Affliction Not Bitter About Couture Deal
Affliction promoter Tom Atencio says he is pleased that Randy Couture has been able to reconcile himself with the UFC.
And he denies that the deal has cost his promotion a Couture/Fedor fight, saying that Couture never had a fight contract with Affliction.
"I think the biggest problem is people assume everything," he told MMARated.com "The bottom line is Randy is our partner with Xtreme Couture. Randy is sponsored by Affliction. He's been with us and we work with him.”
UFC president Dana White announced on Tuesday that estranged heavyweight champion Randy Couture was back in the fold.
He also used the conference call to pour scorn on Affliction’s prospects as a mixed martial art s promoter, saying he would be “horrified” if the company was still promoting in a
"Randy needs to do what he needs to do to handle his problems," Atencio said. "I'm happy for him."
Franklin Balancing Gameplan With Cardio For UFC 88
Rich Franklin expects a tough time of it when he faces Matt Hamill in a light-heavyweight bout on Saturday.
The former middleweight champion says his gameplan is all about speed and footwork – but that might be difficult when carrying extra weight.
“I’ve got to be quick on my feet... I need to use my footwork to confuse him and stick and move and stick and move and avoid takedowns,” he told MMA Stomping Grounds.
But he noted that if he is carrying “an extra 20 pounds... and it goes the full 15 minutes, that takes a toll on conditioning”.
Franklin is campaigning at 205lbs after losing his middleweight title to Anderson Silva and then failing to win it back in a rematch.
Both were heavy losses for the former champion and he says the UFC was not interested in seeing him fight Silva for a third time.
Filho: “I’m a new person now”
Just a few days before his second fight with Chael Sonnen at WEC, Paulo Filho spoke to TATAME about the thoughts of the fight, his problems with depression, his training with André Galvão, the possibility to face Anderson Silva, a friend and UFC champion, and analyzed Rousimar Palhares’ bout against the former pride champion, Dan Handerson. “The depression is over and now is just happiness, I’m ready for the war”, guarantees the champion, on the exclusive interview.
No Need To Panic: A Realistc Future for MMA
What do the failures of so many organizations mean for MMA?
It means that promoters and their investors need to be smarter with their money.
And it’s not like there isn’t precedence within the business world for this sort of gross mismanagement either. I’m sure everyone remembers the dot-com bubble of the late 90s that burst in 2001. Investors had dollar signs in their eyes then, just as they do now, because of the gross potential of the internet and technology to be utterly ubiquitous in the everyday lives of people the globe over. Yet, these investors failed to do their due diligence in order to find appropriate business models to take advantage of that potential.
Thus, the same can be said for today’s investors blindly throwing money into fight promotions with poor business models that do not suit the current economic environment of the industry. The investors that jumped on the IFL and pushed it to $18 are a testament to this.
For as much flack as Dana White gets from the MMA community, I can’t think of any other man in the industry that can say “I told you so!” as often as he can. Granted, the NASCAR analogy is a little played out - and I, too, am tired of hearing it - that doesn’t make it any less relevant.
The business-end of things really isn’t that different from any other industry. The most crucial mistakes I see fight promotions make are the same crucial mistakes that misguided billion dollar enterprises make:
1.) They have no vision, no mission, and as a result no direction and no identity.
These promotions need to figure out who they are, what they do, and whom they cater to.
2.) Poor cost management that generally translates into bankruptcy.
There Is No Marketing for Kimbo Slice vs. Ken Shamrock
John Chandler wonders why:
EliteXC’s debut show on CBS was much better off from the start. Why? Because they actually marketed the event. Advertisements for the show started during March Madness, more than two months before the event was even happening. Yet here we are one month away from Slice’s biggest test to date and the only spots promoting the event can be found online.
Even if CBS were to start airing commercials tomorrow, EliteXC still has obstacles to overcome. It’s 30 days before the event and the fight card isn’t even finalized. That’s expectant of smaller organizations with heavy turnover rates, not a major promotion that is about to put together a show for the entire world to see.
Bringing Kimbo Slice back to his home state of Florida was a good move. The arena should easily sell out then, right? I mean the crowd for Slice vs. Tank Abbott in February was up on their feet for just about the entire night.
Not necessarily. All signs currently indicate that a large number of tickets are still available for the event. Plus, EliteXC officials expecting a late push should also take note that the University of Miami plays Florida State at Dolphins Stadium that same night. (Thanks Zach)
According to EliteXC’s recent SEC filings, the organization only has enough funds to last until the end of the year without outside help. So why aren’t they going balls to the wall in trying to make this show their most successful to date? A lack of money? A lack of motivation? It’s hard to say.
