In advance of the UFC’s first women’s title fight on February 23rd, Ronda Rousey and Liz Carmouche are getting the Primetime treatment, with a three-episode mini-series introducing viewers to the fighters’ personalities and personal histories. As we learn, Rousey and Carmouche both found themselves directionless after formative experiences — the Olympics for Rousey, the Marines for Carmouche — until MMA opened new chapters in their lives. The similarities end there, pretty much. Rousey is currently living the upwardly-mobile life of a UFC champion, while Carmouche is still broke as hell, working full days at the San Diego Combat Academy just to make ends meet.
A win for Carmouche would be life-changing, and she revels in the opportunity. “I absolutely think I’m going to spoil the UFC’s plans,” she says with a smile. (Hey, whatever happened to looking out for the company?)
Even if Liz is set up as the scrappy underdog who has fought tooth and nail to get where she is, the episode makes sure to push the adversity in Rousey’s life even harder. For better or worse, the Primetime series reaches an all-time high of emotional intensity in the final segment of this episode, as Rousey describes the heart-wrenching story of her father’s suicide, then breaks down in a moment of self-loathing for telling it. “I feel like I’m prostituting his memory for my own career gain, and it makes me feel like a fucking asshole,” she says through tears. Powerful stuff. Give it a look, and you’ll see a side of “Rowdy Ronda” that you might not have known about.
UFC Primetime brings you into the final moments of their respective camps as they train for the biggest fight of their careers. Condit talks about the motivation his young son gives him and St. Pierre and his team ponder the effects of his long lay off.
Oh yeah, Anderson Silva shows up in Montreal along with Condit and St. Pierre to fuck with everyone’s head. Between fighting in St. Pierre’s home town and the money the UFC can make off of a super fight between GSP and “The Spider” I’d be real nervous about my chances of winning a decision at UFC 154 tonight if I were Carlos Condit.
In any case, check out all of this great Primetime series, tune in to UFC 154 tonight and join us for our play by play coverage.
There’s just certain things you have to do if you’re a fight fan. Watching UFC Primetime episodes is one of them. It has been a couple years since the crew of boxing’s amazing 24/7 series first turned their talents and attention to doing MMA documentary in the form of Primetime but we still remember how excited we were when they did.
As we head into next Saturday’s UFC 154, Primetime continues to bring us inside the lives and camps of welterweight champions Georges St. Pierre and Carlos Condit. The pair will face off in a title unification bout in the main event of the Quebec card.
Episode two of this Primetime mini-season shows both men doing their final preparations to fight one another. Something extra cool about Primetime and 24/7 episodes are how, because the makers turn around content so quickly after filming, the stuff we’re watching literally happened a day or few ago in many instances. Other than training with Georges St. Pierre or Carlos Condit personally, watching Primetime is about as close to seeing what they are doing days out from their fight and what is going through their minds.
We’ve still got a week to go before our heavyweight title fight at UFC 146, but all of the excitement already has people losing their damn minds. Frank Mir and Junior Dos Santos will clash to determine who is the ‘baddest man on the planet’…at least for another 3-4 months until he inevitably loses the title to the next challenger. Enough dilly-dallying, let’s get to this week’s installment of UFC Primetime.
“Frank was very self-destructive. Drugs, alcohol. I think Frank was pretty much intoxicated for a whole year-and-a-half of his life. It was depression and then falling into a deeper spiral.” Mir’s wife, describing his life after the motorcycle wreck that nearly ended his fighting career, which sounds uncannily like the life of most CagePotato contributors.
It’s not the match we were promised, but it’s the one we’re going to watch. We’re only weeks away from UFC 146 and the heavyweight title bout between Junior Dos Santos and Frank Mir. In addition to the twelve pounds of gold at stake, we are witnessing a former champion’s quest to return to the top of his division and the familiar story arc of redemption and payback for a fallen master. There’s also a shooting range and lots of big guns. Whichever strikes your fancy, this Primetime comes correct.
