Winky Wright Criticizes Boxing Politics, Praises UFC
Concerns are growing that Mixed Martial Arts fighting is on the way to surpassing professional boxing in popularity (if it hasn’t already) with Elite XC on network TV CBS, The Ultimate Fighter series on Spike, etc. etc. Add Winky Wright to the list to those lauding the UFC’s business plan and questioning the decision-makers in boxing.
In a wide-ranging interview with Danny Flexen in the July 25th Boxing News weekly magazine of London (State Of The Game with Danny Flexen), Wright voiced plenty of logical sentiments which the boxing powers-that-be had better begin to heed, and fast. Among them told by Wright to Flexen:
“When I was coming up, more top fighters fought each other. They all wanted to prove they were the best in their weight class, not in the WBA, the IBF, but the best, period. But now the promoters and the networks get in the way and we’re losing a lot of fans because of it. The promoters milk the prospects, they don’t match them against top fighters. The networks allow too many easy fights.”
Cung Le In Talks For Anderson Silva Showdown
Cung Le is in talks with the UFC about a possible showdown with middleweight champion Anderson Silva.
The sticking point in negotiations is that Le has several fights left on his deal with Californian promotion Strikeforce.
Speaking after a seminar in Richmond, Canada on Saturday, Le revealed that the UFC is looking for a six-fight commitment from him.
But he has three fights left on his contract with Strikeforce and, while his current promotion are happy to “work something out”, the UFC is well known for refusing single-appearance deals.
Nonetheless, Le is hopeful that a compromise can be reached and cited the Royce Gracie-Matt Hughes fight as an example (Gracie was loaned out by K-1 for one fight).
Mayhem Miller On Jacare: ""He punches like a girl, he kicks like a girl."
In the newest edition of The Light's Out Show, the fellas interview Jason "Mayhem" Miller. Below are some interesting quotes from this hilarious interview:
In the wake of Nick Diaz saying he has not been paid from DREAM, we asked Jason if he had similar problems:
“No, no problems. They’re a kick-a__ organization. Money in the bank!!”
Asking Jason if he’s looking to land a long term fight contract with a promotion:
“No. A long term deal is like being married. You can’t go around bangin’ other chicks.”
Asking Jason why he chose not to sign with The UFC when given the opportunity:
“At the time they offered me the deal, it wasn’t the workable deal, so I did my own thing. It can be scary for a fighter to do that because if you’re not with The UFC people look at you like you’ve got leprosy, but I’m not worried about it. I’m able to make money, and let’s face it, you’ve got to make as much money as you can because you can’t go around punching people in the face forever.”
UFC Sets Its Sights On Mexico, Latin America
Recent happenings indicate that the UFC will put their first toes in the water of the Latin market. On the weekend of August 15th the UFC will be lending their talent and Octagon design to a pair of events to increase their penetration of Latin America. On the 15th they will be holding a training seminar in Tijuana with UFC fighter Diego Sanchez as well as UFC Espanol color commentator and Mexican MMA fighter Victor Davila. The seminar will center on “Ground and Pound and its effectiveness in MMA”. The UFC is using these seminars to spread the basics of MMA as well as the tactics of fighting inside the cage. Davila will also do seminars for the UFC in Costa Rica and Argentina.
Victor Davila is the point man for Zuffa’s Latin operations. Davila seems to be equal parts Joe Rogan and Joe Silva in his role. Davila is the voice and image of the play-by-play narrations for the Spanish audience for UFC live events as well as a host of the “El Octágono del UFC” on Galavision. At the same time, Davila is also being used as a scout/talent relations man in looking for MMA fighters in the Mexican and Latin market. He is currently feeling out and trying to sign “name” fighters in the Mexican circuit for Zuffa. All this in addition to doing seminars similar to the one mentioned above.
Fighter Salaries: A Fair Share of Revenues (Part 2)
Reinvesting Into Zuffa
Some are quick to point out that accurate information isn’t required for them to know that the fighters are getting “screwed.” Despite the obvious shortcomings of this argument, it needs to be addressed, because it’s an important segue to another issue that is not commonly explored: the re-investment of earnings back into the company.
We need accurate information to assess the fairness of fighter payouts, because there are a host of intangibles both from the revenue and expense side of things that are involved with running not just an event, but also a growing leader in a rapidly expanding industry. We’re not looking at the whole picture if we simply compare the gross revenues from the last event relative to the fighter payouts.
Pawel Nastula to end retirement at Sengoku 4
World Victory Road’s Sengoku promotion has officially announced that former Judoka Olympic Gold Medalist Pawel Nastula is coming out of retirement to fight Korean wrestler Yang Dong Yi at Sengoku 4 on August 24.
Nastula, who won gold in the 1996 Olympics while representing his native Poland, is 1-3 lifetime in MMA in spite of his impressive Judo credentials. All four of his fights took place inside the rings of PRIDE, where he sustained losses against Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Aleksander Emelianenko, and Josh Barnett.
His lone victory took place s during PRIDE’s “Critical Countdown Absolute” in July of 2006 when he executed a first round submission against Edson Draggo.
