411 Fact or Fiction MMA: Is Jose Aldo Overreacting to Dana White’s False Promises?
Welcome back to another edition of 411 Fact or Fiction MMA! I’m your host, Lorenzo Vasquez III, and it is my pleasure to bring you the fact and the fiction in the MMA biosphere. First and foremost, thank you, for your votes and comments last week. It is appreciated and encouraged. I hope you enjoyed last week’s edition as your host of the 411 Ground and Pound Radio Show, Robert Winfree, and the undefeated, Dino Zee, tangled over subjects like Ronda Rousey’s comeback fight, the UFC trying to keep Conor McGregor away from Eddie Alvarez, and Roy Nelson kicking referee John McCarthy, in addition to more. Both men came in with heavy artillery and ready for a slugfest. Winfree took an early lead and looked to give Dino the scare of his life, but, was unable to leave Dino trailing in the dust for good. Dino eventually overcame Robert’s lead and was able to keep his undefeated record intact for another night. Congratulations Dino on your 20-to-17 victory. And, thank you both for your examplantary effort and contribution.
This week, the one and only, Dan Plunkett, steps in to challenge the unpredictable and witty, Evan Zivin. This should be a nice contest as both men dive into subjects like Jose Aldo retiring over the current direction of MMA, Jeremy Stephens as a potential opponent for Conor McGregor, John Lineker’s career, and much more. It’s that time of the week again. Get ready and find yourself a comfortable seat because it’s time for another round of, 411 Fact or Fiction MMA! Let get the show going…
TALE OF THE TAPE
“Handsome” Dan Plunkett
Contributor, 411 MMA Zone
Evan “White Tiger” Zivin
Contributor, 411 MMA Zone
— BJ PENN (@bjpenndotcom) September 28, 2016
Jose Aldo, asking to be released from the UFC and claiming he could be done with MMA, is over reacting to the false promises and half-truths of Dana White. He should simply know better than to take White’s word to heart.
Dan Plunkett: FICTION I’m not sure his threats are any more than half-truths themselves. Unquestionably, Aldo is upset, but his threats may be a few steps above how far he is actually looking to go. The difference between this being an overreaction and a proper reaction is whether he can turn this into getting what he wants going forward, which presumably includes better treatment from the UFC. Of course, Aldo shouldn’t take Dana White’s word to heart just as the good people of Vancouver shouldn’t have when White insisted that Tito Ortiz wasn’t out of his third fight with Chuck Liddell some years back. At the end of the day, no matter what he says, White is going to do what he believes is right for business. Aldo’s job is to make enough of a stir that it makes people believe the way White and the UFC went about it was the wrong thing for business. Although Aldo isn’t a big mover and shaker in North America, he’s one of the biggest names the UFC has left in Brazil that is still at the top of his game. He has a lot of value, particularly with UFC’s television deal with Globo – their second most valuable yearly deal behind the Fox contract – coming due.
Evan Zivin: FACT This sucks to agree with but it’s true. The fact that Dana White lies about everything is nothing new. He’s a businessman. While he may pledge allegiances to certain fighters (or, inversely, curse the very ground they walk on) and offer assurances that he’ll do the right thing, he’s always going to do what is best for business and his true colors lie with whoever is going to make the UFC the most money.
Aldo is right to be angry over being repeatedly slighted and lied to by the UFC, but he’s been in the company for 6 years. If he still thought Dana was always a man of his word, then he’s more naive than I could have possibly imagined. This is especially true when it comes to anything related to Conor McGregor because whatever Conor wants, Conor gets. Things would not have been this bad for Jose if he was dealing with any other fighter, but, unfortunately, Dana’s head is so far up Conor’s ass he uses red panties for dental floss.
I really feel for Jose but this is the reality of 2016 UFC. You’re only as important as the size of your drawing power. If Aldo wanted the Conor rematch, or to get Conor to drop the featherweight belt, he was going to need to prove there was a financial benefit to doing so, or to give Conor a really good reason to, since he’s the one calling the shots. Maybe Dana can calm Jose down and find some way to assure him that Conor will either defend or drop the 145 strap after UFC 205 but we all know that’s probably going to be a lie anyway.
Sorry things turned out this way, Jose. I hope you get what you want and the UFC releases you so you can live your life as a cattle rancher or a pizza delivery guy or whatever you plan to do other than kick people really hard.
— FOX Sports: UFC (@UFCONFOX) September 29, 2016
Further, Aldo taking the UFC to court to fight for his release will likely prove fruitless.
