UFC boss says Facebook streams likely to stay, envisions day when fans see every fight
LAS VEGAS – In recent months, the UFC has explored several new options for distributing preliminary card fights to the masses.
From UFC.com to Facebook to ION Television, company officials have engineered creative viewing points for MMA fans to watch undercard matchups that would not normally see the light of day.
That trend continues with this weekend's UFC 126 card, and on Wednesday, White said the preliminary broadcasts aren't likely to disappear anytime soon – and in fact, the offerings may increase as time rolls on.
Dana White Worries About the UFC 126 Main Event
Sergio Non caught up with UFC President Dana White at the UFC 126 press conference, and White admitted his main event on Saturday night might fall flat:
"I'm going to be honest here -- I'm not going to be a promoter here, but let's be honest. This thing could be the most dynamic, incredible (freaking) fight we've ever seen -- or the worst staring competition in the history of mankind. All I care about is that both these guys come and let it go and fight the fight we know we could possibly see."
Jones signs signature deal with K-Swiss, FORM
K-Swiss announced a multi-year endorsement deal with UFC light heavyweight contender Jon “Bones” Jones for K-Swiss and FORM Athletics. Jones’ deal includes collaborating with K-Swiss on a signature shoe.
According to Jones’ agent, Malki Kawa, he is the first MMA star to have his own shoe.
Via K-Swiss press release:
The Jones deal with K·Swiss will include appearances, ad campaigns and representation in the company’s growing fitness category. He joins Jeremy Shockey of the New Orleans Saints, Patrick Willis of the San Francisco 49ers, and Urijah Faber, the MMA Fighter and WEC Champion, in representing the TUBES training footwear category. Jones will also be collaborating with K·Swiss on a signature shoe.
FORM Athletics will release a Jon Jones Signature Collection of performance and lifestyle apparel for both in and out of the ring.
Jones will begin representing K-Swiss in the Octagon at UFC 126...
Win or lose, retirement seems unlikely for UFC 126's Rich Franklin
Perhaps it's the recent win over Chuck Liddell. Or his newfound title contention.
Or, perhaps most likely, it's the layoff that's given him his first extended break to recover from an assortment of injuries that have dinged the fan favorite during his dozen years of professional MMA competition.
Whatever the reason, don't expect UFC 126 co-headliner Rich Franklin to call it quits anytime soon.
Franklin (28-5 MMA, 13-4 UFC), of course, co-headlines Saturday's UFC 126 event at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas. He meets fellow ex-champ Forrest Griffin (17-6 MMA, 8-4 UFC) in the co-main event of the night's pay-per-view main card.
Jim Miller and Charlie Brenneman extend contracts with UFC
Two of AMA Fight Club's brightest standouts are going to stick around in the octagon.
Lightweight contender Jim Miller (19-2 MMA, 8-1 UFC) and welterweight prospect Charlie Brenneman (12-2 MMA, 2-1 UFC) have signed new four-fight contract extensions with the UFC.
AMA manager Mike Constantino broke the news today while appearing on MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio).
Miller has made nine octagon appearances and makes his 10th with a fight against Kamal Shalorus at UFC 128, which takes place March 19 at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.
A New Jersey native, Miller returns to the venue for the second time since he took on Canadian Mark Bocek this past March at UFC 111 and ground out a unanimous-decision win. He first signed with the UFC in late 2008 after a one-fight stint in the now-defunct International Fight League.
White on Silva vs. St-Pierre: It would be tough not to do it in Canada
LAS VEGAS – UFC president Dana White wants to make one thing perfectly clear – a long-discussed superfight between reigning UFC champions Anderson Silva (27-4 MMA, 12-0 UFC) and Georges St-Pierre (21-2 MMA, 15-2 UFC) is currently anything but a sure thing.
That said, the UFC boss believes with a win by each champion in their upcoming title defenses, there's simply no reason not to book the dream matchup.
And while White believes the potential superfight would prove a financial success just about anywhere the organization decided to take it, the UFC president said it would be awfully difficult not to let St-Pierre take on "The Spider" on Canadian soil.
"When you start thinking about an Anderson Silva-GSP fight, you could do that anywhere," White said. "But it would be tough not to do the thing in Canada."
UFC announces UFC 126 Facebook stream for "Kid" Yamanoto vs. Johnson fight
One significant bout from a previously untelevised UFC 126 preliminary card will stream for free on Facebook.
UFC officials today announced via its 4.5 million-member-strong Facebook account that recent UFC signee Norifumi "Kid" Yamamoto (18-3 MMA, 0-0 UFC) and post-merger WEC import Demetrious Johnson (8-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC) will fight on the stream.
The bantamweight bout begins at 8 p.m. ET (5 p.m. PT) on Saturday.
UFC 126 takes place Saturday at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas and features a middleweight title fight between champion Anderson Silva and challenger Vitor Belfort. The main card airs on pay-per-view, and two additional bouts air on Spike TV as part of a "UFC Prelims" special.
