Posts Tagged ‘cung le’

Bellator 131-33

I wonder how long it will take Tito to sign the lawsuit!

 

By: Jonathan M King The Clinch Report

This week three fighters Jon Fitch, Nate Quarry, and Cung Le announced their filing of a lawsuit claiming violations of the Sherman Anti Trust Act, against their former employers The UFC. The lawsuit had been a poorly kept secret for last two years, with most industry insiders hearing tell about the suit over 2 years ago.

Basically the three fighters claim that the UFC uses its industry clout to crush competition, which history cannot deny. The UFC has bought out all of their major competitors including Pride, Elite XC, Affliction, Strikeforce, and the WEC which the UFC merged with creating the lower weight class structure.  Since then The World Series of Fighting and Bellator MMA have emerged, but neither have attained anywhere near what could be considered ‘competitor’ status. They even use Whites own social media postings as evidence to efforts to “kill” his competition.

Where there is smoke?:

With the Reebok uniform deal now in place it appears the UFC is trying to control all of the income generated by their fights. Fighters will no longer be able to pick and choose sponsors, and will be paid on a scale based on the fighters position in the rankings. The move according to Dana White will result in the UFC “Not making a dime of the deal!”. Which I find to be completely bullshit! If the deal is not resulting in profit, than why were the financial terms not disclosed? One reason is so White could say just that! The statement is a hapless attempt at trying to appear to be on the side of fighter advocacy. The idea was to make this deal look like it was done FOR the fighters benefit, which may be a side effect, but it definitely was not the reason!

Another source of the smoke, are the personal vendettas that were used to form policy that affected the fighters ability to earn. Fighters carry sponsorship on contract. Some of these sponsors have found themselves on the wrong side of the UFC’s wrath for sponsoring fighters who fight outside of the world leader. Companies like RVCA, Affliction, and many others have been banned at times, removing their fighters opportunity to earn. When Apparel company RVCA sponsored the one fighter the UFC couldn’t sing Fedor Emeliananko, they were banned from the UFC. Essentially removing several fighters primary sponsor, including a guy who built the UFC BJ Penn! A petulant move by a company that has essentially become an industry!

The UFC is the greatest fight organization on the planet. Dana White and the Ferttita brothers took a failing competition and built upon the foundation an empire that is at the head of a billion dollar global sport. They are the impetus, the Alpha and the Omega. They are great men, who have exceeded every expectation to date. They donate millions of dollars, consistently provide for our troops, and always give back to the cities that host their events. They do a ton of good things. You may not like Dana White, but there is no denying he is the best promoter on the planet. I don’t want this to be perceived as a “bash the UFC” piece because that is not the intention.

They also pay the fighters more than any other organization. UFC fighters are treated better than any other organization. However that is still not enough. When the uniform policy was announced, the UFC brass likened the move to the NFL and NBA, stating those players had a dress code, and couldn’t wear sponsors. This of course is true. It is also true that both NBA and NFL players have pensions, and healthcare, and a union that is consistently looking out for the players best interests! Yet UFC fighters are without both. Lets keep making comparisons to NFL and NBA players don’t just stop where your point looses steam!

NBA and NFL players are also guaranteed money and the bonus structure is defined in writing. If a player under contract is cut, he still gets paid! Players are also paid for their likenesses in video games. In fact the game Madden NFL has to come to agreements with the NFL and the NFLPA (players association) in order to use player likenesses. That means all players benefit, because the players union distributes that money. So I think the UFC brass should continue their line of thinking, by all means, just follow the logic. If they did, they would see the fighters point of view.

