BAS RUTTEN & IFL CREW JOIN AFFLICTION
As Affliction picks up steam heading into its Oct. 11 Las Vegas debut, the promotion continues to tweak things its roster, television deals and most recently their broadcast team as well.
Out is the initial pay-per-view broadcast group of Jay Glazer, Frank Trigg and “Big” John McCarthy; in is the familiar former International Fight League team of Kenny Rice, Ron Kruck and MMA living legend Bas “El Guapo” Rutten.
PFC Announces Complete Card for “Explosive”
The Palace Fighting Championship has announced the complete fight card for it’s upcoming event on September 26. “Explosive” will take place at the Tachi Palace Hotel and Casino in Lemoore, California.
World Extreme Cagefighting mainstay Olaf Alfonso will take on UFC and PRIDE veteran Phil Baroni in the show’s main event. Baroni dropped down to welterweight for the first time in his career and knocked out Scott Jansen at Cage Rage 27 in July, following it up with a first-round TKO of Ron Verdadero at ICON Sport’s “Hard Times” on August 2.
Alfonso snapped a dreadful six-fight losing streak with a surprising knockout of lightweight prospect Casey Olson at a PFC boxing and MMA card in February. Regardless of the outcome of his fight against Baroni, PFC officials intend on offering Alfonso a shot at the promotion’s lightweight title later this year.
Other notable fighters in action include WEC veteran Antonio Banuelos, Poppies Martinez, and Xavier Foupa-Pokam. A total of three championship bouts will also take place on the card, which can be found after the jump.
Phil Baroni vs. Olaf Alfonso
Shawn Klarcyk vs. Brandon Miller - PFC Bantamweight Title
Brian Cobb vs. Lance Wipf - PFC Lightweight Title
Bryan Travers vs. Jeremiah Metcalf - PFC Welterweight Title
Antonio Banuelos vs. Bryan Goldsby
Poppies Martinez vs. Sergio Cortez
Xavier Foupa-Pokam vs. Derek Thornton
David Mitchell vs. David Suarez
Chris Botelho vs. Anthony Bivins
Dustin Akbari vs. Bill Theofanopoulos
Joe Soto vs. Brandon Jinnies
Lavar Johnson vs. Vince Lucero
Elvis Franco vs. Mike Craddock
Joey Cabezas vs. Billy Terry
Chad Mendes vs. Giovanni Encarncacion
Luis Gonzales vs. Elbert Randle
Brian Gassaway to appear at TKO 35 on Oct. 3
TKO Championship Fighting has announced that UFC veteran Brian Gassaway will take on welterweight prospect T.J. Grant at TKO 35: Hioki vs. Quenneville.
Gassaway, a native of Chicago, Illinois, possesses a mixed martial arts record of 28-18-2 and has appeared in the UFC confines once losing to TUF 1 winner Diego “Nightmare” Sanchez. Gassaway’s record includes appearances in organizations such as King of the Cage, World Extreme Cagefighting, and Pancrase while he holds victories over Travis Fulton, Mark Hughes, and Jose “Pele” Landi-Jons.
Gassaway’s victory over Pele marked his debut in TKO and the bout ended in a gruesome fashion. While battling it out on the feet, Pele moved in and attempted a low kick only to have his right tibia and fibula snap. He immediately went down in a heap of pain and Gassaway was awarded the victory on the injury.
Ortiz Sheds Light On Ibarra-Rampage Breakup!
Ortiz Sheds Light On Ibarra-Rampage Breakup!
In an , Ortiz had the following to say about 'Rampage' Jackson's firing of trainer Juanito Ibarra:
"Let me explain this to you because it really pisses me off that Ibarra has done what he has done, he is a thief. I have been running training camps for seven years up in Big Bear California and the most that my camp has cost a fighter to attend is $35,000. Ibarra was charging Jackson $65,000 to go to Big Bear. I don't understand that!! He was being very disrespectful and taking advantage of ‘Rampage’. Including travel, training partners, food and lodging, the most ever was $35,000, maybe if you flew in more trainers...$40K. Where did that extra money go that Ibarra was charging? ‘Rampage’ is really pissed and he feels betrayed that he was taken advantage of and I couldn't agree more with him. I don't care if Juanito reads this or hears about it anywhere, he already knows that he is blackballed. I don't care who you are; fighters work very hard for the money they earn and I feel slighted for even knowing Juanito."
