HBO, WWE Executives Weigh-in on UFC
MMAPayout.com recently did a segment on Inside MMA on the PPV battles between UFC, HBO, and WWE. Multichannel News recently elaborated on this battle for supremacy, with HBO and WWE execs commenting on the situation. At least for the press, both HBO and WWE execs tend to play down the impact that the UFC is having on their business.
HBO Pay-Per-View senior vice president Mark Taffet tends to feel a rising tide is lifting all boats:
“The landscape continues to look bright,” he said, adding that HBO’s pay-per-view boxing set records in 2006 and 2007 with 2008 proceeding apace, while the traditional network’s live events are also faring well. (Boxing tends to draw an older demographic than MMA.)
“There is room for everyone,” said Taffet. “It’s good for pay-per-view — mixed martial arts has just added more consumers to the television set.”
Gegard Mousasi: I'm Fighting Vitor Belfort, Fedor to Fight Josh Barnett Both at Affliction's January Show
Fighter's Only mag breaks the story:
DREAM middleweight champion Gegard Mousasi expects to face Vitor Belfort on Affliction’s next MMA show in January.
Speaking to Fighters Only this week, he revealed that the US organisation wants him to fight the Brazilian, while Red Devil team mate Fedor Emelianenko may face Josh Barnett.
“I’m going to train with Fedor in preparation for Affliction in January,” he said. “I think it is Fedor against Josh Barnett and they want me to fight Vitor Belfort.”
Mousasi is part of the Red Devil International team and he shares a manager with Fedor in the shape of Vadim Finkelstein.
Notice Mousasi said "think" in regards to Fedor vs. Barnett, but it's worth acknowleding in this space. The more important story, though, is that if true Affliction scrapped their Arlovski vs. Barnett fight in favor of bringing Fedor into the fold. Without getting confirmation from Affliction regarding these developments we should take the news with a grain of salt. But if true, this portends a great deal for Arlovski and his future with Affliction as well as Golden Boy's first co-promoted show. Add to that having Mousasi introduced to American fans and we have exciting (though not terribly marketable) developments.
Report: UFC 93 In Ireland On January 17
Although it hasn't been confirmed by UFC yet, there are reports that UFC will return to Ireland for UFC 93 on January 17. The event, to be held at the O2 Arena, could be headlined by Rich Franklin vs. either Chuck Liddell or Maurucio Rua.
Aleksander Calling For Barnett Rematch At Affliction 2
Aleksander Emelianenko is calling for Josh Barnett to be his opponent when he fights for Affliction in January.
The Russian heavyweight spoke to Fighters Only on Saturday when he appeared in Nottingham for the UK leg of the M-1 Challenge tour.
Asked by Fighters Only editor-in-chief Ian ‘The Machine’ Freeman who he wanted to fight next, the Russian heavyweight said: “There is only one choice... Josh Barnett.”
Emelianenko and Barnett have some history, as they have fought each other once before in a PRIDE FC event that took place in 2006.
At first it was Emelianenko that had the edge as he pummelled Barnett around the ring, but the American was eventually able to force the fight to the floor and obtain a keylock submission.
UFC Quick Quote: Karo Parisyan inks eight fight contract extension
I love the UFC. I love Dana White, Lorenzo Fertitta, they’re one of the nicest people I’ve ever met and that’s the truth. I don’t kiss ass. I had a meeting with them last week they gave me a new, eight fight contract and the deal is I’m happy with them, I’m happy with the UFC. But the deal is there is a lot of stuff even Dana can’t control. He can’t control a lot of the referees. A lot of the judges are from the commission so he can’t control all those guys. It’s very hard. He can control [them] a certain amount of time [and] a certain amount of people, but not everything.
-UFC welterweight Karo Parisyan sounds off on RawVegas.tv about some of the questionable judging in recent memory including Kimbo Slice vs. James Thompson at EliteXC ‘Primetime’ back on May 31. During the clip, “The Heat” reveals he’s just signed a new, eight fight contract extension with the UFC. Not only does that sound like an unusually large number for UFC contracts, it’s timing is a bit bizarre considering Parisyan’s recent admission of panic attacks and his last-minute exit from his fight against Yoshiyuki “Zenko” Yoshida at UFC 88 ‘Breakthrough’. Maybe the UFC loves him as much as he claims to love them.
