Benji Radach not happy with the UFC
EliteXC newcomer Benji Radach will be fighting this Saturday during CBS’ “Saturday Night Fights” for the first time since losing in the finals of the IFL middleweight Grand Prix Finals to Matt Horwich last Dec. 29.
Radach was the odds-on favorite to become the first-ever IFL middleweight champion in that fight and a victory would have given him a perfect 6-0 record in 2007. Burned out from competing six times in one year, Radach’s body was depleted and he was not able to perform to the best of his ability.
There still was a silver lining coming out of the loss in that Radach still posted an impressive 5-1 record following a three-year hiatus from competitive MMA due to a multitude of injuries.
Due to the demise of the IFL, Radach never was able to get a second shot at claiming the title. He become a free agent two months ago and spoke with a number of suitors before signing a multi-fight deal with EliteXC.
UFC and Affliction Play Chicken
In the last few days, news leaked out of a potential January 17th UFC show in Dublin.
Rumors have already started flying about fights for the show, and while fighters have been approached about participating on the card, the show is not confirmed. It is yet to be confirmed because the whole purpose of the show is to counter program Affliction in January. At the same time, Affliction is still yet to finalize a date because they do not want to be counter-programmed by the UFC.
It will be interesting to see how this plays out. They could leak a fake date and then reschedule for later, but then the UFC could do the same thing. The longer they wait, the less time there is to promote the show. Frankly, I think the competition lead to a lot more press coverage for the show in July, and I'm still not convinced one way or the other whether it hurt or helped Affliction in the end.
Affliction should just pick a date and start promoting it. Waiting longer does them no favors. I think it is a mistake for the UFC to counter them at this point, the story of UFC vs. Golden Boy will get a lot of press, and probably bring more attention to the Affliction show than it would otherwise get.
The Case Against TUF's "Six Figure Contract"
The six-figure contract is nothing more than a slick piece of marketing; its original incarnation was as a nine-fight deal that required three full years of service to earn $300,000, assuming you could go undefeated over the course of the contract. Let’s also not forget the contract is not guaranteed, which means you’re always a couple of losses away from being shown the door.
Considering the value of your average “The Ultimate Fighter” winner to the UFC, it becomes rather obvious the promotion preys on the desperation of fighters who would practically sell their souls to get their foot in the door.
As the nature of the six-figure contract has become more publicized, however, many top prospects have come to realize that their future does not rely on allowing themselves to be manipulated into becoming cash cows on the cheap.
Perhaps the most notable example is Brandon Vera, who refused to sign on the dotted line when offered a spot on TUF because he felt the contract contestants must sign was simply unfair. You’d think the perpetually vindictive White would have made sure Vera got his comeuppance by joining the UFC’s blacklist, but a funny thing happened along the way to banishing the gifted light heavyweight. Knowing it could ill afford to lose a charismatic and talented prospect like Vera to another promotion, the UFC signed him. He made $200,000 in a unanimous decision win over Reese Andy in his seventh fight inside the Octagon in July. Even more staggering, Vera pocketed more in his last three fights -- he lost two of the three -- than a TUF winner would make even if the winner went undefeated over the entire life of his initial contract.
It makes more sense for blue-chip prospects to negotiate a three-fight UFC contract that pays them less than TUF winners initially but leaves the door open for future.
UFC May Bring David Loiseau Back To Big Show
After putting together three straight wins, former UFC Middleweight Title contender David "The Crow" Loiseau has found himself back in the sights of UFC match maker Joe Silva.
A source close to the UFC has informed MMANews.com that the company is interested in bringing Loiseau back to the Octagon, possibly in his next fight. There is a possibility that Loiseau may have to take one more fight outside of the UFC depending on schedules and potential match ups, but if all goes well "The Crow" could be back sometime over the next few months.
Shane Carwin Confident of Victory
Shane Carwin will travel to Birmingham, UK to take on Neil Wain at UFC 89: Bisping vs Leben.
