UFC 129 earns 2012 Sports Business Award nomination for 'Event of the Year'
For the second straight year, the UFC has been recognized with a Sports Business Award nomination.
This past April's UFC 129 event – a first-ever stadium show that set a North American and UFC attendance record with 55,724 – earned a nomination for "Sports Event of the Year."
However, unlike 2011, the UFC wasn't nominated for "Sports League of the Year."
Officials today announced the nominations. The awards, which the industry publication "SportsBusiness Journal" launched in 2008, celebrate excellence in sports business. This year's winners will be unveiled as part of a ceremony on May 23 at the New York Marriott Marquis at Times Square in New York City.
UFC 129 took place on April 30, 2011, at Toronto's Rogers Centre. The landmark event – which saw title defenses from Canadian welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre and featherweight titleholder Jose Aldo – sold out on the first day tickets went on sale to the general public. In addition to attendance records, the event, which also included a two-day UFC Fan Expo, set a UFC and North American live-gate record with $12.1 million. It was also one of the biggest PPV draws in recent years.
In the "Sports League of the Year" category, UFC 129 faces competition from the 2011 Carrier Classic (NCAA basketball), 2011 Humana Challenge (PGA), 2011 NBA Finals and Super Bowl XLVI (NFL). The 2010 ING New York City Marathon is the reigning division winner...
Guida vs. Maynard, Franklin vs. Le added to June's UFC on FX 4 event
A pair of intriguing matchups are official for the UFC's June trip to Atlantic City, N.J., as Clay Guida meets Gray Maynard and Rich Franklin faces Cung Le.
UFC officials today announced that verbal agreements are in place for the fights, and bout agreements are expected to be finalized shortly.
Guida vs. Maynard is the night's main event and will be contested as a five-round lightweight affair.
UFC officials in February announced that UFC on FX 4 takes place June 22 in Atlantic City, but a venue has yet to be named.
The Golden 22: Frankie Edgar and MMA's championship evolution
The "Rocky" comparison for Frankie Edgar is not accurate.
Rocky Balboa's heart and hard work transformed him from unknown bum to an unlikely champion. Edgar's lightweight title run solidified he was always to be divisional king – a key piece in evolving the championship expectations of an 18-year-old sport – who just so happens to be known for heart and hard work.
Jon Jones vs. Rashad Evans: Does It Matter That They Trained Together?
Jon Jones and Rashad Evans will finally settle their score at UFC 145 on April 21st. Once a brotherhood between the two at Greg Jackson’s MMA, the relationship has altered and gone down two separate paths.
But like the old saying, all roads lead to Rome.
Very fitting in the sense that these two warriors, who have had different career paths, will ultimately throw down in the Colosseum of today, the Octagon. After a back-and-forth drama of betrayal and controversy, the two will finally see who is the better fighter.
Dan Hardy Would Love to Face ‘Blood Thirsty Kill Freak’ Matt Hughes
Former UFC welterweight champion and Hall of Famer Matt Hughes may have a lot of lifetime fans, but don’t count Dan Hardy among them.
The British born fighter first ran afoul of Hughes last year when the former champion posted pictures on Twitter of his latest hunting trip where he killed a bobcat. The pictures spurned a lot of responses both positive and negative for Hughes’ hunting for sport, and his response was pretty firm on how he felt about it all.
UFC's Marc Ratner wants 'international federation' to regulate events
Thus far, regulators haven't been able to keep up with the UFC's aggressive international expansion.
Events in Canada, Australia and –next month – Sweden, are regulated by an independent regulatory body. But in places where no athletic commission exists, the promotion has taken that role for events in the U.K., Brazil and Japan.
UFC vice president of regulatory affairs Mark Ratner would like to see a single agency take the lead in regulating international events, overseeing officials, conducting drug tests and enforcing the unified rules of MMA. He said the promotion is pushing for an "international federation" to do the job.
