Randy vs Brock Lagging at Gate
Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer had a snippet of info in the print version of his newsletter about the soft market for tickets that the UFC is finding for Brock vs Randy tickets:
The 11/15 Las Vegas show with Randy Couture vs. Brock Lesnar, which should have been a first weekend sellout, due to the combination of the high prices and economy is at 8,000 sold for $3 million, and also moving slowly since only the $500 and up seats are left. There are casinos who have purchased tickets that don’t figure into that number, which is the ticket outlet numbers. But it was scaled to break the all-time UFC gate record of $5.4 million and right now it looks like they are going to have to cut deals or paper to sellout the 14,000 plus seats at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
The Randy-Brock information was mentioned against the backdrop of a piece that gave the tone that the United States’ economic troubles are affecting the UFC”s ability to move their premium-priced seats. While the party line from Dana and Lorenzo seems to be that the downturn isn’t bad for their PPV business, there seems to be little doubt that it is affecting their gate revenues.
It should be interesting to see what effect this has on their subsequent two cards in Las Vegas, which follow quickly afterward. While the New Year’s and Super Saturday don’t look to have as high a premium on their best seats, an adjustment in their ticket pricing strategy may be needed to fill the venue. That would be the better option, as papering tends to devalue your product.
Did WAMMA Lie About Sanctioning Fees?
A hat tip to the Bronzeville Bully for posting a link and some details from Rob Maysey's blog on seeming contradictory behavior from WAMMA officials. I had not yet read Rob's article on the history of sanctioning bodies and WAMMA's role in MMA until I saw Bully's fanpost. While long-time readers of the site will no doubt recall that Mr. Maysey and I have not seen eye-to-eye in the past his work is very good on this subject, his facts are in order and we seem to be on the same page in regards to sanctioning bodies in MMA.
After reading the article I was left feeling a touch upset at the notion that Dave Szady (WAMMA CEO) and Mike Lynch (WAMMA COO) may have been lying directly to me with their statements that WAMMA would never seek a sanctioning fee from any fighter or promoter. This is not something I take lightly and as such I have sent the following e-mail to Dave and Mike as they both said to contact them to address any rumors..etc:
Subject: Sanctioning Fees? From Brent Brookhouse of BloodyElbow.com
Michael and Dave,
I conducted an interview with you back in June for our website (BloodyElbow.com) and during that interview I asked you specifically if you would be charging sanctioning fees from either fighters or promotions in the future and you were both very steadfast in your response that this would never be the situation. Rob Maysey of MMAFA.TV contacted you more recently to ask in more explicit language if WAMMA would be charging sanctioning fees of promotions or fighters and received yet again another strong response that this would never be the case.
However, as Maysey pointed out, the materials you provided to athletic commissions at the ABC Convention stated that you will "receive revenue from title sponsors, online portal subscriptions, sale of unique digital content, merchandising, and in the future sanctioning fees."
Obviously this does not fit with what you have told myself and my site's readers. Speaking frankly this smacks of the kind of dishonest doubletalk that has made people question WAMMA's intentions from the start and harkens back to the boxing sanctioning body model that is so roundly dispised. If you can, as you have both stated, say with 100% certainty that you will never charge fees from a promotion or fighter than that language had no reason to be included in the materials presented to athletic commissions and leaves a lot of answering for your organization to do to the fans of this sport.
It is my hope that there is some sort of misunderstanding here and that you were not just telling people what they wanted to hear until you gained the necessary foothold in the sport to begin charging fees. Our readers will be expecting a statement from your organization explaining this contradiction and I will be posting this e-mail exactly as it is sent to you on our site in the interest of full visibility for our readers on our communications.
The rest is
Frank Shamrock Volunteered To Replace Ken
Reports that former UFC champion Frank Shamrock volunteered to replace his adopted brother, Ken Shamrock, in the main event of this past weekends Saturday Night Fights on CBS are indeed correct.
The news was confirmed in a press release issued by EliteXC late Wednesday night in which the promotion’s Head of Fighter Operations, Jeremy Lappen, stated that the reports were true.
“… Reports that Frank Shamrock volunteered that evening to fight Kimbo Slice are true,” Lappen is quoted as saying in the release. “Frank is a competitive fighter and he was willing to step up for his organization and the MMA fans. His offer was very greatly appreciated, but everyone in the room knew when he made the offer that it wasn’t a realistic possibility on such short notice.”
