I’m really, truly not trying to generate controversy by changing the ‘o’ in Strikeforce to an ‘a’ – I’m just very, very pissed about what I just heard. Let’s see if it subsides before I get there.
First, let’s start with Gegard Mousasi, who ran his winning streak to an impressive 14 straight wins with an impressive title defense… ok, how about with a ho-hum title defense… wait, this wasn’t even a title fight? This was at 205, right? What? Coker said Sokoudjou wasn’t worthy of a title fight but made the match anyway? Ok, then he ran his winning streak to 14 with a WIN over Sokoudjou, who may have the single most brutal career in the history of MMA (sorry, Nastula). Seriously – losses to Teixeira, Machida, Cane, Babalu and Mousasi, wins over Nortje, Sapp, Arona and Lil Nog. B-r-u-t-a-l way to go 7-5 and begin a career.
Mousasi looked fine, starting out a little slow (later saying his ‘experiment‘ hadn’t worked out as planned) but ultimately securing a TKO victory in the second after weathering the inevitable first round storm that Sokoccasionaljudo (yeah, he actually used it a couple of times – weird, right? Like Jorge Gurgel pulling guard or something) threw at him. While it wasn’t the lopsided domination that everyone seemed to expect, Gegard won, and it sure sounds like he’s going to take lessons from this fight, which normally doesn’t happen in a fight where one guy has the belt and the other isn’t good enough to be eligible for it.
Ok, I’m still pissed and I’m still keeping it as ‘Strikefarce’ in the title. I’ve got good reasons:
During the undercard portion of Saturday’s Strikeforce show the Mark Miller v. Deray Davis fight was skipped over from it’s scheduled slot to make sure the women’s bout would have adequate time to get in before the start of the CBS broadcast. The ladies only took a few minutes to get their fight taken care of and there were thirty minutes left before the show went live. Still, the Miller/Davis fight didn’t happen. We were told in the media section that the fight was going to be moved to after the main event. I’m not sure who provided that update but it was passed around from media member to media member.
After the post-Fedor madness cleared from the cage we were told to get upstairs for the press conference and it was clear that the Miller/Davis fight wasn’t taking place. I tried to ask the few executives I saw walking around for the story and no one seemed to know.
And if that wasn’t bad enough, we have this update from The Mouth on The UG:
They got only their show money.
One of them lost all of his sponsorship money cause the fight didnt happen.
SF kept the win purse for both guys.
Un. Fucking. Real. First, CBS and Strikefarce say they’ll do everything they can to get Roxy/Coenen on TV, time permitting. Then, they proceed to fuck up their show pacing so hard that they show four fights over 150 minutes (two decisions that ate up 40 minutes total and two fights that ended in the second round). THEN, they have to move an undercard fight to AFTER the main event just so they can squeeze in Roxy’s fight BEFORE the televised card starts. AFTER THAT, they just say ‘fuck it’ and CANCEL THE FIGHT OUTRIGHT so that nobody is confused whilst being herded from cageside to the press conference. Once all of this is looked at sequentially, stiffing both guys at the end for their win purses (you know, those things Strikefarce told them they’d be fighting for before they told them they weren’t fighting the night of the fight?) almost seems par for the course.
Do this for me – I beseech you to do this for me before you decide how you feel about this: It’s UFC 100. You’re Paulo Thiago or Jon Fitch. You’ve been backstage, warming up, aware that the title fights take precedence and going over on time during a PPV just isn’t an option – patiently waiting your turn to fight, after Brock gets done with Frank. Then a note comes in: fight’s off. You’re getting your guarantee to show and that’s it. Also, those sponsors? Yeah, they paid to get on TV, not to make you feel good – they’re out, too. As a participant, a friend or a fan, I would have nothing but rage at the UFC for pulling that shit.
However pissed you would have been at Dana White, you should be feeling the exact same feelings towards Scott Coker – otherwise, you’re just a Zuffa bashing hypocrite. This is as clear cut an example as you’ll ever see of fragmentation of the sport hurting, not helping, the fighters and their bottom line.
Update: Props to blackula jonez for reminding me of this, from the Diaz/Guillard UFN, courtesy of MMA Junkie:
Phillipe Nover: $20,000*
vs. Sam Stout: $24,000*…
…* Fight didn’t take place because of pre-fight seizure suffered by Nover; fighter still paid
Nover had a seizure the day of the card and was unable to fight. The Evil Fucking Empire gave both guys their show and win bonuses (I am not sure what happened with the sponsors, but again, that UFC policy of requiring a minimum $100,000 commitment from advertisers just looks smarter and smarter by the day). THAT is how you do it. How fucking much could these guys have been slated to make?
Make this right, Scott – pay these men their win bonuses. CBS ought to step in and pay whatever the sponsors are stiffing Miller and Davis – you know they were the ones that fucked up the pacing. And people wonder why Dana consistently flips off networks that want control.
Update: Props to Brent Brookhouse for following up with Afromowitz. It appears that Strikeforce has made this right:
..the resolution to this is that both fighters got paid their appearance fees and we’re paying them their win bonuses
They go on to reveal that they tried to put Miller/Davis on a different future card in Chicago, but I don’t really care about that – they still should’ve been able to fight when they were told they could. This, combined with the fact that the sponsorship dollar question remains unanswered (and my own sneaking suspicion that the win bonuses were only paid out in response to the pressure created by Brookhouse and echoed elsewhere), lead me to keep the whole Strikefarce thing in the title. I won’t make a habit of it, but I feel like it will be of unavoidable necessity in the near future (cough Herschel Walker cough).