Faber Fever in Full Effect as WEC assaults the Nation
“The California Kid” has gone Nationwide.
With the third successful defense of his World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC) Featherweight Championship belt now in the bank after a technically brilliant first round submission win over previously unbeaten Chance Farrar on Sunday night, Urijah Faber not only lived up to the media attention afforded him in the weeks leading up to his bout at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, but he showed a new legion of fans watching on the VERSUS network just what state of the art mixed martial arts is really about.
Yahoo! Sports Launches Official MMA Section
Internet powerhouse Yahoo! Sports has launched a dedicated MMA/Boxing section, furthering its coverage that begin with the hiring of famed boxing writer Kevin Iole from the Las Vegas Review-Journal last month.
Report: State Of Tennessee Likely To Legalize MMA
In the Tennessee Daily Times, it is being reported that the state is very close to legalizing Mixed Martial Arts. According to the report, supporters are hopeful that the legislation will be put in place by May 2008. Marc Ratner of the UFC has already responded by saying they'd love to run either Nashville or Memphis.
TUF 5 Finale: Leonard Garcia to fight unknown show contestant
Gritty lightweight Leonard Garcia will return to the Octagon at The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 5 Finale on June 23 against a competitor on the current season of the reality series, according to FightNetwork.com.
He did not name his opponent.
Garcia burst onto the UFC scene back in April at UFC 69 — albeit in a losing effort to Roger Huerta via unanimous decision. It was the “Fight of the Night,” and in the post-fight press conference UFC President Dana White singled out the Greg Jackson product for his solid effort.
Here’s a snip from the news bit:
“Though he lost a unanimous decision, Garcia won over fans with his tenacity and toughness as he absorbed Huerta’s best shots, at times meeting his opponent’s strikes with smiles. Many consider it a frontrunner for Fight of the Year.”
Even though Garcia and Huerta went toe-to-toe for most of the night, Garcia has predominantly been successful with his submission game, winning more than 75 percent of his fights via tap out.
It will be interesting to see if the UFC puts him in the cage with another fighter like Huerta who prefers to keep the fight upright in an attempt to recapture that same magic.
This has the potential to be a solid bout … let’s just hope it’s someone who is still in the running (Diaz, Hill, Gamburyan, Lauzon, Maynard or Wiman).
We’ll keep you updated on this match up, which is probably under lock and key since the show is still ongoing and the UFC wants to avoid potential spoilers at all costs (unless of course Wayne Weems, Andy Wang or one of the other already eliminated finalists is the guy tapped to face Garcia).
The TUF 5 Finale at The Palms Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, is headlined with the rematch between coaches — and former champions — BJ Penn and Jens Pulver. For the latest TUF 5 Finale line up click here.
Lawmaker Proposes MMA Regulation To Michigan State
LANSING ??" A state lawmaker wants to regulate mixed martial arts fights and make them legal in Michigan.
A state House committee heard testimony Tuesday on legislation aimed at expanding state law covering boxing to include contests sponsored by the Ultimate Fighting Championship or other mixed martial arts organizations.
The legislation, which sponsors say still needs work, was approved by the committee and sent to the House floor for future action.
Supporters say the legislation could make Michigan an option for professional mixed martial arts fight promoters. Twenty-three states have in some way regulated the sport, most of them since 2000, and several other states are considering similar action.
“It’s the next big sporting event,” said Rep. Barbara Farrah, a Democrat from Southgate and the legislation’s sponsor. “It’s going to continue to grow.”
Farrah told the House Regulatory Reform Committee ??" which she chairs ??" that she is sponsoring the legislation in hopes of drawing professional fights and the economic benefits that could go with them to Michigan.
Not all states and communities are rushing to embrace the sport. For example, a half-dozen cities in Minnesota have banned or restricted mixed martial arts fighting because of safety concerns. The events also have drawn criticism in some other states.
But representatives of the UFC touted their safety record Tuesday. UFC representatives said they want to come to Michigan, but they want regulation first to help promote safety.
“We are moving one step at a time, one state at a time,” said Marc Ratner, an official with the UFC.
Supporters of the legislation say Michigan’s current law does not allow professional mixed martial arts fights, except at American Indian casinos.
