Where Elite XC fighters may go via 5 oz of Pain/Sam Caplan
Both 5 oz of pain have made articles. 5 oz of pain's Sam Caplan has a close relationship with Pro Elite and their fighters so I put more weight into his article also it is a much better read.
What’s Next: Predicting where EliteXC’s top fighters will go October 21, 2008 by Sam Caplan Leave a comment While EliteXC did not have a roster as deep in talent as its primary competitor, the UFC, the promotion was not without its share fair of good fighters. Some might say that EliteXC suffered from a lack of stars, but one could also counter that the company failed in being able to generate more interest in many of its talented fighters.
With the promotion set to formally file for bankruptcy later this week, it means that a great deal of fighters contracted to EliteXC are about to become unemployed. However, a lot of those fighters will not remain unemployed for long, as they will draw a great deal of interest from other fight promotions. With that in mind, I decided to formulate a list of the promotion’s top fighters and break down who I think will end up where and why. Kimbo Slice - This is a real tricky one. First, you can completely rule out the UFC. Let’s say UFC President Dana White was merely posturing with all of his recent anti-Kimbo statements, it still means he’s boxed himself into a corner. If he were to sign Slice now, he would take a ton of flack for it. But I believe he was sincere in his remarks and that there is no way we’d see Slice in the UFC. Maybe White actually would consider extending an invite for Slice to compete on The Ultimate Fighter, but season nine will not involve heavyweights and Slice may not want to sit on the sidelines until season ten. Oh yeah, there’s also the fact that there’s ZERO CHANCE he will compete for free on a reality television show. He’d probably do a YouTube street fighting reunion tour before he’d fight for free. The options left for him really aren’t all that appealing. Slice could be an even bigger star in Japan than he is in the U.S. DREAM wants to do something big for its “Dynamite!!” show with K-1 on New Year’s Eve and Slice could be the next Bob Sapp. Sengoku is also apparently looking to make a splash for its live network show in Japan on Jan. 4 and they might have interest as well. But how viable of an MMA market is Japan right now? Before competing for EliteXC, Slice fought an exhibition fight against former boxing champion Ray Mercer in Atlantic City for the now-defunct Cage Fury Fighting Championships. It’s not out of the realm of possibility that Slice takes a step backward so he can take a step forward. If an up and coming promotion wants to make a splash, they could do so with Slice — so long as they are willing to show the money. Also, don’t rule out Shane McMahon going to father Vince and trying to convince him that a Slice crossover to pro wrestling could be huge. Even if Slice has no interest in doing pro wrestling long-term, he’d have to think twice about a $1.5 million-to-$2 million payday for being involved in a short-term, high-profile feud that would culminate at Wrestlemania. Affliction can’t be ruled out but matching him up would be very tough in a heavyweight division that includes Fedor, Josh Barnett, Tim Sylvia, Ben Rothwell, Roy Nelson, Pedro Rizzo, and Pau Buentello. Slice vs. any of those fighters would do well at the box office, but he’d be nothing more than a short-term fix. I don’t think his management will want to enter into a situation where Slice is viewed as disposable. One thing that I would throw out of left field is for M-1 and whatever channel picks up Fighting Fedor to pay Slice to be one of the cast members of the forthcoming reality show. Paying a fighter to appear on a reality show probably has never been done, but attaching Slice’s name to the project might make it an easier sell to bigger television platforms. As of now, the star of the vehicle, Fedor, is largely unknown to the American mainstream. In Slice, they’d have a pretty recognizable co-star. They could hold Slice out until episode eight and match him with a total tomato can to ensure he remains on the show for an optimum amount of time. Gina Carano - I read an article where a writer said “Poor Gina Carano.” Poor Gina? I don’t think so. The reality is that Carano was grossly underpaid and by becoming an unrestricted free agent, she’ll have much more leverage when negotiating a new contract. Affliction has said it has no immediate plans to promote a female fight. However, Affliction Entertainment Vice President Tom Atencio is a big fan of Carano’s and Affliction has a female-clothing brand “Sinful” that it would like to grow. What better way than to do it with Carano? Before competing for EliteXC, Carano fought for Strikeforce, which still promotes female fights. I know that Strikeforce officials were none too happy with Carano when she left for EliteXC but the promotion needs more nationally-recognizable drawing cards. Carano’s quarter-hour ratings during her two CBS appearances clearly demonstrate she’s a national star. Strikeforce owner/promoter Scott Coker is a smart businessman and he’s not going to cut off his nose to spite his face. I don’t know for a fact, but I’d be willing to wager a lot of money that they’ll look at signing Carano. And if CBS and SHOWTIME start their own promotion, Carano could be at the top of their list. Frank Shamrock - What if ProElite and EliteXC had taken Frank Shamrock up on his offer to fight Kimbo as a replacement for his brother Ken? Granted, Kimbo’s