Five promotions could be gone in 18 months
What a depressing headline for an article this is. Sadly, the headline reflects the current situation that the MMA business is in right now.
Think about the climate of the industry at the start of the year and what the climate looks right now, nine months after the first of the year. There are five — count them — five promotions that could go belly-up in the timespan of 18 months. Elite XC, DREAM, Pancrase, Sengoku, and Affliction. The IFL is already finished, and more layoffs in the MMA industry amongst various promotions are expected to take place shortly. These trends indicate that the bottom is about to fall out of the business and that we will be stuck in 2009 with a top-heavy industry, much in a similar vein to professional wrestling.
There has been talk, since his release from jail, that convicted felon Kazuyoshi Ishii is trying to either consolidate or buy out the two smaller players in MMA (Sengoku and Pancrase). Ed Fishman was once approached about investing money into Pancrase, but the company reportedly had 7-figures in debt. The rumors at this time claim that World Victory Road, the parent company of Sengoku, has bought a stake or a controlling interest in Pancrase. If so, Pancrase will basically become a feeding system for Sengoku. However, Sengoku looks to be a money-losing proposition itself and it may get swallowed whole by K-1 if Ishii perceives that there is some value to consolidation in the business. All of this could be taking place while DREAM is on its last legs. I’ve long predicted that once Ishii got out of jail that DREAM would be finished and that K-1’s Godfather would create a new MMA project in 2009.
Palhares Sees Title Shot In Future
Rousimar Palhares is already talking of a UFC middleweight title fight with Anderson Silva - despite having fought only once in the organisation.
Palhares made his debut at UFC 84 in May with a slick armbar victory over Ivan Salaverry that made many sit up and take notice.
This weekend, the Brazilian finds himself facing another veteran in the shape of 39-year-old former Olympian Dan Henderson.
"He is a great fighter, and he will demand a lot of attention from me during the fight," he told the UFC website.
A win "would be a huge step in my career... it will make it easier for me to have a chance to fight for the belt".
MFC adds featherweight class, drops HW
EDMONTON -- The MFC is shifting focus away from the one weight class and into a new one. The Edmonton-based organization announced this week the addition of a featherweight division and the retirement of its heavyweight belt.
"There is such an impressive field of 145ers out there that we felt it was very important to add this weight class and this group of exciting fighters," MFC owner Mark Pavelich said in a news release.
The MFC expects to announce the signing of several featherweights in the very near future and could even have its first meaningful 145-pound bout at MFC 19: Long Time Coming, which takes place on Nov. 28. Pavelich hopes to develop a stable of strong prospects and have its featherweight championship on the line by mid-2009.
What To Do About Big Nog ?
With all of the speculation surrounding Randy Couture's potential return to the UFC, lost in the shuffle is current interim heavyweight champion Antonio Rodrigo (Minotauro) Noguiera.
Couture is rumoured to be making a return in November against Brock Lesnar, in the main event at UFC 91. The questions surrounding the situation are coming from all angles.
With the UFC still pronouncing that Couture is their champion even after he resigned and having never stripped him of the title, would a potential fight against Lesnar actually be a title fight? Does Lesnar already deserve a title fight in the UFC? Would this be a non-title fight and if so why?
So many questions and with a variety of angles that the UFC could steer the ship, my fingers point to Nogueira, the man who should be next for Couture if he returns to the UFC.
Cooper-Speight Finalizes Affliction II Card
A welterweight bout between IFL veteran Brett Cooper and undefeated prospect Patrick Speight will reportedly finalize Affliction’s “Day of Reckoning” card, which will take place on October 11th at the Thomas & Mack Center on the campus of UNLV according to a report by MMA News.
Affliction VP Tom Atencio was said to have confirmed Cooper vs. Speight as the final bout to be signed for the event yesterday. Both fighters were originally scheduled to be part of Affliction’s “Banned” show on July 19 but were removed from the card due to unknown reasons.
Cooper last competed in June, knocking out Dusty Arden in the first round at a PureCombat show in California. He scored consecutive TKO wins over UFC veterans Jason Von Flue and Rory Markham in December of last year. Cooper’s training partners Jason High and Chase Gormley will also be on this card.
