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Random Rants: My last minute thoughts before tonight’s UFC 82 card

newfive.jpgWow, I actually have some free time right now, which means I have time to think. So I decided to put my thoughts into written word.

Here’s what’s on my mind:

– If Andrei Arlovski knocks out Jake O’Brien in vicious fashion, will he be eligible for the knockout of the night bonus? Just pondering that scenario makes it obvious why so many fighters and managers hate the arbitrary nature of the UFC’s locker room bonuses. Let’s just say Arlovski knocks out O’Brien in highlight reel fashion but Cheick Kongo does the same to Heath Herring. Who do you think is going to get that fat $45,000-$60,000 bonus? Politics could be a factor.

– It’s really starting to frustrate me that I won’t be able to see Arlovski tonight. I’m going to be paying $49.95 for the HD feed yet politics will still prevent me from getting to see one of the best heavyweights in the world? And speaking of HD, I watched “Strikeforce at the Dome” last night (the DVR might be the greatest invention ever), and while I saw a lot of production flaws, the camera angles were great and the picture was extremely crisp. It just seems like the resolution for an HDNet telecast in high-definition (yes, I realize, every show on HDNet is in HD) is much higher than the UFC’s HD telecasts on pay-per-view (the resolution appears better on Spike TV telecasts). I just get the feeling the UFC is charging for HD without having fully invested into the technology. Also, am I the only one whose screen looks like there is static when the lights from the ceiling rotate when they do a closeup of the cage just before the fighters enter?

– If Anderson Silva is only able to win in close fashion tonight, then I think chances are good that we’ll see an immediate rematch between him and Dan Henderson. And should Henderson win, as I am predicting, then we’ll definitely see an immediate rematch because there simply is not enough top-level depth in the UFC’s middleweight division. There are a lot of intriguing prospects coming up but few top-level contenders. That being said, Henderson vs. Rich Franklin is an intriguing matchup, don’t you think?

– Tonight it will be the UFC middleweight title vs. the PRIDE welterweight title. I was a guest on JarryPark.com earlier this week to discuss UFC 82 and host Ariel Helwani asked me about the significance of the PRIDE belt and I said there really is none. Let’s face it, the PRIDE brand has been buried by the UFC. Tonight’s “unification” match might mean something if the winner would be allowed to bring both belts with him to the cage for his next fight, just like they do in boxing when a couple holds multiple titles. I have to admit, it does look pretty cool in boxing when a guy is walking in and needs three handlers just to make sure everyone can see his titles.

– I hear a lot of people complaining about the price point for the Yahoo! PPV stream of UFC 82. I can’t speak for Yahoo!, but I’m sure they’d love to charge less for it to give people an incentive to buy their stream as opposed to the PPV telecast. But let’s think logically here for a second. The UFC needs to preserve strong business relations with the PPV industry and allowing Yahoo! to sell the same product for less wouldn’t make PPV distributors too happy now, would it? Not to mention, the short-term goal isn’t to market PPV streams to the masses. The idea is to build on the concept for the future. The hope is that down the line when the technology becomes easier for people to watch content downloaded to their computers on their televisions that they will have the infrastructure for pay streaming completely built. I keep hearing a lot about content providers (i.e. cable channels) looking for ways to eliminate the middle man (i.e. cable and satellite companies and PPV distributors) in order to increase profits. Basically, the UFC’s deal with Yahoo! isn’t for now, but for the future. I don’t think the UFC is going to be put off by the idea of you refusing to buy the Internet stream, so long as you still buy the PPV.

– Normally I’m not comfortable talking about other men’s physiques, but during the weigh-ins yesterday Diego Sanchez looked about as muscular as he did when he first entered the UFC. Which is a good thing because he needs that upper-body strength to make sure he can impose his will. Diego also looked a little zany walking around on stage. I think Diego is at his best when he’s at his craziest.

– I read on the Wrestling Observer’s website that tonight’s fight is the last on Josh Koscheck’s UFC contract. I know his deal was coming close to expiring, but I didn’t know his fight vs. Dustin Hazelett was his last one. If the Observer is correct, it will be interesting to see what Koscheck’s market value is. He’s a tremendous athlete, knows how to work a crowd, and has excellent name recognition value because of his turn on the first season of TUF and having fought in so many high-profile TV matches. However, not all of his fights have been the most exciting.

– Do you know what annoys me more than anything else in the world? It’s “Kids Songs.” If you don’t have a child under the age of 12, you probably have no idea what I’m talking about. But there’s some company that buys the rights to top 40 songs and re-records them with kids singing them. Thank god my eight-year old is just as annoyed by the concept as me but the commercials alone make me want to put my first through my TV. If I was in a band and my record label attempted to allow my art to be butchered in such a manner, it might drive me to murder.