camp ruled it out, but they also initially said they weren’t going to fight anyone other than Ken Shamrock the night of Oct. 4 until it became a financial no-brainer. What if they had offered an additional $250,000-300,000 to make Slice vs. Frank Shamrock happen? Sure, that’s a lot of additional money, but Shamrock beating Kimbo wouldn’t have looked as bad as Seth Petruzelli beating Kimbo and you know Shamrock wouldn’t have made the mistake of letting everyone it was in his financial best interest not to take the fight to the ground (which is not something we support, but loose lips sunk EliteXC’s ship). If Frank Shamrock had fought Kimbo, EliteXC would still be in business. Shamrock owed two more fights to EliteXC and now is only contracted for one more fight with Strikeforce. You’ll never see Shamrock in the UFC again but I don’t think he’s done competing. Shamrock is unique in that he doesn’t need a promotion behind him in order to survive. He’ll likely freelance and take fights next year vs. Ken Shamrock, Cung Le, and Tito Ortiz and make anywhere from $6-10 million doing so. Much like Carano, Shamrock will do just fine following EliteXC’s collapse. Jake Shields - I’d be surprised if he wasn’t signed by the UFC by week’s end. I am dead serious. This is as about as big of a no-brainer as there is on this list. Shields will likely have to take a cut in pay, but his only other options are Strikeforce and Affliction. But long-term, it makes sense Shields to try and create leverage for himself towards a second UFC contract. His second deal will be far more lucrative than his first once he gets wins over some of the best in the world at 170 pounds. Now is the time to go after Georges St. Pierre, Jon Fitch, Josh Koscheck, and Thiago Alves while he’s still in his athletic prime. The only other option is to keep feasting on b-level competition in second-tier promotions due to the UFC’s monopoly at welterweight. Shields is a true athlete and I think he’ll take the cut in pay just for the opportunity to compete in the Octagon. Robbie Lawler - Lawler is not the lock to go to the UFC that some people think he is. He is managed by Monte Cox and Cox is pretty creative when it comes to finding multiple opportunities for his fighters. He’s not going to allow his client to be put in a situation where the only company he can negotiate with is the UFC. Let’s remember, Lawler was not with EliteXC from day one and despite showing significant improvement competing for ICON Sport, the UFC still didn’t make a strong attempt to bring him back. Anderson Silva vs. Lawler in an unofficial UFC middleweight champion vs. EliteXC middleweight champion bout is intriguing, but far from likely. It would not surprise me to see Lawler competing for Affliction. Rafael “Feijao” Cavalcante - Feijao is managed by Ed Soares, the same manager for Anderson Silva and Lyoto Machida. Feijao not only trains under Silva, but also interim UFC heavyweight champion Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira. He’s completely destroyed his competition since moving to light heavyweight. The UFC is without question the odds-on favorite to be Feijao’s new home. It’s just a question of both sides agreeing on the money. If Feijao is unwilling to take a slight cut in pay, things could get tricky. But I see Feijao taking a step back for a three-fight deal so that he can improve his negotiation leverage following a couple of wins over name opponents. Antonio Silva - Normally he’d be a no-brainer to go to the UFC but normal circumstances no longer apply to Silva. UFC Vice President of Talent Relations Joe Silva has already been quoted in the past as having an interest in Silva. However, he remains under suspension by the Nevada State Athletic Commision. He will get his day in front of the commission by month’s end and in the unlikely event that the suspension is completely overturned, Silva will be able to advance directly to the UFC and collect much more than $200. If the suspension is upheld and he’s out for the year, he might have to fight a few times outside of the UFC before he receives an offer. However, if it’s reduced to six months, he’ll still likely receive an offer as he’ll only have three months left on the suspension to serve. Eddie Alvarez - If B.J. Penn defeats George St. Pierre on Jan. 31 for the UFC welterweight title, chances are you won’t see him back in the UFC lightweight division. Without Penn at 155 pounds, the division will lack a big-time draw. While Alvarez is not yet a drawing card in the States, he has all the tools needed to be one of the cornerstones of the UFC’s lightweight division. However, Alvarez is managed by Monte Cox so Zuffa will not be able to get him on the cheap. Even if DREAM folds, parent company FEG is still expected to promote MMA matches on its K-1 shows. Alvarez created a lot of momentum for himself during DREAM’s lightweight Grand Prix and apparently loves competing in Japan. K-1 will reduce the number of MMA fighters it has under contract, but Alvarez is definitely worth keeping around. He also has a contract with Adrenaline MMA and Cox could certainly explore other opportunities for Alvarez in the States. As much as I would love to see him in the UFC, I believe that you’ll see him compete 3-4 times a year in Japan and 1-2 times a year in the U.S. for a promotion such as Affliction or Strikeforce. Another option to consider is Philadelphia. With MMA having failed so many times as a national business-model, we’re going to see a shift towards regional-based promotions. A lot of