Currently, there's no word if the night's other three untelevised prelims (Gabe Ruediger vs. Paul Taylor, Kyle Kingsbury vs. Ricardo Romero, and Mike Pierce vs. Kenny Robertson) will join Yamanoto vs. Johnso on the Facebook stream...
Complaint Filed Against Timekeeper From UFC 123
A Michigan state agency has filed a complaint against a timekeeper, alleging he mishandled the clock at the end of a round during a UFC fight between middleweights Maiquel Falcao and Gerald Harris last year.
Stephen George Daher, a licensed timekeeper under Michigan's Unarmed Combat Commission -- formerly the state's boxing commission -- was named in a complaint brought by the Bureau of Commercial Services, a part of the state Department of Energy, Labor & Economic Growth.
The complaint alleges Daher failed to ensure the Falcao-Harris fight "was terminated in accordance with the official contest clock" at UFC 123 on Nov. 20 at the Palace of Auburn Hills. ESPN.com obtained the complaint on Tuesday following a Freedom of Information Act request.
The violation occurred at the end of the first round, according to the complaint, when Falcao appeared near completion of a choke that could have finished Harris. When Daher allegedly called an end to the round, approximately six seconds remained on the clock.
Falcao won by unanimous decision and Harris was subsequently released from his UFC contract.
The state commission will determine whether or not to take disciplinary action against Daher after the complaint advances through the contested case hearing process, where he will have the opportunity to defend the allegations.
Daher has 15 days to reply to the formal complaint, dated Jan. 13, by opting for a compliance/settlement conference or a formal administrative hearing. A conference could be scheduled in as little as two weeks, while it would take six weeks to appoint an adminstrative judge for a formal hearing.
The commission will then decide upon a penalty that could include a fine, a suspension or revocation of license...
ANderson Silva vs. Georges St. Pierre Superfight Would Be "All About Legacy"
That's according to Dana White...if it happens, of course. "What happened is they're both close to cleaning out their division. If Anderson beats Vitor Belfort and St. Pierre beats Jake Shields, seriously, what's left for them? It's a fun fight to do.... The fans [understand] that. No doubt about it [on the challenge of moving up in weight]. That's what I love about this fight. I'm all about legacy. That's what matters more than the money. I love it if a guy will go up for a super fight like this. Anderson Silva has already moved up and fought at 205. For 'GSP' to do it, I think it's big for his legacy."
For Antonio Silva, Strikeforce tourney starts and ends with Fedor Emelianenko
Fedor Emelianenko (32-2 MMA, 1-1 SF) is the title, tournament, and big fish all wrapped into one, says Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva (15-2 MMA, 2-1 SF).
He's not even remotely concerned about what comes next.
Some look at Silva as a mere placeholder for the Russian's advance in the Strikeforce heavyweight grand prix. "Bigfoot" says they're about to get a big surprise, just like they did this past summer.
Silva said he was supposed to lose to Andrei Arlovski this past May at "Strikeforce: Heavy Artillery." The former UFC champion had hit the skids with back-to-back losses against Emelianenko and Brett Rogers, and he needed a win. Silva would be the pivot for a career turnaround.
UFC 126: Donald Cerrone All Studied Up for Paul Kelly, Calls Mac Danzig ‘Hypocritical’
Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone (17-3) is officially in the UFC. He’ll make his debut for the promotion this Saturday at UFC 126: Silva vs. Belfort in Las Vegas when he takes on English fighter Paul Kelly.
Kelly (11-3) will be making his ninth appearance in the UFC, so he’s definitely earned his stripes in the Las Vegas-based promotion. It’s safe to assume that with eight fights in the Octagon, opponents will know who Paul Kelly is.
Tim Sylvia Vows To Keep Fighting-At 265-After "BS" Loss
And he blames a lot of bad things for his loss to Abe Wagner over the weekend-diet, knee, and of course referee Ken Shamrock. "Refs need to know the fighters. Did he see my fight with Andrei Arlovski – the second one – I got dropped, got up, and KO’d him. The Randy Couture fight I got dropped and fought for 25 minutes. It was stopped way too early… It was bulls**t. (And) the sad part is the ref told the promoter and my corner he was sorry because he knew he made a mistake and stopped it a little early.... I still love this sport and always will.... I will never fight at Super Heavyweight again. I fight much better at 265 so from here on out that’s what I am going to fight at."
Barry ‘Baffled’ by Beltran’s Resilience After ‘Troops 2’ Bout
Apparently, Pat Barry just can’t get any respect.
Since besting Joey Beltran at UFC “Fight for the Troops 2,” the former kickboxer has been hit by a flood of comments from naysayers regarding his game plan, his performance and his post-fight speech. Barry spoke exclusively to Sherdog.com last week regarding the outcome of his Jan. 22 scrap and the damage inflicted on his opponent.
Leading up to the fight, Barry made liberal use of the term “zombie” when describing Beltran. After battering the leg of “The Mexicutioner” with low kicks for three straight rounds, Barry asserts that his description of his opponent was not as hyperbolic as people may have thought.
