Pay The Man

The UFC’s story is quite touching. Going from nearly extinct a few years ago to currently the world’s #1 combat sport brand. Still don’t think so? Well UFC’s pay-per-view numbers for 2009 are astonishing. Of the top ten pay-per-view events of 2009, the UFC claimed six to boxing’s three. The UFC accumulated 6.13 millions pay-per-view buys on that list versus 3.125 million for boxing. When comparing boxing’s top 3 event totals to those of the UFC, Dana White smiles emphatically thanks to a distinct 2-1 victory over the age old sport, and not to mention their biggest competition. That is quite the success story. It’s the stuff Hollywood scripts are made of. Now when exactly do they plan on finally passing along their good fortune to their fighters?

Brock Lesnar headlined UFC100, the top PPV event of ’09, and received a $3 million payday once all was accounted for. It’s worthing nothing that a far less popular and disgraced boxer, Antonio Margarito, cashed in $2.3 million for fighting Shane Mosley on a regular broadcast of HBO’s Championship Boxing in January ’09. Boxing’s top draws can bank on $20 million when negotiating to fight each other, but the UFC can’t afford more than $3 million to its biggest cash cow for the most important show in the company’s history? WTF?

The UFC is raking in money hand over fist. Need more proof? UFC 100 sold 1.6 million PPVs. The monetary totals are undisclosed, but we can only estimate $320 million in UFC 100 purchases. That estimate was drawn from conservatively figuring the breakdown at 80% were home buys at $50 each, and 20% bar/extended outpost at $800 a piece. That’s a massive total already even without figuring in gate receipts and merchandising. It far exceeds HBO’s single broadcast budget. Lesnar’s pay wouldn’t even account for 1% of the pay-per-view revenues.

Boxing also has more payout obstacles. Bloated sanctioning fees from their governing bodies like the WBA, WBC and IBF often cripple the boxer’s purse. The UFC is free of that burden. Both boxing and the UFC hold events where this is no state tax. Both are also very profitable thanks to sponsors and confidential licensing fees.

There is no excuse for the anemic salaries awarded to UFC fighters. It is highway robbery when you consider a punk like Floyd Mayweather is making eight figures for his pitter-patter glorified sparring sessions on PPV. The UFC is a rock solid promotion amassed from the blood spilled by its fighters. Safe from any Affliction-type meltdowns in their future. What’s right is right and if the UFC is surpassing boxing’s numbers, then the fighter’s pay should be too or at least come close to it.

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12 Responses to “Pay The Man”

  1. Those numbers seem a little skewed. If UFC was truly doing those #’s there fighters would be getting paid more period. If you were brock Lesnar knowing #’s like that would you allow yourself to get screwed? I don’t know maybe it did sell 1.6 mil as you’ve stated. (haven’t found those numbers in any reputable source eg NYTimes I’ve seen it in blogs and MMA websites) NYtimes states Pacquiao Cotto as being the biggest PPV event of the year grossing just over $70 mil but they could just be talking monetary figures and not buys. If UFC was doing all this why is the money still in boxing? Your numbers are all over the place 50 x 1.6mil is not $320 mil it’s $80 mil Even counting bar fees at most you’ll be at $90mil. There is one excuse for UFC fighters small salaries. UFC has such a high over head they can’t afford to pay there fighters. A boxing event’s min ticket price is $100 rinside seats range from $5k- $25k. HBO/Showtime/ESPN gives a promoter a certain amount of money to air the fight. This money is unsed to apy for cards, promotion and so forth. HBO actually signs boxers to be able to show there fights exclusively. Dana White pays to put the UFC name all over the place. Think about how often you see anything boxing related unless a big fight is coming up. The shows also cost money and he puts on so many shows a year and sorry to say not all of them sell that well on top of that he puts on good competitve undercards which he has to pay good money for. Unlike boxing where the undercard may cost $25k-$50k total.

    • Dallas O'Malley Says:

      Ben, the top 10 PPV list was reported by Yahoo’s Dave Meltzer and HBO released the information regarding Antonio Margarito’s pay (Shane Mosley received $1 million for the Margarito fight). Sherdog reports the fighter’s pay and shortly following the UFC’s centennial event the pay outs were reported on Sherdog. The figures I came up with goes as follows:

      1.6 million buys x 80% home purchases = 1.28 million @ $50 = $64 million
      320K buys x $800 bar/extended outpost purchases = $256,000,000

      Again this is conservative and shooting off the hip. Bars are known to purchase UFC fights up in the $1200-$1500 range. I just used $800 to keep things modest.

