Tag Archives: Ariel Helwani

Jones vs. Sonnen

With many controversial opinions still swirling around LHW champ Jon Jones turning down a short notice fight with Chael Sonnen, I figured I would offer my opinion on both signs of the argument with business in mind.

The main point of contention is that as champion, Jon Jones should be willing to fight anyone at any time, let alone a “out of shape” middle-weight stepping up on eight days notice. Many people who criticized Jones have failed to consider the financial implications for Jones rather than all of the other parties involved. Jones is the best talent in MMA history, on a meteoric rise, and was recently just sponsored by NIKE.  MMA is a sport where anything can happen, and a loss to Sonnen would be a HUGE setback to the champions career.  There has also been rumors that Sonnen had known about Dan Henderson’s injury for weeks, and had been preparing for Jones.  This is another thing to consider even though I do not believe that two weeks is enough time for Chael to adequately prepare for all that Jones brings into the octagon.

I have to admit that I am a big Chael P. Sonnen supporter, and would love to have seen this fight.  If I was Jon Jones I would have taken this fight in a second, but then again I do not have a blossoming career and millions of future dollars on the line.  I understand both sides, and we still might see this match-up down the road.

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Posted by on September 6, 2012 in Uncategorized


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Fighter Pay

A hot topic of controversy in MMA, and specifically surrounding the UFC, is fighter pay.  Some of the media has shined a spotlight on the Ultimate Fighting Championship, and what they believe to be an unfair and low pay scale.  I believe that this criticism of the UFC is absolutely flawed and should be reconsidered.

First of all, nobody, including UFC management, is forcing any of the athletes to fight, despite claims that the organization is a monopoly, which it isn’t (topic for another time).  People choose to be fighters and are not forced into the profession, just as a grocery clerk isn’t forced to be a grocery clerk and a bus driver isn’t forced to be a bus driver.  With that said, if they pay was as horrible as some of the media make it out to be, then fighters would chose to switch to one of the many other professions are world has to offer.

Secondly, the UFC only releases the base pay for fighters as required by the athletic commission of the state that the event was held in.  This means that no one, besides the fighters and their managers, actually know what they are paid.  For example, Nick Diaz was recently fined for testing positive for marijuana metabolites after his fight with Carlos Condit.  When that fine came down it was released that Diaz had received a $300,000 “showing up to the press conference” bonus.  The UFC has turned many fighters into millionaires over the years, and that doesn’t even include the large amounts of money that top fighters are paid by their sponsors.

(Photo Credit)

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Posted by on August 1, 2012 in Uncategorized


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Jones vs. Any LHW Doesn’t Make Sense

UFC on FOX 4 is coming up on August 4th, with the main card featuring two lightheavyweight bouts.  The card shows promise, and Dana White made it even more interesting when he made the statement that essentially whoever looks the most impressive, will get the next shot at the LHW belt.  This statement has left pretty much everyone in the MMA community, including LHW champion Jon Jones, scratching their heads.

Let us assume that Jon Jones defeats Dan Henderson in September, which most think he will (but I would never bet against Hendo with that legendary right hand), there is not a single match-up at LHW that makes sense for the current champ.  There is not a man left at 205lbs that can even challenge Jones, especially not the four men involved in the August 4th “number one contender” fights.  He has systematically destroyed and finished EVERY one of them! 

Jones vs. Vera:  Jones finished Vera in the first with an elbow that broke his cheekbone.

Jones vs. Bader:  Guillotine in round #2.

Jones vs. Shogun:  Brutal TKO in the third from knees and punches.

Jones vs. Machida:  Chokes Machida unconscious standing and drops the former champion’s body to the canvas in the second.

If Dana White follows through and makes one of these fights, I believe he will be making a big mistake in regards to Jones’ legacy and economically.  I believe that virtually no one will want to watch that fight, which will in turn lose the UFC a significant amount of money compared to, let’s say, Jones fighting a big name at heavyweight.  (Photo Credit)

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Posted by on July 31, 2012 in Uncategorized


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MMA Not Legal in New York

Why haven’t we seen a UFC event at what is arguably the nation’s most historic sports venue, Madison Square Garden?  For only one reason, because MMA has not been legalized in the state of New York.  For the casual MMA fan this statement might leave you scratching your head.

