On a crisp November morning in Culver City, Calif., Gina Carano pulled up in front of Sony Pictures Studios. It was the final day of cuts for "American Gladiators," the popular spandex-laden, physical-challenge driven TV series that thrived on Saturday night television from 1989-1996.
Carano hadn't been aware of the show when news leaked of the latest guilty pleasure revival. She hadn't waited in the lines of thousands that churned out as many pull-ups as they could muster at rapid-fire pace or catapulted their bodies from end-to-end of a gymnasium in the hopes of catching the right producer's eye.
Instead, NBC producers had seen Carano -- who had fought two of her five career MMA bouts under the newly-formed EliteXC banner that year on Showtime -- and wanted her. She had turned down audition after audition, until her coach of four months, six-time UFC champion Randy Couture, encouraged her to head down to Los Angeles and at least give it a try.
Sitting outside the studio, looking up at the massive white building in front of her, Carano made a decision. She started her car, pulled out of the parking lot, and kept driving until she reached a friend's house in San Diego.
"I didn't want it to take away from who I am. I wanted to live up to my responsibilities of being a well-known female MMA fighter," says Carano. "I wanted to be good for the sport."
Carano's name, along with her beautiful face and a physique more suited for modeling then fighting, had become a regular fixture of EliteXC advertisements played in diligent rotation on Showtime. Carano's gutsy performance with fellow femme Julie Kedzie for EliteXC "Destiny" that previous February has not only helped launch the fledgling promotion, it had cemented at least a temporary home for female fighters.
The dimple-cheeked 26-year-old was crowned "The Women's Face of MMA," and with good reason. EliteXC executives saw that same intangible quality that fueled NBC producers to go back to the raven-haired beauty one last time and convince her to finally join the "American Gladiators" cast the night before shooting was scheduled to begin. This time, Carano hesitantly agreed.
Bas Rutten Talks IFL, Grand Theft Auto 4 & More
Three events into a new year and the International Fight League has put in some of the most exciting match-ups in the organization’s brief history.
Key to the in-ring success has come at the hands of the matchmaking. Lead by Kurt Otto, in conjunction with Bas “El Guapo” Rutten, the IFL’s change of format to individual fights with champions in six weight classes has proven to be a shot in the arm to the company’s live events.
In particular, Rutten has grown into his role as Vice President of Fighter Operations, continuing his transition from fighter to MMA business professional, enjoying every minute of it.
Recently Bas took time from his always hectic schedule to speak to MMAWeekly about the current status of the IFL, his foray into the world of video games and his always present endeavors into expanding the Bas Rutten name and brand.
Andrei Arlovski To Hold Press Conference To Announce His Future
Andrei Arlovski will be holding a media day this Tuesday in Los Angeles to announce his plans for the future. Many are speculating that Arlovski will announce his departure from the UFC for either Affliction or Adrenaline MMA.
Arlovski will hold the media day at Wild Card Gym in Hollywood where he'll be working on his boxing and conditioning with Freddie Roach and Alex Ariza.
Tito Ortiz offered UFC contract prior to UFC 84
FiveOuncesOfPain.com was informed by Rear Naked Radio, a weekly MMA show heard every Saturday from 7-9 p.m. CT on Live 105.3 FM in Dallas, that former UFC light heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz was offered a contract by the UFC in the days leading up to last night’s fight against Lyoto Machida.
While listening to the initial portion of an audio clip forwarded by Rear Naked Radio, Ortiz begins to talk about possible options outside of the UFC.
“Either I go to Affliction; either I got to possibly something with De La Hoya; or start something on my own; HDNet; I mean there are so many opportunities for me,” said Ortiz. “Lorenzo (Ferttita) came up to me, actually, a day before the weigh-in and he’s like ‘UFC is the place you need to stay. You need to be here. We need you here.” And he was giving me the old fluff deal…”
Gary Shaw Responds To Dana White
EliteXC held a conference call today to hype their upcoming CBS show 'CBS EliteXC Saturday Night Fights' which debuts May 31 at 9 p.m. ET.