Dale Hartt confirms fight vs. Corey Hill at UFN 16 on Dec. 10
A lightweight bout between season five veteran of “The Ultimate Fighter” Corey Hill and Dale Hartt has been signed for “UFC Fight Night 16: UFC Fights for the Troops” on Dec. 10 at Fort Bragg in Fayetteville, North Carolina.
FiveOuncesOfPain.com contacted Hartt via e-mail, who confirmed he signed his bout agreement on Wednesday.
* Josh Koscheck vs. Yoshiyuki Yoshida
* Mike Swick vs. Jonathan Goulet
* Frankie Edgar vs. Matt Wiman
* Nate Loughran vs. Tim Credeur
* Corey Hill vs. Dale Hartt
* Ben Saunders vs. Brandon Wolff
* Justin McCully vs. Eddie Sanchez
* Steve Bruno vs. Luke Cummo
* Luigi Fioravanti vs. Brodie Farber
YUSHIN OKAMI VS DEAN LISTER AT UFC 92 ON DEC. 27
In a pivotal match-up between two top middleweights, MMAWeekly.com has confirmed that on Dec. 27 Yushin Okami will return from a lingering hand injury to face submission wizard Dean Lister, as confirmed by Lister’s management group at Haymaker’s Empire
Shamrock eyes Lion's Den hat-trick on CBS
Ken Shamrock and the Lion’s Den fight team are looking for a hat-trick at next weekend’s EliteXC/CBS event.
Shamrock faces former streetfighter Kimbo Slice in the headline bout, while two other Lion’s Den fighters feature on the undercard.
Ex-IFL heavyweight Roy Nelson (13-2) will be taking a big step up in class when he takes on former UFC champion Andrei Arlovski.
And UFC veteran Seth Petruzelli (9-4) will be fighting on the undercard against ShoXC graduate Aaron Rosa.
“This is a huge fight for me and I am ecstatic that other fighters from the Lion’s Den team will be competing on the same card,” Lion’s Den Founder Ken Shamrock.
Lorenzo: Double Digit PPV Increases In 08
Lorenzo Fertitta spoke with Multichannel News, stating PPV buys are up in 08:
By 2007, UFC was, according to Forbes, generating about $250 million and about 90 percent of all mixed-martial-arts revenue. In that year, it had 5.1 million pay-per-view buys in 11 fights, essentially matching 5.2 million in 15 for the WWE. And Fertitta says the picture remains rosy: “We had double-digit growth this year in a terrible economy.”
As always, looking at the data helps give us perspective to judge such statements. Let us take a look inside the numbers, comparing month-over-month results to this point:
UFC Quick Quote: War Machine on the war path
So the UFC decided to let me go because of my statements after the death of Evan Tanner. They tried to make it look like I was insensitive towards Evan and that that was the reason I was being cut. In all honesty my bulletin regarding Evan was bashing the UFC and the way they treat fighters and not negative to Evan in any way. if anything I was sticking up for Evan and the way he was mistreated by the UFC just like the vast majority of it fighters. Anyway, since my bulletins and all the bullshit being talked about on the underground several of Evan Tanner’s close friends and family members have been in contact with me. 99 percent of them were not mad at all and pretty much let me know that they knew where I was going with the whole bulletin and for me not to worry about hurting any of them directly. SO yeah one of his close friends just messaged me a few hours ago and let me know that the UFC sent NO ONE to speak at his funeral. He let me know how much this saddened the family and how very disappointed they were about it all. This is an EX CHAMPION of theirs, NOT some scrub that fought for them once and thats it. Are you trying to tell me he doesn’t deserve any of the UFC brass’ presence at his funeral? Doesn’t deserve a single kind word or statement of gratitude for the services that he provided their organization?”
Gilbert Melendez mulls move to UFC
Former Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert “El Nino” Melendez (14-2) made it clear at last weekend’s “Strikeforce at the Mansion II” event that he has plans to win back the 155-pound title he lost to Josh Thomson back in June.
