Texas Court Grants Zuffa LLC Motion
of the Ultimate Fighting Championship® (UFC®), has been informed by the Texas Court of Appeals that it has granted Zuffa’s Motion to Compel Randy Couture to arbitrate in the District of Nevada, thereby staying all further action by HDNet against Zuffa in the state of Texas.
Specifically, the Court of Appeals found that the lower court had engaged in “a clear abuse of discretion” by permitting HDNet to litigate claims relating to Mr. Couture’s contract in Texas, rather than in Nevada, where Zuffa is presently pressing a breach of contract action against Mr. Couture.
Upon learning of the court’s decision, Zuffa’s Las Vegas counsel, Donald J. Campbell, Esq., explained the significance of the ruling:
“The practical effect of the Court’s decision is to allow Zuffa to continue its prosecution of claims against Mr. Couture in the Arbitration presently underway here in Nevada without any regard to the flaccid claims of HDNet and its management. Based upon evidence uncovered during the interrogation of Mr. Couture during his deposition, we have every confidence that Mr. Couture will be held accountable for the serious and ongoing breaches of his contractual obligations to Zuffa.”
The successful appeal to the Texas Court of Appeals was achieved by Mr. Barry F. McNeil, Esq. and his partners at the Texas law firm Haynes Boone, LLP.
Ortiz Still a Free Agent
The drama surrounding the next home for embattled light heavyweight superstar Tito Ortiz continues to unfold as Affliction has still not signed the fighter, according to company COO Michael Cohen, who spoke to MMAWeekly.com on Wednesday.
I guess its not so official
alifornia State Athletic Commission on MMA
"The California State Athletic Commission takes a lot of heat for its handling of MMA affairs, on every topic from fighter licensing to drug testing."
They talk about strikes to the back of the head, point scoring in MMA, etc etc. I am surprised by his competency. I figured CSAC was full of people who ignored MMA.
Affliction Lands Horodecki
In a move that strengthens its roster outside the heavyweight division, the upstart Affliction promotion on Wednesday announced the signing of former International Fight League poster boy Chris Horodecki (Pictures). Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The once-beaten 20-year-old Canadian will make his promotional debut at Affliction “Day of Reckoning” on Oct. 11 at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas. An opponent has yet to be named. Horodecki (12-1) last competed in April, when he earned a unanimous decision victory against World Championship Fighting veteran Nate Lamotte (Pictures) at an IFL show in East Rutherford, N.J. ...
No-Show Ortiz: Let the Games Begin
Tito Ortiz (Pictures) knows it’s all about the timing.
Which is why most of the fight community tuned in to a news conference Wednesday in Las Vegas for the Oct. 11 Affliction 2 "Day of Reckoning" only to hear that the fighter would not only not be attending, but also that he has not yet been signed by the promotion.
Mauricio “Shogun” Rua to endorse Bad Boy MMA Apparel
Bad Boy Brands announced today that they have signed a multi-year sponsorship & endorsement agreement with Mauricio “Shogun” Rua. The new relationship between Bad Boy and Shogun includes product endorsement, advertising, promotion, personal appearances, product design involvement and even a line of Shogun “signature” fight apparel, The most noticeable aspect of the relationship will be when Shogun dons the legendary Bad Boy “Sungão,” the original Vale Tudo fight shorts as he represents Bad Boy on the international MMA stage.
Bad Boy has been involved with MMA since the early nineties, sponsoring such legendary fighters
as Rickson Gracie, Wallid Ismael, Vitor Belfort and Antonio Rodrigo “Minotauro” Nogueira!. Bad Boy
currently offers a full line of premium MMA gear and clothing online and at specialty fight retailers. “Shogun’s ultra aggressive fighting style demands fight apparel of the highest quality and performance
attributes” commented Robin Offner, CEO of Bad Boy. “We’ve developed our new line of Bad Boy Pro Series products specifically for Shogun’s style of fighting”. ”I’ve known and respected Bad Boy apparel for years in Brazil”, said Shogun. “I’m excited to be a part of the Bad Boy team and I will do my best to represent them well”.