Before I even started writing this, I asked myself, why it is that every time that write a piece on EliteXC, it turns out to be negative? I pinpointed it to failed potential.
Houston Alexander signs five-fight UFC contract extension
The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) recently inked light heavyweight Houston Alexander to a new five-fight contract extension, locking-in the services of the hard-hitting Nebraskan slugger well into 2009 if the promotion decides to keep him on the roster, according to WrestlingObserver.com.
Alexander was relatively unknown to the masses until he burst onto the scene with two destructive performances inside the Octagon, taking out top contender Keith Jardine in his debut back at UFC 71: “Liddell vs. Jackson” in May 2007 and then crumbling Alessio Sakara at UFC 75: “Champion vs. Champion” less than four months later.
“The Nebraskan Assassin,” however, quickly returned to Earth with back-to-back losses to Thiago Silva and James Irvin. In fact, Alexander didn’t last more than four minutes combined in those two bouts.
Despite his recent struggles, Alexander remains a fan favorite and a crowd pleaser win or lose. That’s more than likely the reason the promotion made the decision to keep him around.
He will have his opportunity to get back on the winning track against Brazilian jiu-jitsu specialist Eric Schafer at UFC Fight Night 15 in front of a hometown crowd at the Omaha Civic Auditorium in Omaha. Neb., on September 17.
Jason Lambert looks for new life in middleweight division at UFC 88
Jason Lambert (23-8 MMA, 4-3 MMA) was riding high in 2006. Riding an eight-fight win streak, including three wins in the UFC, "The Punisher" was on top of the world.
But after three losses in his next four fights, Lambert made the decision to try the UFC's middleweight division. Lambert will make his 185 pound debut for the UFC at UFC 88 in Atlanta this Saturday night.
Lambert discussed the process for dropping to 185 pounds while a recent guest of TAGG Radio (www.taggradio.com), the official radio partner of MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
"After my last 205 (pound) fight I didn't go back up to my normal walk-around weight," Lambert explained. "I stayed right around 205 (pounds). So it wasn't too hard for me to start getting down to [185 pounds]."
Lambert said with two days left before weigh-ins he is already at his target weight.
"I'm not cutting right now," Lambert said. "I'm ready. I've been focusing on keeping my power and strength. I think it should be a good time for me to get down to [185 pounds]."
Lambert had fought at 185 pounds earlier in his career, but had fought excusively at 205 pounds while signed with the UFC. The North County Fight Club product had hoped for an opportunity to try a practice run at making the weight, but UFC plan changes didn't allow that luxury.
"People have been asking me if I did [a mock weight cut]," Lambert said. "I was waiting to hear from the UFC. I was asking them for a fight and they weren't getting back to me. So I didn’t think that I had a fight.
"I was waiting, and then they came back with September when I thought I was going to fight in October because they hadn't gotten back to me. So I was getting ready to do [a mock cut], and then they called. So I didn't want to do a mock one when I was starting to ramp up for a training camp. I just put it on hold and started training for the fight."
Lambert said that differences in training were necessary, but that diet was the biggest factor in reaching the lower weight class.
"I've been doing a lot of the circuits and stuff like that with my strength coach," Lambert said. "It's just real high-energy, really fast-paced circuits with all kinds of things.
"I've had a dietitian for a while, I just never listened to him. I just had to pay a little more attention to what he was telling me. Just be smart about it so I'm not having to cut too much and killing myself."
In addition to dealing with a new weight class, Lambert was also forced to deal with an opponent change just three weeks out from the fight. Lambert's original opponent, Jason Day, was forced off the card due to an arm injury and veteran middleweight Jason MacDonald filled in.
Lambert said the change was not an issue.
"[Opponent changes] are just part of the business," Lambert said. "Things like that happen, so you can't let it just completely rattle you. You've just got to be ready for it.
"You can kick and throw a tantrum and all that, but it's not going to do you any good. Re-focus on who you've got now and get back in there in the gym. Maybe tweak some things mentally. But typically you prepare the same for anybody. It's usually just mostly mental for me -- doing the visualizations and things like that with whoever I'm going to be fighting."
Lambert has suffered through a tough stretch in his recent bouts. But the recent struggles haven't deterred him from wanting to put on a great show for the fans.
"I want to go out there and excite the fans," Lambert said. "I always have had exciting fights, and I'm always looking to be fight of the night. I do get a little bit nervous, but it's more so the fact that I want to have a really good showing."
