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The New York City Times Discovers a Manhattan Makeover for Nu-Tenant Farming

It all starts out harmless enough: A Manhattan couple, after years spent frequenting the city’s farmers markets, became increasingly focused on eating local and understanding where their food came from. They had visions of leaving behind their towering steel surroundings and starting their own farm upstate. Problem was, neither of them—one an architect and the…



The New York City Times Discovers a Manhattan Makeover for Nu-Tenant Farming

Everything starts safe enough: A Manhattan couple, after years invested often visiting the city’s farmers markets, became significantly concentrated on eating regional and understanding where their food originated from. They had visions of leaving their towering steel environments and beginning their own farm upstate. Issue was, neither of them– one a designer and the other an executive at a cheese business– knew anything about farming or the agriculture market. An unique concept popped into their heads, according to The New York Times’ Design section: “Why not buy some land, offer much of it to a young farmer and construct a two-family home where they could all live together?”

Therefore Claire Ko and Eugene Kwak bought a plot of land, offered their idea a name– Togather– and found their ideal prospects to work the fields. They didn’t exactly “offer” much to the young couple who would be doing the farming:

To help a resourceful farmer develop a farm, the couple chose to provide a totally free 30- year land lease on up to five acres. They likewise discounted the lease for the farmer’s house to $1,100 a month, after determining that area homes of a similar size rented for $1,500 to $1,800

If this sounds familiar, it is. The proper term for what the Manhattan couple invented is tenant farming. It’s a practice that has actually been around for centuries. In America, renter farming is inextricably connected to the Jim Crow South, where it was the most direct way for wealthy white landowners to continue obstructing the social mobility of formerly oppressed Black workers together with other nonwhite and poor people. (My grandfather and great-grandfather, both Sappony males, worked as occupant farmers; it was not up until the 1930 s that my grandfather, James Coleman, turned into one of the first tribal members to in fact own and run a Sappony farm.)

As Dr. Sarah Taber, a crop researcher and previous farmworker, mentioned in reaction to the piece, occupant farming and the adjacent practice of sharecropping– in which the landowner takes a percentage of the crop or earnings– was not restricted to the South, having a strong presence in the Midwest and North.

Because the Times design section is essentially a high-minded troll blog, the story exploded. (” I see the NYT Realty section found sharecropping,” one reader wrote.) But, like comparable tales of liberals gone bad, like the now-infamous eco-slumlords of Brooklyn, the story ends up signifying something bleak about what reads as altruism and even fundamental fairness in our present minute. This couple, probably with honestly excellent objectives, is now magnanimously allowing a set of employees to pay them $12,000 in annual rent while also spending their life savings to prepare land they do not own. The black marble counter tops in the bespoke farmhouse are just the highly elegant trappings of a bigger trend: A salt-the-earth approach to labor that increasingly forces employees to take on all threats and problems for an ownership class that’s sitting back and cleaning up. Call it Togather or Uber or whatever you ‘d like, however it’s all the same con.

American farming is, by design and not by nature, an exploitative shell game, run by those rich adequate to compose the rules. It’s why the National Labor Relations Act and the Fair Labor Standards Act of the 1930 s both consisted of carve-outs that provided landowners relief from following labor protections and minimum salaries set for nearly every other industry. It’s why American farming, today, in 2020, still depends greatly on underpaid and underprotected undocumented workers. It’s why the renters that Kwak and Ko presently have working the farm confessed to the Times that they burned through their life cost savings in the first year because they had to install a well, build greenhouses, put in fencing, and renew the soil. Ought to they fall back on their 30- year lease and get evicted, all of these improvements would eventually boost the long-lasting finances of one group: their property owners.

This is the way that land ownership has been trending for decades now, with a select few declaring ownership over large swaths of the readily available personal property: As of 2017, 100 individuals own a New England– size portion of the country’s land. The oft-mentioned “small household farms” that control the political ad cycle are more often than not farms operated by families however owned by enormous agriculture corporations This is the sort of circumstance– no real route to ownership for your typical person– that may make subsidized rent in a good house appear like a dream deal. Still, in an interview with The Alchemist’s Kitchen area in April, among the renter farmers from the Times story admitted that he and his partner had to discover additional work at a seed business during the off-season to cover their bills.

