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I was looking over the conference call info for September 15th’s EliteXC show, and it got me thinking about their women’s division. First off I want to say hats off to EliteXC for bringing women’s MMA into the big leagues. With their marketing of Gina Carano they’ve managed to create a certain amount of legitimacy for fighting females. But now I gotta say this: if EliteXC is serious about promoting more than just Gina, they better get off their fucking asses and start booking more female fights.

So far the only bouts EliteXC has set up with women have all been for Gina. And they’re not just featuring Gina, they’re tailor made for her. Hey, I’ve got no issue with EliteXC developing their stars, but over the interests of developing a division? There’s tons of women out there who could literally rip Gina’s head off and shit down her throat. That alone would be worth the price of a PPV.

But fine … EliteXC wants to cultivate Gina’s talent so she moves past her ‘poster-girl’ status. They want her to develop into a true force in women’s MMA. Fine. I get it. I’m not demanding Gary Shaw sacrifices her to Amanda Buckner … but I do think it’s a shame that women like Buckner are stuck fighting in local shows and fucking Bodog. There’s no reason why Shaw shouldn’t be developing the women’s division in between Carano’s sparse appearances. Female MMA is one of the niches that the UFC has left open for EliteXC to exploit. And they should be milking it for all it’s worth.

So please … for all you ‘real media’ guys who are gonna be on this call: Can you please ask Gary why EliteXC has a Gina Division instead of a Women’s Division?

Oh puns, what would I do without you? For all the chit chat surrounding UFC75, the elephant in the room that no respectable blogger is willing to discuss is the possibility of Fedor signing with the UFC. Fortunately for my readers, I am not very respectable at all … nay, I am a rogue! A scoundrel! An agent of assumption and a reseller of rumors. And now I lay it on the line and say dispite what many people with better connections have said, I’m predicting Fedor signing with the UFC and the deal being done in the next two weeks. Why? Because I’ve got a serious fucking case of deja-vu.

We all remember what happened with Mirko Crocop? That was another deal shrouded in secrecy, with both parties flatly denying on record that things were set until UFC 67 ads showed up with CroCop kicking people’s heads in left and right. However, there were a few slip-ups … Crocop’s name started popping up in UFC programming. Training partners on Mirko’s web forum kept implying there was about to be a big announcement. And then there was that thing where Mirko’s picture got taken wearing a UFC hoodie. Oops.

And now again, lets look at what’s happening with Fedor: his name pops up in the Countdown to UFC75 show – and you know Dana never gives anyone outside his organization free advertising. Sources from the UFC side continue to say no (just like with Mirko) but over on the Russian side there are enough leaks to sink a Russian battleship implying that the deal is pretty much done. And of course, let’s not discount Fedor’s new Affliction shirt deal.

“Oh who fucking cares, it’s a t-shirt deal.” Yeah, a deal with the official provider of shitty t-shirts for UFC fighters. Dana White looked like a total goof through several seasons of TUF wearing their shit, and people want to act like there’s no way the UFC was involved in the sponsorship deal. Hell, the UFC never hooks it’s fighters up with sponsorships … oh wait, yes they do. They do that all the time.

Anyways, you all can take the facts as you will. I’m not guaranteeing that there’ll be an announcement of some sort at UFC75 … in fact, it wouldn’t surprise me if things are left purposely ambiguous to stir more hype and drive forum junkies nuts with the ‘will he / won’t he’ suspense. But mark my words … it’s pretty much a done deal at this point.

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.

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