UFC 215 & UFC 216 Bring In Atrocious Pay-Per-View Numbers

The UFC has hit a wall after the massively successful UFC 214 in July. UFC 215, which was headlined by Amanda Nunes vs Valentina Shevchenko II, has an estimated 100,000 PPV buys, while UFC 216 an estimated 120,000, according to MMA Fighting’s Dave Meltzer. Compare that to UFC 214’s 850,000 buys, but keep in mind […]

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The UFC has hit a wall after the massively successful UFC 214 in July.

UFC 215, which was headlined by Amanda Nunes vs Valentina Shevchenko II, has an estimated 100,000 PPV buys, while UFC 216 an estimated 120,000, according to MMA Fighting’s Dave Meltzer.

Compare that to UFC 214’s 850,000 buys, but keep in mind that card featured Jon Jones, one of the UFC’s most consistent draws for the UFC when it comes to pay-per-view.

UFC 216 featured an interim lightweight title affair between Tony Ferguson and Kevin Lee, a bout which, despite having some exciting trash talk in the months leading up to it, apparently didn’t deliver anything resembling decent numbers on accord of it.

The event also featured a co-main event between dominant flyweight champ Demetrious Johnson and Ray Borg; Johnson and even though “Mighty Mouse” broke Anderson Silva’s record for most consecutive title defenses with 11, he’s still not known to be a big draw and is usually placed on free FOX or FS1 cards.

2017 has been a slow year for the UFC after the apparent retirement of Ronda Rousey, Jon Jones’ newest failed drug test, and an overall lack of Conor McGregor in the octagon. McGregor fought three times for the UFC in 2016, which was a hugely successful year for the promotion. Yet his one-time run in boxing has kept their biggest star from fighting in the UFC, which has undoubtedly affected PPV buys.

Georges St-Pierre, who used to be the company’s biggest draw, will return from retirement on November 4 when he takes on middleweight champion Michael Bisping, which could stand to be a PPV success.

Or at least, that’s what they need.

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Rumble Reacts To DC’s Retirement Trash Talk

Earlier this morning UFC light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier called out former title contender Anthony ‘Rumble’ Johnson for supposedly coming out of the retirement he announced after Cormier submitted him at April’s UFC 210. The victory, which was ‘DC’s’ second rear-naked choke win over ‘Rumble’ after he first won the belt by submitting him at […]

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Earlier this morning UFC light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier called out former title contender Anthony ‘Rumble’ Johnson for supposedly coming out of the retirement he announced after Cormier submitted him at April’s UFC 210.

The victory, which was ‘DC’s’ second rear-naked choke win over ‘Rumble’ after he first won the belt by submitting him at 2015’s UFC 187, prompted the feared knockout artist to leave mixed martial arts behind for a reportedly much more safe and lucrative business venture.

But ‘Rumble’s’ manager Ali Abdelaziz recently revealed the hulking striker was in talks with the UFC for a potential return at heavyweight, prompting ‘DC’ to scoff at the length of his retirement in addition to his supposedly friendly demeanor towards disgraced former champion Jon Jones, who, of course, beat Cormier for the title at July 29’s UFC 214 with a third-round knockout but had the belt stripped away yet again after he tested positive for anabolic steroid Turinabol.

‘Rumble’ wasted no time responding to his former foe on Facebook today, claiming Cormier was ‘salty’ because he talked to Jones, with whom he wasn’t necessarily friends with, but simply showed respect towards:

“Damn D.C. didn’t know you were salty cuz I talk to the 1 guy that knocked you out. Fucking soft is what you called me, oh well that’s your opinion.
Saying I gave Jon advice lol buddy what advice is there to give him? I wasn’t fighting either one of you, so there’s no point of giving advice. That’s not my style! I believe in fair fights period.
Friend’s? We were NEVER friend’s! I’ve respected every man in the sport no matter what. I’ve shown JBJ respect through his tough times and have shown you respect the same way.”

Photo Credit: Kevin Hoffman for USA TODAY Sports

Johnson briefly explained his retirement before crying Cormier a ‘cry baby’ and offering him the stance he was lucky to have retained the belt by Jones’ mistake:

“I retired cuz I have other thing’s in life I want to do but just cuz I met with UFC and talked you have an issue.

