Arbitration hearing lifts curtain on backstage world of the UFC
A contract offer scrawled on a blue Post-it note. A disgruntled fighter. A manager whose cut is one-third. A powerful promoter in hardball negotiations to tie up a young heavyweight star.
The California State Athletic Commission arbitration hearing into the dispute between mixed martial arts heavyweight Brandon (The Truth) Vera and his former manager, Mark Dion, lifts a corner of the curtain on the backstage world of the UFC.
The San Diego hearing came about as a result of Vera's desire to get out of his management contract with Dion because he was irate at an alleged misrepresentation of a UFC signing bonus. This week, Dion posted the 135-page transcript of the arbitration hearing on his website, as well as the arbitrator's ruling and a slew of exhibit documents.
Privately owned by billionaire brothers Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta and outspoken president Dana White, the UFC does not like talking money. But the Vera hearing sheds some light on UFC contract negotiations, suggesting that the battles outside the cage can be just as hard-nosed.
Five Rounds Of News 03.21.08
A decidedly slow week for the UFC means tons of news from the rest of the MMA world. DREAM debuts and looks the most like PRIDE since...well, PRIDE. Elite XC reveals more details on their CBS deal and Fedor fought without a contract. Tons of news, tons of videos, tons of poorly phrased opinions!! Five Rounds!!
Kimbo Slice: ‘Now he can become the next mixed martial arts champion’
Check out the 10-second EliteXC commercial that aired on CBS last night during the NCAA tournament for the debut of “Saturday Night Fights” on May 31 below. Kimbo Slice is the centerpiece of the bit, which mentions the word “champion” in the teaser.
Is it possible that he’ll lock horns with Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva on fight night for the EliteXC heavyweight championship or is it just ambiguous advertising?
The Battle for San Jose
There's a city in the South Bay known as a fight town.
Strip away the lard of a cushy but unique suburbia, and San Jose's bustling downtown remains with its frequent post-last-call tussles.
Alessio ready to pull trigger on Larson
John Alessio rarely steps away from fighting for more than three months at a time. There’s a reason for that.
“I feel like a caged pit bull right now, just wanting to get let loose,” he commented recently on MMAWeekly Radio.
UFC Newcomer Roberts to Face Aurelio on April 2 Card
UFC Newcomer Roberts to Face Aurelio on April 2 Card
Thomas Gerbasi, UFC - Nebraska’s Ryan "Are You Ready" Roberts will enter the UFC Octagon for the first time on April 2nd when he takes on veteran Marcus Aurelio in a lightweight bout on the UFC Fight Night Card in Broomfield, Colorado. Roberts (14-2, 1 no contest) replaces Spencer Fisher, who was forced from the bout earlier this week due to a shoulder injury. Said Roberts, “This (fighting in the UFC) is what I set out to do. Now it’s here."
On UFC.tv main page
World Victory Road: Gaining on DREAM?
For the past couple of months DREAM has been getting all the love and most have written off World Victory Road as a second-tier promotion. Certainly DREAM.1 got more hype on the blogs than WVR's debut Sengoku event.
But now that both events have happened, I don't think many would say the DREAM event was head and shoulders better than Sengoku.
DREAM.1 got mixed reviews at best for fight quality, but much more importantly, the TV ratings for DREAM were awful:
It is confirmed that the show drew an 8.9% rating on TBS. That is a miserable rating that would even make HEROs blush. TBS finished second to last for ratings in that time frame, with low-powered TV Tokyo finishing in last (with a 6.9% number).
While DREAM.2 will likely produce better numbers -- featuring big draws like Sakuraba, Funaki, Tamura as well as top talents like Akiyama and Kang -- WVR is announcing some signings of its own. In addition to promising lightweight Satoru Kitaoka, who should be headed toward a showdown with Gomi next New Year's Eve, they also signed Yoshihiro "Kiss" Nakao. Now we know why rumors were flying that the Yakuza wouldn't let Nakao fight Cro Cop for DREAM -- I suspect he'd already committed to WVR before that fight was even proposed
Most importantly though, it looks like WVR has scored a network TV deal with Fuji, the network that carried PRIDE until scandal forced them to drop the promotion. Personally I think more big events are a good thing. I also think DREAM carries a bit of the stink of K-1's ****** upness about it. With a network TV deal, WVR can compete with DREAM on an equal footing. I expect the better organization will win.
