TotalSports https://totalsports.com.au All the sports Fri, 05 May 2017 08:55:10 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.4 https://totalsports.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/cropped-Total-Sports-Twitter-Design-Small-2-32x32.jpg TotalSports https://totalsports.com.au 32 32 Nathan Brown’s Best – 2017 AFL Season Predictions https://totalsports.com.au/afl/2017-afl-season-predictions-nathan-brown/ Tue, 21 Mar 2017 22:17:02 +0000 https://totalsports.com.au/?p=3200 Nathan Brown dropped his tipping selections for Sportsbet.com.au before the first bounce of 2017 and will be providing his best bets before each and every round. Nathan Brown certainly fancies himself as a punter for Sportsbet and is relishing the chance to provide AFL Tipsters and Punters with his unique insider’s perspective of the game. […]

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Nathan Brown dropped his tipping selections for Sportsbet.com.au before the first bounce of 2017 and will be providing his best bets before each and every round. Nathan Brown certainly fancies himself as a punter for Sportsbet and is relishing the chance to provide AFL Tipsters and Punters with his unique insider’s perspective of the game. He’s also relishing the chance to get his mug on another one of your screens!

PREMIERSHIP TIP

GWS – $4.50
Another year of footy into them playing together. Jonno Patton looks ready to take control. Forward end of Patton, Cameron and Lobb look very hard to contain. Think Carey, McKernan and Longmire at their very best in the 90’s.

The thing people don’t realise about GWS when you see the flash and the run and the excitement is that they set up defensively as good as anyone. They have hard nuts around the footy who love the contest – Ward, Scully, Shiel, Griffen, Kelly and all of them can run, run, run.

Nathan William, Jacob Hopper, Heath Shaw and add Brett Deledio to a back flank that is fast, furious and full of skill.

COLEMAN MEDAL

Josh Kennedy – $3.50
Cant go past Josh Kennedy again. Fills his boots at Subiaco where they smash sides. Kennedy also plays well on the fast deck of Etihad Stadium and the Eagles play five of their away games at Etihad. Buddy will go close but will still play well up the ground, while Tom Lynch at Gold Coast relies heavily on how his team performs.

BROWNLOW MEDAL

Gary Ablett – $23
All the talk is he is fresh, fit and on fire. He’s won the Brownlow twice before and Gold Coast will be better this year. His current price of $23 is well over what it should be. Umpires vote for him, he will spend time forward this year so he will add goals to his possessions. If he kicks three but only racks up 20 – 25, he will vote. I also fancy having something on Ablett each way (to finish top 3) at $6.50.

TOP 8 FINISH

Melbourne – $2.10
Melbourne’s draw is a dream. They play finals. The young list have grown together like GWS and are ready to take on the best. Jack Watts could be the difference between them making up the numbers in the eight and being a real challenger.

ROUND ONE BEST

I like to look at the Overs/Unders lines early in the season. Dry, fast tracks with fit players are conducive to high scoring. Seven of the nine games in Round One last year were over the line.

GWS and Adelaide averaged 232 points between them in the first six rounds last year and the overs line is 189 – or Sportsbet have pick your own total.

Tip: GWS vs Adelaide Over 189.5 ($1.90)

Fremantle and Geelong overs line is 166 which is very achievable. Ross Lyon has said that his team will be more attacking and are looking to score. They add Fyfe and Sandilands back in to generate footy.

Tip: Fremantle vs Geelong Over 166.5 ($1.90)

ROUND ONE MULTI BET

Richmond win

Sydney win

Adelaide vs GWS Over 189.5

Fremantle v Geelong Over 166.5

Total Payout = $6.49

Latest AFL betting markets and odds available here

*all sportsbet.com.au odds correct at time of posting

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Australian Open 2017 Odds & Outlook from Sportsbet https://totalsports.com.au/tennis/australian-open-2017-odds-outlook-from-sportsbet/ Thu, 12 Jan 2017 23:06:02 +0000 https://totalsports.com.au/?p=2808 KYRGIOS AND TOMIC UP TO THEIR OLD TRICKS AT AUS OPEN $3.00 offered for Kyrgios or Tomic to storm out of a media conference at Melbourne Park Kyrgios $7.00 to destroy 5 racquets or more Kyrgios the hot tip to receive the first code violation Nick Kyrgios and Bernard Tomic are sure to create headlines […]