      You’re right about boxing having more resources to fund an event but the the UFC is closing the gap and quickly I might add. The UFC is becoming more and more a glitz sport like boxing because of its recent mainstream acceptance.

      Both sports have their share of obstacles but its no secret that MMA fighters are paid significantly less. Why else do you think MMA fighters are moonlighting as actors? Because the money isn’t that good to begin. Yes, its an enormous salary for most people but when the company flagship Brock Lesnar has to pay his training costs, his team, agent, etc. then the fighters have just as much overhead in their own right. Manny Pacquiao is scheduled to make $15 million for his boxing demonstration against Joshua Clottey (who made $2 million) and you never see him pass that up for a Hollywood movie because he’ll never bank that much in Tinsletown.

      I agree MMA has the better undercard but those guys get dicked too. Many of them have complained in the past and have been punished for it.

      You’re right about boxing’s structure but the UFC is able to pay more. If Dana White is paying to put the UFC somewhere then he’s receiving that money back ten fold in return somewhere else. The UFC can pay more but they just don’t want to. That’s not right and that’s all I’m saying.

      I like your comment though and keep ’em coming.

      • I was just quoting what was said “we can only estimate $320 million in UFC 100” not $320k. One Dana White’s lawyers (who shall remain nameless) who actually worked on the inception of the UFC and is still currently working for/with the company happens to be my lawyer as well. As I started looking into the possibility of managing boxers I asked for his opinion on managing maybe a few UFC fighters he then went into some (not much) detail of UFC’s financial status and warned me away from the idea. UFC has hit the mainstream like a jackhammer but how do you think it accomplished that? Dana White bosses the Fertitta bros. shelling out millions upon millions to get it there now they must recoup and trust me they are no where near recouping. I disagree with the glamour and glitz hitting UFC. The day the suits are ringside I will agree but MMA is for 18 – 30 year old white middle American white men. And the glamour and glitz want no part of that crowd, they’d rather see themselves next to a black rapstars and athletes. There is a sense of status and exclusivity that comes along with big boxing events that UFC will never have. It’s like getting into an exclusive club and not waiting on line. Listen I’m an adamant football fan but the NFL doesn’t have it either. Basketball, baseball (Yankees/Red Sox I should say) and boxing have it but that’s really it. UFC has been “closing the gap” for the better part of the last decade. Right now they are lacking the star quality that Liddell and Ortiz brought they’ve never had and I doubt they will ever have that cross over star that transcends the sport that boxing seems to get every few years. The Mike Tyson the Oscar De La Hoya the manny Paquiao’s. The Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, and Lebron James. The Babe Ruths, Nolan Ryan, A-rod. It’s these peoples persona and athletic feets that make them who they are. There is a sense of “No matter what me or anyone I know did we could never do that.” That feeling does not come along with MMA, in the back of most men’s minds is the thought of “If I trained hard enough I could probably do that.” Boxing’s elite fighters seem invincible but it’s the nature of the sport, UFC’s fighters with there blemmished records filled with KO’s and tap outs make them more human which also makes them more relatable but much less of a superstar. The day they get that “Superman” they’ll start to see the $25mil paydays. Fedor Emelianenko is the closest thing they have right now but he’s has more in common the the Klitscho bros. then anyone else.

      • Dallas O'Malley Says:

        So we’re headed into the championship rounds Ben?  Ok the numbers are starting to throw everything out of whack because I had $320 million for 1.6 million PPV buys into 1.28 million home buys and 320,000 bar/extended outpost buys.  So “320” appears twice but for 2 totally different reasons.  It was meant to create an argument but at this point its irrelevant because we are venturing into something much more deep than numbers.

        I concur with your assessment of White’s handling of the Fertitta brothers.  No doubt about it; you nailed it there.  I disagree about the financial status of the UFC.  You do have to spend money to make money but its been a long time now since the overhaul of the UFC and its safe to say they’re making money again.  They have to be.  Don King almost bankrupted himself with the “Rumble in the Jungle” but he made it happen and he blew up from there.  He became a force in boxing after that but never paid his fighters.  Somewhat of a bad example because of King’s reputation, but the point he, like Dana White, got some high rollers to invest in him and it worked.  The UFC has gotten stronger and stronger every year and they did it in a very calculating and intelligent manner.  All that hard has paid off now and they can stand on their own.  They can certainly afford to pay their fighters more then what they currently do.

