UFC drops the ball on a fight announcement for the second time in a week

You would think after the whole Alexander Gustafsson v. Antonio Noguiera snafu, the UFC would find a way to ensure what they’re announcing is, you know, correct.

Turns out they just like making mistakes in pairs. For the second time in a week the UFC has scrapped a high-profile bout, this time being Jon Jones v. Glover Teixera.

Speaking to the media following Thursday’s press conference for UFC 167, President Dana White told reporters the fight would no longer be headlining UFC 170. He said Jones had to pull out due to injury – specially, as reported by Yahoo! Sports’, Kevin Lole, Jones foot which was injured in his recent bout with Gustafsson over a month and a half ago. Somehow in a 24-hour period, that injury forced Jones out.

While the UFC and White have yet to comment on a second embarrassing fight cancellation, the anticipation for comment can not be higher. Historically they have a tendency to throw blame around in places it often seems inappropriate. Even worse, the manner in which they cast blame peels back layers for the public to understand just how the UFC does business. Too often, the UFC uses corporate clout to pit itself as against a two or three individuals at a time – hardly a fair fight even in public relations terms.

Yet many of these issues are the fault of the UFC as any series of things. For example, way back at UFC 151 originally to have taken place on September 1, 2012 White went on a public barrage of Jones when he turned down a replacement bout thus scrapping the card. The UFC failed to highlight how if there were no other high-profile fights elsewhere on the card worthy of promotion to headliner status. The card depth was so weak – a trend the UFC also does no justice to by pitting their most mainstream worthy fighter in Jones to offset poor cards on paper – no other fight could justifiably be promoted. Whose fault is that?

You know the situation last week with Noguiera, in which White admitted only partial blame for booking a fight without asking one its contestants – whom he gave the large majority of the blame.The UFC is a powerful entity. Other than a few select fighters, the promotion will always win out in public tiffs because they hire everyone. If White is pissed – even if he misleads the public – his opinion is the only one that matters. It’s a shame, of course, because that same power is the reason MMA fans get to see the best fighters fight each other unlike boxing. The MMA game is like all sports leagues, a capitalist one. Those with the most influence – the very best and talented fighters, the executives, the matchmakers – control the resources.

In the case of UFC 170 and Jones’ foot, White hasn’t pointed the finger on this one…yet. It will be interesting to see how the UFC politicize this one.


Surprise, surprise: acting crazy in MMA doesn’t always make people doubt you

Lesson of the day: lacking empathy and ethics can only make most people doubt you. But all it takes is one.

You may remember Rousimar Palhares – he’s the fighter who in October was released from the UFC following a win over Mike Pierce. How does one get released after a win? It’s easy. Lock in a heel hook, hold the lock even after the tap and further hold it as the referee dives on you to break the lock.

Just the same way that any other professional sports league operates, athletes with character issues need only one employer to get a job. How long they last in that job is their choice and in the case of Palhares, his stint in the UFC didn’t last because of bad choices. New life may await elsewhere.

MMAJunkie.com spoke with World Series of Fighting President Ray Sefo regarding that promotions’ stance on Palhares and he had this to say:

“Initially, I’ll admit I didn’t think World Series of Fighting should even entertain the idea of bring Palhares on board. But I’ve been speaking with our team, as well as some people I trust throughout the industry, and I’m not so sure he doesn’t deserve another chance.

“We haven’t made any concrete decisions just yet, but I think maybe Palhares could be a valuable part of our organization.”

Got it. So in a sport rife with dangers to its competitors – which can leave fighters with damage to virtually every inch of their bodies – a man with a history of erratic behavior that has harmed his opponents (and according to former training coaches, teammates) in both borderline and illegal fashion is ‘valuable’ and deserving of another chance.

Paging capitalists: when money is involved, everyone is valuable.

What is alarming about Palhares history is not only his actions towards opponents but his bizarre actions in general. Against Nate Marquardt, he tried to lock in a heel hook and after his opponent slipped out of it, while prone on his back, he turned to the referee to complain and was promptly knocked out. Later against Dan Miller, after knocking Miller down, he inexplicably stopped fighting and leaped onto the cage to celebrate – though the fight had not been awarded to him by stoppage or tap out.

Despite all this, Sefo apparently was swayed by comments made by MMA legend, Renzo Gracie.

“I really didn’t think he held it too long,” Gracie said. “You have to understand, especially heel hooks, it is a finishing hold that you can lose at any time. He can lose the position at any time, and the next thing you’ll see the guy is going to claim that he didn’t tap and everything is gone. So he really needs to add intensity on it. Unfortunately, people saw it with poor eyes.

