Bellator's Rebney: "Summer Series" tourney highlights international-recruiting success
With four seasons under his belt, Bellator Fighting Championships CEO Bjorn Rebney knows his organization has shined in a few key areas.
With a hodgepodge of TV deals that ultimately led to MTV2, ratings have been a mixed bag. And grabbing MMA fans' interest following the UFC-Strikeforce merger has been tough.
But Rebney, who kicks off a three-event "Summer Series" of shows later this month, knows the organization's summer tournament is proof of two accomplishments: international recruiting and a solid featherweight division.
Dana Wants To Broadcast All Entry-Round Fights
Dana White, at the UFC 131 press conference, mentioned that he planned on finding a way to air in full, all the entry-round fights from the upcoming 14th season of The Ultimate Fighter:
"The fights to get into the house happened Tuesday," White said. "I'm going to figure out a way to make sure every one of those fights airs on TV. The best fights ever in the history of 'The Ultimate Fighter.'"
"There's some nasty guys on this season. Just the show open is better than the entire last season's fights."
Mandate for Mixed Martial Arts in New York
Last Monday the Parks, Tourism, and Sports Development Committee of the New York State Assembly voted in favor of the bill (A04146) to decriminalize and sanction mixed martial arts (MMA) by an overwhelming vote of 16-3. But, as if the fourteen year fight for legal MMA has not been long enough, on the eve of possible regulation in New York, debate continues full steam creating a virtual race for the finish line. The finish line is June 20th, the end of the 2011 legislative calendar.
For legislation to become law in New York it must pass successfully through both the State Assembly and the Senate, at which point Governor Andrew Cuomo must sign the bill into law. Cuomo, who has long been silent on the issue of MMA, has now stated that when the bill reaches his desk, he will sign it.
Like the Senate before it, which passed companion legislation in support of MMA last May by a staggering 42-18 vote (as compared to the 32-26 vote in 2010), the Assembly Parks, Tourism, and Sports Development Committee has created a clear mandate for its fellow Assemblypersons: New Yorkers want MMA and they want it now!
Pending Doc's Approval, Jones-Rampage Title Tilt Headlines UFC 135
Jon Jones will likely put his light heavyweight title on the line against Quinton “Rampage” Jackson on Sept. 24 at UFC 135 in Denver.
UFC President Dana White announced the news on Thursday, confirming the event's date and location as well as the potential headliner. However, White also noted that the probable main event is not quite yet a done deal, as Jones will need to receive an OK from his doctor before he can be cleared to fight.
Spike TV confirms 32-man "TUF 14" cast; elimination round back, wild card picks gone
As expected "The Ultimate Fighter 14" will feature featherweight and bantamweight fighters for the first time in the six-year history of the realuty series.
Spike TV officials today announced the show officially is in production and revealed some of the show specifics.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) subsequently confirmed some additional details for this season, which kicks off Sept. 21 on Spike TV.
Kenny Florian's Cut to 145 Pounds a 'Test of Discipline'
VANCOUVER, British Columbia – As the smell of hot dogs cooking on the street above wafted through Robson Square during Thursday afternoon's press conference, Kenny Florian's face seemed to betray the slightest quiver of agony.
After what he's been through just to get down to yet another weight class in his UFC career, it had to feel like just one more twist of the knife into his empty stomach.
As he made clear during the media workouts the day before, the cut to 145 pounds for the first time in his career requires no small amount of sacrifice and suffering. Fortunately, he's maintained a sense of humor in the face of starvation.
Strikeforce: Dan Henderson hoping for a 'rejuvenated' Fedor Emelianenko on July 30
Come heavy, or not at all.
Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Champion Dan Henderson is hoping a "rejuvenated" Fedor Emelianenko will bring the noise when they hook 'em up at the Strikeforce: "Fedor vs. Henderson" event set to go down on July 30, 2011, at the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates, Illinois.
This is mixed martial arts (MMA) and like Big Daddy Kane once said: Ain't no half steppin'.
Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney Speaks on Relationship with Spike TV
In the midst of all the talk surrounding the UFC, G4 and Spike TV, MMA Fighting reported Wednesday that if the UFC were to leave Spike TV at the end of this year, Bellator likely would fill the MMA gap on the network, moving over from sister station MTV2. Both Spike TV and MTV2 fall under the MTV Networks banner.
We asked Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney about this developing situation Thursday on Bloody Elbow Radio. Not surprisingly, he was non-commital.
Dana White Waiting on Injuries to Heal To Make Fights for Shields, Fitch, and Penn
Dana White says no decisions have been made yet as far as what’s next for Jake Shields, B.J. Penn or Jon Fitch, mostly because a couple of them are still dealing with lingering injuries.
The welterweight division in the UFC is definitely one of the deepest and best in the sport, and a few of the fighters sitting at the top are waiting on the call to back in action.
