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UFC Boss Goes Off In Defense Of Renan Barao

UFC president Dana White went on the offensive through Twitter recently, firing back at an article entitled “The hard sell: Renan Barao is the world’s best fighter.”

The column, written by MMAjunkie.com’s Ben Fowlkes, does an excellent job of breaking down why Barao has failed to register with the casual UFC fan, but also makes sure to provide you with the reasons behind White’s continued push to bring him into the forefront.

A 33-fight unbeaten streak. The UFC bantamweight title. Wins over Urijah Faber (twice), Michael McDonald, Eddie Wineland and others. He returns to action this Saturday against T.J. Dillashaw in the main event of UFC 173.

Barao is one of the elite fighters in the world, that is a point that cannot be argued.

Is he the best right now? That is up for debate, especially in a time of MMA with the likes of Jon Jones, Chris Weidman, Jose Aldo, Cain Velasquez, Demetrious Johnson, Anthony Pettis and Ronda Rousey dominating foe after foe after foe.

As he does, White responded in typical Dana White fashion, posting on Twitter to Fowlkes that “if you don’t know how good Renan is (you) should cover another sport.” White referred to parts of the story as being a “stupid statement” and said again that Barao is a “BAD ASS who finishes people. If (your) a fight fan he’s what (you) are looking for.”

White isn’t going to back down from anybody, as he’s shown in the past, but he hit the nail on the head for me with the last comment mentioned.

“If (your) a fight fan he’s what (you) are looking for.”

The term “fight fan” is difficult to distinguish and White should know that first-hand. You have those that will watch each and every single MMA fight they can get in front of, whether it be on television or via online stream. They are the die-hard fans, the ones who could care less if it’s two nobodies or has-been fighters, or a match for a world title.

You also have the type of fan who will catch the main cards, such as pay-per-view ones and others that air on major networks, or will watch a smaller one if it happens to fit their schedule. Maybe they DVR some of the other events, but they know the majority of the fighters.

Another group is the fight fan who wants nothing more than blood. They don’t care about skills or techniques or seeing wrestling or grappling, they just want fists after fists after fists to the face.

There are other categories of fans, such as the casual ones who will “talk shop” when Jones, Velasquez, Georges St-Pierre, Anderson Silva or Nick Diaz are competing or the hot topic,” but those fans aren’t interested in Barao.

And neither are the majority of the other ones.

It’s a cold-hard fact that if you can’t speak the language, it’s nearly impossible to gain a strong following in the U.S. Sure, Barao can become a star in Brazil, but the UFC remains focused on becoming a major sport here still, and to do that, they need champions that will be widely accepted.

People didn’t really open up to Silva much during his title reign, and a lot of that had to do with his decision to not speak English while promoting fights.

Barao can continue to finish fighters and leave them in his path, but unless he starts conducting his post-fight interviews in English, he’s going to remain behind the eight-ball in the fan pound-for-pound rankings – and the more important rankings, that of PPV buy rates and television ratings.

ronda rousey

In terms of popularity with the male demographic, Gina Carano holds the edge over Ronda Rousey and Miesha Tate.

Carano was selected as No. 39 by Maxim for their “Hot 100″ list, which you can view on the website. Rousey came in at No. 42 and Tate at No. 58. The print magazine will be available June 3, but part of the list is available online.

Others currently released for the list include Carrie Underwood, Kellie Pickler, Kate Beckinsale, Demi Lovato, Shakira and Miley Cyrus.

The Carano bio reads “After finding success as a mixed martial artist and fitness model, this talented lady was bitten by the acting bug, appearing in such action flicks as Haywire, Fast & Furious 6 and In The Blood. As far as an MMA return goes, Carano appears interested, but news has quieted over the last few weeks regarding her signing with the UFC.

Rousey’s bio states that the UFC female bantamweight champion and former Olympian is “the No. 1 pound-for-pound female MMA fighter in the world.” She’ll compete against Alexis Davis later this July.

As for Tate, who is coming off her first Octagon victory over Liz Carmouche, her bio reads “This sexy UFC fighter may look sweet, but watch out boys! She packs a mean punch.”

With more selections to be released, it’s possible other MMA figures are added, including the likes of Octagon girls Brittney Palmer and Arianny Celeste.

Anderson Silva Needs More Leg Kicks Like Christopher Walken Needs More Cowbell

Any fans of “Saturday Night Live” out there? Not the newer episodes, but back when it was a great show?

Remember the skit with Will Ferrell playing Gene Frenkle and Christopher Walken as Bruce Dickinson, with Walken asking for “more cowbell,” while Ferrell played the cowbell?

Well, anyway, Anderson Silva is upping his training and instead of cowbell, he’s throwing more leg kicks.

Check out the video “The Spider” posted recently as he continues to recover from a broken leg suffered last December.

And, just for fun, I’ve included the skit featuring Walken and Ferrell for your viewing pleasure, as well.

carlos condit

The last time we saw Carlos Condit, the former interim UFC welterweight champion and ex-WEC champion needed help out of the Octagon. Condit suffered a knee injury during his March loss to Tyron Woodley, and subsequently underwent surgery to repair the damage that was done.

For now, Condit is rehabbing and working back towards fighting again. It’s just taking time, “The Natural Born Killer” posted on Twitter. He suffered a torn ACL and a partially torn meniscus in the fight with Woodley.

“For all the people asking, the knee is healing really nicely,” he wrote. “Rehab is going great. No clue when I’ll compete again though.”

Condit (29-8) turned 30 years old last month and is 6-3 in his last nine fights overall. Along with the loss to Woodley, he also dropped decisions to Johny Hendricks and Georges St-Pierre, the latter of which was to unify the UFC titles.

Despite his uncertainty in regards to a return fight, Condit remains ranked No. 4 at welterweight by the UFC. The division is headed by Hendricks, who won the title when he defeated Robbie Lawler earlier this year. Hendricks is also injured and sidelined, having had bicep surgery.

Other top contenders in the division have been paired off, as Rory MacDonald meets Woodley and Lawler faces Jake Ellenberger. Matt Brown and Hector Lombard have been rumored as possible future opponents for one another, as well.

Tito Ortiz

Tito Ortiz hears all the talk about his performance over Alexander Shlemenko this past weekend at Bellator’s first pay-per-view.

From his ex-wife, Jenna Jameson, to current and former fighters, to members of the media; everyone seems to have an opinion on the Ortiz-Shlemenko contest.

Well, the former UFC light heavyweight champion and Hall of Famer doesn’t care what they have to say, as he stated on Twitter.

“The champ calls me out,” Ortiz started. “Everyone says how he’s going to KO me. I accept the fight and I’m a 5-1 underdog.

“I make him look like an amateur. Now you (people) trying to find excuses of why it happen the way it did!”

Ortiz (17-11-1) earned his first win since a 2011 submission victory over Ryan Bader at UFC 132. He lost three straight, including two TKO finishes, inside the Octagon. “The People’s Champ” stated after the fight with Shlemenko, the Bellator middleweight titleholder, that he still has three bouts on his current contract and he planned to fulfill it.

“I was in the same situation as the Ryan Bader fight,” Ortiz said. “I went through hell these last seven years and now I’m living in heaven.”

Ortiz also made a point to call out the entire light heavyweight division in Bellator, including fellow winner that night Quinton “Rampage” Jackson.

“I will kick all these light heavyweights (expletive), including Rampage’s,” Ortiz boldly remarked.

Ortiz and Jackson were once scheduled to fight for Bellator last November as the promotion was planning its first pay-per-view event. Ortiz, though, suffered a neck injury and has spent the last five months recovering.

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