Official: IFL Down for the Count (Bought By Zuffa)
From IFL Senior VP, Joe Favorito:
I apologize for this mass email but I wanted to take a second to let you know that as of July 31 my role at the IFL will be no more as the company goes into its final stage of being sold and/or closed down. We are very proud of what we did here in just over two years, building a brand from nothing into something that people in the industry and outside of the industry actually noticed, and I enjoyed working with so many different people and helped tell some great stories. At the end of the day sometimes the finances don't make sense, but it certainly wasn't for lack of trying. The good news is I think we have gotten all our good junior people placed in some great spots, so we are pretty proud of that. Even our interns landed in good places.
No Horodecki: Gomi to fight Pang at "Sengoku 4"
Longtime PRIDE champion and highly ranked lightweight Takanori Gomi (28-3) will fight reigning DEEP lightweight champion Sung Hwan Pang (5-1) at next month's Sengoku 4 event.
The Japanese-based World Victory Road today released the Aug. 24 fight card, which includes the opening round of a lightweight grand prix and a former star of the all-but-dead International Fight League.
The event takes place at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan.
The Gomi-Hwan booking will likely come as a suprise to many fans; IFL star and MMA prodigy Chris Horodecki (13-1) had long been reported as Gomi's likely opponent.
However, a source close to the fighter tells MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that Horodecki is currently in negotiations with, among other organizations, the up-and-coming American Fight League, an organization that garnered recent headlines with the signings of former WWE star Bobby Lashley, top female fighter Tara LaRosa (with a contract worth more than $500,000) and many former UFC fighters.
Afflictions gate numbers and PPV buys might be inflated
"The big question we’ve been waiting to hear an answer to this week is, what of Affliction’s pay-per-view numbers? VP Tom Atencio claimed they did “well over” 100,000 buys. He also said, in the post-fight press conference, that he’d be releasing the numbers on Thursday or Friday of this week. And yet, so far nothing official."
Looks like Affliction's numbers on PPV buys might be closer to 50-85,000. Lots of interesting info in this article:
Lightweight GP matchups set for 'Sengoku' 4
World Victory Road announced Thursday Takanori Gomi's opponent and the matchups for the start of its Lightweight Grand Prix at "Sengoku" 4 on August 24.
Gomi will face DEEP lightweight champion Pang Seung Hwan in the main event, as rumored.
As part of the Lightweight Grand Prix, eight competitors will do battle for spots on the November semifinal/final card, where the eventual tournament winner will earn a shot at Gomi for the "Sengoku" lightweight belt. The four opening round bouts are:
Ford-Healy Headlines MFC’s Latest Sellout
Rising prospect Ryan Ford will try to make good on his bid for Maximum Fighting Championship’s welterweight title this weekend as he takes on longtime veteran Pat Healy in the promotion’s latest event at the River Cree Resort and Casino in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada tomorrow night.
“I’ve wanted to have Pat Healy in the MFC for some time,” MFC President Mark Pavelich said in a recent press release. “Ryan has never wavered one bit in his confidence and it doesn’t matter to him who he fights for the title. Pat is one of the toughest and most dangerous fighters anywhere. When these two guys collide in the middle of the ring, there is going to be an unbelievable explosion of speed, power and aggression. Our beautiful new title belt will deservedly go to the winner of this clash.”
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.