Mike Goldberg Blasts Recent UFC Broadcasts: We Know What’s Happening

It’s hardly a secret that the UFC’s recent stretch of subpar pay-per-view buys and television ratings has fans wanting more in the MMA-slogged early months of 2018. With an under-promoted and un-anticipated event seemingly every weekend, fans are left with little meat on the proverbial bone, yet are expected to either sit through another grueling […]

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It’s hardly a secret that the UFC’s recent stretch of subpar pay-per-view buys and television ratings has fans wanting more in the MMA-slogged early months of 2018.

With an under-promoted and un-anticipated event seemingly every weekend, fans are left with little meat on the proverbial bone, yet are expected to either sit through another grueling FOX Sports 1 broadcast or pay $65.00 for a watered-down card in order to stay current on the sport they love, not exactly an ideal position for UFC owners Endeavor to put fans in.

It’s lacking a certain something – and many would say that’s UFCmegastar Conor McGregor – but aside from that, some feel the product is just lacking excitement overall. That’s why it’s hardly a surprise to hear Octagon play-by-play man Mike Goldberg call out his former employers for being less than exhilarating.

Ousted from his longtime seat next to Joe Rogan with little fanfare or justification, Goldberg was quickly signed by UFC rival Bellator MMA, and he discussed the differences with Ariel Helwani between the two promotions during this week’s The MMA Hour.

To him, he’s now a competitor, and while he won’t trash any of his former colleagues at the UFC, he added that Bellator’s ratings are going up while the UFC’s are headed the opposite way:

“It’s different, and I’m a competitor, let’s just say that.

“I will do everything in my power to make sure that Bellator has the best TV broadcast in MMA. And that’s not being disrespectful to anybody. Jon Anik is my buddy. He never did anything to me and I never did anything to him.

“Those guy are my friends, but at the end of the day it’s competition. We’re all trying to get ratings and Bellator’s ratings are going up — we know what’s happening on the other side (UFC).”

He also noted that from his own experienced viewpoint, the UFC broadcasts have not been nearly as exciting as they could have been in his opinion.

Often criticized for sometimes head-scratching errors of his own during UFC broadcasts, Goldberg admitted he’s far from perfect, but there are still issues with the current method the UFC is delivering their on-air content to fans:

“I just want to do what I do, so do I see things that make me go, ‘Wow, that was really interesting. That was really not as exciting as it could be.’

“It’s just moments,” he explained. “It’s not anybody’s fault and don’t get me wrong, people have been saying things about me for 100 years and I’ve made my mistakes. I’d like to remind people that my blooper real is maybe 15 or 20 minutes long. I was probably on the air for two million minutes though, so that’s pretty good, right? But I do watch it and I see the difference.”

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Khabib Reveals UFC Will “100 Percent” Strip Conor McGregor’s Title

It seems the collective mixed martial arts world may be a bit burnt out on waiting for UFC lightweight champ Conor McGregor to return to the Octagon, and one of his biggest prospective foes is no different. Although a host of potentially massive UFC bouts, most namely a title unification bout with the winner of […]

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It seems the collective mixed martial arts world may be a bit burnt out on waiting for UFC lightweight champ Conor McGregor to return to the Octagon, and one of his biggest prospective foes is no different.

Although a host of potentially massive UFC bouts, most namely a title unification bout with the winner of UFC 223’s Tony Ferguson vs. Khabib Nurmagomedov, await the controversial Irishman, McGregor has largely drug his feet concerning his return since a reported $100 million payday to box Floyd Mayweather last August.

And it’s the money tied to “Money” that appears to be driving McGregor once again, as any buzz surrounding his next fight has seemed to be focused on a potential – and farcical – MMA bout with Mayweather in the UFC. That has many justifiably wondering if he’ll ever return to MMA, a sentiment Nurmagomedov echoed during a recent interview with TMZ Sports:

In the brief spot, “The Eagle” stated that McGregor’s lengthy absence from MMA dating back to November 2016

“When is Conor compete last time in MMA? I forget about this. Yeah long time. He’s boxing guy. He’s good to stay in boxing, because you have to compete in MMA, like wrestling, grappling, completion is like 25 minutes – it’s very hard to him.”

A solid point to be sure, but lest we not forget Nurmagomedov took almost two years off himself with a litany of concerning injuries that had him wondering if he would ever compete in MMA again, so while it’s a different (and perhaps more understandable) reason, layoffs happen in a sport as unpredictable as MMA.

As for McGregor, Nurmagomedov wondered when he would actually come back, doubting that he would at all:

“But when? They talk about Mayweather fight. I don’t think he gonna come back.”

