UFC looking to quadruple its TV broadcasting deal up to $450 million dollars
When Zuffa sold the UFC to WME-IMG earlier this year for $4 billion, one of the key talking points in the aftermath was the upcoming TV rights deal expiration and renegotiation. The UFC's current broadcasting deal with Fox Sports is a seven-year deal for $115 million annually, and by most accounts, FOX is getting a bargain for that price.
Well, soon they won't be. On Monday, the Sports Business Journal put up a piece delving into the plan WME-IMG has for the new TV rights deal, and among other things, it includes a major price bump with the UFC seeking $450 million per annum for ten years.
"Its magic number is $450 million a year, a potentially staggering increase from the $115 million annual average that FOX Sports now pays, according to several media and UFC sources.
"Although formal negotiations aren't expected to start until next year, network executives have learned that the UFC plans to seek at least a 10-year deal under those terms, sources said."
Georges St-Pierre, Bjorn Rebney, former UFC champs to make MMA ‘re-defining’ announcement
A major MMA announcement is planned this week and the names involved are eye-opening.
Georges St-Pierre, former Bellator MMA promoter Bjorn Rebney and a handful of other well-known fighters will be making an "industry re-defining" announcement Wednesday on a media conference call, according to a press release sent out Monday.
Former UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez, former UFC bantamweight champion T.J. Dillashaw, Donald Cerrone and Tim Kennedy are the other names listed in the release and they will be part of the conference call.
The conference call is scheduled for 4 p.m. ET.
Jose Aldo 'knew' Conor McGregor's belt would be stripped; plans title defense and then rematch
Newly minted UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo said it was inevitable Conor McGregor would have to give up one of his titles.
Now that two-division champ McGregor has “relinquished” his featherweight belt, Aldo, who was subsequently promoted from interim titleholder to primary champion, plans to defend the title in February or March, presumably against the winner of next month’s interim title bout between Max Holloway and Anthony Pettis at UFC 206.
After that, Aldo is targeting a rematch with McGregor.
With Emmanuel Sanchez injured, Friday's Bellator 166 lineup gets new co-headliner
Due to an injury, Friday’s Bellator 166 event has a new co-headliner.
Bellator officials today announced Emmanuel Sanchez (13-3 MMA, 5-2 UFC) has suffered an injury and been forced out of his bout with featherweight A.J. McKee (5-0 MMA, 5-0 BMMA).
As a result, Ray Wood (7-2 MMA, 1-1 BMMA), who was originally slated to fight Treston Thomison (9-4 MMA, 2-3 BMMA) on the prelims, has been tapped as a replacement. Thomison awaits a new opponent.
Walt Harris vs. Chase Sherman added to UFC Fight Night 103 in Phoenix
Officials today confirmed a number of recently reported fights, as well as a new one, for UFC Fight Night 103: heavyweight Walt Harris (8-5 MMA, 1-4 UFC) vs. fellow knockout artist Chase Sherman (9-2 MMA, 0-1 UFC).
UFC Fight Night 103 takes place Jan. 15 at Phoenix’s Talking Stick Resort Arena and airs on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.
Matt Schnell gets late-replacement spot on Saturday's TUF 24 Finale fight card
Matt Schnell didn’t win “The Ultimate Fighter 24,” but he’s got a spot on the undercard of the show’s live finale.
As MMAjunkie reported this week, Alejandro Perez was forced to withdraw from his bout with Rob Font. UFC officials have since confirmed that Schnell has stepped in as a replacement.
The TUF 24 Finale takes place Saturday at The Pearl at Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas. The card airs on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass, though the bout order hasn’t been finalized.
UFC announces Conor McGregor has relinquished featherweight title, Jose Aldo is new champ
Conor McGregor is no longer a two-division world champion. At least, according to the UFC.
The Irishman, who also holds the UFC lightweight belt, has relinquished given up his featherweight title, the UFC announced Saturday night during the UFC Fight Night 101 broadcast.
Although the UFC says McGregor has given up the featherweight belt voluntarily, sources told MMA Fighting's Ariel Helwani that McGregor never agreed to that decision. Regardless, the UFC has the right to strip the belt from McGregor.
Jose Aldo, who won the interim title back at UFC 200 in July, defeating Frankie Edgar, will now take McGregor's belt and become the undisputed 145-pound champion.
33-fight veteran Kyle Noke announces retirement
A longtime stalwart of Aussie MMA is calling it a career.
Following a loss to Omari Akhmedov at UFC Fight Night 101, UFC middleweight Kyle Noke announced he is now retired.
“Thank you to the ufc and all the fans,” Noke wrote. “It’s time to hang up the gloves. I’ve had a blessed life doing what I love. I wouldn’t change a thing.”
