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. . . until the day I die

As listeners to last week’s FightOpinion Radio show will recall, when I saw Jeff “Sherdog” Sherwood at the last K-1 show he told me that the WEC (which has the same owners as the UFC) revoked sherdog.com’s press credentials because the site had given too much coverage to K-1.

Well, I just confirmed that later during the K-1 show Dana White sent Sherdog a text message that ended as follows:

You are my enemy until the day I die. Fucking embarrassing.

Frankly, Dana White should be fucking embarrassed he sent the message. When an ego is as out of control as his, it is bound to take a fall.

Update 6/29: Coincidentally, today Oregon Live gives a little more background on the Dana White vs. sherdog.com feud:

One of the more surprising feuds to surface in recent months has been between the UFC and Sherdog.com, the largest independent MMA Web site that recently partnered with ESPN.com.

White recently stated his disdain for Sherdog.com and other MMA Web sites on a Sacramento radio show. Given the importance of Internet buzz in creating the UFC juggernaut, the statement was surprising.

“I have had a lot of battles with those guys,” White said. “I have no respect for Sherdog. Half their stories are a complete (expletive) lie. It’s like a tabloid.

“Plus, they went and found out who the finalists were for season four of The Ultimate Fighter and ran them. Of all the scumbaggish things. When you burn me like that, it’s forever. I will never trust them or like them.”

Sherdog editor Josh Gross reacted with surprise, Just as he had reacted when the UFC pulled Sherdog’s media credentials two years ago.

“I dare him to point to one story we reported that we had to retract or move away from. He can’t,” Gross said via email. “Regarding TUF, yeah well sometimes news happens to be something people don’t want out. TUF 4 was different than every other season, as it was intended to crown No. 1 contenders in two weight divisions. We’re not talking about some kids no one had heard of. These were veteran fighters. And so we had who was in the finals, and reported as discreetly as possible; we warned anyone that didn’t want to know that they should turn down their radios.

“Also, that doesn’t explain why we were denied in Oct. of ’05 when the TUF news was reported in June of ’06.”

Update 6/30/07: Tito Ortiz reacts.

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MMA and dog fights

When I checked the site today I was surprised to see this Google adsense advertisement:

Zach Arnold warned us that we would see a slew of comparisons between MMA and dog fighting, and we have discussed the topic at length on FightOpinion Radio. So I have to admit that my immediate reaction was that the Google algorithms screwed up and made the same messed up comparison.

Then I clicked the link.

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Rex Richards makes Zach Arnold look good

When we interviewed undefeated superheavyweight fighter and former Arena league football player Rex Richards on the last FightOpinion Radio show, my co-host Zach Arnold predicted that Richards would have no problem beating his opponent in last week’s Strikeforce show.

Rex did not let Zack down. Enjoy.

**Note: I could not stop the video from auto starting, so I pulled it from the page. If you want to check it out, you can do so here.

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Jake Shields – it is time to see him in the big show

Jake Shields is one of the the world’s top 10 welterweights (number 8 according to MMA Weekly), yet he never fought in Pride and has never fought for the UFC. That’s a shame.

For those of you have have not seen him fight yet, here’s a highlight. Enjoy.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3wq6HQ7O0dA]

By the way, Jake is a very interesting guy and he is probably the world’s toughest vegetarian. If you want to know a little more about him you can check out the interview he did with us on FightOpinon Radio last December.

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Competition, finally?

Elite XC has announced that it is working on a new MMA reality show with Mark Burnett, the producer of Survivor, The Apprentice, The Contender and several other shows.

While a few other blogs have already commented on the story, a little noticed statement from the press release caught my eye:

Burnett, a former British commando, is said to be fascinated with martial arts and the martial arts culture. He previously took a stab at developing a martial arts reality series in 2002.

Diligent whaledog.com readers will be familiar with the story behind that show from the exclusive whaledog.com interview with (then) WFA President Jeremy Lappen. In that interview Lappen discussed the fact that he and Burnett were close to launching an MMA reality show when the UFC landed it’s deal for the Ultimate Fighter. Lappen is now with Elite XC, and it may be no coincident that Elite XC revived the idea of a reality with Burnett. (Lappen, as you may recall, also had the WFA on the verge of announcing a deal with Showtime before the promotion imploded, and both he and that deal ended up at Elite XC).

While there is no guaranty another MMA reality show will be successful (think Bodog), Burnett’s power and track record put Elite XC on the path to become the serious competitor to the UFC that mixed martial arts sorely needs.

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The real difference betwen the UFC and boxing promoters – monopoly power

The primary purpose of a business is to make money. I have no problem with that. But, when I saw this quote from Dana White, it got got my attention:

Fighters can make more money here or there, but the UFC is the place to create your legacy,” White said. “Fifty years from now, people are going to ask who was the best ever and the UFC has the best fighters.

