UFC 102 Far From Sold Out; Economy, Taxes Problematic
A story that’s seemingly flown right under the radar the last couple weeks is the fact that the UFC is having trouble selling tickets for its 102 event to be held at the Rose Garden in Portland, Oregon. The venue holds nearly 20,000 people for an MMA event, but has sold just over 9,000 tickets to date.
It’s surprising news for a number of reasons: Randy Couture is an Oregon boy, MMA is fairly popular in the state, and the UFC has built up a tremendous amount of momentum in recent months. When you look deeper, however, it’s not so surprising at all that UFC 102 is struggling to fill its arena.
The UFC was actually slated to bring their show to Portland back in November of 2008, but it is believed that the organization cancelled those plans and chose Las Vegas instead due to a combination of the poor economy in Oregon and exhoribidant event taxation in Portland.
Fast forward to 2009 and the economy is only getting worse:
Oregon’s economy, bad as it is, will get even worse over the coming months, threatening double-digit unemployment and early school closures while sucking billions of dollars from the state budget, according to a forecast released Friday.
“We’re falling basically into a pit,” said state economist Tom Potiowsky. He had the unenviable job of telling stone-faced state officials how much — or how little — they can spend on education, aid to the poor and other programs.
According to Potiowsky’s forecast, which is used to set state spending levels, the current state budget will come up short by $855 million. For the 2009-11 budget, the gap between projected revenue and the rising cost of state services grows to $3 billion.
The sharp drop stems from the same forces that clobbered the nation’s economy: dried-up export markets, tumbling home values, falling stock prices and frightened consumers.
“The perfect storm is here,” Potiowsky said. “And Oregon is feeling the recession stronger than many other states.” He predicted
Exacerbating the problem even further are the 6% gross receipt taxes levied by both the Oregon State Athletic Commission and the City of Portland for MMA events held in the city - ie., 12%.
Karalexis-Pettis Off WEC 43, Main Card Replacement TBA
WEC is, for now, one bout short on it's planned WEC 43 card. The promotion has announced that Alex Karalexis is off due to injury, and his original opponent, Anthony Pettis, is now also off as a result. One of the 7 prelims will be moved up to air on Versus, but it's not known yet which one it'll be.
UFC Legend Matt Hughes’s Manager: It’s Time For Matt Serra To Move On
“There has not been discussion on [a rematch between former UFC welterweight champions Matt Hughes (41-7) and "Terror” Matt Serra (9-6)]. I really thought all the talking was over after the fight,” Hughes’s manager Brian Patton told Fighters.com Monday night in response to an interview Serra gave to MMA Weekly Monday in which Serra called for a rematch.
Bellator Champ Lombard Looks Ahead to UFC
Reported by Tatame and run through a translator at BloodyElbow, 185-pound Bellator tournament champion Hector Lombard says that he's unsure of his future following the conclusion of his three-fights-remaining contract with the Bellator Fighting Championships.
Baroni knew he would return to the UFC
Lost in the buzz surrounding the Gina Carano vs. Cris Cyborg women's title fight was the news that veteran Phil Baroni signed a new deal with the UFC.
Baroni made his UFC debut at UFC 30 in February 2001, defeating Curtis Stout via unanimous decision. He went 3-5 inside the Octagon, and was released from the organization following his loss to Pete Sell at UFC 51. FanHouse spoke to Baroni via e-mail recently about his surprising return to the UFC. The full interview is below.
MMA Is No Breakthrough for Women
We've just witnessed the greatest advancement for female sports since Brandi Chastain ripped off her shirt at the end of the World Cup.
So why does it feel more like a punch to the stomach?
I'm talking about last weekend's MMA bout between Gina Carano and Cristiane "Cyborg" Santos. It supposedly is the breakthrough battle that will make female fighting mainstream.
PROVINCE ADMITS NEGLIGENCE, DOESN'T DOUBT TEST
The Nevada State Athletic Commission on Monday released the post-fight drug test results for WEC 42, which took place on Aug. 9 in Las Vegas. Of the nine fighters tested by the commission, one turned up an alleged positive test result for a performance enhancing substance, that fighter being Cole Province.
He doesn’t deny his guilt, but he does want it to be known that it wasn’t intentional. Province wasn’t caught misjudging the timing of a steroid cycle, or trying to mask what he was taking to try and fool the test.
TOM ATENCIO DETAILS AFFLICTION'S FINAL HOURS
The final hours of Affliction as a promotion will go down infamously as the one time powerful mixed martial arts sponsor turned fight organization canceled its show dubbed "Trilogy" just days before the event was set to take place in California.
A positive steroid test from main event participant Josh Barnett led to the decision to scrap the whole show. Affliction vice president Tom Atencio told MMAWeekly Radio in an exclusive interview what the deciding factor was to call a halt to the show entirely.
3 More Fights Announced For Sengoku 10
World Victory Road has announced 3 new fights for it's Sengoku 10 event on 9/23. The fights feature Nick Thompson vs. Dan Hornbuckle, UFC veteran Joe Doerksen in action and another appearance by Light Heavyweight King Of Pancrase Ryo Kawamura, returning to Sengoku for the first time since his loss to Muhammad Lawal. This makes 8 fights for Sengoku 10 with at least 3 more fights expected.
HOF Promoter and Matchmaker Don Chargin Talks Boxing & MMA
Having been one of the few boxing promoters around today to have witnessed the great Sugar Ray Robinson fight live, it is no easy feat to impress Don "War-a-Week" Chargin. This hall-of-fame promoter has been touted by his peers as possibly being the best match-maker the boxing world has ever bore witness to. This is why it is with great intrigue that at the tail end of his long, illustrious career that Chargin would actively pursue what most would consider a long-shot proposal.
Don talks about Nick Diaz and his upcoming boxing debut.
Big Nog Talks Long Awaited Bout With Randy Couture
TSN.ca talks to Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira about his upcoming UFC 102 bout with Randy Couture. The bout, is one that many fans have wanted to see over the years and although both fighters may not be in their primes anymore, it will be interesting to see how this fight finsihes at the end.
Ishida Camp Accuses Melendez of ‘Greasing’
A representative for Mitsuhiro Ishida made a verbal protest Saturday against Gilbert Melendez, claiming the Strikeforce interim lightweight champion was “greased” during their rematch at “Carano vs. Cyborg” at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif.
California State Athletic Commission Assistant Executive Officer Bill Douglas told Sherdog.com that the representative interrupted a meeting for officials held shortly after the event to make the proclamation, and was asked to leave the closed-door gathering.
Melendez, 27, blasted past Ishida during their championship bout Saturday, scoring a third-round technical knockout after the Japanese fighter failed on numerous occasions to ground the champion. Ishida absorbed ample punishment from the striker standing, and was dropped by a body knee in the third before Melendez coaxed out the stoppage on the canvas.
Douglas said his agency would not inform Melendez of the complaint unless it became official.
“In order for it to be considered official, we have to have something in writing,” said Douglas.
Douglas said Ishida’s camp has five days to file an official protest, and has not heard from the group since Saturday.
Melendez seemed surprised by the accusations when reached by Sherdog.com Monday.
“I did not grease in the fight,” said Melendez. “The athletic commission was with me the whole time. I didn’t bring any grease with me. I didn’t think there was much grappling in the fight anyway.”