Phil Baroni hypes up his Strikeforce fight against Joe Rigg
“Really, there’s not much to say. Joe’s 25 years old and he’ll have his day. On June 6, I’m knocking him the (expletive) out. I’m going to (expletive) him up bad. I’m going to bust him up the whole (expletive) fight. It’s up to him how long he wants to last. Whether he wants to last one round or he wants to last three – I’m going to (expletive) him up. Never mind being in shape. I’m not thanking anybody for being here. Any promotion that has me, it’s lucky for them. No one’s kissing anyone’s asses. I’m just ready to fight and beat the (expletive) out of him.
TUF 9 Finale: Martin Kampmann vs TJ Grant (UPDATED: Kampman Turns Fight Down)
Former top middleweight contender Martin Kampmann (15-2) is in talks to tangle with UFC sophomore TJ Grant (14-2) in a welterweight match up at The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 9 Finale at “The Pearl” at the Palms Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada, on June 20.
Grant announced the bout earlier today via his Facebook page and MMAmania.com was able to independently confirm the announcement with Grant’s camp.
Kampmann made his welterweight debut at UFC Fight Night 18: “Condit vs. Kampmann,” spoiling the Octagon debut of World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC) Welterweight Champion and top-ranked 170-pound fighter Carlos Condit.
Matt Hughes Fans Should Be Encouraged
By news like this:
“I’ve switched things up a little bit,” he says. “I went to a lot of training camps, went out a lot to different places and didn’t stay home near as much.”
One of those outside camps visited by Hughes (42-7) was Greg Nelson’s Minnesota Martial Arts Academy, home to former and current UFC champions Sean Sherk, Dave Menne and Brock Lesnar.
Miller's Time: No More Goofing Off For 'Mayhem'
Jason “Mayhem” Miller says the days of monkeying around in the ring are done.
A decision loss to submission ace Ronaldo “Jacare” de Souza in Dream’s Middleweight Grand Prix woke him up. The "Bully Beatdown" host realized his attitude was costing him fights.
Dana White's UFC 98 Video Blog - Episodes 1 and 2
Check out Dana White's video blogs as he meets up with fans during the midnight release of UFC 2009: Undisputed, and gets left an interesting message on the sidewalk.
In the second video, Dana makes an appearance on the Opie and Anthony show, hangs out with Jimmy Fallon, and more.
Kongo to step in for Heath
MMABay can EXCLUSIVELY reveal that Wolfslair MMA Academy trained heavyweight, Cheick Kongo, has agreed to step in for the injured Heath Herring at UFC 99 against Cain Velasquez.
UFC Adds Pyle As "Insurance" For 98
Apparently UFC has some concerns about Chris Wilson, who is supposed to fight Brock larson Saturday at UFC 98. The concerns aren't clear, but UFC has signed Mike Pyle to a contract and he's been told to be ready to fight Saturday as an "insurance policy".
The End Of WAMMA? Miletich & Caplan Step Down
It could be the first WHAM-O for WAMMA today. Two of the organization's founding members, Vice President of Fighter Relations & MMA pioneer Pat Miletich and interim COO Sam Caplan have both resigned from WAMMA today, raising questions about the future of MMA's first sanctioning body.
Dana White: ESPN's E:60 was a peice of S&%#
Anyone who thought Dana White would soften his tone after the backlash from his recent controversial comments obviously doesn’t know the UFC president.
White drew widespread criticism for a video blog he posted on YouTube last month in which he attacked Sherdog.com writer Loretta Hunt for a story she wrote about the UFC’s credentialing policy. The low-point of the profanity-laced tirade was a homophobic slur White used to describe anonymous sources in Hunt’s story.
White later apologized to the *** community, but otherwise stood by his message and the manner in which he delivered it. In an interview with the Herald on Thursday, White explained that he has no intention of toning things down.
“I have a lot of attorneys that could write (expletive) speeches for me every time I talk,” White said. “I have three attorneys in the car right now. I can have them tell me everything they (expletive) want me to say. Is that what you want? Is that what the fans want? Is that what people want? I can do that. It would give me a lot less (expletive) headaches. Sure I could do that and be a phony like all the other guys, if that’s what everybody wants.”
The questions were obviously rhetorical, as White directed his ire at an ESPN feature on him that appeared on the network’s “E:60” program last week.
“The ‘E:60’ thing was a piece of (expletive),” White said. “Same old (expletive) story, same old (expletive).”
