With changing TV landscape, UFC president envisions a day without pay-per-view
Pay-per-view is the engine driving the UFC's explosive growth of recent years.
But as the media landscape continues to change and new broadcast platforms compete with networks, the UFC thinks there may be a time when the pay-TV takes the back seat in producing revenue for the promotion.
"Lorenzo and I talk about this all the time – I do believe there will be a day when this probably isn't pay-per-view," UFC president Dana White said of his promotion during a press conference in support of UFC on FOX 3.
At the moment, the bulk of UFC fans shell out between $44.95 and $55.95 to order a numbered UFC card through providers such as DirecTV and Dish Network. That's meant big bucks for the UFC as its grown from a company of dozens to one of hundreds around the globe. Estimates of the UFC's pay-per-view revenue reached as high as $400 million in 2010, and the promotion is believed to be worth in excess of $1 billion.
SFL's Phil Baroni has seen both sides of Joe Rogan vs. 'Rampage' feud
Phil Baroni can understand why Quinton "Rampage" Jackson got angry at UFC commentator Joe Rogan.
Back in the day, he did too.
But Baroni's opinion changed when he did Rogan's job himself. Now on the verge of a gig calling the fights for the new India-based promotion, Super Fight League, he knows the job.
Super Fight League's inaugural event takes place March 11 at Andheri Sports Complex in Mumbai, India. The event streams live on YouTube.
Not a lot of people remember this, but the UFC once sent Baroni to communications classes at UNLV. This was during his first tenure with the then-struggling fight promotion and after he got a call to be a color commentator at UFC 42.
Jon Jones: Being called cocky is the biggest blow I can get
The March 2012 issue of Men’s Journal contains an extensive profile of UFC Lightheavyweight champion Jon Jones. While the piece has the feel of the puzzled coverage MMA received in the mid 90s, it never the less managed to convey some of what makes Jones unique.
"When I was, like, 20 years old, I had this voice-mail message that said, ‘Hi, this is Jon Bones Jones, the light heavyweight champ.’ I was speaking it into existence and carrying myself like I was the champion way before I was even in the UFC. It’s crazy that it all played out.”
“I want to change our sport with something positive, to brighten up people’s lives and get them to look more on the positive side about every little thing.”
This is precisely the sort of comment that polarizes UFC fans, many of whom don’t like self-righteous knockout artists. On message boards, fans call him an “arrogant b----” and accuse him of faking the humility.
The truth is that Jones is racked with self-doubt. He begins every morning reading motivational quotes to get himself going, and he is haunted by the fear of getting knocked out while millions of people are watching.
“Sometimes I look back, and I want to be rude to people who didn’t believe in me. But that’s not what I do,” he says. “I try to treat everybody with love. But when I go home now, to the people who treated me like a loser, I’m, like, the hero of our whole town.”
Nate Diaz: I think Nick will stay retired
Diaz, a proud, card-carrying legal marijuana smoker in California, was then suspended by the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC), pending a a disciplinary hearing to discuss the matter later this year. One that Diaz might now not bother to attend, considering that he's apparently got other things to keep him busy, and more than enough change in his pocket to keep doing them.
Lil' Diaz explains:
"Triathalon season is starting so he's getting ready, getting in shape for that and concentrating on being in shape, being healthy and helping me out and coaching me for this fight [against Jim Miller]. Right now, I don't think [we will see him back inside the Octagon]. He's big on, like I said, staying in shape and just being healthy right now. He's not worried about it. I think he's retired."
Fedor hints at move to the UFC...again.
“I can tell you the timing of my next bout right now,” Fedor said in his interview with Sportbox.ru. “It’s going to be June or July.”
The venue of the match has not been set yet, but, according to the 35-year-old, the match is most likely to take place in the US.
“Of course, I want to compete at home, in front of my countrymen,” the Last Emperor stressed. “But at the moment, the strongest and most respected MMA organization is situated in America. It’s the UFC. Therefore, I have to go to the US in order to face the strongest opponents.”
There is also no certainty about the name of his opponent, with the media reports linking Fedor to possible bouts against American fighters – Cain Velasquez and Josh Barnett.
The Russian confirmed that both options are now being discussed, but added that he would like to avoid taking on Barnett.
“I really sympathize with Josh, and we’ve been friends for a long time,” he said. “Perhaps, he is the only fighter whom I wouldn’t want to meet in the ring.”
