Posts tagged MMA

The Wage Gap Exists (in the UFC)

Cat Zingano photo by Esther Lin for Invicta

by Dr. Octagon, J.D.

When President Obama talks about the wage gap (the concept that men are paid more than women for equal work) I usually just try to ignore him, because he’s a liar that pretends to be all chill, but in reality is spying on all of us.  

So anyway, Barry puts the wage gap at 77% and because he’s a big fucking liar he’s using a number that’s different than the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which goes with 81% or 86% depending on how you calculate it. To make things even more hilarious, the Bureau of Labor Statistics is in the Labor Department, which is part of the Executive Branch (for those of you not following me here, the BLS is a bunch of guys who ultimately answer to the President and whose job it is to calculate shit like this.)

So basically, there is a wage gap between the sexes that liberals say is gigantic and due to persistent discrimination and conservatives say it is due to women taking themselves out of the workforce to make babies or going into jobs that require less of the particularly remunerative specializations such as maths and sciences that men statistically excel at. This esteemed publication tries not to be political, so we’re not going to tell you where our sympathies lie.

Like Barack Obama, UFC boss Dana White also is known spin the truth every now and again, most recently calling out the venerable MMA journalist Dave Meltzer for something that he did not say. Unlike Barack Obama, Dana White is not concerned with the wage gap whatsoever.  

Manvel Gamburyan is a male fighter who is not currently ranked in the UFC’s Top 15 (but you could argue could be included in the top 10) and had the first fight of the night at UFC 178, which was not even broadcast on the televised undercard. The only way to see it was on UFC Fightpass. How much would you say he was paid to show (what he would have made if he did not win)?

He made $25,000. Now I am barely scraping the bottom of the barrel with this blogging gig (and rightly so, I really don’t work that much), but that doesn’t seem to be a lot of money to train for a fight and get into a cage with a man trying to punch my face in. You know, he has to have a full training camp, travel to the fight with all his coaches, pay his coaches, pay Mike Dolce, etc. In the interest of transparency, Manny also made an additional $25,000 because he won. 

On the other hand we have Cat Zingano, who is the best female fighter in the UFC other than Ronda Rousey (according to the UFC’s rankings), who fought on the main card, that people paid around sixty bucks each to watch. How much do you think she made to show up? It must have been at least a little bit more than Manny Gamburyan, right? Nope. $9,000 to fight (another $9,000 to win). That’s right. Not exactly five figures, but almost there.  

So Cat Zingano, who was on the Pay Per View Card and is the second-best female fighter in the entire UFC got paid 36% of the amount that Manny Gamburyan made to fight on teh internets.  But let’s compare apples to apples. Dominick Cruz also fought on the Pay Per View card and is similarly ranked to Zingano. He got paid 50k to show up. He’s a former champ, so there’s that, but she’s still only making 18% of what he is.  

This is pretty common for sports, due to things like the laws of supply and demand and the invisible hand of the market and shit like that, which is why Carmelo Anthony makes more money than the entire WNBA roster. But there aren’t a lot of other sports where men’s and women’s competitions are on the same show.

Also, it’s sort of hard to argue that there’s no demand to see Zingano fight, when the UFC is sticking her on the portion of the card that you have to pay for. You’d think the wage gap would be a little lower.  

So there you go: MMA fighters aren’t making money. But female fighters in particular are getting screwed.

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:

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. 

UFC 175 Results: Ronda Rousey Rolls, Chris Weidman Wins


Photos by Getty Images for Zuffa LLC

by Dr. Octagon, J.D.

Bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey (above) needed just 16 seconds to win on Saturday at UFC 175 in Las Vegas, while Chris Weidman (below) won a terrific battle against Lyoto Machida to keep his middleweight title.

Rousey’s opponent Alexis Davis opened up as a 20-1 underdog and looked very much the part while getting steamrolled in the first minute. Ronda landed a punch, followed by a knee, then put Davis down with a spectacular judo throw that morphed into a headlock. From there all it took was roughly ten undefended strikes to the face before referee Yves Lavigne stepped in to stop the fight. Davis was clearly out of it; she attempted to grapple with Lavigne after the fight was over and clearly had no clue what had happened.


