All Up In the Videos

Cain Velasquez and Fox were the solution to the UFC’s inevitable problems. The past tense there probably requires some heavy lifting.
Share |

Original image by Justin Moore, altered under a Creative Commons license.

It took Junior dos Santos 64 seconds to claim the UFC heavyweight title from Cain Velasquez on Saturday night. The punch that took it was a well-timed and even more well-placed overhand right that left Velasquez effectively defenseless. MMA is not a sport that easily lends itself to comebacks. Abrupt endings are inevitable when a 240-pound man wants badly enough to make you unconscious.

When the post-fight formalities were over, Fox’s cameras cut to neophyte MMA analyst Curt Menefee, who deferred to his more experienced partner. The difference here being that his partner was UFC President Dana White, who proceeded to show the world—MMA fans, curious first-timers, anyone who happened to catch UFC’s debut on Fox—that he had mastered Eric Cartman’s shitting-out-of-your-mouth technique. White, unlike Cartman, wasn’t satisfied with that incredible repudiation of basic human physiology. No, the UFC’s president had to shit on something. The somethings he chose were his former and current heavyweight champion.

And that’s how a typical display of MMA’s chaotic nature and dos Santos’ signature power were recast as a bad, stupid thing—the natural result of Velasquez fighting foolishly against a one-dimensional foe—which in turn recast a heavyweight title fight as an anti-climactic scuffle pitting an idiot against some non-athlete. At the risk of belaboring things, the person doing this was the president of the UFC, whose job is supposed to be spinning any result into a story that makes the viewers care. I’ve followed the sport for over a decade, and even I was starting to wonder if I should keep caring.

In less time than it took dos Santos to win the heavyweight title, White reached the apex of the mindless white noise he delivered throughout the evening’s nearly 40-minute buildup. With his hand visibly shaking, White yelled himself hoarse, taking Menefee’s even tone as an invitation to turn the dial up to 11. Any viewer unaccustomed to White’s (um) style, had to be wondering why the loud man in the shiny black suit was channeling Howard Beale. Brock Lesnar, who joined Menefee and White on the analyst’s table, came off as a 280-pound meat cube of charm by comparison. This was the same meat cube who once celebrated a win by bashing UFC sponsor Bud Light and declaring carnal intentions with his wife.

This is the alternate reality the UFC occupies as a niche sport supposedly hell-bent on mainstream acceptance. The promotion’s president calls a reporter a “bitch” and her source a “faggot”; UFC color commentator Joe Rogan, who’s probably best-known as the host of rebooted national disgrace Fear Factor, goes even further. Somehow, the guys locked in a cage brutalizing each other are the ones who end up looking sane. Except when they don’t: Former UFC light heavyweight champion Forrest Griffin made a string of rape jokes in the days leading up to the UFC’s debut on Fox, although at least he had the decency to—eventually—offer an unconditional public apology and make a donation to the Las Vegas Rape Crisis Center. This puts Griffin a notch or two above Joe Rogan and Dana White on the grand scale of “Holy shit, how do you still have a job?” Their transgressions are a lot of baggage for a sport angling for mainstream acceptance.

***

Of course, the UFC was doing pretty well without that elusive mainstream imprimatur. After years of relentlessly strip-mining the white male 18-34 demographic, the UFC posted roughly 10 million pay-per-view buys in 2010. The promotion, which keeps its exact PPV buy numbers private, trumpeted that good news to anyone who would listen and promised more of the same to come.

But the UFC is facing a drop in PPV buys that will end up somewhere in the 25 percent range at year’s end. Injuries to the promotion’s precious few stars and a clusterfucked economy carry some of the blame, but so does a failure to give old fans a good reason—and new fans any reason—to tune in. Years of investing in the UFC as a brand came at the cost of investing in individual fighters capable of taking the promotion’s value to the next level, a fact embodied by its lone pair of reliable PPV stars: Brock Lesnar, whose star power is owed almost entirely to the WWE, and reigning welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre, whose fervent following in his native Canada has been free money for the UFC.

The UFC’s contribution to the fame of their two biggest stars boils down to providing the cage and a camera. Until recently, the promotion’s idea of an effective ad campaign consisted of generic nu-metal played over knockout clips with Mike Goldberg and/or Joe Rogan screaming “OHHHHH!!!” Just as problematic is the promotion’s notoriously combative history with the media. Credential-related dickishness with regard to smaller MMA-focused websites is one thing, but the UFC’s public squabbles with mainstream outlets such as ESPN and CBS Sports contradict its stated desire for mainstream exposure.

Add it all up, and you’ve got a product with a fan base of hardcore lifers, but no avenue to the new sources of income and exposure it needs to sustain its own growth. The seven-year, multi-platform deal with Fox—and a proud Mexican-American heavyweight champion in Velasquez—looked like possible solutions. But while the Fox family of channels is committed to over 2,200 hours of UFC programming in 2012, and Velasquez still offers the promotion’s first real hope of cashing in on the popularity of combat sports with Mexican audiences, Saturday was proof that neither Fox nor Velasquez can fix the UFC’s problems. Not all of them, at least, and certainly not the biggest one. 