– You know what else is annoying me? I keep reading that Chris Wilson left the IFL for the UFC. Incorrect. Wilson fought for BodogFIGHT before signing a contract with the UFC and agreeing to fight Jon Fitch.

– Remember to check out our chat tonight during the PPV and to tune in to hear Adam Morgan on “Any Given Saturday” right after the show!

20 COMMENTS
  • HexRei says:

    Totally agreed on Diego, he was clowning on the scale and doing his pro wrestler impression and then turned away from the crowd and cameras during his staredown. wanted to show off his glutes maybe? lol

  • brett says:

    i read in a interview with koscheck that he resigned

  • Jeremy says:

    Wow, if that is Koschecks’ last fight on his contract I am very interested to see what kind of price he could get on the open market. He’s certainly one of the top welterweights in the world, even though he isn’t the most exciting. I’d really like to see some kind of bidding war start with all these new promotions out there. I was hoping that was part of the benefit to the fighters, I haven’t really seen that yet.

  • cyphron says:

    The MVP award for the Super Bowl is also arbitrary. The “bonus” money is just that, a bonus. Which means it is not written in their contract and are given out at the goodwill of the UFC. Therefore, what’s the point in griping?

    Should there be a vote by Internet fans? No, because it would become a popularity contest. Even the judges get it wrong some times on who should win the fight. There is no perfect system to award the bonus money. The way it is now is as good as any.

  • Sam Caplan says:

    I think a better way would be to take all the money they allot for bonuses and pay it as salary, especially for the lesser paid guys.

  • HexRei says:

    Sam,

    I agree with you in principle but I think Dana and co. employ the bonuses as a sort of system of incentives to keep the fights exciting. Now if only they had yellow cards, your idea would be perfect…

  • Tommy says:

    Sam, then you would have the same thing as in boxing. People getting paid off their name and who they are with no eye whatsoever towards the performance they put on. I don’t agree. Anyone here wanna put money on Dan? Cause I surely don’t see him beating Silva. Dan’s too cocky and confident in his abilities and in my opinion just isn’t as hungry as he used to be.

  • PooPooPlatter says:

    Isn’t “randon” spelled with an M? Random?

  • dice says:

    # # 5 Sam Caplan Says:
    March 1st, 2008 at 6:47 pm

    “I think a better way would be to take all the money they allot for bonuses and pay it as salary, especially for the lesser paid guys.”

    Yahtzee!!! I agree, discretionary bonuses do nothing but create tension between fighters and promoters. These after fight bonuses, official and unofficial alike, seem to be the source of a lot of hard feelings lately.

    Cyphron, maybe after reading what Sam wrote you could sit back and and try to actually comprehend it before reciting the usual (and bad) defense of the bonuses. Your analogy with the NFL Super Bowl MVP award doesn’t make any sense. Sam is talking about how politics could play a role in who gets these awards tonight; how does that fit into how the NFL decides who gets the Super Bowl MVP? Its apples and oranges buddy (just because two things are “arbitrary” doesn’t mean they are comparable, one needs to look at the position of the person/group making the judgements); the people deciding who gets the Super Bowl MVP aren’t the ones who you negotiate with when it comes signing time.

    To make your analogy accurate, we would need someone like Jerry Jones to buy the Giants, then have the Giants play the Cowboys in the Super Bowl, and then have Jerry Jones decide who gets the MVP award at the end of the night.

  • The Legend says:

    “Also, am I the only one whose screen looks like there is static when the lights from the ceiling rotate when they do a closeup of the cage just before the fighters enter?”

    That doesn’t happen at my house.

  • steve24 says:

    I just saw an interview with Kos on Mania and he said he just got a raise. So he could have just gotten a contract extension.

  • cyphron says:

    Dice,

    You’re an idiot. Your analogy would be better if Jerry Jones run the NFL and gives out the MVP award. Dana is the equivalent of an NFL commish and he hands out bonuses (MVP). Perhaps you are the one who needs to learn a little comprehension before you jump in and criticize.

    Politics is always there just as bias will always be there. You can’t eliminate it. Human nature will always be biased and arbitrary in one way or another.

  • Brandt says:

    The UFC HD feed definitely looks different than the HD feeds for HDNet. There’s no way I would go back to regular 480i after watching it in 1080i with the surround sound, but HDNet feeds are much clearer.

    I also have an article up on my site (Did CBS Save Arlovski…) linking back to Fight Line who said that the UFC is planning to re-sign Koscheck. Who knows if it’s true though.

  • Sam Caplan says:

    The Super Bowl MVP analogy simply doesn’t wash. Cyphron, what’s with the name calling? No, Jerry Jones doesn’t give the MVP award, but you’re ignoring the argument. A bias will always be there? That’s ridiculous. There should be no bias when it comes to giving up these post-fight bonuses because in many cases, they are sometimes double, or even triple of what a fighter is due to make in guaranteed money. But I guess human nature will always be biased, so why don’t we allow the relatives of the fighters to serve as judges while we’re at it?

