Archive for the ‘Sports Roll’ Category

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Daniel Cormier

By @anarchyroll

Did the UFC become a non-profit organization when they were sold last year? Did they stop charging money for tickets? If not then the fans are both allowed and expected to make their voices heard or not heard in regards to a fighter.

Daniel Cormier has called himself underappreciated. Some in the sports media and MMA blogosphere have also championed the stance that the Light Heavyweight Champion of the World is an underappreicated fighter. Another celebrity who is a victim of his own success, and has drawn the ire of his once adoring public.

Daniel Cormier is one of the most accomplished and credible American born fighters in history. He is not underappreciated, he is just a boring fighter that draws boos and indifference from a public that pays top dollar to see the UFC’s top champion.

Cormier is very similar to Georges St. Pierre. He draws money, he wins fights, he just isn’t entertaining. He has little charisma and fights a style that is about winning the fight rather than entertaining the people. Scoring points rather than scoring oos and ahs. Is there anything wrong with that? Of course not. Is there anything wrong with the fans choosing to boo and/or show indifference toward him? Absolutely not.

MMA is a sport, it is not WWE. I am a lifelong pro wrestling fan. I prefer pro wrestling to MMA. I also love MMA because it is not pro wrestling. Daniel Cormier has no obligation to be an entertaining fighter or personality. The fans and the public at large are under no obligation to praise/admire him. The fans also don’t owe it to Cormier to not boo him if he chooses to repeatedly defend his title using the lay and prey style of fighting that GSP used to elongate his welterweight title reign.

In the sport of mixed martial arts, winning fights is how you get paid. Even the notorious smack talkers of the sport’s past and present had to win dozens of fights to even be in a position on big time fight cards to create controversy with their words. Even with the new owners of UFC seemingly trying to book fights based on verbal beefs and social media smack talk, they aren’t doing it with unknown scrubs. It is undoubtably in Cormier’s best interest to fight a style that gives him the greatest chance to win fights, entertainment be damned.

Cormier has tried to sex it up a bit in recent years, out of the Octagon. Now routinely getting into press conference or weigh-in scuffles with his opponents. But that all means little to nothing to the common fan who only watches UFC (and if we’re lucky, Bellator) main cards. Not the prelims, and especially not the weigh ins. Even if Cormier could be considered a charismatic loose cannon out of the cage, once it’s go time; his takedown, lay on opponent til bell rings, rinse, repeat style of fighting neuturs any pre and/or post fight hype.

There’s a reason that Chuck Liddell, Wanderlei Silva, Forrest Griffin, Mirko Cro Cop, BJ Penn, and Fedor Emelianenko are universally loved by MMA fans. Because they fought an entertaining style. Stand up first, ground game second. That is the fan friendly style of mixed martial arts. Haymakers and head kicks, then takedowns and ground game.

Fighters are under no obligation to fight this way. It is often in the best interest of their health not to. But the ones that do tend to get the bigger money fights. The names listed above are not just a murderer’s row of talent, but are some of the biggest money fighters of all time. GSP is an exception to the rule as a pay per view golden goose. Cormier can follow his path and can’t be faulted one iota for doing so. If he does, he and his supporters must accept the boos and indifference toward him along with headlining pay per views and fighting for titles. Which in the real world, is more than a fair trade to make.

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By @anarchyroll

Michael Jordan has ended his silence and neutrality on social issues in America. 

As someone raised in the Chicago area, Michael Jordan is on his own level of the iconosphere. He is beyond the words hero and role model. He is the unquestioned, undisputed Greatest Of All Time at his profession. To have been privileged enough to see a part of his career are memories I can’t forget even if I want to.

Another thing I can’t forget about Jordan even if I want to (besides Space Jam) is the fact that he never took a stand on any social issue during his playing career. Race, religion, economic inequality, gender pay gap, abortion, immigration. You name it, MJ was neutral or silent about it.

