Why UFC on FUEL events might be the most difficult UFC events to do correctly
It may appear as if the UFC's smallest event series carries the fewest challenges to successfully stage or leverage, but a closer reveals precisely the opposite. Luckily, despite a few early hiccups, UFC leadership are getting better and better at getting all of the details right.
After Saturday's UFC on FUEL TV 6, the UFC completed its first year of contractual obligations to that FOX family channel in terms of live event programming. What we've witnessed in the last year is that while these shows are often wildly entertaining with meaningful bouts, they are much more difficult to plan and construct than their size and scope would indicate.
The following are four of the key challenges the UFC faces with this franchise. None of the problems have been perfectly solved for and some of these solutions the UFC has proposed work better than others. Nevertheless, it's important to understand why the most minor of the UFC's branded series may be some of the more difficult shows for the UFC to properly promote and leverage.
Finally back in win column, UFC on FUEL TV 6's Thiago Silva wants more frequency
When Thiago Silva got up off the canvas on Saturday in Macau, the scorecards didn't matter. Not in the least.
The Brazilian took advantage of either his opponent's waning energy or lack of attention, took him to the canvas, mounted him, then transitioned to an arm-triangle choke that he cranked until Stanislav Nedkov tapped.
What may come as a surprise to some is, had the fight gone the distance, Silva already was in line to win with the judges.
UFC on FUEL TV 6's 'Fight of the Night'? Cung Le thinks it was Jon Tuck-Tiequan Zhang
Takanori Gomi and Mac Danzig each pocketed an extra $40,000 on Saturday night as "Fight of the Night" winners at UFC on FUEL TV 6.
Gomi took home the win with a split decision, one of two split calls out of seven decisions on the card, which took place at CotaiArena in Venetian Macau Resort Hotel as the UFC's first event in China. But they had some competition.
And main event "Knockout of the Night" winner Cung Le might have gone in a different direction had he been passing out bonus checks.
UFC bantamweight champ Dominick Cruz first in MMA to win speedway sponsorship
While Dominick Cruz's mixed martial arts career has braked for a pit stop, he'll be getting help from the racing world to get back on track.
Cruz, the UFC's bantamweight champion, is being sponsored by the Phoenix International Raceway for his next fight, which is expected to take place in early 2013. The 27-year-old will wear the track's logo on his shirt and shorts.
A torn ACL has sidelined Cruz since May, but that didn't stop him from getting behind the wheel of a pace car.
Observations from UFC on FUEL 6 you may have missed
UFC Macau is in the books and Zuffa's first trip to China ended up as a success. Apart from having that arena feel, commercials may have cut out several minutes of your viewing experience. To make up for that, here are several tidbits from being live at the Cotai Arena that you may have missed out on during the FUEL TV broadcast:
- Macau is a popular tourist spot which is just a few short hours away from several countries in Asia. This was one of the primary reasons the UFC chose this location to start with their Asian expansion, as they knew a lot of people would fly in to see the event while also catering to a very young Chinese market at the same time.
They were right on the money with this one, as a huge percentage of the crowd were indeed from several different nations. This led to the crowd being split during several bouts with huge contingents from countries like the U.S., China, Brazil, and South Korea cheering on their countrymen.
- Like a lot of events in the U.S., the judges in Macau all had monitors they can use cageside...
Cung Le Unsure About His Future: “I Know My Clock Is Ticking”
Once upon a time, Cung Le said his dream was just to get the chance to compete inside the UFC Octagon.
Now with a 2-1 record including Saturday’s one-punch knockout of former middleweight champion Rich Franklin, Le has done more than just “compete” – he’s winning fights in a big way.
“It’s like a dream, I feel like I’m in a dream right now,” Le said to Fuel TV after the knockout victory.
Explaining the set up for Franklin’s inevitable doom, Le says it all came down to timing, and knowing what his opponent was looking for and how to land the perfect counter strike.
UFC on FUEL TV 6 draws a reported 8,415 attendance for $1.3 million live gate
Saturday's UFC on FUEL TV 6 card drew an announced attendance of 8,415 fans for a live gate in excess of $1.3 million.
UFC officials announced the figures at the card's post-event news conference, which MMAjunkie.com attended.
"UFC on FUEL TV: Franklin vs. Le" took place at CotaiArena in Venetian Macau Resort Hotel. It was the UFC's first event in China. The main card aired on FUEL TV following prelims on Facebook.
