Anyone insistent that mixed martial arts has more in common with boxing than professional wrestling should learn their alphabet: UFC, IFL, WAMMA, etc.
Like the televised clown convention that is the WWE, the UFC has a stable of athletes unavailable for lending -- kind of like those musty reference books at the library.
That stands in sharp contrast to boxing's business model, which tends to acquiesce to fans' demands. Lennox Lewis was an HBO commodity. Mike Tyson was on Showtime's leash. Yet, the two networks understood that remaining contentious was just leaving money on the table.
With $106 million in the till, the Lewis-Tyson fight was the second most profitable pay-per-view of all time.
MMA's current problem is that no one -- fans, media or otherwise -- are demanding promoters to make important bouts before age and ring wear make them obsolete.
What follows is a list of fighters from disparate promotions that should swap leather before it's too late.
Tara LaRosa discusses record contract, Gina Carano
LEXINGTON, KY. -- It seemed that no sooner than the ink had dried on the American Fight League's contract with female MMA superstar Tara LaRosa (15-1) that rumors began to spread throughout the MMA community of a half-million-dollar price tag.
LaRosa told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) on Thursday that sum wasn't exactly true -- it could actually be worth more.
"I stand to make between 500,000 and 750,000 (dollars) depending on my performance and how I do with all of my fights," said LaRosa, now the sport's highest-paid female fighter.
Ken Shamrock Next Up For Frank Shamrock
Frank Shamrock on his next opponent:
"My goal for my next fight is to fight Ken, to fight my brother Ken, to have a brother versus brother match. I think that's a huge fight that everybody gets–easy to understand. You could use it as a huge promotional vehicle because it's got such a great hook in it, and I think it's just a huge fight, so I've been working hard on that one. First quarter of next year, I'll get it done."
‘MMA Legacy’ casting call for new reality series
Big John McCarthy’s Ultimate Training Academy in Valencia, Calif., will host an open casting call on Monday, June 22 at 1 p.m. local time for a new reality show titled, “MMA Legacy.”
The idea behind the show is to give fans a behind the scenes look at the day-to-day lives of the people involved in mixed martial arts, whether it’s established up-and coming fighters, models and ring girls, and anyone else involved with the business side of the sport.
Jason Chambers — the host of the History Channel’s reality show “Human Weapon” — will be the executive producer of the show. Here are his thoughts on what exactly they’re looking for at the casting call:
The Case Against Counter Programming
What do you get when you mix one part Anderson Silva, one part free TV, and one part revenge?
A huge mistake on July 19th.
Originally rumored to be headlined by Wanderlei Silva or Brandon Vera or Wanderlei Silva AND Brandon Vera, Zuffa has thrown together a card featuring the 205 lb. debut of pound-for-pound king Anderson Silva. The card will also showcase Brandon Vera, a lightweight bout between Hermes Franca and Frank Edgar, and a heavyweight fight with prospects Jake O'Brien and Cain Velasquez.
The questions is, "Why?"
Attention Promoters: This Is How You Promote Local Mixed Martial Arts Shows
From an interview with Joseph Cavallaro, the promoter of the local Massachusetts show "World Championship Fighting":
Sherdog.com: Who is putting down money to come see your shows?
Cavallaro: It's funny because we need the hardcore mixed martial arts fans. We need that. We have to have a base of guys that read Sherdog, guys that go to all the fights. That's great. We definitely need to have them. I love them. I'm one of those guys; I fall into that category. But we need to get outside of that also and capture the people that may know who Chuck Liddell (Pictures) is and may see Rampage on TV, but they haven't actually been to a fight before.
MMA Down for the Count in New York...again!
A measure to legalize Mixed Martial Arts, AKA Ultimate Fighting, or Cage Fighting, is apparently down for the count in the Assembly Tourism committee after it looked like it didn’t have enough votes to move forward this afternoon.
Among those taking credit for the knockout was Assemblyman Bob Reilly, D-Colonie who argued that the state shouldn’t sanction a sport characterized larely by its brutality.
“We ban cockfighting and dog fighting — should we allow humans to enter a cage to knee, kick, and punch each other?” asked Reilly.
Last week Reilly had expressed concern that the measure might pass, given the big money and lobbying pressure involved here. But ultimately, the argument against it prevailed.
