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Posts Tagged ‘ever’

At an event entitled “Backflips & Beatdowns 4″ in Billings, Mont., over the weekend, quads and motorcycles performed high-flying tricks above an MMA tournament.

It doesn’t get much better.

[YouTube, h/t Middle Easy]

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Middleweight contenders Tim Kennedy and Michael Bisping will settle their score in the Octagon in a five-round main event at The Ultimate Fighter Nations: Canada vs. Australia. In the meantime, they’ll be trash-talking one another with blogs on Yahoo Sports.

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On This Day in MMA History: The UFC Holds Its First (and Last) Ever 16-Man
“On This Day in MMA History” pays tribute to some of the more bizarre and infamous moments from MMA's past. Twenty years ago today (!), on March 11th, 1994, the UFC held the only 16-man, one-night tournament in promotional history at UFC 2.

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The latest odds of Rousey vs. Cyborg ever happening: Fat chance
MMA Fighting
When discussing modern tragedies in MMA you can certainly find room for Fedor Emelianenko never fighting in the UFC. All those blockbuster match-ups that could have been never did. Instead, after his Pride days Emelianenko went about working odd jobs 

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Outside of the quick finishes put forth by champion Ronda Rousey and top contender Daniel Cormier, UFC 170 offered some good, old-fashioned veteran action.

Two of those recognizable names were welterweights Mike Pyle and Demian Maia.

Both coming off their own heart-breaking and frustrating defeats, each UFC mainstay was aiming to impress and start off 2014 on a good note.

Unfortunately, only Pyle escaped Saturday’s Las Vegas main card with a victory, ending TJ Waldburger late in the third round. Maia lost to Rory MacDonald via unanimous decision.

Now, while neither welterweight is close to challenging for a title—even though Maia was recently considered a fathomable option to do so—it’s still important to understand their careers may be heading in opposite directions.

On one hand you have Pyle, a true veteran of the sport who often excels late into fights by tapping into an endless holster of experience and raw gusto.

Since the beginning of 2012, “Quicksand” has sunk every one of his opponents besides the red-hot Matt Brown back in August. His resurgence over the past two years has included three TKOs and one knockout, which stands as one of his most impressive stretches of finishes in his lengthy career.

Waldburger isn’t a top threat in the division, but a win over him not only proved Pyle can rebound from a crushing defeat so late into his career, but it proved he could out-craft a younger and more athletic opponent.

His victory was truly a step in the right direction as he works his way to the welterweight’s Top 10.

On the other hand we have Demain Maia, a Brazilian submission specialist well known for his ability to grind an opponent down to sheer bone.

But what became evident at UFC 170 when Maia was defeated by MacDonald—even despite his recent success as a newly positioned threat in the welterweight division—is that the 36-year-old is on the last legs of his career.

Coming into his fight with MacDonald, a superior athlete who pushes the pace from the first round to the last, Maia had to know his conditioning would be called into question. He had to know he would need to be in the best shape of his life.

Unfortunately for Maia, in a loss that showcased his inability to maintain fluency and consistency following an early fight energy dump, he was more than likely in the best shape of his career and still looked like a suffocating catfish.

So what does this mean? It’s pretty simple. Another defining defeat at the hands of a more athletic competitor and the Brazilian will start to be scratched off many lists around the sport.


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Sometimes you say things that get you in trouble. Writing a cheque your behind can’t cash is one phrase for it, though there are others.

In recent weeks UFC president Dana White has been writing that variety of cheque so often he’s probably icing his wrist as we speak, and there’s been unprecedented backlash from fans as a result.

Seriously, go to popular MMA forum The Underground and look at the number of threads directed in frustration at White and his promotion. Or check out Luke Thomas’ Chat Wrap over at MMA Fighting this week, where he’s inundated with so many fan questions and comments on White that he’s visibly baffled.

One of his most egregious cheque writings has come in the form of a proclamation that Ronda Rousey is the biggest star the UFC has. Not only now, but ever.

