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Old 08-25-2012, 02:06 PM   #1 (permalink)
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UFC 137 vs UFC 151 - why and...why not?

Before i start, i just wanna say i am not here to defend Jones or stuff like that. He can do it himself, through media, Twitter, FB or whateva he feels like. I would have loved for him to smash Sonnen's face tbh, but the i guess he, and his team, know best.

The reason i thought about writing this is simple.
I've read a lot of articles, on multiple sites dedicated to this "drama" and i found a pattern in a lot of them.

I just feel like the UFC managed to get a lot of s*it off their shoulders and throw it in other people's backyard.

They convinced the a lot of people that the reason for them cancelling 151 was Jones' refusal to accept a fight. A fight the UFC president himself said was not gonna happen, just 2 days before trying to fix it up. Not that it's something new...Dana White going back on his words...


On paper it's easy: Jones accepts to fight Sonnen, the event goes on. Peace everywhere.

In reality, the main event gets cancelled and the whole event gets cancelled.

And then i thought about UFC 137, wich, in a way had a pretty similar story, up to a point.
The main event, GSP vs Condit - gets cancelled 11 days before happening because GSP got injured.

SO...the difference between 137 and 151 is the fact that the fighter getting injured is the champion and not the challenger. And it happened 11 days before the fight, not 8 days before the fight.

In that case however, there was no drama, no insults thrown around by mr White.
It is known and recognised that Condit opted to remove himself from the card altogether as he wished to wait for a title shot against GSP.

Mr Condit is a fighter coming out of...............Jackson's MMA. Yes...his coach, mentor and adviser when it comes to his fights and the decisions that come along is none other than Mr. Greg Jackson.

I don't remember White fuming after Condit pulled out of the fight. He was the challenger, a guy fighting in the main event of a UFC PPV card, and his fight was just....cancelled.

I don't remember White or the UFC trying to find a replacement for GSP, and throw him in the cage against Condit, even though a lot of fighters would have jumped on that opportunity.

In reality, everything went smooth. No insults, no calling bad names, no beeps on press conferences, no finger pointing.

Now why is that?

There are a lot of answers that could fit this question, but, at the end of the day, when you have Dana White's name involved in the problem, it's simple: it all comes down to MONEY!!!!!
Yup, the green stuff...and i am not talking about the one you roll and smoke, nore am i talking about the Hulk.

It's money.

You see, at 137, Dana and the UFC had something they didn't have for 151: a solid card, filled with solid fighters. And when i say solid fighters, i am talking about "NAME RECOGNITION", because at this moment in time, that is what is selling big. Having fighters whose name means something for the people buying the card, even though they may not be on top of their game or they're past their prime.

On top of that, UFC 137 had a solid co-main event: a fight between 2 of the biggest names in MMA: Penn and Diaz. Two former champions, one of them being a champion at that time, but in another organisation. Both guys were supposed to bring it on, the winner potentially being next in line for the title.

If you look at 151, the co main event was Ellenberger vs Kosheck, both coming off losses. An interesting fight, but the fight didn't say a lot. Not even before it was cancelled, due to Kos' injury. There was no hype whatsoever regarding that fight. It was badly eclipsed by the main event and extremely poor promoted by the UFC.
And when the UFC announced KOS' replacement, a lot of people shook their heads.
How can you put a non UFC fighter in a co-main event of a PPV. A fighter whose last UFC fight was in 2005. And his UFC record is 0-2 to start with.
Remember: Kos pulled out of the fight 26 days before the fight. The UFC had time to come up with a better opponent for Ellenberger and if i may...a bigger name, in order to promote the card better.
They didn't.

I don't know about others...but that's just a proof about them being careless and unprofessional.

Further more: if you continue the comparison between the teo cards, you can see why there was so much drama in one case and so much harmony in the other one:

137 had:

Kongo vs Mittrione
Cro Cop vs Nelson
Jorgensen vs Curran
Hioki vs Roop

151 card:

Ellenberger vs Hieron
Siver vs Yagin
Hallman vs Tavares
Lineker vs Urushitami

I know: you cannot label fight cards before they actually take place. A card with less "star power" could end up eclipsing a card full of big names and champions (ex-) on it.

