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Tag: Dana White

TUF’s 10-Year Anniversary: The Legacy of the Most Drawn-Out MMA Show In History

(Photo via Getty)

By Alex Giardini

On Jan. 17, 2005, Spike TV aired a new show titled The Ultimate Fighter, which featured 16 combat sports athletes living under one roof in Las Vegas, competing for a six-figure contract with the UFC. What we didn’t know, however, was this exhaustive program was going to last over 20 seasons, complete with the FOX treatment, and plenty of drunken debauchery in between.

Long story short, the Zuffa brass was in serious trouble since their big gamble to buy the struggling Ultimate Fighting Championship wasn’t paying off. Simply put, that Fertitta money was being blown fast, with no real profit or indication of improvement. Spike TV founder Albie Hecht wanted a program that brought in a lot of viewers from all over, presumably because there are only so many reruns of the hyper masculine shows a person could watch.


[VIDEO] Donald Cerrone and Benson Henderson Bromance One Another at the UFC Fight Night 59 Media Day

(Props: MMAFightingonSBN)

Between “Hey pussy, are you still there?” and “Kiss them feet Nazi,” it’s easy to think that all UFC fighters hate each other, or at least feign enough hate to sell some tickets. Donald Cerrone and Benson Henderson proved otherwise during their staredown at the UFC Fight Night 59 media day yesterday. Let’s timestamp the awesomeness:

0:04 – Cerrone steps into frame and excitedly claps his hands and stomps his foot because he’s just so damn excited to see his buddy Benson again. They embrace like two long-lost friends.

0:10 – Dana White reminds them they’re here to promote a fight and tells them to square off. Cerrone, who’s already four inches taller than Henderson, gets up on his toes, and Henderson just smiles and laughs because his buddy Donald is such a clown.

0:15 – Dana tells them to “face forward, shoulder to shoulder,” and Cerrone takes the command as literally as possible, then starts nudging at Henderson like a young boy pestering his older brother. Cerrone, wearing a soon-to-be-banned Budweiser shirt, announces that “rounds are on ‘Cowboy’ after this fight.”


The End of Dana White

(Photo via Getty)

By Mike Fagan

Dana White is the face of the UFC.

This isn’t a surprise, nor should it be. MMA is a sport whose elite athletes rarely compete more than three times a year. The UFC is a promotion that prefers to put the brand ahead of its athletes. Dana White is the president of that promotion, and his duties include everything from running press conferences and doing media requests to emceeing reality shows and constant tweeting. It’s no surprise that his once-balding-now-bald head, which has been ubiquitous since Zuffa’s purchase of the UFC at the turn of the millennium, is synonymous with the company.

But recently, there have been signs that White’s ubiquity is fading.

White’s video blogs were once a staple of the UFC promotional machine. These vlogs would give us a “behind the scenes” look at fight week, though this (too) often involved watching Dana White parade his wealth. The UFC hasn’t released a Dana White vlog since UFC 177.

The UFC began producing the Embedded series for UFC 173. Instead of following White around on fight week, Embedded is structured more like a series of mini-documentaries. There’s no narrator, very little of White, and a whole lot more focus on the card’s featured fighters. Unsurprisingly, it’s a more inspired, interesting, and entertaining product.

White’s also not the lock he once was on fight night. Tom Wright, who runs manages UFC operations in Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, hosted the post-fight press conference for November’s Fight Night Down Under. Vice President of Public Relations Dave Sholler hosted the post-fight press conference following UFC 181. Chief Content Officer Marshall Zelaznik got the nod for the Fight Night event in Brazil on December 20. Zelaznik also hosted a press event prior to UFC 182 announcing the UFC’s purchase of various fight libraries intended for Fight Pass.


Friday Links: Jon Jones Was Not Using Synthetic Testosterone, WSOF Exec Goes to Prison, War Machine Finds Jesus + More

(Chael Sonnen posts a mysterious tweet about Jon Jones back in September 2012, then enjoys a Coke at the weigh-ins for their fight. Hmm… / props: Reddit/MMA)

NSAC Head: Jon Jones’ Testosterone Clean Prior to UFC 182; Carbon Isotope Ratio Test Conducted (MMAFighting)

The Dana White/Jon Jones Hypocrisy Megamix (MMAVines)

WSOF Executive Shawn Lampman Sentenced to Ten Months in Federal Prison for Tax Conviction (BloodyElbow)

Oh Great, War Machine Found Jesus (twishort)

