EliteXC Fight May Hurt MMA More Than it Helps
On May 31st, MMA will debut on CBS primetime. EliteXC will televise their show live from the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ.
As a fan I'm excited about the sport finally breaking through to the major networks, but evolution always has a price. The question becomes does EliteXC have the talent to support a show on major network TV. As of right now, the answer is no. Unless the promotion makes significant signings or cross promotional fights, the stable just isn't strong enough.
Shortly after he was released from California’s Avenal State Prison in early 2005, Shad Smith got a call from the organizers of an underground fight club called Felony Fights. Was he available? they asked. “I was just out of prison and out of money,” Smith told me recently. He was incarcerated for failing to comply with the probation terms of an earlier D.U.I. conviction, a relatively minor offense in his long criminal résumé. “They said they’d give me 800 bucks to show up and double that if I won.”
I thought people might be interested to see that the New York Times Magazine had published an article on MMA, so here it is.
Arbitration hearing lifts curtain on backstage world of the UFC
A contract offer scrawled on a blue Post-it note. A disgruntled fighter. A manager whose cut is one-third. A powerful promoter in hardball negotiations to tie up a young heavyweight star.
The California State Athletic Commission arbitration hearing into the dispute between mixed martial arts heavyweight Brandon (The Truth) Vera and his former manager, Mark Dion, lifts a corner of the curtain on the backstage world of the UFC.
The San Diego hearing came about as a result of Vera's desire to get out of his management contract with Dion because he was irate at an alleged misrepresentation of a UFC signing bonus. This week, Dion posted the 135-page transcript of the arbitration hearing on his website, as well as the arbitrator's ruling and a slew of exhibit documents.
Privately owned by billionaire brothers Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta and outspoken president Dana White, the UFC does not like talking money. But the Vera hearing sheds some light on UFC contract negotiations, suggesting that the battles outside the cage can be just as hard-nosed.
Five Rounds Of News 03.21.08
A decidedly slow week for the UFC means tons of news from the rest of the MMA world. DREAM debuts and looks the most like PRIDE since...well, PRIDE. Elite XC reveals more details on their CBS deal and Fedor fought without a contract. Tons of news, tons of videos, tons of poorly phrased opinions!! Five Rounds!!
Kimbo Slice: ‘Now he can become the next mixed martial arts champion’
Check out the 10-second EliteXC commercial that aired on CBS last night during the NCAA tournament for the debut of “Saturday Night Fights” on May 31 below. Kimbo Slice is the centerpiece of the bit, which mentions the word “champion” in the teaser.
Is it possible that he’ll lock horns with Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva on fight night for the EliteXC heavyweight championship or is it just ambiguous advertising?
Frye Bows Out of Yamma; Taktarov to Face Pat Smith
Don Frye (Pictures) has pulled out of a scheduled April 11 main event against Oleg Taktarov for the debuting Yamma Pit Fighting promotion, Sherdog.com learned Wednesday.
Taktarov will instead face UFC 1 tournament entrant Patrick Smith, according to Smith's co-managers Francois Nguyen and Tommy Rojas. A contract is expected to be signed and returned this week.
Hurray for the MMA Senior Tour!
Babalu to HCF for May 10 Event
UFC cast-off Renato "Babalu" Sobral (29-7) will return to action on May 10 for a Hardcore Championship Fighting show to be held in Vancouver, B.C., Canada. There, 32-year-old will take on fellow Brazilian Mauricio Alonso (4-1).
Sobral will be in Quebec on March 29 for the HCF's "Crow's Nest" event, featuring UFC veterans David Loiseau, Hector "Sick Dog" Ramirez and Gideon Ray, where a formal announcement of the fight card will be made.
During the interview, Pavia was unable to confirm, but did little to deny, a rumored match-up between Sobral and UFC veteran Mike Whitehead. It is believed the bout will be contested at the debut event of the new Affliction/Golden Boy co-promotion.
Pavia also mentioned a forthcoming "big announcement" by the UFC regarding welterweight Chris "Lights Out" Lytle. The UFC is expected to soon release information regarding Lytle facing a "very big name" at UFC 86 in July. Pavia felt confident that the match-up would be the co-main event of the card.
According to Pavia, "Razor" Rob McCullough will return to action in the WEC on the as-yet-unannounced June 1 WEC event in Sacramento, Calif. Although McCullough's opponent has not yet been determined, that card is believed to be headlined by Urijah Faber vs. Jens Pulver. Miguel Torres vs. Manny Tapia is also expected at the event, and Jeff Curran will also likely compete.
