UFC 91 Does Big PPV Numbers
In the Wrestling Observer Newsletter this week, Dave Meltzer has a short report on early numbers for the UFC 91 show. He reports that it looks to have beaten UFC 61 (Ortiz v. Shamrock) and came up just below UFC 66 (Ortiz vs. Liddell) in some areas.
I've received two preliminary estimates that put it in the 800,000-850,000 range. If those numbers hold up, it will be the second biggest UFC buyrate ever. It did not do the 1.2 million that White predicted, but I never believed this show could break a million without an incredible promotional push. It didn't get that push, but still apparently did great business.
Internal estimates were in the 800-900 range, the 1.2 million was public bluster to get ESPN to cover it. The tactic worked, but I get the feeling that scam will only work once.
Before this show, Couture's highest buyrate was against Tim Sylvia for his 2007 return that did 540,000 buys.
Barney vs Rogers?
Multiple sources have informed FiveOuncesOfPain.com within the last 24 hours that Affliction Entertainment officials are currently attempting to secure EliteXC-contracted heavyweight Brett Rogers for a possible Jan. 24 clash with Josh Barnett.
Affliction’s Jan. 24 show, titled “Day of Reckoning,” will air on Showtime pay-per-view and will emanate from the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif. The event will be headlined by Fedor Emelianenko defending the WAMMA heavyweight title vs. former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski.
More middleweight confidence: Nate Marquardt edition
“[Michael Bisping and Demian Maia] are good fighters. Bisping can go and go, and Maia is good on the ground. But neither one of them has fought anyone who is as good as me or at the same level of fighter that I am. It would be a huge jump in class for them to fight me, and I think I could finish either one of them off in round one or two….
Lister Wants Shot At Silva
When the official card for UFC 92 in Las Vegas was announced, the middleweight bout between Dean Lister and Yushin Okami was conspicuously left off the main card despite the fact that many are seeing this bout as a de facto No. 1 contenders match to challenge champion Anderson Silva in the future.
Currently sporting a 4-1 record in the UFC, Lister has been working hard to get to a title shot and he's hoping that his fight with Okami gets noticed, but has no ill will towards the promotion for the fight not currently being slated for the pay-per-view broadcast.
Randy ‘The Natural’ Couture - before, during and after UFC 91
Just a little over a week after his historical fight with Brock Lesnar at UFC 91, mixed martial arts legend and five-time UFC champion Randy Couture was the featured guest on MMAmania.com’s exclusive presentation of Pro MMA Radio.
And ‘The Natural’ didn’t disappoint.
It was just two months ago that Randy agreed to make his much-celebrated return to the Octagon to defend the championship belt he no longer wanted following a bitter contract dispute that forced his shocking retirement from the UFC.
Like most break-ups, things started getting ugly after some contractual mud started slinging between the two sides. Couture was painted as a money-grubbing diva, interested only in himself and a superfight with the world’s greatest heavyweight, Fedor Emelianenko.
Fighting Fedor: Andrei ‘The Pitbull’ Arlovski Affliction interview
If all goes according to plan, Andrei “The Pitbull” Arlovski (15-5) might have a new nickname in store come January. How’s “The Emperor Slayer” sound? Now riding a five-fight win streak and set to challenge for the WAMMA title, Arlovski’s career is on the up and up to say the least.
It’s worth noting that Arlovski, once considered fairly unbeatable himself during his reign atop the UFC’s heavyweight division, hasn’t lost to a fighter who wasn’t named “Tim Sylvia” since March 2002. That’s six-and-a-half years and 11 wins over some of the best heavyweights in mixed martial arts, including Fabricio Werdum (11-4-1), Tim Sylvia (24-5) (the first time) Paul Buentello (26-10) and Vladimir Matyushenko (21-3).
Mike Thomas Brown’s first defense likely to take place vs. Leonard Garcia
With Urijah Faber now slated to fight Jens Pulver at WEC 38 on Jan. 25 in a rematch from the classic June encounter, multiple sources have informed FiveOuncesOfPain.com that current WEC featherweight champion Mike Thomas Brown is now expected to make his first defense against former UFC lightweight Leonard Garcia.
Five Ounces of Pain spoke to a third source close to Brown who indicated that while the matchup is considered likely, it has yet to be finalized. However, bout agreements from both fighters could be secured within the next 1-2 two weeks.
Sean Sherk: “The number one contender spot is pretty much the LW belt”
Sean Sherk is coming off the heels of a unanimous decision victory over fellow lightweight title contender Tyson Griffin at UFC 90 last month at the Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Illinois.
Sherk and Griffin combined for “Fight of the Night” honors by largely putting their outstanding wrestling skills on the back burner and instead electing to try and brawl it out. In sharing FOTN honors, Sherk put on perhaps the best display of technical boxing in his nine-year career.
Darren Uyenoyama's Strikeforce Trifecta
It’s not uncommon anymore for fighters to get more into the business side of MMA.
