Tag Archive for Moment

Midnight Mania! Four Reasons Khabib’s Stand Is Coolest Moment to Date

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Welcome to Midnight Mania!

Khabib Nurmagomedov once wore a shirt into Brazil that said “If Sambo were easy, it would be called [Brazilian] Jiu Jitsu”, walked out into an arena of people chanting his death, and knocked his Brazilian opponent out cold. The man grew up wrestling bears. He learned to walk on a wrestling mat. While beating down Michael Johnson at UFC 205, he calmly informed Johnson, “I need to fight for the title. You know this. I deserve it” while dropping elbows on Johnson’s face. The Dagestani is a serious guy.

Yet, of all the unbelievable things Khabib has ever done, declaring solidarity with his teammate after he was cut during a brawl Nurmagomedov started in the aftermath of UFC 229 is his best ever, for four big reasons.

Firstly, Nurmagomedov told the UFC if they were going to cut Zubaira Tukhogov, “don’t forget to send me my broken contract, otherwise I’ll break it myself.” That willingness to walk away from the Ultimate Fighting Championship comes off as completely genuine. Khabib is not kidding. He doesn’t need the American-based promotion. Russia is its’ own market and Khabib is a national star there. The UFC, though, definitely stand to lose if Khabib walks. He just headlined the biggest UFC Pay-Per-View of all time, just under 2.5 million buys, and choked out the biggest draw in MMA history. That puts him in a position of unprecedented leverage.

Secondly, he told the UFC to keep their money. Who scoffs at millions of dollars? Khabib’s entire purse is currently being held by the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC), unlike McGregor’s. “I hope it doesn’t get stuck in your throat” is also a ridiculously cool line. This is the part that really lets us know, Khabib isn’t playing games. If he is leaving that much money on the table, he is truly willing to walk away. That is a terrifying man to sit across a bargaining table from, because it means the UFC have no leverage over him. Nurmagomedov does not care about the money.

Thirdly, this is the first time I can recall where a fighter of Khabib’s stature threw his entire weight behind a teammate in solidarity. That’s not a small thing. Fellow AKA fighter Josh Thomson wondered if this could be a dawning of a new collective consciousness in fighters’ minds. Despite the team format of MMA gyms, most fighters have an extremely individualistic approach to fighting. When Aljamain Sterling tried to get a better deal from the UFC and the company decided they would rather let him go than pay him more, it never occured to Chris Weidman to put his own position in the company at risk to support his gym mate. Project Spearhead, the anonymous card-collecting effort to unionize the UFC, just had another of their most public supporters- Kajan Johnson- leave the promotion. It may be too much to hope that this display galvanizes a collective identity among fighters, but it sets a bold precedent.

Lastly, Khabib set out his case in a way that made sense to people. “We never give up on our brothers in Russia and I will go to the end for my brother” is the kind of stirring line that people instantly connect with. From what I can tell in the comments sections, Khabib’s stand is wildly popular with fans. It was Khabib, after all, that started the brawl. Everything flowed from his actions, and from that perspective his ‘brothers’ were just backing him up. It makes sense for Khabib to take all the blame on his shoulders and not let his teammate suffer for something he started. He also pointed out that in his mind, he defended his honor. That “realness” is a quality people have an appetite for. In a world known for it’s bluster and promotion, Khabib doesn’t play.


Insomnia

Artem Lobov doesn’t want Tukhugov cut, he wants to fight the guy.

Daniel Cormier might be reaching a little bit with this one. Lobov didn’t hurt anyone personally. Zub jumped into the cage and punched McGregor.

Breaking news: nothing has happened yet in regard to suspensions.

This story shared by MMA legend Frank Shamrock is so sad. The United States doesn’t do a good job caring for people with mental health issues.

UFC 230 is still a great fight card, especially if you forget the fights that could have been.

