The Agony of the Injury: UFC's 2012 Badly Slowed by Health Woes
It doesn't take a statistical analysis to innately understand that injury woes have ravaged the UFC schedule in 2012. Still, with two-thirds of the year completed, a look at the numbers makes it clear exactly just how bad it has been.
So far this year, the UFC has had no fewer than 78 fights canceled due to injury, an MMA Fighting examination of records shows. To put that into perspective, that number of injuries is just two less than the total number of fights produced by the UFC in all of 2005...
Crunching Numbers: How Fairly Are Fight Bonuses Awarded?
The UFC's stated fight bonus system is a noteworthy form of incentivization. For extraordinary performance, UFC fighters are able to considerably augment their pay with a Submission of the Night (SOTN), Knockout of the Night (KOTN) or Fight of the Night (FOTN) bonus. Sometimes the same fighter can win two of those bonuses on the same night. Best of all, any fighter on the card can win any of the awards. You don't have to be a world champion at the top of the card to take home extra cash on a UFC fight night.
Or do you?
After going over the data, it appears you do. Or, at least, it helps quite a bit. The truth of the UFC's stated fight bonus system is that while everyone at every level can and has won, the most dramatic impact on your likelihood of earning bonus money has little to do with performance.
Before we get into which factor is the biggest determinant in being awarded bonuses, let's take a look at the kind of fighter who wins UFC fight bonuses. The numbers below are some of the statistics based on the top 20 bonus earners in UFC history:
Jon Jones was going to pay UFC 151 fighters salaries but chose not to after Twitter trash talk
Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) was all set to blow the roof off the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, tonight (Sat., Sept. 1, 2012) with its UFC 151: "Jones vs. Henderson" event headlined by Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones defending his title against Dan Henderson.
That was until about nine days ago when word trickled out that "Hendo" injured his knee and would be pulling out of the fight. This triggered a chain of events that have changed the way mixed martial arts (MMA) fans feel about the biggest fight promotion in the world.
Jones, already a polarizing figure, turned down a short notice replacement bout against Chael Sonnen, presumably after being told by an angry UFC President Dana White that if he did so, the entire event would be cancelled just over one week before it was scheduled to occur.
Still, Jones said no and MMA fans had their Labor Day weekend freed up from any major show.
The fallout has been nasty. White and the UFC embarked on what was, essentially, a smear campaign, burying "Bones" at every turn. They issued press releases with quotes like, "UFC 151 will always be the event remembered as the one Jon Jones and Greg Jackson MURDERED."
Rashad Evans Targeting December Return in UFC Light Heavyweight Division
Former UFC light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans hopes to fight again before the end of the year, and unless something miraculous happens, it will be at 205 pounds.
Evans has commented recently that he would love a challenge like facing UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva, which prompted everyone to assume that the former Ultimate Fighter winner might be contemplating a move down to 185 pounds.
Well, according to Evans’ manager, Glenn Robinson of Authentic Sports Management, he’s definitely interested in middleweight, but only for one fight.
Cowboy Cerrone Made it Personal with Anthony Pettis, Now He Gets to Answer For It
Anthony Pettis is anxious to get back in the cage and settle a newfound rivalry with fellow former WEC fighter Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone.
The two fighters are on a collision course for a bout later this year, so it’s no longer a matter of if, it’s only a matter of when.
“That is the fight that’s going to happen. We’re currently working, trying to put together the avenue for which they’re going to fight. I would look for an announcement sooner rather than later for when that fight’s going to be,” Pettis’ manager, Mike Roberts of MMA Inc., told MMAWeekly Radio earlier this week.
“Hopefully it’s the sooner the better because Anthony can’t wait to get his hands on him.”
Mark Munoz Open to Any UFC Fight, but No Mention of Hector Lombard Yet
Mark Munoz is currently nursing some injuries before he can schedule his next fight in the UFC.
This according to Munoz’s manager Mike Roberts of MMA Inc., who says that the former NCAA champion needed some time to heal after his loss to Chris Weidman at UFC on Fuel 4 earlier this summer.
“Mark’s nursing through some injuries right now. He obviously had the cut on his forehead and we later found out that he had a small fracture in his foot, and he’s still having some elbow problems from the surgery,” Roberts revealed when speaking to MMAWeekly Radio.
“So he’s rehabbing, taking some time to heal his body, and I think you’ll see him at some point by the end of the year.”
Prospect Bruno Carvalho plans fights at featherweight, lightweight in hopes of UFC bid
On a push toward the UFC's octagon, Brazilian striking specialist Bruno Carvalho is diversifying weight classes to make himself more appealing.
