Posts Tagged ‘UFC 151’

Fear The Fighter – Early Success A Surprise

Written by MMARecap Staff on . Posted in Brands

Fear the Fighter Logo

Fear the Fighter Logo

This time last year, Fear the Fighter was only a concept for David Makdessi.  The idea came about in 2007, but it wasn’t until June of 2012 that Makdessi put the idea to paper and formed the company.  Unlike many other apparel companies in the mixed martial arts market, the reasoning behind it wasn’t the stereotypical let’s get in this and we will be millionaires.  Instead it was watching his brother John Makdessi struggle through out his career trying to earn a stable income that was his motivation.

After five years of thinking of designs and figuring out the business plan the question is, what was it that lead Makdessi to pull the trigger.  As he tells it, it was just he woke up and decided to do it.

It was just like, just one day I’m like I gotta do this. Everybody tells me I’m a risk-taker, so basically I just saw something in a brand and I wanted to bring something different. And I said, “Listen, I think it would work.” I was really confident about it. I had designs already thought about, I had thought about lines and all that stuff. So that’s how I did it. I just took it on. I wasn’t expecting– I never expected to be this big this fast. I didn’t know it would grow that fast. That’s great. I always say timing, I guess, is good, because it just proved to me that I was right. Everybody was getting fed up with everything that was out there right now.”

And over the course of the five years, the name Fear the Fighter, was the only option for him.  It has many different interpretations and Makdessi is quick to capitalize on them.

I had that name. I didn’t think about anything. I saw how we’re all fighters inside of us and that you have to fear the fighter. Basically once someone puts something in his head, you just got to fear him and be careful, because we’ll overcome our battles, you know?”

So far there have been two high points for Fear The Fighter.  The first came about from the cancellation of an event.  Stemming from seeing his brother’s trials, it was a no brainer for Makdessi to ensure that the fighters he was paying on the card, still got paid.  He didn’t think it was going to become a major pr story, but the positiveness of what he did made it take off.

The funny thing is there was no motivation. It just was a decision that we found that was fair. And at that point I was very surprised… Honestly i didn’t think about anything like some people say, “They’re doing it for media coverage,” but at that point we didn’t even think about that. It wasn’t even a thought because who would have thought something like that would make media for a reason? It’s just a simple thing, you know? You’re backing up your team.”

That team mentality of wanting everyone to succeed was evident at UFC on Fuel TV 5.  And by doing something non-traditional such as sponsoring both main event fighters as well as nearly 80% of the card was something different.

Basically it was a decision of just sponsoring all – I probably had 80% of the guys there. Especially we had the main event was Struve against Miocic.  I sponsored both of them. I don’t think that ever happened yet. I think I took that as marketing something different, and to me it was successful. I really think that marketing strategy succeeded. It was something good, and obviously our goal was to make people aware of it, and they were.”

And it was successful.  Shortly after that card doors were opened in several countries leading to a massive market presence; something that no one had seen in the industry before.

“In a matter of 3 months we opened the doors to distribution in Australia, the UK, Russia, Germany… I work with guys behind the scenes that have been in the industry for over twenty years, and they never seen that happen, ever. There’s a lot of things that FTF is going through right now that even these guys have been in the industry 15-20 years say that this has never been done. The numbers that we’re doing with distribution and sales and all that have never been heard of.”

While the success has been much larger than Makdessi had imagined this early, he has had struggles; primarily with one group of people: managers.  A quick search of bad mma management leads to several horror stories and editorials questioning the need for a fighter to have a manager.  Makdessi doesn’t question the need, but he does question the motivation behind some of the bad management companies.

First, you have to find people to work with. Especially in MMA you gotta be very careful because there’s a lot of managers out there that are really out for their pockets, and they not only ruin the name of the fighter, they can also ruin the reputation of the brand. I’ve learned fast that managers in the MMA industry are really bad. And it’s so sad because anyone can become a manager, and that’s what’s really scary because no one is looking over what the managers are doing. I can see it first hand right now that managers keep on  screwing deals up and just get more and more greedy, and unfortunately some fighters are not educated well enough to realize that the managers are fucking up for the fighters. So it’s really sad.  There are good managers and smart fighters, but the bad ones are ruining careers.”

As to why Fear the Fighter has been so successful?  It’s his team.  “First make sure you have a good bankroll.  It’s a very big factor.  You got to make sure you have a solid, good team behind you.  At the end of the day if I didn’t have a good team behind me, we wouldn’t be here.  I think that is what makes us successful as a brand.”

Jeff Hougland – I Want Submission Of The Night

Written by MMARecap Staff on . Posted in Interviews

Jeff Hougland - via UFC.com

Jeff Hougland – via UFC.com

Jeff Hougland has been training to fight Takeya Mizugaki for a while. Originally scheduled to fight at UFC 151, after the cancelation the fight was pushed back to UFC on FuelTV 6 and will be part of the Facebook preliminary fights. MMARecap caught up with Hougland to talk about the fight, going to China and more.