Well… this might be one more good thing to come from the incident

Stipe Miocic is miffed Cormier openly took the Lewis fight because he considered it easier on short notice.

Daniel Cormier was not taking prisoners online today

The best of Khabib and DC

Chael Sonnen wants Bellator to re-sign Eddie Alvarez

That’s a very big check for a regional show.

DC defends his stance on Zubaira

Fedor is also very cool, the original Russian GOAT.

Dillon Danis denies using an Islamaphobic slur

Derrick Lewis and DC’s backstage conversation is very funny.

Combat sports this weekend include Derrick Crawford and not one but two Bellator events

Stay woke, Maniacs! Follow me on Twitter and Facebook @Vorpality

MMAmania.com – All Posts

Kevin Lee’s Stanky Leg Moment Got A Remix

You probably didn’t know you needed this in your life, but you do.

Things took a very bad turn for Kevin Lee three rounds into his fight with Edson Barboza when the resilient Brazilian managed to hit him in the head with spinning wheel kick. The blow, which by all rights should have left him unconscious forever in a shadow realm, had him staggering around the Octagon before he managed to semi-recover and shoot for a takedown.

Lee would go on to win that fight on the judges’ scorecards, but for many people it’s not Lee’s endless Khabib-style beatdown on Barboza that they remember. It was his stanky leg after eating that kick right to the skull. Now Instagram video editor RayRod, already well known to MMA fans for his Super Saiyan McGregor and Cerrone clips, is paying homage to that stanky leg and the results are amazing.

What a strange, strange trip that is. I’m partial to the Family Feud reference because Steve Harvey is life. And unlike Colby Covington, this vid references The Last Jedi AND Avengers Infinity War but without spoilers. Be more like RayRod. Not Colby Covington.

Here’s the Conor McGregor and Donald Cerrone vids from RayRod. And there’s way, way more to enjoy on Instagram page.

MMAmania.com – All Posts

Kevin Lee’s Stanky Leg Moment Got A Remix

You probably didn’t know you needed this in your life, but you do.

Things took a very bad turn for Kevin Lee three rounds into his fight with Edson Barboza when the resilient Brazilian managed to hit him in the head with spinning wheel kick. The blow, which by all rights should have left him unconscious forever in a shadow realm, had him staggering around the Octagon before he managed to semi-recover and shoot for a takedown.

Lee would go on to win that fight on the judges’ scorecards, but for many people it’s not Lee’s endless Khabib-style beatdown on Barboza that they remember. It was his stanky leg after eating that kick right to the skull. Now Instagram video editor RayRod, already well known to MMA fans for his Super Saiyan McGregor and Cerrone clips, is paying homage to that stanky leg and the results are amazing.

What a strange, strange trip that is. I’m partial to the Family Feud reference because Steve Harvey is life. And unlike Colby Covington, this vid references The Last Jedi AND Avengers Infinity War but without spoilers. Be more like RayRod. Not Colby Covington.

Here’s the Conor McGregor and Donald Cerrone vids from RayRod. And there’s way, way more to enjoy on Instagram page.

MMAmania.com – All Posts

Bellator Just Had Another ‘WTF’ Moment

Bellator 194 is going down in Uncasville, CT right now, and though the main event is all about UFC refugees Roy Nelson and Matt Mitrione going at it, there’s still all the usual undercard goodness.

And by “goodness”, I mean, “WTF did I just see?”

Because Bellator undercards – especially the prelims – are where the crazy stuff happens.

You know, stuff like spinning back-elbow knockouts, and this:

Tonight, just moments ago, a Bellator 194 prelim pitted Ross Richardson against Ronie Arana Leon. Neither person is anyone you should know about at this point in their careers.

What you should know is that Leon did his best imitation of a frog, which, um, was kind of crazy.

The dude lost via TKO in the second round, but man, give him points for doing something wacky.

The post Bellator Just Had Another ‘WTF’ Moment appeared first on Caged Insider.

