MMAterial Facts (11/25/11) : Black Friday Edition

November 26, 2011

Welcome to this week’s edition of MMAterial Facts, where we feature articles from around the MMA community.

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This week’s MMAterial Facts:


Courtesy of Bellator Fighting Championships (Fight of the Year Candidate)

– Fowlkes: The Indestructible Daniel Cormier (MMA Fighting)

“The first kid begins to cry less than an hour into practice. Everyone can see it coming. That trembling lower lip, that frustrated stomp of the feet. When the tears finally start, twisting his face into a little ball of anguish, no one seems particularly surprised.

“No crying today,” says his coach, Daniel Cormier. Is there even a hint of sympathy in his voice? There is not. Neither is there anger nor impatience. There is only a sense that this is what we are doing because this is what must be done, and crying never won a single wrestling match.”

– When Fedor met Satoshi Ishii on NYE; card will not air on broadcast TV (Fight Opinion)

“The scuttlebutt coming out of Fedor’s decision win over Jeff Monson in Russia is that he will fight on the Inoki NYE card at Saitama Super Arena against Inoki-managed/owned-in-Japan fighter Satoshi Ishii. On paper, the fight makes sense for both parties. Fedor sees it as a chance to get a win, as ugly as it may be, over a relatively green fighter and an easy payday plus TV rights in Russia. Inoki’s camp views it as a chance to get Fedor back in Japan (where he’s the most valued, still) and that Ishii can somehow make the match ugly enough to get a decision win as long as Fedor doesn’t tag him early and knock his ass out.”

Redeeming Filipino: Phillipe Nover Bellator 59 exclusive interview (MMA Mania)

“I’m not the next Anderson Silva, I’m not the next Georges St. Pierre. I have my own type of style and I like to take things from different people. I like to take different movements and styles and stuff but I’m not trying to be the next Georges. I’m not trying to be the next Anderson, I’m the next Phillipe Nover and that’s what I’m gonna live up to.”

– Rampage Jackson vs. Ryan Bader Booked For UFC 144 In Japan (MMA Convert)

“So it looks like Rampage Jackson is going to fight in Japan after all.

But it won’t be against Shogun Rua or even Stephan Bonnar. Instead, Rampage will take on Ryan Bader at UFC 144. Lorenzo Fertitta confirmed the news with ESPN.com.”

– Jens Pulver’s 2011 Videogame Holiday Buyer’s Guide (MiddleEasy)

“The holiday season is upon us and with the jingling bells, festive lights and awkward family gatherings a veritable avalanche of amazing games are at our gamepad worn fingertips. With many choices comes great responsibility, so what games will you spend your hard earned holiday windfalls of cash on? We recruited Jens Pulver to help you answer this very question. After hours of contemplation and debate, Jens and MiddleEasy compiled the following items that should be at the top of every gamers list and at the bottom of every tree. This is Jens Pulver’s Holiday Buying Guide-Only at MiddleEasy.com.”

– Dana White: The UFC Is Going On With Or Without Me (FightLine)

“This is McDonald’s man. This thing goes on forever without me,” White asserted. “Is it different without me? Yeah, maybe it’s a little different, but they don’t need me, man. This thing’s goin’ on without me or with me.”

– MMA Black Friday: 7 Things That Money Can’t Buy (Cage Potato)

“From revolutionizing the MMA landscape with a kick the way the Miami Dolphins did with a Wildcat Offense a few years ago to several strangely fascinating videos, Anderson Silva has provided more entertainment than a Chael Sonnen Says F*ck Canada or at Least This Reporter Who Lives There” Chael Sonnen interview. These are memories that will last a lifetime, or three if you’re Cheick Kongo.”

– Grappling with Issues – 11/25/11 (Five Ounces of Pain)

“I’m torn. On one hand, Rua vs. Henderson was unquestionably excellent – a “Fight of the Decade” type affair. On the other, it would be nearly impossible to top from an entertainment standpoint. To expect a repeat performance would akin to telling Leonardo Da Vinci to paint another Mona Lisa rather than enjoying the masterpiece he’d already put on canvas. Like Lambert I suppose I’ll say I’m open to the idea if divisional contendership dictates it but otherwise I’m content with having seen one of the greatest fights in MMA history, letting each man move on to new challenges (especially with Henderson likely only having a few more years in the sport).”

– Dan Henderson Doing His Part for Thanksgiving and Christmas (5thRound)

“Thanks to Dan Henderson and the generous fans that purchased the ‘Hendo UFC 139 Walkout Tee’ he wore this past Saturday in his epic battle against Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, almost 8,000 people at the San Diego Rescue Mission and the Denver Rescue Mission will be able to enjoy Thanksgiving dinner with their loved ones. “

– Vadim Finkelstein: We will offer the UFC a fight between Velasquez and Fedor (LowKick)

“We are determined to move forward, and would like to offer the UFC a fight between Cain Velasquez and Fedor Emelianenko. M-1 Global would take a full responsibility of organizing the fight sometime during 2012 in Moscow, Russia. I can guarantee Dana White great revenue from this fight, and a record-breaking attendance. M-1 Global is ready for dialogue, and would be happy to consider an option of organizing such tournament with combined efforts. I will make an offer to “my best friend” pretty soon, so we’ll see what he has to say.”

– Michael Chandler discusses epic win over Eddie Alvarez at Bellator 58 (TheFightNerd)

“Fight Nerd correspondent Rodolfo Roman got to speak with newly crowned Bellator lightweight champion Michael Chandler after his four round war with Eddie Alvarez at Bellator 58 last Saturday. Chandler discusses winning his first national belt, preparing for Alvarez, and his future as champion. The fight had obviously taken a heavy toll on Chandler as, during the interview, one of his facial wounds reopened.”

– Where Does Dan Henderson Fall on the List of All-Time MMA Greats? (BleacherReport.com/MMA)

“There is no one to be ashamed about on that list. He also holds victories over Misaki and Wanderlei Silva. That means of his eight losses, there are only five fighters he hasn’t redeemed himself against.

Henderson is currently on a four-fight win streak, including winning Strikeforce’s light heavyweight championship and stopping Fedor Emelianenko. Now Henderson’s future is up in the air. “

Details Emerge Involving “Affliction Trilogy” Cancellation and UFC/Affliction Deal in 2009

June 16, 2011

The Affliction vs M-1/Fedor Litigation has provided some great insight on the behind-the-scenes dealings throughout the lifespan of the Affliction/M-1 partnership, which includes the cancellation of the Trilogy event and a last minute deal between Affliction and the UFC.

On June 7, 2011, a 55-page decision document was released, depicting in great detail as to what lead Affliction into dropping its MMA promotional aspirations and concurrently signing a deal with the UFC to get back in their good graces after being banned by the promotion in 2008.

