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Ten Different Ways to Look at UFC Fight Pass


(Saffiedine! Lim! Eleven fighters we’re so confident you won’t know that we aren’t even going to bother showing you their faces! Props to Michael Sempervive for the image.)

By Seth Falvo

With all of the coverage that UFC Fight Pass has been receiving, it’s hard to believe that it has only been two weeks since the launch of the network. So far, opinions have ranged from “pathetic cash grab” to “everything a fight fan could possibly want.” In an effort to evaluate Fight Pass up to this point, here are ten ways of looking at the network, arranged in no particular order.

1.) Should You Buy Fight Pass? Well, Should You Buy Netflix?

“Netflix for Fight Fans” is how Lorenzo Fertitta summed up the service, and honestly, that sounds about right. Fight Pass offers exclusive content in the form of international events and preliminary fights – just like how Netflix offers Orange is the New Black – but its selling point is its archives. If you already own all of your favorite fight cards on DVD and are only interested in watching the UFC’s pay-per-views, then Fight Pass has nothing to offer you. For the rest of us, it’s a matter of whether archives and international cards are worth $9.99 per month.

2.) It Isn’t Nearly the Bargain that Supporters Claim It Is.

The Netflix analogy doesn’t quite hold up though. I use my Netflix account every day, and regardless of who I’m watching it with, I can find something on there that everyone will enjoy. I’m not about to sit down and watch old fights on a daily basis, and unless the original documentaries that the UFC is promising us are downright spectacular, I doubt that my non-fight fan friends are going to want to watch Fight Pass with me. This doesn’t mean that Fight Pass is a waste of money, but let’s not pretend that paying $119.88 per year to watch old fights and Facebook preliminaries is the best thing to ever happen to MMA fans, either.

3.) It Isn’t Nearly the Insult That Detractors Claim It Is.

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Five Obvious but Overlooked Things Fans Need to Remember About the UFC


(Just keep repeating to yourself, “Nobody’s making me watch this…nobody’s making me watch this…nobody’s making me watch this…”)

By Matt Saccaro

The UFC has come under fire lately for several reasons: Declining numbers, oversaturation, the fading of their stars, launching a digital network with a questionable premise, not hiring Ben Askren and so on. When we fling insults at the UFC, we need to remember a few things about the company in order to put these negative occurrences and circumstances into perspective. Let’s start with the most obvious but frequently-ignored point:

1. The UFC is a business.

The purpose of the UFC is to make its owners money. The UFC does not exist to feed fighters’ families. There’s not much else to say on this front. Companies have to make money to be viable. Yeah, it sucks that some guys get paid an absurdly small amount of money for what they do, and it sucks that the UFC is upping the PPV price.

That’s just something we have to deal with though. If you don’t like it, vote with your dollar. If enough people tune out, Zuffa’s wallet will know and they’ll either change their tune accordingly or lose money.

2. The UFC is an international company.

There’s been talk about the UFC hiring unfit-for-television jobbers lately. It’s true but necessary. The UFC is headed to distant lands where MMA is in its most nascent stages. The talent pool in these places is more like a mud puddle. The UFC has to work with what it’s given in China and Singapore. Deepening foreign talent pools can only happen by growing the sport overseas, and growing the sport overseas can only happen when they have foreign (foreign to us, home grown to them) fighters on the card. And since there aren’t many great foreign fighters, the UFC has to scrape the bottom of a very empty barrel. This results in fighters getting a place in the “Super Bowl of MMA” who shouldn’t even be in the bleachers, let alone on the field.

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Six Things the UFC Can Learn from the WWE Going Into 2014


(On second thought, make that seven things. Photo via With Leather.)

By Seth Falvo

On paper, my timing couldn’t possibly be worse. Aside from the fact that there are dozens of “What the UFC can learn from the WWE” articles on the Internet, last week’s edition of Monday Night Raw – the company’s flagship television program – brought some of its worst viewership numbers of the past fifteen years. With this week’s edition competing against a Monday Night Football game between two teams still in playoff contention for the casual fans, it’s doubtful that those numbers improved by much.

So then why am I writing yet another article about what a company that sells choreographed “fights” experiencing some of its lowest viewership numbers can teach the UFC? Because the WWE’s idea of “terrible numbers” involves only averaging 3.53 million viewers. To put that into perspective, the TUF 18 Finale main card drew 1.129 million viewers. That’s right, the WWE is in panic mode because their weekly Monday night show only attracted three times as many viewers as a UFC event.

