Wamma, Bamma, No Thank You Ma’ama (Parts 1&2)
WAMMA, BAMMA, NO THANK YOU MA’AMA
A couple of weeks back, I received (second hand, mind you) a release from an organization called WAMMA (World Alliance of Mixed Martial Arts) trumpeting their new ratings for the month of August. This crew, which is headed up by s former FBI agent, is, I suppose, is trying to establish itself as accepted authority of sorts on ratings and titles, along the lines of what Ring Magazine has been trying to re-establish for itself (with mixed results - but that’s a LONG story) in the world of boxing.
On balance, I think the WAMMA ratings are a nice thing. They should actually be kind of a harmless thing. They give another perspective on who the best fighters in each weight division are, especially since the UFC does not issue official rankings. But I’m not sure you want to get carried away with all this. Remember, it’s just one perspective among many, many perspectives. You also have ratings made available by Sherdog and other mixed martial arts publications, and could probably get dozens and dozens of ratings lists from people if you just asked them for it.
I just hope WAMMA doesn’t get crazy and start thinking it is going to install itself as “official” ratings for the entire sport, by attempting to find an impressionable ear somewhere in the Association of Boxing Commissions (ABC) to push this through as another of those “innovative” ideas, or worse yet, as part of a legislative mandate through some federal bill. After all, there are many ABC members who DO impressions; they are sometimes very good at imitating real, live public servants.
As ridiculous as this concept may sound to you, there have been half-hearted attempts to do it in boxing. And there is a certain precedent as well, because even though many boxing people (including most regulators themselves) don’t seem to be aware of it, sanctioning bodies like the WBA and WBC started out as nothing more than associations between boxing commissions.
But as this point, an official national ranking of mixed martial arts fighters would REALLY be going too far. Can you imagine - the United States government rating fighters?
Next thing you know, somebody will be looking to the government to subsidize losing pay-per-view ventures or rescue failing promoters, the way that they are bailing out Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.
This all sounds pretty trite, and was meant that way, until I found out that WAMMA made a presentation at the latest ABC meeting that was held in Montreal. I can’t think of any reason they may have been there other than to get their foot in the door as a way of eventually garnering some sort of recognition by the ABC. You can not forget that the ABC has for years granted an exclusive “record keeping” license to one company in boxing, and is doing that with another group for MMA. It may not seem inconceivable to some that if they are controlling that kind of thing they would do the same for ratings that would be “recognized” by every jurisdiction.
The standard has been set for giving such license to a private business, as has been done with Fight Fax, the record-keepers in boxing, and that company has felt a certain amount of entitlement toward such exclusivity ever since, with opportunistic regulators like Greg Sirb of Pennsylvania running interference for them along the way. The reasons for that became clearer over time, especially when it was revealed that in John McCain’s bill to take over federal oversight of boxing there was the provision for a big chunk of taxpayer dollars to subsidize the keeping of fighters records and medical records. Gee, why not ratings? Remember, WAMMA has positioned itself as a commercial business.
Yes, a commercial business. And that’s what starts to worry me, within this particular context, as you’ll find out in Part Two of this mini-series.
Boxing and MMA is like oil and water
After having to reschedule their second MMA event from October 11th to January of 2009, Affliction promised the MMA public a breathtaking, earth-shattering announcement that would forever alter the course of the fight industry. This announcement would take place at a press conference featuring Ricky Hatton to hype up his next boxing fight. Rumors were abound that Affliction finally inked a partnership with Golden Boy Promotions.
So on Saturday night, we were treated to Hatton no-showing his own press conference (illness was used as the reason for the no-show) and Affliction announcing that they would promotion four fighting events with Golden Boy Promotions in 2009. The headline from this press conference on AP and other news agencies revolved around the fact that Oscar De La Hoya was finally getting into the MMA business.
The real headline, of course, is that Affliction is now abandoning their originaly MMA business model in hopes of promoting hybrid fight shows featuring both boxing and MMA matches.
What a lousy concept.
HBO Unhappy With Golden Boy/Affliction
I just got off the phone with a friend of mine over at HBO (who will remain anonymous) and they want nothing to do with "bastardizing" (as he put it) their Boxing product.
It seems Golden Boy offered the Arlovski/Barnett fight on the under card of Hopkins/Pavlik... but HBO rejected the idea.
We also discussed the end game:
If Golden Boy is successful what then? You just converted another fan pool for the UFC. The casual UFC fan will not order these mixed boxing/MMA cards who wouldn't already... so the best case scenario for Golden Boy is to convert their boxing fans into MMA fans.