Some of the hurdles standing in the way of a Slice vs. Frank Shamrock fight could have been the ability to get Shamrock medically cleared on short notice; work out a compensation package that EliteXC’s shrinking budget could afford; and obtain consent from Slice’s camp to accept the fight.
As dangerous as Seth Petruzelli was to Slice’s perfect record, Shamrock would have been an even greater threat. Slice’s camp was able to negotiate a $500,000 payday for him to fight Petruzelli on short notice and it is likely they were in a position to command even more against the younger of the two Shamrocks.
Bisping & Leben Both Want Title Shot
Michael Bisping and Chris Leben both agree that the winner of their fight should be the next middleweight title challenger.
Speaking ahead of their headline clash at UFC 89 in England next week, the pair were frank about the potential ranking implications.
“I’ve said it before, I think this fight will be a deciding factor in who will be at that top tier in the middleweight division,” said Leben. “Who’s going to be in line for a title shot and who is going to fall back down into the middle of the pack?”
Bisping agreed: “Whoever wins this fight moves onwards and upwards to title contention, while its back to the middle of the pack for the loser. So obviously there is a lot riding on it.”
Fans of the TUF3 winner have long cited him as a potential champion, but he has not yet had a title shot in his time with the UFC.
However, Leben has fought middleweight boss Anderson Silva once before – and was stopped with a knee strike just 43 seconds into the first round.
“I can’t say how Michael is going to perform if he fights Anderson Silva, obviously I’ve fought him once and it didn’t go that well,” Leben laughed. But “I’m a much better fighter now and the Chris Leben of today wouldn’t make the same mistakes.”
Quote of the Day: Roy Nelson
"We were having dinner afterwards and Andrei Arlovski's guys were coming over and they were just talking about how they had been studying me and watching film and stuff and they’ve been doing it for over three weeks, and I was like, ‘huh?...And I didn’t say anything to them, but it makes you kind of wonder, three weeks? I thought you were on the same (one) week plan that I was? When you see all the politics all unfold and that made it very interesting."
-- Roy Nelson unhappy with the politics of EliteXC the fight against Andrei Arlovski.
UFC Quick Quote: Dana White ‘disgusted’ with Elite XC and alleged fight influencing
“It disgusts me. I’ve been busting my (expletive) for 10 years flying all over the planet to show everybody what a great sport this is and what amazing people are involved in it. Then CBS throws this guy who fights at people’s barbecues on the main event because they’re trying to compete with us, and he gets knocked out in (14) seconds by a guy who didn’t win ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ and couldn’t fight in the UFC. Then the guy turns around the next day and says, ‘The promoters actually paid me to not go to the ground with this guy. They paid me to stand up,’ which I’m pretty sure is illegal…. (Slice is) a joke. It was bound to happen. These guys have lost $60 million trying to get this thing off the ground. They’re building their promotion around a guy who can’t fight. It’s kind of (expletive) stupid, isn’t it? You’re in the fight business and you’re building your business around a guy who can’t fight…. When dirty people go out and do stuff like that, it hurts. Promoters have a bad rap as it is because of the last 100 years of boxing. We actually started to turn that around and were doing the right things and then you have these guys coming out and doing (expletive) like that. It hurts us.”
Houston Alexander Denies UFC Firing Rumors and Says He’s Sticking by His Coaches
Houston Alexander has apparently heard internet rumors to the effect that he’s been dropped from the UFC or has fired his entire coaching staff or desperately needs to learn the ground game. Oh, wait. That last part’s not a rumor. Anyway, the point is, he’s sick of it. So to clear the air and talk directly to fans without the filter of the MMA media, he turned to the Fight Magazine MMA blog:
People keep asking me what my plans are, they have read things all over the internet about my future with the UFC and how I am firing my coaching staff. So I thought I would address the rumors and my upcoming plans.
NO – I have not lost my UFC contract.
NO – I have not fired my coaching staff.
NO – I am not going to step down and fight for smaller organizations.
The loss last month was tough, but life goes on. People need to remember that I have only been fighting professionally for a year and a half. I have made great strides during that time, as well as faced some setbacks. My training will continue and we are looking at visiting some of the larger camps for additional training and strategy for my next fight. I have a lot to learn and am hoping to have everything straightened out before I enter the cage next time.
