CEO Bjorn Rebney details Bellator's new three-year deal with MTV2
A seemingly all-but-official deal with the FOX Entertainment Group wasn't in the cards for Bellator Fighting Championships, after all.
Officials today announced the mixed-martial-arts promotion has signed a three-year broadcasting deal with MTV2, which will air two annual 12-week seasons live in the cable station's 80 million homes in 2011. Additionally, "offseason" events will air live between seasons.
In an exclusive interview with MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com), Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney confirmed the organization was in "advanced negotiations" with three TV groups but that the MTV option was, by far, the most attractive.
"There is absolutely no question our first choice was MTV2," Rebney said today from Bellator's Chicago offices. "It's about who you reach and how reach them. There was no mistake in this deal or in this structure. TNT or USA or ESPN or FX or CBS or NBC or every TV station, the biggest concentration of men ages 12-34 is on MTV2. It's the same demo that lives and breathes MMA.
"If you're going to build a brand ... in this space, where could there be a better home? There's no question this was the No. 1 option."
Todd Duffee meets Abe Wagner at January's Titan Fighting event on HDNet
Three months after his unexpected release from the UFC, Todd Duffee will begin the process of rebuilding his career.
HDNet Fights CEO Andrew Simon today told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio) that Duffee is scheduled to appear on a Titan Fighting Championships event scheduled for Jan. 29 in Kansas City, Kan.
Duffee (6-1) meets "The Ultimate Fighter 10" cast member Abe Wagner (6-3) at the HDNet-televised event, according to Duffee's manager, Monte Cox.
It's Duffee's first fight since May, when he was upset at UFC 114 by Chicago fighter Mike Russow. After dominating the fight on the feet for two-plus rounds, the iron-jawed Russow landed a right hand that knocked Duffee out cold in one of the most dramatic come-from-behind wins in UFC history.
Duffee, who works with Grudge Training Center in Denver, was expected to take on Jon Madsen at UFC 121 but withdrew from the fight in August with a knee injury. Less than a month later, he received an email from the UFC notifying him that he had been cut by the promotion because of his loss to Russow.
Oregon Ducks and Oregon St. Beavers Took Civil War To Next Level
Randy Couture is flying in to coach the Beavers this week.
OK, Couture won't be at Saturday's Civil War football game.
He is going to be on hand for the Full Contact Fighting Federation's Cage Fights: Ducks vs. Beavers on Thursday at Gill Coliseum.
Couture is a popular MMA fighter and actor who was an assistant wrestling coach at Oregon State. He will coach the Beavers while former University of Oregon wrestler and mixed martial arts middleweight Chael Sonnen will coach the Ducks for the event.
There are 18 fights on the card with two FCFF championship bouts.
Oregon St. won the MMA Civil War by 2 bouts.
Report: Bellator Season 4 to Air Live on FX
Bellator Fighting Championships’ days of having televised events pre-empted by high school football games and air racing competitions may finally be over.
After two seasons’ worth of sometimes-live, but often tape-delayed events on Fox Sports Net, the promotion is reportedly close to announcing a new, multi-year deal with Fox Entertainment Group which would see its fourth season aired live weekly on cable station FX. News of the deal was first reported Friday by MMAJunkie.com.
The report also states that while Bellator’s live shows -- which have been held on Thursday nights for each of its first three seasons -- would be broadcast on FX, replays and highlight packages will likely continue to run on FSN, as well as the Fox-owned “extreme sports” channel Fuel TV.
Asked to comment on the potential new deal, Bellator chairman and CEO Bjorn Rebney issued the following statement to Sherdog.com:
California to test new points system
December 2, 2010
By Josh Gross
California will experiment with a new points system for amateur mixed martial arts bouts beginning in 2011, a move that could lead to significant changes in judging at the professional level.
The test to determine whether the 10-point must scoring system is best suited for dynamic MMA bouts will be conducted by the California Amateur Mixed Martial Arts Organization in conjunction with the California State Athletic Commission.
The new system will be used in amateur bouts in California during the 2011 calendar year, allowing the state to serve as a Petri dish without risking the livelihood of professional mixed martial artists. It figures to be tested in more than 100 bouts.
Fights will be scored under both standards, said Jeremy Lappen, CEO of CAMO, with the intent of delivering "comparative data" that regulators can use to determine whether or not the trial system -- Mixed Martial Arts Specific Scoring (MMAS) -- should eventually apply to the pros.
Trainer Greg Jackson: "Fighting safe is an illusion" but fighting smart isn't
Greg Jackson's philosophy on finishing fights is not too far from a well-worn cliche in mixed-martial-arts circles: Impose your will.
Still, he's been criticized for grooming fighters who favor scorecards over submissions and points over punches.
He'd like to set the record straight with those who question him. When it comes to how things play out inside the octagon, he asks only that his fighters be smart when they compete.
"I get in there and I ask guys to finish every fight," Jackson told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). "Because here's the problem with fighting safe: Fighting safe is an illusion."
