Don't Blame Randy Couture for the Death of Affliction Entertainment
Jonathan Snowden wrote a piece for MMA Payout suggesting Randy Couture killed Affliction. I disagree with the argument, but everyone should take a look for themselves:
"When Couture retired from the UFC in 2007 while still under contract, it was for two reasons: money and a chance to fight the undisputed world heavyweight champion Fedor Emelianenko. Affliction risked everything on the Couture-Emelianenko fight, throwing their business relationship with the UFC out the window for the chance to promote what many thought was the biggest heavyweight fight in the world. Couture was all in, or so they thought. The two stood face to face for an Affliction photo shoot to start getting fans excited about the fight, and Couture made an appearance at Affliction’s first PPV show July 19, 2008. It was all in an effort to get people talking about the next show, headlined in theory by the dream fight between the PRIDE and UFC champions. And then Couture stuck the knife in the back..."
Cope says "sex tape" comments just a joke, remains steadfast in evaluation of Tompkins
While UFC 100 was certainly the focus of the MMA world in recent weeks, Kit Cope managed to generate quite a bit of controversy during a July 8 appearance on MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio).
After a few less-than-complimentary remarks about Xtreme Couture trainer Shawn Tompkins – including dubbing the camp "Xtreme Fashion" – and the suggestion that a sex tape may exist with him and ex-girlfriend Gina Carano, Cope has found himself in hot water with many in the MMA community.
Lift The Ban Watch: Massachusetts A Step Closer To Legalizing MMA
The Massachusetts Senate Ways and Means Committee on Tuesday passed "An Act To Regulate The Sport Of Mixed Martial Arts" with a favorable review, clearing it for a debate and vote on the Senate floor. Although it still has a ways to go, this keeps hopes of MMA in Massachusetts, more notably Boston, by early next year or even the end of this year alive.
Jim Ross, WWE Announcer Analyzes Brock Lesnar's Post-Fight Antics
"Lesnar's post match, unscripted remarks did not completely surpirse (sic) me. Those that do not personally know Lesnar as do I need to understand that his level of intensity and fury is scary. Brock has said many things in private conversations that I have been a part of that would make one do a double take. He is an intimidating, emotional jock who has been known for speaking first and thinking later. I don't think Brock is an inherently evil person whatsoever but his level of competitiveness can be dangerous..."
STEINBEISS VS. JENSEN SET FOR UFC FIGHT NIGHT 19
The original bout was called off on the day of weigh-ins "due to a medical approval issue regarding (Ryan) Jensen," stated UFC officials at the time. Independent sources confirmed to MMAWeekly.com that the alleged medical issue stemmed from Jensen's use of Adderall, which is not allowed under standard athletic commission rules.
According to drugs.com, “Adderall is a central nervous system stimulant. It affects chemicals in the brain and nerves that contribute to hyperactivity and impulse control.
GSP Static Interview
UFC Welterweight Champion Georges St. Pierre recently took time to answer some questions for PDG regarding his upcoming bout against Thiago Alves, training and the importance of UFC 100.
PDG: How is your training going for UFC 100?
GSP: I’m in the best shape of my life and I’m training really hard before my fight. Three weeks I spent in New York doing Muay Thai at the Wat with Phil Nurse and all the guys over there, sparring with Shawn Imes, Brad Imes and all those great training partners that I have for Muay Thai training. I’m learning a lot from Kru Phil. I also train in New York at the Renzo Gracie Academy under supervision of John Danaher – he’s my Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu instructor. I have great training partners there as well. The level of jiu-jitsu in New York at Renzo Gracie is better than it is in Montreal, so that’s one of the main reasons why I have been going there and I spend so much time at that Academy.
The Issues of Referee and Judge Certification
‘Showdown’ Joe Ferraro has an excellent piece up at Rogers Sportsnet that details his experience with ‘Big’ John McCarthy’s referee certification seminar, C.O.M.M.A.N.D. (Certification of Officials for Mixed Martial Arts National Development).
The course is broken down into three areas and participants require a passing grade of 90 percent (at minimum in all three) to be certified. As it stands today, the course has a 75 percent failure rate, as participants simply do not make the grade to officiate or judge in MMA.
Would-be referees must know and identify over 25 takedowns, 35 submissions, 25 positions and seven sweeps, reversals and transitions. They also must know the Unified Rules of Mixed Martial Arts inside and out.
After the identification of the aforementioned moves and keen knowledge of the unified rules, participants are also trained and tested on in ring / cage mechanics. This is comprised of what is required by an official before, during and after a bout. It’s not just about positioning (which is HUGE when refereeing) but dozens of other variables that are key to the safety of the athletes who put it all on the line.
All of this knowledge is paramount for one to be proficient in officiating and without it I do not understand how commissions around the world allow men and women to step into the cage/ring and ref without proving they have this type of knowledge.