people talk about the Strikeforce model but they are successful because they have hometown heros in Cung Le and Frank Shamrock. Well, Alvarez could easily be the Le and Shamrock of Philadelphia. MMA is technically legal in PA but shows aren’t taking place because the rules haven’t been voted on by the House of the Senate yet. As of now, it’s possible the first MMA show in Philly could take place in early-2009 and if that’s the case, a local promotion could build a cottage industry around Alvarez. Nick Diaz - Personally, I’d love to see Diaz in the WEC so we could see Carlos Condit pushed, but I just don’t see that happening. Diaz is good enough to compete for the UFC at welterweight. However, one Diaz brother might be enough for Zuffa. Considering they were so down on Nick Diaz that they let him walk after he won a UFC fight tells us all we need to know. Zuffa is likely out, and so is Japan, unless Sengoku makes a bid because Diaz has already competed for DREAM and is believed to be owed a significant amount of money. If I was a betting man, I say he ends up competing for Affliction. I think Diaz’s persona will mesh well with a brand that is trying to market edgy clothing. Wilson Reis - There’s a lot of negative things that can be said about EliteXC, but not everything they did was bad. They missed out on some talent but also brought a lot of new fighters to the forefront such as Feijao, Dave Herman, Brett Rogers, Fabricio Camoes, and of course, Wilson Reis. Reis has exploded from a highly-regarded prospect on the Philly and Jersey MMA scene to a highly-regarded featherweight competitor on the national scene in just little over a year. He’s gained a lot of momentum in a short amount of time but the best is still yet come from the 23-year old jiu-jitsu black belt. Is he ready for Urijah Faber? Not yet, but give him 12-16 months and he will be. And while he’s not ready for Faber, he’s most definitely ready for the WEC’s 145 lbs. division and I believe he’ll end up there sooner rather than later. Joey Villasenor - I actually believe we will see Villasenor end up in the UFC some point within the next 6-to-8 months. He has the Greg Jackson association and the UFC went after a lot of secondary guys that were on the IFL roster because they were good fighters who could be acquired at an affordable price. I see the UFC finding itself in a situation in the next six months where they need a late-replacement for a PPV fight at 185 and for them to turn to Villasenor. Murilo “Ninja” Rua - Rua is coming off a loss and the UFC rarely signs fighters in those situations. He also will likely command more money than the UFC is willing to pay. I see Strikeforce as a great option because they aren’t averse to spending money on International talent and he would be an interesting opponent for Cung Le. Scott Smith - Smith may not have the best record in the world but he’s a great television fighter and has gained a lot of exposure thanks to a stint during the fourth season of TUF, his highlight-reel knockout over Pete Sell during the show’s live finale, and his two CBS appearances against Lawler. The UFC likely will take a pass but Affliction and Strikeforce should both make a play for Smith. Strikeforce likes fighters with California ties because it promotes so many shows in its home base of San Jose, so it appears to be a great fit for Smith. Paul Daley - I think he’s another lock for the UFC. The UFC wants more starpower in the UK and Daley has the potential to be every bit as big as Michael Bisping, thanks to his outspoken nature and exciting fighting style. With Bisping, Dan Hardy, and Daley all onboard, the UFC would have a nice trio of UK-based fighters to spearhead their European aspirations. K.J. Noons - The argument as to whether Noons is free to leave EliteXC with two fights left on his contract is a moot point. He can now go wherever he wants. The WEC’s lightweight division is the best place for Noons but Zuffa won’t be an option as long as he is represented by Mark Dion, who is believed to be involved in litigation against the company as a result of the whole Brandon Vera situation. Sengoku is a possibility but I think Noons would also be an ideal fit for either Affliction or Strikeforce. Dave Herman - Herman is quite the enigma but he’s 11-0 as a fighter with a solid wrestling pedigree. When I saw him compete live for the first time against Mario Rinaldi on the Feb. 16 undercard for “Street Certified,” I thought to myself “How did the UFC not get this guy?” He’s competed twice for EliteXC since the Rinaldi fight and has been totally dominant. He is young and athletic with the potential to be a star and the UFC should sign him immediately. Brett Rogers - Rogers is another fighter I am surprised EliteXC beat the UFC to the punch on. As with Herman, the UFC should sign Rogers for its heavyweight division because you can never have too many undefeated heavyweight prospects on your roster. A future heavyweight division of Brock Lesnar, Cain Velasquez, Shane Carwin, Herman, and Rogers would look pretty nice. But whether or not Herman and Rogers sign with the UFC will come down to money. Being that they don’t have any wins over top fighters, the UFC may feel like they are unproven and that they should signed to entry-level contracts. Meanwhile, their management might see them as undefeated fighters who have received national exposure via CBS and SHOWTIME. It behooves the UFC to lock them up but I could see them falling through the cracks and ending up with Affliction. Benji Radach - Radach has a crowd-pleasing