411 MMA Fact or Fiction 7.16.14: Rousey vs Cyborg, Rashad to WWE, More
Posted by Wyatt Beougher on 07.16.2014
Are the chances of Ronda Rousey vs. Cyborg Justino hurt by the UFC bringing in more female talent? Will more fighters follow Rashad Evans' path and try to get into pro wrestling? 411's Jack McGee and Alex Rella debate these topics and more!
Welcome back to another week of 411's MMA Fact or Fiction, and I'm your host, Wyatt Beougher. Last week saw Evan Zivin square off with Mark Radulich, and it was a hotly contested bout. Thankfully, we got more than five total votes, and when the dust settled, it was Evan who narrowly edged out his longer tenured opponent, earning a 12-11 victory. Fun fact - this is the first time under my tenure as host of the column that Mark has had a losing record, but I'm confident in his ability to rebound, as he wasn't a highly seeded competitor in both of my annual tournaments for no reason.
This week's contest should be equally as compelling, as Jack McGee returns to action after trouncing me in my first post-marriage appearance in the column (before I was even back to hosting!), and he'll be looking to extend his undefeated streak against Alex Rella, who is making his second appearance since the conclusion of this year's tournament and hoping to return to the win column.
Alex "Cinder" Rella
Contributor, 411 MMA Zone
Is it time for the UFC to slow down?
1.) With the cancellation of UFC 176 and a slew of fighters either injured or failing drug tests, it's time the UFC took a serious look at dialing back how many shows they run as their cards are obviously too thin.
Jack McGee:FACT Absolutely this is a fact. Listen, I understand what the promotion is doing with the Fight Pass shows. They want to run shows in countries where MMA is desired, and they want to do it in prime time in THOSE specific markets. These are not shows that you have to watch, it is nice to have access, but for the US it is not must see TV. But the problem is that on a lot of these shows, they are taking matches that could make prelims much stronger on important events away. Hell, some of these main events would be lucky to main event the FS1 prelims on PPV night. I mean, Nate Marquardt vs. James Te Huna? A main event anywhere on the Internet, apparently. The Fight Pass shows, especially these international ones, need to utilize more local talent for their undercards is one thing I have noticed, they sometimes do this, but they could do more, and also, 10 fights MAX people. But as for the statement, again, absolutely a fact. Between the usual injuries you will have in the sport, the recent failures and or retirements and running what feels like 100 shows this year, the company needs to dial it back. They are losing the hardcore fans like myself because it is hard to care about every show, and the casual fans have no interest in a card where they have to research main card talent. The casuals need names to fill most of the card, and judging by some of the comments on shows this year (including the always bad "I didn't even realize there was a show this weekend") the UFC needs to be very careful.
Alex Rella:FACT I'm going with Fact on this one, but I'm not as convicted about this as other MMA writers and fans. The injuries aren't as bad as they were back in 2012, but yes it is part of the rigorous sport and you're going to get the occasional drug suspension as well. For the most part, main event level guys aren't the ones getting suspended either, but yes they need to take a serious look at how many shows they run and how they allocate fights. I'll never complain about weekly UFC shows, but it has been excessive at times. Running two shows in the same day is way too much and it does water down the product. Add UFC Fight Night 43 and 44 together and you got a great show, but instead they had two okay shows. They also need to divvy up title fights a little better. Don't put Ronda Rousey and Chris Weidman on the same show when you're running so many ppv's and especially when you know some of your champions are very injury prone. So yes they should maybe reconsider how they're scheduling things, but one cancelled show isn't anything to fret about either.
Is Cyborg losing her potential spot in line to women like Holm?
2.) Between the signing of Holly Holm, the return of Cat Zingano, and ongoing negotiations with both Gina Carano and Talita Nogueira, even if Cristiane Cyborg Justino can consistently make the bantamweight limit in Invicta, there's no guarantee she'll get a fight with Ronda Rousey.
Alex Rella:FICTION First I want to look at the other fighters listed for as to why I'm going with Fiction. Holly Holm and Talita Nogueira are both going to have to win a fight or two in the UFC before getting a title shot, I'll believe Gina Carano is signed when it happens, and Zingano has to get past Amanda Nunes first at UFC 178 which won't be easy. So none of these ladies have guaranteed title shots coming up anytime soon. The Rousey vs Cyborg fight might not sound as exciting as it did when the UFC first brought over the women's division from Strikeforce, but it's still the biggest fight to make. Cyborg was the best and most dominant female fighter before Rousey came along and she's a legitimate threat to beat her if she can make 135 lbs. I don't even think she has to consistently make bantamweight for them to make this fight. I'm sure Dana White will bring her over if she makes weight once and I wouldn't blame him.