However this isn’t just about farming. In reality, the nu-tenant farming concept at the center of Togather is more comparable to the Silicon Valley propensity to shift as many of the functional costs and threats onto individual employees as i s legally possible. Think of how Uber and Lyft “discovered” that it remained in truth less expensive to take a significant percentage of their drivers’ meters while inquiring to cover all car-related costs and not using them health insurance. Or take this current piece on Mars colonization by CNN Service press reporter Jackie Wattles, in which Elon Musk explained his strategy to colonize the red world as “life insurance for life,” while his company ally Robert Zubrin delicately drifted the idea of “indentured bondage” as a way working and middle-class people could afford the journey. “If somebody states, ‘But will not there be exploitation there?’ Well sure,” Zubrin told CNN, “that’s what individuals do to each other all the time.”

None of these efforts are particularly smart or creative. It doesn’t require a remarkable I.Q. to reach the conclusion that getting people to successfully pay you to work for them will lead to you becoming even wealthier than you already are. That just takes seed cash and a fast perusing of Wikipedia or YouTube to find out how slave owners made their nut. The question is whether today’s wealthy can swallow a visual reframing of centuries-old abhorrent labor practices in the name of fulfilling their dreams. Apparently, the response is yes.

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The Desperate Year of the Digital Media Titans

Six years ago, The New York Times surveyed the media landscape and found that the paper of record was lagging behind. Digital upstarts like BuzzFeed, HuffPost, and Vox Media were not only setting the pace, they were dictating the terms of the future. “They are ahead of us in building impressive support systems for digital…



The Desperate Year of the Digital Media Titans

Six years back, The New York Time s surveyed the media landscape and discovered that the paper of record was lagging behind Digital upstarts like BuzzFeed, HuffPost, and Vox Media were not only setting the rate, they were determining the terms of the future. “They lead us in developing outstanding support systems for digital journalists, and that space will grow unless we quickly enhance our capabilities,” a committee studying the paper’s digital output composed. “Meanwhile, our journalism benefit is shrinking as more of these upstarts broaden their newsrooms.”

In retrospect, that report feels like a high-water mark for all those digital media upstarts. While it was certainly a wake-up call for The New York Times, the widely-trafficked report likewise appears like it arrived to spark a renewal of legacy outlets more broadly. Whether history will credit it for precipitating a change, that alter is however obvious. Assisted by a brand-new concentrate on digital journalism and items and the 2016 election (and, in The Washington Post‘s case, a brand-new owner, world’s most affluent individual Jeff Bezos), conventional heavyweights have controlled the media market in the Trump era. Digital outlets, on the other hand, have not only lost their head start, they deal with remarkable headwinds. Earnings have actually fallen steeply, thanks in large part to Google and Facebook’s marketing duopoly The Post and the Times are when again treating them as feeders, hoovering up leading talent at will. Waves of combination, task cuts, and closures have specified the last half-decade in digital media, without any clear sign that the bottom is yet in sight.

Last week, one of the online leviathans over which the Times when stressed, BuzzFeed, bought another of the exact same, HuffPost, in an all stock deal; HuffPost’s moms and dad company, Verizon, likewise revealed it would be taking a minority ownership stake in BuzzFeed and making a money financial investment. It’s fascinating to remember how HuffPost’s first big relocation– it’s merger with AOL— was an occasion that sent out shockwaves through the market. That acquisition was announced not long after the conclusion of Super Bowl XLV and for many in the media market instantly changed the discussion from the Green Bay Packers win. In 2020, there’s none of that hoopla: It’s just the most recent dust-up in a bleak digital media landscape dominated by concentration and contraction.

Two years prior to last week’s HuffPost merger statement, BuzzFeed founder Jonah Peretti recommended to The New York Times that mega-mergers were the future of online media. “A bigger entity could lobby for a higher portion of the ad dollars Facebook and Google show publishers whenever their material, videos in specific, runs on the platforms,” the Times‘s Edmund Lee described. “In turn, publishers can provide them with material that is safe for users and friendlier for marketers.”

Peretti went on to call check a number of publishers: Vox Media, Vice Media, Group 9, Refinery29 Each of these has actually made a considerable acquisition considering that. As CJR’s Jon Allsop wrote recently, “Vice Media bought Refinery29, Group 9 purchased PopSugar, and Vox Media purchased New York Media, which releases New york city magazine.”