style and is 6-1 since ending a three-year hiatus from the sport. The UFC told him he needed to win a fight outside of the organization to garner an offer, and he not only got a victory, but he got it on national television. The thing is, he made at least $40,000 for his last EliteXC fight and with a virtual monoply on the industry, I don’t see the UFC coming close to offering him that. Affliction and Strikeforce are likely his best options. Cris Cyborg - Whevere Gina Carano goes, Cyborg, and all of EliteXC’s division should follow. Then again, if I had millions of dollars to invest, I’d look at the possibility of going out and signing Carano, Cyborg, Tara LaRosa, Sarah Kaufman, Kaitlin Young, Julie Kedzie, Shayna Baszler, Tonya Evinger, Marloes Coenen, Amanda Buckner, Roxanne Modaferri, Rosi Sexton, Michelle Watterson, Elena Reid and do an all-female promotion with divisions at 115, 125, 135, and 145. Female-only promotions have been done before and failed but one has never been done with all of the top females competing under the same promotional banner. I think there’s a business-opportunity there for someone to capitalize on. Yves Edwards - Edwards is already scheduled to compete for Strikeforce later this month against the promotion’s current lightweight champion, Josh Thomson. Edwards has beat him once before so a win isn’t out of the realm of possibilities. If Edwards holds the Strikeforce lightweight title, the promotion will probably be able to keep him very active. A loss could mean that he’ll need to return to the regional circuit to fill out his dance card. These are just some of the more notable names. But much like with the IFL and BodogFIGHT, I didn’t realize just how good of a roster of talent EliteXC had until it was gone. So much like the IFL and BodogFIGHT, EliteXC was guilty of not being able to properly market its fighters and bulld more stars. There’s a whole list of talented fighters that we will see end up competing on the regional level with quite a few of them only needing a win or two before getting another shot with a major national promotion. The names are many and include Fabricio Camoes, Phil Baroni, Nick Thompson, Hector Lombard, Bao Quach, Cyrille Diabate, John Alessio, Jon Murphy, Conor Heun, Edson Berto, Giva Santana, Seth Petruzelli, Matt Makowski, Mamed Khalidov, Shane Del Rosario, Jared Hamman, Po’ai Suganuma, Aaron Rosa, Lyman Good, Paul Bradley, Torrance Taylor, Malaipet, David Douglas, Bryan Caraway, Abel Cullum, Zach Makovsky, Thomas Denny, and Jesse Brock.
DENIS KANG TESTING FREE AGENCY WATERS AGAIN
Considered a top free agent just over a year ago, former Pride fighter Denis Kang is back on the market after his most recent deal with Dream expired and he is looking for a new home.
The Canadian based fighter will next compete on the Raw Combat card this weekend against Marvin Eastman, but soon after he hopes to sign on with a new organization to call home.
"The Dream contract actually expired," Kang said on MMAWeekly Radio Monday. "I got one fight left, but it expired in September and we're negotiating with a few different parties right now."
While Kang could not name any of his potential suitors he did verify that "several" of them are based out of North America.
During Kang's last free agency period he was adamant about being able to fight in Korea as a part of any contract. While it is sure to still be a point of order, Kang did talk about the possibility of landing with an exclusive contract if the right promotion came along.
Aleks Emelianenko Still Claims to Be Healthy, and He Doesn’t Care What You’ve Heard
You might be wondering to yourself, what ever became of Aleks after he was kicked off the Affliction event amid rumors that he may or may not have Hepatitis B? Well don’t worry. According to Aleks, it was all just a paperwork issue, as he explains to The Fight Network:
“I came late, couldn’t get my Visa in time and I was not allowed to fight. I’m healthy.”
That’s weird, because just last week M-1’s Raimond Joost said you had “medical issues.” Granted, he also expressed optimism that they could be resolved, but he sure as hell didn’t try and chalk the whole thing up to Visa troubles. Not to mention, if it was just a paperwork snafu, why would the CSAC’s Bill Douglas say this:
“The one thing that I can absolutely say is that he (Emelianenko) was not and will not be cleared to fight in California. He is officially denied a license and that will stand for all of the United States of America.”
Aleks, I’m getting the sneaking suspicion that you are lying to us, and doing a really bad job of it. Couldn’t you at least think of something more plausible? The strangest comment of the interview, however, was this one:
“I have never taken painkillers, I am healthy, and I am preparing for my next fight.”
We have no idea what question he is answering here, because The Fight Network doesn’t tell us, but I’d like to assume it was something along the lines of, ‘how are you doing?’ I know that’s how I usually answer that question. I start by denying accusations that have not yet been made, then launch right into what I’ve been up to. You should try it. Really puts you on a whole new level of intimacy with the checker at the supermarket.
Random drug testing Implemented in the UFC
Six UFC 91 fighters, including the event's headliners, have passed pre-event drug tests administered by the Nevada State Athletic Commission.
The commission recently enacted year-round drug testing, and the NSAC has been testing fighters approximately a month before fight time.