Even the most ardent UFC supporters and White fans are finding that one tough to take, especially considering names like Ortiz, Liddell, Lesnar and St-Pierre aren’t exactly distant memories.

Really, names like Gracie and Shamrock aren’t exactly distant memories.

But ignore even that much, or take it at face value. Say Rousey is, in fact, the biggest star the promotion has ever had. She’s not, but say she is for the sake of argument. Boy, does the UFC need her to win on Saturday night.

At a time when St-Pierre is gone, Anderson Silva is up in the air and champions people are interested in like Anthony Pettis and Cain Velasquez are out for a prolonged stretch, the UFC needs a dominant champion to market.

Considering it doesn’t seem keen on making Jon Jones that star, despite the fact he’s earned the right more than anyone else in the promotion, it has to be Rousey. If she loses to Sara McMann at UFC 170—something far closer to a reality than almost anyone seems willing to admit—it’s in deep trouble.

The UFC, or at least White, has put so many eggs in the Rousey basket that a bump in the road will be crushing should she lose. It’s worked so hard to sell her as the face of the promotion that there hasn’t been time to consider the risks involved.

She’s still, like it or not, a two-fight UFC veteran with only eight total pro bouts under her belt.

She’s shown that, like it or not, if she can’t hit a throw and control position on the ground things will get interesting in a hurry.

She seems, like it or not, pretty keen on getting out of the fight game early and has hinted at retiring young. She has movie offers coming in all over the place, and they apparently pay pretty well.

Those don’t seem to be the circumstances you’d want to build your biggest star around if you could choose to, but the UFC can’t choose given the current climate. It’s working with an air of desperation, like the snowball of promotional operation is already on its way down the mountain and its racing to catch up before it gets too big to handle.

That could be for any number of reasons.

It could be the retirements and injuries that have plagued the roster recently.

It could be the oversaturation of fight cards filled with no-names that prevent fans from connecting with the roster.

It could be the misguided belief that online fights from the other side of the world in the middle of the night are a good foundation on which to build your house of cards.

Realistically it doesn’t matter. The UFC is out there selling Rousey as its biggest star because someone has to be its biggest star and there aren’t a whole lot of options these days.

Now, more than ever, the UFC needs her to win. It needs her to win not only more than its ever needed her to win, it needs her to win more than its ever needed anyone to win.

The fans aren’t happy. The roster is banged up and spread thin. There are countless questions where there were never questions before.

If Ronda Rousey is the biggest star the UFC has, it can’t afford to see her upset on Saturday night. If she is there’s no telling how the promotion will handle it, but it won’t be pretty.


Follow me on Twitter @matthewjryder!

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When you think of the biggest star in UFC history, what names come to mind? Guys like Chuck Liddell, Randy Couture, Georges St-Pierre and others might roll off the tongue for most people.

That’s apparently not the case with Dana White.

Speaking to Yahoo! Sports’ Kevin Iole and other media, White went into a rant where he both buried Alistair Overeem and praised UFC women’s bantamweight champ Ronda Rousey.

“She’s the hugest superstar,” White said. “I’m going to go out and say she’s the biggest star we’ve ever had.”

White would go on to describe how she is always ready to fight despite her hectic schedule that’s quickly filling up with time in Hollywood. He made it pretty clear that rain or shine, injured or healthy, Rousey is always ready to answer the call for the UFC.

Maybe that’s why she’s getting a monster push in terms of promotional support?

Rousey’s time in the UFC has been relatively short compared to most of the established stars; she’s only competed twice. At UFC 157 she headlined the card against title challenger Liz Carmouche and drew an estimated 450,000 pay-per-view buys.

Appearing as the co-main event at UFC 168, Rousey and her rival Miesha Tate contributed to increasing the buyrate to more than an estimated one million pay-per-view buys.

That was the first time the UFC did more than one million buys since Brock Lesnar defended the heavyweight title against Shane Carwin at UFC 116.  

Her crossover appeal can’t be denied as Rousey has not only getting movie gigs left and right, she’s also been featured in numerous media publications, including ESPN The Magazine’s 2012 Body issue.

