Originally written on hov-mma  |  Last updated 7/3/13

Ever since the UFC 158 pre-fight press conference went down, the phrase “Wolf Tickets” has been embedded in every MMA fans vocabulary. Considering you are reading this you probably know that Nick Diaz was the person to brilliantly call out his employers for trying to convince the general consumer to buy tickets to the event or the television pay-per-view based on the fact his opponent, Georges St-Pierre, was in a demonic rage and wanted to not only win the fight with Diaz but cause him physical harm in the process. Of course GSP went on the win that fight in a rather typical manner, controlling Diaz for five rounds and not causing him much physical harm at all. Now that Nick Diaz is a promoter himself and has obviously become accustomed to what it takes to sell a fight, he has laid off the UFC's back. If he were still a UFC fighter though surely Diaz would point out the obvious re-selling of Wolf tickets. This time under a new guise: “Weidman Wolf Tickets.” Recently the UFC made Anderson Silva's defence of his middleweight title against fellow Brazilian Vitor Belfort available online as a tool to get people ready for the upcoming fight with Chris Weidman at UFC 162. Let me give you a little UFC 126 pre-fight Joe Rogan quote from that video (at the 1:08 marker). "If you wanted to build a perfect fighter to beat a guy like Anderson Silva, it would be a guy like Vitor Belfort.” That's all well and good as the hype before a fight builds, maybe a little over the top, but at the end of the day it's the UFC's job to get people excited. As we know Anderson knocked Belfort out with a first round front kick to the face. But were we sold “Wolf Tickets?” The answer is no. Its OK to talk somebody up with a legitimate opinion that they are a “perfect fighter” to beat someone else. It's even OK to say a certain fighter is a bad match-up for another. What's not OK, though, is to say it again - knowing a fighter, Anderson Silva, has already proven it to be incorrect by beating an array of opponents with the same attributes as the promoter, The UFC, is giving as a reason his next opponent, Chris Weidman, could win. This is where we get into “Wolf Ticket” territory. Prior to the Henderson fight the “H-Bomb” and Olympic wrestling would be the downfall of Anderson. Maia's jiu-jitsu was going to tangle the Spiders web. Chael's wrestling was SuperSilva's kryptonite, as was Okami's. Belfort's striking and jiu-jitsu made him the "perfect fighter" to beat Anderson. Yet somehow we are told Weidman is going to be Silva's toughest fight because of his wrestling, jiu-jitsu and striking? It just doesn't add up. Let me quote Joe Rogan again. This time from a video released by the UFC on Tuesday as a UFC 162 main event preview where he talks about Chris Weidman: "This is the first time I have ever looked at a guy and I have said, he is the perfect man to defeat Anderson Silva.” Sounds familiar, doesn't it? Now it may be a little harsh on Mr.Rogan to put those two quotes together but the fact of the matter is that's what promoting is. He isn't being dishonest in what he says on either occasion but at the same time both quotes are said with a massive amount of promotional bias. Not only is the UFC's usual hype-man talking up Weidman so, it seems, are an abnormally large number of fighters on the UFC's roster. From the same video Rashad Evans explains of Weidman; “He's extremely tough. And he's strong. And he's big. He's going to finish the fight.” Flyweight contender John Moraga chimes in with; “I have a feeling he's going to pull it off. I think he's going to go in there and dominate actually.” Gray Maynard says; “He's hungry. He's confident. He's a beast. If anyone can beat Anderson, it's him.” "If I was a betting man I would put my money on Chris Weidman.” - Luke Rockhold. "He is the guy to break Anderson Silva's undefeated streak.” - Daniel Cormier. "He will be the next middleweight champion.” - Georges St-Pierre. Not a single person (hand picked by the UFC) on the video chose the greatest fighter of all time to win. Everyone picked the guy who is almost a 2/1 underdog, coming off an eleven month lay off, with only one victory against a top ten ranked opponent. That's not to say Weidman won't win the fight. He has as much a chance as anyone else who has faced Anderson. Anything can happen in MMA. The problem is the UFC's dropping not-so-subtle hints to make people believe Weidman has an excellent chance  to win, or is even a favourite over Anderson. After beating every contender put in front of him for the last seven years, on paper Anderson Silva blows Chris Weidman out of the water. Luckily the fight isn't being fought on paper. It will be fought inside the Octagon on Saturday night. The ultimate proving ground for fighters. We will find out if Weidman is what everyone is being told he is. Or, we will find out if Anderson is still the undisputed greatest fighter of all time. Until then, to quote Nick Diaz, keep eating them Wolf Tickets right up.

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