JAKKS Pacific® Secures Ultimate Master Toy License For Ultimate Fighting Championship®
MALIBU, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The world leader in fighting action figure toys, JAKKS Pacific, Inc. (Nasdaq:JAKK), announced today that it has signed an exclusive, four year worldwide Master Toy license agreement with the Ultimate Fighting Championship® (UFC®) organization, with a planned product launch expected to commence in 2009.
The new UFC product line from JAKKSTM will be collector-focused, and the license covers UFC legend Chuck "The Iceman" Liddell, Brock Lesnar, Antonio "Minotauro" Nogueira, Michael "The Count" Bisping and UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson "The Spider" Silva, among others. The license also includes the famed UFC Octagon™, and role-play items based on the UFC brand and its classic and current roster of star fighters.
The Ultimate Fighting Championship organization is the world's leading professional mixed martial arts group, regulated by the most prestigious sports regulatory bodies in the United States. UFC live pay-per-view events take place at preeminent destinations including MGM Grand®, MEN Arena, Mandalay Bay® and O2 Arena, and they consistently draw sell-out crowds with record-breaking gates. Presenting more than twelve pay-per-view events per year, the UFC stands as the largest pay-per-view content provider in the country.
The UFC also dominates television with its reality series, The Ultimate Fighter®, now heading into its eighth season. The Ultimate Fighter has reigned supreme for years in the coveted 18-34 male ratings demographic, and it regularly enjoys higher ratings than traditional franchise sports such as the NBA®, NHL® and NASCAR®, as well as NCAA® football and basketball. In partnership with Spike TV® cable network, the UFC also presents ten live UFC® Fight Night™ events and 26 taped programs of the popular program UFC® Unleashed™.
“The UFC is a perfect match for JAKKS, given our extensive expertise in developing and marketing collector driven sports action figures,” said Stephen Berman, President and COO, JAKKS Pacific. “UFC’s enormous and growing popularity amongst adults, coupled with the extensive roster of physically powerful star fighters, gives JAKKS a substantial base to work with, and should be a powerhouse combination for the line. Our objective is to give collectors an authentic UFC experience.”
“We are thrilled to have JAKKS on board as our first official UFC action figure partner,” said Dana White, UFC President. “The demand for UFC is tremendous, and through this relationship with JAKKS, we can present authentic UFC products and have them available to our loyal UFC fans all around the world.”
UFC Could Crush Affliction, Put Brock Lesnar on Spike vs. Fedor Emelianenko on PPV
UFC is the undisputed champion of mixed martial arts promotions, but there are a few organizations that are trying to put some chinks in UFC's armor. EliteXC got a prime time network TV deal, and Affliction has a pay-per-view show next month -- headlined by Fedor Emelianenko -- that will have every bit as much MMA talent on display as a typical UFC pay-per-view show.
But UFC President Dana White could take a huge step to undercut Affliction and show that UFC is still the dominant dog: He could take the Brock Lesnar-Heath Herring fight, which is currently scheduled for UFC 87, August 9 on pay-per-view, and move it to July 19 on free TV or basic cable (most likely Spike), head to head with Affliction's pay-per-view show.
That would crush Affliction. Although I was skeptical about Lesnar when he first signed with UFC, he's undeniably a big draw. He's well-known from his days in the WWE, and MMA fans respect his background as an NCAA wrestling champion. Emelianenko is a much more accomplished MMA fighter than Lesnar, but among American fans, Lesnar's name is bigger than Fedor's, and if the choice is between watching Lesnar on basic cable or paying $50 to watch Fedor, for most fans, that's an easy choice to make.
The Making of a Superstar in Korea
Dong Hyun Kim's impressive May 24 UFC debut was not televised in North America, but in South Korea it was shown live.
And then it was shown again.
And then it was shown again: three times total, with commentary, prior to the resumption of live coverage.
Even before the translator could mangle Kim's responses to Joe Rogan in the postfight interview, YTN, the Korean cable news network, had added "Kim Dong Hyun wins by TKO in first UFC contest" to the news ticker at the bottom of the screen, amid updates on American beef imports and the earthquake in China. KTX trains also added Kim's picture to the queue of rural photographs cycling on the aisle monitors.
Virtually unknown to all but hardcore fight fans, suddenly it seemed as if Kim was on every screen in Korea.
