This Week in MMA & Boxing - July 30, 2015
MMA & Boxing News From the week of
July 23-30, 2015
T.J. Dillashaw finished what felt like a never-ending program with Renan Barao, by retaining his bantamweight title in the main event of UFC’s highest rated summer FOX special to date.
The fight was similar to the first, in the sense Dillashaw was quicker and was beating Barao to the punch most of the fight, easily winning the first three rounds, with Barao just surviving at the end of the third round. Dillashaw overwhelmed Barao with punches before Herb Dean stopped the fight.
Dillashaw vs Cruz?
The win sets up what could be the biggest men’s bantamweight fight in UFC history, with Dillashaw against Dominick Cruz. Cruz was the king of the division when he suffered a knee injury in 2011. Over the next nearly four years, he only fought once, due to three different ACL tears, two in one knee and one in the other, and a torn quad. Cruz is currently estimating that he’ll be ready in December or January and vows to win the title that he never lost inside the cage.
Miesha ready for Rousey again
The other top match on the show was Miesha Tate, the second most famous woman fighter in the UFC, earn what may be her third match with Ronda Rousey.
Tate won a decision over Jessica Eye in the fight that was to determine the top contender. Rousey, who faces Bethe Correia on 8/1 in Rio de Janeiro, said she would agree to face Tate once again if she was to retain the title.
Fox ratings were Great
The combination of the title fight and Tate saw the show become the most watched of the four previous FOX July specials. The show did a 1.7 rating and 2,756,000 viewers, up from the range of 2.38 million to 2.5 million viewers that the prior three shows had done.
The show had a positive ratings pattern, starting with a 1.3 rating for the Takanori Gomi vs. Joe Lauzon fight, a 1.6 for the best fight on the show with Edson Barboza vs. Paul Felder, a 2.0 for Tate vs. Eye and a 2.4 rating and 3.8 million viewers for the main event. The main event was the most watched MMA fight in the month of July in history. It was also the most-watched sports event on television that day, and led FOX to winning the night easily in all the key 18-49 demographics, and finishing second only to older-skewing CBS among everything on television that night.
UFC 190 this Saturday
This week’s show is UFC 190 from the HSBC Arena in Rio de Janeiro. The show starts at 7 p.m. Eastern with Fight Pass fights with Guido Cannetti vs. Hugo Viana and Clint Hester vs. Vitor Miranda. Then on FS 1 at 8 p.m. is Iuri Alcantara vs. Leandro Issa, Warlley Alves vs. Nordine Taleb, Rafael Feijao Cavalcante vs. Patrick Cummins and Neil Magny vs. Demian Maia, which is a pretty strong prelim show.
There is a seven fight main card so it’ll be longer than usual unless finishes are quick. They open with PPV with Jessica Aguilar (the former WSOF women’s strawweight champion) debuting against Claudia Gadelha, with the winner getting the next shot at champion Joanna Jedzrejczyk.
Next is a battle of giants with Antonio Bigfoot Silva vs. Soa Paleli, followed by Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira vs. Stefan Struve. Next are the finals of the TUF Brazil season with Dileno Lopes vs. Reginaldo Vieira in the bantamweight finals and Fernando Bruno vs. Glaico Franca in the lightweight finals.
Following that is Antonio Rogerio Nogueira vs. Mauricio Shogun Rua, and the main event is Ronda Rousey vs. Bethe Correia for the women’s bantamweight title. In the main event, Rousey is a 17-to-1 favorite, which are the longest odds for any fight in the history of UFC.
The 5/23 show with Chris Weidman vs. Vitor Belfort and Daniel Cormier vs. Anthony Johnson did 375,000 buys, which, as noted before, was likely held back significantly by coming three weeks after Mayweather vs. Pacquiao.
The 6/13 show with Cain Velasquez vs. Fabricio Werdum did about 305,000 buys.
The 7/11 show with Conor McGregor vs. Chad Mendes has been almost impossible to get a number on because of such wide varieties of cable estimates. The figure going around in the cable industry last week was 950,000 buys.
UFC, which never releases numbers publicly, did so for the first time, listed it as doing 1 million buys on PPV. But as noted, there have been sources pegging it significantly lower as well as higher, because it seems to have been super high in some places and nothing special in others, making normal estimates difficult.
