Week in MMA & Boxing #12
MMA & Boxing News From the week of
October 10 - October 16, 2015
GGG vs Lemieux
This Saturday at the Madison Square Garden in New York, the IBF champion David Lemieux (34-2-0,31 KOs) and the IBO/WBA champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin (33-0, 30 KOs) will battle to unify their championships.
Boxing fans and boxing critics have been waiting a very long time to finally find out if GGG is the real deal or if Lemieux could pull this upset. This fight will be an all-out slugfest, because both fighters have similar fighting styles.
Faber Speaks Out
Urijah Faber admitted he was totally blindsided by T.J. Dillashaw’s leaving Team Alpha Male, even though Conor McGregor had been chiding him for months that it was going to happen.
Faber said he first heard from a reporter alerting him to the possibility, and also said he got texts out of nowhere from Duane Ludwig of all people saying that a team in Colorado is looking at poaching some of his fighters.
Dillashaw was convinced it was time for him to make a selfish professional decision. Elevation MMA, whose gym is sponsored and owned by MusclePharm, a supplement company, was offering to pay Dillashaw for training there, feeling having a current world champion would be worth it to boost their business.
Dillashaw had asked Faber that when he’s in Sacramento if he could still train with the team. Faber turned that down, saying that Team Alpha Male is a family environment, and "He said he wants to come back and be part of our team. But he made a big boy decision. He walked away from the family that brought him up, the guys who were a big part of his success.”
Faber noted that he had twice turned down offers to fight Dillashaw for the title. Faber said he has no problem being friends with Dillashaw, but professionally it’s different. Faber had recruited Dillashaw when Dillashaw was a star high school wrestler, then, after college, recruited him into MMA. They had lived together at times and been training partners from day one. Faber said the amount of money that caused the rift was a tiny amount in the big picture. He said the two talked for an hour at Faber’s house after Dillashaw made his decision. While not directly talking about a fight, or asking for one, and making it clear he likes Dillashaw and will be rooting for him against Cruz, he did say the roadblocks that prevented a Dillashaw vs. Faber fight no longer exist.
Dillashaw said he would agree to such a fight. He said allowing him to train with Team Alpha Male would set a bad example, as far as kids you are trying to build up to be stars and showing Dillashaw as an example that you could quit the team, but if in town, still train at the home gym.
Football hurting ratings more than usual
Not only did the UFC 192 prelims on 10/3 do worse than average, and early returns indicate a disappointing PPV number, but the boxing numbers that night were also very disappointing. Football always has an effect on ratings but for whatever reason, this year that effect has been stronger than most.
HBO averaged 663,000 viewers for Lucas Matthysse vs. Viktor Postol, and the main event actually drew less (642,000) than the opener (698,000) which is very rare for boxing. Adrien Broner vs. Khabib Allakhverdiev on Showtime averaged 400,000 viewers, peaking, with the main event doing 506,000.
Rousey and Browne relationship confirmed
Travis Browne on the MMA Hour confirmed what most people already knew, that he was now in a relationship with Ronda Rousey. He said that he and Ronda started talking throughout the summer and they are together. He said she’s his woman and he's her man. There’s no boyfriend, girlfriend stuff. There’s no dating. They are together.
That becomes an issue since Rousey endlessly criticized Floyd Mayweather for domestic violence and Browne was accused of the same by his wife, Jenna Webb, who he’s estranged from since getting with Rousey in June. Webb posted photos showing all kinds of bruises and blamed him for them in early July and he was suspended by UFC. The UFC conducted an investigation with an outside law firm, which came back with the conclusions there was no conclusive evidence he abused her, and he was then reinstated as a fighter after a temporary suspension. Webb then said she couldn’t understand how they could have come to that conclusion. Webb had also publicly said a few months back that Browne was with Rousey. Rousey had not said anything publicly about it, but did admit to it after Browne’s interview.
UFC 191, worst show Ever!!!
