Carlos Condit’s spirit is still willing. But the results just aren’t there anymore.
The popular former welterweight champion known as “The Natural Born Killer” had a competitive matchup with Alex Oliveira on Saturday night. but Alex Oliveira, who took the UFC on FOX 29 bout on two weeks’ notice when Matt Brown pulled out, was simply too much.
Oliveira beat Condit via guillotine choke at Gila River Arena in Glendale, Ariz., with the finish coming at 3:17 of the second round. That means New Mexico native has lost four straight fights, five of six, and seven of nine.
Both fighters had their moments in an action-packed first round. Condit likely got the nod in the round, though, as he finished strong and had Oliveira in a tight rear-naked choke. Oliveira was saved by the horn.
The second was similarly a whirlwind of action. The turning point came when Oliveira landed a wicked upkick to the jaw. An already bloody Condit fell into Oliveira’s guard. From there, it was a matter of time before Condit fell into Oliveira’s choke, and while he held out as long as he could, he eventually had to tap.
Minus a no-contest, Oliveira (19-5-1), who had his 16th career finish victory, has now won five of his past six fights, with the only loss in that span a Fight of the Year contender loss to Yancy Medeiros in December.
Paul Felder was completely baffled by what he witnessed at the Barclays Center following the UFC 223 media day last Thursday.
“The Irish Dragon” was not on the bus that was attacked by Conor McGregor and his entourage, but is still having a hard time wrapping his head around why the biggest star in MMA would act in such a manner.
“I couldn’t believe it. I was like, ‘What is this guy doing?’” Felder told Ariel Helwani on the latest episode of The MMA Hour.
“What is he on? What’s on his mind? You have everything going on in the world and this is how you act? I couldn’t believe it.”
Initially, the UFC lightweight thought it was Khabib Nurmagomedov’s entourage who were making a beeline for the bus that contained the Russian and several other fighters. At the time, Felder feared that more serious weapons would be used after watching the party launch several objects at the fighters’ bus.
“At first I thought it was some of Khabib’s guys, but then I thought, ‘Wait, that’s Khabib’s bus’. Then I realized it was all the Irish guys and I was like ‘Oh sh*t!’” he remembered.
“Then I saw Conor and I was like, ‘Oh my God!’ There’s Conor running around in the Barclays Center and I couldn’t believe it. I was waiting for someone to pull out a serious weapon. Depending on who you are messing with, you don’t know what these guys are bringing with them.”
The Philadelphia native claimed that he sympathized with the UFC staff, who he claims were being “tossed around” by McGregor’s crew.
“It was scary. I really felt for the UFC staff. I saw some of them getting tossed around and thrown around by some of Conor’s guys. They were in their 50’s too, they were not young guys that were out there. They weren’t fist fighting. They were just making a scene, throwing sh*t at a bus. It was just stupid.”
Dustin Poirier connected against Justin Gaethje early and often at UFC on FOX 29.
The UFC on FOX 29 main event between Dustin Poirier and Justin Gaethje was everything we thought it would be.
For three rounds on Saturday night, the lightweights threw down with ferocity and reckless abandon, thrilling the crowd at Gila River Arena in Gaethje’s backyard of Glendale, Ariz.
But in the fourth, Poirier, his legs chopped up by leg kicks and the victim of two eye pokes, came out and finished the job. Poirier earned the TKO victory in the early clubhouse leader for Fight of the Year at the 33-second mark of the fourth round.
“Justin is a warrior,” Poirier (23-5, 1 NC) said. “This guy would have died in there if Herb Dean didn’t stop the fight.”
The tone was set in the opening round. Geathje peppered Poirier with leg kick after leg kick, then covered up as Poirier closed the distance and scored with crisply thrown combos.
By the second round, Poirier was already switching stances due to the accumulated kicks. But Geathje picked up the volume and it was on, as the duo threw down in a tornado of action.
Things went Geathje’s way in the third round, his best of the fight, as the whirlwind of violence continued unabated. But he was ultimately docked a point by Dean due to his second obvious eye poke of the fight.
While the arena braced for the final rounds, Poirier as having other thoughts. Showing a depth of character as he shrugged off all the accumulated damage, the American Top Team competitor charged forward, landed big shots which wobbled Geathje, and poured it on until Dean had no choice but to wave things off.
