Money talks and … well, you know the rest.

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is making headlines overseas, partly because of interim featherweight champion Conor McGregor, but mostly because of its ongoing battle with the Las Vegas Culinary Union, which along with this lawsuit, is trying to persuade fighters to unionize.

From The Economist:

Mr McGregor reportedly earned $500,000 (not including bonuses or sponsorships) for a recent bout. But most UFC fighters make decidedly less. The median pay per fight is $24,500, and most pugilists get in the ring only a couple of times a year. Some fighters think the muscle of a union might help them get better pay and more say. Earlier this month, the Teamsters, along with a local culinary union, announced that they intended to help fighters organize.

McGregor banks beaucoup bucks because of this, but he may be the exception to the “pathetic” rule.

“The Notorious” superstar can expect another gigantic payday when he tries to unify the promotion’s 145-pound titles at UFC 194 against reigning featherweight champion Jose Aldo, which takes place on Dec. 12, 2015 right in the heart of “Sin City” (details).

For more on UFC fighter pay, along with the promotion’s new Reebok sponsorship, click here and here.

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joe-rogan-podcast-3

https://youtu.be/QGIxvN4PlV0

While Conor McGregor no doubt looked impressive in stopping Chad Mendes in the second round of their interim title fight in July, UFC commentator Joe Rogan won’t be calling “The Notorious” one “champ” anytime soon.

Joe Rogan spoke about McGregor’s interim title on the latest edition of his “Joe Rogan Experience” podcast, calling McGregor’s title “an illegitimate belt.”

Below is an excerpt from the 1:03:00 minute mark of the show.

“Belts are bullsh*t. Who cares,” Rogan said. “It’s the best fighters vs. the best fighters. We all know who the best fighters are, right? Have the best fighters fight the best guys. when you beat the best guy, you’re the best fighter.”

“Let’s be honest. McGregor has an illegitimate belt,” Rogan continued. “It’s a made up belt. We call it the ‘interim’ belt but Aldo defended his title a year ago. Stripping a guy because he doesn’t— because he can’t get through a camp without getting injured is a part of MMA. It’s always been a part of MMA. But, because of the marketing, because of the hype behind it, because of the HUGE event, the enormity, the economics of the event, they decide to make [McGregor vs. Mendes] an interim fight. He’s got a title. Aldo’s got a title. They both have titles. So they’re fighting for the undisputed title.”

Rogan concluded, “Wouldn’t it be better if they just fought? We know how big Conor is. We know how big Aldo is. Let’s go fight, guys!”

McGregor and Aldo will fight to unify the UFC Featherweight Championship in the main event of UFC 194 on December 12, 2015 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.

H/T: BloodyElbow.com

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The world of women’s mixed martial arts is growing rapidly. We have Ronda Rousey and others to thank for that, as more women are entering the sport and becoming more successful.

Not long ago, UFC President Dana White would have told you that women would never step foot in the Octagon. Now they are headlining pay-per-views and becoming stars in their own right, exceeding all expectations before them.

The UFC has a bantamweight and strawweight division that still need expanding. So, here are five fighters that they should ink as soon as possible.

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Strikeforce veteran Andre Galvao discusses his ADCC 2015 super fight win against Cyborg Abreu.

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UFC's Kevin Lee on social-media callout strategy: 'I don't sugarcoat it'
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Kevin Lee exudes confidence. He's sure he will be a UFC champion. He knows he will have the lightweight belt strapped around his waist within two years. Following his first-round submission victory over James Moontasri at UFC Fight Night 71, Lee (11-1 …

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Including the international versions, The Ultimate Fighter has had 29 seasons, and UFC President Dana White is not shy about revealing that his favorite part of each run is the Coaches’ Challenge. Recently, White tweeted a picture of himself taking a helicopter to a remote desert location outside of Las Vegas as a sneak peek into the forthcoming Ultimate Fighter: Team McGregor vs. Team Faber’s coaches’ challenge, and whether it’s shooting pool or go-kart racing or penalty kicks, the competition is a bit of random fun pitting the rival coaches against each other, usual … Read the Full Article Here

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According to those mixed martial arts (MMA) experts in the know, both of these lovely ladies should have no problem competing at 135 pounds.