UFC Coming To Scotland........If Anywhere is Big Enough
Scotland is proving to be a difficult nut to crack for the UFC as it continues its European expansion - because there are no venues in the country big enough.
Glasgow is the most likely prospect to host a show if the UFC does travel there, even though its arena holds less than 6,000 people.
"Scotland is a region that we'd love to be in," UFC UK division president Marshall Zelaznik told Tough Talk
"The venues are a little small there for us so we're trying to figure out if we can bring one there even if it doesn't offer the 9,000, 12,000 or 15,000 seats.
"There's a 5400 seat arena in Glasgow at Braehead, which is probably the best venue for us now, so we'd love to be there."
Scotland is home to a significant UFC fanbase and the organisation has noted that many fans at UK shows have travelled from there.
Such ticket-buyer analysis was the reason that the UFC went to Newcastle in January, as UK ticket sales have been particularly consistent in the north-east of England.
In January, the UFC will make its Republic of Ireland debut when it stages a show at the newly-expanded O2 Arena in Dublin.
The show will be headlined by Rich Franklin and Dan Henderson, while Mauricio ‘Shogun' Rua and Mark Coleman will clash in a co-main event.
Jake Rosholt vs Nissen Osterneck WEC 36 fight set
We reported yesterday that Danillo Villefort was having trouble getting back into the United States because of visa issues, forcing him to be pulled from the WEC 36 card on November 5. He was scheduled to face Jake Rosholt (4-0) in a middleweight bout.
Today, MMAmania.com can confirm that undefeated submission specialist Nissen Osterneck (5-0) has been tapped as his fill-in.
Osterneck is a very dangerous threat toward Rosholt’s undefeated record. He’s an accomplished grappler, sporting a record of (64-4) on the jiu-jitsu circuit and holds a purple belt under the legendary Relson Gracie.
He’s the Gracie Fighting Championships Evolution Champion, the Fight Party Full Throttle 8 Champion, the Gracie Proving Ground Champion, the International Sport Combat Federation Invasion Champion, the four time South Carolina Grappling Champion, and the 2006 Gracie National Champion after submitting 13 guys in one day to win the title.
In short, his jiu-jitsu is sick.
Kaitlin Young vs Sarah Kaufman Elite XC fight set for Showtime
Continuing the theme of having at least one female match on each of its big events, Elite XC announced today that Minnesota Martial Arts Academy standout Kaitlin Young (4-2) will face off against undefeated Canadian Sarah Kaufman on the Showtime card set for the Reno Events Center in Reno, Nevada, on November 8.
Young was soundly defeated by Gina Carano during the May 31 debut for the promotion on CBS, but she proved to be a gamer while taking a good deal of punishment during the two round bout. She wanted to continue for a third round, but the fight was called by a ringside doctor because her faced was banged up pretty good.
She trains with one of the top camps in MMA where she gets quality sparring and training with fighters like Kelly Kobald. The camp is also known for producing fighters with great cardio by instilling the “caveman training” made popular by Sean Sherk.
UFC CLARIFIES MEDICAL INSURANCE CLAIMS BY TITO
In a statement released to MMAWeekly.com on Tuesday night, former UFC light heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz openly discussed his ongoing bout with back problems and his decision to have surgery to repair his back.
“I have made it though the last eight fights by physical therapy, methylprednisolone pills, and spinal injections for my last three fights,” he recounted. “I took it upon myself to get surgery in hopes that my fight career will jump back on track and I will be back to the explosive monster I always have been.”
He didn’t stop there, however. In his statement, Tito went on to claim that his former employer, the Ultimate Fighting Championship, denied the claims for medical coverage for his back.
“The kicker to this whole story is that the UFC denied my claim for coverage of my debilitating back injury obviously acquired in the Octagon,” he said. “After all of the battling, and allegiance I pledged to them, they now have stooped so low as to not give me the medical care I so desperately needed.”
- TOP 10 FEATHERWEIGHTS CLASH AT WEC 37
IFL featherweight champion Wagnney Fabaiano will make his World Extreme Cagefighting debut on Dec. 3 as he takes on former Shooto lightweight champion Akitoshi Tamura at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. MMAWeekly.com was also able to confirm the fight with sources close to the fight.