Remember that White Chocolate Management (Who also represents Jackson) filed a $10 Million Lawsuit against Ibarra and Jackson for alleged breach of contract by two. Jackson has now all but been removed from the lawsuit since he fired Ibarra.
Affliction Not Bitter About Couture Deal
Affliction promoter Tom Atencio says he is pleased that Randy Couture has been able to reconcile himself with the UFC.
And he denies that the deal has cost his promotion a Couture/Fedor fight, saying that Couture never had a fight contract with Affliction.
"I think the biggest problem is people assume everything," he told MMARated.com "The bottom line is Randy is our partner with Xtreme Couture. Randy is sponsored by Affliction. He's been with us and we work with him.”
UFC president Dana White announced on Tuesday that estranged heavyweight champion Randy Couture was back in the fold.
He also used the conference call to pour scorn on Affliction’s prospects as a mixed martial art s promoter, saying he would be “horrified” if the company was still promoting in a
"Randy needs to do what he needs to do to handle his problems," Atencio said. "I'm happy for him."
Sengoku 5 Fights Added, UFC Vet & Japanese Wrestler Featured
World Victory Road yesterday announced 3 more fights for its Sengoku 5 card on September 23, highlighted by UFC veteran Kazuhiro Nakamura making his Middleweight debut and Japanese pro wrestler Takashi Sugiura returning to MMA after a 2-year absence to face the debuting Alexandre Ribeiro in a superfight.
TKO SIGNS NEW TV DEAL, BEGINS AIRING FRIDAY
TKO Championship Fighting on Wednesday announced the signing of a television deal with the TQS television network in Canada.
The sport of mixed martial arts will be seen on network television in Quebec for the very first time beginning Sept. 5. TQS will air “TKO, Friday Night Knockouts” every Friday night at 9pm.
“For over eight years I have been working very hard to make the public understand and appreciate our sport and our athletes,” explained an elated Stephane Patry, president and founder of TKO Championship Fighting.
“When we first started in 2000, our events were held in small venues and TKO was available on DVD and on specialty sport channels only. In 2006, TKO Championship Fighting found a new home at the Bell Centre and our fans began to multiply. Now, thanks to this partnership with the Rémillard brothers and the team at TQS, I am confident that our sport will reach a whole new level of popularity which is exactly what the sport and our athletes deserve.”
AFFLICTION CLEARS ROADBLOCKS, READY FOR MORE
By now, Affliction vice president Tom Atencio has become used to swimming upstream against the doubters of his company. Since he launched Affliction Entertainment as the new fight promotion on the block in early 2008, he has faced naysayers at every turn, despite assembling one of the most talent-packed MMA cards in the sport’s recent history with “Affliction: Banned” this July.
None have been more vocal than UFC president Dana White. Since Affliction’s emergence, his not-so-affectionate moniker for the company, “the t-shirt guys,” has often been followed by a prediction of the company’s approaching demise. In a teleconference on Tuesday announcing Randy Couture’s return to the UFC, he was true to form.
“In this economy right now, losing money is a really bad thing,” White said. “There’s nobody out there looking to fund anything, nobody’s spending any money, nobody’s investing in anything. When you’re losing the kind of money that these guys are losing, you’ve gotta sell a lot of t-shirts to get back that money.”
'Couture Vs Fedor' When Affliction Folds
Randy Couture will remain in the UFC whether he wins or loses his title fight with Brock Lesnar in November.
Dana White told media during a conference call that the heavyweight champion would not be walking away after one fight, regardless of its outcome.
Couture has signed a new three-fight deal while has delivered a severe blow to his hopes of eventually fighting Fedor Emelianenko.
Couture has "made it very clear he wants Fedor," said White. "We will do all in our power to make that fight, but we are not going to mess with other people's contracts."
"Fedor is under contract to another promotion," he explained, referring to the Russian heavyweight's agreement with Affliction that is rumoured to contain a North America no-compete clause.
"If we can work something out, great. If not, we will get him when Affliction folds," he said.
