M-1 and Showtime Reach Broadcast Deal, First Event Airs on March 25
International fight promotion M-1 Global and premium U.S. cable channel Showtime have reached a deal to televise four U.S. events in 2011, MMA Fighting has learned.
The first event will take place on March 25 at the Constant Convocation Center in Norfolk, Va. and air at 11 p.m. ET. It will be the first of four M-1 U.S. Challenge shows to appear on the network this year, sources with knowledge of the situation confirmed.
The deal is expected to be officially announced on Friday morning.
M-1 is best known as the company that manages the career of Russian MMA great Fedor Emelianenko, but a promotional arm has been running events in Europe and other parts of the world for over a decade.
Ex-Strikeforce fighter Bobby Lashley headlines HDNet's Titan FC 17 on March 25
Former WWE star and ex-Strikeforce fighter Bobby Lashley returns to the cage on March 25 to headline the HDNet-televised Titan Fighting Championships 17 event.
Officials today announced Lashley (5-1) fights M-1 Challenger James Jack (6-2-1) at the show.
The event takes place March 25 at Historic Memorial Hall in Kansas City, Kan.
A previously announced bout between Phil Baroni and Nick Nolte co-headlines the show.
"We received an overwhelming amount of positive feedback from the MMA community following our HDNet debut on Jan. 28," stated Titan Fighting CEO Joe Kelly, who featured an Abe Wagner vs. Tim Sylvia headliner this past month. "A lot of unique opportunities have presented themselves to Titan since the show, and working with Bobby Lashley was one of them. We are really excited to be working with Bobby as he continues his pursuit of MMA greatness."
"UFC Fight Night 23: UFC Fight for the Troops 2" drug tests come back clean
All six fighters who underwent drug testing at January's "UFC Fight Night 23: UFC Fight for the Troops 2" event tested clean for performance-enhancing drugs and recreational/drugs of abuse.
UFC Vice President of Regulatory Affairs Marc Ratner today confirmed the results with MMAjunkie.com.
"UFC Fight Night 23: UFC Fight for the Troops 2" took place Jan. 22 at Fort Hood in Texas, and the night's main card aired on Spike TV. The event raised more than $4 million for the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund.
Lentz-Lowe Matchup Targeted for UFC Fight Night 24
A lightweight clash between two powerful wrestlers will go down at UFC Fight Night 24, as Minnesota Martial Arts Academy product Nik Lentz squares off with American Top Team standout Waylon Lowe.
Sherdog.com today confirmed the matchup with a source close to the bout, which was initially reported by MMADieHards.com. According to Sherdog.com’s source, bout agreements were recently signed.
UFC Fight Night 24 will mark the promotion’s first trip to Seattle, as the event emanates from KeyArena on March 26. The show will be headlined by a light heavyweight showdown between former UFC light heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz and onetime Pride Fighting Championships star Antonio Rogerio Nogueira. Also expected for the event is a welterweight duel between the returning Anthony “Rumble” Johnson and heavy-handed Brit Dan Hardy. In total, 11 bouts have been made official for the show; only Lentz-Lowe remains unannounced.
Dan Lauzon Stabbed Outside Boston Nightclub
Dan Lauzon is recovering today after being stabbed in the shoulder following an altercation early Thursday morning outside a Boston-area nightclub. An initial report from the "Enterprise News" states Lauzon was stabbed with a knife on the top of his shoulder during a fight with a group of men in the club's parking lot at around 1 a.m. ET. Lauzon's name subsequently was removed from the report, but his older brother, current UFC lightweight Joe Lauzon, confirmed the incident via his personal blog. Joe Lauzon was due this morning to depart for Iraq to visit active-duty troops. He injured his ankle on the way to Bridgewater Hospital where Dan was taken after the incident. "I got to the hospital and gimp-walked my way into the ER and found Dan in one of the rooms," he wrote on his blog. "Luckily, everything was OK, and it wasn’t a big deal as was originally thought." Bridgewater police are investigating the incident. Joe's trip is now delayed while his ankle heals from what doctors are calling a bad sprain. "Hopefully I can walk on it better by tomorrow and I can get another flight out there, but it’s not looking real good," he stated. "I definitely won't be able to train out there, but I would still like to be able to do all of the Q&A, meet and greets and whatnot."