EliteXC president Gary Shaw responded in harsh fashion to Dana White's assertions that that the UFC's lightweight champion, BJ Penn, could defeat EliteXC heavyweight Kimbo Slice.
"Dana White is a jerkoff," Shaw said via conference call. "That’s what Dana White is, a ******* idiot, and you can quote me on that. If he cared about mixed martial arts and the sport instead of caring about his big ass swimming pool and his own personal gains, he’d understand that statements like that make someone into a jerk. First of all, I love BJ Penn and he is a friend of mine. Kimbo Slice, one shot, would knock BJ Penn out, a 155 pounder. But they are never going to fight, it is an idiotic statement from a complete idiot… Dana White’s an idiot. And if he wasn’t an idiot, May 31 would have been the UFC instead of EliteXC. I rest my case."
Brian Stann on Howard Stern show
Brian Stann was on Howard Stern today. this is a summary from one of the biggest Stern fan sites out there.
Howard said that they had one of the fighters, Brian Stann, from the World Extreme Cage Fighting in to promote some upcoming fights. Howard spent a minute talking to that guy about his time served in Iraq as a Marine and things like that. Howard asked him about the mixed martial arts stuff that he does. He asked Brian what he thinks of the war over there. Brian said that he thinks that they should finish the war now that they're already over there.
Howard asked Brian if he thinks they should have gone over there to begin with. Brian gave his thoughts on all of that. Gary said that Danielle hadn't taken her eyes off of him the whole time. Brian spent a few minutes talking to Brian about the war, the Marines and the cage fighting stuff.
Brian claimed that he fought 15 gang members at the same time once. Howard that a bunch of the women in the room probably just orgasmed hearing that. Howard told Brian that he's a ''real man'' unlike Brian in the studio.
Howard asked Brian about the kind of guns he was using over there in Iraq. He also figured that he wasn't afraid of black people or anyone like that. He asked Brian about his next fight which is coming up in August on the Versus network.
Brian's wife is a former cheerleader. Brian said that he had to be persistent with his wife to pick her up. She said no to him at first when he tried to ask her out.
Howard said that he felt sorry for Brian if he didn't get to kill anyone over in Iraq. Brian gestured that he had killed some people so Howard was wrong about that.
Artie talked about how he feels kind of like a pussy for going over to Iraq to just do the comedy show over there. Brian told Artie that he should be fine over there when he goes. Howard asked Brian where you jerk off when you're over there. Brian said that you have to find a port-a-John or something to do it in. Brian said that when he was out there he was living in abandoned houses and stuff and it was pretty dirty.
Howard read some notes about Brian and how they were ambushed when they were going over a bridge. Brian told a story about a suicide bomber attacking his group and how he thought that he had lost all of the guys. they ended up having some wounded but no one died so they really lucked out with that.
Howard had Brian present the check to the winner of the contest. Brian told Tiffany that he hopes that she can put the money to good use and presented the 5 grand to her. Tiffany said she's going to use that money for a driving school.
Chuck Liddell and Anderson Silva Scheduled To Appear At Guys Choice Awards
The following is a press release from Spike TV:
New York, NY, May 20, 2008 - Spike TV will once again gather many of the biggest names in music, entertainment and sports that guys love most for the second annual “Guys Choice.” From Sports Illustrated swimsuit cover girl Marissa Miller to “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of Crystal Skull” star Harrison Ford, the night will be a homage to the best in “guydom.” Scheduled to tape Friday, May 30 at the Sony Studios in Culver City, CA, “Guys Choice” premieres Sunday, June 22 (10:00 PM-Midnight, ET/PT).
