What’s the UFC Doing with its Next Generation of Stars?

Max Griffin landed 33 more strikes than Mike Perry at UFC on Fox 28. He was 1-2 in the Ultimate Fighting Championship heading into the bout and was the second-biggest underdog on the card according to the oddsmakers. Griffin had been brought in to lose to “Platinum Perry,” preferably by the kind of vicious stoppage for which the Florida native has become notorious.

When the fight started, however, it was apparent that Griffin didn’t get the memo. He controlled the distance well, as he took advantage of his five-inch reach advantage and cracked Perry with jabs and a variety of kicks, opening up a nasty cut on Perry’s forehead that would bleed copiously throughout the 15-minute contest. Apart from a desperate third-round rally from Perry, the fight was all Griffin; and when the scorecards were read, Perry was already walking towards the Octagon door. He knew, just as everyone else in the arena knew, that he lost the fight. It was his third loss in his last five contests.

You can read the rest of this article at Sherdog.com

Ronda Rousey’s Ambiguous Legacy

Ronda Rousey fans were finally given an answer to the questions surrounding the former MMA champion’s future, when she appeared at World Wrestling Entertainment’s Royal Rumble on Jan. 28 and confirmed she had signed a multi-year deal with the professional wrestling conglomerate.

No, she would not be returning to the Ultimate Fighting Championship. No, her abilities as an actor had not improved to the extent that putting a microphone in her hand was a safe option. Yes, she is still not talking about her last two starts in the Octagon, where she suffered devastating knockout defeats to Holly Holm and Amanda Nunes at UFC 193 and UFC 207.

With her transition from the UFC to WWE complete, it is appropriate to comment on the footprint she leaves behind in mixed martial arts and to ask how she should be remembered by the sport that jettisoned her into mainstream stardom.

You can read the rest of this article at Sherdog.com

A Man After Trump’s Own Heart

You won’t hear a bad word about President Trump come out of Dana White’s mouth. That has been the consistent response from the Ultimate Fighting Championship boss when asked about the reality-star-turned-commander-in-chief since Trump announced he was running for the Republication nomination in 2015. In an interview with the Boston Herald last week, White doubled down on that sentiment, going on to express “disgust” at those protesting against the current White House and revealing that he had spoken to Trump up to 20 times since he won the election.

The friendship between Trump and White and the corresponding proximity of the UFC to the halls of power has perhaps been an under-scrutinized aspect of the contemporary mixed martial arts landscape. Whereas the NBA and the NFL have been engulfed by highly politicized storylines involving the president — the former personified by Trump’s Twitter spats with LeBron James and Stephen Curry, the latter by the #TakeaKnee movement, where Trump repeatedly condemned hundreds of players who kneeled during the national anthem to protest racial inequality — MMA has had no such incitation. In fact, members of the MMA media who do offer political insights are routinely met by a torrent of comments demanding that they “stick to sports.” This kind of cognitive isolationism was on display in all quarters of the Internet after MMAFighting’s Ariel Helwani asked Cameroonian Francis Ngannou about his thoughts on Trump’s alleged “s—hole” comments regarding African countries.

You can read the rest of this article at Sherdog.com

Threading the McGregor Needle

It has been 14 months since Conor McGregor last stepped foot in the Octagon and decimated Eddie Alvarez to win the undisputed Ultimate Fighting Championship lightweight title, and it feels like a lifetime ago. Back then, Barack Obama was still in the Oval Office, Harvey Weinstein was still a respected member of Hollywood’s elite and the idea that Georges St. Pierre’s return fight would come against Michael Bisping for the middleweight championship was still safely languishing in when-pigs-fly territory.

You can read the rest of this article at Sherdog.com

How the Ali Act Could Reshape MMA in 2018

The United States Congress’ Subcommittee on Digital Commerce and Consumer Protection held a hearing on mixed martial arts just two short months ago. Therein, former two-division Ultimate Fighting Championship titleholder and UFC hall of famer Randy Couture joined Oklahoma Rep. Markwayne Mullin to make the case for extending the economic protections that cover boxers to their counterparts in MMA.

If introduced, H.R. 44, better known as the Ali Expansion Act, would decouple promotions like the UFC and Bellator MMA from their titles and rankings system, placing those responsibilities within the domain of independent sanctioning bodies licensed by state athletic commissions. Champions would be required to fight the No. 1 contender of their division at least once annually, and firewalls would be erected to prevent promoters from also acting as managers.

You can read the rest of this article at Sherdog.com

The UFC Screwed Robert Whittaker

So there you have it. After one solitary month, Ultimate Fighting middleweight titleholder Georges St. Pierre is no more, relinquishing the belt he won at UFC 217 and elevating interim titlist Robert Whittaker to the position of undisputed champion. GSP now holds records for the second longest title reign ever (2,064 days), which he achieved at welterweight from 2008 to 2013, and the shortest ever title reign, with 33 days at middleweight.

Surprised? UFC President Dana White isn’t. For all the BS White spewed about Whittaker being “next in line” for GSP should he emerge with the title, he admitted last week that he “expected” St. Pierre to vacate rather than defend his belt against the murderer’s row of contenders at 185 pounds.

You can read the rest of this article at Sherdog.com


Six Burning Questions for MMA in 2018

2017 was an interesting year to be an MMA fan. From the hotly anticipated return of Georges St-Pierre to the madness that was Mayweather-McGregor, to Bellator’s continued expansion under Scott Coker, there was plenty of water-cooler fodder for dedicated face-punching fans.

As we head into 2018 however, a specter of uncertainty hovers around the sport. Doubt surrounds the competence of the UFC’s new(ish) owners, William Morris Endeavours, legislation that would fundamentally disrupt the MMA industry is advancing through the US Congress, and Conor McGregor is making headlines for all the wrong reasons. With these issues and more in mind, these are the six burning MMA questions MMASucka has heading into 2018.

You can read the rest of this article at MMASucka.com