Minus a no-contest, Poirier has now won seven of his past eight fights. He put his bid in for a shot at lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov in an interview partially bleeped out by FOX.
Gaethje, the former World Series of Fighting champion, is now 18-2. All three of his fights in the UFC — a win over Michael Johnson and losses to Poirier and Eddie Alvarez — have been Fight of the Year contenders.
Facebook’s founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg faced two days of grilling before US politicians this week, following concerns over how his company deals with people’s data.
But the data Facebook has on people who are not signed up to the social media giant also came under scrutiny.
During Zuckerberg’s congressional testimony he claimed to be ignorant of what are known as “shadow profiles”.
Zuckerberg: I’m not — I’m not familiar with that.
That’s alarming, given that we have been discussing this element of Facebook’s non-user data collection for the past five years, ever since the practice was brought to light by researchers at Packet Storm Security.
Maybe it was just the phrase “shadow profiles” with which Zuckerberg was unfamiliar. It wasn’t clear, but others were not impressed by his answer.
Zuckerberg just said he’s “not familiar” with the term “shadow profiles.”
Facebook’s proactive data-collection processes have been under scrutiny in previous years, especially as researchers and journalists have delved into the workings of Facebook’s “Download Your Information” and “People You May Know” tools to report on shadow profiles.
To explain shadow profiles simply, let’s imagine a simple social group of three people – Ashley, Blair and Carmen – who already know one another, and have each others’ email address and phone numbers in their phones.
If Ashley joins Facebook and uploads her phone contacts to Facebook’s servers, then Facebook can proactively suggest friends whom she might know, based on the information she uploaded.
For now, let’s imagine that Ashley is the first of her friends to join Facebook. The information she uploaded is used to create shadow profiles for both Blair and Carmen — so that if Blair or Carmen joins, they will be recommended Ashley as a friend.
Next, Blair joins Facebook, uploading his phone’s contacts too. Thanks to the shadow profile, he has a ready-made connection to Ashley in Facebook’s “People You May Know” feature.
At the same time, Facebook has learned more about Carmen’s social circle — in spite of the fact that Carmen has never used Facebook, and therefore has never agreed to its policies for data collection.
Despite the scary-sounding name, I don’t think there is necessarily any malice or ill will in Facebook’s creation and use of shadow profiles.
It seems like a earnestly designed feature in service of Facebooks’s goal of connecting people. It’s a goal that clearly also aligns with Facebook’s financial incentives for growth and garnering advertising attention.
But the practice brings to light some thorny issues around consent, data collection, and personally identifiable information.
Some of the questions Zuckerberg faced this week highlighted issues relating to the data that Facebook collects from users, and the consent and permissions that users give (or are unaware they give).
Facebook is often quite deliberate in its characterisations of “your data”, rejecting the notion that it “owns” user data.
That said, there are a lot of data on Facebook, and what exactly is “yours” or just simply “data related to you” isn’t always clear.
“Your data” notionally includes your posts, photos, videos, comments, content, and so on. It’s anything that could be considered as copyright-able work or intellectual property (IP).
What’s less clear is the state of your rights relating to data that is “about you”, rather than supplied by you. This is data that is created by your presence or your social proximity to Facebook.
Examples of data “about you” might include your browsing history and data gleaned from cookies, tracking pixels, and the like button widget, as well as social graph data supplied whenever Facebook users supply the platform with access to their phone or email contact lists.
Like most internet platforms, Facebook rejects any claim to ownership of the IP that users post.
To avoid falling foul of copyright issues in the provision of its services, Facebook demands (as part of its user agreements and Statement of Rights and Responsibilites) a:
…non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use any IP content that you post on or in connection with Facebook (IP License). This IP License ends when you delete your IP content or your account unless your content has been shared with others, and they have not deleted it.
If you’re on Facebook then you’ve probably seen a post that keeps making the rounds every few years, saying:
In response to the new Facebook guidelines I hereby declare that my copyright is attached to all of my personal details…
Part of the reason we keep seeing data scares like this is that Facebook’s lacklustre messaging around user rights and data policies have contributed to confusion, uncertainty and doubt among its users.
