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21 Humans Who Make Being Human Look Really, Really Hard

Tag: Lorenzo Fertitta

Bucket Lists and Bully Beatdowns: Two Feel Good MMA Stories That Are Sure to Warm Your Black Heart

True story: The last time I traveled home to Upstate NY was a few months ago. While out at one of the only two bars that exist in my podunk town, I bumped into a high school buddy of mine who had moved to Washington D.C some years ago. I asked him how he was doing, and after a very, very, shockingly brief conversation, he informed me that he had testicular cancer that had spread to his stomach.

I stood there in shock for a moment, wondering if he simply remembered my dark sense of humor and was merely screwing with me, before offering my response. What I said I cannot recall, due in part to the combination of shock and grain alcohol running through my system (mostly shock). Long story short, he underwent surgery and chemotherapy shortly thereafter, and yesterday, informed us all that he was officially cancer-free. I was relieved to say the least.

That’s perhaps the craziest thing about cancer; despite nearly all of us knowing someone whose life has been claimed by it, we always assume that it won’t get us until the end, if at all. So a story like that of Jake Stoneking, a 19-year-old from West Linn, Oregon battling a rare form of brain cancer (medulloblastoma) is rarely one that falls on deaf ears for obvious reasons. ABC News ran one such story yesterday, and focused on a bucket list Stoneking had put together in light of his fatal diagnosis.

When he unveiled that his #2 wish was to attend a UFC event (second only to “visit a local West Linn topless bar.” Awesome), the UFC kindly obliged him.

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UFC 170 Results: Here’s Why the Controversy Around Ronda Rousey’s Win Is Great


(Photo via Getty)

By Matt Saccaro

Ronda Rousey kneed Sara McMann into oblivion in a minute…or at least Herb Dean thought McMann had been kneed into oblivion. MMA fans were split about that part. Some thought the stoppage was deserved—McMann stopped intelligently defending herself when she crumpled to the mat clutching her sides. Others disagreed, citing the fact that McMann managed to rise to her feet immediately after Dean called off the bout (an intrepid Wikipedia vandal belonged to this school of thought).

The irritating ruckus that follows any disputed stoppage polluted Twitter and message boards before Rousey’s hand was even raised. MMA fans were (and still are) pissed.

And that’s fantastic.

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Once Again, Lorenzo Fertitta Manages to Sound Completely Reasonable While Responding to Ex-UFC Fighter’s Criticism


(I look at this photo and think, “now there’s a guy who just wants to open up a dialogue and find some common ground.” / Photo by Cindy Schultz for Times Union)

Last week, former UFC middleweight Nate Quarry went on the Underground Forum to discuss the low pay and sponsorship limitations he encountered while fighting for the promotion. As he saw it, the UFC viewed its fighters as “just a product to use and discard.”

Normally, this is the point where UFC president Dana White would find the nearest video-camera and call Quarry a [expletive] loser crybaby who never did anything for the promotion and is lying about how much money he made in the first place. Instead, Yahoo!’s Kevin Iole asked UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta how he felt about Quarry’s remarks. Here’s what the UFC’s less-visible, more level-headed frontman had to say:

“This sport is in its infancy, and I’ll admit that there is so much more to be done, but the media is focusing so much on the negative and there are far more positives out there in terms of what we have done for the sport and the fighters,” Fertitta said. “You come to work every day and you kind of feel beaten down because it’s something new [to complain about] every day…

“I’m not going to argue or counter every specific claim made by Nate Quarry on some website,” Fertitta said. “I’m super proud of what we have done for our athletes, this sport and this company. Our track record is darn good as a whole and we have nothing to be embarrassed about.

“This fight Nate is talking about was so long ago and clearly the business wasn’t where it is today. It was in its infancy and we were coming out of a period where we suffered millions upon millions in losses. It wasn’t an insignificant amount of money. And I’ll tell you this, Nate is a smart guy. Absolutely he is. He knew when he signed his contract exactly what he’d be paid….

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Why the Current PED Testing Policies in MMA Are Bad for the Sport


(My advice? Put on this song, hold each other tight, and remember why you fell in the love in the first place. / Photo via @lorenzofertitta)

By Jon Mariani

Responding to Georges St-Pierre’s news-making claim that the UFC didn’t support him when he did VADA drug-testing for UFC 167, UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta told Yahoo!, “It was extremely disappointing to hear Georges make those comments because I don’t think any organization has embraced drug testing as we have.”

