Full Contact Fighter’s “The Daily Takedown:” UFC and The Stanley Cup; Tickets Still Available for UFC on FOX; and Dana White Backpedals
By Joshua Molina
The UFC is big, but, apparently, not that big. The kings of pay-per-view, the young male demographic, and Bud Light, met their match in the form of real kings, as in the Los Angeles Kings.
The UFC extended a VIP offer to the Los Angeles Kings and the coveted Stanley Cup to appear at this Saturday’s UFC on FOX: Shogun vs. Vera, but was abruptly rejected. The event takes place at the Kings’ home, the Staples Center.
The UFC recently tweeted, “We got a VIP ticket with Lord Stanley’s name on it for #UFConFOX at Staples.”
The Kings responded through Twitter: “Sorry. The cup is only for those who play a real sport.”
The twitter war may seem like a petty scuffle between egos, it actually shines a light on a much bigger, more serious problem for the UFC and the sport of MMA. Despite the UFC’s incredible financial success, MMA still lives on the fringe of legitimacy for some traditional sports fans and executives.
Even though the UFC locked up a lucrative television contract to air its shows on Fox, some still don’t understand the athleticism of a competitor slapping on a triangle choke from his back, seconds after getting hammered in the face.
It’s such a problem that the UFC still is not legal in the great state of New York. The athletes have never walked the aisle at the most famous arena in the world, Madison Square Garden.
The UFC responded to the Kings’ tweet with another tweet – a photo of its seven champions and the words: “Our checking line > your checking line.”
Yes, but can those seven fight on hockey skates?
Dana White has already changed his mind – less than 24 hours after he made his official announcement. The winner of the Jon Jones vs. Dan Henderson Light Heavyweight Championship fight will now battle either Ryan Bader, Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, Brandon Vera or Lyoto Machida.
Just a day ago, White said the winner of the Rua-Vera match would get the shot. White said the fighter who wins the most impressively will get the title shot. “Wins the most impressively?” How will he define that? The fastest knockout? The quickest submission? The biggest rally from behind? The fighter who spills the most blood?
Fighters should be worried about winning their fights – not trying to impress promoters by scoring a dramatic finish. “Most impressive” is totally subjective, and varies depending on the style of fighters and strategies implored during the fight.
Of more interest is that it seems that more people are interested in who gets the title shot against the winner of the Jones vs. Henderson match than the actual Jones vs. Henderson match.
Henderson vs. Jones has all the making of a classic. Can the veteran upset the sport’s young champion? Henderson has looked amazing in recent fights against Renato Sobral, Rafael Cavalcante, Mauricio Rua and the great Fedor Emelianenko. But he also looked old and tired against Jake Shields – a fight that he should have won by first round knockout.
A lot will be riding on the ratings for Saturday night’s show on Fox. As for the live attendance, tickets were still available as of today for ever section except the floor – seats that are usually scooped up brokers and, in this case, Hollywood celebrities.
Have a question or comment? Contact reporter Joshua Molina at firstname.lastname@example.org or @joshuamolinamma on twitter.