Dan Plunkett: FICTION There is a big difference between Jose Aldo bringing the UFC to court to challenge their contracts and Randy Couture challenging UFC’s contracts in 2007-08. The UFC had an upper hand in the Couture case in that Couture was looking to get out of his contract so he could fight elsewhere. The kicker is that Couture was already in his mid-forties and could feel the clock ticking down on his career. Theoretically, the UFC could have dragged out the court battle for years longer, which is one of the reasons Couture opted to settle less than a year after attempting to leave the company. There has long been a question as to whether the UFC contract would hold up if challenged in court. I don’t know if the contract would hold up if fully challenged, but due to the settlement Randy Couture’s challenge didn’t give a strong indication either way.
Aldo is 30 years old. Although that’s typically the beginning of the end of a fighter’s best years, the Brazilian still has a fair amount of gas in the tank. He may not be as eager for a quick court battle as Couture was; he may have the luxury of patience. Perhaps it would prove fruitless, but it could also prove to be a challenge UFC doesn’t care to meet head on, resulting in Aldo getting more favorable contract terms and treatment.
Evan Zivin: FACT Unless Aldo has an out in his contract, or there’s a loophole he knows how to exploit, going to court will likely be a waste of his time. UFC has strong legal representation and they’ve dealt with disgruntled fighters before, fighters who have tried to leave but couldn’t because UFC didn’t want them to. Remember when Randy Couture tried it? I think the only way Aldo can get out if he’s not at the end of his contract, which he isn’t, is to retire. Even then, though, UFC can still retain his services should he ever choose to try and fight again.
Aldo has said that, because of the whole Conor situation, he doesn’t want to fight anymore, but is that really true or is that just something he said out of frustration and he doesn’t really mean it? Either way, going to court isn’t the best option, unless he wants to spend years and lots of money trying to fight this.
UFC Fight Night 96 results: John Lineker tops John Dodson by split in 'Fight of the Year' contender https://t.co/lL2X55PqN5
— MMAjunkie (@MMAjunkie) October 2, 2016
John Lineker, although, edging out an exciting spilt decision win over John Dodson and likely earning a title shot, is riding one of the most disappointing MMA careers due to his inability to consistently make weight.
Dan Plunkett: FICTION John Lineker missing weight at flyweight was frustrating because he was one of the most interesting challengers out there for Demetrious Johnson, but his weight struggles killed that fight’s chances of occurring. His inability to make weight for his fight against Dodson on Saturday was more hilarious. I am all for Lineker’s gimmick being that he’s unable to make weight no matter how many weight classes he moves up. First, he comes in overweight for flyweight and bantamweight fights, and soon he’ll be confusedly weighing in under the featherweight limit. As long as he keeps fighting the way he’s fighting, I’m cool with it.
Evan Zivin: FACT You worded that a little awkwardly but Lineker’s career has been disappointing. I was so pumped to see him fight Demetrious Johnson for the flyweight strap but he was never going to get the opportunity because he could never make the weight. Now there’s concern about giving him a title shot at 135 because we’re not even sure he can make that weight? Granted, he was off by half a pound but that was with the one pound allowance. Can he make 135? It certainly wouldn’t look good if Lineker won the belt and then got stripped because he failed to make weight. That would be embarrassing.
I don’t know how this guy cuts weight but he clearly doesn’t do it the right way. I’m kinda surprised UFC hasn’t paid Mike Dolce or George Lockhart to work with him and get that figured out. The guy’s a fun fighter to watch. He just needs to understand what it means to be a “professional” fighter.
Ain’t that right, Will Brooks? That guy knows what I’m talking about.
UFC 205's Jeremy Stephens guarantees KO of Frankie Edgar, wants 'little leprechaun' Conor McGregor https://t.co/UyY39QGtTU
— MMAjunkie (@MMAjunkie) October 1, 2016
After getting shut down by Conor McGregor at the UFC 205 presser and, considering his iron chin and love for a good and wild brawl, Jeremy Stephens makes for an intriguing opponent against the Featherweight Champion.
Evan Zivin: FICTION From a stylistic perspective, I suppose. That is, if Stephens chooses to stand with Conor and doesn’t just try to outwrestle him, which he may think of as the easier path to victory.
But from a marketing standpoint? Not really. The reason why everyone laughed when Conor quipped “Who the fuck is that guy?” at Stephens during the UFC 205 press conference is because even the people who know about him don’t care that much about him. He’s had some good fights and has looked better at 145 than he did at 155 but he’s still lost pretty much every fight he’s had against ranked competition. So, he’s done nothing to earn a fight with McGregor, who, like him or hate him, did knock out Aldo in 13 seconds, and he’s given us no reason to think he’d be able to put up any sort of fight against the Irishman. The only chance he has of getting that fight is to piss Conor off enough that he demands the fight, which won’t happen. He’ll only indulge a grudge match if there’s money in it and, right now, there’s nothing there. Sorry, Jeremy. Nice try, though.
