Trouble for UFC sponsors
If you’ve followed the MMA scene on the Internet for the last couple of years, you’ve heard all the gossip and innuendo about the trouble that Xyience, UFC’s primary sponsor, allegedly has been in. Well, today, another shoe dropped as Amp’d Mobile filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The New York Times has more on the story.
I point this story out because one of the knocks against UFC in the American corporate media (primarily from CNBC’s Darren Rovell) is that UFC (and MMA in general) has not been able to attract the major blue-chip sponsors. This was also a claim that insiders leveled against PRIDE (which had many non-traditional or non-blue chip companies sponsoring their events). What made the criticism against PRIDE in terms of sponsors interesting is that Japan is home to the world’s largest ad agency, Dentsu. Plus, PRIDE had many free-to-air television events on Fuji TV.
The two other major sponsors currently for UFC are Toyo Tires and Mickey’s malt liquor.
Canadian MMA backyarders gone wild
The Chronicle Herald’s Josh Visser (e-mail) in Halifax, Nova Scotia is reporting that East Coast Street Fights, an outlaw group of individuals who do backyard-style MMA brawls in parking lots and lawns, has found a ‘millionaire’ money mark that will convert them into a ‘legitimate’ promotion. The Halifax RCMP is not amused.
The article also throws in The Zuffa Myth for good measure, talking about how Zuffa LLC introduced weight classes and other regulations when they bought the company in 2001. Furthermore, the article finds a university professor to say the following about MMA: “”My sense is, it’s still a marginalized activity.”
World Extreme Cagefighting hit a home run in the group's live national cable television debut Sunday night.
Quote of the Day
"These are the same guys who sanctioned Tito vs Dana and CroCop vs Eddie `Dirty' Sanchez, for God's sake. But now we have Frank Mir being denied ... Frank Mir, who broke Sylvia's arm in half the last time they met. Sure, this was before Mir bounced his head off a highway doing 90MPH, but has the NSAC seen how badly Tim Sylvia has been lately? If you're going to deny someone, it should be him for fear that he will cause widespread narcolepsy in anyone witnessing his boring ass fights. At least Frank Mir has the decency to lose in an exciting and painful manner." -- Fightlinker, commenting on the NSAC's (alleged) decision to deny Frank Mir a rematch with Tim Sylvia
“Maximus” to join the UFC lightweight division
Marcus “Maximus” Aurelio has signed a four-fight deal with the UFC, the American Top Team announced.
Aurelio has fought exclusively for PRIDE since 2004 after a breakout stint with ZST, where he won the ZST Grand Prix by defeating Rich Clementi, Remigijus Morkevicius and Masakazu Imanari all in one night.
At PRIDE Bushido 10, Aurelio defeated the PRIDE lightweight champion Takanori Gomi with a first-round arm triangle choke.
Despite living and training with the American Top Team in Florida, Aurelio’s last fight in America was in August 2003.
UFC Announces Belfast Main Card Lineup
The Ultimate Fighting Championship today officially announced the main fight card for its June 16, 2007 event in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Dubbed UFC 72: Victory, former UFC Middleweight Champion Rich “Ace” Franklin faces Japan’s Yushin Okami in the headline bout. Franklin is angling towards a shot at regaining the title he lost to current champion Anderson Silva, while Okami is riding a six-fight winning streak and looking to stake his own claim to a title shot.
Fisher Looks for Redemption in Rematch with Stout
The last time Spencer Fisher was scheduled to face Sam Stout, there were no fight posters printed up, no television and internet commercials advertising the bout, and no time for either Fisher or Stout to compile an opponent-specific gameplan. Yet judging by the action in the torrid three rounder at UFC 58 in March of 2006, maybe most bouts should be put together on two days’ notice.
Jens Pulver to WEC?
Reports are now arising that Jens Pulver, one of the coaches on The Ultimate Fighter Season 5, will move to the featherweight division of the WEC after his fight against B.J. Penn this month. Earlier today on the Savage Dog Show on Sherdog.com Radio, Monte Cox reported that Jens will make the move down to the 145lb weightclass in the WEC and most likely fight Urijah Faber down the road.
UFC 71 injury report
The Nevada State Athletic Commission recently released its list of injuries incurred by fighters at UFC 71, and as expected, not everyone emerged from the octagon unscathed.
The most serious injuries appear to be incurred by James Irvin and Ivan Salaverry. Irvin, who had to tap out in his match with Thiago Silva after his knee bent awkwardly underneath him and had to be helped out of the octagon, may face the longest layoff. Though the extent of his injury is not yet known, he will face a medical suspension until November 23 unless a doctor clears him sooner. Salaverry, meanwhile, suffered a shoulder injury when he was slammed down by Terry Martin, which will have him sidelined at least for a month, but possibly longer.
Karo Parisyan, who defeated Josh Burkman via decision, might have suffered a broken thumb and must be cleared by a doctor prior to his next bout.
