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Tag: unsupportable opinion

The Unsupportable Opinion: Screw It, Bring Tim Sylvia Back to the UFC


(Image courtesy of Sherdog.)

By Seth Falvo

Yeah, I know we’ve written otherwise around these parts. I understand that he hasn’t won a fight since defeating a thirty-eight year old journeyman sporting a 13-11 record back in 2012, that he probably can’t make 265 pounds without amputating something, and that he’s been a subject of scorn during pretty much every CagePotato Roundtable we’ve published. I secretly realize that there isn’t a single thing that Tim Sylvia has done within the past two years to justify bringing him back to the world’s premier MMA organization.

But there’s something remarkably hypocritical about acknowledging that the UFC is a sports entertainment company, then crying foul when one of the biggest stars of the mid-to-late 2000s is offered that final fight in the UFC he’s been so desperately seeking, so let’s not do that.

Instead of focusing so heavily on the sports, let’s actually focus on the entertainment that Tim Sylvia has provided us over the years. Personally, I was still in high school during the Tim Sylvia Era. A friend had exposed me to his collection of UFC events, and I immediately became hooked. I won’t claim that I was the biggest fan of the then-heavyweight champion — even with my limited knowledge of MMA, I realized Sylvia was an unrefined fighter — but there was something inspiring about watching him compete. “The Maine-iac” managed to achieve the highest honor in his sport, despite being the last person on the planet who most people would look at and think “professional athlete.” And of course, his rivalry with Andrei Arlovski helped make things interesting, even when his fights occasionally weren’t.

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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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The Unsupportable Opinion: With a Victory at UFC 169, Jose Aldo Should Earn the Next Lightweight Title Shot


(Or at least a weekend trip for two to lovely Bahia.)

By Adam Martin

Two judges screwed up the UFC’s plans this past weekend, but it may ultimately be for the best.

When Sal D’Amato and Brian Puccillo decided that Benson Henderson did enough to earn a split decision victory over Josh Thomson in the main event of UFC on FOX 10, the lightweight division had a wrench thrown into it. Had he received the judges’ decision, Thomson was already confirmed by UFC president Dana White as the next title challenger for currently-injured UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis.

“Showtime” has stated that he wants to return in July and his timeline would have matched up well with Thomson’s. Not only that, but Thomson had been scheduled to fight Pettis back at UFC on FOX 9 before the titleholder pulled out with an injury. Many thought Thomson got that fight with Pettis more due to timing than anything else, but had he defeated the former champion this past weekend, Thomson would have truly earned his title shot.

But then Henderson had his hand raised. As soon as that happened, the UFC lightweight division had to be rejigged because Henderson has already lost to Pettis twice and isn’t anywhere close to getting a trilogy fight with him. The other top contender, TJ Grant, has been out since last summer with post-concussion symptoms and isn’t even training yet, so he’s out of the picture. Nate Diaz, who has been vocal on Twitter about wanting a title shot, isn’t getting one anytime soon because c’mon. Former Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez is still out there, but it’s hard to say he deserves a title shot just because he defeated Diego Sanchez at UFC 166, even if his resume is amongst the absolute finest in the division. There’s also guys like Rafael Dos Anjos, Khabib Nurmagomedov, Donald Cerrone and Jim Miller, but none of them are deserving of a crack at the crown right now.

Cue Jose Aldo.

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The Unsupportable Opinion: UFC 168 Is Kind of a Garbage-Ass Card


(Yeah, and…?)

As some promoters would have you believe, UFC 168: Silva vs. Weidman 2 is the biggest event in UFC history. It’s so stacked, in fact, that some unnamed executives at Zuffa decided to raise the price of the card $5, in a one-time-only mini-gouge. (Dana White’s explanation for this? “Cuz.” Ladies and gentlemen, your UFC president.)

The price bump carries the implication that UFC 168 is not just a great pay-per-view event, it’s more valuable than every single UFC show that came before it. But is it? Let’s take a quick look at the pay-per-view lineup — i.e., the five fights they’re asking you to pay for:

Chris Weidman vs. Anderson Silva (for UFC middleweight title)
Ronda Rousey vs. Miesha Tate (for women’s bantamweight title)
Josh Barnett vs. Travis Browne (HW)
Jim Miller vs. Fabricio Camoes (LW)
Dustin Poirier vs. Diego Brandao (FW)

To me, we’re talking about three big fights. The shocking ending of Silva vs. Weidman 1 gives their rematch a great narrative (horrible marketing aside), and it’s safe to say that most UFC fans are curious to see how the sequel will turn out. Rousey vs. Tate is compelling simply because all Ronda Rousey appearances are compelling, but there’s nothing to suggest that her second meeting with Miesha won’t end in another first-round armbar. And Barnett vs. Browne? Yep, I’m on board for that.

Beyond that, we have two solid contender fights that you could find on any other UFC main card. This kind of arrangement would place UFC 168 in line with past mega-shows like UFC 92 and UFC 100, which also followed the “two huge fights, one really good fight, two pretty decent fights” format. The difference is, the UFC never tried to jack up the prices of those shows, and there’s a reason for that. In 2008-2009, a UFC card with two big-name title fights was a special occasion. These days, it’s a ultra-rare fluke — and this might be the last time you see it.

