Tag Archives: UFC

Demetrious Johnson Speaks Out Against Dana White and the UFC

In an unprecedented act, current UFC flyweight champion Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson as penned a lengthy response and telling account of his dealings with UFC President Dana White and matchmaker Sean Shelby. In the response Johnson claims that it is the UFC’s “mistreatment and bullying” of him have finally reached a boiling point in the negotiations of a potential bout with TJ Dillashaw.

Johnson goes into great detail and pulls back the curtain on the business elements of the sport of mixed martial arts.

For years I have been a company man and kept quiet, accepting fights, doing as they asked, and always remaining humble and grateful for the opportunities provided to me through mixed martial arts. This is how I was raised through the sport. Unfortunately, UFC’s mistreatment and bullying has finally forced me to speak out. I’ve decided to speak out now as I feel like my values and character as a person and a fighter are being tarnished by an organization I’ve done nothing but sweat and bleed for over the last seven years of my life. If it takes me speaking up and encouraging other fighters to ban together to start getting fair treatment, then so be it.

UFC Matchmaker Mick Maynard called and offered the fight vs. Ray Borg. I thought [Sergio] Pettis was a more marketable name and on a longer winning streak. Mick went back to Dana, then came back and told us that I had no choice, it was going to be Ray Borg, not Pettis, and there were no other options. That was the command from Dana and company. This would mean that my only chance at PPV points at flyweight was vs. Ray Borg. I said OK, but it’s not fair to make that my only chance at PPV points, when Cody Garbrandt is saying he wants to come down and fight me at flyweight, which was the fight I wanted. We told Mick that to be fair we would take the fight, but [we] want PPV points for future fights at flyweight. Mick agreed and said it was fair and didn’t see any problem with that situation. Mick spoke to Dana and [UFC matchmaker] Sean Shelby, who then told him to deny giving me any future PPV points for all of my future flyweight fights. Further, I still had to fight Ray Borg and they were giving me no other choice. I accepted the fight with Ray and decided to deal with the unfair situation and despicable treatment by Dana and Sean after I succeed in breaking the consecutive title fight defense record in my next fight vs. Borg. Mick thanked me for accepting the fight, knowing that I was being screwed over and mistreated by Dana and Sean.

I wanted a reason for not being allowed any future PPV points. Sean Shelby called and told us how smaller fighters don’t sell, that UFC can’t make stars of anyone, and that a fight between Cody and I wouldn’t be a sellable fight. We disagreed. I think a fight between Cody and I would be popular if it was even given a small serving of the marketing efforts put into other big fights.

UFC has failed to market and promote me appropriately. Prior to my last fight, where I tied the record for the most consecutive successful title defenses, we waited to re-post UFC’s social media posts about me from their Facebook page. There weren’t any posts until a few days into fight week, then, there were a total of two posts. In comparison to others who they promote across their social media platforms, they failed to do their job in promoting me and that monumental event. In my recent conversations, Sean and Dana have confirmed UFC’s lack of desire to put any effort into promoting us.

In addition to the above, I want to address the lack of marketing and promotion of the flyweight division, even though Dana will claim otherwise. I would challenge that the UFC doesn’t even market the division. It’s been three years since the UFC launched three new divisions in two years (2012 to 2014) where they focused most of their marketing efforts to grow female mixed martial arts, which I understand. But, we are now three years post-launch, and the company continues to do the bare minimum in marketing the division well past the launch of these other divisions. As a fighter, I pay very close attention to the amount of marketing that goes into and around my fights and I can tell you that you’d be hard pressed to find much that has been done to promote me outside of TUF 24, which was minimal in comparison to other fights, fighters and shows. With me, the UFC chooses not to market the best fighter in the world and arguably the greatest fighter of all time. I can’t think of any other sports organization in the world that has the best player in the sport where the league, or the organization, doesn’t market that player to their loyal fan base to sell more of their product. Look at my track record for showing up to fights. Look at my track record of finishing fights. Look at my track record of getting fight night bonuses. Ask yourself if you think that if the UFC decided to truly put marketing dollars behind me that they couldn’t sell me or my fights.

