Another big weekend in the world of fighting, with an underwhelming UFC on FX3 card being nicely offset by an absolute catastrophe in the world of boxing. And we can exclusively confirm that Brock Lesnar is either coming back to the UFC or isn’t*, depending how you interpret Dana White’s comments on Friday night.
(*Glad we could clear that up for you)
Dana White claims meeting with Brock Lesnar didn’t go well - but is that true?
Apparently Dana White’s meeting with Brock Lesnar recently did not go well. It took place after Lesnar turned up at UFC 146. White was all smiles after that event, although he said there was nothing in the works with Lesnar bar a meeting.
But this weekend he said that “the meeting we had didn't really go very well. It wasn't a great meeting. It was probably one of the worst meetings we've ever had with Brock Lesnar. And I honestly have not talked to him since, so, I don't know where we are at.
“It was really bad. It was the worst meeting I've ever had with Brock Lesnar. It was me and Lorenzo, and in my opinion, it couldn't have gone worse.”
This is an interesting comment - White has a reputation as a straight-shooter who is happy to give a warts-and-all picture of what goes on in his role day-to-day. At the same time, he is also something of a politician when the situation requires and this might be one of those situations.
Lesnar’s return to the WWE has apparently not been the bed of roses the two sides were expecting. His publicised appearance at the UFC show is either a leverage mechanism or a genuine expression of interesting in returning. But the WWE contract is apparently exclusive and so that might require circumspection in any public comments from Lesnar or the UFC about their relationship.
Is White just being tactical here? I’d say probably yes. Either with the WWE in mind, or in a veiled comment for Lesnar’s benefit (perhaps Lesnar’s asking price on a return was too high for the UFC to agree to). Either way, I would put money on Lesnar being announced as a UFC returnee before the end of the year, almost certainly for a rubber match with Frank Mir.
Florida fails the UFC and also proves Rashad Evan is not psychic
> Dana White's new t-shirt. Allegedly.
Florida didn’t work out well for the UFC - again.
The Sunshine State was a flop when the UFC first visited six years ago and it was a flop again this past weekend, with ticket sales and attendance for the UFC on FX3 show so poor that afterwards UFC president Dana White publicly expressed doubt about ever returning to the state.
He’s laying the blame on the fans, and anecdotal evidence exists to suggest that Florida sports fans are a fairly apathetic bunch full stop - even the high-flying Miami Heat basketball team sometimes doesn’t have a full house for the first half of their home matches.
But Florida fight fans counter that by saying that there was very little advertising done for the event, with many of them unaware that it was even happening. And of those who were aware, a sizeable proportion were not particularly taken with the card.
Even a novice promoter quickly realises that heavyweights are the big ticket-sellers and, by contrast, the small guys like flyweights and bantamweights are the hardest to promote. This is despite the small guys often having better skills.
And so the fact that UFC on FX3 was headlined by Demetrious Johnson vs. Ian McCall might have been a factor, plus a co-main welterweight wrestler Charlie Brenneman in a fight with the rather new Erick Silva, and a card that didn’t feature much in the way of big names.
This was the first time that the UFC had used flyweights to headline a card and it was not a success - but was it because of the little guys, the lack of promotion or an ingrained Floridian apathy? We will get some useful data when or if the UFC tries to use flyweights to headline a card again. One thing is for sure - we won’t see the UFC in Florida for a long time now.
Irony - Rashad Evans recently relocated to Boca Raton, Florida to train with The Blackzilians. Prior to the event he told the Miami Herald, “I think there’s a lot of fight fans down here. There could be a deep market for the UFC to return. I went to WWE Wrestlemania earlier this year, and it was unbelievable. I think the UFC is capable of doing the same, or even bigger.
“No matter where I go people recognize me,” he said. “Even people who you would never believe watch MMA come up to me to say hello. That’s why I think it’s going to work down here.”
Mind-blowingly incorrect judging decision makes boxing look bent as a seven-dollar note
Great news for MMA at the weekend as the boxing world shot itself in the foot with yet another judging controversy.
We get a lot of bad judging in MMA but we’ve not really seen anything like the decision that was rendered after Manny Pacquiao’s fight with Tim Bradley. The Filipino dominated the fight for twelve rounds, to an extent that even a casual observer could see he was clearly the winner of the fight.
Not so, said two of the judges. They gave Bradley the win by way of a split-decision which has caused outrage around the world. Back in the Philippines, Pacquiao’s mother literally fainted when the decision was read out. Twitter went into meltdown with boxers, celebrities and ordinary fight fans going mental about the result.
The fight’s promoter Bob Arum was initially bullish - “I’m going to make ten million dollars on the rematch!” - but later changed his tune and has declared an intention to lodge an official appeal against the decision with the Attorney-General for the state of Nevada.
It isn’t clear why he is doing that though, as he also admits that the decision can’t be overturned. Conveniently, the contract for the fight - which was for Pacquiao’s WBO belt - had a rematch clause in the case of a loss. So its little wonder that people are talking about fixes and corruption - there had to have been something beyond incompetence involved in those two judges returning the scores they did.
The whole situation was neatly summed up by legendary rapper Snoop Dogg on Twitter: “Ain't that sum bullsh-t. Boxing is a wrap. Going bacc on that ultimate fighting.”
(*Interesting fact - Mr Dogg spells ‘back’ as ‘bacc’ because Crip gang members such as himself will not use the letters ‘ck’ in combination. The letters ‘ck’ denote ‘crip killer’ in the parlance of the rival Bloods gang.)