Archive for Dana White

Suckerpunch: Fedor vs. Werdum

Posted in MMA with tags , , , , , on June 29, 2010 by Dallas O'Malley
The MMA overload continues.  Saturday’s Fedor vs. Werdum card both tested our patience as fight fans, and turned the MMA world upside down in one single night.  Needless to say it served as an opening act so to speak for this week’s Lesnar vs. Carwin heavyweight toggle.

The most appreciated aspect of the card was….

No ex-football players or former athletes on the card.  Every participant on Saturday’s card is a full-fledged mixed martial artist.  No freak shows or guest spots which is something fight fans really appreciate.

Cung Le won and….

was there any doubt?  He was dominating his first match with Scott Smith until he ran out of gas then found himself waking up to the ceiling lights.  It’ll be interesting to see whether he grants Smith a rubber match, or now that he has avenged his loss will it give him enough satisfaction to move on?  In any case he needs to quickly make up his mind.  No more pondering.

Enough already…

and make the Erin Toughill – Cyborg Santos match.  I don’t know what was worse.  Strikeforce’s sadistic matchmaking in this case or the referee’s decision to allow Cyborg to keep butchering poor over-matched Jan Finney. There was never going to be any Buster Douglas moment for Finney in this one.  She was just the latest sacrificial lamb for Cyborg.  Strikeforce has a legitimate and potentially competitive women’s championship match on their hands with Cyborg and Toughill.  There is no reason to keep prolonging it.

The WTF Award goes to…

Fabricio Werdum for submitting the world’s best heavyweight.  Talks of retirement and never watching any film of his opponent’s fights sent off alarming signals that Fedor Emelianenko may not h ave been totally focused for this fight. He’s neither the first grand champion to make this mistake nor will he be the last.  In any case Werdum shocked the world and deserves all the credit in the world for doing what many that was impossible.  The only person probably happier than Werdum himself is Dana White.


The X Man

Posted in MMA with tags , , , , on June 15, 2010 by Dallas O'Malley

All the talk surrounding Chuck Liddell’s knockout loss to Rich Franklin at UFC 115 is that the show’s over for the future Hall of Famer.  Not too far behind is the mention that Dana White should refuse any request by “The Iceman” for another fight.

While this is true, there needs to be more emphasis on the one person in Chuck’s world that needs to step up the most if that situation presents itself:  John Hackleman.

It happens all too often when a fighter is finished but continues to fight on while the trainer goes along with him on his path of self-destruction.  The trainer loves the fighter and willing to go down with him.

That’s why Hackleman remains the x-factor in the Liddell retirement saga.

Chuck Liddell is arguably the most endeared fighter ever to grace the Octagon.  His contributions to the sport, not just the UFC, are in-measurable. No one wishes to see him laid out cold again.

Hackleman is not the polarizing figure as White is, but he is the most influential when it comes to the former champ.  The next time he and Liddell make a trip to “The Pit” it should to train the fighters of tomorrow.  He and the king of yesteryear’s MMA are ready the next phase of their journey together.

And just like before, it’s up to Hackleman to get Chuck ready for his next challenge.

Kimbo Sliced

Posted in MMA with tags , , , on May 10, 2010 by Dallas O'Malley

Finally Kimbo Slice’s time in the UFC has ended. It’s about damn time too. Promoters took an unfortunate stereotype and tried to develop Slice into MMA’s Mike Tyson. Instead what they got was MMA’s Mr. T.

The Kimbo Slice experiment did accomplish some good though. It proved that MMA is not glorified street fighting. Brawling in shipyards and warehouses does not equal Octagon success. Kimbo’s failure should serve precedent to any aspiring tough guy who think they can just walk in and do this MMA thing.

Kimbo didn’t deserve the all exposure he received. The only thing you can give him credit for is making the most out of his limited abilities.

Good riddance to Kimbo Slice. He got his 15 minutes.

A Heavy Load

Posted in Boxing, MMA with tags , , , , on April 27, 2010 by Dallas O'Malley

Rumors are hard to keep in this day and age.  With the power of the internet at your fingertips, you can find out anything about anybody at any given time.

Even though Dana White has yet to confirm what we already know, it’s safe to say it maybe the most pivotal match in MMA history.

Randy Couture will present MMA at UFC 118 against former boxing champion James Toney.  Captain America vs the Detroit Motormouth.  The weight of an entire sport is resting firmly on the aging shoulders of Randy Couture.

