By: Frank Hyden, MMATorch contributor
Well, I’m back. Before the pandemic shut everything down, I had written a blog for the Torch here for many years. I had written my view on MMA and MMA events for a long time. I’m sure many of you disagreed with my opinions, and maybe some of you agreed with them, but I tried to be consistent. Well, that went out the window when this Coronvirus crap hit the fan. But I’m back now and hopefully sports bring us the fun and enjoyment they used to as we navigate this crazy world.
I also hope that everyone who reads this is doing well. I generally tried to keep this blog from getting too political. One of the things I’ve noticed more these days is the tendency to demonize those who disagree with you. I may criticize people when I disagree with them but that doesn’t mean that I think they’re less than. I’ll call people out when they say or do stupid things, just as I expect others to call me out when I say or do stupid things. That doesn’t mean I hate them. I’ll make that plainly obvious when someone crosses that line. I usually try to attribute bad behavior to ignorance rather than malicious intent, unless it’s obvious.
Enough of that, let’s get to some sports talk.
GOOD- The backlog created some big cards
We had a handful of months without MMA, and sports in general. That sucked so badly because sports are universal. They cross languages and cultures. They might have lot of rules but the basics are easy to understand. Thankfully we’re past that now, and there’s a lot of fighters who haven’t fought in a while and are wanting to. That creates some big matchups. August 15th sees UFC 252 with UFC Heavyweight Champion Stipe Miocic fighting Daniel Cormier for the third time. September 19th sees UFC 253 with UFC Middleweight Champion Israel Adesanya defending against Paulo Costa. October 24th will see UFC Lightweight Champion Khabib Nurmagomedov fighting Justin Gaethje and Robert Whittaker is scheduled to fight Jared Cannonier.
For Bellator we’ll get Bellator 243 on August 21st with Bellator Light Heavyweight (as well as Bellator Heavyweight) Champion Ryan Bader defending against Vadim Nemkov. Those are some pretty big fights.
Yeah, I could complain about the UFC fights taking place over three different pay-per-view events but that’s a topic for another time as I’m just happy to see sports back.
GOOD/BAD– Venum is the new clothing sponsor for the UFC…in April 2021
Venum will be taking over from Reebok for the clothing sponsor of the UFC. There’s been talk of increased pay, which is good. However, this doesn’t happen until April 2021, so the fighters are still months away from this increase.
The BAD really comes from the fact that this won’t really help the overall problem of fighter pay being too low. I’ve tilted at that windmill before and I’m sure I’ll do so again in the future so I’ll refrain from that for now.
GOOD– Sports are back
I’m just so glad to have sports back. The big one for me is the NFL but I’m happy to have the NBA, WNBA, NHL, MLB, and various soccer leagues, golf and racing back, as well as MMA. I think that covers them all, I don’t mean to leave any out. I’m also glad WWE and AEW stayed around throughout the pandemic. Yeah, wrestling does some really stupid things sometimes but they also have some really fun moments. Maybe more stupid than fun but I can overlook that. Hell, in a lot of ways I prefer pro wrestling to MMA but some of that is just residual resentment over the UFC trying to bilk people for $65 a month even when they know the cards aren’t worth nearly that.
I do wish wrestling would adopt a more sports-like approach like MMA but that’s my inner old man, I suppose.
BAD– Jon Jones wants to fight at heavyweight but the UFC won’t pay him
I don’t like Jon Jones. I think he’s proven over and over again that he makes really bad decisions on a regular basis. I won’t go into his past here, as I and many other have covered it before, but he doesn’t seem like a good guy. People can change, though, but he has to prove it first before anyone should believe that.
However, Jones was wanting to move up to heavyweight to fight Francis Ngannou. You know, the guy who hits like a Mack truck and can knock anyone out. We could have seen that guy fight one of the most decorated fighters in MMA history. The guy who has one blemish on his resume, and that was a disqualification.
That’s not going to happen, though, because the UFC is too damn cheap. The company that underpays their fighters are too cheap to pony up to give us one of the most exciting and interesting fights they could ever hope to put together. They pinch those pennies so tightly that their fingers are copper colored. Give me a break, this is ridiculous. The UFC should be doing everything possible to put this fight together.
I can understand if they don’t want to pay Jones some exorbitant amount of money, though they could surely afford it, but they are free to negotiate with Jones and come up with an answer. You offer him more than he’s ever gotten and throw in some escalators based on PPV performance. Jones is the one with the most to lose here. If he were to get KTFO here his aura is gone. Hell, it’s taken a major beating already, with his recent performances in the cage.
The UFC can get this done if they want to, this is the same company that paid GSP a boatload of money to go up and fight Michael Bisping for the UFC Middleweight Title so what’s the problem? Is it that there’s no title on the line? Make one up, they already did that with that stupid BMF belt.
All right, I’ll end it here for now, it feels like I never left lol. Again, I hope everyone is happy and safe and I’ll be back with another blog.
One last thing, if you’re interested in sports gambling and live in Colorado, Indiana, Iowa, New Hampshire, New Jersey, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania you should download the Draftkings Sportsbook app (or use the desktop version). I can give you a referral link so we both get free bets. Draftkings is usually always running some good promotions, I’ve bet on pretty much every sport possible, including MMA. Email me if interested.
FanDuel Sportsbook is another good sportsbook to consider. The app is available in Indiana, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. I use them as well and they also have some good promotions.
Note- If you think you have a gambling problem, there’s help available. Search up “Gambling addiction” or email me, I’ll help you in any way I can.
Comments and suggestions can be emailed to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and you can follow me on Twitter at @hydenfrank