MMA Sheds It's Violent Image
It took 11 years for Jonathan Lowell to feel comfortable enough with public acceptance of mixed martial arts to include those words in the name of his business.
Although he opened his business in Satellite Beach in 1997, it was only this year that his studio became Master Lowell's Mixed Martial Arts Academy in its newest location on North Wickham Road.
"It really wasn't exactly acceptable," Lowell said of early attitudes toward mixed martial arts. "I continued to call my school a black-belt karate school because I wasn't sure how parents would accept us."
Dana White on Affliction VP: "The guy has an attitude problem, and I’m going to fix it for him"
Dana White offered a cocksure laugh borne from battles past; proof that the business of cage fighting can be as cutthroat and unforgiving as the sport itself.
“It’s about how much pain are you willing to take,” the president of the Ultimate Fighting Championship said last week.
As mixed martial arts has boomed into a colossal business, no one has been smarter or tougher than White. In just seven years he turned a fledgling fight promotion into an estimated billion-dollar company.
He’s done it by building up the UFC and tearing down virtually everyone else. This month he’s at his best, attempting to inflict on Affliction plenty of pain.
Ben Rothwell is ready for 'The Pit Bull'
Standing 6-foot-5 and weighing in at 265 pounds, former IFL Heavyweight standout Ben Rothwell is a big man. According to Sherdog.com, he’s also a fighter with a 29-5 overall MMA record that includes 13 straight victories. That said, ask most of your mainstream audience who he is and you’re likely to get a quizzical look followed by a shrug of the shoulders.
However, if he’s able to pull off a victory against former UFC Heavyweight Champion Andrei Arlovski at Affliction: Banned on July 19th that may all change.
Anderson's Manager: Silva fights Yushin Okami after July 19 fight
After making his light heavyweight debut against James Irvin at next week's UFC Fight Night 14 event, UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva (21-4 MMA, 6-0 UFC) will return to 185 pounds to defend his title against top contender Yushin Okami (22-4 MMA, 6-1 UFC).
Ed Soares, Silva's manager, confirmed the plans while a guest on today's edition of TAGG Radio (taggradio.com), the official radio partner of MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
However, Soares said that a date for the Silva-Okami fight won't be determined until after the July 19 fight with Irvin.
COMMISSIONS NOT SOLD ON NEW MMA RULES
On July 3, the Association of Boxing Commissions passed a series of amendments to the Unified Rules for Mixed Martial Arts – a blueprint for most athletic commissions that regulate mixed martial arts today – at a meeting in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
Drafted by the ABC president Timothy Leuckenhoff, ABC MMA chairman Dale Kliparchuk, New Jersey State Athletic Control Board Deputy Attorney Nick Lembo, California State Athletic Commission executive director Armando Garcia, and veteran referee "Big" John McCarthy, most changes served as clarifications to the existing rules, although new amendments were introduced. Chief among those was the expansion of the current weight classes used in MMA, from seven widely recognized weight classes to a total of fourteen, including shifts within the weight requirements of those already in use.
Karo Parisyan training with Greg Jackson:
Parisyan: I’ll be heading to Albuquerque July 12th to get ready for my next fight which is September 6th against Yoshida, a Japanese guy who choked out the kid ("War Machine") from the TV show (The Ultimate Fighter 6). So I’m fighting him September 6th, and I’m heading out to New Mexico to train with Rashad (Evans), (Georges) St. Pierre, and everybody else.
UFC Planning Grassroots Shows for New Markets
When the UFC announced plans to go to the Phillipines, Australia, Germany, and other countries next year on top of regular shows in the United Kingdom, my immediate concern was that there would be too many shows. Spike obviously is not willing to carry all the minor shows, and weak PPV cards only water down the brand. Apparently my fears were misguided, because some of these shows will not air at all. Dave Meltzer reported this week in the Wrestling Observer Newsletter that some shows might not air on PPV or Spike TV, the idea would just be to grow the local fanbase by running there:
Dana White said Lorenzo Fertitta’s main focus has been on making international deals. He said they are on television in the Philippines on a major network station doing big ratings so that’s a target for 2009, as in Australia, Brazil, Germany and Dubai. White said they would be doing grassroots shows in some of these places, which I had the impression means using local fighters and the UFC name and maybe name fighters in the main event, including doing some shows just as live house show events for the market. Some new market shows wouldn’t be big enough for PPV and wouldn’t necessarily be on Spike.
Honda Center to host "Affliction: Banned" weigh-ins on July 18
Weigh-ins for "Affliction: Banned," which features one of the greatest collections of talent in MMA history, take place Friday, July 18 at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif.
The same venue hosts the following day's 11-fight event, which airs on FSN and pay per view.
The event's weigh-ins are free and open to the public.
Fans planning to attend the weigh-ins are asked to enter the Honda Center (2695 E. Katella Ave.) through the Katella Avenue entrance. Doors to the event open at 2 p.m. PT (local time), and the first fighter hits the scale at 3 p.m. PT.
"Affliction: Banned" features a main event between longtime PRIDE heavyweight champion Fedor Emelianenko and former UFC title-holder Tim Sylvia. Other notables in action include Josh Barnett, Andrei Arlovski, Matt Lindland, Ben Rothwell, Renato "Babalu" Sobral, Antonio Rogerio Nogueira and others.