Don’t worry, I’m not about to suggest that the UFC resort to ridiculous storylines, assigning character gimmicks to fighters, forcing celebrity guests into shows, forming an ill-advised partnership with a dying pro-wrestling promotion, or any of the other things that would make most MMA fans roll their eyes. Nor am I going to ignorantly blame the UFC for less than spectacular fights, controversial finishes, and other things that a legitimate sports league cannot possibly be expected to control. On the contrary, my first suggestion is something that the UFC actually used to do better than the WWE…

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MMA Fighters Transitioning to Pro-Wrestling: The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly


(Let me guess, it’ll sound something like “Tito Ortiz, The Huntington Bad Beach Boy: Future NTA world TNA heavyweight champion of the world.” Capture via ProWresBlog.Blogspot.Com.)

For some MMA fighters, professional wrestling was just a one-time cash grab. For others, it became a second career. Inspired by yet another week of TNA Impact Wrestling’s efforts to get anyone to care about the professional wrestling experiments of two broken-down MMA legends, we’ll be examining fighters who took up professional wrestling after they made their names in MMA in our newest installment of The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly.

Bear in mind that this article is focusing on mixed martial artists who transitioned to professional wrestling careers, and not fighters who started off as professional wrestlers. So that means fighters like Brock Lesnar, Ken Shamrock, Bobby Lashley, Giant Silva, Bob Sapp, Dos Caras Jr. (aka Alberto Del Rio), Dan Severn (Google it) and Sakuraba will not be covered here — although a few of these men will make appearances in this article. Let’s start off on a positive note…

The Good

The Professional Wrestling Career of Josh Barnett.

When you’re thinking of good instances of an MMA fighter turning to professional wrestling as a second career choice, Josh Barnett should immediately come to mind. There have been other fighters who dabbled in professional wrestling, but Barnett is one of the only ones to be just as popular and successful in it as he was in MMA.

Before his transition, Barnett became the youngest heavyweight champion in UFC history by defeating Randy Couture at UFC 36. After being stripped of his title due to a positive drug test, Barnett set his sights on the Japanese professional wrestling scene, where the fans value legitimacy and toughness from their wrestlers more than mic skills and charisma (although Barnett has both in spades). He immediately challenged for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship, and although he came up short, he went on to enjoy the most relevant crossover career of any fighter on this list before his return to the UFC earlier this year put a halt to the wrasslin’ for the time being.

It’d be easy to call his work with the incredibly underrated Perry Saturn or the technical wrestling clinic that he put on against Hideki Suzuki his most impressive stuff, but it’s probably not. Honest to God, Barnett’s biggest accomplishment may be the fact that he managed to pull Bob Sapp — who has the same cardio and technique in wrestling as he does in MMA — through a watchable match. How many people can claim that?

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MMA Alternate History: What if the WWE Purchased the UFC in 2001 Instead of Zuffa?


(McMahon poses with legendary WWE manager Paul Bearer (RIP). / Photo via Getty)

By Matt Saccaro

MMA history contains many compelling “what ifs” that could’ve changed the fate of the sport. If one path is taken, disaster. If another path is taken, absolution.

Some “what ifs” are more compelling than others. Not much changes if Floyd Sword or Rudyard Moncayo decides to never step into the cage. The timeline remains intact if Anderson Silva doesn’t get a DQ loss against Yushin Okami at Rumble on the Rock. But there are scenarios where the entire sport can change — where the timeline can split like in Back to the Future Part II.

This is the start of a series at CagePotato where we examine such scenarios, using historical fact to help create realistic historical fiction. Here is our first historical conundrum:

What if Vince McMahon Purchased the UFC in 2001?

In 2001, Vince McMahon’s WWE (then WWF) purchased the decaying WCW and the fledgling, bankrupt ECW. That year, McMahon’s XFL hosted its first (and only) season. It was quite a year for Vinny Mac. He destroyed his two rivals and expanded into a new sport.

2001 was also the year that Zuffa purchased the UFC from the company’s original owners, SEG. SEG was cash-strapped and could no longer carry the burden of running an MMA promotion in a country that was, at the time, hostile to MMA. The Fertitta Brothers bailed out Bob Meyrowitz and SEG, and the rest is history.

But what if, for one reason or another, The Fertitta brothers didn’t buy the UFC and give it to Dana White like they were tossing their kid the keys to the Ferrari? What if Vince McMahon decided to add another three letters to his shopping list…U, F, and C?

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What, You Don’t Want to Read About the Time Vince McMahon Challenged Dana White to a Fight?


(I have nothing funny to say, so instead I’ll remind everyone that this guy was an ECW champion, and that makes me feel empty inside.)

For a guy who doesn’t believe that MMA is a threat to his business, WWE owner Vince McMahon is certainly very conscious of its existence. In fact, I’m willing to bet that McMahon is secretly a pretty big MMA fan. In the past, he has basically taken credit for the MMA success of Brock Lesnar, financed a movie about a mentally-challenged MMA fighter (I’m being dead serious), paid tribute to Sonnen vs. Silva II during one of his company’s matches, and once tried to pay Mike Goldberg to no-show his UFC announcing duties. What hardcore MMA fan hasn’t thought about doing that last one?

