UFC to Release Economic Impact Study to Prove How Much Revenue MMA Events Would Bring to New York State
WHO: Lawrence Epstein, General Counsel, Ultimate Fighting Championship®
Marc Ratner, VP for Governmental & Regulatory Affairs, Ultimate Fighting Championship®
Jamie Springer, HR&A Advisors, author of economic impact study
WHAT: Conference call to discuss an economic impact study showing fiscal benefits and revenue, including event spending and visitor spending, that Ultimate Fighting Championship® events would contribute to state and local economies if they were held in New York City and Buffalo, respectively
WHY: As legislators prepare to debate the regulation of the sport of mixed martial arts in New York, officials from the Ultimate Fighting Championship® urge them to consider the much-needed tourist spending and tax dollars that events would bring to cash-strapped communities.
Mixed martial arts is among the fastest growing sports in the world, and UFC® is the most heavily regulated and widely recognized of the MMA organizations. Known for its intense competition and remarkable athleticism, the sport is winning an increasingly large following. Its surging popularity has made it a coveted attraction for local officials and arena owners alike. A sellout crowd of 21,390 – the biggest ever for a UFC fight – attended the April 19 UFC® welterweight championship match in Montreal, producing a live gate of more than $5 million.
Hermes Franca Arrested For DUI
Ultimate Fighting Championship lightweight competitor, Hermes Franca, was arrested last night by the Jupiter Police Department in Jupiter, Fla for a DUI offense as confirmed to MMAWeekly.com by members of the police force on Thursday morning.
Authorities could not release much more information than what was listed on their official police blotter confirming Franca’s arrest.
According to the report, Franca was arrested at 2:38am by an officer who suspected the fighter was under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
It was also listed that this was Franca’s first offense.
While officials of the Jupiter Police Department could confirm the arrest, they had no information about his detainment or release from being held from the arrest.
Couture talks training for "worst-case scenario" (video)
by MMAjunkie.com Staff on Nov 05, 2008 at 4:25 pm ET
As UFC heavyweight champion Randy Couture prepares for next week's UFC 91 main event with Brock Lesnar, the 45-year-old fighter is preparing for all scenarios.
But seeing how he's giving up 14 years of age, 40 pounds and an inch of height, Couture is preparing for one specific scenario more than others.
Couture discussed the fight and his "worst-case-scenario training" while a recent guest of HDNet's "Inside MMA." Thanks to our partnership with the weekly MMA news show, MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) now present a clip of the strategy talk.
The Nov. 15 main event fight, which takes place at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, pits a UFC hall-of-famer -- one who's fought for a title in 14 of his 24 professional fights -- against a UFC rookie who owns a mere 2-1 career record.
However, Couture knows that Lesnar, a former WWE superstar who was also an NCAA Division I national wrestling champion, isn't your typical three-fight vet.
"I've been putting my self in worst-case-scenario training," said Couture, who's filled his Las Vegas-based Xtreme Couture gym with heavyweight training partners. "You've got to be on the bottom. If this guy takes me down, I've got to be able to survive and get up and scramble and get out from underneath him. I can't lie down there and give up rounds."
However, the three-time Olympic Greco-Roman wrestling alternate still thinks his bread and butter -- dirty boxing -- can be a viable strategy.
"I still feel comfortable in the clinch and using cage tactics. I was there with Tim (Sylvia). They don't get much bigger than Tim, and Gabe (Gonzaga) was certainly a big, strong guy," said Couture, referring to his two most recent victories. "I don't think Brock is any different in that situation. I'm going to feel pretty comfortable putting him there if he gives me the chance to."
For more on the fight, and Couture's thoughts on why a fight with former PRIDE champion Fedor Emelianenko is unlikely ever to happen, check out the embedded clip.
Despite title-shot snub, Kenny Florian "thankful" for bout with Joe Stevenson
UFC President Dana White giveth, and then he taketh away.
