It's T.J. The sudden fall of Dillashaw from great heights the most acute collapse that we have seen in the MMA? Is the UFC's new pay-per-view agreement with ESPN good for anyone other than the two parties who agreed to do so? And what will happen to Daniel Cormier, now that his 40th birthday has come and gone?
That and other urgent questions in the Twitter Mailbag this week. To ask your question, tweet a @BenFowlkesMMA.
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It depends on how we want to define "worst". There may be some people who left the cage on a direct stretcher for surgery (your boy Anderson Silva does not seem to have enjoyed it here) that would not agree with your metric.
But yes, losing the fight for a belt just for having to give up your other belt due to subsequent "negative results" on a drug test, which is a pretty steep fall for T.J. Dillashaw. He started that night thinking he would soon join the double champion club. Now he doesn't have a belt to his name, and instead he's looking at a potential long suspension.
Can you imagine if he won, though? What if he beat Henry Cejudo and killed the flyweight division the way he said he would? So this retroactive surprise would really leave us a mess. So I guess it could always be worse. Well, I mean for us. For Dillashaw, yes, this might seem the worst possible.
The confusion abounds in the wake of this announcement of the pay-per-view change, so at least you have company. First, a couple of quick things, so hopefully people will stop asking me the same questions on Twitter:
- If you watch UFC pay-per-view in bars or restaurants, nothing has changed. Event purchases for businesses will continue to work as usual.
- If you live outside the United States, yes, you can simply go ahead and ignore this news.
- If you live in the United States and want to buy a UFC pay-per-view at home, you will need an ESPN + subscription.
It is the last that people really stumble. It seems that the UFC and ESPN knew it could be so, because the press release on this agreement made no mention of it. It was just a follow-up email to a UFC representative who clarified it to me.
Perhaps it is more a psychological barrier than a financial one. Are you saying that I have to give you money simply to earn the privilege of giving you more money?
Furthermore, many of us already have a lot of subscription services and recurring credit card costs in our lives. Asking us to add another – especially when, hey, maybe we just wanted to order this event – invites us to consider how badly we want to see this stuff.
As for your question, the price of pay-per-view (at the moment) is destined to lose around five dollars. So, if you keep your existing ESPN + subscription, you can tell yourself that everything works at the same amount of money – assuming you're the kind of hardcore that buys a pay-per-view each month.
What this agreement really represents, however, is a new entry barrier for US fans. The UFC likes it because it's guaranteed money from ESPN in advance. And ESPN likes it because, hey, now you have to do business with this streaming service if you want to see the fights.
But for new fans? It only adds steps to the purchasing process. You need to sign up for a subscription service, then buy the thing you really wanted, then identify which app on the TV to route the flow, then hope that the flow arrives clear and clean even in the nights of big fights when demand is high and your neighbors are watching Netflix. Each additional step offers another chance to say to forget it and do something else.
It is difficult to grow fans when most of the content is behind a paywall (or a series of them). It looks like the UFC has decided not to worry about this risk until the guaranteed money continues to flow.
C & # 39; is an interesting point. Cejudo's victory over the bantamweight champion, combined with the champion's subsequent foray into the pit of adverse results, a sort of combine to make Cejudo feel like the crownless 135-pound champion. What is more, the bantamweight has a lot of interesting contenders – Marlon Moraes first of all – who deserve the chance to fight for the belt.
If you match Cejudo with Moraes for that vacant title, I won't complain a little. But without Cejudo present in the division of flying weights, yes, it will probably dry and blow in the wind. So maybe Dillashaw killed the division after all. Just not the way he planned.
First of all, can we stop and watch this photo of Daniel Cormier celebrating his 40th birthday at home with his family? More specifically, can we enlarge the cake? Did they … They put gummy worms on that cake? Perhaps at your request? Because if that were the case, man, this could be the most disturbing thing I've ever learned about Cormier, which I think reminds me of how much his career was largely free of scandals.
But I digress, and now I will answer your questions in order:
1. No, I don't see him retiring without a last payday. It's too tempting. Unless his wounds are so severe and it takes him so long to heal (always possible for ours, I mean his age) that physically cannot hit while the iron is hot, he will enter at least one other time.
2. I think he will take Brock Lesnar if he can get it. But if he can't, for one reason or another, I wouldn't be surprised to see him speak in a third fight by Jon Jones.
3. Whoever fights at this point will be the money that will do it. He has already obtained the title (s). He has already consolidated his position in the sport. If it passes beyond its self-set expiration date, it will not be so that you can fight Curtis Blaydes in front of 250,000 paying spectators.
Just to be clear, that was Conor McGregor's request in exchange for being hit at the co-main event. Here is the quote:
"If the UFC wants me to slip into the co-main event and help … what it is, I slipping into the co-main event, is increasing their brand on the combative rhetoric they have "said McGregor. "There is no problem with this. But if they want me to push it – and I have no problem pushing it – give me my legitimate participation in the UFC company. That's all I ask. You can put me on the first ESPN + fight, no problem. So let's see how it goes. "
In other words, if the UFC wants McGregor to be a team player, he wants to make sure it really is part of the team.
As for whether it's right or not, I'm not sure the word applies here too. The UFC management wants McGregor to do something, and is telling them what it will take to get him to do it. If they decide that the trade-off is not worth it, well. He can sit and wait for a better offer, and the UFC can try to figure out how to sell millions of pay-per-view purchases in a night without him.
Ben Fowlkes is MMA Junkie and the MMA editorialist of USA TODAY. Follow him on Twitter a @BenFowlkesMMA. Twitter Mailbag appears every Thursday on MMA Junkie.