To take a stand on a social or political issue means you upset and/or alienate potential customers. In addition to being the greatest basketball player of all time, Jordan is also the greatest product spokesman of all time. His list of endorsements is lengthy and legendary. Jordan didn’t just make money with his endorsements, he made companies and changed culture with his endorsements.

That is why fellow NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar said Jordan chose “commerce over conscious” with his silence on any and all social issues during Air Jordan’s run of greatness in the 1980s and 90s.

Better late than never is a term served well in this case. There has been a lot of inequality and death in the African-American community since Jordans playing career. 2016 seems destined to go down as either a tipping point or a boiling point of race relations in America. Jordan breaking his silence with words and cold hard cash to raise both awareness and tangible prospects for progress are as welcome as they are overdue.

Michael Jordan has a net worth of $1.14 billion. Out of that billion, he has donated $2 million, split evenly between the NAACP and a community policing organization. A token gesture is better than no gesture. When it comes to race relations between African-American communities and the police, it’s all hands on deck and help will be taken anywhere it can be received.

Rapper and former Bernie Sanders campaign representative Killer Mike recently challenged Jordan to do something beyond a token gesture.

Dear MJ #23, on the behalf of black people and cops (I have loved ones who are both) thanks for the million dollars to the NAACP & Police Orgs. Now we wud like to Challenge you to send the profits of this Olympic Jordan Drop Into a Black Financial Institution. We know that with your example other Players will follow. I'm sure Jim Brown, Kareem & Bill Russell will agree. Love ya man. U truly were/are the greatest. *********************************** Black People and Allies of black people instead of buying this or any shoe. (1) Start an account with a black bank or credit union. (2) Save 400 bucks and get a secured credit card (#citzenstrustbank has a good one). (3). Charge these or any shoe, pay your bill on time building your credit. This way u r fresh as u wanna be, saving your actual cash and building your credit score. That way these shoes are a tool for your empowerment and not something that chains you into poverty. ************************************* I hope MJ and Us, Do The Right Thing!

A post shared by Killer Mike (@killermike) on

 

How can $2 million be a token gesture? How can the most famous athlete in the world breaking three decades of silence and neutrality be a token gesture?

Are there not already African-American athletes donating money? Have prominent celebrities not already spoken out to draw attention and press to this issue? Is it not clear that there exists a very big problem with race relations in America?

$2 million or .2% of Jordan’s net worth is a good start, but is only a good start. If it is not the beginning of a plan or process than it is like shooting a heat seeking missile into the sun. It is a month later and this story is all but forgotten. Which is fine, the story can be lost in the shuffle, but Jordan’s tangible impact shouldn’t be. Diverting income from his already flushed coffers into black financial institutions for the long haul is how Jordan shows his actions are meant for serious impact rather than news cycle fodder.

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If Ariel Helwani is getting banned for life for doing his job, a job of which he is famous for being more talented than anyone else at doing, than something is rotten in the state of Denmark.

Of course the ban didn’t stick, how could it? Helwani is as trusted a name in MMA news as  Sherdog and as popular aMMA celebrity as Joe Rogan. Of course Helwani’s large and loyal social media following made a stink and rallied the crowd and moved the needle and forced the UFC to reverse its lifetime ban in of Helwani in 72 hours and some change.

The darling of mixed martial arts press being banned for life for literally doing nothing other than his job is a symptom of a larger issue. What is that issue? That the UFC is for sale because it needs to be sold.

Dana White and the Ferrtita brothers have done their duty, their due diligence above and beyond the expectations and effort of what was expected of them when they purchased the UFC in 2001. They came in and turned an underground, in some places illegal, pseudo sport into the new new American past time.

But they are done. They bought low and are ready to sell high. They have had enough and want out. The writing is on the wall. What is the writing? That ESPN is reporting the company is for sale and they just tried to ban one of the most popular MMA reporters in history for doing his job.

Helwani has done as much as anyone to promote the sport of mixed martial arts. The UFC knows this because they have regularly involved him in their Fox Sports Net shows. To go from putting him on their programming to lifetime banning with literally no change in his actions on his part speaks volumes about where the UFC is as a company and where the owners are mentally.

