UFC 115 Prelims: 1.3 Million Viewers
Spike TV's "UFC Prelims" broadcast for this past weekend's UFC 115 event drew an average audience of 1.3 million viewers and peaked with 1.5 million, Spike TV officials today announced. The two-fight June 15 broadcast, which featured Evan Dunham vs. Tyson Griffin and Mac Danzig vs. Matt Wiman, qualifies as the sixth-highest-rated broadcast of the eight "UFC Prelims" specials that have aired to date. Overall, the broadcast drew a 0.9 household rating with a 1.4 among men 18-34 and a 1.2 among men 18-49.
Dana White stands by "pay for rankings" claim, says UFC is the NFL of MMA
No stranger to a little controversy, UFC president Dana White recently made waves by suggesting in a May interview with ESPN's Bill Simmons that many mixed-martial-arts rankings lists were influenced through financial contributions.
This past weekend, in a one-on-one interview with MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com), White confirmed that he still believes rival promotions are improperly influencing the media's opinion.
"Let me tell you what; I've been in this business for a long time," White said. "Nobody, and I mean [expletive] nobody, knows more about this business than I do.
"Everything that's happened throughout the years, all the [expletive] that I've gone through, my biggest beef with a lot of these MMA websites is that these guys are for-profit websites. They're not [expletive] news sites. They're for-profit websites."
I've been on this for awhile...I don't think they are 100% there yet but I think by the time Strikeforce finally collapses or at least loses its network deal then that will pretty much seal the deal.
UFC On Versus 2 Moved To San Diego
UFC officials today announced that UFC On Versus 2, originally planned to be held in Salt Lake City, has been moved to San Diego. According to a UFC press release just put out, Dana White says the reason is poor ticket sales. "Our television ratings in Salt Lake City have always been strong, and when we finally found the opportunity to bring a UFC event there with a great card, I was very surprised and disappointed in ticket sales," he stated. "As a result, for the first time in UFC history, I decided to pull the plug and move this Aug. 1 event to the San Diego Sports Arena." However, Bill Colbert of the Pete Suazo Utah Athletic Commission could only speculate on the reason. "They didn't give a particular reason," he said. "I imagine that it has to do with the demographics and ticket sales. Having an event on Sunday may work for a (NBA's Utah) Jazz game, but it's not going to work for an MMA event. " "It's not the best news we've had in a while." Nearly half of Utah's residents are members of the Mormon Church, which traditionally uses Sundays (on which UFC on Versus 2 falls) as its worship day. Fans who purchased tickets already can return them for refunds.
UFC 115: Mirko Cro Cop Talks Retirement - "I Am Now Too Old for This"
In an interview with jutarnji.hr:
"In addition to winning the Pride Grand Prix Finals, [UFC 115] it’s my favorite fight of my career [but] most of the training proved to me that I am now too old for this…I don’t know about a new contract with the UFC. I believe that I gave this game a lot, I fought with the greatest fighters," Cro Cop said.
"For 20 years I lived this life and now I have no motivation for the fight, no mental strength for all the Spartan training. I am no longer so hungry for victory. I will not stop training, but if I am asleep I’ll stay in bed and practice an hour later."
"I have some [seminar] contacts around the seminar circuit in the U.S., Australia, Europe and even Brazil," Cro Cop said.
Ben Rothwell Promises "Big" Improvements After June 12 Win Over Gilbert Yvel
Or to quote a certain popular catchphrase, he was not impressed with his performance. "For me the fight [against Gilbert Yvel] is bittersweet. In one aspect, I got my first 'W' in the UFC and it was the kind of fight that I really had to dig deep. I had a feeling that Gilbert was going to train hard for this fight, he was extremely tough and took a lot of elbows. It's not a victory for me in a sense. I got some lumps on my head and the hardest part for me is I got the feeling that maybe Dana and the fans weren't so happy with the fight. I didn't finish the fight and that to me is unacceptable. I go out to finish my fights and I had to fight smart because he's a dangerous guy. This is the kind of fight that I made a vow that I will go home and continue my training immediately and the next time I'm back you're going to see an improved Ben."
