Last Night, Dana Was Not The Fight Master

Posted on June 20, 2013, 04:45 PM by Brian Cox
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If I were a Fertitta brother and I owned the UFC, then this morning I would have been very unhappy with the promotion’s president and perennial frontman, Dana White.

Last night’s “SBV’s” broadcast of a full evening of Bellator, which was kicked-off with the inaugural rounds of the promotion’s latest fight series and then followed up by the debut episode of their new reality show called “Fight Master”, was an un-abashed success.

Regarding the success of last night’s shows and in particular Fight Master and the UFC’s lack of counter programming through the week to combat SBV’s new programming, I think it’s fair to ask the question, where was Dana on this one?

One hot-topic of conversation in the boardroom today (for me), would have been the subject of Chuck Liddell’s appearance (in a “Miller Lite” commercial) during the SBV broadcast. To put it bluntly, how is it possible that the Vice President of Business Development for the UFC came to be in that show last night?

From a marketing point-of-view it was a complete fail.

The UFC cannot allow or permit a high-profile member of its staff to play any role in an SBV event and that includes (any) 3rd party commercial appearances. Dana needs to address this issue and rectify it immediately and to do it in such a manner as to ensure that it never happens again. On this subject, the UFC / White have completely dropped the ball.

The next topic of conversation would be about Randy Couture and Greg Jackson and their participation in Fight Master and how it is that the UFC couldn’t do a deal with the 2, where SBV could? Direct question to Dana, did your personal feelings and abrasive (situational) management style regarding these 2 (UFC built) marquee names prevent the promotion from doing a deal with either or both of them?

Further and on Jackson particularly, one would (now) think that the smart business move and appropriate response for the UFC, would be to ban Greg (professionally) from all UFC events. As with Couture, Jackson now works for the competition and I think the promotion would be well within its purview to ban him. I would deem that reasonable in a business sense.

Regarding Fight Master itself and comparing it to TUF, I believe that FM walks away with it and handily. It’s just a better show right across the board, particularly regarding its format and production values. If true, then what’s Dana’s game-plane for updating TUF’s stale style and ridding the show of its dreariness?

As a final criticism, I believe it was a poor marketing decision on behalf of the UFC to promote a “yawn” PPV event (UFC 161) just 4 days prior to SBV launching their new free package and even then, as the only counter-programming which they offered for the week.  IMO and given the current MMA landscape, UFC 161 should have been a free telecast. It certainly wasn’t worth $50.  

Concluding, I believe SBV scored a big win last night and it even came with a beautiful KO (King Mo Lawal) punch to lead-into their Fight Master debut. All in all, if the options in the room were TUF or Fight Master, I’d vote for Fight Master and give TUF a pass. 

The production heads over at SBV should be pleased with themselves, today and DW and company should be rolling up their sleeves and figuring out how they’re going to get their reality TV show turf back.

So those are my thoughts on last night’s SBV shows, what are yours?

Do you feel that Fight Master is a better show and format then TUF and has the UFC ceded ground to SBV regarding the reality show and the fight genre? Was Dana asleep at the switch, on this one?

 


Comments

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  • Entity
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    Since no-one can see Spike unless you have satellite/cable in the US, I guess I have no input on this.Spike really needs to have an online ability for live shows. They'd get rich if they charged a small fee to see it.

    Reply 10 months ago
  • ksooner76
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    RIGHT!!

    Reply 10 months ago
  • bantam
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    Please explain to me how the UFC should intervene when a commercial that Chuck Liddell did for Miller Lite shows during a Bellator show? Chuck Liddell is a widely known mixed martial artist, Miller Lite can show his commercial whenever they feel is best. I think your a little too emotionally involved with hating Dana White, of the UFC, for giving an honest opinion on this subject. I would respect the fact that the UFC isn't controlling their fighters/employees and dictating what they can and can't participate in. You want to criticize them for not being micromanagers and treating people who are involved with their organization as property?

    Reply 10 months ago
  • Brian Cox
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    Bantam...I don't hate Dana White. Not at all. However, I don't think he's perfect either and I think he's made some errors here, particularly regarding his treatment of Couture.

