UFC Claims 23,152 Attendance, $4.6 Million Gate For UFC 124
As expected, the UFC's fourth-ever trip to Montreal's Bell Centre was a smashing success at the box office. But it only broke one of the two records the organization hoped would fall. According to UFC president Dana White, Saturday's "UFC 124: Koscheck vs. St-Pierre II" event drew a North American MMA record 23,152 attendees for a live gate of $4.586 million, which fell short of the worldwide MMA record. That record is still $5.397 million at UFC 66 back in 2006. Both are expected to fall in April, however, when UFC 131 is held in Toronto at the 69,000 seat Rogers Centre.
UFC 124 Post-Fight Bonuses
At the UFC 124 post-fight press conference, Dana White announced the Bonus Of The Night winners. The KO Of The Night went ot Mac Danzig, Submission Of The Night went to Jim MIller and Mark Bocek, while fans voted Georges St. Pierre-Josh Koscheck as Fight Of The Night. Danzig, GSP & Kos all earned $100,000 for theirs while Bocek & Miller split it and each get $50,000. For the first time in company history, fans voted online for the "Fight of the Night" winners – much to White's chagrin. "They blew it," joked White, who said it won't be back. For what it's worth, Dana said his FOTN was Sean Pierson vs. Matt Riddle.
Fans Choose UFC FOTN For First Time.
Dana White will offer a $100,000 bonus to be split between the two fighters who participate in tonight's Fight of the Night. And for the first time ever, he's letting the fans choose it.
Starting at 10 pm ET/7 pm PT, fans around the world can vote at www.UFCVote.com via computer, iPhone/iPad or Android phone -- you can change your mind throughout the night, but only your final vote will be counted.
At the end of the broadcast, votes will be tallied and Dana will announce the winning bout at the Post Fight Press Conference, which can be viewed live at UFCLive.com.
myandroid713 RT @DigitalRoyalty UFC President @DanaWhite is allowing fans to decide "Fight of the Night". An unprecedented move.
8 minutes ago via Touiteur
Retweeted by danawhite and 4 others
Zuffa Cuts LC Davis
Another casualty of the UFC-WEC merger was announced yesterday as Zuffa has released WEC fighter LC Davis. Davis was 3-2 overall in Zuffa but is on the Losing Streak Of Doom after winning his first 3 WEC fights. Additionally, all but one of his last 7 fights have been decisions.
Alistair Overeem Wins K-1 Grand Prix
Alistair Overeem already owns the Strikeforce MMA heavyweight title. Now he owns the most prestigious championship in heavyweight kickboxing.
Overeem won the K-1 World Grand Prix Final 2010 with a brutal display of striking Saturday in Japan, using a vicious body shot to stop Peter Aerts in the final of his three fights in the eight-man, one-night tournament.
Brock Lesnar’s Return Date Undetermined, Won’t Appear In WWE
Brock Lesnar’s next fight in the UFC still has not been determined, but one place he won’t be in 2011 is making a guest appearance in the WWE come Wrestlemania time.
Following his title loss to Cain Velasquez in October, Lesnar went on sabbatical to go hunting and get away from the fight game for a little while and also to spend time with his family. Since then, the questions continuously come in about when Lesnar could return. While UFC president Dana White has said nothing is on the table that might soon change.
Speaking to the media on Thursday, White plans on having a conversation with Lesnar’s team next week to start ironing out some details.
UFC 124's Sean McCorkle wants to fight aging legends after Stefan Struve
Sean McCorkle is past the days of fighting for any other reason than cash.
So what better way to make more green than to piggyback off a few aging legends?
After he beats Stefan Struve (20-4 MMA, 4-2 UFC) tomorrow at UFC 124, McCorkle (10-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) said, he'd like to up his earning potential against fighters whose best days are behind them.
"Preferably once they're on their last legs and are no longer very competitive," McCorkle told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio). "Like when Mike Tyson fought Larry Holmes, or when Holmes fought Ali way past [Ali's] prime."
The somewhat-serious UFC heavyweight said he already has a few names in mind.
"I'd like to have maybe (Antonio Rodrigo) Nogueira in two or three years and (Brock) Lesnar in 10, maybe," he said. "I keep telling people I'd love to fight Mirko 'Cro Cop' (Filipovic) after Struve.
"People think I'm crazy, and then I remind them that Mark Hunt beat Mirko when 'Cro Cop' was in his prime. Especially if the 'Cro Cop' that fought Frank Mir (at UFC 119) shows up. You fight a guy like that, and you've got nothing to lose and everything to gain."
