The title says it all. However, Guy Mezger does know a thing or two about MMA, and he’s the one that’ll be running things for Mark Cuban. And what, pray tell, is Mark Cuban up to? Well, it looks like Cuban is setting up to put some serious money into the MMA game. He’d already had a big toe in the water with his HDNET TV channel playing events by Art of War, Steele Cage Productions, Ring of Fire, and several other organizations. In fact, while no one was paying attention HDNET has quietly built up more hours of MMA TV per week than SpikeTV has.
When I say Mark Cuban doesn’t know shit about MMA, I mean it. But that doesn’t mean he doesn’t know how to do business. While no one’s been paying attention, Cuban has been networking with tons of promoters who DO know what they’re doing and put together a team that can provide him with tons of quality programming. He’s carefully looked at the costs, the ratings, and the dynamics of working with others and it looks like he’s now considering taking the next step and locking up one of the few things he doesn’t have and his partners can’t afford: top tier talent.
That’s all well and good … Cuban definitely has the money to sign whoever he wants, but the trick is going to be moving past HDNET and getting his Friday Night Fights programming carried by a serious basic cable channel (or even better, one of the main networks). That’s the other thing Cuban’s project doesn’t have right now: the exposure it needs if it wants to even hold a candle to the UFC. If Fedor fights in the forest but no one is there to see it, did he really fight? Ponder that, young grasshopper.
There’s no doubt that Cuban has the backing and connections to pull a major TV deal off … but this isn’t the kind of thing that happens overnight. At this point Cuban’s group still seems to be developing their strategy, deciding if they will continue to work with other promotion companies for content or start producing the content themselves. The cat is out of the bag now, but that doesn’t mean these guys have the cavalry ready to charge. Despite all the hype surrounding this ‘sudden interest from Mark Cuban’, the reality of the situation is Cuban’s been in the game for a while and things aren’t going to change drastically any time soon. No matter who Cuban signs, so long as his MMA offerings are limited to HDNET he’s not going to be a threat to the UFC.
In his latest high profile interview with Dana White, Sam Caplan spends a bit too much time dealing with pro wrestlers. I can forgive him though, because that’s always good fodder for my site:
Q: You commented on contract talks with Brock Lesnar after the weekend and pretty much guaranteed he’d be fighting for the UFC. Has there been any movement toward an official deal since you made those comments?
DW: Not yet. But the reason that I can say that is because I like Brock Lesnar as a person. He and I both get along personally and I like his management team. So usually when I sit down and start talking to people I’ve got a pretty good feeling of how I think things are going to go. I’m confident that I think I can come to a deal with these people.
After dealing with all these crazy European fighters and agents, I’m sure Dana White is tickled pink to finally be talking with someone who speaks the universal language: Esperanto. No wait, that’s not right. Money. Money is the universal language. Or is it the universal lubricant? There we go. Dana’s happy to finally be dealing with someone who likes the same kind of lubricant as him!
That doesn’t sound nearly as good, but it’s true. The managers of Fedor and Crocop all agree: the UFC throws more money their way than any other organization. It’s only when you get into those small details – Fedor wants the fight in Sambo, CroCop wants two hours of cuddling after sex – that the UFC fails to deliver.
But when it comes to Brock Lesnar, he’s just a big dumb guy with a fucking cock on his chest. Someone must have paid him to tattoo that thing on there, so it’s obvious that he’s willing to do anything if the money’s right. That’s what Dana White is all about: Shut up and take the damned money. You want dignity? You want respect? That’s a whole other ball of wax. But the UFC will pay you (and pay you well) to be their bitch.
Check it out: they did it to Wanderlei. Dana White got out the biggest megaphone he could and basically called the guy a fucking chicken. At the same time, the deal was already fixed in place to make Silva a UFC fighter. Same goes for Mirko Crocop: Dana started shit-talking this guy five minutes after the ink was dry on his contract. And don’t think just because you’re popular or successful that you’ll be protected. Georges St Pierre and Tito Ortiz have both ended up being emasculated by the bald don of the UFC.