Talk about pressure.

The seemingly endless debate of boxing vs. MMA will reach a conclusion in an intriguing battle between these over-the-hill stars.

Although I wish it were someone other than Randy Couture to get the call, but I have to say the fight makes sense.  Both guys are well past their primes and who better to test a boxer in the cage than the man who set the standard for modern-day grapplers?

Some skeptics will say that Toney is Dana White’s sacrificial lamb, but they obviously know nothing about James Toney.  He’s no slouch; not by any stretch of the imagination.

Although if you believe a traditionalist mixed martial artist, then Toney will be finished the moment he’s taken down.  James Toney has the best hands in the UFC. Hands down.  No one else in the promotion comes close.  If he lets his hands go, then it can be a nightmare for aspiring grapplers shooting for a take down.

That doesn’t bode well for Couture has been TKO’d in most of his losses.

Speaking of loses, Toney’s whiskers have never failed him.  Once he signed he immediately became the man with the best chin in the UFC stable.  Finishing him via strikes will prove to be most difficult.

Making Couture’s plight worse is that the entire sport of MMA is counting on him for the proverbial “I told you so”.  A loss suffered here will set back the sport for a long time.

Forget Sidney Crosby, Lance Armstrong and Tiger Woods.  Never before has a sport been so deeply hinged on a single performance by one of its athletes.  James Toney and boxing nothing to lose in this fight.  Both will be fine win or lose.  If Couture gets put to sleep then so does MMA.  It’ll go back to being regarded as a novelty act.

If that happens neither Couture nor MMA would want to awaken from that slumber.

UFC 111 – Pick’Em

Posted in MMA with tags , , , , on March 26, 2010 by Dallas O'Malley

Finally a UFC card worth paying for.  It sucks that Thiago Alves will not get his chance to avenge his loss to Jon Fitch but the two title fights on this  card are enough for me to forgive Dana White for the garbage he’s been airing.

Interim Heavyweight Championship : Frank Mir vs. Shane Carwin

The best part of the interim heavyweight title fight is that we are guaranteed an exciting fight ending finish.  Whether it be a submission via Mir or another highlight reel Carwin KO, it’s safe to say this one is not going the distance.  With both guys’ track record it wouldn’t be a stretch to say the fight will not reach the 2nd frame.  Somebody’s going down and going down hard.  Gotta love it.

Frank Mir wiped his ass with Cheick Kongo his last time out and looked awesome in doing so.  Shane Carwin has been a beast each trip to the Octagon.  Mir has been TKO’d in all his professional losses.  Carwin has the most unforgiving power in the heavyweight division.  Carwin has never been faced with anyone as dangerous as UFC’s boa constrictor – Frank Mir.

Frank Mir’s lungs have yet to be tested to see if they can supply enough oxygen to keep his new bulked up frame going.  Shane Carwin hasn’t seen the 2nd minute in any of his 11 wins therefore questioning his cardio in a 5 round championship fight.  Around and around we go.

Pick: Shane Carwin

Reason: Neither man is going to have much time to test their cardio in this fight as stated before.  It’s going to end early and I’m picking Shane Carwin to upset the former 2x UFC heavyweight champion.  Mir’s striking has improved leaps and bounds but standing with Carwin is suicide.  Mir’s best chance is on the ground but even there Carwin is Brock Lesnar’s long lost twin; therefore can mostly like control Mir and pound him into powder.  Carwin has the better chin and Mir’s experience will be nullified.  Mir’s career has been up and down.  This will be his latest set back to bounce back from.

Welterweight Championship : Georges St-Pierre vs. Dan Hardy

The Chosen One, Georges “Rush” St. Pierre, finally returns to the battlegrounds defend the most prized possession in MMA.  Standing in the way is the flamboyantly confident Brit Dan “The Outlaw” Hardy. Hardy is singing the same song as all the other would-be GSP detractors.  GSP has seen it all, heard it all and beaten them all before.  Hardy offers little to faze the pound-for-pound king.  Yet the Pride of Nottingham is in a good position because he has nothing to lose.

Hardy is looking to duplicate Matt Serra’s feat of April ’07. Hardy is uber confident he’s going to become the 1st British UFC champion even though he’s going to have to run the gauntlet at UFC 111.  Hardy has never faced a fighter as complete as GSP.  GSP has trumped better strikers, dominated world class wrestlers, thwarted superior submission artists all in becoming the absolute best mixed martial artist in the world.