Lastly, Pavia said Joe "Diesel" Riggs was recovering quickly from back surgery after suffering an injury in his latest fight, and should return to action with Strikeforce in late May, when the organization looks to return to Tacoma, Wash.
Shamrock dismisses Silva
Veteran Frank Shamrock and EliteXC promoter Gary Shaw dismissed talk Tuesday that rival UFC champion Anderson Silva is pound-for-pound the best mixed martial arts fighter in the world.
"Well I think I've been named that guy several times over the past 14 years, so I think that it's fleeting, it's exciting but I certainly don't think he's the best in the world," Shamrock said in a conference call Tuesday to promote his March 29 Strikeforce-Elite XC middleweight title fight with Cung Le in San Jose.
"I think he's probably one of the best guys in the UFC, but all the best fighters are not in the UFC. So hopefully he can hang onto that and make something out of it and gain some fame. But I have 100 per cent confidence if I ran into him, they'd be calling me that guy."
Fedor Emelianenko Is More "Free Agent" Than You Think
Despite the announcement of an agreement last October between Fedor Emelianenko and M-1 Global, the deal was never signed, a source close to both camps told Sherdog.com.
The Russian heavyweight's only agreement with the company -- according to the source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity -- came in the form of a letter of intent.
The return of a $1.5 million signing bonus paid by M-1 Global to Emelianenko is the only hurdle to the former Pride champion's potential free agency. That should be remedied this week, the source said.
M-1 Global CEO Monte Cox declined to comment.
Once Emelianenko is clear of his M-1 obligations he is expected to field offers from several MMA promotions. The early leader, according to the same source, comes from the purported partnership between Affliction and Oscar de la Hoya's Golden Boy Promotions, which Sherdog.com has learned could debut on June 28.
"Right now we don't have any comments," Golden Boy Promotions Public Relations Director Romiro Gonzalez told Sherdog.com. "[Oscar] is in the sports business. He is loading up on all the fields, especially boxing. We're moving into soccer, MLS. There is nothing official we can say."
This is pathetic to the point of satire. That M-1 and Monte Cox would go through the motions of trotting out in front of press conferences and the free world arguably the biggest fighter in the sport without a contract is beyond amateurish. I believe Dana White when he says Fedor's people are hard to deal with, which makes a lack of a contract to secure Fedor's services mind blowing.
What this means for a potential Couture vs. Fedor match is anyone's guess, but what is clear is that the idea M-1 can reasonably compete with the UFC anywhere besides Russia is absurd. Their marquee fighter has no contract and the infighting causes promotional paralysis. It's a good thing Monte Cox didn't quit his job as an agent because it's likely going to be the only job he has very soon.
Clean and Sober, Evan Tanner Poised for Summer Return
One-time UFC middleweight champion Evan Tanner (32-7 MMA, 11-5 UFC), just a few weeks removed from a disappointing UFC 82 loss to Yushin Okami, has agreed to a summer return, and he's already accepted an opponent.
Tanner posted the news on his official website, evantanner.net, stating that he and UFC matchmaker Joe Silva had just spoken about the fight. However, he didn't reveal an opponent or a return date for the summer event.
Tanner stated that it's "good to have a fight scheduled" again because "the last two weeks have been really rough." Tanner suffered a second-round knockout via knee at UFC 82, which soured his long-awaited return from a two-year layoff.
Soon after the loss, Tanner wrote an inspiring blog entry about overcoming his alcohol addiction, saying he was both thankful and relieved that the defeat didn't cause him to relapse. The addiction, which prompted the break from MMA, had previously caused him to become malnourished, and his teeth even began to loosen.
"The Law" May Become The Law
It seems that the Oregon State House Of Representatives had a shortage of qualified candidates on deadline day, as the rush of last-minute filers to run included an "ultimate fighting champion"-former UFC Middleweight Matt "The Law" Lindland.
Matt Linland To Enter Oregon Politcal Race
Matt Lindlnd's resume is impressive: a 20-5 career MMA record, former UFC middleweight contender, International Fight League coach, Olympic silver medalist, two-time Pan-American champion.
However, the 37-year-old Northwest-based fighter could add an all-together-different gig to his list of accomplishments: Oregon state represenative.
Lindland has entered the Oregon political race, filing on Tuesday's deadline day, for a State House of Representatives seat, according to a report from the Associated Press.