Todd Duffee meets Abe Wagner at January's Titan Fighting event on HDNet
Three months after his unexpected release from the UFC, Todd Duffee will begin the process of rebuilding his career.
HDNet Fights CEO Andrew Simon today told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio) that Duffee is scheduled to appear on a Titan Fighting Championships event scheduled for Jan. 29 in Kansas City, Kan.
Duffee (6-1) meets "The Ultimate Fighter 10" cast member Abe Wagner (6-3) at the HDNet-televised event, according to Duffee's manager, Monte Cox.
It's Duffee's first fight since May, when he was upset at UFC 114 by Chicago fighter Mike Russow. After dominating the fight on the feet for two-plus rounds, the iron-jawed Russow landed a right hand that knocked Duffee out cold in one of the most dramatic come-from-behind wins in UFC history.
Duffee, who works with Grudge Training Center in Denver, was expected to take on Jon Madsen at UFC 121 but withdrew from the fight in August with a knee injury. Less than a month later, he received an email from the UFC notifying him that he had been cut by the promotion because of his loss to Russow.
Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto Signs With UFC; Debuts Against Demetrious Johnson In February
Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto is coming to the UFC and his first fight has now been confirmed as the Japanese fighter will meet Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson in a bantamweight fight likely set for UFC 126 in Las Vegas.
Sources close to the negotiations confirmed the bout to MMAWeekly.com on Friday, with at least verbal agreements in place for the February bout.
Yamamoto just signed with the UFC as confirmed by president Dana White on Twitter as of Thursday night. The former Dream and K-1 fighter was a powerhouse just a few years ago and widely considered the top featherweight in the sport before injuries and a run at the Olympics put his career on hold.
Mayhem Miller Cuts Political-Style Video Making Fun Of Diaz
One could make the argument that if Nick Diaz can fight Mayhem Miller in EA Sports MMA at 185lbs, then he can do the same in real life. One could also make the argument that if aliens ever invaded earth, all you would need to do is throw a sticky grenade at their head and then quickly run away. If I were a professor at a University, I would say something along the lines of 'videogames blend the element of reality and unreal for the user' and then rattle on for an hour about 'auteur theory'. Fortunately, this is MiddleEasy; a place where we photoshop the heads of MMA fighters on the bodies of really hot chicks for no apparent reason. Complex media theory means little around these parts.
The source is from Miller's actual blog.
Dana White Says the UFC Has Signed Norifumi "Kid" Yamamoto
Dana White routinely has random conversations with all types of fans on his twitter account, but today there was an interesting tidbit that stood out. He was conversing with someone who was psyched about the signing of Japanese featherweight, Michihiro Omigawa, when the fan mentioned that he hoped they would also get Kid Yamamoto. The UFC president then replied with a simple:
"we did sign kid"
If this is true, I want all Kid fans to join me in a Banana dance
TUF Going International In 2011, But Not To Canada (Yet)
"The Ultimate Fighter" is going international in 2011, and three new countries will get a version of the popular reality series. UFC president Dana White today confirmed the plans following a UFC 124 pre-event press conference. Canada won't be one of those three new offerings, but White said the MMA-crazed country likely will be fourth in line. Currently, Spike TV plans only to air the usual U.S.-based versions of the series, the latest of which debuts March 30 with the "TUF 13" season premiere. However, whether it's online or another broadcast outlet, White expects fans worldwide to be able to watch the international versions of "TUF."
Alessio Sakara vs. Maiquel Falcao On Tap For UFC On Versus 3
With a potential bout against Jorge Rivera seemingly cursed, Alessio Sakara instead will turn his attention to fellow middleweight Maiquel Falcao at UFC On Versus 3. News of the booking was provided by Prime Fighters Management and DCA, which represent Falcao. Sakara vs. Falcao likely will be part of the night's Versus-televised main card. Sakara twice had been scheduled to fight Rivera. A UFC 118 meeting in August was scratched when Rivera broke his arm, and a UFC 122 co-headliner was scrapped just hours before fight time because of a stomach flu that depleted Sakara and left doctors unable to OK him for the fight.
"TUF 13" coaches still not set; CSAC suspension won't prevent Sonnen from taking part
With speculation running rampant that recent UFC middleweight title challenger Chael Sonnen may soon be tapped as a coach on the upcoming 13th season of "The Ultimate Fighter," UFC president Dana White insists that simply has not yet been determined.
However, White did not rule out the possibility of a Sonnen vs. Wanderlei Silva themed season.
And while filming for the Spike TV-broadcast series would take place while Sonnen serves a six-month suspension from the California State Athletic Commission, White said he would have no problem using Sonnen in a coaching role during that time.