No Quit In Rich Franklin Against Chuck Liddell...Even With A Broken Arm
Former middleweight champion Rich Franklin talks about his thought process after sustaining a broken left forearm early in his main event fight against Chuck Liddell at UFC 115. "Ace" blocked a high kick and soon began to hear the bones "clicking," meaning that something was more than likely terribly wrong. Despite the injury, Franklin kept battling and, as the seconds ticked away to close round one, he landed a short right that put the "Iceman" clean out. Fortunately, Franklin -- who has endured broken hands, noses and other bones in previous fights -- didn't have to worry about how he would proceed if things went longer.
UFC 116 odds
UFC 116 odds Shane Carwin." Shane Carwin opens as a +160 underdog
"Preliminary odds and betting lines are out for the upcoming UFC 116 event from the MGM Grand Garden Arena on July 3 in Las Vegas, Nevada, featuring a titanic heavyweight showdown between division champion Brock Lesnar and interim titlist
Rich Franklin "Can't Get No Respect"
Rich Franklin "Can't Get no Respect"
"Rich Franklin has lost to four men in his career: Anderson Silva, Lyoto Machida, Vitor Belfort, and Dan Henderson. The loss to Dan Henderson, in my view, was one of the worst decisions of 2009, but we'll leave that for another day. Rich Franklin is intelligent, well-spoken, highly skilled, and exactly the type of spokesman that MMA's diehard fans should respect.
So why don't they? Because he's the UFC's ..."
Jake Shields attends UFC 115; Dana White says negotiations underway
VANCOUVER, British Columbia – Strikeforce middleweight champion Jake Shields (25-4-1) made another cameo appearance at a UFC event – this time at Saturday's UFC 115 card in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
Shields has attended a handful of UFC events in recent months, and UFC president Dana White this week admitted for the first time he's actively negotiating with the Strikeforce star.
"[Shields] was here," White told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). "I talked to him. We're in negotiations with him right now."
UFC 115 draws reported attendance of 17,000 for a $4.2 million live gate
VANCOUVER, British Columbia – After reports of a 30-minute sellout, Saturday's night's UFC 115 event drew a reported 17,000 fans to GM Place in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The pay-per-view event was the promotion's first trip to a Canadian city other than Montreal.
UFC president Dana White released the figure at the evening's post-event press conference while also reporting a live gate of $4.2 million.
Loiseau Likely To Be Cut By UFC Again
Looks like it's one and done for David Loiseau in his latest UFC return. Loiseau, a popular French-Canadian fighter and former top UFC middleweight contender, fought his way back to the organization for a spot on Saturday's UFC 115 card. But following a loss to Mario Miranda – one in which Loiseau's limited ground skills again were exploited – UFC president Dana White predicted a contract termination is likely. "David's been in this sport a long time, and again tonight he got dominated on the ground," White said following Loiseau's preliminary-card bout at GM Place in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. "That's his problem." Loiseau initially was slated to fight John Salter as an injury replacement at UFC 113 in Montreal, but his fight license was delayed when the the Quebec Athletic Commission had concerns over the sale of his regional MMA promotion to individuals with possible mob ties.
You're Wrong If You Think Mirko Cro Cop Is Old
He thinks he proved that last night. "I wanted to prove to everyone that I'm not old and they are wrong. My preparation for this fight was the hardest it has been my entire life. I want the grand prix in 2006 with Pride, but tonight, my condition was better.... I was really dedicated.... I never felt so comfortable [inside the cage] in my career.... Pat caught me twice -- the punches were good ... especially the second one. It was good, but I was able to stand up right away. And I just felt a pain in my eye -- that's all I felt. I wasn't dizzy, just had a little double vision for about 10 seconds. Later on I was okay. I was just doing my thing, trying to involve him in the clinch to get him tired, take him down and to finish him.... I just felt good this time to tell you the truth."
