- Corey Hill's post-fight care. Yes, he suffered a horrific injury in the Octagon, but by all accounts his employers did right by taking care of him and having a Zuffa lackey stay with him in the hospital. I can't think of many other promotions out there that would have gone to those lengths for a hurt fighter.
- Treating fans like gold. There aren't too many sports where a fan can win a contest and get VIP treatment at an event, or where a fan can approach and mingle with the president.
- The UFC's on-air tribute to Mask of the TapouT crew at UFC Fight Night 18. It was fitting, and it felt like the UFC really cared.
- Listening to the fans. When Zuffa first took over they put together a BJ Penn vs. Din Thomas match-up because that's what fans online wanted to see. Of course, in an entertainment-based industry, letting the audience drive your business may seem like a no-brainer now, but keep in mind that SEG (the UFC's previous owners) didn't always make the fights everyone wanted to see.
- Contributing to charities and causes. While the UFC's "Fight for the Troops" event may be the most recent example, the organization has been sending fighters to hospitals to visit sick children and sending fighters and merchandise to soldiers since the beginning. At the end of the day, that really means something.
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
Zuffa may do some douchey things for the sake of business (or spite), but they have done a few things that were benevolent, and those actions should not be glossed over or forgotten. Here are just five cool things the UFC has done:
If not for Zuffa, the UFC and the sport of mixed martial arts would be no where near as accepted and popular as it is today. That said, Dana White and company have done some seriously shady things. Sure, business is business, but the media wouldn't be doing its job if it didn't point out some of the skeezy, underhanded practices Zuffa has pulled off. Can I get an amen? So here are the top five shadiest moves perpetrated by the UFC:
- Approaching fighters in their locker rooms and handing them bonus money with the instructions that it's for the fighter and only for the fighter. I guess managers and agents don't deserve a cut, eh?
- Courting fighters like Fedor Emelianenko and Kimbo Slice fervently, then bashing them as subpar when they don't sign with their organization.
- Banning media that gives coverage to other MMA organizations.
- Threatening to cut all American Kickboxing Academy fighters when AKA fighter Jon Fitch is reluctant to agree to a questionable lifetime contract signing away his likeness in perpetuity for a UFC video game.
- Disallowing managers and agents backstage. Sure, there's a degree of boo-frickin-hoo involved with this issue, but if representatives of the organization are going to approach fighters backstage with a bonus check or contract to be signed, the fighter should be allowed to have his manager or agent present. Otherwise, it's just shadiness, man. Shadiness.
Predictions for UFN 18: "Condit vs. the Harsh Reality That Fighters in the WEC Weren't Exactly the Best"
Tonight is another harrowing installment of UFC Fight Night, which will serve as the prelude to the opening episode of "The Ultimate Fighter - Season Eleven Quabillion". On deck is WEC welterweight champ Carlos Condit taking on Danish fighter Martin Kampmann, which should be a real test for Condit and an excellent gauge as to where WEC champs rank amongst "real" fighters. An interesting sidenote about WEC champs: to get credentials for UFC events, they have to perform chores backstage; Condit is actually well-known for his backrubs. And now, on to the predictions.
- In the main event bout between Condit and Kampmann, Condit is going to lose.
- When Condit squares off against the former UFC middleweight fighter, he's going to realize in dramatic fashion that the WEC fighters he faced weren't exactly the best fighters out there.
- Condit is going to get smoked like a cheap, poorly-rolled joint behind the cafeteria during study hall.
- "Carlos, don't do it! You're going to die!"
- As William Shakespeare once said, "Frailty, thy name is Condit."
- Carlos Condit is not only not going to win, but he's also going to lose.
According to a report on Sherdog.com, Zuffa has now barred fighters from talking with their managers and agents, going so far as to refuse to issue UFC and WEC event credentials for those representing fighters and forbidding fighters from even talking with such people. Also under consideration is a ban on all fighters communicating with family and friends - a move that bespeaks of Zuffa's desire to keep its employees isolated and malleable. "This is an outrage!" says Ken Pavia, a well-known agent and vampire who has often perched himself up in a venue's rafters and preyed upon the unsuspecting backstage. "You can't keep a fighter away from his representation. It's wrong. Besides, how am I supposed to feed?" Emails to Zuffa for comment went unreturned.