UFC and Spike TV agree to renew "The Ultimate Fighter" contract through 14th season
As a successful ninth season of "The Ultimate Fighter" winds down – and a highly anticipated 10th season begins filming – the UFC and Spike TV have extended their agreement through a 14th season of the hit reality TV series.
UFC President Dana White announced the new deal at a Q&A session with UFC Fight Club members today at the Lanxess Arena in Cologne, Germany, site of Saturday's UFC 99.
The existing deal, announced in October 2007, called for 12 seasons of the show.
"We actually just did an extension with [Spike TV]," White said. "We're going to be doing through (season) 14, two seasons a year.
"They're good partners. We work really well together, and they let me do what I do."
Prior to the extension, Spike TV was expected to air one season of "The Ultimate Fighter" in 2010 and another in 2011.
The reality show was expected to be augmented by a newly developed fight series, which would include live bouts. Immediate attempts by MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) to reach Spike TV officials for the current status of the potential new series were unsuccessful.
In addition to the announcement of two additional seasons of "The Ultimate Fighter," White said he believed the show would follow up on the success of the ninth season with another "U.S. vs. U.K." theme.
"I don't know how many people here watched this season, but this season was awesome," White said. "The fights were great. It was a good show, and it worked out well.
UFC 99: DAN HARDY PSYCHING MARCUS DAVIS OUT?
What hasn’t been written about the encounter between Dan Hardy and Marcus Davis by the media? Both fighters have been taking verbal swipes back and forth since before the fight was officially announced and at the end of the week we will find out who was telling the truth about what was going to happen.
“I don’t know what is going on with Marcus Davis at the moment, but I think he is going to be exhausted before we even fight with all the emotion he is putting out at the moment,” jibes a suitably relaxed Dan Hardy, adding, “I am always full of energy. I enjoy the media aspect of the fight game a lot and I have just kept poking fun at him to keeping him boiling. Hopefully it will make him dig into the trenches and prove a point by fighting with a lot of heart.”
Ricardo Lamas vs. Danny Castillo set for WEC 42
In a fight that will thrust the winner even deeper into lightweight title contention, undefeated Ricardo Lamas (6-0 MMA, 1-0 WEC) meets Danny Castillo (7-1 MMA, 2-1 WEC) at WEC 42.
While a guest on MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio), WEC General Manager Reed Harris today confirmed the fight has been signed and added to the Aug. 9 fight card.
UFC 99 fighter Rick "Horror" Story began his MMA career as a villain
With a nickname like "Horror," it's no wonder Rick Story has spent most of his MMA career as the bad guy.
He may be an unknown to the world at large, but the former NAIA All-American wrestler was an instant villain in Portland, Ore. And he has reveled in his role as the black hat.
"They boo me, but I think it's good," the fighter told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). "It means they know who I am."
Story (5-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC) will make his octagon debut Saturday against John Hathaway (10-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) at UFC 99 in Cologne, Germany. Both fighters are on a roll. Story's recent wins came against the likes of "The Ultimate Fighter 5" cast member Brandon Melendez, WEC veteran Pat Healy and IFL veteran Jake Ellenberger. Hathaway stopped Thomas Egan at UFC 93 and has beaten seven opponents in the first round.
UFC 98 Trending Estimates Suggest a 635,000 PPV Buyrate
According to the newest issue of Dave Meltzer's Wrestling Observer and other sources, UFC 98 reportedly has trending estimates that are putting the pay-per-view buyrate in the area of 635,000 buys for the event. This isn't a final number, but this is a huge surprise for a card that featured Lyoto Machida vs. Rashad Evans and Matt Serra vs. Matt Hughes.
If the trending estimates are true, it suggests that Lyoto Machida could very well be a major drawing fighter in the future for the UFC.
Lee Murray's Prison Escape Attempt Uncovered
An attempt to escape Sale prison in Morocco by former MMA fighter Lee Murray was foiled by prison officials, according to the June 15 Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Small saws were found in a plate of biscuits in Murray's cell by another prisoner who broke into it. Prison officials believe Murray was planning to cut through the iron bars of his cell window with the saws. To make the escape through the small window easier, Murray had lost a significant amount of weight recently though training hard and starving himself.
Murray was in a different cell at the time as punishment for being caught with a laptop computer (with internet access) and five kilos of drugs. Other prisoners at Sale held it against Murray that he was able to use his money to smuggle in items like these, as well as expensive clothes. The fellow prisoner who broke into his cell was doing so to steal some of Murray's belongings.
The British Murray is believed to have been involved in the largest bank robbery in British history. He was apprehended in Morocco, where he has citizenship because his father was Moroccan. Because of legal complications stemming from his Moroccan citizenship and the country's lack of an expedition treaty with Britain, Murray remains in Moroccan custody.