 

Here are some of the tidbits disclosed in the decision:

– As of March 2008, Fedor had an oral agreement with M-1 that “obliged him to fight for M-1 for a two-year period in exchange for $2 million per bout, as well as a $1.5 million signing bonus”.  Fedor also has an 8.5% interest in the company.

– In early 2008, Affliction’s Todd Beard informed M-1 that they were going to form an MMA promotion company after their relationship with the UFC had deteriorated.

– On April 14, 2008, Affliction and M-1 agreed that Fedor Emelianenko would be paid a $300k purse which was reported pay, and received an additional $1.2M consulting fee via M-1 Global, which totaled to a $1.5M purse after re-negotiating an earlier contract which did not include the Consulting Agreement (which was set up after considering some financials regarding taxes).

– Vadim Finkelstein invested $1 Million to open Affliction stores in Russia to make Affliction happy in order to form an Affliction/M-1 Global business, which they were also hoping to team up with Japanese promotion DREAM to run some co-promotional events in Japan, but Affliction was worried about the costs of such venture.

– On December 8, 2008, M-1 and Affliction clothing agreed on a $1 Million sponsorship deal that would heavily feature Affliction on the M-1 Challenge broadcasts for the 2008 and 2009 seasons.

– M-1 contends that each M-1 Challenge event costs around $250K US Dollars, which includes expenses such as venues, visa fees, travel expenses, stage, refs, and production. Affliction paid the first installment of $500K, never paid the rest ($500K). Affliction claims contract calls for 30 “unique” one-hour episodes of M-1 Challenge and only 27 were provided.

– M-1 claims that Affliction had growing concern, noting that Affliction’s Beard probably that the UFC was ready to sign with Fedor on any terms M-1 wanted, but M-1 held back trying to grow a “competitive promotion” with Affliction, using Fedor as the “trump card”.

– On May 13, 2009, the Trilogy event set for August 1st was presented, with Fedor fighting Josh Barnett.

– On July 9, 2009, Affliction began discussions with the UFC regarding a potential sponsorship deal.

– M-1 used their personal contacts to broadcast the Trilogy event on national TV in Russia, Channel One.

– On July 13, 2009, Affliction’s Bassiri met with UFC’s Lawrence Epstein, UFC’s general counsel, and discussed the possibility that the UFC would assume responsibility of the Trilogy event and postpone the event to September 19, 2009 in Dallas. Affliction wanted to leave the MMA promotion business and re-establish a relationship with the UFC.  … MMAPayout: If you recall, this is around the time Zuffa insider’s were prematurely announcing a Fedor vs Lesnar main-event in Dallas for September, since part of the deal involved Affliction’s belief that they had a good enough relationship with Fedor that either he would follow them to the UFC, or would honor the one fight that was left in their contract. No one in Affliction informed M-1 of the meetings they were having with the UFC.

– After M-1 found out that Josh Barnett failed a drug test on July 21, 2009 from the CSAC, both parties started looking for a suitable replacement for the Trilogy event on August 1st.  Affliction’s Tom Atencio presented M-1 with Brett Rogers, Roy Nelson, and Alistair Overeem as possible opponents for the Trilogy main event.

– Tom Atencio offered Brett Rogers $500k to fight Fedor on July 22, 2009, but Strikeforce – who Rogers was currently signed with – refused.  Strikeforce eventually gave Rogers permission to Rogers to be able to take the fight on July 23, but by that day, Affliction canceled the Trilogy event and on that same day announced a deal with the UFC.

– The agreement between Affliction and the UFC  is detailed as follows:

“Paragraph 1 of the UFC/Affliction agreement provided: “[E]xcept for any rights that [Affliction] has with respect to Fedor Emelianenko (‘Fedor’) and conditioned upon [Affliction] . . . assign[ing] the agreements between [Affliction] and the [Affliction] Fighters to the UFC, the UFC agrees to assume [Affliction]’s responsibility for payment of the entire purse of the Affliction Trilogy Event which [Affliction] represents is not in excess of $741,000 purse and $370,000 win bonus. . . .”  Paragraph 2 stated that “[w]ith respect to Fedor, in the event the UFC is able to come to an agreement with Fedor on terms and conditions satisfactory to the UFC, the UFC shall assume responsibility for payments of Fedor’s purse for the Affliction Trilogy event or cause Fedor to release [Affliction] from its agreement with Fedor.”  Paragraph 6 required that Affliction Promotions cancel the Trilogy event.”

– On July 23, 2009, M-1 didn’t know about the cancellation of the event until after it arrived to Los Angeles with 30 fans from Russia.  Fedor was studying some footage on Vitor Belfort and Brett Rogers on the flight to LAX. … MMAPayout: On June 22, Atencio accused Dana White of tampering and trying to sign Vitor Belfort to a UFC contract to face Anderson Silva. White appeared on a TUF 9 Finale promo on Spike TV making the reference.

Showtime Sports & M-1 Global Announce “M-1 Challenge: Damkovsky vs. Figueroa” Live On Showtime

February 23, 2011

As MMAPayout reported last week, Showtime and M-1 announce that the “M-1 Challenge” 3/25 event taking place in the U.S. will be televised live on the network.

SHOWTIME Sports and M-1 GLOBAL announced today an upcoming mixed martial arts (MMA) event entitled M-1 Challenge: Damkovsky vs. Figueroa featuring two M-1 GLOBAL title fights. The bouts will air LIVE on SHOWTIME on Friday, March 25 at 11 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast).

Artiom Damkovsky will defend his M-1 Challenge Lightweight (155 lbs.) championship against Jose Figueroa, while Tyson Jeffries and Magomed Sultanakhmedov will battle for the vacant M-1 Challenge Middleweight (185 lbs.) belt from Constant Center in Norfolk, Va.

In other action, Alexander Sarnavskiy will take on Josh Bacallao in a lightweight scrap and Vinny Magalhaes will fight an opponent to be named in a light heavyweight (205 lbs.) matchup.

“I am extremely happy about the venture between M-1 Global and SHOWTIME. There is no better TV network for M-1 than SHOWTIME. And no better market to seriously compete in than the U.S.,” said Vadim Finkelchtein, co-founder of M-1 GLOBAL.

“Our ability to televise quality boxing and MMA fights at the highest level has been aided tremendously by our commitment to showcasing prospects and lesser known international stars on our feeder series like ShoBox: The New Generation and STRIKEFORCE Challengers,” said Ken Hershman, Executive Vice President and General Manager of SHOWTIME Sports. “M-1 Challenge events fit perfectly into that mold and will enhance our mixed martial arts offerings even further.”

Mauro Ranallo will call the action from ringside with Pat Miletich serving as analyst. The telecast will be produced by Chuck McKean and directed by Craig Farrell.  The executive producer of SHOWTIME Sports is David Dinkins, Jr.

For information on SHOWTIME Sports programming, including exclusive behind-the-scenes video and photo galleries, complete telecast information and more, please go to the new SHOWTIME Sports website at http://www.sho.com/sports.