It was a point that Republican Senator John Kennedy raised with Zuckerberg this week (see video).
Senator John Kennedy’s exclamation is a strong, but fair assessment of the failings of Facebook’s policy messaging.
After the grilling
Zuckerberg and Facebook should learn from this congressional grilling that they have struggled and occasionally failed in their responsibilities to users.
It’s important that Facebook now makes efforts to communicate more strongly with users about their rights and responsibilities on the platform, as well as the responsibilities that Facebook owes them.
This should go beyond a mere awareness-style PR campaign. It should seek to truly inform and educate Facebook’s users, and people who are not on Facebook, about their data, their rights, and how they can meaningfully safeguard their personal data and privacy.
Given the magnitude of Facebook as an internet platform, and its importance to users across the world, the specter of regulation will continue to raise its head.
Ideally, the company should look to broaden its governance horizons, by seeking to truly engage in consultation and reform with Facebook’s stakeholders – its users — as well as the civil society groups and regulatory bodies that seek to empower users in these spaces.
One of the most successful female boxers of recent times will be crossing over to MMA on Friday night.
Five-division boxing world champion Amanda Serrano will be making her MMA debut under at Combate Americas. Serrano will be taking on Corina Herrera in an 125-pound contest that’s set to go down in the co-main event of Combate Estrellas 1 at Shrine Expo Hall in Los Angeles.
Serrano’s journey in combat sports couldn’t have had a more casual start. There was no burning desire or unceasing determination to become who she is today — one of the most accomplished fighters in women’s boxing history.
Serrano was born in 1988 in Carolina, Puerto Rico, but grew up in Brooklyn, N.Y. She was raised in Bushwick long before the hipsters arrived in the neighborhood (she still lives with her parents in the same house she was brought up in). Her older sister, Cindy Serrano, had picked up boxing through her husband Jordan Maldonado during Serrano’s early teenage years. Cindy would eventually turn to professional boxing and do quite well in that profession, becoming a multiple-division world champion herself.
Growing up, Serrano watched her sister evolve in the sweet science, yet had no interest in strapping on the gloves. Looking to make some money while still getting through school, Serrano got a job as a babysitter in the boxing gym her sister Cindy trained at. Years went by and there was still no interest in fighting.
But after graduating high school in 2006, and not knowing what do do next like most 18-year-olds, Serrano decided to sign up to one of the most prestigious amateur boxing tournaments. Because, why not?
“I started at 18,” Serrano told MMA Fighting. “I graduated high school early and I always had a job at the gym with my brother-in-law, who’s my trainer now. I always saw the guys and my sister progress, and the guys come in and out, and always fighting for the New York Golden Gloves. I knew that that was a prestigious tournament, so I signed up for the Golden Gloves, and the same exact day I sent the application is the same day I started training boxing.”
When Serrano told Maldonado and her sister Cindy that she had signed up for the Golden Gloves, the two didn’t take the news too well.
“They didn’t want me to fight at all because she (Cindy) was struggling,” Serrano explained. “At that time there was nothing, there were only a couple of female pro fighters, so my coach tried to persuade me (not to fight) and he told my sister, ‘Beat her up until she doesn’t want to do it no more,’ but I kept coming back and he kept saying, ‘Beat her up again, beat her up again.’ And at one point he thought my sister was taking it easy on me and he would tell her, ‘Yo, really beat her up,’ and she was like, ‘I’m trying, she’s just fighting back,’ so after that he was like, ‘Wow, maybe she really wants to do it.’ So that’s when he decided to work with me.”
Serrano’s father was in full support of her boxing career, but her mother was not. Serrano’s mom didn’t want to see her youngest child come home crying or with black eyes just as she would with her sister Cindy.
Serrano fought in the Golden Gloves three months after she started training. She lost her first amateur fight, but would later come back to win the Golden Gloves in 2008. Even then, Serrano had no interest in having a professional career in boxing.
“Not at all,” Serrano said with a laugh. “After I won the Golden Gloves, I took a little bit of time off because I didn’t know what to do.
