Promoter’s Spotlight: Maximum Fighting Championship
I have talked a lot on this website about mismanagement in MMA and have been somewhat vindicated by recent events within the industry. However, while I remain convinced that there is no need to panic, some are still sitting on the fence.
As a result, I have set out to demonstrate that there is a right way of doing things in MMA and that there exist a host of successful organizations within North America.
Thus, I present to you the first MMAPayout.com Promoter’s Spotlight on Maximum Fighting Championship (MFC). I was fortunate enough to sit down with the President of Maximum Fighting Championship, Mark Pavelich, to learn more about his fledging promotion.
Alessio-Daley to Collide at MFC 19 (**Now Confirmed**)
Former UFC and WEC welterweight title challenger John Alessio will reportedly take on rising British striker Paul Daley in a bout that will take place inside Mark Pavelich’s Maximum Fighting Championship on December 5 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada according to Sherdog.com.
Both Alessio and Daley were connected to the demise of ProElite’s EliteXC brand earlier this month. Daley had fought on four separate occasions in different promotions under the ProElite banner while Alessio was in talks to sign with the company before opting to twice fight at Las Vegas-based “Night of Combat” events following his release from the WEC earlier this year.
Alessio has won his last two fights since being disqualified for illegally kneeing Brock Larson at WEC 33 back in March. The Canadian submitted Pete Spratt in early summer and followed up by stopping fellow UFC veteran Gideon Ray with strikes on October 11.
ESPN Deportes to Broadcast MMA in April
Promotional newcomer Bellator Fighting Championships has secured a broadcast deal with ESPN Deportes to begin airing MMA events as early as April 2009, numerous sources have confirmed to Sherdog.com.
Santa Brito, Communications Manager for ESPN Deportes, confirmed on Monday that the Spanish-language channel is in “the early developmental stages of an MMA program.” Brito would not divulge further information, but clarified that ESPN was currently not developing any MMA programming on its English-language networks.
ESPN Deportes has more than four million subscribers out of the nine million recognized Hispanic cable homes, said Brito.
Sources have told Sherdog.com that the proposed 12-week fight series will center around four eight-man tournaments utilizing the 145-, 155-, 170- and 185-pound divisions. Non-tournament bouts will also be featured. It is not clear if the events will run live or on tape delay. Multiple locations across the nation are being considered for the 12-week shoot, sources have told Sherdog.com.
American Top Team’s Jorge Masvidal and Dream standout Eddie Alvarez have been two of the better-known candidates approached to participate on the Hispanic-focused roster.
Bellator -- which translates to “warrior” in Latin -- is helmed by Bjorn Rebney, former CEO and president of Sugar Ray Leonard Boxing. Rebney and Leonard aired live boxing events on ESPN 2 the first Friday of every month under the “Friday Night Fights” moniker from 2001-2004. The relationship reportedly soured when Leonard departed to join NBC’s “The Contender” series.
TKO (Canada) President Steps Down
Stephane Patry-the founder of Canada’s original and most successful professional mixed martial arts organization-has resigned his position as president of TKO Championship Fighting. Patry was instrumental in bringing 44 shows to the Montreal region under the banner. However, according to a report on Sportsnet.ca, the Montreal native has decided to call it quits and will pursue new challenges.
On a related note, the promotion's December 5 show is now off as a result of this.
Mike Whitehead returns to win column with M-1 Challenge victory
Former UFC fighter and "The Ultimate Fighter 2" cast member Mike Whitehead (23-6) rebounded from a July loss to Renato "Babalu" Sobral and picked up his 14th victory in his past 15 fights with a first-round submission victory over Leo Pla (4-2) on Wednesday.
The fight capped off the M-1 Challenge 8th Edition, which took place in conjunction with the Affliction Entertainment at Harrah's North Kansas City Casino.
The M-1 Challenge, which recently partnered with Affliction, is a team-based international competition designed for young fighters who want fight experience. The top fighters can win spots on major M-1 fight cards.
Whitehead, a three-time All-American wrestler at the University of Missouri, competed in one of the night's two superfights, which showcase established stars. He submitted Pla with a guillotine choke just 80 seconds into the fight. It was his 12th submission victory in 23 pro wins.
Rodriguez and Fickett part of RITC's 10-year anniversary event
Former UFC heavyweight champion Ricco Rodriguez and UFC veteran Drew Fickett will both compete at Rage in the Cage's RITC 117 event, a special 10-year anniversary show for the Arizona-based competition.
In the Nov. 8 event's headline bout, Rodriguez (33-9) takes on Robert Beraun (7-5) in a rematch from their initial meeting at RITC 78, and Fickett (35-7) meets Jose Cortez (4-1) in a co-main event scheduled for a catch-weight of 175 pounds.
RITC 117 takes place at Phoenix's US Airways Center, a 22,000-seat arena that's home to the NBA's Phoenix Suns.
The Rodriguez-Beraun fight will give Rodriguez the chance to avenge one of the four losses he's suffered in his past 19 fights. From May 2003 to January 2006, Beraun went 7-1 and ended the remarkable stretch with a unanimous-decision win over Rodriguez at RITC 78.
Nick Diaz Heading Back To Japan For New Year
In the Chinese fire drill of EliteXC’s talent division since its closure last Monday, fighter managers are taking the legal reigns to free their clients.
Cesar Gracie, manager of EliteXC fighters Nick Diaz and Jake Shields, informed MMAWeekly.com he had sent EliteXC a notice on Friday stating that the company had breached their contracts with his clients.
