Dan Henderson, Cung Le, ‘Shogun’ Rua, Matt Serra Join Round 5 for Expanded ‘Series 4' Release
Four of the most popular and accomplished champions in mixed martial arts, Dan Henderson, Cung Le, Mauricio “Shogun” Rua and Matt Serra, have partnered with Round 5, the leading producer of MMA collectibles, to create figurines that will be included in an expanded Series 4, it was announced today by Barron Lau, Round 5 CEO and co-founder and Damon Lau, president and co-founder. The series, scheduled to be available at retail in July in time for UFC 100, will include the four plus fellow superstars Fedor Emelianenko and Gina Carano. McCarthy, Frank Mir and Antonio Rodrigo “Minotauro” Nogueira, will be in stores across North America and at online outlets including www.Round5MMA.com in late May, about a month behind its original schedule.
“With six figurines, Series 4 will be our largest issuance to date,” said Damon Lau. “Adding four more of the biggest names in the sport – with wide fan bases – to what began as an already stacked set is huge for Round 5 and a great opportunity for fans to quickly add to their collections.”
To date, Round 5 has issued two Series of four athletes each: Randy Couture, Matt Hughes, Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson and Tito Ortiz comprised Series 1 while Rich Franklin, Sean Sherk, Anderson Silva and Wanderlei Silva were released in Series 2. Series 3 had been planned for an April release, but has been delayed by about four weeks.
“The Series 3 prototypes have been completed and are currently in production,” said Lau. “It took a little longer than we had originally anticipated, but we feel that the finished product is well worth the extra wait.”
Henderson, the last man to hold the welterweight and middleweight titles for PRIDE, has a 24-7-0 career MMA record, competing against many of the best in MMA. “Hollywood” defeated Wanderlei Silva to take his final PRIDE crown, then rejoined the UFC, where he has won his last two bouts. He leads Team USA in Season 9 of The Ultimate Fighter television program and will fight fellow coach Michael Bisping at UFC 100 on July 11 in Las Vegas.
Though he has competed for years in the Chinese martial art of Sanshou, the South Vietnamese native Le gained fame in North America by defeating legendary Frank Shamrock via TKO last year in San Jose, Calif., where he trains. Le is unbeaten (6-0) in his MMA career and has begun a career in acting, with several feature films nearing international release.
The Brazilian star Rua, known the world over as “Shogun,” boasts and 18-3 record, last week recording a first-round knockout over Chuck Liddell at UFC 97. He is a former PRIDE champion, winning the Grand Prix title in 2005 with wins over Quinton Jackson, Rogerio Minotoro Nogueira and Ricardo Arona.
Serra, a Long Island, N.Y., native, has compiled a 9-5 MMA mark, earning international acclaim following his first-round TKO of Georges St. Pierre in their first meeting in 2007 for the UFC welterweight championship. St. Pierre won the rematch last year, and Serra is next scheduled to battle Matt Hughes at UFC 98 in May. A Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu master, Serra also gained fame as the winner of Season 4 of The Ultimate Fighter.
GSP Announces Fan Logo Design Contest
Georges St-Pierre is rapidly becoming an international icon – not only is he one of the strongest, toughest, and most energizing athletes to grace the MMA Octagon, he is also a class act outside of it. Now Georges wants to take his brand to the same level that his athletic performance has taken him. To accomplish this task, he’s engaging those that who will help him achieve that goal – his fans. “Georges has some of the greatest fans in the sport”, said Shari Spencer, Georges’ manager. “This contest represents his desire to give something back to his fans – to allow them to participate in his efforts to represent this sport on a whole new level.” The winning logo design will be incorporated into Georges’ new website, be displayed on his shorts and banner within the Octagon during his fights, and be incorporated into a new line of merchandise to be debuted in conjunction with UFC 100 on July 11th.
Here is your chance to show GSP your skills and help him develop a logo that represents GSP in your eyes! Take some time to draw, paint, or even sketch your ideas – then go to GSPfightclub.com and send him your ideas. GSP will narrow the choices down to ten (10) finalists. Then, just as GSP draws upon his fans’ support to win his fights, he’ll turn to his fans to help him pick the winning logo design. Your design just might be chosen as the lucky winner that he’ll wear during his upcoming fight at UFC 100! But you better hurry – this contest is only open for a short time. For full contest details, check out .