A few weeks back, Jake Shields and former UFC welterweight champion B.J. Penn exchanged a few messages via Twitter offered to accept a fight against each other. Penn suffered an injury that him out of action for a few months, but he appears ready to return.
UFC 131's Yves Edwards on fight with Sam Stout: "It's going to be some explosive [expletive]"
By the time you get to rank of grandmaster in thugjitsu, as Yves Edwards has, you've only got so much time left.
Inventing a fictitious (and vicious) style has taken the lightweight years to perfect, and the work is not yet over. He turns 35 this year and still has plenty of fight left in him.
But he's aware that his current UFC run could be his last, so every step he takes has to be in the right direction. It only takes a sparring session with the young bucks to figure out that a misstep could be the end of his dream.
UFC boss Dana White on potential TV deal, Strikeforce, Nick Diaz, "TUF 14"
VANCOUVER, British Columbia – As has become the norm for UFC pay-per-view events, UFC president Dana White held court with a small group of reporters following Thursday's UFC 131 press conference.
In the meeting, which took place at Robson Square in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, White revealed a number of noteworthy items already covered by MMAjunkie.com, including the implementation of five-round non-title fights, the addition of the flyweight division and the schedule date for Jon Jones vs. Quinton "Rampage" Jackson.
But White also dished on a number of other important topics, including a much-discussed potential TV deal, the future of Nick Diaz and Strikeforce, as well as the first days of "The Ultimate Fighter 14."
MMAjunkie.com shares the highlights of the half-hour conversation.
White "happy" with Nelson meeting, but heavyweight's next move still unclear
VANCOUVER, British Columbia – It's unclear what lies next for Roy Nelson.
An unhappy UFC president Dana White said he would meet with the heavyweight to discuss his future following back-to-back losses, the latter of which he called "embarrassing." It certainly didn't look good for the winner of "The Ultimate Fighter 10."
White today told MMAjunkie.com that the meeting took place, and while it was positive, he doesn't know what's in store for Nelson.
UFC May Pay $600 Million to Purchase G4 From NBC Universal
Reports surfaced yesterday that the UFC was in talks to purchase, or purchase a controlling interest in, the G4 cable network from NBC Universal. The network currently caters to the gaming and tech community, and reaches some 60 million homes.
Today, Bloomberg reports on some details from the negotiations:
NBC Universal's G4 channel may fetch as much as $600 million in a sale to Ultimate Fighting Championship, according to analysts including David Joyce of Miller Tabak & Co.
Negotiations are early and a deal may not be reached, said the people, who aren't authorized to speak publicly. Ultimate Fighting Championship's contract with Viacom Inc. (VIA/B)'s Spike TV ends this year, one of the people said. More broadly distributed cable channels with bigger advertising revenue can fetch as much as $20 per subscriber, Joyce said.
Nick Diaz Vacates Strikeforce Welterweight Title
Dana White was full of big news today. In addition to the five round UFC main events from now on, he also had a little tidbit to offer regarding Strikeforce welterweight champion Nick Diaz. Because he will be taking on Georges St. Pierre for the UFC welterweight title at UFC 137, Diaz gave up his Strikeforce title.
UFC boss confirms UFC 135 for Denver, Jones vs. Jackson expected to headline
UFC 135 is set for Sept. 24 at the Pepsi Center in Denver, and a light-heavyweight title fight between champ Jon Jones and Quinton "Rampage" Jackson is expected to headline.
UFC president Dana White today confirmed the news to MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) following a pre-event press conference for UFC 131, which takes place June 11 at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
Dana White Announces All UFC Main Events Will Be Five Rounds
There's a celebration going on in the Land of Fagan today. Both Kevin Iole and Brett Okamoto report via Twitter that UFC President Dana White announced that, going forward, all UFC main events will be scheduled for five rounds, regardless of whether a title is at stake. The policy will start following the Rashad Evans/Phil Davis main event at UFC 133, as bout agreements for that fight have already been signed.
There's been no word on whether this applies only PPV/numbered events, or if free TV shows will be headlined by five-rounders as well.
UFC 131's Dos Santos-Carwin winner to meet Velasquez "in four-five months"
VANCOUVER, British Columbia – As expected, the winner of Saturday's UFC 131 headliner between Junior Dos Santos and Shane Carwin gets the next heavyweight title shot.
And according to UFC president Dana White, it could happen by year's end, specifically in "four to five months."
White discussed the plans during Wednesday's pre-UFC 131 press conference at Jack Poole Plaza in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
Shane Carwin Offers No Comment on Steroid Allegations
Remember when a federal investigation implicated Shane Carwin as a recipient of steroid orders from Applied Pharmacy Services? It was August 14, 2010, just over a month after Carwin's second-round meltdown against Brock Lesnar at UFC 116. The news created a minor whirlwind (imagine the reaction had Carwin defeated Lesnar!) before settling down, and then all but disappearing.
Carwin's manager, Jason Genet, promised a statement about the accusations, which has, according to my memory and thorough Googling, yet to be fulfilled.