Ultimate Fighting Championship, the organization that promotes such activities, has been lobbying to get in New York since 2001.
It’s currently illegal in over 20 states, including New York, said Reilly.
Lindland Lays Down The LAW
U.S. Olympic Silver Medal Wrestler, Matt “The Law” Lindland would bring the same dogged determination that made him one of the world’s top professional mixed-martial-artists to a job in the Oregon House of Representatives.
The 38-year-old resident of Oregon City may be near the end of his fighting career, but his political life is just beginning. Recently winning the Republican nomination for House District 52 in Oregon, Lindland received 58-percent of the votes in the primary and has begun his campaign for the general election in the fall.
Oregon suffers from some of the worst unemployment rates in the country, and Lindland believes there’s a solution—if the state became competitive in the global marketplace, jobs would open in the private sector and the quality of life would improve for his prospective constituents. When it comes to building a world-class school system, the would-be Representative believes in shifting power from the bureaucracy to the teachers, parents and principals. Other key issues for him include changing land laws to make them fair to property owners, discontinuing government regulation of property values, and opposing tax increases.
MMA Fights In Tennessee Now Legal
Gov. Phil Bredesen on Tuesday signed a bill that will pave the way for professional matches to be held in the state.
Until now, it was only legal to train in Tennessee.
One local gym is looking to hold large tournaments in front of 2,000 people as early as the fall. But first, the state has to set up a commission to regulate the fights.
"It was definitely a hurry up and wait. We pushed, we pushed, we pushed. We spearheaded this whole campaign to get this passed and now it's like, ‘Yes you're allowed but we don't really know what you're allowed to do yet,’” said Nashville MMA representative Jamie Bryant.
The Fight Network And Affliction Announce Partnership
The Fight Network and Affliction will team up in Toronto to announce some big news about the upcoming Affliction Banned event.
To learn more details about The Fight Network's coverage of the historic Affliction Banned MMA event and the All-World Caliber undercard on July 19th, please join us at a News Conference at the MMA Expo on Saturday, June 21st at 2 pm ET hosted by The Fight Network, North America and the UK's only all-combat sports channel, and Affliction, the premier fashion label for men who love hard rock and fast living.
Interview with 1st UFC Champion Royce Gracie
MMAyou.com had the opportunity to speak with a legend in Mixed Martial Arts when we interviewed the first UFC champion; Royce Gracie. Check out what Gracie has to say regarding rematches with Ken Shamrock and Kazushi Sakuraba, what’s he up to nowadays, Rickson Gracie appearing in the Incredible Hulk, and much more!
Arizona Adopts Unified MMA Rules
Chalk Arizona as another state that's joined the action:
Arizona joins Georgia and North Carolina as the latest states to adopt the unified rules for mixed martial arts combat. The Arizona bill was sponsored by Jonathan Paton, a member of the Arizona House of Representatives. An intelligence officer for the U.S. Army Reserve, Paton became a fan of MMA during his infantry training in Fort Benning, Ga. When he returned to Arizona, he began working out at Arizona Combat Sports, one of the top professional gyms in the Southwest, which has produced such fighters as current WEC lightweight champion Jamie Varner (Pictures) and TUF 7 cast member C.B Dollaway.
Tito Ortiz-This Is Gonna Hurt...It Certainly Did
I will get to the very few highlights of the book but believe me when I say there weren't many. If half the shit he talked about is true I certainly commend him for picking himself up and making a life for himself. While I have always enjoyed Ortiz's antics and for the most part his fights, I have lost a measure of respect for him as a person.
The book starts out talking about his early childhood, his mother and father were big time potheads. There's a picture of them sitting at a table cutting up marijuana plants. Tito grew up with two older half brothers. This is where his first outrageous claim starts. He says that he was smoking pot and drinking by the time he was 5, I don't know about you but I find that a little ridiculous. If it's true then his older brothers are the biggest dirtbags in the world. He was never a good student because for the most part he skipped a lot of school and was into getting in trouble. Nothing major but petty theft and the like. His parents never tried to hide their drug use and were very open about it. His father was injured at work and was on morphine to dull the pain, when that was no longer working his mom and dad were introduced to Heroin. Their habit was bad and it forced the family to move from place to place, live in motels, people's garages and trailers. Tito had no direction and was getting high and joined a gang.