Vera wants UFC rematch, Werdum says no
Filipino American mixed martial artist Brandon "The Truth" Vera immediately called for a rematch after losing in a first-round battle against Fabricio Werdum of Brazil in their Ultimate Fighting Championship match at London's O2 Arena over the weekend.
"[I'm willing to wait] eight weeks, 10 weeks," Vera said, referring to the regular training period a UFC fighter undergoes before slugging it out in "The Octagon."
Werdum, however, declined Vera's challenge, saying he wants to fight for the UFC championship belt next. The Brazilian said that if and when he snares the crown, he would consider a rematch with Vera following Saturday's "UFC 85: Bedlam."
Kimbo Slice to Fight Brett Rogers in October
After Kimbo Slice defeated James Thompson in the first mixed martial arts show in prime time network television history, fellow heavyweight Brett Rogers took the podium at the post-fight press conference and called Slice's performance "garbage" and "unacceptable."
If that was Rogers' attempt to hype himself up as the next opponent for Kimbo, it worked. Slice appeared on Dan Le Batard's radio show today and said he'll fight Rogers next, "probably in October."
"They called me out, and now they got the fight," Slice said of Rogers and his camp.
Slice acknowledged that his aura took a bit of a hit with the way he struggled to defeat Thompson, but he insisted, "I was in shape. I was ready. I was ready for a battle."
10 Fights that Changed the Course of Careers
Take his career as a whole and Matt Hughes -- who competes Saturday for the first time since a second devastating loss to Georges St. Pierre -- is unquestionably the most accomplished 170-pound athlete to ever don a pair of open-fingered Ouano gloves.
With a list of casualties including B.J. Penn, Sean Sherk, and even St. Pierre himself, Hughes has run the gauntlet in one of the deepest talent pools in the sport. Yet the defining image fans will carry into his bout against Thiago Alves in London's O2 arena is his arm being torqued at unnatural angles at the hands of St. Pierre last December.
That sobering defeat could turn out to be the fulcrum on which Hughes' career now swings. Snapped from his perpetual dominance of the division, he may be more cognizant of his physical limitations and opponents may be less fearful of his abilities.
In properly melodramatic form: the St. Pierre loss could be the beginning of the end.
It wouldn't be the first time that five or 10 minutes managed to stall career momentum for good. Other athletes have had experiences that reduced them to shells of their former selves. Inversely, some fights have taken fighters to new levels of popularity and performance.
The psychological and physical reverberations of a good beat down -- taken or given -- can last the duration of a fighter's ring life.
Some examples, in ascending order of impact:
This is gonna hurt: UFC serves Tito Ortiz with cease and desist for new book
The long arm of Zuffa law apparently extends to estranged former champions who write books and wear their belts on the covers.
Tito Ortiz — who just satisfied the final fight on his contract with the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) — has been served with a cease and desist because his recently released autobiography, “This is Gonna Hurt,” violates the intellectual property rights of the mixed martial arts promotion, according to MMAPayout.com.
“The Huntington Beach Bad Boy,” according to the report, needed to get the stamp of approval from the UFC to sport the belt on the cover of the book. And he apparently did not get the green light or overlooked the clause in his contract.
Donald Trump to Announce Andrei Arlovski at Press Conference Tomorrow
This is something that I never thought I’d type:
Donald Trump — who has forged a partnership with Affliction MMA — will tomorrow announce the acquisition of former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski at a noon press conference at Trump Tower in New York, N.Y., according to MMARated.com.
In addition, “The Pitbull” will take on Ben Rothwell (as expected) during the debut pay-per-view (PPV) event for the promotion at the at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif., on July 19.
Trump is also expected to reveal more details on his partnership with Affliction MMA, which according to the report, he owns a “significant amount” of the upstart promotion.
This is about to get real interesting … as if it isn’t already. Stay tuned. In the meantime, to get some more background on Trump’s involvement with mixed martial arts click here.
Bas Rutten: Fight was "good for Kimbo" but second-round stoppage justified
Longtime MMA fighter and broadcaster Bas Rutten, who's also the trainer for Kevin "Kimbo Slice" Ferguson and the main reason the heavyweight has garnered any sense of credibility within the sport, says that Saturday's win will be good for the fighter.
However, he also admits that the fight should have been stopped in the second round when Ferguson was tagged with nearly a full minute of unanswered ground and pound.
Rutten discussed Saturday's controversial CBS "EliteXC: PRIMETIME" main event between Ferguson and James Thompson, in depth, on his personal website.