The clause in EliteXC’s contract, as reported by Loretta Hunt of Sherdog.com, states that should the company not be able to fulfill the terms of its “promotional and payment obligations” – essentially, to keep its employees working – the fighters could seek to terminate the agreement. EliteXC had 30 days from the notice of breach to correct the situation.
Gracie said he is already making plans for Diaz’s next fight. The 25-year-old fighter has an existing clause in his contract allowing him to compete in Japan as long as it doesn't interfere with his EliteXC duties.
Renzo Gracie considering comeback as a lightweight
A return to active competition by one of MMA’s true legends may be on the horizon.
Renzo Gracie revealed this past weekend that not only does he consider himself not retired, but he has been contemplating returning to competitive fighting as a lightweight.
Gracie made the revelation during a panel discussion that proceeded the world premiere of the documentary Renzo Gracie: Legacy at the United States Film Festival in Philadelphia this past Saturday.
Gracie has not competed since EliteXC’s first-ever event in February of 2007 in Southaven, Miss. Facing fellow legend Frank Shamrock in a middleweight bout, Gracie was declared the winner after Shamrock was disqualified for delivering illegal knees to the head.
Denis Kang and Tim Hague earn victories at Raw Combat: Redemption
This past weekend, PRIDE and K-1 veteran Denis Kang got back on the winning track with an impressive 46 second knockout of UFC veteran Marvin “The Beastman” Eastman.
Both fighters spent the first twenty seconds of the bout feeling each other out with jabs before Kang moved in and landed a looping overhand right that put Eastman on the canvas. The victory is Kang’s second straight since he dropped consecutive bouts to Yoshihiro Akiyama and Gegard Mousasi. Kang currently has one bout remaining on his existing K-1 contract.
Also on Saturday’s card was a rematch between KOTC Canada heavyweight champion Tim Hague and Miodrag Petkovic. Hague gained his redemption as he earned a unanimous decision after three hard fought rounds.
Raw Combat: Redemption Results
Denis Kang def. Marvin Eastman – KO 1 0:46
Bibiano Fernandes def. Len Tam – Submission (Triangle Choke) 1 0:58
Trevor Stewardson def. Brendan Seguin – TKO 3 2:03
Tim Hague def. Miodrag Petkovic – Unanimous Decision
Ryan Ford def. Nabil Khatib – Unanimous Decision
Andrew Buckland def. Garett Davis – KO 1 1:43
Brad Cardinal def. Myles Merola – Submission (Triangle Choke) 1 4:15
Hardeep Singh def. Bernie Antle – TKO 1 2:29
Nathan Gunn def. Jaret Evans – Unanimous Decision
Matt Bagshaw def. Wes Jaya – Submission (Keylock) 1 4:13
Keto Allen def. Mike Rowbotham – Submission 2 1:40
Shooto ‘Gig Central Volume 16' results and quick recap
Kenichi Hattori (6-3-3) defeated Masato Fujiwara (5-11-5) by majority decision
Hiroharu Matsufuji (3-4) defeated Hiroshi Sakamoto (3-4) by unanimous decision
Kenichi Sawada (3-9-3) fought Teppei Masuda (1-2-1) to a draw
Mutsumi Kasai (3-0) defeated Kinuka Sasaki (2-7) via armbar (3:53-R2)
Pacific Rim Middleweight Title Fight:
Xavier Lucas (5-1-1) defeated Yoshitaro Niimi (4-2-1) by majority decision
Lightweight Rookie Tournament Semi-Final:
Naohiro Mizuno (4-1-1) defeated Mitsuru Kobayashi (2-1) by unanimous decision
Light Heavyweight Rookie Tournament 2nd Round:
Makoto Maeda (2-1-1) defeated Naoji Mikoshiba (2-1) via TKO (3:39-R2)
Eddie Alvarez seeking titles on two continents
After an impressive run in the Japanese-based DREAM organization's lightweight grand prix, Eddie Alvarez (15-1) will now look to return to the U.S. on Nov. 8 in search of the EliteXC 160-pound title.
And as Alvarez recently told TAGG Radio (www.taggradio.com), the official radio partner of MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com), if the 23-year-old can defeat Nick Diaz for the title recently stripped from KJ Noons, it won't be the only title he hopes to hold in 2009.
"I tell everyone I feel like the (DREAM) title is mine," Alvarez said. "I wear it on my sleeve."
Currently riding a five-fight win streak, Alvarez defeated Andre Amade, Joachim Hansen and Tatsuya Kawajiri in 2008 to earn a spot in the DREAM lightweight grand prix finals against Shinya Aoki. That bout was to take place the same night as the Kawajiri fight, but damage to Alvarez's eye forced him out of the contest.
"It was the most bittersweet night I could have had," Alvarez said. "I did take out one of the top Japanese guys (in Kawajiri). I felt great. I honestly can say I really don't feel like anybody could have beat me that night.
Injury forces War Machine out of first fight since UFC release
Despite being tabbed to headline an MMA event in Mobile, Ala., an injury has forced "The Ultimate Fighter 6" veteran War Machine (formerly known as Jon Koppenhaver) off of tonight's card.
Scheduled opponent Mike Dolce broke the news in "The Underground," a popular online MMA forum, earlier this week and MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) was able to confirm the news with War Machine.
"I just pulled by groin a little over a week ago," War Machine said. "Nothing serious, but (it) screwed up my training, and I can't do anything explosive. Sucks."
The bout would have been War Machine's first since a 56-second submission loss to Yoshiyuki Yoshida at UFC 84. The UFC released War Machine from his contract in September after the 26-year-old turned down a proposed bout with Brandon Wolff.