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Fight Network drama

Today we’re going to delve into the realm of gossip and rumors, because if we don’t post shit like that, who will? A discussion on the Underground forums regarding the health of the Fight Network led to former employee JT McCarthy surfacing to sling shit at his old bosses. In a nutshell he accused the new administration of completely fucking everything up and called Mauro Ranallo an egotistical sexist prick.

Mind you, it’s worth noting that ex-employees with an axe to grind might not be the most legitimate sources in the world, so you should take what he says with a good dash of salt. Regardless, here’s the shit that does line up:

-A ton of the Fight Network’s best people left when the new regime came through, including my sexy love interest Loretta Hunt. No confirmation of the new CEO and his ‘crony’ getting fired, but if that’s the case maybe things will be better now?

-The Fight Network did indeed lose all credentials for airing footage of the Couture/Sylvia fight without permission. It was an uber-dumb thing to do and it basically turned the UFC against the Fight Network.

Everything else is second hand hearsay from a dude who’s opinion may or may not be balanced. But how many times do I get to post shit about Mauro Ranallo saying ‘cunt’? Not nearly enough. So keep reading if you loves you some good ol’ fashioned behind the scenes gossip!

From JT McCarthy on the Underground Forums:

The first year that I was there was officially the 2nd year they were in business as myself, Randy Couture, Loretta Hunt and Big John were brought in fulltime. We had a blast, flying out every month to various events, getting exclusive behind the scenes access and sit-downs with the likes of Randy, Josh Barnett, Arlovski, Big John, GSP and even Dana himself just to name a few. We’d cover the UFC, K-1, WWE, and all the major Boxing shows from California to Vegas to MSG in NYC. It was a thriving time for TFN.

I covered a small amount of Boxing with the resident Boxing insider, Jason Ableson. Great man who possesses a boatload of knowledge on the “sweet science” My main coverage was MMA, namely the UFC along with Randy, Loretta and John. We’d host Before The Bell and After The Bell, which is obviously the pre and post show series of live UFC coverage we did on TFN. We’d cover everything leading up to the event, including the pre-fight presser, weigh-in coverage and general day-to-day activities and pre fight training sessions. That would lead us into the event, where we would continue to cover everything post-fight related, breakdowns of the fights with me hosting and Randy breaking it all down in his own words.

We’d also have Randy give his picks on each of the main card fights, it was fun to bust his balls for the incorrect picks he’d make, but then I’d always pay for it at a later date, be it in the gym, or with wisecracks thrown in my direction. John would step in at the end of the show with a segment called ‘Last Call’ where he’d give us the full scoop on what happened during the main event from his point of view, seeing is he had thee best seat in the house. And Loretta was genius in getting great interviews set up and did on camera work as well during every show.

Now, enter 2008. New ownership, new COO’s, CFO’s, CEO’s, ABC’s and EFG’s etc. Not ONE with any idea on how to properly manage a company, nor deligate authority or more importantly-responsibility.

A former Production Director took it upon himself to re-air the finish of the Couture/Sylvia finish on our post show from Columbus…without written consent from the company that was kind enough to grant us all the access we enjoyed. Zuffa was unthrilled to say the least, and rightfully so. These were the kinds of people that TFN had hired at this point in time to run things behind the camera. Said PD was fired, TFN lost ALL credentials to the UFC and that was that. Then with new management came money issues, it was insane. Money was just being flushed away with ZERO product to show for it, people were let go right, left and center (…centre for the Canadians reading this)

Loretta left, Randy had his issues with the company and it’s direction, I took off, 20 others were fired, and to be honest I think they have 2 on air staff at this point in time. Mauro Ranallo and John Ramdeen-who had zero on camera experience before being shoved infront of it due to lack of staff. I won’t even get into Mauro, we’d be here all day discussing everything from potential sexual harrassment charges to public intoxication. As it stands now, the new CEO was fired last month as was his right hand cronie. The original CEO was a great man with expert vision and direction, he knew his way around a boardroom like a champ and actually cared about people. He’ll be missed.

The original President/CEO was Mike Garrow, he was just such an honest and genuine guy. He reallllyyyyyy loves the sport, and he did everything he could for TFN.

The guy would eat, sleep and breathe TFN. I know he had shares in the company, but when the new disaster squad came in and re-tooled everything, Mike was given a different role and had very little to do with the day-to-day creative dept and production elements. This, in my opinion, is where things began to head south. Mike was soley responsible for bringing Randy, Loretta, Big John and myself aboard. And to be honest, he did a million and one other things to help make that place great in it’s hayday, which in my opinion was the entire 2nd year of the network.

As for the “Mauro” requests, I’ll pass. I’d literally be here all afternoon long. But I will say this. I’m shocked that it took TFN that long to lose the UFC credentials, considering when you put Mauro at a dinner table with 3 female PR Reps from Zuffa and he proceeds to tell them to their faces that they are “…dumb c#$ts, who know nothing about MMA and never will” you’d think it would’ve been at THAT point UFC would’ve banned TFN due to his antics. And that was just one of several incidents in Columbus during that weekend.

I was also present for an altercation in which Mauro physically attacked a fellow employee for no reason what-so-ever. If I’m not mistaken, it was due to the employee simply asking him a question about an upcoming report that was to be filmed for the ‘Knockout News’ feature. Mauro snapped and dived at him and had to be restraigned by several people in the office. As for my “beef” with the guy, it can’t even be classified as such. It’s just my complete and utter disgust with all that he does, he’s not at all professional, treats people he feels are under him like garbage and is without question, thee worst company spokesman/on air rep that one could have.