“To me, it wasn’t necessary to continue to win them, like to be a five-time Golden Gloves champion, it makes no sense. So in 2009, we got a phone call from a girlfriend from Albany, N.Y. She was a great amateur fighter, and she offered us a great fight and I was like, “What the hell, I’m getting paid for it so I might as well do it.’
“We took the fight just to take it, not knowing that my career would’ve taken off and me becoming one of the most accomplished female fighters. So we took the fight just to take it and in my pro debut I made good money. I fought in the girl’s home town and we were the main event – two female pro debutants were the main event – and I beat her and after that, my sister already had the name in the sport, so people started paying attention. We had a couple of promoters give us a call, so we decided, ‘OK, let’s see where this is going to take us.’”
Serrano became a professional boxer in 2009, and from that point on, she went on to fight 36 times, compiling a professional record of 34-1-1 and picking up a few world championships along the way:
“The first title I won was the IBF at 130 pounds, and then I won the UBF at 126, and then I won the WBO at 135, then the WBO at 126, and then the WBO at 122, and then the WBO at 118.”
And that’s just counting the world titles and not the several other regionals championships she won, which she doesn’t really count.
Yet, despite making history and becoming the only female boxer to win world titles in five different divisions and the only Puerto Rican boxer to become a five-division world champion, things didn’t look too great for Serrano, which speaks volumes about the state of women’s boxing.
“There isn’t a light at the end of the tunnel in female boxing,” Serrano said. “It’s kind of right now, well it’s always been at a stand still. It goes in and out. It has its uproars, but then it goes right back down. I started training and I’ve been thinking about MMA for like two years, but when I started kicking and stuff like that, we had a good opportunity to fight in Showtime Extreme and in over 10 years a girl hasn’t fought in a big network like that. So we thought that that was the path and the step needed to become a Showtime fighter or HBO or those type of networks.
“I fought on Showtime Extreme twice, I got my five division (titles), so I thought after that I would definitely get people knocking on the door to get better opportunities and get people to take notice and still nothing was going on. And I’m still waiting by the phone for a big opportunity and nothing.”
Frustrated with her boxing career, Serrano, interestingly enough, ended up linking with the Mount Rushmore of women’s MMA in a movie set. Serrano was part of a film called Fight Valley along with UFC stars Holly Holm, Miesha Tate and Cris Cyborg. It was then, in 2015, that Serrano realized how big and lucrative women’s MMA is compared to women’s boxing.
“I saw Holly Holm transition and being a great professional boxer, as well as an MMA fighter,” Serrano said. “And at that time she had just gotten the offer to fight Ronda Rousey and she had told us that her biggest regret was not taking up MMA sooner. So I was like, ‘Wow, she was such a successful boxer and she’s still thinking that way.’ So that always stayed in the back of my head and after winning the five division and I’m still, not struggling, but still trying to make a name for myself in a sport I dedicated 11 years to, so I said, ‘you know, now that I’m still young, and just 29 years old, and I still have the strength, and I feel like I can give it my all I said let me try it now.’
“And we had the great opportunity to sign with Combate Americas, which I’m extremely proud of because they are predominately working with Latinos and I’m a proud Latina, so yeah, I’m excited about that.”
After filming Fight Valley, Serrano began training in muay thai and dabbling with grappling, but still kept boxing as her main focus. In 2017, after becoming a five-division world champion and still getting no big opportunities, Serrano decided it was time to step into the MMA world.
Being the best at her craft, but still having to transition into MMA in search of what boxing couldn’t give her is an experience “The Real Deal” describes as frustrating.
“Its definitely frustrating,” Serrano said. “I dedicated 11 years and now I’m starting on a clean slate. MMA is totally a different sport and you have to give MMA fighters respect because, you know, I can only use 20 percent of my boxing skills in MMA because there is wrestling, there is muay thai, and other things and different aspects. So to actually have to reset my whole mindset and not be in boxing, I have to be a fighter and I’m glad my trainer taught me that early in my career – to become a fighter and not just a boxer. So that went over to MMA, but it’s still a whole new learning process and it’s like starting all over again. I mean, it’s a new sport so that’s the frustrating part.
“I dedicated my life to a sport that’s not giving back and it’s not fair.”
