Page 1 of 3Ivan Salaverry is one of the top fighters in the world 185 pound middleweight class and will clash with Team Quest fighter Art Santore at the WFA 4 that will take place at the Forum in California on July 22nd.. The durable fighter has proven himself in K-1, the UFC, and in fact was the main event fighter for the first free MMA event in the history of the sport in the USA!
Ivan Salaverry is one of the top fighters in the world 185 pound middleweight class and will clash with Team Quest fighter Art Santore at the WFA 4 that will take place at the Forum in California on July 22nd.. The durable fighter has proven himself in K-1, the UFC, and in fact was the main event fighter for the first free MMA event in the history of the sport in the USA! Mr. Salaverry talks about his fight with Nate Marquardt that night, his upcoming fight in the WFA organization that putting together a world class card for July 22nd, and the ugly politics that get involved in MMA. He gives it to us straight and MMARR was there to listen to Ivan Salaverry in this no holds barred three part interview.
Arnold The Sushiboy Lim: Getting ready for a big fight, you have Art Santore coming at you from Team Quest, He is a pretty experienced guy, what are your thoughts on him as an opponent?
Ivan Salaverry: Super nice guy for one, very awkward style for sure, he has got a strong wrestling background with a little bit of submissions and he definitely switches from orthodox to southpaw a lot and he has got a lot of heart.
MMARR: He can take a lot of punishment.
Salaverry gives Joe Riggs the big boot moments before finishing him
MMARR: You will be fighting for the upstart WFA, what does WFA as an organization bring to the table that other organizations might not?
IS: Well I mean obviously with the past organizations that I have worked with, I am just happy that there is another player on deck, you know what I mean? it is just the fact that it is better for all fighters to have the capability of being able to see their worth in other organizations as well, you know what I mean? And it is good for the sport. Good to have a few organizations out there that are equal to the other bigger organizations like UFC, K-1, Pride, and all of them. On TV, you know what I mean, and have another place that fighters can go to.
MMARR: Absolutely, you mentioned the UFC, you mentioned K-1, you mentioned Pride, obviously those are huge organizations, the WFA do you feel that they eventually they will become players like those guys and become an elite organization, not that they are not an elite organization but go to the scale and scope of those other organizations?
IS: I hope so, that is the whole plan, who would have thought that twelve years ago the sport could have gone anywhere but being other then a spectacle? You know what I mean? Before it was just a spectacle, What the hell is this, it is crazy, this is a weird sport and nobody liked it and it was so odd yada yada yada, but in the end it is a beautiful sport, highly technical you know what I mean? I think that how it has evolved is the fact that the UFC name is such a brand name now it equates to no holds barred fighting or MMA and it doesnt. The whole thing about it is that there is a lot of organizations are out there that contribute to the sport, King of the Cage, Hook N Shoot, the IFL, quite a few other ones, you know what I mean I am forgetting but I am sure there are a lot of other organizations, I think fighters in general need another bigger organization equivalent to the UFC, equivalent to K-1 and Pride, in the United States. It is better for competition and it is better for the fighters themselves.
MMARR: You mentioned the UFC, one of the things that they have done first of all recently is bring in the T.V show the Ultimate fighter that is now shown on Spike TV as well as the ultimate fight nights which are the free live events on spike TV. What are your thoughts on that and do you think that these kinds of things are really helping the sport? What do you think about the reality T.V. what are your thoughts on that?
IS: Do you want to hear my version of it and what it is truly like or do you want to hear the politically correct version?
MMARR: I want to hear your version; I dont want to hear anything correct.
IS: Ok this is how I think of it, it is wonderful to have free T.V and all of America watching, I would like to see no holds barred on CBS, NBC, ABC on primetime like any baseball, football or basketball game. That is how I think the sport should be, I think it should be a nationalized past time. On the other hand when you look at the UFC, how it is producing this show, I think it wants to create its own champion, it wants to create its own identity as a sport and the only one that can identify with the sport is the UFC. That is how I think they are trying to portray the sport and it isnt like that. They are tying these young guys into these hundred thousand dollar six figure deals with ten fights in them, if you calculate that out it is minimal money! You cant renegotiate your contract out. There is a lot of little things that are out there but you know what? This is part of the process that is going on with the sport. The beginning of baseball, the beginning of basketball, the beginning of football, before they were unionized or had an association that could benefit the fighters, there have been situations where it seems like the companies are looking out for you, but it really isnt.
MMARR: I see, you mention unions and stuff like that, and people looking out for you but really not, do you think that the natural progression will eventually see insurance and a players union, and
IS: Absolutely, medical insurance, pension, all that, right now the organizations are making a lot a lot of money off of these fighters, if you calculate it out it is not paying off a lot. It might seem like it is paying off a lot, and what they portray out there it seems like they pay a lot, but in comparison to what these fighters are bringing up
Look at our marquee fighters, they are not getting paid in comparison to boxing money, not even close! Rich Franklin our middleweight champion in the UFC got paid 36 000 dollars bro. Calculate that out for any minimal middleweight champion boxer out there, what he is getting paid for his third title defense?
MMARR: In fairness, the sport of boxing has been around for a hundred years and it is more popular and generates more income, would you think or no?
IS: No, not even close, I mean this sport right now is having record sales of everything, record sales of PPV, they sell out the MGM, they sell out the Mandalay Bay, they sell out the stadiums, they have DVD sales, national, international, brother, millions are being made, but millions are not being distributed.
IS: We are getting political here brother Laughs I dont know if you really wanted to hear this from me.
End of Part 1