John Douglas

A Concrete Blonde

Tag: Night

Best fighters outside of the UFC?

Posted on October 11, 2014  in Writing

 Light Heavyweight results with 281 votes

  • Emanuel Newton – 26%, 74 votes

  • Tyrone Spong – 21%, 59 votes

  • Quinton “Rampage” Jackson – 17%, 48 votes

  • Liam McGeary – 11%, 32 votes

 Middleweight results with 782 votes

  • Yushin Okami – 49%, 380 votes

  • Mamed Khalidov – 13%, 100 votes

  • Melvin Manhoef – 10%, 81 votes

 Welterweight results with 742 votes

  • Ben Askren – 67%, 500 votes

  • Jake Shields – 9%, 64 votes

  • Rousimar Palhares – 8%, 56 votes

 Lightweight results with 740 votes

  • Michael Chandler – 38%, 281 votes

  • Shinya Aoki – 22%, 165 votes

  • Will Brooks – 16%, 117 votes

  • Justin Gaethje – 10%, 74 votes

 Featherweight results with 92 votes

  • Patricio “Pitbull” Freire – 62%, 57 votes

  • Pat Curran – 13%, 12 Votes

  • Daniel Straus – 5%, 5 votes

 Bantamweight results with 74 votes

  • Marlon Moraes – 53%, 39 votes.

  • Eduardo Dantas – 15%, 11 votes.

  • Bibiano Fernandes – 15%, 11 votes.

 Flyweight results with 59 votes.

  • Adriano Moraes – 42%, 25 votes.

  • Alexis Vila – 8%, 5 votes.

  • Pietro Menga – 8%, 5 vote.

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Tag: Night

Posted on August 29, 2014  in Uncategorized

UFC 177: Official Weigh-Ins

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Tag: Night

Ranking and Legitimacy: From Intuition to Measurement

Posted on July 24, 2014  in Uncategorized

This essay, by Corey Whichard, won first place in the Co-Main Event Podcast’s second annual White Elephant Essay Contest, in the persuasive essay category.

“The UFC always has the fallback to where if some really bad shit happens, it can just have Dana White yell at us about it … Bellator doesn’t really have that. … It doesn’t have that figurehead who is endowed with the confidence to think that he can just make us believe whatever.”
– Chad Dundas, 5/12/14, Episode 103

“But, you know, there’s a lot of weird stuff going on with those rankings … It seems like if the UFC wanted to make those rankings into a thing that we could all take seriously, they would have to have some rules …”
– Ben Fowlkes, 5/12/14, Episode 103

In today’s MMA landscape, the UFC’s capricious abuse of its own ranking system is symptomatic of a much more serious threat to the overall health of MMA. That is, the UFC has too much control over how the sport is presented, and it often uses this control to benefit its own financial agenda at the expense of the sport’s integrity. If MMA is ever going to attain the kind of “sport for sport’s sake” legitimacy that attends football (or even tennis), an important first step is to develop a meaningful ranking system based on objective standards of athletic accomplishment. In this essay, I describe a method for creating such a system and demonstrate its validity.

One way to generate a standardized MMA ranking system involves drawing on techniques used in a sub-field of sociology called “social network analysis.” The basic idea is to model the structure of a social group by mapping out the relationships between individual group members (Borgatti, Everett, and Johnson 2013). It helps to think about this visually. For instance, picture all of the fighters in the UFC’s Welterweight division as large dots drawn on a piece of paper. Now imagine that there are lines linking certain dots together, where each line represents a fight, and each linked pair of dots represents fighters who have competed against each other. Using information from to construct a win-loss matrix for all Welterweights employed by the UFC circa September 2013, I actually diagrammed the 170-pound division with a program called UCINet. [See Figure 1; Georges St. Pierre is the red dot.]

Once the network structure has been mapped out, it is possible to rank the fighters by calculating each fighter’s “Beta-centrality.” Beta-centrality functions by assigning each fighter a score based on the number of opponents in the network that he has beaten; it then adjusts that score based on the position of those opponents in the network, which itself is based on the position of the opponents that they have beaten, and so on. The process counts all opponents that are directly tied to the fighter, and all opponents that are indirectly tied to the fighter within 10 fights, though opponents that are “farther” away contribute less and less to the fighter’s score. Thus, when Jake Shields beat Martin Kampmann, his “Beta-centrality” score got a bump for this direct victory, but it also got a smaller bump for Kampmann’s win over Paulo Thiago, and an even smaller bump for Thiago’s win over Mike Swick, etc. This kind of recursive calculation is impossibly difficult to perform by hand, though relatively simple with the right computer program.