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KYRGIOS AND TOMIC UP TO THEIR OLD TRICKS AT AUS OPEN

  • $3.00 offered for Kyrgios or Tomic to storm out of a media conference at Melbourne Park
  • Kyrgios $7.00 to destroy 5 racquets or more
  • Kyrgios the hot tip to receive the first code violation

Nick Kyrgios and Bernard Tomic are sure to create headlines during the Australian Open, and online bookmaker sportsbet.com.au is betting on what kind of mischief the pair will get up to over the fortnight.

Kyrgios is the $1.35 to get the first code violation of the two, and you can get $7.00 for him to smash a total of five racquets or more during the tournament.

Or maybe Nick’s a reformed character now that he’s settled down with fellow player Ajla Tomljanovic – the happy couple are $16 to get engaged at Melbourne Park by the way.

Media beware…don’t ask Kyrgios or Tomic any prickly questions because both are priced at $3.00 to storm out of any media conference.

“I wouldn’t be surprised to see a customer placing a multi for Kyrgios to smash 5 or more racquets, get a code violation, storm out of a media conference and being the first player to jump into the Yarra…..and it could all happen in the one day!”

said sportsbet.com.au’s Christian Jantzen.

Markets courtesy of sportsbet.com.au

First to get a Code Violation
$1.35   Nick Kyrgios
$3.00   Bernard Tomic

How Many Racquets will Nick Kyrgios Smash?
$1.87   Zero
$3.50   1 – 2
$5.00   3 – 4
$7.00   5 or more

Media Futures
$3.00   Nick Kyrgios to storm out of any media conference during the Aus Open
$3.00   Bernard Tomic to storm out of any media conference during the Aus open

Who will get more media calls during the open?
$1.35   Bernard Tomic
$3.00   Emma Blake-Hahnel

Kyrgios Tomljanovic Futures
$16      Nick Kyrgios to propose to Ajla Tomljanovic during the Aus Open
$2.00   Nick Kyrgios to dedicate any victory to Ajla Tomljanovic

Highest Temperature Recorded at the Open
$7.00   Under 35
$5.00   35 – 36.99
$4.00   37 – 38.99
$5.00   39 – 40.99
$2.50   41 or higher

Will the Heat Policy be Enforced?
$2.50   Yes
$1.50   No 

First Player to Jump in the Yarra
$3.00   Nick Kyrgios
$3.00   Angelique Kerber
$4.00   Sam Groth
$5.00   Bernard Tomic
$7.50   Rafael Nadal
$8.00   Stan Wawrinka
$11      Andy Murray
$26      Novak Djokovic
$26      Roger Federer
$34      Milos Raonic
$34      Radek Stepanek
$34      Kei Nishikori

How will Nick Kyrgios Arrive at his First Match?
$3.00   Uber
$4.00   Taxi
$5.00   Gets the Mini Bus
$6.00   On the Light Rail
$7.50   Gets a lift with Ajla Tomljanovic
$11      In his Red VW Golf GTI
$16      In his Blue BMW
$16      Walks
$21      In His Yellow Lamborghini

Total Attendance at the Open
$7.50     Under 600,000
$6.00     600,000 – 649,999
$2.75     650,000 – 699,999
$2.50     700,000 – 749,999
$7.50     750,000 or more

Will the Day/Night Attendance Record be broken in 2017?
$3.00   Yes
$1.35   No

Men’s Australian Open winner
$2.63   Murray
$2.63   Djokovic
$13      Nadal
$13      Wawrinka
$19      Federer
$21      Raonic
$26      Nishikori
$34      Kyrgios
$41      Dimitrov
$51      Cilic
$67      Thiem
$67      Tsonga
$81      A.Zverev
$81      Berdych
$101    Tomic