How’s it going today?
Going great, just woke up.

That’s right you are out on the West Coast so it’s what like 11am out there?
I’ve been up for a little bit. I had to eat. I like to eat before I go to the gym. I like to sleep in. That’s one of the benefits of being a fighter right?

Yes you get to set your own schedule. I’m a dad and my kids wake up early. I don’t get that luxury. If they sleep past seven, that’s awesome. Let’s talk about this fight, you are taking on Takeya Mizugaki in about three weeks. Are you excited yet?
Oh yeah. I’m ready for this fight to be done. I feel like I have been training for this guy for like half a year which I basically have. We were supposed to fight at UFC 151 and then that got cancelled and the fight got pushed back. I just feel like man I spent a lot of time getting ready for him. I just want to fight him and move on. I am looking forward to the fight. It’s always exciting to fight in the UFC. I’d be lying if I said that I’m stoked to go to China. I’m not big on traveling. I would have preferred to fight in Las Vegas where it is a two hour flight and I can be back in my man cave. I probably would never see China any other way unless someone was paying for it. So I guess that will be cool. It’s cool to be part of history.

Do you plan to do any sightseeing when you are out there?
That’s the thing, everyone is like man you get to go to China. But they don’t realize for me it isn’t a fun trip. I go there and I see the airport, the inside of a hotel, the inside of a sauna and then the inside of a cage. Those things are the same. I plan to try and see a few things here and there. But it is kind of hard to relax and enjoy yourself if you know that at the end of the trip some guy is going to try and kill you.

Do you anticipate there being anything different about fight week compared to a fight here stateside?
Yeah for the most part. Las Vegas, everything is all in one spot. I just like knowing where everything is and routine.

Let’s talk about the delay of this fight as it was originally scheduled for UFC 151 and you have been training for him for a while. When the fight got cancelled and then rescheduled, did it change anything with your training camp or was it just a continuation of the previous camp?
When I got the news that it was cancelled I relaxed for about two weeks. I still trained and everything. I didn’t fight train. I didn’t do a ton of hard sparing. I own my own gym so I am always in the gym. I have no choice I am in here. I just kind of eased back for two weeks, then started going hard again. My main thing was that for me to go through a training camp and not get hurt, I look at that like a blessing. It’s hard not to get hurt. It’s hard for all the stars to align; for the weight cut to be great; no injuries; the drills coming together. I was really ready to go. It was a mental set back and physical set back, but I am a professional fighter. I would fight on Mars. I will train and do it.

Let’s talk about Mizugaki, he’s a bit of a streaky fighter, but always seems to bring a good fight. What are you expecting out of him?
I am expecting him to be tough. Obviously he is well rounded. I expect him to come out after me pretty hard. On paper, compared to the other guys he has face, I don’t have as much clout. He’s fought Jorgensen and Faber and Torres and all these other big name guys in the bantamweight division. I expect him to come out and try and finish me off, and that’s kind of one of the reasons I wanted to fight him is he never has a bad fight. Win or lose he always brings it. I want an exciting fight. I am trying to get one of those bonuses really bad. If we can go out there and have a great fight. I feel like I catch guys when they come after me. When a guy kind of stalls on you there isn’t as much opportunity for a great fight or to catch submissions or a knockout. I am looking forward to throwing down with him for sure.

Safe to say the bonus you are looking for is submission of the night and handing him his second submission loss of his career?
That’d be the number one. Fight of the night would be second. I want submission of the night cause then I would win and get the bonus.

Now this is your third fight on your UFC contract, and you are 1-1 so far, is there any extra pressure on you to perform well in this fight?
I’d be lying if I said there wasn’t. I feel like that it. It’s the fight where they decide what they are going to do with me. I would like to fight in the UFC as long as I can. It’s a good payday and good exposure. On the other hand if I go out and I lose, my life won’t change that much. It isn’t like I am going to be panhandling in the streets. I have my own gym, I got my own fighters I manage. I have a lot of things going on on the side. I am not going to be hungry, my family will be ok. I put that pressure on myself because I want to perform. I want to do well and have a great fight. I train hard for this fight.

Do all your friends and family know they need to wake up extra early to watch your fight live?
That’d be cool if they did. I don’t think I would get up that early to watch someone fight. It kind of sucks because 151 we were on FX and that’s a lot more people. Now I am on facebook at four in the morning. They might as well release my fight straight to VHS. Nobody is going to watch that.

Where can the fans find you at?
I am on twitter at @jeffhougland and on facebook as well.

Any sponsors or people you want to thank?
Venum, Lexani, Headrush, Iridium Sports Agency, Waterson Excavating, Liberty Events and Promotions, CTRL Industries, Alias Society, Fokai and thanks to you for giving me a voice.