“So take your cry baby ass on and praise God that Jon screwed up and you got the belt back that way! “

It’s true Cormier cried when he was in a hysterical state following the knockout loss to Jones, yet it’s also difficult to criticize him for that after it became public knowledge that Jones was once again on banned substances, regardless of his former greatness or record, and it’s even more difficult to blast a man whom defeated you twice via stoppage.

However, ‘Rumble’ had Cormier on the ropes with his earth-shaking power in both fights as well. If that’s enough to book them in a rematch at some point down the line remains to be seen.

One thing is certain: in today’s uncertain UFC landscape, you can never count anything out. Especially anything that draws eyeballs.

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Cris Cyborg Blasts UFC For Offering Pay Downgrade

The UFC just can’t seem to find a happy medium with women’s featherweight champion Cris Cyborg. And there could be a distinct reason for that. After finally winning a UFC title against Invicta bantamweight champion Tonya Evinger at July’s UFC 214, Cyborg repeatedly called out for a title fight against former UFC women’s bantamweight champion […]

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The UFC just can’t seem to find a happy medium with women’s featherweight champion Cris Cyborg.

And there could be a distinct reason for that.

After finally winning a UFC title against Invicta bantamweight champion Tonya Evinger at July’s UFC 214, Cyborg repeatedly called out for a title fight against former UFC women’s bantamweight champion Holly Holm, who fought Germaine de Randamie in the inaugural UFC women’s featherweight title fight, at December 30’s UFC 219.

However, according to Cyborg, that booking is seeming more and more unlikely due to the payday the UFC is offering her. She tweeted last night that a scheduled meeting with the UFC had been called off because they were offering her a downgrade in pay to fight Holm:

The issue is merely the latest in a long string of back-and-forth troubles between the UFC and Cyborg, which were seemingly remedied after she was hit with a potential USADA violation last year, of which she was exonerated yet still did not fight in the first UFC women’s 145-pound title bout in the main event of February’s UFC 208.

It seemed getting Cyborg to the octagon was becoming tougher by the day, but the two sides hashed things out enough to get her inside the Octagon at UFC 214, where she dominated a tough Evinger en route to a third-round TKO stoppage. The stage was certainly set for Cyborg to realize her potential as one of MMA’s biggest stars (and most controversial draws) against Holm, who is quite possibly the only woman ready and willing to fight, other than Cyborg, at featherweight right now.

But with fighter pay and treatment one of the most heated topics in MMA in the year following WME-IMG’s then-record $4.2 billion UFC purchase, a champion probably won’t take a pay cut to fight a bigger name than she did for her previous bout, especially considering she’s finally champion. We’ve only gotten Cyborg’s side of the story for now, and UFC 219, at least of this writing, isn’t shaping up to be quite as impactful a card as UFC 214, which featured the long-awaited return of Jon Jones, was.

That could all change, of course, but Cyborg’s accusation at her employer, if true, would seem like just another unnecessary hold-up in an era where the UFC is trying to nickel and dime their fighters to death – even their champions.

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Volkan Oezdemir Makes Bold Prediction For Daniel Cormier Title Bout

Streaking UFC light heavyweight Volkan Oezdemir recently won the sweepstakes for the next title shot at reinstated champion Daniel Cormier’s belt, and when he gets it, he’s predicting a quick and brutal finish. The Swiss knockout artist, who has risen from relatively unknown status to that of a top-ranked UFC title contender in a mere […]

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Streaking UFC light heavyweight Volkan Oezdemir recently won the sweepstakes for the next title shot at reinstated champion Daniel Cormier’s belt, and when he gets it, he’s predicting a quick and brutal finish.

The Swiss knockout artist, who has risen from relatively unknown status to that of a top-ranked UFC title contender in a mere eight months, recently appeared on “The MMA Hour” with Ariel Helwani to discuss his perceived upcoming title shot, which he got when Cormier took a poll online.

“No Time” expressed his gratitude towards the fans who voted him in before noting that while 2017 had obviously been a great year, 2018 was going to be even better:

“Of course I was looking at it really closely. That was something huge. I’m really humbled. Cormier is somebody I respect a lot. The fact that he called me out, made a poll and his fans wanted me – that’s something that means even more to me.