Scheduled appearances include: Selma Blair, Steve Carell, David Duchovny, Harrison Ford, Brendan Fraser, E!’s “The Girls Next Door,” Summer Glau, Meagan Good, Chad Johnson, Kim Kardashian, Chuck Liddell, Linkin Park, Seth MacFarlane, Jenny McCarthy, Eva Mendes, Marisa Miller, Anderson Silva, Nikki Sixx, Slash, Tila Tequila, Kat Von D and many more to be announced.
Spike TV will pay special tribute to an American icon; Playboy editor-in-chief and chief creative officer, Hugh Hefner. As Playboy marks its 55th anniversary in December, “Guys Choice” will honor Hefner with the first-ever Alpha Male award for his pioneering vision and ground-breaking achievements that forever changed the face of entertainment for men. The night will also offer other discretionary honors to be announced shortly.
Frank Trigg: The World’s Toughest Salesman
Frank Trigg is a one-man industry. How many other fighters can claim to train in a gym they own, show up to fight in a shirt they designed, then talk about it the next day on their own radio show? In this exclusive interview, the man behind Triggonomics, TAGG Radio, the R1 Training Center, a handful of truly bizarre TV appearances — as well as some legendary beatdowns in the UFC, PRIDE and Icon Sport — gives us the “Twinkle Toes” perspective on fighter branding, reality television, and why he would kick Robbie Lawler’s ass in a rematch.
UFC 88 To Be Held In Atlanta?
Tim Boetsch made the following announcement on his official myspace page:
Subject: UFC Sept. 6 Atlanta
Body: The Barbarian returns to the octagon to take out James Lee on Sept 6. Get your tickets! It is going to be a good show!!!!
September 6 falls on a Saturday about a month from UFC 87 which takes place in Minnesota Aug 9. Being that the event's on a Saturday it's sure to be a PPV and given the timing, will likely be UFC 88.
Tim Boetsch (10-2) is coming off of a TKO loss to Matt Hamill at UFN 13. Boetsch informed Fightline.com that he had expected to face Houston Alexander, but appears excited by the prospects of entering the octagon opposite James Lee.
A Beached Bad Boy
If the UFC's ancillary video producers are on their game, they'll have a camera fixed on company president Dana White during the Lyoto Machida/Tito Ortiz bout Saturday -- preferably one in high definition, all the better to capture every dripping bead of sweat on White's reflectively smooth head.
After a years-long war of words that would make Vince McMahon glow with pride, White and Ortiz are finally set to go their separate ways, with White to continue chairing the biggest, most self-aggrandizing MMA organization in the world and Ortiz to ply his trade for one of the UFC's many upstart competitors.
The emotional volume of Ortiz's exit will go up considerably should he beat Machida, a 12-0 fighter being groomed as a future contender for the light heavyweight title. Ortiz will certainly see a victory as one final shot at White and his flagrantly insulting disposition, and a Machida win would act as a springboard for White to continue burying Ortiz in the media.
But unless Machida devastates Ortiz -- unlikely, considering his preference for a tactical chess game over a firefight -- there's little opportunity for White to whitewash what is arguably the most substantial exodus of talent from his company since its inception.
Josh the punk Thompson talks upcoming fight and more.
Josh talks about his upcoming fight with Gilbert and also talks a little trash on Ishida, Guida, and the heavy guys.
I found it pretty interesting what he said about Guida and Ishida. I also thoguth it was kind fo arrogant of him to not praise Cung Le more instead of say "Baroni didnt train with US (Josh and Javier)," and "Frank underestimated US."
Overall good interview.
The Final Chapter
"This guy went on Howard Stern and said he was getting $200,000 a fight,” White said. “That was such a lie. Tito made $5.8 million in 2006. He only fought once in 2007. He made $710,000 for that fight (with Rashad Evans) and that was the third match from the top (on the card). He goes around saying we made $231 million last year. He’s a moron. This guy talks about what a businessman he is, and he was on ‘The Apprentice’ and he doesn’t know the difference between revenue and profit."
