WEC 35 Preview: Jamie Varner vs. Marcus Hicks
An event that is getting absolutely slept on is WEC 35 coming up on August 3. Three title fights are being shown: Carlos Condit vs. Hiromitsu Miura, Brian Stann vs. Steve Cantwell, and Jamie Varner vs. Marcus Hicks. As far as big names go, the card doesn’t hold much weight with the casual fan but when is the last time that the WEC let us down? I, for one, am looking forward to Varner vs. Hicks the most out of those three fights. I feel it’s the most competitive matchup of the whole lineup. Here’s a couple videos from the WEC’s YouTube channel to get you ready for the fight.
EliteXC trying to lure Javi Vazquez out of retirement
After a planned swing bout between lightweight competitors Malaipet Team Diamond and David Douglas fell through after Malaipet was forced to bow out due to injury, EliteXC officials have been left scrambling to find a replacement in time for CBS’s second-ever telecast of “Saturday Night Nights” this past Saturday.
According to a source speaking to FiveOuncesOfPain.com on the condition of anonymity, EliteXC had attempted in recent days to lure Javier Vazquez out of retirement.
Vazquez, a renowned competitive grappler who compiled an impressive 12-2 record during an injury-plagued MMA career, announced his retirement immediately following his first round submission over J.C. Pennington during a ShoXC event last October.
Dave Herman likely to return in September
Undefeated EliteXC heavyweight title contender Dave “Pee Wee” Herman is expected to fight for the promotion again in September. FiveOuncesOfPain.com was informed of the news by Herman’s manager, Mike Camp, of F1 Management.
An opponent and a date are not yet known, but Herman could compete during an EliteXC event tentatively planned for Friday, Sept. 26.
The former Indiana-Bloomington standout wrestler had been in the running to challenge Antonio Silva this weekend for the vacant EliteXC heavyweight title, but Herman was unable to accept the fight due to a prior commitment.
A Closer Look at Pay-per-view Distribution
In discussing the most recent bond rating for the UFC, it was mentioned that Zuffa has been able to negotiate favorable terms with their PPV partners and that this has lead to greater profitability even though buys have remained flat. With the structure of PPV being a bit Byzantine, confusion on the topic often runs rampant when discussed online.
In order to shed some light on this often murky end of the business, MMAPayout.com spoke with an insider in the PPV industry who has negotiated many ppv distribution deals. While not privy to the exact terms of Zuffa’s agreements with PPV, he was able to clarify his perception of the revenue split and how UFC may be getting favorable terms:
Shayna Baszler and Cris Cyborg Hammer Dana White on Women's MMA
"He wants to question the depth of the female division, but every female fight that ProElite has put on has been a showcase of women's talent and has been 'fight of the night' type material," Baszler says. "If he wants to question that, then I'd question the talent of his heavyweight division," which recently was challenged by Affliction's heavyweight-loaded card.
Cyborg is more direct.
"I'd love to fight Dana White to show him how tough women are," she says through an interpreter.
Thiago Tavares vs. Kurt Pellegrino at UFC 88
Lightweight submission specialists Thiago Tavares (13-2) and Kurt Pellegrino (15-4) will tangle at UFC 88: “Breakthrough” at the Philips Arena in Atlanta, Ga. on September 6.
It’s a match up between two 155-pound fighters who up until recently were in the title hunt. However, recent losses for both fighters have temporarily dashed those hopes, making this showdown super important for the winner — it will get him back in the mix much faster.
After bursting on the UFC scene with two straight wins, Tavares created quite a buzz — he was being touted as a possible threat to the champion. However, he has since come back down to Earth, losing two of his last three fights. And the last one — a knockout defeat courtesy of Matt Wiman at UFC 85: “Bedlam” last month — was a huge setback.
It's a Good Time to Be a Free Agent in Mixed Martial Arts
The Vancouver Sun has a piece up discussing Georges St. Pierre's contract negotiations:
"Before it expires, they'll want to negotiate because they won't want me to be a free agent, let the Japanese get their hands on me," St-Pierre said....
Standing in the way of a more lucrative deal, obviously, is Fitch. St-Pierre will be fighting in the U.S., without the home-field advantage that buoyed him against Serra last April.
That could change soon enough; St-Pierre is hearing rumours the UFC will return to Montreal, perhaps next year, and might even try to fill up Olympic Stadium."
It's a good time to be a free agent, and I think St. Pierre will end up getting a very good deal. With the Affliction salaries floating around, the UFC won't risk losing one of their top stars. St. Pierre is already paid well, but most of it is in discretionary bonuses, and it's in his best interest to guarantee himself that money in the future. If he has good management, he is in a strong position to demand money that would make him the top paid fighter in the UFC. He is one guy they definitely won't let go, and his contract will be another example of how fighters benefit from competition.
Catching Up With Travis Lutter
While it seems like an eternity ago, it’s only been three months since the UFC decided to release Travis Lutter following his disappointing loss to former middleweight champion Rich Franklin in Canada back in May. After a pair of short stints inside MMA’s biggest promotion, Lutter has hit a crossroads in his career.
He’s primarily stayed out of the limelight since his departure - spending time with his family and running his Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu academies in Forth Worth, Texas. However his fans will be happy to hear that Lutter has no intention of hanging up the gloves just yet.