Major Problem with the lawsuit:

“When trouble arises and things look bad, there is always one individual who perceives a solution and is willing to take command.  Very often, that person is crazy.”  ~Dave Barry

The three fighters involved with the suit all have baggage. Nate Quarry has always been a staunch critic of the UFC’s business practices, and is considered somewhat of a curmudgeon by other fighters. Cung Le just failed a well documented PED test, and although he has since been exonerated on a technicality, he is being looked at as a guy who is just pissed off at the UFC for the way they treated him following his failed test. Jon Fitch is the lone gunmen who could garner some support. Fitch was at one time the captain of Team AKA which features some of the most notable fighters in the UFC. He is well respected fighter but he is a quiet guy, and has never been the type to make a lot of noise. Unfortunately for these three that is what they need. They need a mouth like Quarry, with the respect of Fitch. I am not trying to bash these guys, I agree with their points, I just wonder if they were the best choice. Maybe they are, but I do not think I am off base looking into their past as reason for their motivations. Just playing devils advocate.

Of course the suit is geared to gain more names, however with so many staying silent. It may take a while. Most fighters and managers are keeping quiet publicly, although they are all inquiring privately. Essentially that is the problem and the major hurdle. Everyone is scared to anger the big bad UFC. After all, the ban hammer falls equally on sponsors and fighters the like, managers too! Like the Dave Barry quote states, the guy who stands up to take charge is very often crazy, but does that extinguish the need? No it doesn’t, it just extinguishes the fire, making the smoke that much more difficult too see!

Hopefully this suit solidifies the fighter base. That would be the best result. If the fighters emerge with one voice, looking out for their interests than this suit will serve the industry. In the end a fighter union is what is needed. One that represents fighter advocacy as their primary function. However, they must be careful not to fall in the same pit that most MMA manager find themselves currently in! Represent our fighters interests, or anger the big bad UFC? Unfortunately for the fighters fortune favors the bold, and most MMA managers are the exact opposite!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Photo By: Bob Fisher Pugilpix.com

By: Jonathan M. King The Clinch Report

When word broke last, I like most chalked it up to rumors fueled by the Alvarez release. Then for a few days it disappeared. Waking this morning to the news that former TUF 1 Finalist and UFC Hall of Famer Stephan Bonnar came out of retirement to sign a multi-fight deal with the UFC’s rival Bellator MMA was not shocking, but it does seem intriguing.

‘The American Psycho” released a statement with regards to the signing, and hinted as to why..

I want everyone to know I’m coming out of retirement because it’s time to free the MMA world of the virus that’s known as Tito Ortiz. We’ve been suffering through his boring fights for too many years, and it’s about time that someone beats it out of him once and for all.” Stephan Bonnar

Earlier this week the UFC signed Bellator MMA’s 155 lbs champion Eddie Alvarez setting him up for his promotional debut against Donald Cerrone at UFC 178. Now with the Bonnar signing; although much less relevant, Bellator has shown they mean business. Even if they are past their primes, Bonnar v Ortiz is a fight that is guaranteed to entertain. Bonnar’s chin down head first style, and Ortiz’s traditional ground and pound make this a chess match on paper that should not be missed.

Does Stephan Bonnar v Tito Ortiz matter in the MMA world? Sure it does. The fight matters as long as it is promoted properly. If its a grudge match pitting two guys who clearly dont like each other, then its a fun fight. If this ends up being a setup for a 205 lbs contender, then its a joke. A joke that may end up costing the promotion credibility.

Is Bonnar the same guy he was when he carried the sport on his shoulders in his first fight with Forrest Griffin? No, but that doesn’t mean he still cant entertain in the cage.

Setting either one of these guys up for a title run, will only solidify the companies position as a UFC pretender. However, if they utilize both of these guys the way the UFC uses fighters like Cung Le and Rich Franklin, it could be a pretty smart move. Bonnar is also a polished broadcaster, so he will probably see double duty when he is not fighting.

The move will certainly illicit some sort of response from his former employer. Dana White has always been a huge supporter of Bonnar, and even went to great lengths to defend his enshrinement into the Hall of Fame. So it will be interesting to hear his response.