"He could coach 'The Ultimate Fighter,'" White today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). "Absolutely."
Sonnen had been relatively quiet since his fifth-round submission loss to middleweight champion Anderson Silva in August. Following the heartbreaking defeat, which saw Sonnen in control of the fight for four-and-a-half rounds, the challenger tested positive for elevated testosterone levels. This past week, Sonnen and his defense team appeared before the CSAC and claimed the test results were due to testosterone-replacement therapy the middleweight was prescribed to treat a case of hypogonadism.
UFC 128 in Abu Dhabi in jeopardy, Scotland to get UFC Fight Night 25 in May
MONTREAL – A UFC 128 event planned for March may not take place in Abu Dhabi, after all.
UFC president Dana White today said the March 12 event may not take place in the United Arab Emirates city, which hosted UFC 112 in 2009, as originally planned.
White, though, confirmed with MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that the organization plans to host a May show, expected to be UFC Fight Night 25, as part of its debut in Scotland.
Although White didn't confirm details, a source told MMAjunkie.com the event is expected to take place at the 4,000-seat Braehead Arena in the city of Renfrewshire. The U.K. country never has hosted a UFC event.
Although tentatively expected to be a UFC Fight Night event, officials ultimately could give the non-pay-per-view international shows a new event-series designation. The UFC Fight Night series, which launched in 2005 following the first season of "The Ultimate Fighter," airs on Spike TV from domestic venues.
Strikeforce Releases Villasenor, Riggs
Strikeforce has parted ways with Joey Villasenor and Joe Riggs.
Five Ounces of Pain first reported the pair's release from the promotion on Wednesday night, and Sherdog confirmed the report with Strikeforce officials early Thursday morning.
Villasenor has recently suffered back-to-back losses for the first time in his career, dropping bouts to Danillo Villefort and Strikeforce middleweight champion Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza. Prior to those defeats, the 35-year-old was riding a four-fight winning streak, earning victories over notables Phil Baroni and Evangelista "Cyborg" Santos in that span.
A Pride Fighting Championships veteran, “Smokin' Joe” contended for the defunct EliteXC middleweight championship in 2007, losing by TKO to Murilo "Ninja" Rua at Strikeforce “Shamrock vs. Baroni.”
An eight-time UFC veteran, Riggs began his career in 2001, fighting as a heavyweight. “Diesel” made the cut to 205 pounds in 2004 and then to middleweight later that year. The 28-year-old now cycles between stints at middleweight and welterweight and has won six of his last seven fights.
Yamamoto In Contract Talks With UFC
In its three-plus years under the umbrella of Zuffa LLC, the WEC aggressively has recruited talent from overseas, particularly among the ranks of Japanese fighters who've traditionally dominated the rankings in lighter weight classes. They've been partially successful in doing so, nabbing competitors such as Takeya Mizugaki, Yoshiro Maeda and Akitoshi Tamura, among others. One of the biggest prizes, Norifumi "Kid" Yamamoto, seemed to elude their grasp even as posterboy Urijah Faber continued to call out the then-dominant fighter early in his featherweight title reign. But with a merger already in motion between the WEC and UFC, those doors have opened again, and Yamamoto is in active talks with the UFC. If signed, his debut could come as soon as February or March.
UFN 24 Set For March 26, TUF 13 Premieres March 30
March will be a big month for the Ultimate Fighting Championship and Spike TV. While not yet finalized, UFC FIght Night 24 will take place on March 26, and the premiere of The Ultimate Fighter 13 will come 4 days later on March 30. No fights are rumored for UFC Fight Night 24, though as with past seasons, recent "TUF 12" winner Jonathan Brookins would appear a leading candidate. UFC Fight Night 24 takes place a week after UFC 129, scheduled for March 19. A city and location still are being finalized, but sources said the event will be hosted within the U.S. and likely air on pay-per-view. No word yet on TUF 13 coaches but Wanderlei Silva and Chael Sonnen are rumored to be under consideration.
Jeffrey Kirby Found Guilty In "Mask" Death Case
An Orange County, Calif. jury today convicted a man involved in a 2009 car crash that killed TapouT co-founder Charles "Mask" Lewis. Jeffrey David Kirby, 53, faces a maximum of 13 years in prison on one felony count of vehicular manslaughter by unlawful act with gross negligence while intoxicated. He faced sentencing enhancements for causing great bodily injury. That's according to a release issued today by the Orange County District Attorney's Office. Kirby's sentencing takes place Feb. 4 at the Central Justice Center in Santa Ana, Calif.