Carwin is one of the hottest prospects in the Heavyweight division - and the prospect of fighting away from home does not worry him.
He told UFC.com:
“It’s gonna be his backyard and I know that the fans are gonna be behind him. I’ve been in college situations before where I walked in and got booed, so that’ll probably be nothing any different for me. Sometimes that makes you a little bit more hyped up.”
Rampage: Abdul Mohamed Will Be UFC Champ
Quinton "Rampage" Jackson has moved to the Wolfslair in the UK. At his new camp - he believes he has met a fighter with a big future. In fact, Rampage has even compared Abdul Mohamed to one of the biggest names in the sport.
Rampage told gazettelive.co.uk:
“I call him mini Randy, because he looks like (UFC heavyweight champion) Randy Couture. He will get a UFC contract and he will be champion, all he has to do is believe in himself.
“He is a strong wrestler, he is a hard worker and he has got a strong mind. You can see it with the look in his eye.
“Tell the UFC to look out for mini Randy!”
HBO, WWE Executives Weigh-in on UFC
MMAPayout.com recently did a segment on Inside MMA on the PPV battles between UFC, HBO, and WWE. Multichannel News recently elaborated on this battle for supremacy, with HBO and WWE execs commenting on the situation. At least for the press, both HBO and WWE execs tend to play down the impact that the UFC is having on their business.
HBO Pay-Per-View senior vice president Mark Taffet tends to feel a rising tide is lifting all boats:
“The landscape continues to look bright,” he said, adding that HBO’s pay-per-view boxing set records in 2006 and 2007 with 2008 proceeding apace, while the traditional network’s live events are also faring well. (Boxing tends to draw an older demographic than MMA.)
“There is room for everyone,” said Taffet. “It’s good for pay-per-view — mixed martial arts has just added more consumers to the television set.”
Report: UFC 93 In Ireland On January 17
Although it hasn't been confirmed by UFC yet, there are reports that UFC will return to Ireland for UFC 93 on January 17. The event, to be held at the O2 Arena, could be headlined by Rich Franklin vs. either Chuck Liddell or Maurucio Rua.
UFC Quick Quote: Karo Parisyan inks eight fight contract extension
I love the UFC. I love Dana White, Lorenzo Fertitta, they’re one of the nicest people I’ve ever met and that’s the truth. I don’t kiss ass. I had a meeting with them last week they gave me a new, eight fight contract and the deal is I’m happy with them, I’m happy with the UFC. But the deal is there is a lot of stuff even Dana can’t control. He can’t control a lot of the referees. A lot of the judges are from the commission so he can’t control all those guys. It’s very hard. He can control [them] a certain amount of time [and] a certain amount of people, but not everything.
-UFC welterweight Karo Parisyan sounds off on RawVegas.tv about some of the questionable judging in recent memory including Kimbo Slice vs. James Thompson at EliteXC ‘Primetime’ back on May 31. During the clip, “The Heat” reveals he’s just signed a new, eight fight contract extension with the UFC. Not only does that sound like an unusually large number for UFC contracts, it’s timing is a bit bizarre considering Parisyan’s recent admission of panic attacks and his last-minute exit from his fight against Yoshiyuki “Zenko” Yoshida at UFC 88 ‘Breakthrough’. Maybe the UFC loves him as much as he claims to love them.
Dale Hartt confirms fight vs. Corey Hill at UFN 16 on Dec. 10
A lightweight bout between season five veteran of “The Ultimate Fighter” Corey Hill and Dale Hartt has been signed for “UFC Fight Night 16: UFC Fights for the Troops” on Dec. 10 at Fort Bragg in Fayetteville, North Carolina.
FiveOuncesOfPain.com contacted Hartt via e-mail, who confirmed he signed his bout agreement on Wednesday.