Is Golden Boy taking a risk may bite them in the ass? It seems HBO is not.
If you work the numbers and realize that in order to be successful you would have to convert a good portion of the boxing fans into MMA fans... that opens up alot of variables that can blow up in your face - for example: right now boxing ppv's are hurt by counter programming via other boxing events on other networks...
This would create a situation where counter programming by other MMA events can then have a similar effect.
For HBO It would be like playing chess against 2 players where you only have one set while the other 2 each have their own... how can you conceivably protect your king?
Wolfslair Academy adds Ghosn, Rodriguez as training partners
The recent influx of top-level talent to the U.K.-based Wolfslair Academy that began with former light-heavyweight champion Quinton "Rampage" Jackson has left many observers scratching their heads.
Until recently, Wolfslair had little notoriety outside of the U.K. But as Wolfslair Muay-Thai coach Dave Jackson recently told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com), the talent pool at the camp continues to grow.
"Rampage is coming out tomorrow," Dave Jackson said. "I spoke to Cheick (Kongo) yesterday, and he is coming to train on Sept. 26. We also have guys like Ricco Rodriquez and Tiki Ghosn coming to help out the guys as well. We have a really strong training team assembled at the moment."
While the partnership of U.S.-based fighters to an English camp may seem odd, it is Dave Jackson's experience that has been cited as a crucial factor for Quinton Jackson and Kongo to lead the migration of talent across the Atlantic. A coach since 1986, Dave Jackson impressed Quinton Jackson when installed as part of a training team for "Rampage" in Big Bear, Calif.
DREAM Not Paying Fighters, Other Japanese News
According to a report at Sports Seoul, there is growing criticism about FEG delaying or not giving fighters money that they owed. "Fighter A" claimed in the article that he didn’t receive money for his last two fights, and "Fighter B" who is preparing for an upcoming fight also is claiming they didn’t get some fight money. "Fighter C" claims that he had to wait three months to get his fight salary.
The article quotes a source as saying, "There’s many fighters who don’t get paid. Especially DREAM fighters, foreigners mostly." The article claims that the reason in the alleged delaying of payments is due to DREAM’s financial situation and the situation regarding Kazuyoshi Ishii.
Is this starting to sound like Pride?
Ninja Talks Upcoming Fights & Shogun Return!
Murilo ‘Ninja’ Rua Update: ‘Coming to CBS’
EliteXC Middleweight Contender Murilo ‘Ninja’ Rua talked with PDG about his victory over Tony Bonello, his upcoming fight against Benji Radach on the EXC-CBS Saturday Night Fights on October 4th and his brother ‘Shogun’ Rua.
PDG: Your brother Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua is rumored to return later this year against Quintin ‘Rampage’ Jackson and other fighters. How is his knee and how often are the two of you training together? NINJA: A lot of rumors about ‘Shogun’ are running around on the internet. I read about ‘Rampage’ and Mark Coleman a few weeks ago and now most recently about Lyoto Machida. They are all just rumors; right now he is in the USA, training in San Diego. He was in Canada for a month conducting special training on the knee with a specialist and we kept contact by phone and radio. ‘Shogun’ is coming home next week and then I think that we will have the official news about his next fight. Right now the most important thing is to have him 100%, focus on the hard training and I’m sure that we will see him fighting again at the end of this year, for sure.
Travis Lutter without a home
"I would like to be fighting," Lutter told MMARated.com today. "To be honest, I'm a little frustrated that I haven't found a home."
When we spoke to Lutter immediately following his release close to five months ago, he mentioned that he had preliminary talks with the now-defunct IFL and Affliction. Apparently, nothing came of those talks.
"I might have to take a fight on a smaller show just to get my name out there and build up my career again because it's a little frustrating that my career has stalled," Lutter said.
AFFLICTION VP TOM ATENCIO ON "RESCHEDULING"
Affliction vice president Tom Atencio spoke exclusively with MMAWeekly.com to clarify his company’s decision to postpone the event.
“We not canceling it, we’re not postponing it, we’re rescheduling it completely,” he said. “It doesn’t make sense to do it where we wanted to do it, it’s a positive.”
Sources close to the venue had informed MMAWeekly.com that ticket says thus far have been “abysmal.” Atencio conceded that ticket sales for “Day of Reckoning” were weak.
Tanner, According to Those Who Knew Him Best
MMA will never have another Evan Tanner.
