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The news was passed along by the UFC’s official twitter account earlier today. The fight is still scheduled for three rounds.
Evans has dropped two of his past three fights and is in need of a big win if he is to ever delay any more discussion of a potential (and likely dreadful) drop to middleweight. Henderson also finds his back somewhat against a wall, as the 42-year old’s stock has been decreasing ever since he was forced to pull out from his UFC 151 title fight with Jon Jones. Again, these may sound like criticisms, but in all reality, they only heighten the chance that these two veterans put on a show for the ages come June 15th.
(Jon…erg…just hear me out…*duff*…if we make it to round 2 *duff**duff*…I promise you no less than 20 thousand more buys. Jon?)
At first glance, the pay-per-view numbers that just came in for UFC 159 don’t seem all that terrible. Truth be told, it would be near impossible to declare the event’s 550,000 estimated buys anything less than a success. However, when you realize that the sole reason the fight was booked in the first place was to cash in on the Chael Sonnen circus act, that 500k kind of pales in comparison to the 925,000 UFC 148 pulled in. In fact, it’s pretty much in line with the average Jon Jones-headlined pay-per-view, save his 700k-earning fight with Rashad Evans at UFC 145. MMAFighting’s Dave Meltzer reports:
Preliminary estimates for UFC 159, headlined by Jon Jones’ successful light heavyweight title defense against Chael Sonnen, indicate pay-per-view buys coming in between 520,000 and 550,000.
There was hope for bigger numbers in the days after the fight, due to the strong ratings of UFC 159 shoulder programming. The weigh-ins were the second-highest rated since Fuel began airing. The event also drew the highest ratings for post-fight coverage of a pay-per-view on Fuel. Prelim match ratings on FX were 32 percent above average.
The number would be the company’s second largest of 2013, trailing UFC 158, with Georges St-Pierre vs. Nick Diaz, but ahead of the now No. 3 event of the year, UFC 157, headlined by Ronda Rousey vs. Liz Carmouche.
(“When I first started The Blackzilian Reverse Diet, I was just a scrawny welterweight fighting in the sport’s highest promotion. But just LOOK AT ME NOW!)
It would be no hyperbole to say that The Blackzilians are less a training camp and more a black hole (PUNS!) of suckitude that is slowly draining the last remaining scraps of talent from its fighters before it inevitably spits them out as empty, dry husks void of any discernible skills whatsoever. Alright, there may be a little hyperbole in that statement, but to say that the members of The Blackzilians have been underperforming since the camp was established in 2011 is no exaggeration. Alistair Overeem just had his head treated like a speed bag at UFC 156, Rashad Evans just put on his worst performance in years (at the same event, no less), and Melvin Guillard has dropped 4 of his past 5 fights including an inexplicably timid performance in what was supposed to be a grudge match against Jamie Varner at UFC 155.
That’s not to say that The Blackzilians are doing everything wrong, it just appears that they are relying on the pure talent of their fighters to lead them rather than a team of disciplined coaches. But in light of the recent criticisms aimed at the camp from news outlets across the MMA blogosphere, whateverweight Anthony Johnson — fresh off a unanimous decision victory over Andrei Arlovski at WSoF 2 – told MMAJunkie that said criticisms are “unfair.” Here’s why:
Every team has losses. Losses don’t define who you are.
People always want to talk about the losses, not the wins. Everybody talks about Rashad’s loss. Everybody talks about Alistair’s loss. But Vitor Belfort is one of my training partners. He just high-kicked Michael Bisping (for a knockout win). You all talked about that for five minutes. You’re all still talking about the losses we had. What about the wins we had?
True, Anthony, we should be talking more about the wins you guys had. The problem is that those wins are coming fewer and farther between than with the guys over at Team Hammer House.
It’s sometimes easy to forget that the cultures of our professional sports are not isolated from the rest of society, and that the two affect each other. This is easy to spot when looking at the issue of LGBT rights: the same way that professional athletes are still hesitant to accept a gay teammate, a person can still be fired for being gay in twenty-nine states. Progress is slowly being made on both fronts, as last week, NFL athletes Chris Kluwe and Brendon Ayanbadejo filed a Supreme Court brief arguing that not only is California’s Proposition 8 unconstitutional, but also that professional athletes have an important role in promoting tolerance in society.
The outspoken equal rights advocates [Author Note: By the way, if you haven't read Kluwe's rebuttal to Maryland state delegate Emmett C. Burns Jr., who tried to persuade the Baltimore Ravens to stop Ayanbadejo from voicing his stance on gay marriage, go read that now.] have recently caught the attention of one of our sport’s most popular fighters, Rashad Evans. Evans has not only signed their brief, but he also issued a strong statement in support of gay marriage. As he told Outsports:
“I’ve never been a homophobe, never understood what that is all about. I knew some people who were gay and never cared about their sexuality. But at the same time, I didn’t fully understand the issues around gay people until my friend BA started telling me about his full public support for gay marriage. We talked about the issue and I decided its not enough to not be against a minority, if you want things to go better for them you have to speak up with them.