BuzzFeed’s acquisition of HuffPost is arguably a bigger offer than all of those, bringing 2 of the most essential web publishers under one umbrella. For the moment, BuzzFeed and HuffPost are anticipated to continue operating different, contending newsrooms, though both will be overseen by present BuzzFeed News editor Mark Schoofs. Peretti has vowed that BuzzFeed, which had significant layoffs in 2015 but has paid for the last two quarters, will not face any staffing cuts, though has actually avoided making the exact same promise to HuffPost staff members.

With high overhead expenditures, layoffs at HuffPost have actually been anticipated ever since the business was very first rumored to be up for sale previously this year. The speculation at the time recommended that Verizon was looking for a buyer specifically due to the fact that the company wanted someone else to do the unclean work of firing individuals; the money financial investment Verizon made as part of the deal with BuzzFeed is comprehended to assist cover severance plans.

Existing and previous newsroom employees from both companies are hopeful the merger might help safeguard the tasks of HuffPost’s reporters, which may not have held true had another suitor wound up with the media property. For a digital media deal cut in 2020, there is an unexpected amount of optimism being expressed by both business: BuzzFeed believes that it will get more scale which it can develop into revenue and, hopefully, reinvest in meaningful journalism. The merger is, in some methods, reminiscent of Random House’s 2013 acquisition of Penguin, which developed a publishing juggernaut that is much better placed to handle Amazon than smaller sized rivals; a BuzzFeed-HuffPost union will not take on Facebook and Google, however will be in a better position to endure the scorched earth marketing world these 2 dominant Silicon Valley companies have wrought.

In a post-sale interview with Recode’s Peter Kafka, Peretti made the somewhat counterintuitive argument that the Times‘s growing supremacy was an opportunity. Its subscription-model has actually brought it riches– and the capability to apparently poach whomever it wants, whenever it desires– however it has likewise highlighted its status as a paper dealing with elites.

” A membership service design leads towards being a paper for a specific group and a particular audience and not for the broadest public,” he argued. “Will a membership paper that is read by a subset of society have as huge an effect as it could on citizens, on the broad public, on young people, on the more varied increasing generation of millennials and Gen Z? I think there’s a substantial chance to serve those customers. And not all of them are going to be subscribers to any publication.” This populist-ish argument has constantly driven BuzzFeed’s aspiration and its appeal, both to investors and readers. It’s not surprising to hear Peretti reaffirm it, in his argument that the HuffPost acquisition shows that the company still, after a few turbulent years, represents the next generation of American media.

However even with BuzzFeed’s recent success and the relative optimism surrounding this acquisition, the world of online media stays a tumultuous one. No one understands for sure how the post-Trump age might shock the media landscape. Trump has actually often chided the media with warnings that their income will probably fall without him in the White Home; he’ll have the opportunity to see that theory checked soon enough.

Nevertheless, while The New York City Times‘s gravitational pull seems likely to sustain, Covid-related earnings losses have caused widespread layoffs in a variety of newsrooms. The world of online media, additionally, does not have the very same sense of energy or competitiveness it did even a couple of years earlier. There are far fewer digital outlets inhabiting real area in the day-to-day discourse and nearly none that seem like the small, scrappy, and really independent outlets of the past. The most recognized skill keeps getting poached by traditional outlets, either newspapers or cable television service. Not that long ago, a merger between BuzzFeed and HuffPost would have triggered tremors throughout the market. But in 2020, after years of turmoil and cutbacks, it seems like just another re-arrangement of deck chairs, more desperate than resourceful, and not likely to catalyze a change in the dismaying basics of a having a hard time market.

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Quick-start guide to building a design-first company

In an age where user experience (UX) is key to a business’s success and differentiation, innovative teams know they have to prioritize UX from day one. Regardless of your company or industry, better design creates an improved user experience and drives customer excitement for your product. Zealous customers become early adopters, and in optimal scenarios,…



Quick-start guide to building a design-first company

In an age where user experience (UX) is key to a business’s success and differentiation, innovative teams know they have to prioritize UX from day one.

Regardless of your company or industry, better design creates an improved user experience and drives customer excitement for your product. Zealous customers become early adopters, and in optimal scenarios, can help a product go viral through grassroots evangelism. McKinsey’s The Business Value of Design report tracks the McKinsey Design Index (MDI), which rates companies by strength of design and how design plays into their financial performance. The report found top-quartile MDI companies had 32% higher revenue growth than their industry counterparts over the course of a five-year period. Design is essential to success.

The following tactical tips can help your company prioritize design from day one.