The only thing keeping mixed martial arts from being legalized in New York is (drum roll)…the Culinary Union.  Yes, you DIDN’T guess it.  The Culinary Union has a very strong political foothold in the state of New York, and is exercising that foothold to block the legalization of mixed martial arts in the empire state.  The next question you might be asking yourself is what the heck does the Culinary Union have to do with MMA and the UFC?  Short answer is absolutely NOTHING.

Very few people know that Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta not only own Zuffa LLC, the UFC’s parent company, but the brothers are also owners of Station Casinos.  Station Casinos is one of the largest non-union businesses in the gaming/hospitality industry.  Subsequently, this non-union status means that none of Station Casino’s employees are members of the Culinary Union, and thus the Culinary Union is losing out on a potentially substantial revenue stream.

According to different sources, the UFC event would bring between 40 and 50 million dollars to the New York City economy.  From a fan perspective, as well as a businessmen’s point of view, the fact that the state of New York is allowing a Culinary Union to prevent the legalization of MMA is absolutely mind boggling.  I believe, and hope, that more honest and intelligent politicians will prevail in this ridiculous situation.  Perhaps UFC President Dana White said it best when he was quoted by Fox Sports, “It’s not and if-it’s a when.”   (Photo Credit)

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Posted by on July 26, 2012 in Uncategorized


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5 Most Marketable MMA Fighters

1. Ronda Rousey

Sexy, smart, Olympian, world champion.  Talks the talk and walks the walk. ESPN Body Issue cover, enough said.  By far the most marketable and even under-marketed fighter in the world.

 2. GSP

With his next fight coming in November to unify the belts with interim champion Carlos Condit, GSP’s marketability will continue to rise.  If he wins against Condit, which I believe he will in dominant fashion, then there are only two other real interesting fights for him at 170lbs, Johnny Hendricks and Stockton’s own Nick Diaz.  If the champ can get through these two opponents, the fight that makes the most sense is the long talked about super-fight against the spider, Anderson Silva.  With his title as MMA’s pay-per-view king, clean image, and a possible record breaking super-fight with Silva, GSP nears the top of the list.

(2). Anderson Silva

Best in the world.  Sponsored by Nike. Greatest ever.

 3. Joseph Benavidez

Scheduled to headline UFC 152, where he will be fighting for the inaugural flyweight title, the marketability of Benavidez could potentially sky rocket.  He is already the reigning champion of the UFC’s twitter bonus ($5,000 awarded to the fighter who most creatively uses twitter), and according to just about everyone in the MMA community who isn’t named Demetrious Johnson, he will potentially the 125lb champion for a LONG LONG time.   Self proclaimed as the UFC’s most fashionable fighter, Benavidez is an exciting fan favorite who will also attract the Mexican demographic.

 4. Rory McDonald

The UFC’s most promising young prospect, the 23 year old McDonald promises to be a destroyer at 170lbs for years to come.  The well spoken, intelligent, and clean cut Canadian is a “GSP weight-class -change” away from the title.

5. Jon Jones

The only thing keeping Jon Jones from the top spot is his recent DUI arrest, and how he will handle the situation.  After his fight with Dan Henderson at UFC 151 in Las Vegas, Jones will have wiped the slate clean at light heavyweight.  What is next for Jones would be big money super fights with big marketability.

Future Top 5 Potential: Nate Diaz, Daniel Cormier, Cain Velasquez

Up and coming: Lance Palmer

A member of a legendary Ohio wrestling family, Palmer is a fourtime all-american wrestler training at Team Alpha Male in Sacramento, CA with the likes of Urijah Faber, Chad Mendes, and Joseph Benavidez.  Already possessing a professional record of 3-0, “The Party,” might soon be seeing a UFC contract come his way.  Fighting at 145lbs, Palmer has the wrestling credentials and natural athleticism to be a potential long time champion.  With a childhood spent wrestling bears (Seriously! Google it), Palmer, is a character who I predict would be absolutely loved by the fans.  Enormous marketability potential.

(Photo Credit)


Posted by on July 24, 2012 in Uncategorized


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