Tag Archives: Craig Cheek

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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What can Businessmen Learn from Fighters?

As the business world continues to change, there are many things that the modern businessman can learn from observing the world, and lifestyle, surrounding MMA fighters. Recently in my Management 491 college course, we watched a keynote address given by founder Gary Vaynerchuck.  While watching this I realized that there are two major things that businessmen can take away from the professional mma fighter. 

1.)  It’s all about the people

Whether win or lose, when a fighter’s performance does not please the fans, they immediately face heavy scrutiny from the media and UFC President Dana White.  As Gary Vaynerchuck explained in his speech, those businessmen who are the most successful in the near future will all place extreme importance on the customer as a person, and one-on-one interaction with that customer.  Similar to if a fighter does not please their fans, if a businessman doesn’t please their customers, they will not only face scrutiny but can possibly even go out of business, a fighter’s version of being cut from the UFC.

2.) Hard work pays off

At any given time, the top five fighters in each weight class are almost always those who are known to be the hardest of workers.  With today’s social media and other technologies it has become even easier for businessmen to become lazy when in fact, they should be doing the exact opposite.  Social media gives businessmen a chance to reach out to and connect with their customers like never before.  With this incredible opportunity businessmen should be working even harder in an attempt to connect personally with most, if not all, of their customers.   (Photo Credit)

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Posted by on July 30, 2012 in Uncategorized


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Nike Vapor Strobes for MMA

Not very many people outside of athletic trainers and professional have even heard of the Nike Sparq Vapor Strobe Goggles.  As seen in the video above, this technology can take the performance of the world’s greatest athletes, and raise it up a notch.  The primary use for goggles is to increase reaction, focus, and all around awareness while participating in athletic competition.

This technology could possibly tremendously beneficial to MMA fighters.  MMA is all about speed and timing, while still being aware o, and defending, your opponents strikes which can come from all sorts of different angles.  While we watch people like Anderson Silva and Edson Barboza knock people out with dazzling kicks that seemingly come out of nowhere, the Sparq Goggles may just be what fighters are looking for to help improve their awareness of similar strikes in the octagon.

The goggles could also help fighters with their offensive abilities.  If fighters use the goggles while hitting mitts or the focus bag, I believe that their timing, speed, and punching accuracy would be greatly improved.  It would be very interesting to see the improvements in some of the top fighters, after using the goggles for an extended period of time.

This is also just another reason why Nike should enter the market.

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Posted by on July 29, 2012 in Uncategorized


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Nick Diaz vs. Anderson Silva

Today, I had planned on writing my blog post about something completely different.  With that having been said, Nick Diaz “un-retired”, the official announcement can be seen here, and in doing so gained the spotlight of the entire MMA community.  Not many were that surprised that Diaz came back from retirement, as he is only 29 years old and just entering his fighting prime.  However, what came along with his announcement sent MMA fans and journalists into a frenzy.

With GSP set to fight Carlos Condit towards the end of the year, Diaz elected to respectfully call out the UFC Middleweight Champion, and pound-for-pound king, Anderson Silva.  I am not going to spend the time breaking down the fight in this blog as it is still only a possibility.  But the perspective super-fight is just too intriguing, so I have to ask……..

(Photo Credit)

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Posted by on July 28, 2012 in Uncategorized


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Benefits if Nike Enters the Market

A big time sportswear brand, such as Nike, entering the mixed martial arts market full blast, would be absolutely monumental for the sport as well as the business behind it.  You may not know that Nike has already dipped their toe into industry waters, with sponsorship of a handful of fighters including pound-for-pound great Anderson Silva.  Though this is a step in the right direction, MMA is begging for Nike to take the plunge.

Nike entering MMA with all of its marketability and brand recognition would boost mixed martial arts to another level.  I believe that the worldwide attention the sport would gain from such a move would be absolutely tremendous for the sport.  Nike would give mixed martial arts and even greater sense of credibility amongst its critics and skeptics.  A partnership between Nike and the UFC (Imagine seeing the Nike swoosh in the center of the octagon!!!) would solidify that the sport is absolutely here to stay, and would silence the last remaining doubters.

The top tier fighters that Nike will end up sponsoring would also benefit greatly from being associated with brand.  With Nike’s marketing and branding abilities, those fighters sponsored by Nike would become much larger stars than any other fighters are currently.  If Nike is in the market, they will also bring all of their technology and product development abilities into the world of MMA.  In doing this, I believe that Nike would innovate and re-invent, MMA equipment and apparel as we currently know it.

Simply put, Nike and MMA need each other.    (Photo Credit)

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Posted by on July 27, 2012 in Uncategorized


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