Archive for the ‘Money in sport’ Category

Mixed Reaction to UFC – Reebok Deal

Dana White. Image: en.wikipedia.org

Fighters have had a mixed reaction to the partnership of the UFC with Reebok. The ground breaking deal will give Reebok the exclusive rights to globally outfit its fighters for all Fight Week and Fight Nit athletes.

Until this point fighters were able to sell advertising and sponsorship space on their own clothing, plus drape a large banner over their corner in the octagon. All this, it seems, is now in the past.

Twitter was abuzz with fighters keen to give their views on the deal; with most of them either positive or at least not in outright opposition to it.

But others are understandably put out. Many athletes have formed close bonds with their sponsors. To have those bonds stripped away without consultation has struck some as callous and greedy.

“UFC knows most fighters live off of sponsors,” wrote Cody Bollinger, “and they will find a way to compensate or come close to that I’m sure.”

“Interested to see what girls will have for @Reebok apparel. Hoping we have an option to wear more than sports bra and short shorts,” Tweeted Sarah Kaufman.

“So #UFC is implementing designated walk out uniforms! Anyone in the UFC wanna send the sponsors they are losing my way J,” form David Rickels.

Unsurprisingly the most vocal opponent was lightweight fighter Nate Diaz. He used a meme generator to send a giant “F@#k You’ to the Reebok deal.

Interestingly Diaz’ received 561 likes and 553 retweets.

Reebok president Matt O’Toole said from 2015 a ‘percentage’ of Reebok/UFC sales will go to a charitable organisation with the objective of using martial arts, education and personal development to assist young people in high crime communities.

Watts Calls Gallen a Malingerer Before their Fight

commons.wikimedia.org

Anthony Watts isn’t having any of Paul Gallen’s excuses ahead of their much anticipated boxing match. Last Tuesday Shark’s captain Gallen admitted himself to hospital for an infection in his groin.

Watts doesn’t believe him. He says Gallen is creating an excuse not to fight him, or to explain the loss if he does.

“I think it’s just an excuse for when I flog him,” Watts told the media.

“There’s a big chance – huge chance (I will knock him out).

“I’ll come out pretty strong. I’m not going to give too much away, but it’s going to be a war.”

Gallen has said he is prepared to fight regardless of the infection.

“It’s not ideal,” he said, “but once I go in there, there’s no excuses.

“I’m fine, I trained yesterday and I will train today and I’ll be ready to go on Wednesday.”

Watts recently had syringes found at his home. He has a history associated with illegal drugs. Gallen is a confessed drug cheat. It’s likely someone is getting knocked out.

12- Gauge Paige Wins Debut Fight

Paige VanZant wins fight. Image: www.foxsports.com

115 pound straw weight contender Paige VanZant has shown she is more than a pretty face. On the weekend she won her first UFC event against highly rated Kailin Curran (3-0) via third round TKO. The two girls thrilled the crowd with tenacity and technique, which saw them win $50,000 Fight of the Night bonus.

Paige ’12 gauge’ VanZant was thrilled to have her arm raised by the referee, saying the win only made her hungrier for more.

VanZant originally began combat training out of boredom. She began with boxing, throwing all of her diminutive 115 pounds into ever drill and punch. Soon her coaches were telling her she had potential (in MMA) and would she consider a career?

VanZant thought they were joking.

“I was just 15 at the time, and I never imagined something like that (the win over Curran or $50,000 fight prize).”When I turned 18 theyasked if I would take a fight and I said, ‘Yeah.’ I won it and all of a sudden there was all this interest and all these opportunities. I had just one amateur fight, then my coach got a call for a pro fight for me. I thought about it and said, ‘If I’m going to fight anyway, I might as well get paid for it.’”

Piage VanZant. Image: www.sherdog.com

Piage VanZant. Image: www.sherdog.com

But it hasn’t been all plain sailing for the former cheerleader. She was turned down for The Ultimate Fighter because of her age. Then she lost to current TUF housemate Tecia Torres. This was followed by an 18-monthlong hiatus from the sport because of a serious neck injury.

But after her recent win VanZant has “realised I want to make it a career in the cage.”

Keep your eye on this fighter people.

FIFA Woes Continue

Jerome Valcke. Image: en.wikipedia.org

Secretary general of FIFA Jerome Valcke has called the current disarray of his organisation, in the wake of the ethics report into bribery and corruption, “sad.”

“It’s sad for FIFA definitely and it’s sad for our reputation and for the image. It’s sad for commercial partners, it’s sad for all the people who are supporting football.”