In an email sent to MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com), NSAC Executive Director Keith Kizer confirmed main-event fighters Randy Couture and Brock Lesnar were tested, as were undercard fighters Amir Sadollah, Nick Catone, Jorge Gurgel and Aaron Riley.
UFC 91 takes place Nov. 15 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. It airs on pay per view.
The NSAC's year-round testing was implemented earlier this year. MMA fighters are subject to drug testing at any time -- for just about any reason -- throughout the year, regardless of whether or not the fighter is scheduled for an upcoming event. However, the testing is usually reserved for scheduled fighters.
For more on the NSAC's new procedures, check out our interview with Kizer that followed the commission's official announcement.
Additionally, for the latest on UFC 91, including the latest fight card and interviews with the night's competitors, check out the UFC Rumors section of MMAjunkie.com.
I don't know how many fans realize how big this is or the potential impact but if HGH and others are as rampant as a few fighters have came out and stated they are this could change the balance of fighters in the UFC, Im just glad Randy came back clean! Now all the people that assumed Couture was juicing can shut it.
Jake Shields to UFC ‘has now become a real possibility’
“Jake Shields in the UFC has now become a real possibility.”
GracieFighter.com posted this statement mere hours after Elite XC was pronounced dead. Shields is a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt under Cesar Gracie who runs the Web site, so even as vague as this comment is, it’s still coming from a very close and reliable source in regard to Jake.
Shields — the first and only Elite XC welterweight champion — was pretty vocal over the last few months about wanting to prove himself against the best in the sport. In fact, after defeating Nick “The Goat” Thompson in little more than a minute at “Unfinished Business” in July, he called out the winner of the George St. Pierre and Jon Fitch UFC title fight scheduled for a couple weeks later, saying he wanted a super fight against the UFC champion.
At the time it seemed like a pipe dream since the UFC obviously doesn’t believe in cross-promoting and Elite XC had Shields locked up under contract for another year or so. But, now that Elite XC is no more, it appears Jake is a free agent, and would like to be the first — and possibly the best — former Elite XC fighter to join the UFC ranks.
Of course, if Shields does end up in the Octagon, he’ll have to work his way up a very long ladder of title contenders that include Thiago Alves, Josh Koshcheck, Diego Sanchez, Karo Parysian, Jon Fitch and many more.
New Rashad Evans Interview!
Rashad Evans ‘Almost Undisputed’
#1 UFC Lightheavyweight Contender ‘Sugar’ Rashad Evans took some time to talk with PDG about his victory over the ‘Iceman’, training for his title shot against Forrest Griffin, his mixed martial arts career and ‘Devil May Cry’.
PDG: Another big UFC fight in your division that is coming up is Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson vs. ‘The Axe Murderer’ Wanderlei Silva version 3.0; what do you think of that match-up and possibly facing the winner of that fight sometime down the road? Evans: I think it's great and I would love to be in a position to fight the winner of that match. It would be an honor in itself to fight either one of those two guys since I've been a fan of both of them for a very long time. ‘Rampage’ nearly got killed though the last time that he fought Wanderlei, Wanderlei could have got arrested for what he did to him in their last fight [laughs]. But in all seriousness if ‘Rampage’ goes into the fight like a quarterback who had a really bad game the last time he faced that opponent and has a short memory. Then just like the quarterback who bounces back and has a great game, so can ‘Rampage’. It is going to be tough though because of the blows that he was dealt in their last fight. Sometimes a fighter just has your number and if Wanderlei stays true to him self....
Jason ‘Mayhem’ Miller retires from MMA competition … for now
One of the most charasmatic and popular figures in the sport of mixed martial arts today — Jason “Mayhem” Miller (21-6) — announced that he was retiring from the sport during an interview with FightHype.com earlier today.
Here’s a snip:
“I got plenty of money. I don’t even care. I just do it for fun. I love fighting, but I’m just doing it for fun. I don’t feel like doing it right now, so I’m not going to do it. There’s no need. There’s no need for me to fight, so I’m just happy to have lived such a fun career inside of MMA, so if it ends now, it was fun.”
Another MMA Movie In Development
While the mainstream public was unimpressed with the recent MMA-based movies Never Back Down and Redbelt, based on box office receipts, there will be another such offering in 2009. Filmmaker Gavin O’ Connor is currently in pre-production in Pittsburgh, PA, preparing to move forward with a project entitled Warriors. O’ Connor’s most recent work was Pride and Glory, starring Edward Norton and Colin Farrell, which hits theaters this week.
MMA Fans may be familiar with the name Gavin O’ Connor, as he was the Executive Producer of the widely acclaimed film The Smashing Machine, which focused on the rise and fall of MMA star Mark Kerr. Smashing Machine is widely regarded as the finest film that focuses on the MMA world to date.
"Lil Nog" to Fight November 1 at Sengoku 6
Rogerio Minotouro has confirmed that he'll be fighting at Sengoku 6 on November 1 at Saitame Arena in Japan. The Brazilian will face Rimbon Moise, who holds 23 professional MMA fights to his name with his most recent win coming in August.