        Now MMA is a hardcore sport and it has a hardcore audience.  Boxing wasn’t glamorous in its roots.  MMA is a relatively young sport that blew up at the right time.  It’s still a little graphic to some but it will progress as time goes on.  More people and celebrities are following MMA and MMA fighters are making their rounds in guest appearances.  More celebrities will follow as it becomes more popular.  To be honest there wasn’t that many “suits” for the Manny Pacquiao-Joshua Clottey fight.  It was a big event at Cowboys Stadium yet who got the biggest ovation of all the celebrities on hand?  That’s right…Dana White.  As diverse as the fighters are in MMA, so will their audience become more and more diverse.  

        Boxing is more of an event right now because their model is to cash in on one big fighter for one big event.  Like you said boxing’s undercard sucks and MMA’s is always stacked.    Boxing presents 1 megastar for each generation: Ali, Leonard, Tyson, De La Hoya, Pacquiao.  Another reason its such an event is because the media tells you that.  So the mindless saps of the American public buy into whatever the media tells them.  Proof was Floyd Mayweather’s fight against Juan Manual Marquez.  Marquez never stood a shot yet he was made out to be the perfect detractor for Mayweather.  People ate it up and it was like Floyd was in there with a sparring partner.  It’s ridiculous.  The “comeback” wasn’t one because he never truly left.  It was a joke and the only one laughing was Mayweather.  The media is more behind boxing right now because they’re more comfortable with it. As MMA gains more ground on boxing it will become more of an event as well.

        MMA is slowly committing the same errors as boxing.  Putting on too many pay-per-views, looking for the perfect records, etc.  So if they continue this pattern then you may see that Superman you speak of.  Boxing coddles its fighters and brings them up slowly to build those unblemished records.  So when the fighter is presented its always how he’s undefeated and a machine.  Telling the masses to come check out why he’s undefeated.  Whereas MMA is more like boxing was in the 50s and 60s.  MMA fans are fight fans like the boxing fans used to be in the 50s and 60s.  Jake Lamotta lost 5 out of 6 fights agains Sugar Ray Robinson but people packed ’em in every time because it was sure to be an awesome fight.  Records didn’t matter.  Guys lost all the time but it was cool as long as it was a good fight.  Once boxing went to create an image by going with guys with better records it lost in substance.  It’s funny because boxing always has these stars with 40+wins and like 2 losses but no boxing historian would ever have them winning against a Robinson, Lamotta, or Archie Moore.  Because those guys were a different breed just like today’s MMA fighters.  Boxing wants names and records, MMA wants fights.  Boxing is big on numbers like Pacquiao is a record 7 division champion yet boxing is watered down with too many divisions.  But they always say that when promoting him because its an easy sell. Boxing’s image selling ways were never more so obvious than with Julio Cesar Chavez.  He was king shit until his the first blemish on his record.  Once he couldn’t reach 100-0 nobody, meaning the casual fan, cared anymore.  It was a shame but boxing made that bed then they had to lie in it.  After that Chavez was never the draw he was prior to his draw with Pernell Whitaker even though his overall record was remarkable. He was boxing’s last true Superman yet after that failed business model here they are again trying it with Mayweather.  Once Mayweather loses he’ll become irrelevant too. MMA guys are always relevant almost regardless of record.  Because MMA guys are fight guys.  When you create a Superman he’s guaranteed to have a hard fall.  Boxing has suffered because of that.  Freddie Roach recently said MMA has the better future. If anybody should know its Roach.

        You’re right that guys think they can make it in MMA with enough training.  Those guys usually have a strong background in one of MMA’s many disciplines.  No argument there.  To degree its true because boxers have years doing the same thing so the room for error is graded differently than MMA.  Its not easier to succeed in one rather than the other but in MMA you have much more to worry about and many possible outcomes which makes it more exciting.  You’re right though.  Giving you props.

        About the personalities and attractions, MMA has ’em.  Liddell was with his stoppage wins, Ortiz with his mouth yes but you’ve got stellar fighters like GSP and Anderson Silva who are well liked because of their uncanny skill and respectful approach to fighting.  You’ve got Rampage Jackson and King Mo who are your outspoken black fighters,  You’ve got Brock Lesnar who was an entertainer before MMA.  MMA has crossover personalities and it’s showing.  They’re getting out there and as the sport becomes more popular, so will the fighters.  MMA will get its Jordan and Bird and they very well may be Silva and St. Pierre. Only time will tell. GSP is featured at Champs for an Under Armour training shoe and was featured in one of their commercials.  He also made an endorsement deal with Gatorade.  Urijah Faber has a commercial for Amp energy drink.  Gina Carano did an ad for Pepsi.  Liddell, Rich Franklin and others have done spots too in years past.  ESPN now dedicated a good portion of its programming to MMA which is huge because they rejected MMA in the past.  The crossover is slowly coming and it will blow up eventually.  

