Bellator Fighting Championships releases details for ESPN Deportes show
Bellator Fighting Championships today officially announced its launch and television partnership with ESPN Deportes, but the organization is making it very clear that its competition will, in no way, resemble your typical reality show.
In today's press release, BFC executives promise "a business model unique in the fight industry, yet followed in every other major sport."
BFC, which has opened offices in Los Angeles and Chicago, will feature a format in which title shots are awarded base strictly on advancing through the tournament -- and no other factors.
"We are implementing a tournament structure to determine champions and No. 1 challengers so that world-class fighters can control their destiny based on their performance," stated Bellator founder and CEO Bjorn Rebney, a former "Friday Night Fights" executive. "Simply put, at Bellator, fighters fight their way to the title."
The show, which debuts in April 2009, will feature 12 two-hour episodes that air on Saturday nights. The nationally televised events will feature a combination of tournament and non-tournament feature bouts.
Eight competitors will comprise each of Belator's four divisional tournaments. The weight classes included featherweight (145 pounds), lightweight (155), welterweight (170) and middleweight (185).
As Bellator fighters progress through the tournament, they earn substantially larger fight purses. Opening-round winners receive $25,000, semifinal-round winners receive $50,000, and finals winners receive $100,000. Each champion also gets $175,000. That's $350,000 in total for a champion who wins each round of the tournament.
New MMA promotion scheduled to announce launch later this week
A new promotion to be known as the World Cagefighting Alliance is scheduled to announce its planned launch later this week, FiveOuncesOfPain.com has learned.
Sources within the organization confirmed to us that the WCA plans to adopt the same business model as Strikeforce, with the notable exception that it will operate in the Northeastern corridor of the United States as opposed to the West Coast.
WCA’s founders are looking to build up the East Coast MMA scene and take advantage of a void created by the demise of both the International Fight League and Elite Xtreme Combat, both of which promoted several major events in the Northeast region.
Antonio 'Rodrigo' Nogueira’s Protégé Readies for XFC LW Title Fight
Mixed Martial Arts superstar Antonio “Minotauro” Nogueira is the only man in MMA history to capture both the UFC and PRIDE heavyweight championships – and his renowned mastery of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu helped earn him the coveted position of team trainer on the current season of Spike TV’s hit series “Ultimate Fighter.” Nogueira’s MMA credentials are beyond dispute; he clearly understands the sport on a level few can approach, which lends his prognostications considerable weight.
So when Antonio Nogueira claims that 9-2 Luis “Baboon” Palomino of Miami, Florida just might be MMA’s next great champion, it’s a prediction worth noting.
“Luis had a pair of losses and didn’t really understand the intricacies of MMA before I began working with him,” said Nogueira, “which makes sense when you realize that he never competed as an amateur before turning pro. But the progress we’ve made at the Team Nogueira training facility in Miami is just incredible; his striking prowess and overall knowledge of Jiu-Jitsu grows almost daily. Luis is currently riding a five-fight winning streak, and despite our size difference, he’s the one fighter I always want to spar with whenever I’m preparing for a bout. He’s that good, and I’m proud to have him as my protégé.”
DEEP To Crown New Champ With LW Tourny
DEEP recently announced several fights for their next event, DEEP 39, which will be headlined by a lightweight tournament. The winner of the tournament will be crowned the new DEEP lightweight champion. Former champion Pang Sung Hwan recently vacated the title.
All eight participants for the tournament were named with several fights being announced for the tournament. Participants include former DEEP lightweight champion Nobuhiro Obiya, former DEEP welterweight champion Jutaro Nakao and DREAM veteran Daisuke Nakamura.
Former DEEP lightweight champion Nobuhiro Obiya returns to action after a hiatus from fighting to take on DEEP veteran Yoshihiro “Barbaro44” Tomioka. UFC veteran and Pride veteran Jutaro Nakao faces off with touted Japanese prospect Katsunori Kikuno in the second tournament fight. In the last tournament fight, DEEP veteran Seigo Inoue faces off with fellow veteran Toshikazu “ISE” Iseno.
That leaves two tournament participants without a fight in DREAM veteran Daisuke Nakamura and DEEP lightweight prospect Koichiro Matsumoto. Its not known whether they’ll end up facing each other as the last tournament fight or if one of the other fights will end being a reserve bout for the tournament.
Dan Lauzon earns seventh-straight win at sold-out WCF event
UFC-veteran lightweight Dan Lauzon (11-2) earned his seventh straight victory Friday night in the Massachusetts-based promotion World Championship Fighting.
The 20-year-old Lauzon needed just 75 seconds to earn a TKO against an overmatched Justin Hammertrum (6-7) in the evening's main event.
The win was Lauzon's third for World Championship Fighting in 2008.
Lauzon, younger brother of "The Ultimate Fighter 5" cast member Joe Lauzon, stil holds the record as the youngest fighter ever to compete in the UFC. In Otober 2006, at just 18 years, five months and 14 days old, Lauzon lost via TKO to Spencer Fisher at "UFC 64: Unstoppable."
Hose Pulls Out Of Starnes Fight
Hawaiin middleweight Kala Kolohe Hose has pulled out his fight with ex-UFC fighter Kalib Starnes, which had been scheduled for tomorrow night.
Speaking earlier today, Hose said that he has dropped out of the bout due to underhanded activity on the part of the promoters, Destiny MMA.
“I signed a contract with Destiny that clearly stated the contest would be three three-minute rounds of mixed martial arts,” Hose explained.
With most professional MMA bouts being three five-minute rounds, he said he “immediately questioned Destiny’s promoter about the shortened rounds”.
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.