Sunday MMA Quick Hits: Tate Needlessly Roasted for OnlyFans Comment, Aljo Rips USADA

Miesha Tate UFC
Miesha Tate, UFC Vegas 43 Weigh-In Credit: Alex Behunin/Cageside Press

It’s just another Sunday — but the Sunday after the first UFC PPV of the year. UFC 270 dominated the headlines this past week, and for good reason. There was also the official announcement of UFC London, and lots of news about the promotion’s upcoming cards. With Dana White and co. taking next week off, the focus will shift to Bellator, who head to Arizona for their own heavyweight title unification bout.

In the meantime, here’s what we didn’t get to this week.

Miesha Tate Gets Heat for Saying She Isn’t Desperate Enough to Do OnlyFans — But Why?

Ahh, the habitually offended Internet. For the most part, if you’re not offending someone online at this point, you probably aren’t speaking at all.

This past week, former UFC and Strikeforce women’s bantamweight champ Miesha Tate was in the cross-hairs for putting down OnlyFans, apparently. When a fan on Youtube suggested she should start an OnlyFans page, Tate responded by saying that “nowhere in this video did I say I was desperate.”

And that’s where the story should have ended — but Internet. Cue cries of “sex shaming” and rallying calls to support sex workers.

Wait, what? Does anyone really believe that Tate’s choice not to post skimpy photos on OnlyFans is “sex shaming?” The problem here isn’t Tate’s response, it’s the response to Tate’s response. Much as with the porn industry, you have two types on OnlyFans: those who want to do it, and those who are desperate and have no other choice.

Anyone in the “want to do it” category, great. More power to you. Have fun. It’s only sex. Your parents all had it, and you’re welcome for that mental picture. Now, the “desperate and have no other choice” category is the problem. See, there are an awful lot of female fighters on OnlyFans these days, plus a few with their own subscription sites like Paige VanZant. Some are making good coin, and probably enjoy it, but the number of UFC bodies in particular says a lot about the pay scale in the UFC at the moment — because there is a disproportionate number of ladies who are excellent fighters making ends meet with suggestive photos.

Do we all believe that in every single case, it’s love of (artistic or not) sex/nudity/erotica and not just needing to pay bills? Because if you do believe that: bridge. Brooklyn. We have one for sale.

Tate later clarified her own stance on The MMA Hour (via MMA Fighting). “I don’t want to do that because I feel like in my position, people are already calling for my retirement. They’re already writing me off. I’ve worked so hard for so long being a pioneer in this sport that I will do everything that I can to be taken as serious as I can. This is my personal [choice]. This is not a reflection of how anyone else chooses to lead their life or if they feel good about doing an OnlyFans, then great! Do it! I have no problem with women going out there, men going out there, whoever wants to get on OnlyFans, do it. But for me, I don’t want to be perceived as someone who is fighting as a secondary [option] or getting attention for fighting as a secondary [option]. I don’t want OnlyFans to be the reason that people are interested in me.”

Eagle FC 44 Card Complete… And It’s Not Too Shabby

Eagle FC’s U.S. expansion is well underway, and it seems like we can be cautiously optimistic. Despite Khabib Nurmagomedov’s views on female fighting, which are behind the times to say the least, the promotion has Felicia Spencer on commentary. They’ve got a slick little arena set up in Florida, and the first card on U.S. soil, Eagle FC 44, looks promising.

We didn’t get here without at least one speed bump, however, as the promotion tried to book Bigfoot Silva in a slaughter against Tyrone Spong. That fight eventually (and rather quickly) fell through, leading to a much better, more competitive main event of Spong vs. Sergei Kharitonov.

Rashad Evans vs. Gabriel Checco, Ray Borg vs. Cody Gibson, names like Loik Radzhabov, Shawn Bunch, Yorgan De Castro — there could be some fun fights here. And the card is free. You know what’s worth watching? Free fights.

When Mike Jackson Returns in April, He’ll Qualify for a Wikipedia Entry

That headline, in and of itself, doesn’t mean much, right? Jackson, as the first opponent of Mickey Gall in the UFC, and second opponent of CM Punk, is at least a little footnote in the sport’s history, after all.

The problem here is how many other more successful, more significant fighters do not qualify for a Wikipedia entry.