Quelled as a rumor when first reported a week or so ago, the signing may be a sign that the two promotions have put to rest the animosity. Under Bjorn Rebney’s control Bellator MMA was consistently the target for well placed jabs by Dana White, who referred to his counterpart “Bjork”. Now with Rebney out, and Scott Coker in, maybe the two promotions have decided to co exist.

If so it would be a decision that could benefit both companies and the sport as a whole. Perhaps a united front from both Viacom and Zuffa would present a hurdle that even Sheldon Silver could not jleap over, paving the way for the sport to be legalized in New York State. If these two giants could unite if only for that purpose…..Oh the humanity that would result!

 

By Jonathan King The Clinch Report

MAIN CARD Predictions and Analysis

(FUEL TV, 9 a.m. ET)

  • Jeff Hougland (10-5 MMA, 1-1 UFC) vs. Takeya Mizugaki (15-7-2 MMA, 2-2 UFC)

Both of these bantamweight strikers were originally scheduled to face each other at UFC 151, which was cancelled due to a string of injuries. Coming off recent losses, each fighter finds themselves in a must win situation. With a history of alternating wins and losses that dates back to 2009, Mizugaki should be able to continue the trend with his elusive defense, and his superior striking.

Prediction: Mizugaki via unanimous decision

  • Jon Tuck  (6-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC) vs. Tiequan Zhang (15-3 MMA, 1-2 UFC)

John Tuck is undefeated as a professional and possesses a definite athletic advantage. Although Zhang will have the edge with experience and the hometown crowd, Tuck should be able to push the smaller Zhang around the cage. Eventually his athleticism will prove to be too much.

Prediction: Tuck via 2nd rd TKO

  • Mac Danzig (21-9-1 MMA, 5-5 UFC) vs. Takanori Gomi (33-8 MMA, 2-3 UFC)

Mac Danzig rose to fame winning the ultimate fighter reality show, securing his spot in the UFC. Since then he has compiled a .500 record with some impressive wins, but some poor showings as well. Takanori Gomi is an absolute legend in the sport of MMA. Although his record in the UFC at 2-3 is not stellar, “The Fireball Kid” still has some serious striking ability. However Mac Danzig should be able to utilize his improved striking and wrestling defense to maintain position.

Prediction: Danzig via unanimous decision

  • Dong Hyum Kim (15-2-1 MMA, 6-2 UFC  vs. Paulo Thiago (14-4 MMA, 4-4 UFC)

Both of these fighters are coming off quick losses. Kim was forced to submit after suffering a weird rib injury vs Demian Maia, and Thiago was knocked out cold by UFC newcomer Siyar Bahadurzada in just 47 seconds. Kim will hold a definitive striking advantage over Thiago, however the Brazilian does have power. Kim will need his technique to avoid the KO power of Thiago. If Thiago is able to get the fight to the mat, he will be in a more comfortable position. However, Kim has great wrestling defense, and should be able to keep Thiago’s shots at bay with his superior striking.

Prediction: Kim via TKO rd 3

  • Stanislav Nedkov (12-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) vs. Thiago Silva (14-3 MMA, 5-3 UFC)

Thiago Silva was at one time one of the top fighters in the world at 205 lbs, and for good reason. His size and power, coupled with an excellent submission game make him extremely dangerous. However recent issues (failed drug test, suspension and long layoff) had taken their toll on the Brazilian born fighter. In his return, he faced an extremely game Alexander Gustafsson who was able to literally strike circles around the lumbering Silva, frustrating him all the way to a unanimous decision loss. Now Silva will look to return to form, with a new team (Blackzilians) and against a burly striker much like himself. Stanislav Nedkov  is undefeated as a professional and has notable knockout victories over Luiz Cane, and Travis Wiuff. At only 5’11 he will be giving away a distinct height and reach advantage. A disadvantage he will have to overcome, as going to the ground with Silva is not an option for the Bulgarian striker.

