Saturday, October 27, 2007

BROCK LESNAR , HE COMING TO THE UFC IN A BIG WAY!

For everyone who followed pro wrestling from childhood, there was always a lingering question: How would certain guys, not necessarily the biggest stars but the ones who are known by fans as real-life tough guys, do if the battle was real?The question was more on people’s minds during old-school pro wrestling’s heyday than in recent years, largely because the Ultimate Fighter has answered a lot of questions about putting guys with different backgrounds into an arena and seeing what styles come out on top.In the early days of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, many amateur champion wrestlers fared well simply through takedowns and the ability to control and keep opponents on their back.But in today’s mixed martial arts, you have to be a well-rounded fighter, with knowledge of wrestling or judo for balance, jiu-jitsu for submission awareness and avoidance, and both boxing and kickboxing techniques.Brock Lesnar isn’t coming to UFC to answer any age-old questions. He’s coming because it’s a sport he’s watched since its inception, and now after more than a year of full-time training, after trying pro wrestling and pro football, he feels that it’s the sport he was put on earth to participate in.Lesnar, 30, who is expected to debut for UFC on Feb. 2 in Las Vegas against an opponent not yet named, is the most famous and likely the most expensive newcomer the UFC has ever signed.“I’ve had one MMA fight, and he was a tuna can or whatever,” said Lesnar about his debut, a fight on June 2, when he dismantled 1996 Olympic judo silver medalist Min Soo Kim of South Korea in a K-1 Hero’s event at the Los Angeles Coliseum. “What I want to prove is Brock Lesnar should be taken seriously. This isn’t a joke for me. I’m spending countless hours trying to learn every discipline, so when I step into the octagon, I’ll be well prepared. I’m not setting myself up for defeat. That’s not my mentality.“Lesnar beat Kim in just one minute, nine seconds, immediately taking him down, and knocking him out with punches from the top. Little was learned about the state of Lesnar’s all-around game. What was learned is Lesnar is incredibly quick for his size, which anyone who saw him wrestle amateur already knew, and he has an explosive takedown.We also learned he has natural punching power when on top of his opponent on the ground. The velocity of his short punches on top were said by ringside onlookers to be similar to Fedor Emelianenko.As for the rest of his game, those questions are yet to be answered. We know he’s fast. We know he’s strong. We know he’s a disciplined athlete and a hard trainer. Can he take a punch or block a kick? Is his overall striking game good? Can he avoid submissions? Can he apply submissions?Some hearing that a former World Wrestling Entertainment champion is coming into UFC would automatically jump to the conclusion that it’s a freak-show attraction and nothing more than a gimmick to sell tickets.They would be partially correct. It is a ploy to sell tickets, but as a national heavyweight champion in junior college in 1998, and NCAA Division I champ at Minnesota in 2000, Lesnar’s athletic ability can’t be questioned.He brings to the table more than wrestling credentials. He’s a freak as an athlete. His combination of size, strength and speed is on the level of an NFL first-round draft choice. But none of that guarantees he’ll be a great fighter.Several previous NCAA champions have entered MMA with mixed results. Randy Couture (Oklahoma State) and Matt Hughes (Eastern Illinois) became legends. Lesnar’s freestyle wrestling is better than Couture’s, and he’s a guy who cuts weight to make the 265-pound weight limit, a huge heavyweight as opposed to a small heavyweight trying to use wrestling to manhandle bigger foes.But many wrestlers haven’t fared as well. And while you can talk about his college wrestling all day long, the fact is, he’s in UFC this early and getting a two-year contract because he can wrestle and because he was a star in pro wrestling. K-1 paid him $500,000 on the books for his debut, and every MMA group looking to make itself a name had to have interest in him.Lesnar was only one facet of a news conference held Thursday by the company and headed by company president Dana White, covering a multitude of issues, including signing a new three-year contract with Spike TV, the failure to reach a deal with HBO, and the present and future of Couture.“Brock Lesnar is the real deal,” White said. “He’s a young guy, athletic, great credentials and he’s done the right things to make the transitions. Guys I know who are training with him say he’s going to be a great fighter.