Things open up with Junior Dos Santos’ mentor, Big Nog, showing up at his gym in Salvador, Brazil. The surprise appearance provides an emotional boost to the young champion.
“It wasn’t pain. I was very disappointed.” – Big Nog, on having his arm snapped by Frank Mir.It’s easy to write this off as a mistranslation, but English or Portuguese, it doesn’t matter; Minotauro doesn’t know the definition of pain in any language.
Despite the brooding drama built into the upcoming Jon Jones-Rashad Evans title fight at UFC 145, the latest installment of the UFC Primetime franchise has a decidedly more mature aura about it. No more fire-alarm monologues, no more interviews with grade school teachers. We’re dealing with big people problems. Rashad Evans has lost just about everything in his life over the past year, and he places a lot of that blame on the shoulders of his former teammates. While other matchups may have produced more vitriol for the cameras, few have the depth behind them as this rivalry.
Come on in for a breakdown of the highlights and Part II of the video.
Last night marked the end of a great run for the Primetime series as it followed the two fighters headlining tonight’s pay per view card. We’ve learned a lot more about Carlos Condit, the wayward youth turned loving father and professional fighter, while playing armchair psychologist to Nick Diaz along the way. The crews shadowing these two 24/7 did the heavy lifting, so we’ll just pop the video up above and make our little jokes after the jump.
Before the dust had even settled from the organization’s debut on FX, the push began for UFC 143‘s headliner. The battle for the interim Welterweight belt is getting the full “Primetime” treatment with an in depth, behind-the-scenes look at Nick Diaz and Carlos Condit. If you were too busy to catch the first installment of the series, bully for you. We’ve got the video above and some notes after the jump for the soft-headed.
If your wife had you finishing up some shit on your honey-do list you had better things to do yesterday afternoon than sit inside and watch the UFC on Fox 1 Primetime show, don’t worry, homies. We got you covered.
Just a quick programming note to everyone sitting on the couch this afternoon- the UFC’s first major appearance on the FOX network goes down shortly (exact time depends on your broadcast area, so check local listings). The Sunday afternoon timeslot may counter some NFL action, but it’s an incredible opportunity to capture viewers in MMA’s key demographic.
As readers of this site you obviously possess discerning taste and an appreciation for excellence, so check out the show and let us know your first impression of the UFC powered by the FOX production team.
In this instalment we get to see Jake Shields juggling being father and a fighter.
Of perhaps more interest is that, while training with UFC light heavyweight prospect and former Division I wrestler Phil Davis, Shields did pretty well controlling Mr. Wonderful on the ground. Davis remarked that although he had no problem getting Shields to the ground, he couldn’t hold him there or retain control over the Cesar Gracie black belt — which is something he says he’s never had a problem with before. Sure GSP will probably get Shields down, but the question Saturday night will be what he is able to do when he does.
If you missed the premiere episode of UFC Primetime: St-Pierre vs. Shields last night, don’t be scared, homies, we got you.
The show was as good as it predecessors, giving us a glimpse inside the camps of the main event fighters from UFC 129 April 30.
Not surprisingly, the the producers played up the respectful sportsmanship of St-Pierre who gave props to Shields’ ground game and politely pointed out that he chooses to test himself against opponents by beating them at their own games.
“Ee ‘as one area that ee is vary, vary good at and it’s ‘is grapping. All da guy dat he has fought in da past were afraid to go on the floor wit ‘im and dat is something dat I am not afraid to do. I always wanted to test myself wit the best fighter at ‘der best game. I like Jake Shield. He’s just at da wrong place at da wrong time. I train harder den I ever train,” GSP asserted throwing in a tired cliche for good measure. “I’m de best Georges St-Pierre dat I ever been. The fight dat I been waiting for for four years is gonna happen in front of fifty thousand people. It’s gonna be incredible.”
The recurring theme coming out of Velasquez’s camp is that Cain is going to use his speed and endurance advantage to take Brock into the later rounds where he is planning on putting on a boxing clinic. Dave Camarillo went so far as to say that Velasquez in planning on being the spry matador who will make Lesnar the bull look like a lumbering idiot…or something to that effect.