In MMA, it’s standard to watch women fight along men in the same cards and it’s common to see women headline major events. Some of the biggest stars and draws in MMA are females.
Serrano believes the difference between female boxing and female MMA to be night and day. She says willingness from promoters to give females air time is the key difference between the two sports.
“It’s a big difference,” Serrano said. “Its huge, women’s MMA is huge. It’s way bigger than boxing and it’s funny because female boxing has been around for so much longer. You have to give thanks to the veterans like Miesha Tate , Ronda Rousey, Cris Cyborg and all these girls showing that they can fight, as well as Dana White for putting the girls on TV. And that’s what helped female MMA, seeing them on TV and it’s being pushed, so you see a big men’s headline, but on the undercard, there are girls so you have no choice but to watch them.
“If boxing promoters and networks did the same thing, then the audience would be like, ‘okay, there is female boxing,’ and they would start to enjoy it. But they don’t even want to give it a chance or sacrifice one fight (slot) to show on TV, so that’s a major difference between the sports. These promoters are actually putting females on and it’s not just sometimes one, it’s two or three female fights on the card and it’s enjoyable.”
Despite her frustrations with boxing, Serrano is not going to leave the sport she dedicated almost half her life to. With her MMA debut at Friday’s Combate Americas event, Serrano hopes to be the first fighter to hold world titles in both boxing and MMA at the same time.
Serrano, who’s the current WBO champion at 122 pounds, plans on staying in boxing for one more year, as she’s still working with her promotor to get a chance to win her sixth world title. The 29-year-old fighter will fight in both MMA and boxing, but eventually wants to leave boxing to pursue her MMA career in “full force.”
“This is my goal for myself, to become a boxing and MMA champion at the same time,” Serrano said. “I know Holly did it, but she was retired from boxing. Some people might think that’s the better way, so you can just concentrate on MMA, but I definitely want to try it because I’m currently the WBO world champion, so I want to hold on to it as long as I can, so I can become an MMA champion and accomplish that goal.”
Just moments away from beginning her journey in MMA, Serrano, who’s seasoned in hand-to-hand combat, admits there is a different feeling in the air.
“I always get nervous for my fights and this is not a different nervous feeling, but I’m more anxious,” Serrano said. “I just want to see all my hard work, to see if it come through that night. I’m so anxious; I just want to get it over with. I just want to fight and punch somebody with 4-ounce gloves, so it’s just more on an anxious feeling. I cant wait.”
GLENDALE, Ariz. – It’s safe to say that Justin Gaethje did quite well for himself as an MMA fighter.
After all, it took Gaethje 17 pro fights before Eddie Alvarez brought on his first loss. There were five WSOF title defenses during that lengthy winning streak, as well as two insane UFC barnburners with perennial lightweight contender Michael Johnson and, more recently, a former Bellator and UFC champion in Alvarez.
In Saturday’s FOX-televised main event, Gaethje (18-1 MMA, 1-1 UFC) gets to meet another member of the UFC’s 155-pound elite squad in Dustin Poirier(22-5 MMA, 14-4 UFC). He’ll get to do that in what he expects will be a loud Gila River Arena in Glendale, Ariz., filled with his home fans.
Gaethje can say he was “born and bred” for this. But, as he looks back on what was by no means a textbook start in MMA, he advises others to be careful what they ask for.
Justin Gaethje interrupts this UFC on FOX 29 interview to blast ‘turd’ James Vick
“I had never planned on being a fighter in my career,” Gaethje said on Thursday. “I have a human services degree. I wanted to do social work. That’s what I’m going to do when I’m done with. When I was done wrestling, I was like, ‘I should try to fight professionally and make some money.’
“Then I won 17 in a row, and I was fighting Eddie Alvarez on a pay-per-view. It’s like that. It’s how it happened. I was never in a street fight. I had no idea I could fight when I started fighting. I never got punched in the face. Never punched a face. Other than me and my twin brother, always going at it.
“My first amateur fights, I never had a coach. And then I almost got knocked out. Never hit a pad. Never sparred. Never hit a bag. Never even really put boxing gloves on up until after my fifth fight. And then I almost got knocked out, and I was like, ‘If I’m going to try this, I better find a coach. Thank God, I ran into Trevor Wittman.’”