“Lesnar walked out on the WWE in 2004, shortly after signing a new $1 million-per-year guaranteed contract through 2010 because he grew to hate the arduous travel schedule. And, in the back of his mind, he wanted to play pro football before the window of opportunity closed. After never playing the sport since high school, he asked the WWE to let him out of his contract, saying he wanted to play in the NFL. WWE agreed, but in his release papers, the company decreed he couldn’t participate in either pro wrestling with a rival organization, or MMA, anywhere in the world for the duration of the contract.Lesnar went to the Minnesota Vikings camp and played in several preseason games in 2004 before being a late cut. But the Vikings were impressed enough to recommend him for NFL Europe, but one of the key reasons he left wrestling was that he was never home to see his family, in particular his young daughter, and his wife, former well-known wrestling personality and Playboy cover model Rena “Sable” Mero. Plus, he now admits, he was relieved the day he was cut. He was so far behind when it came to football that he realized it wasn’t for him.“You have to feel confident and I didn’t,” Lesnar said about his brief NFL experience. “I realized I was unprepared at the Vikings training camp. I was thinking to myself, ‘What am I doing here?’ Because of my lack of experience, I felt it wasn’t for me.“The next problem was his WWE release. He began wrestling in Japan, even though the release prohibited it, leading to a lengthy court fight. He argued that the WWE was keeping him from making a living during the prime of his athletic life.In the settlement, Lesnar was allowed to do basically anything he wanted to do. Although he doesn’t talk bad about WWE today, Lesnar said he liked the wrestling itself, just grew to despise the travel and didn’t like what it was doing to his body.In MMA, Lesnar says he has found his true calling. Time and circumstances simply didn’t allow it to happen until now.“I’ve never felt fighting isn’t for me,” he said. “It’s come fast and feels natural. People who have been around like Pat Miletich, Sean Sherk and Greg Nelson (his current main trainer) have all said this comes naturally to me, and it’s nice to hear that from people of that caliber.“Lesnar feels the difference between him and college wrestling stars who didn’t make it in MMA is that he knows that college wrestling alone will never make him UFC champion. Instead of concentrating his training on what he does best — his wrestling — his focus is on the other aspects of the sport.“I know and understand my wrestling capabilities aren’t going to make me a champion in this sport,” he said. “I train wrestling, but I spend more time training my hands and training jiu-jitsu.“My No. 1 goal is to win my first fight, and work my way to being heavyweight champion.“Lesnar was 55-3 in two years at Minnesota after being 51-2 at Bismarck Junior College. He finished second in the Division I tournament to Stephen Neal in 1999, who ironically accomplished what Lesnar didn’t in becoming an NFL player (with the New England Patriots) without playing high school ball. In 2000, Lesnar was NCAA champion.Largely because of his physique and natural power, several pro wrestling organizations were interested in him. Lesnar had already decided he wasn’t going to pursue the Olympics. MMA was near death at this point, and as much as he wanted to do it a few years earlier, he didn’t consider it an option.After winning the championship, he decided he had three viable options. He could stay in college one more year, get his degree, and play football for the Golden Gophers. He could join the WWE, which offered him $250,000 guaranteed per year to start, an almost unheard of figure for somebody who had never worked their way up the ranks. Or he could try out for the NFL, as Tony Dungy, then coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and a Golden Gophers alum, recruited him after watching him dominate on the college mats.“I was a kid from South Dakota who didn’t have two nickels to rub together and the WWE deal was a sure thing,” he said. “They guaranteed me the money and football only offered me a tryout. I chose WWE. But I always regretted I didn’t at least do the tryout first.“White said he was going to heavily market Lesnar’s debut to the pro wrestling audience.“I think a lot of people are going to be curious to see if he can really fight,” said the UFC president. “He’s an athlete capable of fighting. Not to say the rest of them (pro wrestlers) aren’t athletes. I think a lot of WWE fans are going to tune in to see if this guy can really fight.“White acknowledged that he never had any interest in using pro wrestlers, although he did negotiate with Kurt Angle, an Olympic gold medalist before going pro, in the past.UFC also announced the signing of a three-year contract renewal with Spike TV, that gives the network cable exclusivity on the product through 2011. The contract calls for two seasons of Ultimate Fighter in 2008 and 2009, and one each in 2010 and 2011. It also calls for a weekly live TV fight that would debut in 2010. It also calls for a minimum of four UFC Fight Night specials, a similar schedule as the current deal, as well as 13 new episodes per year of UFC Unleashed.The agreement would allow UFC to negotiate a deal with a broadcast network or a premium channel like HBO, but not a rival cable channel like ESPN.White also bent over backward to praise Couture, noting he still considers him heavyweight champion and no matter what has happened, is looking to settle things with him.“The title isn’t vacant until Randy Couture tells me face-to-face he’s retired,” White said. “Randy Couture is a guy I have a ton of respect for. I’m going to try and work this out.“