Keith Jardine and Chuck Liddell will both have layoffs of approximately two months following KO losses at the hands of Houston Alexander and Quinton "Rampage" Jackson, respectively. The NSAC routinely suspends fighters who are knocked unconscious in their fights.
Kalib Starnes and Chris Leben, who fought a three-round slugfest which Starnes won via decision, both suffered facial lacerations which require them to sit out a month. And finally, Carmelo Marrero, who was choked out by Wilson Gouveia, can not fight until at least July 12.
Franklin talks upcoming UFC 72 bout against Okami
After a disappointing loss to Anderson Silva last October, Rich Franklin got back to his winning ways by defeating Jason MacDonald at UFC 68 in March of this year. Scheduled to fight Martin Kampmann at UFC 72: Victory in Belfast Ireland, Rich was busy preparing to fight the talented rising star. When Kampmann had to pull out due to injury, Rich waited to hear from the UFC on who his new opponent would be. He received the phone call and will face Yushin Okami on PPV on June 16th. Rich took time out of his busy training schedule to talk exclusively with MMAFighting.com, giving his thoughts on his next trip to the Octagon
UFC swings, misses in staging Sims-Thomas fight
So much for White's hard line and ensuring the integrity of the sport.
This is nothing short of amazing. Let's recap for a minute, shall we?
• Unsanctioned fight.
• Sucker punch.
• Intoxicated fighter.
• Head bounced off of concrete - twice.
And the fighters are rewarded? The UFC doesn't whiff on many, but it blew this one.
What's next ... letting Berube serve as guest referee?
D-day for Hermes in UFC
The Brazilian is training hard and studying Sherk for title fight
Hermes Franca has a date set to carry out his dream. On the July seventh, he will enter the octagon to fight for the lightweight title against Sean Sherk. While he awaits his chance, the Brazilian living in Florida goes on training hard for the challenge. “I am working on my hands, but am training my ground too,” the leader of Team The Armory said. The routine of training, however, is mixed in with studying his adversary’s videos. Such dedication allows the Brazilian to draw some conclusions on Sherk’s style.
“He has strong takedowns, but I think he gets lost when he fails to impose his rhythm on the fight. I am working hard on takedown defense,” revealed Hermes, who did not hide his excitement at having made to the point of challenging for the UFC title: “I have run up against a lot of hardships and fought through all of them, with much determination and will power,” the Jiu-Jitsu black belt that used to wash cars for a living, in the USA, said cheerily.
Hermes will not be alone on the evening of July seventh, in Arco, California. UFC 73 will mark the Minotauro’s debut in the American organization and Anderson Silva’s second title defense. On his two compatriots, Hermes gives his prediction: “The two will put on a show. Anderson will get the knockout and Minota will get the submission.”
Another loss for Mike Tyson Ex-champion is barred from leaving Arizona
It wasn’t quite a knockout, but Mike Tyson suffered another harsh blow in his already tumultuous life yesterday. The ex-world heavyweight boxing champion was barred by the state justice department from leaving Arizona, where he is being tried for possession and consumption of drugs. Tyson’s intention was to accompany the boxer Sultan Ibragimov, who tomorrow disputes, in Las Vegas, the OMB heavyweight title against Shannon Briggs.
In the request for special authorization, the Ibragimov’s coach alleged that his fighter “gains confidence when Tyson watches."
Nevertheless, Tyson doesn’t suffer only defeats. He managed to get judicial authorization to accompany today, in Washington, his daughter’s graduation. Then, he will have to return to Arizona, where he will continue to respond for his deviations from the law.
Vitor Belfort is doing fine. Resting his body after the easy victory over Ivan Serati at Cage Rage 21, on the 21st of April (where the Brazilian got the takedown, took the back and ended the battle with a series of punches), Vitor is keeping in shape lifting weights every day and training at a reduced load, once or twice a week.
At the same time, he is keeping his head busy, whether it be with his definitive move to birthplace of Rio de Janeiro (Vitor was living with wife Joana Prada and son Davi in the land of his father, Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais), or with the production of the program “Linha Direta” on the disappearance of his sister, Priscila. Besides that, the Brazilian is being tipped to fight for the under 93kg belt at the English event, against the vanquisher of Cyborg at the last Cage edition, James Zikic.
“Everything is great. We are negotiating some good new things, which should be happening soon. I am also completing my move from Minas to Rio, I am very happy," Belfort says over the telephone, wearing the long hair that, in the ring, he wore braided.
On the under 93 kg UFC belt decision, which was his in 2004, Belfort approved of the result, a knockout by Quinton Rampage over the champion Chuck Liddell at 1 min 53 sec of battle. “I did watch the fight, and I liked the result. Quinton deserved it, took full advantage of his chance and is to be congratulated. And there is nothing you can do against a well-placed blow, it ends there. He proved it was his evening," the Black House athlete sums up.
Sean Salmon Discusses UFC 71 Loss
Losing to Alan Belcher was not something that ever crossed my mind. Perhaps that is why I lost; I did not respect his ability to beat me. I truly believed that it was going to be a two-minute fight — that I would take him down, and pound him out or submit him.