Opinion: The era of 'champ champ' status is a distraction for UFC's looming issues

by Chris Madaffer

The UFC in 2019 is branding itself as being in a new era. An era where current title-holders forgo waiting contenders to instead to shed their skin or fatten themselves at an opportunity to be called ‘champ champ.’

Last weekend in Brooklyn, current bantamweight champion T.J. Dillashaw attempted to become the fourth ever champion to simultaneously hold a belt in two different weight classes. Though his confidence and preparation led him to successfully make championship weight, his game plan hit a wall as Henry Cejudo finished Dillashaw via strikes, thirty-two seconds into the first round to retain his flyweight belt.

So one might be thinking, what’s the hype about champions vying to be seen as a belt collector? We’ve witnessed Conor McGregor, Daniel Cormier, and Amanda Nunes become the only simultaneous champions the organization has seen. Regardless if it were for money, glory or whatever reason these fighters had, the one thing the double champs had in common was winning a belt after going up a weight class.

Is this to say Dillashaw’s failure to meet expectations is because of the weight cut affecting his body, possibly? However, I believe it’s a combination of swimming in unfamiliar waters in that fans and critics expected a performance from Dillashaw based on his past accolades. Ultimately, we were met with a talented fighter whose unfamiliarity and untested form at a new weight class, led to a disappointing showing.

While Dillashaw’s loss won’t discredit an incredible performance from Cejudo, it does form questions surrounding concern for extreme weight-cutting as well as creating a sense of doubt for any current champions to make a run at an additional belt. Before the flyweight bout between Cejudo and Dillashaw even heard the starting horn ring, Dillashaw had his sights set on making a challenge to featherweight champion Max Holloway.

Hearing ideas such as Dillashaw dreaming of becoming a triple champ devalues the initial prestige of being a “double champ,” because it puts weight classes on hold in both directions. While Dillashaw has been an active champion at his weight class, the only challengers or champions at bantamweight in the past  three years have been T.J. Dillashaw, Cody Garbrandt, Dominick Cruz and Urijah Faber.

Dana White loves promoting the idea of a ‘super fight’ and the possibility of Dillashaw avenging his loss to Cejudo at bantamweight is counterintuitive. It’s an exciting rematch because we know what to expect from Dillashaw at his weight class however, the fight denies new contenders like Raphael Assuncao and Marlon Moraes an opportunity to fight for the title.

With the flyweight division hanging in the balance of White’s short tempered expectations of what can be a brand, other weight classes such as the women’s featherweight division have essentially been comprised of a small number of fighters who are unwilling to commit to staying at the weight and a new champion in Amanda Nunes who already plans on vacating her featherweight belt because she can’t fit into her favorite pair of jeans anymore.

The UFC already has a circus looming with the Nevada State Athletic Commission suspending and fining company darlings Khabib Nurmagomedov and Conor McGregor for their roles in a postfight brawl at UFC 229.

Regardless of what punishment will be handed to each fighter, this drama as well the controversy surrounding Jon Jones’s positive test results for a steroid metabolite, is a speed bump for the UFC in the first month of the year.

Super fights aren’t good for the sport right now but, they’re what’s keeping a loose band-aid from peeling off a wound White is tired of patching up.

2017 Big List of MMA Podcasts

I posted this on the MMACommunity forums, but I wanted to post it here as well. This is a list of all of the MMA Podcasts that we are currently Subscribed to. If you have trouble finding any of these shows or have suggestions of mma podcasts we're missing out on feel free to comment or send us an email to sovpod@gmail.com.