Caged Insider

Bellator Just Had Another ‘WTF’ Moment

Bellator 194 is going down in Uncasville, CT right now, and though the main event is all about UFC refugees Roy Nelson and Matt Mitrione going at it, there’s still all the usual undercard goodness.

And by “goodness”, I mean, “WTF did I just see?”

Because Bellator undercards – especially the prelims – are where the crazy stuff happens.

You know, stuff like spinning back-elbow knockouts, and this:

Tonight, just moments ago, a Bellator 194 prelim pitted Ross Richardson against Ronie Arana Leon. Neither person is anyone you should know about at this point in their careers.

What you should know is that Leon did his best imitation of a frog, which, um, was kind of crazy.

The dude lost via TKO in the second round, but man, give him points for doing something wacky.

The post Bellator Just Had Another ‘WTF’ Moment appeared first on Caged Insider.

Caged Insider

Germaine de Randamie apologizes for hitting after the bell: ‘It was in the heat of the moment’

Germaine de Randamie is the first UFC women’s featherweight champion, but that belt did not come without some trepidation.

Foremost on the minds of fans were two instances during de Randamie’s title fight with Holly Holm that were controversial. After the bell to end the second round, de Randamie landed two hard punches to Holm, the latter of which wobbled her. De Randamie landed a punch after the third-round bell, too.

In MMA, the referee ends the round officially, not the bell. But ref Todd Anderson was late in getting between the women both times. He warned de Randamie after the second transgression, but did not take a point.

De Randamie ended up winning the fight — and the belt — by unanimous decision (48-47, 48-47, 48-47). One point ended up being the difference. Afterward, talking to Joe Rogan inside the Octagon, de Randamie said she was sorry for the incidents.

“It wasn’t meant for me to hit her after the bell,” the Netherlands native said. “It was in the heat of the moment. I apologize. I’m not like that.”

Even with those occurrences, some thought Holm should have won the fight on the scorecards. De Randamie clearly won the first two rounds, while Holm won the final two rounds on two of the three judges’ cards. The third round was the closest, with Holm landing a head kick toward the end that dropped the 32-year-old Dutchwoman.

“It was a close fight,” de Randamie said. “She [caught] me in the third round with a head kick. It was close, but I came to fight and she didn’t want to fight me. I’m a brawler. I want to fight.”

De Randamie (7-3) said she wasn’t that hurt after the head kick of a straight left in the fourth round that dropped her. She criticized Holm for not standing and banging, and playing more of a countering, clinching game.

“I hoped she was going to fight with me,” de Randamie said. “Holly is a tremendous champion. I truly respect her. But I love to brawl, I love to fight. Clinching is not my game. But whatever.”

De Randamie’s first title defense could come against Cris Cyborg, the clear-cut top 145-pound female fighter in the world, depending on how Cyborg’s USADA doping case shakes out. De Randamie said she’d be willing to fight Cyborg, but needs to take care of an injury first.

“I want to fight everybody,” she said. “If Cris Cyborg is the one I have to fight, I’ll fight her. Right now, I really need surgery on my hand. I’ll get surgery on my hand and we’ll see after.”

MMA Fighting – All Posts

Junior dos Santos: ‘The moment is good for me’ to get a big fight

CLEVELAND — UFC heavyweight Junior dos Santos spoke to the media at UFC 203 about facing Stipe Miocic, his health, facing Cain Velasquez a fourth time and more.

MMA Fighting – All Posts

The Fertitta brothers, UFC’s saviors, cashing out is pivotal moment in history of MMA

While things weren’t always smooth, and it seemed there were twists, turns and crises on a regular basis, the story of the Fertitta brothers purchase of the UFC in 2001 for $ 2 million, and its sale 15 1/2 years later for $ 4 billion, was the ability to see in a nearly-dead product the potential of major mass appeal.