Interview: Fedor on UFC, Dana White, Sambo, BJ Penn, Barnett, Rickson & More
In the interview with MMAYOU.com Fedor discusses UFC, Dana White, combat sambo, BJ Penn, Josh Barnett, Rickson Gracie and number of other topics.
5oz of Pain Josh Kosheck interview.
Following his recent win over Dustin Hazelett at UFC 82 in Columbus, Ohio, welterweight contender Josh Koscheck officially became a free agent. FiveOuncesOfPain.com (www.FiveOuncesOfPain.com) was recently granted an opportunity to speak with Koscheck but when asked about his current contract status he made it clear that he has every intention of working out a new contract with the UFC.
During the course of the interview, Koscheck also renewed his campaign for a match against former UFC welterweight champion Matt Hughes while also taking the opportunity to respond to recent comments made about him by Diego Sanchez.
Who's No. 2 at 205?
All too often, being No. 2 in the world just doesn't cut it. Go ahead and ask John Kerry or the New England Patriots, two recent examples that second place is really just the first loser.
In MMA, however, where the No. 1 light heavyweight spot has been defiantly claimed by a howling, chained figure called Rampage, second best will have to do.
MMA debates can rage on for decades -- just ask an old timer: Gracie or Sakuraba? -- and so it only makes sense that with a clear No. 1, the discussion of No. 2 begins. For the fighters, this isn't a discussion of second best (they all think they're the best) as much as it is a discussion of who's in line for the next title shot. With Quinton Jackson the undeniable top 205 pounder in the world, let's take a look at the potential candidates, in no particular order, for No. 2.
‘Spider' Silva Angry with Okami
Rising off the deck, Anderson Silva's invincibility felt imperiled.
With scorecards reflecting Silva's first dropped round since joining the UFC, the Brazilian stalker stood opposite Dan Henderson , as real a test as there is at 185 pounds, taking the advice of trainers with the attitude of someone meandering his way through a stick of gum.
Perhaps it's simple to maintain poise when truth has revealed no one can mess with you. Not right now, at least.
Henderson, some said, was the fighter to derail Silva's impressive run. It didn't happen because, as the UFC champ sees it, he was just better.
Cro Cop’s *New* New Opponent; DREAM Rules Announced
Yoshihiro Nakao must have just realized he had a previous engagement or something, because DREAM is now saying that Tatsuya Mizuno will instead be taking on Mirko Filipovic at DREAM’s debut show this Saturday in Japan. And is Mizuno a worthy opponent for Cro Cop? Oh, sure! I mean, after all, we’re talking about a guy with a 4-2 record in Pancrase, who’s been previously stomped by Thiago Silva and UFC washout Assuerio Silva. He should present a stiff challenge to Mirko — still, we’re calling it for Cro Cop via head kick KO, nine seconds into round one. But fortunately, we think this opponent will finally stick, and we hope Mizuno can train hard over the next four days by taking lots of naps. It’ll be an honor just to meet Filipovic’s left foot.
One thing that Mizuno won’t have to worry about is being soccer kicked when he’s down. Nightmare of Battle has a translation of the DREAM rules, which work out like this :
— 10 minute first round, 5 minute second round, 90 seconds between rounds.
— Fights are judged in their entirety and no draws are possible.
— Stomps and soccer kicks to the head of a grounded opponent are not allowed, but knees to the head of a grounded opponent are allowed. If both fighters are on the ground, head kicks are allowed. If there is a 15 kg or more weight difference, no stomps, soccer kicks, or knees to the head of a grounded opponent are allowed.
Due to the sizable difference in talent, Cro Cop will also be blindfolded. And the betting line still has him as a -950 favorite…
Kim Couture To Make MMA Debut April 5
Kim Couture is set to make her MMA debut on April 5 in Chael Sonnen’s fight promotion, the Full Contact Fighting Federation. Her opponent, Jessica Cruz, will also be making her MMA debut.
While this isn't exactly huge news, I thought some people may be interested. I've read on a few forums that people say she is not interested in moving into MMA so here's the proof that she is. Considering what she showed in her smoker fight, this could turn out badly.
By the way, If this has been posted before then I apologize. I used the search feature and nothing came up so I decided to go ahead and post it.
Melvin Guillard Posts Rage in the Cage Victory
Melvin Guillard (21-7-2 MMA, 3-3 UFC), the once-promising UFC lightweight who suffered embarrassing back-to-back defeats in the UFC, rebounded for a vital victory at Friday's Rage in the Cage 105 event.
Guillard posted a unanimous-decision victory over Eric Regan in the main event of the night's 10-fight event.