“…you don’t bring in the third-place team to play for the Lombardi Trophy”

Eddie Alvarez questions legitimacy of Khabib Nurmagomedov’s UFC lightweight title 139:

But Alvarez also doesn’t believe Nurmagomedov should be recognized as the legitimate champion. In Alvarez’s mind, the UFC 223 bout between the Russian standout and 11th-ranked Al Iaquinta — despite the unique set of circumstances that led to the matchup with several potential opponents dropping out — should not have been a title matchup.

“If the Philadelphia Eagles show up for the Super Bowl, and New England can’t make it, you don’t bring in the third-place team to play for the Lombardi Trophy,” Alvarez said. “You have to wait and you have be patient. You can’t tell the No. three, four, five guys ‘you get a title shot.’ It just got silly real fast. Everything got silly real fast, and it made the belt quite meaningless.”

Great analogy by Alvarez. Dropouts in the UFC are quite a problem for the major bouts and finding replacement fighters only solves part of the problem. There’s still the aspect of the belt and who gets it. Sure you can let them fight with neither fighter winning or losing the belt, but this has the defending champ (or the challenging fighter) risking serious injury for no reward.

So what’s the alternative? Cancelling the fight and refunding all the PPV purchases? It’s a tough spot to be in.

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Sports

False Equivalence

Eddie Alvarez thinks Nate Diaz’s ‘ego’ won’t let him say he only wants Conor McGregor fight: ‘Just be honest’:

“The more I think about it, the more I’m like: When Conor takes a break, Nate takes a break,” Alvarez continued. “Conor’s like, ‘I ain’t fighting until August,’ and Nate’s like, ‘Well, I ain’t fighting until July,’ or some sh*t. I guess his ego doesn’t let him say, ‘I just want to fight Conor.’ Just say it. Like, just be honest with everyone. If that’s who you want to fight, there’s nothing wrong with that. But don’t call everyone out if you don’t have any intention of fighting anybody.

I think Alvarez is 100% correct.

I’ve said it before: Diaz has created in his mind a false equivalence between himself and Conor McGregor. He thinks because Conor makes the big money, and he’s fought Conor before, then he should also be able to ask for just as much money. That’s not how it works.

And stop mumbling for shit’s sake.

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Sports

LeBron will never be as iconic as Jordon.

Scottie Pippen: LeBron James’ Stats Have ‘Probably’ Passed Michael Jordan’s:

“The numbers don’t lie. He’s right there,” he said. “He probably will never catch him in terms of MVP, but in terms of statistics, LeBron is right there. And when you look across the board—not just scoring—check his assists, check his rebounds … he’s probably ahead of Jordan.”

Jordan averaged 30.1 points, 6.2 rebounds, 5.3 assists, 2.3 steals and 0.8 blocks across 15 seasons in the NBA (13 with the Bulls and two with the Washington Wizards).

James currently checks in at 27.2 points, 7.3 rebounds, 7.1 assists, 1.6 steals and 0.8 blocks per game as he takes part in his 15th campaign at the professional level.

LeBron is an amazing athlete (says the guy who doesn’t watch sports), but even if (when) LeBron passes Jordan’s stats, he’ll never be as iconic as Jordan. Sure, “LeBron” is a brand, but “Jordan” is a bigger brand, at least at the level of the company that has been putting his silhouette and name on their shoes for over 30 years – Nike.

I’d go so far as to say Michael Jordan is at the level of a pop culture icon like Mickey Mouse.

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Branding, Sports

Mayweather in the UFC is a cute idea.

Morning Report: Floyd Mayweather says he has multi-fight offer with UFC, can ‘make a billion dollars’:

Appearing in a live stream on Instagram captured by Fight Hype, Mayweather told his fans that he has a multi-fight offer with the UFC that would make him “a billion dollars.”

“You already know I’m a money-getting motherfucker,” Mayweather said. “I’m Money May. They just called me not too long ago and asked me to come back. I can come right back. If I want to, I can come right back to the UFC. I can go fight in the Octagon. I can do a three- or four-fight deal in the Octagon and make a billion dollars. Remember, I’m Floyd ‘Money’ Mayweather, and you motherfuckers love me, and I love you motherfuckers.”

Good luck with that, Floyd.

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Sports

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Pretending to play a UFC fight.

This genius streamed a pay-per-view UFC match by pretending to play it:

A streamer broadcast a live pay-per-view UFC match on multiple platforms, including Twitch, by pretending it was a video game he was playing, as spotted by EuroGamer. AJ Lester streamed the UFC 218 match between Max Holloway and Jose Aldo in its entirety over the weekend. Lester appeared in the corner of the stream, wearing a pair of headphones and holding a controller while watching intensely and reacting to the punches as if he was in control of the action.