In plain English, a ranking system based on Beta-centrality means that the “best” fighter in the division does not simply have the most UFC victories, but he has the most victories over the most accomplished fighters in his division. Unlike the current ranking system, where the criteria for evaluating a fighter’s accomplishments largely rest on human opinion, a system based on Beta-centrality has the advantage of standardization. The relevant concept here is prestige, or the notion that a person’s prominence in a group only exists as an emergent quality of their relation to other group members. If you can empirically measure a person’s relationship to others in a group—using, say, a win/loss record—then you can empirically measure their relative position in that group. I used these techniques to generate a top-ten list of the Welterweights described above [see Table 1]. Keeping in mind that this ranking technique does not (yet) account for wins against fighters who were not employed by the UFC during September 2013, that it does not account for periods of inactivity (as long as the fighter was employed, their record was counted), and that it does not assign “style” points for impressive wins, it is notable that 50% of the same names appear (in different order) on my top-ten list that appear on Bloody Elbow’s September 2013 Welterweight meta-rankings (Wade 2013). This overlap provides suggestive evidence that the Beta-centrality rank is at least somewhat accurate. However, I ran one more test to verify this ranking technique’s validity.

Beta-Centrality Ranking for UFC Welterweights

Rank          Fighter Name          Prestige Score

1                       Georges St. Pierre          5.43

2                      Matt Hughes                     3.16

3                      BJ Penn                               2.39

4                      Martin  Kampmann        2.22

5                      Johny Hendricks              2.02

6                      Carlos Condit                    2.00

7                      Thiago Alves                      1.87

8                      Jake Ellenberger             1.80

9                      Matt Serra                         1.79

10                   Rick Story                           1.63

Highly ranked fighters are highly successful fighters. If this ranking system is valid, then a fighter’s rank should be strongly related to other factors associated with professional success, such as financial compensation. It is reasonable to assume that the amount of show money that a fighter receives is a decent approximation of how much the UFC values that fighter. There are aberrations—Nate Diaz received 15K show money for UFC on Fox 7 ( 2013)—but the overall pattern holds true. For the group of Welterweights described above, I recorded the amount of show money (in thousands) that they received for their most recent fight. I also recorded each fighter’s Beta-centrality (“prestige”) score. Because the amount of show money each fighter makes will be influenced by other factors, I also gathered data on how long each fighter had been employed by the UFC, their number of UFC victories, and the number of performance-based bonuses they had received. [Descriptive statistics for these variables can be found in Table 2.]

I then entered all of this information into Stata 11 (StataCorp 2009), a computer program designed to model statistical relationships between multiple variables. I used a statistical technique known as “Ordinary Least Squares” (OLS) regression to examine the correlation between Beta-centrality and show money, while simultaneously accounting for the influence of UFC wins, tenure, and bonuses. [See Table 3 for results.] Here’s how to read the table of results: the “b-coefficient” value estimates the correlation between the variable and “show money,” the “standard error” value represents the degree of imprecision, and the asterisks indicate the probability that the estimated correlation may be due to random chance. For instance, a “p-value” of 0.05 means that you can be 95% certain that the observed effect is real. To interpret the correlation, you read the b-coefficient as “a one-unit change in the predictor variable produces an X-unit change in the outcome variable.” Alright, so here’s what all this complicated shit really means: after accounting for the number of years a Welterweight has been employed by the UFC, how many wins they have, and how many bonuses they’ve won, each 1-point increase in the Welterweight’s prestige score translates to an additional $25K in show money, give or take about $4K. The model is more than 99.9% certain that the correlation is not due to random chance. In other words, Beta-centrality is powerfully correlated with financial success. The highest-rank fighters make the most show money, and the lowest-ranked fighters make the least show money. This confirms that the ranking metric is highly correlated with fighter success, which supports the notion that “Beta-centrality” is a legitimate way to go about ranking fighters.