    Regarding Liddell, he's the VP of Business Development for the UFC and not just some x- employee / fighter. I would have thought that the UFC in hiring him would have considered the issue of endorsements and how they are used.

    Whether or not they can do anything about it, I'm not sure. One solution would be to fire Liddell, if the UFC was so motivated. My point on this issue is that it's just bad-form. The UFC looked pretty stupid last night IMO with their VP-BD pushing beer during an SBV promotion. That sort of thing is not cool in the corporate world. A BMW exec, for example, does not drive a Jaguar. It just wouldn't be allowed. It would look bad. I think the same analogy can be made regarding Chuck, his current job, the Miller Lite commercial and it being aired during an SBV promotion.

    That...is one that has managed to slip through the cracks and if I owned the business, it would be an issue I'd address. That's my take on it, at any rate.

    Reply 10 months ago
  • thexperience1
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    "regarding his treatment of Couture"...??

    Well judging from "facts" as Couture admitted he went behind the UFC's back and negotiated a deal with SBV, when he felt like he wanted "more". However he did not express this to the UFC yet and before he could in the next meeting with Dana. Someone (read: SBV) leaked the offer SBV made Couture and details of the negotiations. This is when the UFC shut down the negotiations with Couture and let him go. Couture basically confirmed what Dana was saying about him all along... He has no character! That's not how a real man handles his sh*t.. period! I don't care if SBV leaked the story. He shouldn't have took the meetings if he had agreed on a deal with Fox and the UFC already and further negotiations were ongoing. If he did want to take those meetings and see what they had to offer, he should've communicated this with the UFC first cause he was already scheduled for appearances and didn't show up.

    Reply 10 months ago
  • highkick12
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    Fire chuck because a commercial he was in aired during that show?? Please don't post this crap every week.

    Reply 10 months ago
  • Brian Cox
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    If you don't get the reasoning, then you don't get the reasoning.

    Either way, your thoughtful comments are appreciated.

    Reply 10 months ago
  • akieyugames
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    I don't think the UFC looked stupid, but If they would fire Chuck for a Miller commercial shown in a SBV promotion, then that would make them look stupid, that's my opinion anyway. Wonder what changes would be made to the upcoming TUF, cause Fight Master is quite interesting. Also interested in what Dana has to say about these issues.

    Reply 10 months ago
  • Brian Cox
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    Agreed, I think they would look stupid if they fired Chuck and if they did fire Chuck, it wouldn't take long for SBV to hire him and throw him on the next season of FM. Then they even look stupider.

    The UFC is between a rock and a hard place on this subject. The only way to deal with it would be to try and get miller to stop using the commercial on SBV promotions. Good luck with that one.

    No matter what, I'm confident that Chuck and that commercial came to the UFC bass's attention and that it is, at the very least, a thorn in their side. I'd find it hard to believe that they don't care or that it doesn't tick them off. I find that impossible to believe.

    Reply 10 months ago
  • Rnev75
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    Stupider? lol

    Reply 10 months ago
  • Brian Cox
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    You're right. My bad, but at least I know you read it, because you caught it. :-)

    Reply 10 months ago
  • Brian Cox
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    Experience, the truth of it, like all things, probably lies in the middle.

    Either way, when I look at the deal that he struck with SBV I have to ask myself, was the UFC going to offer Couture this type of and high-a-profile anything, let alone his own show?

    My guess is probably not.

    No matter which way we look at it the deal is certainly working out for Randy (and Greg) and no one is holding any wakes for Dana and the UFC. So, all-in-all, everyone is doing well and the fans ended up with an alternative to TUF and some decent free fights to watch, ta boot.

    For we the fans, I'd say it's worked out all rather well.

    Reply 10 months ago
  • MereDictum
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    If it worked out really well for everyone, why all the drama and stupid questions raised in this article? Is there no editorial filter on the site? This article sounds like a sixth grader phoning in a book report that he never really researched. You actually think that the UFC could somehow control when a Miller Lite commercial would air and on what networks? You actually think that the UFC dropped the ball when they did not prevent Randy from sneaking away and doing a different deal with another company? Or somehow failing to prevent a rip off of TUF from being aired with both Randy and Jackson?

