UFC Fight Night 24 sets attendance, live gate records for "Fight Night" events
SEATTLE – The UFC's first-ever trip to Seattle was the most successful UFC Fight Night event in the company's history in terms of box office success, according to promotion officials.
Saturday night's "UFC Fight Night 24: Nogueira vs. Davis" event drew a reported 14,212 attendees for a live gate of $1,182,850.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) confirmed the attendance and gate figures with company officials at the evening's post-event press conference.
UFC champ Jon Jones scores "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" appearance
Where's Ed McMahon when you need him?
While the UFC's new light heavyweight champ won't get the experience of longtime announcer McMahon's signature, "Here's Johnny," introduction, Jon Jones is heading to "The Tonight Show."
UFC president Dana White today announced via Twitter that Jones will appear on Thursday night's edition of the 67-year-old NBC franchise.
"Congrats, Jon Jones," White wrote. "First UFC fighter to do the 'The Tonight Show' with Jay Leno.
"The hits keep on coming! Tune in Thursday on NBC!"
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) has since confirmed the booking with additional UFC executives. The official lineup for "The Tonight Show" does not yet reflect the appointment.
Jason Brilz ready for a fight against UNO Athletic Director Trev Albetrs
After three straight Division II wrestling titles University of Nebraska Omaha Athletic Director, Trev Alberts, has decided to cut the program. Alberts aletered the UNO wrestling team by telephone a meer hour after the team had won its third straight title...upon returning to the school there lockeroom had been padlocked, and they were escorted by security to clean out their lockers and peacefully leave the campus.
Assistant Coach Jason Brilz is ready for a fight with the former failed ESPN announcer and new University of Nebraska Omaha AD, Trev Alberts...
Gina Carano Visiting New York Next Week to Promote ‘UFC Personal Trainer’
The UFC’s ongoing tour of the East Coast includes a public press conference at Radio City Music Hall in New York tomorrow, UFC 128 in Newark on Saturday, and the TUF 14 tryouts next Monday. But there’s one more little surprise in store for fight fans — Gina Carano will be doing an appearance in New York next Wednesday to promote “UFC Personal Trainer,” a fitness game slated for a June release on the Xbox 360 Kinect, PlayStation Move, and Nintendo Wii.
Anderson Silva documentary, "Like Water," debuts at Tribeca Film Festival
"Like Water," a documentary focused on Anderson Silva's life leading up to his UFC 117 win over Chael Sonnen, debuts at next month's Tribeca Film Festival.
Directed by Pablo Croce, the film is one of six documentaries in the New York gathering's fifth edition of the Tribeca/ESPN Sports Film Festival.
This year's Tribeca Film Festival takes begins April 20 in New York City.
TapouT car debuts in NASCAR's Nationwide Series, nets 12th-place result
The TapouT Chevrolet made its NASCAR debut, and driver Elliot Sadler guided the No. 2 car to a 12th-place finish in its first-ever race.
The TapouT-sponsored race car was officially unveiled at Saturday's Sam's Town 300 Nationwide Series Race, which took place at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and was broadcast on ABC.
In February, MMA clothing manufacturer TapouT announced it was branching out from its core audience with a multi-year partnership with racing team Kevin Harvick Inc.
UFC on Versus 3 to Be Broadcast in 3D
he growing trend of 3D television is finally ready to marry itself to the growing sport of mixed martial arts.
The UFC's upcoming UFC on Versus 3 event will be broadcast in 3D on select cable outlets, sport trade journal Sports Business Daily reported on Friday. It will mark the first time a UFC event is telecast in the format, though the UFC has privately tried out the technology in the past.
According to the report, the 3D telecast will have a different production crew from Versus' regular HD setup. Versus is also planning to occasionally utilize a split-screen presentation that will air live arena content like locker room views alongside commercials.
The report notes that among cable distributors, Comcast, Cox, Verizon, Massillon Cable, Blue Ridge and Armstrong have signed on.
Keith Hackney: Where Is He Now?
Held on Sept. 9, 1994, UFC 3 had some notable tweaks from its two predecessors. It remained in a one-night, tournament format but with an eight-man field, instead of 16. The canvas, previously white, was replaced with a more viewer-friendly blue. It was, in a sense, a social phenomenon coming to terms with its own success, which was accompanied by an equal dose of notoriety.
Naturally, that was exactly when Art Davie, then co-owner of the UFC, made the call to Keith Hackney. It came during the peak time for Hackney’s primary business, a heating and air conditioning company he founded in 1980 and still runs today.
His background included boxing, tang soo do, five years of kenpo and a year of high school wrestling, in which he made the state tournament as a 98-pound sophomore. After Hackney responded to a magazine ad, event organizers told him the roster was full but that, perhaps, a future slot could be in the works.
