Posted 2/22/07 12:49:00PM
Hours after UFC 71, I posted at Sprawl ‘n Brawl the reasons why Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson is good for the UFC. To summarize, he is naturally marketable. Every interview he does is humorous. And as many have pointed out, he appeals to an African-American market that UFC has yet to tap into.
With all that being said, who has the UFC decided to put over?
From a Q&A session with Dana White in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune:
Q Chuck Liddell is among the most recognizable UFC fighters. What impact does his recent loss to Quinton Jackson have on UFC?
A It happens in this sport. Guys lose. Chuck is one of those fighters that’s going to bounce back. He’s a tough guy. … You never know who’s going to win. Chuck getting knocked out was the equivalent of Buster Douglas knocking out Mike Tyson.
Excuse me? Buster Douglas? Surely, you’re not comparing ‘Rampage’ Jackson to Buster Douglas. Let’s be fair here. Buster Douglas was a 42-to-1 underdog. Didn’t you see the betting odds for the Rampage/Liddell fight? A 42-to-1 underdog Quinton Jackson was not. Not even close. This is an example of pushing the angle that the fight was a fluke victory for ‘Rampage’.
Not a single mention has been made of ‘Rampage’ in any of the interviews I have seen with Dana recently. Yet, he repeatedly mentions Chuck Liddell.
Most interesting are his comments yesterday on The Jim Rome Show. He says Chuck Liddell is one of the best, if not the best, mixed martial artists in the world. Dana mentioned that Liddell v. Silva would be the biggest fight in MMA history. I would have to argue that the 205 pound double-crown championship fight between Rampage and Dan Henderson could be considered the biggest fight in MMA history, depending on how you market it. White was also still shocked that Chuck got laid out. Apparently, Dana forgot what happened in Japan in 2003.
I don’t have anything against Chuck Liddell. I think he’s a great fighter and I love watching him fight. Chuck has done great things for the UFC and helped them get to where they are now, and I am sure Dana is appreciative. However, you have to roll with the punches and embrace your new champion.
You have a commodity that is waiting to be marketed in Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson. Market him correctly, and he can help you take UFC to a new level. If Jackson beats Henderson, you’ll have no choice but to market him — so you might as well get a head start.
C’mon, Dana. Like Rampage would say, “you know the bidness.”
Posted 2/22/07 12:49:00PM
UFC president Dana White told a Minneapolis newspaper that Chuck Liddell losing to Quinton Jackson was like Mike Tyson losing to Buster Douglas.
When asked about how the loss would affect Liddell's star power, White said it wouldn't.
"It happens in this sport. Guys lose. Chuck is one of those fighters that's going to bounce back. He's a tough guy. ... You never know who's going to win. Chuck getting knocked out was the equivalent of Buster Douglas knocking out Mike Tyson"
As Adam Morgan at Fight Opinion points out, Douglas was a 42-1 underdog against Tyson. Rampage, on the other hand, had already badly beaten Chuck once, and was a narrow underdog coming into the most recent bout.
In the same interview, White says he doesn't like talking about money.
"All sports have gotten to be too about the money," he says. "I don't like talking about the money. Who gives a [rip]? Do you like the fights? That's what it's really all about."
The UFC has come under some criticism lately for underpaying its fighters.