EliteXC’s ‘Impending Doom’ Averted for Now
Though its coveted spots on CBS and Showtime rival any other broadcast deals currently enjoyed in the sport, it’s unlikely any promotion is envious of EliteXC this week.
Nearly nineteen months into operation, Pro Elite -- the parent organization to EliteXC, ShoXC, King of the Cage, Cage Rage, and ICON events –- has found itself centerstage following a recent succession of incidents that have put the company’s ability to get the job done in question.
Last week, EliteXC’s welterweight champion Jake Shields, who’s clocked in under nine minutes for his trio of victories in the cage, went public with his intentions to accept a more challenging bout with a top-five middleweight through another promotion.
Just a few days later, news prematurely leaked out that a scheduled Sept. 20 event at the Pit in Albuquerque would be cancelled –- this before main event draw Joey Villasenor had even been notified.
On its heels, private negotiations between Mark Dion, manager to EliteXC lightweight champion Karl James Noons, and the promotion have gone public and seem to get uglier by the day.
The icing on the cake came with Thursday’s announcement that EliteXC heavyweight champion Antonio Silva had tested positive for the steroid Boldenone following his July 26 title victory.
SEC filings this week show Pro Elite is almost $55 million in the red, largely due to operating expenses incurred from its 15 flagship events to date, as well as its investments in other organizations (still running events themselves) that the company purchased to bolster its stable of fighters. In comparison, the UFC spent $44 million in four years before it struck oil with “The Ultimate Fighter” reality TV series.
EliteXC has certainly seen better weeks, and the memory of their May 31 debut of “Saturday Night Fights” on CBS in primetime -- which garnered heaping amounts of press and the most eyeballs of any live MMA event ever broadcasted with an average 4.9 million viewers –- seems to be fast fading.
However, there is light at the end of the tunnel, if Pro Elite can get to it in time. If changes were ever needed in the organization it would be now, and changes are being made.
Silva Pleads Innocence to Steroid Allegations
EliteXC heavyweight champion Antonio Silva and his representatives have denied allegations that the 28-year-old Brazilian took steroids prior to his July 26 contest against Justin Eilers, and they’re willing to fight to prove it.
On Thursday, the California State Athletic Commission released urinalysis results pointing the finger at the 6-foot-4, nearly 300-pound Brasilia native for Boldenone, an anabolic agent. Silva was immediately suspended for one year and fined $2,500, but may protest the disciplinary action and request a hearing before the commission –- something Silva’s manager, Alex Davis, plans to pursue without hesitation.
“It’s a false positive. He got tested positive for something he didn’t take,” said Davis from his home outside Rio de Janeiro. “I will not let my fighter sit back and be wronged like this. I just won’t.”
Silva was notified of the positive test result Wednesday via a phone call from the CSAC, though Davis said rumors of his fighter’s results had been circulating during a prolonged testing period, which included independent tests of two separate samples conducted by Quest Diagnostics and the World Anti-Doping Agency-approved Laboratoire De Controle Du Dopage in Montreal.
“I did not use the steroid Boldenone, or any other steroid of prohibited substance,” Silva wrote in a prepared statement distributed to Sherdog.com. “I don’t agree and never have agreed with the use of this kind of product in order to win, for this is cheating. I will go to the full extent of my power and the law to prove my innocence in this matter.”
Dana Confirms UFC schedule-> No Canada in remainder of 08', GSP vs Penn in Jan.31
UFC President Dana White, speaking to Yahoo! Sports’ Kevin Iole, has confirmed the UFC’s plans for the remainder of the calendar year.
After getting Montreal fans’ hopes up about a possible return before the end of the year, White revealed to Iole that they won’t be able to hold a second show this year after all. Instead, UFC 91 is planned for Nov. 15 at the Rose Garden in Portland, Ore. and UFC 92 is planned for Dec. 27 in Las Vegas.
White also stated that a planned Georges St. Pierre vs. B.J. Penn fight will not take place at UFC 92 and will instead happen on Jan. 31 during the promotion’s annual Super Bowl weekend show.