A tweet showing Lester’s antics went viral, with over 63,000 retweets and 140,000 likes at the time of publication. Another clip shows him reacting wildly yelling “oooooooooooooooh!!!” and “damnnnnnn!” in response to the match. It’s his dedication to the charade that makes him a true internet hero.

Never count out a geek.

Of course this will likely be the first and last time someone is able to get away with this.

I was at a rowdy, Irish tavern in San Francisco for to watch UFC 218 — a proper venue to watch fights — but I give Lester props for being resourceful.

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Sports

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“laughed at by the fight gods”

Bellator’s unpredictable night shows difficulty of building stars:

Best laid plans in MMA are often thrown by the wayside and laughed at by the fight gods. For Coker and company, Bellator 185 was one of those nights. By the end of it Mousasi was in the hospital, Hardy’s face was destroyed, and Julaton had been upset.

Back to the drawing board.

It’s not just Bellator. It’s tough for any mixed martial arts organization. New champs can be crowned in any fight. Superstars like Conor McGregor are very rare and even their victories are far from guaranteed.

Just look at what happened to Ronda Rousey. It seemed she was the UFC’s next rising superstar, but then her fight with Amanda Nunes happened now her fighting career doesn’t look so bright. Back in January Joe Rogan said he didn’t think she’d fight again and as more time passes it’s looking more and more likely.

People love rooting for their fighter, but it’s hard to do that in such a volatile sport.

Too Much CBD Oil for Nate Diaz

Coach: Nate Diaz ‘needs to get paid at least $20 million’ for Conor McGregor trilogy:

Conor McGregor’s huge paycheck for his boxing match with Floyd Mayweather could mean more money for his future UFC opponents — at least that’s what Nate Diaz’s boxing coach Richard Perez is hoping for.

Diaz’s last two fights under the UFC banner were against “The Notorious” in 2016, and he made $2.6 million dollars in disclosed pay in those bouts combined. After seeing what McGregor made against Mayweather, and the potential money that could be made in a trilogy bout with McGregor in the UFC, Perez expects 10 times more.

“At least $20 million, $30 million,” Perez told Submission Radio. “Come on. UFC’s making a whole lot of money, a whole lot of money and they’re pocketing it. They’re giving more to McGregor, so it’s not fair because it takes two in that ring to draw a crowd – I mean, a good two fighters. It’s just like Mayweather when he fought Berto. It was not even sold out at all. It was embarrassing. It’s because that guy couldn’t draw a crowd. See, that’s what I’m saying, it’s the fighters that draw the crowd, and Nathan and McGregor, third one would be outstanding. Everyone knows that. So he needs to get paid at least $30 million easy.”

Nate Diaz is out of his fucking mind if he thinks he can get $20 million to fight McGregor in the UFC.

Conor pocketed a base of $30 million (over $100 million after the final numbers were tallied) for his boxing match this past Saturday with Floyd Mayweather.

McGregor and Mayweather are both businessmen and promotion machines who work to generate the inevitable buzz that builds up around their fights. They did a 4-city world promotional tour before their fight. Nate Diaz can barely form sentences.

Can Diaz fight? One hundred percent. Diaz is an incredible fighter, but when you’re asking for $20 million, you have to bring more to the table than your fighting skills and the ability to throw water bottles at your opponent.

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Business, Sports

“Boxing is different from when I boxed. Those guys are businessmen up there.”

Mike Tyson reacts to the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight back in 2015:

It’s almost like I’m in, I wouldn’t say church, but a library. Maybe I’m just a Neanderthal. I wanted to kill the other guy. I’m a natural born killer. I want to win in dramatic fashion and hurt people. They make one guy the good guy and one guy the monster and they sell it and make a lot of money. Boxing is different from when I boxed. Those guys are businessmen up there.

He really was a killer in the ring.

Conor

Mike Chiappetta writing for MMAFighting.com:

Things returned to a normal order last night in Las Vegas. McGregor’s prediction — a knockout in less than four rounds — ticked away, unfulfilled. He didn’t finish Floyd Mayweather; he didn’t even win. The best boxer of the last 20 years got off to a slow start but eventually stopped McGregor in the 10th round when referee Richard Byrd stepped in to save the Irishman from an unanswered barrage.

The stoppage, even if McGregor mildly protested it later, was both fair and final. Yet here’s the thing: McGregor won. Not in the literal sense. In the record books, he’s now an 0-1 professional boxer. But figuratively, McGregor far surpassed the expectations of most, from his performance to his courage.

The “farce” decried by many never materialized. The “freak show” got real competitive, real quick. The MMA fighter turned novice boxer hung in with the now 50-0 superstar.

Much like his UFC loss to Nate Diaz, McGregor handled his loss to Mayweather like a professional.

I wanted McGregor to win, but I knew the chances were slim. Despite his loss, I’m not bummed because I quickly realized Conor isn’t bummed. Just look at the two posing after the fight.