RecapRadio: Morning Commute 9-17-2012

Written by MMARecap Staff on . Posted in RecapRadio

Georges St-Pierre - via UFC.com

Georges St-Pierre – via UFC.com

Welcome to a new feature on MMARecap, “Morning Commute”. Every Monday through Friday, we will put out a short podcast detailing the top stories of the previous day. These should be no longer than 10 minutes each morning and are a quick way to catch up on the news that you might have missed. Today’s edition includes stories on UFC expansion, Chris Leben, GSP, Marloes Coenen and more. Download it or listen to it in your browser.

Independent Link Club August 28 Edition

Written by MMARecap Staff on . Posted in News

This week’s Independent Link Club features some great stories. Neil Grove returns to fighting, thoughts on Jon Jones, a preview of One FC and more.

Neil “Goliath” Grove makes U.K. return at UCMMA 31 in December [The MMA Review]

Jon Jones: Turning His Back on the MMA World [The MMA Corner]

Jacare should get the Next shot at Luke Rockhold [MMA Valor]

‘Jacare’ talks KO win over Derek Brunson and future with Strikeforce [Pro MMa Now]

This is why you should watch One FC: Pride of a nation [The Fight Nation]

Charlie Brenneman laments UFC 151 cancellation, says Jones should have taken the fight [The fight Nerd]

Jon Jones - via UFC.com

UFC’s Champs And Title Contenders Should Be Ready Any Time

Written by MMARecap Staff on . Posted in Editorials

Jon Jones - via UFC.com

Jon Jones – via UFC.com

This past week was a historic week in the mixed martial arts world as Dana White announced that an entire fight card, UFC 151, was canceled just eight days out. The reasoning was that Dan Henderson was forced out due to injury and the light heavyweight champion Jon Jones declined a fight with Chael Sonnen on the short notice.

Before we dive into the why challengers and champs should be ready at any time, let’s first take a look at the other side of the argument. Fighters train hard for their opponent and when an injury changes that opponent, details tend to change as well. Even if fighter A was supposed to fight a wrestler and the replacement is another wrestler, there are still differences. Spending nearly three months preparing for a single fighter, only to have that change, could be difficult. This isn’t just a physical thing, but also a mental thing as well. We have seen it before where a late notice fighter upsets the other fighter, and most of the time it is because of a mental lapse.

Now regardless of the reasons behind canceling an entire event, the one thing that was hammered over and over was that fighters should be willing to fight any time against any other fighter. After all it is their job right?

The time-line of events is something along the lines of the follow (please note this may or may not be 100% accurate and should not be considered as such):

  • Dan Henderson gets injured and let’s Dana White and the UFC know about it
  • UFC informs Jones about the injury and a replacement fight is being looked at
  • UFC asks Machida and Shogun to step in on short notice, both decline
  • Chael Sonnen is asked and immediately accepts
  • Jones is given the fight and declines to fight Sonnen
  • Machida initially agreed to fight Jones on a month’s notice and it was announced Jones vs Machida would headline the next card (UFC 152)
  • Machida then declines the fight as it only gives him a month to prepare instead of six weeks
  • Vitor Belfort jumps up in weight and accepts a fight with Jon Jones on a month’s notice

The biggest problem I have with this is how many people declined to fight. Let me restate that, the biggest problem wasn’t that the UFC canceled an event, but that SEVERAL fighters declined fights for one reason or another.

For all the talk about how mma isn’t main stream yet, this is the single biggest reason why in my opinion. Here’s a better way to look at this. Imagine if during Super Bowl XLVI between the Giants and the Patriots if Tom Brady got injured. Now imagine if the Giants declined to continue to play because Brady was out of the game and the number two quarterback was in. Can you see that happening? Now imagine it was even crazier and the backup quarterback went out with an injury on his first play; unlikely, but plausible. Now with the only two quarterbacks that were allowed to play that day, the Patriots resort to their kicker who happened to play quarterback a semester in college before choosing to be a kicker. With all of that happening, the Giants would still play the Patriots and that is essentially what happened with Jones and Sonnen (no offense to Sonnen).

Jones, the champ, declined to fight a fighter who was coming off a loss, and was moving up in weight all because it was only on three days notice. While that’s an injustice, the fact still remains that Machida and Shogun also both turned the fight down.

Why? Because they wanted to be the best that they could be against Jones. While Shogun is understandable, Machida, shouldn’t have this excuse. After both of them came off their UFC on Fox 4 victories, it was Machida who was told he would be fighting Jones next. Machida should have been in the gym training and preparing almost immediately. Title shots in the light heavyweight division don’t seem to come when planned, and getting another one might take more than a year (just ask Rashad Evans).

While it is completely disappointing that the entire card got cancelled, and yes it was ultimate a decision by the UFC to cancel it, the fact of the matter remains that none of the fighters should have not been ready to fight.