But...before it takes place and before you watch the card, you have to pay for it. Because that is what uncle Dana wants, when he announces a PPV card: he wants your money.
And the better he promotes the card, the bigger the sales are. The more he makes people believe the PPV fights are worth the 55$ he is asking for them, the more money he makes.

And for this specific card - 151 - uncle Dana and his company, made an ALL IN bet on Jon Jones. And him fighting another MMA legend and ex champion. The story was simple: win or lose, they would have come out of this event with something: the young champion continues his reign of terror upon his division, or.....the old lion has pulled out one of the biggest upsets in MMA history.

And the UFC would have built from there on.

Unfortunatelly for them, the bet didn't go.

Without Jones, the PPV bet would have been: Ellenberger vs Hieron...and if you add that to the rest of the names on the PPV card, let't be honest: who the F*UCK pays 55$ to see Urushitami vs Lineker?! No disrespect to them.

137 on the other hand, was a safe bet: lose the main event, but still have a badass main event + you have 2 HW fights and star power on the PPV card: ex champions, MMA legends, or ex title contenders.
Even without GSP, the card looked good on paper. It didn't sell what they were hoping for, but it wasn't a disaster.

In the case of 151, going ahead with the card, without Jones would have been a catastrophe of epic proportions.

And it wouldn't be a HUGE problem, if it were a singular case, but it would be just a culmination of too many bad decisions the UFC execs took lately.
It was a rough year in terms of injuries, wich affected a lot of the cards, but that's not an excuse for the poor PPV cards the UFC has put this year. Their plan of offering more and more cards backfired badly.

And it wasn't because of Jones, let's be honest. In that area, White is just f*cking pissed that someone had the balls to defy him publicly. And in such a manner.
Jones' actions and those of his camp, left a huge dent in White's "armour" and made him look vulnerable.

If the 151 card had some good fights scheduled, "star power" as i like to call it, the UFC would have never cancelled the event. Never ever.

The essence of this comparison is simple: by cancelling the whole event, the UFC basically sent a message to the fighters from the 151 card, who were meant to deliver. And i am not talking about fights...I am talking about the PPV buys...i am talking about the money the fighters would have made for the UFC, by selling the card.
Sure, the fights could have been amazing, but...who would have watched them...legally?! Who would have paid 55$ to watch Siver vs Yagin or Lineker vs Urushitami?!

At 137, the UFC trusted the fighters on the card, to deliver the goods, even with the main event called off, 11 days before the show.

8 days vs 11 days. What a difference 3 days make, right?

Bringing in Sonnen sounded good...only in the UFC executive's minds. Because Sonnen's mouth could raise some quick interest around 151. Business wise, a good move.

Sports wise - a complete bullshit decision.

Giving a shot at the 205 belt to a 185er coming from a loss in a title fight, who never even fought at 205 in the UFC is absurd. I know there was not a lot of time to save the day, but the UFC's way of handling this case was amateurish, to say the least.

They made the UFC look like the WWE. A joke, a farse.

I will end up with something i've read in an article, on MMA Mania. A very good one.

Quote:
White is doing a hell of a thing, deflecting blame onto Jones and his camp like this, obscuring the fact that this is an unprecedented move for the UFC because UFC cards right now are shallow to an unprecedented degree.

As for the undercard fighters, there are two people they should be looking to before they look to Jones for responsibility: 1. themselves and the extent to which they are a draw in the sport, and 2. Dana White, who has shown very little faith in their ability to hold the show together. Jones doesn't owe money to the undercard fighters. The UFC does.


PS: i hope you didn't fall asleep reading this...your critics are welcome
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Old 08-25-2012, 02:10 PM   #2 (permalink)
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You answered your own question. The champion was injured, so the main draw was gone. People were buying to see GSP, not Condit. When the challenger is hurt the big draw is still available. Most people aren't tuning in to see Dan Henderson, they want to see jones who was not injured and could have taken a fight on short notice.