'Behind the Octagon' to Stream Backstage Video at UFC 98
The UFC has a special treat for those staying in to watch the fights on Saturday night. Starting at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT, four live video streams will be available at UFC.com/BK, as part of a new Burger King-sponsored online feature called "Behind the Octagon." Viewers can switch between the red and blue corner dressing rooms, the fighter entryway, and a camera that will just be following Dana White as he makes his rounds. In other words, you'll be seeing a lot of behind-the-scenes action that's never been available before, aside from edited highlights in Danavlogs.
Specific details on "Behind the Octagon" are scarce at this point — we don't know if UFC.com will try to charge viewers for access, and we don't even know if the feeds will be available during the entire event. But if it comes together, BtO could be the most forward-thinking Internet feature the UFC has ever offered. Now all they have to do is give press credentials to bloggers and we'll have entered the Utopia...
Arlovski vs. Rogers added to June 6 Strikeforce event
Former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski will step in for injured Strikeforce heavyweight titleholder Alistair Overeem against Team Bison member Brett “The Grim” Rogers at “Strikeforce: Lawler vs. Shields” on June 6.
Overeem has pulled out of the fight with a hand injury.
The Fight Network learned of the heavyweight contest from sources close to both fighters.
Rogers (9-0) is coming off a second-round TKO win over Abongo Humphrey at “Strikeforce: Shamrock vs. Diaz” on April 11. A veteran of the now-defunct Elite Xtreme Combat organization, Rogers boasts wins over heavyweight sluggers Jon Murphy and James Thompson.
Arlovski (15-6), meanwhile, has not seen action since challenging Fedor Emelianenko for the WAMMA heavyweight title at “Affliction: Day of Reckoning” on January 24. Training under Freddie Roach, one of boxing’s most highly acclaimed coaches, the Belarussian hopes to rebound from a first-round knockout against “The Last Russian Emperor” and move one step closer to putting gold back around his waist.
“The Pitbull,” who will be making his first appearance for the California-based Strikeforce promotion, was initially rumored to make his professional boxing debut in the aftermath of the loss to Emelianenko. But Arlovski is now set to return to his mixed martial arts roots against the less experienced Rogers.
A former UFC heavyweight champion, Arlovski has recorded wins over Roman Zentsov, Vladimir Matyushenko, Wesley Correira, Tim Sylvia, Paul Buentello, Fabricio Werdum, Ben Rothwell and Roy Nelson throughout his 10-year career.
The winner of this fight will likely go on to challenge heavyweight kingpin Overeem for the title later this year.
Promotions and the Use of Exclusive Fighter Agreements in MMA
Promotions use exclusive fighter agreements to carefully and comprehensively describe the rights and responsibilities of fighters under contract with the organization. Generally, these exclusive agreements address key business conditions a promotion wishes to clearly define in the event the conditions are not met. Promotions are big businesses and the sophistication of their business agreements reflect this reality.
MMA business is no longer based on a handshake. In fact, in many instances, the exclusive fighter agreement is just one of several a promotion will use. Bout agreements and standard fighter contracts governed by state athletic commissions and/or other governing bodies are also used to strictly define the roles of the parties, the term of the business agreement, the scope of the deal (which can be very broad) and the consequences for breach. Following are just some of the key provisions one could expect to find in an exclusive fighter agreement:
Mir & Griffin Working With Mark Dellagrotte
Frank Mir is working with MMA trainer-du-jour Marc Dellagrotte ahead of his challenge for the heavyweight title held by Brock Lesnar. And Forrest Griffin is also consulting the Boston-based trainer, who has recently move towards a Las Vegas expansion.
Dellagrotte is known for his knowledge of Muay Thai kickboxing and skill in adapting to the requirements of mixed martial arts, suggesting that Mir anticipates a standing fight with Lesnar, who he submitted in their first fight last year.
Michael Bisping eager to pick up a few ‘new tricks’ from Frank Mir prior to UFC 100
“When Rampage fought Wanderlei in December he used Frank Mir’s gym. Anthony [McGann] the manager of Wolfslair is friendly with Frank, so seeing as he’s fighting on the card I thought it could be a possibility…. I’ve got to make sure I’m as fit as I possibly can be — that’s a given, I always try to be in top condition. Obviously I’ve got to work my defense against Greco-Roman wrestling, and avoiding Dan’s big right hand which he likes to follow up with the clinch — to try to land that big shot and follow it up with a take down. And same as always, I always try and improve my all-round game and go in as a better and improved fighter than I did last time. I definitely feel I’ve improved as a fighter since I fought Leben. I’ve definitely got some new tricks up my sleeves and I’ll be looking at using them when we fight.”