Women’s Australian Open winner
$3.75   S.Williams
$4.50   Kerber
$9.00   Halep
$10      Pliskova
$11      Muguruza
$26      Radwanska
$26      Cibulkova
$34      Wozniacki
$34      Konta
$51      Bencic
$126    Gavrilova
$151    Stosur

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It’s Official: Woodley vs Thompson to Headline UFC 209 https://totalsports.com.au/ufc/official-woodley-vs-thompson-headline-ufc-209/ Tue, 10 Jan 2017 09:34:00 +0000 https://totalsports.com.au/?p=2802 Finally, after all the negotiations and guessing, the fight is on: Tyron Woodley will rematch Stephen Thompson for the UFC welterweight championship of the world in the main event at UFC 209. The news has been announced on the UFC’s Facebook page. While this rematch was one of the two fights that make the most […]

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Finally, after all the negotiations and guessing, the fight is on: Tyron Woodley will rematch Stephen Thompson for the UFC welterweight championship of the world in the main event at UFC 209. The news has been announced on the UFC’s Facebook page.

While this rematch was one of the two fights that make the most sense(the second being Demain Maia), it wasn’t Woodley’s first choice. He called out many people, including George St-Pierre, Conor McGregor(who started it first), Nick Diaz and Michael Bisping. Even a few hours before we got the news about the fight, he tweeted this to Demian Maia:

Could Woodley just be a master troll and is doing it all for publicity? It seems to be working. But back to the fight in question: him versus Stephen Thompson.

The two first met at UFC 205. It was a close fight, but the rounds that went to Woodley were the more decisive ones. Their bout ended in a majority draw: two judges scored the fight as even and one gave it to Woodley. At first, they incorrectly announced it as a split decision, but then corrected themselves. The end result was the same: Tyron retained the belt. However, victory no longer had a sweet taste to it, evident from his post-fight interview.

Both fighters received Performance of the Night bonuses and no doubt gained many fans. It was one of the fights of the year and many of us wanted to see it again.

Well, now we’ll get to. UFC 209 card looks better every day. Now if only they could get Ferguson to sign, it would be an amazing card. And can we hope for a Diaz?

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Khabib Nurmagomedov vs Tony Ferguson: Negotiation Tactics https://totalsports.com.au/ufc/khabib-nurmagomedov-vs-tony-ferguson-negotiation-tactics/ Sat, 07 Jan 2017 16:15:16 +0000 https://totalsports.com.au/?p=2789 Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson are currently the two top contenders at 155 lbs. Either of them could fight for the belt. However, the champion, Conor McGregor, will take some paternity leave and will be out for the first half of 2017. The logical fight would be to match them up against each other. Both […]

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Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson are currently the two top contenders at 155 lbs. Either of them could fight for the belt. However, the champion, Conor McGregor, will take some paternity leave and will be out for the first half of 2017.

The logical fight would be to match them up against each other. Both of them also want that fight, so there should be no problem – in theory. However, in real life, money became the issue. Ferguson openly voiced his concerns with his pay and demanded more.

The UFC weren’t willing to budge as Ferguson still has fights on his existing contract, so Khabib offered to pay part of Ferguson’s purse out of his own pocket. Unsurprisingly, Ferguson was having none of that – he wanted the money from the UFC, not his opponent.

During all of this, the interim title fight with Nurmagomedov was apparently also offered to Jose Aldo. There was also some talk of Nate Diaz. It is hard to know what could be a real offer or just a power play to get Ferguson to comply.

Recently, Khabib’s manager Ali Abdelaziz said on his Twitter that they are moving on from Tony Ferguson and seeking another fight.

Tony’s latest tweet is also very interesting:

Could it be that he signed to fight Khabib after all? Or will he fight someone else? It does seem like he is hinting at a fight announcement, but I don’t see him fighting anyone other than Khabib.

As the last part, the previously mentioned Khabib’s manager posted this:

In the comments below, he also mentioned Mother Russia and when asked whether it is Khabib vs Ferguson, replied with the chicken emoji(if you don’t know, Khabib often reffered to Conor McGregor as the chicken).