The UFC’s calendar for the remainder of the year is as follows:
* Sept. 6 in Atlanta: UFC 88 featuring Chuck Liddell vs. Rashad Evans
* Sept. 17 in Omaha: UFC Fight Night 15 featuring Nate Diaz vs. Josh Neer
* Oct. 18 in Birmingham, England: UFC 89 featuring Michael Bisping vs. Chris Leben
* Oct. 25 in Rosemont, Ill.: UFC 90 featuring Anderson Silva vs. Patrick Cote
* Nov. 15 in Portland: UFC 91 with Kenny Florian vs. Joe Stevenson
* Dec. 13 in Las Vegas: LIVE Finale for the eighth season of “The Ultimate Fighter”
* Dec. 27 in Las Vegas: UFC 92 with Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira vs. Frank Mir
* Jan. 31 (2009): UFC’s annual Super Bowl weekend event
Kang vs Eastman at Raw Combat
Las Vegas’ own Marvin Eastman (Pictures) is finally set to return to action. The veteran of King of the Cage, the WFA and the UFC, as well as dozens of muay Thai and K-1 fights is scheduled to tackle Denis Kang (Pictures) at RAW Combat on Oct. 25 in Alberta, Canada.
Mikey Gomez Florida's #1 unsigned Mixed Martial Artist
Check out all the Interviews by Penny Buffington on
Here is just part of the Interview from Mikey Gomez who was voted #1 unsigned Fighter in Florida!!!!!!!
"Gomez is fighting Charley Blanchard for the welterweight title. On Thursday August 15, 2008 I spoke with a happy Mikey. He told me, “I am really excited to fight for the Cage Warriors belt. I’m fighting a really tough aponant named Charley Blanchard from American Top Team. I’ve been training really hard for this upcoming belt and now I’m just tweaking up my game in preparation for it.” - Mikey Gomez
Check out the Full interview by Penny Buffington on
Tim Boetsch knows he’s a work in progress
The awe was evident in Joe Rogan's voice as he tried to describe what he had just seen in the cage at UFC 81.
Tim Boetsch had just used David Heath's head like a soccer ball, bouncing it off his knees five or six times before he grabbed Heath around the shoulders and spiked him into the canvas.
Rogan, a color analyst on the UFC's television broadcast and a standup comedian who is quick with a barb, sounded stunned by what he'd seen.
"Look at this," Rogan exclaimed. "He just ... rag-dolls him to the ground. David Heath was stunned just from that."
Indeed, Heath was all but out from the spike, which caused spectators sitting on that side of the cage to wince. Terrell Owens hasn't spiked a football with as much force after an important touchdown.
Boetsch's victory over Heath stunned many veteran mixed martial arts observers, who had never heard of him previously. He'd only begun fighting slightly more than a year earlier and was suddenly pummeling an experienced fighter with ease.
None of what he did, though, surprised Wade Fatool. Boetsch's father-in-law is 50 and described by his son-in-law as a freak of nature. He still dominates many of those who are willing to get on the mat and wrestle with him in his hometown of Sunbury, Penn.
Heath Herring recovering from injury, disappointment after loss to Brock Lesnar
"[Lesnar] is a pro wrestler," Herring said. "What do you expect? That's kind of his shtick. It's what he does. I figure that's what everybody expected from him."
Additionally -- despite rumors to the contrary -- Herring said there was no pre-fight clash between the two fighters.
"I don't know if [Lesnar] said something," Herring said. "I didn't really have any words with him before the bout. I've never even really met the guy.
"I've been around this sport for years. I've never really done any trash-talking or anything like that before a match. I don't know where that came from."
Herring also denied reports that he requested he not be forced to walk to the cage ahead of the hometown-hero Lesnar.
"I never even had a discussion with [the UFC] about anything," Herring insisted. "I'll be honest. You bringing that up is the first I've heard of it."
Herring said after the disappointment of the loss that he plans on taking a bit of time off to prepare himself mentally and physically for his next chance in the octagon.
"I've got to step back a little bit," Herring said. "I've got some other stuff kind of working on the backburner right now. We're going to go do some of that stuff and just see how everything pans out.
