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Tag: MMA media

UFC Fight Night 37 Results: Dana White Needs to Respond to Criticism, Not Mock It


(Photo via Getty)

By Matt Saccaro

Even though the likes of Alexander Gustafsson, Jimi Manuwa, Michael Johnson, and Melvin Guillard all met in the cage in a Fight Pass card in London today, the biggest fight of the weekend wasn’t contested in a cage. It happened over twitter.

MMA Fighting’s Luke Thomas tweeted the following yesterday:

A reasonable sentiment, especially in an age where the UFC is going to put on two events in the same day, though the tweet was not specifically directed at the UFC. It was tweeted two minutes after a jape at Bellator’s expense. Dana White ignored such nuances. He took the tweet personally, and responded with 140-character artillery fire this morning:

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The Unsupportable Opinion: MMA/The UFC Is NOT Slowly Swirling Down the Shitter


(MMA’s heyday, according to at least one guy.)

“The night is always darkest before the dawn.” — Two-Face, quoting Plato or some shit.

MMA is facing a crisis, Nation. Or so we’re being told. Not one of irrelevance, a lack of funding, or societal ignorance like it faced during the so-called “Dark Ages,” but one of complacency, of apathy. Over the past several years, we have seen the sport rise to a level of popularity we previously thought unattainable. With more major network deals, cross-promotion with major brands, and movies featuring UFC stars popping up by the day, it’s hard to argue that MMA is exactly struggling to generate interest amongst fans.

But somewhere between the death of Strikeforce and the Fight Pass subscriptions, MMA (or at least, its premiere organization) reached a tipping point. Despite an ever-burgeoning roster, the quality of the average card started to slip. Viewership began to decline. Truly “stacked” cards started to come further and further between, as did the number of marketable stars present on them.

While the UFC was busy making efforts to dominate the fucking world, its stateside presence slowly began to diminish with each lackluster “Fight Night” card, the majority of which have been spread across three channels and subscriptions-only networks. It isn’t helping that the UFC is now nickel and diming those of us hoping to watch their international events and prelims, adding to the growing “UFC is in trouble” sentiment among fans. The UFC has gotten greedy, and our view of the sport has slowly begun to shift from optimistic to apathetic as a result.

Is it simply a case of the UFC expanding too fast and oversaturating it’s niche market, as many followers of the sport will tell you? Or have fans simply lost interest in the sport now that it has become a globally recognized, increasingly expensive commodity?

Actually, the answer is a firm “no” to both of those questions. MMA is NOT rapidly descending into the watered-down, passionless, corporate-sponsored hellscape we all think it is, and everyone needs to man (or woman) the fuck up and stop acting like the sport is a lost cause.

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MMA Fans “Don’t Give a Flying F*ck” About the MMA Media (and That’s a Bad Thing)


(“ARIEL!! ARIEL!! OMG HE TOTES JUST LOOKED IN OUR DIRECTION, YOU GUYS!!” *faints* Photo via Sherdog.)

By Matt Saccaro

A discussion about the MMA media surfaced on r/MMA recently, with the inflammatory title “Why do people on this subreddit refuse to acknowledge that the MMA media is bought and paid for?”

The OP (original poster for those unfamiliar with Internet lingo) linked our Shill ‘Em All series as proof of the media’s misdeeds, and also discussed Zach Arnold’s Fight Opinion piece about the connection between WSOF and Zuffa.

MMA fans responded with apathy and quips. Here three select comments:

1. “Sports journalism should be about the sport, they are covering UFC fighters and fights, you don’t need to be unbiased to write who won a fight and how it looked.

I personally don’t give a flying fuck about what did Dana White do today, so if someone is biased and reports only the good stuff that paints him in a good light or someone is shitting on him I don’t give a fuck either way.

My favorite writer is Jack Slack, and I don’t think he mentioned UFC-s promotional practice or what color DW-s shit is, I read him because he is very good at analyzing fights and fighters, if I wanted to know about contracts, pay and substance abuse I’d go read a real newspaper (or not, given the state of journalism in general).”

2. “Who the fuck cares? Mma media sucks because of blog spam and click baiting, not your bullshit.”

And my personal favorite:

3. “Cagepotato are only bitter because they had their credentials pulled.”

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Video: Dana White Remains Calm and Collected While Debating “Pompous” Reporter at Media Luncheon [LOL NOT REALLY]

You’ve probably heard by now of the near meltdown Dana White suffered while hosting a media luncheon the other day. In case you didn’t, MMAWeekly’s Erik Fontanez was on hand and live-tweeted the entire thing. Although we are still waiting on the full audio of the luncheon, a brief video has recently surfaced showing one of White’s more heated moments.

What started off as a typical scrum of sorts with select members of the MMA media quickly turned into an f-bomb filled back-and-forth between White and a reporter (later identified as TJ Simers of the OC Register) who called bullshit on The Baldfather’s claims that the UFC would be bigger than the NFL and was already bigger than the NBA. The Rock could not be reached for comment but offered this rebuttal.