A statement such as that might bring groans from those who've seen decisions from several of Jackson's high-profile clients. UFC president Dana White recently went on the offensive and said it's "safety first" when it comes to the trainer's octagon strategy. That prompted Jackson to respond on Tuesday with a stat sheet that listed the bonuses his fighters have earned in 2010.
Jackson urges fans to look at his stats for evidence of his philosophy.
Trial Begins for Man Accused of Manslaughter in Death of Tapout's 'Mask'
Opening statements began on Tuesday in the vehicular manslaughter trial of Jeffrey David Kirby, the driver of a Porsche that allegedly crashed into the Ferrari of Tapout co-founder Charles "Mask" Lewis in an accident that killed Lewis.
Kirby was arrested shortly after the March 11, 2009 crash in Newport Beach, California, registering a .13 blood/alcohol level, well above the legal limit.
According to the Orange County Register, prosecutor Jason Baez told jurors in his opening statement that skid marks show that Kirby was driving at speeds over 100 mph when he lost control of his car and crashed into Lewis.
Soccer Brawl Outside Brazil Fight 3 Leaves 1 Dead, 2 Injured
BELO HORIZONTE, Brazil -- The Brazilian MMA community has long argued that its sport is safer than soccer, given the history of Brazilian futebol rivalries and violence. Saturday night in Belo Horizonte, that violence tragically bled indirectly into MMA.
While the city's Chevrolet Hall played host to the third edition of Brazil Fight, an alleged brawl between supporters of rival Belo Horizonte-based soccer clubs Atletico Mineiro and Cruzeiro broke outside the venue, leaving one man dead and two others hospitalized.
19-year-old Otavio Fernandes died Saturday night due to sustained head trauma after he was allegedly beaten with an iron bar by members of Atletico Mineiro fan group Galoucura. Flavio Celso da Silva, 35, and Rodrigo Marques, 39, were also sent to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
According to eyewitness accounts of the full-scale street fight that erupted, the much larger Galoucura group overwhelmed the Cruzeiro fans, attacking them with iron bars. The fight is estimated to have only lasted a few minutes, but blood was still visible on the ground outside Chevrolet Hall on Sunday morning.
'UFC Fight for the Troops 2' Main Card Official for Spike TV
Fighting with a truly meaningful purpose in front of some real American heroes, "The Ultimate Fighter" alums Kenny Florian, Mike Swick, Matt Mitrione, Melvin Guillard, and U.S. Army and National Guard veteran DaMarques Johnson will be featured on Spike TV's telecast of "UFC Fight For The Troops" live from Fort Hood, Texas on Saturday, January 22, 2011 at 9:00 p.m. ET. The main event showcases two of the best lightweights in the world, Florian and Evan Dunham.
Phil Davis Discovers Two-Inch Gash Requiring 36 Stitches After UFC 123 Win
A victorious Phil Davis celebrated his win over Tim Boetsch like any fighter might, but first he was checked out by the doctors following his fight to make sure he was all together with no injuries.
Davis seemed above board considering he took little to no damage in the fight. He finished his opponent with a submission, so not so much as a hand injury from punching someone too much.
Needless to say, Davis was surprised when he found a gash over two inches long on his shin that was somehow missed in his post fight examination, simply because he didn’t know it was there.
Michael Bisping Confirms UFC 127 Co-Main Event Bout vs. Jorge Rivera
Michael Bisping, in his latest video blog, confirmed early reports from MMAWeekly.com and others that he will indeed fight Jorge Rivera at UFC 127 in Sydney, Australia.
Bisping believes is will be the co-main event of the Feb. 27 fight card. He also indicated that it isn’t quite the fight he wanted, having asked for a more high profile opponent.
Sonnen Has Been Undergoing Hormone Replacement Therapy For at Least the Past Year and Assumed CSAC Knew
According to the story, Sonnen has been undergoing hormone replacement therapy since before his fight with Yushin Okami, which he reported to and was given clearance to fight by the California State Athletic Commission prior to the the bout. Because it is a permanent treatment Sonnen allegedly assumed his doctor prescribed required testosterone treatment would be on file, and thus never re-reported it to the commission.
Testosterone levels can drop off for various reasons, including age, hereditary reasons or because of stress the endocrine system is due to a number of variables, not limited to repeated weight fluctuation and dehydration caused by weight cutting.
Bisping Potential UFC 127 Headliner
Michael Bisping's next fight will be at UFC 127, which takes place at Acer Arena on Feb. 27 in Sydney, Australia.
“The Count” released the news in his video blog, posting the announcement to his Web site Thursday morning. The Brit also gave an indication that he would fight in the show's main event, possibly against Jorge Rivera.
“Obviously a certain someone who was supposed to fight recently but didn't has been talking s--t about me...says we're going to fight soon. I don't know if that is to be the case or not, but I’m keen to find out exactly who my next fight is going to be,” said Bisping.
