Dana White says UFC television channel "makes sense"
With the UFC and Strikeforce now residing under the same Zuffa, LLC umbrella, the world's leading mixed martial arts promoter now has a plethora of broadcast options at its disposal.
The UFC's deals with Spike TV, Versus and ION Television (not to mention Facebook.com) are now coupled with Strikeforce's Showtime and CBS partnerships, creating a widespread MMA presence across a variety of television platforms.
But could the purchase of Strikeforce, including its fighters and extensive tape library, signal the coming of the UFC's own television channel? UFC president Dana White admits it certainly make sense.
"It's a different world out there right now," White told Mike Straka on this week's new edition of HDNet's "Inside MMA." "Going out and starting your own channel isn't as easy it was six or seven years ago. It's a lot tougher than it used to be.
"But does it make sense? Yeah, it makes sense."
MMA fans have long salivated over the prospect of a 24-hour network dedicated to the broadcast of UFC programming. With the PRIDE, WEC, Strikeforce and EliteXC video libraries now under Zuffa's control, it would seem there is now more than enough stockpiled footage to make that dream a reality.
White, himself, even spoke on the potential for a UFC channel in an October 2010 interview with Broadcasting & Cable.
"SportsBusiness Journal just came out with a survey asking big names in the industry which sport could start its own network, and four out of five said us," White told Broadcasting & Cable. "They are right. I agree. That will happen within the next couple years."
Of course, exactly when that will happen remains a mystery. Some MMA pundits have suggested that while an all-UFC channel is certainly possible, the real crux behind the UFC's acquisitions of promotions like Strikeforce and the WEC is the access to their TV deals, thus allowing White to pit networks against each other in their bids for his programming.
White dismissed that notion.
"It makes me laugh sometimes when I'm cruising through the Internet and I read some of the stories that some of the reporters write," White told Straka. "Nobody knows what we're doing. We know what's going on. We're the ones that built this industry. We're the trailblazers that are out there making all these things happen.
"We know what we're doing. We know what the future is. We know what's going on, and it's funny to sit around and read some of the ideas that some of these websites throw out there. Trust me, we know exactly what we're doing for the next five years."
Instead, White stuck to his "business as usual" mantra in regards to current broadcasting plans. And as far as Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker is concerned, that means a continued presence on Showtime, as well as a return to network-television partner CBS for the first time since a post-fight brawl marred the April 2010 broadcast of "Strikeforce: Nashville."
"It's definitely still a possibility," Coker told HDNet's Bas Rutten. "We all know what happened last year, and we said we'll revisit it this year.
"Under the new regime, honestly, we haven't had a chance to sit down. It happened so fast. ... We really haven't had the time to sit down and create the overall master plan in detail."
The UFC's recent purchase of Strikeforce was unquestionably a game-changer in MMA, and the sport's most powerful promotion further distanced itself from any potential challengers for its market share. But what exactly that means for the sport's presence on television remains to be seen. White declined to reveal the company's current plan, but he admitted his promotion is an extremely enviable position.
"To be where we are right now in such a short amount of time?" White asked. "We bought the company literally 10 years ago, so to be sitting here now and talking about all this stuff and to be where we are today is pretty amazing in 10 years."
Dana White Says Rashad Evans Likely to Face Winner of Rua-Jones
It appears as though Rashad Evans will get a second chance to fight for the UFC light-heavyweight championship after all. Weeks after a knee injury forced his withdrawal from a title bout with Mauricio "Shogun Rua -- paving the way for teammate Jon Jones to compete for the belt -- Evans is likely to be offered the next chance to fight for the title, UFC president Dana White said on Thursday's night's edition of ESPN's MMA Live.
White stopped short of guaranteeing the title shot, saying that the man who emerged as champion would have to come out unscathed for him to be quickly matched up with Evans.
"If the guys are ready to roll again with no injuries, Rashad is definitely next in line," White said.