Carvalho on Saturday makes his featherweight debut against Maicon Bastos, and he hopes to use the result to springboard onto the international scene. Once there, he promises to be a model UFC employee.
"My greatest dream is to fight in the UFC," Carvalho told MMAjunkie.com. "If I join that organization and they tell me to fight 10 times in a year, I would love that."
Bisping wants to fight Hendo again
Michael Bisping is a man on a mission. As his date with destiny and the formidable Brian Stann approaches we hear from “The Count” and find out which loss haunts him the most. We also discover who has been bending Dana White’s ear about one Chael P. Sonnen and question the wisdom of Vitor Belfort’s jump to 205lbs to lock horns with Nike’s new poster boy Jon Jones…
Michael Bisping is the most recognisable, successful British MMA fighter there has been since the creation of the UFC almost two decades ago. He has been the veritable face of UK mixed martial arts for years but one thing has eluded him. It is of course that one night all top tier athletes crave, the opportunity to compete for a world title at the summit of their chosen sport. Bisping has been close on a couple of occasions but no cigar, namely contender contests against the two pillars of Team Quest, Dan Henderson and Chael Sonnen. Speaking to UFC Insider this week, the always vocal 33 year old was typically candid regarding his aspirations as he enters the twilight of an eventful career.
“The fight I want to have again is Dan Henderson. That’s the one that haunts me… It’s what drives me, it’s why I’m here today. If I could get the opportunity to fight him, I would relish that opportunity”
The fighter Anderson Silva didn't try to finish
UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva has failed to finish his opponent in only two UFC fights. At UFC 112 he spent five rounds toying with Demain Maia, while taunting him with terms like "playboy" (it's a long story).
The other was at UFC 97 in 2009, which also went the full five rounds.
In an interview with Benjamin Back of the Brazilian newspaper O Lance (The Lance), Silva was asked if he had ever held off finishing an opponent to keep a PPV going longer.
“There’s no such thing as holding back" replied Silva. "I want to finish as soon as possible. The only time I did it was because he was a friend of mine. It was against Thales Leites. We went until the last round because he’s a friend of mine and I respect him."
Curiously, in an Brazlian Portuguese language interview with Leites by Tatame today, he denied that they are friends...
USA TODAY: Frankie Edgar replaces Erik Koch, meets champ Jose Aldo at UFC 153
(This story appeared in Friday's edition of USA TODAY.)
Despite a pair of disappointing losses to current UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson, former titleholder Frankie Edgar (14-3-1 MMA, 9-3-1 UFC) will now get his shot at history.
USA TODAY Sports and MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) have learned that an undisclosed injury has forced Erik Koch (13-1, 2-0) to withdraw from a planned UFC 153 title fight with current featherweight champion Jose Aldo (21-1, 3-0), and Edgar has agreed to step into the evening's main event.
Edgar now looks to join UFC Hall of Famer Randy Couture and Hawaiian superstar B.J. Penn as the only men to hold UFC championships in two different weight classes.
UFC on FOX 5 adds Dennis Siver vs. Eddie Yagin, Mike Chiesa vs. Rafaello Oliveira
A featherweight bout intended for the canceled UFC 151 card will instead take place at UFC on FOX 5, as Dennis Siver (20-8 MMA, 9-5 UFC) meets Eddie Yagin (16-5-1 MMA, 1-1 UFC).
Additionally, "The Ultimate Fighter: Live" winner Mike Chiesa (8-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) meets Rafaello Oliveira (15-5 MMA, 2-4 UFC) in a lightweight contest.
UFC officials today announced the two new contests, as well as confirming the John Albert (7-3 MMA, 1-2 UFC) vs. Scott Jorgensen (13-6 MMA, 2-2 UFC) bantamweight fight reported earlier today by MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). All three bouts are expected to take place on the evening's preliminary card.
Was Miguel Torres second UFC firing also rape joke related?
Well this is just friggin’ unbelievable. If a new report from Dave Meltzer at Wrestling Observer is accurate, Miguel Torres‘s recent UFC re-firing wasn’t due to his knockout loss to Michael McDonald earlier this year. Allegedly, it was due to the same lapse in judgement/humor/decency that got him fired the first time. As Meltzer writes:
The cutting of Miguel Torres was disciplinary in nature although it was not said what the cause was, only that he was cut. His record wasn’t bad, with a knockout loss to Michael McDonald who is going to be a top star (provided his hands don’t keep betraying him as he’s already broken them a couple of times) and a close loss to Demetrious Johnson, both top guys. He made the r*** joke on twitter and was fired, then brought back, and apparently he made some sort of a similar mistake.