"We'd like to get it over to France, and someday to Brazil and to Italy, so we have one set of rules, one set of medical standards," Ratner told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio). "That's our long-term goal. We do need a worldwide federation."
France, Italy and Spain are among the international destinations the promotion is actively targeting for future shows. A return to Abu Dhabi is also on the radar, Ratner said, though an exact date is unknown.
There were seven international events on the UFC's calendar in 2010 and six in 2011. The promotion is on track to top those numbers this year with six events already in the books or scheduled. In addition to live events, international editions of the UFC's flagship reality show "The Ultimate Fighter" are now underway with filming underway in Brazil and an "Australia vs. U.K." season in the works. Executives hope eventually to create a grand-prix tournament of international "TUF" contestants.
So demand is there for officials beyond U.S. borders...
Chael Sonnen Talks 'Crybaby' Rampage Jackson And Testosterone
Chael Sonnen co-hosted Spike TV's MMA Uncensored last night and, as Chael is wont to do, he did a lot of talking. The focus of much of his talk this time around was Quinton Jackson. Jackson has recently been in the news for taking testosterone replacement before his last fight and wild Twitter rants about wanting to be out of the UFC.
When Rampage's recent behavior came up, Sonnen had this to say
Jon Jones Wants to be Considered One of the Greats in UFC History
UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones has a supreme confidence that he will not only be the best 205-pound fighter for many years to come, but that it is truly his destiny to stay on top.
As he approaches the biggest fight of his young career, it’s hard to believe that this time two years ago Jones was just getting ready for his bout against Brandon Vera.
Fast forward 24 months and Jones has not only won the UFC light heavyweight title, but he’s defended it two times since then, finishing off two former champions in Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and Lyoto Machida.
UFC's Chief Counsel "People Who Steal our Stuff--They're not our fans"
Several days after the UFC obtained user information from a website offering pirated pay-per-view events, the promotion plans to sue individuals who watched fights for free.
"We believe that we've got an obligation to go out there and try to protect the intellectual property and protect both our rights and the rights of our fighter-partners," UFC chief legal counsel Lawrence Epstein told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) on Wednesday.
The impending legal action, which was reported earlier this week by "The Wrestling Observer," represents a new tact in the UFC's fight against piracy.
Sure UFC, sure
Clearly they dont understand their fanbase.
Tavares replaces injured Hallman, faces Ferguson at UFC on FOX 3
With Dennis Hallman injured and forced to withdraw from May's UFC on FOX 3 event, Thiago Tavares (17-4-1 MMA, 7-4-1 UFC) will now face Tony Ferguson (13-3 MMA, 3-0 UFC) in a lightweight contest.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) today confirmed the report, which was first published by Tatame.
Featuring a lightweight bout between Nate Diaz and Jim Miller, "UFC on FOX 3: Diaz vs. Miller" takes place May 5 at IZOD Center in East Rutherford, N.J.
Tavares looks to build on a pair of big wins over Sam Stout and Spencer Fisher. The Brazilian is now 4-1-1 in his past six fights, but the consecutive wins are his first such back-to-back results since 2007...
Anthony Pettis Shoots Down Rumors Of Dropping To Featherweight For Jose Aldo Fight
The idea of Anthony Pettis dropping to featherweight to fight for Jose Aldo's 145 pound title picked up a lot of steam when his manager made the statement that Pettis would do it "for the right terms." While the idea of the fight seemed amazing as Pettis and Aldo almost certainly couldn't put on a bad fight, there were immediate rebuttals to the idea that Pettis would actually drop in weight.
Positive Signs Point to UFC Events in Italy, Spain and France in Near Future
Mar 15, 2012 - The UFC will continue its European expansion next month when the promotion makes its debut in Stockholm, Sweden for UFC on FUEL TV 2.
And according to UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta, the organization hopes to debut in a few more European countries by the end of next year.