Chris Weidman’s Random Drug Test Results Come Back Clean Ahead of UFC 184 (MMAMania)

UFC TV Ban in Germany Lifted by Court Decision (reddit)

8 Video Games That Everyone Will Be Playing In 2015 (EscapistMagazine)

Watch This Real Life Peter Griffin Impersonator Totally Kill It At NYC Comic Con (PopHangover)

The 23 Worst Personal Hells Imaginable (Radass)

VIDEO: Australian Hurdler Michelle Jenneke Is Back, And Hotter Than Ever (World Star, Baby)

Good Monopoly, Bad Monopoly: When are Monopolies Actually a Problem? (EveryJoe)

The 20 Dumbest Internet Products Of All Time (WorldWideInterweb)

Honest Trailer: Taken (ScreenJunkies)


UFC Fight Pass Adds Pancrase and Seven Other Promotions, Still Kind of Sucks As a Digital Service

(“What was your question? Are we looking to buy the entire Internet? I mean, yeah, we’ll see what happens.”/ Photo via Getty)

UFC’s digital subscription service, Fight Pass, has its fair share of pros and cons. The cost isn’t all that damaging to the wallet, but it’s not exactly the game-changer that promotion officials thought it would be.

The network allows you to watch free UFC cards, including FOX Sports 1 events, preliminary fights, and exclusive Fight Pass broadcasts that usually take place outside of North America. It also carries an extensive UFC library, containing an abundance of full main cards from UFC, as well as Pride, WEC, EliteXC, and those two Affliction MMA cards that were surprisingly fun, among others.

After reports surfaced that hackers stole login info and credit card numbers from tens of thousands of subscribers late last month (which confirms that early security concerns were never fully addressed), fight fans were met with a better announcement, as Zuffa announced hours before UFC 182 it has acquired eight fight libraries from well-known international and regional promotions, including legendary Japanese outfit Pancrase, as well as King of The Cage, HookNShoot, TKO, Cage Rage, Extreme Challenge, UCMMA, and XFO.

UFC Chief Content Officer Marshall Zelaznik announced the news in a press conference on Saturday, revealing that over 13,000 individual bouts are slated to be added to Fight Pass this upcoming spring. The content comes from the brain of UFC matchmaker Joe Silva, who apparently made his own list of what promotions he wanted to see on the digital service (according to MMA Fighting).


Cutting Through The Bullsh*t: UFC 182 Edition

(Photo via Getty)

After an abundance of trash talk, a pre-fight press conference brawl, asking pussies if they’re still there, technical breakdowns, and moving betting lines, Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier duked it out for five rounds in an early “Fight of the Year” candidate, which went exactly how most of us thought it would. The main card of UFC 182, however, was pretty putrid.

Our excitement was at an all-time high, which is rare nowadays when it comes to MMA in general. This truly felt like 2008 all over again, but sometimes, we rely on nostalgia to compare upcoming fight cards that may or may not be worth viewing live.

Nevertheless, Jones vs. Cormier lived up to the billing, as both light heavyweights engaged in a dogfight at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, NV., this past Saturday night.


Brock Lesnar Is Probably Coming Back to the UFC (But It Doesn’t Matter. Here’s Why)

(Brock Lesnar flashes a rare smile after being informed he’s the highest-paid 5-3 fighter of all time. / Photo via Getty)

By Matt Saccaro

Brock Lesnar will likely return to the UFC in 2015, but it won’t usher in a new golden age for MMA.

The news of Lesnar’s UFC return came recently. Dave Meltzer’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter reported that “within the [WWE], the belief is that he’s going back to the UFC, and his showing up lighter to TV last week confirmed that to people who thought it.”

Earlier this year, UFC President Dana White expressed openness to a Lesnar return, and even claimed Lesnar was willing to return. “We have a great relationship with him,” said White. “We’ll see what happens.”

Furthermore, Lesnar’s longtime friend Paul Heyman noted this summer that Lesnar still has an intense drive to compete in the Octagon.

Unlike every other time Brock Lesnar’s name has been in the headlines over the last few years, this round of “Is Lesnar coming back” speculation isn’t a gimmick to drive up pageviews during a slow news week. This appears to be the real deal. Lesnar is coming back. However, unlike conventional wisdom would have you believe, it won’t do a damn thing to turn the UFC’s fortunes around.


Crazy Enough to Be True: Ten Wild MMA Predictions for 2015

(Heading into 2015, these are the two most famous people associated with MMA. I’ve got nothing snarky to add to that.)