        Boxing has a 100 year head start on MMA, so they’ve come a long way in such a short period of time. The things you are looking for will arrive.  Jewish people believe the future lies in the past.  MMA has practiced that by going old school and its working so all in good time my friend.  All in good time.

        I thank you again for your insight Ben.  You must have been on the debate team in high school because your arguments are good.  I don’t agree with them all but I respect them.  If you’ve got more, I’d love to hear it.  Thanks for dropping me a line.

      • Dallas O'Malley Says:

        Sorry it took me so long to get back to you but I’ve been a bit busy. Anyway I threw up a boxing post, Gayweather-Mosley, so you might want to check it out since you’re a boxing guy.

        The old UFC was in no way more skilled then. Those guys were pioneers and it was edgier back then because it was raw but time has shown the sport has evolved tremendously since then. Royce Gracie is a prime example of a one-trick pony that got thrashed by a modern day mixed martial artist in Matt Hughes. Hughes wasn’t even the best in his class at the time either. The early UFC was great because it opened up a new door for combat sports but certainly not more skilled then it is today. Ken Shamrock, Dan Severn & Tank Abbott wouldn’t be allowed in the cage today with today’s stars like Georges St. Pierre, Fedor Emelianko and Anderson Silva. No way no how even a shot Chuck Liddell would conquer any of those guys.

        Kimbo Slice is a sideshow, who is trying to make the conversion and I don’t like him in the UFC. Its good business for the UFC because he commands the attention of the average joe fan and their ratings go up but his overall value to the sport is nothing. I view this as Michael Jordan playing minor league baseball. Someone with a legitimate shot of becoming a pro baseball player was denied an opportunity because MJ wanted to go to baseball camp so to speak. I view Slice’s tenure in the UFC very much the same way. You won’t get an argument out of me there.

        Ok, I misunderstood your point about Brock Lesnar, BUT he is not a freak show. He won the heavyweight championship fair and square. He’s not in there with some tomato can just so the UFC can get cheap pops from the audience. He was thrown to the wolves and he came out on top. There’s nothing there that claims it was a freak show.

        Guys turn pro in boxing late in age but you’re right none have become champion. Although the current state of heavyweight boxing these days I would venture to say it can happen.

        The Olympic argument is off a bit and I’m surprised you brought it up being that many of boxing’s greats weren’t Olympic athletes.

        The pillow argument is not flawed. I’ve boxed and dabbled in MMA and there is absolutely no comparing the 16oz gloves a heavyweight wears compared to the 4oz glove a MMA heavyweight sports. Both hurt but the main difference is in boxing you’re at a much closer distance because there is no threat of a takedown. MMA you stand different and further apart. This is what boxers fail to realize and often the point where they criticize the striking. MMA guys throw more looping and wide punches because the nature of the sport. When the MMA guy lands that shot from a ways back you will feel a difference. Boxing guys hit from a distance too but they’re gloves are considerably larger. The difference in the HW is at least .75 lbs. That’s a big difference. Reyes gloves are a puncher’s glove but can you really compare it to an MMA glove? Not until you’ve been hit by one and I have by both. I don’t like to get hit but if I have to I’ll take the boxing glove shot any day.

        Boxing has had it great dramas in the ring. I concur with Castillo-Corrales and I can’t wait for Vasquez-Marquez IV. Amazing in this day in age people are clamoring for 4th fight between 2 guys. Usually 3 and it’s done so we’re witnessing something truly special in the Vasquez-Marquez saga.

        MMA has had its share of dramatic fights and I will say Liddell-Silva and Griffin-Bonner 1. Both were epic battles and compelling fights that had people on the edge of their seats wondering who was going to buckle. Liddell-Silva was probably 3 years too late but even fighting as senior citizens they tore the house down. There are others too but those are two that quickly come to mind.

        Slipping out of a submission is a huge deal. Tim Silvia couldn’t slip out of Frank Mir’s arm bar and had his arm broken in half because of it. Recently when Georges St. Pierre had his arm bar on Dan Hardy many believed the same thing would happen. That kimura he applied later on made people squeamish too. When a guy gets out of a deep hold like that it provides plenty of drama. Just not the kind of drama boxing guys can relate to.

        You’re dead on with the assessment of following Vince McMahon’s business model. White is a big boxing fan and his knowledge of the boxing business is what made it possible for the UFC to be what it is today. All very good points Ben.

      • Gonna checkout your other post.

