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.
FIRST MMA REVOCATION FOR DOUBLE DRUG FAILURE
John George, who last competed for MEZ Sports Partners on June 14, 2008 in Upland, Calif., has had his license revoked by the California State Athletic Commission. George becomes the first athlete in California to test positive twice for anabolic agents and the first athlete to have his license as a professional athlete revoked for the repeat steroid violation.
He is eligible to reapply for licensure after Sept. 23, 2009. Due to having tested positive twice and having his license revoked, however, before any subsequent application for license is approved, George will need to appear in front of the California State Athletic Commission. A majority vote of the Commission will determine if his application for license is granted and if he is reinstated for competition.
Two other fighters, Alijah Reni and Jeremy Tavares, have also been fined and suspended by the CSAC.
Reni, who last competed for War Gods on Sept. 12, 2008, in Salinas, has been suspended for adulterating his test for drugs of abuse. He has been fined $1,000 and suspended from the conclusion of the bout through March 11, 2009.
Ross "The Boss" Mason In Critical Condition
For those of you who don't know him, Ross is a British MMA fighter who has fought at Cage Rage many times, most recently against Scott Jansen and before that against Ross Pointin.
"Contrary to local radio news reports this morning which stated that Ross “The Boss” Mason had died after receiving stab wounds outside a Birmingham Nightclub; we can now announce that these reports were incorrect.
However we are able to confirm that Ross Mason was found in the early hours of this morning with serve head injuries and had initially died as he was taken to Alexandra Hospital in Redditch. However he was resuscitated at the Hospital and is presently in a critical condition in the ICU Unit.
Earlier today Marc Goddard was taken into an office at the Liverpool Olympia and was informed of Ross' death, due to these incorrect media reports. Goddard and his Management then decided he would not fight later tonight at Cage Gladiators, because he wanted to be with Ross' family as they are close personal friends.
Goddard was then taken back to Birmingham only to be told that Ross had not died but was in a "critical state" on a life support machine. This has only added to Marc's turmoil and it would be an understatement to say that his mind was not connected with fighting at this time.
Everybody at Warrior Promotions and Cage Warriors are deeply saddened by this incident and our thoughts are with Ross, his family and friends during this dreadful ordeal. We also hope he will be able to pull through this and make a full recovery."
A newly sober Don Frye ready for another run at big time
Forty-two-year-old MMA legend Don Frye has a newfound focus on training and is ready for another shot at MMA prominence.
Frye shared his vision for the future, and what change was most needed, while a guest on a recent edition of TAGG Radio, the official radio partner of MMAjunkie.com.
"I quit drinking a month ago because I was doing too much of it," Frye admitted. "It lost its fun for me, but I was still doing it. Now I'm clean and sober."
Jacaré on Mousasi: “It wasn’t a lucky shot”
After submitting Zelg Galesic at the Dream’s middleweight GP, Ronaldo “Jacaré” Souza got to the final as the favorite against Gegard Mousasi, but an unpredictable kick put an end to the championship for Jacaré. “It wasn’t a lucky shot! I did some mistakes and he was the champion of the night”, said the fighter, who doesn’t thinks about a revenge. “I don’t think about a revenge. I wanna fight always and if one they he come to fight me, I’ll be very happy”.
One of the biggest names of the championship, Melvin Manhoef was submitted by Mousasi on the same night, but Jacaré was already expecting the result. “I was prepared to fight both of them, and the day after I said that Mousasi was more complete fighter and had more chances to win”, said the athlete, that comes back to train waiting for his new challenge in the event.
BILLY EVANGELISTA TRIES TO REMAIN UNDEFEATED
Wednesday night, Billy Evangelista hit what distance athletes call “The Wall.” MMAWeekly.com spoke to him in the throes of cutting weight. Cotton-mouthed and gravelly, he sounded miserable on the phone.
“Hot and tired,” he said. “I’m thinking every time I see a gas station of something, I can drink in there. Part of the untold great things of MMA.”
When Evangelista’s suffering ends Thursday after weigh-ins, he’ll acquaint himself with another unknown, his opponent. Like all of his fights, Evangelista sees them for the first time on the scale. In this day of tape dissecting and game plans, he prefers to improvise when he gets in the cage.
“I think all the secrets are out already,” he said. “I think it’s how well you use them in combination, from move to move, and discipline to discipline. I just know that he’s going to be a tough fighter, and like everybody else, I should be ready for everything he’s going to try and throw at me.”
Medical beat: Do MMA fans want a sport -- or sanctioned street fight?
I write articles about sports from a medical perspective. I have been described as "a passionate fan that just happens to be a doctor." I like this description and find it to be reasonably accurate.
I am not trying to preach to anyone or act as some sort of "moral authority." I am not the all-knowing definitive voice of anything. I aspire to use my training/knowledge, professional (and personal) experience and humor to offer a fresh perspective.