Chael Sonnen Apologizes to Anderson Silva on ‘UFC Tonight’ on Fuel TV 03/06/12
From the annals of now I've heard everything, here is the "Quote of the Week" from trash-talking king, Chael Sonnen. On the March 6th episode of "UFC Tonight, Chael apologizes to UFC champion, Anderson Silva. "Anderson, over the last several months, I've disparaged your name in an attempt to garner respect and attention for my own. That was wrong and I apologize. My actions were unsportsmanlike, they were uncalled for."
That's deep. Much respect to Chael for apologizing for bullying the champion by ridiculing Anderson in front of everyone. Chael's behavior towards Anderson reminded me of kids on the playground. Anderson can handle himself, of course. But for every kid who was ever bullied by a bigger, louder kid, that has to mean something.
Dana White Slams Door on Tim Sylvia’s UFC Comeback Hopes
Mar 6, 2012 - Former UFC heavyweight champion Tim Sylvia has spent much of the last few weeks publicly pleading for one more run in the UFC. Earlier this week, he appeared on The MMA Hour and even said he'd be willing to fight for free in order to prove himself again.
So that just happened.
Edgar vs Henderson 2 is on!
According to Frankie Edgar's Twitter Frankie will be getting a rematch with Benson Henderson.
Also, according to Dana White's Twitter the rematch will take place this summer
Brandon Saling's Ohio, New Jersey Licenses Revoked for Falsified Information
Mar 6, 2012 - After causing a stir on Saturday at Strikeforce: Tate vs. Rousey, welterweight Brandon Saling's tenure in Strikeforce was short-lived. It turns out there may also not be much time left in his mixed martial arts career. According to Executive Director Bernie Profato of the Ohio Athletic Commission (OAC), Saling's fighter license has been revoked.
Good riddance, I say.
Dana White: Ronda Rousey is going to be a big star
UFC President Dana White was blown away by Rousey’s impressive performance against Miesha Tate and believes the “Rowdy” one is on the cusp of superstardom.
“I’ve been saying for a long time about the women’s division, there aren’t enough women to create a division,” White stated during Tuesday’s press conference. “But every once in awhile you’re going to have the fighters to create these one-off fights. That happened last Saturday night.
“Ronda Rousey is going to be a big star.”
Nogueira injured, replaced by Thiago Silva for Sweden event
The UFC has just informed StudioMMA.com that Rogerio “Lil’ Nog” Nogueira has scratched from his heavyweight fight with Swedish phenom Alexander Gustafsson due to injury. Read more...
Believe it or not, Thiago Silva is replacing Nogueira in the light heavyweight main event! This comes as a bit of a surprise, as this will be Silva's first fight back from a lengthy suspension due to a failed drug test and an admitted use of a banned substance. Moreover, the winner of the bout may surge ahead in the line for title contention.
UFC 146: Dos Santos vs Overeem Official, Tickets on Sale in March
The big boys are coming to Las Vegas.
UFC heavyweight champion Junior Dos Santos will make the first defense of his title on May 26 against Alistair Overeem at UFC 146.
The UFC made the fight official on Tuesday.
The bout between Dos Santos and Overeem had already been rumored by UFC owner Lorenzo Fertitta earlier this year, but the confirmation on Tuesday means that fight contracts are in place and the fight will happen in May.
Junior Dos Santos claimed the UFC heavyweight title with a rousing victory over former champion Cain Velasquez in November last year at the first ever UFC on Fox event.
Dos Santos crushed Velasquez with a big overhand punch, putting the former Arizona State wrestler down and out early in the first round...
UFC on FX 2 ratings: 1.4 million FX viewers and 113,000 FUEL TV viewers
This past weekend's four-fight UFC on FX 2 event, which was the second UFC main card to air on the FOX-owned FX, averaged 1.4 million viewers.
Additionally, the night's six-bout preliminary card averaged 113,000 viewers on FUEL TV.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) today confirmed the ratings information with industry sources.
The two-hour main card, which boasted four fights on FX, earned a slight increase of 100,000 viewers over the 1.3 million that tuned in for January's UFC on FX 1 event.
'Strikeforce: Tate vs. Rousey' ratings: Event scores 431,000 viewers
This past weekend's "Strikeforce: Tate vs. Rousey" event drew an average audience of 431,000 viewers.
The number marks a 25 percent increase from January's "Rockhold vs. Jardine" event, which drew 344,000 viewers during a "free-preview" weekend.
