UFC’s Rashad Evans talks switch to pro wrestling

July 11, 2014

Dave Meltzer recently reported that UFC fighter Rashad Evans was interested in making a move to professional wrestling in the future. On Thursday, the fighter went on the record with Michael Stets and revealed his thoughts on the matter.

"If I ever did anything like that, it would be after I finished fighting, and I'm not going to be done fighting for at least four years," he said.

"I had a million people asking me if I was retiring for wrestling, but honestly speaking, if I didn't get seriously paid to do it I wouldn't do it."

The former light heavyweight champion is currently sidelined by an ACL injury and seemed well-aware that pro wrestlers like those in the WWE put their bodies through much more brutal wear and tear than fighters, on average.

"I think it would be disrespectful to my legacy in the UFC if I didn't do a deal that would make sense where I got paid," he concluded.

"Besides, that [expletive] is harder on my body than fighting."

For the pro wrestling fans out there, would you watch "Suga" cut a promo or run the ropes as a WWE star? Let us know in the comments section.

Follow Elias on Twitter @EliasCepeda & @YahooCagewriter

Chad Mendes: ‘Jose Aldo is running from me’

July 11, 2014

UFC featherweight contender had to wait a bit longer to fight Jose Aldo the first time around when the champ delayed their scheduled title bout because of injury. Eventually, the two met, in January 2012 and Aldo won via first round KO.

Since that fight, Mendes has won five straight fights and once more earned a crack at the belt. They were scheduled to rematch next month in Los Angeles until another injury to Aldo postponed the fight.

Mendes doesn't quite seem to see Aldo's point of view on the whole issue and recently called out the champion for supposedly running from him. "I'm tired of it," Mendes said recently to MMA Fighting.

"This is something he's been doing for so long. The first time he did the same thing.  I ended up taking another fight, I ended up fighting Rani Yahya in the meantime because I didn't want to be on the shelf for a year. I beat Yahya, I got the title shot. As far as injuries and backing out of fights, it's irritating and it pissed me off. It's time everyone sees the real picture here."

What do you make of Mendes' comments? Does he believe that Aldo is faking injuries or choosing not to fight through ones that he could?

Or, is the challenger just taking an opportunity to irritate the champion to try and get in his head? Let us know what you think in the comments section.

Follow Elias on Twitter @EliasCepeda & @YahooCagewriter

TUF 19 Episode 12: 586,000 viewers

July 11, 2014

MMA Payout has learned that the season finale of TUF last Wednesday received 586,000 viewers which was the third highest in the season.  Overall, the season average was 477,000 viewers.

TUF 19 Episode 12 Graph

Payout Perspective:

We will be trying to obtain the DVR number to round out the graph.

Unfortunately for UFC fans, this was one of the more disappointing seasons in the TUF franchise. The fights were boring, not a lot of characters were drawn out and even the coach’s challenge wasn’t that fun.  With the exception of a scoring controversy, there was nothing remarkable about season 19.  The irony is that both finals were action-packed first round finishes.

So what do we make of the ratings.  One thing that stands out was episode 11 registered one of the lowest (if not the lowest) rating ever on TUF.   However, it was the highest rated show on FS1 for that day.  This tells us that despite the decline that MMA fans have seen over the years, Fox execs are still pleased with its performance.  One of the things that Fox has been pleased with is the amount of people watching on the DVR as DVR +3 ratings have gone up gaining 278,000 viewers compared to TUF 18’s DVR +3 average of 250,000 viewers.

It will be interesting to see how TUF 20 is received with it being the all women house. One thing seems to be certain, TUF is here to stay.

Former boxing champ Holly Holm inks deal with UFC

July 11, 2014

The UFC is quickly running out of viable challengers for women's bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey, as the 2008 Olympic bronze medalist has run roughshod over the 135-pound division.

On Thursday, the UFC may have gotten her some stiff competition.

UFC president Dana White announced on Twitter that the company had signed former boxing champion Holly Holm, who is 7-0 in her mixed martial arts career.

Holm is expected to debut with the promotion in the fall, but isn't expected to land an immediate title shot against Rousey. She was 33-2-3 as a boxer and was 2-1 as a kick boxer.

Holm is 5-8, an inch taller than the 5-7 Rousey, and has a 70-66 advantage in reach.

The UFC had been in talks with Holm for several months. Holm began boxing in 2002 and won a number of world championships. Included among her victories were 2005 wins over Christy Martin and Mia St. John.

Holm made her MMA debut on March 4, 2011, defeating Christina Domke by leg kicks in the second round. Later that month, on March 27, 2011, Rousey made her pro MMA debut by submitting Ediane Gomes with an arm bar in just 25 seconds of the first round.

Rousey is now 10-0 and coming off a 16-second TKO victory over Alexis Davis at UFC 175 on July 5.

No one in the UFC seems remotely on her level at this point, and Rousey was a resounding 10-1 favorite over Davis, who had entered the bout 3-0 in the UFC and a winner of eight of nine matches overall.

So, the UFC is hopeful that Holm's game is advanced enough to give Rousey a run for the money.


Report: UFC 174 lowest buy rate since 2005

July 10, 2014

MMA Fighting reports that last month’s UFC 174 from Vancouver received a lowly PPV buy rate between 95,000 to 115,000 buys.  The buy rate is the lowest

Yahoo! Sports reported that the show featuring Demetrious Johnson and Ali Baugitinov received 125,000 PPV buys. Regardless, the PPV buy rate is the lowest in the “modern era” of the UFC.  You would have to go back to June 2005 and UFC 53 to find the last UFC PPV with such a low buy rate.  UFC 53 which featured Andre Arlovski in the main event drew just 90,000 PPV buys.

Via MMA Fighting:

On Saturday night after UFC 175, Dana White talked about how UFC business is changing to being a worldwide promotion, and that people are going to not be watching every show and he’s accepting of that. He said that the Johnson vs. Bagautinov fight did exactly what they projected and they were not unhappy with the number, saying that the featherweight division is new, praising Johnson as champion and saying he would have no qualms about headlining another pay-per-view show with him.

It marks the third straight June that a UFC PPV has drawn the lowest buy rate of the year.

If not this was bad news for the company, Johnson’s challenger, Bagautinov was found to have taken EPO by the BC Athletic Commission today.

Payout Perspective:

The overarching issue here is that the UFC appears to have resigned itself that there will be PPVs like this.  While it’s not ideal for the company, with its strategy for growth, there will be low PPV buy events.

As the MMA Fighting article points out, the UFC has given every chance for Johnson to become a star.  He’s been featured on 3 different cards on Fox as well as its shoulder programming to promote the card.  Not only did Johnson win those fights, he was dominant in each.  Yet, if we are to go by strict PPV returns, Johnson’s in-Octagon success is not translating to a PPV attraction.   This goes back to the fact that not one fighter below 170 pounds is a PPV draw (maybe we Rousey is but the point is most are not).  It’s not clear what can be done for fighters like Johnson as he’s one of the top fighters in the company but he lacks the following.

Ali Bagautinov nabbed by random drug test, found positive for EPO

July 10, 2014

The third UFC fighter to be randomly