Payout Perspective:

Negotiations between M-1 Global and Showtime have been ongoing since September of last year, and after several months of back-and-forth negotiations, it looks like the deal is now finally official.  The first televised event will be on March 25, held at the Constant Center in Norfolk, Va, where multiple M-1 Challenge titles will be on the line as Artiom Damkovsky defends his title against Jose Figueroa and Tyson Jeffries and Magomed Sultanakhmedov fight for the vacant Middleweight belt.

One interesting note from the press release is that Mauro Renallo and Pat Miletich will call the action on March 25, a fan-favorite combination for many fans who typically work on the Strikeforce Challenger events along side with Stephen Quadros.  Showtime using only a two man booth to televise an MMA event is something that they have not experienced much in the past, but many have clamored.

Strikeforce, Showtime, & M-1 Officially Announce HW Tournament

January 5, 2011

Strikeforce, Showtime, and M-1 Global make the long rumored and highly anticipated Strikeforce HW GP official. MMAPayout confirmed and reported the news yesterday, but below is the official release sent out today.

PRESS RELEASE – World championship Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) promotions STRIKEFORCE and M-1 GLOBAL, in association with premium television network SHOWTIME have signed a new, multi-year agreement to co-promote events headlined by the MMA legend Fedor “The Last Emperor” Emelianenko (31-2, 1 NC).

In addition, STRIKEFORCE has assembled eight of the world’s top ranked heavyweights to compete in the STRIKEFORCE World Grand Prix – Heavyweight Tournament, a three-stage, single-elimination tournament that will take place over several events in 2011.  The first two quarterfinal fights begin on Saturday, Feb. 12, live on SHOWTIME from the IZOD Center in E. Rutherford, N.J. In the main event, the 34-year-old Emelianenko will face the towering Antonio “Big Foot” Silva (15-2) in a STRIKEFORCE and M-1 GLOBAL co-promoted event.  Co-featured on Feb. 12, former world champion Andrei Arlovski (15-8) will face Sergei Kharitonov (16-4), the last man to defeat current STRIKEFORCE Heavyweight World Champion Alistair “The Demolition Man” Overeem.

The other two quarterfinal matchups are as follows: Overeem (34-11, 1 NC) will face the only man to tap out Fedor, the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu specialist Fabricio Werdum (14-4-1), while the heavy-handed Brett “The Grim” Rogers (11-2) will meet a hungry Josh Barnett (29-5). The location and date for these quarterfinal tournament fights are to be announced.

“We are thrilled to have come to a long-term agreement with Fedor and M-1 GLOBAL,” said STRIKEFORCE CEO Scott Coker. “To have the greatest MMA fighter of all-time put his legacy on the line in a single-elimination tournament will truly captivate MMA fans worldwide. STRIKEFORCE is home to the best heavyweight division in the world; the athlete who runs the gauntlet in a tournament such as this would have to be considered the best heavyweight fighter in the world.”

“I’m very pleased to be working with SHOWTIME and STRIKEFORCE and Mr. Coker and Mr. Hershman personally. Thanks to their interest and efforts, we’ve created what will go down in history as MMA’s greatest heavyweight tournament of all time,” said Vadim Finkelchtein, co-founder of M-1 Global. “M-1, STRIKEFORCE and SHOWTIME have built a partnership committed to the future growth of MMA—a sport where organizations represent a working collaborative that enable the best fighters in the world to fight each other. This agreement benefits everyone, especially the fans who’ll see Fedor in action more often.

“With SHOWTIME’s significance in the U.S. and M-1’s development of the European and Asian MMA markets, the cooperation will also deliver a global roster of talented fighters to viewers,” Finkelchtein continued. “During the coming year, we’ll be showcasing spectacular Grand Prix events using the same M-1 Selection tournament format, a series of events generating enthusiastic spectator interest keeping fans glued to their screens.”

“I can’t think of a better way to start 2011 than with this major announcement,” said Ken Hershman, Executive Vice President and General Manager of SHOWTIME Sports®. “Fedor is universally known to sports fans throughout the world and it is an honor to continue our work with M-1 GLOBAL and STRIKEFORCE in presenting this legendary fighter to SHOWTIME subscribers.

“SHOWTIME has enjoyed great success with its two most recent boxing tournaments—the Super Six World Boxing Classic and The Bantamweight Tournament,” Hershman continued. “And now, with the breadth of talent in the STRIKEFORCE heavyweight division, we have the privilege of staging one of the biggest tournaments in the history of this growing sport.  With the STRIKEFORCE World Grand Prix’s single-elimination format and the biggest names in the sport today, this tournament is something that no sports fan will want to miss.”

“I have been training very hard since my last fight and can’t wait to get back in the cage,” said the 6-foot, 235-pound Emelianenko, who hails from Stary Oskol, Russia and is promoted by M-1 GLOBAL.  “STRIKEFORCE has assembled a roster filled with the best heavyweights in the world and, together with M-1 GLOBAL, we have the opportunity to fight the best in a great tournament format.”

Fedor’s unprecedented, record-setting run of 28 professional MMA bouts without a defeat has prompted many MMA enthusiasts to label Fedor as the greatest of all time. Since his career began 10 years ago, Fedor has faced and defeated many rival superstars and champions of this era including Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic, Andrei Arlovski and Mark “The Hammer” Coleman.

In what ranks among the most watched MMA fights in the United States, Fedor made his live primetime network television debut on Nov. 7, 2009 on CBS, when he defeated unbeaten rising star Brett Rogers in a STRIKEFORCE and M-1 GLOBAL co-promoted event.  Despite a difficult first round in which he sustained a deep cut above his eye, Fedor turned the tide early in the second round with one vicious right-hand punch and finished Rogers shortly after.

Then, on June 26, 2010, Fedor suffered a stunning upset at the hands of Werdum, a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt, at HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif., in one of the most watched MMA bouts on SHOWTIME.  Werdum, who has defeated a host of top rivals including Overeem, Silva and Brandon “The Truth” Vera, trapped Fedor’s arm in a triangle armbar that forced Fedor to tap out at the 1:09 mark of the opening round.

Fedor has only one other official loss on his record, the result of a doctor stoppage due to a cut he sustained seconds into a matchup with Japan’s Tsuyoshi Kosaka on Dec. 22, 2000.  Fedor avenged the TKO loss with his own first-round TKO of Kosaka at a PRIDE Fighting Championships event in Japan on April 3, 2005.


Payout Perspective:

After the press release from Strikeforce, Showtime, and M-1, there are have been quite a few questions regarding the tournament, so I have gathered around some info detailing the event.


1) Strikeforce releases HW tournament bracket:


2) Notes from Josh Gross over at ESPN:

– Tournament will kick off on February 12 at the IZOD Center in New Jersey, where Fedor Emelianenko vs Antonio Silva will take place.