"Hanging-up the Gloves: Chuck Liddell is just the Beginning"
"Who is next to say goodbye?"
This past Saturday night at the Bell Centre in Montreal marked an emotional evening for not just the Iceman, but for the Mixed Martial Arts community as a whole. Chuck Liddell has been a front-runner in one of the most stacked divisions in the sport for as long as most of us can remember, but in the last two years of his prolific, exciting, and accomplished career, his aura has melted, exposing his age and the fact that the level of competition has simply passed him by. The changing of the guard happens in every sport, but not as frequently and quickly as in MMA. In the span of sixteen years we’ve seen multiple generations emerge and fall victim to the next, and at this juncture in 2009 it is happening again. The major difference between this passing of the torch from Chuck Liddell’s generation to Mauricio Rua’s at UFC 97, is the fact that the Iceman’s generation was the first to really cast the UFC into the mainstream spotlight, making him one of the sport’s first truly iconic superstars.
Here's the , definitely a depressing but interesting read!
UFC Crackdown on Streaming Piracy?
MMAPayout.com has posted before on the UFC”s efforts to stem the tide of piracy of their PPV broadcasts. Up to this point these efforts have mainly been through going after bars and restaurants that illegally show their cards. This campaign is done mainly through the efforts of Joe Hand Promotions, who handles the bar and restaurant PPV business for the UFC.
The UFC may be going a step further into these efforts, judging from information put out by BayTSP, which provides online copyright monitoring, enforcement, measurement and monetization services for the entertainment industry, software and videogame makers and the publishing industry. The company recently announced:
One global sports franchise and two of the largest pay-per-view event promoters in the world have signed with BayTSP to protect and monetize broadcasts valued at more than $5 billion annually, the company announced today.
The logical companies to attach to this information would be the UFC and WWE for the PPV event promoters and Manchester United Football Club for the global sports franchise. The crackdown has already been cited by some as a possible reason behind the precipitous drop in traffic at the streaming site Justin.tv.
Nate Quarry talks UFC 97 & Video Games!
PDG: UFC 97 in Montréal, Canada is a pretty stacked card; what fights are you looking forward to seeing that night?
Quarry: Any time that you get a chance to fight on a card with Chuck Liddell and Anderson Silva, it is a real treat. I have been a fan of Chuck's for a long time and we are also friends. So being able to be there and to say I fought on the same card as Chuck Liddell is a real honor. That is something that I will always remember.
MacDonald Inks Round 5 Deal
The Fight Network has the info on Jason MacDonald signing a figurine deal with Round 5:
Pavelich Sports Entertainment is pleased to announce that Jason “The Athlete” MacDonald has signed a deal with toy manufacturer Round 5 MMA to create his very own action figure.
MacDonald, a native of Edmonton, Alberta, will now join a very exclusive and elite group of fighters that have all collaborated with Round 5 to produce some of the most detailed and unique MMA action figures in the world.
“Since we are based in Ontario, I am particularly excited that Jason MacDonald is the first Canadian to sign with Round 5,” said Damon Lau, Round 5 President and Co-Founder. “He is one of the most successful and popular MMA stars in the country and enjoys a strong following across North America.”
It is interesting that Round 5 is now reaching into the mid-tier level with their signings. The initial signings have been high profile: Couture, Matt Hughes, Wanderlei, Rampage, etc. When looking at the mid tier fighters, Round 5 may look to hit those fighters that have some degree of tenure with the UFC, giving them name recognition if not superstar status. Other factors like being a regional draw (MacDonald’s Canadian roots) may also be taken into consideration.
Steinbeiss talks about cancelled UFN 18 Fight
PDG: How did you find out that your fight with Ryan Jensen was canceled?
Steinbeiss: We were about 30 seconds away from stepping up onto the stage for weigh-ins and right then they pulled us aside and said that the fight wasn't going to go on because of the Adderall thing.
