Pay-Per-View Could Be in Bellator's Future
When Bellator lost its middleweight champion Hector Lombard to the UFC last week, it was at least partially because in the UFC's offer, they monetized the deal through pay-per-view. That avenue isn't available to Bellator right now, but within two years, it might be.
As Bellator grows internationally through its major deal with distribution giant Fremantle Enterprises, and makes its move domestically to Spike, new opportunities will arise. And that could mean that at some point, Bellator will try out the pay-per-view format.
Organization CEO Bjorn Rebney told MMA Fighting that the promotion is considering all of its options when it comes to producing live content, but that Bellator would only make the move to pay-per-view under the right circumstances.
"I think what you’ll see is as this is monetized and that sector plays out, it’ll play out with the big fights on that platform," he said in a recent interview. "You need that kind of platform for what they’re doing. We may get there. I never wanted to make a firm commitment to it as far as when and if we’ll get there, though. It’s really something that we might do, but it needs the right fights and the right talent to get you there."
Tito Ortiz ponders future in the WWE
Former UFC light-heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz expects Forrest Griffin to be his final fight with the promotion on July 7, and he hinted his future could be in the WWE.
In his prime Ortiz defended the 205lb belt more times than any other before or after him. A devastating ground-and-pound exponent, the Huntington Beach Bad Boy became one of the most popular figures in the sport.
However, a run of injuries has led to him winning just one of his last eight fights, and it is widely expected that he will bow out against Griffin. The pair have won one fight each, so this settles the trilogy.
"It's my final hurrah, Forrest brings the best out of me and vice-versa, and on July 7 we're gonna get some late fireworks," Ortiz told ESPN.
"I've had some major surgeries but I took the fights anyway, and I've shown that I'm able to compete. A lot of athletes don't compete with injuries, but I have. Those fights with Forrest were tight, and a completion of the trilogy should be the right way to end my career...
Tito Ortiz content with upcoming retirement, hoping for UFC front-office job
Yes, Tito Ortiz is going through with his planned retirement. His UFC 148 bout with Forrest Griffin will be the final one of his illustrious career.
For real. Seriously. No joking, you guys.
While some fighters find retirement too uncomfortable and a return to the cage too enticing, the 37-year-old Ortiz told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) he's preparing himself mentally for the end of the line.
"It's my last fight after 15 years," Ortiz told MMAjunkie.com while in Stockholm for promotional duties and fan events at UFC on FUEL TV 2. "I don't know what it's going to feel like to walk out for the last time, step in the octagon for the last time, to walk out of the octagon for the last time. Honestly, man, I don't know what to expect."
In fact, Ortiz (16-10-1 MMA, 15-10-1 UFC) said he recently signed a contract for his bout with Griffin (18-7 MMA, 9-5 UFC), which is part of the pay-per-view main card of UFC 148. The bout takes place July 7 at Las Vegas' MGM Grand Garden Arena. As Ortiz put pen to paper for the fight, just that simple act put him in a nostalgic mood...
UFC on FUEL TV 2's Brian Stann says military past now staying private
Brian Stann has trotted out his Marine past for the benefit of his past two MMA employers on many occasions, including his upcoming fight with middleweight Alessio Sakara at Saturday's UFC on FUEL TV 2 event.
He's done it to the point where some fans have wondered if it's his only selling point.
Stann, of course, has always said he's trying to help the gears of promotion, not trying to exploit honor.
But a recent appearance FUEL TV's "UFC Ultimate Insider," which hyped his upcoming fight with Alessio Sakara at UFC on FUEL TV 2, proved too invasive even for him. Now, he's drawing boundaries as to what can and cannot be discussed.
"I don't have to go through those memories of my life with other people," Stann told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). "Those are my private memories. I did it once. It's out there. I hope that it was for the better of the sport. I hope it was for the better of the men and women who served, and let it be that."
Frank Mir, The Constant Heavyweight Contender
Frank Mir seems to always be just one win away from a title shot. The constant contender has fought in four UFC championship bouts, and if he gets past Cain Velasquez at UFC 146, he’ll be fighting for a UFC championship belt for a fifth time.