  • 8192 The Truth (Joel Suprenant's terrible self help podcast)
  • Anik & Florian podcast (Hit or miss and their move to Fox Sports will be the death of them)
  • American Animals (RIP)
  • Anything Goes with Forrest Griffin & TJ Lavin (Pretty much what you’d imagine)
  • Aussie Fancy Breakdown (Laura Sanko & Megan Anderson breakdown upcoming mma cards)
  • BBC MMA Show (New show hosted by Dan Hardy & OJ Borg)
  • Believe You Me (Bisping's podcast. Legit except for Luis being a filthy casual)
  • Between Rounds (TJ De Santis’ new patreon with a ton of great shows like Behind the Paywall with Sherwood, Collapsed MMA with Breen, lister question shows, etc)
  • Big Brown Breakdown (Decent depending on the guest)
  • Bookie Beatdown (Focused on betting lines and picks)
  • Bushido Talk (John Hackleman recently left the show so it’s just Naya & Tommy Toe Hold now)
  • Care/Dont Care (Eugene S Robinson and Kid Nate or John Nash give their picks for upcoming cards)
  • Carson’s Corner (One of the longest running shows in the sport)
  • Church of What’s Happening Now (Joey Diaz cocksuckas. Decent number of fighter & BJJ guests)
  • Co Main Event (Chad Dundas. Ben Folkes. The GOAT show)
  • Collapsed MMA (TJ De Santis & Jordan Breen walk through old mma cards like TUF 1 Finale, WEC Halloween Fury 4, UFC 39 etc)
  • Donald Cowboy Cerrone & The BMF Ranch (RIP)
  • Fight Society (Damon Martin's podcast. Rebooted since he left Fox)
  • Fights Gone By (Jack Slack's podcast with a lot of technique talk)
  • Five Rounds with Brett Okamoto (The MMA Hour of ESPN. If you like Conor talk you’ll dig it)
  • Fury’s Fight Picks (Luca is a bit divisive, but he occasionally has decent takes on matchups
  • Glory Kickboxing Podcast (Todd Grisham and Joeseph Valtilini talking Glory fights)
  • Halfcast Podcast (Hosted by Tyson Pedro & Tai Tuivasa and it’s fucking hilarious)
  • Heavy Hands (Pat Wyman and Connor Ruebusch with a lot of technique talk. Our podcast of the year)
  • If I Did It (Eugene S Robinson, Kid Nate, & Alexei Auld solve PR kerfuffles of the mma world)
  • Invicta FC All Access (Moved to Patreon full interviews with every fighter on a card)
  • Jordan Breen Show (RIP used to be on Sherdog Radio Network)
  • Joe Rogan Experience/Fight Companion (Solid depending on the guest/card)
  • JRE MMA Show (Far better than JRE when it comes to mma Joe tries to stay on topic more)
  • Knuckle Up (Eugene S Robinson’s show for the hardcores only. Leaving BE and moving to Patreon)
  • Luke Thomas' podcasts (Monday Morning Analyst and his Live Chats are solid)
  • Miesha Tate Show (RIP moved to Sirius and this show ended)
  • MMA Beat (Great roundtable show with recognizable journalists Ariel, Luke, Chuck, etc)
  • MMA Curmudgeons (Jonathan Snowden's show with Ryan Loco)
  • MMA Depressed Us (Connor Ruebusch, Zane Simon, and EvilGregJackson from twitter on week's w/o -UFC cards watch old bad fights. Super funny and entertaining)
  • MMA Heat (Karyn Bryant & Alan Jouban recap cards and talk mma news)
  • MMA Hour (Ariel's show is the definition of hit or miss depending on the guest)
  • MMA Junkie (Decent depending on the guest but they can get wayyyyy off topic and sometimes have super questionable guests)
  • MMA On the Rocks (Solid show about mma and booze. Really digging it as of late)
  • MMA Report (John Pollock interviews)
  • MMA Road Show (Damon Martin's podcast some of the best fight weekend coverage at events)
  • MMA Roasted (Listen to uncle Henatch Porra)
  • MMA Tycoon Podcast (Show about the mmatycoon.com game and some fight talk)
  • MMA Vivisection (Zane Simon and Connor Ruebusch give picks. Some of the best tape study game in the mma podcast industry)
  • Morning Wood Show w/ Deez Nuts (Din Thomas and Tyron Woodley's show. Super underrated wish it was more frequent though)
  • No Shame (Paddy Holohan’s newer podcast with a lot of Irish guests)
  • Obviously Fight Talk (Irish podcast hosted by Ryan Pallin & Oneal. Solid guests including regular segments from mma ref Daniel Movahedi)
  • One Punch Podcast (Brad Pickett’s podcast with Brian Lacey. Fun and extremely British)
  • P4P Podcast (Sam Alvey's podcast with one of his buddies. Better than you'd expect but wish it was more frequent)
  • Phonebooth Fighting (Frank Mir and Richard Hunter. Sometimes its 3 hours of political talk sometimes it's Cowboy and Frank talking about how they would treat brothel workers)
  • Press Row (RIP Jordan Breen’s old Sherdog show where he spoke with other journalists
  • Punch Drunk Sports (Bunch of Rogan's comedian buddies in LA like Ari, Tripoli, and Teeb. Fucking hilarious, but chaotic and vulgar as fuck)
  • Ringside Report Radio (Canadian dudes being canadian dudes while recapping and giving picks for cards)
  • Real Quick with Mike Swick (Swicks new podcast which is fucking fantastic. Also gets great guests)
  • Robin Black's podcasts (Exactly what you'd imagine)
  • Rutten & Ranallo (RIP)
  • Lineup MMA/Sean Funky and the Baddest Man (Hosted by Sean Wheelock, Ben Askren, and Joe Warren. RIP)
  • Severe MMA (Sean and his buddies being super irish and entertaining. Lot of fight talk)
  • Sherdog Radio (RIP. TJ De Santis is still one of the best podcast producers in the game hands down)
  • Show the Art (Mainly a bjj focused podcast with some mma talk here and there)
  • Slaphead and the Giraffe (Solid podcast that puts out a ton of content and gets fun guests)
  • Story Time w/ Uncle Creepy (Ian McCall’s old podcast. Not a ton of fight talk more friend guests)
  • Stud Radio (Ever wanted to hear Buckholtz and other TAM guys yell over eachother?)
  • Submission Radio (Severely underrated considering the amount and quality of content they put out)
  • Talk & Talker (DC has a podcast and it’s fucking great. I recommend Ep. 11 the hot wings one)
  • T Row & Funky Show (Ben Askren's podcast all about wrestling)
  • TFATK (Only if the guest is decent and even then it'll probably be rough to get through)
  • The Hammer MMA (Canadian mma radio show. Fun mainly card previews)
  • The Outsiders (Jeff Sherwood and Josh Gross's patreon only podcast. Lot of fun if you like either of them ton of old mma stories about Pride, Strikeforce, Tachi etc)
  • The Proving Ground with Tank Abbott (RIP...the show not the person)
  • The Sound of Violence Podcast (The podcast I host with Chris Madaffer where we discuss the mma podcasts you should catch, skip, and can’t miss each week)
  • The Truth About Stuff (Mike Jackson's podcast with Mike Jackson and Richard Burmaster)
  • Three Amigos Podcast (Crooklyn and Mookie are entertaining and Iain does more homework than just about anyone)
  • UFC Unfiltered (Matt Serra and Jim Norton being silly gooses. Super hit or miss depending on the guest)
  • You're Welcome with Chael Sonnen (Bring back Joel!)
  • Your Favorite Fight (David Golden gets local fighters from the Northwest on to talk about their favorite fights. Really underrated)
  • Yves N Stephen (Yves Edwards podcast with his stuntman friend, but they havent put out a show in a while)
  • Warman Kickfighting Show (Steven Warman Wright the previous striking coach for team takedown gives technique breakdowns of combat sports cards mainly focusing on kickboxing. Really fucking underrated)
  • World’s Baddest Podcast (Ken Shamrock has a new podcast and oh boy is it a thing)
  • Worst Fireteam Ever (Erik Koch has a podcast with Erik Griffin, and Bobby Lee’s brother where they talk about the game Destiny. It’s chaotic but fun)