It’s clear he’s unlike most MMA fighters and boxers. You could easily argue he’s more of a businessman than a boxer.

Two years ago McGregor tweeted, “Get in. Get rich. Get out.”

So far, so good.

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Sports

Floyd’s Submissive Body Language

I’m fascinated by all the events that have thus far led up to the Conor McGregor v. Floyd Mayweather fight happening this weekend. I’ll also say up front I’m a Conor McGregor fan. He has been discounted before most of his fights, only to prove the naysayers wrong and beat his opponents. The obvious exception to this was his first fight with Nate Diaz where he lost to a brutal rear naked choke.

I like Conor because he talks the talk in a big way, but he walks the walk too. But back to talking the talk. A lot of people like to write off the trash-talking and mind games as “just words” and “trivial”, but the truth is Conor is proving himself to be a master at getting inside his apponents’ heads and breaking them before the fight has even started.

The other night when I was binge-watching Conor McGregor videos on Youtube, as I’ve been doing for the last few months, I came across a great series breaking down the behavioral psychology and body language between Conor and Floyd Mayweather during their promotional world tour last month.

The videos are by ‘Alpaca Thesaurus’ and narrated by Courvoisier the Goddamn Newt (wtf, I know).

My favorite video thus far breaks down the Toronto leg of the tour, where Floyd displays submissive posturing at least 5 times on stage in front of Conor.

Does all the submission body language Floyd exhibits mean he’s going to lose the fight on Saturday? Absolutely not, but once you see all the ‘tells’ and unconscious gestures Courvoisier points out you can’t unsee them and they are real.

We tend to forget below all the higher cognitive functions and logic we humans are primal, tribal, and emotional animals.

A Third Chance?

Daniel Cormier called into The MMA Hour to talk to Ariel Helwani about his loss to Jon Jones and his future:

The former UFC champion said he will likely sit out for the rest of 2017 to heal and spend time with his family, but then he expects to get right back into the swing of things. And once he does, he will return with the goal of proving himself worthy of a third shot at Jones.

Daniel. My man. Jon whooped your ass twice. The first time he did it after a weekend of partying and doing coke. The second time he did it sober and focused. It’s not unreasonable to bet he’d beat you if he got an arm cut off. He’s just an all-around superior fighter.

You had your shots. It’s time to move on.

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Sports

I’d love to see Mayweather get his bell run by McGregor’s left.

Over at the Bleacher Report, Jeremy Botter on the likelihood of Conor McGregor returning to the UFC after his boxing match on August 26th against Floyd Mayweather:

On Wednesday, the impossible dream, the flight of fancy, the ridiculous notion became reality: Floyd Mayweather, owner of all sporting pay-per-view records of note, will exit a two-year retirement for the August 26 boxing match against Conor McGregor, the brightest star mixed martial arts has ever seen.

McGregor is the highest-paid Ultimate Fighting Championship athlete ever, but the leap he is about to make is an extraordinary one. He says he’ll go from his comparatively low estimated paydays to over $100 million in one night.

And then, according to UFC President Dana White, he’ll come back to the UFC for a lightweight title defense in December, where he will presumably go back to making $3 million guaranteed for his fights. From $100 million to $3 million, for the same amount of work.

Sure he will.

One hundred million dollars. McGregor is already a winner, even in the event Mayweather defensive-boxes his way to a win.

I’m not sure if McGregor has anything left to prove. The disproportionally large number of naysayers grows exponentially before every one of his fights. He beat Chad Mendez. He beat Jose Aldo. He beat Nate Diaz in UFC 202 (after initially losing to Diaz in UFC 196). He beat Eddie Alvarez.

I’d love to see Mayweather get his bell run by McGregor’s left.

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Sports

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Nate Diaz is not worth $20 million.

Nate Diaz says he won’t answer UFC’s calls for less than $20 million:

In the midst of the latest UFC title saga, a familiar, yet unexpected name, resurfaced.

Inaccurate reports stated the promotion was targeting an interim lightweight title fight between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Nate Diaz. However, according to multiple sources, that fight has not been offered yet.

As for Diaz, he told MMAFighting.com Wednesday night, that the UFC hasn’t called him about any upcoming fights. And if they’re planning on doing so, Diaz had a message for the brass:

“I’m only fighting at lightweight for a big fight or 20 million just to take the call,” Diaz told MMAFighting.com via text message. “Until then, I’m just living my life.”

Nate Diaz is out of his mind. He only started flexing like this after his two fights with Lightweight & Featherweight champion Conor McGregor. McGregor can and does command those kinds of numbers. It wasn’t until McGregor started speaking out on the value he brought to the UFC that Diaz also started speaking out.

While I think Diaz is an incredible fighter — he beat McGregor in their first fight — he’s not the showman McGregor is. Fighters like McGregor only come around once in a lifetime.

McGregor is worth $20 million per fight. Nate Diaz is not.

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Sports