UFC 177: Worst Pay Per View Ever?

by Dr. Octagon, J.D.

I’ve been covering the UFC for what feels like a long time now, and it’s starting to feel like a chore.  

Whenever I complain about watching UFC for a living, people give me a hard time. But as these cards get thinner and there is less and less talent on each card, it makes you wonder how they still think they can charge the same amount of money for a Pay Per View. Now, I’m a highly-compensated MMA blogger, but for people who are not in on the payroll of the munificent Mr. Nagesh, just following this sport is becoming a pricey proposition.  

People on the internet have argued that UFC 177 is the worst card ever. These people must not have woken up at the crack of dawn to watch any of the Asian cards on Fightpass. That said, those cards are part of a ten-dollar-per-month offering for which only the truly hardcore need apply. So UFC 177 isn’t the worst card ever, not by any stretch of the imagination, and to say so is hyperbolic, but it very well might be the worst Pay Per View on paper in recent memory.  

That’s not to say that the fights will be bad, many fights that have looked horrible on paper have turned out great, and some fights that have looked like they would be action-packed slugfests have turned out horribly. The closest thing to this terrible card that I can think of is UFC 149.  Let’s compare:

Stiff Jab Presents: The Fourth Judge Podcast Episode 30

J.R. Smith canoodles with “1,000 pounds of ass.” Thanasis Antetokounmpo picks the D League. Fifty Cent is a massive dick to Floyd Mayweather, and James can’t keep his balls from twisting into a knot.

All this and MORE on this week’s episode of The Fourth Judge Podcast.

Enjoy!

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Stiff Jab Presents: The Fourth Judge Podcast Episode 29

The boys deal with serious adversity this week as technical difficulties lead to the tragic erasure of the grab bag portion of the show. How do they cope? How do they pick up the pieces? There’s only one way to find out!

Also on the docket: Chris Smith retweets Joe Budden, Melo takes on the ice bucket challenge, the Giants remain a serious threat to go 0-16, and James gets ripped off on Canal Street.

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Stiff Jab Presents: The Fourth Judge Podcast Episode 28

This week the boys talk skinny Melo, tampering Drake, Battered Bastards of Baseball, 7-11 branded Runts, King Louie, and MORE!

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Danny Garcia, Lamont Peterson, and Danny Jacobs Dominate

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Photo courtesy of Suzan Classen

by Sarah Deming

BROOKLYN, N.Y.—Saturday’s card at Barclays was a bad night for the underdog, and  – to quote light welterweight Edgar Santana (above right) – we are all underdogs in one way or another. 

In the first of the night’s three mismatches broadcast on Showtime, bone cancer survivor Danny “Miracle Man” Jacobs (below) almost finished Aussie Jarrod Fletcher in the first round. Fletcher hung on until stopped by a barrage in the fifth. 

The reliably odious Jim Gray worked the cancer angle overtime in the post-fight interview, even asking Jacobs what he thought about when he was on his deathbed. What Danny Jacobs thought about on his deathbed is none of our business. Anyway, it’s not a deathbed if you survive. 

Photos by Amanda Kwok for Showtime

Ten Things About Kovalev-Caparello

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by Sarah Deming

Saturday I headed to Atlantic City with some Russian comrades to see light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev knock out Blake Caparello in two. Due to the generous pour of the vodka martinis at the Revel Casino, I’m having trouble recalling everything, but ten things linger…

1. My Russian lesson on the ride over from the men in the Kovalev caps. I learned that the two heads on the Russian eagle represent secular and religious power, that Kovalev is from a small town in a harsh industrial area in the Ural Mountains, and - because I know no geography except subway lines and wine regions - that the Ural Mountains form the border between Europe and Asia. 

2. The very beautiful and very pregnant wife of undefeated heavyweight Constantin Bejenaru in black sportswear with ample jewelry, dark hair in a glossy braid to her waist, looking like a special effect.

3. The dreadful Polish heavyweight from that Tyson Fury-Steve Cunningham undercard, shaped like a sea lion and unable to block jabs, exchanging brain damage with a journeyman nicknamed “King Charles” while the crowd roared approval.

Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier got into a fight during their media day. Uncle Dana is probably going to act pissed, but this is going to make the fight really easy to promote. 

Stiff Jab Presents: The Fourth Judge Podcast Episode 27

This week we discuss Paul George's gruesome leg injury, Eli Manning's quest to complete 70% of his passes, a woman who sold tickets to the upcoming birth of her son, and the danger of owning too many dishes.

There is also, of course, MORE!

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Immanuwel Aleem Passes Test On ESPN, Campillo Beats Top Dog WIlliams

Immanuwel Aleem file photo by Trey Pollard for StiffJab.com

by Gautham Nagesh

Two DMV boxers faced the toughest tests of their career on ESPN2’s Friday Night Fights from Shelton, Wash. tonight. Richmond super middleweight Immanuwel Aleem passed with flying colors, reaching back to score a sixth-round stoppage of Juan Carlos Rojas to preserve his unbeaten record. It was an impressive performance by Aleem in his tenth pro bout, and it may have put him on the map after spending his early career largely overlooked.