Tim Kennedy gets recently suspended Kelvin Gastelum at UFC 206 – pending commission approval
A middleweight bout between Tim Kennedy and Kelvin Gastelum is the latest addition to December’s UFC 206 event – but there’s one hurdle to clear before it’s official.
Gastelum (12-2 MMA, 7-2 UFC), who is currently suspended by the New York State Athletic Commission for skipping UFC 205’s weigh-ins earlier this month ahead of a scheduled fight with Donald Cerrone, must first receive clearance to compete against Kennedy (18-5 MMA, 3-1 UFC).
UFC officials today announced the bout during the broadcast for UFC Fight Night 101 in Australia.
UFC 206 takes place Dec. 10 at Air Canada Centre in Toronto. The main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass, though the bout order hasn’t been finalized.
Max Holloway vs. Anthony Pettis for interim title now slated for UFC 206 main event
And just like that, UFC 206 has a new main event.
Max Holloway vs. Anthony Pettis for the interim featherweight title is the new headlining act for the Dec. 10 card, MMA Fighting has learned. The fight replaces Daniel Cormier vs. Anthony Johnson, which was scrapped after Cormier withdrew from the fight due to an injury.
The UFC tried to book Johnson vs. Gegard Mousasi, however, Johnson has decided to wait for Cormier to return to action, sources say.
As a result, Jose Aldo, who was the interim featherweight champion, will likely become the new 145-pound champion, which also means that Conor McGregor is expected to be stripped of the featherweight title. He remains the lightweight champion.
Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira on Fedor Emelianenko: 'It's time to retire'
From where Nogueira sits, though, perhaps Emelianenko should stay retired. Nogueira, in Melbourne for Saturday's UFC Fight Night card, was asked by Australia's Submission Radio what he thought about "The Last Emperor's" continued fight career and suggested Fedor may have been better off retired.
"If he got to the UFC five years ago, maybe seven years ago, something like that, he'd be in his prime," Nogueira said. "But now, it's not his time go anymore. If I'm in his place, It's time to retire."
Gabi Garcia to fight 52-year-old Shinobu Kandori at RIZIN year-end show
Brazilian jiu-jitsu champion Gabi Garcia will meet 52-year-old veteran Shinobu Kandori on Dec. 31 at RIZIN FF's year-end event. The promotion announced the booking late Friday night.
Kandori, a former Japanese professional wrestler turned politician, will be competing in mixed martial arts for the first time since 2000. Standing just 5-foot-7, and weighing under 165 pounds, she will be vastly outsized by the 6'1", 210-pound Garcia.
With Freire out, Darrion Caldwell-Joe Taimanglo rematch set for Bellator 167 main event
With another headliner for Bellator 167 gone by the wayside, there’s a new main event set for the promotion’s second of back-to-back shows in Oklahoma next week.
The headliner for the second night of Bellator’s December doubleheader will be a bantamweight rematch between Darrion Caldwell (9-1 MMA, 6-1 BMMA) and Joe Taimanglo (23-6-1 MMA, 6-2 BMMA). A Bellator official confirmed the news to MMAjunkie today.
Patricky Freire injured; Bellator 167 main event scrapped
Bellator 167 has lost its main event once again.
Patricky Freire, who was scheduled to meet Derek Campos on Dec. 3, has suffered an undisclosed injury and won’t be able to fight next weekend. Bellator officials confirmed the news to MMA Fighting.
According to the promotion, Campos will be paid his show money and rebooked early in 2017.
Freire vs. Campos was announced as the new headliner for the card in Thackerville, OK, after Pat Curran vs. John Teixeira was canceled due to a Curran injury. Bellator has yet to announce its replacement atop the bill.
Daniel Cormier injured, out of UFC 206 main event
UFC 206 is need of a new main event.
Light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier has been forced to withdraw from his Dec. 10 title fight against Anthony Johnson due to an injury, MMA Fighting has confirmed with multiple sources. The promotion is currently working on a new headliner, however, nothing is finalized just yet. The plan, as of right now, is to keep Johnson on the card.
Alejandro Perez out at The Ultimate Fighter 24 Finale, Rob Font needs new opponent
UFC officials are currently seeking a bantamweight fighter willing to compete on a little more than one week’s notice after Alejandro Perez was forced to withdraw from next week’s The Ultimate Fighter 24 Finale.
MMAjunkie today confirmed with UFC officials that Perez (17-6-1 MMA, 3-1-1 UFC) was forced out of the event, and a search is currently underway for a new opponent for Rob Font (12-2 MMA, 2-1 UFC).