‘Fighting Fedor’ Reality Show in Works
Affliction has partnered with M-1 Global, which is shopping around a reality TV series called “Fighting Fedor” that will feature a 16-man tournament with the winner eventually getting a shot at Fedor Emelianenko on an Affliction card.
The partnership was officially announced Thursday at Trump Tower, along with some details on the show.
A promo video presented by M-1 Global explained that participants from various countries will travel to St. Petersburg, Russia, where they’ll train at the Red Devil camp and compete in the tournament. The video said the show will be on “American TV,” though it doesn’t have a home yet.
“We’re currently having negotiations with many different networks and channels,” said M-1 Global President Vadim Finkelchtein through an interpreter.
Finkelchtein said networks are particularly interested because the show will focus on heavyweights. He also noted the international scope of M-1 Global, which through the M-1 Challenge has hosted events this year in Spain, Holland, England, Korea and Japan...
MMA and Boxing Events Suffer from Weak Attendance in Las Vegas
From Loretta Hunt of Sherdog:
“A Night of Combat 2,” a collaborative event led by Superfights MMA promoter Skip Kelp in conjunction with Kim Couture’s KC Concepts, sold 1,063 of the 8,911 tickets available at the Thomas & Mack Center for a gate of $32,405. Tickets were set in a very reasonably priced $15-50 range, and comped tickets brought attendance up to 1,735 spectators.
Xtreme Couture standouts Jay Hieron, Mike Pyle, and John Alessio topped an 18-fighter bill that paid $160,500 in fighter purses.
Gary Shaw’s Antonio Tarver-Chad Dawson light heavyweight title fight drew 911 attendees to 1,770-seat Pearl inside The Palms for what was anticipated to be a sellout. Tickets ranged from $150-750 for a total gate of $329,650.
Tarver was compensated $1 million for his unanimous decision loss, while Dawson earned $800,000 for the live Showtime-aired event. No other fighter on the bill made above $5,000, though the promotion paid out the maximum $50,000 broadcast tax, signifying it took in at least $3 million from Showtime.
It's no secret that the Las Vegas area has been hard hit by falling home prices and a decline in tourism dollars due to a slowing economy. The weak attendance for these two events may be a sign that fans are becoming more selective in their use of lessening disposable income. Even the UFC is experiencing some difficulty:
14 Questions for Marcus Davis
Coming off a loss to Mike Swick in June, Marcus Davis will try to bounce back Saturday against Paul Kelly at UFC 89 in Birmingham, England. “The Irish Hand Grenade” shared some old boxing stories with Sherdog.com, as well as his thoughts on various topics from music to alcoholism to his meeting with Kelly.
Sherdog.com: Have you ever been rocked or knocked down during training or ever reconsidered fighting?
Davis: Nope. I've never been knocked out ever in my life. A lot of people look at my boxing record and it says TKO on there -- they think it was from a knockout. It wasn't. It was from a cut. I've never been knocked out in sparring or anything. I've never ever once reconsidered fighting. I've always wanted to be a fighter.
Sherdog.com: You spent a lot of time in boxing. What are some of those old-time memories?
Davis: One that just popped into my head: We were all in the gym one time, and there was this guy that was supposed to come in and spar with Dana Rosenblatt, who was an undefeated Jewish boxer at the time -- and there weren't a whole lot of Jewish boxers period, you know? So bringing this kid in, he was 5-0, and so they come walking in and he's got like this entourage and they’re screaming out, "Mikey D! 5-0 Mikey D!" All cheery as hell. The kid comes in and gets his stuff on. They start sparring. Dana hit him so hard with a body shot that the guy s--t himself.
There's just s--t pouring out of this guy's trunks. He ends up crawling out of the ring, and they rush him to the bathroom and he was so embarrassed, he didn't come back into the gym to get his stuff. He left right out of the side door, and they came in and gathered his stuff and they left. Never saw the kid again. I don't even know what ever happened with his career. I never followed him. I probably should have; it'd be funny to hear if he did any well at all.
You know, we had lots of different stories like that. A guy came in and was kicking a bag, and back then … you don't kick bags at a boxing school. My coach said, "Don't kick the bag!" The guy kind of looked at him -- he was a bodybuilder, the guy was all beefed up -- and he starts hitting the bag again, kicked it again and my trainer walked over to him and just smashed him right in the face. The guy actually broke down and started crying. Big muscle-bound guy broke down and started crying, looked at my coach and made an apology. We just have so many crazy stories about back then when I was boxing. It was just a different time. It was 15 years ago. You know the stories of scumbag promoters and stuff like that. There's good memories and bad memories.