According to the Nevada State Athletic Commission, the 9/5 UFC 191 show (Demetrious Johnson vs. John Dodson for the flyweight title main event) did far less than what was announced that night as far as the gate went. After the show, UFC announced the crowd as 10,873 and the gate as $1,362,700. The commission records stated that paid attendance was 4,982, although total in the building was 10,768 with 5,786 comps, in a building set up for 15,529, and the gate was $1,018,573. It would be the lowest paid attendance ever for a PPV show in Las Vegas and one of the lowest since Zuffa bought the company. It would be the first time ever for a Las Vegas PPV that comps outnumbered paid tickets.
GSP Hinting at a Comeback
Georges St-Pierre did an interview with RDS where he gave a hint that he may come back. “I’m starting to get the feeling, more and more, to come back. I watch the fights to see what’s going on in my division and I’m staying in shape. It’s like a knife that I have to keep sharp just in case I ever decide to jump back in the mix.” When asked about the effects of drug testing, he said, “There are fighters whose bodies have changed. They don’t look like the same fighters as before. I think a lot of people are scared.”
He said the sport needs to be based on talent and training and now who has the most access to performance enhancing technology. He said the one regret he has in his career is that he didn’t speak up sooner and should have insisted on drug testing publicly long before he did.
Fighter changing Weight Classes
After having lost twice to Demetrious Johnson, John Dodson is moving up to bantamweight. While he won Ultimate Fighter at that weight and knocked out current champion T.J. Dillashaw in the finals, he is actually tiny compared to the competitors in that weight class.
Renan Barao, the former bantamweight champion, is moving up to featherweight after his second loss to T.J. Dillashaw. The problem is the featherweight champion is Jose Aldo, his teammate and training partner. But he’s had trouble with weight cuts.
The Northcutt Hype Train keeps rolling
Sage Northcutt ended up being one of the most searched topics in the U.S. on 10/3. He had triple the worldwide searches of Daniel Cormier and Alexander Gustafsson, and more than double that of the main eventers in the U.S. Essentially the complaints in his case that he’s an example of too much media for a guy in his first fight, is, if anything, the public being there first or at worst, them being there at the same time. Besides, the live crowd gravitated toward him huge, even when he did a bad promo.
The most searched names related to the show, in order, were Northcutt, Cormier, Gustafsson, Johny Hendricks and Jon Jones, which speaks volumes of the interest level in some of the other big matches on the show.
12/19 UFC on FOX Show
Two new fights have been added to the 12/19 FOX show from Orlando. Myles Jury, who is 15-1, moves down from lightweight to featherweight to face Charles Oliveira. Jury was pretty much taken apart by Donald Cerrone in his last fight. The show also features the debut of Karolina Kowalkiewicz from Poland, who is 7-0, who faces Randa Markos. That will be one of the four main card fights along with the Rafael dos Anjos vs. Donald Cerrone main event, Alistair Overeem vs. Junior Dos Santos and Michael Johnson vs. Nate Diaz.
FOX will be airing four plus hours from 6 p.m. to whenever it ends past 10 p.m. depending on the length of the main event, so the difference between main card and prelims isn’t quite as big a deal. Markos vs. Kowalkiewicz was chosen to open the PPV over Charles Oliveira vs. Myles Jury and C.B. Dollaway vs. Nate Marquardt, although given it’s two months away, that could easily change.
Bellator's Warren popped for Weed
Joe Warren tested positive for marijuana from his 9/25 fight win over L.C. Davis in the main event in Hidalgo, TX. Warren’s test result showed 53 ng/ml, three over the Texas limit of 50. While he was unlucky it was Texas (all three of Nick Diaz’s test results in Nevada would have been positives in Texas, as well as a number of other states, except Nevada raised the threshold for the very reason of not watching to catch anyone since, aside from Diaz, nobody had ever been above 150 ng/ml in a test), he was also lucky in the sense the suspension is expected to only be three months.
His win also may not be overturned. Warren had twice failed for marijuana during his amateur wrestling days, the second test of which brought with it a two year suspension that caused him to not be able to participate in the 2008 Olympics after he had won the 2006 world championship. It also led to his going into MMA since he wasn’t going to be able to make the Olympic team.