World Series of Fighting 11 Results

by Dr. Octagon, J.D.

World Series of Fighting had a pretty exciting card this afternoon, with some solid action from fighters who are definitely UFC-caliber (especially given the frequency of UFC events these days). Seriously guys, Marcus Brimage is on the undercard of the UFC 175 Pay Per View.  

Melvin Guillard looked pretty good in a slugfest with J.Z. Cavalcante. Melvin was getting the better of the exchanges, but he was also the beneficiary of a seemingly early stoppage, since JZ was still on his feet. Guillard also weighed in three pounds over the lightweight limit, not a great sign from the longtime UFC stalwart.

It’s rare to see a fight stopped while a fighter is on his feet in MMA (as opposed to boxing), but maybe we could use more of them. JZ was getting his ass kicked, and ate a particularly large knee before the stoppage, so there’s probably not going to be much of an uproar over this one. Melvin by TKO in 2:36

Cody Bollinger won by rear naked choke in the first round at 2:37 against Pablo Alonso. This was a nice quick fight, but Bollinger said he will move up to 145 lbs. after weighing in two pounds above the 135-lb limit for this fight.

Jon Fitch put a vicious ground-and-pound on the thoroughly over-matched Dennis Hallman, winning all three rounds on all three cards. The whole fight took place on the ground, but it was more exciting than a typical Fitch fight, with oodles of ground striking.  

The battle of the undefeated lightweights in the main event was tough to watch. Justin Gaethje was able to keep the fight on the feet against one-handed (congenital amputee) submission expert Nick Newell. Gaethje teed off on Newell for what seemed like the longest 1.5 rounds I’ve ever watched.  

I know it was a championship fight and everything, but I wouldn’t have minded seeing it stopped earlier. Gaithje retains the belt with a KO at 2:36 of Round 2 via overhand right. Newell remains the most badass one-armed man on the planet.

Chael Sonnen Fails Drug Test, Retires On UFC Tonight

Chael Sonnen photo by Josh Hedges for Zuffa LLC

by Dr. Octagon, J.D.

Former UFC middleweight and lightweight contender Chael Sonnen failed his random drug test and is no longer fighting Vitor Belfort at UFC 175.  

For those of you at home, that makes three middleweights in the last month or so who failed drug tests (well Wandy technically just ran away, but you know…) While Sonnen had previously announced that he was going to appeal, on Wednesday night he seemed to change his mind and retired on-air on UFC Tonight.  

Chael tested positive for Anastrozole and Clomiphene, which are not steroids, but rather estrogen blockers. People who know way more about this stuff than I do have said that these are the sort of things you take to transition from Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) usage. There’s also been a claim about Chael having fertility issues, which I don’t really understand. Sometimes it seems like you need an M.D. in juicehead bro-science to cover MMA.

Benson Henderson Beats Rustam Khabilov by Rear Naked Choke in 4th

by Dr. Octagon, J.D.

Rustam Khabilov looked good at first but Benson Henderson’s experience was a little too much for him tonight. .

In the fourth round Benson landed a right uppercut and a left, jumped on Khabilov’s back and locked up a quick rear naked choke for his first UFC finish, as hard as that is to believe.

Benson looked a little leaner than usual, but still gigantic for the weight class. This was a quality fight on a night of crappy fights and weird stoppages and decisions. 

Khabilov looked impressive at the outset, displaying good grappling and solid striking. Khabilov was able to escape from some tight spots. He’s going to be a force to be reckoned with soon, but Henderson proved the better man for now.

Diego Sanchez Wins Worst Decision Ever

by Dr. Octagon, J.D.

I’m only catching up on the UFC right now because I was watching the middleweight championship, but I just wanted to note that Diego Sanchez won the worst decision in the history of MMA over Ross Pearson tonight.  

I really don’t think that’s hyperbole.  For the record, I think the previous worst was Diego’s “win” over Martin Kampmann

I had it 30-27 for Ross, who bloodied Diego as he came forward swinging wildly, as per usual. The judges are apparently just giving out points for whoever moves the most at this point, whether or not anything lands.  

