The 10 Most Important Fighters to the Business of Mixed Martial Arts Part I
The mixed martial arts business has seen its ups and downs during its short history. This list is intended to capture the fighters who had the biggest influence in creating interest in the sport and drawing money.
This list is not intended to be a simple listing of the fighters who drew the most money. If that were the sole criterion, the list would look significantly different. Rather, this list is designed to capture the fighters who were most important in shaping the business. Fighters who sparked increases in business and paved the way for bigger things are given additional weight even if they drew less money at the time.
The four fighters who came the closest to making the list but fell short were Masakatsu Funaki, Wanderlei Silva, Matt Hughes and Kid Yamamoto.
Quote of the Day: Underselling Rampage Jackson
"Stranger still is an auspicious lack of promotion for Jackson, who has easily earned an hour's worth of highlights in his Pride career. Why not package a propaganda piece prior to the show that elaborates on his impressive history? Wasn't that more or less the point of acquiring that video library?"
The Case Against Forrest Griffin
Forrest only has two likely ways to pull out a victory in this fight grind out a decision or catch Quinton in a submission during a scramble. Forrest just doesn't knock people out, especially block heads like Rampage. He has excellent ground skills, but is self admittedly lacking in the area of takedowns. He will have the gas tank to go full speed with Jackson for five rounds and after seeing both of their last fights it's a very likely outcome.
HDNet Satisfied As Programming Leader, No Event Plans Yet
Even though the Mark Cuban-backed HDNet seems to have the financial resources to be a challenger to UFC, HDNet Fights has chosen to be more a programming brand than a fight promotion in the 9 months it's been around. They have no imminent plans for a 3rd event yet, admitting the timing is completely tied to-no surprise here-Randy Couture getting his freedom from UFC.
Melvin Guillard prepares to give the UFC one more shot
“Right now it’s tough. You got guys like Spencer Fisher, Frankie Edgar, I can name so many. You even got Rich in there. It gets tougher and you just got to train harder, but right now I’m going to give it a shot and try to become UFC champion. But for future reference, if that doesn’t work and I don’t feel that I’m going to be a champion in the UFC then switch me over to the WEC because its about being a champion and I want to go somewhere where I can be a champion right now. I’m not going to be naive and a hypocrite but I don’t see myself beating BJ Penn right now, he’s a top guy. Anybody under him, yeah, I can go head to head with and I could give it a shot, but I’m not going to sit here and say that my skills are good enough to beat BJ Penn right now because his ground game is way off the charts. Guys like (WEC lightweight champion) Jamie Varner and (Rob) McCullough and guys like that — those guys are tailor made for me to fight. I’m gonna give it a shot and give it a run, but if I fall short again, I’ll be looking forward to moving somewhere else so I can become a champion.”
well at least he seems more humble and mature than he has in the past
UFC 86: Forrest Griffen is up to challenge
He’s not the first Ultimate Fighter alum to get a shot at a title, but that’s not anything that worries the laid back Xtreme Couture fighter. “I was very fortunate with The Ultimate Fighter. A lot of guys have done it now, but I’m glad it took as long as it did,” said Griffin in an exclusive interview with MMAWeekly.com.
Of his transformation from competitor to coach on the television series that helped to launch the current rise in success that mixed martial arts has received, Griffin delivered in his brutally honest style that always makes you wonder if he is dead serious or dripping with sarcasm.
“It’s easier to tell people what to do than do it. But actually I’m a selfish bastard. I care about me primarily. So I’d rather be getting trained than training people,” he said.
“I don’t lead nothing man. If we were all on a deserted island, lost, I would not be Jack.”
In Jackson, Griffin faces a man that is riding an impressive six-fight winning streak, including a title-crowning win over Chuck Liddell and a subsequent five-round defense against former Pride light heavyweight and middleweight champ Dan Henderson.
Mac Danzig on Clay Guida fight, TUF advice
MMAWeekly: First off, Mac, can you give us an injury update?