“He said somebody backed out and they had a space for me. It was one week before the fight,” Hackney says. “I thought if I said no, they wouldn’t call me back in the future, so I said, ‘I don’t care. I’ll fight. Get me on a plane.’ Art said, ‘Whoa! Let me tell you who you’re competing against.’ I didn’t care. I wanted to fight.”
Man Uses Martial Arts Tactic He Saw on TV to End Alleged Stabber's Spree
Joseph Lozito, the man being dubbed a hero for helping disarm and capture a New York man accused of going on a 28 hour stabbing spree, says that watching mixed martial arts fights for 20 years may have saved his life.
Lozito used his leg to sweep Maksim Gelman off his feet when the accused killer lunged at him on a subway car with what Lozito described as a "giant knife."
Lozito, his face bruised and his skulled slashed from his fight with Gelman, told "Good Morning America" today that he was alert to Gelman as soon as the suspect boarded the train at Penn Station.
MMA Fighter passes away from cancer
Wrestling has lost one of their own. Jose Cortez, 25, father, son, brother and friend passed away on January 29, 2011 in Phoenix, Arizona.
Jose, an accomplished wrestler and mixed martial arts fighter, died last weekend after a two-year battle with germ cell cancer. His six-year old daughter, mother and father, two brothers, a sister and countless friends and supporters survive him.
Jose was a graduate of Maryvale High School in Phoenix where he placed 4th in the state in 2002, 3rd in 2003 and won the state championship during his senior year in 2004. In addition, he was a three-time All American in freestyle and Greco-Roman and an Honorable Mention All-American in Wrestling USA Magazine.
After high school, Jose began a successful career in mixed martial arts. He won his last fight in November 2008 by unanimous decision over Drew Ficket that yielded a pro record of 6-1. Shortly after defeating the decorated UFC veteran, Jose began his fight against germ cell cancer.
Angel and Henry Cejudo, both graduates of Maryvale High School, were close friends with Jose Cortez. Jose and Angel shared a mat while in high school; the two families have been close for many years. The Cejudos are among the many friends and teammates who will miss Jose Cortez, cherish his memory and carry him in their hearts forever.
For more information on Jose Cortez and how to donate to his family, please visit www.fightyourwayout.org
THQ Announces Launch of UFC Undisputed Fight Nation Interactive Facebook Game
THQ Inc. and Zuffa, LLC today announced the latest edition to the prominent UFC® UndisputedTM sports videogame franchise with the launch of UFC Undisputed Fight NationTM, the first official Facebook game based on the world's leading mixed martial arts (MMA) organization, the Ultimate Fighting Championship®.
The interactive experience, developed by Embassy Interactive and available on Facebook at apps.facebook.com/ufcfightnation, allows players to take control of their virtual UFC careers in a fun and engaging environment by training moves, competing against others and sharing their results on Facebook, as well as enabling them to successfully manage their progress for the opportunity to compete against many of the UFC's most renowned fighters.
"We understand the power of Facebook and this is a great way for fans to connect to the UFC."
"We are excited about the tremendous opportunities available in the social networking space to deliver key franchises to our core audiences in unique and compelling ways," said Danny Bilson, Executive Vice President, Core Games, THQ. "UFC Undisputed Fight Nation delivers a great combination of gameplay, competitive spirit and replay value, making it the perfect fit for millions around the world to enjoy on Facebook."
Complaint Filed Against Timekeeper From UFC 123
A Michigan state agency has filed a complaint against a timekeeper, alleging he mishandled the clock at the end of a round during a UFC fight between middleweights Maiquel Falcao and Gerald Harris last year.
Stephen George Daher, a licensed timekeeper under Michigan's Unarmed Combat Commission -- formerly the state's boxing commission -- was named in a complaint brought by the Bureau of Commercial Services, a part of the state Department of Energy, Labor & Economic Growth.
The complaint alleges Daher failed to ensure the Falcao-Harris fight "was terminated in accordance with the official contest clock" at UFC 123 on Nov. 20 at the Palace of Auburn Hills. ESPN.com obtained the complaint on Tuesday following a Freedom of Information Act request.
The violation occurred at the end of the first round, according to the complaint, when Falcao appeared near completion of a choke that could have finished Harris. When Daher allegedly called an end to the round, approximately six seconds remained on the clock.
Falcao won by unanimous decision and Harris was subsequently released from his UFC contract.
The state commission will determine whether or not to take disciplinary action against Daher after the complaint advances through the contested case hearing process, where he will have the opportunity to defend the allegations.
Daher has 15 days to reply to the formal complaint, dated Jan. 13, by opting for a compliance/settlement conference or a formal administrative hearing. A conference could be scheduled in as little as two weeks, while it would take six weeks to appoint an adminstrative judge for a formal hearing.
The commission will then decide upon a penalty that could include a fine, a suspension or revocation of license...
Former Employee Sues Tapout for Wrongful Termination, Defamation, Emotional Distress
A former Vice President of Sales for Tapout filed suit in Los Angeles Superior Court on Monday, alleging claims that include wrongful termination, fraudulent misrepresentation, failure to pay wages, defamation, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and a litany of negligence claims.