Is it possible? McGregor vs Nurmagomedov in Russia? That would certainly be a great fight for the first show in the country.

What do you think? More of promotional “number one boolshit” or is it for real this time?

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Donald Cerrone wants Woodley if his wins his next fight https://totalsports.com.au/ufc/donald-cerrone-wants-woodley-wins-next-fight/ Fri, 06 Jan 2017 18:08:31 +0000 https://totalsports.com.au/?p=2784 If he wins against Jorge Masvidal at UFC On FOX 23, Donald Cerrone would like to get a title shot against Tyron Woodley. Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone is mainly known for three things: fighting 16 times a year, performing dangerous activities during fight week and being a damn good fighter. 1/28 MaMa I'm coming Home 📷 […]

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If he wins against Jorge Masvidal at UFC On FOX 23, Donald Cerrone would like to get a title shot against Tyron Woodley.

Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone is mainly known for three things: fighting 16 times a year, performing dangerous activities during fight week and being a damn good fighter.

1/28 MaMa I'm coming Home 📷 @thefoxidentity

A photo posted by Donald Cerrone (@cowboycerrone) on

Since his move to welterweight, he has stacked four wins: Alex Oliviera, Patrick Cote, Rick Story and Matt Brown.

He is certainly one of the more deserving fighters, but I don’t think he should be the next to get the title shot. Right now, Demian Maia has a better case, and so does Stephen Thompson. Personally I don’t think an immediate rematch is necessary, but it would make sense.

Maia is on a 6 fight win streak, with Carlos Condit and both of Cowboy’s best wins, Matt Brown and Rick Story, on it. I know that some people would rather not see him become the champion because of his grappling-heavy style. Even today, when MMA has advanced so far, some still boo when the fight goes to the ground. But, I’m sure that it don’t bother Maia none: he’ll just get the submissions and win. He is one of the best BJJ practitioners in the UFC and is without a doubt the best at it in the welterweight division.

Besides, Jorge Masvidal is ranked #12. Beating #12 shouldn’t get you a title shot. To get the title shot he needs to beat someone in the top five. Then, he could get his title shot.

But that will only happen if Woodley doesn’t get one of the big fights he wants: GSP, Conor McGregor and as the latest edition, Michael Bisping. Seems like every champion is looking to the division above instead of thinking about defending the belt.

I think that the Maia fight should be the one that’s next, while you match up Robbie Lawler with Donald Cerrone and Stephen Thompson with someone from top 10.

However, who knows. In this crazy sport, McGregor could be the welterweight champion by then.

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Alistair Overeem vs Mark Hunt announced for UFC 209 https://totalsports.com.au/mma/alistair-overeem-vs-mark-hunt-announced-ufc-209/ Thu, 05 Jan 2017 23:46:55 +0000 https://totalsports.com.au/?p=2780 Alistair Overeem vs Mark Hunt has been announced for UFC 209. The main event is still TBA vs TBA. Hunt has been vocal about steroid users in the past on his social media. Very vocal, in fact. Since Overeem was at some point Ubereem, we can expect him to have something to say about him […]

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Alistair Overeem vs Mark Hunt has been announced for UFC 209. The main event is still TBA vs TBA.

Hunt has been vocal about steroid users in the past on his social media. Very vocal, in fact. Since Overeem was at some point Ubereem, we can expect him to have something to say about him too.

Alistair Overeem vs Mark Hunt
Uberreem

Hunto’s last three opponents – Brock Lesnar, Frank Mir and Antonio Silva – have all taken some sort of performance enhancing drugs(although Mir was only on TRT when it was legal). It is almost as if he has taken on a crusade of beating everyone who used anything at any point.

Due to his disadvantage as a natural athlete, he demanded of Dana White to put a special clause in his contract. A clause that would protect him in case his opponent would fail any drug tests. In short, he would receive a part of his opponent’s purse in that event.

He said that he won’t take the fight without a clause like that, but the UFC said that they are not considering it. Thus we don’t know if he actually got the clause or if they gave him something else that changed his mind. He also threatened that he would sue Alistair if his test came back positive.