-Quarterfinals will likely take place in April, locations and dates TBA. Overeem vs Werdum and Brett Rogers vs Josh Barnett are expected on that show.

– Shane Del Rosario vs Lavar Johnson will take place on the February 12 event, where they will battle for the number one alternate for the event. Valentijn Overeem vs Ray Sefo is expected to be another reserve bout (per MMAJunkie), and Scott Coker has confirmed that Daniel Cormier, pending on his Strikeforce Challengers performance this week, could see him also in the mix.

– Alistair Overeem’s title will be on the line (5 round title fights), and hence why the bracket is shaped the way it is.  Overeem was given the winner of Werdum vs Fedor, and that winner will take on the winner of Fedor vs Silva, all who are legitimate contenders for the belt.  On the other side of the bracket, a worthy contender will be made between Barnett, Rogers, Kharitonov, and Arlovski to battle the champion in the finals.

– Fedor Signs 4-Fight Deal with Strikeforce, reported by Sherdog.

– M-1 Global is also working on finalizing a separate TV deal with Showtime, which should be announced in the next few weeks.

– The Strikeforce HW tournament announcement was showing on the ESPN News Ticker today. The Fedor vs Antonio Silva bout taking place on 2/12 in NJ was also showing yesterday. Great exposure for Strikeforce following the announcement.

– Strikeforce will try to work through the Josh Barnett situation, where he was not licensed in California.  Coker said Barnett supplied a clean sample to the CSAC 30 days ago and will apply for a license with the commission that will host the April event, which is not yet determined, as reported by Sergio Non over at USA Today.

– Scott Coker also mentioned that he is working on making Kawajiri vs Melendez this year, and is aiming at hosting the bout at the March Ohio event.  The Miesha Tate vs Marloes Coenen title bout is also being targeted for March.


3) Over at MiddleEasy, they have already jump started the fan campaign with a fan-made video of the tournament.

Fedor vs Silva Expected for Feb. 12 in NJ, Kicks Off Strikeforce HW GP

January 4, 2011

MMAPayout reported a few weeks ago of a potential Strikeforce Heavyweight tournament taking place this year, and it appears that more supporting information is starting to leak regarding the tournament.

Sherdog reports that Fedor Emelianenko and Antonio “Pezao” Silva is scheduled to take place on Feb. 12 in the Izod Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey along with other potential match-ups rumored for the upcoming events.

As speculated, Strikeforce will indeed hold an eight-man heavyweight tournament in 2011, and Emelianenko-Silva and Arlovski-Barnett are set to serve as quarterfinal bouts. Though the remaining combatants could not be confirmed, a third quarterfinal matchup between Fabricio Werdum and Brett Rogers is expected to take place in Columbus, Ohio, on a planned March 5 event.

A fourth and final tournament bout is also set to take place on the March card. Semi-final and final bouts would then be held later in the year at to-be-announced events.

The promotion will also hold two alternate bouts in case injury sidelines competitors in the main draw. Potential contestants could include “Challengers” series standouts Lavar Johnson, Daniel Cormier and Shane del Rosario.


MMAJunkie also reported on the tournament, though stating that Werdum vs Rogers may be off and a potential official announcement could be made in the next couple of days.

A third quarterfinal matchup between Fabricio Werdum (14-4-1 MMA, 3-0 SF) and Brett Rogers (11-2 MMA, 2-2 SF) reported as in the works for a March 5 event in Columbus, Ohio, is said to be off, sources said, though Werdum recently told MMAjunkie.com Radio he plans to compete at the spring event.

Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker declined to comment on the reported fights, though he said an “important announcement” about the tournament is due by Tuesday.


M-1 Global’s parent company and Russian website, MixFight released an official announcement stating that M-1 Global, Strikeforce, and Showtime have come to an agreement good for multiple years.  They also state that fighters such as Alistair Overeem, Fabricio Werdum, Josh Barnett, Andrei Arlovski, Sergei Kharitonov and Brett Rogers (along with Fedor and Silva).

The release quotes Showtime Sports’ Ken Hershman, who according to the release, is thrilled to kickoff the year with a new deal and continuing to offer the best fighter in MMA history to it’s Showtime customers:

I could not imagine a more successful start in 2011. Fedor – a man widely known in fan circles around the globe. It is our great honor to continue cooperation with M- 1 Global and Strikeforce, through which our subscribers can enjoy fighting the best fighter in MMA history.


M-1 Global president Vadim Finkelstein shared some exciting and ambitious goals the parties involved have for 2011.

I am very pleased to collaborate with Showtime and Strikeforce, as well as Mr. Coker and Mr. Hershman. Together we can create a tournament that should go down in history as the greatest MMA tournament in the heavyweight division. The result of co-promotion between M-1, Strikeforce and Showtime will result in the development and growth in popularity of MMA across the world. This sport is beyond the scope of individual organizations. Our partnership enables us to arrange fights the best fighters in the world with each other. This new agreement will benefit everyone – especially the fans, who want to see Fedor fight as often as possible.

Fedor also shared his excitement in participating in the Strikeforce Heavyweight tournament.

After the fight with Werdum, I trained hard, I can not wait until I am inside the cage again. Strikeforce has in its ranks the best heavyweights in the world, and through co-promotion with M-1 Global, I have the opportunity to meet with them in a tournament format.


Payout Perspective:

There have been rumblings for a few months regarding the proposed HW tournament being proposed by Strikeforce.  MMAPayout sources were able to confirm back then that the tournament was going to happen.  The only questions in hand was the start of the tournament due to the M-1 negotiations and ironing out who will participate.  Josh Barnett must be cleared by the CSAC to be allowed to fight again while the contract negotiations with M-1 Global, Strikeforce and Showtime had to be finalized by this week in order to meet the new February date, since the original January 29 date was not met.

The only other question is when will Overeem fight, since he is rumored to participate in the tournament coming off the incredible achievement of winning the K-1 2010 World GP and defeating former UFC prospect Todd Duffe in the NYE Dynamite event in Japan.  He has said in the last few weeks that he would like to go on vacation after participating in the FEG events over in Japan, and would like to fight for Strikeforce again around May/June, though we are not sure if those plans are still in tact considering the first round of the HW GP should be over after the March 5th even in the Columbus, Ohio event.

Details regarding the new deal should be announced shortly, which was said to include an M-1 Challengers TV deal as well with Showtime.  The official announcement from Strikeforce should be coming in the next few days.

Fedor Deposed and an Affliction attorney withdraws from M1/Affliction case

August 24, 2010

Last week we gave you an update on the case involving M-1 and Fedor Emelianenko suing Affliction for breach of contract due to Affliction abruptly canceling its third PPV.

According to Marc Hines, the attorney for the plaintiffs, Fedor and Fedor’s manager, Vadim Finkelstein were deposed two weeks ago in Southern California. Fedor’s deposition took one day and he utilized a court interpreter to respond to questions. “I thought our guys came across really well. We are really pleased with their testimony,” said Hines of his clients.