        As for the gloves. MMA fighters do not have anywhere near the power that a boxer has, punchwise. As you said it’s a different sport 90% of MMA fighters pull there punches because they are afraid of getting taken down, where as boxers don’t pull there punches. You wouldn’t have one punch KO’s if they had “Pillow’s” on there hands. You wouldn’t have so many ring deaths and brain damaged fighters. An MMA fighter interviewed last week after a big win (forgot the fight and name of fighter) went out of his way to complain about the danger in boxing and the severity of the health risk the cause poses on it’s athletes. A pillow is not synonymous with danger. Liddell is one of the few fighters who wouldn’t pull his punches and you saw how successful he was (just wanted to point that out). An MMA fighter in a boxing ring would get KO’s flat out to say these guys have pillows in there hands is ludacris and offensive to the sport. Find it hard to believe that you can say you boxed and say they have pillows in there hands. I’ll put you to spar anyone of my guys with 16 oz gloves and headgear and I guarantee you it be KO city. I’ve saw a kid get killed in the amateurs with all 14 oz gloves and headgear on. Imagine 8oz gloves. A girl was killed in a toughman contest and they use 16’s. Pillows don’t produce, brain damage, bloodclots, broken ribs internal bleeding, busted ear drums, hematomas I mean I can go on forever. I’ve seen a guy throwing up blood in his corner and the ref had to stoop the fight.It’s a slap in the face to those who have lost there lives in the ring and those who have given up there health to say “They were simply being hit by pillows” Here take a look at some of the damage your “pillow’s” cause:
        RIP Levander Johnson

        The severly braind damaged Gerald McClellan one of the greates I’ve even seen

        SOn of Julio Cesar Chavez committing murder

        Check out how Meldrick Taylor is now.

        1,467 fighters had lost there lives as of January 2007 because of your “Pillow’s”. Great fighters like
        Benny “the Kid” Parret
        Duk Koo Kim
        Frankie Campbell
        Levander Johnson

        Here’s a list http://boxrec.com/media/index.php/Category:Ring_Fatalities
        Let there families know that they lost there lives thanks to “pillow’s”.

      • Dallas O'Malley Says:

        Ok, this has taken a very dark turn. I never meant any disrespect to neither the sport of boxing nor to its fallen fighters and their families. I enjoyed debating with you but I’m going to concede here because the direction this conversation has taken was never my intention.

        I appreciate your comments and it has been fun. I look forward to a less-sensitive debate in the future. Thanks for always getting back to me.

  2. Love debating and my passion is the fight business.

    Yes boxing wants these “invincible” fighters and yes they coddle them most of the time. Like a Mayweather, Roy Jones (Although RJJ was opne of the greatest over all athletes ever he could have dominated any sport), Joe Calzaghe but at the end of the day the truth prevails and I don’t believe people ever tuned in to watch these guys win most people tuned in hoping for the exact opposite waiting for them to be exposed and lose and most of these guys get a bigger dan base after they lose. The casual fans tend to grasp onto the other guys, fighters like B-Hop and Pacquiao. Then you have those fighters who were not coddled and manage to make it to 30-0 believe it or not fighters like Miguel Cotto, Felix Trinidad and dare I say it Oscar de La Hoya. Check out there early records where they fought fighters like Yori boy Campas, John John Molina, Ike Quartey, Carlos Mauzza, Ricardo Torres. These aren’t fights coddled fighters take early. Also it’s a very different sport believe it or not. It’s much more grueling and has a much higher toll on the body. Neurologists have said it’s not only the fight but all of the sparring that leads up to the fight that takes such a huge toll on fighters head. I can’t have my fighter fighting tough competition back to back or yout get what happened to Cotto a very short career. I say top fighters should fight the best competition2-3 times ayear that’s it plus the rankings should mean something if my fighter is ranked #1 he should have to fight # 2 not leap frog to #6.

    The crossover fighters in UFC and MMA like Brock Lesnar and Herchel Walker both help and hurt the sport. Whiel it brings more viewers and opens more eyes which is great it detracts from the skill level. Brock Lesnar could never get in the ring with a heavyweight fighter and even appear competitive. He’d get embarassed. These publicity stunts turn UFC into a side show. What does it say about your sport when jo blow can come in train for a few months and become heavyweight champion. Everyone knows big men are opting to go the NFL route rather then any other so regardless of how you try to sell it your top weight division is ruled by side show freaks and sub-par athletes. Which leads me to my next point. Believe it or not your better athletes from a purely athletic stand point are in boxing and it shows. ESPN rated boxing the number 1 most difficult sport period. This plays a role in it also. These men have been fighting since 7 years old literally not figurativly and not just honing there skills. They are literally in the ring with another 7 year going blow for blow. Simply put skill-wise and athletic wise it is s superios or more difficult sport. These are all factors that shw up regardless of how much money you put into marketing.