The original UFC, the brainchild of Art Davie, was about creating a fighting event where the best fighters from different disciplines would battle with almost no rules to see what fighter, and what fighting art, was superior. The original shows were successful, based on over-the-top marketing with the idea that there were no rules and claims the events were banned in 49 states.

Eventually that sensationalized marketing bit them, as in nearly every market, and years later with the expansion, in almost every country, the media decried fights that involved things, such as punching on the ground, or submissions like chokes, that weren’t allowed in the boxing world they grew up on. The new UFC, when trying to get regulated in many states and provinces, and in going into new countries, faced those obstacles.

As a strictly pay-per-view event, the sport was on death’s door when pay-per-view companies were pressured to stop carrying the events. When the Fertitta brothers purchased the company, the first thing they did was try to clean up its image. They pushed that this was a sport with regulations. Virtually all the current rules were in place before they purchased it, although most states didn’t regulate it, and regulation became a key goal. The belief at first was simply that once they could get back on pay-per-view, things would be successful as they were in 1993-97.

But things had changed. The 2001-2004 version of UFC, back on pay-per-view, lost tens of millions of dollars. The original success was novelty-based.  The only reason the sport survived those lean year was because of the deep pockets of the Fertitta brothers. Step one of the turnaround was getting The Ultimate Fighter television show on Spike. It was new, different, and cool to the younger viewers. Pay-per-view numbers exploded. Then, the television world was shocked in 2006 when the company put on a huge fight with Tito Ortiz vs. Ken Shamrock on television, and in the 18-34 male demo, it beat the numbers of several games of that year’s World Series. Suddenly, the television industry started to take notice. 

The company’s business had its peaks and valleys over the past decade, with the peaks built around marketable stars and big fights. But even in a year when everything seemed to go wrong, like 2014, with a lack of both, the company still pulled a healthy profit. In 2015, as Ronda Rousey and Conor McGregor drew large pay-per-view numbers, the company had its biggest year to date, grossing $ 608,629,000 and ending with $ 157,806,000 in operating income.

In short, the deep pockets of the Fertitta brothers saved UFC. Their pockets became even deeper than ever from the financial success of the UFC. And this led to the biggest windfall of all with the sale of the UFC.

For all the controversy and craziness of the sport, Lorenzo Fertitta as CEO, and his calm public demeanor — and his more publicly volatile partner, White as president — have steered the ship of enormous financial success.

White will stick around, which was considered a key with every company that put in bids. But the dynamic that built the success, of the two best friends working side-by-side on what started as almost a passion product, will change.

A key part of the announcement that was a surprise to many following the story is the money for the purchase came from an American business. WME-IMG, which had been known to be the front runners in a bidding war handled by The Raine Group. But the names of the different companies that had gotten out, from the Dalian Wanda Group to China Media Capital, to FountainVest Partners of Asia, were consortiums where much of the money was coming from: China.

The financial backers of the new group, and new stakeholders, Silver Lake Partners, a worldwide business that has offices in China, are based in New York. The other major investors, KKR (Kohlberg Kravis Roberts), MSD Capital and MSO Partners, are also New York-based.

The expectation is if the UFC was sold to one of China’s business heavyweights, that it would open the door to an emerging financial market. There was the idea that the company’s key market, the U.S., was mature, in the sense its popularity level is established. But with the huge population base in China, the potential long-term of a sport that has a natural appeal because so many people like to watch fights, that the sky was the limit.

China is still going to be a clear goal, but the navigation is different for an American-based company.

WME-IMG, headed by Ari Emanuel, are not strangers to the UFC. Emanuel was a key figure in brokering the company’s television deal with FOX, which has given them more revenue and more exposure than ever before.