The secretary general assured the world that neither of the major sponsors, Sony or Emirate

s airline, were considering withdrawing their support.

“Both Sony and Emirates have nothing to do with the situation we are facing these last day,: said Valcke.

The report into corruption in the bidding process was compiled by prosecutor Michael Garcia. It has found widespread and systemic failures in the football governing body. Despite this governors within FIFA are adamant the report must not be released to the public. The reason for the secrecy was to “mainly to protect 75 persons who have made a deposition and were given confidentiality.” One of whom was Valcke himself.

Investigator and author of the report Michael Garcia has recently objected to the way ethics judge Joachim Eckert has used and interpreted his work. He has appealed to FIFA  (the defendant!) citing “numerous materially incomplete and erroneous representations” of his work.

Secretary General Valcke could only shake his head and admit it will take years for FIFA to rebuild its reputation. “I know that football is still a very strong product and I am not really concerned with FIFA’s finances for the future … We are doing a great job.”

Qatar stadium. Image: en.wikipedia.org

Qatar stadium. Image: en.wikipedia.org

Are Post Event Ice Baths a Thing of the Past?

Girl in an Ice bath image: commons.wikimedia.org

A recent study from Victoria University PhD candidate James Broatch has suggested ice baths may be no better at post sporting recovery as normal warm baths.

Both, it seems, improve circulation, which in turn aids recovery. But neither seems any more effective than the other.

In a study conducted by Broatch 30 young men were divided into three groups – an ice bath group, a warm bath group, and a placebo group who received a fake treatment with their warm bath.

The fake treatment was an off-the-shelf skin cleanser. It was added to the bath while the group were told it was a newly developed “recovery oil”. They were led to believe it was as effective for post-sporting recovery as an ice bath.

Ice bath Image: runnersfeed.com

Ice bath Image: runnersfeed.com

The ice bath and warm bath placebo group returned identical leg strength recovery when tested 48 hours after their initial cycling session.

“By deceiving them into thinking they were receiving a beneficial treatment, subjective ratings of psychological wellbeing rose, and they performed better,” said Broatch.

Much sportspeople dread dipping into the freezing water. This study will do much to alleviate their anxiety.

Dana White Praises Aussie Fighters & Vows to Get UFC Legalized in All States

Dana White. Image: en.wikipedia.org

UFC boss Dana White has praised the efforts of Australians Jake Matthews and Robert Whittaker in their recent UFC 180 fights. Both men managed to end the nights of their highly rated opponents before the final bell.

When asked about Matthews White replied, “The kid is a stud.”

In an interview with the Las Vegas Telegraph White promised to not only get the UFC legalised in every Australian State, but hinted that Matthews may be the one to help him do it. Jake Matthews won a lot of fans with his demolition of Vagner Rocha. Matthews appeared the aggressor, had a plan, and had the guts and skill to put that plan into action..

But he didn’t have things all his own way. Rocha made his younger opponent earn the victory. In the second round, however, Matthews landed a stinging Superman punch which rattled Rocha. As Rocha scrambled to recover Matthews took his back and sunk in a rear-naked choke.

“Apart from Jake,” White’s interview continued, “the other fighter who really excites me is Robert Whittaker. I look at that ked and … oh, my God! How good did he look against Hester on your Sydney card?

“He was awesome in that fight. That was a very, very tough fight for him, but his hands — incredible!

“Those two guys are the future of the sport in Australia..”

Whittaker won Fight of the Night with a stunning TKO of Clint Hester in the second round. The UFC fans at Allphones Arena erupted.

Robert Whittaker. Image: mmafrenzy.com

Robert Whittaker. Image: mmafrenzy.com

Whittaker, a TUF: The Smashes winner had to move up to middleweight for his fight against Hester. It was the timing of his punches that frustrated his more experienced opponent – mixing up his shots to confuse him.

Both Australian fighters were humbled when told of Dana White’s praise.

“To have Dana mention me by name,: said Matthews, “it’s cool.

“I’m stoked at that … For a guy like him to have faith in me makes you want to push harder.”

Whittaker’s response was equally glowing: “Dana – he’s the boss. So hearing those types of words from him is a massive respect and such a huge confidence booster.

“For him to take notice of me like that is just unreal. It gives me so much confidence and I’ll fight any man he puts in front of me.

“Hopefully he’ll continue to take notice and like what I’m doing more and more.”

Rose Namajunas Hits Out at Culture Surrounding Death of Kickboxer

Rose Namajuras. Image: www.chatsports.com

MMA pocket-sized powerhouse Rose Namajunas has used her elevated position in the TUF house to bring pressure on the dangerous gym culture at Duke Roufus’ Roufusport gym in Milwaukee.