Matt Serra Ready for 22,000 Boos
"I mean listen, that's a lot of pressure on this other guy," Serra said. "I feel great about it. I'm feeling great with everything… I'm feeling like a million dollars."
Serra said he was not upset at the UFC's decision to award the interim belt.
"I got hurt, and left them in a f***ing pickle," Serra said. "What am I going to do? They had to do what they had to do. And that's alright. I still have the belt."
While the fighters have been generally respectful toward each other throughout the build-up to each of their fights, tensions have started to grow recently as verbal jabs have been thrown by both combatants.
"I was always polite to the guy," Serra said of his relationship with St. Pierre. "After I won the title, I wasn't sticking my tongue out saying 'Ha, ha. I told you so.' I was giving the guy respect, saying he's the future of the sport."
Since that time, though, things have changed.
"I genuinely think the guy is a good guy," Serra said. "He's surrounded by a bunch of guys hanging on to his coat tails, and they're looking at him like a meal ticket… So five weeks after the fight, I heard him… giving all these excuses, saying 'If it was Matt Hughes I wouldn't have taken the fight. I wasn't training properly for Matt Serra. I figured I'd beat him easy.' I'm like, dude, how do you not take offense to that?"
Serra responded to St. Pierre with comments of his own.
"My point to him was that before the fight you're saying all this, '(Serra's) the most dangerous guy. (I've) got to be the challenger, and go out there and try to get the belt from (him)," Serra said. "Then afterwards? You're lying either way -- either before or after. Not to mention it's blatantly disrespectful.
"So, of course, for me, I'm not going to be like, 'Oh, that's ok.' So I went off. I called him Frenchie, and I told him to drink some red wine and watch a hockey game. And, he got upset about it. He's like, 'Oh, he called me Frenchie. He went over the line.' Relax. Pepé Le Pew is my favorite Looney Toon. Calm down." .
Diego Sanchez to Headline TUF Finale
Diego Sanchez (Pictures) will return to the Octagon June 21 in Las Vegas in the main event of "The Ultimate Fighter 7" finale, sources have told Sherdog.com. He is expected to square off against Luigi Fioravanti (Pictures) in a welterweight tilt that will follow a series of bouts involving participants of the upcoming season of the UFC's reality show.
Double post/mods delete
So much for brotherly love.
Strikeforce world middleweight champion Frank Shamrock claims that his adoptive brother, UFC hall-of-famer Ken Shamrock, has done steroids "his whole life" and that the performance-enhacing drugs have given him a false of security.
Sources: Ryan Roberts vs. Marcus Aurelio at UFC Fight Night 13
UFC newcomer Ryan Roberts (8-2 MMA, 0-0 UFC) could fill in for an injured Spencer Fisher and fight Marcus Aurelio (15-5 MMA, 1-1 UFC) in a preliminary bout at UFC Fight Night 13.
Sources close to the fighter tell MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that Roberts has accepted the bout. However, his manager could not confirm the fight, and the UFC hasn't made an official announcement.
New Cro Cop Interview
1. It was your first fight after two defeats. Were you nervous about your comeback to the ring?
Mirko: I wasn't nervous, I've been fighting in the ring for many years and I feel at home in it. I was excited about fighting in Japan again.
2. You looked impressive in the ring. You bulked up, did you do it on purpose or did it just happen?
Mirko: Gaining muscle mass was a 6 months process and I did it primarily to increase my raw strength.
Liddell dishes out Angle warning
However, Angle never took up the offer - preferring instead to let his words do the talking, and Liddell did not mince his words in belittling his claims.
Liddell and the rest of The UFC world witnessed Lesnar’s promising debut, which ultimately highlighted his lack of Mixed Martial Arts as Frank Mir submitted him, and the former two-time UFC light-heavyweight champion is adamant Angle would face the same fate.
“He talks about it all the time, but he hasn’t made any movements towards doing it, to my knowledge he hasn’t done any training or cross-training,” Liddell told Setanta Sports News.
“If he’s just gonna come in and wrestle, he’s going to get beat, you can’t just be a one-dimensional fighter in The UFC".
“I don’t care how good you are, it’s not gonna work.”
Robbie Lawler vs. Scott Smith EliteXC fight slated for CBS Saturday Night Fights on May 31
EliteXC and CBS today issued their highly anticipated news about the debut of mixed martial arts programming on CBS, revealing that EliteXC Middleweight Champion “Ruthless” Robbie Lawler (15-4) will put his 185-pound strap on the line against The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 4 alum Scott “Hands of Steel” Smith (13-4), according to ProElite.com.