Light heavyweight prospect Thomas “Top Dog” Williams has gotten much more attention of late, a tribute to his top-ten ranking at 175 lbs. While we haven’t paid as much attention to Williams, other like ESPN’s Teddy Atlas have more than made up for it by showering him with praise. Unfortunately, Williams was unable to live up to that lofty billing in the main event against Gabriel Campillo. Campillo poked him with a jab in the 4th round that opened up a bad cut, from which Williams was unable to recover. The doctor stopped the fight before the 6th round.

Stiff Jab Presents: The Fourth Judge Podcast Episode 26

Our hosts discuss Melo's interview with ESPN, James Harden's declaration of war against Chandler Parsons, Phil Jackson's taste in movies, and quiche.

That’s right. Quiche.

As always, there is MORE! Everyone loves a good MORE!

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Open Letter To Gennady Golovkin

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Photo courtesy of Suzan Classen

by Sarah Deming

NEW YORK, N.Y.—Thank you, Gennady Golovkin, for taking just three rounds to dispatch Daniel Geale and retain your title. Three is the magic number: quick enough to get us home early, long enough to love. One of the G’s must stand for “generous.”

Thank you for wearing shimmery white trunks of a pre-hip hop length that evoked ancient rites, and thank you for confining the advertisements to discrete patches on each leg. Thank you for your perfect middleweight body and golden skin under the Garden lights. Thank you for the mysterious permasmile onto which we project our own meanings. Thank you for training hard for light work. 

Thank you for your streak of 17 stoppages and your record of 30-0 (27 KOs), the highest knockout percentage of any active champion. Knockouts are better than decisions. Not because they are more violent but because they are negotiated by the actors in the ring rather than the functionaries outside it. Nobody likes to be judged. 

Thank you for cultivating superb balance and timing. Trainer Abel Sanchez attributes your “numbing” power to these fundamentals. This is more praiseworthy than heavy hands.

A Knockout Night at Broadway Boxing

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Photo courtesy of Krystyna Rodriguez for The Purple Corner

by Sarah Deming

New York is in a GGG state of mind. Hours after the final presser for Gennady Golovkin’s Saturday night fight at Madison Square Garden, those still in a boxing mood gathered at BB Kings for a Dibella card with the highest kayo percentage in recent memory. 

GGG himself rolled in for the main event. If the week’s shilling had tired him – signing caps for Kazakhs on Brighton Beach, skipping rope at Mendez, taking a turn in Broadway’s Rocky – he did not show it. He looked young and fresh in his tracksuit, the best student in the class, his arm draped across the shoulder of trainer Abel Sanchez and his face fixed in the earnest smile that is almost as famous as his ferocity.

The undefeated heavyweight in the ring, “Prince” Charles Martin, 18-0-1 (16 KOs) had trained alongside GGG at Big Bear and was defending his NABO belt against Kerston Manswell of Tobago, 24-9 (18 KOs). A tall southpaw trained by the great Henry Tillman, Martin fought off the back foot with reticence and looked so green I was surprised to hear his people were eying the winner of Jennings-Perez on the GGG undercard. 

Top Rank Signs Maryland Boxer Mike Reed

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Mike Reed photos courtesy of Team Reed

by Gautham Nagesh

2013 Stiff Jab Prospect of the Year Mike “Yes Indeed” Reed has signed with Bob Arum’s Top Rank Promotions, joining the likes of Muhammad Ali and Manny Pacquiao.

Reed’s team announced the signing on Thursday, after it had been rumored for weeks. While there are a number of local DMV fighters signed with Golden Boy Promotions and top manager Al Haymon, Reed is one of the few East Coast fighters signed to Top Rank, which focuses mostly on the West Coast and Mexican fighters. The news is proof of what we have said all along: at 21, Reed is the most proven best young boxer in the DMV.

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“I am delighted to sign with Top Rank. They’ve been successful for a long time, and have promoted the biggest names in boxing,” Reed said in a statement. “I am excited to have the same opportunities as the legends that came before me. Top Rank clearly has an understanding of how to market their fighters and they know how to build pay-per-view superstars. Team Reed is looking forward to having a long, successful relationship with one of the most prestigious promotional companies in boxing.”

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A History of Women’s Boxing by Malissa Smith

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by Sarah Deming

The first time I spoke to author Malissa Smith, proprietress of the indispensable blog girlboxing, we argued about skirts in the ring. This was right before the 2012 Olympic Trials, and I had called to get her take on the competitive field in Spokane. 

The internets were buzzing over the proposal that women boxers make their Olympic debut in skirts, but I didn’t want to talk about that. I was sick of the media posing female fighters in evening gowns or talking about their history of sexual abuse. Couldn’t we just treat them as athletes?

“The skirt thing is a non-issue,” I said. 

Malissa’s rage exploded from my cell phone. “It is not a non-issue! It’s a profound insult to the athleticism of the women entering this sport. It completely undermines them.

“I’d fight naked if I could be in the Olympics,” I said.

Stiff Jab Presents: The Fourth Judge Podcast Episode 25

The Knicks have crashed and burned out of Summer League play. Fire Fisher! Can Phil!

Will JR Smith and Iman Shumpert ring in the New Year as New York Knickerbockers? There’s a 69% chance!

PLUS: Mid-Year Music Awards! Beyonce is overrated, Ought are amazing, Rick Ross is fat!

And MORE!

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