“There’s not going to be any bidding war,” White said. “Gary Shaw (promoter at Elite XC) should offer him $30 a fight, because we’re not going to match it.”
So I think it's safe to say there will be no reconciliation
UFC Quick Quote: Dana White is subtle when it comes to Tito Ortiz
“Tito is a f—ing idiot. He’s one of the dumbest human beings I’ve ever met. Everything that comes out of his mouth makes no sense…. I put up with his s— when he was a good fighter. He’s not anymore…. He’s not in anybody’s Top 10. I have no interest whatsoever in being in the Tito Ortiz business…. I’ve never wanted to see anyone get their ass kicked worse than I want to see Tito get his kicked next Saturday night.”
– UFC President Dana White beat around the bush in a recent UFC 84: “Ill Will” conference call earlier this afternoon when Tito Ortiz was mentioned. White decided to remain tight-lipped about his thoughts on who he wants to win when Ortiz steps inside the Octagon for possibly the last time against Lyoto Machida at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, on May 24. Perhaps closer to fight night we’ll get a better feel for what he really thinks about the match up and “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy.” Stay tuned.
whoops forgot link
B.J. Penn: "I'm going to be the bigger man" at UFC 84
With one of the year's most-highly anticipated match-ups a little more than a week away, it should be of little surprise to anyone that the always-confident B.J. Penn (12-4-1, 7-3-1 UFC) feels sure he will walk away from his UFC lightweight title bout with ex-champ Sean Sherk (32-2-1, 4-2 UFC) victorious.
What may be surprising is how "The Prodigy" feels he will defeat "The Muscle Shark" -- by putting Sherk on his back.
Penn discussed the upcoming main-event bout of "UFC 84: Ill Will" while a guest on Thursday's edition of TAGG Radio (www.taggradio.com), a content partner of MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
"I'll be able to put Sean Sherk on his back, and from there pass his guard, mount him, and start beating on him," Penn said.
A hallmark of Sherk's career has been the ability to utilize superior strength, wrestling and conditioning to control his opponents on the mat, and ground-and-pound his way to victory. The Hilo, Hawaii native doesn't believe that will be the case in this title bout.
"I definitely feel that I'm going to be the bigger man when we step in to the ring," Penn said. "I feel I'm going to be a stronger man also. ... I'm not going to let him hold me down and do his thing where he tries to rabbit punch [me] to death."
Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua wants Chuck Liddell to wait to fight him
“I respect him a lot as a fighter and I think he, besides being a warrior, is top of the category. I’ve been watching him since I started fighting. My fans can be sure I’ll be back at 100 percent. I’d like for him to wait and fight me at the end of the year. If I could choose who I’d fight on my return, it would be him, for sure, and I hope he accepts.”
Maurcio “Shogun” Rua — who is recovering from a bad knee injury that required surgery to repair — wants to next fight former UFC light heavyweight champion Chuck Liddell. Both 205-pound fighters were supposed to lock horns during the main event at UFC 85: “Bedlam” at the O2 Arena in London, England, on June 7. However, injuries to the fighters forced them both off the card. Liddell will more than likely be able to return to action much sooner than Rua because his injury was the less serious of the two (hamstring). Rua plans to return to training in three weeks.
‘MMA Live’ on ESPN.com to debut online tonight with host Kenny Florian
ESPN — the worldwide leader in sports – is set to debut a half-hour long online show on ESPN.com dubbed “MMA Live,” which will be hosted by top UFC lightweight contender, Kenny Florian, according to MMAWeekly.com.
“MMA Live” will debut on ESPN.com today (Thursday, May 15) at 7 p.m. ET and will cover the latest mixed martial arts news from the top organizations in the sport such as UFC, Elite XC, Dream and others. It will eventually — if all goes well — feature fighters interviews and other specials.