So I guess it should come as no surprise then that according to Dana White, Vince McMahon once challenged him to a fight. As he told the media leading up to tonight’s UFC 158:

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Brock Lesnar Re-Signs With the WWE, Immediately F-5′s Vince McMahon [BECAUSE STONE COLD SAID SO]


(“Brock, I want to trust you, I really do. But I’ve seen The Jeffersons before and I’m pretty sure this isn’t how you fix my bad back.”)

I might not follow professional wrestling anymore, but I’ve started to notice a pattern of sorts in regards to Brock Lesnar’s relationship with the WWE, which has to be the easiest job that anyone could ever ask for. Seriously, Lesnar shows up once every year or so, says less than a sentence, F-5′s whoever the hell is standing across the ring from him, and then stands menacingly over the victim’s body until they cut to commercial. He’s like the Mongo of the WWE, only instead of punching horses, Lesnar takes out his frustrations on genetically-enhanced geriatrics like Vince McMahon, who the announcers hilariously reminded us was in fact a grandfather while Lesnar was tossing him through the air like a bag of garbage during last night’s Monday Night Raw as the dude from Hardcore Pawn stared on in horror. Pretty sweet gig if you ask me.

We probably should’ve seen something like this coming when it was reported that Lesnar had signed a two year extension with the wrestling promotion, but the exact same routine, down to the sleeveless black tee and breakaway pants? Methinks the WWE is running out of ideas. I mean, they could’ve at least gone the Shooter route and had Lesnar show up sporting some camo pants and an unkempt beard before declaring that McMahon had double-crossed/left him for dead at last year’s SummerSlam. Seriously, Vince, if you’re looking for a writer with a penchant for abortion jokes and hyperbole, I’m your guy.

Video after the jump.

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[VIDEO] Dave Bautista Wins MMA Debut


(It could be argued that the gun gave him an unfair advantage.)

Former WWE professional wrestling star Dave Bautista made a successful MMA debut last night in Providence, RI. Bautista beat Vince Lucero via TKO (ground strikes) in the first round of their main event bout.

Lucero, a late replacement, out weighed Bautista by nearly forty pounds and came into the cage with well over forty professional fights under his belt but couldn’t survive the pro wrestler’s ground attack. Early on, Lucero hurt Bautista on the feet with punches.

Once he was able to get space and clear his head, however, Bautista took things to the ground with a double leg take down. From there he moved to side mount, then mount and rear mount before unloading a series of unanswered punches that forced the referee to stop the fight.

“I am better than I showed,” Bautista told interviewer Joe Lauzon after the win.

Perhaps, perhaps not. But Bautista definitely has more guts than other celebrity performers out there who play tough guys on TV or film but have no idea what it is like to train for and take part in a real fight.

The pro wrestler promised that he would continue to fight and thanked his Tampa area team and coaches. Check out the fight video as well as full event results after the jump.

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Cheesy WWF Promo Photos of the ’80s/’90s, And Their MMA Counterparts [GALLERY]

Our friends at With Leather just put together an incredible/awful collection of cheesy WWF promo photos from the late ’80s and early ’90s, and as we were browsing through some of these gems while drinking our coffee this morning, we couldn’t escape the eerie feeling that we’ve seen these faces elsewhere. The same snarling mugs, the same wacky personas — it’s obvious that some of our favorite MMA fighters owe a debt to these guys. So follow us back to pro wrestling‘s golden age, and allow us to make some startling comparisons.

Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart was the original…
Hillbilly Jim was the original…
Legion of Doom were the original…
Junk Yard Dog was the original…
Ultimate Warrior was the original…
The Honky Tonk Man was the original…
Tatanka was the original…
Big Boss Man was the original…
George “The Animal” Steele was the original…

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[VIDEO] Brock Lesnar Claims That He is “Never Coming Back” to the WWE


(How many times do I have to tell you people this? I HAVE COMMITMENT ISSUES!) 

My grandfather always told me “Believe half of what you see and none of what you hear,” a statement that would in turn lead to a lifetime’s worth of cynicism. So perhaps it’s just my general misanthropy rearing its ugly head, but when former UFC heavyweight champ Brock Lesnar released a video last night declaring that he was “never coming back” to the WWE, I was a bit skeptical. After all, Lesnar just returned to the promotion in April, and I may not follow the WWE anymore, but I’m pretty sure that Vince McMahon doesn’t hand out many five month contracts. For Christ’s sake, isn’t Ric Flair’s decomposing corpse still fighting for a retirement check that will never come?

Anyway, Lesnar released the video that awaits you after the jump, stating:

I came here and I accomplished everything that I said I was going to do. There’s nothing left for me here to conquer. I’m leaving the WWE and I’m never coming back.

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