With enough manpower, it is theoretically possible to use every professional fighter’s win/loss record from to create one enormous MMA combat network. When fighters change promotions, it would be possible to treat them as “bridges” (Granovetter 1983) between the ranking structures of different organizations—a prospect that is increasingly plausible, given the UFC’s recent habit of releasing fairly high-profile fighters. In brief, using fancy mathematical techniques, it is totally possible to create an objective ranking system for MMA fighters. I propose that the implementation of such a system would go a long way toward elevating MMA’s status as a legitimate sport, and would wrest a core piece of the greater MMA narrative out from between Mr. White’s teeth.

Works Cited

Borgatti, Stephen P., Martin G. Everett, and Jeffrey C. Johnson. Analyzing Social Networks. Los Angeles: Sage, 2013. Print.

Dundas, Chad, and Ben Fowlkes. “Co-Main Event Podcast Episode 103.” 12 May 2014. Web. Accessed on 17 May 2014.

Granovetter, Mark. 1983. “The Strength of Weak Ties: A Network Theory Revisited” Sociological Theory 1: 201–233. “UFC on FOX 7 salaries + bonuses to Brown, Mein, Romero, Thomson.” 21 April 2013. <–bonuses-to-Brown-Mein-Romero-Thomson/>. Accessed on 17 May 2014.

StataCorp. 2009. Stata Statistical Software: Release 11. College Station, Tx: StataCorp LP.

Wade, Richard. “Bloody Elbow September 2013 Meta-Rankings: Welterweight.” SB Nation. 4 October 2013. Web. Accessed on 17 May 2014.

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Tag: Night

A quick history of Chael’s untruthful behavior.

Posted on June 12, 2014  in Writing

Chael failed a drug test, I know he defends himself saying these aren’t steriods, that they’re banned but not illegal (it takes a real politician to make that distinction) and that he did a test himself and found they were out of his system. It doesn’t matter he wasn’t being entirely truthful, he took a substance he knew was banned and thought he could get away with it. Chael has a history of this sort of behavior.

Chael failed a drug test at UFC 117 and was found with T/E ratio four times that of a normal man. Sonnen didn’t disclose this information officially to the commission (sound similar?) but he claimed that he had an unwritten agreement with Kieth Kizer that he was approved for TRT. Kieth Kizer responded that he had never spoken to Chael Sonnen in his life and it was a straight up fabrication. Kieth Kizer even confronted Chael Sonnen who tried to deflect questions and come up with even more lies and excuses such as it was his manager that talked to Kizer not him, he just mispoke, Kizer described the situation as a “strange story” and ridiculous explanation.[1]

On top of this even his diagnosis of hypogonadism, the condition that requires him to be on TRT is questionable. An endocrinologist stated that his diagnosis if incomplete. Another doctor said it would be crazy for someone born with hypogonadism to be able to be an elite wrestler and the causes for his low testosterone is steriod abuse.[2]

Chael also had some harsh words for Lance Armstrong saying

“Lance Armstrong did a number of things, and he gave himself cancer. He cheated, he did drugs, and he gave himself cancer.”

When confronted about these words, he lied, denying that it was him that said that.]([3] )

Hendo claimed that Chael was lying when he said that Dan told him he was injured so Chael could start preparing for Jon Jones and set him up.[4]

Not to mention his charges for money laundering and mortgage fraud. When these were brought up in an interview Sonnen was denying that he was involved in mortage fraud and tried to deflect the question by asking the interviewer if he beat his wife.[5]

Just thought you should know.

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Tag: Night

Cutting Weight in MMA

Posted on June 7, 2014  in Writing


Weight cutting is dangerous, there’s a reason they weigh in the day before the fight; it gives them a chance to rehydrate. It’s crazy. Let’s call it what it is. It’s kind of cheating, but it’s cheating that everybody does. You’re allowing someone to pretend they’re 155 pounds. Motherfucker, you’re not 155 pounds! You look at Gleison Tibau and it’s like, ‘Dude, you are not a 155-pound fighter. You’re just not. I understand that you can get onto that scale and it can show 155 pounds, but that is for the briefest window possible.’ As soon as guys get off the scale, they suck on pedialyte, they drink coconut water and do whatever they can to get fluids back into their system, and they’re fucking dying.