As far as the timing of the Fertittas deciding to cash out, there are different ways of looking at it. Last year’s numbers were spectacular and were going to be difficult to duplicate. Both Rousey and McGregor lost their last fights, and there are questions as to Rousey’s future, and she brought a unique fan base to the sport every time she fought. The UFC’s short-term fortunes are star-driven and there don’t appear to be candidates to replace them. With upsets more and more prevalent, the long periods of domination that made Anderson Silva, Jon Jones and Georges St-Pierre into stars are harder-and-harder to achieve. Unlike when the UFC first got on television, championship titles alone don’t necessarily create stars, nor guarantee big audiences.

Rumors have persisted during all the sale talks, and this goes back months before ESPN first broke the story, that the Fertittas were interested in being involved in bringing the NFL to Las Vegas, perhaps not as owners, but in building a stadium, or looking to expand their casino business. Their company just purchased The Palms. You can look at the decision as feeling the 2015 success would be difficult to sustain, or the decision to sell had nothing to do with that at all, but simply the timing of wanting capital for business opportunities presenting themselves now.

On the flip side, the UFC and MMA are more established as sports in the culture than ever before. The Jon Jones drug test failure, Brock Lesnar’s return, UFC 200 and this sale were all huge mainstream stories. While the UFC is not the NBA in terms of popularity, the analogy that may hold is that the NBA has its periods were huge stars and big popularity, and other periods not as big. But even in those periods, tons of people watch the NBA and it’s still a hugely successful franchise.

UFC television ratings are growing at a time when most television numbers are down. Live attendance is solid. Pay-per-view, which is extremely volatile, as UFC shows can do anywhere between 100,000 and 1.5 million buys, are still a significant percentage of revenue. But it’s not like the pre-FOX years, where UFC was mostly a pay-per-view business and its fortunes were dependent upon one risky revenue stream.

But the world is also rapidly changing. Television, pay-per-view and streaming technology are going to change in ways that nobody can fully figure out right now. With that, revenue potentials will change.

Years ago, the idea was that if the entire world was connected by the Internet, and you put on a big fight, and you don’t need cable partners around the world to distribute it (and in North America, get about a 50 percent split of the revenue), the financial potential to the company was enormous. But we’re still not at that day, since the vast majority of UFC’s pay-per-view orders come from traditional means, the satellite and cable companies rather than directly from the promotion on streaming services, where they can get the full cut instead a half-cut.

But with that change, piracy also becomes easier.

The big picture is far more than whether Rousey is done, or if McGregor can continue to pull in big numbers. Stars will come and go. Even if we may look back on the 2015 business, and view it as a peak in some ways, past it being the catalyst for the enormous sale price, the future is about things that may have little to do with big fights and their results.

It’s more having to do with what happens with television, or other content distributors. The key to the UFC going forward looks to be the value of sports rights fees both domestic and abroad. When the FOX deal is up at the end of 2018, will there be competition for the franchise, whether from ESPN, or another network? Will new distribution models be able to compete with television financially for sports rights? Or will more and more research and knowledge in regard to brain injuries turn the next generation off to combat sports? What will happen with lawsuits and labor issues?

As far as how the company looks to the public, a big question is also, what will happen to White?  While still the corporate face of the company, with the sale, his own fortune has increased substantially. His nine percent of the company would be worth about $ 360 million at closing. Exact details of his agreement haven’t been released, as to whether he took less than that figure to maintain stock, or whether he got a sweetheart deal on the stock because of the belief it was important to the new owners that he stays on board.

White is now an enormously wealthy man who built a business from the ground to prosperity. It is a lock there will be business disagreements on directions between he and the new owners. They may end up with a relationship as good as White had with Lorenzo Fertitta. Or they may not.

He could walk away, probably not soon, and not have a financial care in the world. White is used to getting what he wants and not often getting his decisions overruled. The new ownership is going to eventually place major officers of its choosing in the key top positions. They will likely have more high-level business experience in aspects of their own expertise, but they won’t have the fight business knowledge that Fertitta picked up from working in the trenches for 15 years and learning through trial-and-error. This will also play into the dynamics going forward when it comes to settling differences in ideas about direction.