This behavior continued throughout middle school and it wasn't until early on in High School Tito met a friend named Eric Escobdo who was on the wrestling team, this is where Tito's life began to turn for the better. He kept clean for the most part while wrestling but after the season ended it was right back to the drugs. He did everything but Heroin, he said he would never do that because of what it did to his parents. He was pretty succesful in wrestling right from the start and he really enjoyed it. He met his future wife Kristin while a sophmore and it was just a friendship then it wouldn't turn into love until awhile later. Tito went to jail during the summer of his sophmore year for stealing a car. This was one of many times he had run ins with the law, but as I said they were never anything major. He was very close to going to jail for a long time and he has wrestling to thank for not being involved. His friend Nacho begged him to go on a run with him to do some work for a guy, well he didn;t go because pf practice and his friend was arrested with a million dollars worth of speed, guns and bulletproof vests, his friend got 25 to life.
After high school his mom who was now remarried told him his stepfather wanted him out so he moved in with his stepbrother and his girlfriend. He got a job at a moving company and was miserable. He was still getting high and being a degenerate. He started dealing meth and other drugs and one night at a party he reconnected with Kristin, they started to hang out and that's how they began their love story. Then by chance he was at a bar and ran into an old wrestling coach. He helped Tito get financial aid, hooked him up with the wrestling coach and he was off to Golden West College. Tito started school in 1995 and was a physical education major, he said he would have loved to have been a teacher because he wanted to help kids avoid the pitfalls that life can throw at you. Kristin also attended the same school with him. In his first year he won the state title and led the state with the most pins. It was around this time when he became hooked on watching The UFC. One day while watching an event he recognized a guy he had defeated while in high school, his name was Jerry Bohlander and Tito was amazed.
After the wrestling season ended he was introduced to Tank Abbott who was looking for someone to help him train, so Tito went and trained with Tank for a few weeks. Tank taught how to work the crowd and make yourself a commodity. Tito went back to school and repeated as state champion in 1996. In March of 1997 Tank called Tito asking him if he was interested in fighting on an UFC card. He fought as an amateur so he wouldn't lose his student status. He trained for 6 months with Tank to get ready for his fight. To my surprise his first fight in MMA was not with the UFC, it was to fight in a gym against a BJJ guy, he wanted to test himself. That fight went to a draw.
His first UFC fight was May 30th, 1997 at UFC 13. He fought Wes Albritton a 5th degree black belt in karate. The fight lasted 22 seconds, they clinched Tito took him down and mounted him and nailed him with punches. To his surpise he fought again that night against Guy Mezger. Tito tapped out to a rear naked choke after some back and forth action. After that people started recognizing him and his life would never be the same. He then attended Bakersfield college and it was there that he started another life long problem, cheating on Kristin. With her back in Huntington Beach it was easy. This is also where his relationship with Tank went awry. Tito got into trouble, Tank promised him help and never delivered. He also had problems with the wrestling coach at Bakersfield, they didn't get along at all. He quit school after the season and went back to Huntington Beach and got a job at Spanky's Adult Novelty Store. He had a manager by the name of Saul Garcia who was trying to get him a fight with the UFC but Tank stabbed Tito in the back and said he would never fight for the UFC again if they hired Tito. He took a fight in a warehouse against a guy named Eugen Jackson a veteran of Extreme Fighting Championships. That fight ended up a draw as well.
Tito was fed up and him and his manager went down to Brazil to go see a UFC official named John Peretti, this trip was sponsored and paid for by the owner of Spanky's. After some needling Peretti called Tito and offered him a fight with his old high school opponent Jerry Bohlander. This took place on January 8, 1999 at UFC 18. Tito won by TKO at 14:31. Right before the fight he was approached by a porn production company and they paid him a couple grand to wear a t-shirt htat said I Just ****** Your Ass. This is where the t-shirt thing started. His next fight was on March 5, 1999 at UFC 19 against Guy Mezger once again. He beat him the whole fight and it was stopped at 13:00. That;s when he pulled out the Gay Mezger Is My Bitch shirt and this is where the war with Ken Shamrock started as Tito flipped of Mezger's crew.