Inside The Ultimate Fighter lives … at Bloody Elbow

I wrote a book about The Ultimate Fighter that never saw the light of day. But Bloody Elbow will publish excerpts for the next 10 weeks. Here’s the story of the book … Source: Inside The Ultimate Fighter: The best-selling tell-all book that never was – Bloody Elbow

MMA writing: 2008-2015

Selected pieces on mixed martial arts — all USA TODAY except as noted: Issues Aug. 4, 2015: Is the UFC turning into Rollerball? (The Guardian) July 12, 2015: Huge night for McGregor, Lawler and UFC 3.0(SportsMyriad) May 25, 2012: UFC, MMA wrestling with testosterone issues March 28, 2010: State of New York still not submitting toContinue reading “MMA writing: 2008-2015”

Covering MMA: Fascinating, frustrating, never dull

One of my projects for this year is to wrap up a book on my experiences covering mixed martial arts. I promise it’ll be a fun read. So I was happy to see SI’s terrific media reporter, Richard Deitsch, hosting a roundtable of MMA journalists. He got a good cross-section — people are very muchContinue reading “Covering MMA: Fascinating, frustrating, never dull”

MMA fighters: Please don’t fight for your family

Marion Reneau is just the latest MMA fighter who says she’s fighting to support her family / give her family a better life: UFC women’s bantamweight contender Marion Reneau, who is pushing 40, started MMA in her early 30s to help finance her son’s college fund.(From MMA FIghting) Let’s take a look at the moneyContinue reading “MMA fighters: Please don’t fight for your family”

The Ultimate Fighter 21, Episode 3: Please, please throw a punch

A few observations on this week’s episode of the biggest fight series in South Florida since Kimbo beat Afropuff and Big Mac on the same day in the boat yard. – The new theme song is as lame as it gets. The credits tell us nothing. No idea why they did this. – Is AmericanContinue reading “The Ultimate Fighter 21, Episode 3: Please, please throw a punch”

UFC champions’ declining star power

On July 3, 2010, Brock Lesnar defeated Shane Carwin to unify the UFC heavyweight belt, completing Lesnar’s comeback from diverticulitis. As compiled by Dave Meltzer, the authority on such matters, the pay-per-view buyrate for that event was more than 1 million — the sixth time that had happened in UFC history, the third involving Lesnar.Continue reading “UFC champions’ declining star power”

The Ultimate Fighter 21, Episode 1: These teams matter

How do you keep The Ultimate Fighter fresh after 10 years? Give the UFC credit for trying. In 2011, they used it to introduce their bantamweight and featherweight divisions. T.J. Dillashaw has gone on to do pretty well for himself, and John Dodson isn’t bad, either. In 2012, they tried a live season. They decided it didn’tContinue reading “The Ultimate Fighter 21, Episode 1: These teams matter”

The (sex!) marketing of (catfights!) women’s MMA

Let’s get this straight: Women’s MMA is fantastic. Women’s fights are often the highlights of a typical fight card, especially when they’re sandwiched in between a couple of wrestling stalemates with one dude leaning against the other up against the cage. And the athletes are compelling. Don’t believe me? Let Tommy Toe Hold sing theContinue reading “The (sex!) marketing of (catfights!) women’s MMA”

The Ultimate Fighter 20, Episode 9: Mean girls

It’s been a while, hasn’t it? The last season of The Ultimate Fighter I recapped in full was Season 16. Remember Shane Carwin? But I’m inspired. Season 20 — all women, all contenders, a title belt on the line — is terrific. The fights are more intriguing that what you’ll see on some UFC pay-per-views these days.Continue reading “The Ultimate Fighter 20, Episode 9: Mean girls”

Unsolicited advice for the UFC

When a UFC fight card coincides with a Bellator fight card, the choice should be obvious. And yet it’s not. The UFC has the talent — by my quick count, 83 of the 90 top-10 fighters in the Sherdog rankings. At USA TODAY/MMA Junkie, which ranks 15 per class but only ranks men (come on, guys!),Continue reading “Unsolicited advice for the UFC”