Jack McGee:FACT Despite many thinking that the cupboard is bare, there is still a lot of life in the UFC women's bantamweight division. Cat Zingano is 8-0 and ready to return at UFC 178 against Amanda Nunes. She is still technically the top contender, and should get a shot if she wins. You have the big Gina Carano rumors floating around, a fight the UFC is desperate to make, especially after the disastrous buyrate that UFC 174 brought in. Talita Nogueira is in talks, 6-0 in MMA so far. And lets not forget the fact that the UFC picked up now former Invicta FC Bantamweight Champion Lauren Murphy, who is 8-0 and could be in title contention with a win over Sara McMann. You have the possibility of four women in front of Cyborg before she even gets rolling at the weight, if she can make it and if she can pass the drug testing. I only bring those up because she claimed she could "die" cutting to 135, and has been busted before. Make no mistake, I feel that an undefeated Rousey vs. Cyborg could be a great fight and could be money, but I am not sure if we get there. You have all of these ladies in front of her, she has been away from the mainstream MMA scene for a while which hurts her, and I also feel the fact that the she lost to Jorina Baars in Kickboxing at Lion Fight 14 takes some luster off of her. But if she makes 135, if she is clean and if she wins two fights in INVICTA, then it could happen. But guarantee, there is no such thing, especially with Uncle Dana and everyone being "in the mix" for title shots, but some never getting them.
Does the UFC airing live Invicta events on Fight Pass make this deal even sweeter?
3.) The addition of live InvictaFC events on UFC Fight Pass makes a deal that was already beneficial to both promotions even more so.
Jack McGee:FACT Easily a fact. INVICTA needed someone to distribute their product. They had no interest from TV partners, they had previous issues with iPPV and they lost money trying traditional PPV, due to the cost of the satellite feed. They needed someone to distribute their product, plain and simple, and they made the deal. The UFC wants to use Fight Pass not just to distribute their product and video library, but they are considering content distribution, which this deal proves. They want INVICTA (more on why later) and they are in talks to have big time judo and amateur wrestling event during the International Fight week next year, which would air on Fight Pass. They want content, they want subscribers, and by having other content that isn't a threat to them (INVICTA) they may also realize that they don't have to run quite so many events. But back to INVICTA, The UFC wants to control the world of MMA, they want to BE MMA and they are establishing their women's division. They have Ronda Rousey, they are adding another weight class, but they need women's MMA to keep thriving at other levels. They have entered into this distribution deal, and will show INVICTA events going forward and make their older content available as well. This is because most of the fighters in the next women's season are coming FROM INVICTA. They want to have access to the footage, and they want to make sure INVICTA can survive to keep the growth of MMA going strong. I would not be surprised if Dana didn't end up being Vince McMahon here, and INVICTA eventually becomes ECW when he absorbs/buys it. But yes, it is certainly a great deal for both parties and I am glad I will be able to watch the events going forward.
Alex Rella:FACT I don't know how much money this will bring both promotions, but yes it does make sense for both. It gives the UFC some unique content to put on Fight Pass and it gives Invicta the proper outlet to air their shows. Invicta has put on some great shows, but they can't survive putting them on Youtube for free and not many people are going to pay to watch them on ppv. This partnership with the UFC is going to help them out so much. Yes they'll be an unofficial developmental system for the UFC's bantamweight and strawweight divisions, but they'll benefit in other areas. The UFC is going to help them reach new markets across the globe. This will not only add to their fan base and in turn increase their revenue, but it'll help them scout and recruit fighters they wouldn't have been able to in the past.
Will WSOF have to perform better to avoid losing their slot on broadcast network television?
4.) In spite of doubling their previous viewership record, WSOF garnering 781,000 viewers for their NBC network debut is not promising.