True the co main sucked at 151 but its not the first time an event has hung on one fight. Take for example....UFC 147...A card that was in a bad way when the main event was lost, but Franklin stepped up(As did Sonnen) and Wanderlei accepted the fight on short notice(As Jones did not).

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Old 08-25-2012, 03:00 PM   #3 (permalink)
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There's a GIGANTIC difference between BJ Penn, the biggest draw in the history of the Lighter weight classes and one of the biggest draws in UFC history period vs. Nick Diaz, a highly entertaining fighter with a gigantic fan base and the ability to get his haters to buy his fights in hopes of seeing him get his ass kicked and Jake Ellenberger vs. Jay Hieron, who are good fighters but that's not the fight that's gonna get you to throw down 60 bucks and base an entire vacation around.
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Old 08-25-2012, 03:18 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Beautiful write up by the TS, i would rep you but i have to spread around first. The only person that should be getting hate as a result of all this is DANA WHITE, he's been running the UFC like an amateur and unprofessional lately. Instead of treating the UFC like a legitimate mainstream sport, he's buying into the Chael Sonnen WWE-style freakshow BS to put together cards now. WTF?
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Old 08-25-2012, 05:12 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Life B Ez View Post
You answered your own question. The champion was injured, so the main draw was gone. People were buying to see GSP, not Condit. When the challenger is hurt the big draw is still available. Most people aren't tuning in to see Dan Henderson, they want to see jones who was not injured and could have taken a fight on short notice.

True the co main sucked at 151 but its not the first time an event has hung on one fight. Take for example....UFC 147...A card that was in a bad way when the main event was lost, but Franklin stepped up(As did Sonnen) and Wanderlei accepted the fight on short notice(As Jones did not).

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My point exactly.

Both 137 and 151 had their original main event cancelled, because one of the fighters got injured. But, the end result was the same: the champ wasn't about to fight on the card: one because of injury and the other one because of his opponent getting injured. Jones can get all the hate in the world, but it isn't his fault the UFC put together such a shallow and lackluster card (on paper).

Fact is: the desperation shown by the UFC (Dana White), in trying to have Jon Jones on this card, no matter what, just shows how much they f*cked up the card and how late they realised it.
Dana said it himself: there's no way Sonnen gets a shot using his big mouth and 3 days later he is willing to throw him in a title fight.
That's desperation.

There was nothing generous shown by Dana using this move. He wasn't thinking about the under-card fighters when trying to do so. He was thinking on how to convince Jones to fight...and who to match him up against.

If he thought about the sporting aspect more, he would have just f*cking cancelled the title fight, relax and think logically on how to make something good come out of this.

Dana White always talks about how fake the belts in boxing are. He always talks about how many champions a weight cathegory has and because of this, the champions don't offer too much credibility.

Well, my question is: how credible is a scenario where a dominant champion is supposed to put his title on the line against a guy who comes from a title fight loss at a lower weight class?! And who hasn't done absolutely nothing in the division for wich title he is supposed to fight?

How fair would that be to the rest of the LHWs who put their everything into training camps and fights, for a chance to get to a title shot, just to see a guy who used Twitter comments to get to a title shot.

It falls in the same cathegory as James Toney getting a sight booked against Randy Couture. Something that never should have taken place imo. That was shameful for the MMA world. Just a freakshow fight that was useless.

Hell, Dana could have booked Kimbo against Jones. He would have sold 1,000,000 PPV, considering Kimbo's fame. And Kimbo is always "ready".

The essence of the problem is simple: Dana sacrificed the sport for money.

And in a time when they want MMA to become a legitimate sport, you cannot pull amateurish stuff like this.

What if Wladimir Klitscko's next opponent gets injured one week before the fight and they book him to fight......Bernard Hopkins?!...because he brings it...and he sells, right?!

How stupid does that sound?!

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheLyotoLegion View Post
There's a GIGANTIC difference between BJ Penn, the biggest draw in the history of the Lighter weight classes and one of the biggest draws in UFC history period vs. Nick Diaz, a highly entertaining fighter with a gigantic fan base and the ability to get his haters to buy his fights in hopes of seeing him get his ass kicked and Jake Ellenberger vs. Jay Hieron, who are good fighters but that's not the fight that's gonna get you to throw down 60 bucks and base an entire vacation around.