UFC 99: The Comeback Official FIghter Weigh-In Results
MAIN CARD (televised)
Rich Franklin (194) vs. Wanderlei Silva (194)
Cheick Kongo (230) vs. Cain Velasquez (239)
Ben Saunders (169) vs. Mike Swick (169)
Marcus Davis (171) vs. Dan Hardy (170)
Spencer Fisher (154) vs. Caol Uno (155)
Mustapha Al Turk (236) vs. Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic (233)
PRELIMINARY CARD (un-televised)
Justin Buchholz (155) vs. Terry Etim (156)
Dale Hartt (156) vs. Denis Siver (156)
Peter Sobotta (169) vs. Paul Taylor (169)
Roli Delgado (155) vs. Paul Kelly (156)
Denis Stojnic (241) vs. Stefan Struve (248)
John Hathaway (170) vs. Rick Story (169)
CroCop – "maybe...I just couldn’t smell the blood"
For all great knockout artists in combat sports, mystique and the intimidation factor are almost as important as the punch or kick that puts an opponent down and out. Lose that, and you’re suddenly human again.
In 2007, Mirko Cro Cop was human.
The year started out well enough for the Croatian, who entered the UFC to much fanfare after winning the PRIDE Grand Prix in 2006 with two wins in one night over Wanderlei Silva and Josh Barnett. At UFC 67 in February of 2007, Cro Cop stopped Eddie Sanchez in a single round, but didn’t look to be the same ferocious striker he was in Japan. Two months later, he was knocked out by Gabriel Gonzaga, and in September of that year, he was listless in losing a three round decision to Cheick Kongo.
Miguel Torres: Cain Velasquez Is the Next Mexican MMA Star
One of the big questions facing mixed martial arts as it attempts to move from niche sport to the mainstream is whether it can attract the millions of Mexican-American fans who love boxing. The most popular Mexican-American MMA fighter right now is World Extreme Cagefighting bantamweight champion Miguel Torres, but Torres says there's another Mexican-American fighter who is a budding star: UFC heavyweight Cain Velasquez.
"It's Cain Velasquez's coming out party," Torres said of Saturday's UFC 99 show on this week's installment of ESPN.com's MMA Live. "He's the next Mexican MMA star. ... I think it's his coming out party."
While excited for UFC 99, Mike Swick's trip to Germany on par with previous visit
As the UFC's latest venture overseas draws near with Saturday's UFC 99 event in Cologne, Germany, the inevitable question asked frequently of all U.S.-based fighters is, "How will you deal with the time change?"
While the rigors of trans-Atlantic travel can lead to a fatiguing case of jet lag for the average vacationer, for a professional fighter the condition could lead to far-worse consequences.
But UFC welterweight Mike Swick (13-2 MMA, 8-1 UFC) isn't concerned about the trip to Germany. Why should he? It's the second time he's been there in the past two months.
UFC 99 preview: Davis and Hardy draw verbal battle lines, Franklin gets inside access for Silva prep
The insults are enough to make even the most mean-spirited middle-school kid blush.
Marcus Davis and Dan Hardy have traded heavy artillery in a war of words heading into their welterweight bout at UFC 99 this Saturday in Cologne, Germany. The UFC's last double-digit fight card features a pair of former world champions, the return of Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic and rising heavyweight contender Cain Velasquez.
Yet, it's the Davis-Hardy feud that has served as a compelling subplot. And, from all accounts, the verbal combativeness isn't for show. These two fighters genuinely harbor a strong distaste for one another, and those feelings have been on full display on messages boards and in pre-fight interviews.
WEC Going To Mexico In 2010
World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC), the Zuffa-owned sister promotion to the UFC, is set to host events in Mexico in 2010, Fighters Only has learned.
A source close to the organisation said that due to the increasing popularity of the brand among Spanish-speaking fans, Mexico is considered a prime territory for expansion and that they anticipate events on Mexican soil "by next year".
Dale Hartt: ‘I just want to punch Dennis Siver’s teeth in’
It was one of the most gruesome moments in the history of the UFC. There were many theories on how the bout would unfold but none of them included Corey Hill’s shin bone snapping in half like a tree branch after colliding with the shin of Hartt.
It wasn’t the way the native of Bangor, Maine wanted to win that bout. He felt like his back was up against the wall in the fight with Hill, one more loss would have equaled an uncertain future with the biggest fighting promotion on the planet.
Hartt will finally have his chance to show the world that he’s in the UFC to stay this Saturday evening when he faces off with the Russian-German Dennis Siver.
Mind Games: Dan Hardy UFC 99 interview
By now it’s no secret that UFC 99: “The Comeback” will feature a heated grudge match between 10-fight UFC veteran, Marcus Davis (16-4) and red-hot British prospect Dan Hardy (21-6, with 1 NC). In fact, it looks to be one of the better fights on an already-stacked card.
Davis needs little introduction to fans on both sides of the pond. The Bangor, Maine, native first got our attention as a contestant on The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 2, at a time when he was known mostly for his boxing skills. He compiled a professional boxing record of 17-1-2 on the New England boxing circuit — and has since been referred to as “the most-improved TUF contestant” from the show’s first few seasons.
Despite Move to Light Heavy Rich Franklin is Still the Gatekeeper for Anderson Silva's Middleweight Belt
I don't think this fight makes sense for either fighter as a catchweight bout at 195lbs, but I'm glad we're going to get to see it. After his second loss to Anderson Silva, the UFC asked Franklin to move up to 205lbs. But ever since they've treated him as a kind of supplement to their 185lb class, having him fight top 185lb contender Dan Henderson at 205lbs in what was essentially a title contention eliminator fight for two divisions -- Henderson at middle and Franklin at light heavy.