    Wow.

    Reply 10 months ago
  • Brian Cox
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    Dic...

    Sadly, I was raised to believe there was no such thing as a stupid question.

    The article doesn't sound like anything, it "reads".

    As to how it reads, my guess is that you didn't read it and that you're the one who "reads" like a 6th grader.

    If you read the article and my comments on the thread, then you would know, but obviously don't, that I am under no delusions that the UFC could do much about it, now. However, they might have been able to do something about it when the original contract(s) were signed, giving the UFC control over what he can appear in and how it can be used. Nothing Orwellian, but enough control to have prevented that Miller Lite / SBV debacle.

    Regarding your last two questions...yes, to both. The answers were laid out in the article. I'm unsure of why you'd reiterate them and then simply state...wow. Surely, it is some kind of new writing style.

    In terms of Randy and his staying with the UFC I guess you’re not up to speed on all of it, because that was the original intention. Oh well, what’s a relevant fact when discussing the relevant subject?

    Does wow mean you agree and that you think they are reasonable observations to make?

    Or does wow mean...wow, you have no idea as to what's being discussed, because you didn't read the article and you're just saying wow, because it's a cliche and catch-all phrase and one which you hope makes you seem informed.

    Cheers Dic, yours are always the most well thought out posts and I mean that in all seriousness. You obviously put a great deal of cognitive thought into your dictum. It's not just mere. You are far too humble with moniker, Dic.

    Wow!

    Reply 10 months ago
  • SatelliteMan
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    You are responding to a few media comments, but neither you nor I have a clue on the real history and relationship of DW and Randy.

    Reply 10 months ago
  • SatelliteMan
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    @experience1

    Reply 10 months ago
  • thexperience1
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    @SateliteMan

    I don't respond to media comments at all! Everything i stated are FACTS! DW said it and Randy confirmed it! So there is no debate. I don't need to know any more about their history or relationship. That's irrelevant! I'm speaking on this particular subject and all the facts are on the table.

    Reply 10 months ago
  • JoeFaceHood
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    You left out the following....."This article paid for by Viacom".

    I'm not a UFC nuthugger, but d@mmit man....I hope you got it out of your system.

    Reply 10 months ago
  • Brian Cox
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    Joe...not promoting SBV, I'm just reporting on it and being fair. They did a great job with the show last night, it's hard to deny.

    Simply being honest, man.

    Reply 10 months ago
  • highkick12
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    I agree, I had to stop reading half way through this hate rant. Dana tries to step in and he's Hitler, he does nothing and he's a fail. At the end of the day this show will help grow mma which helps ufc.

    Reply 10 months ago
  • Brian Cox
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    High, I'd agree with you that the show will help grow MMA.

    As to it being a rant, it was really more an assessment and nothing more.

    I think Dana needs to do something new with TUF. I think the format is stale and boring. Fight Master is a more interesting and fresh premise.

    I don't think it's a good idea that Chuck Liddell be appearing in commercials airing on SBV promotions, while he's a paid employee and ambassador of the UFC. It would certainly be interesting to hear speak to at a press conference or an interview.

    The same thing about Greg Jackson. I'm not sure how they can allow an obvious conflict of interest(s) to persist, regarding Greg's affiliations with SBV and cornering his fighters at UFC events.

    As Dana is not a big fan of Jackson's to begin with, if he ever needed or wanted an excuse to ban Greg, here it is on a platter.

    Just some musing about the show last night, is all.

    With Couture, Jackson and Liddell all being seen on the same broadcast, you could have almost sworn you were watching a UFC produced show.

    Reply 10 months ago
  • The Hybrid
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    - Chuck, nor the UFC have control of the commercials that Spike or its partners play.
    - Greg Jackson is not an employee of the UFC, his fighters are. What he chooses to do on his free time has nothing to do with the fighters that he trains. He is simply training fighters on a televised bellator event. Is he not allowed to corner any of his fighters in promotions other than the UFC as well?

