UFC 129 earns 2012 Sports Business Award nomination for 'Event of the Year'
For the second straight year, the UFC has been recognized with a Sports Business Award nomination.
This past April's UFC 129 event – a first-ever stadium show that set a North American and UFC attendance record with 55,724 – earned a nomination for "Sports Event of the Year."
However, unlike 2011, the UFC wasn't nominated for "Sports League of the Year."
Officials today announced the nominations. The awards, which the industry publication "SportsBusiness Journal" launched in 2008, celebrate excellence in sports business. This year's winners will be unveiled as part of a ceremony on May 23 at the New York Marriott Marquis at Times Square in New York City.
UFC 129 took place on April 30, 2011, at Toronto's Rogers Centre. The landmark event – which saw title defenses from Canadian welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre and featherweight titleholder Jose Aldo – sold out on the first day tickets went on sale to the general public. In addition to attendance records, the event, which also included a two-day UFC Fan Expo, set a UFC and North American live-gate record with $12.1 million. It was also one of the biggest PPV draws in recent years.
In the "Sports League of the Year" category, UFC 129 faces competition from the 2011 Carrier Classic (NCAA basketball), 2011 Humana Challenge (PGA), 2011 NBA Finals and Super Bowl XLVI (NFL). The 2010 ING New York City Marathon is the reigning division winner...
UFC's Marc Ratner wants 'international federation' to regulate events
Thus far, regulators haven't been able to keep up with the UFC's aggressive international expansion.
Events in Canada, Australia and –next month – Sweden, are regulated by an independent regulatory body. But in places where no athletic commission exists, the promotion has taken that role for events in the U.K., Brazil and Japan.
UFC vice president of regulatory affairs Mark Ratner would like to see a single agency take the lead in regulating international events, overseeing officials, conducting drug tests and enforcing the unified rules of MMA. He said the promotion is pushing for an "international federation" to do the job.
"We'd like to get it over to France, and someday to Brazil and to Italy, so we have one set of rules, one set of medical standards," Ratner told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio). "That's our long-term goal. We do need a worldwide federation."
France, Italy and Spain are among the international destinations the promotion is actively targeting for future shows. A return to Abu Dhabi is also on the radar, Ratner said, though an exact date is unknown.
There were seven international events on the UFC's calendar in 2010 and six in 2011. The promotion is on track to top those numbers this year with six events already in the books or scheduled. In addition to live events, international editions of the UFC's flagship reality show "The Ultimate Fighter" are now underway with filming underway in Brazil and an "Australia vs. U.K." season in the works. Executives hope eventually to create a grand-prix tournament of international "TUF" contestants.
So demand is there for officials beyond U.S. borders...
Following NSAC challenge, lawyer says UFC's Nick Diaz didn't lie about marijuana RX
A lawyer representing Nick Diaz said the Nevada Attorney General's office made a "very offensive" and "ridiculous" statement when Diaz was accused of lying on a pre-fight medical questionnaire prior to his fight with Carlos Condit at UFC 143.
Las Vegas-based lawyer Ross Goodman contends that Diaz's medical-marijuana card doesn't constitute a prescription.
So, he said, the fighter wasn't lying when he checked "no" on the part of the questionnaire asking whether he had taken or received any prescribed medications two weeks prior to his fight.
"The fact that they're falling back now on this is significant because you would think they would respond to the stuff that we argued in the response, which I think is basically irrefutable," Goodman told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
Goodman on March 7 responded to a complaint for disciplinary action against Diaz that was issued Feb. 8 when a post-fight drug test revealed the presence of marijuana metabolites. Diaz (27-8 MMA, 7-5 UFC) lost a unanimous decision to Condit (28-5 MMA, 5-1 UFC) in the headliner of UFC 143, which took place Feb. 4 at Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas. He subsequently said he he was retiring from competition after the pay-per-view event.
For now, Diaz is temporarily suspended pending a hearing scheduled for next month in Las Vegas, where he'll appear to face a possible yearlong suspension and fines. He also tested positive for marijuana following a 2007 win over Takanori Gomi at PRIDE 33. Diaz was suspended for six months for that offense, and the result of the bout was changed to a no-contest.
Rule 467.850 of the NSAC's administrative code bars the use of illicit substances such as performance-enhancing drugs and drugs of abuse, including marijuana. The commission also recognizes a list of substances prohibited in and out of competition by the World Anti-Doping Agency, or WADA...