    In the end he nature of the sport will always hold it back from reaching that level that many fans hope it will reach. A great boxing match is simply put the best most exciting sporting event there is. There is nothing UFC or any other sport can do to change it but it’s the nature of the sport that makes it so. NFL (my favorite sport) can never have a Corrales Castillo it just can’t and there is nothing it can do to match it either. UFC because of the nature of the sport can’t either. That has to do with the rules of the sport and the make up of the sport. There’s no 10 count or getting up, there’s almost a complete lack of eb and flow/ back and forth. But again it’s the nature of the sport boxing with all it fallicies and short coomings was built for drama and when the cards are played right that’s exactly what you get Drama. The 10 count, the standing 8 count even the possible stoppage on cuts (which brings the element of you better step it up before they stop this fight) the ref breaking up the clinch the factt hat if you don’t throw back the fight gets stopped even the 1 minute interval breaks where the fighter sits on his stool and 1 man jumps in the ring screaming instructions trying to get his fighter into the fight while one tries to stop the fighter from bleeding and reduce the swelling and another is throwing water all over him and putting ice on him in an attempt to revive/revitalize him. It’s all built to produce exactly what people want to see action and drama, fist flying, brain pinching, blood splattering action and coem from behind, children crying, eye swol shut drama. When it’s played right it’ slike poetry in motion it’s simply put the perfect sporting event. People don’t go to a fight because they love the sport anymore they go to it like when they go to the movies hoping that it’ll be the movie of the year but worst case scenario they will be entertained. They pay hoping to see what they know maybe the most exciting sports moment of the year. Has it fallen from grace and the main stream Absolutely will it ever lose out to UFC no. Again only because it’s the nature of the sport. n expensive steak house is simply never going to lose a client to McDonalds no matter how you want to market it. Just like the steak house boxing provides many things that the UFC and MMA cannot and will never.

    • Dallas O'Malley Says:

      OK you’re obviously a boxing fan according to your arguments. Another interesting turn. So looks like we’re having our own Corrales-Castillo or “Thrilla in Manilla” with this discussion. And so the beat goes on….

      No I disagree. It depends on how you lose on whether or not your fan base grows after a loss. Also I think people want to see the invincible fighter keep winning just as much as wanting to see him lose. All of it depends so much on the fighter. If you’re undefeated and beheading people like Tyson did then yes; people want to see you keep winning. If you’re undefeated like Sugar Ray Leonard then it’s a different story all together because of the style difference. The character of the fighter has a play in it too. Oscar de la Hoya was beloved by many and was the main attraction because of that. He oozed with charisma. Gayweather is an ignorant bastard and once he loses no one will care about him anymore because that “0” is his life line. It defines him. Guys like Leonard and DLH had much more to offer than their records. There’s so much to consider in this angle that it’s almost impossible to formulate anything.

      I totally agree with you on the rankings and how this should be handled. It would certainly clean up the sport a good bit.

      I’m glad you brought up Oscar de la Hoya because I am a boxing fan and everyone tends to forget he beat Pernell Whitaker in welterweight debut at the time when Whitaker was widely viewed as pound-for-pound the best. DLH always fought the best and no one can take that away from him. All the greats did and I don’t hold Gayweather and RJJ in that regard . Sorry but RJJ never seeked out a real challenge years after beating James Toney. RJJ is overrated in my book and dominated his sport because he never faced elite competition until recent years and fell flat. He frustrated many circles in the boxing community and fans alike. The same with Gayweather. After Castillo he picked on little guys never facing a top welterweight once he reached the top. A few select few are not coddled and pushed through the ranks faster than the usual rate is really slow. Most guys are groomed slowly and it depends a lot on the promoter.

      OK I get your boxing guy but seriously, you’re cutting Brock Lesnar short. He was a 2x Division I wrestling champion. He has the credentials to start a MMA career. He proved himself by being brought up through the ranks at mach 4 speed. In the immortal words of Ric Flair, “to be the man you’ve got to beat the man”. Lesnar did that by using his wrestling. It wasn’t like he went in there and kick boxed his way to a championship. He took his opponents down and smashed them like the Hulk. It was one art against another and his won. He’s a freak of nature and is damn quick for a man his size. On fight night he hydrates back up to about 280-290 lbs. I understand you want to take up for the boxing heavyweight but if Brock Lesnar bull charges Vitali Klitschko or Lennox Lewis, they could not stop it more often than not. Not knowing how to defend a take down then have to stop a runaway train like Lesnar would be easy pickins for Lesnar. He would gore them straight into the mat and pound them into powder. Of course he couldn’t stay standing with a boxer because he’d get jacked. But he took a flying knee to the face by Frank Mir in close quarters and then took Mir down. So I think its fair to say his chances would be way better than average in taking down a boxer. The boxer could certainly cut him up coming in but he’d charge low to better his chances. Again, its two different backgrounds and either man could win but under no circumstances would Lesnar be guaranteed to get embarrassed.