If the four major sports leagues — the NFL, MLB, NBA and NHL — mandate that officials are properly trained before being allowed to step onto the playing surface, why doesn’t MMA do the same? If this sport is expected to be taken seriously then this type of certification must be the bare minimum an athletic commission requires from an applicant prior to receiving their license to ref or judge.
Lightning Lee: Hero or Villain?
"In the grand tradition of the great British thugs -- media-proclaimed “hard men” like Lenny McLean, Charlie Bronson and Mark Brandon Read -- Lee Murray is moving through the ranks like Parliament was waiting at the end. I have never heard of a man so driven to occupy a jail cell or a morgue with such urgency. (The closest American equivalent: probably Steve-O.)
If you’ve only come into mixed martial arts via the hyper and Xyience-plastered “Ultimate Fighter” era, you’ve likely never seen Murray fight. He had long, corded muscles, a severe expression and a militant attitude. He hit very, very hard and he shocked the hell out of virtually everyone when he went and submitted Jorge Rivera with a triangle choke in his first and only UFC appearance. All said, he fought about 10 times and won most of them. In what would become his career finale, he was smacked around by Anderson Silva. He took Silva the distance, though, and that didn’t happen again in 13 fights.
Fighting was Murray’s day job: He moonlighted as a hoodlum. (Or perhaps it was the other way around.)" ... ...
Limp Bizkit concert at the Mandalay Bay Beach on UFC 100 weekend cancelled
The Limp Bizkit concert scheduled for UFC 100 weekend at the Mandalay Bay Beach in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Friday, July 10, has been cancelled, according to Ticketmaster.com.
No reason was provided for the scratch; however, the “rap-metal pioneers” have not performed a concert in North America in more than eight years and were re-uniting this year for its “Unicorns N’ Rainbows” tour.
Bas Rutten Has Zero Respect For Kimbo Slice
At least now he does. In a recent interview, Rutten says that he "misjudged" Kimbo and that he "can't train people that he has no respect for", among other things. Rutten also discussed preparations for the Seth Petruzelli fight that saw Kimbo go down and take EliteXC with him.
Griffin’s Got Fight? Makes NY Times Bestseller List
Got Fight? by Forrest Griffin and Erich Krauss, a self described guide to the Zen principles of combat, made its’ mark at the cash register recently. The book debuted on the New York Times Best Seller list for hardcover advice books, coming in at number 8. Griffin has recently been balancing a book tour to promote the tome with his training for an August showdown with middleweight kingpin Anderson Silva.
The case for legalization: quantifying economic windfalls
While I may have argued for a a fundamental shift in MMA’s approach to seeking legalization, I’m not naive enough to believe that the economics of the sport do not have a role in the legalization process.
The fact of the matter is it’s simply not enough to preach the virtues of MMA as a sport and expound its comparable safety record to all the public naysayers and fence-sitters. It’s now time to broach the topic of economic windfalls - MMA’s veritable ace in the hole.
Inaugural independent world MMA rankings released
We are proud to announce the launch of the Independent World MMA Rankings. Some of the best and most knowledgeable MMA writers from across the MMA media landscape have come together to form one independent voting panel.
These voting panel members are, in alphabetical order:
Zach Arnold (FightOpinion);
Nicholas Bailey(MMA Ratings);
Jared Barnes(Houston Chronicle);
Jordan Breen (Sherdog);
Jim Genia (Full Contact Fighter, MMA Memories, and MMA Journalist Blog);
Jesse Holland (MMA Mania);
Robert Joyner (MMA Payout);
Todd Martin (CBS Sportsline);
Zac Robinson (Sports by the Numbers MMA;
Michael David Smith (AOL Fanhouse);
Jonathan Snowden (Author of “Total MMA: Inside Ultimate Fighting”);
Joshua Stein (MMA Opinion),
and Dave Walsh (Total MMA).
Lee Murray's Prison Escape Attempt Uncovered
An attempt to escape Sale prison in Morocco by former MMA fighter Lee Murray was foiled by prison officials, according to the June 15 Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Small saws were found in a plate of biscuits in Murray's cell by another prisoner who broke into it. Prison officials believe Murray was planning to cut through the iron bars of his cell window with the saws. To make the escape through the small window easier, Murray had lost a significant amount of weight recently though training hard and starving himself.
Murray was in a different cell at the time as punishment for being caught with a laptop computer (with internet access) and five kilos of drugs. Other prisoners at Sale held it against Murray that he was able to use his money to smuggle in items like these, as well as expensive clothes. The fellow prisoner who broke into his cell was doing so to steal some of Murray's belongings.
The British Murray is believed to have been involved in the largest bank robbery in British history. He was apprehended in Morocco, where he has citizenship because his father was Moroccan. Because of legal complications stemming from his Moroccan citizenship and the country's lack of an expedition treaty with Britain, Murray remains in Moroccan custody.