Completely unrelated — and after the accepted fight vs. Ray Borg — Cody Garbradt injured his back and TJ Dillashaw said he wanted to fight me. Dana told me he wanted me to fight TJ, which I disagreed with for multiple reasons. First, TJ has never fought at flyweight and is unlikely to make the weight, which would then eliminate the possibility of breaking the title defense record. Second, they have already told me that a fight between Cody and I wouldn’t be sellable, so fighting TJ would have no monetary upside. Third, TJ is not a flyweight or a current champion in another weight class and was KO’ed by the flyweight whom I beat twice already. Last, Ray Borg and I already agreed to the fight, which UFC tyrannically demanded, while denying me any future PPV points.

After telling Dana my reasons, Dana angrily told me that I am fighting TJ, once again, with no other option or say in my career, and against the plans we had previously laid out. He went on further to say that if I didn’t take the fight against TJ, and drop Borg as the opponent, he would get rid of the entire flyweight division. He said, this is for TJ and I’m taking away TJ’s opportunity. That fact that he feels that what I should do in my career is for TJ, tells where his priority lies.

Sorry Dana, my career is about Demetrious Johnson and my goals of fighting the best current flyweights, breaking the record of title defenses, going after the bantamweight champion after I have broken the record, and making money for my family. My career is not about doing for Dana’s buddy, who is neither a bantamweight champion or flyweight contender. We ended by disagreeing and left it there. The next day, Dana went to the media and announced that I was fighting TJ Dillashaw, in an obvious attempt to bully me in the media and tarnish my reputation. I posted a short statement letting people know that I had not agreed to the TJ fight, but had already agreed to fight Ray Borg, as demanded by UFC.

Dana put up an interview stating that it was “insane” that I didn’t want to fight TJ, that “he makes the matches and that is the match he is making,” and, “You tell me why DJ doesn’t want to fight TJ,” trying to make it as though I am scared or ducking TJ Dillashaw.

Mick spoke to me to try to change the offer from Ray to TJ. I told Mick that I thought TJ should fight once in the division first, prove he can make the weight and get a win at that weight, then fight me if I wasn’t already busy with Cody. Mick agreed that it made the most sense.

Later Mick called again, as mandated by Dana, to try to make the fight with TJ and drop Ray. We told him that we didn’t think TJ would make the weight and the fight would be off since it would no longer be a title fight without TJ making weight. Mick said they guaranteed that TJ would make weight. We told him that since it was guaranteed by TJ and UFC was demanding and putting me in a bad circumstance, then it is fair that if TJ didn’t make weight, the fight would be off and I would still get my guarantee, plus TJ’s guaranteed pay. Mick said that Ray would be on the card and he could fill in if TJ didn’t make weight. We said, oh, then which one do I train for? I thought TJ guaranteed he was making weight. Is it a world championship with the No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter on earth, or an amateur tournament where I don’t know who I’m fighting until I get there. Obviously there was no guarantee and they just wanted to push me to do something that they knew wasn’t a good choice for my career. The “guarantees” that they made had nothing to back them up and they were unwilling to give a real guarantee to compensate me for all the damage I put on my body preparing for a fight that may not happen. The fact that they said Ray will be a backup shows the lack of respect they have for what we go through in preparing for a fight at this level.

Mick went back to Dana and Sean, then came back and told us that they don’t agree with my request and I have to fight TJ with no guarantee to make weight or financial incentive if he doesn’t make weight. This is typical of the unfulfilled promises and bullying that has gone on through my UFC career.

In summary:

I agreed to their tyrannical demand to fight Ray Borg and Ray also agreed.

UFC has refused to give me PPV points on any future flyweight bouts, and has never given me any PPV points on previous bouts. My request was fair and the matchmaker in charge of the flyweight and bantamweight division agreed.

I gave UFC fair conditions to change the fight to TJ Dillashaw and they refused.

Dana and Sean have told me that they have no interest in marketing me or the smaller divisions, so when they say that I will make PPV money vs. Dillashaw, they leave out the fact that I have to hit certain numbers of buys, which will not be hit if they fail in marketing me like they have in my previous fights.

If TJ doesn’t make weight, I can’t break the record for the most consecutive title defenses and they have denied paying me in that circumstance.

Dana has made an effort to bully me in the media as well as in private, in order to get what he wants, even though it is not what is best for me or the sport.

If Dana says this will be a big PPV fight for me, and that they will promote it properly, then he can pay for it up front and explain to Ray Borg why he is being taken out of the fight that the UFC matchmaker in charge of the division put him in. Otherwise, it is just another lie and attempt to bully me to do something that Dana wants, but is not the right thing to do for the sport or my career.