I just think that bringing your body to a state where it’s almost dying just a day before you’re going to fight is fucking crazy. I like it when guys get within 5 pounds or so. I’ve talked to guys who are really intelligent about their cuts, and they get within 5 pounds. Here’s a perfect example: Thiago Alves. All throughout his career he’s had problems with weight cuts. He missed the cut for the Matt Hughes fight and came in looking fucking enormous when he fought Hughes, and a lot of people thought that was a real advantage. I mean, he looked like a goddamn gorilla! Like someone came in and shaved a gorilla. But if you saw him in his last fight, a really entertaining fight against Seth Baczynski, he was on weight the day before the fight. The day before the fight he was 170 pounds and he didn’t have to cut any weight. He looked a little smaller as far as his musculature goes, but he looked great. He didn’t look weak in any way, shape or form. His technique was fantastic, his gas was great and he came off a two-year layoff and fought a war with a very tough Seth Baczynski. He had a really entertaining fight and he had the endurance. He was healthy coming into that fight because he didn’t have to deplete himself and starve himself and all of that shit.

I just think that approach is a better approach. I really wish there could be some sort of an agreement with fighters where it’s just, ‘Goddammit, what the fuck do you weigh? You weigh 180 pounds right now? Is that what you weigh when you’re fit? Then you should fight at 180 pounds.’ This making weight thing drives me crazy. I understand that it’s important for championship fights, to define how big the fighters are so we have people competing against people who are the same size, but I think it should stop. I think it’s a dishonorable part of the sport, and I know that’s a very controversial stance to take, and I know that a lot of people may say that I’m ignorant for saying that. ‘Who are you? You’re the commentator. You’re the guy who is the supposed expert who is explaining MMA in the No. 1 organization in the world, and you think that weight cutting is cheating?’ Yeah, I do. I think it’s cheating that everybody does. It’s one of those situations where everybody has to cheat, because everybody else is cheating.

So for a guy like me to say that I think weight cutting is just cheating that everybody agrees to, I understand that it’s a very controversial thing for me to say, and I understand that a lot of people are going to get angry at it. But I really think that it’s something that we should look at, and we should look at it, and we should look at it from that perspective. I walk around and I weigh about 155 pounds. If I told someone that I really weigh 145 pounds, and they’re like, ‘Good, I weigh 145 pounds too, I’ll meet you here at this time and let’s grapple or fight or whatever.’ If I really do weigh 155 pounds, I’m going to have a 10-pound weight advantage over that person. So if I trick them into thinking that I weigh 155, and starve and dehydrate myself to prove it, and then when we actually meet I’m healthy and back up to 195 pounds, isn’t that cheating? Isn’t that lying? That’s what people are doing.

When people weigh in at 155 pounds and then balloon up to 175 pounds totally shredded and ripped with giant, full muscles … It’s crazy! What kind of game are we playing? Why are we playing that game? Well we’re playing that game because everybody is playing it. The weight cutting game is part of the whole MMA game now. It’s deeply entwined and integrated into the sport that you cannot compete against the best in the world unless you’re willing to starve yourself and deplete yourself, and I think it’s fucked.

I think it’s contrary to the very spirit of martial arts. The very spirit of elite level martial arts should be that you train as hard as you can, you watch your nutrition, you do not take performance-enhancing drugs that give you any sort of unfair advantage and you want to compete against someone who is your size. That’s what it should be all about. You don’t want to go in there and bully someone who is littler than you. You don’t want to go in there and hit someone who is 30 pounds lighter than you that you have some sort of ridiculous advantage over. That’s not in the spirit of elite-level martial arts. Elite martial arts should be people competing against people who are the same size as them. Sure there will be some variations. There will be a guy who is 170 pounds and is built like Hector Lombard, and another guy who is 170 pounds and is kind of doughy and soft and has a lot of body fat. Well, the Hector Lombard guy is always going to be stronger and faster. There are going to be variables, but at least we can minimize those variables if people agree to fight at whatever weight they actually are at.

If you want to fight at 170 pounds, figure out a way to get your body healthily down to 170 pounds. There are optimum weight classes for people. There are people who are carrying around too much body fat, and they would perform at a higher level if they could drop that body fat and get more fit. There are a lot of people who carry unnecessary muscle mass, which looks good if you’re powerlifting or bodybuilding, but the reality of MMA is a lot of that stuff just sort of gets in the way. There’s a point of diminishing returns, where too much musculature is just going to rob you of your performance, especially in the third, fourth and fifth rounds. It’s a huge factor when you see a really muscular guy.