From there it was all downhill. However, White was able to restrain from his usual mix of faux-threats and strawmen arguments for the most part, especially when the topic of boxing — more specifically, White’s new boxing-centric reality show, The Fighters – came up.

Apparently not a fan of boxing, MMA, or the concept of someone punching someone else in general, Simers relentlessly needled White over key issues both sports are currently facing. Issues like “Would you let your kid be a boxer?” and “Fighting is not in our DNA.”

Eesh. You *sure* you don’t have anything to add, The Rock?

Check out the video above, then sound off in the comments section.

-J. Jones

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CagePotato PSA: Dear MMA Media, Stop Asking for Dana White’s Opinion on Every Last Goddamn Subject


(“You know what, I *would* like to address what @sk8rdood45 said about this matchup. You tell @sk8rdouche that he and his 22 followers can all go f*ck themselves! Good question, Ariel.” Photo via Getty.)

Do me a favor. Head over to any one of the “serious” or “unbiased” or “professional” MMA sites you visit IN ADDITION TO CagePotato on a regular basis and scan through the headlines. There are plenty of options to choose from.

Now count how many headlines you read that contained the phrase “Dana White on_____” or something of the like. Hell, count how many times you see a picture of his face. Then comb through the articles a second time and see how many *without* White’s name in the headline still relate back to:

1) His opinions on a TUF-related issue.

2) His opinions on a certain fighter’s performance/career/potential with the promotion (these can also be combined with a TUF-related issue for bonus points)

3) Someone else responding to something he said.

There were at least four, weren’t there? Lucky for you, we’re on the downslope of a week with no UFC event on the immediate horizon. Had you visited those websites a few days ago (or next weekend, for that matter), you would have been bombarded by more Dana White news than you could read in a month. You’d find no relief in the forums either, where the most popular thread by far would be the one where White personally called you a “dipshit” and a “pussy” for daring to question him from your grandmother’s basement.

Does anyone else see what is wrong with this picture?

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27 Ways to Know You’re Part of the MMA Media


(The MMA media in a nutshell, except replace Jade Bryce with Dana White and Eric Holden with any credentialed “journalist” in the business. / Photo via Examiner.com)

By the CagePotato.com staff

The MMA media is a diverse bunch, ranging from actual professionals to despicable bottom-feeders like us. However, there are trials and tribulations that we can all relate to, and which ultimately unite us. For example…

1. You’ve been called a Zuffa shill whenever you say something positive about the UFC.

2. You’ve been called an anti-Zuffa hack whenever you say anything negative about the UFC.

3. You complain about all the free UFC events you have to watch on cable.

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Shill ‘Em All, Part 3: The ‘Almost Famous’ Fanboys of MMA Media


(“Jose Rosenberg, MMAFloorTurd.com. My question is for Johny Hendricks: Johny, will you please accept my friend request on Facebook?“)

To see the first two installments of Shill ‘Em All, click here for Part 1 and here for Part 2.

By Brian J. D’Souza

All serious music aficionados know the true-life origins of Cameron Crowe’s 2000 movie Almost Famous: Like the young protagonist of the movie, Crowe worked for Rolling Stone magazine, spending three weeks on the road with the Allman Brothers Band at the age of 18.

The ongoing theme of Almost Famous has to do with the loss of focus and objectivity 15-year old music journalist William Miller experiences when he gets up close and personal with fictional rock band Stillwater.

“Just make us look cool” the band tells Miller as they attempt to coerce favorable coverage that will further enhance their music career. This raises the question of personal bias in journalism — in our case, what happens when MMA reporters get too close to their subjects?

The first time I met Georges St-Pierre at the Tristar Gym in 2008, I was so in awe of his stature as a champion that I overlooked red flags concerning his management. I wrote a good story — a 2,000-word profile for a Canadian men’s magazine about his arc from bullied schoolboy to UFC champion. While I may have even elicited several good quotes about his childhood and time working as a garbage man, there were many grisly details that lay beneath the surface that I would discover in the coming years.

It’s easy for media members to project themselves onto MMA fighters. It starts with a delusion (“I could be him!”) and escalates into other false premises (“I am special, too!”). Numerous reporters have courted love affairs with fighters — both figurative and literal — and astute fans can spot the signs of favoritism from miles away: reporters using their platform to name-drop, rationalize a fighter’s flaws, or minimize criticism of said fighter.

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Shill ‘Em All, Part 2: The MMA Media’s Race to the Bottom


(The Baldfather advertises yet another media outlet that won’t be lobbing any critical coverage his way. / Photo via Getty)

By Brian J. D’Souza

Ideally, the relationship between professional sports organizations like the UFC and media members should be about interdependence, where both parties rely equally upon each other. In practice, many MMA media members and outlets often exist as the clingy, powerless co-dependent partners that put the needs of the UFC before the need for factual and accurate sports journalism.

Last week, a Twitter war-of-words erupted between Yahoo! Sports reporter Kevin Iole and UFC president Dana White over whether the UFC was hiding TRT-user Vitor Belfort in Brazil to avoid the scrutiny of an American athletic commission.


