UFC Building New Stars In England
The Ultimate Fighting Championship's worldwide expansion will grow later this year as the promotion will travel to Germany, but this is only after spending the last couple of years building a brand name in both England and Ireland. That showed true once again with a successful show in London on Saturday night.
As announced at the post fight press conference, UFC 95 drew a crowd of 13,268 rabid MMA fans clamoring to see the show, with a live gate of just over $1 million U.S. dollars. The success of the UFC in the U.K. cannot be denied and UFC U.K. President Marshall Zelaznik agrees with the successful plan implemented so far.
"I still think we're a couple years behind where the U.S. is. I remember being there then," he commented after the show. "We're getting better and better media coverage, which I think is important, it helps spread the word. There's still a lot of misunderstanding about our sport."
The U.K. UFC president added how important it is for the sport to continue to grow in England and beyond.
Pa. to allow MMA bouts in the state
Pennsylvania has joined the growing number of states to allow Mixed Martial Arts, or MMA, events within its borders.
The State Athletic Commission announced today it had adopted final regulations that will allow for the ulta-rough bouts popularized on cable sports networks to be held in the Keystone State.
It's about time!
UFC Quick Quote: Dan Hardy locks eyes with Georges St. Pierre, thunder cracks
“There are so many good guys in my division but I managed to lock eyes with Georges St Pierre outside the cage and we had a moment where I was like — ‘I’m coming for you, I’m coming for you.’ But I know I’ve still got improvements to make. There are some guys I need to pick off on my way up to him. But whoever the UFC send me next, I’ll be ready.”
– Dan Hardy talks to The Sun about the moments after his sensational knockout win over Rory Markham at UFC 95: “Sanchez vs. Stevenson” at The O2 Arena in London, England, this past weekend. “The Outlaw” scored his second win inside the Octagon in impressive fashion and now has his long-term sights set on capturing the division title. He’ll need to put together a few more wins for that to happen, which he seems to understand. In fact, he expressed an interest in facing someone like Marcus Davis in his next fight. That sounds more like it … at least for now.
MM-Nay? Poll Suggests Tough Fight For UFC In NY
If a recent poll done by a New York state assemblyman is any indication, MMA is going to remain MM-Nay in the state. Assemblyman Bob Reilly (D) this past Friday released the results of a poll he commissioned to gauge the opinion of MMA among constituents in his district in the nation's third most populous state. 67% percent of the 468 New Yorkers surveyed said they are against legalizing the sport. Just 18% were for it.
The Offense of ‘Intelligent Defense’
It didn't deserve a MacArthur fellowship, but I don't see anything defensively dull or dimwitted about Josh Koscheck turning his hips and extending his arm to shield Paulo Thiago from pouncing on him Saturday at UFC 95.
Brian Cobb butt scooting and attempting a weak double-leg doesn't warrant a Nobel Prize in defense either, but I would hardly call it brainless or idiotic.
Unfortunately, it seems they still weren't "intelligent" enough.
Let me be clear about what this is, or more pertinently, what it isn't. This is not an assertion that any of the evening's contentious proceedings would've wound up with a different victor if allowed to continue. This is not a criticism of any of the stoppages at UFC 95, nor is it an indictment of officials Dan Miragliotta, Kevin Mulhall, Leon Roberts and Marc Goddard.
In fact, given the current climate of refereeing in MMA, all of the event's referees did their jobs to the letter and their stoppages were just.
Instead, this is an inquiry into whether the refereeing standards in MMA are appropriate. UFC 95 was not an assortment of irresponsible stoppages but an illustration of the intensifying issue of what constitutes a justifiable end to a fight, as the margin between winning and losing in MMA has become hideously deformed.
Great editorial by Jordan Breen
Josh Koscheck Is Not Happy
Josh Koscheck is clearly not happy about the stoppage in his UFC 95 fight with Paulo Thiago. In this backstage video from The Telegraph he insists his hands were up, his eyes were open, and his guard was ready. His cornermen seem to feel the early stoppage was part of a trend on the night -- perhaps a dig at "regional referees" in the U.K.?
UFC 95 - Results, Fighter Bonuses & Attendance Figures
Diego Sanchez def. Joe Stevenson via Decision (Unanimous)
Dan Hardy def. Rory Markham via KO (Punch) at 1:09 of Round 1
Nate Marquardt def. Wilson Gouveia via TKO (Strikes) at 3:10 of Round 3
Demian Maia def. Chael Sonnen via Submission (Triangle Choke) at 2:37 of Round 1
Paulo Thiago def. Josh Koscheck via KO (Punch) at 3:29 of Round 1
Terry Etim def. Brian Cobb via TKO (Strikes) at 0:10 of Round 2
Junior Dos Santos def. Stefan Struve via TKO (Strikes) at 0:54 of Round 1
Evan Dunham def. Per Eklund via TKO (Strikes) at 2:13 of Round 1
Mike Ciesnolevicz def. Neil Grove via Submission (Heel Hook) at 1:03 of Round 1
Paul Kelly def. Troy Mandaloniz via Decision (Unanimous)
UFC 95 AWARDS AND BONUSES
(All awards include a $40,000 bonus for each fighter.)
UFC 95 Fight of the Night
– Diego Sanchez and Joe Stevenson
UFC 95 Knockout of the Night
– Paulo Thiago
UFC 95 Submission of the Night
– Demian Maia
This was Demian Maia's fourth "Submission of the Night" in five UFC fights.
The UFC treated fans watching UFC 95 on Setanta Sports to all 10 bouts on Saturday night in England. Even the British fans that weren't able to attend were able to see their countrymen fight, most of which faired well.
The fans that did make it to the O2 Arena treated the UFC to a strong attendance of 13,268, totaling ticket revenue of slightly more than $1 million U.S. Both are considered strong numbers during tough economic times, especially with a fight card sans a championship bout.
Like never before: A conversation with UFC lightweight Diego Sanchez
UFC 95 “Sanchez vs. Stevenson” is set to go down tonight starting at 9 pm ET from the O2 Arena in London, England. Headlining the event opposite Joe Stevenson will be Diego Sanchez, a former welterweight contender making his much-anticipated debut at 155 lbs.
The inaugural Ultimate Fighter (TUF) middleweight champion had resisted the move in recent past, especially since he was knocking on the door of a potential 170-pound title shot with a win over Thiago Alves at UFC 90: “Silva vs. Cote” back in October.
Sanchez had to withdraw from the bout, however, because of a rib injury. Alves went on to strafe last minute replacement and top player in the division, Josh Koscheck, to score a convincing unanimous decision win.
Dana White talks Greasegate, UFC 97, Toronto and 100
LONDON - UFC president Dana White says Canadian fighter Georges St. Pierre was illegally greased during his UFC 94 win over B.J. Penn last month.
"Do I think that he got greased? Yeah, I do," White told The Canadian Press prior to the UFC 95 weigh-in Friday at the Dominion Theatre. "Absolutely, 100 per cent, I think that that guy was rubbing grease on him.
"Do I think Georges was trying to cheat? Absolutely not at all. But that cornerman was rubbing grease on him. You cannot do that."
Dana Talks UFC 99, 100, More
In an interview in the UK earlier today, Dana White discussed some of the many plans in the works for UFC 99 & 100 later this year. They include GSP vs. Thiago Alves, possibly BJ Penn vs. Kenny Florian for the UFC Lightweight Title and Ryoto (Lyoto) Machida finally getting his Light Heavyweight Title shot.