CBS Executive Responds To Critics Of MMA Debut
In life and network television, there are tradeoffs.
Kelly Kahl, Senior Executive Vice President for CBS Primetime television, found out you can’t please everybody, especially when perfection is the standard.
On the mixed martial arts message forums mere hours after the conclusion of CBS’s grand MMA experiment, “CBS-EliteXC Saturday Night Fights,” Kahl realized that few fans were ready to give his product a ticker tape parade. Much of the feedback was downright nasty.
“I thought some of it was fair,” he said. “I think in some cases you have people out there who… basically, if it’s not UFC it’s not credible.
“We have a little work to do with the hardcore fans and that’s something we’ll certainly address next time. But I think in terms of getting new people in I think we did a fantastic job.”
Best around: MMAmania.com exclusive sit down with WEC champion Miguel Torres
On one night in February, Miguel Torres went from being a relatively unknown fighter from East Chicago (Ind.), to being the WEC bantamweight champion and being considered one of the top pound for pound fighters in the world.
His first real introduction to most casual fans was at WEC 32, when Torres defeated then-champion Chase Beebe via submission (guillotine choke) to win the 135-pound title. However, the scrappy Mexican-American has been beating people up — sometimes grown men who outweigh him by more than 25 pounds — for years in sanctioned and unsanctioned bouts for close to a decade .
His nearly perfect professional record (46-1), which includes just about every submission and finishing result in the book, is nothing compared to his unbelievable “amateur” accomplishments.
That number might seem different to you because Sherdog’s Fight Finder has Torres listed as 33-1. Torres acknowledges that they were small time fights that were unsanctioned
“They were fights that helped build my career,” Torres told MMAMania.com. “They were the ones that got me into the sport. They weren’t weight classed, they were open rules.”
Those early fights earned him a cult-like following on the underground Midwest MMA scene, as well as the respect of his peers such as UFC veteran and The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) star, Stephan Bonnar.
“When we were coming up, Miguel had the entire Chicago scene by the balls,” said Bonnar. “He could sell more tickets than anyone. He turned events into such a show, complete with Mariachi bands and everything.”
MMA Myths Debunked Again
In the mid-’90s, politicians looking to score easy points succeeded in pressuring cable television executives to boot the fledgling sport off cable television. Instead of killing off MMA, it simply went underground
When MMA returned to cable in 2001, it was portrayed as a sign of the decline of American civilization. Somehow, the republic survived.
When the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s popularity exploded in 2005, it was dismissed as a fad that would soon go away. Three years later, the company is on the hottest sustained pay-per-view business streak in its history.
EliteXC: If It's on TV, It Must Be Good!
Well, this is it, folks. After years of government and media backlash, countless steps back and some memorably disastrous runs at the mainstream, MMA finally makes its major network debut with none other than Gary Shaw leading the way.
Hard to believe but EliteXC has made its mainstream push behind an odd assortment like reformed YouTube brawler Kimbo Slice and female MMA superstar Gina Carano. Both will be present and accounted for come 9 p.m. Saturday night on CBS and so should you if for no other reason than to see if John McCain shows up and tries to call the whole thing off. Gotta admit, it would be good for a few laughs.
Kimbo not the face of MMA
Kimbo Slice, a one-time homeless man, one-time strip club bouncer, one-time backyard, back-alley brawler turned Internet sensation/big money mixed martial artist isn’t a problem. Only in America, right?
He’s said to be a great guy, a boot-strap success story who deserves everything coming to him. I’ve watched him maul “Adryan” a half dozen times alone. You have, or will, too.
Kimbo Slice being a street fighter, rather than a Brazilian jiu-jitsu or Muay Thai master, isn’t a problem either.
A lot of good points here. I agree with this article for the most part. I do think that the UFC gives fighters easier opponents sometimes to give them wins.
Bas Rutten Talks IFL, Grand Theft Auto 4 & More
Three events into a new year and the International Fight League has put in some of the most exciting match-ups in the organization’s brief history.
Key to the in-ring success has come at the hands of the matchmaking. Lead by Kurt Otto, in conjunction with Bas “El Guapo” Rutten, the IFL’s change of format to individual fights with champions in six weight classes has proven to be a shot in the arm to the company’s live events.