Joe Son Arrested on 1990 Gang Rape Charge
Joseph Hyungmin Son -- better known as UFC veteran Joe Son to diehard MMA fans -- was arrested Oct. 7 in Huntington Beach, Calif., on charges related to a 1990 Christmas Eve gang rape. Son, who was already in custody for an unrelated vandalism charge, was linked to the 1990 crime when he gave a DNA sample to authorities following a probation violation. A second assailant tied to the 1990 crime is still at large.
TMZ.com and the Orange County Register were the first to report Son’s arrest.
Son has been charged with five felony counts of forcible rape, two felony counts of forcible sodomy, two felony counts of sodomy in concert by force, seven felony counts of forcible oral copulations, one felony count of sexual penetration by foreign object by force, and sentencing enhancements for kidnapping to commit sexual assault, personal use of a firearm, use of a firearm during a sex offense, and great bodily injury to sexual assault victim.
Say it ain't so, Joe!
Tito Ortiz back surgery a success
On October 6th 2008 my extensive back surgery was performed in Las Vegas by Dr. Smith. It lasted 3 hours, due to the doctors careful hand and my densely muscled core that had to be separated in order to get to my spine. My doctor was impressed with my quick recovery, and an hour after surgery I was on my feet and walking to the car. This is now the beginning of a new era. There will never be a question again about where my heart lies … and that is with my fans. I am focused on a quick recovery, and I will be back in the cage with a renewed outlook on fighting. I am a new Tito Ortiz … one with a bright fight future … one ready to power through the light heavyweight class and get the belt around my waist again. Mark my words … the best is yet to come.”
– Tito Ortiz underwent back surgery on Monday. The procedure was not an easy one and neither was the decision to have it. Nonetheless, he went through with it and is already claiming success in a letter posted on ProElite.com. It’s an interesting read. He covers everything from when the back pain first began, to how it affected him in recent fights and to how he believes the UFC stiffed him on medical insurance to cover the procedure. It’s important to note that “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy” has indicated that he intends to return in as few as six months; however, Nate Quarry underwent a similar spinal fusion procedure and it took him more than a year to recover. All things, of course, are often not equal among individuals when it comes to surgery, healing and overall health. We’ll keep you posted on his progress.
UWC: Confrontation Weigh-In Information and Fight Card (**UPDATED**)
DC Rage, i thought this might be of some help tp you.
DC’s Biggest All Pro Cage Fighting Returns
Saturday, October 11 - Patriot Center, Fairfax, Virginia
Show Starts at 6:00 PM (* NOTE: Early Start Time)
Doors Open at 5:00 PM
Official Weigh-In - Friday, Oct. 10 – 4:00 PM
Hyatt Fair Lakes Hotel
12777 Fair Lakes Circle
Fairfax, VA 22033
Special guest appearances: Urijah “California Kid” Faber and Carlos “Natural Born Killer” Condit
Live Radio Interviews - Friday, Oct. 10 – 11:00 AM & 2:00 PM
WJFK 106.7 - “The Big O and Dukes Show”
11:00 AM - Antwainn Britt & Marcus Foran
2:00 PM – Urijah Faber
Live Radio Broadcast – Saturday, Oct. 11 – 4:00 to 6:00 PM
WJFK – “MMA Nation”
Host: Luke Thomas
4:00 PM to 6:00 PM
VIP Hospitality Room
Updated Fight Card (October 9, 2008)
Fight #1 – 185 lbs
Joey Kirwan Kris McCray
Clinch Academy Gold Medal Grappling
Frederick, MD Woodbridge, VA
Pro Debut Pro Debut
Fight #2 – 205 lbs
Cody Donovan Wade Drake
High Altitude Martial Arts Team Ferocity
Denver, CO Bowie, MD
2-1 Pro Debut
Fight #3 – 170 lbs
Levon Maynard Toby Johnson
Global Martial Arts Academy FIT NHB
Virginia Beach, VA Albuquerque, NM
3 - 2 - 0 6-2-0
Fight #4 – 185 lbs
Tony Sousa Ron Stallings
American Top Team Team Lloyd Irvin
Jacksonville, FL Baltimore, MD
5 - 3 - 0 5 - 3 - 1
Fight #5 – Over 205 lbs
Brendan Schaub Johnny Curtis
T’s KO Fight Club One Spirit Martial Arts
Denver, CO Reston, VA
1 - 0 – 0 1 - 1 - 0
Fight #6 – 185 lbs
Chris Reedy Marcus Foran
XFC FIT NHB
Reading, PA Albuquerque, NM
4 - 3 – 0 4 - 2 - 0
Fight #7 - 155 lbs
Kyle Baker James “Binky” Jones
MMA Institute Ground Control
Harrisonburg, VA Baltimore, MD
3 - 3 - 0 7 - 5 - 0
Fight #8 – 132 lbs
John Dodson Mike Easton
Jackson’s Submission Fighting Team Lloyd Irvin
Albuquerque, NM Temple Hills, MD
5 - 2 – 0 5 - 1 - 0
Fight #9 – 205 lbs
Terry Cohens Antwain Britt
C.C. Corey MMA Institute
Jacksonville, FL Norfolk, VA
3 - 1 - 0 5 - 1 – 0
Fight Card Subject to Change
Did WAMMA Lie About Sanctioning Fees?