Bisping is referencing two reports that ran last weekend regarding the potential fight. The possibility of the matchup first surfaced in Germany during UFC 122, when Rivera's opponent Alessio Sakara withdrew from their fight at the last minute to gastroenteritis. On Sunday, Rivera's manager spoke with MMAWeekly regarding Rivera fighting Bisping in the near future.
UFC President Dana White: This Is Tito Ortiz’s Last Stand
One last shot.
That’s what Tito Ortiz asked for, and that’s what Tito Ortiz is going to get.
After losing a three-round decision to Matt Hamill at UFC 121, most people felt that Ortiz, after years of calling the UFC home, would be shown the door out of the Octagon. Mounting a record of 0-4-1 in his last five fights, that is what UFC president Dana White thought about Ortiz’s future as well.
“I thought I was gonna cut him, too,” he told MMAWeekly.com, when posed with the idea that most people thought Ortiz would be cut loose after UFC 121.
But just last week in Germany, White said that Ortiz would be returning to the Octagon in early 2011 to fight Antonio Rogerio Nogueira. The UFC president didn’t reveal a date or location, but it is widely believed to be taking place in Abu Dhabi in March.
Strikeforce's Dan Henderson committed to 205 pounds, not considering retirement
Next month's main event and rematch with Renato "Babalu" Sobral (36-8 MMA, 2-1 SF) is a big fight for former UFC and PRIDE star Dan Henderson (25-8 MMA, 0-1 SF).
But it's unlikely to be the final bout for the 40-year-old fighter and 13-year MMA veteran.
With a move back to light heavyweight following a failed big to win the Strikeforce middleweight title, Henderson said he feels great heading into Showtime's Dec. 4 headliner.
The event, "Strikeforce: Henderson vs. Babalu," takes place at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis.
"I have always felt comfortable at 205," said Henderson, who previously held PRIDE titles in both weight classes, during a media conference call. "I have never felt weak or out-powered. I can eat a good meal the night before the fight. ... It's one less thing I need to worry about before the fight. I am hanging out at 203, 204 (pounds)."
Stefan Struve plans to bulk up to 290 pounds before rematching Roy Nelson and Junior dos Santos
UFC heavyweight skyscraper, Stefan Struve has been speaking about his goal of bulking up over the next couple of years to a massive 290 pounds before rematching the two men to defeat him inside the octagon, Roy Nelson and Junior dos Santos.
Speaking via Fighters Only Magazine, Struve said:
“Well, I only turned 21 a few days before the fight. I was at 235 I believe and if you see these guys running round, well.. Dos Santos is a beast. I need more muscle and more power, but that will come in the next couple of years. I would like to have a rematch with Roy and Dos Santos at some point in my career to see if I did improve. I am pretty sure I did. I want to go up to 290 to see what trouble I give them. Right now I weigh 255 so its going good.”
Featherweights Mike Brown and Diego Nunes official for UFC 125 clash
Nearly seven years after first fighting in the octagon, one-time UFC veteran Mike Brown (24-6 MMA, 6-2 WEC) returns to the promotion's cage on Jan. 1.
UFC brass today officially announced that the former lightweight contender meets Brazilian featherweight Diego Nunes (15-1 MMA, 4-1 WEC) at UFC 125 in both fighters' first bout after the pending UFC-WEC merger.
UFC 122 on Spike TV draws average audience of 2.2 million viewers
The past weekend's Spike TV broadcast of "UFC 122: Marquardt vs. Okami" scored an average audience of 2.2 million viewers, the cable station today announced.
The event took place Nov. 13 at the Konig Pilsener Arena in Oberhausen, Germany, and aired via same-day tape delay on Spike TV.
UFC 122 earned a 1.4 household rating, which includes a 2.0 rating among men ages 18-49 and a 2.16 among males ages 18-34.
UFC boss says Rua vs. Evans on target for March, "Suga" comfortable with schedule
While a recent ESPN.com report suggested that former UFC light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans (15-1-1 MMA, 10-1-1 UFC) was upset at sitting on the sidelines while waiting for current champ Mauricio "Shogun" Rua (19-4 MMA, 3-2 UFC) to heal from knee surgery, UFC president Dana White said "Suga" is doing just fine.
White was initially baffled by Evans' comments in the report, which suggested he was frustrated at Rua's recovery schedule, but the UFC boss says the two have since worked through any hard feelings and everything is on track for 2011.
"Rashad and I talked right after that whole goofy incident," White said. "We're cool."
Riddle-Pierson Completes UFC 124 Card
UFC newcomer Sean Pierson will take on “Ultimate Fighter” alum Matt Riddle in a preliminary matchup at UFC 124 Dec. 11 at the Bell Centre in Montreal. Made official by the promotion, the welterweight bout finalizes the show’s 11-fight card.
Riddle was originally set to meet Anthony “TJ” Waldburger, but Pierson was tapped as a replacement in late October when Waldburger was forced from the match due an undisclosed injury.