Agreed. There is a gigantic difference between the co-main events.

And that's exactly the point here.

UFC's latest policy has backfired against them a lot lately.
They've put together a lot of PPV cards, wich were supposed to fail and after some injuries or other problems involving some of the fighters, it turned out they failed even worse than initially thought.

137 did pretty good, considering the biggest PPV draw right now, was pulled out of the fight 11 days before the event.
The UFC was not that worried about that.

But the way they've conducted business this year, they knew
151 would become a disaster of epic proportions if Jones wouldn't be on the card.

That's why they cancelled it.

This should be a warning sign for Danaand his guys. They own the company and the business, but without the fighters there is no fighting. And people pay to see fights, put together by the best in the world.

Also, that type of blackmail should not be used in the sport: "fight or i will cancel it and the others will suffer because of you..."

I hope the UFC get their s*it together for the coming events, otherwise they could be faced with several similar scenarios and if situations like this or similar, become a habbit, a lot of fans will turn away from MMA, before they even know what MMA is about.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Dtwizzy2k5 View Post
Beautiful write up by the TS, i would rep you but i have to spread around first. The only person that should be getting hate as a result of all this is DANA WHITE, he's been running the UFC like an amateur and unprofessional lately. Instead of treating the UFC like a legitimate mainstream sport, he's buying into the Chael Sonnen WWE-style freakshow BS to put together cards now. WTF?
Cheers man.
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Old 08-25-2012, 05:17 PM   #6 (permalink)
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If Condit got injured and GSP refused to fight a short notice replacment then gsp would get just as much heat as Jon Jones did. As a champion you don't have the right to back out of scheduled dates unless you yourself are injured. You go through a 90 day training camp while you opponent has 0 days for a training camp and you pull out??? If GSP did that he should be ashamed of himself. BUT gsp would have no problem stepping up and continuing on with the show. Because he isn't a bitch coward like Jon Jones. /thread

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Old 08-25-2012, 05:24 PM   #7 (permalink)
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damn limba, that along writeup but pretty spot on when it comes to your point. joe silva screwed it up big, as well as dana.

irony though is now we the fans get a much better card in 152.

which i doubt anyone cares about accept the hardcore, now dana and co. will actually get some serious play with that card.

those highlight reel guys that cut the promo must be foming at the mouth, because as much as i am a fan of the lower wieght classes they now have more awesome ways to push this card.

but lols, its obvious dana was banking on jones to sell the card. and he is now blaming jones because the card they put together was so terrible it could not stand on its own.

as a boxing fan i lol at how the ufc is moving that much closer to their ppv model and it sucks.
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Old 08-25-2012, 05:52 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SideWays222 View Post
If Condit got injured and GSP refused to fight a short notice replacment then gsp would get just as much heat as Jon Jones did. As a champion you don't have the right to back out of scheduled dates unless you yourself are injured. You go through a 90 day training camp while you opponent has 0 days for a training camp and you pull out??? If GSP did that he should be ashamed of himself. BUT gsp would have no problem stepping up and continuing on with the show. Because he isn't a bitch coward like Jon Jones. /thread

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I am not trying to establish if Jones was a b*itch or a p*ssy or if GSP would have been one in certain circumstances.

"Woulda, shoulda, coulda"...the story of everyone's life.

The subject i am trying to adress here is: the UFC lost sight of the most important thing: the sport.
SOme time ago, when they merged WEC, bought SF and after they signed the FOX deal, they promissed to offer the best fights, involving the fighters, every time around.

The trend is, PPV have gone down, but as a MMA/fight fan, i don't care about that too much. It's ZUFFA's job. I understand they slowly wanna move away from the PPV model anyway.

But, even so, their PPV cards are the ones they are putting their biggest stars in, the one with the title fights..."the moneymaker fights". So, on paper, they should deliver and they should have the best of the best, putting on exciting fights.