Zuffa takes down illegal site, going after users for the first time
As part of the on-going initiative against online piracy, Zuffa LLC, the parent company of the Ultimate Fighting Championship® organization, was successful in taking down and seizing the records of www.greenfeedz.com, a website which illegally streamed a dozen UFC Pay-Per-View events.
The records detail the email addresses, user names, number of events users illegally streamed and the IP addresses of all users who registered to watch pirated UFC events. The website had illegally streamed all UFC PPVs from UFC 130 to UFC 142, and the user records date back to May 28, 2011.
'I Am Bruce Lee' documentary debuts tonight on Spike TV
"I Am Bruce Lee" makes it television debut tonight on Spike TV.
The two-hour documentary focuses on the legendary Bruce Lee, a cultural icon and seminal figure in the history of martial arts.
The two-hour film – which includes interviews with the likes of UFC president Dana White, Stephan Bonnar, Jon Jones, Cung Le and Gina Carano – airs at 9 p.m. ET/PT.
Before an untimely death in 1973 at just 32 years old, Lee entertained as a martial-arts instructor, actor and producer, which earned him the nickname the "Father of Martial Arts Cinema." He also founded the Jeet Kune Do martial-arts and life-philosophy movement, which inspired many current MMA fighters...
UFC champ Jon Jones to serve as Daytona 500 honorary race official
UFC light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones is heading to NASCAR's Daytona 500.
Jones serves as an honorary race official for the 54th annual Sprint Cup Series race, which takes place Feb. 26 at Daytona International Speedway in Florida.
The season-opening NASCAR race airs on UFC broadcast partner FOX.
"I am thrilled to be able to serve as honorary race official at this year's Daytona 500, NASCAR's premier event," Jones stated in a release. "Like the UFC, NASCAR has a passionate and knowledgeable fan base, and I am honored that I will get to share this experience with them."
FTC ends probe of UFC/Strikeforce deal
The Federal Trade Commission closed a non-public investigation into the Ultimate Fighting Championship's purchase of Strikeforce last week and will take no further action in the case.
Documents published on the FTC website dated January 25, confirm the FTC's Bureau of Competition conducted an investigation to determine whether the $34 million acquisition of Explosion Entertainment, LLC, by UFC's parent company, Zuffa LLC, violated Section 7 of the Clayton Act or Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act.
In closing letters issued to counsel for Zuffa and Explosion Entertainment, FTC secretary Donald S. Clark stated, "Upon further review of this matter, it now appears that no further action is warranted by the Commission at this time. Accordingly, the investigation has been closed."
Las Vegas FOX affiliate says hackers' attack on White sees innocent woman harassed
UFC president Dana White's war on Internet piracy may have just taken an unexpected (and somewhat bizarre) turn.
Twenty-four hours after hackers posted White's alleged personal info – including his apparent phone number, social security number and current and past addresses – a Las Vegas woman has come forward and claims at least part of that information is completely incorrect.
"When I look, it's my phone number and my address," Las Vegas' Julie Breeler told FOX 5 Vegas in a Friday night report. "There's no Dana White here, folks."
Breeler claims to have received more than 500 phone calls since her information was released in place of White's actual data.
In the report, FOX 5 reporter Matt Delucia suggests the UFC boss' name became associated with Breeler's address thanks to a past resident of the house who owned a white cat named "Dana," and used the pseudonym as a way to detect junk mail...
Dan Henderson Implies That Vitor Belfort Uses Steroids, Says He’s Getting Crazy
That’s not true, this fight [against Anthony Johnson] was never offered to me. Steroids might be killing Vitor’s neurons, he’s getting crazy to say something like that”.
Yesterday we featured comments from Vitor Belfort that explained his decisions for taking the Anthony Johnson fight in Brazil. In the same interview Belfort stated that Dan Henderson was on a list of many fighters who turned downed the middleweight bout against Johnson but that he, himself was not scared of any man.
Dan Henderson recently took to the same media source, Tatame.com, to set the record straight and let the world know that he was never offered the Johnson bout as Vitor implied. He then takes it a step further and calls the Brazilian fighter a steroid user.
Vitor threw the first jab at Hendo but Hendo retaliated in a more insulting way. Could these two be posturing for a future fight? Or is this just a case of he said she said?
I find it very funny that a TRT user would even go to the roid topic
UFC returns to Las Vegas on July 7 with pay-per-view event and fan expo
The UFC is planning a return to its Las Vegas home for a traditional Fourth of July weekend event.