Such is the lesson learned by UFC lightweight Kenny Florian (10-3 MMA, 8-2 UFC), who was all but promised a second shot at the lightweight title in the months building up to his UFC 87 bout with Roger Huerta -- only to have the opportunity taken away.
But as Florian recently told TAGG Radio (www.taggradio.com), the official radio partner of MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com), the chance to improve his game is just as important as another chance at the belt.
"UFC 93: Dublin" sells out in just two weeks
January's "UFC 93: Dublin" event, which is the first-ever UFC show to take place in Ireland, sold out in just two weeks, the organization today announced.
More than 6,000 of the available 10,000 tickets were purchased in the first week of sales, and the remaining seats were sold in week No. 2.
UFC 93, which is expected to air on pay per view, takes place Jan. 17 at The 02 and features former champions Rich Franklin vs. Dan Henderson, as well as Mauricio "Shogun" Rua vs. UFC hall-of-famer Mark Coleman.
Bisping Responds to Leben’s Steroid Bust
“I have to admit I was disappointed when I heard. You know, when all’s said and done, I like Chris Leben. He conducted himself well before and after the fight and, as I say, I like the guy. I’m a little disappointed that he’s done what he’s done, bringing the sport into disrepute, but it’s not really my place to have an opinion on it.
The UFC, as they always do, have set the example with the punishment — and they’re right to do that. Should he banned for life? I don’t think so, people make mistakes, people learn from mistakes. Plenty of fighters have recovered after testing positive, the standard is set at nine months and it would be unfair to go any harsher on Chris…
I don’t know if it makes my win any better, you can make a case for it because — without wanting to start slinging mud — he did cheat and I didn’t. I don’t know why he did it or if he knew he was doing it, but I know my performance was purely down to blood, sweat and tears — and that’s all the satisfaction I need.”
Nate Quarry wants to put Maia between a Rock and a hard place
For a lot of fighters, seven months between bouts may feel like an awful long time. But when you’ve been through a purgatory of nearly two very uncertain years between fights—time spent rehabbing a bum back and restructuring a shattered nose—seven months of relative quiet between action can seem fast and furious.
That’s why when Nate “Rock” Quarry is asked about ring rust heading into his UFC 91 bout with Demian Maia, you can hear him mumble under his breath . . . ring rust, shmring rust.
“This is actually really good pacing for me,” says the rejuvenated 36-year-old middleweight. “After a fight I like to take a little time, rest, relax, let the body heal up, remind myself why I train so hard and take care of my little girl [8-year-old Ciera]—maybe take her on vacation or something to show her my appreciation for putting up with me working so hard for the last three months.”
Palhares Wants To Be Back In The Octagon
After a great debut in UFC, the Brazilian Top Team fighter Rousimar “Toquinho” Palhares faced the toughest challenge in his career, against the former Pride champion Dan Henderson, and the loss came by unanimous decision. Besides the loss, Palhares only sees good experiences from the bout. “I think it was great, because I wasn’t 100% in my physical strength and even tough I could take the fight till the end. It was a good fight for me and I think they (UFC) liked the fight and my style”, commented.
Liddell Adresses Critics, Vows To Move On
Former UFC light heavyweight champion Chuck Liddell is fighting a battle of meaning in the public eye: can one punch change everything?
Liddell, 38, built his reputation giving and taking punches. From 2004 to 2006, he cleaned out the sport’s marquee division, collecting wins against stars like Randy Couture and Tito Ortiz, who, like him, built the foundation for the UFC’s explosion in popularity.
But a new guard has encroached upon Liddell’s legacy, and chinks have begun to appear in his armor. Spearheaded by the minds at Jackson’s Submission Academy in Albuquerque, N.M., Liddell has lost to three out of his last four opponents, and his light heavyweight title to Quinton Jackson at UFC 71.