Fighter Salaries: A Fair Share of Revenues (Part 3)
Narrowing In On Better Revenue Sharing
We’ve already acknowledged the fact that the information isn’t available to make an absolutely precise definition of fair. As a result of this we’re forced to use what we have at our disposal. Let’s look at what we know:
* 75% of Zuffa’s revenue is event-related (i.e., PPV buys, live gates).
* The remaining 25% of Zuffa revenue comes from their SpikeTV deal, sponsorships, and merchandise sales.
* Zuffa is likely to maintain an EBITDA margin in the mid-30s in the foreseeable future.
* Estimated Zuffa revenues for 2008 are expected to be $250 million (according to Lorenzo Fertitta).
* Base salary payouts average out to 10% of event-related revenue.
CSAC: Aleks Emelianenko Will Never Fight In USA Again
California State Athletic Commission Official Bill Douglas was a guest recently on the Figure Four Daily radio show that airs on The Wrestling Observer and Mr. Douglas shed a little light on the controversay surrounding the reasoning behind Aleksander Emelianenko being removed from his scheduled bout with Paul Buentello at Affliction's debut show on July 19th.
MM-Eh: Horodecki Up for Grabs
It appears that a feeding frenzy has begun to circle around 20-year-old wunderkind Chris Horodecki now that he has officially become a free agent.
Jeff Clark, one half of Horodecki’s North County Fight Club management team, says his client was released from his International Fight League contract last week at the fighter’s request, clearing a path for prospective promoters to voice their interest in the young striker.
"Kid" Yamamoto Has Surgery - Out For The Year
Sports Navigator is reporting that Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto was recently diagnosed with a complete ligament tear not a partial tear as originally suspected.
Surgery was required and performed successfully yesterday and Yamamoto should make a full recovery, but will be out of action for the rest of this year.
Yamamoto is currently riding a fourteen fight win streak which includes big wins over Jeff Curren, Royler Gracie and Caol Uno, but the 5'4" dynamo hasn't competed since New Years Eve and will now have to go through well over a year of inactivity before his next fight.
Winky Wright Criticizes Boxing Politics, Praises UFC
Concerns are growing that Mixed Martial Arts fighting is on the way to surpassing professional boxing in popularity (if it hasn’t already) with Elite XC on network TV CBS, The Ultimate Fighter series on Spike, etc. etc. Add Winky Wright to the list to those lauding the UFC’s business plan and questioning the decision-makers in boxing.
In a wide-ranging interview with Danny Flexen in the July 25th Boxing News weekly magazine of London (State Of The Game with Danny Flexen), Wright voiced plenty of logical sentiments which the boxing powers-that-be had better begin to heed, and fast. Among them told by Wright to Flexen:
“When I was coming up, more top fighters fought each other. They all wanted to prove they were the best in their weight class, not in the WBA, the IBF, but the best, period. But now the promoters and the networks get in the way and we’re losing a lot of fans because of it. The promoters milk the prospects, they don’t match them against top fighters. The networks allow too many easy fights.”
New Athletic Commission Chairwoman Could Be Key to MMA in NY
After the UFC’s lobbying efforts failed to get MMA legalized in New York, Zuffa’s Marc Ratner vowed not to give up so easily. Not long afterwards, Melvina Lathan was named as the new chairwoman for the New York State Athletic Commission, and guess what? She seems friendly to the UFC’s cause, despite being a “boxing purist” according to a recent Newsday article:
Royce Gracie On Fighting Ken Shamrock Again
Our friends over at DreamFighters.com were recently granted a quick interview with MMA Legend Royce Gracie. It would appear that Gracie still has it out for Ken Shamrock. Some things never change.
