FOX Schedules Major Press Conference for Thursday, Several UFC Fighters Head to LA
On Tuesday, news reports first began to surface that the UFC had struck a deal with FOX on a new multiyear agreement to move over to the network in 2012.
It appears now the two companies are just about ready to announce the deal.
It was released on Wednesday by John Ourand from Sports Business Daily that FOX executives were in Los Angeles for a press conference currently scheduled for Thursday that would be ‘one of the biggest announcements in FOX Sports history’.
Fabio Maldonado vs. Aaron Rosa slated for UFC on Versus 6 prelims
A pair of light heavyweights looking to return to the win column collide in October with Fabio Maldonado taking on Aaron Rosa.
UFC officials today announced the contest, which takes place at UFC on Versus 6.
"Two exciting light-heavyweight sluggers have verbally agreed to throw down Oct. 1 in Washington, D.C., as Aaron Rosa takes on Fabio Maldonado," UFC president Dana White stated.
Kampmann versus Story on tap for UFC 139
A bout between welterweight contenders who are looking to get back in the win column is in the works for UFC 139.
UFC officials today announced Martin Kampmann (17-5 MMA, 8-4 UFC) and Rick Story (13-4 MMA, 6-2 UFC) have agreed to meet at the Nov. 19 event.
UFC 139 takes place in San Jose, Calif., likely at the HP Pavilion.
The night's main card, including an expected heavyweight title fight between champion Cain Velasquez and top contender Junior Dos Santos, airs on pay-per-view. Kampmann vs. Story likely will be part of the PPV broadcast or an expected "UFC Prelims" special on Spike TV.
Both fighters are coming off high-profile losses.
Sam Stout: Autopsy Showed Shawn Tompkins Died of Heart Attack
Shawn Tompkins, the renowned mixed martial arts trainer that died on Sunday morning, passed away of a heart attack, according to his brother-in-law, UFC fighter Sam Stout.
Under Ontario law, privacy exemptions keep autopsy information from public view, but Stout revealed the results of the Monday autopsy to The London Free Press, an Ontario newspaper.
"I don't know what to say," Stout told the paper. "It's not supposed to be happen to a healthy 37-year-old person. Who would think he had to get checked out for that?"
Dana White Calls Yushin Okami the Best Japanese Fighter Ever
UFC President Dana White is fond of saying that the only way to prove you're the best fighter in the world is to do it in the UFC. It's not that there aren't any good fighters in other promotions, White believes, it's just that the only fighters who consistently test themselves against the best in the world are the ones who do it inside the Octagon.
By that rationale, White says Yushin Okami -- who will fight Anderson Silva for the UFC middleweight title at UFC 134 -- is the greatest Japanese fighter in MMA history.
"In my opinion, Yushin Okami is the best fighter ever to come out of Japan," White said. "This guy didn't fight cans and get this built-up, mythological record."
John Howard Campaigning for Fight With Dan Hardy
There are quite a few people that aren't overly impressed with the fact that Dan Hardy still has a job despite four straight losses in the UFC. One of them is John "Doomsday" Howard. Howard, who was recently released after three straight losses, is understandably a little peeved.
UFC 139 confirmed for San Jose, adds Rafael dos Anjos vs. Gleison Tibau
As expected, UFC 139 will take place in San Jose, Calif.
UFC brass today officially announced the card will take place in San Jose. Although a venue was not named, the card is expected to take place at HP Pavilion, a longtime home to sister promotion Strikeforce.
Additionally, the promotion also announced Brazilians Rafael dos Anjos and Gleison Tibau will meet at the event.
UFC on Versus 5 ratings: Versus broadcast averages 766,000 viewers
"UFC on Versus 5: Hardy vs. Lytle," which aired this past Sunday night on Versus, drew an average audience of 768,000 viewers.
The number marks a minor increase from the 744,000 viewers who witnessed June's UFC on Versus 4 event.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) today obtained the figures from industry sources.
The number qualifies as third-highest in the series' history...
Alistair Overeem Says He Is Not Cut From Strikeforce, Wants an Immediate UFC Title Shot
The latest chapter in the Zuffa vs. Golden Glory discussion sounds like good news for fans of The Reem. According to both Overeem himself and Golden Glory head Bas Boon, Alistair Overeem has not in fact been cut from Strikeforce or stripped of the Heavyweight title.