If Dana White and the Fertitta brothers were not ready to sell or looking to sell than they wouldn’t be banning Helwani for doing his job and reporting on UFC news, they would have put him on their airwaves as they have done hundreds of times before to discuss and ipso facto, hype up the news.

White and the Fertitta’s aren’t looking to expand, they’re looking to cash out. They’re not looking for new trails to blaze, they’re looking for their golden parachute. They’re not looking to be bulls blazing forward they’re looking to be bears heading to hibernation. And if they aren’t, then they’re acting like it…and perception is reality.

As long as Joe Silva is still booking the matches then the UFC is in good hands.

In 2001 the UFC was essentially worthless. It wasn’t on broadcast tv, cable, or even pay per view. It was underground. Out of sight and out of mind to the general population and even to the general sports fan. No one, not even a vengeful critic would try to imply that Zuffa has been bad for the UFC or the sport of mixed martial arts. That is an impossible point to make.

Zuffa has earned its payday. They made mixed martial arts legit, then popular, then mainstream, then pop, and last but not least legal in New York State. They slayed the last dragon to be slayed while climbing the final mountain they had to climb. They earned their payout and are entitled to it. The problem is they are now acting entitled to their payout.

White has had public spats with multiple fighters in recent months and those spats have now spilled over into MMA press. It’s time to sell and move on before it gets uglier than it has already gotten. Before the public spats with top drawing fighters becomes anymore costly to the company’s bottom line and potential worth on the open market already has.

 

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By @anarchyroll

Why does it matter that the NFL is offering bribes, pulling money for concussion research, and having their actions investigated by Congress?

The body cannot exist without the mind.

In America there is a growing concern, over the growing number of people who are being diagnosed with brain trauma and mental injury related to sports participation. Specifically there is a growing concern that football is too dangerous to be acceptable to be played.

The concern was initially limited to the participation of youths in pee wee football.

But the concern has morphed into concern that even adults should not be playing.
Why the concern for grown ass men who can make their own decisions? Because traumatic brain injuries seem to be less of RISK of playing football and more of an UNAVOIDABLE CONSEQUENCE with every passing research study.

The NFL knows this. The writing has been on the wall for decades but so many money is up for grabs that it is only natural that they would do what was in the financial interest of their $9 billion business to suppress as much of the science/information on brain injury research as possible.

Protecting financial interest seems to be the number one excuse for doing despicable things in America. The NFL’s actions in regard to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is despicable. So despicable Congress has publically called them out.

Something so bad it made Congress come together and actually do something? Eek.

 

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By @anarchyroll

Professional sports are about dollars and cents. They are entertainment. All professional sports become more like professional wrestling with each passing year. The winners may not be predetermined. But the manipulation of the integrity of the game for entertainment purposes has been the norm and becomes more the norm in every major professional sports league in America each season.

The NFL is top dog in this regard. They turn everything into an event. Football season now never ends because there is not football season, just a never ending series of staged events. Think those controversial referee calls are an accident?

Right beside the NFL, competing for title of New America’s Past Time is the sport of mixed martial arts and the Ultimate Fighting Championship promotion in particular.

Unlike all the other national sports leagues, the UFC has no offseason. And more importantly, they have such a grip on their always growing fan base to charge money to watch their shows in addition to having multiple free shows per month on FOX and Fox Sports 1. Not to mention UFC’s exclusive apparel sponsorship deal with Reebok.

Another thing that separated UFC and MMA as a sport from the others was that every other sports league has two franchises in New York City (or its boroughs) and three of the four major leagues have their headquarters in Manhattan. MMA on the other hand was banned/illegal in New York State.

Doesn’t that just read as weird? MMA banned in New York state in the year 2016. One of the most popular sports in the world, banned from the biggest media market in the world. How is that possible?

Dirty politics is the answer. Is that a really a surprise?

How much bigger would the UFC be if it had been holding events in Madison Square Garden for the last twenty years? They have filled the Rogers Centre in Toronto, no reason to think a show at Giants Stadium is out of the question in the medium term future.

