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Every time I start to worry that FightOpinion is just turning into a link farm (a link farm for the MENSA members of the MMA community nevertheless), the site kicks into overdrive with some awesome articles you’d never be able to find anywhere else. One of those awesome articles this week is on the financial status of the UFC as determined by Standard & Poors, a premiere financial company charged with assessing lending risk. One interesting tidbit of info:

Operating costs have more than doubled thanks to production costs associated with the two events held in the U.K and an aggressive marketing campaign to establish the brand in the U.K., the scale of which was criticized by the company’s financial officers according to Dave Meltzer. As result the company’s EBITDA as a percentage of gross revenues has fallen to roughly 20 percent for the year thus far.

The fact that the company’s financial officers were not happy with the cost of expansion might explain a few things as to why Zuffa backed down from Japan so quickly. With the cost of doing business in a new country revealed, could it be that Zuffa realized how big of a money pit Japan could be?

The UFC is still doing well on the gates in the UK, and they’re picking up some okay money off TV rights for those shows as well. How well would they have done in Japan? The prospect of no local TV deal and a tiny crowd is enough to make any company rethink it’s plans to enter a market.

There’s no denying that Dave Meltzer knows his shit. His knowledge of MMA history is probably unrivaled except by Jordan Breen, who just knows a lot more about obscure Japanese stuff no one else cares about. This article from Fox Sports has Meltzer droppin science on the Light Heavyweight division, chronicling it’s history. It’s good shit.

But what’s not so good is his vision of the division’s future. Here’s his breakdown of what should happen:

Quinton Jackson vs. Forrest Griffin
Keith Jardine vs. Houston Alexander
Chuck Liddell vs. Wanderlei Silva
Winner of Ortiz-Evans vs. Shogun Rua
Dan Henderson vs. Lyoto Machida

You know why Dave Meltzer is stupid? Because his ideas are different than mine. Here’s how I would set things up:

Tito Ortiz vs Wanderlei Silva, winner gets Quinton Jackson
Chuck Liddell vs Rashad Evans
Forrest Griffin vs Dan Henderson
Shogun Rua vs Lyoto Machida
Keith Jardine can go fuck himself
Houston Alexander vs Stephan Bonnar

Meltzer admitted that half the universe would groan if the UFC announced Jackson vs Griffin. So why do it? Why not save the UFC78 card by putting Tito vs Wanderlei, and then the winner will fight Jackson? That’s mega-bucks either way: Ortiz/Jackson or Silva/Jackson 3 are two retardo sellers.

You put Griffin against tough as nails Henderson … no one would ever doubt Forrest again as legitimate if he gets past him. Since you’ve put Tito against Wanderlei, you’ve gotta put Rashad somewhere. Why not put him against Chuck? Give Chuck another wrestler to bring him back from the edge. Perfect.

Anyways, these are just my fantasy world pics but they also make a decent amount of sense on the business side. And past that, who really wants to see Jardine / Alexander 2? Rematches are for a year or two down the road, for fuck’s sake.

The relationship between Wanderlei Silva and Chute Boxe since he moved to the states has been a mystery wrapped in an enigma put in a box and buried deep in the ground. Finally, MMAWeekly has dug up that box and sorted everything out by asking the Chute Boxe guys what’s up:

MMAWEEKLY: No one has really talked much about the situation with Wanderlei Silva and Chute Boxe. Please explain to us what is the real situation between Chute Boxe and Silva.

CORDEIRO: Wanderlei was the greatest icon at Chute Boxe. It was 17 years together. The most painful thing was to see that friend going to another country and lose that friendship.

It is impossible to talk about Wanderlei Silva and not talk about Chute Boxe and it’s impossible to talk about Chute Boxe and not talk about Wanderlei Silva. It was a very beautiful marriage. He was projected to be a great champion and we all did it.

We wish all the best to him and we know that he will transmit everything he learned here at Chute Boxe, not just as a fighter, but as a man, too. God bless him and very good luck to him in his new way and his new camp.

Chute Boxe is always here. Chute Boxe did not stop with Wanderlei going out and Chute Boxe won’t stop with Shogun [losing]. We are very sure that there will always be a new champion coming out of here at our camp.