Hines stated that Todd Beard, the former co-owner of Affliction, will be deposed this week.

Also, Judd Burstein, the  high profile New York attorney that served as co-counsel for Affliction has filed a motion to withdraw as its counsel. Burstein had represented Affliction for a little over a month as on July 20th the court granted Burstein’s application to represent Affliction. According to court filings, Affliction determined it “unnecessary to employ two sets of counsel in this matter.” A motion on this issue will be heard on November 1st. Hines indicated that Fedor and M-1 would not oppose Burstein’s motion for withdrawal. The law firm of Silverstein & Huston remains as attorneys of record for Affliction.

MMAterial Facts (03/15/10): Bellator's Big Announcement

March 14, 2010

  • Liddell-Franklin Rumored for UFC 115; Dana White Issues Denial
  • Strikeforce Standing Ground on April 17, Sees DREAM co-promotion as key component in future
  • Bellator calls Monday press conference, expected to announce signing of Roger Huerta
  • One-On-One With Bellator Fighting Championships CEO Bjorn Rebney
  • 5K Interview: Fedor Emelianenko manager and M-1 CEO Vadim Finklestein

Liddell-Franklin Rumored for UFC 115; Dana White Issues Denial

Light heavyweights Rich Franklin and Chuck Liddell are penciled in for a June showdown.

MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) has learned from sources close to the promotion that the two have verbally agreed to face each other in June at UFC 115, though contracts have yet to be finalized.

The new matchup replaces a planned third meeting between Liddell and Tito Ortiz that had been expected for the promotion’s first trip to Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, and may have been arranged as a result of Franklin’s unexpected involvement in “TUF 11.”  (MMAJunkie)

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Former UFC champions Chuck Liddell  and Rich Franklin have verbally agreed to meet in a light heavyweight tilt in June, Sherdog.com has learned from multiple sources. UFC 115, though not officially announced, has been tentatively scheduled for June 12 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

A message posted late Saturday on UFC President Dana White’s Twitter account denied that the bout was slated. “We are doing couture vs franklin not chuck,” read the post.

Sherdog.com re-affirmed with its sources that the Liddell-Franklin bout is still in play.  (Sherdog)

Strikeforce Standing Ground on April 17, Sees DREAM co-promotion as key component in future

Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker on Friday told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that “Strikeforce: Nashville” will not be moved from its April 17 date to sidestep a potential head-to-head clash with a rumored UFC event on the same night.

“It’s the 17th and it’s full steam ahead,” Coker said. “The 17th was always a good day when we chose it. We still feel the same way, and so does CBS.”  (MMAJunkie)

***

“I worked for K-1 for about eight years, and the ownership group of K-1 and DREAM is still the same,” Coker said. “I’ve maintained good relationships over there, and it’s always been my dream – that’s kind of a pun, right? – to have our guys fight their guys and to see who would end up on top. If our guys win, that’s fantastic. If [their guy] wins, then that’s just great. It’s just good competition.

“I think it’s the true nature of sports to compete. Now we have the DREAM champion against our champion, and especially for the hardcore fans, I don’t think it gets any better than that.”  (MMAJunkie)

Bellator calls Monday press conference, expected to announce signing of Roger Huerta

Former Ultimate Fighting Championship lightweight Roger Huerta (20-3-1 MMA, 0-0 Bellator) is set to test his mettle in Bellator Fighting Championships’ season two eight-man lightweight tournament.

Sources close to the situation confirmed to MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that the popular lightweight received his formal release from the UFC this week, which opened the door to finalize a deal with the upstart promotion.

Bellator has called a video press conference for Monday at 3 p.m. ET that will stream live at Bellator.com.   (MMAJunkie)

One-On-One With Bellator Fighting Championships CEO Bjorn Rebney

So at Bellator, we front end load our agreements, so when he or she is in the tournament they have the opportunity to make a great deal of money, very quickly.

While the typical model which is 3 and 3, or 6 and 6, or 8 and 8, you slowly but surely work your way up, and if you lose you get potentially cut.

Ours is different, it’s an upside down model which means fighters can make a lot of money very quickly with us. It’s very attractive, we’ve been able to get a lot of great fighters on board based on their belief in themselves to compete, and earn that money. …

In another organization if you lose, you can get cut, or get another shot against a tough opponent. In our organization it’s not a different scenario, but it is a scenario where you can make a great deal of money, very quickly. (Bleacher Report)

5K Interview: Fedor Emelianenko manager and M-1 CEO Vadim Finklestein

FiveKnuckles.com: It has been said that Fedor has signed a 3-fight deal with Strikeforce and has two fights remaining with the next one coming against Fabricio Werdum this summer. After this deal has elapsed, would it be possible to see Fedor in the UFC?

Vadim Finkelstein: It depends on UFC. We would like to cooperate with them. Everything depends on them, their diplomacy. It would be possible if they are flexible.

FiveKnuckles.com: You tried cooperating with them this summer, but after negotiating with Dana White extensively to no avail, he said many bad things about you and M-1. What are your thoughts on Dana White personally?

Vadim Finkelstein: That’s his character, he just loves to call names. He didn’t say bad things about M-1 only, there were a lot of situations where he was harsh. It makes me glad when Dana White talks about us. I respect the UFC, they’ve done a lot for the development of MMA, so I can pardon them such attacks. We respect him and let him grumble.   (Five Knuckles)

VIDEO OF THE DAY

  • UFC 112 “Invincible” Promo: Two titles. One night. The Ultimate Fighting Championship® travels to Abu Dhabi for the first time and fans there will witness one of the organization’s greatest events ever, as middleweight titleholder Anderson “The Spider” Silva faces the extraordinary BJJ of Demian Maia. Lightweight champion BJ Penn looks to continue his dominant reign when he takes on Frankie Edgar in the double main event of UFC® 112.

