News, news and more news. I bet you guys and gals thought since the UFC gave us all a couple weeks off, there’d not be much in the way of significant news and/or announcements, but you’d be very wrong on that count.
We’ve got fighters talking about coming out of years-long retirements, this Bisping vs. GSP farce that's dragging along at a snail's pace, holding the belt hostage for another several months, and more fighters issuing ultimatums and fighters “quitting” when they don’t get what they want.
We’ve got a lot to unpack, so let’s get this week’s blog underway.
Chuck Liddell & Matt Hughes Talking About Returning
I’m willing to bet both these guys are still dangerous and could still beat some guys up, but I’m sure losing their high-paying UFC jobs has put some financial stress on them. The thing #ChuckLiddell and #MattHughes unequivocally know how to do is fight, but “I needed the money” shouldn’t really be the motivation for coming back. I sincerely hope everything works out well for both, whatever path they choose.
Bisping vs. GSP Delayed Again?
I read somewhere that if the middleweight title doesn’t get defended until the winter months, it will be the longest that belt hasn’t been fought for. That’s ridiculous, but I’ve said from the beginning that I wasn’t fond of the match-up, and I’m sure most, if not all the division agrees with me. For them to put that fight together, then drag it out another six months is crazy.
I’ve never thought this fight was the right thing to do, but I jumped the line myself. Even with me jumping the line, I DID compete at that weight and above for my entire career and I was ranked in the division at the time. GSP has never competed at that weight, even if he retired as champ in another division, and let’s not forget his three-year layoff which will turn into four years by the time the fight goes down. I’d love to see him come back at 170, or even at 185, but only if he’s willing to fight a contender or two first. Get your title shot the right way.
Fighter Rants, Demands, and Ultimatums: Nate Diaz, Anderson Silva, Gegard Mousasi, Luke Rockhold, & Al Iaquinta
Fighter pay has been an ongoing issue for quite some time, so these complaints and ultimatums are nothing new. The UFC is having more and more shows, so the fighters want more, and they absolutely deserve it. There are lots of guys/ladies that are entertaining and fan-worthy, and they want to get paid better, but the UFC is not budging.
There are other options, though.
Bellator is out there spending money, and there are some guys there that are getting paid more than they would in the UFC. The UFC is still the Number-1 organization, but if they’re not careful, Bellator’s growth and willingness to spend money on their fighters could give them just the boost they need to get on level ground with the top dog. The UFC may have a hold on the industry right now, but their numbers are lower, TV deals will likely not be getting better, and they’ve got a lot of debt. If ever there was a time for a rival organization to make their mark, the time is now.
I think this shift towards not negotiating better contracts or paying the fighters more has been happening for quite a while. They likely started before the sale to give that “running a tight ship” appearance, and now they have a lot more cost-cutting measures (closing foreign offices, etc) in place. They’re trying to save as much money as they can and make as much money as they can. They have heavy financial obligations to their lenders, so I can understand what they’re trying to do, but unfortunately, they have to sacrifice something, and that something seems to be the fighter’s pay.
Read More of my Blogs:
- I Beat Michael Bisping at UFC 204, and I'm Pissed
- I'll Be Taking One of Jonny's Arms Home with Me at Submission Underground
- Bring Back Knees to a Downed Opponent