Lesnar’s coaches are pissed at the assertion that their fighter is a slow, out of shape fighter, and they take every opportunity to try to dispel the assumption, even sticking temporary training partner, Pat Barry in front of the camera to talk about Brock’s cheetah-like reflexes and ability to out run a Mack truck with a full tank of diesel.
I was a bit taken aback by Erik Paulson’s claim that Brock hits harder than anyone he’s ever trained, especially since we’ve really only seen him throw those awkward turbo hammer fists and no power punches. Maybe we’re in for a surprise on October 23, or maybe Paulson is just trying to scare Cain from standing with Brock using the old bait and switch technique.
They really seem to be playing up Cain’s ethnicity, though I’ve noticed Spike has stopped running the commercial with the, "Velasquez is hoping to become the first Mexican UFC heavyweight champion" since he was born in the U.S. and Ricco Rodriguez isn’t impressed. Not only did he explain the significance of his controversial, "Brown Pride" tattoo for the tenth time in the past few years, he also visited with a group of young Latino men to tell them they should embrace their heritage and that they can do anything they put their minds to if they persevere and work hard.
Unless they’re Tito Ortiz and their goals are to become a commentator.
It’s fight week for Rampage and Rashad, which means it’s time to make final preparations in body and mind, and get those last insults in. The third episode of their UFC Primetime mini-series aired yesterday after TUF, and you can watch the first half above, in case you missed it. Some highlights:
– The notorious media call where Rashad accuses Rampage of putting on a "minstrel show" and acting dumb for the amusement of the fans.
– Rashad gets in some Olympic-caliber workouts with Jonathan Chaimberg, and does a very unflattering impression of Rampage shouting "HE’S DEAD."
– Rampage spends some daddy-time with his two youngest kids.
– Trevor Wittman puts together a dinner for some of the Grudge Sports guys, and presents Rashad with a pencil drawing he made of him. Pretty impressive for a guy who’s self-taught. (I’m assuming those skills didn’t come from any sort of accredited art school.)
The plan is to air this special episode of “UFC Unleashed” at 9 pm EST as a lead-in to the final installment of “UFC Primetime.” At the risk of lavishing too much praise on the same people who are behind “Blue Mountain State,” we’re going to go ahead and call this move a brilliant one for all parties involved.
In case you missed it, here’s last night’s installment of Spike’s UFC Primetime hype-series, which opens in a Long Island Hooters, where Dan Hardy can somehow smell Georges St. Pierre‘s fear over the pungent aroma of hot wings and urinal cakes. Hardy has come out to New York early to get acclimated with the time zone and funny accents of the American East Coast. Acting as his spirit guide is former UFC welterweight champ Matt Serra, who is helping Hardy work on the positions that he’ll surely be placed in against GSP, and lending him some of his lovable underdog magic. Back in Montreal, we learn a little more about Tristar Gym trainer Firas Zahabi, his obsessive work ethic, and his cute wife. Nate Marquardt and Kenny Florian stop by to add some star power to St. Pierre’s camp. (Ferrum Ferro Acuitur, bro.) Our buddies Ariel Helwani and Randy Gordon interview Hardy about training with monks; turns out Hardy really is a martial artist, even if he doesn’t walk out to the Octagon in his pajamas. Part 2 is after the jump. Give it a look before it’s pulled…
Now this is more like it. Dan Hardy and Georges St. Pierre alone might lend themselves too easily to pre-packaged storylines, but Matt Serra is a born freakin’ entertainer over here. This clip is forty seconds long and still he manages to do/say more interesting things than either Hardy or GSP managed in the entirety of the first episode. You gotta love the guy for that. It’s almost enough to make me want to watch this one live instead of on my DVR tomorrow morning while eating leftover Chinese food and nursing a severe hangover. Almost.