If you are a betting man, betting on this fight not going the distance is perhaps the surest bet of some time. They are heavyweights, and heavyweights who punch particularly hard. Overeem has some nasty knees and we all know about Mark Hunt’s walk off KO’s.

This is going to be an interesting fight, but 209 as of now still looks weak. They need to add at least a few more fights, and a true headliner. I’m sure UFC have a lot of irons in the fire.

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Nick Diaz Turned Down Robbie Lawler Rematch, says Joe Rogan https://totalsports.com.au/ufc/nick-diaz-turned-robbie-lawler-rematch-says-joe-rogan/ Tue, 03 Jan 2017 22:13:29 +0000 https://totalsports.com.au/?p=2775 Nick Diaz was offered a rematch with Robbie Lawler, but he turned it down according to Joe Rogan. Rogan commented on the former Strikeforce welterweight champion on his recent podcast. Diaz has just recently been allowed to return to competition after his suspension by the NSAC. He was suspended for having marijuana metabolites in his […]

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Nick Diaz was offered a rematch with Robbie Lawler, but he turned it down according to Joe Rogan.

Rogan commented on the former Strikeforce welterweight champion on his recent podcast. Diaz has just recently been allowed to return to competition after his suspension by the NSAC. He was suspended for having marijuana metabolites in his system – that means he was possibly high out of his mind during his fight with Anderson Silva. It was his third offense and despite the fact that the result from the more reputable lab came back clean, he was suspended. The NSAC, headed by Pat Lundval at the time, was out for blood and Diaz was a prime target.

Now that he is back, he is chomping at the bit to get back in the game. He is surely looking for interesting match-ups that will garner a lot of attention. He is still well known by fans and will bring a lot of eyes with his entertaining thrash talk and fighting.

Nick Diaz and Lawler fought way back at UFC 47, when Nick won by second round KO. He has voiced his opinion on fighting Robbie Lawler before:

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Khabib Nurmagomedov Offers to Pay for Tony Ferguson to Fight Him https://totalsports.com.au/ufc/khabib-nurmagomedov-offers-pay-tony-ferguson-fight/ Tue, 03 Jan 2017 12:31:40 +0000 https://totalsports.com.au/?p=2771 Khabib Nurmagomedov, in a most gangster move, offered to pay the difference between what the UFC are willing to pay Tony Ferguson and what he wants to get. Hey @TonyFergusonXT if the @ufc don't want to pay you I'll pay you 200k extra on your purse let's make this fight now you have no excuse […]

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Khabib Nurmagomedov, in a most gangster move, offered to pay the difference between what the UFC are willing to pay Tony Ferguson and what he wants to get.

Since Conor McGregor won the UFC lightweight belt, the division has been in a bit of limbo. The two top contenders are clearly Nurmagomedov and Ferguson, but getting them to fight seems to be a difficult task.

The primary problem is the pay. Tony wants to be paid the same amount as his opponent. However, the UFC won’t pay him that much. Khabib is on a quite lucrative contract, due to his appeal in Russia – a country the UFC wants to expand to in 2017.

Tony, while a very good fighter and exciting to boot, doesn’t have that much drawing power. And, well, drawing power is directly correlated to what you get paid.

So, if the money is the problem, Khabib offers to make things simpler: he’ll chip in and add what the UFC are unwilling to give Tony. However, for Tony this is not about getting money from his opponent, but from the UFC:

“You’ve got Khabib f*cking offering (me) $200,000 to fight me. I’m not going to take his money because we work for the same kind of thing,” Ferguson said.

Dana White is adamant that the fight won’t happen on Tony’s terms. He says that Ferguson has a contract that he needs to respect. Of course, Tony believes that he is worth more that his current contract gives him. He knows his numbers(so he says) and in his belief, he should be paid more.

I am all in favor of fighter pay going up, for all fighters. And this is a fight that will surely bring the investment back. This is the fight that will likely determine McGregor’s next opponent; there should be no problem doing that. Khabib on his own will bring in big numbers – and imagine if he wins and they do Conor McGregor vs Khabib Nurmadomedov in Russia or Ireland. It would be a very good start to 2017 to say the least…

Should the UFC pay Tony Ferguson his asking price? Or make another fight for Khabib?

