Posts Tagged ‘Jon Fitch’

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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by: Jonathan King

JOSEPH BENAVIDEZ VS IAN MCCALL
 
This fight is an interesting match up. Both fighters can stake a claim for a title shot against champion Demetrious Johnson with a decisive win. Benavidez is as strong as they come in the 125 lbs weight division. His wrestling maybe the best in the division. Ian McCall brings a very dynamic striking game to the table. McCall is 0-1-1 against the current champion. Benevidez will need to avoid McCall’s counter punching to secure a take down. If he is able to bring the fight to the mat, he may be able to secure the win. McCall will need to utilize his wrestling defense, to avoid any take downs. However, if he does get put on his back McCall will need to stay active from the bottom as he has in the past. Both fighters bring a contrasting style that should provide great entertainment.
 
Prediction: Joseph Benavidez Unanimous Decision.
 
JON FITCH  VS DEMIAN MAIA
 
Very often we hear the term “Grinder” when referring to a fighters style. No one exemplifies that label better than Jon Fitch. Fitch has been a contender at the 170lbs division for nearly a decade. His wrestling and conditioning, have become legendary. He has wins over some of the biggest names in the sport, and has even gone the distance with Georges St Pierre. His only sign of weakness came by way of a  flash KO at the hands of Johnny Hendricks. Demian Maia is also known as a legend. His grappling and jujitsu game may be one of the most feared in the sport. At 185 lbs, Maia was out gunned by stronger fighters. Now comfortable at 170 lbs, Maia’s power increase will only serve to strengthen his grappling. 
 
Prediction: Jon Fitch Unanimous Decision
 
ALISTAIR OVEREEM VS ANTONIO SILVA
 
In his first fight after being suspended for having testosterone in his system, Alistair Overeem is already looking for a title shot. Unfortunately for him, standing in his way is another mountain sized heavyweight named Antonio Silva. Silva is coming off a dominating win over Travis Browne, and feels that Overeem is disrespecting him.  With a long history of animosity between the two fighters, stemming from their camp decisions (Silva left the Blackzilians and rejoined American Top Team once Overeem signed on with the camp) there should be no shortage of heavy exchanges. Overeem will hold a clear advantage in the striking department, while Silva will have an edge if the fight goes to the ground. Both fighters have extremely heavy hands, and are capable of knocking the other out. 
 
Prediction: Alistair Overeem via TKO
 
RASHAD EVANS VS ROGERIO NOGUEIRA
 
Rashad Evans may be the most talented fighter in the UFC without a belt. His wrestling background, and versatile striking have kept Evans at the top of the division, since his brief reign as champion. He will need to utilize his excellent head movement to counter the tremendous boxing skills of Rogerio Nogueira. “Lil Nog” (as he is known) for a long time has been over looked in 205 lbs division. Known for his precision boxing skills Nogueira like his brother is also deadly on the ground. If he is able to stagger Evans, or somehow able to drag him to the mat, he will have a distinct advantage. As dynamic as his boxing is, Evans will still have an advantage on his feet through sheer athleticism alone. Evans will look to land effectively at distance, setting up his own take downs in order win the fight. However, if he is too aggressive in Nogueira’s guard, he could very easily get caught in a submission. 
 
Prediction: Rashad Evans via 2nd rd TKO
 
MAIN EVENT FEATHERWEIGHT TITLE FIGHT
 
FRANKIE EDGAR V JOSE ALDO (CHAMPION)
 
Jose Aldo is one of the most dynamic fighters in any weight class. His combination of speed and technique have laid waste to an all star cast of opponents. His reign at the top, has never been challenged and his name is very often mentioned at the top of the pound for pound rankings. Frankie Edgar embodies the dark horse spirit. His history of exciting fights, and come from behind win seem to be from the pages of a Hollywood script. Edgar’s chin and ability to recover may be his best attribute in a very crowded quiver of mma weapons. If Edgar is able to close the distance and grab a hold of Aldo he might be able to slow the pace and grind on the champion. Both fighters are no strangers to late rounds, and both can take a punch so look for this fight to head into deep water. However, lets not forget one very important wild card in this fight, the referee. Steve Mazzagatti could play a role in a questionable stoppage!
 
Prediction: Frankie Edgar via Split Decision
 

By: Jonathan King The Clinch Report

Anderson Silva (32-4 MMA, 15-0 UFC) vs. Stephan Bonnar (14-7 MMA, 8-6 UFC) 

As a replacement bout, this fight is very lopsided in most fans eyes. However, Stephan Bonnar is not a piece of cardboard. He will be entering the fight with a considerable size advantage, and of course his notoriously iron clad chin. On the ground Bonnar is more than capable and would actually rival Silva’s pedigree. But let’s be honest, odds are this fight is going to be a standing war. Although giving away considerable size, Silva will maintain an advantage in every single aspect of the stand-up battle. Using his notorious feigns he will lure in the aggressive Bonnar eventually overwhelming the slower larger fighter.