    Reply 10 months ago
  • Brian Cox
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    The UFC should have had control over such things if they were hiring Chuck as VPBD. On the other hand they do have control over his employment. If they don't see it as an embarrassment, cool.

    I never said Greg Jackson was an employee of the UFC. He is none-the-less heavily associated with it by 1 degree of separation.

    As far as the fighters being employees, they are not. They are independent contractors and businesses unto themselves. They are not on payroll. They do not receive paychecks. The UFC does not pay any of their taxes.

    I never said that Greg wasn't free to do with his time as he saw fit. He would have been an idiot to turn down the SBV opportunity. He was smart for taking it, even if he does get banished from UFC events. In a + / - comparison, Greg comes out ahead, either way.

    As to Greg being allowed to corner anywhere he wishes, to the best of my knowledge the UFC has never had a problem with it. However his SBV deal and his high-profile role on Fight Master changed the terrain, IMO.

    As SBV is the UFC's most significant competitor, I think it'll be funny to see one of their principal guys cornering the likes of GSP or Jones at a UFC event.

    If Dana doesn't care, then I don't care, but I think it's bad for his business.

    Reply 10 months ago
  • ImmaBoss
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    I am personally interested in how Greg Jackson fits into this whole issue lol as he's a massive part of the UFC since he trains numerous fighters for them i would've considered it an an idiotic and pretty stupid move on Greg's behalf to be on the competitions show just my two cents

    Reply 10 months ago
  • Brian Cox
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    Imma...I agree 100%

    I'm not saying it's a bad business move for Jackson, it's probably a great move for the man, but I don't see how the UFC can allow him to play both sides of the fence.

    Sure he can coach, but if I were Dana I'd be telling him his cornering days @ UFC events are over.

    It's not personal, it's just business.

    Reply 10 months ago
  • thexperience1
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    Greg Jackson is not a massive part of the UFC, his fighters are. So whatever he wants to do to continue to build his "own" name/brand, is his business! He would be stupid not to take that Viacom Check! Why wouldn't he?

    Reply 10 months ago
  • Entity
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    I see it as Greg's payback after Dana went public and totally trashed Greg.
    I really dont think there's crap Dana can do about it. He's just a trainer.

    Reply 10 months ago
  • Brian Cox
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    I would think that he could ban him from cornering his fighters @ UFC events.

    Reply 10 months ago
  • Kevin
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    I'm sure I saw Greg Jackson cornering someone in Strikeforce before it was bought out by UFC. Either way, I think it would be a classless act on Dana to ban a trainer for participating in a competing companies program. It would show more character on Dana's behalf to just brush it off. Plus Randy and Dana have had a back and forth relationship for years, it probably comes as no surprise that Dandy Randy jumped ship.

    End of the day UFC is the head of the MMA Totem pole. Being a champion in Bellator, WEC, Strikeforce, KoTC, any of the other numerous MMA off shoots isn't taken as seriously as a UFC Champ.

    MMA is UFC

    Reply 10 months ago
  • akieyugames
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    I'm from asia, the biggest promotion here is OneFC, I'm sad to know that it isn't MMA

    Reply 10 months ago
  • Brian Cox
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    Kevin...

    The (business) issue is not that he's cornered on other promotions, before. The (business) issue is that he's on a TV show on the a competing network and for a competing promotion. He's not just the corner guy. He's a star of the show.

    My guess will be that the issue will probably be raised by a FOX executive, if no one over at the UFC does if first.

    Again, this is business not personal and again, it was a good and smart move by Greg to take the job. I just fail how to see how the UFC can allow him to show up on their broadcasts, particularly cornering champions.

    And if the UFC banned him, I would not see it as classless. It would simply be the right business move.

    Cheers.

    Reply 10 months ago
  • enjoylife321
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    I just finished watching fight master and my overall opinion was that the show was a breath of fresh air to the repetitive TUF format.