Gracie On The Possibility Of Fighting Ken Shamrock A Third Time:
"I have no interest in fighting him. I have nothing to settle with him. I beat him in less then a minute the first time and the second time he held me down for 30 minutes and still I was the one attempting submissions. And then he landed one punch, which did not KO me, and he held again for 5 minutes. Then declared himself a winner because he did not lose. To me when a guy is 50 lbs. heavier then me and he holds me down, that is not a winner. So I have nothing to prove by fighting him again. And I don't need the money that bad. Maybe he does."
Fighter Salaries: A Fair Share of Revenues (Part 1)
Without a doubt the most contentious of all the fighter salary issues, determining a fair share of revenues for the fighters is no easy task. I’ve thought about the direction that I wanted to take this piece for some weeks and it has occurred to me that the best format for something such as this is to just put everything on the table and try to make some sense of it.
There really is no other place to start than defining the word fair; and, in this case it’s a matter of multiple perspectives. Without a doubt, primary consideration must to be given to the opinions and viewpoints of both the promoters (and their organizations) and the fighters - they are the main actors. However, secondary consideration needs to be given towards creating a revenue sharing scheme that is fair to the sport and fair in the eyes of the fans.
It has been reported that the Fertitta brothers dumped close to $40 million of their own wealth into the UFC from 2001 until 2005 (the time before the company began to see a profit). From their point of view and that of other owners and promoters, those that take the financial risks ought to determine the amount of financial rewards they’re entitled to.
Seven Fighters in Need of a Promotion
As the boom of mixed martial arts promotions and shows continues, one fact has become more and more apparent: Zuffa and the UFC are the gold standard, both in show production and fighter talent. As a result it can be sometimes painful to watch fighters of superior talent fight in promotions lacking the roster depth to fully test their abilities.
In the wake of the EliteXC show the newly crowned welterweight champion is a staunch reminder of the challenges that face a top ten fighter when fighting outside of the UFC. The talent discrepancy between the top 10 fighters in a weight class and the rest of the division can be daunting when trying to match-make. The 63 second drubbing Jake Shields laid on Nick Thompson is a repercussion of being an elite level fighter outside of the UFC.
Fighters who show elite-level ability can outgrow the competition around them very quickly in some promotions. If they want to take the next step forward as a fighter, both competitively and financially, then they need to make the move to the UFC. It’s a harsh reality of the mixed martial arts landscape for those not in the good graces of Zuffa. The step up in competition that Zuffa can provide brings legitimacy and respectability. Combined with the increased marketing and exposure the UFC can bring to the table, it results in sponsorship money that can far exceed a fighter’s purse.
After watching Shields win on Saturday evening, it got me thinking about who else in mixed martial arts would benefit from a move to the UFC or the WEC. Below is a short list of fighters, one from each major weight class, who are in dire need of a move to Zuffa:
MMA Adversary Removed From NYS Payroll
In a recent New York Post story discussing the firing of Ron-Scott Stevens, who had been the chairman of the New York State Athletic Commission, it was speculated by George Willis, the writer of that piece, that Stevens’ attitude toward MMA, which has not yet been passed in New York but inevitably will be, was a factor in the decision by Governor David Patterson to replace with with Melvina Latham.
Stevens was quoted in Willis’ story as saying, “It’s not my role to say whether I like it or not. My role is, if it’s passed by the legislature, to regulate it properly.”
That’s a tough thing to do when the whole world knows you have a pre-disposition against it. It’s the kind of thing that would leave him open to constant attack, some of it justified, over decisions that may seem controversial or unfair against an MMA operator. And that might be the kind of thing that is expected out of someone who is part of the boxing culture, as a matchmaker for so many years as Stevens was.
Ask the Doc: Dr. Benjamin on scar tissue
Welcome to our initial "Ask the MMA Doc" column here at MMAjunkie.com.
Every other week, I'll answer your questions about current medical issues and general trends within the MMA industry.
My initial column takes a look at some of the big topics currently being discussed within the community, including scar tissue, the ABC's new definition as to what constitutes a strike to the "back of the head," and whether youth MMA is really safe.
If there's a question you have, scroll to the bottom of the page to find out how to contact me. We might use it in a future column.
Here we go...