Just in case this short clip isn’t enough entertainment to make the afternoon pass more swiftly, follow me after the jump for some totally gratuitous old school Wanderlei Silva ass-kicking action. There’s no real reason for it. Except that it’s awesome.
The UFC’s latest “Primetime” series premiered on Spike TV Wednesday night, whereupon we learned that Dan Hardy is a mouthy British punk and Georges St. Pierre is a determined, focused professional athlete. If that sounds like an oversimplification of the matter, that’s because it is. It’s also the angle that “Primetime” spent the better part of a half-hour hammering into our skulls.
The good news is the show garnered an average audience of about one million people, making it the most-watched episode since the series began with the GSP-BJ Penn showdown in January of 2009. In terms of cold hard numbers and objective reality, the newest incarnation of the show would appear to be a success. When it comes to telling us anything new about the fighters, and avoiding the empty phrases and broad stroke storytelling that is so often the worst part of fight-hyping TV shows, there’s nothing spectacular here.
Rememer the "UFC Primetime" series that premieres tonight? Well, in a continued effort to generate buzz before the first episode, the UFC has put out a couple clips of what they’re calling "unseen moments" from the show. Of course, they’re not at all unseen now that the UFC has put them on their official YouTube page, but you get the point. It’s footage they weren’t going to use anyway, and it’s supposed to make you want to watch the show, which is in turn supposed to make you want to buy the UFC 111 pay-per-view or pay $25 to see it at a movie theater.
Trouble is, this stuff is painfully boring. We’re talking Jim Jarmusch levels of boring here. As in, a two-minute clip of Georges St. Pierre talking about a bet he made with a friend for really uninteresting stakes, followed by him calling that friend and discussing those uninteresting stakes all over again. We realize it’s throwaway footage, but damn. I’m supposed to bump "16 and Pregnant" off my DVR queue for this?
After the jump, GSP does some push-ups and drills and stuff. It’s exactly as interesting as that sentence makes it sound.
The welterweight title fight between Georges St. Pierre and Dan Hardy headlines this month’s UFC 111 card (March 27th, Newark), and both fighters will be featured in a new three-part weekly UFC Primetime special which kicks off tonight at 10 p.m. ET/PT on Spike. The UFC hasn’t put together a Primetime show since January 2009, when BJ Penn vowed to go "to the death." Hardy probably won’t get that dramatic with his trash-talk, but he will be landing his shots:
“I know that I can give GSP hell when the times come. It’s so sweet stepping out into the Octagon on the other side saying, ‘I told you so.’…All these GSP fans that are betting the house on him, when they wake up Sunday morning…they aren’t going to be too impressed with themselves.”
Primetime gives viewers a behind-the-scenes look at the fighters’ training camps — from Hardy’s Rough House team in Nottingham to St. Pierre’s home base in Montreal — as well as their personal lives. To promote it, the UFC’s YouTube account has posted a very short clip of GSP jumping over a bar. Hmm. Well, I wasn’t planning on spending $45 to watch Georges beat the crap out of a +500 underdog, but now? Now you’ve got my attention.
The Penn/St. Pierre chapter of UFC Primetime came to an end last night, with both fighters wrapping up their training camps and leaving home for the neutral ground of Las Vegas. It was an impressive final episode, particularly for the music and editing — from Rashad Evans‘s epic pimp-entrance in the beginning, to the final montage of both fighters saying their goodbyes to to their families and moving on by themselves. If you didn’t tune in, check out the above highlight reel for a short recap. Running the rock? Awesome. Having Troy Mandaloniz as your main training partner? Not so awesome.
Though last night’s episode of UFC Primetime opened with BJ Penn expressing frustration about the way he was portrayed in episode 1, it didn’t show him actually quitting the production and storming off or anything. In fact, the supposed tension wasn’t reflected at all after the opening scene. Episode 2 took a closer look at Penn and St. Pierre’s training camps and families. We see Penn’s new daughter, and his new nephew — the fifth member of the Penn clan to be named "Jay Dee." Meanwhile up north, GSP’s grizzled black-belt father shows up to his training camp, and we get a small glimpse of the effect that the elder St. Pierre had on his son’s life. Notably, there was no Dana White whatsoever in this episode, which I guess means he has more important things to do than babysit the lightweight champ. The third and final episode of UFC Primetime: St. Pierre vs. Penn airs next Wednesday. Will BJ show up for it?