MMA becoming legal in New York is the sports story of the year thus far and is on the shortlist for sports stories of the decade. Why? Dollars and cents.

The UFC is worth a estimated at $2 billion right now and they are just now going to start running events live in the biggest media market in the world. Running shows from New York changes things for the bigger. That’s just the way it is and this is coming from a life long Chicagoan. The amount of monetary capital in New York is vast to say the least. Five years down the line, this story will be looked back upon as a truly historic moment in the world of sports.

The UFC will not just get bigger Bellator MMA, World Series of Fighting, and local independent mix martial arts promotions will all flourish in a densely populated, highly affluent state. The ripple effect on the economics of mixed martial arts will be felt far and wide. The first event UFC holds at Madison Square Garden will demonstrate that.

The other story of the decade candidate going on right now is the Golden State Warriors and their quest to tie and/or surpass the 72 win 10 loss regular season NBA record held by the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls. That remarkable feet will not have nearly the economic/business impact for the NBA and the sport of basketball as mma becoming legal in New York.

Mixed martial arts becoming legal in New York is a billion dollar economic news story as opposed to an event or accomplishment that is only a big deal within the industrial sports news and opinion complex. It crosses the barrier and moves the needle. It is the biggest sports story of 2016

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by @anarchyroll
10/16/2014

Have you noticed how there are now four major 24 hour sports networks? ESPN, FOX Sports 1, NBC Sports Network, CBS Sports Network.

There are more than four total. Each of the above listed networks have at least one secondary sports network, in the case of ESPN there’s at least three or four more as poked fun at in the movie Dodgeball.

America sure likes its sports. I know I do. I was raised to be a sports fan, and played competitive sports for ten years of my life. I watch/listen to PTI on ESPN every morning while I am making/eating my breakfast. Watching Chicago professional team sports has been the vast majority of bonding time with  my father for most of my life.

Professional sports these days, are used as a tremendous escape and distraction from the issues of our individual lives and the world at large. I watch pro wrestling for the same reason most people watch football. The main difference, less concussions and drugs, hahaha just kidding the brains of the athletes in both sports have been turned to jelly and dust for our amusement and money.

The latter, the money, is why there are now four major 24 hour sports “news” networks. Obviously nothing that happens in sports is actually news. We might lie to ourselves and each other that it is, but it’s not. The only news that comes out of sports is when taxpayer money is used to build stadiums instead of schools, bridges, or fund education programs. Or when an athlete gets arrested or dies. Those stories often only get reported if violence/blood are involved. If it bleeds it leads after all. Sports are often the lead topic in local newscasts these days. They’re upbeat and entertaining. Sports are meant to entertain. Just like pro wrestling, “real” sports have no dignity or integrity to them, it is all about making money through entertainment.

24 hour sports networks play up smack talk, rivalries, and personal feuds between athletes the same way that pro wrestling promoters, announcers, and managers do. ESPN and FSN are farmed out hype machines, WWE just does all their hyping in-house. The major professional sports leagues provide the content, the networks provide the hype. Highlighting the highlights, spotlighting the star players, dissecting referee decisions, and most importantly promoting upcoming contests.

The biggest job of these networks; is to make children’s games played by men seem more important than politics, environment issues, or economic policy.

The major sports leagues in recent years have all starting broadcasting their own 24 hour networks for their individual league and minor league(s). The NFL Network said it best when they launched; “where football season never ends.” That is the exact purpose AND the exact problem with 24 hour sports networks. The distraction and escapism never ends.

Hard working people deserve a break and an escape via entertainment. They earn it by giving their bodies and/or minds for the bulk of their adult lives, often in the service of other people’s dreams. From movies to concerts to soap operas to hiking to video games to traveling to television; there are many ways to escape reality for a little while to rest and recover one’s body, mind, and spirit.