Mac Danzig: I actually suffered the knee injury in the middle of the (Mark Bocek) fight. I tore a bunch of muscles in my knee, and had a partial tear of a ligament. I’ve jut been healing it up and taking it easy. I moved my girlfriend in with me, took a few photography trips for myself, and now I’m just preparing to get back in there. It’s getting to the point where I’m eight weeks out (from my next fight) and I can start pushing hard.
The injury was slower to heal than I thought it would be, but it will be fine for this fight, unless something crazy happens. I should be good to go.
MMAWeekly: You mention your upcoming fight. For fans that haven’t heard yet, tell us what’s upcoming.
Mac Danzig: It’s going to be me and Clay (Guida) at a UFC Fight Night in September. I guess it’s going to be in Omaha, Neb. I’m not sure what spot our fight is going to be on the card. I’ve heard rumors that it might be the main event, co-main event or just a regular fight on the card – I don’t know. None of that really matters to me; I’m just really looking forward to fighting him.
This is the first time in a long time that I’ve been very excited about the opponent and match-up. I think from a fan’s perspective it’s an awesome fight. If I was a fan watching, I’d want to see it.
Bobby Southworth: a win over "Babalu" could cement legacy
AN JOSE, Calif. -- Soon after defending his Strikeforce world light heavyweight title with Friday's unanimous-decision victory over Anthony Ruiz, Bobby Southworth (9-5) was already looking ahead to future challenges.
Southworth, who avenged a previous non-title-fight loss to Ruiz with the victory, said that he's entering the twilight of his career and wants to fight the division's best before calling it quits.
The 38-year-old considers Renato "Babalu" Sobral (29-7) one such fighter.
Drew Fickett - The Whole Story
We've posted a little bit about Drew Fickett briefly being on Friday's Strikeforce card as a last minute replacement of a replacement to face Luke Stewart. Fickett ultimately got scratched because he was under contract to fight Ryan Ford for the Maximum Fighting Championship welterweight title.
The whole thing was handled in a very professional manner by all parties involved. Exhibit A, here's a purported transcript of a voice message that MFC promoter Mark Pavelich left on Fickett's manager's voice mail upon hearing of the Strikeforce fight:
Thomson Not Ruling Out Melendez Rematch
Fresh off his win over his friend Gilbert Melendez for the Strikeforce Lightweight Title, Josh Thomson says he wants to defend it against the best fighters, which means he certainly wouldn't rule out a rematch with Melendez.
Crooked Cop tried to scam Matt Hughes
Every MMA fighter should take note of this odd case with former UFC welterweight champ Matt Hughes.
Hughes settled out of court last week on a case that dates back to the Friday before UFC 64 at Mandalay Bay. Jed Leist, a former police officer in Rockmart, Georgia, asked for a photo with Hughes during UFC's autograph session.
MMA could soon face ban in Delaware
With mixed martial arts continuing to gain mainstream popularity, local boxing promoter Keith Stoffer said he wouldn't mind if MMA disappeared.
"It's no secret that this movement has, especially on television, taken away from boxing," Stoffer said.
He may end up getting his wish, at least temporarily.
On Tuesday, state Rep. Robert J. Valihura Jr., R-Beau Tree, introduced legislation that would ban "combative fighting" in Delaware.
House Bill 501, which is being called the "Toughman Legislation," lumps MMA with Toughman competitions.
The bill defines Toughman events as elimination tournaments between amateur participants without any boxing experience or training.
The bill would ban both forms of fighting in Delaware. Promoters and fighters who violate the law would face class A misdemeanor charges.
‘The Artist’ KJ Noons has no qualms painting another masterpiece on Nick Diaz’s face
Elite XC Lightweight Champion KJ Noons was a guest on HDNet’s “Inside MMA” yesterday, adding yet another chapter to the back and forth war of words between himself and his nemesis, Nick Diaz.
By now it’s common knowledge that there is no love lost between these two.
Noons and Diaz originally fought last November for the right to become the first-ever Elite XC lightweight champion. Noons won the match fight after a ringside doctor deemed the cuts around both of Diaz’s eyes were too severe for the fight to go on. Diaz obviously disagreed with the decision and he’s been clamoring for another shot at Noons ever since.