Xtreme Fighting Championships drawing record-setting crowds in Florida
The UFC has been there. EliteXC also has paid a visit.
However, neither promotion is the answer to this question: which organization has drawn the largest mixed martial arts crowd in Florida?
That distinction resides with Xtreme Fighting Championships. If XFC doesn't exactly ring a bell, you're not alone.
"I've never heard of them, and we have 52 fighters under contract and another 45 on our prospect list," said Ken Pavia, one of the sport's top agents and an MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) contributor.
Pavia lives and breathes MMA, and the upstart organization isn't even on his radar, but, amazingly, Tampa-based XFC has staged four shows in the Sunshine State, and each has produced a bigger live gate than any other promotion in the state's history.
Affliction to Air Prelim Fights on HDNet
From an HDNet press release:
HDNet Fights today announced a long-term partnership with Affliction Entertainment to air live MMA events exclusively in North America on HDNet. These live events, featuring the top Mixed Martial Arts fighters from around the world, will be broadcast on HDNet as a lead-in to Affliction's Pay Per View Events.
"This is the beginning of a long-term partnership with Affliction that encompasses live MMA, co-marketing and top fighters for the top weekly show in MMA - Inside MMA on HDNet," said Andrew Simon, CEO of HDNet Fights. "Affliction has quickly become one of the top organizations in MMA which means it is a must have for HDNet."
As part of the agreement, HDNet will feature the first ninety minutes of live bouts that are part of each Affliction MMA event. Affliction joins the deep HDNet Fights lineup, which already features more LIVE events than any other network on television today.
MFC adds featherweight class, drops HW
EDMONTON -- The MFC is shifting focus away from the one weight class and into a new one. The Edmonton-based organization announced this week the addition of a featherweight division and the retirement of its heavyweight belt.
"There is such an impressive field of 145ers out there that we felt it was very important to add this weight class and this group of exciting fighters," MFC owner Mark Pavelich said in a news release.
The MFC expects to announce the signing of several featherweights in the very near future and could even have its first meaningful 145-pound bout at MFC 19: Long Time Coming, which takes place on Nov. 28. Pavelich hopes to develop a stable of strong prospects and have its featherweight championship on the line by mid-2009.
Cooper-Speight Finalizes Affliction II Card
A welterweight bout between IFL veteran Brett Cooper and undefeated prospect Patrick Speight will reportedly finalize Affliction’s “Day of Reckoning” card, which will take place on October 11th at the Thomas & Mack Center on the campus of UNLV according to a report by MMA News.
Affliction VP Tom Atencio was said to have confirmed Cooper vs. Speight as the final bout to be signed for the event yesterday. Both fighters were originally scheduled to be part of Affliction’s “Banned” show on July 19 but were removed from the card due to unknown reasons.
Cooper last competed in June, knocking out Dusty Arden in the first round at a PureCombat show in California. He scored consecutive TKO wins over UFC veterans Jason Von Flue and Rory Markham in December of last year. Cooper’s training partners Jason High and Chase Gormley will also be on this card.
The complete card for the event is as follows:
Andrei Arlovski vs. Josh Barnett
Vladimir Matyushenko vs. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira
Pedro Rizzo vs. Ben Rothwell
Chris Horodecki vs. Dan Lauzon
Matt Lindland vs. Trevor Prangley
Jay Hieron vs. Drew Fickett
Roy Nelson vs. Paul Buentello
Mike Pyle vs. Jason High
Jay White vs. Chase Gormley
Antonio Duerte vs. Albert Rios
Brett Cooper vs. Patrick Speight
AFL's Emily Thompson on fast track to MMA success
In the world of MMA, things aren't supposed to come this easy.
But as undefeated 23-year-old prospect Emily Thompson (3-0) told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com), her path to an American Fight League contract began on a whim.
"Originally, I'm from Anchorage, Alaska," Thompson explained. "They would put shows on there monthly. It always was exciting for me to go and watch. I was always like, 'Man, if they had this for girls I would totally sign up. Where do I sign? Let's get this going.'
"At one of the intermissions, actually, during one of those events, they were saying how they were looking for females to get started. So I was one of the few that went down and piqued my interest. I actually took a fight two weeks after that."