1. Talk to your users

Building well-designed products comes down to a simple principle: making your users happy. To make your users happy, you need to talk to them, understand what they really need and want, and dig into key pain points. The top priority is to understand how your product addresses pain points, and more specifically, how your product’s design meaningfully adds to or detracts from user experience.

Talk to dozens of customers and understand why they enjoy using your product. What are their favorite parts? Least favorite parts? What are their key pain points (both related to your product and related to their job at large)? How does your product fit into or disrupt their existing workflow? Customer conversations are not just one and done. It is crucial to be in constant communication with customers and use their insights to continuously iterate on the product.

Make sure you also have a good idea of who your target customers are. You might expect your target customers to be one demographic, but in reality, your product could end up being readily used by a totally different one! (This can be a good thing, especially if you are willing to be creative.)

A few resources to get you started:

2. Communicate with your audience

There are several ways to start building trust with your audience even before your product has launched. Working in public, or sharing work with the world as it is being developed, is an important way to build community and gather feedback. Some great ways to put this idea into practice are:

  • Community update emails, including key product milestones achieved, roadmap, and asks — for example, help with hiring and introductions to specific types of investors.
  • Blog posts are a traditional way to provide updates to the community.
  • If the company has an open-source element, GitHub is a great place to build and engage with an active community of passionate and technical individuals.
  • Platforms like Slack or Discord often offer a forum separate from GitHub that allow a community to grow and connect organically. They afford more spontaneity through external plug-ins like Donut, which pair people up to get to know one another better
  • Focus groups (also great for user research) allow companies to get to know their users’ pain points, and thoughts on the product, if developed. Small, targeted focus groups can lead to rich feedback and power users. See this First Round Review for more information on qualitative research

These initiatives help generate support for a technology from the bottom up, but more importantly, they help foster a human connection, which makes any purchasing decision simpler.

3. Create clear documentation

Documentation is created to share technical and visual design elements and to serve as a persistent style guide within an organization. Internal documentation helps employees understand the company’s mission, vision, roadmap, and north star. It can also cover standard operating procedures and resources. External documentation is designed for current and future users of the product. An external knowledge base is a public-facing toolset answering basic questions about the company and includes demos, integration information, how-to guides, etc.

Documentation should ultimately minimize the amount of time key employees spend answering questions. Clear documentation can also reduce friction in the sales process by allowing a user to get up and running faster.


  • Read the Docs is a free and open-source effort that simplifies software documentation by building, versioning, and hosting of docs automatically. According to its website, “Read the Docs Community hosts documentation for over 100,000 large and small open-source projects, in almost every human and computer language.”
  • GitBook started in 2014 as an open-source tool for developers to build documentation. Today it allows teams to create internal and external documentation.
  • Confluence by Atlassian.
  • Optic helps companies keep their API docs updated.
  • Almanac, a platform for creating and collaborating on open-source work documents, templates, and checklists, offers a guide on documentation: How to Write Technical Documentation for Your Software Project by Damien Filiatrault

4. Think about the user interface (UI)

Beyond just talking to your users, it’s important to understand how your users interact and live with your product. What parts do they spend the most time on? How often do they engage with your product? What pages do they get stuck on? It is as important to understand what parts of the product your users are working on most as it is to understand where they are not.

As you begin tracking user behavior, make sure you have a feedback loop in place to measure and respond to events. User behavior tracking will enable you to identify unique drop-off rates and adapt your product in real time.

Ultimately, you can’t design a better UI until you understand the baseline for said user experience!


  • Use FullStory, Cohere, or other user tracking apps to watch, interact with, and analyze user behavior and patterns over time.
  • Develop a robust set of product analytics tools like Amplitude, MixPanel, or others.
  • Check out Mixpanel’s Behavioral Analytics Guide.
  • Listen to the Airbnb How I Built This podcast; Airbnb founder Joe Gebbia talks about his realization that making two small product tweaks — professional home photos and frictionless payment — changed the trajectory of his company.

5. Minimize Friction

Focus on making your product as easy to use and try as possible. Identify any friction points to user adoption and work to reduce them. With short user attention spans, rapid time to value is a necessity. Try to identify lightweight ways to show value on a small scale (e.g. trial, online beta version) to pique the interest of prospective customers. Try to think of ways for your product to seamlessly fit into workflow and more importantly find value in as low-friction a way as possible.

Asana’s design principles state, “design for fast, effortless, and intentional interactions. Simple and common tasks should be frictionless and obvious; complex tasks should feel efficient and delightful. But speed should not lead to inaccuracies.”