Unless you truly keep abreast of the minutiae of the MMA world, you probably aren’t familiar with how such decisions are made. In the case of Wikipedia, MMA fighters are entitled to an entry if they’ve fought three times for a major MMA (tier 1) promotion. Which consist of the UFC, Invicta FC (for the ladies, obviously), and… well, until 2022, that was about it. Bellator was delisted as a tier 1 promotion from what is known as WP:MMANOT (MMA Notability) for… reasons, back in 2015. In other words, bias. Which meant that, if you joined Bellator in 2016, fought seven times in the next three years, and fought for a belt — you were not considered notable enough for a Wikipedia entry.

The PFL? ONE Championship? RIZIN? Unless you’re notable for something other than MMA, like winning a BJJ championship or being a D-1 Wrestler, you don’t matter.

The original criteria for a promotion to qualify as top tier was based on having a certain number of fighters in the top 10 rankings of Sherdog. Who decided it should boil down to that one site, and why Bellator wasn’t relisted when they did meet the requisite number of fighters years ago — well that remains a mystery. Again, bias. Eventually, after some significant infighting, Bellator was promoted back to tier 1, for women in 2021, for men in 2022.

That still ignores fighters who competed there from 2015 to 2021/2, and fighters in all those other promotions. But hey, go 0-3 in the UFC, and you deserve to be known to the world at large, right?

The sheer hubris of those behind the MMA Notability guidelines on Wikipedia, which boils down to a very, very small cachet of users who happen to be MMA (or just UFC) fans, is mind-blowing. For years, what amounted to a small group of angry forum mods guarded the keys to the kingdom with irrational fervour, lashing out at anyone who dared suggest the rules needed to be fixed. The fact that any traction whatsoever was made over the past year or so is actually a complete shock. But it’s still not enough.

An encyclopedia is only as good as the information it holds and those who maintain it, and the system is broken. The maintainers inept. How badly? Rin Nakai, who has fought for RIZIN, held a title in Pancrase (where she was known as the Queen of Pancrase), and who went 0-2 in the UFC, can’t get a Wikipedia entry. Brendan Loughnane, who went to the PFL finals last year, and was notoriously snubbed by Dana White on the Contender Series, can’t get a Wikipedia entry. Both are far more notable than Mike Jackson, in terms of what they have accomplished in the sport — but when Jackson faces Dean Barry in April, he’s in.

Again, not a knock on Jackson. But when a fighter like Ray Cooper III, a two-time PFL tournament winner who literally made millions fighting in the sport, can’t get recognized, you have a problem.

Maybe, just maybe, the rules should allow for accomplishments, rather than just being a body in a promotion. Crazy idea, right?

Aljo Goes Off on USADA

USADA has been an improvement when it comes to the UFC. Outside of picograms, for the most part, the UFC is no longer the wild west when it comes to doping. If you cheat, there’s a good chance you’re getting caught.

Well, maybe not. Bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling ripped into USADA on The MMA Hour last week. It started off with Aljo saying he wouldn’t be surprised if rival and interim champ Petr Yan was cheating. The champ then dug into USADA itself.

“This sport was founded on being prideful of, ‘Yeah, I’m jacked, I’m a monster.’ Look at the back in the days and see what people used to look like, the Sean Sherks, and I don’t want to disparage anyone’s name, but we kind of know who’s who,” Sterling stated (via MMA Fighting). “The Belforts – we know what’s up.”

“To try to tell me and convince me that people aren’t still doing stuff, USADA can’t catch T.J. Dillashaw, who’d actually been outed by Cody Garbrandt in a press conference, and USADA doesn’t think, ‘Huh, maybe we should look into this.’ Because Garbrandt said, ‘He was the one showing people at the gym how to do it.’ Nothing happened after that. But the athletic state [commission] of New York catches T.J. Dillashaw? So what are they doing?”

Now, this is more of a rant than anything. But also this week, Carlos Felipe was suspended 18 months by the Nevada Athletic Commission for failing an in-competition drug test. That, despite passing USADA administered drug tests both before and after the fight in question.

LFA 122’s Main Event Was Very, Very Good

It ended in a fifth round finish. It was thoroughly entertaining through. The flyweight title fight between Charles Johnson and Carlos Mota at LFA 122 on Friday was absolutely worth watching. We won’t spoil anything. Go check it out.