Brock Lesnar is sick and tired of the steroid allegations
“I’ve been accused of using steroids my entire life, probably since the tenth grade in high school… I’ve never failed a drug test. Now if I was a black guy and I looked the way I do would I get asked this question a 100 times? I just happen to be a white guy that has some great genetics, so I guess that puts a bullseye on me… I’m a white dude that’s shredded and you don’t see a lot of it — a guy that’s walking around that looks like me.”
UFC Cementing Place as Industry Leader
A recent article in the Sports Business Journal emphasizes how the UFC continues to build on its success while many would-be competitors are struggling to survive. Notable excerpt:
Zuffa LLC, the UFC’s parent company, says it is turning a profit on $300 million in annual revenue. Pay-per-view accounts for more than half of that number, followed by television money generated from a deal with Spike TV, and event operations.
Gate receipts for PPV events are averaging $3.25 million this year, up nearly half a million from 2007. PPV buys were up approximately 8 percent in 2007, and another year-over-year increase is expected in 2008.
The UFC has steadily grown in the last few years by living off money generated by television and live events and using that cash to acquire competitors such as PRIDE and World Extreme Cagefighting. PRIDE was shuttered and absorbed into the UFC; WEC features lighter-weight fighters.
Martin Kampmann signs new four-fight contract with the UFC
FiveOuncesOfPain.com has learned that the UFC has signed Martin Kampmann to a new four-fight contract.
The news was confirmed with Kampmann’s agent, Ken Pavia.
Kampmann is 13-2 in his professional mixed martial arts career and is 4-1 lifetime inside of the Octagon. His most recent fight was a first round TKO loss to Nathan Marquardt at UFC 88 in September but prior to that he was 4-0 with victories over Crafton Wallace, Thales Leites, Drew McFedries, and Jorge Rivera.
A standout kickboxer prior to crossing over into MMA, Kampmann has become a respected grappler and had won nine consecutive fights prior to the loss to Marquardt.
According to Pavia, Kampmann is planning to drop to welterweight for his next bout and has also signed a sponsorship agreement with Hitman Fight Gear.
Nevada Drug Tests More UFC 91 Fighters
Following a three month dry spell in which no mixed martial artists were tested under the Nevada State Athletic Commission's new out-of-competition drug testing process, there have been a number of athletes from the upcoming UFC 91 fight card tested recently. The latest, according to the NSAC's Keith Kizer, were Mark Bocek and Alvin Robinson-both returned negative test results.
Chris Leben test postitive for Stanzanol
Dave Meltzer is reporting...
Chris Leben became the first high-profile fighter suspended by the Ultimate Fighting Championships for failing a drug test, when results came back positive on Monday for the steroid Stanazolol in a test administered after his three-round loss to Michael Bisping on Oct. 18 in Birmingham, England.
The UFC suspended Leben for nine months and fined him one-third of his undisclosed fight purse.
Several UFC fighters, including champions like Tim Sylvia, Sean Sherk and Josh Barnett, had been suspended and forced to relinquish their championships after positive tests administered by both the Nevada and California State Athletic Commissions.
Because UFC events held in the United Kingdom are not under the auspices of a commission, the UFC’s vice president of regulatory affairs, Marc Ratner, who for years headed the Nevada commission, performs many of the duties normally associated with an athletic commission for those events.
“I am obviously disappointed with Chris, who has made great strides getting his life back on track,” said UFC president Dana White. “To his credit, he has taken responsibility for his actions and is accepting the punishment that has been handed down. But as always, the UFC puts the safety of its athletes first and foremost, and we won’t tolerate anyone using performance enhancing drugs in our organization.”
“I’ve really done everything I can to turn my life around,” said Leben.
“And this is a huge setback for me. But it’s something I will have to deal with. During my time off from fighting, I want to speak to kids about the dangers of using performance enhancing agents and let them know it just doesn’t get you ahead in life. Of course, this is a hard hit for me monetarily, but more so this is embarrassing for me and for all my fans.”