The statement reiterated one that White made earlier in the week to MMA Fighting. In an interview with Ariel Helwani, White confirmed Evans was still the No. 1 contender, saying, "If I was Rashad, I would say, 'Whoever wins this fight, I want to fight [him].'"
You won't see Jon Jones do the chicken dance against Shogun Rua
"For everyone who says I've never been hit and is wondering how I'll react to it, the reason why I haven't been hit is because I'm literally obsessed with what I'm doing and I'm in the gym every day, three times a day, six hours a day. And when you dedicate your life to it, hopefully you guys will never see me do the chicken dance. That's the way it works. But for people who are wondering how I'll react, I've been hit several times throughout practice and I react just fine. I've been dazed in wrestling - I remember a few times in high school I would throw people and land on my own head and almost knock myself out, but I kept wrestling through it. So I've seen those white flashes before and I've always fought through it. If it happens in this fight, I'm definitely prepared to fight through it and I know I can fight through it."
Jason Brilz ready for a fight against UNO Athletic Director Trev Albetrs
After three straight Division II wrestling titles University of Nebraska Omaha Athletic Director, Trev Alberts, has decided to cut the program. Alberts aletered the UNO wrestling team by telephone a meer hour after the team had won its third straight title...upon returning to the school there lockeroom had been padlocked, and they were escorted by security to clean out their lockers and peacefully leave the campus.
Assistant Coach Jason Brilz is ready for a fight with the former failed ESPN announcer and new University of Nebraska Omaha AD, Trev Alberts...
UFC 128 Weigh-In Results
MAIN CARD (pay-per-view)
•Champ Mauricio "Shogun" Rua (205) vs. Jon Jones (205)
•Urijah Faber (135.5) vs. Eddie Wineland (135.5)
•Nate Marquardt (186) vs. Dan Miller (185)
•Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic (229) vs. Brendan Schaub (245)
•Jim Miller (155.5) vs. Kamal Shalorus (155)
PRELIMINARY CARD (Spike TV)
•Luiz Cane (205.5) vs. Eliot Marshall (205)
•Edson Barboza (155.5) vs. Anthony Njokuani (155)
PRELIMINARY CARD (Facebook)
•Ricardo Almeida (170) vs. Mike Pyle (171)
•Kurt Pellegrino (156) vs. Gleison Tibau (155)
•Joseph Benavidez (136) vs. Ian Loveland (135)
•Nick Catone (194) vs. Costantinos Philippou (195)
•Raphael Assuncao (145) vs. Erik Koch (145)
Attonito vs. Brown moved from TUF 13 Finale to UFC on Versus 4
"The Immortal" and "The Raging Bull" will have to wait a few more weeks to clash.
UFC officials recently announced that a bout between Matt Brown (11-10 MMA, 4-4 UFC) and Rich Attonito (9-4 MMA, 2-1 UFC) that was expected to take place at The Ultimate Fighter 13 Finale is now scheduled for UFC on Versus 4.
UFC on Versus 4 is expected to take place June 26, though an exact date and location have yet to be announced.
No reason was given for the change in schedule.
No Love for Shogun?
UFC Light Heavy Weight Champion Mauricio “Shogun” Rua was originally scheduled to face Rashad Evans at UFC 128, but that was before Rashad suffered a knee injury while training for the title bout. Now, Rashad will be sitting on the sidelines watching his teammate Jon Jones attempt to take the title on March 19 in Newark , NJ.
Matt Wiman vs. Dennis Siver Set for UFC 132
"Lightweights coming off of impressive wins face off in Vegas as Matt Wiman and Dennis Siver have verbally agreed to fight July 2nd," said UFC President Dana White
Great fight! This card is looking incredible already. Who wins it Playground?