Scott Jorgensen vs. John Albert slated for UFC on FOX 5
A bantamweight bout between Scott Jorgensen (13-6 MMA, 2-2 UFC) and John "Prince" Albert (7-3 MMA, 1-2 UFC) is the latest addition to December's UFC on FOX 5 fight card.
Sources close to the event today confirmed with MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that verbal agreements are in place for the fight.
UFC on FOX 5 takes place Dec. 8 at KeyArena in Seattle. The main card airs on FOX following prelims on FUEL TV.
Jorgensen vs. Albert is slated for the prelims.
UFC to launch Japan Event Series in 2013
Japan will host a smaller UFC event series in 2013.
The series likely will include four shows in 2013, Mark Fischer, executive vice president and managing director of the UFC's Asian Operations division, told Nikkan Sports.
The shows are targeted for smaller 5,000-seat arenas and won't use the UFC's traditional event numbering.
Instead, they'll likely use specialized numbering similar to what's used with the UFC on FX and UFC on FUEL TV event series.
The shows will be geared around Japanese talent, specifically top prospects who work their way up the UFC ladder by first fighting in their home country. No broadcast plans have been finalized for the events.
JMMA never die!!! This may be the shot in the arm the market needs.
'The Ultimate Fighter 16' cast unveiled with 32 UFC welterweight hopefuls
The official list of "TUF 16" fighters includes:
Sam Alvey (19-4), 26, Murrieta, Calif.
Igor Araujo (22-6), 31, Albuquerque, N.M. (via Patos De Minas, Brazil)
Saad Awad (11-4), 23, San Bernardino, Calif.
Jesse Barrett (8-0), 26, Tempe, Ariz.
Diego Bautista (7-1), 26, Lakewood, Calif.
Frank Camacho (10-2), 23, Camp Springs, Md.
James Chaney (7-2), 25, Klamath Falls, Ore.
Jerel Clark (5-1), 23, Reno, Nev.
Cortez Coleman (8-3), 30, Hugo, Okla.
Cameron Diffley (3-0), 27, Las Vegas, Nev.
Eddy Ellis (17-15-1), 29, Olympia, Wash.
Max Griffin (4-1), 26, Sacramento, Calif.
Nic Herron-Webb (11-3), 22, Anchorage, Alaska
Michael Hill (4-0), 25, Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada
Zane Kamaka (4-0), 23, Klaianae, Hawaii
Leo Kuntz (14-1-1), 28, Bismarck, N.D.
Julian Lane (4-0), 25, Mansfield, Ohio
Ricky Legere Jr. (14-4), 26, Corona, Calif.
George Lockhart (10-4), 29, Atlanta, Ga.
Lev Magen (4-0), 25, Las Vegas, Nev.
Neil Magny (7-1), 24, Chicago, Ill.
Jon Manley (7-1), 26, Ludlow, Mass.
Bristol Marunde (12-7), 30, Las Vegas, Nev.
David Michaud (4-0), 23, Pine Ridge, S.D.
Kevin Nowaczyk (11-2), 23, Chicago, Ill.
Joey Rivera (7-1), 32, Tucson, Ariz.
Mike Ricci (7-2), 26, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Tim Ruberg (9-1), 30, Harrison, Ohio
Matt Secor (1-1), 25, South Glens Falls, N.Y.
Colton Smith (3-1), 25, Fort Hood, Texas via Ankeny, Iowa
Jason South (8-0), 34, West Jordan, Utah
Dom Waters (4-1), 23, Santa Rosa, Calif.
Jon Jones Asked Dana White To Have Chael Sonnen Stop Calling Him Out
In light of the recent mess that was the cancelation of UFC 151, we still have yet to see the end of the aftermath. Not too many people came out of this looking great, except maybe Chael Sonnen, the unlikely "hero" in this story. Some people have come out of this cast in very deprecatory ways, few more than UFC light heavyweight champion, Jon Jones. In a recent article from The Wrestling Observer (Subscription required), there's yet another piece of information that will add fuel to the Jon Jones fire:
Jones was very upset after Chael began calling him out and mocking him on Twitter, going as far as to contact White and ask him to tell Chael to stop
Even if you're an avid Jones supporter, it's hard to cast this in a positive light. Sure, it may not always be fun to be the butt of ten thousand Chael Sonnen jokes, but that's not something you can just ask Dana White to stop. It just seems childish for a professional athlete to respond so oddly to a little bit of heat from a possible competitor.
Also from the article, we see more of Jones, as his recent appearance on a radio show is analyzed, and what Jon said makes him look like a hypocrite: