A Blood Called Shooto
Nearly 25 years ago, Japanese professional wrestler Satoru Sayama -- better known as the original Tiger Mask -- had an idea about fighting, the seed of Shooto.
The first-ever amateur Shooto event was held in 1986, while 1989 marked the first-ever occasion of “professional Shooting.” All mixed martial arts observers know of Greek Pankration -- and the more modern tradition of Brazilian vale tudo -- but Shooto has the longest lineage of any single combat sports entity in contemporary MMA. Fittingly, that lineage will be celebrated this Sunday in Tokyo, when leading Shooto promoter Sustain stages its 20th anniversary event.
“Shooto” is an intriguing concept, its definition varying depending on who you ask. Although Sayama left the world of Shooto in 1986, his original vision is adhered to by authorities who view Shooto not as an organization but as an international sport unto itself, with its own system and rules, taking place from Japan to Australia to Brazil to Belgium and beyond.
For some MMA fans, following Shooto is proof of fanaticism about the sport and, for others, an unfathomable hobby for MMA elitists. One thing that is readily clear, however, is that those who are passionate about Shooto have an intensity about it that is completely incongruous with how most people celebrate other MMA entities. Even in the heyday of UFC-versus-Pride debacles, debates raged over extrinsic qualities of aesthetic production values, roster quality and fighter purses.
THQ Finalizes Undisputed Roster
THQ has released the final roster of playable characters in UFC Undisputed 2009, and it'll top out at 85 characters. In addition to confirming that EVERYONE will be able to eventually get Efrain Escudero and Ryan Bader and not just those who buy the game at GameStop, the final 3 characters were revealed as the late TapouT founder Charles "MasK" Lewis and his TapouT partners "Punkass" and "Skyscrape".
Hackleman, White War over Liddell’s Future
Chuck Liddell’s recently updated Wikipedia biography refers to him as a “former” mixed martial artist.
Not so fast Wiki.
To paraphrase Mark Twain, reports of Liddell’s retirement following his first-round technical knockout loss against Mauricio “Shogun” Rua at UFC 97 last month have been greatly exaggerated. That’s according to the man who arguably knows “The Iceman” better than anyone, his longtime trainer John Hackleman.
Hackleman said the 39-year-old superstar is mulling his career options, hasn’t made any decision and is in no hurry to do so.
UFC Undisputed Projected Sales: 2 Million
Bloomberg News has a nice piece up that gives some good insight to the numbers game behind the UFC 2009 Undisputed video game that will be hitting stores soon. The article also gives the first intimations of how the title may do at the cash register:
UFC’s male fan base is a main reason Todd Mitchell, a technology analyst with Kaufman Bros. in New York, projects the game will sell more than 2 million copies in nine months.
The UFC license runs through 2011 and may be extended, said Julie MacMedan, a THQ spokeswoman. The company is probably paying UFC about 17 percent of sales or a guaranteed minimum, said Mitchell, who recommends the stock and doesn’t own it.
“UFC 2009 Undisputed” returns THQ to its expertise making fighting games. WWE titles have brought in $1.5 billion in sales over the past decade. The company spent more than $20 million developing the UFC game and will expense “not quite” as much on marketing, Farrell said.
A little quick math pegs the 2 million in sales by the 59.99 list price yields a gross sales figure of $120 million. If we figure the UFC is being paid the license fee off of gross, that would yield the UFC just over $20 million on the deal; if off of wholesale which generally runs 45 to 50% would mean somewhere in the $10 million range.
Another interesting figure is the sunk cost they have in both marketing and production. Between the two they are looking at probably a $35 million outlay. This is a good chunk of money, but is the first step in establishing a a franchise title, which THQ hopes the Undisputed title will be. Subsequent years will have a lowered production cost with the engine merely being tweaked, instead of made from scratch. Marketing cost as well will dip due to the brand awareness established during the initial launch.
Shane Carwin Wants Whoever Holds The Belt After UFC 100
Although he would be happy with having to perhaps go through Cheick Kongo first, Shane Carwin recently noted that his end goal is still either Brock Lesnar or Frank Mir-namely the one who leaves UFC 100 with the Undisputed Heavyweight Championship. But Carwin remains willing to do whatever is necessary to get there.
Strikeforce: Baszler booked for June 19, to face winner of Kaufman vs. Tate
Strikeforce's commitment to women's MMA continues, as Shayna Baszler (9-5) was today announced as a participant in the organization's June 19 "Strikeforce Challengers" event in Kent, Wash.
Baszler was originally planning on facing Sarah Kaufman (8-0) on the card, but will now wait for the outcome of the undefeated Canadian's May 15 bout with Miesha Tate (6-1).
Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker announced the plans during today's media call for the organization's May 15 "Strikeforce Challengers" series.
After UFC declines invitation, Roy Jones Jr. shut out of Strikeforce, too
Boxing legend Roy Jones Jr. continues to strike out in a search for potential homes for a mixed martial arts debut.
After UFC President Dana White recently declined on promoting a potential bout between his middleweight champion Anderson Silva and Jones Jr., Showtime Senior Vice President Ken Hershman today called a Strikeforce bout between the boxer and Nick Diaz a "very long shot."
Raising Cain: An interview with Cain Velasquez
Forget everything you ever knew about heavyweight fighters in the UFC. The days of beer bellies and pear-shaped goliaths that once made a spectacle of the most watched weight class in all of combat sports are mercifully, coming to an end. This isn’t MMA. This is MMA 2.0.
This is Cain Velasquez.
UFC 99 Comes Under Attack From German Politicians
A public dispute erupted yesterday after the Cologne City Council discussed the UFC's entry into Germany. Event organizers claim that the council is hell bent on foiling the upcoming event.
"MMA is not a sport because it legitimatizes death and serious injury. The only aim is to destroy your opponent." Adding further: "I personally find disgusting ... Here one finds the lowest human instincts. "
Gonzaga vs Tuchscherer at UFC 102
A heavyweight bout between former contender Gabriel Gonzaga and newcomer Chris Tuchscherer is likely for UFC 102 on August 29.
MMAWeekly.com learned of the match-up Wednesday through multiple sources close to the fight, confirming both parties have agreed to the contest.
Its funny, I was just thinking the other day that the ufc needs to sign this guy. If you haven't seen him, check out some of his fights
Paul Buentello's next fight still uncertain, Tim Sylvia possible
When Paul Buentello (27-10) earned a third-round TKO stoppage over Kirill Sidelnikov at January's "Affliction: Day of Reckoning," "The Headhunter" felt he whad put himself in a good spot.
Three-and-a-half months later, and without a signed bout in his immediate future, the heavyweight is not so sure.
"I have no freaking idea right now," Buentello recently told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio). "I feel like I'm Cung Le right now and not paying attention to the MMA world – like I've just kind of fallen off the face of the world."
Thiago Alves going the extra mile to make Georges St. Pierre pay at UFC 100
“It’s going to be a good camp [in Colorado]. It’s going to be five weeks. We’ve got our house and everything, and all we are going to do is train and sleep and train…. It’s a title shot … I’m going to do everything I can to get there, and Colorado is just another thing that I have to do…. I’m going to look for the knockout. I’m going to make him pay for every mistake. I know he doesn’t make many mistakes, but … I’m going to make him make those mistakes, and he is going to pay for everything.”