It’s one thing to be opinionated and forthright. It’s another to be completely inappropriate and disrespectful to your fighters. That’s probably a big reason why the UFC didn’t go over in Japan and why Japanese fighters aren’t exactly pushing hard to get into the UFC: that shit doesn’t fly over in japan. There’s a whole different kind of flying turd fleet in Japan, but not the kind of shit Dana White’s serving.
Lock and load bitches! It’s time for the only UFC75 preview show that matters: OURS! After watching the Countdown to 75 show on Spike, we’re feeling relatively qualified to pontificate on predictions for the UFC’s latest show. Also, Jake’s been out of the loop for a week and I get his fresh impressions on the Babalu situation. We talk about anarchists and steroids, Dana White chickening out of Japan, and ninja masturbation tactics. All in this tight 50 minute package … yes, tight like a tiger!
Down-Load the show here, or click on the talkshoe applet to the right. And for fuck’s sake, subscribe to the show on iTunes, it’s pathetic how low we show up on that thing. Do it, or we drown a kitten on air next week.
Yes, this post is a bit stale … I’d planned on writing this post a while back. Ya know, back around when the Guida-Aurelio fight actually happened. But better late than never, as my parole officer always says. Actually, she says “If you’re late again I’ll throw you back in jail”. Fucking bitch. Little does she know I’ll never go back in … I’ll fucking kill her and I’ll fucking kill everyone else at the police station before I go back.
Anyways, Clay Guida and Marcus Aurelio engaged in fisticuffs at the previous UFC74, resulting in a decision win for the scrappy Clay. While the fight didn’t exactly set the world on fire, I was on the edge of my seat the whole time because I was finally witnessing a first in the UFC: a decision involving Clay Guida where there was no possible way he could get fucked over! Clay clearly controlled the fight, pushing Marcus around the ring like his bitch and landing strikes continuously through the match. Aurelio seemed like he forgot to train any takedowns and couldn’t mount any kind of offensive. There was no way the judges were going to give him this fight. Or so I thought.
Split decision. Yep, that’s right. In a fight where Clay clearly dominated from start to finish, he still almost lost on the judges’ scorecards. It seems to me like crotchety old judges around the world are sending a clear message to Clay: Cut your damn hair, you filthy hippy. And that’s more than a joke, too. Every time Clay gets punched or nearly punched, it looks way worse than it is because his hair is flopping all over the place. It’s a standard pro wrestler trick: long hair makes it easier to fake being punching. Of course, this isn’t pro wrestling and Clay Guida isn’t trying to trick people into thinking he’s getting hit. So the hair works as a very real disadvantage for the gritty wrestler.
In conclusion, I really don’t know what to say here. Cutting Clay Guida’s hair would be like covering Michaelangelo’s David’s penis. It’s just wrong! You have to let beauty fly free, be it in the form of greasy hair or tiny cocks.
The great thing about MMA news is that eventually, all truths come to light. A story will change 50 times over the course of it’s development, but in the end you get to know what happened if you know where to look. Case in point: a few weeks ago we were wondering where the fuck Andrei Arlovski was. Well, now we know: Zuffa’s benched him until he signs a new contract.
For those not familiar with the UFC’s brand of contract negotiation, let’s revisit Cut Throat Business Tactics 101. You sign a guy to a two year, four fight contract. That guy fights three times in 14 months. Now is the time that you want this fighter to re-sign with you.
But geez whiz, why now? This guy still has a fight left on his contract! Why don’t we wait till his contract is over before renegotiating? Because this is fucking ‘Cut Throat Business 101′, not ‘I Wanna Be Your Best Friend Forever Business 101′. If you wait until the contract is over, you have to compete with other promoters to re-sign your guy. But if you’ve got 8 months left on his contract, you can bench him until he re-signs with you. No new contract? Then he doesn’t see the light of day until his current contract is up.
This all serves a few purposes: You no longer have to compete with other promotions for the fighter’s services. This keeps prices low. If a fighter waits long enough for his contract to expire, the lack of exposure has probably done a number on his popularity too. This also lowers the price he can get. Finally, if a guy really doesn’t want to re-sign with you, you can stuff him in a dark match with a professional blanket to make him look bad on the way out. That’s always a good old fashioned ‘Fuck You’ to throw in at the end of a business relationship.
Now some people may call that evil, but others just prefer to call it ‘smart business’.