This comes in response to the needless death of kickboxer Denis Munson Jr.

The evening of March 28 was to be Munson’s first, and last, Kickboxing fight. The 24 year-old had fought hard in the first round, but was clearly fading in the second. When the bell rang he wobbled back to his corner and slumped on the stool. His coach screamed instructions in his face and propped him up.

When the referee summoned the fighters for the third and final round Munson staggered as he marched forward.

Dennis Munson Jr. Image: www.round1network.com

Dennis Munson Jr. Image: www.round1network.com

Munson had exhibited signs of distress early in the second round. After taking a particularly vicious right to the face he crossed his feet (something drilled out of every fighter) and began taking undefended shots from his opponent. Sherry Wulkan, a highly respected ringside doctor (and medical chief of the New Jersey State Athletic Control Board, said, on viewing the video of the fight, “He doesn’t look like the same fighter. I would be on more than high alert at that point.”

The fight doctor, Carlos Feliciano, said he thought the fighter simply looked fatigued. However, video shows the doctor taking his eyes off Munson at key moments. He looked away to his cell phone or to talk to those alongside him.

The video also shows Scott Cushman, the corner man, lifting his fighter to sit up straight as he slumped on the stool. Cushman’s body language indicated he was angry to the point of disgust. The video shows him yelling at Munson, but doesn’t pick up what was said; all this while the doctor was on his cell phone.

As Munson stood for the third round he nearly fell to the mat. Cushman caught him and sent him out.

Munson’s opponent, Michael Vang (also debuting), said he knew the bout was his when Munson began dropping his hands. He said he expected the fight referee, Al Wichgers, to stop the bout, at least for a standing eight count.

Kickboxing, unlike MMA, has no rule allowing for a fighter to concede. Even if there were, a stigma exists against surrendering, making it all but impossible for Munson to end the fight.

Early in the third round Munson looked done. He reached for ring ropes that weren’t there, was unsteady on his feet, and wasn’t defending himself intelligently. Members of the crowd were yelling for the fight to be stopped.

No one did anything.

Munson struggled through the third round. In the dying moments Vang unleashed a series of devastating punches and a brutal knee to Munson’s head. Munson clinched Vang, giving himself a small reprieve from the barrage.

Referee Al Wichgers separated them and signaled the fight to continue.

The final bell sounded before they could resume.

Munson slung both arms over the ropes in his corner. Feliciano glanced at both fighters’ corner and then turned his attention to his cell phone. Wichgers stood in a third corner; while Cushman entered the ring to talk to Munson with his hand on his hip.

Then Munson fell to the mat.

Paramedics raced to aid him, but were waved off.

There was disagreement between fight officials about what to do with Munson. Eventually it was decided to take him to a local hospital instead of Milwaukee’s Level One trauma centre. Without the paramedics it longer than usual to get Munson to the car

Munson died at 00:10 on March 29. The Milwaukee County Medical Examiner put his death down to blunt force injuries to the head.

Hatton Calls Mundine’s Win Over Rabchenko a ‘Stitch Up’

Ricki Hatton. Image: commons.wikimedia.org

Boxing legend Ricki Hatton called Anthony Mundine’s recent victory over Sergey Rabchenko ‘a stitch up’. Mundine won a close points victory over the No. 2 junior-middleweight in Melbourne last week. Since then he has been boasting shamelessly. But Hatton, Rabchenko’s trainer, believes the one Swiss and two Australian judges swayed the result.

It was clear the Rabchenko outworked Mundine for much of the match. Mundine appeared to be hurt by several of Rabchenko’s blows, but managed to recover and keep battleing.

Sergey Rabchenko. Image: www.bettingpro.com

Sergey Rabchenko. Image: www.bettingpro.com

“I feel Sergey won more of the rounds and he had a knockdown 9in Round 10) that wasn’t scored as well. Sergey shook Mundine to his boots and in no way did he throw Anthony to the canvas. He (Mundine) hit the floor due to the punches that were landed.

“There were also several times when Sergey landed perfectly good punches only for Mundine to turn his back and complain to the referee that they were behind the head, when they weren’t.

“those things influenced the judges because they mean that legal shots weren’t scored.

“I love Australia and I can’t wait to go back, but two Melbourne judges and the referee didn’t help our case. I’m complaining because I feel well and truly stitched up.”

Dubious winner Anthony Mundine. Image: en.wikipedia.org

Dubious winner Anthony Mundine. Image: en.wikipedia.org