While I agree Rousey is the biggest star in the UFC right now, it is far too early in her career to call her the biggest star in UFC history. GSP has been a consistent pay-per-view draw and has gained numerous mainstream sponsorships that many fighters only can dream of.

Liddell and Couture are almost synonymous when non-fans think of the UFC. For years Liddell’s trademark mohawk and ice-blue shorts were the images that were most associated with not only the UFC but MMA in general for a lot of people.

Note: All pay-per-view buyrates were contributed by

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Don Frye had a storied MMA career.

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Ever since the huge success of UFC 100, building a pay-per-view card that could deliver the goods in equal (if not greater) measure has been a kind of holy grail for the organization and the fans.

Obviously, if it was as easy as plugging names into slots, we would have seen it by now. But UFC 100 was a stacked card from top to bottom. While it’s tempting to put men like Brock Lesnar into the mix for another blockbuster event, we still don’t know if he will come back.

Also, in terms of this hypothetical matchmaking, at least some realism is needed. Jon Jones has been banged up as of late and probably wouldn’t sign to fight in July, especially after fighting Glover Teixeira in late April.

Mark Hunt vs. Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva II is also not a possibility, since Silva will still be on suspension for elevated TRT levels. Thus, another big rematch is off the table for July.

But there are other fights that could make for the biggest July 4 weekend event ever. Could it equal UFC 100 in terms of buys and customer satisfaction? While the latter is possible, the former remains uncertain.

But it’s fun to ponder the possibilities nonetheless.

Begin Slideshow

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Fighters made more money in 2013 than they ever have in MMA history, according to UFC president Dana White.

Obtaining information regarding the financial handouts to UFC employees is about as easy as breaking into Fort Knox. Time and time again, fighters come forward condemning the UFC for being stingy with its wealth.

During an appearance on the GrappleTalk Podcast last year, UFC middleweight Tim Kennedy went as far as claiming he would make more money emptying trash cans than he does fighting in the world’s biggest MMA promotion.

“I hope this isn’t the reality of the sport, if it is I should probably go do something else, like empty trash cans. I’d make more money than I do now,” said Kennedy.

Curiously enough, Kennedy quickly recanted his comments and issued a long apology on Facebook soon after his quotes made headlines.

White recently sat down with’s Greg Savage in an interview to touch basis on the overall state of the UFC. As expected, the boss maintains the position that nothing is wrong with fighter pay. In fact, White claims fighters made more money in 2013 than any other time in MMA history:

If you talk to the fighters, you know people want to talk about pay-per-view numbers are down, this, that and everything else. These fighters made more money this year than they ever f—ing made in the history of the sport.

A skeptic would be quick to point out the possibility that increased payout numbers are only a product of more events. With all of the exposure on FOX and FOX Sports, the UFC is doing more events than it’s ever done.

Long gone are the days of once-a-month pay-per-views with a free fight night thrown in every few months. It only makes sense fighters would be getting paid more if they are competing on a more regular basis.

But White was quick to shoot down that notion. He claims that fighters are actually making more money per outing, not because the company has more fights going on:

No, it’s per fight. We may have way more fights going on, but Georges St-Pierre fought twice, Anderson Silva fought twice. This year, Chris Weidman will fight twice. It’s not like these guys are fighting four or five times a year. You got guys who have come back to back like [Urijah] Faber. Faber is gonna fight five times in the last 11 months and a couple of cases like that. But guys have never made more money, there’s never been more money in the sport than there is now, and it’s never been bigger in North America or anywhere else in the world.

To be fair, some fighters have come out in support of fighter pay in the UFC.

Over a year ago, flyweight contender Ian McCall took to the MMA underground, via, and defended fighter pay, claiming he made over $80K in his UFC debut against Demetrious Johnson.

The jury is still out on whether or not fighters are being undervalued. Perhaps we’ll never know the true logistics behind the UFC’s pay scale. Young fighters hoping to make it big will just have to put all of their faith into White’s proclamation that fighters have never been so well off.

So you want to be a UFC fighter?

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