A source close to the show on Tuesday told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) B.J. Penn recently shut down a taping and interview session for the series and no longer wants [to be] involved in the project.
Penn was apparently unhappy with how he was portrayed in last week’s debut of the series, which hypes a Jan. 31 UFC 94 main event fight between the Hawaiian fighter and UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre.
As on HBO’s boxing series 24/7 — from which Primetime takes many cues — the fighters on the UFC hype-show are set up as dueling opposites right from the beginning. Georges St. Pierre is the tireless hard-worker who struggled for everything he has and now enjoys wearing expensive suits, while Penn is the blessed-from-birth party-boy who sees no problem in taking five days off from training three weeks before the fight of his life, and generally prefers the RVCA t-shirt and shorts look. Obviously, those characterizations are exaggerated to create drama for the show — I don’t think anyone really believes that Penn isn’t taking this fight seriously — but nevertheless they got under the Prodigy’s skin and now he’s pulling the ultimate diva move and throwing a wrench into the UFC’s new multi-million dollar promotional tool.
Episode 2 of UFC Primetime airs tonight at 10 p.m. ET/PT on Spike TV, and the third and final episode will likely air next Wednesday, with or without Penn’s participation. We’re more concerned about the mental distraction that Penn might be facing at this point. A week ago he was a happy-go-lucky dude, catching some rays in Kona. Now he’s dodging furious phone calls from Dana White, while MMA fans across the country are calling him a lazy little punk. Will he be able to keep all of that out of his head on the 31st? Or is this a manufactured move to draw even more heat behind the matchup?
(‘To the death, Georges. To the death. Right after I get back from vacation.’)
As if you couldn’t tell from the high production values in last night’s debut episode of “UFC Primetime” on Spike TV, that thing didn’t come cheap. The pricetag for the entire series is $1.7 million, which is a lot when you consider that your run-of-the-mill “Countdown” show only costs about $200,000. But judging by the ratings numbers from last night’s premiere episode, it may prove to be worth it.
MMA Payout reports that the show drew nearly 1.5 million viewers (1,494,000 to be exact), according to ratings estimates. In case you’re curious how that compares to the “Countdown” ratings, the best that show ever managed to draw in its first airing was 782,000 viewers. That means “UFC Primetime” drew nearly twice as well as the best “Countdown” ever, and it has the added benefit of being a recurring series, so we can see how many of those people come back for more next week.
But here’s the real question: will the high ratings translate into big pay-per-view buys? Probably. “Countdown” ratings have proven to be a fairly decent barometer for how a given PPV event will sell, and these kinds of numbers should give the UFC reason to be very optimistic about the potential for UFC 94. Then again, Georges St. Pierre-B.J. Penn II was bound to be a huge event anyway, so it will be difficult to say how much “Primetime” helped.
Either way, as long as the UFC is putting out something this good, and as long as they keep employing our boy Ariel Helwani (who is hopefully seeing a big chunk of that $1.7 million, because we need to borrow some cash to cover our gambling losses after UFC 92), we aren’t complaining. Let’s just hope this success means more “Primetimes” in the future.
It’s good to see the UFC stepping up their poster-game. The above promo image for UFC 94 (January 31st, Las Vegas) is a massive improvement from their previous artistic works — and it’s also a sign of how seriously the UFC is taking the promotion of this match. The premiere of "UFC Primetime: St. Pierre vs. Penn" will go down tonight at 10 p.m. ET/PT on Spike, and from what we hear, it’ll be a truly first-class, must-see production. And if that doesn’t get you psyched, just listen to this killer jam from TheGARV. I smell megahit.