The problem with professional sports and professional sports networks in America; is the astonishing rate at which time, attention, and money are being siphoned from communities, cultures, and societies in the name of never-ending, passive, spectator based escapism. Playing sports after work is one thing. It is physical exercise and creates real bonds between real people. Watching sports all weekend, every weekend while eating unhealthy foods and consuming large quantities of alcohol while sitting down…Noticed how the leagues and networks are sponsored by fast food companies, soda makers, and liquor distillers? How much advertising for those products are consumers exposed to each game/highlight show?

What would American society and culture look like if the time, attention, resources, and money that are spent on professional sports spectating went to economic inequality, environment concerns, infrastructure development, and/or civics? Everyone who works for a living deserves a break. Part of being an adult is that at some point, playtime is over and it’s time to do the unpleasant work of bettering not just our life but the world we live in. I am as guilty as anyone of trying to stretch my childhood into adulthood. Judging by the ratings and profits of the professional sports leagues, I can see that I’m not the only one.

 

 

 

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by @anarchyroll
9/30/2014

One of the greatest and most exciting fighters with the undisputed most intimidating nickname in the history of mixed martial arts retired recently.

Wanderlei “The Axe Murderer” Silva called it a career with 35-12 record in the middle of September 2014.

Silva retires with a wimper rather than in a blaze of glory, the opposite of how he fought and will be remembered by mixed martial arts fans worldwide. Silva retired by posting a video online, which was picked up by the mma and sports press. Shorty after the video announcement, Silva received a $70,000 fine and lifetime ban from the Nevada State Athletic Commission. Silva blasted the UFC for underpaying him and all fighters in the video, also saying they killed his love of the sport by making him fight too much. Dana White responded by saying Silva was paid $9.7 million for six fights in five years.

It is unfortunate the way Silva’s career has ended. Regardless of specter of PED use and fight ducking that will hang over his retirement, Wanderlei Silva’s legacy and place in mixed martial arts history is forever intact thanks to his historically entertaining run through the Pride Fighting Championships of Japan from 2000-2007.

I originally became a fan of the UFC during their first few shows in the mid 90s but then like the majority of people, stopped watching. There are three fighters that made me a fan of the sport again; Wanderlei Silva, Frank Mir, and Tito Ortiz.  Ortiz for his ability to hype fights, Mir for his submission skills, and Silva for his insanely entertaining knockout ability.

During his prime Silva was a textbook knockout artist. Truly an artist. He KO’d top flight competition with his fists, elbows, knees, and kicks. He fought in the wild wild far east of Japan. Silva routinely fought people above his weight class in a promotion that was about the big fight atmosphere and freak match ups. In that environment and era, Silva was the king of the freaks and the big fights.

His middleweight title run (Pride’s equivalent to the UFC light heavyweight title) alone is worth looking into PrideFC. Silva was everything that fight fans want a fighter to be whether they admit it or not. Throwing caution and safety to the wind for the sake of either knocking out his opponent or getting knocked out in the process in the name of entertaining the people who paid to see him fight.

Silva is one of the last of a dying breed in mixed martial arts. A fighter first, martial artist second. He fought in bare knuckle fights years before he entered sanctioned competition. He wanted spectacular KO finishes rather than grinding out a decision victory to get a payday and a padded record. He fought heavyweights and super heavyweights rather than only fighting people he had a distinct size advantage over. He competed in tournaments regularly both before and during his championship reign.

2004 was the peak of Wanderlei Silva‘s career. He was the undisputed best fighter in the sport that year. Taking multiple awards/honors for fighter of the year and fight of the year from publications such as Sherdog, MMA Fighting, Wrestling Observer Newsletter, and Sports Illustrated.

No one who saw Wand’s prime will care about the checkered ending to his career. Our memory of him is too full of images of knockouts and Silva screaming into the camera after administering said knockout or as I like to think, the way a person who gets paid to be a fighter should be remembered.

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by @anarchyroll
8/4/2014

Nothing says illegitimate boxing or mixed martial arts prize fight like a fight at a press conference.

UFC 178 was supposed to be headlined by a rematch between Jon Jones vs Alexander Gustafsson for the Light Heavyweight Championship. Their first fight at UFC 165 was a legit contender for greatest fight of all time. Jones won by decision, people like me (Jones haters) consider the decision to be controversial. But it was a unanimous decision, not a split, so it isn’t as controversial as people like me wish it was.