Juanito Ibarra "devastated" by Quinton Jackson arrest
Juanito Ibarra, a central figure as both trainer and mentor in the life of Quinton Jackson over the past three-plus years, is struggling to come to grips with the fighter's recent actions and subsequent arrest.
Ibarra told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) Tuesday night that he has not spoken with Jackson since the former UFC light heavyweight champion was arrested by Costa Mesa police July 15, following an alleged hit-and-run accident and subsequent police chase on a California freeway.
"I'm devastated by what he's been through and some of the things I've heard," said Ibarra. "I've not sat down with Quinton to this day to discuss things. I pray for his well-being, and if I helped Quinton out a little bit with his growth in the sport, then I've been very blessed and honored to do that. I love this kid with all my heart, and I wish him nothing but the best."
Omaha's Jason Brilz expected to compete at UFC Fight Night 15
Nebraska-based firefighter Jason Brilz (15-1-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC), a veteran MMA fighter who's undefeated in his past 11 fights, has accepted a deal with the UFC and is expected to debut with UFC Fight Night 15, an event that takes place Sept. 17 in Omaha, Neb.
A source close to the fighter told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) of the deal overnight.
No opponent has been determined.
However, Brilz, who could fight at 205 or 185 pounds, may be matched up with Thales Leites. Two tentatively scheduled opponents for Leites, Dean Lister and Goran Reljic, reportedly pulled out of the Spike TV-televised event due to injuries.
Brilz, a 33-year-old who turned pro in 2000, has been in talks with the UFC previously, but with the UFC heading to Nebraska for the first time, he finally accepted a deal, the source said.
UFC Quick Quote: Ryan Thomas answers the call to fight Ben Saunders
“I had told my manager I wanted the summer off because I had fought 14 times in the last 20 months and the average fighter only competes 3 or 4 times a year. He then called on Sunday the 27th and asked if I would be interested in fighting in the UFC and I could not believe my dream had come true. It still feels like a dream that I just can’t seem to wrap my head around. I don’t think I will be able to until I get in the octagon and get tagged a few times…. [Ben] is good at striking and ju-jitsu and my ju-jitsu and Muay Thai are good but wrestling is my strongest skill and I feel his weakest. Saunders I think is a good match up for me. He has the height advantage and has had months to prepare to my 12 days, but I’m stronger and my wrestling gives me a strategic advantage.
UFC 87 Preview: Jon Jones
At 21, Jon Jones has won an Iowa state high school wrestling championship, a National Junior College championship, holds a 5-0 MMA record and as far as I know is still the reigning Battle Cage Xtreme / USKBA 205lb. champion. He's been fighting professionally since April. Of this year.
He just signed a four-fight deal with the UFC, making him the youngest fighter under contract in the organization. And he's facing the also-undefeated Renzo Gracie-trained IFL product Andre Gusmao - on about a week's notice, replacing Tomasz Drwal - this Saturday in Minnesota. Check it:
Hermes Franca vs Gleison Tibau UFC 90 fight set
Brazilian jiu-jitsu stylists Hermes Franca (18-7) and Gleison Tibau (15-6) will likely tangle at UFC 90: “Silva vs. Cote” at the Allstate Arena in Chicago, Ill., on October 25, according to Sherdog.com.
It’s a 155-pound clash that pits two fighters on back-to-back losing skids against one another.
Franca dropped a unanimous decision to Frank Edgar at UFC Fight Night 14: “Silva vs. Irvin” back in July. It was his first fight back after serving a 12-month suspension for steroid use. He is a former number one title contender who reeled of eight straight wins before losing to then UFC Lightweight Champion, Sean Sherk, at UFC 73: “Stacked” in July 2007.
Tibau has a losing record inside the Octagon (2-3), but those three defeats have come against the likes of top fighters such as Nick Diaz, Tyson Griffin and Joe Stevenson. He most recently succumbed to a crushing “Daddy” guillotine choke at UFC 86: “Jackson vs. Griffin” last month.
UFC 90 features several solid match ups, including the 185-pound tilt between UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva and Patrick Cote, as well as the huge welterweight showdown between Thiago Alves and Diego Sanchez.
Lesnar faces must-win against Herring
On Saturday night, Brock Lesnar goes into the cage with Heath Herring to answer a question: Is previous fame heading into a mixed martial arts career a blessing or a curse?
Lesnar, a former NCAA wrestling champion and World Wrestling Entertainment star, is one of the greatest athletic prospects to ever come into the sport. He has size, strength and, most of all, incredible quickness and reflexes for a man who had to cut weight to make the 265-pound heavyweight limit.
But as he heads into Saturday’s UFC 87 showdown against rugged veteran Heath Herring, he runs the risk that his headlining fame will be over just as quickly as it started.
Bas Rutten On The Demise Of The IFL
In just a few short years the International Fight League went from ambitious concept to reality to demise.
At its best, the promotion helped reintroduce a group of veteran mixed martial arts pioneers to the new era of MMA fans, as well helped jumpstart the career of what would become some of the sport’s best young fighters.
One of the promotion’s first and most prominent figures was former King of Pancrase and Ultimate Fighting Championship heavyweight titleholder Bas “El Guapo” Rutten.