Being a “contributor” for CagePotato.com is kind of like being a barback at a seedy nightclub in Tijuana. We stock the bar with booze, ice, and clean glassware while staying in the shadows hoping to God that we don’t get yelled at. We try to help out wherever we can so the star bartenders (Ben Goldstein, Jared Jones, Elias Cepeda and Seth Falvo) can toss bottles of shitty Tequila like juggling pins while they pour fruit-flavored cocktails to semi hot chicks that they will inevitably hump later on. A contributor cleans up puke, empties ashtrays and eats shit from all the “made men” (both writers and tenured comment section dick-heads) here at CagePotato but it really is a great gig. Can you imagine the sloppy seconds that Danga sends our way?
Needless to say, most of the day-to-day MMA related news topics are taken care of by the staff writers and that leaves aspiring dipshits like me and Hutchinson to try and come up with a fresh or entertaining story idea on our own. Well, this idea is not fresh but it could be entertaining (at least my portions will be, but I have hope for Hutch since he is the guy who brought the word “dicknailed” to the CP). When Jon Fitch was released from his UFC contract last week, I wanted to write a piece on which higher profile fighters I would cut next if I were part of the UFC brass. Because opinions are like buttholes, Hutch had a thought to debate several of the choices in a YAY or NAY style. Before anyone starts hollering about Clay Guida, Jake Shields or the entire cast from the first season of The Ultimate Fighter (that means you Koscheck) take note that we agreed on more than we disagreed and in the spirit of pointless arguments opted to leave the most obvious offenders out. Let’s get started.
(Keep in mind that Rashad makes $300,000 to show. Flowchart rules are officially in play. / Photo via USA Today Sports)
As confirmed by UFC president Dana White, the UFC will make its first visit to the Canadian province of Manitoba for UFC 161, which is slated for June 15th at Winnipeg’s MTS Centre. Two big-name light-heavyweight bouts are already tied to the card.
In their other lives, UFC stars Chael Sonnen and Rashad Evans suit up and become television analysts for Fuel TV. It was in this role Saturday night that Chael Sonnen experienced the latest negative consequence of his mouth writing a check his…well, in this case I guess it was a check that Dan Henderson’s ass couldn’t cash.
Before UFC 157, Sonnen the analyst said that he’d lick Rashad Evans’ shoe if his long-time Team Quest training partner Henderson lost to Lyoto Machida in their featured bout Saturday night. After Machida won a split decision over Henderson Chael made good on his promise and made sweet mouth love to Evans’ shoe.
Yes, that was a needlessly disgusting sentence and this post is somewhat pointless in the grand scheme of Saturday’s historic event. But you’re a damn liar if you’re telling me you didn’t press ‘play’ on the video above to watch ‘The American Bad Ass’ French kiss Rashad’s boot once you read the headline.
In related news, Henderson isn’t surprised that one of the judges managed to somehow think he won the fight against Machida, he’s apparently upset that all three didn’t.
“I won the fight, but not officially. I hit him whenever he wanted to fight. He ran away most of the time,” Hendo said at the UFC 157 post fight press conference.
Listen, the fight was close-fought and the judges had to pay attention but there is no question that Machida landed the harder shots and more often, mostly thwarted Hendo’s wrestling while doing more with his own offensive wrestling and ground work than the former two-division champ did. Yes, Machida made Henderson whiff with many of his leaping over hand rights and left hooks but I’d hardly call that “running.”
Was Henderson surprised that his opponent would try to strategically stay out of range until he was ready to throw his own shots? Had he seen Lyoto Machida fight before?
(Rashad’s best days as a fighter may be behind him, but the man has mastered the art of walking away from fictional explosions.)
Despite what the title implies (or outright states, whatever), I don’t honestly think that Rashad Evans is making more than he is worth at this point in his UFC career. The man is a TUF winner, a former champion, and a relatively marketable draw who consistently resides in the upper-echelon of the division. That being said, when I came across the salary figures for UFC 156 and noticed that Evans had walked away from his unanimous decision loss to Antonio Rogerio Nogueira with an event high 300K, that was the first thought that entered my mind. I apologize for deceiving you and will see myself out.
But before I go, I’ll say this: The figures for UFC 156 were pretty standard, with everyone not named Chico Camus and oddly enough Ian McCall clearing five figures. I guess it’s hard to consider “Uncle Creepy” a UFC bust when the poor bastard’s making less than the average TUF alum to fight.
The full list of salaries is after the jump, along with our whimsical analysis, so check them out and let us know what you think in the comments section. Per usual, these numbers are void of any locker room bonuses, PPV cuts, training expenses, licensing fees, etc.
That was the text I received this morning from a friend who is very much a casual MMA fan regarding last night’s UFC 156. Even though I assumed that my friend was talking about the end result of Bigfoot vs. Overeem, that statement could just as easily apply to almost any other fight on the card. We’re all familiar with the cliché that any fighter can beat anyone else on any night at this level, but we rarely see the underdogs win as frequently – and as convincingly – as they did last night. Simply put, it was an awful night for the guys who were supposed to win.
So let’s start off with the fight that went exactly as we all assumed it would: Jose Aldo defeated Frankie Edgar by a close, yet unanimous decision. Naturally, Edgar grew stronger as the fight went on. And naturally, the fight was close enough to justify an immediate rematch if one were to be booked (it probably won’t but who knows), because that’s just how Frankie Edgar fights work.
It’s impossible to be disappointed with Frankie Edgar’s effort in any given fight, and last night was no exception. Edgar provided Aldo with his stiffest challenge to date – after the champion returned from the longest layoff in his career, mind you – but Aldo was simply the better fighter.