”.

          Kind of like the Joshi puroresu scene in Japan in the 1990s. They have skill, but are pushed more for their looks over much more skilled and experienced talent.

  8. Tradition Rules says:

    So I just read Kevin Iole’s article on how the ratings peaked at 4.8 million for the main event.

    It mentions how Dana White praised Northcutt and Gall because he discovered them on Looking for a Fight (I do enjoy the show), and PVZ, mentioning how they all have that “star quality about them”… ZERO mention of Waterson,other than the opening sentence.

    This is a failure on BOTH White’s part as well as Iole: she just won the Main Event of one of the highest rated Fight Night on FOX shows,…Why the hell aren’t they hyping her up, to at least a reasonable minimum?

    • Diaz's packed bowl says:

      The poor treatment of Watterson, and her total dismissal after such a dominant victory could easily be seen as racism. So keeping her down amy be a success as far as they are concerned.
      Also… funny, now that the ufc is owned by an Israeli jew, Rousey’s back muscles look like challah bread.

      • 45 Huddle says:

        There has been some under the racism in the UFC for years.

        1. Some black fighters have been mysteriously cut faster then they should have been.

        2. Based on the percentage of black fighters in the UFC, there has been far too many black vs black fights.

        3. White fighters with blonde hair have been promoted far more then their peers with the same skill sets.

        It is disguisting.

        • Diaz's packed bowl says:

          #1 Daley and High were cut for the same things baroni and nelson were fined for. I have noticed white fighters with losing records tend to hang around longer than black losers.
          #2 I haven’t looked at the numbers so im not sure whats going on there. But not too many black fighters in the ufc for sure.
          #3 That’s correct. The new owners have less respect for the sport than the frattatas. Using ufcs violent spectacle not only as cash cow, but as a vehicle for hyping their inherently racist and facist political ideology.

  9. Rob Maysey says:


    Sit tight.

    Keep saying impossible–we love it.

  10. 45 Huddle says:

    Cyborg got flagged for a banned substance. Second time in her career. Hopefully this is the end of her.

    Seems like most of the top “guys” are juicers. I would LMAO if Ronda got popped.

  11. Diaz's packed bowl says:

    Guess we know why ufc didnt mention the werd cain fight, because they knew it wasn’t happening. We know who calls the shots with the nsac, Cain just got punished for joining mmaaa. Werdum also will NOT be making any coin on a huge ppv, for mouthing off to reebok. I bet they drop Kennedy after that loss and tuck Dillashaw away on some fightpass cards from now on. Cowboy will still get the good fights so long as he rats out his associates to his dad Dana.

  12. Rob Maysey says:

    There is only one path to fixing this issue. . . Only one group working on the fix.

    We are not hard to find. Join us.

    • Diaz's packed bowl says:

      Watch Dana throw everyone under the bus.

      #1 claims cain vs werdum cancelled for benevolent reason.
      #2 claims werdum turns down fights and wont be paid for not fighting at 207.
      #3 Didn’t spend a dime promoting nunes

      • Diaz's packed bowl says:

        Poor big rigg. looking pretty shot last couple of days.
        UFCs early weigh ins aren’t doing anything.They need to just do a major move to eliminate the weight cutting bs.

        I propose going bigger, eliminating Mighty mouse’s division(whatever its called), adding a cruiser weight 205-220 division and simply moving everyone up one weight class. First you’d want to know the weights of all fighters when they enter the cage. Maintaining that weight within ten lbs one month away from fight night should be the rule. This way fighters cannot cut more than 10 lbs the night of or right before the fight.

  13. Mike ripple says:

    Paige is a phony as they come and has zero skills…and will bounce from team alpha male real soon!! Mark my words!! Stay tuned


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