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MMA in 2017: A Look at What the Future Holds https://totalsports.com.au/mma/mma-in-2017-future/ Mon, 02 Jan 2017 22:40:31 +0000 https://totalsports.com.au/?p=2763 2016 has been one of the most entertaining years in MMA history and perhaps the most successful so far too. We’ve had the continuation of the rise of Conor McGregor, the returns of Brock Lesnar and Ronda Rousey, Michael Bisping became the UFC middleweight champion, the sale of the UFC and many more epic fights […]

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2016 has been one of the most entertaining years in MMA history and perhaps the most successful so far too. We’ve had the continuation of the rise of Conor McGregor, the returns of Brock Lesnar and Ronda Rousey, Michael Bisping became the UFC middleweight champion, the sale of the UFC and many more epic fights and crazy things happened. To beat it, MMA in 2017 will have to be pretty special year.

So, where is MMA headed in 2017? What will be different in the sport, the fighters, the promotions?

True mixed martial artists

While we still see a few fighters who are extremely good at one aspect of MMA and manage to beat everyone using it, to have success at the top level, you have to be well-rounded. In women’s MMA, we are just entering this era: the losses of Ronda Rousey showed us that despite the youth of the division, a singular approach can no longer take you to the very top.

In men’s MMA, that has been true for a while. Still, it is becoming even more prominent. Practically every top contender has: great striking and striking defense plus great grappling, both in wrestling and submissions. And those who can dominate just by using one half of the equation(like Demian Maia, Khabib Nurmagomedov) are extremely well versed at getting the fight where they want it to take place.

As the level of skill in MMA goes up, there are still some areas that are lacking.

The lack of good boxing in MMA showed clearly this year, with Conor McGregor and Cody Garbrandt, two former amateur boxers, ran through the competition that didn’t understand distance, angles and precision on the same level they did.

Ring generalship is still at a rudimentary level at best. Most fighters still don’t know how to cut the cage and are happy to turn on the spot and let their opponent escape.

But all in all, the fighters we are seeing today would wipe the floor with the previous generation, and that is the goal.

Free agency

The UFC is still MMA’s premier league and will probably be for a while longer. But the market is opening up, with Bellator especially becoming more prominent. They managed to snatch some of the best fighters from the UFC, such as Ben Henderson and Rory MacDonald. Many fighters are complaining about their pay – and free agency is the logical answer, but it doesn’t come without risks.

Benson Henderson in Bellator mma in 2017
Benson Henderson in Bellator

One can’t necessarily get a better deal and the UFC won’t be as likely to offer anything nice to someone who went out and couldn’t make it. It also keeps potential talent away from the sport; if they can’t support themselves while they are still training and becoming that great fighter, why do it? But I think fighting will always remain in the domain of slightly crazy individuals. I mean, you get punched in the head for a living. It takes a special kind of person to do that. The athletes who want to make money will go to other sports.

The sport of MMA is still much more entertainment than sport. As such, fighters who bring more eyes will get paid more – only fair. However, while the base pay remains low, the sport will stay at the level it currently is. There are some motions to change that, which brings me to my next point…

“Unions”

It’s high time MMA got a union that actually pulled some weight. The newly formed MMAAA could be just that. The board is impressive: George St-Pierre, Cain Velasquez, TJ Dillashaw, Donald Cerrone and Tim Kennedy, while Bjorn Rebney(founder of Bellator) is acting as a strategic advisor.

MMAAA mma in 2017
The MMAAA – Mixed Martial Arts Athletes Association

Their goals are high: higher fighter pay, support after retirement and a benefits package. They want to move closer to a 50/50 split between the fighters and the company, similar to other professional sports and they claim that currently, only about 8% goes to the fighters.

The only problem is, MMAAA is not a union, it is an association. Because UFC fighters are legally independent contractors, any sort of union that could actually force the company to improve anything would be doomed to fail in court.