Benson Henderson, who also excels at winning fights by doing things that are impressive to judges rather than actually causing damage, is up next.  

Here are the Fightmetric Stats.

UFC 173 Live: Renan Barao vs TJ Dillashaw

Photo by Stephen R. Sylvanie for USA Today Sports

by Dr. Octagon, J.D.

TJ Dillashaw (right) has been telling everyone, “I’m the underdog because he’s the champ.”

More like you’re the underdog because you’re coming off a one fight win streak and UFC bantamweight champ Renan Barao hasn’t lost since 2005. That said, the talk about Barao being the top pound-for-pound MMA fighter is fucking joke. No one is close to light heavyweight champ Jon Jones.  

TJ’s a heavy underdog, but anything can happen in MMA and all the Team Alpha Male guys have improved since Duane Ludwig has been coaching there. Duane’s leaving now due to personality conflicts, but no one can deny that he’s brought a lot of success to Uriah Faber’s gym. A shitload of Brazilians made the trip to support Barao. We’re rooting for TJ though, because he’s from the USA. Live updates after the jump:

UFC 173: Daniel Cormier vs Dan Henderson

Photo by Esther Lin for MMA Fighting

by Dr. Octagon, J.D.

Excellent co-main event here at UFC 173. Old guy versus fat guy. Both Olympians. Dan Henderson (right) was for some reason a bigger underdog then that barista who Daniel Cormier fought last time. Cormier is one of the elites in the light heavyweight division, after coming down from heavyweight so he doesn’t have to fight his bro Cain Velazquez.

Dan Henderson, again proving that he’s the baddest man on the planet, weighed in at 199 pounds for a fight at light heavyweight (205 lbs) against a guy cutting a ton of weight. Henderson is 43 years old and is no longer permitted to use testosterone replacement therapy, which was recently banned in Las Vegas. Vitor Belfort has basically dropped off face of the earth after TRT was banned.

Henderson just took a fight after a two month layoff. The longer he waits, the older he gets. He has terrible cardio at this point, but still has one-punch knockout power due to old man strength in his right hand and can put anyone to sleep. This should be a fun fight that doesn’t require a ton of typing before the little guys start flying around the cage. Live updates after the jump:

Jake Ellenberger vs Robbie Lawler

by Dr. Octagon, J.D.

Jake Ellenberger is coming off a terrible loss to Rory MacDonald where MacDonald basically just jabbed him for three rounds and Ellenberger looked flabbergasted. Jake’s really explosive, but isn’t the most sophisticated fighter on the planet.  Uncle Dana yelled at him after his cowardly fight against Rory, so expect him to come out super aggressive. 

Robbie Lawler is coming off a razor-thin loss to the champ just two months ago, so the short turnaround could hurt him. Jake came in to the Coolio classic “Gangsta’s Paradise” from the Dangerous Minds soundtrack. My wife apparently knows all the words to this song. Live updates after the jump:

Takeya Mizugaki vs Francisco Rivera

by Dr. Octagon, J.D.

Apparently my wife really likes Takeya Mizugaki’s Limp Bizkit intro song. Live updates after the jump:

Jamie Varner Breaks Ankle, Keeps Fighting Against James Krause

by Dr. Octagon, J.D.

Let me start by commending UFC boss Dana White on wearing a sport coat that isn’t black. Even announcer Joe Rogan has eschewed his standard all-black wardrobe for a charcoal grey sportcoat. He’s still wearing the shiny black shirt though. It’s progress.  

I totally love the intro music for the PPV. Rap gets me pumped. Metal gets me pumped. So rap metal gets me super pumped. Not terrible at all. I hope they never change it.  /s  

The last time we saw Jamie Varner was at UFC 169, which dear leader Gautham Nagesh and I attended, and where there were as many finishes as there were stabbings (2 of each, no joke, which was probably a win considering we were in Newark, and they metal detectored us on the way in). One of the finishes was Jamie Varner getting his ass knocked out by Abel Trujillo in one of the most amazing MMA comebacks ever. Jamie beat the shit out of Trujillo, but got sloppy and walked into a massive punch.