It was an unlikely road, but one that has led Gaethje to a pretty sweet place. On Saturday, the slugger meets Poirier in what will be his third fight for the UFC and certainly a key matchup for the promotion’s lightweight division. Gaethje, of course, is planning on winning that one. And he’s got an idea of which tool might help him get there.
“Leg kicks,” Gaethje said. “I love fighting southpaws. It’s like we’re both staring down the barrel of a gun. He’s got his power side, ready and loaded, and I’ve got my power side, heavy and loaded. It’s a 50/50 game that I really enjoy playing.”
While both Gaethje and Poirier are prepared for the scenario most MMA fans are expecting from the two – a hell of a war – their relationship outside the cage has been amicable. Gaethje respects Poirier, who he knows has fought “the who’s who” of the division and had no problem being in the same room with him earlier in the week.
UFC on FOX 29 main-event breakdown: Dustin Poirier or. Justin Gaethje in high-speed chase?
They agree on some things, too. Like Poirier, Gaethje thinks that the events from this past Saturday’s UFC 223 event brought some clarity to the UFC’s lightweight division, with Conor McGregor being stripped of the title he never defended and Khabib Nurmagomedov emerging as the new champ.
Unlike the unconvinved Poirier, though, Gaethje “absolutely” believes the Dagestani is a legitimate titleholder.
“At 26-0, he’s No. 1 in the world,” Gaethje said. “(He is) on paper, and he’s proven it over and over. I will fight and claw my way until that matchup.”
But there is one thing Gaethje takes issue with when it comes to Nurmagomedov’s early lightweight reign: the fact he asked for a meeting with former welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre after beating replacement opponent Al Iaquinta to earn UFC gold.
10 reasons to watch UFC on FOX 29, with a Poirier-Gaethje headliner that could be straight fire
“He always talks (expletive) about Conor not defending his belt, and if he wants to fight GSP, it will not be at lightweight,” Gaethje said. “So he, therefore, will not be defending his belt. This is the same exact thing he’s talking sh-t about.”
Nurmagomedov’s invitation was, actually, for the 155-pound division. But regardless, there doesn’t seem to be much to worry about there. Not only did the champ himself later downplay the request, St-Pierre also didn’t seem too interested in crashing the lightweight scene.
And, in any case, Gaethje is fine making his way to the top the hard way.
“It doesn’t matter,” Gaethje said. “Tony (Ferguson). The winner of Khabib and now (Edson) Barboza, but it doesn’t matter. I’ve got to get past Poirier, who’s a very dangerous opponent. And I’ll be a fool to look past him.”
Of course, there’s another moving part there: McGregor, who caused a ruckus on fight week with the whole dolly-throwing incident. While McGregor will still have to answer criminally for his apparent role in the attack that injured fighters Michael Chiesa and Ray Borg, the ex-champ’s manager said the Irishman is looking to return shortly.
Conor McGregor’s manager issues short statement, says client wants to fight ASAP after bus attack
Gaethje’s thoughts on the whole situation?
“Conor is going to get punished by paying millions of dollars to people,” he said. “So that’s plenty of punishment. I don’t want him to go anywhere, because like I said, I’m going to fight and claw my way to the championship. Either he’s there or Khabib is there. It doesn’t matter.”
UFC Fight Night Liverpool has got its headliner. Liverpool’s own Darren Till will face off against the welterweight division’s top contender Stephen Thompson on May 27 at the Echo Arena in England. The fight was rumored as a target for UFC before being officially announced on Thursday morning.
Till (16-0-1) had been hoping to get his shot at one of the top contenders at 170 pounds after scoring a quick, first-round KO of Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone last year. Now, he’ll get a shot against a man who fought twice for the title in the hopes of getting his own crack at the belt.
Thompson (14-2-1) is coming off a convincing decision win over Jorge Masvidal at UFC 217 and is hoping to possible get a third shot at champion Tyron Woodley with a victory. Also fighting on this card will be another pair of welterweights in Gunnar Nelson and Neil Magny.