In the end, we hope only the best to Wanderlei Silva.

So there you go. While some may say he’s still a member of Chute Boxe in spirit, that’s about as legitimate as Kermit the Frog’s honorary doctorate in amphibious biology. As chummy and great as Cordeiro makes things sound in this interview, there’s definately some tension going on behind the scenes. Ninja Rua was none too pleased that Wanderlei Silva was involved with the same gym as Forrest Griffin (even though Griffin wasn’t even around when Silva was in town), and there’s been all sorts of other little quips and comments showing Chute Boxe is feeling a little bit dumped.

New Era Fighting tends to send out a lot of stupid press releases, but the one they released yesterday is actually pretty interesting: they’re suing the CSAC for (insert Dr Evil smirk) 500 million dollars.The lawsuit is the result of the CSAC’s cease and desist order, issued only minutes prior to NEF’s much publicized scheduled tryouts July 19 in Montebello, which forced the cancellation of NEF’s tryouts. The CSAC claimed Kort wasn’t a licensed promoter despite having approved his application, awarding him a promoter’s license, and cashed his renewal check ($1000) for 2007 (copies available upon request).

Okay, so 500 million dollars is just slightly retarded. But if what the NEF is saying is true, the CSAC could be in trouble. We here at Fightlinker aren’t exactly the biggest fans of the CSAC … we’re pro-regulation but anti-asshole. The NSAC and NJAC are generally okay in our books but the number of retardo things the CSAC has done over the past year is just insane. A monkey with a pogo stick could run a better commission.

So based on what we know from the CSAC, it’s entirely within the realm of possibility that they shut down NEF’s tryouts out of hand. On the other hand, this press release could be blowing smoke up our asses. Perhaps tryouts need to be registered and overseen by the commission and this wasn’t done? And the ‘last second ruling’ could have just been the end result of weeks worth of warning notices from the CSAC.

Hey, I hate the CSAC and want Armando Garcia to go blow a goat. But I’m not about to believe the word of a freakshow promotion like NEF over the word of a freakshow commission like the CSAC. I’d rather just label them both morons and move on.

500 million. Seriously. Why not just sue for a bajillion-zillion dollars. My three year old can be the judge, and we can line our dolls up to be the jury. But we’ll have to take a recess for lunch, my mom will make us chicken nuggets and fries! Awesome.

Evan Tanner has set a date:

I am setting a date, and on that day I will stop drinking. That will be the day I begin to be a better man. That will be the day I begin to find the best of me. That will be the day I begin to find the best of what life can be. I want to find the magic. Join me. If you want to make a change in your life, join me. If any of you want to find the best of yourself, join me. If you want to find your own magic, join me. I am going to quit drinking, get back into training, and step into the Octagon again, and when I do, it will be dedicated to all of you who have the courage to believe in the best of what you can be, all of you who have the courage to stand up with me and face your fears and weaknesses. We will stand shoulder to shoulder, an unconquerable army. BELIEVE in what you can do, and it will happen.

The problem with setting a date to do something is that it’s so damn easy to set a date and so damn hard to actually follow through on it. Every day I sit here at my desk eating whatever random fatty shit I find over by the food court. And every day I set a date as to when I’m gonna stop. Unfortunately, so long as I’m setting a date and stuffing my face before the date, it means I’m really not serious about stopping. If I was serious about stopping, I’d be sick of what I was doing. I’d be sick of eating this shit and I wouldn’t be able to take one more bite. I wouldn’t set any more dates, I would just stop. Because tomorrow never comes … every day, tomorrow is another day away.

I’m hoping Evan Tanner is serious about his date though. He’s much more entertaining when sober and living an eventful life rather than lushing it in some dude’s basement. I am worried about the way he’s approaching it though. “The power of one” sounds great and all, but there’s a lot more quotes like “United we stand, divided we fall” out there that make more sense. Evan needs to go out and get some help to kick this, and no … hot chicks do not apply. God knows if women didn’t exist, men wouldn’t need alcohol at all. We’d all be too busy having a great time buttfucking eachother during the superbowl. And then we would all die of AIDS. For that is God’s punishment for homosexuality.

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