Hardy has history on his side.  Massive underdogs have often turned the sports world upside down.  Buster Douglas.  Matt Serra.  The ’07 Giants.  Hardy has a lot going for him.  He is a crisp striker with razor sharp elbows.  He’s been the underdog in every fight and every time he’s come out on top.  GSP is in the same position as he was back in April 2007.  History often repeats itself and conventional wisdom is that it’s only a matter of time before lightning strikes again.

Pick: Georges St. Pierre

Reason:  Because it’s GSP!  Lightning doesn’t strike twice in GSP’s world.  Everyone uses the 1st Serra fight as their motivation against the champ,  but why are people still talking about the 1st Serra fight?  St. Pierre is light years past that, and by crushing Hardy Saturday night he’ll lay the ghost of Serra to rest.  St. Pierre’s stand up is vastly underrated and his ability to control distance is one of his best assets.  Hardy does his best work close up.  It doesn’t really matter much because whether he’s close or far away, nothing will stop GSP from bull rushing him and imposing his will on Hardy’s hard head.  Hardy’s new best friend will be the referee when he saves him from a classic George St. Pierre beating.

Pay The Man

Posted in Boxing, MMA with tags , , , , , , , on February 24, 2010 by Dallas O'Malley

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.

UFC Cards Are More Like IRS Returns

Posted in Boxing, MMA with tags , , , , , , on February 23, 2010 by Dallas O'Malley

UFC 110 is now over and the countdown to UFC 111 begins.  UFC 111, unlike the more recent UFC pay-per-view telecasts, is one well worth the tag price.  That can’t be said out loud about cards like UFC 110 and UFC 109.  The fact is there are too many UFC cards on PPV.  Dana White was a boxer back in  his day and apparently he still has it in his system.  How else do you explain the UFC’s overabundance of PPV events?  Hosting too many PPVs seriously hurt boxing industry.  UFC head honcho Dana White has acknowledged this in the past and here he is committing the same crimes as boxing did.  The UFC is becoming more like the IRS where the more you put in the less you get out of it.

What kills me is Dana White’s outlook on the situation.  When questioned about this issue this is what he had to say:

“UFC fans are spoiled.  There’s gonna be the people that always bitch and I say what I always say, ‘don’t buy it!.’ If you don’t like the ______ card don’t buy it. I don’t give a _______…People who are real fight fans and want to sit home on a Saturday and watch fights, will watch it. Nobody’s _______ making you buy fights and watch the pay-per-view. Watch “American Idol,” I could care less.”

Wow.  Dana White is a smart and cunning business man, but no one accused him of having any class or common sense for that matter.  These are hard times and the recession is still affecting millions of people around the country.  Even so, UFC fans are still hunkering down $50 a pop every time Dana White decides to put together a fight card.  In 2009, the UFC had 6 out of the top 10 PPV purchased events thus totalling 6.13 million buys.  That’s a lot of people making Dana White rich.  So I ask, who is the spoiled one here:  Dana White or the devoted fan who keeps White employed?

The upside to the UFC cards is that there is more depth in their events.  Whereas boxing cards tend to focus on one fight that being the main event.  All I’m saying is stop with the tricks like bringing guys back from the dead for cheap nostalgia pops.  The Tito Ortiz’s and Mark Coleman’s of the world.  Randy Couture and The Senior Tour are OK, but not as a PPV headliners.

Injuries to stars happen all the time and it causes headaches for the promoters, but the fans are the ones who suffer the most.  Although there is no reason that the UFC couldn’t reschedule its events in the case of an injury or a setback.  If the UFC scraps or reschedules an event it loses money, but would they rather lose their fan base altogether like boxing almost did?  Not to mention having stars on the program actually justify the high cost of a PPV event.  If the fight is delayed then it only adds to the anticipation.

The bottom line is Dana White and the UFC’s round table should be grateful for their growing success.  The people paying for their cushioned lifestyle are saying something so maybe they should listen. Throw the customer a bone and give them what they want:  more star power for the money.  Not every card can be like UFC 100 but there’s no reason to force feed the consumer Couture-Coleman.  The bottom line is that the fans keep investing in the UFC, it’s time they give something of true value back.