Starring initially as the head coach of the Los Angeles Anacondas, Rutten then transitioned to a commentator role and ultimately ended up as Vice President of Fighter Operations, and shined with the usual El Guapo flair in each position.
Still, all things come to an end. As such, Rutten has been released from his contract with the company, and now he looks to transition to other things.
Speaking from his adoptive hometown of Los Angeles, Rutten spoke to MMAWeekly about his time in the IFL, his roles in the promotion, and what’s coming down the pipeline for one of MMA’s premier personalities.
MMAWeekly: First off Bas, tell us about your recent release from the IFL.
Bas Rutten: Well, from what I understand, there is no more IFL, right? We’ve been sold, but there’s still some working going on. Exactly what, I have no clue, but the paychecks have stopped coming in. For me it’s stopped and for all the people I knew in the IFL it’s stopped.
I knew the company was struggling. I had gotten emails from people there that had been let go. “Thanks for the great time working together,” and stuff like that. There was a hardcore group left, and once they started getting rid of those people, I knew the end was near. I was aware it was going to happen.
WEC-UFC Talent Merger in the Works?
Talk of a potential migration of the WEC’s 205- and 185-pound divisions to the UFC could be more than just rumors, and the answer might play out in the coming months.
For months, rumors have been circulating -– and, occasionally reported in MMA media outlets -– that the WEC may disband those two divisions and send some of the top fighters competing there to the UFC.
Reed Harris, WEC president, declined to confirm or deny the status of a potential reshuffling of the rosters when contacted Monday by Sherdog.com. Harris did confirm that the concept has been acknowledged as a possibility by UFC president Dana White, and matchmakers Joe Silva and Scott Adams of the UFC and WEC, respectively.
“We have had some discussions about our weight divisions, but nothing has been set or finalized,” Harris said. “We’ve heard the same rumors. We’ve had those discussions since day one. About what weight classes (might be involved), I really have no official statement. I know people are talking about it. I’ve had reporters call me and ask the same questions for eight months about it.”
New Athletic Commission Chairwoman Could Be Key to MMA in NY
After the UFC’s lobbying efforts failed to get MMA legalized in New York, Zuffa’s Marc Ratner vowed not to give up so easily. Not long afterwards, Melvina Lathan was named as the new chairwoman for the New York State Athletic Commission, and guess what? She seems friendly to the UFC’s cause, despite being a “boxing purist” according to a recent Newsday article:
WEC Bonuses Handed Out; 2 Fights of the Night
Following another action-packed show by World Extreme Cagefighting in Las Vegas, capped off by welterweight champion Carlos Condit pulling through his toughest fight to date against Hiromitsu Miura, the promotion handed down bonuses as confirmed to MMAWeekly.com
Each fighter earning a bonus received $7,500 in addition to the fight purse in the individual bout agreements.
For the first time, the WEC also handed out two “Fight of the Night” bonuses.
Carlos Condit and Hiromitsu Miura earned a no-brainer for Fight of the Night after their almost four-round war that saw the incumbent champion pushed further in the fight than any previous match-up during his title reign. Both Condit and Miura earned the respect of all the fans watching the match-up and now a bonus check on top.
WEC lightweight champion Jamie Varner and Marcus Hicks also earned a Fight of the Night bonus for their respective performances in an amazing fight between the two 155-pound stars.
Knockout of the Night went to Minnesota Martial Arts Academy member Brock Larson, who dispatched of Carlo Prater in just 37 seconds in their welterweight showdown.
Brian Bowles, who moved his professional record to 6-0, earned a Submission of the Night for his guillotine choke victory over Damacio Page.
WEC 35 Fights of the Night:
Carlos Condit vs. Hiromitsu Miura
Jamie Varner vs. Marcus Hicks
WEC 35 Knockout of the Night:
WEC 35 Submission of the Night:
White vs. Nelson, Nogueira vs. Matyushenko expected at Affliction II
Noted Brazilian jiu-jitsu practitioner and Xtreme Couture trainer Jay White (2-5) and reigning IFL heavyweight champion Roy Nelson (12-3) will likely meet at "Affliction: Day of Reckoning" in October.
Additionally, "Affliction: Banned" winner Antonio Rogerio Nogueira (14-3) and reigning IFL light heavyweight champion Vladimir Matyushenko (21-3) are expected to rematch at the upcoming show.
NSAC issues few medical suspensions to WEC 35 fighters
The Nevada State Athletic Commission has issued only a handful of submissions stemming from Sunday's WEC 35 event at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.
The NSAC today sent the list of suspensions to MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) via email.
Aside from main-eventwinner Carlos Condit and his opponent, Hiromitsu Miura, all the suspensions were for precautionary reasons stemming from knockout losses.
Mike Pyle likely to return at Oct. 11 Affliction event
Xtreme Couture fighter and veteran welterweight Mike Pyle (17-5-1) will likely return to action at Affliction's second show, which takes place Oct. 11 at UNLV's Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas.
A source close to the event tells MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that Pyle could soon be announced for the card.
No opponent was revealed, but given Affliction's lack of depth in the division, an outside signing in almost mandatory.