Alex Rella: FICTION I think doubling their viewers is a great sign and their new deal with NBC is really going to help the promotion. Plus I expect their next show to do even better too. WSOF 11 had some of their best fighters, but it happened on July 4th weekend and in the afternoon too no less. People were at barbecues, the beach, or just piss drunk at that time. I know it was difficult for me to watch, so I'm sure it was tough for others. It was not the optimal time to put on an MMA show, but the UFC put them in a tough position running UFC 175 the same day. Maybe some fans didn't want to watch eight hours of MMA and they just opted to watch the more popular UFC at night. Overall it was a tough day/time to put on a show and I think they did pretty good all things considered and I expect them to do much better in the future.
Jack McGee:FACT On the surface, it sounds great that they doubled their viewership. But then you have to remember, they aired on NBC Sports, which does both jack and shit for ratings numbers. That fact that they had 300,000 or so viewers on NBC Sports is amazing, but this was NBC. They had 99% clearance for this show, which means everyone, their mom and their cousins could watch this show. They ran in the afternoon, unopposed and couldn't hit a million viewers. Sure it wasn't the sexiest card in the world, but it had the buzz of title fights, which the causal fan loves to see. 781,000 seems great, but in the grand scheme of things, while things could have been worse, I feel they should have and needed to do better for the brand to grow.
Will we see more fighters move their careers from the cage to the squared circle?
5.) In spite of rumors of Rashad Evans looking to join the WWE being untrue, that is a career path that more fighters are going to explore as their in-cage careers end.
Jack McGee:FICTION If the Japanese scene was hotter, I would have said fact simply for the fact that a lot of MMA guys found a new career during and after their fight careers in Japan. But with Japan not being nearly as hot as it was, and the interest in MMA guys over there not being what it was (look at the abysmal run the Gracies recently had in New Japan) I have to go fiction. If we turn our attention to the WWE, I cannot see a guy like Rashad going there and working anywhere near a full schedule for what WWE pays. And lets face it, Rashad is not the PPV draw Brock is nor does he have the name value to WWE fans Brock does, so he wouldn't get the sweet deal like Brock. Rashad for his last fight, UFC 167 against Chael Sonnen, made $250,000. $125,000 to show and $125,000 to win. Do you think WWE will offer his a downside of $250,000? Add into the equation the fact of sponsorship, PPV points and other bonuses that he likely got, and the money is not there for a guy like Rashad. As much as I would love to see how some of my MMA favorites would do in wrestling, it simply Is not as viable an options as it once was. Unless someone is really in need of money of course, but a guy like Rashad will be UFC for life, and likely have a job with Fox Sports when he is done.
Alex Rella:FICTION There will always be guys who might be capable of crossing over to the WWE like Evans or Chael Sonnen, but I don't think this will be the norm. MMA fighters are in amazing shape and incredibly tough, but professional wrestling is completely different. It's different movements, training, conditioning, and psychology. Tom Lawlor was fun in ROH, but anything Mo Lawal or Rampage did in TNA was the drizzling shits. I'm sure a few guys will try to make the transition and even less will be successful. I just don't expect this to be the norm.
So who won? Did Jack continue his winning ways or did Alex pull off another Cinderella upset? You've got until midnight eastern on Saturday to vote, so make sure you make your voice heard!
Will the Strain bring about a vampire renaissance on television?
Bonus) Guillermo Del Toro's The Strain will do for vampires on television what The Walking Dead has done for zombies.
Alex Rella:FICTION The first episode was great, but I think the comparison is a little off. The Walking Dead was the first great zombie show, but their have been plenty of successful vampire shows over the years. There's been Buffy, True Blood, Vampire Diaries (no, I don't watch that one), and plenty of others. It's a new take on it, but the genre has been tackled before.
Jack McGee:FACT I suppose so, but that is a loaded question. Do you mean that people will hate the show like some hate The Walking Dead? Or do you mean people will love the show like many love The Walking Dead? I'll go with the positive and I say I hope so. I'm not the biggest Del Toro fan, he obviously has done some good work and I am more than prepared to give this show a shot. I sure as hell hope son\, because as a TV junkie, I need more to watch and/or fill my DVR with.
"I just want to tell you good luck, we're all counting on you."
And that's it for today, but we'll be back next week with another contest! As always, if there's anything you'd like to see featured in a future edition, leave your statement in the comments and I'll add it in. Let us know what you thought in the comments, on Twitter, or on Google+. And please, be sure to vote!