Do the hardcore fans want MMA to be a sport or sanctioned street fight?
Women's MMA is Ready for Its Closeup
As previously blogged by Mike Fagan, the media is paying increasing attention to women's MMA. The latest example is a cover story in Minneapolis City Pages.
It's a long article, so here are the highlights:
EliteXC considering all-female card:
"We're looking into having two divisions. And we hope to keep bringing in top-level talent to fill our rosters," says Jeremy Lapin, head of EliteXC fight operations. "We're actually looking into having an all-female card in the future."
Rosenthal on Kim Couture fight:
"I didn't catch flak for the fight and some complimented me for letting the fight happen," Rosenthal says. "Kim Couture even complimented me by saying I had the sack to let it keep going."
Gina Carano on cutting weight with her opponent:
"Kaitlin is such a sweetie," Carano would say later. "We actually cut weight together in the sauna before the fight. She's still young and is going to become a great fighter."
Smack talk about Gina leading up to this Saturday's fight on CBS:
People have made much about Kobald's upcoming fight against Carano on CBS this Saturday. Kobald has been quoted to the effect that she plans on ******* Carano's shit up. "Right now it's the Gina Carano league and her opponents," Kobald says of EliteXC.
UFC Quick Quote: War Machine on the war path
So the UFC decided to let me go because of my statements after the death of Evan Tanner. They tried to make it look like I was insensitive towards Evan and that that was the reason I was being cut. In all honesty my bulletin regarding Evan was bashing the UFC and the way they treat fighters and not negative to Evan in any way. if anything I was sticking up for Evan and the way he was mistreated by the UFC just like the vast majority of it fighters. Anyway, since my bulletins and all the bullshit being talked about on the underground several of Evan Tanner’s close friends and family members have been in contact with me. 99 percent of them were not mad at all and pretty much let me know that they knew where I was going with the whole bulletin and for me not to worry about hurting any of them directly. SO yeah one of his close friends just messaged me a few hours ago and let me know that the UFC sent NO ONE to speak at his funeral. He let me know how much this saddened the family and how very disappointed they were about it all. This is an EX CHAMPION of theirs, NOT some scrub that fought for them once and thats it. Are you trying to tell me he doesn’t deserve any of the UFC brass’ presence at his funeral? Doesn’t deserve a single kind word or statement of gratitude for the services that he provided their organization?”
Cures for the common losing streaks
Depending on the native language of the fan, the perception of Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic varies widely. For some, he's an overhyped expatriate of obscure Japanese fight culture. For others, he has the most talented lower body -- glutes, quads, the ever-popular hamstring -- next to Pele's.
For those who were weaned on Filipovic's exploits in Japan from 2001 to 2006, HDNet's broadcast of Dream 6 on Tuesday provided further depressing evidence that the once-feared Croatian is nearing the end of his tenure as a heavyweight threat. Battered by inconsistent Alistair Overeem, Cro Cop has not made a significant move since winning Pride's open-weight tournament in 2006.
He's one of several attractions who have struggled in recent months to restore sheen to their careers and make corrections to obvious faults in tactical preparation. At age 34, Filipovic's problems don't seem the result of physical deterioration. He's simply an older make of an athlete who needs an upgrade if he is to remain competitive with today's crop of licensed killers.
SUPERFIGHTS MMA "NIGHT OF COMBAT" FIGHT CARD
Superfights MMA (with special thanks to KC Concepts) presents a Night of Combat featuring top fighters from Xtreme Couture, live at the Thomas & Mack Center on Saturday, October 11, 2008. The event will feature John Alessio, Mike Pyle, Jay Hieron, Josh Haynes and an entire night of MMA action.
Elena "Baby Doll" Reid vs Stephanie Palmer
Ian Omalza vs Ryan Hass
Patrick "Kui" Gonzalves vs Ryan Lamareaux
Johnathan "J J" Mix vs John Halverson
Josh "Bring The Pain" Haynes vs Steve Byrnes
John "The Natural" Alessio vs Gideon Ray
Mike "Quicksand" Pyle vs Brain Gassaway
Jay "The Thorobred" Hieron vs Bryson Kamaka
Hector "Sick Dog" Ramirez vs Rick "The Jet" Roufus
*Be advised that all bouts are subject to change prior to the date of the event.
The Growing Wave of Females in MMA
Julie Kedzie's nose bleeds again, and her hair's a mess. Wisps of it have come free from her tight cornrows. She works hard to catch her breath.
Still, the professional mixed martial arts fighter beams like a cheerleader at the top of the pyramid. It's a clear case of "You should see the other guy."
The referee has called a stop to Kedzie's fight with Julia Berezekova at the Ice Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia. The packed venue erupts as Kedzie raises her arms in victory.
And so begins an article by my friend, Susan Brackney (non-pdf version here). I point the article out because not only is this a focus piece on women's MMA, but it can be found in an issue of Indianapolis Woman.