Thursday, April 17, 2008
Recent reports indicate that billionaire Calvin Ayre's BodogFIGHT is in its final death throes. This news - while disappointing - doesn't come as a shock, as industry insiders have been witnessing the promotion hemorrhage money since its inception in 2006. Where did BodogFIGHT go wrong? Some may point to the dismal pay-per-view buy rates for their "USA vs. Russia" and "Clash of Nations" shows, the poorly-attended "Alvarez vs. Lee" event, or the ill-conceived reality TV series broadcast on the barely-watched ION Television network. However, one thing above all else was the biggest nail in BodogFIGHT's coffin: the size of the food and drink spread backstage. At their event in Trenton, New Jersey, a hot buffet of sliced roast beef, roasted potatoes and steamed vegetables complimented a large selection of fresh fruit, juice and granola bars - an offering that, though appreciated, was both excessive and unnecessary. Is there a direct correlation between the success of an organization and the free grub it provides? During Zuffa's early years of UFC ownership they went overboard with their backstage fingerfoods; they have since mended their ways and now thrive. Conversely, Pride's own catered spread was legendary. Where are they now? Even the IFL has wised up, offering up a stack of pizzas to the press and nothing more. When an autopsy is performed on BodogFIGHT, analysts will no doubt claim that losses outstripped profits or similar financial mumbo-jumbo. But smaller promotions succeeded with far less in terms of resources - and they only handed out bottles of water.
Although the welterweight title bout between Matt Serra and Georges St. Pierre headlines UFC 83 this weekend, the middleweight match-up of TUF 3 winner Michael Bisping and TUF 4 veteran Charles McCarthy has garnered quite a bit of attention - due in no small part Bisping's knack for trash talking. MMA Journalist caught up with the articulate Brit to get his thoughts on his upcoming fight. "My read and write? I'm telling you, mate, the bloke's brown bread." Is Bisping concerned at all with McCarthy's jiu-jitsu? "Ha! E's a vertical bacon sandwich, e' is. Always rabbitting on about something, but the ginger will quiet up once I punch 'im in the mincer and give 'im an ocean liner. Know wha' I mean, geezah? Now excuse me, but I 'ave one in the departure lounge and 'ave to float a sausage to the seaside."