    One comment i will make is that the fighters are allowed to choose their own coaches. Did you notice Greg Jackson trying to off load a fighter that he didn't want by saying I think these coaches are a better fit.

    Greg Jackson is playing the game big time.

    Imagine how happy Greg Jackson is right now....This is probably one of the biggest pay days for him, he gets massive exposure and he gets to stick it to Dana.





    Reply 10 months ago
  • Brian Cox
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    Yes, I picked up on that too, but he was also honest about it. He told the guy up front and the manner in which he did was interesting, too. He was passive-aggressive about it.

    Anyway, I'm with you man on your thoughts about the show. I thought it was great and I'm really looking forward to coverage of the actual camps. I hope not to see one beer consumed in this show. Not one drunken fight. Not one guy banging another guys head off of a concrete patio (a la Rampage Jackson), while trying to get out of an arm-bar. Not one show with some man's ejaculate being placed in someone's lunch.

    I'm tired of TUF. It bores me. Last season was a but, because Sonnen was a bust. He got the job by running his mouth and then upon arrival on the show and immediately became Jones's best friend. No drama there man and if the shows not about training and fighting, then they need the drama.

    The show is in the gym. Not in the house. If I was producing the show that would have been my focus all along. It seems to be Fight Master's focus, now. Good for them for getting it. They've got big MMA names on their show, so by doing this, they maximize their exposure on camera...smart business move again.

    I know I'll be watching. It looks like it's going to be interesting, which is something TUF hasn't been in years.

    Cheers, 321

    Reply 10 months ago
  • hempysmurf
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    i saw roy big country nelson in king mo's corner after his ko wearing an eliet tshirt and no one said sh!t about that either, the ufc dropped the ball on this one #underdog

    Reply 10 months ago
  • cranestyle
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    If Chuck makes a commercial for a mega-beer company, the people who decide where that commercial gets shown are the people who made it, not Chuck.

    Greg Jackson is not actually employed by the UFC, but by the fighters who he trains.

    The part of the article where you talk about Bellator scoring points of the UFC is great, but the drastic counter-measures you suggest the UFC should take are not only illegal, but a bit silly...

    ...unless this is Russia. Is this Russia?

    Reply 10 months ago
  • Brian Cox
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    Crane...I agree with everything you said about Chuck in the commercial. However, the point I'm making is 2 fold:

    1. The UFC should have been thinking about this as a problem and written a rider into their fighters contracts, that covers such a problem. That way the companies that hired UFC fighters would know beforehand, what the deal is in terms of how the fighter's image can be used and placed in broadcasts. The clause would simply be, that fighters cannot be used in "direct" competitors promotions.

    2. As Chuck is currently an employee of the UFC (VPBD) it simply looks bad.

    The measures I suggested, which are really only banning Greg, I don't see as being drastic, but rather pragmatic. He works directly for their competition, now. Again, it's not personal it's just business. I think that from a business POV, allowing him to continue to corner on UFC broadcasts helps out Greg, Fight Master and SBV, but does nothing for the UFC. All it does is continue to raise Jackson's profile and the profile of his show and affiliations.

    In terms of Chuck I'm not sure what they can do, because firing him (and only because the UFC can't control any commercials which have been made featuring Liddell), is not the answer. It would just blow-up in their faces. If they fired Chuck he'd just end up over at Fight Master and the problem would only be worse.

    As to the legality of it, I would believe that they could ban Jackson. The conflict of interest between Chuck's job and those commercials would be an interesting legal discussion, but then again, I'm not advocating firing him. However, they might ask him to quit and make it worth his while. If Chuck thought he might end up over at FM with Randy and Greg, he might well take the deal.

    Also and in terms of his job, I really wonder what 9 a.m. on a Monday morning is like at the desk of the UFC's VPBD's? If Chuck is really working and doing stuff for the UFC and is fulfilled, then great. If, however and as I suspect, it's not much more than a job title and paycheck, then maybe he'd be happy to go to SBV and actually do something that (I'm sure) he'd love and enjoy.