The story on Varner is that when he’s good, he’s great, but he’s massively inconsistent. Live updates after the jump:

Recap: UFC 173 FS1 Prelims

by Dr. Octagon, J.D.

Al Iaquinta vs. Mitch Clarke: Al Iaquinta controlled Mitch Clarke in the first round, landing a right early and then controlling Clarke on the ground and clearly won it on our card. The second round looked like it was going to be more of the same, but Clarke slapped a D’arce choke on Iaquinta as Iaquinta was passing and the fight  ended after the ref realized that Al had lost consciousness. Mitch Clarke by D’arce choke in round 2.

Chico Camus vs. Chris Holdsworth: Chico Camus had no answer for Chris Holdsworth on the ground. It seemed as though Camus was Betwixt and Between Holdsworth’s legs the whole fight, as the TUF champ was in full mount the whole fight. 30-27 Holdsworth and a great fight for the TUF winner. 

Tony “Turd” Ferguson vs. Katsunori Kikuno: Katsunori Kikuno’s hourglass stance (he basically stands straight up with his hands down, didn’t really work out too well agsint Mr. Ferguson’s long jab, which was finding Kikuno’s face on a regular basis. Kikuno eventually resorted to running away and Tony chased him down, slammed him and sunk in a D’arce choke, but Kikuno was able to get up. Kikuno was clearly dazed though, so Tony landed a big right and didn’t need to follow him to the ground for the fight to be stopped.  

Ferguson by KO in the first. Good night for TUF alums so far. 

With that we’re going to a break to hype the UFC 173 Pay Per View. I have this Harley commercial memorized. Every time I watch it, it seems cornier than the last time. #stereotypicalharley 

Michael Chiesa vs. Francisco Trinaldo: Really long feeling out process in the first round. Michael Chiesa got tagged a few times, but was able to work a takedown and trapped Francisco Trinaldo’s arm and lit him up from the full mount. Fantabulous ground and pound. 10-8 round for Chiesa or the judges are blithering idiots.  

In the second, Trinaldo caught Chiesa in a guillotine and pulled guard, but Chiesa popped his sweaty head out and ended up on top. Trinaldo got out, but then went for a heel hook and then ended up getting his ass beat on the bottom again. Tons of elbows. Terrible fight IQ from Trinaldo who was getting his ass beat on the ground in the first and then actively took the fight to the ground in the second.  

Third round saw a big kick to the junk from Trinaldo, but Chiesa knew he was tired so kept fighting shortly thereafter. Trinaldo was not nearly active enough on the feet in the third, probably because he was so tired. Chiesa landed a takedown with three minutes to go and the fight was over. We had it 30-26 for Chiesa.  

Judges score it unanimously 30-26 30-26 and 30-27 for Chiesa. Nice fight. 

Stay tuned for Pay Per View coverage.  

UFC 173 Fightpass Prelims Recap: 3 Decisions

by Dr. Octagon, J.D.

Jingliang Lee vs. David Michaud: Terrible fight, but I guess this is the first fight of the Fightpass Prelims, so that’s what you get. Neither fighter looked particularly sharp on the feet or on the ground. Jingliang Li won by split decision (29-28, 28-29 and 30-27), but I’d say he won decisively. The judge that had it 30-27 was closer to the truth.  

Aaron Philips vs. Sam Sicilia: Aaron Philips looks like he has some potential with some really nice kicking techniques, but he was not prepared to brawl with Sam Sicilia. Sicilia didn’t give Philips any breathing room to get off his kicks and won a unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28 and 30-27).

Vinc Pichel vs. Anthony Njokuani: I had never seen Vinc Pichel fight before, but he looked really great and dominated Anthony Njokuani through three rounds. Part of it might have been that the combination of the eye poke and the kick to nuts that Njokuani took in the first round sapped him of some of his energy. The second round was particularly lopsided for Pichel, who took down Njokuani at will. Pichel took a unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28 and 30-27).