UFC tested all 22 fighters at UFC 89 both before and after their matches.
White said that Leben admitted to him using the drug, also known as Winstrol V, but believed it had enough time to clear his system. Leben, 18-5, one of the company’s most well-known fighters stemming from his appearance on the first season of Ultimate Fighter, said he used the drug shortly after his win over Alessio Sakara in March. While usually clearing your system in about three weeks, Stanazolol can show up in tests for several months.
Marcus Davis vs. Chris Lytle on tap for UFC 93
The worst kept secret of a fight now has a date.
UFC welterweights Marcus Davis (15-4 MMA, 7-2 UFC) and Chris Lytle (26-16-5 MMA, 5-8 UFC) have agreed to meet at UFC 93, and bout agreements for the fight have been distributed, sources close to both fighters told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
The fight is expected to air on UFC 93's televised main card, which takes place Jan. 17 at The O2 in Dublin, Ireland.
The event airs on pay per view.
Davis and Lytle both spoke openly about wanting to fight each other even before they both competed last month at UFC 89. With victories from each fighter -- Davis submitted Paul Kelly, and Lytle stopped Paul Taylor with a unanimous-decision win -- the pieces fell in place for the bout.
As Davis first told TAGG Radio, MMAjunkie.com's official radio partner, in July, he and Lytle first discussed the fight earlier this year.
"Chris Lytle and I want to fight each other," Davis said at the time. "He's expressed that he wants to fight me. I've expressed that I want to fight him.
"We like each other, we respect each other, but we want to have that fight. And my pitch to Chris is, 'The first guy that starts grappling is a pussy, so let's not do that. Let's just stand up and just beat the hell out of each other. If we get in a clinching scenario, and somebody wants to throw somebody or whatever, go ahead and do it. But let's not try to finish it on the ground. Let's stand up, and let's bang it out.'"
Alves To Wait For Shot At GSP's Belt
For Alves, the seventh victory is the last step before a title shot. “I wanna get this belt and bring it to Brazil. The said that the winner of this fight would get a title shot, and now I have the option to wait (after Georges St. Pierre’s fight with BJ Penn) or do another fight, it’s my choice, but I think I’ll wait”, said Alves,
Denis Kang heading to the UFC
by Dann Stupp on Nov 03, 2008 at 11:20 am ET
The Ultimate Fighting Championship's middleweight division just got some depth and a potential new challenger for middleweight champion Anderson Silva.
Former PRIDE fighter and current SpiritMC champion Denis Kang has signed a four-fight deal with the UFC, American Top Team General Manager Richie Guerriero today confirmed with MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
Kang, 31, will likely make his octagon debut in early 2009.
"I just think timing wise, it was a good point in his career (to sign with the UFC)," Guerriero said. "He's always had his eye on the UFC, but with his commitment to SpiritMC, and with him fighting for PRIDE at the time, it just never happened."
Kang, a Canadian of Korean-French descent, was a top star with SpiritMC, a South Korean-based fight promotion. Kang won the organization's heavyweight (80+ kg) title in September 2004 and cited his desire to fight for the organization as a stumbling block in previous UFC negotiations.
"With the UFC being what it is, I think Denis knew it was a good time to get some exposure here in America," Guerriero said.
Although Guerriero didn't know the particulars of the deal, he said it would be unlikely for Kang to continue fighting for SpiritMC "just based on the way [the UFC] has always done things," he said.
Kang, the 2006 PRIDE welterweight grand prix runner-up, had emerged as a top-five-ranked middleweight during a 23-fight undefeated streak from April 2003 to November 2006. However, he then suffered three losses in a four-fight span, which included a first-round submission defeat to Gegard Mousasi in the opening round of the 2008 DREAM middleweight grand prix earlier this year.
However, Kang has since rebounded for back-to-back victories, which included a 48-second TKO of Marvin Eastman at an Oct. 25 Raw Combat event.