With so much at stake, corporate ownership of a very unique business will change things. There is dealing with fighters, their egos, their management and insecurities and short shelf-lives. There are similarities to the entertainment business and the sports business, but MMA is its own unique entity. It’s not football where there are ways to learn, courses to take, experience at the lower level to be gained, before moving up the ranks into top decision-making positions. This is a business where few have learned it from the ground up.

There is the ability to recognize stars early on and give them their platform. A huge part of Rousey and McGregor’s success is that White and Fertitta spotted their potential early. But that’s only a small part of the equation. Both had great success in winning fights in dynamic fashion. They were also tireless promoters, at least at first, for both themselves and the brand. There is skill in matchmaking, and almost nobody has experience in this unique sport on how to navigate those waters. There is the balance in presenting fights that the public will buy with keeping a semblance of legitimate sports competition. There is the ability to make the big fights, and deal with the inevitabilities of major injures and suspensions changing plans at the last minute. 

From day one, White and Fertitta worked alongside each other and learned together from going through similar battles and experiences. They could jump on deals and make changes in one discussion. In a corporate environment, things change, and have to go through more channels, and more second-guessing. In time, White will be working with people whose experiences come from other businesses, and not the fight business. What works in other businesses won’t necessarily work in this one. And what used to work in this one may not work in the same way due to landscape changes. A big part of the future of the company depends of the people in charge and their abilities to coexist. It also depends on charges in the world that they have no control over, and being able to make the right moves a those changes take place.

Another big question is the one every fighter is probably wondering, which has to do with compensation.

The $ 4 billion price tag alone speaks of how significant a business UFC has become. Yet its fighters earn 12 to 14 percent of total gross revenue, a fraction of the cut of the pie that athletes in most major sports earn. It’s the ability to keep fighter pay low that enabled the UFC to be profitable in a bad year like 2014, and enormously popular in 2015. It enabled the owners to line their pockets with huge dividends from those profits.

The relatively low cost of talent in comparison to total revenues, and big margins, got multiple investors into bidding on the product. And they clearly see the potential in building it bigger than it ever was on a worldwide basis. 

While everyone will publicly talk about things being business as usual, that may be the case at first, but much will change. Sports franchises change ownerships all the time, and the differences are noticeable. But this is much bigger, because the UFC doesn’t have the stabilization factor of a major sports league with deep-rooted team-related interest.

Make no mistake about it. When it comes to the true history of the UFC, this sale will rank right there with the original concept of the UFC, the Fertittas original purchase and the first television deal with Spike, as the most important moments in company history.

Where it’s going was almost unpredictable. Now, it’s even more so.

MMA Fighting – All Posts

Cris Cyborg says she didn’t call out Ronda Rousey because ‘tonight was my moment’

After finally making her UFC debut on Saturday night, Cristiane Justino made a lot of people wonder just how much destruction she could create in the women’s bantamweight division.

“Cyborg” scored an emphatic first-round TKO over Leslie Smith at a 140-pound catchweight at UFC 198 in her native Curitiba, Brazil. Though it was her first time in the Octagon, it was par for the course. Justino — Invicta FC’s featherweight champion — has won seven of her previous 10 fights via first-round KO or TKO.

With the partition down and the spotlight hot, many thought she might take the opportunity to call out Ronda Rousey after her win over Smith, given that the two have been on a collision course going back to their Strikeforce days.

Yet “Cyborg” opted not to. Why?

“I believe that it was my moment, tonight was my moment and it was historic,” she said in the post-fight press conference. “I never thought I’d be sitting here tonight. So take a lot of pictures. I never thought I’d be here after everything that I went through. It was a historic moment for me. Talking about [Rousey] is not something…it’s something people are going to talk about, but I let my fans decide who my opponent will be and I just be ready.”