PDG: That had to be pretty disappointing considering all the work that you put in to prepare yourself for that fight.
Steinbeiss: Most people have no idea; I made the weight and was ready to go through the weigh-ins and then pound some Pedialyte. 10 weeks of hard training and then the day before the fight you find out it is canceled. It certainly took the wind out of my sails.
Mino and Stallone together?
The news broke today in the ‘O Globo,’ newspaper that Sylvester Stallone will be inviting Rodrigo Minotauro to participate in a moving being shot in Rio de Janeiro.
As discerned by GRACIEMAG.com, contact was made through Rodrigo’s adviser, Fernando Flores.
Mino, who is in Miami, arrives in Rio tomorrow, when he may meet with the star of “Rambo” and “Rocky.” Stallone’s team also expressed interest in meeting other well-known fighters, like Lyoto Machida and Rogerio Minotouro.
Actor, producer, director and screenplay writer of “The Mercenaries,” Stallone, 62, has already called upon Randy Couture for the full-length action movie, as reported by GRACIEMAG.com last December 18th. Yesterday, at a press conference in Rio, the Hollywood star said he is an MMA fan and spoke about the city.
He justified his choice in having Randy Couture, 45, in the film. Couture has already appeared in “Redbelt,” the 2008 movie by David Mamet.
“Couture will participate in this movie because he looks like a gladiator,” said Stallone. “I like fights and even know some Brazilian fighters; who knows maybe some of them will be in the film.”
“I came to shoot in Rio because the script called for a tropical setting and I found the city ideal for it. The movie shows mercenaries for a cause, and doesn’t intend to harm Rio’s image,” stated the debuting director. Although Stallone tend to surprise, the story of “The Expendables,” with Forest Whitaker, Gisele Itie and a large cast, isn’t too original at the outset: it is the story of a group trying to overthrow a Latin American dictator.
Lashley To Appear At XFC 8 After All
Although rumors of him fighting on the card turned out to be false, Bobby Lashley will still appear at the upcoming XFC 8 event in Tennessee, but only to present the new XFC Title belt to the winner of the Jarrod Card vs. Bruce Connors featherweight bout which will now headline the show.
Some Managers, Agents Lose Backstage Pass
Managers and agents are fast becoming an endangered species backstage at UFC and WEC events.
Zuffa, the company that owns and operates both promotions, has notified select fighter representatives that they will no longer receive credentials from the promotion to sit with their clients backstage on fight night.
The reasoning behind the UFC’s decision varies according to the source. Some say the move is yet another strike in a campaign to separate fighters from their business representatives. Others say Zuffa is making a reasonable attempt to control unnecessary backstage traffic and lighten overcrowded dressing rooms of freeloaders.
The latter explanation loses traction, however, when the promotion has not enacted a blanket policy across the board, which brings into question if the move is more personal than procedural.
Of five separate fighter representatives and their firms that spoke to Sherdog.com, two said they were told that credentials would no longer be doled out to them shortly after UFC 94 on Jan. 31. These firms were also denied backstage access in person at UFC Fight Night 17, UFC 95 and UFC 96, as well as WEC 39, which took place March 1 in Corpus Christi, Texas.
Both reps said Zuffa would give no reason for the change in policy when asked over the phone and in person.
“You don’t ask questions of them. You know how that goes,” said one manager, who, like multiple fighter representatives interviewed, would only speak on the condition of anonymity for fear of repercussions.
Zuffa’s public relations department did not respond to an e-mail requesting comment on the promotion’s sudden shift in policy after eight years.
Outraged managers and agents said the silent treatment speaks to a greater issue that Zuffa is trying to keep hidden behind closed locker room doors.
“They’re divisively trying to split management and fighters,” said one representative. “They’re trying to de-power the managers and agents to create a wedge between them. They give locker room bonuses and say, ‘This is from Dana [White] and the UFC -- nobody else.’ They’re telling fighters they can go directly to them. They’re telling fighters they’ll be doing sponsorships themselves in the near future that will put the managers and agents out of business. They’re trying to minimize the managers’ and agents’ role in the fighter’s life so they can better control salaries.”