A hat tip to the Bronzeville Bully for posting a link and some details from Rob Maysey's blog on seeming contradictory behavior from WAMMA officials. I had not yet read Rob's article on the history of sanctioning bodies and WAMMA's role in MMA until I saw Bully's fanpost. While long-time readers of the site will no doubt recall that Mr. Maysey and I have not seen eye-to-eye in the past his work is very good on this subject, his facts are in order and we seem to be on the same page in regards to sanctioning bodies in MMA.
After reading the article I was left feeling a touch upset at the notion that Dave Szady (WAMMA CEO) and Mike Lynch (WAMMA COO) may have been lying directly to me with their statements that WAMMA would never seek a sanctioning fee from any fighter or promoter. This is not something I take lightly and as such I have sent the following e-mail to Dave and Mike as they both said to contact them to address any rumors..etc:
Subject: Sanctioning Fees? From Brent Brookhouse of BloodyElbow.com
Michael and Dave,
I conducted an interview with you back in June for our website (BloodyElbow.com) and during that interview I asked you specifically if you would be charging sanctioning fees from either fighters or promotions in the future and you were both very steadfast in your response that this would never be the situation. Rob Maysey of MMAFA.TV contacted you more recently to ask in more explicit language if WAMMA would be charging sanctioning fees of promotions or fighters and received yet again another strong response that this would never be the case.
However, as Maysey pointed out, the materials you provided to athletic commissions at the ABC Convention stated that you will "receive revenue from title sponsors, online portal subscriptions, sale of unique digital content, merchandising, and in the future sanctioning fees."
Obviously this does not fit with what you have told myself and my site's readers. Speaking frankly this smacks of the kind of dishonest doubletalk that has made people question WAMMA's intentions from the start and harkens back to the boxing sanctioning body model that is so roundly dispised. If you can, as you have both stated, say with 100% certainty that you will never charge fees from a promotion or fighter than that language had no reason to be included in the materials presented to athletic commissions and leaves a lot of answering for your organization to do to the fans of this sport.
It is my hope that there is some sort of misunderstanding here and that you were not just telling people what they wanted to hear until you gained the necessary foothold in the sport to begin charging fees. Our readers will be expecting a statement from your organization explaining this contradiction and I will be posting this e-mail exactly as it is sent to you on our site in the interest of full visibility for our readers on our communications.
The rest is
Boxing Imitates The UFC
London-based boxing promoter Frank Maloney has decided to incorporate a new concept into his business - he is now offering bonus money to the ‘Boxer of the night’ on his future shows.
The idea of bonuses for fighters would be a new innovation for boxing event producing but it is standard procedure for the UFC which has been awarding bonuses to match winners for many years now.
Maloney is best known in the boxing world for being the long-time promoter of former Heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis as well as his flamboyant Union Jack outfits which he wore to many world title fights. These days, Maloney mostly promotes local shows in England and says he will offer a 500-pound bonus to the ‘Boxer of the night’ which will be determined in a yet-to-be specified way (by text, posting a coupon from the show program or logging onto Maloney’s web site).
'Big' John McCarthy Leaves The Fight Nework, May Return As Referee
Well this is my farewell from the Fight Network. While I will not miss what has happened or transpired at the company, I am really going to miss some very special people that I have come to know and respect in my short time with them.
The Fight Network started out as the vision of Mike Garrow. Mike's vision for the network was one of the reasons I decided to leave refereeing and start a new career in commentating and analytical work. Mike has an incredible energy and is always coming up with new ideas and he did a miraculous job in getting The Fight Network from a simple idea into a fully functioning cable channel that covers the sports of Mixed Martial Arts, Boxing and Professional Wrestling 24 hours a day. It is very hard for anyone not associated with something like this to understand how much really goes into 24 hours of programming. Mike, thank you for the opportunity, thank you for believing in me, you will always be a friend.
Mauro Ranallo..... Wow. I don't really think many people truly know how talented Mauro really is. First off, he loves all combative sports, and he knows them better than most people. He is incredibly smart and has a photographic memory that makes the rest of us look retarded. Most people on TV are reading everything they are saying from a teleprompter. A very handy little gadget that fits in front of the camera lens and displays the words you are suppose to say. All you really have to do is know how to read and keep things moving. Mauro does not have or use a teleprompter. Mauro looks over a complete page filled with information and then systematically runs it down like he had 2 days to memorize it in only 60 seconds. He is remarkable. He has the ability to make bad fights good, good fights great, and great fights legendary with his commentary. Mauro, thank you for helping to teach me the trade. I listened to every word even though I was not smart enough to remember it all and was not fortunate enough to work with you near as much as I would have liked.