Not only does Lee Lemon target Tapout as a defendant, but also Zuffa, LLC (parent company of the UFC), MMA Authentics, MMA Holdings, LLC, Authentic Brands Group, LLC, Daniel "Punkass" Caldwell, and even the estate of the late Charles "Mask" Lewis.
Most of Lemon's allegations are focused on former Tapout President Marc Kreiner, who Lemon claims abused the sales staff, allegedly calling them "f--kng worthless" and telling Lemon that he was "stupid, incompetent, and ignorant," and that Kreiner could "hire a monkey to do his job." Lemon also alleges that he was promised $400,000 per year in pay, but was never paid that amount. Instead, he argues, he was not paid the commissions he was owed, was berated constantly, falsely accused of firing employees without approval, blamed for salary cuts, and then directed to "defraud investors ... by inflating the sales numbers and at the same time hiding accounts, to engage in thefts from licenses" before he was "constructively terminated" in May of 2010. (Under California law, constructive termination essentially requires the plaintiff to show that they resigned or quit because their working conditions were so intolerable that no reasonable person could be expected to endure them.)
Gladiator Challenge: James Irvin Fight Ruled No Contest By Ken Shamrock
Seriously. Irvin returned to action over the weekend, battling Mike Crisman in the main event of Gladiator Challenge: "Young Guns 4" at the Elko Indian Colony Gym in Elko, Nevada. Irvin claims he beat the 9-19 Crisman fair, but apparently special guest referee Shamrock saw it differently according to Irvin's explanation. "I beat the brakes off this fool...he was sleeping on the ground. Ken Shamrock says I illegally kneed him, so it was a no-contest! I KO'd this guy and walked away before Shamrock even got there, and two minutes later, he says it's a no-contest. It's cool. I don't have a scratch on me, and I'm fighting again in three weeks. That was the luckiest night of that dude's life. [GC Promoter] Tedd Williams says I can rematch [Crisman] in May. Perfect rematch." Said May rematch does appear likely, Shamrock participation TBA.
With help of Dana White's donation, baby girl survives 18-hr surgery
Eight-month-old Tuptim Jadngooluem has been given a second chance at life after she successfully underwent surgery at Ramathibodi Hospital in Bangkok yesterday.
Tuptim, who was diagnosed at three months with a terminal liver condition known as biliary obstruction, has spent over a month in hospital awaiting a parental donor liver transplant to save her life.
To keep her baby alive, Tuptim’s mother, Nit, donated part of her liver during yesterday’s operation, performed by Bangkok-based specialist Dr Sumate Teeraratkul.
After 18-hours of surgery involving mother and daughter, both are today recovering in Ramathibodi Hospital and are said to be doing well.
Safe Auto Insurance becomes official UFC sponsor
MMA Payout had the opportunity to talk to Safe Auto Insurance about its recent move to become an official sponsor for the UFC. Safe Auto Insurance is the only insurance company that is a sponsor of the UFC.
As MMA Payout reported last year (here and here), Safe Auto Insurance began sponsoring fighters in late 2010 and discussed with the UFC about the possibility of becoming an official UFC sponsor. Elie Deshe, Vice President of Emerging Media for Safe Auto Insurance stated that it paid a fee to the UFC to become an official sponsor but the partnership with the UFC is worth it.
The official sponsorship deal began January 1st at UFC 125 and covers all of 2011. Safe Auto will appear on mats and pole pads on eight of the upcoming UFC cards. Most of the appearances would be on UFC Fight Nights although Safe Auto’s presence would be at UFC 127...
Kimbo Slice Quits Boxing, Reportedly Set for Pro Wrestling Tournament
So much for the great Kimbo Slice boxing experiment.
The former street fighting sensation turned MMA fighter abruptly quit his pursuit of becoming a boxing star in October, Slice's former promoter Jared Shaw told MMA Fighting.
"[Slice left the boxing training camp] due to some various injuries and to go film The Scorpion King. Upon his return, he didn't show me any interest in boxing, so we just decided for right now to put it to the side," Shaw said.
"In boxing, in order to be amongst the best in the world, he was going to have to put in double the work he was accustomed to. Due to the wear and tear on his body, he wasn't able to perform up to the standard we wanted him to."
Jeffrey Kirby Found Guilty In "Mask" Death Case
An Orange County, Calif. jury today convicted a man involved in a 2009 car crash that killed TapouT co-founder Charles "Mask" Lewis. Jeffrey David Kirby, 53, faces a maximum of 13 years in prison on one felony count of vehicular manslaughter by unlawful act with gross negligence while intoxicated. He faced sentencing enhancements for causing great bodily injury. That's according to a release issued today by the Orange County District Attorney's Office. Kirby's sentencing takes place Feb. 4 at the Central Justice Center in Santa Ana, Calif.