For now, while this is a step in the right direction, this changes little. When and if more fighters join, it could become something truly industry-defining.

Not sure how any of that will sit with the…

New UFC ownership

The sale of the UFC is old news by now. But the implications and consequences of the move are only beginning to reveal themselves. We do not know what else will change, but it is clear by now that the WME-IMG are looking to make the UFC as profitable as possible.

WME-IMG mma in 2017
WME-IMG

The two companies took on quite a debt to buy the UFC for $4.2 billion. They have to make their money back, and they will. Question is, will it be good for the sport? Profit has turned boxing into something we don’t want the UFC to become. MMA is an interesting sport almost by default: there are so many ways you can finish an opponent that few fights are complete duds. No need to add unnecessary drama.

That said, we don’t know what their approach will be. We know that they plan to do more events on Fox, but little else.

New rules and regulations

UFC 207 was the last event that used the old unifed MMA rules. As of the start of 2017, the new rules will be in place and it will change the approach fighters have to take. Damage will be rewarded more, which means that fighters relying on a point-fighting approach won’t be able to take rounds based solely on volume.

With the early weigh-ins that were implemented in 2016, we will likely see a few more months of fighters figuring out what weight class is best for them. I for one am hoping for additional weight classes, especially between the more stacked divisions. A 150 or 160 division wouldn’t be a bad idea – you get another champion who you can promote and it gives some fighters who are right between a permanent home. Just don’t let guys run around and make them defend their belts first.

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After the great year that 2016 was, it will be hard to top it. I hope we are not standing at the beginning of another dark time for MMA, but I have hope. The new rules, new ownership, new faces, all will have to work together to deliver like the old guard did. And yes, we will most likely complain at the beginning and long for the “good old days”. But change is to be embraced, not rejected. I look forward to the future of the MMA as a sport.

What do you think of the coming changes? What will MMA look like in 2017? Leave your thought below, I’d love to hear them.

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Tyron Woodley calls out Michael Bisping to a catchweight bout – and it makes no sense https://totalsports.com.au/ufc/tyron-woodley-calls-michael-bisping-catchweight-bout-makes-no-sense/ Mon, 02 Jan 2017 15:00:49 +0000 https://totalsports.com.au/?p=2759 Tyron Woodley wants to fight, and not just anyone. He wants to fight Michael Bisping. Well… When it comes to fights that make no sense, this has to be on the top of the list. Welterweight champ @twooodley wants to throw down. Calling me out at the weekend. I'm down for whatever so if you […]

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Tyron Woodley wants to fight, and not just anyone. He wants to fight Michael Bisping. Well… When it comes to fights that make no sense, this has to be on the top of the list.

Both are champions – Woodley at welterweight, Bisping at 185 – who have deserving contenders waiting to get their title shot. For Bisping, that could be Yoel Romero, Jacare, or a rematch with Rockhold. For  Tyron Woodley, Demian Maia or a rematch of his close title-winning fight with Stephen Thompson.

Michael Bisping already had one “money” fight against Dan Henderson, who wasn’t a top contender. Not to take anything away from Dan; he fought very well and came close to capturing the belt. The age he did it at(he’s 47!) makes it all that more impressive.

Woodley also wants a money fight. One option would be Conor McGregor, with whom they have some past altercations,  but he has many options and taking on a true power puncher and a wrestler at 170 might not be a very clever idea. A fight with Bisping would surely draw a lot of attention, at least from the causal fans. A champion vs champion fight is easy to promote, but to those who know the sport, it makes no sense.

It used to be that these kinds of fights would only happen once a dominant champion cleared out his division. When Anderson Silva moved up to light-heavyweight for a few fights, he was already a legend and defeated anyone noteworthy at his weight class. And that is the way it should be.

Not only does the premature champions match-up hold up the division(or create numerous and unneeded interim belts), it robs us of what could be a truly great fight. Let these champion have a few more fights, let them build themselves up. Then, when people are already clamoring to have them fight – then put the fight on.

Everybody will be watching then – that I can guarantee.

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