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I hate the fact that stupid dipshit outlets like the Sun get to do Q&A with Dana White. I hate it because they never ask the right questions. Even when they let their readers ask the questions, they still don’t ask the same questions. I understand it … I get that us hardcore people represent like 1% of the population and we’re not the ones buying stupid gem-encrusted UFC shirts or TUF necklaces. But come on. Throw us a freaking bone.

(Just as a side note, Steve Cofield has asked people to send him some hard questions for Dana White which he’ll toss either during an interview or at a press conference. So go send him your curveballs.)

The only good question asked by a Sun reader was regarding M1 allowing Fedor to fight in the UFC, and Dana White dodged it.

Dana, why did you turn down M1’s offer to let Fedor fight Randy in the UFC? Is there any chance Randy Couture will face Fedor in a UFC show, and if not, will we ever see ‘The Natural’ compete in the Octagon again? – Steve, Liverpool

White: “I tried to make that fight for months but I’m not getting into some b***s*** posturing. Fedor isn’t a real fighter, he’s a complete joke.He’s fighting middleweights and guys who have absolutely no business fighting – and he’s looking like s*** doing it. It’s 2008 and he hasn’t had a real fight since 2005. I don’t care about what he did in PRIDE years ago – he can’t live with anyone in the top five in the UFC and that’s why he’s not here.

“He’s not in the UFC because if he was he couldn’t avoid real competition like he’s been doing for years now. And Randy Couture knows all of that, believe me. Let me tell you – Chuck Liddell knocked Randy Couture out – out cold – twice and that’s why Randy retired. Chuck ended his career as a top light heavyweight and that’s why he retired. Then after being done and gone for a year he calls me on my cell phone saying “Dana, I want to come back as a heavyweight and fight Tim Sylvia – can you make it happen? We make that happen, we give Randy Couture that huge opportunity and now Randy Couture is refusing to give a fighter like Antonio Nogueira that exact same opportunity he was given.

I don’t know why Dana even dodged the question. He could easily say that it makes zero business sense to team up with the competition and support some insane boxing style form of promoting. I’d love to hear his real thoughts and some facts on the proposed M1 co-promotion rather than the sound bytes he’s throwing to try and discredit Fedor. Those are so 2007, ya know?

The video says “Hit Me”, which is exactly what I’d like to do to Sean Sherk. I’d like to punch him right in the lip, perhaps on the side that doesn’t have a huge herpes sore on it. Sherk does his standard asshole talking points which make me want to gouge his eyes out Rutger Hauer/Bladerunner style. First he claims he proved he was innocent (false), then he says he’s still the champion (douche). Goddamn I can’t wait to see BJ Penn clean this guy’s clock.

It’s funny … I never actually thought the guy knowingly took steroids but at this point I’ve lost all sympathy for him with the way he’s acted throughout this whole ordeal. If he wants to maintain his innocence, then good for him. There’s 1001 ways of doing that without coming off like a total cock. I don’t know how many ways there are to be a cock about it, but Sherk sure is trying to find out.

 

In case you didn’t notice, Chuck’s wearing a “Dana White for President” shirt. Coming soon: “Impeach Dana White” shirts. Also note the guy next to Chuck holding that girl like he’s about to break her neck. Putting your girlfriend in chokeholds is charming. Also note that Chuck is always bringing the same girl out to all the functions. But that doesn’t stop him from bringing her plus 2 others home with him. And that’s why he’s THE MAN.

Goddamn it’s a slow news day. My bet is the majority of people normally blogging are busy scalping UFC83 tickets (fuck you all to death and I piss on your graves). So in the meantime I’m gonna talk about something I normally don’t : The Ultimate Fighter. We have a bit of a love hate relationship with TUF here … I’m trash and I love it (well, I love to hate it), but our readers are generally educated and don’t give a shit about it. But I can’t help myself!

News came out last week that the UFC had doubled the number of contestants and would be cutting half of them before the house. I seem to remember someone suggesting that….

-They should bring 30 guys in and cut 14 of them
The initial workouts where coaches test out the fighters is cool, but imagine how much cooler it would be if half the fighters there were gonna get cut? You’d see fighters pushing themselves twice as hard, emotions flaring, people stressing. In short: good reality television. Again, The Ultimate Fighter is passing up tons of excellent drama by not having an axe over the heads of everyone who’s made the initial cut. Line up the fighters at the end of the training and have the coaches call their fighters one by one. The guys who don’t get called go home. What better way to have the biggest collective TUF cry in the history of the series?