The fights ??" which may include karate, judo and wrestling moves in addition to boxing ??" are growing in popularity at arenas, on television and through pay-per-view events. The events may be held in rings or cages.
The state’s Department of Labor and Economic Growth wants the fighting to be regulated. The department also wants any new laws passed to address both professional and amateur fighting and eliminate any gray areas between the two.
Regulators are concerned about the growth of fighting that could be classified as amateur mixed martial arts. Some promoters have argued amateur fights are exempt under current Michigan law or aren’t covered in statute, a potential loophole that regulators want closed so there is no debate.
“That’s where the major problems are,” Archie Millben, enforcement director of DLEG’s Bureau of Commercial Services, said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press. “It’s not these big guys. It’s all the little guys coming in.”
Japanese Fighter Auctioning His PRIDE Winner's Trophy
The following is an excerpt from Zach Arnold's FightOpinion.com blog:
On Yahoo Japan auctions, a mystery fighter from the PRIDE 34 show is auctioning off his winner’s trophy. The current bid is 81,000Y with the minimum asking bid of 120,000Y. Since the auction is in Japanese, the obvious question is who the seller is. The Japanese fighters that won on the PRIDE 34 show were Makoto Takimoto, Shin’ya Aoki, and Yoshihiro Nakao. Unless one of the foreign fighters who won on the show gave away their trophy…
Exclusive Interview w/ TUF 3 & UFC Star Rory Singer
MMANews.com's own Chris Howie recently caught up with Ultimate Fighter veteran and current UFC fighter Rory Singer to discuss his upcoming bout against Jason MacDonald on the main PPV card of UFC 72 "Victory", coming up on June 16th in Ireland among a number of other topics. Below is a complete transcript of the discussion.
CURRAN FINDS A HOME IN WEC, WANTS FABER
Widely considered as one of the top 145-pound fighters in the world, Jeff Curran looks to make an impressive debut in the WEC’s featherweight division. The “Big Frog” recently signed an exclusive 4-fight contract with the Zuffa-owned organization and is expected to have his next fight in August.
“Basically, I had a 2-fight deal with Pride that ended in September of this year and I had no idea when the next fight was coming,” explained Curran. “Monte [Cox] and I always have wanted to have a good showing in a 145 lbs. division like the WEC has going on. I pushed for Monte to make the deal with the WEC, but had to wait until the Zuffa/Pride deal was final. The day it was done I was in. I got my contract the very next day and we are ready to rock!”
Having fought in Pride, UFC, ZST, and the IFL, the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt is one of the most experienced featherweight fighters today. Curran has been victorious in his last five outings and holds notable wins over Wagnney Fabiano, Charles Bennett and Antonio Carvalho.
Marlon Sims Tells Another Story
Ok, this one is a pure gem for you if you've been watching TUF5. As you know, Marlon Sims was and still is bragging about the hundreds of street fights he's been in and I have to say that he tells his stories in great detail with overwhelming enthusiasm.
I can also see why the rest of the dudes in the house got tired of his story telling because Marlon is... shall we say... over the top.
In the story Marlon tells below which he left on the TUF Forum, he had me on the floor laughing the second when he mentioned a "Tiger Claw". Marlon Sims IS the real life Reggie Warren Jr.
Too much fun!
An Unsung Lion
Ken Shamrock’s Lion’s Den is a team and a family. Just ask any of the fighters belonging to this elite fight club. Whether they are Den fighters, IFL fighters, or both--such as in the case of Vernon “Tiger” White--they will all tell you that the Lion’s Den is a unified organization.
But the Lion’s Den is more than a group of fighters. This unit would not be complete without the coaches, trainers, office staff, and even their agent, Rodney Donohoo, Esq.
Donohoo, a 1989 Magna Laude graduate from California Western School of Law, was referred to Ken Shamrock when the hall-of-famer required legal assistance in a civil suit brought by opposing MMA fighter. While most attorneys would have encouraged their clients to settle, Donohoo agreed that Shamrock was morally and legally in the right and boldly took the case to trial.
Arum: UFC Underpays Its Fighters
Legendary boxing promoter Bob Arum says that the UFC is using its status as the world's premier mixed martial arts organization to underpay the athletes who have made the sport what it is.