Speaking of Woodley, his possible opponents’ list continues to dwindle. The champion said recently that he’s hoping to get back in the Octagon this summer, possibly July, to defend his title again, but nearly everyone in his division is already booked. It was rumored last week that UFC is targeting an interim 170-pound title fight at UFC 224 in May featuring Rafael dos Anjos and Colby Covington.
With Till and Thompson already on the books and dos Anjos-Covington a possibility, the only options left for Woodley if he should want to fight that quickly would be Robbie Lawler, who is coming off a loss and who Woodley won the belt from, Demain Maia, who Woodley beat in his most recent title defense, or Masvidal, who just lost to Thompson.
From the looks of it, Woodley appears to be sitting out for a little longer than he anticipated.
Longtime UFC commentator Joe Rogan believes dividing fighter payment in MMA into “show” money and “win” money is a dated idea which should be removed from the sport.
For the majority of athletes who compete, the contract structure sees earnings divided into two sections. First is the “show” money, which is guaranteed once the fighter successfully makes weight and steps in the cage for their bout. From there, the rest is largely based upon results.
In most situations, a victory means double the earnings for a fighter. The system was originally thought to have been a motivator to pursue the win by any means necessary, but Rogan said he’s not a fan of that approach – not only because he thinks the reasoning is off base, but also because there’s a variety of circumstances, such as bad refereeing or bad judging, which could cost a fighter a win.
There are a select number of fighters who have been able to negotiate a deal in which they are paid a flat rate, win or lose. That opportunity only seems to exist in the top of the tier, though. Chances are the current payment system is going to be in place well into the future, and Rogan said if that can’t change, it’s important to hold referees and judges accountable if they make a mistake that could hit a fighter in the pocketbook.
“I’ve heard (blowback) from Athletic Commissions, but I say, ‘Go (expletive) yourself,’” Rogan said. “You have guys who train for months and months and months and someone who literally doesn’t understand martial arts is giving these guys a decision, a loss or a win. That’s 50 percent of their money. That’s crazy.”
For more on the UFC schedule, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.
Bantamweight competitor Augusto Mendes was pulled from his upcoming bout at UFC Fight Night in Atlantic City on Wednesday after an out-of-competition drug test was flagged by USADA, but he insists he is innocent.
According to UFC officials, Mendes had a sample taken on March 7 that was flagged as a potential doping violation and due to the close proximity to his upcoming fight on April 21, the promotion pulled him for the event.
Mendes on Wednesday issued a statement, proclaiming his innocence and saying he would exhaust all means to prove it.
August Mendes’ Statement Proclaiming Innocence in His UFC Anti-Doping Violation Case
On March 20th in the afternoon, I was surprised with a notification from USADA (United States Anti-Doping Agency), informing me of a potential violation to their doping regulations on a test presented on March 7th of this month.
In my 20 years of martial arts, I have never used any substance that would enhance my performance. With this being said, I am shocked and express my total innocence on this situation. I put myself 100% in the governing entity disposition to clarify this case as fast as possible under all regulations.
In the past months, I have not changed my supplement routine. I am always respectful of all regulations presented by USADA. I have been tested 7 times in the past year and have passed all with no problems or worries. Because of my professionalism and personal character, I respect the work done by USADA in pro of all MMA fighters and their legitimacy to fight. I will incur in all means necessary and possible that will allow me prove my innocence in this case. I live the glories and feel the bitter taste of defeat that this sport brings.
In 2016, due to a left knee injury, I was forced to sit on the sidelines of all sport activity for a whole year. I know and dislike what a doping sanction can do for my career. I would never make this mistake to myself. For all this, I have been pulled out of my fight with Merab Dvalishvili scheduled for UFC Fight Night 128 on April 21st.
I would like to thank all of my fans who are sending me through social media all sort of words of love, encouragement, trust and confidence that all this will be settled in my favor.
To my fans, friends, training partners, to the UFC and Merab Dvalishvili, I would like to apologize for my absence in the programmed fight and I am confident that a new adversary will be found so you can all have a great fight.
I will see you all soon in the octagon. Thank you!!!
Most of the talk about a proposed superfight between UFC bantamweight champion T.J. Dillashaw and flyweight titleholder T.J. Dillashaw has centered on the idea that Dillashaw would go down to 125 pounds and challenge the longest-reigning current UFC champ for his title.