More than anything, Rutten said that fight was good for Ferguson because he needed to be tested, especially since he's only been in MMA for a year. Ferguson's previous three fights (two pro bouts and an exhibition fight) lasted an average of just 46 seconds.
"I have to say that I am very happy with [Kimbo's] fight and his performance and that this fight made him way stronger for next time," Rutten wrote. "When you get caught in training by something, whether it's a submission or strike, you learn from that, but there is nothing like learning it the hard way in a fight."
Third Round Interview with Stephen Quadros
When it comes to any profession, their are those who are what I like to call
"The Real Deal"
A truly geniune person who excells at what they do and do it with a feverous passion. The world of Mixed Martial Arts is relatively young, with all the uprising promotions and figure heads that make the claim that they love the sport and only wish to further its development, at times it really leaves me wondering just who is authentic. One figure in the world of MMA that has garnered the attention, and respect of fighters and fans alike is Stephen Quadros.
Open Letter From Brett Rogers Concerning The Kimbo Controversy
An Open letter to all
On behalf of Brett Rogers, Team Bison and everyone representing our camp: we would like to clarify a few issues that may be mis- interrupted by the press and the many many message boards.
First we would like to start out by once again thanking Gary Shaw and Elite XC. Elite is our home and it is where we hope to be for a long time. They treat their fighters great. More then the day to day treatment of the fighters they are interested in developing fighters and making long term commitments to their fighters. Unlike other promotions who have a tradition of “one and done” and cancelling contracts without notice; Elite is standing by their fighters. We are proud to be with the organization that brought back Yves, Sammy and Phil when others wrote them off. We were proud to be part of an organization that gave James Thompson a chance at redemption (and in our mind earned another chance on Saturday!). Elite gave us an amazing opportunity to bring aboard great sponsors who could really get their money’s worth.
We really believe in Elite and hope to bring more of our fighters up through their ranks. We do not want anyone to think for a second we are ungrateful, angry or otherwise disappointed with Gary Shaw, Elite, Showtime or CBS. And no; we have not been forced or threatened to say this and anyone who thinks we could be does not know Team Bison. Simply put; we will always speak our minds and will not be intimidated; which brings us to the Kimbo situation.
Brett had won 6 fight before coming to Elite. He struggled on the local circuit to find fights. He was pretty much avoided from day 1. The guys he fought simply provided zero competition and he put them all away early. When he fought for the regional title he fought a guy who was 10-1 and suppose to be this great striker. Brett KO’d him in under 10 seconds. We went to Hawaii where despite changing the rules as we stepped through the ropes and again during the fight; Brett KO’d his opponent. Finally we got to go BIG and face serious competition in Elite XC in Texas. The main event on that show was Kimbo Slice vs Bo Cantrall. Bo is a sub .500 fighter who was on a 4 fight losing streak when he got the call to come to Elite. On that show Brett faced Ralph Kelly who a decent up and comer with a good amateur record. Brett had a tougher opponent but got less money and a on the Under Card...
More in depth - Tito on Stern Radio
hey mod or anyone - sorry this isnt posted the right way but the site this is taken from is very messy and hard to navigate.
more long winded version of Tito with Howard Stern
Summary from Marksfriggin.com a Stern fan site:
Tito Ortiz Visits. 06/03/08. 9:00am
During the break Howard took a call from a guy who talked about how great Rosie was during that interview. Howard said that she was an excellent interview. He got back to his commercial after letting the guy go.
After the break we heard a prank call that High Pitch Eric made to a pharmacy about some ''twat cream.'' Howard came back a short time later and had fighter Tito Ortiz some in. Tito came in dressed in a suit so Howard asked him to model it for them since it was one of his company's suits.
Tito is leaving the UFC and moving on to another company. Howard said that Tito is complaining that they don't get paid what they deserve from the UFC so he's moving on. The boxers only get about 3 percent of the money that comes in. Tito said that he thinks that they should be getting 10, 20 or even 30 percent. He said that he made about $210,000 the last time he fought.
Howard asked what kind of numbers the Pay-Per-View events get. Tito said it's about a million at $50 bucks per subscription. Howard said that's like 50 million and he's looking for some of that money.
Tito won't even mention the name of the guy who runs the UFC because he's moving on to a better place. He told Howard that he'd do the same thing if he were him. He said that if you're not with the company, you're against the company. Tito said that he's with his own company now and he's going to go out and find the toughest guy he can to fight him.