Possible Huge Dallas Stadium Show
White this past week pushed the idea that the December PPV show would be at AT&T Stadium, and teased it would be headlined by Jose Aldo vs. Conor McGregor. Rumor has it if they book the stadium they’ll book three title fights, with the Chris Weidman vs. Luke Rockhold fight and a Robbie Lawler vs. Carlos Condit fight.
While not official, there were reports that Condit would be getting the title shot ahead of former champion Johny Hendricks, even if the show is in Dallas, which is Hendricks’ home town. Hendricks would instead face Tyron Woodley in a top contenders fight, which is weird because both Hendricks and Woodley have beaten Condit.
They seem to be wanting to avoid Lawler vs. Hendricks even though the two have fought two fights, the first was a match of the year, and they are even with each having won five rounds after the two. Hendricks was at first talked about as getting the next shot, but was instead booked against Matt Brown, which he won.
Hendricks said that he doesn’t know anything about stories that Condit would be getting the shot ahead of him. He said he’d be pissed if Condit got the shot.
Stitch Duran in an interview on our web site noted that if UFC was to call him and ask him to return, that he would gladly do so. “Yeah, absolutely. I’m the kind of guy, I’m not going to have hard feelings. I think it was a knee jerk response. I don’t think the UFC realized they picked on the wrong guy.
I bring more to the table than just wrapping hands and working on cuts. The fans, the fighters, the trainers, even people within the organization, and commissioners have called me. They should understand I bring a lot more. If they called me tomorrow, I’d be more than willing to sit down.”
On FS 1, White was asked about Duran, and instead of saying why he was fired, just said that he would never be back and then went on this rant that made him come off so bad about how he and Duran were never friends, they were only business associates. Duran had said how he and White knew each other because both were struggling trying to break into the boxing world in the 90s. Then, in 2001, White hired him to be a regular cut man in UFC. In boxing, fighters would bring their own cut men.
“Stitch Duran needs to learn what the meaning of the word friend is. Stitch Duran and I were never friends. We were work associates. We came up together in the boxing world and when we hired cutmen, he was one of the guys I brought in here. Friends are people you can call on the phone, hang out with, you talk to all the time. Don House, who is one of our cutmen, he and I were very close and still are. Stitch Duran was never my friend.”
He then knocked Duran when Duran said that White should have at least called him to fire him, saying, “I’ve never dealt with the cutmen ever. We have a department that deals with them. We weren’t friends, we’re not friends, and no, he shouldn’t have been expecting a call from me. And if he’s my friend, why didn’t he reach out to me? Right, if we were such good friends and all that?”
McGregor/ Faber Ultimate Fighter Beef
There was a second altercation between Urijah Faber and Conor McGregor while coaching the Ultimate Fighter. It wasn’t anything major, but it was said to be a little more than the first one. There were no cameras filming the second one.
GGG vs Lemieux Set
David Lemieux, also one of boxing's biggest hitters, will meet Golovkin to unify their 160-pound world titles Oct. 17 in an HBO PPV main event at Madison Square Garden in New York.
It's a match that figures to be explosive -- a big drama show, as Golovkin would say -- between two of boxing's most crowd-pleasing and aggressive fighters, both of whom possess devastating punching power.
GARCIA VS. MALIGNAGGI
After a successful run at 140 pounds, Danny Garcia makes his welterweight debut against former two-division champion Paulie Malignaggi in Premier Boxing Champions’ latest offering on ESPN. The card takes place Saturday night at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
Garcia makes the move to 147 pounds not only because more lucrative fights await, but because making the welterweight limit was becoming increasingly difficult for the Philadelphia native -- his last two bouts were contested at catch-weights. Garcia will make his first welterweight foray in Malignaggi’s backyard, an intriguing test for a fighter with big aspirations in a new division.
Garcia is coming off a closely-contested majority decision triumph over Lamont Peterson on April 11. Multiple belts could have been on the line had the fight taken place at 140 pounds, but since it was a catch-weight affair, no titles were at stake. Going forward, it will be interesting to see how Garcia’s performance improves now that he doesn’t have to endure a draining weight cut