***

“To all you artists out there, who don’t wanna be on a record label where the Executive Producer’s … all up in the videos, all on the records, dancin’ … then come to Death Row!”

When Suge Knight bellowed those famous words in the direction of P. Puff Poppa Swag Daddy at 1995’s Source Awards, he revealed the blunt perception that a sociopathic streak can give. Hip-hop fans were getting tired of Sean Combs being “all up in the videos,” especially given that his talents were limited to producing poppy beats that gummed up the established, rugged East Coast sound. By the turn of the millennium, Combs’ solo career fizzled and his credibility had taken more shots than Club New York. A generation of would-be heads knows him best as the guy who sent a bunch of aspiring rappers on a moonlit walk across the Brooklyn Bridge so they could fetch him a cheesecake from Junior’s.

There is a lesson here for White, if he wants to see it: success isn’t always a pathway to more success. For all of White’s considerable personal and professional faults, he played a vital role in the UFC going from punch line to multi-billion dollar business in less than a decade. If not for him, the UFC may not have survived and the sport of MMA may well have joined it in the same grave. But even before he aimed his Cartman-ian shit-stream at his promotion’s would-be champion, it was clear that White was not the man to lead the way on UFC’s run at the mainstream, at least not in any sort of public capacity.

Lorenzo Fertitta, Chairman/CEO of Zuffa LLC, and by extension, of the UFC, has taken on a more prominent role within the organization, firing rumors of an internal power struggle. The other rumor, this one longer-simmering, concerns the Fertitta brothers looking to sell the UFC as the cost of doing business grows in lockstep with the promotion’s constant push for more exposure.

Whether it’s the men above him on the UFC totem pole looking to cash out or the promotion’s own intrinsic incompatibility with mainstream norms, White’s spot as the face of the UFC and MMA as a whole is already under the microscope. The culture White has made synonymous with the UFC is one that bristles at change and rails against critique, which is not the easiest way to enter—let alone exist comfortably within—the mainstream. This suggests that White’s leg of the run toward major-sport status may be about over.

At the end of his post-fight LOUD NOISES on Saturday, White took a rare beat before saying, with a grin that was now shit-eating, “But what do I know?” White had a lot to do with getting the UFC onto Fox last weekend, and that’s something. His “what do I know?” was rhetorical. But it didn’t feel that way to many UFC fans.

We’re wondering.


Share |

Comments

I don t have the time at the moment to fully read your site but I have bookmarked it and also add your RSS feeds. I will be back in a day or two. thanks for a great site. voyance

Thanks for sharing the post.. parents are worlds best person in each lives of individual..they need or must succeed to sustain needs of the family.
rose day

We believe that everyone deserves a chance at moving ahead with their lives. In our Mitigation services we strive to provide the Court with your history For our other court appointed services, our goal is to help provide the most up to date and relevant interventions.
raees full movie download mp4

A very awesome blog post. We are really grateful for your blog post. You will find a lot of approaches after visiting your post. I was exactly searching for. Thanks for such post and please keep it up. free shipping codes

My friend mentioned to me your blog, so I thought I’d read it for myself. Very interesting insights, will be back for more! best aliexpress sellers

It has been shown to surely preclude the progression of Alzheimer’s and simply helped to lessen one of the crucial minor signs of the disorder.
Writing

We are really grateful for your blog post. You will find a lot of approaches after visiting your post. Great work.
wellness tips

I really loved reading your blog. It was very well authored and easy to understand. Unlike other blogs I have read which are really not that good.Thanks alot!
Lucy Kate

A very awesome blog post. We are really grateful for your blog post. You will find a lot of approaches after visiting your post. I was exactly searching for. Thanks for such post and please keep it up. Great work.
buy soundcloud plays

i am for the first time here. I found this board and I in finding It truly helpful & it helped me out a lot. I hope to present something back and help others such as you helped me.

download software

I am discovering everywhere.Me and my companion were contending about an issue like this! Presently I realize that I was right. CatLitterExpert

This puts Griffin a notch or two above Joe Rogan and Dana White on the grand scale of “Holy shit, how do you still have a job?” Their transgressions are a lot of baggage for a sport angling for mainstream acceptance.telecharger minecraft cracker |
psn card 20 euro

Hey – great blog, just looking around some blogs, seems a really nice platform you are using. I’m currently using WordPress for a few of my blogs but looking to change one of them over to a platform similar to yours as a trial run. Anything in particular you would recommend about it?blog seo

My friend mentioned to me your blog, so I thought I’d read it for myself. Very interesting insights, will be back for more!
Empires And Allies Cheats

This is very educational content and written well for a change. It's nice to see that some people still understand how to write a quality post.ceramic knife reviews