After reading Dana’s quote, I could not help but to think back to an article I quoted on this site in July 2006:

“You can be a boxing fan and a UFC fan at the same time,” White said. “The problem with boxing, in my opinion, is all the powers in boxing have done nothing to secure the future of the sport. Guys like Don King and Bob Arum, they don’t care about the future of boxing. All they care about is how much money can I put in my pocket right here and right now.”

Of course, a huge difference between Ultimate Fighting Championship and boxing is that there are not as many pockets to fill. There are no Don Kings, no promoters, no sanctioning bodies like the World Boxing Council and the various other entities that get a piece of everything — the people who often produce mismatched fights and padded records in an effort to protect their boxers.

In reality there is one essential fact that explains the between the UFC’s approach and the approach of boxing promoters – the UFC enjoys virtual monopoly power. The UFC has no serious competition, and acts as both the promoter and championship sanctioning body. Meanwhile, boxing promoters have to compete with each other and deal with multiple sanctioning bodies.

Certainly, the UFC is just as greedy as any boxing promoter. It just had the single greatest year of PPV buys in the history of the world, and its president responded by saying that fighters should take a pay cut if they want the privilege of fighting for the organization.

(Hat tip FightOpinion.com)

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Dana White's take on the Pride acquisition

When the UFC announced the acquisition of Pride, it looked like the deal was going to be an enormously important. Pride had the world’s top roster of fighters, but had been suffering financially ever since it lost its television contract after stories in the Japanese press linked it to the Yakuza. The UFC’s purchase was supposed to revive the promotion and reward fans by matching the top fighters from both promotions against each other.

Since the first announcement however, things seem to have fizzled. It turned out that fighter contracts were not assignable (and the UFC has been forced to try to sign Pride fighters one-by-one), and the UFC canceled all scheduled Pride shows. In fact it looks like that rather than the UFC reviving Pride promotion, it will let Pride whither and die.

Want further evidence? Check out this quote from Dana White’s Entrepeneur Magazine interview:

That WEC deal will be way bigger than the Pride [a premier fight promotion company in Japan] deal, believe it or not.

The way things are going, I believe you Dana. I believe you.

(Hat tip FightOpinion.com)

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Fight Opinion Radio #53: A Fighter’s Heart

Start your weekend off the right way with a new edition of Fight Opinion Radio (featuring me as your host). Our special guests this week are Rex Richards (Strikeforce) and author Sam Sheridan (buy his book here). There’s only one way to describe our interview with Sam – wild and wacky. Especially the part of the interview where we talk about dogfighting and the dark side of the culture of the fight game.

You will wholeheartedly enjoy this week’s show. Plus, the world-famous grab bag — the highest quarter-hour rated segment in all of MMA radio.

The 53rd edition of Fight Opinion Radio is now online and available to download. Download this week’s show here.

Or you can use the great flash player to listen to it streaming (without having to use an external program). Check it out (down below).

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Feedback

To contact us for show feedback, you can e-mail any of us on the Fight Opinion radio staff.

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Forget imitating pro wrestling, MMA might see the real deal

Zach Arnold reports that the WWE is seriously considering promoting MMA events.

Vince McMahon and the WWE ought to be very wary about getting into MMA since they have failed miserably when they have tried to promote anything other than professional wrestling. Most people probably remember the WWE’s failure with the XFL, but many may not recall that McMahon also bombed with a professional body building association in the early 90’s. Plus, the WWE’s experiment with the “Brawl for it All” (real fights with toughman style boxing and take downs) did not go over too well with wrestling fans.

However, MMA promotion is not too different than professional wrestling (definitely closer to professional wrestling than football or body building). While I would put the WWE’s chances of being able to dethrone the UFC at less than than 50%, it would definitely be a force to reckon with – one that the MMA promoters could not easily ignore.

Zach goes into great detail about how this will affect Pride, but I think another interesting question is how it will affect the UFC. If the WWE gets into MMA it not only gives the UFC a new formidable competitor, it also puts the UFC in a funny position.

The UFC has been spending its time and energy promoting itself like a professional wrestling promotion without pre-determiined outcomes (anyone know how the Dana White vs. Tito Ortiz boxing match went?), but its natural spin would be that the WWE is a pro-wrstling promotion trying to put on “phony” shows without pre-determined outcomes. You have wonder whether the UFC would counter the WWE by increasing its theatrics, or by treating MMA more like a serious sport.

In any event, regardless whether the WWE entering MMA would be good for the sport (it would not be in my opinion), this is certainly an interesting development.

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That didn't last long

In July, Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto announced he was quitting MMA to concentrate on earning a spot on the Japanese Olympic wrestling team. Today, K-1 announced that Yamamoto will fight on it’s Dynamite card.

Kid’s an exciting aggressive fighter, so this is good news for MMA fans. But, it leaves you wondering exactly what has been going on behind the scenes with Kid for the last few months.

Update 10/23/06: For all the Kid fans, here is a clip one of his complete fights. Make sure you don’t blink. Enjoy.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uIaspzFTpHk]

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