QUOTE OF THE DAY

“Was it done to create some confusion in the marketplace in Nashville? Maybe. I don’t know. I’m not sure,” said Coker. “Is it good for mixed martial arts? I’m not sure. I don’t think so. I don’t think that when a company’s trying to counter-program you just to impact your ratings, it’s– and this could go back and forth. One day, when CBS says, ‘Alright, we’re going to go head-to-head against your pay-per-view date and you can watch Fedor (Emelianenko) or Dan Henderson for free on TV or buy a pay-per-view,’ people are going to have choices at that point. But that’s something they’d never do. CBS went out of its way to make sure there was nothing else on April 17.”  (Scott Coker Addressing UFC Rumors, Sherdog)

QUICK HITS

  • 10 Bouts Booked for UFC 113 (Sherdog)
  • NSAC confirms May 29 event at MGM Grand, expected to serve as UFC 114 (MMAJunkie)
  • The Ultimate Fighter 11 Finale targeted for June 19 at the Palms Casino Resort (MMAJunkie)
  • Ray Mercer vs. Ron Sparks set for April 16 King of the Cage event in Michigan (MMAJunkie)
  • Brandon Visher vs. Tyler Toner, Chan Sung Jung vs. Cub Swanson set for WEC 48 (MMAJunkie)
  • Is UFC ‘Messing With’ Strikeforce? (MMAFighting)
  • Roger Huerta Signs With Bellator (MMAFighting)
  • Ryo Chonan Ready for DREAM Debut (MMAFighting)
  • Cormier-Devine Added to March 26 Strikeforce Challengers (Sherdog)
  • NOONS OPEN TO 170, REKINDLING FIRE WITH DIAZ  (MMAWeekly)
  • MIGHTY MO SIGNS TO FIGHT BARNETT AT DREAM 13 (MMAWeekly)
  • Liddell fooled us and Faber! Comes clean on Kimmel show (Cage Writer)
  • White says Couture next for Franklin, not Liddell (FiveOuncesOfPain)
  • All UFC 110 Drug Tests Are Clean (Heavy.com)

TV LISTINGS

  • UFC Primetime  St-Pierre vs. Hardy at 10 PM ET/PT on Spike (03/17/10)
  • UFC 111 Countdown: Mir vs. Carwin at 10:30 PM ET/PT on Spike (03/17/10)
  • HDNet Fights Presents K-1 Classics (Masato, Drago, & Andre Dida) at 8 PM ET on HDNet (03/19/10)
  • InsideMMA (Dan Henderson, Mike Straka & Donovan Craig) at 9 PM ET on HDNet (03/19/10)
  • HDNet Fights: XFC X-Night of Champions at 10 PM ET on HDNet (03/19/10)
  • UFC on Versus: Vera vs Jones at 10 PM ET on Versus (3/21/10)

UPCOMING EVENTS

  • HDNet Fights: XFC X-Night of Champions at 10 PM ET on HDNet (03/19/10)
  • UFC on Versus: Vera vs Jones at 10 PM ET on Versus (3/21/10)
  • HDNet Fights: King of the Cage – Legacy at 10 PM ET on HDNet (03/26/10)
  • Strikeforce Challengers: Johnson vs Mahe at 11 PM ET/PT on Showtime (03/26/10)
  • UFC 111: GSP vs Hardy at 10 PM ET on PPV (03/27/10)
  • UFN 21 : Florian vs Gomi at 10 PM ET on Spike (03/31/10)
  • The Ultimate Fighter 11 Debut after UFN 21 on Spike (03/31/10)

M-1 Disappointed with Media Coverage

March 11, 2010

Dave Meltzer of Yahoo! Sports gives us an update on the fight status of Fedor Emelianenko and talks about the on-going renegotiations that are taking place between his M-1 management team and Strikeforce.

Kogan allowed that M-1 Global was disappointed in what happened with the promotion of the last fight, but was quick to say the problem wasn’t with Strikeforce. He said he was disappointed in media coverage of the event because the M-1 Global name in stories on the show wasn’t featured more visibly.

 

“The way the show was promoted, that was an issue to us, but we don’t have an issue with Strikeforce over it,” Kogan said. “M-1 isn’t a management company for Fedor Emelianenko. We are a fight promotion. We have done matches all over the world, U.S., Asia, Europe, Japan. But the media didn’t feature the M-1 name [in coverage of the November show]. Specifically, it wasn’t Strikeforce’s fault. They honored their agreement. The way the media perceived the event was it was Strikeforce. M-1 wasn’t promoted that much. That was an issue with us.”

Payout Perspective:

The media perceived the event to be Strikeforce because it was Strikeforce. There might be a signed contract sitting in a filing cabinet somewhere that says otherwise, but let’s look at the probable truth: Strikeforce was likely the company that booked the arena, dealt with the commission, operated the event, made the matches, paid the fighters, negotiated the North American television distribution deal, and invited the press.

What exactly did M-1 contribute?

Even if that’s not the case – say M-1 was an equal partner with regard to responsibility – can anyone blame the fighters, the fans, or the media for still perceiving this as a Strikeforce event? We’re talking about a company that has been in operation for nearly 20 years; and, in the last five, has promoted countless of MMA shows under the Strikeforce banner. Now, all of a sudden, it promotes one single event that looks, feels, and tastes exactly as it used to, only it’s called something slightly different – a “co-promotion”. Is it still Strikeforce?

Absolutely.

Therein lies the problem with M-1’s plan to leverage Fedor into building its own promotional brand: the infrequency, not to mention inadequacy, of simply slapping its brand onto a Strikeforce product isn’t fooling anyone. Not to mention the fact that Strikeforce is already having a tough enough time communicating its own brand message.

It’s bad enough for Strikeforce that many casual fans still refer to the sport as “UFC” – making it almost impossible to deliver a simple and concise message of differentiation in the first place – but now they’ve also got to decipher the meaning of “Strikeforce and M-1 Global present…”

What exactly does that mean? Why should it matter to the consumer?

….

I also find it interesting that, in the last two weeks, we’ve seen three different people from M-1 speak on the topic of Fedor – each one of them with a slightly more ambiguous and different answer than the last. Kogan’s “premature” comment is even less clear than Vadim Finkelstein’s “likely May” which is different than a loosely translated “probabl April” from Apy Echteld (whom, I’m told, may not even have anything to do with Fedor anymore).

MMAterial Facts (03/04/10): UFC and Strikeforce on Collision Course

March 4, 2010

  • UFC and Strikeforce Gearing for 4/17 Collision
  • DirecTV deal report ‘not true’ according to Versus
  • Canadian Update: MFC Event Canceled, Kaufman Celebrated, Armageddon FC Lands TV Deal
  • Coker: Relationship with M-1 Global strong, Emelianenko news expected “in a couple of days”
  • Herschel Walker’s network static
  • UFC Helping State with Census Count

UFC and Strikeforce Gearing for 4/17 Collision

Dana White confirmed today that UFC is running a show on April 17th, head-to-head with the announced Strikeforce show on CBS.  The event would air most likely on Spike TV.  The Wanderlei Silva vs. Yoshihiro Akiyama match is not the main event.  The only thing confirmed is they are trying to finalize a Matt Serra vs. Mike Swick semifinal fight today.

There had been talk of a possibility that if UFC scheduled a show on that date, CBS may move the Strikefroce show to April 24th, which would go head-to-head with the WEC PPV in Sacramento. (F4WOnline)

***

MMA on CBS

After officially announcing April 17 as the return for MMA on CBS, sources tell SI.com that CBS is willing to move the card back a week if, as rumored, the UFC decides to move ahead with counter-programing. That would put Strikeforce in direct competition with Zuffa’s first attempt at selling WEC on pay-per-view, and likely signal the commencement of major ground operations between the promotional companies.