Those comments, though, do not reconcile how such a controversy can be amended after the fact.It does not reconcile how Palhares should have been paying attention to Pierce for the tap, he should have been paying attention to the referee for the call and should have been acutely aware of a second human being throwing them self on him. There is no excuse while driving to not notice oncoming cars and pedestrians should you choose to barrel through a yellow light while driving so how in the world can Palhares be excused for being aware of actions happening inches in front of him?

The situation with WSOF is made worse since Sefo admitted in the interview  to being “…a little outraged at first.” after the incident.He also doesn;t think Palhares is a “…bad human bring.”

Being a bad human being is a loaded idea just as the same as anyone being a perfect human being is. The facts are Palhares may not be a bad human being but he can still be an idiot without much regard for the safety of his training partners of competitors. That doesn’t take being a bad human being so much as having a frame of mind that MMA fighters know the risks of their jobs and inherit them. If you approach a fight that way, you’ll go through a wall to win a fight – though you needn’t have to.

The dangers of MMA are extreme enough. A person who themselves is willing to exacerbate those extremes should not be fighting anywhere – no matter how much money they can someone.


It’s bad, it’s bad (Jamon!): Anthony Pettis out

I guess Dana White was wrong.

Yesterday the FD reported the news that Anthony Pettis was seeing a specialist regarding his aggravated knee injury. Being his third in six months, we deemed it a code yellow situation. It appears we can upgrade that to code red.

Pettis out of his title defence against Josh Thomson on the December 14 UFC Fox 9 card. The card will not lose much weight (pun intended) as Demetrious Johnson v. Joseph Benevidez flyweight title fight will be moved to headline the card.

How bad can Pettis’ injury be? We need only look 20 pounds lighter to see an example: Dominick Cruz has been out 18 months due to knee injuries.

As the FD wrote yesterday, knee injuries are some of the most bothersome in sports. They have long recovery times and generally degrade the injured party even after the recovery process  – eroding many of their skills. In the past, knee injuries were career-enders. Within the last ten years, the research and technology involved in many ligament injuries (such as Tommy John surgery for baseball players) is so advanced, some athletes are coming back in near perfect condition – some even stronger.

That is, of course, in sports that don’t involve direct attacks on those injured areas. If the situation is indeed dire, this could be a devastating development for Pettis.

For now, let’s all hope the situation is more precautionary and this is not a chronic injury. So keep an eye on how Dominick Cruz does in his return; we could be looking into Anthony Pettis’ future.


Time to worry? Hurt but not injured Anthony Pettis on the mend after third knee injury

I stubbed my toe so bad once, I had a limp all day. That’s called getting hurt.

Fox Sports reports that Anthony Pettis has been under the evaluation of orthopedic Dr. Steven Sanders of Bone & Joint Specialists following a knee injury. Initial indications are the injury is not sever and surgery is not required.

What does it all mean?

Code yellow. Pettis is apparently healthy enough to defend his belt against Josh Thomson in December. This appears to be more precautionary than serious. This is, however, his third knee injury in half a year. As any athlete can attest, knees are as essential to performance as your brain (though some athletes wouldn’t contend a brain matters). Not toe mention, aesthetically, visiting a doctor at a clinic called the Bone & Joint Specialists is concerning.

Pettis entered the promotion as the Strikeforce lightweight champion but it took him three years to capture the UFC title. A debut loss to Clay Guida followed by a shelved 2012 due to a serious series of shoulder injuries largely contributed to scuttling his initial title chances. It took a text message to Dana White begging for a shot at Jose Aldo for Pettis to get within reach of title gold. He was then forced out of the fight by a knee injury.

The missed title fight with Aldo hardly mattered as Pettis recuperated in time to get an immediate shot at lightweight champion Benson Henderson barely a month later in which he reportedly aggravated his knee.

Knee, knee, knee.

Whoops! After losing, Rony Jason punches a wall and slices open his arm

What’s the saying about adding insult to injury? Can it go the other way?

TUF: Brazil winner Rony Jason fought last night and was knocked out by Jeremy Stephens. It was particularly frustrating loss for Jason, who was on a three-fight win streak in the promotion and taking on a more recognized fighter. Dropping the fight means he may need a string of impressive wins before getting another bump up in competition.

MMAJunkie.com reports that backstage, Jason put his arms through a wall and opened a wound. It appears the injury was not particularly debilitating and may only require stitches. It’s unknown if Jason will miss any time.