Tito Ortiz actively negotiating with AFFLICTION
LOS ANGELES – At a press luncheon on Tuesday, Affliction vice president Tom Atencio told MMAWeekly.com that negotiations are now underway with former UFC light heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz. Affliction COO Michael Cohen confirmed that Ortiz is free to negotiate with the upstart company, and was working on a deal with Ortiz’s lawyers.
In an interview with SI.com last week, Ortiz confirmed he was working on a “groundbreaking record contract” with a company assumed to be Affliction. However, the outspoken fighter was a no-show at the press conference for “Day of Reckoning” in Las Vegas. Ortiz still appears to be persona non grata in UFC president Dana White’s book, but on more than one occasion, that has not come between Ortiz and a UFC contract.
As of yet, few details on the negotiation exist, but Atencio initially said the dollar signs associated with the record-breaking contract are the major sticking point.
“We’ve got a contract, and it’s just not feasible,” Atencio said.
Both Atencio and Cohen have fielded interest from a large number of free agents looking to sign with the new promotion. Affliction received a great deal of attention, much of it negative, for the 3-4 million dollars it paid to fighters in its first show, “Banned,” on July 19. Afterwards, Atencio told MMAWeekly.com one of his future concerns was to make sure fighters didn’t look at Affliction as a “cash cow.” And while there’s no doubt Ortiz can sell tickets for Affliction, it would come at a steep premium.
Randy and Fedor meet again. Talks between two camps.
MMAPayout.com has learned that Couture and Emelianenko, along with their respective management teams, have spent a great deal of time together in Los Angeles this week. The purpose of the informal summit is not entirely clear, but one logical goal of the meetings could be the development of a collective strategy moving forward in order to insure that [their] fight takes place, sooner rather than later.
Interesting to see where this goes.
Bull Ropes and BS: 'Respect' and Other Fan Foolery
After a 15-minute emasculation of Heath Herring (Pictures), even in the face of other notable Saturday night happenings, I was fully aware Brock Lesnar (Pictures) was going to dominate my inbox come Sunday morning. However, I expected most of the discussion to be centered on his obvious potential as a heavyweight, with requests for me to impersonate Joe Silva by forecasting Lesnar's future fighting engagements.
Instead, I have been swarmed with and puzzled by dozens and dozens of choleric and venomous messages from incensed fans who have apparently suffered damaged psyches at the hands of Brock Lesnar's in-cage antics.
Jordan Breen talking sense once again...
Affliction Lands Horodecki
In a move that strengthens its roster outside the heavyweight division, the upstart Affliction promotion on Wednesday announced the signing of former International Fight League poster boy Chris Horodecki (Pictures). Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The once-beaten 20-year-old Canadian will make his promotional debut at Affliction “Day of Reckoning” on Oct. 11 at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas. An opponent has yet to be named. Horodecki (12-1) last competed in April, when he earned a unanimous decision victory against World Championship Fighting veteran Nate Lamotte (Pictures) at an IFL show in East Rutherford, N.J. ...
Dana White and His Rise to Multi-Millions
"When you see Dana White, the bald headed President and co-owner of the UFC on TV, he always leaves you with the same impression. He's loud, obnoxious, confident, and most probably wealthy. You're right about the wealthy, but how much is he worth? "
Most of this is a shot in the dark. I am posting it because there is some cool information about the finances of Dana and the UFC. Like how Dana is a 10% owner of Zuffa.
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.
Nick Diaz camp wants KJ Noons but will settle for Hayato ‘Mach’ Sakurai
Elite XC lightweight contender Nick Diaz provided his hometown fans in Stockton, Calif., with an exciting early second round technical knockout win over Thomas “Wildman” Denny last Saturday night during Elite XC: “Unfinished Business.”
The question now is: What is next for the Cesar Gracie jiu-jitsu black belt?
On the surface there are two very obvious answers to that question, both of which involve world titles. Either Diaz will take on Hayato “Mach” Sakurai (32-8-2) in Japan at DREAM 6 for the company’s welterweight gold, or he’ll finally get his redemption fight against Elite XC lightweight champion KJ Noons (7-2).
So which fight is going to happen?
Diaz has made it clear that he enjoys competing in Japan — where he feels the art of this sport is better appreciated and the rules favor more of a traditional martial arts style. He was already supposed to have fought Sakurai at DREAM 5 two weeks ago, but that fight fell through when Diaz learned he was instead going to fight in Stockton for Elite XC.
It seemed obvious that Diaz would have much rather taken on “Mach” for a world title than a mediocre Thomas Denny in a non-title affair, but there’s more to that story than meets the eye.
Not only was he fighting in his hometown an exciting idea for Diaz, but there’s also some hesitation on his part to compete for DREAM since the Japanese based company has yet to pay him a single dime for his May win over Katsuya Inoue at DREAM 3.
Tito Ortiz Not Yet Signed To Affliction
Former UFC light heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz is not out of the Octagon just yet.
Despite several published reports of Ortiz’s whereabouts, Affliction Vice President Tom Atencio today told MMAWeekly.com that he has not signed the popular UFC fighter. Atencio claims that Ortiz’s promotional contract with the Las Vegas based company precludes that.