Though the UFC doesn’t have a women’s featherweight division, there has been talk for the last couple of years that Justino might one day get down to 135 pounds to challenge the ex-champion Rousey.

Yet of late the 30-year old Justino has said that he no longer has any intentions of fighting as a bantamweight, and she reiterated that stance after Saturday night.

“I’ve been training for two years to be able to make weight yesterday, and I felt very well tonight,” she said. “And I believe I can do other superfights. But I’m going to continue in my weight class. I’ve been champion for some time, and I want female MMA to grow, and I don’t think it’s the right thing for me to abandon my weight class.”

As for her performance, Justino seemed to be pretty content with her work against Smith.

“I think I did my best,” she said. “I like to go for the knockout. If you watch my fights that’s what I like to do. I have good wrestling, jiu-jitsu. I’ve been doing judo for the past year to fight with someone. But I’ve been waiting for the opportunity. That’s it. I’m prepared.”

MMA Fighting – All Posts

GSP’s training camp is his ultimate moment of truth

For two years, Georges St-Pierre has been avoiding making a decision on if he will ever fight. The idea he’s doing a test camp to see if he still wants it would seem smart on one hand, but it’s also a sign he’s got misgivings about it.

There are a lot of different ways to look at Georges St-Pierre’s doing a six-week test training camp to see if he will come back next year to fight in UFC or, if not, formally retire from the sport.

Freddie Roach broke the news on Wednesday of St-Pierre’s first real move when it comes to a decision that he’s put off for two years regarding if he is or isn’t going to fight again.

On one hand, St-Pierre has accomplished all that anyone could hope to accomplish in an MMA career. If you look at the most important records in UFC history, he’s at or near the top in all of them:

- He’s in first place all-time for most UFC victories with 19.
- He’s tied with Jon Jones in second place for most consecutive victories with 12, trailing Anderson Silva’s 16.
- He’s in first place all-time for most wins in championship matches with 12.
- He’s in second place all-time for most consecutive wins in championship matches with nine, trailing Anderson Silva with ten.
- He’s in second place all-time for most UFC championship fights with 14, trailing Randy Couture’s 15. But GSP is 12-2 in title fights, as compared to Couture, who went 9-6.
- He’s in second place for most time spent inside the Octagon, at five hours 28 minutes, and 12 seconds, trailing only Frankie Edgar at five hours, 35 minutes and 23 seconds.

Along with Brock Lesnar, St-Pierre is also one of the two biggest pay-per-view draws in company history. His influence on the sport — besides obviously being the greatest welterweight the sport has ever seen — is such that the popularity of both UFC and MMA in Canada has declined significantly since he vacated the welterweight title and went on “sabbatical’ after his controversial decision over Johny Hendricks on November 16, 2013.

He doesn’t appear to be in need of money. Unlike most in the sport who fight from paycheck to paycheck, St-Pierre was making millions per fight in the latter stages of his career, and as Canadian sports hero with a clean image, he’s had some of the best endorsement deals of anyone.

At his peak, his avowed goal was to be considered the greatest fighter in history, a mythical crown that will always be subject to debate. But as far as long-term accomplishments go, St-Pierre, Silva and Fedor Emelianenko would top most lists, with the only debate being in what order.

On the flip side, GSP’s 34, only one year older than current welterweight champion Robbie Lawler, an exciting and dangerous fighter whom he has never faced. St-Pierre is more athletic and more well-rounded than the champion. When St-Pierre was ruling the roost, Lawler wasn’t even on his list of challengers even though they were contemporaries.

Of the top contenders in his weight class, all but Rory MacDonald and Tarec Saffiedine are within three years in either direction of his age. The same competitive drive that made him a clear-cut all-time great in still somewhere in his body. Mentally, he knows how to be a champion. Physically, he’s in great shape as far as keeping his weight under control, and he’s likely healed up from nagging injuries. But there is no escaping there will be ring rust from time off. The reality is he was not the same fighter in his three fights after a late-2011 knee injury required major surgery, but was still good enough that nobody ever beat him. Only the Hendricks fight was close.