Howard asked Tito if he's ever lost to anyone. Tito said that he just lost 2 weeks ago to a guy who was running away from him for 3 rounds. He said that he asked the guy to stop pussing out and just fight but he kept running away.
Howard asked Tito what to do in a street fight. Tito told him to talk his way out of it, that's what he does. He said that he doesn't need someone pulling a gun on him because he doesn't' know those Matrix moves.
Howard heard that Tito wasn't allowed into the press conference at the UFC the last time he fought. Tito said that a woman tried to stop him from getting in there so he told her to call security because he was going in. He said that he wasn't going to let them stop him from doing that.
Howard said that Tito is with Jenna Jameson right now but they have no plans to get married. Tito said that they are going to have kids eventually and they are working on that. He said that he's been having sex without protection. Howard told Tito that he doesn't want any kids himself so he wears a condom all the time. Howard said that he'd imagine that Tito would be able to impregnate her pretty quick if he was trying.
Howard read that Tito and Jenna were investigating Scientology and wondered what they have found out. Tito said that they have looked into a lot of religions but the whole Scientology thing might be too intense.
Howard asked Tito why he waited a month to bang Jenna. Tito said that it was all about respect. Howard also asked him about cheating on his first wife which he wrote about in his book ''This Is Gonna Hurt: The Life of a Mixed Martial Arts Champion.''
Howard asked Tito about his family life, which he also wrote about, and how his mother was addicted to heroin. Tito said that both of them were addicted to heroin and they both basically abandoned him. He said that he never brought his friends back to the house because he didn't want them to see the trailer they were living in or the stuff they left behind while they were doing heroin.
Tito said that he spoke to his father about 5 months ago after telling him that he never wanted to see him again. Tito said that his father basically quit on his family and that's what he sat down and talked to him about.
Tito talked about how great his ex-wife is and how she and Jenna get along. Howard asked him if he would ever want to get the two of them into bed together. Tito said that he would never want that and Jenna wouldn't either. Howard said that he knows Jenna and he thinks that she loves women. Tito said that she's over all of that and she wants to start a family now.
Tito said that he and Jenna have a lot of fun together and they don't need anyone else in the bedroom to do it. Howard was thinking that she was becoming a prude to get over the porn star stigma but Tito said that she's not a prude at home.
Howard asked Tito about dealing drugs as a kid and if his parents kind of got him into that. Tito said that he did that to pay rent. He said that he didn't understand anything at all back then. He said that he managed to get into wrestling and got a scholarship to college and he wanted to teach for a while but then he got into the UFC.
Howard asked Tito if his teeth were real because they looked perfect. Tito said they were real and he's managed to keep them because he's been so dominant in the fights. He said that he's 33 now but he wants to get out by the time he's 36. He said he wants to do promotions and find the next Tito Ortiz when he's done fighting himself.
Howard asked which martial arts is the best to learn. Tito said that kids should learn to wrestle because it can teach kids a lot. Howard asked if he ever had a penis slip out when he was wrestling. Tito said that has never happened. He said that he's glad it never did.
Howard gave Tito some plugs for some appearances he was making in the area and for his book. You can find out more at TitoOrtiz.com. Howard asked Tito when he last banged Jenna. Tito told him he'd have to use his imagination there.
High Pitch Eric called in to challenge Tito to a fight. Howard hung up on him half way through his challenge. Gay Ramone called in next and asked if he had ever had his asshole eaten out. Tito said that he hasn't had that done but he has had men come on to him. He said he has no problem with that and has some gay friends. Artie said he fantasizes about Tito beating the shit out of Gay Ramone.
A caller asked Tito why he can't just admit that the other fighter who beat him 2 weeks ago was just a better fighter. Tito said he never said he wasn't. Another guy said that he agrees with Tito and said that he did think that the other guy was running away from Tito. Howard wrapped up and went to break a short time later.
Tito Ortiz plans to launch own fight promotion
Tito Ortiz, a former UFC light heavyweight champion who's likely concluded his service to the organization, expects to launch his own fight promotion and co-promote shows with some of the sport's already established organizations.
Ortiz, who's currently promoting his new autobiography "This is Gonna Hurt," briefly mentioned his plans while a guest on today's Howard Stern Show.
Ortiz, who fulfilled the terms of his UFC contract after suffering a unanimous-decision loss to Lyoto Machida at UFC 84, also criticized the UFC's pay scale and took a swipe at his recent opponent during the interview.
When asked about the UFC, Ortiz said he was "moving to a bigger and better company." When asked which one, he said he plans to launch his own.