Both men looked not just impressive, but genuinely great in their five round slug fest for the ages. Because Jones defended his belt, there was no guarantee of a rematch no matter how much the UFC fan base salivated for one. Gustafsson removed all obstacles by winning his next two fights, clearing his way for another shot at the light heavyweight crown. Unfortunately, Gustafsson suffered a knee injury during training and had to withdraw from the fight.

Daniel Cormier has been announced as the new opponent from Jones in September. Cormier is a very worthy contender, as he is undefeated in both UFC and Strikeforce. Cormier is so undefeated, he hasn’t even lost a round in fifteen professional fights.

The but in this case is a very big but.

Daniel Cormier needs knee surgery.

Now that he has a world title shot and a huge payday waiting for him in less than 60 days, of course Cormier doesn’t need surgery anymore.

UFC just canceled a pay per view due to an injury, they don’t want the egg on their face of having to do it again. More than the egg on the face, they certainly don’t want to lose all the revenue that would be lost from canceling two world title fights in three months.

Jon Jones is not a paper or fluke champion. There is a case to be made that he is the most dominant champion in UFC or mixed martial arts history. Therefore, putting anything short of an equal parts worthy and healthy contender against him is a full-fledged sham. It is not easy to say that a 15-0 contender getting his earned title shot is a sham, but if he needs knee surgery, then he will be a shell of himself.

Not to mention, how do you replace a fighter with a knee injury with another fighter with a knee injury?!

When substance is lacking, style and ballyhoo take over (see Michael Bay movies). Daniel Cormier has probably uttered two sentences of smack talk during his entire career, now he’s fighting people at press conferences? Give me a break. This fight is a joke, the UFC knows it, the fighters know it, and they are ratcheting up the hype machine to fool casual fans and themselves that the UFC 178 main event is legitimate. Jones vs Cormier is a money grab, pure and simple. It might as well take place at this year’s WWE Summerslam.

Jones has been eating up and spitting out worthy, healthy challengers for years. What is he going to do to someone who just a month and a half ago needed surgery in two different parts of his knee?

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by @anarchyroll
7/22/2014

If you have watched ESPN for more than 30 seconds in the past year, you’ve likely seen at least two feature segments on Yasiel Puig.

Puig was a bonafide rookie phenom last year who gave the Los Angeles Dodgers the spark they needed to get into the playoffs. His equal parts high level talent and high level charisma made him and instant star and darling of sports fans and networks alike. Puig provided tremendous numbers and intagibles to help his team get over a slump that many speculated would lead the their manager (Don Mattingly) being fired. There was even a strong push for him to be name to the NL All Star Roster despite Puig starting the season in the minor leagues.

If ESPN portrayed Puig as the new face of Major League Baseball, then what is Jose Abreu this year who has better numbers than Puig had last year, this year, or both combined?

Whereas Puig plays for the number one baseball franchise in the second biggest media market in the country, Abreu plays for the number two baseball franchise in the number three media market. Chicago sports teams and their players have been getting the shaft from ESPN for as long as it has existed, Abreu is just the most recent egregious example.

In the pregame coverage for this year’s All Star Game, ESPN did a side by side comparison of Puig and Abreu’s numbers and even admitted that Abreu has proven to be the better player. Yet turn on Sportscenter, Around the Horn, and/or Pardon the Interruption and Abreu seemingly has a segment on something he did right, wrong, or outlandish carved into each show’s format.

Perhaps if Abreu made some more arrogant base running errors or came up with a crazy story of being snuck into the country (like Puig) he could get a little more national play. But I’m sure he and the White Sox will be content with him playing better than Puig consistently and thus paying him more than Puig.

When one ESPN home base is a two-hour drive from Yankee Stadium and the other is literally down the street from Dodger Stadium, I suppose it is hard to expect equal coverage for a player who plays hundreds or thousands of miles from each. Perhaps if ESPN put a home base in Chicago things could change, but that is an expensive endeavor. It’s not like ESPN is owned by a hundred billion dollar company or anything.