Bellator Champ Ben Askren Draws UFC Vet Nick Thompson
Unbeaten Bellator welterweight champion Ben Askren has his next test, and it will be against his most seasoned opponent yet.
Askren, who won the promotion's Season 2 welterweight tournament to earn a date with champ Lyman Good, whom he beat to win the title in October, will face UFC veteran Nick Thompson at Bellator 40 in April. Bellator made the fight official on Wednesday – though it will be a non-title fight.
Featherweight Ronnie Mann Signs With Bellator
Highly touted featherweight Ronnie Mann has signed an exclusive contract with Bellator, CEO Bjorn Rebney informed MMA Fighting on Wednesday. The 18-2-1 fighter has been released from his Sengoku Raiden Championship contract and will compete in Bellator's upcoming fourth season in a televised non-tournament bout. He will then be a part of the following season's 145-pound tournament.
Mann, the current Shark Fights featherweight champion is 7-1 in his last 8 fights. He lost to Hatsu Hioki via submission in the second round of SRC's featherweight grand prix in May 2009.
Mike Brown Dealing With Hand Injury, Mystery Heart Ailment
Times are tough right now for Mike Brown, to say the very least. The former WEC featherweight champion has lost four of his past six fights and two in a row for the first time since 2004. His future is uncertain and remains on unstable ground due to his recent performances. Couple that with lingering questions regarding the 35-year-old's overall health after nearly a decade in the fight game, and his career officially has been placed in a quandary. He has a torn ligament in a finger suffered against Rani Yahya. But that's not all. He potentially could have a bigger, much more serious issue to address. "I am seeing a cardiologist," Brown said. "It's something to do with my heart rate not being right.
"It happened in the middle of camp. We thought we were overtraining because I was peaking hard, and all the sudden, I started getting more and more tired really quickly. It didn't make any sense. I'd be sparring for half a round, and I was getting exhausted. But two weeks before, I was mowing through everyone in camp." Although he did experience the same sensation against Diego Nunes, it was even more pronounced in the Yahya fight. "My body shut down," he said. "I had this weird lactic acid buildup real early. It's the most bizarre thing. It just wasn't me." Currently, the jury is still out on what exactly has been plaguing him.
Eddie Alvarez vs. Pat Curran Back On, Headlines Bellator 39
A title fight between lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez and season-two tourney winner Pat Curran will headline Bellator 39 on April 2. Bellator Chairman and CEO confirmed the once-canceled title fight with MMA Fighting on Wednesday. After Alvarez won the season-one tournament and Curran the season-two tourney, they were scheduled for a title fight in season three. But Curran was forced out of the bout due to a shoulder injury, and Alvarez instead fought and defeated eliminated tourney fighter Roger Huerta in a non-title fight.
Fedors coach blames psychics for loss
“We believe that forbidden psychological technology was used… It seems to us that not everything was right, and that certain technologies were used. Not ones that could be seen by the naked eye but psychological technologies that worked on both fighters at a distance,”
Jason Brilz and Phil Davis targeted for UFC 129 matchup
All may not be lost for Phil Davis.
The light heavyweight is now expected to meet Jason Brilz on the main card of UFC 129, according to sources close to the event who told MMAjunkie.com that verbal agreements are in place for the fight. Contracts are expected to be finalized shortly.
UFC 129 takes place April 29 at Rogers Centre in Toronto and has already broken box-office records for a North American MMA event with 55,000 tickets sold and a live-gate tally of $11 million.
Jeremy Stephens vs. Jonathan Brookins likely for The Ultimate Fighter 13 Finale
A lightweight bout between veteran Jeremy Stephens and "The Ultimate Fighter 12" winner Jonathan Brookins is in the works for June.