If he does not, his lightweight title would obviously have to be contested between Ferguson and Khabib, although the UFC has yet to make anything official on that front. But with rumors flying that they will do just that the day before UFC 223, “The Eagle” insists he’s “100 percent” has a contract in place to fight Ferguson for the unified title:

“We gonna fight for his belt. UFC strip his belt now, we gonna fight for real belt. 100 percent. I have contract, I have contract, like real belt. What they gonna do? They have only one real belt – they have interim belt and they have real belt. They send me contract. We gonna fight with Tony Ferguson for real belt. I have contract.”

“They gonna strip this belt. I have contract for real belt. I don’t know, maybe they don’t want him upset because he make good money. maybe? I know that I’m gonna fight for the real belt because I have contract.”

The waiting game will continue on that front, but if McGregor ultimately does not return, the sport would miss out on a massive McGregor vs. Nurmagomedov fight in Russia, a bout that could realistically be the biggest fight in UFC history.

“The Eagle” isn’t too optimistic it will ever happen, however:

“Uh, I don’t know, to be honest. I don’t know.”

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CM Punk Is Already Favored Big Over Floyd Mayweather In The UFC

With rumors abound that Floyd Mayweather will somehow make his way to the UFC to face Conor McGregor in a rematch under MMA rules, speculation about “Money’s” UFC debut is running rampant. He’d clearly be a massive underdog to UFC lightweight champion McGregor, just like ‘The Notorious’ was to him heading into their first match […]

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With rumors abound that Floyd Mayweather will somehow make his way to the UFC to face Conor McGregor in a rematch under MMA rules, speculation about “Money’s” UFC debut is running rampant.

He’d clearly be a massive underdog to UFC lightweight champion McGregor, just like ‘The Notorious’ was to him heading into their first match in the boxing ring last year (although it wasn’t as much as you would have thought), but ‘Money’ is already a sizable dog to a much less touted UFC fighter now as well.

After Joe Rogan recently spouted off that Mayweather should take a ‘tune-up’ fight in MMA with 0-1 former pro wrestler Phillip “CM Punk” Brooks, who, at 39 years old, has competed one time in the Octagon since his debut was announced at UFC 181 in December 2014. Rogan seems to believe that Mayweather ‘has a  real chance’ against Brooks, but the oddsmakers at BetDSI.com beg to differ.

According to their newly-released fight odds for the far-off bout, Punk would come in as a significant -300 (three-to-one in favor of him) favorite while Mayweather is a +220 underdog, meaning a $100 bet on him would earn you $220 if he won. When questioned by Bloody Elbow about their rationale for the early odds, BetDSI has the following to say:

“If they fought in UFC, Punk would probably destroy him. Punk’s size will come into play, and he’s been grappling with high-level guys for some time now. He’ll get the fight to the floor and finish Floyd. Punk via ground.”

Decent enough points to be sure, but it’s also worth noting Punk got destroyed by Mickey Gall on the ground in his first UFC fight. Mayweather is nowhere near that level on the mat, of course, and Punk would likely hold a massive edge there, but ‘Money’s’ edge on the feet would be sizable as well.

Rogan also brought up the point of Mayweather’s numerous past issues with hand injuries, a dynamic that would obviously be greatly enhanced if he decides to fight with four-ounce gloves.

Dynamics aside, however, it’s a fight that will almost assuredly never happen, and it’s also a bit of a joke that we’re talking about this fight actually taking place in the UFC today.

That’s what it takes the new UFC owners (who aren’t so new anymore – just appearing to be inept) to sell fights in 2018, I guess.

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Five Opponents Who ‘Should’ Bring Conor McGregor Back To Fighting

Although Conor McGregor hasn’t entered the Octagon since November 2016 when he stopped Eddie Alvarez at UFC 205 to become the UFC’s lightweight champion, he remains one of the hottest topics in combat sports. Unfortunately, it’s becoming because of his beleaguered inactivity in favor of flaunting his newfound wealth. After dethroning Alvarez, McGregor campaigned for […]

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Although Conor McGregor hasn’t entered the Octagon since November 2016 when he stopped Eddie Alvarez at UFC 205 to become the UFC’s lightweight champion, he remains one of the hottest topics in combat sports.

Unfortunately, it’s becoming because of his beleaguered inactivity in favor of flaunting his newfound wealth.

After dethroning Alvarez, McGregor campaigned for and eventually landed a boxing match against unbeaten former multi-division world champion Floyd Mayweather. The fight, which took place on Aug. 26, 2017, ended up being one of the most lucrative fights of all-time, although McGregor ended up losing via TKO in the 10th round.

Now, his fighting future is highly unclear.