Dennis Hallman vs. Duane Ludwig Possible for June 19 Strikeforce
The second installment of Strikeforce Challenger Series may have another main card bout added soon.
A welterweight match-up between Dennis Hallman and Duane Ludwig is under consideration for the Showtime series, according to a source who chose not to be named.
If Ludwig is confirmed, the up-and-comers' main card will carry a half-dozen fighters with over ten fights on their record.
Nick 'The Goat' Thompson Moving Up To 185
Six months ago, Nick “The Goat” Thompson thought he was a fighter with a law degree. But when fights stopped coming in the last half of 2008, he wondered if he was the opposite.
“I’ve got this $100,000 degree, I’ve been paying on that, and I can’t find any fights,” said Thompson. “It doesn’t really matter how good you are if you can’t find fights. The law was looking a lot more attractive an option.”
What is Going on with UFC, Bud Light, and Mickey’s?
Last week’s edition of TUF had a subtle sponsor item that may have escaped the eye of most of those watching the telecast, but may speak to larger issues.
Mickey’s sponsorship of the tale of the tape comes after a long absence from sponsoring the UFC. The company was a major sponsor of the UFC, but was ushered out the door with the UFC’s signing with Bud Light. As noted in their press release at the time of the Bud Light signing, the Anheuser-Busch company signed on to be the exclusive beer sponsor for the UFC. With Mickey’s in, is Bud Light in, out, or somewhere in between? Many questions abound….
Is the UFC playing semantics with the difference between malt liquor and beer, and if so, at what cost to their relationship with Bud Light? The UFC has a deal with Tequila Cazadores to be the official spirits sponsor of the UFC, but the this represents another product category all together and wouldn’t be seen as a direct competitor to Bud Light. Not so with Mickey’s and Bud. In addition, Mickey’s is a MillerCoors company, which serves as the Pepsi to Bud’s Coke, so to speak. Trying to play off of both brands while having an exclusive deal for beer with one would be frowned upon. Even if Bud Light didn’t care to sponsor the tale of the tape, they would look to protect their exclusive rights with the UFC and have them pursue a non-alcoholic beverage sponsor for the TUF spot. I’m hard pressed to name any sports entity that is double dipping from both Miller and Bud Light. If the Bud Light UFC deal is still in effect, this kind of abrogation of the agreement would have to be run by Bud for an OK and their would likely have to be some kind of special circumstance instigating such a deal.
Which begs the question, does the deal with Mickey’s signal a strained relationship between the UFC and Bud Light? An noted previously on MMAPayout.com, Bud Light frowned upon Dana White’s recent blog rant commenting “The comments by Dana White were inappropriate, insensitive and out-of-line. We have spoken to Dana about the gravity of this issue and communicated that our company maintains a corporate commitment to zero tolerance for discrimination.” While they frowned upon Dana’s comments, they made no intimations that any kind of separation with the UFC was imminent. With the UFC hitting their demo wheelhouse, as loathsome as White’s comments were, Bud Light would be hard pressed to scrap their UFC deal. Industry sources have indicated to MMAPayout that Bud Light does have periodic outs in their UFC deal, allowing exits at specified times before the 3 year term of the deal is over. It should also be noted that Bud Light is still prominently featured on the UFC website, which suggests the relationship is seemingly healthy. Bud Light paid a premium to be an exclusive provider, have they scaled back their sponsorship? With the Bud InBev merger, one of the first areas mentioned for savings was the large amount of sponsorship dollars spent on sporting events. Is the UFC sponsorship becoming a casualty of this cost cutting mindset?
One possible explanation for the Mickey’s deal is the UFC meeting previous contractual obligations. The UFC severed their deal with Mickey’s rather quickly after signing with Bud Light. The UFC may be having to make good on their Mickey’s sponsorship that was shunted aside in the ushering in of Bud Light. Making good on an unfulfilled deal would be preferable to litigation, but again this is something that would have to be done in co-operation with Bud.
The Mickey’s sponsorship raises many questions, with few answers at this point. MMAPayout has e-mailed UFC VP of Sponsorship Sales Michael Pine, UFC Assistant General Counsel at Zuffa and Sponsor Czar Mike Mersch, and UFC PR Head Jennifer Wenk for clarification on this item, but have received no comment as of press time. We’ll let our readers know more when/if they respond.