The weekend likely will include a major pay-per-view event on July 7 and a UFC Fan Expo from July 6-7.
MGM Grand Garden Arena likely will host the event, and its sister property, the Mandalay Bay Events Center, is expected to host the expo.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) confirmed the plans with event sources. MMAFighting.com first reported the plans.
Since the UFC hasn't set or announced its schedule past May, it's not clear what numbered event the July 7 show will be. No bouts currently are rumored for the show...
'Minowaman' happy to be fighting on U.S. soil, hopes to one day fight for UFC in Japan
With so much uncertainty in his native country's MMA scene, Ikuhisa Minowa began branching off from his usual stomping grounds.
The U.S. was always an attractive option, but he was always under contract with the biggest Japanese promotions, who relentlessly employed him for his showmanship and willingness to fight anyone – really, anyone.
When those promotions fell into disrepair, Minowa had talks with the UFC to appear in the promotion's return to Japan at UFC 144. His profile popped up on their website. But the contract never got done.
Former UFC fighter Hermes Franca sentenced to 42 months in prison for sexual abuse of underaged student
A former Ultimate Fighting Championship lightweight title contender has been sentenced to more than three years in prison after being convicted this week of sexually abusing an underage female student at his Clackamas martial arts school.
Hermes Franca Barros, 37, pleaded guilty in Clackamas County Court on Wednesday to one count of unlawful penetration and one count of first-degree sexual abuse. He was sentenced to 3½ years in prison.
He was arraigned in May on seven counts of first-degree sexual abuse and two counts of second-degree unlawful sexual penetration. The remaining counts were dismissed.
Barros will also have four and a half years of post-prison supervision and must register as a sex offender.
EXCLUSIVE: Junie Browning Says He is in Hiding, Seeks U.S. Embassy Help
Former UFC lightweight Junie Browning is in hiding in fear for his life after an altercation in Thailand that left the 26-year-old fighter with multiple injuries. Injured and scared overseas, Browning is in seclusion, calling for help from the U.S. Embassy to get him back home.
Browning was involved in a bar fight on Dec. 12 in Phuket, Thailand. Reports quickly surfaced that Browning was a fugitive on the run being sought after by local authorities. Browning challenged those claims to MMAWeekly.com on Sunday.
“I was in fact the victim in this case, and it is important I am able to tell my side of the story and provide you with pictures and evidence to support it. There was an attempt to end my life and I am begging for help from the U.S. Embassy.”
Brittney Palmer Lands Playboy Cover
Popular UFC octagon girl Brittney Palmer, who just returned to the fold after a few months away, will appear in the March issue of Playboy, MMA Fighting has learned.
Sources close to Playboy Magazine confirmed the pictorial to Ariel Helwani.
Palmer had last been seen in the UFC at July's UFC 132, but took some time off to move to California and attend art school.
After her sabbatical, in November, UFC president Dana White announced she would be back walking around the cage soon, and she returned at Saturday night's UFC 140.
Punkass Details Forthcoming Tapout TV Show Revival with MMA@Work (powered by MMAPlayground)
If you've been a fan of the sport for any lengthy amount of time, you probably remember the Tapout TV Series that aired on Versus for 2 seasons from 2007 to 2008.
The series followed Mask, Punkass and SkySkrape as they traveled the country in search of up-and-coming fighters to sponsor.
Punkass joined hosts Josh Webb and Tim Herb on the weekly MMA@Work (powered by MMAPlayground) podcast this past Thursday and provided some details on the revival of the show.
Brett Rogers sentenced to 60 days in jail for assault
Former Strikeforce heavyweight Brett Rogers was sentenced to 60 days in jail for a domestic-assault incident with his wife in June, according to a report today in the "St. Paul Pioneer Press."
Rogers in September pleaded guilty to a single count of felony third-degree assault. Two felony counts of domestic assault by strangulation and stalking were dismissed, as was a gross misdemeanor charge of endangering a child.
Is Faber next for Cruz?
UFC president Dana White on Saturday night confirmed that Faber's UFC 139 win over Brian Bowles was indeed enough to earn "The California Kid" a quick rematch with UFC bantamweight champion Cruz.
Cruz, of course, defeated Faber in the main event of July's UFC 132 event. However, Faber remains the only man to have ever beaten Cruz after downing the then-featherweight in a March 2007 contest under the WEC banner.
"He's in," White said of Faber. "I think Urijah looked good tonight."