A source close to the event told MMAjunkie.com the two fighters are expected to meet at The Ultimate Fighter 13 Finale.
The fight, which will be one of the few not associated with the reality series' conclusion, takes place June 4 at The Pearl at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas.
"Dragon" Slayer: A Loss To Randy Couture And UFC "Won't Feel Sorry" For Lyoto Machida
That's what the former UFC champ tells the TATAME. "We know Randy Couture is a great champion, a guy who helped to build the sport as it is, and it's a great pleasure to have this fight on my résumé, because I'll be part of Randy Couture's history on the sport. He added much to MMA. I believe we can win, we have many weapons. Despite he's on a certain age, he's tough and experienced, and he's been fighting guys like Minotauro, and he did tough fights and he's tough for anyone. ... UFC considers the incomes a lot, the profits, and if I'm not pleasing the fans anymore, they won't feel sorry for me. That's why I've always invested on me a lot, and it won't be any different now. If I did a lot, I'll do a lot more now. I'll give my best trying to win."
UFC 127: Penn-Fitch Winner Now Becomes Next #1 Contender
The main event of UFC 127: "Penn vs. Fitch" on Feb. 27 in Sydney, Australia just became a lot more interesting. That's because the winner will determine the next number one contender to the welterweight title, according to Dana White on a conference call today (via Twitter). Both fighters have previously fought for the coveted 170-pound strap. Penn, himself a former welterweight champion, last had his shot at UFC 94, a four round beating at the hands of current titleholder Georges St. Pierre.
UFC 126 Draws 9667 For $3.6 Million Gate
The NSAC today announced the official atttendance for UFC 126 was 9667 fans with a total live gate of $3,605,725. The attendance dropped from fight night estimates when UFC claimed 10,893. The gate is 3rd-highest for a UFC event at Mandalay Bay Events Center (#1 appears to be UFC 100). Additionally, a closed-circuit feed at Mandalay Bay drew 1,046 fans for a take of $45,100.
Dana White Details International Expansion in UFC 127/UFC 129 Joint Conference Call
Zuffa held a conference call today to promote both the upcoming UFC 127 show and April's UFC 129 show in Toronto, Ontario. UFC President Dana White, B.J. Penn, and Jon Fitch were on hand for the call. Highlights provided by Luke Thomas via Twitter and SB Nation MMA:
Dana says last set of international fights were sellouts. Goes over Rogers Centre UFC 129 records. Largest North American gate, a Rogers Centre record. Says the event will do $11 million gate.
Dana says 17,000 tickets sold for UFC 127, added 400 seats over the last Australia event.
Dana uses UFC 129's ticket sales to prove UFC will be biggest sport in the world. He also says when "new deals" get done, UFC will be in over a billion homes.
In terms of a show in Dallas, he says UFC 129 ticket sales motivates him. Says, however, as big as the stadium is there aren't enough hotel rooms.
6 Strikeforce ‘Fedor vs. Silva’ Fighters Dealt Medical Suspensions
After sustaining brutal ground-and-pound at the hands of Antonio Silva during Saturday’s Strikeforce “Fedor vs. Silva” main event, Fedor Emelianenko will be required to spend a minimum of 90 days on the shelf, pending a CT scan.
The New Jersey State Athletic Control Board on Tuesday informed Sherdog.com of the medical suspensions from the event, which took place Feb. 12 at the Izod Center in East Rutherford, N.J.
Emelianenko was battered and beaten by heavy underdog Silva, who forced the bout to be stopped prior to the third round on the advice of the cageside physician. Emelianenko’s face suffered severe bruising, and his right eye was swollen completely shut after Silva gained the mount in the second round and rained down punches.
Emelianenko-Silva was one of two heavyweight grand prix quarterfinals contested at the show, the other being a bout between former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski and onetime Pride Fighting Championships standout Sergei Kharitonov.