It was initially thought that production of an April 24 MMA card on CBS was unlikely since the Showtime broadcast crew, led by producer David Dinkins Jr., was handling duties for the second round of the premium network’s Super Six 168-pound boxing tournament that night. But Kelly Kahl, the senior executive vice president of CBS prime time, told SI.com that it as his impression “things were fluid” regarding the production dates, though he didn’t know for certain.   (Sports Illustrated)

***

RUMOR: CBS Radio personality Carmichael Dave adds to the Strikeforce vs UFC rumors: James Toney will make his MMA debut April 17th against Kimbo Slice at Vanderbilt Arena in Tennessee. Mike Swick will fight Matt Serra in the main event.  The fight would air on Spike TV, according to the rumor.

***

MMAPayout Note:  SI writer Josh Gross tweets: “Paraphrasing what someone in the know just told me: UFC going against Strikeforce is the best PR CBS can have. Sounds right.”  (Josh Gross)

DirecTV deal report ‘not true’ according to Versus

Apparently, there’s been another one today, as MMA blog Cage Potato (via SB Nation) reported that the two sides were going to quietly end their mess just in time for fight fans:

”    Sources close to the situation tell CagePotato that the dispute will come quietly to an end next week, with DirecTV subscribers once again able to purchase Versus as part of a special sports tier. While it won’t come in time for this weekend’s WEC card, MMA fans with DirecTV should have the opportunity to purchase the channel by the time the UFC runs its first event on the network later this month.”

A source with Versus with knowledge of the negotiations told us that the report is “not true” and that “nothing is imminent.” The source told us that our report from last month stands today: “At this time, we are not optimistic that an agreement will be in place with DirecTV in time for the start of the NHL Stanley Cup playoffs.”

That said, the sense we get is that the negotiations are ongoing and that a deal could materialize quickly. Does that mean Versus will agree to a “special sports tier” to get back on DirecTV? Unlikely. Does that mean this dispute will end “quietly” at some point? Very unlikely, considering the level of rancor here. Does that mean we could still see the NHL on Versus on DirecTV in time of the playoffs? We remain optimistic.  (Yahoo! Sports)

Canadian Update: MFC Event Canceled, Kaufman Celebrated, Armageddon FC Lands TV Deal

MFC cancels fight card after Edmonton venue operators pull rug out from MMA promotion

Maximum Fighting Championships owner and president Mark Pavelich originally booked the Winspear for Friday, April 9, but the concert hall’s management later backed out. They told Pavelich the booking was a mistake because the Winspear doesn’t host sporting events.

“At the beginning we said, we’ll find a (different) venue real quick,” Pavelich said in an interview. “But there’s four, five factors we have to match up.”

Pavelich struggled to find a different venue, but has secured the Edmonton Expo Centre (formerly Northlands AgriCom) for a different fight on Friday, May 7. Tickets go on sale Monday through MFC and Ticketmaster.

Pavelich remains angry about how the Winspear handled the situation. “There’s not a Tylenol pill on the planet big enough to cure me of the headache they’ve caused me,” he said.

By cancelling the April event, Pavelich said he has lost $500,000 in corporate sponsorship, breach-of-contract fees and printing costs. He hasn’t filed a lawsuit but has asked the Winspear to cough up the money he’s lost.

“I want them to pay for my damages and them I’m OK,” he said. “I don’t want to sue anyone. And you know what would be nice: a sincere sorry.”  (Vancouver Sun)

***

A long time coming, Zuma’s Kaufman grabs world MMA title

She’s come a long way since training as a teenage dancer at a studio in University Heights mall.

Last Friday (Feb. 26), in front of a crowd of 2,322 at San Jose’s Civic Auditorium, professional mixed martial arts star Sarah Kaufman (11-0) became the first Strikeforce women’s welterweight (135 pounds) champion.

“It’s the biggest platform for women in the world and it’s the biggest title for my weight category, so I’m really happy to have that now.”

Kaufman, 24, won a five-round, unanimous decision over Japan’s Takayo Hashi (12-2) in the Strikeforce Challengers main event.

On paper, Hashi was ranked the No. 2 contender to Kaufman, long considered by many in the MMA industry as the world’s No. 1 female MMA fighter for her weight class.

“The fight itself wasn’t the most physical or challenging that I’ve had,” Kaufman said. “I really felt like my prep was similar to my previous fights but knowing this was a big moment for women’s MMA and my shot for the title I felt the need to have a good showing.”  (BC Local News)

***

Victoria’s Armageddon FC lands national MMA TV deal

Promoters of a cage fighting event at Langford’s Bear Mountain Arena on March 6 have signed a deal with The Fight Network to have the mixed-martial arts bout broadcast across Canada.

Armageddon Fighting Championships partner Jason Heit said the 15-fight event — AFCII: Aftershock — will be taped and likely aired two weeks later. The Fight Network has 1.6 million subscribers through cable and satellite carriers in Canada.

The national TV exposure is a major coup for Heit and partner Darren Owen, who drew about 2,000 fans to their first event last August in Langford after the controversial cage fighting event was spurned by the city of Victoria and the local athletic commission. Although it is considered one of the world’s fastest growing sports and popular with the twentysomething demographic, the fights have been criticized as being brutal and promoting violence. Mixed martial arts is banned in many cities across Canada, including Vancouver.

“It’s been three years of hard work, so we’re pretty excited about this,” said Heit.

HDNET, another specialty channel covering wrestling and extreme fighting, will also be on location at Bear Mountain Arena to film its weekly program, Inside Mixed Martial Arts, and capture highlights.  (Vancouver Sun)

Coker: Relationship with M-1 Global strong, Emelianenko news expected “in a couple of days”

“I can tell you this: we’ve been having really good dialogue with M-1 Global and (M-1 Global president) Vadim Finkelchtein, and I think we’re in the final stages of buttoning everything up to make that happen again,” Coker said. “I think we’ll have an announcement soon on that, but I feel very confident we’ll be promoting Fedor here in the near future.” … “We’re at the 11th hour of getting this done, and I think in a couple of days we’ll have something to announce.”

So it appears Strikeforce may be involved in another Emelianenko fight sooner rather than later. And perhaps most importantly for those vested in the future of the California-based promotion, Coker said the financial success of Strikeforce does not rest on the shoulders of “The Last Emperor.”

“Our company is not built off of one athlete,” Coker said. “Our company, we have some amazing athletes on our roster now, and we’ve got some of the best fighters in the world. I think they can compete against anybody. Fedor is an amazing athlete. I’ve followed his career for many years. Fedor is Fedor, and he’s an amazing asset, but our company is not built financially off of just one guy.