Lambert hopes to excite a ground that he knows has the potential of being quite loud.
"I anticipate a crazy crowd," Lambert said. "I think my fight with (Renato) 'Babalu' (Sobral) was the first fight in Ohio, and that place was a zoo. I couldn't believe the streets -- everywhere was just packed. It was just crazy.
"I'm expecting it to be like that here. Because anytime it's the first time [the UFC] comes to a place, usually it's pretty crazy."
UFC Quick Quote: Rich Franklin didn’t want to be a middleweight gatekeeper
“I was talking to the UFC after the second [Anderson] Silva loss and they encouraged me to move up to 205. They told me my position there would be more appealing to them from a business perspective. They weren’t interested in a third match between me and Silva and they didn’t want me fighting contenders because I could eliminate possible title fights, so I was stuck in that I was going to be fighting people on the back end of their losses to Silva and I didn’t care for that gatekeeper position. After the Travis Lutter fight, I said I would try my hand at 205 again.”
– Former middleweight champion Rich Franklin reveals to the his reasons for moving back up to the light heavyweight division for his upcoming fight against Matt Hamill at UFC 88: “Breakthrough” at the Philips Arena in Atlanta, Ga., on September 6. “Ace” was soundly defeated twice by UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva, which essentially meant that he’d be relegated to fighting — and possibly knocking off — new contenders.
(If you have the time click the Baltimore Sun interview. Its longer but a good read)
Win and he’s back in?: MMAmania.com exclusive UFC 88 interview with Nate Marquardt
Ever since losing a title shot to Anderson Silva at UFC 73 back in July of last year, Nate “The Great” Marquardt (26-8-2) has been looking to get back into title contention. He welcomed Jeremy Horn back to the UFC with a guillotine choke submission at UFC 81 in February.
And he looked … um, “Great” in a well-publicized UFC 85 bout with Thales Leites.
Adam Wagner (MMAmania.com): Your split decision loss to Thales Leites has got to be a bitter pill to swallow. How do you feel about the two points that you were docked, the second of which looked unjustified?
Nate Marquardt: Yeah, you know, it’s not as bad as it seems to be honest. That fight got me a lot of publicity. Everyone who saw the fight said that I won. So it’s not really like I really lost that fight.
Yeah, I thought the second point deduction … I don’t feel like what I did was illegal, but sometimes that happens in fights. To be honest, I think I could have finished Thales, and that was my fault for not keeping on him at a couple of points in that fight.
Adam Wagner (MMAmania.com): I read that after the fight, Leites didn’t want to grant you an immediate rematch. Is that true?
Nate Marquardt: Yes. We asked Joe Silva immediately after, and he said that Thales didn’t want a rematch.
Adam Wagner (MMAmania.com): Do you think he was trying to dodge you?
Nate Marquardt: I don’t know. It’s the smarter decision on his part. He ran away with the win on his record. And he’s looking to get a title shot, so it would be a smart choice on his part.
Adam Wagner (MMAmania.com): So is it difficult to bounce back from something like this, or are you looking at it as a win … or at least not a loss?
Nate Marquardt: Yeah, exactly. I see some mistakes I made during that fight, and I always try to work on that. I just try to get better after every fight. I’m not trying to look at it as a win or as a loss. I’m just trying to look at it and see what I did right, and try to copy that, and see what I did wrong and try to fix it.
Don Frye undeterred by loss, looking to continue fighting career
Although approaching 43 years old, UFC, PRIDE and K-1 veteran Don Frye (19-7-1) continues to ply his trade in the MMA business. However a recent submission loss to Ikuhisa Minowa (40-28-8) has caused many to question the aging veteran's fighting future.
Frye recently joined TAGG Radio (www.taggradio.com), the official radio partner of MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) to discuss his disappointing loss, and he spoke candidly about his desire to continue to fight despite approaching an age where most choose to retire.
"I didn't show up to fight," Frye admitted. "I showed up to just drink beer and ended up looking at the lights at the top of the ceiling. He opened up a can of whoop-ass I couldn't close.
"Like a dumbass I thought I could go out and charm my way to a victory because I was Don Frye. Unfortunately he didn’t find me charming."
Any time a fighter of Frye's age experiences defeat, questions are immediately raised about their thirst for competition.
Jeremy Stephens vs. newcomer Rafael dos Anjos at UFC 91
Youngster Jeremy "Lil Heathen" Stephens (13-3 MMA, 2-2 UFC), whose three-fight win streak was snapped with a recent unanimous-decision loss to Spencer Fisher, will meet UFC newcomer and Brazilian fight veteran Rafael dos Anjos (11-2 MMA, 0-0 UFC) in November at UFC 91.