UFC’s track record in making an effort to promote my fights, and Dana’s claim that this is a big chance for PPV dollars for me tells a different story than what Dana is stating to the public.

Watch: Five Round MMA – Episode 12, Season 5

We have recaps of UFC Fight Night in London and King of the Cage
Supernova. Who has the most to gain when Anderson Silva and Kelvin
Gastelum square off? We debate Vitor Belfort’s “Legends Legaue” idea and if it can actually work and what are the chances that a fight with CM Punk will happen.

UFC Fight Night: Lewis vs. Browne Results

With the long holiday weekend the UFC held a rare Sunday night event. UFC Fight Night: Lewis vs. Browne took place from the Scotiabank Centre in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada and aired live on Fox Sports 1. A heavyweight grudge match between Derrick Lewis and Travis Browne served as the main event. Former welterweight champion Johny Hendricks made his middleweight debut against former Bellator champion Hector Lombard served as the night’s co-main event. Below are the full results from Sunday night’s event.

Main Card Results:

  • Derrick Lewis def. Travis Browne via KO in Round 2 at 3:12
  • Johny Hendricks def. Hector Lombard via unanimous decision
  • Gavin Tucker def. Sam Sicilia via unanimous decision
  • Elias Theodorou def. Cezar Ferreira via unanimous decision
  • Sara McMann def. Gina Mazany via submission in Round 1 at 1:14
  • Paul Felder def. Alessandro Ricci via TKO in Round 1 at 4:41

Preliminary Card Results:

  • Santiago Ponzinibbio def. Nordine Taleb via unanimous decision
  • Randa Markos def. Carla Esparza via split decision
  • Aiemann Zahabi def. Reginaldo Vieira via unanimous decision
  • Thiago “Marreta” Santos def. Jack Marshman via TKO in Round 2 at 2:21
  • Gerald Meerschaert def. Ryan Janes via submission in Round 1 at 1:34

USADA Clears Cris “Cyborg” Justino

The United States Anti-Doping Agency has cleared Invicta FC featherweight champion and part-time UFC fighter Cris “Cyborg” Justino of a violation steaming from a positive drug test she submitted back in December of 2016.

The USADA released the following statement on their official website about Cyborg’s clearance:

“USADA announced today that UFC athlete Cristiane Justino, of Curitiba, Brazil, has been granted a retroactive Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) and will therefore not face an anti-doping policy violation after testing positive for a prohibited substance in December of 2016. With this announcement, USADA is providing a public notice of the case’s resolution following the announcement of the potential anti-doping violation by the UFC on December 22, 2016.”

During the out of competition drug test Cyborg tested positive for the banned substance “Spironolactone” which according to the USADA falls under the “Diuretics and Masking Agents” category.

Cyborg was quick to address the violation and stated that the was prescribed the drug by a doctor in order to prevent ovarian cysts after a very dramatic weight cut for her UFC Fight Night bout against Lina Lansberg. The bout was contested at 140-pounds because at the time there was not an official featherweight division in the organization.

Cyborg’s immediate corporation with the USADA and proper paperwork seemed to help her case to reverse the suspension.

“Upon notice of her positive test, Justino immediately identified a medication prescribed by her physician for the treatment of a common endocrine disorder as the source of the prohibited substance detected in her sample. She also participated in multiple interviews with USADA’s investigative team and consented to USADA interviewing her physician as well.”

Cyborg is now free to compete but there are still some provisions she must meet according to the USADA, “her provisional suspension has been lifted with immediate effect and her positive test will not result in an anti-doping policy violation. However, as a condition of the TUE approval, Justino will be required to continue to carefully document her medical care and must apply for a TUE renewal in advance of TUE expiry should she wish to maintain compliance with the UFC Anti-Doping Policy.”

Since Cyborg’s last bout the UFC has created a women’s featherweight division. She can now compete in the organization at the weight class she has always fought at and hopefully her issues with dramatic weight cutting will be a thing of the past. Unfortunately she may have a hard time finding an opponent. The likely scenario would be a bout with current UFC featherweight champion Germaine De Randamie but De Randamie has expressed an interest in a rematch with Holly Holm and that she also needs hand surgery.