Fertitta also went on to state in an interview with ESPN, “Maybe Georges didn’t understand the level of drug testing Nevada was doing. They are the ultimate authority that handles drug testing, medicals and everything else — and they are very capable.”

The first problem with Fertitta’s statement is that the UFC didn’t exactly embrace drug-testing when GSP tried to bring VADA into the mix. As UFC President Dana White stated, “It’s a little weird,” that St-Pierre wanted the enhanced testing. White went on to say that “He doesn’t have to do it, but I guess he wants to do it. What are you gonna do? Knock yourself out, Georges. Good luck.”

Clearly, that’s not the kind of “support” St-Pierre was looking for.

The larger problem is that when Fertitta says “they are very capable,” referring to Nevada’s athletic commission and drug-testing standards, it couldn’t be further from the truth. The current testing employed in Nevada is a joke, and here’s why…

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Georges St-Pierre Blasts the UFC for Lack of Drug-Testing Support; Lorenzo Fertitta ‘Disappointed’ By Comments


(The UFC’s French-Canadian company-man has officially left the building. / Photo via Getty)

During a media appearance in Montreal yesterday, former UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre was uncharacteristically candid about his motivations for stepping away from the sport, and how he felt about the UFC not supporting him when he attempted to arrange enhanced drug-testing prior to his UFC 167 title fight against Johny Hendricks.

“It bothered me enormously,” St-Pierre said (in a translation by MMAFighting.com). “That’s one of the reasons why I stopped fighting. Not really to teach them a lesson, because that would also punish me. I wanted to do something for the sport. I love the sport. I see the direction it’s going, and I don’t think it makes any sense. This is stupid.”

“I tried to do something to change the sport,” St-Pierre continued. “Unfortunately, there were other people, for different reasons, maybe for money, in fear of losing money, because if you canceled the fight because someone tested positive there are millions of dollars [lost]. Also, the sport’s image…If you start testing everyone, how many will get caught? I don’t want to say in public because I don’t want to accuse anyone, but the sport’s image will be hurt. Don’t forget, I have internal information. I’m an athlete. I know what goes on, so that disappointed me greatly.”

Later, St-Pierre described the UFC as a “monopoly,” and suggested that he wouldn’t return to competition until the promotion’s drug-testing policy was improved:

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Quote of the Day: Chris Weidman and Vitor Belfort Will Throw Down in AMERICA, Thank You Very Much


(And the text from Keith Kizer read: “NOT ON MY WATCH, PLAYBOY.” Photo via Getty.

We often get accused of “hating” on Vitor Belfort — then again, we often get accused of “hating” on many MMA fighters we poke fun at — for noting the often hilarious contradictions he makes regarding his usage of TRT. One day, he needs it to survive. The next, he’s willing to go off the treatment for a title shot. And God forbid you see the guy on Sundays

It’s not that we haven’t appreciated seeing Belfort transform into Blanka from Street Fighter over the past couple of years, it’s just that his career resurgence has been somewhat marred in our (and many fans) eyes by his usage of what many would consider an unnecessary and unfair advantage. These qualms are somewhat validated by the fact that Belfort has been tucked away in Brazil for his past few highlight reel wins and all but banned from using TRT in Nevada on account of his past steroid usage.

Thankfully, it appears that all our worries regarding the legitimacy of Belfort’s resurgence will be put to rest when he receives the middleweight title shot he was promised after knocking out Dan Henderson. According to Lorenzo Fertitta in an interview with ESPN, Belfort will be facing off with Chris Weidman in Las Vegas, ‘MURICA this summer. His quote is after the jump.

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Lorenzo Fertitta Walks Back Dana White’s Burial of Georges St-Pierre: “GSP Doesn’t Owe Us Anything”


(He’s smart, well-spoken, and he always wipes down his machines. What’s not to like about this guy?)

Watching Lorenzo Fertitta do interviews is like getting a glimpse into a utopian alternate-universe in which the president of the UFC wasn’t a petulant spaz whose first response to any criticism is to call you a pussy. Fertitta is an adult, and as such, he occasionally has to clean up the messes left behind by his minority partner. Here’s what the Zuffa Chairman/CEO had to say yesterday to Ariel Helwani, regarding Dana White’s now-infamous rant about what Georges St-Pierre “owes” the UFC following last weekend’s fight against Johny Hendricks:

I think Dana was misunderstood and hopefully he’s trying to clarify that. GSP doesn’t owe us anything. If he chooses to retire, then so be it, he’ll retire and become someone that people will always look up to as one of the great champions in the UFC. If he decides to fight again, then great. I think where the confusion was, Georges never communicated anything to us prior to the fight relative to that he may be making an announcement. In fact, I think Dana said that he had talked to him and he said ‘no no no, everything’s fine.’