Some feel the Irishman will never return to competition, but he has, at times, showed interest in doing so – if only for a farcical rematch.

With that being said, it’s anyone’s guess as to whether or not McGregor will return, but let’s take a look at five opponents who ‘should’ draw the “Notorious” one back to fight again:

Photo Credit: Dave Mandel/Sherdog

5) Tony Ferguson

At this point, Tony Ferguson is the interim lightweight champion, we think.

At UFC 223, set for April 7, 2018, from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, Ferguson will take on undefeated lightweight contender Khabib Nurmagomedov for what UFC President Dana White has labeled the true lightweight championship, although McGregor has yet to be stripped, which is where the confusion stems.

Either way, if McGregor would like to remain champion, he’ll have to defend his belt eventually, and if Ferguson beats Nurmagomedov, that’ll be the fight to make.

However, I don’t see Ferguson being on top of McGregor’s wish list when it comes to opponents.

First off, despite the fact that he’s riding an incredible win streak, Ferguson hasn’t transcended into a being star for whatever reason, and although a fight involving McGregor will sell regardless, he typically chases only big names and big opportunities, especially at this point.

Also, Ferguson appears to represent a bad stylistic match-up for “The Notorious.” He possesses awkward and unorthodox striking, elite level grappling, and endless cardio.

Grappling and cardio have always seemed to be McGregor’s Achilles’ heel in the Octagon.

If and when he decides to return, McGregor may be forced to defend his title against Ferguson, but I just don’t think “El Cucuy” is the type of opponent that will get the Irishman’s competitive juices flowing.

If he were truly interested in being an all-time great champion, the fight certainly should, however.

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Tyron Woodley vs. Dana White Is A Fight Woodley Won’t Win

Before Tyron Woodley gets his money fight with Nate Diaz, he has to get by arguably the most imposing opponent of his UFC career to date: Dana White. The UFC president and the UFC welterweight champion have traded barbs in the media as of late, with Wo…

Before Tyron Woodley gets his money fight with Nate Diaz, he has to get by arguably the most imposing opponent of his UFC career to date: Dana White. The UFC president and the UFC welterweight champion have traded barbs in the media as of late, with Woodley claiming the UFC offered him a fight against Diaz […]

Matt Mitrione Says UFC ‘Can’t Get Out Of Its Own Way’ With Fighter Relations

After years of fighting in both the UFC and Bellator, Matt “Meathead” Mitrione knows both sides of the top levels of mixed martial arts (MMA). The former professional football player has always been an outspoken voice in the sport, and it got him into trouble with the UFC at times. But that didn’t stop him […]

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After years of fighting in both the UFC and Bellator, Matt “Meathead” Mitrione knows both sides of the top levels of mixed martial arts (MMA).

The former professional football player has always been an outspoken voice in the sport, and it got him into trouble with the UFC at times. But that didn’t stop him from voicing his concerns about fighter pay and treatment in the UFC, topics that are at the forefront of the current era despite not much, if anything, being done about them by fighters from a collective bargaining standpoint.

The UFC, and especially controversial president Dana White, seem to make headlines with each passing day about how poorly they compensate and accommodate athletes. When you hear White call a current champion “full of s**t” on live television, it’s hard to argue otherwise.

And not surprisingly, Mitrione has how own take on the subject. Having fought for both major MMA promotions, “Meathead” discussed the issue on this week’s episode of The MMA Hour, adding that the UFC is getting in its own way in terms of fighter relations:

“Freedom and obviously the sponsorship dollars. So, I am happy, I mean I can always be happier (with sponsorship ), but I am happy. It’s good business. It’s just nice, man. The UFC can not get out of its own way. I think it’s pretty evident in what they do, their consistent missteps.

“How they handle their guys, the media, like not giving the show money to that cat who made weight. Stuff like that, little tiny things that are just another notch against. I feel like they are, not in a colossal nose dive, but I do not think they are in the right spot. I feel like what Mr. Coker does very casually is what he needs to do to bring fans, eyes over to Bellator. And I think the production is completely different over at Bellator. It’s a spectacle, he took a page out of old Japanese MMA and made it bananas.”

Coker has made an impact on Bellator, especially in terms of Mitrione’s career, as he knocked out all-time legend Fedor Emelianenko last year in their cage.

But claiming he’s made it ‘bananas’ may be a bit of hyperbole meant to build up his new employer, because Bellator, like the UFC, isn’t blowing the roof off in terms of overall ratings during the last couple of MMA-slogged years.

That’s a moot point, however, and overall it seems that the fighters still in the UFC are reaching a breaking point in terms of pay and treatment. If they can eve get organized and do something about it remains to be seen.

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