“I knew going into the fight that he was a zombie. That wasn’t a joke. That was a factual message. This guy’s attributes are getting hit and not blinking or getting shook. He just keeps walking forward,” Barry told Sherdog.com. “I kicked him in his face five times and he didn’t even stumble, he didn’t back up, nothing. I’m talking about stiff kicks to the face, and he took them. So, the game plan going in was to beat his leg to death until he slowed down or until he couldn’t walk any further.”
Sherk Wants Spot in UFC Hall of Fame
Sean Sherk isn’t ready to retire, but when he is he hopes that his resume will send him into the UFC Hall of Fame.
“I’m not walking away, but if I were to walk away, I’ve done enough in my career to be happy with what I’ve accomplished,” Sherk said recently on the Sherdog Radio Network. “I think I’ve cemented my place in this industry [through] everything I’ve done inside and outside the gym, and I’ve cemented my place in the UFC. I hope to be a Hall of Famer some day. That’s my goal.”
A former UFC lightweight champion, Sherk has won nearly 40 bouts in more than a decade of fighting. In the midst of all those highs, he has had a few lows. In 2007 he tested positive for a steroid, though he denied using the banned substance. At another point, he had to step away from the sport because MMA had not yet exploded in popularity and he wasn’t making enough money.
Former Employee Sues Tapout for Wrongful Termination, Defamation, Emotional Distress
A former Vice President of Sales for Tapout filed suit in Los Angeles Superior Court on Monday, alleging claims that include wrongful termination, fraudulent misrepresentation, failure to pay wages, defamation, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and a litany of negligence claims.
Not only does Lee Lemon target Tapout as a defendant, but also Zuffa, LLC (parent company of the UFC), MMA Authentics, MMA Holdings, LLC, Authentic Brands Group, LLC, Daniel "Punkass" Caldwell, and even the estate of the late Charles "Mask" Lewis.
Most of Lemon's allegations are focused on former Tapout President Marc Kreiner, who Lemon claims abused the sales staff, allegedly calling them "f--kng worthless" and telling Lemon that he was "stupid, incompetent, and ignorant," and that Kreiner could "hire a monkey to do his job." Lemon also alleges that he was promised $400,000 per year in pay, but was never paid that amount. Instead, he argues, he was not paid the commissions he was owed, was berated constantly, falsely accused of firing employees without approval, blamed for salary cuts, and then directed to "defraud investors ... by inflating the sales numbers and at the same time hiding accounts, to engage in thefts from licenses" before he was "constructively terminated" in May of 2010. (Under California law, constructive termination essentially requires the plaintiff to show that they resigned or quit because their working conditions were so intolerable that no reasonable person could be expected to endure them.)
SF Diaz vs. Santos: 561,000 Viewers
Strikeforce's first event of 2011 was a hit with Showtime viewers. Overall, the event averaged 561,000 viewers, which is more than any single Strikeforce event broadcast on Showtime in the past year. The peak was 853,000 viewers for the Nick Diaz-Evangelista Santos main event.
UFC 126 Under Card Viewing Opportunity Hinted At by Dana White
Dana White's Twitter feed is always worth paying attention to, if for nothing other than comic relief. White responds to everyone, including the anonymous detractors or ardent Strikeforce supporters. But he also often replies in earnest to sincere questions from diehard UFC fans. As you can see below, one fan Tweeted White to ask a question that I'm certain many other fans were thinking: KID Yamamoto vs. Demetrious Johnson is a fight fans want to see, so why is it buried on the undercard and is there any way we can see it? White responds:
Bader, Simpson, Dollaway, Lawler and Others Find Stability At New Gym
The age of the super camp is upon us in the world of MMA. From Team Jackson to American Kickboxing Academy to American Top Team, fighters from all over the world flock to bigger and bigger camps to get the training, coaching, and sparring necessary to take them to the next level, be it the UFC, Strikeforce, or beyond.
The newest team forming in Arizona at the new Power MMA & Fitness gym is headed up by a group of top flight UFC fighters along with a Strikeforce title contender, and they hope to form the next great camp.
Ryan Bader, Aaron Simpson, and C.B. Dollaway, along with Robbie Lawler and others have worked to open their new gym in Arizona. It’s starting to pay off already with fighters traveling from all over the country to work with the team.
Karate Coach Touts Belfort’s Improved Speed
Vitor Belfort has always been revered -- and feared -- for his blinding speed and the devastating power that accompanies it. To hear one of his trainers tell it, the Brazilian has only grown faster since he took out former middleweight titleholder Rich Franklin in the Octagon 16 months ago.
“Before arriving, I was a little bit anxious about whether or not we could do a good job in such a short time,” said South American karate champion Jayme Sandall, who has spent the past few weeks honing Belfort’s skills. “But as I always say, Vitor is a phenomenon and gets everything so fast. He’s already moving a different way in the ring; his muscle explosion is at its peak. He’s even faster than he was when he was training to face Franklin.”