He’s seen the highest of highs and the lowest of lows during his career to this point. He rose to the top of the heavyweight division at a young age. He debuted in the organization at just 22 years old. By the time he was 25, he was UFC heavyweight champion.
Before he could defend that title, Mir was involved in a motorcycle accident suffering a broken femur. Many questioned if he’d ever get back to where he once was in the sport. And his comeback performances following the injury fueled the doubters’ belief that Mir would never be the same...
Despite apparent support, Thiago Santos' camp not entirely happy with Bellator brass
Thiago Santos' manager makes no excuses for his fighter missing weight for Friday's Bellator 62 event.
That said, he's not exactly thrilled at the circumstances that were presented to his client.
Despite Bellator Fighting Championships CEO Bjorn Rebney's decision not to cut Santos for the infraction and to instead help connect him with a nutritional expert, manager Josef Borges believes the company should take a little responsibility for the misstep.
"What happened with Thiago was that he needed to cut a lot of weight for the fight on March 16," Borges told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) in his native Portuguese. "He cut 12 kilograms (27.5 pounds) up until 1 p.m. of March 15, when I called him to inform him the fight was postponed. At that moment, he was only 3 kilograms (6.6 pounds) from making weight...
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...
Dana White on 'The Ultimate Fighter: Live' season debut: 'It was perfect'
From the live format to the new broadcaster partner to the surprise one-round fights, Friday's season debut of "The Ultimate Fighter: Live" couldn't have gone any better.
That's according to Dana White.
The UFC president spoke to MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) after the two-and-a-half-hour season debut, which included 16 live elimination-round fights on FX.
"Going into this thing ... you're always nervous when you do something new and do something different," he told MMAjunkie.com. "We worked long and hard on this show to make sure this came off with no hitches. I'm very happy to with how it came off. It was perfect. Everything went according to plan. There were literally no hiccups whatsoever.
"It's not easy doing this live. Nobody's even done this before, and it could have gone any more perfect."
MMAjunkie.com was on scene for the debut, which took place at the UFC Training Center in Las Vegas. After 14 taped seasons on Spike TV, the UFC's long-running reality series went to a live format with its move to the FOX-owned FX. With UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz and fellow headliner Urijah Faber on hand to scout for next week's team selections, White said they were treated to a stellar night of fights...
Tim Sylvia says he can KO Struve, Brown, and Morecraft
In an interview for his campaign to get back to the UFC, Tim Sylvia confidently says he can KO Stefan Struve, Travis Brown, and Christian Morecraft
I know he also called out Kongo before...and after seeing Kongo's last fight, I think Sylvia could def do it. I think Brown would win, but Kongo, Struve, and Morecraft would be good fights to watch
Tim Sylvia willing to return to UFC for old pay
Tim Sylvia had an interview where he said he would be willing to fight in the UFC for what they used to pay him. He also mentioned he'd like to retire in the UFC...but I guess everyone does right?
The more I think about it, the more I say give him 1 fight in the UFC to see how he can handle himself with the new breed of fighters
Ed Herman says Silva is ducking Sonnen
“Of course, Silva is ducking Sonnen. Why would he want to fight Chael again? He got lucky by catching Chael in that triangle arm-bar the first time,”
I disagree...I'm taking Silva by KO as he'll surely work is TD defense and knock him out...especially considering how he looked against Bisping
Former MFC Champ McKee disputes decision to drop Contract, Claims Health Issues Prevented Him From Making Wieght
The Maximum Fighting Championship recently announced that lightweights Antonio McKee and Brian Cobb were released by the Canadian promotion for missing weight prior to their MFC 32 title bout.
McKee officially tipped the scales seven pounds over the contracted 155-pound limit. As a result, his planned lightweight title defense was downgraded to a non-title catchweight affair, and he was stripped of the belt by the organization prior to the contest.
“I was thoroughly disgusted by the lack of professionalism that Antonio McKee showed towards the belt he was scheduled to defend as well as the Maximum Fighting Championship as an organization,” said MFC President Mark Pavelich in an official statement released Tuesday.