“If the fans choose me, it means a lot to me. I’m really happy with everything that’s happening right now. The year 2017 is a great year for me and 2018 is going to be even better for sure.”

Photo: Gary A. Vasquez for USA TODAY Sports

While Oezdemir appears to have the title shot locked down based on what Cormier has told him, he acknowledged that the UFC had not yet booked the fight so he was now focused on promoting it:

“Yeah, we’re going to talk soon, but right now we are trying to promote the fight more. That fight is definitely going to happen. I want it for sure and I understand Cormier wants it also.”

Finally, Oezdemir gave his prediction for the high-profile bout, and it was not surprisingly one which ends in a knockout loss for Cormier, who most recently lost the belt to Jon Jones via third-round head kick knockout at UFC 214 before having it returned when Jones tested positive for anabolic steroid:

“It’s not going to be the best situation for him because I’ve got knockout power, that’s for sure. I hope his brain recovered well. I’m going to bring the heat.

“I think in the first two minutes, that’s my goal anyway. I’m going to make all of my training so I will be able to knock him out. I have no time for this. I don’t want to get injured, I’m just going to knock him out really fast.”

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Volkan Oezdemir Responds To DC’s Callout For Title Shot

Just three fights into his UFC career, Volkan Oezdemir is now on deck for a title shot. After blasting through Jimi Manuwa and Misha Cirkunov in under a minute, Oezdemir has caught the attention of newly reinstated light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier, who took to Twitter the other day to offer Oezdemir a title shot. […]

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Just three fights into his UFC career, Volkan Oezdemir is now on deck for a title shot.

After blasting through Jimi Manuwa and Misha Cirkunov in under a minute, Oezdemir has caught the attention of newly reinstated light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier, who took to Twitter the other day to offer Oezdemir a title shot.

The Swiss fighter was quick to respond in a message sent to Bloody Elbow, and didn’t waste any time in accepting the opportunity:

“Since my debut into the UFC my goal was to climb the ranks in no time,” Oezdemir wrote. “I feel blessed to be called out by the champion while the number one contender didn’t respond to me.”

Cormier is once again the top dog at 205 pounds after his knockout loss to Jon Jones at UFC 214 was overturned to a no-contest following Jones’ positive test for Turinabol.

Cormier had fielded answers from MMA fans on who he should fight next, and Oezdemir won, thereby gaining the champ’s attention.

No date or location has been named for a Cormier vs Oezdemir showdown; however, it seems the champion’s mind has been made up as to whom he will fight next, and Oezdemir appears to be up for the challenge.

Do you agree with Oezdemir getting the next title shot over Alexander Gustafsson? Who wins in a battle between DC and Oezdemir?

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Daniel Cormier Reveals Next Title Contender At 205 Pounds

With the dust just beginning to settle from Jon Jones second failed PED test and subsequent loss of the light heavyweight title, newly re-crowned champ Daniel Cormier has heeded the fans call for a fight with surging Volkan Oezdemir. Oezdemir has blasted his way through the top ten light heavyweights, taking a decision win over […]

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With the dust just beginning to settle from Jon Jones second failed PED test and subsequent loss of the light heavyweight title, newly re-crowned champ Daniel Cormier has heeded the fans call for a fight with surging Volkan Oezdemir.

Oezdemir has blasted his way through the top ten light heavyweights, taking a decision win over Ovince Saint Preux in his UFC debut before quickly and brutally knocking out Misha Circunov and Jimi Manuwa.

With top contender Anthony ‘Rumble’ Johnson retired from the sport and out of the picture, Cormier took to Twitter to offer Oezdemir a shot at the light heavyweight strap.

Cormier is once again champion, despite losing the belt by third round knockout to Jon Jones at UFC 214 in July. That loss was overturned to a no contest following Jones’ positive test for Turinabol, an anabolic steroid.

Cormier’s next title fight ultimately came down to either Alexander Gustafsson or Oezdemir, and DC seemingly listened to the fans in offering the shot to Volkan.

No date or location has been announced as of yet.

How does a Cormier vs Oezdemir title fight sound to you? Has Volkan earned his shot just three fights into his UFC tenure?

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