In particular, Rutten has grown into his role as Vice President of Fighter Operations, continuing his transition from fighter to MMA business professional, enjoying every minute of it.
Recently Bas took time from his always hectic schedule to speak to MMAWeekly about the current status of the IFL, his foray into the world of video games and his always present endeavors into expanding the Bas Rutten name and brand.
Andrei Arlovski To Hold Press Conference To Announce His Future
Andrei Arlovski will be holding a media day this Tuesday in Los Angeles to announce his plans for the future. Many are speculating that Arlovski will announce his departure from the UFC for either Affliction or Adrenaline MMA.
Arlovski will hold the media day at Wild Card Gym in Hollywood where he'll be working on his boxing and conditioning with Freddie Roach and Alex Ariza.
Bobby Lashley Next In Line
Bobby Lashley is the next former WWE star to make his way into MMA. He spoke with the Daily Star about it here:
Lashley has his sights set on MMA, and has been training hard, to avoid going in as a typical wrestler. He tells me his kickboxing and striking have come on leaps and bounds - "I want to knock people out on my feet and submit people" - and that he's looking at his debut as early as August, or even on PPV in October.
"I want to be an MMA guy who used to wrestle," he says, but he's not ruling out wrestling. Lashley's great mates Angle and Booker made the switch to TNA and have obviously been bending his ear to get him over there.
The only two companies doing PPV's in October are Affliction and UFC. I could see UFC bringing him in to face Brock Lesnar, because the marketing potential is very obvious. However, it is also clear that companies like Affliction looking for names to draw would be interested in paying him good money too. It's also possible that Elite XC could try to run a PPV in October if the May debut goes well. Kimbo v. Lashley, anyone?
That being said, companies like Affliction and Elite XC should be very wary of signing Lashley to a big contract for his name value. He was never a draw at all in the pro wrestling world, and doesn't have anywhere close to the name value of a Brock Lesnar or Kurt Angle. Without a hype machine like UFC behind his debut, Lashley is not going to draw very much.
HDNet Fights Planning Super-Fights
When Mark Cuban announced his intentions of promoting mixed martial arts, many people were excited about the possibilities the billionaire could bring to the sport.
Since the formation of HDNet Fights last year, the Dallas based organization has held two events. It's been five months since they've put on a show, but HDNet Fights CEO Andrew Simon told MMAWeekly they plan on putting together "super-fights" in the future.
HDNet started airing MMA with World Extreme Cagefighting, but has expanded their coverage to showing several regional events from around the country as well as Japanese promotions.
"We have the ability to partner with pretty much any organization out there," said Simon. "And when the timing is right, you're going to see us promote again some super-fights."
"We're going to be pretty opportunistic when we want to promote ourselves. We're in a little bit of a different position than everyone else. We have our own television network. We have our own arena in Dallas with the American Airlines Center, and we're not into it to just put on fights every month ourselves just because. I think you're going to see when we come back it will be a pretty big fight."
So Nobody Wants To See GSP/Silva?
by MMAjunkie.com Staff on May 17, 2008 at 2:07 pm ET
Sure, it may be a pipe dream -- the type of fantasy match-up that mixed-martial-arts fans can only dream about.
So, when we posted our latest MMAjunkie.com/"Inside MMA" poll -- "Should the UFC allow a fight between Georges St. Pierre and Anderson Silva?" -- we were bracing for some of the most lopsided results in our polling history.
Sure enough, the results were lopsided. But not in the manner we expected.
Tens of thousands of votes were cast for the poll, and surprisingly, most of them were against the bout and didn't want to see the UFC's middleweight title-holder meet the UFC's welterweight champ.
In fact, nearly three-quarters of the voters -- 72 percent -- don't think the UFC should schedule the St. Pierre-Silva fight, and only 28 percent were in favor of it.
"I guess they don't want to see either one lose," host Kenny Rice concluded.
The results baffled panelists Renato "Babalu" Sobral, Gary "Big Daddy" Goodridge and Martin de Jong, as well. Granted, they didn't necessarily think the fight should be scheduled either -- but they assumed the MMA enthusiasts would want it.
Give 'em credit them, though. The fans know that some things are better left to the imagination.
WHAT DOES THE PLAYGROUND THINK?