Note however that I’m not bringing this up in a lame-ass ‘UFC stealing my ideas’ kinda way. I stole my ideas off of America’s Top Model (respect), and I don’t doubt that UFC and Spike brass spent a week or two locked in a basement with cheetos and orange Crush watching 1000 reality shows for new ideas too. That being said, I went back and re-read my old posts about how to fix the Ultimate Fighter, and the ideas were surprisingly sound. Check em out:

The main reason everyone dismissed the whole “UFC is for sale” news probably has to do with the fact that the UFC is ‘doing great’ and Zuffa would be ‘insane’ to sell it. But I just wanted to take a second and play devil’s advocate here. Obviously I’m not much of an insider and all I have are my opinions and my butterknife-sharp intuition, so keep that in mind as you read this and feel free to play along in the comments

If you ask me, there has never been a better time to sell the UFC. While Dana White’s statement of “MMA not being even close to as big as it can be” is very true, I’m also seeing a lot of signs that point towards a major shift in the way the sport runs which will make it a lot harder to make the big bags of moneys the UFC is right now.

1. Competition
You can’t paint the competition with the same brush you did in the past. In the past it was any sleazeball with a couple grand and a decent lawyer. Now you’ve got guys like Mark Cuban and Gary Shaw stepping into the ring, along with corporate big boys like LiveNation and possibly Golden Boy. These are people with established entertainment credentials and easy routes to TV deals with big networks. That completely changes their ability to compete with the UFC.

2. Basic Fighter Salaries
It’s only been in the past year or two that fighters have become malcontents regarding the scraps the UFC throws from the dinner table. If you ask me, the fact that they throw around retarded bonuses worth 10 times the base pay of many fighters probably pisses them off even more. The UFC’s been getting flack for shitty fighter pay for a while, and guys like Jon Fitch have worked second jobs bartending while keeping quiet on the situation. I don’t see that lasting much longer. Between regular tarring from people like the LA Times and other fighters who feel secure enough to finally speak out, the UFC simply won’t be able to get away with paying their lower level fighters so little for much longer.

3. Star Fighter Salaries (and contracts)
Now we’re into big boy contracts. These are shrouded in secrecy, with guys like Matt Hughes implying he makes way more under the table than is declared to athletic commissions. But tell that to guys like Andrei Arlovski and he’ll probably say something different. My bet is the UFC gives bonuses to it’s loyal subjects, and anything from discussing pay with reporters, refusing to sign a restrictive contract, or turning down a fight can lead to being kicked out of the secret money club. Regardless, with the rise of competition you’re already starting to see a number of UFC fighters jumping ship or preparing to jump ship. Up until 2007 Dana White could say he “never lost a major star to another promotion” (which is kinda not true to begin with but whaddevah). I think 2008 is going to be the year of that, and it’s only going to get worse as the competition develops and their exposure matches their paychecks.

4. The rising cost of doing business
It’s not just salaries that are set to go through the roof in the next few years. Lots of people dismiss the cost of expansion but it’s a fucking expensive process with lots of hit or miss scenarios costing the UFC millions of dollars. Plus as salaries go up, so must sales. This means more dollars spent on marketing and advertising.

5. Dana White’s reputation
Okay, this one is a bit of a stretch but roll with me here. Lots of people say Dana White’s the greatest and worst thing that ever happened to the UFC. While there’s no denying he’s been a driving force in keeping it on the tracks thus far, we’ve hit a point where his style of doing things has burned a lot of major bridges. He was unwilling to lock in a deal with HBO. Word is one network specifically dismissed the UFC because they were unwilling to work with Dana White. Dana’s tactics managed to keep him on top of the pile for years but there are increasing signs that his style of doing things won’t fly any more.

So there you have it. At the moment things seem great but when you look at the wave coming in the distance (serious competition, fighter pay exploding, cost of business going way up), you have to wonder if the UFC would rather gamble it’s fortune or cash out while it’s ahead. Smart business owners don’t wait till the writing is on the wall to sell. They sell while things are still looking up. Before the shit hits the fan, if you will.

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