UFC 128 Fight Card: Bas Rutten Predicts Jon Jones Will Defeat Shogun Rua
"At first I thought, (Jon Jones) 23 years old, maybe it's too early. But then I go, if I have to put money down I think I'd put it on (Jon Jones). And the reason I said that is, every time he fights a wrestler who supposed to be better than him, he just schools these guys and takes them down. So in my mind, I think its going to be pretty easy for him to take (Shogun Rua) down. Once it's on the ground, with (Jones) ground control, he's a very hard guy to deal with, he has unlimited energy. The first time we saw him fight, with 8 takedowns, craziest suplexes off the chart and he's only getting better now training at Greg Jacksons. I predicted it right away when I saw him fight, he's going to be the new champion. But I think he can do it. But trust me; don't get anything wrong, if Shogun lands one of those punches or knees."
"Greg Jackson knows (about Shogun's leg kicks). Greg Jackson has the same crazy mind as I and people are low kicking (Jon Jones) all day long. Because that's the weapon."
Fitch vs Penn 2, Dunham vs Sots on for UFC 132
Reports of The Prodigy's retirement have been greatly exaggerated: Dana White confirmed today that BJ Penn and Jon Fitch have verbally agreed to rematch at UFC 132.
The welterweights first met in the main event of UFC 127, a number-one contender bout that ended in a draw. "Both fighters look to keep it out of the hands of the judges this time," said White.
The stacked lightweight division will also see two of its fastest-rising stars meet over Fourth of July weekend: White confirmed that Evan Dunham and George Sotiropoulos have verbally agreed to a bout at UFC 132.
Hey UFC, Chris Leben Wants to Fight His Hero, Wanderlei Silva
Chris Leben is itching to get back in the Octagon. The season-one Ultimate Fighter cast member is coming off a loss to Brian Stann at UFC 125: Resolution in January and has since been without a fight to look forward to.
While in limbo, Leben is patiently awaiting a call from the UFC offering up his next foe within the eight-sided chained fence. In doing so, he can only sit and consider who he would like face. For Leben, that desired fight is MMA superstar Wanderlei Silva.
Add Nate Marquardt to the List of UFC Middleweights Wanting a Piece of Michael Bisping
Michael Bisping, through all the trash talk, spitting, and other antics that have made him the MMA villain he is today, has indirectly turned himself into one of the biggest draws in the UFC’s middleweight division.
After his TKO win over Jorge Rivera, the controversy weighed heavy in media circles. Rivera’s camp went on record and described Bisping’s actions as “deplorable” and “disrespectful.” Assault charges are typically filed in similar situations.
The character that Bisping advertises in the UFC has made him a “bad guy” in the sport, equivalent to what you call a “heel” in professional wrestling. The level of villainy he has reached is that of Legion of Doom-type altitudes, spurring the need for defenders of truth, justice and all that other stuff you hear about in the DC Comic universe.
UFC 128 Rumor: 50 Cent To Accompany Jon Jones To Cage vs. Shogun Rua
Jon Jones may be taking a page out of Anderson Silva's book and using fellow celebrities to increase his own marketability.
Silva made headlines across the globe when he had actor and martial artist Steven Seagal accompany him to the cage at UFC 126.
Jones may be ready to do something very similar, though not in the form of a fellow martial artist. Instead, rumors are circulating that rapper 50 Cent may be joining "Bones" during his walk to the cage.
Speculation started on Tuesday afternoon, when 50 Cent sent out the following message from his Twitter page, @50Cent:
Follow @jonnybones to the ring for @ufc 128 this sat for the light heavy weight championship of the world. http://plixi.com/p/84235873
The rapper then sent out a tweet to Ultimate Fighting Championship President, Dana White:
@danawhite stop being mad that god gave @jonnybones grace and style.... @ufc http://plixi.com/p/84236319
Though none of this confirms that 50 Cent will either be in attendance or coming to the cage with Jones, where there is smoke, there is often fire.
Itching to scrap, Nick Catone inisisted on fighting – at any weight – at UFC 128
Nick Catone had a choice.
Dan Miller, his opponent at UFC 128, was called up to fight Nate Marquardt after Yoshihiro Akiyama withdrew in the fallout from this past week's earthquake in Japan. He was between 205 and 208 pounds and was just about to start his cut to middleweight. He could hold for another fight – UFC matchmaker Joe Silva had concerns he couldn't get another middleweight approved in time – or he could fight a New Jersey fighter all cued up and ready to go.