    As for yellow cards, I hate them. A referee should not dictate fighter pay. You’d have a real time utilizing that concept in the U.S. anyway. My feeling is that most refs simply would not want that kind of responsibility. And if you took away the bonuses it would still be nothing like boxing. The incentive to perform already exists in the fact that most UFC contracts are not guaranteed. Your contract can be accelerated at any time. Just ask David Loiseau what happens when you turn in a lackluster performance. And just ask Ivan Salaverry what happens when you turn in a clunker. If a fighter signs a three fight contract with the UFC, they owe the UFC three fights. However, the contract doesn’t mean the UFC necessarily owes them three fights.

  • dice says:

    # 12 cyphron Says:
    March 1st, 2008 at 8:10 pm

    “Dice,

    You’re an idiot. Your analogy would be better if Jerry Jones run the NFL and gives out the MVP award. Dana is the equivalent of an NFL commish and he hands out bonuses (MVP). Perhaps you are the one who needs to learn a little comprehension before you jump in and criticize. ”

    So the NFL pays the players? I was under the impression that the NFL was more of a governing body type that is in control of TV deals, referees, and rules. In order for your new analogy to work, the NFL would be in charge of signing and paying players.

    Dana is the equivalent of an NFL commish? Yeah, and I am the idiot. The NFL and UFC have completely different business models.

    I think you are the only one who doesn’t see the conflict that Sam is pointing out.

    Yellow cards? Nobody likes them and they don’t work (in motivating a fighter), just look up past interviews of Rampage, Barnett and Henderson.

    Sam Caplan

    “If a fighter signs a three fight contract with the UFC, they owe the UFC three fights. However, the contract doesn’t mean the UFC necessarily owes them three fights.”

    Yes, and thats why I feel no sympathy when someone leaves the UFC early because they don’t like their contract. The UFC refuses to apply the same standards to themselves as they apply to others (I really don’t care if they can do it legally). If there was any sort of balance when it came to negotiations, then both entities would have similar looking terms.

  • Adam Morgan says:

    Sam, you read on the Wrestling Observer that tonight’s fight was the last on Kos’ contract?

    How about reading my interview, buddy? 😉

    Josh Koscheck: I’m just gonna say no comment with that and just avoid the question altogether. It’s tough times right now and I’m gonna be coming up for a renegotiation of my contract after this fight. I’ll let my managers do all that. I don’t want to have anything to do with it. That’s why I have an awesome manager, Zinkin.tv, probably one of the best management companies in the world right now in mixed martial arts. I’ll let them handle that and I’m just gonna not comment on it. That’s their job and my job is to fight.

    Adam Morgan: Are you still on your Ultimate Fighter contract? And is this the last fight on it?

    Josh Koscheck: Yes I am. I’ve fulfilled my nine fights and now there’s just time remaining on the contract but I didn’t just want to sit around for 8 or 9 months so I decided to just fight again.

  • Captain says:

    Adam:

    I read that interview. I would not be surprised if Koscheck was re-signed already. Especially after tonight’s performance and the glowing article written about him on ufc.com the other day.

    Silva vs. Okami has to be the next MW title match.

  • Ryan Seacrest says:

    Caplan…..don’t lie we all know you listen to kidz bop in the car on your way to your mma training. It pumps you up…LOL JK. I am with you Sam how the peet bull got shut out on the main card. A former champ who by far is the best striker in HW division was made an undercard.

  • cyphron says:

    The Super Bowl MVP analogy simply doesn’t wash. Cyphron, what’s with the name calling? No, Jerry Jones doesn’t give the MVP award, but you’re ignoring the argument. A bias will always be there? That’s ridiculous. There should be no bias when it comes to giving up these post-fight bonuses because in many cases, they are sometimes double, or even triple of what a fighter is due to make in guaranteed money. But I guess human nature will always be biased, so why don’t we allow the relatives of the fighters to serve as judges while we’re at it?

    Sorry, was drunk. =)

    I’m saying that Dana White will try to award the bonus without bias. However, as we know no bias is impossible as is the nature of human beings. Even people with the best intentions have hidden biases within them. Psychology 101. Don’t tell me you report on FiveOunces with the intention of not favoring ProElite? Don’t tell me you have no bias even though you work for them.

    That’s a straw man argument. It’s a far cry difference between the UFC president and matchmaker giving out bonuses to the fighter than the fighter’s relatives giving out bonuses. Do you seriously believe Koschek would’ve fought like that if there were no bonuses? He would’ve dry hump Hazlett to a win if all wins are equal. Some of the original lay N pray fighers are no full fledged strikers. The bonuses make a difference, and to say otherwise tells me you’re biased. ^_^

  • cyphron says:

    no = now

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