Ivan's Blog

Featuring Ivan Trembow's Self-Important, Random Rants on Mixed Martial Arts, Video Games, Pro Wrestling, Television, Politics, Sports, and High-Quality Wool Socks

Wednesday, September 14, 2005
Mixed Martial Arts--- Follow-Up Editorial on Sean Gannon Signing with the UFC
After reading all of the message board posts and e-mails in response to my previous article about Sean Gannon being signed to a UFC contract, I just watched the Sean Gannon vs. Kimbo fight again, and it's still just as much of a disgrace to the sport of mixed martial arts as it was the last time I watched it. When people say that MMA is "human cockfighting," things like that only gives them ammunition for their argument. It's revolting to think that someone at the UFC would watch that video and say, "We've got to give that guy a contract!" instead of saying, "That's disgusting."

I also have to wonder how anyone can say that was a legitimate MMA fight in a "controlled environment." When the method of ending the fight is an informal count to 20 and beyond, that's not a "controlled environment."

Regardless of how good or bad Gannon would be in a legitimate MMA fight against UFC-level competition, the most reputable and in-depth MMA database on the Internet says that his professional MMA record is 1-0, and his amateur MMA record is 4-1. Whether he could have earned his way into the UFC by fighting in smaller MMA promotions like Hook-n-Shoot, IFC, WEC, AFC, Euphoria, Ring of Fire, etc is not the point.

The point is that he got his UFC contract because of the Kimbo video, and the Internet buzz surrounding it. That's it. If he had all of the same qualifications, but no Kimbo video, he would not have gotten the contract. Anyone from the UFC trying to claim otherwise would be very disingenuous, and anyone else trying to claim otherwise would be very naive.

Even if the majority of fans don't care how he got his UFC contract, it would also be naive to think that not one person, anywhere, at any time, ever, is going to see Gannon in the UFC, find out how he got his UFC contract, and think to themselves that they might be able get a UFC contract of their own if they make a similar video and get a similar amount of buzz surrounding it. No one can say for sure whether any serious injuries or deaths might occur as a result of people trying to "earn their way" into the UFC like Gannon did, but the risk is there.

I appreciate everyone's feedback, whether they agree with me or disagree with me. At the same time, I think it should be scary for anyone who cares about the sport of MMA and wants it to succeed to think about the negative publicity explosion in the mainstream media that would take place if ONE newspaper reporter, whether it's from a small-market newspaper or God forbid the anti-MMA Boston Herald or New York Times, were to see that video and find out that the winner got a UFC contract for it.

The aim of that article was to look at the big picture of Sean Gannon's signing, and what kind of message the UFC is sending. Gannon could be a great guy, or even a great fighter, and that still wouldn't be the point. The point is that he got a UFC contract because of the Kimbo video, and that's not right.

Mixed Martial Arts--- UFC Switching Venues for Next Two Spike TV Specials
After two live events at the Cox Pavilion in Las Vegas with poor attendance, the UFC is planning to move to a new venue for its next two live fight specials on Spike TV. The UFC currently has a live fight special on Spike TV scheduled for Monday, October 3rd, followed by the live season finale of The Ultimate Fighter on November 5th.

The venue for the October 3rd show is going to be "The Joint" in Las Vegas, which is the Hard Rock Hotel's live concert facility. The facility's seating capacity for concerts is 1,400, but that figure could increase or decrease, depending on how a live MMA event would be set up. The Joint is expected to be the venue for the UFC's November 5th event as well.

In the meantime, the UFC 55 pay-per-view is scheduled to take place at the Mohegan Sun Hotel & Casino in Uncasville, Connecticut on October 7th, while the UFC 56 pay-per-view is scheduled to take place at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada on November 19th.

Following the UFC 56 pay-per-view, the UFC will run an event on Super Bowl Weekend once again, with a pay-per-view event scheduled to take place on Saturday, February 4th at a venue to be determined in Las Vegas. It's not known if there will be any UFC events beteween the event that is scheduled on November 19th, and the event that is scheduled on February 4th.

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