"They have a complete monopoly," he told Boxing Scene, "and have choked off all the competition, and their fighters have to take what they give them. In boxing, we have a totally different model, different pay scale. We give 90 percent of the money from a promotion to the fighters."
He admits that the UFC's presentation and promotions blows away boxing, but says part of that is due to so few dollars going to fighters.
"The guys who promote this stuff are able to spend so much money on advertising because they don't pay their fighters anything. Here they had a big pay-per-view show last week in which they had more than a million buys and took in around 20 million dollars. And I doubt they spent more than a million dollars on all the participants on the program." (The actual number reported to the athletic commission was $920,500).
As the UFC receives an increasing amount of mainstream attention, its pay structure has come under some scrutiny as fans marvel that some athletes in the most prestigious MMA promotion in the world are making as little as $3,000 per fight
Spencer Fisher wants to kill two birds with one stone June 12th
When Spencer Fisher squares off against Sam Stout in the main event at UFC Fight Night 10 on June 12 in Hollywood, Fla., he'll have the chance to kill two birds with one stone - avenge a hard-fought, split decision loss and move back into the UFC's lightweight title picture.
After earning two impressive UFC wins as a welterweight, Fisher finally had the opportunity to fight in the newly-resurrected lightweight division at UFC 58 against Stout in March 2006. He was fighting at his more natural weight of 155 pounds, but Fisher had to take the match on just a few days notice, filling in for an injured Kenny Florian. Although Fisher had his moments in the fight, the judges gave the nod to Stout.
He could've blamed the setback on the judges' scorecards or having to lose 23 pounds in two days, but Fisher didn't making any excuses for the loss.
"The judges made what they thought was the right decision," said Fisher, who fights out of Davenport, Iowa. "If I hadn't let the fight go the distance it wouldn't have been up to them."
Art of War 3 – new date
Pedro Rizzo and Jeff Monson face each other on September 1
Initially set for June 30th, Art of War 3 has a new date. It will be on September 1st, at the American Airlines Center, in Dallas, Texas. The main event will be kept and include Pedro Rizzo and Jeff Monson. Further participations from such well-known names as Jeremy Horn, Jake Shields, Ron Waterman and Ricco Rodriguez are expected.
Wanderlei Silva has new site
The Chute Boxe star is visiting the USA
Anybody that thinks Wanderlei Silva is taking a break is fooling himself. Although there has been no confirmation of a fight in the near future, the star of Chute Boxe is still working hard. Wand’s most recent commitment was this weekend, in the United States. More and more popular in the land of Uncle Sam these days, Wand participated in the inauguration of Randy Couture’s newest gym.
Photos of the trip to the UFC heavyweight champion’s lair can bee seen on Wand’s new site. The address is still the same www.wanderleisilva.com.br, but the page has been reformulated and now web surfers can follow the steps of the idol from Curitiba around the world. It is worth a visit.
WEC ratings news
The ratings for the WEC’s debut on Versus this past Sunday are in.
The pre-recorded WrekCage show which came on at 8 p.m. ET drew a rating o 0.19 (189,000 viewers). The live two-hour telecast that began at 9 p.m. ET drew a 0.39 (416,000 viewers). The Tapout show at 11 p.m. ET recorded a 0.28 (286,000 viewers).
To give you some perspective, The Ultimate Fighter on Spike last week drew a 1.16 rating (1.6 million viewers). Also, the first game of the NHL Stanley Cup finals drew a 0.72 (523,000 viewers) on Versus.
The rating isn’t terrible but I’m sure Zuffa was hoping for a little better. But since the reviews for the first show was good, I think the ratings will grow over time.
it probably would have better rating if more people got versus. it is on digital cable in my area, and i have basic, so i cant watch it.
Dana White: Coke needs us, we don’t need them
Yesterday, I wrote a post about the situation with sponsors in the UFC. The primary focus was to point out that two of the four main UFC sponsors, Amp’d Mobile and Xyience, are in reported trouble. The other two, Toyo Tires and Mickey’s malt liquor, are not the biggest of corporate names to jump onboard a product that appeals heavily to an 18-34 year old demographic.