Overeem sat down with MMA Bay to discuss this whole situation, saying that he is in a negotiation period with the UFC. He also added that he's ready to come to the UFC, and he wants an immediate shot at the Heavyweight title:
I am in an exclusive negotiation period [with the UFC]. If we can find common ground, we can work together, and if we can't, then we're going to depart. I want to fight in the UFC. They have the best guys, but it has to be at the right terms. So, we're just going to have to wait and see.
Jon Fitch cleared to fight, sources say UFC 139 appearance possible
Perennial welterweight contender Jon Fitch can now resume his career.
The American Kickboxing Academy product today Tweeted that his doctor has cleared him to begin training once again following a serious shoulder injury that scratched a rematch with B.J. Penn.
"I'm back!" Fitch wrote today. "Dr. Kavitne gave me the OK to fight."
UFC and FOX reportedly sign deal
UFC and Fox agreed to a deal for seven to eight years, starting in 2012, Sports Business Daily reports. While the agreement calls for up to four UFC shows a year on the Fox network, most of UFC's programming currently carried by Spike TV and Versus would move to Fox's FX and Fuel cable channels, the industry trade publication says.
Spike has been UFC's primary cable outlet since the 2005 debut of The Ultimate Fighter reality show.
Ratings for UFC's live programming -- Fight Night shows and preliminary cards before pay-per-views -- have remained relatively stable over the years. TUF ratings remain in the 1.0 range despite a time shift to accommodate Spike's new Coal program.
But the audience for UFC's taped shows has fallen, Sports Business Daily notes:
Sources said Spike ultimately passed over concern that its UFC shoulder programming stopped growing. Shows like Unleashed,Knockouts and Countdown averaged 1 million viewers in '05. This year, they are averaging 492,000.
Bidding for UFC's programs reportedly reached $90 million annually, Money has never been the only factor considered by Zuffa, which views free TV in North America as a vehicle for exposure and promotion for its core product, pay-per-view entertainment.
"We're never going to be in a situation where we're making money on those networks," UFC President Dana White said earlier this year. "We'll have to come out in a situation where we break even. That works."
Although Zuffa has negotiated with commercial networks before, as well as HBO, talks usually broke down over control issues. Zuffa has always insisted on keeping control of the broadcast, which is generally anthema to sports networks.
Sports Business Daily did not say whether the Fox deal was with the network's sports arm or its entertainment division.
Manny Gamburyan Injured and Out of UFC 135 Bout Against Diego Nunes
Manny Gamburyan has suffered a shoulder injury and has been forced out of his UFC 135 fight against Diego Nunes.
Gamburyan announced the news via his Twitter account on Monday.
“I’m off from the UFC 135 card, I hurt my shoulder and MRI is not looking good,” Gamburyan wrote. “I just wanna say sorry to all my friends and fans, I’ll be back!”
After latest win, re-energized Jens Pulver has no plans for slowing down
Jens Pulver said he's found a winning recipe for success in MMA. Or more accurately, one for finding success again.
The former UFC champ got back on the winning track this past Saturday with a second-round KO victory over WEC vet Coty Wheeler (14-4), and today, he told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio) about the ingredients that have gone into his reinvention.
Mostly, it's about limiting his appetites between fights.
"People want to know the biggest thing that makes a difference? I'm not going to go out after this fight and get up to 195 pounds, 20 percent body fat, sit for three months, and then go, 'Oh, it's fight time again?' Then spend my entire camp trying to get in shape," Pulver (25-15-1) said of his pay-per-view win at "MMA Fight Pit: Genesis." "That's how I rolled for the last four years.
"Now, I'm 156 this morning with six percent body fat, and I'm training this afternoon."
There, he'll don a jiu-jitsu gi and work with trainer and fighter Jeff Curran, with whom he took residence with this past November. The gym boasts a stable of impressive newcomers and veterans alike, but Pulver gave special attention to Curran's cousin, Pat Curran, who is scheduled to meet Marlon Sandro in the finals of the Bellator "Summer Series" bantamweight tournament on Saturday.
"I think Pat Curran, he definitely leads the way," Pulver said. "That's a powerful kid. He's leading the charge, dominating people in Bellator. It's hard not to follow."