UFC 115 results
Rich Franklin def. Chuck Liddell via KO (punch) - Round 1, 4:55
Mirko Filipovic def. Pat Barry by submission (rear-naked choke) - 4:30, Round 3
Martin Kampmann def. Paulo Thiago by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27
Ben Rothwell def. Gilbert Yvel by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-28, 29-28)
Carlos Condit def. Rory MacDonald by TKO (strikes) - Round 3, 4:53
Evan Dunham def. Tyson Griffin via split decision (30-27, 28-29, 29-28)
Matt Wiman def. Mac Danzig via submission (guillotine choke) - Round 1, 1:45
Mario Miranda def. David Loiseau via TKO (strikes) - Round 2, 4:07
James Wilks def. Peter Sobotta via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-28, 30-27)
Claude Patrick def. Ricardo Funch via submission (guillotine choke) - Round 2, 1:48
Mike Pyle def. Jesse Lennox via technical submission (triangle choke) - Round 3, 4:44
UFC 115 bonuses: $85K awards
VANCOUVER, British Columbia – Rich Franklin, Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic, Carlos Condit and Rory MacDonald each earned $85,000 fight-night bonuses for their performances at Saturday's "UFC 115: Liddell vs. Franklin" event.
Franklin earned the "Knockout of the Night" award, Filipovic earned the "Submission of the Night bonus, and Condit and MacDonald both earned "Fight of the Night" honors.
Chael Sonnen: UFC's Georges St-Pierre "wouldn't have much of a chance" in Olympics
VANCOUVER, British Columbia – In a supposed four-year campaign for the UFC middleweight belt, contender Chael Sonnen has cast a lot of stones in the direction of current 185-pound title-holder Anderson Silva.
And a Friday appearance at a UFC Fight Club Q&A session at GM Place in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, gave him free reign to trash the champion – with often hilarious results.
But Sonnen, a man whose political aspirations have prompted him to run for the Oregon Legislative Assembly, risked an unpopular stance when he cast a stone at the Olympic aspirations of a Canadian hero, UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre.
UFC 115's Paulo Thiago aiming for 2011 title shot but won't quit special-forces job
VANCOUVER, British Columbia – UFC welterweight and self-described adrenaline junkie Paulo Thiago (13-1 MMA, 3-1 UFC) says it's much easier than you'd think to be a fighter and a special forces police officer.
"[My] commanders do the best they can," Thiago, who faces Martin Kampmann at UFC 115 on Saturday, told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) on Wednesday. "Whether I win or lose, I always have the best support."
But as far as he goes in MMA, there's one thing he won't give up, and that's his day job.
Thiago lives in Brasilia, Brazil, where he's a member of Batalhão de Operações Policiais Especiais, a special Brazilian police squad that takes on high-risk missions. His team regularly takes on a sordid cast of underworld characters: drug dealers, prison inmates, thieves and the like.
Dean Lister Tapped to Work With James Toney on Jiu-Jitsu
With his mixed martial arts debut about two months away, former multi-division boxing champion James Toney has enlisted ex-UFC star and Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt Dean Lister to tutor him in a crash course on the ground game, MMA Fighting has learned.
According to two separate sources, Lister has been working with Toney for about one month in preparation for his August UFC 118 bout against UFC legend Randy Couture. Lister did not respond to messages seeking comment.
Chuck Liddell plans return to his roots against Rich Franklin
VANCOUVER, British Columbia – Chuck Liddell is ripped, yes. He's rejuvenated, and he's rededicated to fighting.
But fans who expect to see a fighter who headhunts at the expense of MMA's other disciplines may be surprised on Saturday night when he meets Rich Franklin (25-5 MMA, 12-4 UFC) at UFC 115.
Liddell (21-7 MMA, 16-6 UFC) is usually the guy to wall-walk when an opponent wants him on his back, and with his heavy hands, that's often. He's made a career on counter-grappling and minted the sprawl-and-brawl style.
But his fight style and lifestyle have caught up to him – he has lost four of his past five fights and been knocked out in his most recent two fights – and UFC president Dana White wants him to hang up the four-ounce gloves and work in the UFC office (or any place other than inside a cage throwing punches).