But, it hasn't been so for the last 12 months (at least). Granted, there have been injuries, involving lots of champions or high ranked contenders.
But, tis has led Chris Clements fighting Matt Riddle on a PPV card. Holloway vs Edwards on a PPV card. Patrick Cote coming out of nowhere to jump on a PPV card. John Alessio, Eddie Yagin...the list goes on. No disrespect to them. They are doing their job as good as they can, but people won't pay to see them.

Look at Jones' latest card. He fought Evans in the main event. The long awaited, formerly canceled and rescheduled fight. The grudge fight. The UFC bet the house on that fight.

I am curious what would have happened if Jones would have injured himself 10 days before the fight?!
The co-main event of that card was Rory MacDonald vs ....... Che Mills. FFS....even hardcore fans had trouble understanding what Mills was doing on that card, against a guy like MacDonald...IN THE CO-MAIN EVENT!!!
They got their answer after the fight. The UFC f*cked up with that fight and everyone knew it...

It was gonna happen again at 151.

In fact i am curious what would the UFC have done, had Jones pulled out of 151...

Would they have canceled it? Or move on with Ellenberger vs Hieron as the main event?

I have no clue, but that just shows how shallow some of the cards have become.

I know they're putting some of the big names on FX cards, FUEL cards or on FOX...but they have spread themselves so far, they cannot see where the end is.

What happened at 151 should bring some common sense to the exec's (Dana) heads.

Sometimes, less is better.
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Old 08-25-2012, 06:08 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Eddie Yagin was meant to be a tune up fight for Mark Hominick, but it didn't turn out that way.

All the other guys you mentioned, Clements/Riddle, John Alessio, Cote, and all the others came in due to injuries. Like I said in another thread, the UFC made a huge mistake when they renewed the SF deal, that's what's hurting them right now, imo.
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Old 08-25-2012, 06:19 PM   #10 (permalink)
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damn limba, that along writeup but pretty spot on when it comes to your point. joe silva screwed it up big, as well as dana.

irony though is now we the fans get a much better card in 152.

which i doubt anyone cares about accept the hardcore, now dana and co. will actually get some serious play with that card.

those highlight reel guys that cut the promo must be foming at the mouth, because as much as i am a fan of the lower wieght classes they now have more awesome ways to push this card.

but lols, its obvious dana was banking on jones to sell the card. and he is now blaming jones because the card they put together was so terrible it could not stand on its own.

as a boxing fan i lol at how the ufc is moving that much closer to their ppv model and it sucks.
Yup...as much as Dana laughed at the people running the show in boxing for the way the're doing it...his company's recent actions, are pushing MMA (UFC) in the same direction.

He wants on free tv, but he wants on PPV at the same time. Those 2 are the exact same opposites.
He wants to adress to a new audience, but satisfy the old hardcore fans at the same time. Extremely hard to do so.
He was too scared too put Henderson vs Guida on the televised card, but that would have made been a brilliant move. He just didn't have the ball to do it, because 2 wrestlers were involved in the fight.

The big PPV voxing cards are most known because of the 2 men involved in the main event. Everyone knows Paquaio is fighting Marquez. Or Mayweather is fighing Cotto or Mosley.
But no one knows, who else is fighting on the card, except the hardocre fans.

That's because the promoters bet everything on the men involved in the main event.
Whenever Paquaio or Maywheather are fighting my father and his friends always find out..even though they don't really know who he's fighting against. But they know about the "star". Talk about the other fighters on the card?! No f*cking way...it's just "a guy" vs "another guy".

Somehow, the UFC have managed to go the same path recently.

They said they wanna expand and bring MMA to every house, they wanna promote MMA and the fighters. They wanna make MMA a respected sport.

My question is: how the hell are you doing so, if you're running you're business trying to arrange fights WWE style, and betting everything on the main event?!

The UFC needs to decide: are they gonna try and conquer the casual fans and continue putting cards that risk going to he*l, if the main attraction withdraws...or they will go back to pleasing the hardcore fans...those people who are willing to pay the 50$, in order to watch a card full of the best name in the sport, fight eachother.
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