The loss to “The Punk” was only the second in a 16-fight career for the Cesar Gracie-trained standout. The other was to Japanese standout Mitsuhiro Ishida this past New Year’s Eve.
As it turns out, Ishida now competes under the Strikeforce banner as well, giving Melendez the perfect opportunity to avenge the two losses.
GINA CARANO NOT LOOKING PAST KELLY KOBALD
Gina Carano’s career has undergone many changes since her debut fight for EliteXC against Julie Kedzie in February 2007. She is now considered one of the top female fighters in the sport, she found a second job as “Crush” on the NBC series American Gladiators, and she is probably one of the most well-known and popular mixed martial arts fighters on the planet regardless of gender.
But with all the newfound fame and all the attention, Carano remains focused on her goals as a fighter and she understands better than anyone that she has room to grow.
“I feel like I have a long way to go,” Carano said in an interview with MMAWeekly Radio. “I just feel like there is so much I want to learn. Every single day at practice I learn something different. There’s so many things you can learn, so many things you can learn about your body, and how it works and you know situations you’re good in, situations you’re bad in.”
JASON BRILZ: UFC HOMETOWN STANDOU
It may be enough for a fighter to have their dream come true to participate in the Ultimate Fighting Championship, but to do so in front of your hometown crowd and succeed in spectacular fashion is a whole other thing all together.
Such is the case for longtime Midwest fan favorite Jason Brilz.
Long considered something of a star in the making, Brilz entered UFC Fight Night 15 earlier this month expected to do well, but he did much more than that, dominating Brad Morris en route to a second round TKO.
“It went pretty much how we thought it was going to go,” he said of his win. “I figured he’d probably land a few more shots standing up – we trained for that – but it worked out well for me.
“It was really made special that it was in Omaha, so I had a lot of friends and family (in attendance). The UFC was great, they took care of me and it was a very fun experience.”
Exclusive: Chris Leben Talks Fighting Bisping and the Judges at UFC 89 in England
CagePotato.com: Hey Chris. Thanks for talking with me. We’re a few weeks out from the fight. How is your preparation coming?
Really good, really well. It’s been long and intense and I’m kind of just getting to the point now where I’m ready to go fight and get this thing over with.
It seems like things really changed for you when you moved to Hawaii. What has that move done for you?
You know, it’s great. Moving to Hawaii is definitely the best thing I’ve ever done in my life. I had the opportunity to be the head coach at Icon and there are a whole bunch of guys out here training with me who are just great. But besides the gym and the wonderful people out here you have the weather and everything that is Hawaii. It’s been really conducive to my training.
I hear a lot of people say you’re much more mature these days, no longer such a wild guy in and out of the cage. What do you think prompted that transformation?
Losing (laughs). You know, I got away with being a brawler for a long time. And it’s hard to change things when they’re working. But when I fought Anderson I realized, I might be able to beat 95% of the guys out there, but I’ll never be a world champion fighting this way. So I had to go back and change a lot of things. That was one part of it.
And the other part was, you know, coaching. Now that I have a team of amateur guys fighting, it’s hard to tell them to do something if you’re not doing it yourself.
Cures for the common losing streaks
Depending on the native language of the fan, the perception of Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic varies widely. For some, he's an overhyped expatriate of obscure Japanese fight culture. For others, he has the most talented lower body -- glutes, quads, the ever-popular hamstring -- next to Pele's.
For those who were weaned on Filipovic's exploits in Japan from 2001 to 2006, HDNet's broadcast of Dream 6 on Tuesday provided further depressing evidence that the once-feared Croatian is nearing the end of his tenure as a heavyweight threat. Battered by inconsistent Alistair Overeem, Cro Cop has not made a significant move since winning Pride's open-weight tournament in 2006.
He's one of several attractions who have struggled in recent months to restore sheen to their careers and make corrections to obvious faults in tactical preparation. At age 34, Filipovic's problems don't seem the result of physical deterioration. He's simply an older make of an athlete who needs an upgrade if he is to remain competitive with today's crop of licensed killers.