Letters of Interest

Letters of Interest

By Jake Rossen Jan 18, 2008
Mid-month always means two things: It's time to clean my gutters, and it's time to allow Sherdog.com readers their space to editorialize.

Topics that respondents covered this month: Floyd Mayweather in MMA, worked fights and how to receive gainful employment from Jeff Sherwood. Enjoy.

Zuffa's Top Ten

That was a good list, but c'mon. What about a 10 worst? I am sure I am not the only person who thinks Zuffa made a few mistakes in 2007. Number 1 would be warring with Randy Couture (Pictures). Give that brother his money and let him fight old washed up Fedor Emelianenko (Pictures) and let him retire. What about Forrest Griffin (Pictures) as the coach of "The Ultimate Fighter"? Weak! - Allen Dukes

If someone's actually pleading with me to criticize Zuffa, I'm getting the vibe that he doesn't read this page too often.

One thing that seems to get lost in the Emelianenko-Couture fiasco is that Zuffa tried to make the fight happen; Emelianenko chose to fight for another promoter instead. Them's the breaks.

As for Griffin coaching "TUF," I think it's choice casting. He's personable on camera, he's coming off the biggest victory of his career and his verbal sparring with Quinton Jackson (Pictures) is likely going to result in the UFC's biggest buy rate of '08.

Many have overlooked the WEC. Urijah Faber (Pictures) is the real deal. The handling of Dan Henderson (Pictures) is also great. Two fights in the UFC and two title unifications. It shows that Dana White understands the impact and caliber of talent PRIDE brought to the MMA table. I still think one of the best marketing tools developed by White and the UFC is the free fights on Spike. We get to meet the fighters, form a relationship with the announcers, watch some great fighters like Roger Huerta (Pictures). I'd pay good money to see Faber-Huerta. In addition, we have seen Pulver-Penn and may end up seeing Jackson-Griffin though Jackson-Griffin looks more like a PPV seller than anything.

Marcus Davis (Pictures) gets $104,000 for one fight? I don't see what Randy's issue is with Zuffa. I'd love to see a real break down of HDNet fight payouts over time and how they stack up to Zuffa. - Bill Wagner


The money is getting surprisingly good for mid-card fighters in the UFC, providing you don't take a nap in someone's guard for 15 minutes. Both the bonus system and the discretionary restarts have probably done as much to popularize the sport as anything -- stinkers are getting increasingly rare. Can you even imagine the fallout of UFC 33 being broadcast on Spike?

Faber-Huerta would be satisfying, but doesn't seem likely; Faber would have to clean out the remainder of the 145-pound division before he'd consider moving up. He has discussed adding some weight, though, and his rogue's gallery is beginning to thin out, so who knows?

‘Money' Mayweather

I think the point that you are missing is the money that Floyd will be making. Randy Couture (Pictures) opened the subject with his so-called press conference to discuss the low pay of MMA fighters. To cross over, Floyd will have to be guaranteed somewhere between 10 to 15 million to participate. Do you think Dana White will fork over that kind of money? Dana White, who does not like to "talk about money" will give birth before he dishes out that kind of money to any participant inside his Octagon. For Dana White to do that will be like opening Pandora's Box.

Floyd should be welcomed into the MMA community with open arms, because what he will do for MMA is get equal pay for MMA fighters just like the boxers get. So forget all about who will be fighting Floyd, the talk should be that Floyd will open up the safe for more $$$ to flow to the MMA fighters who deserve more than what they are being paid for now. - Paul Hernandez


If Floyd gets into MMA -- and I'm starting to warm to the idea that the story was more for PR purposes than anything -- he certainly won't be partnered up with the UFC. He doesn't need their brand. I can't imagine that any of the 850,000 people who ordered his bout with Ricky Hatton wouldn't want to see him in a cage fight, even if out of morbid curiosity. That story outstrips the UFC's logo.

Zuffa has actually done a very credible job of recruiting athletes without busting their bank. Fans whined when the promotion didn't nab Sokoudjou right out of the gate, but he turned in a pretty underwhelming performance against Lyoto Machida (Pictures) relative to his rumored asking price at the time.

I don't doubt that Zuffa had similar buyer-beware thoughts over Emelianenko, who is -- despite fan protestation to the contrary -- a human being more than capable of losing.

It's fashionable to run down Joe Silva at times, but his instincts are usually right on.

Apparently you don't know the history of the advancement of boxing since the old days of Gentleman Jim. Boxing adapted a lot of its style and stance from the Filipino art of ‘Mano Mano,'which deals with bobbing and weaving and fighting with a tight guard.

This style also teaches to defend against kicks, weapons and Escrima sticks (which along with the arm extended equals the length of a leg kick strike). If that wasn't the case, then boxing would not be one of the main important fundamentals of MMA that MMA fighters must learn along with grappling and kicking, and Randy Couture (Pictures) and Marcus Davis (Pictures) should not be fighting in MMA. (Randy Couture (Pictures) had won a lot of matches against deadly strikers due to boxing background in the Army as well as his wrestling).

Also, a well-schooled boxer would not just throw power punches with his feet planted straight on the ground unless he is countering or he sees an opening. Mayweather is constantly on his toes. He only usually plants his foot on the ground for power when he sees an opening or when he is countering. Also, his quick combos are enough to disorient anyone. - Mindstamina3000


I think a little too much gets made of Couture's boxing in the Army. By his own admission, he trained for three or four weeks for a smoker. That was it.

Mayweather is nothing if not an incredible athlete, and if he were truly determined to prepare himself for MMA, I'd be buying what he's selling. But it makes little sense to play another man's game unless you're being compensated far outside the norm. And as intriguing as the idea is, I don't see it doing enough business for Floyd to clear a $30 million or $40 million check.

Interim Titles

I was under the impression that the whole idea of having "Interim" titles was due to the fact that the UFC probably had to stand behind a "promise" (in a contract) to offer a title fight. So even when Matt Serra (Pictures) cannot fight, they can still give Matt Hughes (Pictures) the title shot that they promised. Since, of course, he couldn't fight the title holder, they had to give it a BS name of an "interim title" so they are true to the contract.

Maybe I'm way off, I certainly don't know what the fighters sign their names to, but if the UFC wants a 5 round fight can't they just have one? There's no rule that states that non-title shots HAVE to be 3 rounds. So again in my eyes it just feels like it all comes down to what was specified in the contract. I'm willing to bet that Hughes was guaranteed a title shot before the end of the year. So even with Serra out, he could still have a "title shot" even though the REAL title wasn't involved they cheated by calling it "interim title shot". - Bob Hansen


You're correct that the interim phenomenon is probably heavily tied into legal obligations (and ass-covering). It's still a confusing structure for fans, athletes and media. Moving forward, I'd hope the organization could find a way to meet contractual guarantees without turning title defenses and contender bouts into a mess of red tape.

And while the UFC could promote a five-round bout without a title, I'd rather not see them begin to assign random durations, i.e. "This fight should be good, let's make it five." Too arbitrary.
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