      A freak show in MMA is more like Jose Canseso vs Hong Man Choi. Walker had been training in martial arts for years and did himself proud. That could be a minor freak show but it wasn’t because he showcased legitimate skills. He didn’t embarrass himself. He’s not competing for a title and never will. If he did then yes it would be a freak show and would deserve all the criticism it would receive. Lesnar is no more a freak show than Shane Carwin or Junior Dos Santos. People only say that because he was in the WWE but so was Ken Shamrock and he’s a Hall of Famer. Let us not forget that Andrei Arvloski recently started a boxing career and did pretty well considering the opposition. He had experience in stand up and then made the transition with the help of Freddie Roach. So it’s the like the Lesnar situation but reversed because he tried his hand at boxing. MMA is littered with freak shows but mainly in regional and much smaller promotions. Boxing had its share of freak shows in its early days and its only natural I think when a combat sport such as these are in their infancy stage but boxing still has freak shows – Tough Man Contests. Butter Bean made himself famous fighting those kinds of events and then fought a 53 year old Larry Holmes. That could be considered a freak show. Celebrity boxing is another. Both sports have their share of crazy spectacles. When it something is a wild idea its a freak show but if the guy can handle himself in his surrounding then the freak show label must be taken away. Like in Brock Lesnar’s case.

      There’s plenty of drama in MMA fights. There’s so many ways to win/lose that when a guy looks like his arm is going to be broken in half then slips out it certainly creates drama. When a guy gets dropped and pulls guard then recovers it creates drama. There’s no standing 8 count but good thing because that could a reason why so many boxers have brain issues down the line because their bodies beat the count but their brains don’t so they keep fighting. Its awesome, but then again they punch each other with pillows on their hands and MMA guys are damn near bare fisted because the gloves are so small so only time will tell if MMA guys suffer the same fate.

      Any combat sport is grueling. When ESPN ran that story, MMA wasn’t what it is today so the assessment could be considered a bit off since MMA probably wasn’t taken in the same consideration as it will be the next time they run that angle.

      You talk about cuts possibly stopping fights and pressing guys to work harder, well believe you me that it happens so much more often in MMA than in boxing, thus creating more drama. Watch BJ Penn vs Joe Stevenson, Penn vs Sanchez, Florian vs Guida. Those are recent fights with extremely nasty cuts. More grotesque than anything you’ll ever see in boxing. When a guy is wearing a crimson mask thanks to a pot hole in his head and keeps fighting…man that sends a chill up my spine. Boxing’s had its share of bad cuts but a lot happen because of accidental head butts. In MMA, it’s probably a bad intentions elbow to the head that does it. Cuts do create drama and if you watch some of those fights you may have a different take on MMA guys, their hearts and the drama they create.

      I love your McDonald’s to steak house analogy. Really good stuff. Sports are constantly evolving and 20 years ago no one would have thought in their right mind that extreme sports would become what it is today. The same will be said about MMA. There is room for both to co-exist and I believe in the end they will be more equals than anything else. I grew up watching boxing and I still love it. I was captivated by guys like Marvin Haglar, Roberto Duran, DLH and Tyson. I don’t want to see boxing die but I don’t see hold they can hold off MMA forever.

      I’m sure you’ve got more so if you keep want to test our chins in the next installment I’m game. If not then I’ve enjoyed your feedback. I really appreciate it. If you have more then let’s have it.

      • I def. am a boxing guy but I actually loved the UFC back in it’s hey day with Dan Severn, Ken Shamrock and Roycs Gracie. Those guys got it in. It was much more skilled then. Guys like Tank while fun to watch couldn’t even compete with the top guys. It was much more grueling. Much more edgy and entertaining.

        I disagree Kimdo Slice is a side show, Brock Lesnar is a sideshow. And no olympics for a great wrestler? Colegiate sports makes you bettr then avg but less then a pro look at Charlie Ward who won the heisman and went undrafted before deciding to play basketball. And I didn’t mean Brock vs Klitchsco like MMA vs Boxing. What I should have said was imagine a guy lke Brock who spends 10 years away from boxing deciding to turn pro ar 30 and becoming heaviweight champion. It would never, EVER happen. I will debate with you that if Lennox landed any punch it be lights out and Brock would have to fight the perfect fight. I will also state that Mike Tyson would have not only beaten everyone in the sport that has ever existed but he more then likely would have killed one of them.