    On the final point, no this is not Russia it's North America. I can see where you might be confused though, it's becoming progressively more difficult to tell the difference between the two. For the record you might have also suggested China, North Korea or a host of other nations.

    Cheers, for your comments.

    Reply 10 months ago
  • Krogan
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    Are you sure Brian, that the only way to look at this as if it's all out war? Personally I find it frightening that you criticize Dana for NOT being a douchebag for once in his life.

    You not only expect the UFC to counter program and ban everyone involved in SBV from UFC events, but you attack Dana for not doing so? Your world must be one hell of a dark and seedy place.

    Reply 10 months ago
  • MereDictum
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    This. The viewer confused confusion engaged in by Spike was one of the reasons I refuse to watch a lot of their programming. I will watch fight master just because I'm a fan, but I'm pleased to see that the UFC does not engage in such sleaze. The fact that this article suggests it was a bad move not to engage in viewer confusion tells me all I need to know about the author.

    Reply 10 months ago
  • Brian Cox
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    Mere...

    if you read the article and took away form it that I was implying that it was a bad move on SBV's behalf to engage in viewer confusion, then you need to re-read it, because that was the point of my criticism to the UFC.

    It's one of the reasons I raised the issue of Chuck Liddell's commercial appearance during the broadcast.

    Had I written the article from the POV of SBV and their marketing strategy, I would have mentioned that making it look as much like the UFC is a good thing, not a bad thing and that view confusion would benefit the promotion, not hurt it.

    Apparently what the article told you was that you failed to process its content properly. Perhaps next time.

    Cheers and thanks for the comment.

    Reply 10 months ago
  • Brian Cox
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    Kro...I raised some salient issues, that's all I did. There's no hate in any of it.

    In terms of it being a war, it is a war. That's why the UFC bought the WEC and Strikeforce. They're trying to eat the competition, which in business is the enemy, subsequently is it a war and the war is over market share and market dominance.

    On the point of counter-programming, yes...the UFC should have done something IMO, either with last weekends PPV (made it free) and something this weekend.

    As to Dana being a douche-bag, I've never once called the man that term or any other outlandish terms. Where I believe he's done an amazing job with the company in terms of building it, I do not think he always gets it right or always is right.

    As to my own personal world it's rather lovely, actually. I have a good life. The world as a whole, however, is a dark and seedy place.

    Cheers

    Cheers

    Reply 10 months ago
  • darejz00
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    Damn Brian, you sure got a lot of hate for this one...

    Reply 10 months ago
  • Entity
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    lol, I noticed that too. But you know there were at least 1 or 2 people out there(noobs) that thought " I guess Chuck is with Bellator now huh?" lol

    Reply 10 months ago
  • Brian Cox
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    No hate, man. Only love. I would like to see TUF become a better show was the biggest point of it all and a few musings about the business.

    No hate in draz. Only love.


    Cheers

    Reply 10 months ago
  • chaos
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    I didn't even watch it all the way through, I just started hearing Greg Jackson talking about him being the best MMA coach on the planet or something like that, and I turned the channel =/

    Reply 10 months ago
  • Entity
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    What did you watch after that? 8P

    Reply 10 months ago
  • Brian Cox
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    Chaos, Greg is a very bright and articulate fellow. He knows a great deal about the sport. I think if you give the show a chance that you'll find you like not only it, but that Jackson will grow on you. He's a very cool guy.

    You should give the show a whirl, even if only because Couture is on it. I think if you do you'll find you'll become a fan.

    Reply 10 months ago
  • mauromina
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    This is the more weaked article ive ever seen at lowkick.

    Thank god Brian isnt Dana White... he will be the Hitler of mma. Trying to own chucks and greg jacksons soul. Telling Miller Light were to put their TV announcements and at what time.

    the UFC has never paid one single dollar to Mr. Greg Jackson. He trains guys at lots of mma organisations. He doesnt have any obligations with the UFC. Thats why Dana White has never said something about Greg in this case. It will be ridiculous for him.

    But i have to agree with Brian when he says that Fight Master looked great and also what he said about Couture.

    Reply 10 months ago