The news this week that's been grinding my gears. Rampage Jackson says something stupid, Cyborg Santos thinks Ronda Rousey is the one who has to 'step up', Dana White's thoughts on Bellator, the Culinary Union's absurdly obvious agenda, and Anderson Silva wanting a fight in Brazil on July 4th weekend.
Various, little things can do a lot to annoy die hard MMA fans, and there's not a week that goes by where something happens, someone says something, or someone does something that draws my ire. Let's see what got my back up in this premiere edition of Ring Rants.
Quinton 'Rampage' Jackson makes an ass out of himself in an interview with MMA Heat's and occasional UFC on Fuel's reporter Karyn Bryant. He's made it clear he doesn't want to go back to the UFC, but I'm assuming he's oblivious to his behaviour possibly hampering his chances with any potential suitors and future sponsors. Then again, it wouldn't surprise me if he ends up in Bellator no matter how he acts, considering their roster has contained convicted wife beaters, criminally violent ex-pornstars, and an initial signing of a fighter guilty of manslaughter. Rampage is no angel, but fortunately for him Bellator doesn't seem to have the bar raised particularly high when it comes to the professionalism of their athletes.
On the subject of Bellator, they successfully prevented an injunction that would have allowed Eddie Alvarez to compete at UFC 159. Bellator continue to be perceived as the bad guys in this, and it's unclear what their end game is other than indirectly scaring off future prospects (providing they have half-decent management).
Dana White went after Bellator, Spike TV and Viacom during an interview on UFC tonight with Chael Sonnen and Kenny Florian. White basically said Viacom need to pay what Alvarez deserves if they want to keep him in Bellator. Of course, Alvarez is only in this situation because the UFC contract offered to him had too many approximations, estimations and hypotheticals -- instead of concrete language and guaranteed hard figures -- and this is the crux of the Bellator vs Alvarez litigation. If UFC really wants to sign a fighter from Viacom owned Bellator in the future, they should probably look to re-format their own contracts first to prevent this from happening again.
Last thing on UFC, Bellator and Rampage for this week: the Culinary Union's attempt at attacking the UFC through the actions of Rampage in the lead up to UFC on Fox 6 was so pathetically transparent, I would hope absolutely everyone saw through it. Not only that, but I hope that the National Center on Domestic and Sexual Violence, Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation, Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault, Rape Victims Advocates, YWCA Metropolitan Chicago, Between Friends, Chicago Metropolitan Battered Women's Network, and Mujeres Latinas en Acción are informed that they got played like pawns in Unite Here's dollar-driven vendetta with UFC owners Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta, whose Station Casino chain is non-union. You can bet these charities and organisations won't be informed of where Rampage Jackson signs next, or that Unite Here 's 'Unfit for Children' will bother mentioning Viacom owned Bellator at all.
It does make me wonder what the Culinary Union will do next to make themselves even more obviously biased, or make their hidden agenda even more apparent. Maybe set up a website titled wehateufcbecausewewantthefertittasmoney dot com.
Cristiane Santos has upped her trash talk game, which may or may not be under the advisement of manager Tito Ortiz, telling UFC Women's champion Ronda Rousey to 'Step up, bit*h' in a vain attempt to goad the Olympic Judo medallist into taking a fight on Cyborg's terms. Cyborg's the only one that needs to step up, and that's to the weight scales if she even wants a relevant career in MMA any more. Cyborg is the one who failed a PED test, Cyborg is the one without a championship or even a home to fight in now that Strikeforce is finally done and dusted, Cyborg is the one who has to go through hoops to make this fight happen, not Rousey. Bearing all that in mind, if the UFC is telling her to 'jump', she is in no position to negotiate 'how high'. Make 135lbs, or go fight somewhere else, in obscurity with a permanently tarnished reputation.
According to manager Ed Soares, Anderson Silva will take a fight with Chris Weidman ... as long as it happens in Brazil. Considering Anderson Silva's success as a champion (though arguably he's only been commercially a home run for the UFC in the last few years) it's not surprising a demand like this is being made for Silva to again fight in Brazil where he's become insanely popular. The trouble is, the event is likely going to be on July 4th weekend.
I just can't see UFC holding their annual event that coincides the week of the anniversary of the United States of America's Independence, the USA's biggest national holiday and celebration of the year, on foreign soil. Anderson Silva is the greatest fighter in the world, and while he has helped the UFC in Brazil, the UFC has helped him in response by giving him such a grand stage to fight on. The financial benefit hasn't hurt Silva either.
This is likely just posturing from Silva and Soares as Dana White claims they often do when it comes to fight negotiation, but as global as the UFC is becoming, it's still a very American product with very American roots, even if those roots are clearly multi-cultural. When it comes to the UFC around July 4th, it has to be 'Only in America'.