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The big news in Finance land is that Zuffa’s credit rating has dropped from a BB to a BB-. If you aren’t a monocle wearing banker, you might not know what that means. In an effort to pretend to know what we’re talking about, we went to the poor man’s encyclopedia (Wikipedia is da bomb!) to do a little bit more research on Bond Credit Rating. What I read will shock and disturb you to the very core of your being! Or not. It’s actually pretty dull.

The credit rating of a corporation is based on their credit worthiness relative to it’s annual income compared to it’s debt. So that’s how much they make vs how much they owe. Of course, debt is not necessarily a bad thing. Sometimes companies use debt as a reflection of their future purchasing power. Credit Rating Agencies take stock of a company, and assign different ratings based on the relative financial risk of investors … aka is this company gonna tank and keep my cheddah?

Zuffa had a BB rating, which indicated a high risk, or “speculative” rating, but has since been downgraded to BB-. Why? Well, I can only guess that it was do to stagnant growth caused by:

  • a string of shitty fucking cards we’ve been handed
  • the feces sandwich that is “interim belt” fights due to constant injury or steroid “malfunctions”
  • “Contender” bouts (if they give us another “top 5″ fight, I’m personally going to kidnap White’s children and sell their organs to the Chinese).
  • Burning a big pile of money labeled “UK Expansion”
  • Big stars falling
  • New stars stalling
  • Dana White being a smelly head

Credit Rating Companies also usually try to also offer guidance as to where the future of the rating might sit. So far, things are looking pretty neutral, which means that unless they change their tune, it’s likely to fall again.

So the summary is this: According to Credit Rating agencies, Zuffa is a high risk company that doesn’t show signs of getting more stable. Fair enough. But before we go shitting all over it, consider that Microsoft doesn’t even have a AAA rating. At the very worst, fewer retards will be lending money to the company. On the positive side, this could stop Dana and Zuffa from thinking that everything they touch turns to pure gold. This could mean more interesting and relavent PPVs and better matches being made more consistantly.

Make no mistake about it people … I’m going to kick Sam Caplan’s ass so hard he’ll be tasting his colon for weeks. Here we have the first of many interviews and previews on the fight, care of Jarry Park. For those of you who want a bit more information on why I chose Sam and how things are going to go, check out the interview with me here.

On Mr Sunshine’s radio show, Ben Saunders talked about how he was ultra-sick and tripping balls off medication for his TUF fight last night. You can listen to the audio here, but the gist of it is that Ben took a bunch of drugs lying around the house from other fighters to try and create a nice combo that would take care of his sickness plus counteract all the different drug side effects. To paraphrase:

“My number one goal was to impress Dana White, and my number two goal was to win the competition. I might have gone in and lost the fight, but I had a feeling like if I hadn’t gone in, my career would have been over.”

Hey, props to Ben Saunders for doing what he felt he had to do to keep his career rolling (even though it was fucking stupid). On the other hand, fuck the UFC for consistantly putting people into a position where they have to do shit like this. It’s situations like this that makes Hermes Franca’s decision to use steroids seem a bit more understandable.

There’s nothing I hate more than shit like this:

STV: Who would you like to fight?

Fedor: I would like to fight champions in other MMA organization like Randy Couture, Gabriel Gonzaga and champions of UFC, Cage Rage and IFL etc.

Let’s get something straight, Fedor: if you wanted to fight the big guns, you could have. IN THE UFC. Guys outside the UFC who call out UFC fighters drive me nuts, especially guys who had the option of fighting in the UFC but decided not to. Nick Diaz had the opportunity to head back to the UFC. Instead he signed a long term deal with ProElite and now enjoys safe harbor as he talks smack on all the UFC guys he thinks he could beat. Matt Lindland does the same … he consistantly says he’d love to kick Anderson Silva’s ass, but he refuses to consider any kind of deal with the UFC that would be exclusive.

Hey, sure: all these guys have their reasons for not wanting to be in the UFC. Nick is still pissed that Dana White tried to get him on Blind Date. Lindland would have to take a pay cut until he proved himself again in the Octagon. And there are countless guys like Frank Shamrock who just fucking hate Dana White and will never come back no matter what. But for fuck’s sake, stop ‘challenging’ guys you’re not going to fight. It’s just lame.

If there’s one thing the UFC is really good at, it’s reminding us that we can’t afford to be elite. Bodog is a bit different … they try to sell the Bodog lifestyle as something anyone can be a part of. Sure it’s bullshit, but everything about Bodog is bullshit. The UFC on the other hand is all about $6000 ringside tickets, exclusive afterparties, and now a $2500 book you ain’t ever gonna be able to afford.

We’d already talked about the book in the past, so I figured now I’d just concentrate on what kind of market the UFC continues to go after with this kind of shit… $100 t-shirts, retardo expensive tickets, and all that garbage. Not an event goes by that Dana White doesn’t gloat about the UFC making more money off the gate than anyone else. Why the fuck is he so proud of this? He’s got a big shit eating grin on his face as he basically announced “Look how much money you fucking idiots paid for this!”

I’m glad that the UFC is so popular that they continue to sell out dispite their crazy ticket prices. So long as that works for them, I say they’re free to continue gouging the fans. Because the more they make, the more they can put back into the sport. But I also can’t wait for a time when the UFC changes it’s strategy and rolls out more product that’s affordable to the average person. When their card sucks cock, they should drop the PPV prices a bit. They should take some of their smaller Ultimate Fight Night shows on the road so that people don’t have to pay 130 bucks to sit in the rafters at one of the ‘big’ events.

Basically, something’s got to give. At the moment the UFC is too expensive for most people to be hardcore fans of. There’s this massive wave of blue collar people who make $8 an hour and only get to see what’s happening through Spike. So long as the UFC continues to raise their prices for tickets and PPVs, these people aren’t going to convert to real fans of the sport. And in my opinion, putting out a $2500 book without an alternative for people who aren’t rich assholes embodies everything that’s wrong with how the UFC tries to sell itself above it’s station.

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