Press Release: UltimateBet Official as UFC Sponsor
UltimateBet earns the sponsorship rights to the upcoming Ultimate Fighting Championship®97 event in Montreal, where UFC® legend Chuck Liddell will bear the UB logo.
Miami, FL (PRWEB) April 7, 2009 — UltimateBet (”UB”) announced today that it has inked a deal with Ultimate Fighting Championship®(”UFC®”) that will deliver a kickass presence for the leading online poker site’s logo and brand at the upcoming UFC®97 event in Montreal, Canada on April 18, 2009.
A highlight of the UFC®97 deal for UltimatBet is the signing of mixed martial arts (”MMA”) legend Chuck “The Iceman” Liddell. The former UFC® light heavyweight champion will don the UB logo when he squares off against Brazilian Mauricio “Shogun” Rua in what promises to be one of the most explosive match-ups of 2009, and one of the most watched Pay-Per-View UFC® events in the history of the world’s leading combat sport.
“The Iceman”, one of the most popular and charismatic fighters in the organization and one of its major box office draw cards, is widely credited for bringing MMA into the mainstream of American sports and entertainment. Liddell’s star status and broad public appeal have won him fans even in Hollywood, with guest turns on cult TV dramedy Entourage, and cameo appearances in films including 300 and Drillbit Taylor amongst his credits.
The 39 year-old, all-American UFC® icon faces his most challenging role ahead of him, when he enters the Octagon™ looking to reclaim the magic that saw him notch up a spectacular 15-14 win-loss record from 1999 to 2006. On a mission to kick start another winning streak during the hotly-anticipated showdown against Rua, Liddell guarantees priceless brand exposure for UltimateBet and inestimable marketing value for the online poker room in over 100 countries and territories where UFC®97 will be telecast.
Along with opening billboards, in-venue commercials, and the stellar sponsorship of Liddell, fans will also see an additional four contenders on the fight card sport the UB logo in the UFC’s return to Canada. The 27 year-old Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt Thales Leites, who takes on Anderson “The Spider” Silva in the headlining event, Krzysztof “The Polish Experiment” Soszynski , Dutch kickboxer Antoni Hardonk and Franklinville, New Jersey native Eliot Marshall will also be waving the UltimateBet flag on fight night, adding even more clout to the sponsorship’s appeal.
UltimateBet has netted the marquee sponsorship contract with UFC® ending several weeks of intense industry speculation, sealing a partnership between two camps that genuinely share a passion for champion competitors and a respect for the sporting ideal.
Securing the UFC® agreement is a triumph for UltimateBet, who will have their second outing in the Octagon™ at the “Redemption” event that is set to rock the capacity Bell Center crowd in Montreal.
Brock Larson and Chris Wilson agree to meet at UFC 98 in May
Just days after an injury suffered in training forced Josh Koscheck (12-4 MMA, 10-4 UFC) out of a UFC 98 bout with Chris Wilson (14-5 MMA, 1-2 UFC), the organization has apparently secured a replacement.
MMAjunkie.com has learned from sources close to the bout that recent WEC import Brock Larson (25-2 MMA, 2-1 UFC) has agreed to fill in for Koscheck at the event. Wilson has also made a verbal commitment to the matchup, though bout agreements have yet to be finalized.
UFC 98 is scheduled for May 23 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
TUF 10 Tryouts Draw 250+, 3 Former NFL Pros
Tryouts for season 10 of The Ultimate Fighter, scheduled to feature Middleweights, Light Heavyweights, and Heavyweights, were held in Seattle yesterday. Early reports are over 250 hopefuls showed up with no fewer than 3 former NFL players among the hopefuls. No word yet on if former wrestler-turned-fighter Bobby Lashley was present at the tryouts.
John Howard Is No Coward
And he's made that clear amidst apparently being called that by Anthony Johnson, who Howard was to originally fight at the TUF 9 Finale before being pulled from the fight-a decision that apparently wasn't Howard's. But Howard still wants the fight and to make "Rumble" eat his words.
Rivera's Latest UFC Run May Be His Last
During a radio appearance yesterday, UFC veteran Jorge Rivera said that his split decision win at UFN 18 over Nissen Osterneck could be the start of his final year of fighting before retiring. Rivera, who will now be out at least 6 weeks due to shoulder surgery, cited increased wear & tear and family commitments as 2 possible reasons why this current run in UFC could be his last.
Coloring MMA Badd
When I settled on a topic for this latest post-event opining, I thought I might have some 'splainin' to do as to why I was so sickened with Frank Mir's color commentary for WEC 40. However, after a quick peek into my inbox and a cursory glance at the Sherdog forums, I feel as though my objections are justified.
In case your TiVo exploded, here's a recap: Mir, routinely celebrated as a stellar technical analyst, ignores any and all offense from Joseph Benavidez and Takeya Mizugaki in otherwise brilliant fights while butchering the names of any and all brave enough to step into the cage with the UFC's interim heavyweight champ on the mic (though I suspect Jameel Massouh may be used to it.)
Rodrigo Damm to replace Josh Thompson
BoDog Fight and Sengoku veteran Rodrigo Damm (8-2) has agreed to fill for the injured Josh Thomson to face Gilbert Melendez on the main card of Strikeforce: “Shamrock vs. Diaz,” set to take place this Saturday, April 11 from the HP Pavilion in San Jose, California, according to The Fight Network.
Mino and Stallone together?
The news broke today in the ‘O Globo,’ newspaper that Sylvester Stallone will be inviting Rodrigo Minotauro to participate in a moving being shot in Rio de Janeiro.
As discerned by GRACIEMAG.com, contact was made through Rodrigo’s adviser, Fernando Flores.