Opinion: The “Moneyweight” division has a chokehold on title defenses

by Chris Madaffer

In the sport of Mixed Martial Arts, a champion’s prominence is measured by the opponents he or she has bested, as well as the duration of a title reign.

But with the toll that the sport takes on it's athletes and the perceived notion that fighters aren’t being paid enough, a new primary ambition has enveloped the minds of current champions: Money fights.

Fights that are set up and designed to net massive profit for large promotions like the UFC have been a trend-setter this year. Conor McGregor’s popularity and the profitability of his name have paved a way for title contenders to utilize a new approach when picking opponents.

Out-of-the-ordinary match-ups and super fights are now the rage as there's no longer a desire to fight opponents who are in the top rankings.

In the conference that led up to UFC 196, McGregor was adamant about being the face and cash cow of the UFC. He referenced Nate Diaz’s octagon interview from UFC on Fox: dos Anjos vs. Cerrone 2 in which Diaz had called out McGregor saying that the real money fight was between them.

Even though both fighters were contending in separate weight classes, the concept of money wouldn’t prevent a grand occasion from occurring.

However, money fights have leapfrogged the traditional method of matchmaking in Mixed Martial Arts in the latter half of 2016. This might be due to the fact that there have been many new champions in the past six months.

Since January 17, there have been six new champions. Of the current titleholders as of the date of this article, Flyweight champion, Demetrious Johnson, has defended his belt eight times while the rest of the champions, a combined five times.

Considering the running theme of upsets in title fights this year, I wouldn’t be surprised to see this continue for the remaining four and a half months.

This isn’t to say that the current champions aren’t well-rounded enough to put together a streak of title defenses or that the opposition is weak. The amount of title contenders in most of the divisions proves that belts can change owners as quick as an overhand right.

The UFC arguably has never boasted a roster as talented as the one it has now. The most stacked divisions ranging from men’s Bantamweight, Lightweight, Welterweight, and Middleweight divisions, have set the course for multiple contenders laying claim to a title shot.

When it comes to analyzing a division and determining who is most deserving of a title shot, traditionally it would be discussed that the number one contender should be next in line. When I think of which division harbors the most talented contender, the Welterweight division catches my attention.

Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson is on a current seven fight win streak and should be next in line to fight for the title (because nobody seems to like rematches anymore). However, newly crowned champion of the division, Tyron Woodley thinks otherwise.

Woodley is a fighter who hadn’t fought for 18 months and while being ranked the number four welterweight, he had to plead a big case to the UFC brass in order to get a title shot against Robbie Lawler over the likes of Rory MacDonald and Demian Maia.  Hell, Lawler fought to a razor-thin decision over Carlos Condit and that couldn’t even warrant a rematch between those two.