Somethings never change. The mindset of Illinois being a fly over state and therefore everything in it apparently is one of them. The Bears, Blackhawks, Bulls, Cubs, and White Sox are all franchises that make money, have large traveling fan bases, and routinely compete for and win championships (minus the Cubs of course). There is no reason what happens in Chicago sports shouldn’t routinely be the lead story on ESPN programming. One can point to population theory all they want but anything more thorough than a surface level glance at ESPN programming will show that a third tier sports story in New York, Boston, or LA trumps everything short of a Chicago franchise winning a championship. That is wrong and can’t end soon enough, though much like the Cubs chances of winning a World Series is likely more fantasy than reality.

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by @anarchyroll
7/7/2014

One great athlete does not make a sport or a division.

I don’t believe Ronda Rousey is a great fighter BUT I will be happy to concede that point a thousand times over if her biggest fans/supporters will concede this; that there is no such thing as a credible women’s mixed martial arts sport or division. Ronda Rousey may be a great fighter. I certainly won’t deny her skills in the Judo discipline. I certainly won’t pretend like she doesn’t know submissions like the back of her hand.

But whether one considers her great or not, she is a one woman sport.

Royce Gracie to this day is considered one of if not the greatest mixed martial artist of all time. The UFC was launched on his back. But when Gracie was a one man sport, the UFC was not taken seriously. When he was dominating his competition quickly and submitting them all easily, the vast majority of the public considered him great and the sport a joke. So why is it different for Rousey? Because she’s a woman? Because she’s a very attractive woman?

PS: Gracie was a one man wrecking crew in open weight, one night tournaments, not fighting twice a year between film and photo shoots.

Anderson Silva dominated his weight class for almost a decade. And he was forced to sporadically move up to the light heavyweight class to test himself and to keep the fans from getting complacent watching him dispose of both worth and unworthy challengers. There literally is no other women’s weight class in the UFC.

Again, make no mistake, regardless of Rousey’s skills and abilities as a fighter, she was given the first women’s UFC title belt at a press conference because Dana White saw potential to make money with her. To exploit her sexuality and box office appeal, not to grow the sport of women’s mixed martial arts. No one else from Strikeforce (where she was Bantamweight champion before the company folded) was handed a belt at a press conference.

Watching UFC 175 where Rousey disposed of her “opponent” and “challenger” in 16 seconds showed the UFC’s non stop corporate spin; from the second the joke of a fight ended, throughout all post show activities. Showing the replay, hyping Rousey’s greatness, showing the contender list, and of course everyone with a UFC microphone trying to convince their viewers and themselves, that the women’s bantamweight division is stacked with good fighters; not a bunch of scrubs OR women that Rousey has already beat.

I have no doubt that if three to five years of investment of resources from the UFC that women’s mixed martial arts can have multiple, legitimate weight classes filled with world class female fighters; none of which are true presently. But now there is a very talented, very attractive champion with nothing resembling a challenger near her. Rousey’s only challenge is how many movies can she film before her next training camp. Anyone who thinks her next fight will be an actual threat to her title reign then you’re a mark or you’re a UFC employee with very strict marching orders from the top brass.

Rousey is not a protected paper champion (except for the not fighting Cyborg thing), she is a paper champion because she is light years ahead of her time. When a person has no equal to test their greatness against, are they great?

Rousey does not exist in a vacuum. She is not a scientist with an advanced theory that no one in the world is smart enough to produce. She can choose to test her skills and her greatness outside of the women’s bantamweight division. If her and/or the UFC are only willing to feed her undersized, unqualified women’s bantamweight “competitors” to draw ppv buys from a public willing to buy into their propaganda, that’s fine. But unless her and Dana White are willing to actually test her skills against either women’s featherweight fighters or you know…the other kind of mixed martial artists…then, well, hey who cares about credibility when you’re cashing checks like the checks her and Zuffa Entertainment are cashing???