To chronicle his compelling life, Sherdog.com turned to some of the people who knew him best, including those who grew up with him and watched him wrestle in high school before he began his fight career inside a rowdy rodeo coliseum in Amarillo, Texas.
A Self-Taught Texan
Deana Epperson grew up across the street from Tanner in Amarillo and kept in touch with him throughout the years: He was a good kid. He really didn’t mess with anybody. He didn’t even wrestle -- he pole-vaulted in junior high. He didn’t even start wrestling until our sophomore year in high school, and we were a big school. We were 5A. By our junior and senior year, he was a back-to-back state champion in wrestling. Texas is no joke with wrestling and for him to have never wrestled till 10th grade and then been a state champion in 11th and 12th grade -- that’s just incredible.
He was such a renaissance man on the most basic level. He didn’t really like to admit this to people, but Evan had a photographic memory, and that’s how the big legend of Evan Tanner was true. He was a big wrestler in high school and he got the Gracie jiu-jitsu videos, and whatever he would watch somebody do, he could instantly put that into his repertoire. He was genetically gifted, he was amazingly smart, and he remembered everything he read and saw. That really explains how a guy who never really went to a dojo till he was 21 was able to do what he did.
He was the first one I ever saw grab wrists to reign down elbows. And later on I saw Tito Ortiz in the corner with one of his fighters yelling, “Tanner elbows! Tanner elbows!” That’s when you know you’re the s---, is when someone is referencing you when they’re cornering someone else.
Top 5 Breakthroughs In MMA
Great fighters are remembered for a collection of moments within a vast library of sights and sounds -- a record of unforgettable victories and their most stinging defeats.
But no moment stands out more than when a fighter distinguishes himself as a true force with which to be reckoned, having blossomed beyond the world of contenders and prospects.
you know this is just a list someone did in there opinion. i like it but if any of you have ones that you think should have made the list feel free to post
UFC 88 fighter salary released.
MMAWeekly has obtained the fighter salary information from the Georgia Athletic and Entertainment Commission for UFC 88 featuring Chuck Liddell vs. Rashad Evans, which took place on Saturday, Sept. 6, at the Philips Arena in Atlanta.
The following figures are based on the fighter salary information that promoters are required by law to submit to the state athletic commissions, including the winners' bonuses.
Strongman Mike Miller Enters the Cage
Following in the footsteps of his WWE counterpart Brock Lesnar, former pro wrestler and one of the world’s stongest men Mike Miller has decided to test his chops in the mixed martial arts cage.
Miller, who at the pinnacle of his powerlifting career weighed in excess of 400 pounds, made the announcement during a recent episode of the “Super Human Radio” show.
And while Miller has never professionally competed in MMA, he is no stranger to mixed martial arts.
“I’ve been training in martial arts for over ten years” Miller told the host Carl Lanore during the interview.
Sherdog to Stream Strikeforce on Sept. 20
Strikeforce today announced that Sherdog.com will be providing a live stream of the organization’s upcoming “Strikeforce at the Mansion II” event, which will take place at the at the Playboy Mansion in Hollywood, California on September 20.
The stream, which will be free of charge to viewers, is scheduled to begin promptly at 7:30 PM PT and will air the entire fight card in its entirety, including the show’s two preliminary bouts. The link to the stream will appear on Sherdog and Strikeforce’s official websites on the day of the event.
“We are looking forward to bringing fight fans around the world a great night of professional MMA action from the Playboy Mansion on a major web platform,” Strikeforce founder Scott Coker said in a press release today. “Sherdog has been cutting edge in its delivery of MMA coverage since the sport’s early days so showcasing this event is a natural fit for its brand.”
Ontario Canada says no to amauter mma
On May 3, 2006, the Ontario Mixed Martial Arts Association (OMMAA) received a letter from the Ministry of Government Services explaining why professional MMA was not permitted in the province of Ontario in Canada. In that letter they stated the following:
“You may wish to contact the ministry of Health Promotions (MHP) so that you can explore having MMA recognized and sanctioned through the amateur sporting process. Steps in this direction may enable you to establish a safety track record in Ontario…”
It wasn’t until August 2008 that OMMAA finally received a response from the MHP denying the application on the basis of three concerns. Firstly, the MHP was uncomfortable with OMMAA’s coaching certification program stating the following:
Ortiz Sheds Light On Ibarra-Rampage Breakup!
Ortiz Sheds Light On Ibarra-Rampage Breakup!