Ahem, Skeletor … if you would please.

That might come as a surprise when you look at the photo above, which has former Strikeforce featherweight champion Cristiane Justino staring down former Strikeforce bantamweight queenpin Miesha Tate. The former is hoping to fight for UFC in 2016, while the latter has done so since 2013.

Until then, the closest they’ll get to throwing down is the upcoming “Fight Valley” movie (details), also starring UFC women’s bantamweight No. 1 contender Holly Holm, who will move on to fight Ronda Rousey at UFC 193 in November (more on that fight here).

And if “The Preacher’s Daughter” should fall, expect renewed cries for “Cyborg” to get the next crack at the 135-pound crown, even if she has to cut off a leg to make weight.

Sorry, “Cupcake.”

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Interim UFC Featherweight Champion Conor McGregor took to social media on Monday to post a photo of his new “Notorious” ink.

McGregor posted the following photo on his official Instagram page, showing off his newest tattoo.

I got more ink.

A photo posted by Conor McGregor Official (@thenotoriousmma) on

Conor McGregor returns to the Octagon at UFC 194, as the rising Irish mega-star will look to unify his interim UFC Featherweight Championship against the linear champion, Jose Aldo. UFC 194 is scheduled for Saturday, December 12, 2015.

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Demetrious Johnson is an enigma to opponents and fans alike. Inside the Octagon, he is the Swiss army knife of fighters, stumping opponents with quintessential abilities. But on the outside, he is the face of culpability surrounding an oft-ignored flyweight division.

Striking, wrestling, submissions, clinch work, chin, conditioning—Johnson has it all. The guy can do it all, and he’s only getting better. He has finished four of his last five opponents by submission or knockout.

And no one gives a damn.

I can remember sitting in a restaurant watching as Johnson wrenched Chris Cariaso’s arm into submission when a drunken fan behind me shouted, “I hate watching Mickey Mouse’s boring fights.”

We had just witnessed dominance displayed at the highest level, and it was like this guy refused to accept what was happening. He refused to care because he didn’t buy into the persona of “Mighty Mouse.” He wasn’t buying into the clean-cut, good-guy image, even if the fighter was one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world.

When speaking on the UFC 191 media phone conference, Johnson told a similar story.

“When I knocked out Joseph Benavidez, one of the comments that made me laugh so hard was, ‘Yeah man, I sat there and watched Joseph Benavidez get knocked out by Demetrious Johnson and I just shrugged my shoulders and went out and bought a burrito.’ Okay,” he said. “That’s good.”

Far less talented fighters have a better chance at capturing attention by throwing on a cheap suit and spinning a fictitious story.

Fighting isn’t enough for combat sports fans. They need to be amused with characters and “real-life” drama. Showmanship coupled with a natural talent for fighting brings the entertainment side full circle.

From the perspective of most fans, Johnson is an incomplete champion. As complete as his fighting abilities are inside the cage, he is a blank slate on the outside. Johnson is the admirable employee who always shows up on time, does his job and punches his card when it’s closing time.

And the fighting world treats him as such—simply another man on the assembly line.

However, it won’t always be this way. Someday fans will appreciate Johnson’s greatness. There is no way to know if that day will come sooner or later.

Anderson Silva, whom many consider the greatest fighter in MMA history, wasn’t that popular until Chael Sonnen came along. The same thing could be said about UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo, whose stock has risen significantly since the arrival of Conor McGregor.

Perhaps Johnson holds on to the title long enough for a suitable antagonist to arrive onto the scene. Maybe it never happens.

As Johnson’s career collects dust, history will tell the story of one of the greatest all-around talents ever in MMA. People will watch vintage tapes and talk about how he was underappreciated and overlooked. In hindsight, the superfluous infatuation with drama and spectacle will appear as distant as a star in the sky.

Johnson will be remembered for his accomplishments, not the amount of pay-per-view buys he generated. In that very moment—when appreciation of talent surpasses spectacle—Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson will be missed.

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American Top Team founder Ricardo Liborio discusses his win at ADCC 2015 and the legacy of Carlson Gracie.

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