Hello again, kids. Uncle Victor again with another round of mailbag questions to address all of… everything? Sure, let’s go with that. I’ll answer whatever you’ve got. This week, we address what Vince McMahon’s ouster means for the UFC, media paying for interviews and what you could probably be watching instead of MMA.
You should know the drill by now. Submit any and all questions over at [email protected]. does it have to be about fighting? Not necessarily. I’ll grumpily sift through and see what you’ve got in store, answering whatever you throw at me. Are you a Substack member? Cool! Include your handle and you get priority. Are you not a Substack member? Cool! I’ll answer your answer anyway. Uncle Victor cares, Uncle Victor delivers.
Now let’s start cooking. Let’s set the tone with some suggested musical accompaniment.
Vince McMahon ouster shaking up the hierarchy?
Nope. Absolutely not. Not one iota. First, let’s take a look at the overall TKO hierarchy. Vince McMahon was previously above Dana White in the grand scheme of things. You have to remember that while it’s all one big consolidated thing, they’re still making independent moves at the end of the day. McMahon was an out-of-touch dinosaur, but he was good at keeping costs relatively low. Same for Dana.
Yet none of that really affects the UFC in any way, at least not for now. This is being treated as a very specific WWE and Vince McMahon problem, as it should be. They’re the company where these heinous acts allegedly happened, and there’s no overlap whatsoever with the UFC. Not to mention all of this happened prior to the TKO merger.
What’s interesting about this is whether or not this will bring any further scrutiny from TKO into the UFC to ensure executives there aren’t misbehaving. Not sure what level of digging they’d need to do, and it’s not like they have a reputation for the same level of (or track record for) unhinged depravity that McMahon has. They’ve engaged in unethical, petty and vindictive business practices, sure. But that just benefits the bottom line. It won’t be a factor here. It doesn’t seem likely that Zuffa has a Vince McMahon in their midst.
The UFC has its own share of messes internally, but the inner structure from Dana White on down shouldn’t be affected other than maybe some by-the-numbers obligatory sexual harassment training or something for a few mid-to-low employees in the office. That’s about it. At least for now.
Pay to play?
Evan asks: Where does asking the media to pay them to answer questions at a post-fight presser rank among the dumbest things a fighter can do?
So to recap: Charles Radtke had a phenomenal finish during a Fight Night event that didn’t have much in the way of pizzazz or star power. It’s the kind of highlight reel finish that gets you on the radar of the fans and helps you break free from the pack to be a standout in your division. So how does he capitalize on this? By showing up to the post-fight presser and refusing to answer questions unless he got paid more.
Alright, fighters have done many extraordinarily dumb things over time. It’s hard to rank a definitive top 10 or anything like that. But this one would theoretically be firmly near the top in a very specific category of dumb, the kind where the fighter doesn’t quite understand where they are or what the move is.
However… this whole situation appears to have been totally misread. Here’s how it was initially shared across social media.
Now, this was interpreted as him not answering any questions whatsoever. The full video refutes this, though. He was answering questions and had a great attitude despite apparently retracting his apology for his homophobic language after his last win in Australia against Blood Diamond. Seems like that should probably be the bigger focus here, but fine. He demanded his $50K bonus, and he was absolutely right about deserving it. He said he was broke, and he wanted the money. Pay the man better overall.
Don’t believe me? Here’s the full clip:
The guy answered like ten questions with enthusiasm. The misunderstanding here was that after the last question he said media needs to start paying him for the interviews he does because he wants and needs money. Then he gingerly left the spot and probably got that pizza he was jonesing for. This was interpreted as him refusing to answer any press conference questions. Except the media present appears to have been done already with their questions anyway.
If he had sat there and refused to answer any questions whatsoever, it would be a different story. Venum already pays him for post-fight (and pre-fight) media commitments. If he wants more money from them, he’s gotta take that up with his bosses. But that’s not his complaint.
Furthermore, it doesn’t seem like that strong a condemnation of media given full context. He doesn’t seem mad, although he’s dead serious. The economics of MMA media don’t really allow for that sort of thing, unfortunately. Sites like these scrape by and there’s very little media members actually making a comfortable living off this.
He’ll maaaaaaaaaaaaaybe get a few paid interviews, but they’ll be few and far between. Expect him to change his tune on this one real quick.
So, uh… watching anything else?
Tim asks: Karate Combat and Club Sumo seem like neat alternatives to the same old UFC Apex cards. Are there any other alternatives on your radar?
Anyone that’s been here long enough knows I have, uh… varied interests. It’s hard to find alternatives to MMA when you love it so much. It’s like nothing else really scratches that specific itch. I love MMA, but I grow weary of bad MMA. And truth is, there’s more of it than every no matter where you look.
Not all is lost, though. You bring up some fun stuff that can be supplemental to MMA fans looking for something else to watch. For example, I despise hockey fights. That’s very well known. But if you want to watch the fights without the actual hockey, that’s a happy medium I’m more than willing to meet you at. That’s why we have things like Ice Wars, where they fight on ice with skates and in hockey gear. Still not quite my cup of tea, personally. But there’s something goofy and violent enough here.
Then there’s International Sumo League. I don’t know what kind of traction this can get, but it seems intriguing as well. I’m down to see something less formal but just as intense. I dig it.
But I’m also more into more conventional stuff. Sometimes I’ll watch some old PKA-style vids of Karate guys with long pants. Or any live streams for Muay Thai. Or random Lethwei bouts. if you’ve been keeping up with the WTF series (which you should), you’ve noticed I’ve struck gold watching Rajadamnern events.
Or maybe some good old-fashioned Shootboxing is more your speed.
It’s all good fun, while somewhat MMA-adjacent. Your mileage may vary, but there’s a good amount of fun here.
Is that other song over? Here’s another one.
Get that man a Pedialite
Elodie asks: Why were we as a society okay w Conor McGregor looking dead on the scales?
Yeah, Conor McGregor weigh-ins got rough to watch over time. I guess his body struggled more and more with the cuts. But the UFC star moved up to lightweight and ended up looking less and less emaciated.
The interesting part of this question is why there wasn’t more hay made out of how bad he looked on the scales in the last few featherweight bouts. I’d imagine it has more to do with more disastrous weight cuts being something we’re kind of used to seeing by now. By comparison McGregor’s weigh-ins looked bad, but compare that to Aspen Ladd looking like she needed hospitalization. Or how Jose Aldo looked for some of his weigh-ins.
Contrasting those with McGregor plus the eventual move up to lightweight and then welterweight made things far less disturbing to see.
Throw a dart at the map
Chris asks: Chris: If you could pick a city for the UFC to debut in this year, which would it be?
Huh. Let’s ignore the UFC’s whole “pay us a bunch of money” approach. A cool city to set up shop would probably be Lagos, Nigeria. Get a bunch of African fighters on the card to make UFC’s maiden voyage on the continent, and you have something monumental on your hands. Especially in one of the busiest and largest cities in all of Africa. It’ll give the locals a chance to show off their new train service, too.
Can’t really think of any other place, although Caracas would be hilarious.
That’s it for this week, kids. Remember to hit the mailbag address above. Get some good sleep and see you next week.
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