Here’s a snip from “Ken-Flo:”
“(It’s) kind of a fast-paced show on the current news and events going on in the sport. There’s a whole lot of guys at ESPN that have been trying to get this done I guess for two years…. It’s strictly going to be on ESPN.com. It’s not going to be on TV as of right now. Basically they’re going to do a run for three shows on ESPN.com and see what the response is, see how it does. Then if it goes well, we’ll do a regular thing on the Internet, and if it does even better, then possibly you’ll see it on TV.”
Florian will be joined by co-hosts John Anik and Franklin McNeil from the Newark Star-Ledger.
Tito Ortiz: Life After the UFC
***********: Tito, you do a million interviews - and with good reason, you're one of the most popular fighters of all time. So I have to ask...are you sick of giving interviews?
Tito Ortiz: No, you know, it's just part of the job. It's something that comes with the work and it's also something that I do very well. I'm not tired of them - I actually enjoy them. I always give good interviews and I have good answers for the fans.
***********: Have your fans stayed loyal with your impending UFC retirement or have you seen some drop off the bandwagon?
Tito Ortiz: Actually, I've seen my fan base increase. They've seen the true colors of Dana and they've seen that I'm not the only one saying something. Many fighters - Randy [Couture], Tim [Sylvia] - are talking about what Dana has been doing. Fans want to support me no matter where I go.
***********: And on that note, can you tell us what's next for you?
Tito Ortiz: Well, nothing official yet. As soon as this fight is over, I have a 30-day waiting period before I can negotiate.
***********: Which organizations are you interested in?
Tito Ortiz: Definitely EliteXC. Affliction seems to be building up well. And they just started with DREAM in Japan. Any organization that will respect me and promote me as the champion that I am.
MMANews.com Interview With EliteXC Star Kimbo Slice
Chris Howie of MMANews.com: This is Chris Howie with MMANews.com and today I am speaking with the man who will face James Thompson on May 31st on CBS, Kimbo Slice. How are things Kimbo?
Kimbo Slice: Things are going good Chris.
MMANews.com: So you have a big fight coming up May 31st. What are your thoughts on that?
Kimbo Slice: May 31st? What do you want to know buddy?
MMANews.com: First and foremost how does it feel to be in the main event of the first MMA card ever on Network Television?
Kimbo Slice: I was born to do what I am doing and I am looking forward to this fight. I train hard. I make dedications and sacrifices and commitments because this is something I love to do Chris.
MMANews.com: What are your thoughts on your opponent that night, James Thompson?
Kimbo Slice: I never under estimate any of my opponents. James Thompson is a well rounded fighter. He has great ground work and he is not afraid to stand and bang. He has the ability to knock out his opponent and I’m prepared for that. If it goes to the ground I have a lot of tools that I’m dying to use so I’m also looking forward to a good ground game.
MMANews.com: How has your training been going for the fight?
Kimbo Slice: Training has been going great man. I can’t complain.
MMANews.com: You mentioned that you have some ground tools that you are dying to use. Are you training your ground techniques often?
Tito Ortiz Makes a Fair Proposal: UFC Should Pay Fighters 30% of Revenues
As he prepares for what is being advertised as his last fight in the organization at UFC 84, Tito Ortiz is, as he so often has, talking about his belief that UFC fighters should make more money.
Ortiz told MMA Mania that he thinks fighters should make about 30% of revenues, and Michael Rome of Bloody Elbow crunches some numbers and says that would be a significant pay raise from where they are now.
But while it would be significantly more than they make now, it would be nowhere near as much as athletes in other sports make. Liz Mullen of Sports Business Journal reports that baseball players make 51% to 55% of MLB revenues, football players make 59% of NFL revenues, basketball players make 57% of NBA revenues and hockey players make 55.6% of NHL revenues.
That's not an apples-to-apples comparison, though, because UFC pays a lot more of its own costs for things like TV broadcasts than other sports leagues do. No one would suggest that UFC should pay more than half of its revenue to its fighters.