"I've got some acting possibilities. I'm going to try to do some acting a little bit.
"I'm trying to get back to training and do some other things with training.
"It's just disappointing when you kind of feel like you've done everything right and you get some bad luck early on. I've got to clean that out a little bit and get refocused. We'll be back to business before too long I imagine."
And once Herring does return, Lesnar will be on a list of targets for future opponents.
"We took the best [Lesnar] could give us for 15 minutes, and he couldn't finish it," Herring said. "I don't know what else he's going to bring to the table to finish me off.
"We took his best shot and went on from there. I'd love for him to take one of mine, and we'll see how it goes."
Quote of the day: Hansen will never fight for the UFC
I would fight anyone of the UFC lightweights, but the problem is that I will never put my foot in the octagon after they (UFC) tried to be funny, I would rather have bleeding hemorrhoids than fight for the UFC.
- Joachim "Hellboy" Hansen, who was none too pleased when Zuffa bought PRIDE and tried to offer him 1/2 of his contracted salary for a fight against Marcus Aurelio.
Georges St. Pierre: I almost had to kill Jon Fitch to win
I was trying to pace myself, because after the first time I rock him and I couldn’t finish him I was like ‘Man, this guy, I’m gonna have to almost kill him to win’. He’s very tough, I give him a lot of props. A big heart, good , amazing guy, very big heart, [I have] a lot of respect for this guy.
-UFC welterweight champion Georges “Rush” St. Pierre talks about trying to finish challenger Jon Fitch during a UFC 87 post fight interview. GSP successfully defended his title after fighting off a very game Fitch for 25 minutes.
Lesnar still blames Mazagatti for UFC 81 loss...(w/audio)
The heat is on MMA ref Steve Mazzagatti (pictured w/stache) in this week leading up to UFC 87. The formerly mustacheiod Mazzagatti's competence has been called into question more than few times by media, fans and most importantly Brock Lesnar.
Lesnar spoke with ProMMARadio's Larry Pepe and basically called Mazzagatti a clown for his actions early on in the loss to Frank Mir. Lesnar grazed the back of Mir's head with just one punch. Instead of issuing a verbal warning, Mazzagatti stopped the fight with only 25 seconds elapsed and deducted a point from Lesnar.
"It's just an consistency in the reffing by that particular referee. Every fight that I ever watch him ref there's a lot of inconsistency. I'm not naming any names."
Brock Lesnar: "I strive to be the best"
There has been a lot of speculation that this fight is do-or-die for Lesnar. He believes that he needs a win here to keep himself afloat in the UFC. “For me, I've lost my debut fight and like I said, I'm a sore loser. I don't want to lose. It's going to be gangbusters on Aug. 9 to win. Look at anybody. You don't see anybody hanging around in the UFC with a losing record,” said Lesnar.
However, win or lose, he doesn’t plan on quitting anytime soon. “This is my job. I'm here. As long as I'm winning and as long as I'll be a contender in the heavyweights, I'll be around for a while.”
The one thing that defines who Brock Lesnar is as a person is his perseverance and his desire to excel at any task. He believes that is why he is the athlete that he is today and why he can set lofty goals for himself. “I strive to be the best at whatever I do. That has never changed. My plan is to one day hold the UFC heavyweight belt. I haven't changed my mind at all.”
UFC 87: Georges St. Pierre all business heading into Jon Fitch fight
“The last time I defended my title, I didn’t approach it the right way” (Serra). “ trained to fight an army and there is no way one man can stop me if many cannot.”
UFC Welterweight Champion Georges St. Pierre appeared focused and serious today during the public press conference at the Mall of America in Minneapolis, Minn., to promote UFC 87: “Seek and Destroy,” which is slated for the Target Center Saturday, August 9. “Rush” will look to retain the 170-pound strap for the first time since winning it back from Matt Serra when he takes on number on contender, Jon Fitch, in the main event of the evening.