As expected, heavyweight bareknuckle brawler turned professional fighter, Kimbo Slice, will headline the show at The Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., against a soon to be named opponent.
Here’s a snip from Kelly Kahl, Senior Executive Vice President, CBS Primetime:
“We’re excited to introduce broadcast television viewers to America’s fastest growing sport with this prime time event. EliteXC is putting together a lineup card that showcases the unique personalities, world-class athleticism, and raw power and emotion that characterizes mixed martial arts.”
The match up between Lawler and Smith was talked about for Smith before his EliteXC debut against Kyle Noke at Street Certified: “Kimbo vs. Tank” last month. Shaw mentioned that the winner of the bout would probably be next in line for a shot at Lawler’s title.
Shaw is apparently a man of his word … at least in this case.
This will be Lawler’s first defense of his title since winning the belt with a third round technical knockout of Ninja Rua back in September 2007. He’s a fighter who loves to sling the leather — 12 of his 15 wins have come via (technical) knockout and he’s currently riding a four-fight win streak.
Smith also has enjoyed recent success, winning his last two fights with first- and second-round (t)ko’s over Jeff Morris and Noke. His style is also to stand and bang with his opponent, making a match up with Lawler a recipe for a stand up war.
"TUF 8" Likely to Feature Heavyweights and Lightweights
While the UFC and Spike TV have made no official announcement regarding the weight classes for "The Ultimate Fighter 8," producers are on the search for heavyweight and lightweight applicants.
The deadline to apply for the eighth installment of the hit reality series, which will likely debut on Spike TV in September, is April 5.
A new banner and link on UFC.com asks the simple question: "Heavyweights and lightweights: are you T.U.F. enough?"
Opportunity Knocked: UFC 83 interview with Jason Dooms Day
When asked about his opponent Jason had this to say:
“I’ve always said he looks good, I mean I have respect for him. I think there’s a few holes in his game that I’ve kind of picked out … he’s fast, his hands are fast. He looked sharp out there, he’s quick and he’s aggressive. I think I’m going to have the fight with Alan Belcher that I thought I was going to have with Loiseau. I think Belcher is going to be my opportunity to get out there and reveal what I’ve been working on.”
Jason is a dedicated fighter as he works full time building homes up in Calgary during the day and trains well into the nights. He is looking forward, however, to leaving that behind.
Here’s another snip:
“Hopefully over the next six months I won’t be banging nails anymore, I could just be in the gym training full time.”
Confidence is not an issue with Jason –- he’s been preparing to walk through the gates of the Octagon in the UFC for a long time. With wins over notable opponents Loiseau, Ron Faircloth and Jonathan Goulet and his only recent loss coming at the heavy hands of Patrick Cote, Jason is poised to make the most of the opportunity put in front of him.
It’s now or never.
or the full interview in audio
Zombie Strippers: Tito Ortiz and girlfriend Jenna Jameson to appear in movie
The self-proclaimed power couple is at it again.
Former UFC light heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz and his girlfriend Jenna Jameson are set to appear in a new movie dubbed, “Zombie Strippers,” which is “coming soon to DVD.”
That’s never a good sign.
Ortiz plays a bouncer at an underground Nebraska strip club that is tainted with a virus that turns its talent into reanimated corpses. And, unsurprisingly, Jameson is one of the infected strippers (no pun intended, seriously).
Check out the video trailer after the jump.
(And i seriously suggest you do!)
First CBS-EliteXC Event Likely Airs May 31
The official press release was expected Wednesday, and though it never came, ProElite.com teased some info, including a May 31 debut date. Additionally, a bulletin there said that the first event date will be promoted during this week's CBS coverage of the NCAA men's basketball tournament.
Today, our friends at fiveouncesofpain.com posted some additional info about the event, including:
The event will take place in Newark, N.J. -- likely at the Prudential Center, which played host to UFC 78 this past November.
Kevin "Kimbo Slice" Ferguson will headline the event, though his opponent isn't known.
EliteXC middleweight champ Robbie Lawler will defend his title against Scott Smith.
Gina Carano is expected to fight at the event. (According to fiveouncesofpain.com. Kaitlin Young and Cris Cyborg are the leading candidates to fight her.)
Brett Rogers and Jon Murphy will likely meet in a swing bout for the event.