It was an easy choice.
Bonnar, Cruz, Liddell and Vera headline UFC 128 tailgate party
Saturday's UFC 128 festivities are getting started a little earlier than normal, and it doesn't have anything to do with pay-per-view start times.
The UFC, in association with DUB Magazine and the upcoming feature film "Fast Five," is hosting a tailgate party outside the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.
Featuring autograph signings by current UFC contenders Stephan Bonnar, Dominick Cruz, Brandon Vera and UFC Hall of Famer Chuck Liddell, the tailgate party starts at 3 p.m. ET.
Has UFC Found Its Transcendent Star?
You can watch it a dozen times and not believe it. The first man cinches his arms around his opponent's waist from behind, bucks forward and then simply dead-lifts him up and drops backward with him, tracing an arc of perhaps 140 degrees so that they land together, their weight on the neck of the man being thrown.
As they grapple for leverage on the mat, the first man catches onto the second man's left leg, working down toward the ankle as they rise, and then drops it, spinning to his right and catching his opponent flush with an elbow to the head that knocks him down to the mat, helpless again. From impact to impact, the whole fluid sequence lasts 10 seconds
"I've never seen anyone throw anything like that," said the second man, a tough veteran fighter named Stephan Bonnar. "I didn't even know it hit me. I was laying there thinking someone from the audience threw a bottle or something."
The fight was a test, Jon Jones's eighth in less than a year and his second in the Ultimate Fighting Championship, the leading mixed martial arts promotion. Five fights, four wins and just more than two years later, Jones, 23, is preparing for his first chance at a UFC title.
Saturday at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., he is scheduled to fight Mauricio "Shogun" Rua, champion of the 205-pound division, a feared Muay Thai artist and Brazilian jiu-jitsu player who has finished two-thirds of his 24 professional fights by knockout or technical knockout.
At stake, though, is more than a championship. Since first gaining purchase on the American consciousness five years ago, fighting has won a hard sort of semi-legitimacy as a sport. Major televised bouts draw around six million viewers, top fights regularly sell more than a million pay-per-view orders and an upcoming show in Toronto has, according to the promotion, sold about 55,000 tickets, with an estimated gate of $11 million.
The gap between a status as underground freak show and grudgingly tolerated niche sport, though, may be smaller than the one between fighting as it is now and as it aspires to be. If it is ever to become anything near a major sport, it will have to present a transcendent athlete. Jones may not be that man, but he's likely closer than anyone yet has been—which in its way just shows how far fighting has yet to go...
Herb Dean to Officiate UFC 128 Main Event, Rua-Jones Judges Also Named
Well respected referee Herb Dean has drawn the assignment as the third man in the cage for Saturday's UFC 128 main event pitting champion Mauricio "Shogun" Rua against challenger Jon Jones.
New Jersey state athletic control board legal counsel Nick Lembo informed MMA Fighting of the decision on Tuesday.
Dean is one of the most experienced officials in the sport, reportedly presiding over 4,000 matches during his career. His most recent UFC main event was in last month's UFC 127 draw between BJ Penn and Jon Fitch in Australia.
While Dean will decide things in the cage, if the fight goes to the judges, Douglas Crobsy, Cardo Urso and Dave Tirelli will be scoring the bout at cageside...
Gina Carano Visiting New York Next Week to Promote ‘UFC Personal Trainer’
The UFC’s ongoing tour of the East Coast includes a public press conference at Radio City Music Hall in New York tomorrow, UFC 128 in Newark on Saturday, and the TUF 14 tryouts next Monday. But there’s one more little surprise in store for fight fans — Gina Carano will be doing an appearance in New York next Wednesday to promote “UFC Personal Trainer,” a fitness game slated for a June release on the Xbox 360 Kinect, PlayStation Move, and Nintendo Wii.