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The Unsupportable Opinion: Death Was the Best Outcome for Bellator’s Inaugural PPV


(MMA gets another PPV that never was)

When your dog is terminally ill, you put it down.

When the sales for your inaugural PPV are anemic, you should do the same.

Officially, Bellator canceled the PPV because Tito Ortiz withdrew from the main event bout versus Rampage Jackson, and not because of the PPV’s dubious chances of success. But the result is the same as if they had just canceled it outright: Bellator saves face.

Ortiz’s injury and the resulting cancellation of the PPV were a godsend for Bellator. Why? Let’s look at the most likely scenario for what could’ve happened if Bellator went on with their PPV — both if Ortiz had gotten injured and if he hadn’t.

Scenario 1, Ortiz doesn’t get injured and the PPV goes on:

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The Unsupportable Opinion: There’s Nothing Wrong With The ‘U-S-A!’ Chant


(The crowd can’t hear you over the rumble of their freedom. / Photo via Esther Lin of MMAFighting.)

By Matt Saccaro

The U-S-A chant.

MMA fans bitch about it on Twitter more than anything else — more than Mike Goldberg’s weird syntax, more than Joe Rogan constantly favoring one fighter over another, and even more than the dreaded Eminem Curse.

As soon as the first drunk bellows a “U” the MMA hivemind gets to work, and their complaints flood the web as soon as the “S” and “A” are vocalized.

Is the chant xenophobic? Yes.

Is the chant clichéd? Yes.

Is the chant lame? Yes.

Is the chant low-class? Yes.

But all of these things are OK.

MMA events aren’t Wimbledon. They are, as Chael Sonnen said, “borderline illegal fist-fights.” Two guys are being locked in a cage and tasked with tearing the other guy limb from limb. Sometimes legs get broken in half. Sometimes fighters are roided-up supermen that use their ill-gotten strength to explode livers. But these things are fine. The real “issue” is what the fans are chanting, apparently.

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The Unsupportable Opinion: The Flyweight Division Is Pointless and the UFC Should Kill It


(It’s insulting to compare flyweights to children because of their size. They’re grown men, okay? Grown men who just happen to be sponsored by video games and candy. / Photo via Getty Images)

By Matt Saccaro

The flyweight division doesn’t serve a purpose in the UFC — at least not a good purpose.

Now, do us both a favor and read the whole article before you go to the comments.

The oft-mentioned casual fan — you know, the kind of person who’s decked out in TapouT gear, plays UFC Personal Trainer, and thinks “MMA” is an acronym for some kind of governmental organization and not a sport — doesn’t care about the UFC’s flyweight division and never has. This fact hasn’t been more brutally apparent than it is now.

UFC on FOX 8, headlined by a flyweight title fight between champ Demetrious Johnson and challenger John Moraga, drew a paltry live gate of $735,000. Just under 8,000 fans were present. The amount of comped tickets wasn’t revealed. When the UFC visited Seattle back in December with a non-flyweight main event, the attendance and live gate were twice as high.

The event wasn’t a success in terms of TV viewership either. Despite winning the night in the 18-49 year old demographic, their numbers with that demographic were down 40% since the last FOX event. The FOX portion of the card was viewed by an average of 2.04 million viewers. To put that into perspective, more people watched a rerun of Cops that aired on FOX the previous Saturday in the same time slot than were watching LIVE UFC ACTION!!! Not only did “Johnson vs. Moraga” draw the fewest viewers of any UFC on FOX event, it was the lowest-rated MMA event ever on network television.

The numbers don’t lie. Flyweight is the Ryan Leaf of the UFC’s weight classes. So why not get rid of it?

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The Unsupportable Opinion: Chris Weidman Beating Anderson Silva Was the Best Thing That Could’ve Happened to the UFC


(Photo via Esther Lin of MMAFighting.)

By Matt Saccaro

You can mourn for Anderson Silva’s pristine UFC record and title run if you want — but you shouldn’t. The Spider losing to Chris Weidman was the best possible outcome at UFC 162. Even Anderson Silva himself said that Weidman winning was the ideal situation.

Hear me out before you add your voice into the chorus of angry Silva fans (and spambots) in the comments.

A relatively new UFC fighter knocking off an established “star” was an amazing development for the UFC and for MMA as a whole.

First, the inevitable rematch between now-(interim?)champ Chris Weidman and former champ Anderson Silva is going to be a massive draw. Does the UFC have a fight that can fill Cowboys Stadium? It’s impossible to tell now since the fight only happened two days ago. But what’s known for sure, is that Silva-Weidman II will be big. Possibly UFC 100 big.

UFC 100 drew an estimated 1,600,000 buys. Silva-Sonnen II—a fight where much of the fan interest came from the fact that Sonnen almost dethroned Silva—drew an estimated 925,000 buys. If Silva-Sonnen II drew approximately 300k more buys than Silva-Sonnen I, can you imagine what Silva-Weidman II will draw? Dana White projected the buy-rate for Silva-Weidman to be 800,000 buys (although, admittedly, that might be total bullshit because it’s Dana White). If Silva-Weidman II draws at least 300k more buys, it’ll be one of the few UFC PPVs to surpass the one million buys mark.