The ratings for Strikeforce "Arena Series" shows since 2011 include:
1. "Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Silva" (February 2011): 741,000 viewers
2. "Strikeforce: Overeem vs. Werdum" (June 2011): 624,000
3. "Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Henderson" (July 20011): 571,000
4. "Strikeforce: Diaz vs. Cyborg" (January 20011): 561,000
5. "Strikeforce: Diaz vs. Daley" (April 2011): 528,000
6. "Strikeforce: Melendez vs. Masvidal" (December 2011): 460,000
7. "Strikeforce: Tate vs. Rousey" (March 2012): 431,000
8. "Strikeforce: Feijao vs. Henderson" (March 2011): 412,000
9. "Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Jardine" (January 2012): 344,000
10. "Strikeforce: Barnett vs. Kharitonov" (September 2011): 274,000
The Ultimate Fighter Live Debut to Air Simultaneously in the UK
Good news for fans of the new Ultimate Fighter Live in the U.K. as the show will broadcast in England with no tape delay.
The show will begin airing on ESPN in the U.K. starting Saturday morning March 10 at 2 am local time in England.
It’s the first time the show has aired in the U.K. at the same time as in the United States.
There will be further announcements regarding future episodes and their air times soon...
With New York legalization again on table, MMA group hosts Tuesday rally
Less than a mile away from a presser put on by the UFC's well-oiled publicity machine, a grassroots organization continues to advocate for MMA in the Big Apple.
On Tuesday, the Coalition to Legalize Mixed Martial Arts in New York holds a rally in front of governor Andrew Cuomo's Manhattan office to raise awareness and voice support for bringing MMA to the Empire State.
Additionally, an MMA documentary film festival is scheduled to take place at The Theater Lobby at Madison Square Garden.
The governor's office is located at 633 Third Avenue in New York City. The two-hour rally begins at 11:30 a.m. ET, and the film festival begins at 4 p.m.
Scheduled to appear at the rally is Michael Benjamin, a former New York State assemblyman who co-sponsored a 2011 MMA bill that's been resubmitted for the 2012 legislative session. The bill currently sits in the assembly's Tourism, Parks, Arts and Sports Development committee.
Afterward, an open mic will feature business owners and members of the MMA community. Longtime MMA journalist Jim Genia, author of "Raw Combat: The Underground World of Mixed Martial Arts," is also expected to speak...
Quinton 'Rampage' Jackson suggests next octagon appearance will be his last
According to former UFC light heavyweight champion Quinton "Rampage" Jackson (32-10 MMA, 7-4 UFC), his UFC career is just about done.
Jackson on Tuesday wrote that his next UFC appearance will be his last, though he said he'll continue to fight on in some other fashion.
"I feel sorry for my next opponent, no matter who or what it is," Jackson wrote via Twitter. "I will fight whoever they put in front of me – I always have – but it will be my last fight in the UFC."
He then offered a controversial interview with "Fighters Only" magazine where he admitted to using testosterone replacement therapy at the suggestion of UFC-employed doctors.
UFC officials have yet to comment on the situation, but Jackson said he's nearly done with the promotion, taking a swipe at the UFC payscale while announcing his intentions.
"I have other things on my mind," Jackson stated. "I didn't say I would be done fighting; I just said I'm not fighting for the UFC (u fight cheap)."
Despite the losing result, Jackson told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) he was encouraged by his training prior to injuring his knee.
"honestly, before I hurt me knee, you guys should have seen the way that I was training," Jackson said. "I've got really good sparring partners, and I've got this really good wrestler names Tyson Jeffries that kicks my butt, and in this camp, I was kicking his butt. I was taking him down and wrestling got real competitive. That's how I hurt me knee because he's one of the best wrestlers I know.
"I was sparring really good, and I was looking like a superstar, then I hurt me knee. That made me think, 'Oh, man, I've got a lot more time to fight.'"
However, Jackson now suggests if that's true, it may not be with the UFC.
"I don't need them or anybody else negative dealing with my career," Jackson stated.
Ben Henderson wants to fight all of the top lightweights in the world ... at the same time
On Feb. 25, 2012, a new Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Lightweight Champion was crowned as Ben Henderson defeated Frankie Edgar in a violent, five-round war at UFC 144 in Saitama, Japan.
Since that infamous night, speculation has run rampant regarding who "Smooth" will take on in his very first title defense.
Edgar made it known that he believes he deserves an immediate title shot. Anthony Pettis was also vocal about his desire to have "first dibs," after he soundly defeated Joe Lauzon with a first round knockout on that very same UFC 144 card.
On HDNet's "Inside MMA," Strikeforce Lightweight Champion Gilbert Melendez made the following comments in reference to his desire to take on "Bendo" in the cage:
"I'd love to fight Benson Henderson. I've been around this game a lot longer. I'm not trying to be arrogant here, but I think I can handle him, and I'd like to find out. Much respect to him, much respect to Frankie and all that stuff, but I think I can beat them both. I can beat anyone right now. I'd love a piece of him."
Hear what Henderson had to say after the jump: