Wow. Just wow.
Just like the fashion world, the MMA world revolves around seasonal trends. The Summer season’s big trend was steroids – nandrolone was totally hot, and boldenone made a surprise comeback. This Fall season the trend is shifting to focus on judging: Bisping / Hamill has set the tone for the coming months and everyone is going to run this thing into the ground. But just like Uggs and gigantic sunglasses (I call them 21st century paper bags), not all trends are good or warranted.
Case in point: the Nick Diaz / Mike Aina fight. Yeah, Diaz looked like shit. And yeah, Mike was doing a pretty good job of throwing leather. But while the fight itself was a close one, the end result is really not worth crying foul over the way Hamill/Bisping was. Of course, there’s always a number of things that make you go hmmm:
Diaz took scores of 30-27 and 29-28, while Aina won by a count of 29-28 on one judge’s scorecard. Y! Sports scored the fight 29-28 Aina. The judge who scored the match 30-27 Diaz was spotted chatting on his cell phone at one point during the fight and spent a chunk of round 1 with his back turned to the fight, engaging a woman sitting at the press table in a conversation.
One has to wonder if anyone would be calling the judge out if it wasn’t for the fact that he scored the fight 30-27 for Diaz when you’d have to be blind not to give round 1 to Aina. Obviously ICON Sports president Patrick Freitas is thinking that by clarifying that little oopsie, everything will go away:
(an initial scorecard reading of 30-27 for Diaz was incorrect, said ICON Sport’s Patrick Freitas)
Of course, depending on the size of your tinfoil hat, this may seem just a bit too convenient for you. And hey, I can’t blame you … who’s going to believe anything a sleazy fight promoter says, especially when they’re trying to downplay controversy? Once again, I gotta say it: Running in an unregulated region is fucking wicked. It gives me days and days worth of writing material for this site.
When it comes to a bidding war for top dogs, I’m sure the UFC can outmuscle anyone’s offer if they want to. But when it comes to a guy who’s huge in Korea but an unknown Stateside, how much money can the UFC really justify to try and bring him over? It’s a real shame too, because Kang was one of the few middleweights available who could have taken the fight to Anderson Silva. Now the UFC is stuck going to plan B and signing Ryo Chonan instead.
There was an interesting quote from Kang in the article that I wanted to comment on:
“I was scheduled to fight on September 11 in the Spirit MC tournament, which was my first shot at winning a title,” says Kang. “I told Dana if he’d let me fight in the tournament, I’d fly right back to Vegas and jump right into doing the show but they didn’t want me to do that. I wouldn’t budge and they wouldn’t budge so we both kind of agreed that it would be best for me to take the fight in Korea. I did and I won the belt.”
He did it and he won the SpiritMC belt. And a few matches later he shattered his hand defending that belt, taking him off the market for months and scratching him from appearing in the final PRIDE shows. So if you ever want a perfect example of why the UFC doesn’t and shouldn’t allow it’s fighters to fight for other organizations, here’s exhibit A.
**UPDATE** We originally referenced Kang’s quote as being related to his March 2007 fight in SpiritMC. He was actually talking about way back when in 2004. We’ve changed the article so we still sorta make our point. Thanks to the guys at MMANews who are constantly berating me for not knowing my shit!
Oh, the laughs and screams and fun continue on this rollercoaster ride we call ‘Fedor being signed’. The latest big dip is the surprising news that apparently the UFC and Fedor’s management came to an agreement last week, but when Zuffa sent a contract over the terms were completely different:
M-1 claims that the negotiations were a success and that the parties agreed to what the terms of the UFC contract would be. However, M-1 claims that when UFC sent the contract to their office, the terms of the deal were ‘absolutely different’ than what had been negotiated and that management did not agree on what was stated in the contract. This is why, according to M-1, Fedor has not signed a contract with UFC.
This is some pretty wacky shit, and if it was coming from anyone other than Zach Arnold I’d be tempted to say there’s no way it was true. Because if it is, there’s only a few different possibilities:
- The UFC is stupid and sent the wrong contract to Fedor. Of course, if this was the case it’s not like they couldn’t just send the right one immediately after.
- The UFC is stupid and thought they could pull a switcheroo on Fedor’s management. Just because you can switcheroo the will on your senile grandmother doesn’t mean it’s going to work on some cranky old Russian dudes.
- The UFC is stupid and are now using the Japanese way of negotiation: say yes yes yes but mean no no no. Maybe Dana picked up a few things other than hepatitis in Tokyo!
Overall, there’s no obvious reason why the UFC would do this that doesn’t make them look pretty stupid. Which is why I think Fedor’s management is making shit up. Which also means we are now officially in the part of negotiation where both sides start telling wild lies and stories about eachother. This is typically called the ‘hardball’ portion of negotiations. The UFC will start spreading rumors that Fedor was afraid of certain joke fighters like Tim Sylvia. Fedor’s people will counter with the idea that Zuffa are swindling amateurs. And so on and so on until someone breaks.
This may seem like a bad thing on the outside, but you’ll notice that in the past this is always the last stage of negotiations … either things are inches away from signing or both parties are going to say fuck it and walk away. And I don’t think I’m alone in saying this deal needs to be done or done, because we’re all sick of hearing about it.
Some unfortunate verbiage in a recent Tito Ortiz interview has caused some confusion on wether or not Tito has re-signed with the UFC (news) or he’s just saying he hopes to (not news):
Q: To my understanding, this rematch is going to be the last fight on your contract. What do you anticipate happening after that contract is over?
A: I’ve actually taken a step, since me and Dana really don’t have a good working relationship, I’ve gone a step over him. I’m going straight to Lorenzo Fertitta, the owner of UFC and I’ll speak with him. He’s a very smart businessman and he looks out for my best interest and I’m excited too.
I’ll be re-signing with the UFC and they gave me what I want. I know a lot of other companies that are asking about me and I can’t count how many phone calls I’ve said “I can’t talk to you guys anymore,” because it’s against my contract. I’ve got guys literally who have called me and they’ve said, “Is this Tito?” And I’ve said, “Yes.” And they’ll say, “This is so and so.” And I’ll have to stop them right there and tell them, “Oh, let me stop you there. I can’t talk to you no more.”
I’m not going to speculate on this topic, but the fact that Tito went over Dana’s head was definitely a smart move on his part. Dana White has been on a mission to provoke Tito Ortiz and drag his name through the mud for almost a year now, dispite the fact that Tito has made more money for the UFC than any other guy in the company’s history. Lorenzo Fertitta knows this. And Lorenzo isn’t out there trying to make himself look like a superstar. With several companies floating around trying to catch a foothold in the MMA industry, Zuffa would be absolutely retarded to let Ortiz get away.