Dan Plunkett: FICTION If Stephens beats Edgar at UFC 205 and calls out McGregor, it’s probably a fight to consider (although even if McGregor loses, there are still roughly 10 guys in line to fight him before Stephens), but I’m doubting he beats Edgar. Stephens does have power and he’s only been knocked out once, but I don’t think he’s at the level of guys like McGregor, Aldo, and Edgar. Plus, does anybody truly expect McGregor to fight at 145 again?
— MMAFighting.com (@MMAFighting) October 4, 2016
For all the potential and athletic gifts John Dodson shows and has, he appears poised to ride the majority of his career as a second to the frontrunner.
Evan Zivin: FACT Another one you’ve worded weirdly but it’s true, at least for as long as Demetrious Johnson and Dominick Cruz are around and on top. Dodson’s already lost to DJ twice so the flyweight belt ain’t happening anytime soon and I have no reason to believe he can touch Cruz. I don’t even know if he can touch TJ Dillashaw at this point (I’d be interested to find out, though…). Dodson’s a great fighter but there’s always been someone out there who’s just that much better than him. Unless he can figure out what he’s missing to put his skills over the top, he’s going to be stuck in the Chad Mendes role for a while, possibly for the rest of his UFC career.
Not that it’s a bad thing. I mean, he won’t get the increased notoriety or pay that comes with being a champion, and it may limit his ability to get a sweet broadcasting role after he retires (unless he knows the secret to growing hair of Florian proportions), and no one will probably remember him or what he did in his career except for looking really tiny next to Andrei Arlovski in UFC Embedded videos, but that’s not the worst place to be, is it? Is it?
Dan Plunkett: FACT It’s tough to deny. Dodson could drop back down and be the second or third best guy at bantamweight, but his last fight against Demetrious Johnson showed he isn’t closing the gap on the champion. At bantamweight, he’s just behind the pack of the top guys. He will be able to compete with most all of them, but I don’t see him ever becoming champion. If he was 4-5 years younger it would be a different story, but most fighters don’t get significantly better after 32.
Texas Commission refuses to release Kimbo Slice’s pre-fight medicals https://t.co/hGkmvjxAQ2
— Bloody Elbow (@BloodyElbow) September 29, 2016
It is highly suspicious that the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation refuses to release Kimbo Slice’s and Dada 5000’s Bellator 149 pre-fight medicals considering Dada 5000 nearly died after the fight and that Kimbo Slice passed away months later.
Evan Zivin: FACT It is but it’s Texas. They are one of the most corrupt and incompetent athletic commissions in the country. They are the go-to for any promotion who has a problem fighter or wants to stage a fight even though it’s an obvious mismatch or one of the fighters can’t get licensed in any other state. If you’re that desperate, Texas is right there with you. Remember, Texas was where Scott Coker turned to get Josh Barnett a fight after he single-handedly killed Affliction and wasn’t licensed in California. Texas doesn’t seem to care except in cases where doing so would make them look really bad, which is probably why they won’t release the medicals, but if they don’t have to, then they won’t, because that’s their right, just like it’s my right to call them a bunch of bumbling, sniveling, doucheweasels. God bless America.
Dan Plunkett: FICTION My understanding of Bloody Elbow’s reporting on the issue is that although both Kimbo and Dada signed a waiver allowing the TDLR to release any medical information relating to their licensure. In this particular case, Kimbo and Dada’s medical records that they submitted to the athletic commission to obtain a fight license are a major story because Slice passed away from heart failure four months after the fight and Dada – apparently not in competitive shape – was hospitalized in critical condition. Considering those facts, it is extremely important to examine the medical records they submitted to the commission to determine: (1) If there was any medical indication that one or both should not have been licensed; (2) If any portion of the results were not taken as seriously as they should have been; or (3) If they shed any light on steps that can be taken to avoid similar tragedies later on.
The reason I’m going with fiction is because of the qualifier “highly.” It is suspicious that the TDLR won’t release the records; it would have been highly suspicious if they denied them immediately. Instead, based on the report, the commission reverted to the Texas Attorney General’s office to rule on whether they were able to release the records. To me, that sounds like being careful and trying not to get sued for unlawfully releasing medical records. Considering the waiver the fighters signed, it’s suspicious to me that the records weren’t released, but they could very well be working in good faith based on legal advice.
So who won? Was Evan able run through the “Handsome” one? Or, did Dan unseat MR. Zivin? You’ve got until midnight eastern on Saturday to vote, so make sure you make your voice heard!
And that’s it for today but, as always, we’ll be back next week with another contest! And please, be sure to vote!
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