Dana White: "Yes," some WEC weight classes will be folded into the UFC
After months of openly considering the move, Zuffa LLC is now committed to folding some of the WEC's heavier weight classes into the UFC, and UFC President Dana White today said the process is already underway.
White confirmed the partial WEC-UFC merger while a guest on today's edition of TAGG Radio (www.taggradio.com), the official radio partner of MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
"We're working on that now," White said of the merger.
Ever since Zuffa LLC (the UFC's parent company) purchased the organization in December 2006, White has maintained that the WEC would be run as a separate entity -- not a feeder system for the UFC -- with a focus on the sport's lighter weight classes.
Although some fighters -- including current WEC lightweight champion Jamie Varner, former UFC title-holder Jens Pulver and featherweight prospect Leonard Garcia -- went from the UFC to the WEC, they weren't necessarily demotions. In fact, Pulver and Garcia made the moves so they could fight at 145 pounds (a weight class not offered in the UFC), and Varner joined the WEC with the promise of a title shot.
However, the organization has struggled to stock its middleweight and light heavyweight divisions, and rather than pull talent from the UFC, White said the WEC's 205-pound and 185-pound divisions will be folded into the UFC.
"The answer is yes, and we're working on that right now," White said.
No flash, just fights for Fitch...
By Kevin Iole, Yahoo! Sports
Jon Fitch jokes that a family photo which includes his brother, cousins, and father could be mistaken for a semi-pro football team. There are a lot of big men in that shot.
And, indeed, Fitch spent much of his life believing he was destined for the NFL.
“Little problem with that way of thinking,” Fitch says. “I am way too slow and turns out I’m at least four inches shorter than I thought I’d be.”
MINNEAPOLIS – Former UFC light heavyweight champion Quinton “Rampage” Jackson spoke publicly Thursday for the first time since his July 15 arrest in Costa Mesa, Calif.
The highly popular mixed martial arts fighter was arrested by Costa Mesa police following a chase and booked into the Orange County jail on suspicion of felony evading, hit and run and reckless driving.
One of the persons Jackson allegedly sideswiped on the 55 Freeway was 38-year-old Holli Griggs of Huntington Beach, Calif. On Aug. 1, her fiance, Bill Krebs, told the Newport Beach Daily Pilot that Griggs, who was 16 weeks pregnant with a boy, suffered a miscarriage.
alifornia State Athletic Commission on MMA
"The California State Athletic Commission takes a lot of heat for its handling of MMA affairs, on every topic from fighter licensing to drug testing."
They talk about strikes to the back of the head, point scoring in MMA, etc etc. I am surprised by his competency. I figured CSAC was full of people who ignored MMA.
Bas Rutten On The Demise Of The IFL
In just a few short years the International Fight League went from ambitious concept to reality to demise.
At its best, the promotion helped reintroduce a group of veteran mixed martial arts pioneers to the new era of MMA fans, as well helped jumpstart the career of what would become some of the sport’s best young fighters.
One of the promotion’s first and most prominent figures was former King of Pancrase and Ultimate Fighting Championship heavyweight titleholder Bas “El Guapo” Rutten.
Starring initially as the head coach of the Los Angeles Anacondas, Rutten then transitioned to a commentator role and ultimately ended up as Vice President of Fighter Operations, and shined with the usual El Guapo flair in each position.
Still, all things come to an end. As such, Rutten has been released from his contract with the company, and now he looks to transition to other things.
Speaking from his adoptive hometown of Los Angeles, Rutten spoke to MMAWeekly about his time in the IFL, his roles in the promotion, and what’s coming down the pipeline for one of MMA’s premier personalities.
MMAWeekly: First off Bas, tell us about your recent release from the IFL.
Bas Rutten: Well, from what I understand, there is no more IFL, right? We’ve been sold, but there’s still some working going on. Exactly what, I have no clue, but the paychecks have stopped coming in. For me it’s stopped and for all the people I knew in the IFL it’s stopped.
I knew the company was struggling. I had gotten emails from people there that had been let go. “Thanks for the great time working together,” and stuff like that. There was a hardcore group left, and once they started getting rid of those people, I knew the end was near. I was aware it was going to happen.