That goes against the grain of most superfights, in which the smaller competitor tends to step up in weight. Such is the case for the last UFC superfight, when lightweight champion B.J. Penn went up and fought welterweight champ Georges St-Pierre in 2009, or the next one, when light heavyweight champ Daniel Cormier meets Stipe Miocic at UFC 226.
But Johnson, for his part, has a simple explanation for why Dillashaw would come down to his turf: DJ has no interest in defending the bantamweight title, if he was to defeat Dillashaw at 135.
“I’m going to be frank and honest,” Johnson said on Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour. “If I went up there and beat T.J. Dillashaw at 135 pounds, I have no interest whatsoever in staying at 135. People are like ‘why not?’ and I’m like I have no interest in fighting guys who walk around at 160 pounds.”
Johnson, who had a successful run at 135 pounds before the UFC instituted the flyweight division in 2012, is looking at the big picture, and he wholeheartedly believes that fighting competitors significantly heavier than he is over the long term will not help his prospects.
“That’s going to put more wear and tear on your body,” Johnson said. “You can do X, Y, and Z. I’m looking at the my longevity of my career, I want to fight another 5-6 years whether I win or lose, and I’m going to do that fighting guys my size. You look at the ‘Suga Show,’ Sean O’Malley. The guy is 5-11. My god, I mean, it’s just, it creates more, and obviously I would do it if the money was right, but I’m not going to sit here and argue with somebody who doesn’t believe I should make X, Y, and Z, who believe I should do something.”
Johnson, alas, wasn’t able to offer any hint on when the Dillashaw fight might actually happen. While he says it’s still the fight he most wants, and while he would ideally have the fight at UFC 226 along with Miocic vs. Cormier, he reports that talks have gone “dormant.”
“That’s the fight I want,” Johnson said. “That’s the fight I believe that should go down. I believe the UFC knows that’s the fight that I want. The biggest thing I’ve been really focusing on is letting Malki [Kawa] and Abe [Kawa] at First Round Management handle that stuff. I have, they’re great managers and I told them what I want and they talk to the UFC. I think the talks with Malki and those guys have kind have gone dormant.”
For his part, Johnson says he understands the UFC has other options it can look at, but still believes this is the fight to make.
“At the end of the day, UFC is a business,” Johnson said. “T.J. obviously just won the belt and he’s been the champ for maybe five or six months, and so there’s still a line of contenders he could fight in the division. You have your Dominick Cruz, Jimmie Rivera, the Cody Garbrandt rematch, so they have options for that one. Whereas for me, I have options as well and rematches and whatever. But I think TJ wants this fight because it is probably a bigger paycheck for him, and hopefully for me too, so we’ll see what the UFC wants to do.”
If the Dillashaw fight doesn’t work out, and he instead ends up rematching a prior flyweight opponent such as Henry Cejudo or Joseph Benavidez, then so be it.
“At the end of the day, it’s a paycheck,” Johnson said. “If you’re going to make as much money as you are, when you’re fighting someone else, that’s the one thing I always tell people is I would never turn down the truly rightful No. 1 contender in my division, because the UFC can actually strip you. They can say, you’re not going to fight the No. 1 contender, we can strip you. So okay, you know what, Henry Cejudo is the No. 1 contender, we deem him the legit No. 1 contender, and then I’m going to fight him again blah blah blah, if he’s truly the No. 1 contender I will fight them.”
Johnson, who announced a partnership with the energy drink Xevia on Monday’s MMA Hour, is still going through rehab for a shoulder injury, believes he’ll be ready in time for International Fight Week.
And if it does end up Johnson gets the Dillashaw superfight after all, it will be at 125, because he’s far more interested in building on his record 11 consecutive title defenses than in collecting belts in different weight classes.
“[Dillashaw] wants to make the weight cut,” Johnson said. “He wants to make the weight cut, he wants to be the champ champ and all that jazz. I don’t care about being the champ champ. I want to be the only consecutive 12-time defending champion in any mixed martial arts promotion. … The champ champ is old news nowadays. But you know what is brand-new news? 11-time defending champion.”