Fighters have begun to become promoters, create clothing lines, and have long run the gyms and teams that have produced much of the sport’s talent. Rarely, however, do you see someone coming from the business side of MMA to have a successful fighting career.
Darren Uyenoyama plans on changing that.
ProElite Fighting Jake Shields' Bid to Become a Free Agent
The remaining representatives from near-defunct fight promotion ProElite are doing what they can to stop EliteXC welterweight champion Jake Shields from leaving the fold.
Shields’ manager and father, Jack Shields, on Monday told MMAWeekly.com that an unnamed lawyer representing ProElite informed him on Saturday that his son was not a free agent.
The elder Shields, along with several fight managers under the ProElite umbrella, in late October sent the company a “notice of breach” letter asking them to fulfill their promotional and payment obligations within 30 days or their contracts would be abandoned.
ProElite responded to the letters on or around Nov. 3, stating they were in the process of “downsizing” and said they planned to continue promoting in early 2009. They also stated that EliteXC fighters needed express written consent to fight for other promotions.
Shawn Tompkins " He's already like a son to me"
"I moved Junie Browning into my house about a month and a half ago. I've kind of taken him under my wing and kept an eye on his training, career and his (laughs) social life I guess. I see big things from this kid and he's young; he's only 21. I think he just needed the right people to surround him and he's doing a great job. I'm real proud of him," stated Xtreme Couture trainer Shawn Tompkins as he talked about Junie Browning and gave an update on several other fighters he works with, including Randy Couture, Wanderlei Silva, John Alessio, Chris Horodecki and much more.
Rick Roufus eyes future after inconsistent first year in MMA
Rick Roufus' (4-4) transition from world-champion kickboxer to first-time mixed martial artist has been an exercise in patience.
But that's nothing new to the 41-year-old, who has been down this path before.
In 1995, the decorated kickboxer announced his intentions to try something new. He shelved the kicking part of his chosen profession to concentrate exclusively on boxing. Roufus enjoyed a measure of success as a conventional boxer, compiling a 13-5-1 record with 11 knockouts. He also won the WBC Continental Americas cruiserweight title in 1996.
Cung Le still chooses movies over MMA for now
“Right now I’m just going to focus on the movies because I got like three other movies lined up. I’m a martial artist first, so I come up through MMA, and I’m very grateful. I know where my roots are, but because of MMA I’m able to do this, so I got to take advantage of it. We’ll see me back in action sometime soon or sometime down the line.”
Faber Vs Pulver @ WEC 38
Recently knocked off his featherweight perch by Mike Brown, Urijah Faber will make a quick turn and get right back in the cage on Jan. 25 at WEC 38. A little more surprising, however, may be whom he will be facing. Sources close to the bout tell MMAWeekly.com that Faber will rematch Jens Pulver at the San Diego event.
Although bout agreements have yet to be signed, sources indicate that both sides have verbally agreed to the rematch. Faber bested Pulver in a five-round war in their original outing on June 1 in Sacramento, Calif.
As mentioned, Faber is coming off of a knockout loss to current WEC featherweight champion Mike Brown. The defeat was his first as a featherweight and only the second of his career. Faber's first defeat was a lightweight bout against current UFC contender Tyson Griffin. He is still ranked No. 2 in the world as a featherweight.
Liaudin Cut By UFC
Jess Liaudin (12-11)will be letting his rib injury heal over Christmas before beginning his campaign to get back into the UFC early in the New Year.
Liaudin’s last fight was at UFC 89, where he dropped a decision to Swedish lightweight David Bielkelden after a three round war.
After the fight, it emerged that Liaudin had suffered a severe rib injury in the first round, which will take some months to heal fully.
Prior to that, he dropped a split decision to Englishman Paul Taylor (who ironically also suffered a bad rib injury at UFC 89).
Speaking to Fighters Only earlier, the Frenchman said: “The UFC door is still open for me, I just need to get a bunch of wins then they are taking me back.
10 Fights That Could Have Been
Mixed martial arts remains a very young sport. Despite a short history that dates back less than 20 years, it has produced some remarkable fights -- bouts like Royce Gracie against Dan Severn, Frank Shamrock versus Tito Ortiz and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira against Fedor Emelianenko.
Every longstanding promoter will admit that for every “superfight” made, another fails to materialize because of injury, a contract dispute or promoters failing to cooperate with one another.
Sherdog.com’s Tim Leidecker has compiled a list of the top 10 fights that could have been during the last 15 years.
Tag Team Mixed Martial Arts
From ZST 18 at Differ Ariake in Tokoyo, Japan on Sunday, November 23rd, 2008:
6th Match - GT-F Tag Team Title Bout (total weight 135 kg) Bout 15 min
Hideo Tokoro (Japan / Team ZST) & Masakazu Imanari (Japan / Team-ROKEN) vs. Takumi Yano (Japan / Koppou Ugokai Yano Takumi Dojo) & Daisuke Yokoyama (Japan / X-ONE GYM Shonan)
Winner: Hideo Tokoro and Masakazu Imanari by Decision (2-1)