McKee earned a unanimous decision victory over Cobb at the Jan. 27 event, which aired live on HDNet from the Mayfield Inn Trade and Convention Centre in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
“It was unacceptable behavior for a champion to demonstrate. On top of that, Antonio never really apologized for missing weight that badly. That was the end of things for him with the MFC,” Pavelich continued. “That’s why he was stripped of his belt immediately and told that he would never fight in the MFC again. I hope it’s a message to all the other fighters in the MFC.”
McKee, however, sees the situation differently. According to the former champion, both Pavelich and Cobb knew McKee would miss weight due to illness. McKee says he and his camp made the conscious decision to “not push the envelope” and try to make weight, as the fighter was experiencing severe lightheadedness and stomach pains.
“[Pavelich] knew I wasn’t going to make weight before the fight because I told him I wasn’t going to make weight. I was sick. I had f---ing kidney issues. My stomach was messed up. They already knew that,” McKee told Sherdog.com on Wednesday.
In my opinion this calls into question the whole practice of cutting weight.
I have no sympathy for guys who miss weight due to "health issues." If you can't consistently make a weight cut in good health, you need to be fighting at a higher weight class.
I think they should institute a policy of multiple weigh ins to prevent this sort of drastic cutting. It isn't good for fighters. What happened to safety first?
Jay Jeans from MMA@Work interviews Che "Beautiful" Mills
Che Mills is an English mixed martial artist and current UFC Welterweight. He is a former Cage Rage British welterweight champ, and holds 2 notable KO wins over DREAM Welterweight Champion Marius Zaromskis.
MMA@Work's very own, Jay Jeans, recently was able to catch up with Che.
The full audio of the interview can be found below.
Exclusive: At All Costs, Alistair Overeem Is Out for Justice Against Golden Glory
In this exclusive interview, UFC heavyweight Alistair Overeem talks to MMAWeekly.com about the ongoing legal situation with his former team at Golden Glory and much, much more.
Overeem took time on Wednesday to talk to MMAWeekly.com about his upcoming fight with Junior dos Santos, the work he’s been doing with the Blackzilians and he fires back at his former team at Golden Glory and the lawsuits that have been filed by both parties.
Damon Martin: First let’s start with what’s coming next for you in the UFC. It’s going to be Junior dos Santos for the title. I want to start by asking your thoughts on him as a fighter and his striking?
Alistair Overeem: Junior dos Santos is the heavyweight champion of the UFC so he’s the best fighter in the world at the moment and he has that belt around his waist, which I’m still missing. He’s a very strong fighter with knockout power in his punches, and he moves very well for a heavyweight. His boxing skills are the best in the MMA business so that would make for a very interesting fight. It will be a classic striker versus striker, which an audience always loves to see. It will be a great fight for sure...
With fighter pay in spotlight, UFC vets shed light on life in octagon's middle-class
For three of the UFC's rank and file, the bottom line rarely ends at "show" and "win."
Sponsorships, performance bonuses, and discretionary bonuses help to line the pockets of George Roop, Jacob Volkmann and Nam Phan.
They are not millionaires. But despite a wide disparity in pay with their headliner counterparts, figures disclosed by the fighters painted an upper-middle-class living.
Pay-per-view dollars are, for now, a faraway dream that Roop, Volkmann and Phan hope to realize. They have won and lost and are no strangers to the preliminary card. They draw hardcore interest but are known by a casual few.
Featherweight Roop, a veteran of "The Ultimate Fighter 8," has fought nine times in the now-defunct WEC and UFC and carries a record of 3-5-1 under the Zuffa-owned promotions. Lightweight Volkmann signed with the promotion in 2009 and has fought seven times in the UFC, where he's amassed a 5-2 record including five consecutive wins inside the octagon. Phan, a veteran of "The Ultimate Fighter 12," has fought four times in the UFC as a featherweight and carries a 1-3 record.
Thirty-nine millionaires have been created by the promotion, according to UFC executive Lorenzo Fertitta, who defended his company's pay structure in a controversial segment aired on Sunday for ESPN's "Outside the Lines." Responding to charges that top stars are compensated handsomely while lower-tier fighters risk life and limb for as low as $6,000 a fight, he said the company shares around 50 percent of its revenue with athletes under contract.
Roop, Volkmann and Phan's guaranteed pay leans toward the lower end of what fighters make in the promotion.
But they're not struggling...