Prediction: Silva rd submission (set up by strikes)

  • Rich Franklin (29-6 MMA, 14-5 UFC)  vs. Cung Le (8-2 MMA, 1-1 UFC)

Although both fighters are past their primes; with only Franklin holding on to the slimmest of title aspirations, it should make for an exciting match up. Even at 40 years old, Cung Le can strike with the best in the division. His spinning liver kick may be one of the most devastating strikes ever recorded in MMA. His unique angling. and superior flexibility allow him to hit his opponent at seemingly impossible times. Rich Franklin is one of the most well rounded mixed martial artists in the history of the sport. The former school teacher, and former Middleweight Champion of the world can strike, wrestle and roll with the best. He has notable wins over Chuck Liddell, Wanderlai Silva (Twice), Nate Quarry, and many others in his storybook career. If Franklin is able to close the distance then he should be able to control Le, who has shown his weakness on the ground. Once in position the ground and pound will begin, and end!

Prediction: Franklin rd TKO (ground and pound)

Fight of The Night Prediction: Silva v Nedkov

KO of The Night prediction: Kim

Submission of The Night Prediction: Silva

UFC 139 featured one of the greatest fights, in Mixed Martial Arts History. Dan Henderson and Mauricio Rua displayed tremendous heart, and beat the hell out of each other for 25 minutes. A see-saw like fight, that saw each fighter grab hold of the momentum. For the first two and half rounds, Henderson periodically punished Rua, with vicious right hands, and almost had the fight finished.

Rua was battered and extremely bloodied, however he was far from finished. The fourth and fifth rounds saw the fight momentum swing. A obviously tired Henderson ate several strategic strikes from the clinch, and saw Rua dominate in both positions (on the ground, and standing).

Both fighters gave every ounce of effort, and the judges decision narrowly gave Henderson the victory.

Urijiah Faber looked dominant claiming his next title fight, with a surprisingly one-sided submission victory over former WEC title holder Brian Bowles. From the opening bell Faber overwhelmed Bowles with his striking, and take-downs. The fight ended after a barrage of strikes put Bowles to the ground. Faber followed, grabbed a hold of a choke, then rolled over Bowles, forcing the tap at 1:27 of the second round. Faber is now the clear number one contender and will fight Dominick Cruz again for the Bantamweight Title.

Wanderlei Silva put retirement talks on hold at least for now, with a decisive win over Cung Le. The Brazilian veteran used effective spacing, to counter the versatile attacks of Le. However early in the first round Le landed a stunning spinning back fist to the jaw of Silva, that briefly staggered him. After that, it was all Silva. Towards the end of the fight, Silva closed in on a tired Le. Against the cage, Silva grabbed a plum clinch and began delivering reconstructive knees to a battered Cung Le’s face. Once dropped, Le tried to grab a hold of Silva’s leg, as he ate multiple hammer-fists to the face. The fight ended at 4:49 of the second round.

The fight card results as following:

Dan Henderson def. Mauricio “Shogun” Rua via unanimous decision (48-47, 48-47, 48-47)
Wanderlei Silva def. Cung Le via knockout (strikes) – Round 2, 4:49
Urijah Faber def. Brian Bowles via submission (guillotine choke) – Round 2, 1:27
Martin Kampmann def. Rick Story via split decision (28-29, 30-27, 29-28)
Stephan Bonnar def. Kyle Kingsbury via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-25, 30-27)
Ryan Bader def. Jason Brilz via knockout (punch) – Round 1, 1:17
Michael McDonald def. Alex Soto via knockout (punches) – Round 1, 0:56
Chris Weidman def. Tom Lawlor via technical submission (D’arce choke) – Round 1, 2:07
Gleison Tibau def. Rafael dos Anjos via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 30-27)
Miguel Torres def. Nick Pace via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Seth Baczynski def. Matt Brown via submission (guillotine choke) – Round 2, 0:42
Danny Castillo def. Shamar Bailey via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 4:52

The Clinch Report Performers of the night: Dan Henderson, Mauricio Rua, Stephan Bonner, and Urijah Faber.