Prediction:Anderson Silva via 2nd RD TKO

Dave Herman (21-4 MMA, 2-1 UFC) vs. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (33-7-1 MMA, 4-3 UFC)

This us a fight I call the Enigma v The Old Man. Dave Herman, has some of the best athleticism in the weight class, however Herman has yet to put together a consistent effort since joining the UFC. His losses to Roy Nelson and Stefan Struve prove that he is at best at the tail end of the Heavyweight rankings. Its vexing because he should be a lot better than he is!  Coming into Brazil, squaring off with ‘Minotauro’ Nogueira will prove to be a mountain he is unable to climb. If Herman can keep the fight standing, he has a small chance, less than a puncher’s chance as Nogueira has better hands. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira is an absolute warrior. His history is secure in the sport and although his last fight ended by a kimura that broke his arm, ‘Minotauro’ is still a very dangerous lion.

Prediction: Nogueira via submission Rd 1

Fabio Maldonado (18-5 MMA, 1-2 UFC) vs. Glover Teixeira (18-2 MMA, 1-0 UFC) 

Fabio Maldonado may have the best body punching pedigree in all of the UFC. This guy lifts people off the mat, like something out of a Rocky movie. Maldonado loves to get in tight, and punish the liver with his digging blows. Have lost his last two bouts by decision, Maldonado will be aggressive from the start looking to control the pace early. Glover Teixeira is one of the UFC prodigies. His punching power and aggressiveness are legendary already. Former champions Maurico ‘Shogun’ Rua and Rashad Evans refused short notice fights with Teixeira, even though he has only fought once in the UFC. Trained at the world famous “Pit”, Teixeira has been sparring relentlessly with UFC Hall of Famer Chuck Liddell in preparation for this fight. Could you ask for a better training partner?

Prediction: Teixeira via TKO Rd 2

Jon Fitch (23-4-1 MMA, 13-2-1 UFC)  vs. Erick Silva (14-2 MMA, 2-1 UFC)

In a battle of contrasting styles, this fight depends a lot on who is able to dictate the pace and location of the fight. Erick Silva will have a striking advantage, however his aggressiveness will leave him open to the ‘lay and prey’ style of UFC vet Jon Fitch. Fitch has shown time and time again, that he can maintain dominate position for an entire fight. Although not an incredible Greco-Roman wrestler, his MMA wrestling is outstanding. Fitch has grinded down veterans like BJ Penn (draw), Thiago Alves (twice), and Mike Pierce. However it has been almost a year since his last fight. A fight that saw him knocked unconscious in 12 seconds at the hands of Johnny Hendricks. Can Fitch knock off the ring rust, before Silva knocks his chin off? Silva will have to keep the fight standing, and avoid the grappling of Fitch in order to win this fight.

Prediction: Jon Fitch via Unanimous Decision 

Phil Davis (9-1 MMA, 5-1 UFC)  vs. Wagner Prado  (8-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC)

This fight was supposed to happen months ago, however an errant eye poke by Davis caused a premature stoppage that resulted in a no contest. Now fully healed Wagner Prado is ready to display his striking for the first time in the UFC. He will have his hands full with the outstanding wrestling of Phil Davis. Davis is trying to get his name back into the contender mix, in the very congested light heavyweight division. With a significant reach advantage Davis is going to look too set up his shoot, off his jab. If he is able to get Prado to the ground it will be very difficult for him to escape. Davis  has smothered out victories over Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, and submitted young gun Alexander Gustaffson. Only Rashad Evans has been able to control Davis thus far, a trend that should continue.

Prediction: Davis via 3rd round submission

Demian Maia (16-4 MMA, 10-4 UFC) vs. Rick Story (14-5 MMA, 7-3 UFC)

Not many people have improved in the striking department as well as Damian Maia. The striking will only get more powerful, as he will now be fighting at 170 lbs. His Jiu Jitsu is well known, and with submissions over Chael Sonnen, Nate Quarry, and Ed Herman he is used to fighting larger opponents. There are not many bigger than Rick Story at 170 lbs. As a wrestler, Story has some of the best skills in the division. However at times he seems to loose focus. At one time he was highly touted, now he seems to be one or two losses away from being released. He has not looked impressive in his last three fights, although he won the last by unanimous decision against an outmatched Brock Jardine. Its only a matter of time before this fight goes to the mat.

Prediction: Demian Maia via Unanimous Decision