“I can’t talk to Tito until after August 3rd,” Atencio says. “Everybody just wants to read into it and put whatever they want on the internet.”
Cro Cop Knows What You’ve Been Saying About Him
"I see many people speaking about me as a washed-up fighter but this is just another boost to my motivation. I’m working hard to get back on track and meeting and defeating strong competitors in the ring is all that I think of nowdays. "
Affliction, Fedor Prove MMA is Bigger Than UFC
There’s much to be said for selling out. For Affliction, it happens to be a good thing.
The clothing company turned mixed martial arts promoter packed the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif., on Saturday. Nearly 14,000 fans were treated to highlight reel moments of Dominique Wilkins proportions throughout the night. But it wasn’t all fashionable fun in the organization’s inaugural show.
From the try-hard red carpet that ushered VIPs in and out of the arena to the distracting, unnecessary smoke machines that went on through most of the event, Affliction’s presentation had enough plot holes to compete with the latest batch of summer blockbusters...
Josh Barnett talks Anthony "Rumble" Johnson, Aleksander Emelianenko
Anthony Johnson claimed in a recent interview he got the better of me in wrestling and that this was his validation for being a great wrestler in MMA. I won’t lie and say he didn’t get a takedown or that he doesn’t have good wrestling skills because he did and he does. But he glossed over the most important part: You don’t run your mouth about what happens in practice. Punks and the weak of heart do that. He came in last while I was running the gauntlet with guys in sparring and even then 1) I took him down more than he did me 2) I suplexed him on his head 3) and tapped him out. But I wasn’t happy with my performance so I said let’s go again. Only it turned out “Rumble” didn’t want to spar but run a marathon. He threw one punch and just ran the whole time. High accomplishments indeed. I guess he’s in San Jose now but hopefully they are more accepting of him than we are at CSW; because bitches need not apply here.
ROBERT "BUZZ" BERRY HANGS UP THE GLOVES
Following his recent loss to Neil Grove at Cage Rage 27, Robert "Buzz" Berry steps out of the limelight and into retirement. It marks a sad day for British MMA when one of the most prominent heavyweights on the scene decides that they have had enough.
Berry amassed a professional record of 13-8-0 since breaking onto the scene in 2001 with a win in the Total Combat show. Since that time he has been one of the most regular competitors on the scene with six fights apiece in 2005 and 2006, three in 2007, and twice already this year.
Berry will forever be remembered for exposing Ken Shamrock's total lack of game plan with a devastating knockout in March of this year. At the time, the fight may have appeared to be a steppingstone for Shamrock to rebuild his career, but Berry had other plans and fought arguably the most mature and complete fight of his career.
On Wednesday night, Berry announced on the Cage Warriors forum his retirement from the U.K. Scene with the following post:
"Just to let you all know I have had to retire. After my fight with Neil Grove I was taken to the hospital and had to have surgery on my face. They have had to put two plates in, one in my cheek bone and one on my eye socket. So that is it, over for me.
Rampage Jackson hearing set for August 15
“[Quinton] was cooperative with us from his arrest to him being released.”
– Sgt. of Traffic Safety Bureau for Costa Mesa Police Department, Victor Bakkila, comments via the Press-Telegram on the behavior of former UFC light heavyweight champion Quinton “Rampage” Jackson after his arrest for felony evading, reckless driving and hit and run charges. The 30-year-old from Memphis, Tenn., was today released on $25,000 bail and will have his day in court on August 15.
From Surviving the Streets of Russia to MMA: The Story of Aleksander Emelianenko, Part 1
by Evgeni Kogan
"I'm ready. It doesn't matter with who or where. On foot or on horseback. With maces or poleaxes. To fight. To first blood or to death. It doesn't matter, I'm ready to fight." -- Aleksander Emelianenko (Pictures)
Living in the shadow of a big brother isn't easy.
When you are in the same profession and he's more accomplished and better known, it's hard to stand in the spotlight unobstructed, as your own man. Side by side, the achievements that you've worked your whole life for, that you've gone through hell for in order to become a better person are less dazzling, less impressive when compared to his. You have less say in your fighting future, less media attention when he's caught in a perpetual avalanche of flash bulbs and microphones. You're fighting on the televised undercard when he's headlining the pay-per-view.
Dude is so russian
DRUG TEST NETS TIGER WHITE 9 MONTH SUSPENSION
At a hearing before the Nevada State Athletic Commission last week, Vernon “Tiger” White was officially suspended stemming from a positive drug test result for the banned diuretic Hydrochlorothiazide. The drug test was following a May 31 kickboxing bout for Xtreme Fighting Association.
White received a nine month suspension, was fined his entire $2,000 win bonus, and the fight was changed from a victory for him to a no contest result.
"I'm not going to try to talk myself out of trouble, it was a stupid mistake,” said White during the hearing.
Due to the positive test result and impending suspension, White was removed from a fight against Antonio Rogerio Nogueira that was to take place on Saturday’s Affliction “Banned” event at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif.
Fellow UFC veteran Edwin Dewees, who has signed a multi-fight contract with Affliction, subsequently replaced him. Dewees’ first action for Affliction will be against Nogueira on Saturday night.