The complete card for the event is as follows:
Andrei Arlovski vs. Josh Barnett
Vladimir Matyushenko vs. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira
Pedro Rizzo vs. Ben Rothwell
Chris Horodecki vs. Dan Lauzon
Matt Lindland vs. Trevor Prangley
Jay Hieron vs. Drew Fickett
Roy Nelson vs. Paul Buentello
Mike Pyle vs. Jason High
Jay White vs. Chase Gormley
Antonio Duerte vs. Albert Rios
Brett Cooper vs. Patrick Speight
ON THE RISE: MARLON SANDRO
Name: Marlon Sandro
Professional Record: 11-0
Discipline: Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Muay Thai
Notable Wins: Daiki Hata, Miki Shida
Brazil’s team Nova Uniao has produced some of the best fighters in the world including former Shooto Champion Vitor “Shaolin” Ribeiro, UFC fighter Thales Leites and IFL Champion Wagnney Fabiano Santos. Another name that may find its way onto the list is undefeated featherweight standout Marlon Sandro.
The Rio de Janeiro athlete started fighting at a young age of seventeen. Sandro practiced Capoeira early on and then transitioned into Jiu-Jitsu under the tutelage of Andre Pederneiras and Rafael Carino.
Is Hermes Franca Calling Out American Top Team?
The news that Marcus Aurelio is replacing an injured Gleison Tibau against Hermes Franca at UFC 90 is being reported, but not analyzed.
It strikes me as curious that first one, then a second American Top Team Fighter has signed to fight Franca, a former ATT fighter himself.
Is there a feud brewing? This rumor was out there a couple years ago, from a source I don't trust much. Is there anything to it?
Here's the story, according to a source of mine... Kurt Pellegrino trained at Franca's ATT Jupiter school for his fight against Kazuki Okubo, which took place on the Euphoria: 'USA vs. Japan' card on November 5th, 2005. Pellegrino won the fight by KO, and when he got back to Florida, Franca then awarded Pellegrino his Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt.
Ricardo Liborio, the leader of ATT, told Franca that all ATT black belts are only given by Liborio to qualified BJJ brown belts. He supposedly went on to say that Pellegrino was not qualified to be an ATT black belt and that he should demote Pellegrino back to brown belt. This supposedly did not sit well with Franca.
Franca and three other members of ATT then took a photo in front of the main ATT building in Coconut Creek, Florida, with an ATT flag held upside down and a middle finger salute. They sent the picture to Liborio, who was supposedly furious and then took away the ATT name from Franca's school.
The UFC is Holding a Press Conference Tomorrow to Announce the Return of Randy Couture
Steve Cofield reports that the UFC is holding a press conference tomorrow at noon PT:
After 11 months of fighting in the courts it looks like the UFC and Randy Couture have buried the hatchet. The promotion is holding a press conference on Tuesday at Noon PT to announce a new deal with the heavyweight champion.
Couture is expected to face Brock Lesnar at UFC 91 in Portland in what could be the biggest pay-per-view show in the UFC's history.
Let's cross our fingers and hope nothing falls apart. This is potentially the beginning of a very big run for the UFC and MMA in general.
Randy Couture Looking At Three Year UFC Contract Extension
As we previously reported. Randy Couture had been offered and was considering a three-fight contract with the UFC. MMARated.com then reported over the weekend that a three fight extension was on the verge of being agreed to which would see the popular UFC champion return in a fight against Brock Lesnar at UFC 91 on Nov. 15.
The new and improved Punisher
As a 5 foot 10 heavyweight, nothing was ever going to be easy for Jason Lambert. But as he began his pro mixed martial arts career in 2001 and started battling it out with the big boys, he found out that more often than not, he was able to not only hold his own, but win.
Tito Ortiz still in search of record contract
Former UFC light heavyweight Champion Tito “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy” Ortiz was a guest on HDNet’s “Inside MMA” this past Friday to discuss his future in the fight game.
There were reports a week or so ago that placed Ortiz as the newest addition to the Affliction MMA roster. Apparently those reports were a little premature because Tito’s asking price was a little too high for the t-shirt company-turned MMA promotion.
So where does that leave perhaps one of the biggest draws in the history of the sport?
Well, he’s still a free agent … for now.
Ortiz — ever the business man — played the fence on where he could land, listing almost every organization as a possible destination — even the UFC.
Here’s a snip:
“EliteXC — possibility. Affliction — possibility. UFC — a small chance of that happening. The things between me and Dana White, I’m shoving it off and moving on with my life.”
So after all the back-and-forth, is it possible we haven’t seen the last of Ortiz inside the Octagon after all?
It’s obvious at this point in Tito’s career that he’s trying to get one last big pay day. It’s like a 28-year-old NFL running back trying to cash in one more time before hitting the dreaded 30.