The lightweights have agreed to the fight, and bout agreements are expected to be signed shortly, according to a source close to one of the fighters.
The bout is the latest addition to UFC 91, which takes place Nov. 15 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Sengoku 5 Fights Added, UFC Vet & Japanese Wrestler Featured
World Victory Road yesterday announced 3 more fights for its Sengoku 5 card on September 23, highlighted by UFC veteran Kazuhiro Nakamura making his Middleweight debut and Japanese pro wrestler Takashi Sugiura returning to MMA after a 2-year absence to face the debuting Alexandre Ribeiro in a superfight.
UFC 88: IS PALHARES UFC CHAMP'S NEXT CHALLENGE?
Heading into this weekend’s UFC 88 in Atlanta, there will be an intriguing match-up in the middleweight division of two fighters headed in different directions at this point in their careers.
On one hand, you have former Pride dual titleholder Dan Henderson, nearing the twilight of his career and currently on a two-fight skid. On the other, you have Rousimar Palhares, in just his second year of fighting and on an impressive six-fight winning streak.
UFC 88: MARQUARDT SEES KAMPMANN AS UPGRADE
“You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you just might find, you get what you need.”
When Mick Jagger wrote the classic song “You Can’t Always Get What You Want,” he obviously had no idea that it would one day relate to the sport of mixed martial arts, but for Nate Marquardt there may not be a more perfect theme song.
MacDonald Plans to Wear Lambert Down
“I think at this point in my UFC career all the fights I face are tough, and I don’t think Lambert will be any different. What I do think is that the first time you cut the weight down to a level you haven’t before it’s tough. With Lambert, we’re talking about a guy who has fought at heavyweight, then was down to light-heavyweight, and now he’ll have his first fight at 185. I think that’s definitely to my advantage. As the rounds go on, I think the weight cut will wear on him.”
INEXPERIENCE ASIDE, BROCK LESNAR EYES UFC GOLD
When Brock Lesnar signed with the Ultimate Fighting Championship, the former collegiate wrestling champion and former professional wrestling superstar said he wanted to fight the top heavyweights. He was serious.
At UFC 91 on Nov. 15 from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Lesnar will face Randy "The Natural" Couture for the UFC heavyweight belt in only his fourth mixed martial arts bout and third time in the Octagon.
"I've wanted a fight with Randy since before I signed a contract with the UFC," Lesnar told the media on Tuesday.
Despite his inexperience and Couture's year-long layoff from competition, expectations are high that the match-up will generate record numbers. "We actually do research on these things if you can believe it or not," said UFC president Dana White.
TKO SIGNS NEW TV DEAL, BEGINS AIRING FRIDAY
TKO Championship Fighting on Wednesday announced the signing of a television deal with the TQS television network in Canada.
The sport of mixed martial arts will be seen on network television in Quebec for the very first time beginning Sept. 5. TQS will air “TKO, Friday Night Knockouts” every Friday night at 9pm.
“For over eight years I have been working very hard to make the public understand and appreciate our sport and our athletes,” explained an elated Stephane Patry, president and founder of TKO Championship Fighting.
“When we first started in 2000, our events were held in small venues and TKO was available on DVD and on specialty sport channels only. In 2006, TKO Championship Fighting found a new home at the Bell Centre and our fans began to multiply. Now, thanks to this partnership with the Rémillard brothers and the team at TQS, I am confident that our sport will reach a whole new level of popularity which is exactly what the sport and our athletes deserve.”
AFFLICTION CLEARS ROADBLOCKS, READY FOR MORE
By now, Affliction vice president Tom Atencio has become used to swimming upstream against the doubters of his company. Since he launched Affliction Entertainment as the new fight promotion on the block in early 2008, he has faced naysayers at every turn, despite assembling one of the most talent-packed MMA cards in the sport’s recent history with “Affliction: Banned” this July.
None have been more vocal than UFC president Dana White. Since Affliction’s emergence, his not-so-affectionate moniker for the company, “the t-shirt guys,” has often been followed by a prediction of the company’s approaching demise. In a teleconference on Tuesday announcing Randy Couture’s return to the UFC, he was true to form.
“In this economy right now, losing money is a really bad thing,” White said. “There’s nobody out there looking to fund anything, nobody’s spending any money, nobody’s investing in anything. When you’re losing the kind of money that these guys are losing, you’ve gotta sell a lot of t-shirts to get back that money.”