“Believe me, my guys are very smart about building a model that works for us and works for M-1 Global. I think that we’re at that point where that had to be looked at. We looked at it. We’re not going to put all of our eggs into one basket and roll the dice with one guy. We’re built for longevity. This is not a sprint; this is going to be a long-distance race.” (MMAJunkie)

***

Vadim Finkelstein clears the air on Mousasi leaving M1 and Fedor’s contract negotiations

The problem isn’t there. The fight will take place. We’re planning on showing the bout in over 100 countries. For all of that to go smoothly we had to postpone the event. Unfortunately I do not know the date yet. It’s most likely going to be in early May. The bout is also postponed because of some other contract issues. Obviously there are always disagreements and technical questions, but everybody deals with those. (MiddleEasy)

Herschel Walker’s network static

Walker’s absence takes the show’s narrative in a different direction: Without a mass-media hook, ratings will depend almost exclusively on the appetite for solid fights between anonymous (to network viewers) athletes on over-the-air television. Shinya Aoki, Gilbert Melendez and Gegard Mousasi are all capable and intriguing fighters, but they have none of the resonance that an ex-NFL player or a Russian bruiser would for viewers torn between free fights or a repeat of “Spider-Man 3.” These are not facts that thrill me, but they are what they are.

The dark horse of this predicament is Dan Henderson, who has gotten several positive audience pops in recent months at Strikeforce events and is coming off a sensationally hyped performance at UFC 100. Certainly a portion of that show’s 1.5 million pay-per-view households will remember Henderson annihilating Michael Bisping and tune in to see what he attempts to obliterate next.

Unlike the UFC, which can sell low-watt cards based solely on that acronym, competing promotional entities are heavily reliant on personalities. When Kimbo Slice skipped EliteXC’s second CBS telecast, ratings went down 40 percent from the inaugural installment. Aoki talking trash in Japanese is probably not going to burn up the Nielsen boxes.  (ESPN)

UFC Helping State with Census Count

The Ultimate Fighting Championship and Nevada’s secretary of state are teaming for a different kind of fight: The 2010 census.

Wednesday afternoon at the Grant Sawyer State Office Building in downtown Las Vegas, Secretary of State Ross Miller announced a partnership between Nevada and the UFC to promote awareness for the upcoming census.

“UFC is Nevada’s sports franchise,” Miller said. “And they are the best partner you could have when trying to accomplish something as significant as this.”

During the press conference, Miller unveiled the state’s advertising campaign, which heavily targets the 18- to 30-year-old demographic, one that has shown to be less likely to fill out the forms.

“It’s hard to overstate the important of the census to Nevada,” Miller said.

According to Miller, completing the 2010 census means about $917 of federal funding per person each year, which translates to almost $10,000 a person over the 10-year time period.

“Obviously anything in Nevada is UFC territory,” Griffin said. “We take it that way and the more funding for Nevada, the more for the UFC.”  (Las Vegas Sun)

QUOTE OF THE DAY

“You won’t see a Silva versus Jones fight while Silva is under contract with me,” White said Tuesday. “I don’t want to say anything bad about Roy Jones, I like Roy Jones and was a fan of his, but he mattered like fifteen years ago. He’s not anywhere near the best boxer in the world. He must’ve spent all his money.”

…”I could do it, make it huge, make money, but I could have done a fight like this when we were bleeding money [in the early 2000s],” White said. “The fight would make some money, but it hurts MMA in the long term. We don’t do that because we love the sport. That’s a Pride or K-1 matchup. It’s not what we do.” (Dana White on signing Roy Jones Jr. in 2009, CBS Sports)

VIDEO OF THE DAY

  • MMA Live: 3-4-10: Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker checks in to talk about a number of recent fight announcements. Also, a complete preview of WEC 47. And UFC heavyweight prospect Todd Duffee makes his MMA Live debut.

QUICK HITS

  • Wand Finds Bisping Victory ‘Tasty,’ Eyes Akiyama Next (Sherdog)
  • Strikeforce Challengers VI peaks with nearly 200,000 viewers for main event (MMAJunkie)
  • WEC 47 attendance could top out at about 8,500, top-five mark possible (MMAJunkie)
  • “Kimbo Slice” manager welcomes James Toney fight but says nothing currently in works (MMAJunkie)
  • Past Mistakes May Hurt Toney’s License Bid (MMAFighting)
  • Coker: ‘Last-Minute Details’ Stalled Fedor Fight (MMAFighting)
  • COUTURE, KIMBO, FORREST? WHO’S FIRST FOR TONEY? (MMAWeekly)
  • UPDATE: WEC TO CALGARY IN JUNE, DATE NOT A LOCK (MMAWeekly)
  • Baseball player Jayson Werth also beard-owner and MMA promoter (Cage Writer)
  • Video: Bowles, Cruz, Torres and Benavidez Spar at WEC 47 Open Workouts (Heavy)
  • James Toney For Dummies (FiveOuncesOfPain)

TV LISTINGS

  • HDNet Fights Presents K-1 Classics (2008 K-1 World Max) at 8 PM ET on HDNet (03/05/10)
  • InsideMMA (Matyushenko, Renzo Gracie) at 9 PM ET on HDNet (03/05/10)
  • HDNet Fights Presents Furious Finishes IV, at 10 PM ET on HDNet (03/05/10)
  • Best of Pride FC at 10 PM ET/PT on Spike (03/05/10)
  • WEC 47: Bowles vs Cruz on at 10 PM ET on Versus (03/06/10)

UPCOMING EVENTS

  • WEC 47: Bowles vs Cruz on at 10 PM ET on Versus (03/06/10)
  • HDNet Fights: Sengoku Raiden Championship 12 at TBD on HDNet (03/12/10)
  • HDNet Fights: XFC X-Night of Champions at 10 PM ET on HDNet (03/19/10)
  • UFC on Versus: Vera vs Jones at 10 PM ET on Versus (3/21/10)
  • HDNet Fights: King of the Cage – Legacy at 10 PM ET on HDNet (03/26/10)
  • Strikeforce Challengers: Johnson vs Mahe at 11 PM ET/PT on Showtime (03/26/10)
  • UFC 111: GSP vs Hardy at 10 PM ET on PPV (03/27/10)
  • UFN 21 : Florian vs Gomi at 10 PM ET on Spike (03/31/10)
  • The Ultimate Fighter 11 Debut after UFN 21 on Spike (03/31/10)

Fedor-Strikeforce Media Conference Scheduled Thursday, August 6th

August 4, 2009

Strikeforce has just sent out an e-mail indicating that the organization will be holding a media conference call for Thursday at which time it is expected to address, in further detail, the Fedor Emelianenko signing. In addition to Fedor and Scott Coker, Vadim Finkelstein will also be present on the call.

I suspect at this time we’ll get more information from the trio in regards to the deal itself, Fedor’s fight plans, and how the relationship with M-1 is going to work. There have been reports that the co-promotion will not be a 50-50 split and that Fedor will not fight Overeem in his first fight – some from Coker himself – but we’ll avoid any further speculation until some of the facts come out on Thursday.

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