This is a good post. This post gives truly quality information. I’m definitely going to look into it. Really very useful tips are provided here. Thank you so much. Keep up the good works.download freeware

it was a wonderful chance to visit this kind of site and I am happy to know. thank you so much for giving us a chance to have this opportunity..- See more at: Pusenje kurca

Excellent Blog! I would like to thank for the efforts you have made in writing this post. I am hoping the same best work from you in the future as well. I wanted to thank you for this websites! Thanks for sharing. Great websites! pre workout for woman

This is such a great resource that you are providing and you give it away for free. I love seeing blog that understand the value of providing a quality resource for free Dofollow Blog Comments

Included in card game tips is also to avoid using money that's meant for your daily, weekly, or monthly expenses.

dragon ball z merchandise

Included in card game tips is also to avoid using money that's meant for your daily, weekly, or monthly expenses.

dragon ball z merchandise

Great post! I am actually getting ready to across this information, is very helpful my friend. Also great blog here with all of the valuable information you have. Keep up the good work you are doing here.

zinc and hair

I came to know that eua annual conference had been held at last week. I think conducting these types of conferences are helpful to take major decision which will be helpful for the growth of an organization. Please provide the date and time of next conference so that I can attend it.

I came onto your blog while focusing just slightly submits. Nice strategy for next, I will be bookmarking at once seize your complete rises..how to fulfill your dreams

Great post! I am actually getting ready to across this information, is very helpful my friend. Also great blog here with all of the valuable information you have. Keep up the good work you are doing here.Recharge

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.chat shqip

Alot of blogs I see these days don't really provide anything that I'm interested in, but I'm most definately interested in this one.

best motorcycle helmet

It’s appropriate time to make some plans for the future and it is time to be happy. I have read this post and if I could I wish to suggest you few interesting things or advice. Perhaps you could write next articles referring to this article. I desire to read even more things about it!

holiday destination in india

There is so much in this article that I would never have thought of on my own. Your content gives readers things to think about in an interesting way.SMS Bomber

I am always searching online for articles that can help me. There is obviously a lot to know about this. I think you made some good points in Features also. Keep working, great job!

Cheap Drones

I am very happy to teach the owner of this day's guestbook, your own reaction and then put my opinion good way to save should I say it is definitely every couple of great additions to your needs.

Agence immobiliere Nantes

I absolutely enjoying every bit of it. It's good to share and an excellent site. I do want to thanks. Great work! You folks also have some good items and perform a fantastic website. Keep the great work up.
Asphalt Xtreme Mod APK

it was a wonderful chance to visit this kind of site and I am happy to know. thank you so much for giving us a chance to have this opportunity..Best Mechanical Keyboards 2017

You know your projects stand out of the herd. There is something special about them. It seems to me all of them are really brilliant! best digital piano

I came onto your blog while focusing just slightly submits. Nice strategy for next, I will be bookmarking at once seize your complete rises...window mirror

I recently found many useful information in your website especially this blog page. Among the lots of comments on your articles. Thanks for sharing. Blogger tips&trick

I absolutely enjoying every bit of it. It's good to share and an excellent site. I do want to thanks. Great work! You folks also have some good items and perform a fantastic website. Keep the great work up. best laptop for photo editing

I love the blog. Great post. It is very true, people must learn how to learn before they can learn. lol i know it sounds funny but its very true. . .

luxury discount hotels

Included in card game tips is also to avoid using money that's meant for your daily, weekly, or monthly expenses. Valentine Day List 2017

I am very happy to teach the owner of this day's guestbook, your own reaction and then put my opinion good way to save should I say it is definitely every couple of great additions to your needs.

web Palacinky.org

I read a article under the same title some time ago, but this articles quality is much, much better. How you do this !

PEMF

There is so much in this article that I would never have thought of on my own. Your content gives readers things to think about in an interesting way.cat body language tail

Awesome dispatch! I am indeed getting apt to over this info, is truly neighborly my buddy. Likewise fantastic blog here among many of the costly info you acquire. Reserve up the beneficial process you are doing here. Technology

If you are thinking of doing a fitness or personal trainer course then you need to know what the market for your skills will be.Karaoke Manhattan KS

I am always searching online for articles that can help me. There is obviously a lot to know about this. I think you made some good points in Features also. Keep working, great job!

hydraulic fittings

I read a article under the same title some time ago, but this articles quality is much, much better. How you do this !

Valentines Day 2017 Images

It’s appropriate time to make some plans for the future and it is time to be happy. I have read this post and if I could I wish to suggest you few interesting things or advice. Perhaps you could write next articles referring to this article. I desire to read even more things about it!

climbing

You will be competent to cut down the dosage of taking medicine day with the aid of day and eventually.

best air fryer

You know your projects stand out of the herd. There is something special about them. It seems to me all of them are really brilliant!
beard growth vitamins

I really want to say thank you for the information you have shared. Keep writing these kind of posts and I will be your loyal reader. Thanks again.Cat Language Bible