Nelson Unhappy With Politics of Arlovski Fight
Following a successful run as International Fight League heavyweight champion, Roy Nelson suffered his first loss in his last six fights after he faced off against former UFC champion Andrei Arlovski at CBS-EliteXC Saturday Night Fights.
I'm starting to think EliteXC might have wanted people to stand because they know they are presenting MMA to a wide variety of people, most of whom do not understand the ground game at all? Either way, they need to be off CBS ASAP.
If this is already posted please delete, I looked but not that hard.
Scott Smith vs Hector Lombard Elite XC fight booked for Nov. 8
Former middleweight number one contender Scott “Hands of Steel” Smith (13-5) and Cuban Judo Olympian Hector “Shango” Lombard (17-2-1) will soon duke it out the Reno Events Center in Reno, Nevada, adding another exciting bout to the main card of Elite XC’s November 8 Showtime event.
Smith has been busy over the past few months feuding with division champion Robbie Lawler. The two competed against one another in the “Fight of the Night” during the debut for Elite XC on CBS back in May before having the bout ruled a no contest in the third round after and inadvertent eye poke.
The rematch went down two months later during the second CBS event. This time, however, Lawler proved to be too much for the challenger, handing him a second round technical knockout with some vicious body kicks and strikes.
Smith’s road back to a title shot will not begin with an easy fight — Lombard is a highly touted prospect with a solid mixed martial arts resume.
Ricardo Arona heads back to RINGS; gives Wandy the hat trick
“Quinton is a great fighter, but only when he’s doing well in the fight. When he fights someone like me or Wanderlei he doesn’t like it, tries the takedowns and gets lost. Wanderlei needs to do the same gameplan, doesn’t need to change anything. Quinton has a ******* hand, if he hits you, you’ll feel it, but it’s the perfect game for Wanderlei.”
– Light heavyweight standout Ricardo Arona, who is scheduled to return to the Japanese mixed martial arts promotion RINGS in 2009, weighs in on Wanderlei Silva vs Quinton Jackson III for UFC 92 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, on December 27. The Brazilian knows a thing or two about both men, having competed against them back in PRIDE FC.
Sokoudjou Contemplates Career In Porn And (Hopefully) Luis Cane
With just two years of professional experience, Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou has quickly become one of the more successful and likable new figures in MMA. At 24 years old, early signs indicate Sokoudjou will have a bright future in the Octagon … as long as the UFC doesn’t lose him to the pornography industry first.
In this short Q&A published in advance of his upcoming bout with Luis Cane at next Saturday’s UFC 89, the Cameroonian judo practitioner says if he hadn’t gotten into MMA, he’d be a porn star. We assume he was joking, but with Sokoudjou you never can tell.
Remember, this is the same guy who once famously played up his nickname as the “African Assassin” by telling Japanese reporters that he trains with “animals in the jungle.” This is the same guy who responded to a glut of Photoshopped pictures of him on the Internet by showing up for his UFC debut wearing a Predator mask. The same guy who claims that he got “beat down by a girl” the first time he trained in Muay Thai.
Boxing Imitates The UFC
London-based boxing promoter Frank Maloney has decided to incorporate a new concept into his business - he is now offering bonus money to the ‘Boxer of the night’ on his future shows.
The idea of bonuses for fighters would be a new innovation for boxing event producing but it is standard procedure for the UFC which has been awarding bonuses to match winners for many years now.
Maloney is best known in the boxing world for being the long-time promoter of former Heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis as well as his flamboyant Union Jack outfits which he wore to many world title fights. These days, Maloney mostly promotes local shows in England and says he will offer a 500-pound bonus to the ‘Boxer of the night’ which will be determined in a yet-to-be specified way (by text, posting a coupon from the show program or logging onto Maloney’s web site).
Cordeiro: “Quinton wanted to train with me”
Considered one of the best MMA coaches of the world, Rafael Cordeiro is running the Chute Boxe branch in USA, and celebrates the good moments of the team. With more than 70 athletes and training in it’s own training center, Rafael believes that now Chute Boxe will show her work in America. In an exclusive chat with TATAME, Cordeiro revealed that one of the biggest opponents of the team in the past, Quinton Jackson, that fought Wanderlei Silva, Maurício Shogun and Murilo Ninja, wanted to train with him to face Wanderlei again, at UFC 92.
“I heard something that he wanted to train with me and, when I knew it was his reparation to fight Wanderlei, I didn’t accept.