But there’s more to a rematch than just a one-off payday. Weidman being on a well-drawing PPV with Silva and then being on a potentially enormous PPV with Silva for a rematch might make the Long Island native a star at a time when the UFC is in desperate need of new ones. This isn’t a guarantee though, just a possibility. Other fighters have been on high-performing events and haven’t gone on to become superstars, just as other fighters have beaten established draws only to not become draws of equal or greater size themselves.

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The Unsupportable Opinion: Steve Mazzagatti’s Non-Stoppage of Burkman vs. Fitch Wasn’t the Travesty Everyone is Making it Out to Be

If there’s anyone that Dana White gets pleasure out of verbally tearing down in the media more than Roy Nelson, it’s Steve Mazzagatti, the (formerly) porn-stached, cool as a cucumber veteran UFC official who has given us such avant-garde decisions as “Eye Poke Equals a TKO,” “Flying Head Kick? 40 More Punches to Convince Me” and “Tap 10 Times For Assistance.” The Baldfather has stated on numerous occasions that he doesn’t think Mazzagatti should even be watching MMA — which is all the more astounding when you consider all the crazy shit DW has said and done to try and sell a pay-per-view before — and even gone as far as to unofficially dub Mazzagatti “The Worst Referee in the History of Fighting.” In a world where this was allowed to happen, that’s a pretty bold claim.

As it turns out, Mazzagatti found himself at the center of controversy once again last weekend when he basically handed over his reffing duties to Josh Burkman during his WSOF 3 clash with Jon Fitch. After clipping Fitch early (like somebody here predicted he would), Burkman locked in a tight guillotine that put Fitch to sleep just over 40 seconds into their headlining bout. Burkman then proceeded to roll his unconscious opponent over and stand over him triumphantly before Mazzagatti decided to step in. It was perhaps the first walk-off submission in MMA History, and for some reason, you all are pissed about it.

Although White and Fitch have been involved in a war of words ever since the AKA product was released from the UFC, at the end of the day, it’s safe to assume that White wishes no ill will towards the former title contender. And being that Mazzagatti is higher up on White’s hit list than Fitch, the UFC Prez recently laid into the veteran ref for nearly 10 straight minutes at the UFC 161 post-fight media scrum. It was, quite honestly, the harshest takedown we have seen since Neal Page’s “Chatty Cathy” criticism of Del Griffith.

We’ve placed the full video of Dana’s rant above. After the jump, we’re going flush our last remaining scrap of credibility down the toilet in an attempt to do the unthinkable: defend Steve Mazzagatti. We know, we know.

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The Unsupportable Opinion: A Nick Diaz Victory Over Georges St. Pierre at UFC 158 Would Be the Best Thing the UFC Could Possibly Ask For


(“Yeah homie, I’m looking at your cup. Really? Seriously bro? You are super rich, you’re pampered, you’re in all the magazines AND you’re hung like a horse! This sh*t ain’t fair and I’m callin’ total bullsh*t bro!” Photo via CagedInsider.)

By Nathan Smith

I can’t believe I am about to type this: A Nick Diaz victory over Georges St. Pierre would be the best thing for the UFC Welterweight division. As an unabashed, almost stalkerish fanboy of GSP, I should not have to tell you how difficult that was to write. But God Damn, that was not easy to write.

With the exception of the 378 days that were the Matt Serra Era (or the Matt Serra Terror Era), GSP has ruled the welterweight division dating back to November of 2006. Let that sink in for just a second. Serra’s reign withstanding, St. Pierre has been the champ since Borat was in theaters and Justin Timberlake was on the top of the Billboard charts. Let me put it another way: In November of 2006, Tim “The Diet Machine” Sylvia was the Heavyweight Champion and Sean Sherk was the lightweight title holder. Are those guys even still alive? There is no way of knowing. Needless to say, St. Pierre has had a pretty damn good run thus far and it might be time for a temporary change of pace, even though he has been an excellent ambassador for the sport of MMA.

Some say that “Rush’s” style is the epitome of dominance while others say he is a lay-n-pray specialist. Is GSP careful to a fault in his fights? Probably, but he has only lost 2 of the 41 rounds he has fought during his current 10-fight win streak. That is fucking insane. Even the almighty Anderson Silva lost 5 rounds to Chael Sonnen in their two meetings, and Anderson Silva once beat Mars in a game of Risk. GSP is athletic as hell and imposes his will with technique and tremendous cardio, but for the very first time in his career, he is fighting a guy with a gas tank better than his own. Diaz is a machine (<– follow this link for immediate proof) when it comes to his cardio and frequently competes in triathlons, which makes him an absolute freak even when compared to that of his fellow athletes.

But this post isn’t about the stylistic differences between Diaz and St. Pierre. It isn’t a breakdown of the fight or a tale of the tape. It’s about the fact that a Nick Diaz victory on Saturday night would be the greatest thing the UFC could possibly ask for. Here are three scenarios explaining why. I’m going to go throw up.

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