But one questions exactly what he’s trying to find out in doing the camp that trainer Freddy Roach talked about earlier this week. At his current point in life, fighting has to be something that he’s either all-in on or not at all. A test camp would indicate he’s not really sure. That’s not the mentality he should have if he is looking to fight dangerous men inside the cage.

While not getting as much talk, Lesnar did the same thing earlier this year. But Lesnar had something to prove, in the sense he believed his prime years were stolen from him due to an illness (diverticulitis). Lesnar had no financial need to come back, but he felt he had unfinished business and didn’t leave the sport the way he wanted to. Lesnar also had misgivings, given his age and other business options. In the end, the camp told him “no,” and he mentally closed the book on a comeback.

St-Pierre had his healthy prime years. There is no legacy left to build, no point to prove, no naysayers to prove wrong. His status in history is secure and can’t be taken away. But unless he believes he can be better than he was, and wants a third championship, that same legacy won’t be improved upon either.

If it’s just competition he’s looking for, there are safer avenues, whether it be grappling, jiu-jitsu, Tae Kwon Do, or even wrestling. Years ago he toyed with the idea of leaving MMA while champion at his peak to try out for the 2012 Olympics as a wrestler, something Canadian wrestling officials were all for because of the attention it would have brought the sport. But the odds were great against success trying it then, and would be even greater now.

There isn’t any money in that direction, either. If he’s looking for money, a title chase comeback would make for a great story and would reignite the Canadian marketplace. It would also put him on the same path as teammate and sometimes training partner Rory MacDonald.

MacDonald recently hinted of a GSP comeback, but gave the impression it would be more along the lines of what Anderson Silva is doing, which is taking name fights but not pursuing the title.

But that brings up the money situation. GSP is used to making millions, and to do that, he has to be in a fight that captures the public’s attention in a big way, particularly if no championship is at stake. “See GSP fight again” as the draw could work once, and even then, as a pay-per-view, the opponent would need to have some name value.

For a guy used to getting a cut of pay-per-views that drew between 600,000 and one million buys every time out, to make the money he’s used to making, it has to be with fights that would pull those kind of numbers.

There is the obvious answer here in Anderson Silva.

It’s a fight that would work for both men. Silva is physically bigger, to the point they’d probably have to agree to a catch weight. But at this point, with Silva six years older, the age aspect is more in GSP’s favor than it was a few years ago when they were the sport’s two dominant fighters, and the fight could never be put together.

But after that, then what? There would be intrigue in MacDonald, but that’s a fight that is likely never to happen, as GSP has said on multiple occasions that he would never fight a friend. Then again, as we’ve seen with Urijah Faber and T.J. Dillashaw, sometimes the concept of friend can change in this sport. There would be hype around the Nick Diaz when Diaz’s eligible to come back after suspension. Diaz was his most successful pay-per-view opponent, but that’s not exactly fresh match-up. There would be a story with Hendricks, but I’m not sure it would do the kind of numbers GSP is used to without a title at stake.

The GSP comeback decision and what goes into it really points out just how different MMA is from most sports. If a superstar individual sport player in tennis, golf, or even amateur wrestling, burns out, going back is a simple decision of whether you want it or not.

With MMA, like boxing, there are long-term risks of that decision, past just losing matches, that have to go into it. You can be hurt physically. Worse, you can be hurt mentally.

GSP himself said it himself years ago when asked about fighting someone who was his friend, that he’d never do it because you play a football game, but you don’t play MMA, and it’s not a game.

Unless it’s financial, or the need to fulfill some sort of a goal, there is no reason for him to come back and fight. But if he decides there is still something he wants to prove, he is young enough, and talented enough, that this is far from many of the often sad comebacks for financial scraps of older fighters we’ve seen so much of in recent years.

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