This Day In MMA History: March 27
March 27 is remembered, by MMA fans, as a day that will forever live in infamy. It marked the day Zuffa made a purchase that was to make UFC the MMA megapower of the world. But it ultimately marked the beginning of the journey that, a few months later, ended with the death of the PRIDE Fighting Championships.
Another Husband-Wife MMA Couple Emerging
Fighting, both as a fighter and spectator/supporter, has been a big part of Emily Fisher's life. Between operating a gym run by and training with her husband, UFC fighter Spencer Fisher, Emily Fisher is part of a growing subset of MMA fighters, those who don't necessarily fight for the money or the fame but the self-respect and pleasure of accomplishment. The days spent preparing in the gym translate into confidence in other aspects of life, and the exhilaration of a fight simply can't be matched in day jobs or other errand tasks. Emily, 3-1 and preparing for her 5th fight in May, is one of a growing breed of part-time fighters who accept the business of MMA as part of their lives.
Sylvia Vs. Mercer Boxing Match Now Off For Now
The planned main event boxing fight between boxing legend Ray Mercer and former UFC Heavyweight Champion Tim Sylvia at Adrenaline MMA 3 on May 30 is now off. The New Jersey State Athletic Control Board will not sanction the fight. This means Adrenaline 3 will be an all-MMA event. The promotion is looking for a replacement main event, and Adrenaline may try again elsewhere in June.
The Man That Was ‘Mask’
Charles “Mask” Lewis Jr. had all the faith in the world.
It takes nothing less to be the first of your kind, to see opportunity and potential in places where others simply do not. It takes even more to act upon that vision, to put yourself out on a limb in the face of ridicule and failure.
Lewis had faith in the sport of mixed martial arts. Through his Tapout clothing line, he championed it without a hint of hesitation to every stranger, friend, and foe alike.
Charles Lewis was one of the good guys. And that’s why his death in a horrific car crash during the early morning hours of March 11 hit the fight community so hard.
As is the case with those we cherish most, Lewis was gone too suddenly. He was on his way home from the gym with his girlfriend Lacey at 1 a.m., the only time he could fit working out into a hectic schedule. Lewis took pride in his deceiving physique, and many questioned he was really 45 years old, even after officials confirmed it.
That night, Lewis and Lacey had decided to drive by a condominium apartment they had been looking into purchasing over the next few days. It is believed Lewis’ fire-engine red Ferrari occupied the middle lane when Jeffery Kirby and his companion came up along the left side in a white 1977 Porsche. At the scene, black skid marks snake up onto the median’s curb right as the road bends slightly, then drag for 500 or more feet across the three lanes. They indicate Kirby’s car bounced off the road’s island divider before t-boning into Lewis’ vehicle’s backend, sending the Ferrari into a 180-degree spin. The car traveled backwards before the driver’s side wailed directly into a cement light pole, slicing it into two parts.
It was the first time in a few months that Lewis had had the opportunity to enjoy the luxury ride he’d purchased over a year ago. The car had slept at a friend’s showroom until Lewis had been asked to bring it to a photo shoot that day for Dub magazine. High speeds didn’t seem unfathomable under the circumstances, though friends said they couldn’t see Lewis engaging in a dangerous street race for superiority. Lewis didn’t know Kirby, nor was Lewis believed to be drinking at the time. Lewis never touched alcohol, as many will attest, including his best friend and business partner Dan “Punk Ass” Caldwell.
Lewis and Caldwell met in 1992 as sheriffs for San Bernardino County in southern Calif. Both trained in boxing and kickboxing, but soon found a mutual love in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and the early UFC events.
The name Tapout was born from the license plate on Lewis’ car. It was a way for Lewis to demonstrate his unadulterated love for the art and he displayed it around town like his badge of honor.
“Especially then, when you would ride down the freeway with ‘Tapout’ on your license plate, people would come up to you and look inside and give you a thumb’s up. That’s how you knew another jiu-jitsu guy,” said Caldwell.
When a license plate wasn’t enough, Lewis went to Caldwell with an idea for a T-shirt