Since the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) kicked of 2017 in my adopted hometown yesterday, I figured it would be fitting to write about something I have intended to write about for sometime.
For those not familiar with the UFC, they are the big leagues of Mixed Martial Arts. Fighters reaching this level are at the top of their sport. Much like boxing, fighters work their way up the rankings by winning fights eventually earning a title shot if they are able to win enough fights against other ranked competitors.
Now the scenario I just laid out above is not quite accurate. There are many other factors in play. For example, injuries, other fighters schedules, UFC Fighter Rankings, etc. For these reasons and others, you don’t always see the number 1 and 2 fighters fighting for title belt in their division.
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If you haven’t heard, Conor McGregor redeemed himself defeating Nate Diaz by majority decision Saturday night at UFC 202. In his post fight interview with Joe Rogan, McGregor hinted at a trilogy fight with Diaz at 155 pounds. The fan in me is going to hate what I am about to write next but I don’t want a trilogy fight, at least not right away.
If McGregor and Diaz both go down to 155 lbs following this epic five round war, there are a ton of great matchups for both of them. Donald Cerrone called out champ Eddie Alvarez following his TKO win over Rick Story. He may have unfinished business with Alvarez, but if you ask Cerrone tomorrow which fight he would rather have at 155, my guess is he wants to ring his lady and tell her it is red panty night. Khabib Nurmagomedov is already the number one challenger and despite long layoffs due to injury, he should likely get a crack at the belt before Cerrone. The winner of this fight would make perfect sense for McGregor. Nate probably doesn’t deserve a title shot coming off a loss nor does he likely care if he gets one. I think another Cerrone fight or match up with Anthony Pettis would make a lot of sense.
As the saying goes, a high tide raises all boats. The UFC is in a position to maximize the value of McGregor and Diaz to drive up the value of other top fighters in this division. Matching these two up with other fighters vying for a shot at the title will help everyone. As these guys face one another their following will grow and bring more eyeballs to future PPV especially when facing one another.
If McGregor and Diaz only face each other the rest of their career, I would buy the fight every time. What I really want is others fighters to emerge that I care enough about to say the same thing. It requires characters like McGregor and Diaz that fans either love or love to hate to get them to rally behind fighters that don’t have a large following outside of the core MMA fans.
I hope the new UFC brass can identify the opportunity these two fighters have created and promote a series of fights that can help grow the sport even more.
With the third pick of the 2016 NFL Draft, the Chargers Select, Joey Bosa. When these words were uttered by Roger Goodell, Chargers General Manager Tom Telesco probably never imagined he would struggle to get his first round pick signed and in camp on time. A lot has been written already about this story. We know the two sides are at odds over deferred payment of the signing bonus and what is referred to as offset language. According to Telesco, deferred payment of signing bonuses and offset language have been included in all their contracts since 2011.
Joey Bosa is a veteran among a bunch of rookies when it come to signing a NFL contract.
Telsco told The Mighty 1090 “But it really just comes down to generally this, there’s some things that are negotiable, and money always is negotiable, obviously,but there’s certain things in contracts language-wise, whether you’re picked third, 33rd or 203rd, there’s certain things of consistency and doing things the same way for everyone on the team.”
This is ludicrous. If you are a professional athlete and you hear a quote like this red flags should go up immediately. Franchise owners and their GM are negotiating for their best interest and these terms clearly benefit their side of table. Rookie contracts in the NFL are already subject to the NFL salary table so this is one of the few areas that Bosa can actually negotiate a deal that is in his best interest. All other draft picks have agreed to terms with their respective teams.
This is a sad state of affairs for athletes competing in arguably the most physically demanding sport. These teams make great money because of the show these athletes put on for us. Any athlete negotiating more favorable terms, especially when their is such a high risk of their career ending by means of injury is just smart business.
Joey Bosa, way to lead by example!
No burying the lead here. Our best Athletes are Women. Not Lebron, not Steph Curry, not Big Papi, Tom Brady or Gronk for all you New Englanders, or any other male athlete as far as I am concerned.
All the aforementioned athletes get to compete regularly in their sport against other top players, earn an unbelievable salary, get the best possible training, care and compete for championships year after year. Women’s sports on the other hand, is grossly underrepresented compared to male dominated sports. Most or all female athletes make pennies compared to their male counterparts, likely don’t compete in well established leagues, and compete nowhere near as frequently.
Our female Olympians not only have to beat out their entire peer group just for the opportunity to compete at the absolute highest level, the Olympic Gold is only up for grabs every four years. Throughout these first few days of the Olympics all I have been able to think about is the intensity of the pressure all of our athletes face to bring home the gold, knowing you have to wait four years for that next opportunity if you fail. Then I think about the women working tirelessly to become the absolute best with no real stage between the Olympics to cement them as the best of the best in their chosen sport. That is a kind of pressure that is difficult to even comprehend.
Despite all of this, our US women are straight up clutch. Katie Ledecky, Lillian King, Kerri Walsh Jennings, the women’s Gymnastics and Soccer team and many more are down right dominant. This isn’t like our four major sports where you can lose a championship one year and compete again the following year. These women have to wait four years! For some, four years could push them beyond their prime and there is never another shot for them. To go out on the largest stage imaginable and dominate the way many of our women do, puts them head and shoulders above everyone else, especially Lebron (sorry I’m a Lebron hater).