"I'll be doing my own promotions and I'll possibly be co-promoting with some other companies already in the business," he said.
However, when asked about fighting on CBS (which has a deal with EliteXC), the 33-year-old said it was "possible."
Ortiz, who made $210,000 in his latest fight (according to the Nevada State Athletic Commission and Ortiz himself), estimated that UFC fighters are making only "about three percent" of the UFC's per-event take "if they're lucky." He said that prompted his decision to get in the fight-promotion business.
As for his latest fight, Ortiz said the UFC knowingly scheduled an opponent that would "run away from me for three rounds."
"There were a few times when I was like, 'Come on, man. Don't puss out. Let's fight,'" Ortiz said.
Marcus Davis is the Nostradamus of MMA
When Britain can’t beat Marcus Davis, that’s when “Britain Adopts Marcus Davis.” Or at least that’s what the UK Sun’s headline read after Marcus Davis KO’d Liverpool’s Jason Tan in Belfast, Ireland, at UFC 72, submitted Walsall’s Paul Taylor in UFC 75 at the O2 Arena, and knocked out London-based Jess Liaudin at UFC 80 in Newcastle. This Saturday, Davis will hop the pond for the fourth time in as many fights to take on Mike “Quick” Swick at UFC 85 in London, in what has finally become friendly confines for the Maine native.
“Swick’s going into my backyard,” Davis says, “because I’ve already been there, I’ve fought there—I’m very comfortable there. Not that I’m thinking that’s going to affect him. I mean, it’s never affected me to go into anyone’s back yard, and I’ve done it a lot. I’ve always been the bad guy. I fought on a Marine base [against Shonie Carter] and he was a Marine. I fought Pete Spratt in Houston, he was from Houston. I fought Paul Taylor in London, he was from England. I’ve always fought guys in their hometowns, and I’ve always beaten them. But Swick’s going over there, and he’s going to be the outsider.”
Whether or not his adopted hometown fans will come to his aid, one thing that seems inevitable is that pairing Mike “Quick” Swick and Marcus “The Irish Hand Grenade” Davis will make for a super-charged war with plenty of immediate action. In all three of the aforementioned overseas fights, Davis won in the first round. In 2007 alone, Davis stole the show by earning four post-fight bonuses for knockout, submission and fight of the night. Of his eleven straight victories dating back to April of 2006, only two of those fights have gone the distance, and eight of them never made it past the opening round. In other words, Davis works fast. One might say faster than Quick, lately.
Vitor Belfort to fight for Affliction, Joins Chute boxe
DreamFighters.com has learned, and confirming a dreamfighters.com news release last week, GracieMag.com has confirmed that Vitor Belfort will be fighting at Chute Boxe academy in Brazil, and will fight under the Allfiction name in July.
anybody thinking LIL NOG VS BELFORT going to happen?!?!!?!?!?
i havn't been this excited for a card since, ... well ive never been this excited for a card EVER.
UFC 84 fighters test clean
All fighters tested as part of the Ultimate Fighting Championship's May 24 event in Las Vegas have tested clean for performance-enhancers and drugs of abuse.
Nevada State Athletic Commission Executive Director Keith Kizer today confirmed the clean UFC 84 tests in an email sent to MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
"UFC 84: Ill Will" took place at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. B.J. Penn defended his UFC lightweight title against former champ Sean Sherk in the night's main event.
Both fighters passed tests prior to the event as part of the NSAC's new year-round, random drug testing initiative.
Kaitlin Young: 'CBS didn’t want the visual of a woman with a bloody face on CBS'
“My left cheek and area surrounding the eye are looking pretty ugly today, but there was no major damage. Though it may have looked like it on tv, I never actually had an open wound. What you didn’t see was that the doctor actually cleared me to fight the third round but the commission said ‘no.’ I wanted to continue, my corner wanted to continue. The cut likely would have opened in the third but it was under the eye. If I had to guess, I would say that they didn’t want the visual of a woman with a bloody face on CBS. They also chose not to do a post fight interview with me or to include me in the post fight news conference and after party. I think the reason for that was my beat up appearance after the fight because I was not seriously injured and was completely coherent. I am very disappointed about that but cant help but wonder how people would have responded to that, as stupid as it is. “
– Kaitlin Young — who did not answer the bell for the third and final round of her fight with Gina Carano at Elite XC: “Primetime” on CBS — shares her thoughts via FighterGirls.com on the stoppage.