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First and foremost, congratulations to Nate Diaz and Misha Tate for accomplishing the upset defeats of two previously unbeaten UFC fighters, Conor McGregor and Holly Holm. Heading into the pay-per-view (PPV) event, fans were excited to see two of the company’s top marketable fighters come in and get wins that would ensure larger pay-days with the mystical UFC 200 approaching in the fall.
In the preview article to this fight, it was stated that Holm looked weight-drained at the weigh-in Friday afternoon and it showed in the fight versus Tate. For those new to MMA or Boxing, weight-drained is when a fighter has to cut weight to make the limit agreed upon in the fight contract. Many fighters walk around at a natural weight, then have the tools and metabolism to drop weight to meet the limit, then can re-hydrate to get back to fighting condition. The problem with draining your body 24 hours prior to a fight is extreme dehydration and the lack of strength and conditioning that comes along with the tactic. As Holm looked horrible at the weigh-in, odds makers made sure to bet Tate and got paid. Because it’s about money, right? Prize fighting is about the prize? If so, the biggest winner of every pay-per-view is the promoter and company president Dana White.
White spewed venomous words of disdain to Holm and her manager Lenny Fresquez for taking the Tate fight prior to the highly anticipated rematch with the previous champion Ronda Rousey. Anytime there is an emotional response in business, it’s obvious that future money was lost. For a guy reportedly worth $350 million, as stated by Forbes.com, White is obviously just another greedy business man that has no empathy for his employees. Diaz not receiving a contracted win-bonus has to be the biggest crock ever in the UFC. United For Conor seems to be the only angle heading into UFC 196 that was clear. As the upsets piled up with nearly all-time UFC PPV buys soaring, the UFC took a short-term hit financially, but as sure as water in the ocean, the company will continue to be a global phenomenon.
The future of the UFC is absolutely promising and will continue to be a cash cow for Dana White and the rest of the executives, not the fighters. The smoke and mirrors of this sport are coming to fruition as fans are starting to get a sense of Pro Wrestling marketing when it comes to match-making. The houses and cars are rented, and the pension is non-existent. Fighters need to recognize that they are the true product and brand themselves without White. McGregor and Holm both should turn to boxing and promote themselves. Not only are both fighters obvious strikers (both choked out in losses) they both can self-promote themselves and get paid! It’s prize fighting, isn’t the point to get paid? You don’t have to fight for a belt to “get paid”, and that was obvious as White boasted about his gate figures and viewership in a huge pay-per-view turnout despite his main-event being a non-title fight.
With 12 pay-per-views per year the attention span of MMA fans is quite comical. In the 1990’s, boxing fans complained about Mike Tyson fights being too short with his countless knockouts coming within the first 3 rounds; Love him or hate him, you paid. Now-a-days 1st round knockouts are what people actually pay for and it’s ridiculous. With the viewership on the rise, thanks to White-hype style of promotion, one can only hope that the education of the fans also increases. See for yourself, ask a MMA fan how he would score a fight? The answers will vary from a level of understanding down to a level of ridiculousness. MMA is not intended to be a backyard brawl sport, but that is the type of intellect it attracts. Not many know what they’re watching or even why, but all have paid they’re money and UFC thanks everyone! Stay tuned for the next pay-per-view next month and the return of the high morals fighter Jon “blow” Jones.