And then after the fight, the announcement he made was very vague. And I think what Dana was trying to say was that either you’re retired or you’re not, right? We can’t just put the UFC belt on the shelf for an undefined period, basically put it in limbo forever, because that’s not fair to the contenders that have been working their whole lifetime to get the opportunity to get the belt. It’s not fair to the fans to have the title sit on the side for too long. And it’s not fair to us as a company because we wouldn’t be able to plan. I think that’s what the message was meant to be, but I think unfortunately the press took it in a different way.

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You Can Calm Down, The UFC Is Not Holding 54 Events Next Year


(Subtle.)

By Matt Saccaro

Earlier today, Ariel Helwani tweeted that there was going to be 54 UFC events in 2014, or at least that was the plan.

But there won’t be as many as 54 events, and it’s possible that many of the extra events won’t even be on television. Lorenzo Fertitta elucidated the UFC’s plans for 2014 in an interview with Ariel Helwani. Predictably, the UFC is focusing on international growth in 2014.

“We are looking at expanding our Fight Night product,” said Fertitta. “We have the bottom tier, we have the Ultimate Fighter which we’re taking around the world now. We have obviously the series on FOX Sports 1. We just got done filming The Ultimate Fighter: China which will air in January in China. We’ve got The Ultimate Fighter: Canada and Australia in production right now. We’re in pre-production for series in other various countries around the world. That’s our base,” he said. But TUF is only one piece of the global MMA puzzle. The more important piece, at least according to Fertitta, are the mid-level Fight Night cards.

“In the middle of the pyramid we have our UFC Fight Night brand,” he said. “We’re gonna take that Fight Night product and expand it into Europe and into Asia next year…We’re gonna add fights in those regions so when you add them on to the 33 we’d do this year, it gets into that 40-ish type number.”

Regarding the highly controversial number of 54, Fertitta claimed that he misspoke. He also teased about where the events would be televised (if anywhere).

“Is that what I said? 54? It won’t be quite that. I think I misspoke. It’ll be in the 40′s. Right now, we’ll have some news coming up on where they’re gonna air. I think we’re gonna have some ground-breaking ideas as far as where that’s gonna be available.”

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Lorenzo Fertitta Breaks Down UFC’s India Strategy


(During international expansion negotiations, UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta lets his pecs and arms do the talking.)

MMA Junkie has an interesting item up on their site from UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta where the owner/executive discusses the organization’s expansion into India. If you’re anything like this writer, your initial reaction to the news that the UFC was looking to break into the sub-continent nation with The Ultimate Fighter: India was, “Yeah, that’s a huge market! What with all their people, and such. Wait, do they like MMA in India? Are there Indian MMA fighters?”

Perhaps you’re much more worldly and cultured than I (more than likely) and didn’t think that. But in the Junkie article, Fertitta admits that the UFC is starting from scratch in India. He just believes that there are cultural forces and trends that might make Indians of a certain age very receptive to MMA and the UFC.

“It’s a market we think has a lot of potential, but we are literally starting from ground zero,” Fertitta said. “People (there) really don’t know anything about this sport or the UFC.”

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UFC Inks Deal with Sony Six, ‘TUF India’ to Premiere in 2013


(Working title for the season: “TUF India — How Can They Slap?”)

At a press conference held yesterday in Mumbai, the UFC announced the signing of a strategic partnership with the sports channel Sony Six, which will bring a wide range of UFC programming to India. Most notably, the channel will host an Indian edition of The Ultimate Fighter, premiering sometime in 2013; casting details will be announced soon. From the press release:

SIX is the destination for all UFC programming in India, from live events featuring the biggest names in the sport to athlete profile shows including the seminal Countdown and Primetime. SIX will also feature the greatest fights in the UFC’s 19-year history with UFC Unleashed.

UFC Chairman and CEO Lorenzo Fertitta said: “We are very excited to partner with SIX as the UFC expands into India. We look forward to working with them to not only further expand the UFC’s fanbase here, but also to find and develop local talent and, ultimately, bring regular live events to India”…

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