(Screencap via Reddit_MMA)

It’s understandable why White feels threatened by media scrutiny; Iole certainly hasn’t pulled any punches regarding the lack of consequences for using performance enhancers in boxing and MMA. While the New York Yankees and Major League Baseball could survive for 211 games without Alex Rodriguez (or the other disgraced players) in the wake of the Biogenesis scandal, the already watered-down cards promoted by the UFC would lose even more star power if known TRT-users (Vitor Belfort, Dan Henderson, Chael Sonnen, Frank Mir — and counting) were culled from the promotion.

MMA fans on MixedMartialArts.com’s UG forum observed that Kevin Iole could be denied media credentials for his failure to toe the UFC’s company line. This is not an empty threat, as many different outlets and individuals including ESPN.com’s Josh Gross, SI.com’s Loretta Hunt, CagePotato.com and Deadspin.com are all barred from press row at UFC events.

(click screen-caps to enlarge)


The public needs to grasp the reality that being an MMA reporter isn’t just about having a nice buffet and a comped ticket at a fight card. It’s about access to prominent fighters, coaches, managers and promoters to get the inside scoop and flesh out stories not reported elsewhere. When newly-crowned UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman visited ESPN headquarters in Bristol, Connecticut, Josh Gross was denied an opportunity to interview Weidman. Banned media members may also miss out on a PR mailing list where media outlets learn about breaking UFC news, conference calls that allow media to ask questions to the headliners of major pay-per-view shows, and other events that media can be invited to.

The fear of losing those perks remains a potent sanction by the UFC in ensuring media compliance. I reference Exhibit A: an e-mail written by Bleacher Report staffer Jeremy Botter (leaked by Deadspin.com) that outlined several ways for MMA writers to avoid conflict with the UFC, including the following points:

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The 10 Most Absurd Entries in the UFC’s New Fighter Rankings


(I had no idea what to use for the featured image on this post, so I Googled “puppy taking a shit,” and found this. It fits surprisingly well, I think.)

Last week, we learned that the UFC and FightMetric were organizing a new set of official fighter-rankings, which would be updated often and made available to the public. It was a good idea in theory — for one thing, the rankings would be a helpful reference tool for casual fans trying to keep the rosters straight — but it suffered from two fatal flaws: 1) The rankings would have zero impact on which fights actually get booked, as we were once again reminded today, and 2) If the ranking body is only made up of media members who are on good terms with the UFC, as well as reporters who don’t automatically recognize this exercise as a conflict of interest, the results will inevitably be biased.

The debut rankings list came out today, featuring the opinions of 28 media members, including longtime shills (Franklin McNeil), obscure non-entities (“Burbank Leader”?), and left-field surprises. (Andreas Hale, good to see you my man!) Yeah, I know this sounds like sour grapes from a blacklisted media refugee, but after scanning through the new rankings lists, it’s clear that this thing is as useless as you probably imagined. Here are some notable lowlights…

1. Despite his 0-0 record in the UFC, Gilbert Melendez is listed as the #1 lightweight contender. You know, because he’ll be fighting for the title soon.

2. Other 0-0 fighters on the rankings list: Tarec Saffiedine (#10 welterweight), Luke Rockhold (#7 middleweight), and Gegard Mousasi (#10 light-heavyweight).

3. After losing his featherweight debut against Jose Aldo, Frankie Edgar is now the 4th-ranked featherweight contender in the UFC.

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UFC Teams With FightMetric and MMA Media to Create Sort-of-Official Fighter Rankings


(“In my unbiased opinion as an MMA journalist, Chael Sonnen is the #1-ranked fighter at *all* weight classes. In addition, he has the biggest arm and does the most harm.” Photo via Fuel TV.)

For the first time ever, the UFC will publish fighter ranking lists in each of their weight divisions. The new rankings will be generated by FightMetric, in collaboration with a wide range of media members. Here’s the scoop, via a press release on UFC.com:

FightMetric®, the official statistics provider of the Ultimate Fighting Championship® (UFC®), will continue to enhance fans experience by providing UFC Fighter Rankings. UFC Fighter Rankings by FightMetric will poll opinions from sports media worldwide and will be recognized by the UFC and integrated into its broadcast and featured on UFC.com. Voting will be open to media immediately after each live event with results made available to UFC.com within 24 hours.

“We are thrilled to have UFC recognize our fighter rankings and to have them hosted on UFC.com, as well as incorporated into event broadcasts. FightMetric has worked closely with the UFC for several years as an industry-leader in MMA statistics. Sports fans are accustomed to seeing performance data and rankings on their favorite baseball, football and soccer players, and now we can engage UFC fans on a similar level,” said FightMetric creator Rami Genauer.

“UFC Fighter Rankings are a great tool for new and existing fans alike to learn and better keep up with the fast pace of the UFC,” said UFC President Dana White. “We always look for opportunities to engage fans and media, allowing them to connect and voice their opinions, and this just one more way of doing that.”

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