We’ve commented on it on the broadcast a lot, sometimes to the point where muscular guys like Tyron Woodley have taken umbrage with it and get pissed off at me. It’s not that I’m not a Tyron Woodley fan, but if you look at Tyron Woodley and then at the other guys that are 170 pounds, and it’s clear that one of these things is not like the others. One guy has a significantly larger amount of muscle than other guys. It works great for him in certain ways, but in other ways you pay the price for that.

I think that if someone wants to compete at 170 pounds, they should fucking weigh 170 pounds. If someone wants to compete at 185 pounds, that should be what you weigh, and if you want to compete at that weight class, figure out how to get your body down to 185 pounds in a healthy way.

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Tag: Night

Will Rumble be the first to beat Jon Jones?

Posted on April 30, 2014  in Uncategorized


Anthony Johnson has been preparing to defeat JBJs #1 weapon for many years, it all started back at UFC Fight Night:Lauzon vs Florian. That fateful night started with Johnson being brutally poked in the eye [1] by Tommy Spear only to come back and land a vicious finishing move [2] (notice how Tommy actually goes for another eye poke right before the KO). Rumbles next fight was against Kevins Burns, not only was he poked in the eye [3] it was so bad the fight needed to be stopped and Rumble need surgical intervention to correct the injury [4] . In a sad twist Kevin Burns was awarded the win however Anthony Johnson returned to fight him in a rematch 6 month later and took his vengeance [5] .

Rumble went on to crush a few cans before facing the king of troll, the ultimate heel Josh Koscheck and was defeated by rear naked choke but not before Kos could poke him in the eye and fake being hit by an illegal blow. This event haunted Rumble, he realized his raw power and blacksplosiveness would not be enough to become an elite UFC fighter.
AJ fell into a slump and missed weight several times before being kicked out of the ufc, the world was against him but like the phoenix he rose from the ashes in mid-tier organizations, not only could he Rumble but he also became Humble . In 2012 Johnson proved once again that poking him in the eye is a terrible, terrible idea. During his fight with DJ Linderman Rumble was poked straight in the ball, the ref stopped the fight to give DJ a moment to say his last works before Rumble once again sought vengeance [6] and turned DJ into a corpse [7] .

We’ve seen Jon Jones has the power of the poke, handed down to him by the forefathers of questionable fighting techniques however Anthony Johnson has spent his time wisely preparing for such cheap tactics. Rumbles new found humble culminated this past weekend when he easily defeated Phil Davis by Unanimous Decision, utilizing a solid game plan and showing vastly improved cardio.

Johnson’s berserker rage when eye poked won’t be enough to defeat Jones, however there are several other objective and factual reasons he will unseat the champ

1. Blacksplosiveness: Not a single fighter Jones has encountered has possessed as much blacksplosiveness as Rumble. Evans became gun shy and forgot his blacksplosiveness during his fight with jones, Rampage also only possessed 20% blacksplosive power during his fight with Bones. Scientists have analyzed Jon Jones and discovered 67% blacksplosiveness early in his career, which dropped to around 50% since become a well rounded champ. Rumble possesses 103% blacksplosiveness which actually increases to 123% after each eye poke and after joining Blackzillians his Blacksplosive output is at an all time high. This of course translates to high level takedown defense and powerful striking as evidence in the davis fight [8] and turning Andre Arlovski into an assault victim [9]

2. Humble: We all know Bones is the champ and has a bit of a (deserved) ego, but he isn’t humble. After hours of observation we know Jones is actually only 14% humble. Anthony “Humble” Johnson is the pound for pound humbleness champion and recently came to possess so much humble its now part of his name, his very being. Rumble has become so humble he has decided to let Jones keep his title for a bit longer instead of asking for the fight immediately. It has been prophesized by the ancients that Rumble will show Jones how to be humble, by means of fist to the mouth.

3. Is real: Jon Jones is a great champion, well rounded and lethal. He isn’t real though, he snitches on people and thinks driving around while drunk is the thing to do. Anthony Johnson is real [10] and there are also reports that he is from the street, which mean jones is in some trouble once the octagon is closed. Literally none of Jones’s opponents have been as real as Rumble, Rashad and Rampage are industry fighters and don’t care if they lose. This weekend we saw how real Anthony really is, during a promotional picture you can clearly see who the clowns are and who is real

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Tag: Night

Posted on April 26, 2014  in Uncategorized

Cody McKenzie vs Mark Dobie Battle for the Border 3 Nations Collide.  You’re welcome.

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