 

 

 

 

Done Deal: GSP Officially Re-Signs with the UFC

Former welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre has officially signed a deal to return to the UFC. The L.A. Times were the first to report the deal being finalized. Reports had surfaced early this week that GSP and the UFC had agreed to terms on a new deal but pen had not touched the paper just yet. All that has changed and now the longest welterweight champion in company history is set to return.

St. Pierre (25-2) last fought in 2013 when he defeated Johny Hendricks to retain his championship. After the victory GSP vacated his title and stated that he needed to step away from the sport for a while.

GSP has been known of his even keel temperament had been very vocal against the UFC prior to his departure about the lack of consistent drug testing of all its fighters. Since GSP’s hiatus the UFC tasked the USADA to help crack down on performance enhancing drug use and we all know the success they have had finding all of the violators.

Rumors of a GSP return have been making their way around the MMA community in recent months but for a short while it seemed as though his return would not be inside the UFC’s octagon. It was reported that negotiations between the UFC and GSP had reached an impasse and the former champion declared himself a free agent. While specifics were never released the UFC’s deal with Reebok seemed to be a big hurdle as GSP has been associated with Under Armour for many years. A UFC return looked even bleaker when GSP aligned himself the Mixed Martial Arts Athletes Association (MMAAA), a union that was seeking better insurance, payouts, and more from the UFC. GSP had also been seen in photo ops with Bellator president Scott Coker in recent months.

While a return to the welterweight division seems only natural, UFC president Dana White gave many options as to who GSP could face upon his return, “It could be the winner between Tyron Woodley and Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson, or it could be Michael Bisping.”

GSP has flirted with the middleweight division in the past, especially when talks of a super fight between he and Anderson Silva were at a high back when both men ruled their respective divisions. Probably the most interesting thing that White stated was GSP’s desire to actually go down a weight class, “Georges has also talked about fighting at 155 pounds. He says he can make the weight.”A run at lightweight could only mean a super fight between GSP and the “Notorious” Conor McGregor. That might be interesting enough for McGregor to end his chase of boxing champion Floyd Mayweather.

No date has been announced for GSP’s return but as stated by White there are many things that need to happen before the organization can decide which route will earn the most money for all parties involved.

 

 

 

Valentine’s Day Heartbreak: Recapping the Eventful Day Between Mayweather and McGregor

Rumors of a Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather fight reached a high point on Tuesday but at the end of the day did we move any closer to the fight actually taking place?

Combat sports fans had their collective hearts broken on Valentine’s Day as rumors of the Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather boxing match swelled up like a balloon only to have it pop by the end of the day. It all started with a report by “The Irish Sun” that stated the two finally reached a “multi-million dollar deal” but was not formally signed because of a “third party hold-up”. Media outlets everywhere picked up the story and social media was a buzz as news started to spread.

It turns out the news was too good to be true. Floyd Mayweather took it upon himself to shoot down all rumors about him fighting not only Conor McGregor but anyone in general.

Mayweather did not specifically mention McGregor by name and stated that he is “happily retired”.  This could be seen as Mayweather taking a shot a McGregor by not mentioning him by name in his announcement. He did throw in that little nugget of hope to fight fans by writing that “if any changes come about, I will be the first to let the world know!” Maybe Mayweather did not take kindly to the fact that someone in McGregor’s camp may have spilled the beans a little earlier than “The Money Team” may have liked.

Not to be outdone, McGregor took to his Instagram account to offer a counter of sorts to Mayweather’s post about denying any fight deal taking place. McGregor’s post sees the Irishman sitting on a white throne with the caption, “I am in Las Vegas. Floyd has retired on my arrival.”

I am in Las Vegas. Floyd has retired on my arrival.

A post shared by Conor McGregor Official (@thenotoriousmma) on

The image itself is very striking with McGregor sitting on a throne as if he is declaring himself the king of combat sports. The caption also suggests that Mayweather is scared of McGregor as it is implying that his mere presence in Las Vegas has kept the undefeated boxing star in retirement.

It did not take long for McGregor’s post to circulate and get Mayweather’s attention. Mayweather in turn had a more direct response than his previous post.

Mayweather not only called out McGregor but the UFC as well. UFC president Dana White has been vocal that the boxing match between McGregor and Mayweather cannot happen without the company’s blessing or involvement. McGregor has stated in the past that he can put this fight together without the UFC’s involvement but has acknowledged that it will be easier if they were somehow involved.

That is where we stand as of this moment and after all the reports and posts on social media it seems like we have not moved any closer to the super-fight taking place.