UFC Quick Quote: Brock Lesnar needs ‘a lot’ of preparation before fight with Minotauro Noguiera
“[Brock needs] A lot [of preparation time]. Because Nogeuira’s very dangerous on the ground. Brock would have to outwrestle him and take him down. And be very careful that he doesn’t extend his limbs. Brock hits like a sledgehammer. He hits so hard and he’s fast. One thing we’re really working hard on is not pushing his strikes but launching strikes with crack and pop at the end. To have boxer-level hands. Also, his knees are devastating. I would not want to get kneed by Brock. His knees are huge. Heath had no idea that Brock was going to come out and throw a kick at him. As for a match with Nogueira, I have no idea what the UFC’s plans are. I know Brock has two more fights. Brock is such an incredible athlete. He could rise to the occasion. For me, he’s fun to train because he’s so ambitious. Brock is completely coach able. Some fighters I’ve worked with, you go for a week and you end up holding pads for them. With Brock, it’s, Can you teach me? Can you show me? Can you show me? It’s worth the time to go there.”
– Former mixed martial arts champion and current trainer for Brock Lesnar, Erik Paulson, shares his thoughts with MMAmemories.com
UFC 90: Tibau Out -vs- Franca
Just stumbled upon this on sherdog... Any thoughts on who the replacement should be? They're already saying Aurelio would be good and making it sound like it's the most likely fight to happen.
AFL's Emily Thompson on fast track to MMA success
In the world of MMA, things aren't supposed to come this easy.
But as undefeated 23-year-old prospect Emily Thompson (3-0) told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com), her path to an American Fight League contract began on a whim.
"Originally, I'm from Anchorage, Alaska," Thompson explained. "They would put shows on there monthly. It always was exciting for me to go and watch. I was always like, 'Man, if they had this for girls I would totally sign up. Where do I sign? Let's get this going.'
"At one of the intermissions, actually, during one of those events, they were saying how they were looking for females to get started. So I was one of the few that went down and piqued my interest. I actually took a fight two weeks after that."
Spirit MC 18 Results - Denis Kang On Card (spoilers)
Denis Kang returned to Spirit Martial Challenge last night for its eighteenth outing at the Jang Chung Gymnasium in Seoul, South Korea to defend his Spirit MC middleweight title . Dubbed ‘The Champion’, Kang actually resembled one as he survived an early scare and eventually disposed of Jae Young Kim in their third (and hopefully final) meeting.
Kang is now 3-0 against the Team Tackle slugger and has snapped a two-fight losing streak that dates back to his bout at K-1 Heroes 2007 when he was knocked senseless by Yoshihiro Akiyama.
At one point Kang had gone 23 straight fights without a loss, including a stunning knockout of Murilo “Ninja” Rua just fifteen seconds into their bout at PRIDE ‘Bushido 11'.
-Denis Kang (30-10-1) defeated Jae Young Kim (10-6) via KO (1:31 - R1)
-Ui Cheol Nam (8-0) defeated Se Young Kim (0-1) via TKO (0:52 - R1)
-Jin Suk Jung (3-2) defeated Jae Hyun So (2-5) via TKO (1:21- R2)
-Hoon Kim (1-0) defeated Ho Jin Kim (7-4) via KO (4:27 - R1)
-Hoo Joong Kim (1-0) defeated Dae Han Choi (0-1) via TKO (3:10 - R1)
-Dool Hee Lee (2-3) defeated Dae Hyun (0-1) via armbar (3:30 - R2)
-Seung Bae Whi (5-1) defeated Chang Seob Lee (1-2) via TKO (4:28 - R1)
-Seung Hwan Kim (4-3) defeated Ok Myoung Kim (3-3) via guillotine choke (1:43 - R1)
-Ye Won Nam (3-1) defeated Jeong Hyeon Hwang (2-1) via KO (1:27 - R1)
-Dong Hyun Kim (4-3-2) vs Sang Il (0-0-1) ended in a draw
Amir Sadollah announces possible return at UFC 91
Colonial Heights, Virginia – Season seven winner of “The Ultimate Fighter” Amir Sadollah returned to his former home state of Virginia during Combat Sports Challenge 26 last night to corner several fighters from his old Richmond-based Team Combat fight team that is housed out of the Combat Sports Center.
After intermission, Sadollah was introduced to the crowd, where he received a strong hometown reception as well as some playful taunts. While addressing the audience on the microphone, Sadollah revealed that he expects his next fight for the UFC to take place at UFC 91 on Nov. 15 in Portland, Oregon.
Sadollah said he did not yet know his opponent but that he expected to receive notification from the UFC shortly.