UFC announces partnership with MNC Media in Indonesia, plans future events
The Ultimate Fighting Championship on Saturday continued its global expansion, particularly in Asia, with its first event in China.
And after the fight card, the company announced plans to break further into the Asian market, this time in Indonesia with a partnership with the Jakarta-based MNC Media.
And with that partnership, the UFC also expects eventually to hold events in Indonesia, likely first in the capital city of Jakarta. Indonesia is home to roughly 238 million people.
UFC on FUEL TV 6's Kim wants Maia rematch in Japan, Gomi also wants on March card
Following one of the most dominating wins of his career, Korean welterweight Dong Hyun Kim wants a chance to erase the memories of one of his most embarrassing losses.
After UFC on FUEL TV 6, Kim said he'd like to rematch Brazilian Demian Maia, and he'd love to do it at the UFC's newly announced card in Japan.
And as long as UFC officials are listening, fellow UFC on FUEL TV 6 winner Takanori Gomi wouldn't mind fighting at that event, too.
MMA pioneer Dan Severn wants late peer Jeff Blatnick in UFC Hall of Fame
UFC Hall of Famer Dan Severn will remember friend and 1984 Greco-Roman wrestling American gold medalist Jeff Blatnick for his ability to stretch the imagination.
They'd known each other since the late 1970s because Blatnick's Greco-Roman style had few practice spaces, so he sought out freestyle wrestling haunts that Severn frequented.
They last saw each other Sept. 15, a few months before Blatnick's untimely death.
Shane Carwin and Roy Nelson Pass Random Drug Tests for Steroids and Diuretics
The Ultimate Fighter Season 16 coaches Shane Carwin and Roy Nelson were each notified back in October that they would be required to submit to a random drug test under order of the Nevada Athletic Commission.
Nevada Athletic Commission executive director Keith Kizer on Friday informed MMAWeekly.com that both Carwin and Nelson returned negative results, passing their drug tests. Each was tested for a full battery of steroids and diuretics, but was not tested for recreational drugs such as marijuana.
UFC exec explains Bruce Lee's role in UFC on FUEL TV 6's promotional efforts
MACAU – The list of names plastered on the UFC's promotional materials in Macau isn't really surprising, save for one.
Headliners Rich Franklin and Cung Le are featured prominently in the UFC on FUEL TV 6 campaign, as are Korean fighter Dong Hyun Kim and Chinese competitor Tiequan Zhang.
But listed above them all is a man who passed away 20 years before the UFC made its debut: Bruce Lee.
Ronda Rousey coming to UFC can change the sport
As Ronda Rousey becomes heralded as the first woman fighter in the UFC, it's amazing how quickly this has all happened.
Even more, one asks the questions, where is this going and what is the ceiling?
It's impossible to answer. But in cases like this, timing is everything. And the timing looks awfully good.
There are still some who cling to the notion that MMA fans don't want to see women battle in the cage, and it won't work in the UFC. But there is already years of evidence in Strikeforce and other organizations that prove differently.
Women have already shown they are viable on the card. And it's also been proven that with the right mix of personalities, women can be successful headlining major shows...
UFC on FUEL TV 6 official weigh-in results: Franklin (185), Le (186) on weight
MAIN CARD (FUEL TV, 9 a.m. ET)
-Rich Franklin (185) vs. Cung Le (186)
-Stanislav Nedkov (203) vs. Thiago Silva (205)
-Dong Hyum Kim (170.5) vs. Paulo Thiago (169.5)
-Mac Danzig (155) vs. Takanori Gomi (155)
-Jon Tuck (156) vs. Tiequan Zhang (155)
-Jeff Hougland (135) vs. Takeya Mizugaki (135.5)
PRELIMINARY CARD (Facebook, 7:15 a.m. ET)
-Alex Caceres (136) vs. Motonobu Tezuka (135.5)
-John Lineker (126) vs. Yasuhiro Urushitani (125.5)
-Tom DeBlass (185) vs. Riki Fukuda (186)
David Mitchell awarded show money after Hyun Gyu Lim pulled from UFC on FUEL TV 6
Looking to fight for the first time in 15 months, David Mitchell has instead been reduced to a tourist.
MMAjunkie.com has learned that Mitchell's planned opponent, Hyun Gu Lim, has been pulled from tomorrow's UFC on FUEL TV 6 event and his fight with "Daudi" has been scratched.
According to sources close to the fighter, UFC doctors nixed the bout. While an exact reason for the scratch wasn't given, additional sources suggested complications during Lim's weight cut were responsible for the move.