        Your pillow arguement is flawed all around. What about all those one punch KO’s? What about all the ring deaths? Those must be some pretty damn hard pillows. You must have never boxed. If they were pillows even more of a reason that makes them superior. These guys create all that damage with “pillows”??? Imagine what they would do without them. Pick up a boxing flove a slap your self in the face with it. Now imagine a fist in there with all the tape and gause, it’s like putting a pillow at the end of a bat or a silencer on a shotgus.

        You really can’t compare the drama levels in boxing to MMA. I watch casually and have seen some entertaining fights, more boring ones then not but with such stacked undercards it’s inevitable a good fight comes on, but CAstillo vs Corrales (I keeo using this fight cause I think it’s te greatest sporting event in history). No fight UFC has had or will ever have can even come close. Vasquez vs. Marquez, GAtti vs Ward. Like I said it’s simply the nature of the sport. No way can you say someone slippin out of a hold is more exciting then someone getting rocked getting up to beat the 10 count and comeback to win the fight it just isn’t. If it were people would not be punching and kicking each other in all the Martial Arts flicks, they’d be trying to break each others arms and legs. It’s simply not as exciting as people standing toe to toe trying to blugen each other to death. As i said it’s not that boxing is better or worse it’s just the nature of the sport. 2 evenly matched men cannot go 10 round of pure non stop action. It can’t happen. Watch the Corrales Vs CAstillo fight if you can’t hostly tell me that it was better then any single UFC ever then your simply being biased. Now that was 5 years ago. In between then and now we had the Vasquez vs Marquez trilody which some say was better then Corrales Castillo to which I reply what the hell were you on when you watched that but hey we had em. We might have 1 fight a year or 1 fight every 2 years that are like this but when they come around it makes all the wait for it worth it. It makes the people that say “This is the last time I’m paying for this shit” say “Ok Boxing is back and better then ever”. Hey lok to be fair if I could know ahead of time which fights will wind up like this I’d probably watch UFC until that fight came around now that fight would trump anything UFC had to offer and there’d be nothing UFC could do to change that. Dana WHite knows it. He’s at every big fight. Not as publicity but because deep down he loves the sport. If he wanted to make real money he’d start promoting bocing events. I think he’s the one man that could take boxing back to what it used to be. Unbelievable promoter, unbelievable sales man, and while it was copied from the WWF (I’ll never call it WWE) unbelievable business model.

  3. Definetly a a different direction but those are sad facts of life. ANyways moving on let me go check ut some of your other posts

  4. By the way, This is a conversation I chose to have with all of my fighters who seem to think it’s all glamour and glitz and the hard work’s been done. It’s serves as a reality check to them. THis may be a sport but it’s not a game. It’s the hurt business and unfortunately the ultimate form of hurt is death which happens to be an unfortunate consequence many fighters pay. SOme of these guys want to half ass there training figuring they can get by on talent alone and it’s simply not the case. One of my big prospects, Jose Guzman younger brother of Joan Guzman though he could get by on his talent and got KO’d in the 1st round by a bum, so I dropped hiim not because he wasted my time and money, not because he lost, but because he decided that training was simply not that important he felt he could get by on talent alone. Wow… What a reality check he got and he’s lucky that’s all he got. He has a wife and kids at home and I’m not going to be forced to feel resposible for his family because he opted not to do his job. Didn’t take offense to the pillow comment but I felt it trivializes the conversations I have with these kids about being safe and training hard by undermiing the severity of the consequences of a lifetime spent getting punched in the face. Boxing is not a sport with an east way out, there no tap out’s or I quits. A ref stops a fight or your corner who’s holding onto hope that you can somehow pull this off has simply lost all hope and wants to spare you the ultimate consequences. I think the stoppage of the Cotto Judah fights best symbolizes the sport when the ref said “That’s it… I love you. Your a great champion. I love you too much. Your great but that’s it” and as the crowd erupts for Cotto and there celebration begins Zab battered and bruised walks to his corner and hugs his father crying more hurt by the defeat then by the pain that was so mercilessly inflicted on him. It’s a ruthless, merciless sport that more often then not takes everything it’s athletes have leaving nothing but a shell of a man. A once great athlete who can barely talk, who’s ability to move on in life has been hampered by a dwindling mental capacity caused by the battering he recieved in the sport he gave his all to.

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