Series 3 of popular Round 5 MMA figurines hits store shelves this week
Round 5's latest series of popular MMA figurines hits store shelves this week, the Ontario, Canada-based company announced today.
Series 3 features former UFC champion Andrei "The Pit Bull" Arlovski, referee "Big" John McCarthy, UFC heavyweight title-holder Frank Mir and former PRIDE and UFC champ Antonio Rodrigo "Minotauro" Nogueira.
The company also announced that a planned figurine of popular Russian fighter Fedor Emelianenko has been delayed and will not be part of the Series 4 this summer.
"We continue to work closely with Fedor and his team on making his figurine as accurate and true to his persona as possible," Round 5 President Damon Lau stated. "Consumers appreciate Round 5's commitment to producing collectibles that capture each athlete's individual style, and we look forward to completing the Fedor figurine with that goal in mind."
Series 4, expected to be in stores by no later this early August, now features Gina Carano, Dan Henderson, Cung Le, Mauricio "Shogun" Rua and Matt Serra.
Series 5 will be released by year's end, though participating fighters have not been announced.
Round 5's offerings can be purchased at leading retailers such as Walmart (Canada), Toys 'R' Us, FYE, Century Martial Arts, Sunrise Records, The Treadmill Factory and Hatashita International. Other retailers can be found at www.round5mma.com/wheretobuy.php.
UFC Signs Content Deal With Heavy.com
MediaPost.com has the lowdown on the UFC partnering with Heavy.com to offer programming for the popular pop culture website:
Men’s media network Heavy.com has struck a content distribution partnership with the Ultimate Fighting Championship, Online Media Daily has learned. Heavy will now host a video channel containing content from the professional mixed martial arts organization’s library, including fight highlights, interviews and analyses, backstage footage and previews of upcoming fights.
All UFC videos will employ Heavy’s video ad units throughout — known as “video skins” — monetizing the video by wrapping it with a premium, high-CPM ad unit specifically designed for brand advertisers.
While UFC.com is hugely popular, it is encouraging to see the UFC in not looking at that as the sole distribution point online and source of revenues. The deal with Yahoo to sell PPV’s online is massively troubling from a journalistic viewpoint, but it is a smart for the UFC move in that they are dispersing their distribution. The Heavy.com deal has ad-based elements that will generate additional passive income. Dana white has stated in the past that he sees everythign eventually moving online, so staying aggressive in the new media realm will be key to this vision.
The deal also signals the UFC entrenching further in their 18 to 34 male demo. That is the target market for Heavy, and the UFC programming will complement the action sports programming that now plays a big role at Heavy. The UFC continues to increase its positioning with “action sports.” A similar move was made recently with the signing of the UFC to Fuel TV in Australia.
Tito Ortiz Sued Over MMA Trash Talk
Tito Ortiz is on the receiving end of a serious legal attack -- one that started after the UFC legend bashed "Rampage" Jackson's former trainer to the media.
The guy filing the lawsuit is Juanito Ibarra -- a fighting expert who claims he's trained more than 15 world champs and several Olympic Gold Medal winners. Ibarra's pissed over an interview Tito gave to a website back in 2008, in which the fighter ripped Ibarra as a "thief" who had financially "taken advantage of Rampage."
In the lawsuit, filed today in L.A. County Superior Court, Ibarra claims Tito's statements are all false and "highly offensive" -- and things got worse when scores of sports websites began publishing follow-up stories, repeating Tito's comments.
Ibarra is suing Tito and all the blogs and publications that ran Tito's interview for defamation, invasion of privacy and emotional distress.
E3 2009: EA Sports MMA Announced
Electronic Arts' Peter Moore has just announced that the giant publisher is finally making a mixed martial arts game under the EA Sports brand. Dubbed EA Sports MMA, the game is set to go on general release sometime in 2010.
I hope Fedor is on the cover!!
GSP Makes Men’s Fitness 2009 MF 25
By dismantling UFC lightweight champion BJ Penn earlier this year, St-Pierre took ownership of the "best pound-for-pound fighter" mantle. GSP routinely kills it in the gym with strength and conditioning coach Jonathan Chaimberg, a fellow Montreal native. Chaimberg has taken him from only eight body-weight pullups per set to now banging them out with a 120-pound dumbbell attached to his waist. Normally 188 pounds, St-Pierre cuts about 20 pounds for a fight and carries only about 5% body fat. "He's probably the most gifted athlete you'll ever meet," says Chaimberg.
UFC: Undisputed 2009 Also Tops in Canada
The UFC: Undisputed 2009 takes up the top 2 positions in Canada, according to Rogers and the Canadian Press:
TORONTO — The most popular game rentals (all platforms) according to Rogers Video for the period ending May 24.
1 UFC 2009 Undisputed (Xbox ***)
2 UFC 2009 Undisputed (PlayStation 3)
3 Terminator: Salvation (Xbox ***)
4 Bionic Commando (Xbox ***)
5 Punch Out (Nintendo Wii)