Mino, who is in Miami, arrives in Rio tomorrow, when he may meet with the star of “Rambo” and “Rocky.” Stallone’s team also expressed interest in meeting other well-known fighters, like Lyoto Machida and Rogerio Minotouro.
Actor, producer, director and screenplay writer of “The Mercenaries,” Stallone, 62, has already called upon Randy Couture for the full-length action movie, as reported by GRACIEMAG.com last December 18th. Yesterday, at a press conference in Rio, the Hollywood star said he is an MMA fan and spoke about the city.
He justified his choice in having Randy Couture, 45, in the film. Couture has already appeared in “Redbelt,” the 2008 movie by David Mamet.
“Couture will participate in this movie because he looks like a gladiator,” said Stallone. “I like fights and even know some Brazilian fighters; who knows maybe some of them will be in the film.”
“I came to shoot in Rio because the script called for a tropical setting and I found the city ideal for it. The movie shows mercenaries for a cause, and doesn’t intend to harm Rio’s image,” stated the debuting director. Although Stallone tend to surprise, the story of “The Expendables,” with Forest Whitaker, Gisele Itie and a large cast, isn’t too original at the outset: it is the story of a group trying to overthrow a Latin American dictator.
Amir Sadollah set to face Johny Hendricks at UFC 101 in August
Amir Sadollah's (1-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) first opponent at 170 pounds - and first since defeating C.B. Dollaway at the June 2008 "TUF 7" finale - has been set.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) has learned that Sadollah will meet undefeated WEC import Johny Hendricks (5-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC) at UFC 101. Verbal agreements have been made, and bout agreements are in the process of being finalized.
Middleweights Chris Leben and Jake Rosholt to meet at UFC 102
middleweight bout between veteran UFC middleweight Chris Leben (18-5 MMA, 8-4 UFC) and recent WEC transplant Jake Rosholt (5-1 MMA, 0-1 UFC) will take place in August at UFC 102.
A source close to the negotiations today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) both competitors have agreed to the fight and that bout agreements are in the process of being finalized.
UFC 102 takes Aug. 29, most likely in Portland, Ore. Although not officially announced, a heavyweight bout between former champ Randy Couture and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira is expected to headline the pay-per-view show.
Makes sense having leben fight in his home town, i am pulling for rosholt but will probably pick leben for the win
WEC star Urijah Faber plans to dabble in 135- and 155-pound divisions
CHICAGO - Figuring he has a little less than a decade left in his mixed-martial-arts career, former WEC featherweight champion Urijah Faber (22-2 MMA, 7-1 WEC) has given plenty of thought to the future.
And during a 30-minute question-and-answer session following Saturday's WEC 40 weigh-ins in Chicago, the 145-pound Faber gave a sneak peak of some potential coming attractions.
They include a move down to 135 pounds for a potential fight with WEC bantamweight champ Miguel Torres and a jump up to 155 pounds for a possible bout with UFC lightweight champion B.J. Penn.
"I'll probably have another seven to eight years in this sport," the 29-year-old Faber said while sharing a panel with fellow WEC fighters Mike Brown and Donald Cerrone and WEC broadcaster Frank Mir. "I'll probably go down to 135 (pounds) and up to 155. I'll try to stabilize myself at 145, so there's a lot of fights out there for me."
Diaz and Stevenson to Clash on TUF9 Finale Card on June 20
For only the fourth time in UFC history, two winners of The Ultimate Fighter reality series will meet as combatants in the Octagon when season two’s Joe Stevenson clashes with season five’s Nate Diaz in what promises to be a memorable battle on The Ultimate Fighter: US vs UK season finale card at The Pearl at The Palms in Las Vegas, Nevada on Saturday, June 20.
UFC 96 Pegged At 350k Buys
Jack Encarnacao over at Sherdog relayed the Dave Meltzer scoop on the trending patterns for UFC 96 PPV buys:
The pay-per-view buy rate for UFC 96 on March 7th gives the best indication to date of the singular drawing power of Quinton Jackson, who headlined the event against Keith Jardine. The show drew about 350,000 buys, according to The Wrestling Observer. Unlike most of his other UFC bouts, Jackson’s fight against Jardine positioned him as the main draw on an entire card, which was low on star power.
The 350K number has to be looked on as somewhat of a disappointment. No one would expect Rampage to draw on the level of the company’s top PPV draws, like GSP, Randy Couture, Brock Lesnar, or Chuck Liddell, all of whom have shown the ability to do near or over 500k buys every time out. The other end of that range would be top card guys like Rich Franklin and Anderson Silva, who have drawn in the lower 300K range for most of their UFC tenure. A fair expectation would be for Rampage to fall somewhere in the middle, at about the 400 to lower 400K level, but Rampage as a draw on PPV would look to fall in the latter group, despite his being positioned by the UFC to do better numbers:
Rampage has been uniquely primed to be a stand alone draw for the UFC. He faced off against Chuck Liddell for the belt, a fight that drew over 600k PPV buys. That was followed up by a title defense on Spike TV that drew one of the largest US television audiences for a MMA fight. After a long-ish delay, his next fight, this time against Forrest Griffin, was given the benefit of an entire season of build on TUF and drew over 500k buys. Rampage had his noted indiscretions after his loss to Forrest, but it didn’t seem to affect folk’s appetite for watching him perform. His face-off vs Wanderlei Silva for a third time was part of a tripleheader PPV that as of this writing has came in at approximately a million buys. Few on the roster of the UFC have such a strong mix of high profile PPV match-ups and cable television exposure via Spike. While Rampage hasn’t had to carry the entire weight of the PPV on his shoulders, he has certainly been put in the best possible position to succeed. UFC 96 will let us know if Quinton is up to the task.