"I think Italy will be next," Fertitta said. "Me and Lawrence [Epstein, the UFC's general counsel] went out to Italy and met with the owners. There's really only one venue in Italy that makes sense for us. There's an arena right outside of Milan, it's owned by a family, and once again, they had these misconceptions about what this was. 'Oh my gosh, you're going to have these guys get in there and fight in a cage,' and all this other stuff. But we went out there, sat down with them, explained who we were, what our background was, safety, regulation, all those things. [We] invited them to the fight in Birmingham [for UFC 138], and they were blown away. They said, 'You guys are welcome any time you want.'
UFC's 'Rampage' Jackson: 'Shogun' rematch delayed to due to double-knee surgery
The recently announced rematch between Quinton "Rampage" Jackson (32-10 MMA, 7-4 UFC) and Mauricio "Shogun" Rua (20-6 MMA, 4-4 UFC) apparently will have to wait.
Earlier this week, UFC officials announced that the fighters, who first met in PRIDE in 2005, would rematch sometime this summer.
But "Rampage" today said the fight is on hold because he has to undergo surgery on both knees.
"2 keep it real,the Shogun fight will have 2 wait,I just found out that I have 2 get surgery on both knees," Jackson tweeted. "But I heal fast don't trip."
UFC officials have no made formal announcement, and MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) could not immediately reach them for comment. Additionally, Jackson gave no timeframe for his recovery.
Dan Hardy Talks UFC 146, Proving He Belongs And Training With Lorenzo Fertitta At 'Secret Gym'
There comes a time in every fighter's life when they need to question their motivation for their chosen career path. For Dan Hardy, it wasn't quite as clear as he wanted it to be over the last 2 years. With 4 tough losses, camp changes, and management shake-ups, the drive and desire to compete was still missing a vital element, anger. Dan has stated in recent interviews that he's regained that element, and is reacquainting himself with that spark growing in him, as the clocks and calendars edge closer to his UFC 146 bout with Duane Ludwig. I recently spoke with Dan about the changes he's put in place to get his name back in the win column.
Jake Ellenberger Wants Condit But Open to Fight with Martin Kampmann
If Carlos Condit’s ultimate decision is to sit and wait for the return of UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre later this year, then that leaves a couple of top contenders awaiting match-ups of their own.
At the top of that list sits Jake Ellenberger, who is currently riding a six fight win streak, most recently defeating Diego Sanchez at UFC on Fuel TV 1 in February.
Ellenberger’s wish list starts with a rematch against Condit, who defeated him in his UFC debut, when he stepped in on a month’s notice to face the former WEC champion.
Speaking to Fuel TV’s UFC Tonight, Ellenberger thinks now is the best time for him to face Condit, and he believes he’s earned it.
Anthony Pettis Not Dropping to Featherweight, Eyes Lightweight Title in 2012
Anthony Pettis may not be getting the next crack at the UFC lightweight title, but he’s not going anywhere but on a hunt for the next best challenge at 155lbs.
During UFC Tonight on Fuel TV on Tuesday, it was reported that Pettis was possibly considering a drop to 145lbs and challenging featherweight champion Jose Aldo.
While it was anything but a done deal, the possibility seemed to exist.
Lorenzo Fertitta: 'Let Joe Silva and Sean Shelby develop a women's league, I guarantee you they can do it'
Is someone pulling rank?
Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) co-owner Lorenzo Fertitta, who was both "captivated" and "blown away" by the headlining fight of Ronda Rousey vs. Miesha Tate back on March 3 under the Strikeforce banner, is a staunch supporter of women's mixed martial arts (MMA).
UFC President Dana White? Not so much.
Women's MMA, while prevalent overseas in Japan and Australia, is limited to mostly regional promotions in the United States, with the occasional superfight televised under the Strikeforce banner when one or more of its top stars are available.
But will we ever see women inside the Octagon?
Fertitta believes the perceived lack of depth in the existing talent pool is not only starting to change, but could be compensated by the matchmaking skills of Joe Silva and Sean Shelby.