* Josh Koscheck vs. Yoshiyuki Yoshida
* Mike Swick vs. Jonathan Goulet
* Frankie Edgar vs. Matt Wiman
* Nate Loughran vs. Tim Credeur
* Corey Hill vs. Dale Hartt
* Ben Saunders vs. Brandon Wolff
* Justin McCully vs. Eddie Sanchez
* Steve Bruno vs. Luke Cummo
* Luigi Fioravanti vs. Brodie Farber
YUSHIN OKAMI VS DEAN LISTER AT UFC 92 ON DEC. 27
In a pivotal match-up between two top middleweights, MMAWeekly.com has confirmed that on Dec. 27 Yushin Okami will return from a lingering hand injury to face submission wizard Dean Lister, as confirmed by Lister’s management group at Haymaker’s Empire
Lorenzo: Double Digit PPV Increases In 08
Lorenzo Fertitta spoke with Multichannel News, stating PPV buys are up in 08:
By 2007, UFC was, according to Forbes, generating about $250 million and about 90 percent of all mixed-martial-arts revenue. In that year, it had 5.1 million pay-per-view buys in 11 fights, essentially matching 5.2 million in 15 for the WWE. And Fertitta says the picture remains rosy: “We had double-digit growth this year in a terrible economy.”
As always, looking at the data helps give us perspective to judge such statements. Let us take a look inside the numbers, comparing month-over-month results to this point:
Gilbert Melendez mulls move to UFC
Former Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert “El Nino” Melendez (14-2) made it clear at last weekend’s “Strikeforce at the Mansion II” event that he has plans to win back the 155-pound title he lost to Josh Thomson back in June.
The loss to “The Punk” was only the second in a 16-fight career for the Cesar Gracie-trained standout. The other was to Japanese standout Mitsuhiro Ishida this past New Year’s Eve.
As it turns out, Ishida now competes under the Strikeforce banner as well, giving Melendez the perfect opportunity to avenge the two losses.
JASON BRILZ: UFC HOMETOWN STANDOU
It may be enough for a fighter to have their dream come true to participate in the Ultimate Fighting Championship, but to do so in front of your hometown crowd and succeed in spectacular fashion is a whole other thing all together.
Such is the case for longtime Midwest fan favorite Jason Brilz.
Long considered something of a star in the making, Brilz entered UFC Fight Night 15 earlier this month expected to do well, but he did much more than that, dominating Brad Morris en route to a second round TKO.
“It went pretty much how we thought it was going to go,” he said of his win. “I figured he’d probably land a few more shots standing up – we trained for that – but it worked out well for me.
“It was really made special that it was in Omaha, so I had a lot of friends and family (in attendance). The UFC was great, they took care of me and it was a very fun experience.”
Exclusive: Chris Leben Talks Fighting Bisping and the Judges at UFC 89 in England
CagePotato.com: Hey Chris. Thanks for talking with me. We’re a few weeks out from the fight. How is your preparation coming?
Really good, really well. It’s been long and intense and I’m kind of just getting to the point now where I’m ready to go fight and get this thing over with.
It seems like things really changed for you when you moved to Hawaii. What has that move done for you?
You know, it’s great. Moving to Hawaii is definitely the best thing I’ve ever done in my life. I had the opportunity to be the head coach at Icon and there are a whole bunch of guys out here training with me who are just great. But besides the gym and the wonderful people out here you have the weather and everything that is Hawaii. It’s been really conducive to my training.
I hear a lot of people say you’re much more mature these days, no longer such a wild guy in and out of the cage. What do you think prompted that transformation?
Losing (laughs). You know, I got away with being a brawler for a long time. And it’s hard to change things when they’re working. But when I fought Anderson I realized, I might be able to beat 95% of the guys out there, but I’ll never be a world champion fighting this way. So I had to go back and change a lot of things. That was one part of it.
And the other part was, you know, coaching. Now that I have a team of amateur guys fighting, it’s hard to tell them to do something if you’re not doing it yourself.