Robbie Lawler vs Scott Smith (1st fight) video now on ProElite.com
Elite XC Middleweight Champion “Ruthless” Robbie Lawler and Scott “Hands of Steel” Smith slugged it out in Newark, N.J. on May 31 during the network mixed martial arts debut on CBS.
It was without a doubt on its way to becoming one of the best fights of the year before it ended because of an inadvertent eye poke, resulting in a disappointing no contest.
The outcome forced Elite XC officials to set up an immediate rematch, which will be the main event on CBS this Saturday in Stockton, Calif., during Elite XC: “Unfinished Business” event.
Elite XC and Affliction to SAVE MMA
When you take at look at MMA, mixed martial arts, from an average fans point of view, what do you see? UFC or Ultimate Fighting (Championship)? Besides the hardcore fans of this rapidly growing and emerging sport, few casual sports fans can even comprehend the difference. Often times I myself encounter this blind understanding of the sport we all know and love on a weekly, if not daily, basis. A simply trip to the grocery store in a tapout shirt has often sparked UFC conversations, as though Tapout is the UFC's clothing line. It's almost as though the MMA world is truly monopolized and you might as well call Dana White "Mr. Monopoly" himself, just give him that funny old top hat and a cane as he strolls down Boardwalk or Park Place. However, is the MMA landscape in for a drastic shift of power in the near future?
Found this on MMA Rated and thought it was worth letting others see:
'Wildman' is preparing for the biggest fight of his life
When Thomas “Wildman” Denny takes on Nick Diaz at the second CBS- EliteXC Saturday Night of Fights set to take place on July 26th, there is likely to be a lot of emotion in the ring. First off, anyone with a nickname like Wildman—and keep in mind that Denny’s nickname is deserved as it relates to fighting—no doubt fights with a lot of fervor anyway; and of course, Nick Diaz has never been one to come into the ring with a stoic expression and a ho-hum attitude. Second, Denny has been outspoken in regard to Diaz’s inability to make weight in his last fight against Muhsin Corbbrey, citing, “if you sign a contract that says you're going to weigh 160, you should come in at 160, not 169 (the weight that Diaz came in at). So, I don't know, I just think it's unprofessional.” Thus, Diaz probably isn’t thrilled with his opponent to begin with.
Josh Thomson Interview: The Punk wants The Legend
Coming into his fight against former Strikeforce Welterweight Champion Gilbert Melendez, the man they call “The Punk” had a 17-2 overall MMA record with six (T)KO’s and eight submission victories to his credit. Of course, Melendez had certainly earned the high level status that many afforded him coming into that fight; he’d defeated Clay Guida, Tatsuya Kawajiri, and Tetsuji Kato during his career.
But when you throw together Thomson’s stellar record and past victories against Duane “Bang” Ludwig, Hermes Franca, and “Razor” Rob McCullough, shouldn’t we all have given him a little more credit as well?
Well, since defeating Gilbert Melendez on June 27th Thomson has certainly earned a higher status amongst MMA fans and a championship belt to go along with it. And if you’re wondering if he has some strong feelings regarding the next fighter he takes on, you better believe that he does.
Phil Baroni scheduled for ICON Sport card on Aug. 2
“The New York Badass” Phil Baroni is slated to return to the ring for ICON Sport promotion on Aug. 2 when he competes during the promotion’s “Hard Times” card in Honolulu, Hawaii at the Blaisdell Arena.
Baroni will be fighting Ron Verdadero on the card in a 175 pound bout. For Baroni, it will be a quick turnaround, as he fought on July 12 in England at Cage Rage 27. Making his debut at welterweight, Baroni needed just 3:18 into round 1 to knockout Scott Jansen.
ICON, which is a subsidiary of ProElite, Inc., will also be promoting featured fights between Bao Quach and Mark Oshiro for the North American 140 pound title as well as ICON Sport middleweight champion Kala Kolohe vs. Rolando Dominique in a non-title fight contested at 180 pounds.
Diaz still wants to fight Sakurai
One of the feature matches at the previous DREAM 5 card was set to have Hayato “Mach” Sakurai take on Nick Diaz. Due to Diaz’s upcoming fight with Thomas “Wildman” Denny on Saturday’s EliteXC show, the Diaz - Sakurai fight was taken off the show.
Diaz hopes the the fight was merely postponed and not canceled.
I want the Sakurai fight to come about again,” said Diaz, “I think the fight would be an excellent match-up.”
The Diaz-Sakurai fight would be a very entertaining one. Even though Diaz’s main commitment is to EliteXC, he is grateful for the opportunity to fight in other organizations as well. Hopefully, the fight can be rescheduled in the not-to-distant future.
EliteXC has plans for PPV
During a recent media conference call, Doug DeLuca confirmed that EliteXC is looking to get onto pay-per-view.
Pay-per-view is our goal,” said Deluca, “Broadcast TV builds stars for PPV.”
Really, at this point, EliteXc only has one bankable PPV draw in Kimbo Slice. In order to protect Slice and generate decent PPV numbers, the best possible opponent is probably Ken Shamrock. Without Slice, I’m not sure how they put on a show that people would pay for. A brother vs. brother fight of Ken vs. Frank Shamrock could generate some interest, but I don’t think it would be enough to call the show a success.