Pulver has struggled to overcome mental blocks in 12 years of competition, and in recent years, he has met a rising tide of critics who say he should hang up his four-ounce gloves. As for now, he's ignoring them. The only appetite he's looking to feed is new information gleaned from the gym...
Dan Hardy in no hurry to return to UFC, will consider all options in and out of the cage
In the main event of Sunday's UFC on Versus 5 card, British slugger Dan Hardy finally got the fight for which he had long pined.
And yet somehow, even though fellow scrapper Chris Lytle stood in front of him for a little more than 14 minutes, Hardy still came up short.
UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta put an end to all speculation by tweeting post-fight that Hardy will get at least one more fight in the octagon. But "The Outlaw" isn't quite sure when he'll take the UFC co-owner up on the offer.
Renowned Trainer Shawn Tompkins passes away at 37
Sources: Renowned MMA trainer Shawn Tompkins dead at 37
by Steven Marrocco on Aug 14, 2011 at 8:44 pm ET
A fighter close to Shawn Tompkins says the renowned trainer passed away this morning.
Veteran lightweight John Gunderson today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that Tompkins "didn't wake up," but he was still unclear on the details surrounding his passing.
Longtime friend and confidant Chris Horodecki said the trainer was in Canada and had spoken to him yesterday but was unaware of the bad news when contacted today.
Additional sources ultimately confirmed the trainer's death with MMAjunkie.com.
Tompkins first emerged on the national MMA scene as a coach in the now-defunct International Fight League. He was first an assistant coach for the Los Angeles Anacondas and was later promoted to head coach after MMA legend Bas Rutten stepped down from the role to assume a commentator position. He later split with the company.
Tompkins then migrated to Xtreme Couture in Las Vegas and served as a coach there before splitting with the gym and joining the TapouT Training Facility.
The coach, who also competed professionally for a handful of fights a decade ago, nurtured the careers of several notable fighters in his career, including Gunderson, Horodecki, Sam Stout and Mark Hominick. Tompkins, who frequently appeared on MMAjunkie.com Radio, was 37.
Check back with MMAjunkie.com for an update on this unfortunate news.
UFC on Versus 5 main-event winner gets new Harley motorcycle
The winner of tonight's UFC on Versus 5 main event will leave Milwaukee with more than just a victory and win bonus.
UFC officials today announced that either Chris Lytle or opponent Dan Hardy also will receive a 2012 Harley-Davidson Blackline motorcycle.
In the buildup to tonight's UFC on Versus 5 event, the UFC teamed up with Milwaukee's Harley-Davidson Museum to host pre-event festivities.
Report: Lyoto Machida vs Phil Davis fight possibly in the works
When Phil Davis went down with an injury just weeks before UFC 133, Lyoto Machida was initially tapped to replace him against Rashad Evans.
Then "The Dragon" decided he wanted "Anderson Silva money" and freshly minted company man Tito Ortiz stepped in to save the day. That left both Machida and Davis out in the cold with no dance partners.
Chris Lytle set to retire after UFC on Versus 5 main event
MILWAUKEE – Perhaps there's a reason UFC welterweight Chris Lytle said he's willing to stand and trade with British slugger Dan Hardy.
Apparently, it doesn't really matter where a win or loss puts him in the UFC's 170-pound division.
Lytle on Saturday informed his employers that Sunday's UFC on Versus 5 contest would be his last in the octagon
UFC on Versus 5 official weigh-in results
MAIN CARD (Versus)
•Dan Hardy (170)* vs. Chris Lytle (170.5)
•Ben Henderson (156) vs. Jim Miller (155.5)
•Donald Cerrone (156) vs. Charles Oliveira (155)
•Duane Ludwig (170.5) vs. Amir Sadollah (170)
PRELIMINARY CARD (Facebook)
•C.B. Dollaway (186) vs. Jared Hamman (185)
•Joseph Benavidez (135.5) vs. Eddie Wineland (136)
•Ed Herman (186) vs. Kyle Noke (185)
•Ronny Markes (205) vs. Karlos Vemola (205.5)
•Alex Caceres (146) vs. Jim Hettes (145.5)
•Cole Miller (155) vs. T.J. O'Brien (155.5)
•Danny Castillo (156) vs. Jacob Volkmann (156)
•Edwin Figueroa (136) vs. Jason Reinhardt (135)
* - Missed weight on first attempt (171.5 pounds); made weight on second attempt