Today, Dana White did an interview with NBC Sports and was asked about the issue of corporate sponsorships in UFC.
Read full post.
He is also asked if he would like for companies such as Coca-Cola or Nike to jump on board as sponsors. He says that he is very happy with Mickey’s and Toyo Tires (notice that he makes no mention of Amp’d Mobile). Not only does he say he is happy with the sponsors, but says that he doesn’t need Coke in order for the company to be successful. He said if they come on board that would be great but he doesn’t need them because 18-34 year olds are watching the UFC without those sponsors. Quote: “If Coke wants them, Coke needs to come to us.”
This is an incredibly arrogant and short-sighted attitude to have and it needs to change real fast. Here’s a more specific quote from Dana White on the NBC Sports interview:
“I’m cool with Mickey’s and Toyo Tires, man, believe me, you’ll never hear me bitch. The way that we’ve run this business and the way we have come up, think about it… we didn’t have any mainstream press, we didn’t have any mainstream sponsors, and look at how huge we are. I don’t ******* need Coke to keep doing what we’re doing, man. Believe me, the big time sponsors if they come on, of course that’d be fantastic. I don’t need ‘em. 18-to-34 year old males, they’re here hanging out with me. If Coke wants them, Coke needs to come to us. You know, this [UFC] wasn’t bought by smart businessmen.”
CFFC 5: New Kimbo Slice Video Promoting Upcoming MMA Event
Infamous backyard brawler Kimbo Slice is going legit. Kimbo has been training for an upcoming fight against legendary boxer Ray Mercer at Cage Fury Fighting Championships (CFFC) 5. The event is to be held at the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, NJ on June 23. The CFFC is promoting the upcoming event at the end of Kimbo’s fight videos. The latest backyard brawl video has Kimbo taking on Chico, who puts up a good fight until he gets backed into a corner
Another Problem With IFL Battleground
It's too fast.
After watching the K-1 show, there's something to be said for smooth production that transitions quickly. But the IFL takes that practice too far.
I watched IFL Battleground last night and was struck by the brief exposure each fight or fighter received. The program would give a quirky and brief intro to, say, Matt Horwich and then quickly go to his fight. Following the fight, however, the show either went to commercial or showed wannabe ring girls or something altogether different. As for Matt Horwich? We heard nothing more. Worse, Horwich was portrayed as a very unique character. For someone so unique and so one-of-a-kind, one would think finding camera time to be an easy task.
Obviously that approach stands in stark contrast to the drawn-out "The Ultimate Fighter" reality series, but it's also in contrast to the UFC events. Aside from the hype leading up to the fight, there's also the hype during the event, discussion of the fighters during the fight, and in-ring interviews following each match. Even if you don't know the fighter, you get a much clearer sense of who they are following each fight, or at least, you generally learn enough to remember something.
The IFL is so concerned with making sure "something is going on" during the program that they run rough shod over of the most critical aspects of promoting combat athletics: creating stars. Last night's program gave a lot of camera time to Jay Hieron, but when will we see him again? Next week will feature different fights from different teams, so Hieron will be placed on the back burner in favor of the flavor du jour.
The IFL has stated their mission to create their own stars, but that's proving to be very difficult. Creating names and figures out of (virtually) thin air is a task that requires time. With rumors circulating that the IFL won't even be around past the fourth quarter, its safe to say the sand in the hourglass may be shifting too quickly to keep pace.
Top IFL Stars Shine on Friday Night on FSN
NEW YORK, June 5, 2007- The International Fight League (OTC.BB: IFLI), the world’s number one professional mixed martial arts league, takes a look at some of the circuit’s most exciting athletes, including Jay Hieron and Chris Horodecki of the Los Angeles Anacondas, Vladimir Matyushenko of the Tokyo Sabres and Ben Rothwell of the defending champion Quad Cities Silverbacks in the latest episode seen on Fox Sports Net this week. The show debuts across the FSN Regional Networks on Friday, June 8, at 11 p.m. in most markets.
Friday’s show features bout action and behind-the-scenes interviews with the four stars. Hieron, Horodecki, Matyushenko and Rothwell have been stalwarts in the IFL, which concludes its inaugural regular season this month, with playoffs set for August and September.