Now with barely just ten days of being a champion, Woodley wants to deny Thompson his shot at the belt. Woodley would rather fight Georges St. Pierre, a man who hasn’t fought in over three years (albeit he is the greatest welterweight of all time) and Nick Diaz, a fan favorite who hasn’t won a fight since 2011.

I agree with Woodley in that he should be able to make more money in order to better his finances and provide for his family, but what I don’t agree with is that he’s making demands after not even defending his title once. True champions should be able to face any opponent that’s placed before them in the octagon.

The sports enthusiast and fight fan in me believes that fighter rankings should be held in higher esteem. But just as any other sport, there’s business involved and with the current state of the UFC’s roster being underpaid by the likes of sponsors such as Reebok, these fighters need all the help they can get.

While it can be argued that the integrity of the sport has been dampened a bit, there’s no denying the current spectacle that the UFC has accomplished in just 2016 alone.

Pulver's Unofficial Invicta 18 Picks

Due to Chris and I being lazy and not recording until Friday this week I wanted to post a quick list of my picks for the Invicta 18 card. We'll be covering it in more detail on the podcast when we recap the card along with our breakdown of UFC 201.

Alexa Grasso Dec 30-27, 30-27, 29-28
Christine Stanley TKO Rd 1 (Punches)
Jessamyn Duke Dec 29-28, 29-28, 29-28
Megan Anderson TKO Rd 3 (Punches)
Simona Soukupova Dec 30-27, 29-28, 29-28
Mizuki Inoue Dec 30-27, 30-27. 29-28
Aspen Ladd TKO Rd 2 (Punches & Elbows)
AmberLynn Orr Sub Rd 1 (Armbar)

Pulver's Unofficial UFC 200 Picks

UFC 200 Picks:

Miller - Sub Rd 2
Mousasi - Dec
Sanchez - Split Dec

Northcutt - Dec
Dillashaw - TKO Rd 2
Gastelum - Dec
Pena - Dec

Velasquez - Dec
Edgar - KO Rd 4
Cormier - TKO Rd 2
Hunt - Walkoff KO Rd 1
Tate - Sub Rd 4

Hunt, Cormier, Dillashaw
Hunt, Tate, Cormier
Alvarez, Hunt, Diaz
JJ, Hunt, Diaz

A List of Podcasts We're Subscribed To

This is a list of the podcasts we are currently subscribed to along with a brief description of the show/hosts. Direct links to each show's website will be added shortly.

  • Anik&Florian
  • Bushido Talk (Tommy Toe Hold and John Hackleman are pretty underrated)
  • Cage Cash (Mainly focuses on betting; so stoked it's back)
  • Heavy Hands (Great style breakdowns)
  • Invicta FC (Best fighter interview podcast around)
  • Let's Get It on w/ Big John McCarthy
  • Promotional Malpractice (Luke Thomas)
  • MMAJunkie Radio (Only for certain guests, also shout out to Showtime)
  • Morning Wood Show w/ Din Thomas and Tyron (Rad interviews w/ ATT guys)
  • Phone Booth Fighting w/ Frank Mir
  • Punch Drunk Sports (Long live red state Teeb)
  • Ringside Report (Decent podcast from the Fight Network guys great hosts)
  • Rutten & Ranello (Production is way better since they brought Vicky Pezza on board)
  • Severe MMA (Best accents in the podcast game. Sean Sheehan hosts)
  • Story Time w/ Uncle Creepy
  • Submission Radio (Always ask unique interview questions)
  • Co-Main Event (GOAT)
  • Church of What's Happening Now (Joey Diaz has a lot of refs and bjj coaches on)
  • Filthy FRB Show (Bring it back already Tom!)
  • The Hammer (More Fight Network guys also cover Canadian regional shows)
  • JRE (Joe Rogan Experience)
  • Miesha Tate Show (Only if the guest isn't a tool or some terrible PR lady)
  • MMA Beat
  • MMA Heat (Karyn Bryant and Jouban)
  • MMA Hour (Ariel Helwani)
  • MMA Report (More Canadian MMA guys occasionally Robin Black sits in)
  • Proving Ground (Tank Abbott's debacle of a show)
  • Cheap Seats w. Breen (Stoked it's twice a week now)
  • Neutral Corner w/ Yves Edwards (Tomorrow's show w/ Derrick Lewis is supposed to be crazy)
  • Roundtable/Beatdown After the Bell (Best pre and post fight shows)
  • Three Amigos (Crooklyn, Mookie, and Iain get great interviews)
  • You're Welcome w/ Chael Sonnen

This will be a semi-regular series of articles from us updating on any podcasts we've added or dropped as well as one's you should keep an ear out for!