6. Spice up your website

Does your website reflect your product and design principles? Your product value? Your website is often your users’ first impression and interaction with your product; the user experience should be meaningful.

While it depends on your product, a good website usually has three main attributes:

  1. A clear description of the product (in a concise way that product users will understand). Krisp, the noise cancelling app, is a good example.
  2. An easy way to sign up or try the product. A quick response time to leads improves conversion rates. Aglet points you directly to its app, through which you experience its core product, which turns physical steps into virtual currency.
  3. Case studies can build credibility. Why is your product worth learning more about, and how does it work in practice? Amplitude has a great page on case studies filterable by industry to illustrate its product value and reaffirm credibility.

Blogs or written content, i.e.thought leadership in your category can drive traffic to your website as an added bonus!

A few website tips:

  • Canva – lightweight logo creation and design.
  • Squarespace or Webflow have beautiful, easily adaptable website templates, which can be a good starting point
  • If you’re looking for outsourced help, the Webflow Experts Community, JulyCamp, or FuzzCo can help with website design or creative brand definition.

7. Community & personalization

It’s the little things that count. You can roll your eyes, but this cliche rings true in the context of user experience. Software and consumer goods companies both have opportunities when it comes to making the user feel valued. The pandemic-driven paradigm shift for how humans interact with digital goods gives companies an excuse to be creative. Depending on a company’s end goal, how it makes consumers feel can positively impact its bottom line.

Take the example of Peloton. Peloton works hard to build its community of riders and instructors. The instructors are personable and friendly, riders follow them on social media, comment on posts, and engage in the community. When riders complete 100 rides, Peloton sends them a “century club” T-shirt. Riders get a dopamine rush from achieving this goal, and seeing fellow riders in the “century club” T-shirt out in public makes them feel as if they’ve gained admittance into an exclusive club.

Give the people what they want! Stripe also offers a community-first approach. Though it is a payments company, it acquired Indie Hackers (a startup-focused community), offers Stripe Atlas (resources to help with company formation), and runs Stripe Press (a publishing arm focused on “books about economic and technological advancement”). Stripe understands by offering tools to innovators and entrepreneurs before they even begin their businesses, it improves its own visibility and bottom line.

Know the key user personas in your community and determine how you can make the experience incredible for these groups. User personas are characters that embody the needs, traits, and goals of a company’s current or ideal customer based on user research. As a thought exercise, you can think through what Peloton, Stripe, or your favorite company’s user personas might look like and cater your product accordingly. There are numerous effective templates and services available to help with user research and in developing user personas. Examples: UserTesting, Lookback, and Personify.

Design as a first principle is paramount to creating a magical user experience.

Morgan Mahlock is an investor at In-Q-Tel, the non-profit strategic investor supporting the U.S. intelligence and national security community, on the West Coast Investment team. She previously spent time at the NFL and at Lockheed Martin and works with a variety of nonprofit organizations, including BLCK VC and EVCA. 

Grace Isford is an investor at Canvas Ventures, an early-stage boutique venture firm focusing on leading Series A&B rounds in enterprise & consumer investments. She previously worked in growth equity at Stripes Group, as a product manager at Handshake, a digital recruitment platform for college students, and at the Stanford Management Company, helping manage over $24 billion in assets.

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UFC 255 Aftermath: In Deiveson Figueiredo, the UFC finally has the kind of flyweight champion they’ve always wanted

Last night, at UFC 255, Deiveson Figueiredo made the first defense of his flyweight title, submitting No. 4-ranked contender Alex Perez with a guillotine choke in the first round. It was an outstanding performance from the champion and the near flawlessness of it has allowed the UFC to already go ahead and book another title…



UFC 255 Aftermath: In Deiveson Figueiredo, the UFC finally has the kind of flyweight champion they’ve always wanted

Last night, at UFC 255, Deiveson Figueiredo made the first defense of his flyweight title, submitting No. 4-ranked contender Alex Perez with a guillotine choke in the first round. It was an outstanding performance from the champion and the near flawlessness of it has allowed the UFC to already go ahead and book another title defense, this time against fellow UFC 255 winner Brandon Moreno for UFC 256, less than three weeks from now. The turnaround will be the fastest in UFC championship history but should Figueiredo come out victorious, it will also give the flyweight division something it has always needed: a champion the UFC wants to promote.