In an , Ortiz had the following to say about 'Rampage' Jackson's firing of trainer Juanito Ibarra:
"Let me explain this to you because it really pisses me off that Ibarra has done what he has done, he is a thief. I have been running training camps for seven years up in Big Bear California and the most that my camp has cost a fighter to attend is $35,000. Ibarra was charging Jackson $65,000 to go to Big Bear. I don't understand that!! He was being very disrespectful and taking advantage of ‘Rampage’. Including travel, training partners, food and lodging, the most ever was $35,000, maybe if you flew in more trainers...$40K. Where did that extra money go that Ibarra was charging? ‘Rampage’ is really pissed and he feels betrayed that he was taken advantage of and I couldn't agree more with him. I don't care if Juanito reads this or hears about it anywhere, he already knows that he is blackballed. I don't care who you are; fighters work very hard for the money they earn and I feel slighted for even knowing Juanito."
Remember that White Chocolate Management (Who also represents Jackson) filed a $10 Million Lawsuit against Ibarra and Jackson for alleged breach of contract by two. Jackson has now all but been removed from the lawsuit since he fired Ibarra.
Silva injured, withdraws from machida bout
Undefeated light heavyweight Thiago Silva (Pictures) has withdrawn from his Oct. 18 co-headlining bout against Lyoto Machida (Pictures) at UFC 89 “Bisping vs. Leben” in Birmingham, England.
An American Top Team representative confirmed a report from intheguard.tv, which said Silva sustained a back injury in training. The rep said the decision was made Thursday to pull the dynamic Brazilian striker from the card, and that Silva is expected to be back in play by December.
Brock Lesnar made more than GSP??!!!
Unfortunatly UFC 87 payouts won't be officially released. But i found several sources that say brock lesnar made more than twice what GSP made.
Apparently fighter payout’s are not released in Minnesota as part of the state’s freedom of information legislation. At least that is what Scott LeDoux, the executive director of the Minnesota Combative Sports Commission told MMAJunkie.com.
I did read that George St. Pierre is on the same contract as his fight with Hughes when he pulled in $160,000 which means he would have made the same amount. If you combine that with his $60,000 "Fight of the Night" bonus, he would have pocketed a total of $220,000 for the event which is probably pretty accurate.
Total and complete bs
UFC will wait for fedor
UFC President Dana White confidently laid out his organization’s plan to acquire the services of Fedor Emelianenko (Pictures) for a future matchup with recently returned heavyweight champion Randy Couture (Pictures).
The promotion will simply wait, he said during a conference call Tuesday.
Fedor's Manager Confirms That Fedor Is Contractually Free To Fight Couture Anywhere
Raimond On The Possibility Of Fedor vs. Couture In The UFC:
"Who knows? What that will do for a possible bout between Fedor and Randy, that's very difficult to say at this point in time. The only thing I can say from our side is that we are open and willing to work with any organization to make that fight happen, and we've also expressed that to the UFC. Irrespective of who the organization is, we're willing to work with anybody to do that. The contracts that Fedor has at this point in time would allow for such a fight to take place, and specifically the Randy fight, so we're free to make that happen if the opportunity presents itself. We've made provisions in any and all contracts that refer to Fedor to allow that fight to take place, with any organization in conjunction or in coooperation with whoever. Contractually there's not an issue.
No Need To Panic: A Realistc Future for MMA
What do the failures of so many organizations mean for MMA?
It means that promoters and their investors need to be smarter with their money.
And it’s not like there isn’t precedence within the business world for this sort of gross mismanagement either. I’m sure everyone remembers the dot-com bubble of the late 90s that burst in 2001. Investors had dollar signs in their eyes then, just as they do now, because of the gross potential of the internet and technology to be utterly ubiquitous in the everyday lives of people the globe over. Yet, these investors failed to do their due diligence in order to find appropriate business models to take advantage of that potential.
Thus, the same can be said for today’s investors blindly throwing money into fight promotions with poor business models that do not suit the current economic environment of the industry. The investors that jumped on the IFL and pushed it to $18 are a testament to this.
For as much flack as Dana White gets from the MMA community, I can’t think of any other man in the industry that can say “I told you so!” as often as he can. Granted, the NASCAR analogy is a little played out - and I, too, am tired of hearing it - that doesn’t make it any less relevant.
The business-end of things really isn’t that different from any other industry. The most crucial mistakes I see fight promotions make are the same crucial mistakes that misguided billion dollar enterprises make:
1.) They have no vision, no mission, and as a result no direction and no identity.
These promotions need to figure out who they are, what they do, and whom they cater to.
2.) Poor cost management that generally translates into bankruptcy.