By Seth Falvo

With yet another year coming to an end, is reviving an old holiday tradition: MMA predictions for the upcoming year that are so wild and outrageous that some of them might actually come to fruition. If you’re looking to read statements along the lines of “JOSE ALDO REMAINS DOMINANT AT FEATHERWEIGHT YOU GUYZZZ,” kindly move along; there are plenty of other two-bit MMA writers “brave” enough to state such obvious things for you. Still here? Then let’s grab some eggnog and see what 2015 has in store for us.

1. CM Punk‘s First UFC Opponent Won’t Even Have a Sherdog Profile When the Fight Is First Announced.

Look, the last thing that I want to do is get all high and mighty about the UFC’s decision to sign CM Punk; the UFC is a sports entertainment company, so why wouldn’t they sign the hottest free agent in sports entertainment? But at the same time, Punk’s qualifications to fight in the major leagues are non-existent. We’re dealing with a guy who, up to this point, has dabbled in jiu-jitsu and sparred a few times. Forget a UFC-caliber fighter — most people can’t even beat an experienced amateur fighter after less than a year of serious training. So let’s not even joke about whether or not CM Punk’s first UFC opponent will have his own Wikipedia page, because he obviously won’t. If the UFC expects any sane athletic commission to sanction a bout featuring Punk, they’re going to have to find somebody so obscure that not even the folks at Sherdog will know who he is.

2. A Member of the Official UFC Rankings Committee Is Accused of Partaking in a “Pay for Rankings” Scandal.


CM Punk Defends His UFC Existence on SportsCenter, ESPN MMA Live [VIDEOS]

(Props: Zombie Prophet)

Serious question: Are you guys tired of hearing about CM Punk already? The former WWE superstar (known to his momma as Phil Brooks) has a long road of training ahead of him before he makes his UFC debut sometime next year, but he’s been keeping his name in the streets with some media appearances here and there. Yesterday, he visited the ESPN studios to cut promos — or “interviews,” whatever — for SportsCenter and MMA Live. Some notable quotes from the SC spot…

- “Am I ready [to fight] today? I mean, probably not, but I’d fight anybody right now. Whether that’s a smart decision or not remains to be seen…I used to not be able to walk or swim, and I’m not saying it’s going to be easy, but I’m gonna get there, and I’m excited to climb that mountain.”

- “I’m comfortable on the ground. Whether I get taken down and I’m on my back, I’m confident in my ability to stand back up, I’m confident in my jiu-jitsu, and it’s only gonna get better from now until the day I fight.”

- In response to Matt Brown’s recent criticism of his UFC signing: “There’s probably a lot of fighters that are…they’re just upset. And I can understand that, and more power to you, I understand your point of view. My job is to do what’s good for me and my family, and along the way if I change your mind, Matt Brown, awesome.”

- On Vince McMahon and Dana White: “They’re both driven, they’re both set in their ways, they both have an idea of what is best for their company, and everything like that, and I think that’s how they’re the same. How they’re different, I think, is the difference in the generation. Vince is very old-school, Dana is more open-minded, there’s more of a warmth on the UFC side that I’m experiencing. And Dana’s more open-minded, obviously — he hired me.”

- “Listen, there’s always people throughout my entire life who have told me that I can’t do something. Nobody ever thought I would make it to the WWE, nobody ever thought I’d be the champion. And nobody ever thought I’d be in the UFC…and I very much use the negativity that comes my way to fuel me, to prove people wrong.”

The MMA Live video is after the jump.


Report: UFC to Be Hit With Class Action Lawsuit From Its Own Fighters

(Photo via Getty)

Ready for a bombshell? According to Bloody Elbow, current and former UFC fighters are about to file a class action lawsuit against the UFC, and are seeking “potentially hundreds of millions of dollars.”

Holy crap, you guys.

The story was confirmed by Bloody Elbow’s John Nash and Brent Brookhouse.

Here are the details, courtesy of Bloody Elbow:

We have been able to confirm that the suit will be based on accusations that the UFC has violated antitrust laws by abusing their “market power” to intentionally and systematically cripple the free market. Several of the individuals we spoke to compared it to the recent San Jose hi-tech employee and NCAA antitrust cases. The manager of one high profile fighter who wished to remain anonymous has informed Bloody Elbow that the plaintiffs will be seeking damages for potentially hundreds of millions of dollars due to reduced fight purses, video game rights fees, and other sources of income. The final amount could even be greater, with statutes awarding “treble damages” in antitrust cases…