Last night, the commentary team for UFC 255 kept repeating the notion that in Figueiredo, the UFC finally had an exciting champion to carry the mantle. And while that is a ridiculous and disrespectful claim to Demetrious Johnson—a man who knocked out Joseph Benavidez even more impressively than Figueiredo did and who threw another man in the air and armbarred him like a grappling dummy, all while establishing himself as one of the all-time greats of the sport—there is a kernel of truth in it. Not that Johnson wasn’t exciting, it’s just that his brand of excitement was harder to understand.

“Mighty Mouse” was a superb fighter, capable of thrilling performances. However, one thing he never was during his title reign was intimidating. No challenger stepping in against Johnson, no matter how overmatched, was ever afraid of doing so. Sure, DJ might ruin your night, but he wasn’t going to ruin your life. Johnson outthought, outfought, and outworked opponents. He showed clear superiority to them and he ran up the score. If you left it out there, then he would finish you because that’s the smart thing to do, but rarely was DJ coming into a fight and looking to hurt someone. In short, DJ defeated all his opponents. Deiveson Figueiredo beats them.

Just look at last night. Alex Perez is a good fighter and a good grappler. He knows what he’s doing on the floor and the moment Figueiredo locked up that guillotine, you can see the panic in him. He starts defending frantically, trying to shimmy and twist his head out of it, but he can’t get out and so instead he taps roughly a dozen times in just a few seconds, like a man whose head is caught in a vise and he wants to be free of it before it crushes him. It’s the exact same reaction Tim Elliott had when caught in Figueiredo’s guillotine last year. Then, of course, there are the fights with Joseph Benavidez. Joe B is one of the best fighters in the history of the UFC, a man who had only been stopped once in his career (the aforementioned KO to Johnson), and he got his doors blown off twice by Figueiredo this year.

It’s pretty clear that in the last year, Figueiredo has leveled up his offense, and that’s a very good thing for the rest of the flyweight division (even if it’s a bad thing for all of their title aspirations). Because despite serving as the home to the greatest champion in UFC history, the 125-pound division has long been the disdain of the UFC brass. After all, following Demetrious Johnson’s controversial loss to Henry Cejudo in their rematch, the UFC opted not to book a trilogy fight but instead to trade one of the greatest fighters of all time to a competitor. That’s not something you do if you’re invested in the long-term health of your division. In fact, for much of the last few years it has seemed like the division was going to be closed down permanently, in large part because the UFC never found a champion they liked (or that champion decided he didn’t like cutting weight). Now, it seems, they have one.

Figueiredo will never be the biggest star in the UFC—he does not speak English and he’s a small person, those factors alone limit his ceiling in that regard—but he doesn’t have to be a star to keep the flyweight division from being shuttered. All he has to do is keep putting on dominant, exciting, violent performances, and if last night is any indication, that won’t be too difficult for him.

“Because Brandon Moreno talk a lot of bad things about me. I have a personal problem Brandon Moreno. I think I’m going to destroy Brandon Moreno in December.” – Deiveson Figueiredo on top contender Brandon Moreno.

“If you’re going to go out and be safe against somebody like Jennifer, what are you going to do against Andrade? Andrade is going to bring her a lot of things she’s never seen before, not to mention the power Andrade has. She just knocked the No. 2 girl in the world with a body shot. She’s a real problem for Shevchenko.” Dana White on Valentina Shevchenko’s next challenger.

“‘Shogun’ looked old and looked like a shell of his former self tonight. Yeah, I’d like to see him hang it up hopefully.” – Dana White on Mauricio Rua’s performance against Paul Craig.

“That was a lamb being brought in to a slaughter to build up that Golem mfer and let me heal from covid. It’s just business.” – the man who was supposed to headline UFC 255 with Figueiredo, Cody Garbrandt.

Stock Up

Deiveson Figueiredo: Against a challenger who was not a walkover on paper, Figueiredo walked right over him with a first-round stoppage win. Not only did he finish Alex Perez, but to make matters more impressive, he did it in the area Perez was supposed to be advantaged, with grappling. It’s going to take a lot to get the belt off Figueiredo.

Jennifer Maia: It’s not often your stock rises when you only win one round of a five-round fight, but such was the dominance of Valentina Shevchenko that making her look mortal for even a brief moment is impressive. No one was giving Maia a chance heading into this fight, and while that notion still wasn’t wrong, Maia definitely exceeded expectations.