Does ESPN's MMA coverage have credibility issues?
Does ESPN's MMA coverage have credibility issues?
By Steve Cofield
UFC can't be pleased with on-again, off-again MMA coverage from ESPN. The Big Lead pointed out that UFC 86 got almost no face time across the ESPN family of networks and on the web this past weekend...So Why Did ESPN Ignore UFC All Weekend?
Lindland throws hat into political ring.
By Kevin Iole, Yahoo! Sports
Jul 9, 3:10 pm EDT
If Matt Lindland were a pitcher, he’d be the guy who’d want to protect a one-run lead with the bases loaded and Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz due to bat.
A 2000 Olympic Greco-Roman wrestling silver medalist, Lindland thrives the tougher and the more pressure-filled the situation.
Russian Emelianenko brings big reputation to the States
Drop him on his head. Knock open a nasty gash on his face. Fedor Emelianenko hardly even blinks. The consensus No. 1 heavyweight in mixed martial arts shrugs it off and conquers his opponents.
Conquering the American marketplace is much more of a challenge. He'll try July 19 as the star attraction on the debut card of Affliction, a clothing company taking a shot at MMA promotion, in Anaheim, Calif.
The burly Russian — a fan of action movies, Bruce Willis and Sting — wants to break through in the USA.
"I have a great desire to have the American fans know who I am and hopefully be just as popular in America as I am in Asia," he said Wednesday via a translator while commuting on a train in Russia.
MMA BLOG: Don't take Sylvia, Rizzo lightly
Within the MMA community, Emelianenko has single-name status, like Kobe or Tiger in their sports. Affliction bills the bout against Tim Sylvia as "Fedor vs. Sylvia."
"I give him the respect and say he's No. 1," says Ben Rothwell, another heavyweight on the Affliction card. "I'll keep giving him that until anyone can prove otherwise."
Emelianenko (27-1), whose sole loss is considered a technicality that he decisively avenged, built that reputation with dramatic wins on Japan's now-extinct PRIDE circuit.
In 2004, Kevin Randleman lifted him for a slam. Emelianenko's head took the brunt. Stunned for just a moment, he flipped himself on top, then started to hammer Randleman's head. When Randleman released his grip to deflect the blows, Emelianenko grabbed his arm for a good wrench, forcing Randleman to submit.
Shawn Tompkins to Fight Ken Shamrock? Whaaa?
The Xtreme Fighting Association (XFA) recently announced the signing of Xtreme Couture trainer Shawn Tompkins to a three-fight deal in their K-1 style organization, and while there was initially no word on an opponent we all assumed it would be someone xtreme, like maybe one of those skateboarders from the Mountain Dew commercials. Now MMATraining.com is reporting that Tompkins’ first opponent may be none other than Ken Shamrock:
“I just signed a 3 fight deal with XFA, which is a K-1 kickboxing promotion in Las Vegas. I’ll be doing my first fight September 26th. Between September, December and February. They are looking at my first fight being Ken Shamrock”.
As much as those who train under him love to talk about Tompkins as some kind of Yoda of the fight game, his brief foray into MMA was, shall we say, unsuccessful. Perhaps returning to his roots as a kickboxer is a good idea.
Of course, embarking on a new career as a kickboxer is probably not a good idea for Shamrock, but that never stopped him before. Perhaps Tompkins will have to make an xample out of him. See what I’ve done there? I’m going to go cry now.
HERMES FRANCA CLEAR TO FIGHT, PENDING DRUG TEST
The Nevada State Athletic Commission today cleared lightweight Hermes Franca for the UFC’s hastily assembled July 19 card at the Pearl in Las Vegas.
Franca was originally suspended last July by the California State Athletic Commission after a positive test for the steroid Drostanolone following UFC 73 in Sacramento, Calif. His suspension in that state – effectively a suspension from fighting in all states with major athletic commissions – ended on the 5th of this month.
Franca now must prove he is drug free in a test for performance enhancers to be administered this Friday. The test was originally scheduled for next Monday, but according to NSAC executive director Keith Kizer, that makes it more unlikely that he will be cleared in time for his fight.
“We should be able to get it in on time,” Kizer said. “If not, he won’t be fighting.”
The administrative procedure is similar to the one undergone by his former opponent, Sean Sherk, who was recently re-licensed for his fight against BJ Penn in May.
Elite XC media workout for ‘Unfinished Business’ on July 26
Elite XC Middleweight Champion “Ruthless” Robbie Lawler, Jake Shields, Scott “Hands of Steel” Smith, and Cris Cyborg — four of the talented fighters who will compete in Stockton, Calif., on July 26 at “Unfinished Business” — participated in an open media workout yesterday at “The Ultimate Training Center” in Roseville, Calif.
Smith and James “The Sandman” Irvin are part owners of the gym.
Cyborg — wife of Pride FC veteran Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos — will face Shayna Baszler on the main card that will air on CBS. The winner of the bout will more than likely take on Gina Carano sometime in the fall for the right to become the first Elite XC female champion.
After months of delays, Shields will finally get his crack at the Elite XC welterweight gold. He’ll lock horns with Nick “The Goat” Thompson for the vacant 170-pound strap in a fight is one of the most anticipated fights in the organization’s history. The two are coming in on a combined 21 fight winning streak.
Something has got to give.