| | UFC kicks WFA owner out of building Saturday night
How scared is the UFC of the WFA?
I got a call this afternoon from an MMA insider who told me that the UFC kicked Jeremy Lappen, the CEO of the World Fighting Alliance, out of last night's show. So, I decided to call Lappen to get confirmation and find out what he did to get kicked out.
“I had just sat down in the front row seats given to me by Ken Shamrock and security told me I had to leave,” Lappen told me. “I showed them my ticket and asked why I was being kicked out. They said it was because I did not have a credential. I told them that nobody in that section had a credential, but a UFC official and 3 security guards escorted me out of the venue, out of the casino and into the cab line. They put me in a cab and made me leave the casino.”
That’s it. According to Lappen, he did not do anything other than use a ticket given to him by a headliner.
Well, actually, Lappen did do something else. He signed Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, Bas Rutten, Matt Lindland, Kimo Loeplodo, Jason “Mayhem” Miller, Lyoto Machida, Ricco Rodriguez, Ron Waterman, Vernon White and "Razor" Rob McCollough to fight in the WFA’s July 22nd card. Plus, the WFA has the nerve to be on the verge of signing a deal with Showtime to air its fights.
In light of this incident and the UFC’s lawsuit trying to shut down the IFL, it seems painfully clear that the UFC is deathly afraid of competition. Not surprisingly, Lappen agrees.
“I have been told that [UFC matchmaker] Joe Silva is calling our fighters telling them to leave us," Lappen said. "They are so scared of the WFA, they are so freaked out by what we are doing that they can’t have me in their venue. Look at the Wanderlei/Chuck announcement. That would never have happened if the WFA was not around. We have caused Pride and the UFC to work together to stop us.”
When I asked Lappen if any of this has put a dent in the WFA's upcoming show he replied, “No, the preparation is going real well. We are gearing up for the final two weeks of promotion, we have the count-down show on Showtime and it's going to be a great event.”
So, it looks like the UFC topped off last night's poor show with continued poor management style. Poorer than most people know since Lappen is not the only ticket holder rudely booted out of last night’s UFC show.
The UFC better hope that it becomes a raging, unstoppable success becase this kind of arrogant managment style will only be successful for as long as the UFC remains close enough to a monopoly that people have to accept its bullying. But, at some point you have to believe that the competition will catch up enough that the UFC will be able to use a helping hand from the same people it is stepping on right now. Will it get that helping hand? It remains to be seen what will happen, but I would not expect to see the MMA community go too far out if its way to help the UFC.