Katlyn Chookagian: Cynthia Calvillo was a fairly sizable favorite heading into this fight despite Chookagian having fought for the belt not that long ago and Chookagian showed why that was dumb. She’s never going to win the title, at least not while Shevchenko remains in the division, but Chookagian still has a lot left to offer at 125.

Brandon Moreno: The finish was definitely a little odd but it doesn’t matter. Moreno got a first-round win over a ranked guy and set himself up for the quickest title fight turnaround in UFC history.

Joaquin Buckley: Coming off his viral knockout last month, Buckley put another impressive highlight on the resume. We still can’t be sure how good he actually is but Buckley is going to get more love from the promotion with performances like this.


Alex Perez: The reality is, Perez was in a no-lose situation last night. He was afforded a title shot by virtue of timing and an injury, not because he was really ready for one. Perez still has a bright future inside the UFC. No shame in losing to a guy who is looking like the next truly dominant champion.

Paul Craig: Craig managed to avenge his earlier draw with Shogun and did score a win over a future Hall of Famer but really, nothing about this outcome was surprising. Craig is in the thick of his career and Shogun probably shouldn’t be fighting anymore. In the words of Max Holloway, it is what it is.

Stock Down

Valentina Shevchenko: When you are a -2000 favorite and being discussed as the most dominant champion in the sport and one of the Greatest Female Fighters Ever, your performances are held to a different level of scrutiny, and like prime Anderson Silva, “Bullet” laid an egg. Yes, Shevchenko clearly won four rounds and never seriously looked to be in danger of losing the fight, but in the scheme of things, this was not a good performance. For this first time at 125, she looked vulnerable and now all eyes will turn to a fight with Jessica Andrade.

Mike Perry: Perry missed weight by a lot for this fight and showed zero remorse for his lack of professionalism. Then he got worked over by a guy he was a clear favorite over, in part because he once again didn’t bring real coaches with him to corner him during the fight. If the UFC cut him right now, it wouldn’t be unreasonable.

Cynthia Calvillo: Calvillo came into this fight trying to make her case for a title fight, but really all she did was make the case that fans should urge her back down to 115. Calvillo clearly had issues navigating the size disparity between herself and Chookagian and though she was competitive, she never really could get going.

Mauricio Rua: Shogun is 38 going on 60 and he looked every bit of his fight age last night. The man is a legend in the sport and future Hall of Famer. He has nothing left to prove and at this point, should hang them up.

As always, there were some weird scorecards and minor officiating snafus but at this point, that’s to be expected for any UFC event. There was, however, one pretty major announcement on the production side of things and that is the induction of Marc Ratner to the UFC Hall of Fame.

Ratner is currently the Vice President of Regulatory Affairs for the UFC and it’s not an embellishment to say that he has done as much as anyone for the growth of the UFC and MMA in the United States. Ratner helped get the UFC legalized everywhere (remember when MMA was actually illegal in a lot of states? Wild times) and has continued to push for the growth of the sport and the safety protocols it uses. On top of that, no one has a bad thing to say about him, which is exceedingly rare in the world of fight promotion. A well-deserved honor.

Deiveson Figueiredo vs. Brandon Moreno: Luckily, the UFC has already done so. That was easy.

Valentina Shevchenko vs. Jessica Andrade: It could have just been an off night for the champion but Maia matching her physicality makes Andrade an intriguing challenger for Shevchenko.

Jennifer Maia vs. Cynthia Calvillo: I wouldn’t balk at a Maia vs. Lauren Murphy fight but Murphy is in the neighborhood of a title shot and if Maia beats her, they just knocks off a contender for no reason. A fight with Calvillo could put either woman back in the hunt at 125.

Alex Perez vs. Brandon Royval: This is probably the fight both men should have had last night anyway and is a much better level set for the young contenders.

Tim Means vs. Nicolas Dalby: Means and Dalby both picked up big underdog wins last night and aside from making sense, this would just be a fun scrap to watch.

Paul Craig vs. winner of Ryan Spann vs. Misha Cirkunov: Despite Shogun’s advanced age, a win over a name is still a win over a name and Craig should get the chance to parlay that into bigger things. A fight with a low-end top-10 opponent makes sense.

Joaquin Buckley vs. Darren Stewart: As impressive as Buckley has looked in his last two fights, he needs to keep developing and Darren Stewart is the kind of well-rounded, durable fighter who is a good step up in competition.

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