Friday, October 26, 2007

UFC 77 and it's PAY OUTS

Anderson Silva def. Rich Franklin via TKO (strikes) Round 2, 1:07
Tim Sylvia def. Brandon Vera via unanimous decision (29-27, 29-28, 29-28)
Alvin Robinson def. Jorge Gurgel via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-27, 29-27)
Stephan Bonnar def. Eric Schafer via TKO (strikes)Round 2, 2:47
Alan Belcher def. Kalib Starnes via TKO (strikes)Round 2, 1:39
Yushin Okami def. Jason MacDonald via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 20-27)
Demian Maia def. Ryan Jensen via submission (rear-naked choke)Round 1, 2:40
Josh Burkman def. Forrest Petz via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Matt Grice def. Jason Black via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

and now the pay outs...hmmm not very high......

Matt Grice & Alvin Robinson should seriously consider taking their talents to an organization that "Respects" them, as Randy Couture has said he didn't receive from the UFC... Now I get it.UFC, please clean up your act and pay the fighters a living wage in the very least.This makes me sick.Anderson Silva — $120,000 ($60,000 to show, $60,000 to win)Rich Franklin — $45,000Tim Sylvia — $200,000 ($100,000 to show, $100,000 to win)Brandon Vera — $100,000Alvin Robinson — $6,000 ($3,000 to show, $3,000 to win)Jorge Gurgel — $7,000Stephan Bonnar — $44,000 ($22,000 to show, $22,000 to win)Eric Schafer — $6,000Alan Belcher — $22,000 ($11,000 to show, $11,000 to win)Kalib Starnes — $7,000Yushin Okami — $24,000 ($12,000 to show, $12,000 to win)Jason MacDonald — $17,000Demian Maia — $10,000 ($5,000 to show, $5,000 to win)Ryan Jensen — $4,000Josh Burkman — $20,000 ($10,000 to show, $10,000 to win)Forrest Petz — $6,000Matt Grice — $6,000 ($3,000 to show, $3,000 to win)Jason Black — $8,000Anderson Silva received $40,000 for his KOMatt Grice & Jason Black received $40,000 each for the Fight of the Night which paying viewers did not get to see.Maia received $40,000 for submission of the night.Total base payout = $652,000 + Fight bonuses ($160, 000) = $812, 000.Ticket sales = $2,519,850 from the 16, 000+ in attendance.This leaves $1,707,850 gross profit to pay for the expenses of running such an event. Pay per view monies are factored in as a separate revenue stream altogether.

Monday, October 15, 2007

TIM SYLVIA IS JUST READY TO GO ...HAPPY TO BE HEALTHY

After a seven-month absence from competition, successful back surgery, and a small fall into relative obscurity, former UFC heavyweight champion Tim Sylvia (23-3 MMA, 8-3 UFC) makes his return to the octagon next weekend at UFC 77. There, he’ll take on undefeated heavyweight contender Brandon Vera.However, the 31-year-old Miletich fighter — whose obsession with the heavyweight belt became one of MMA’s biggest inside jokes — now says the title is something he’s not necessarily worried about. Sylvia says he just wants to compete.“I want to get get another fight as soon as possible,” Sylvia told MMAjunkie.com during last week’s UFC 77 media conference call. “Win or lose, as long as I come out healthy, I want to fight as early (as possible) in 2008.“So, if he posts a victory over Vera next weekend, he won’t ask for a title shot?“No, I mean, that’s in the UFC’s cards,” Sylvia said, just hours before current champ Randy Couture announced his resignation from the UFC.Sylvia assumed the earliest he — or anyone else — could fight the champ for the title would be in February. Couture, who scored a unanimous-decision victory over Sylvia to win the belt at UFC 68, broke his arm back in August during a victory over Gabriel Gonzaga and was expected to headline a Feb. 2 event on SuperBowl weekend.However, after the 44-year-old UFC Hall of Famer complained of the UFC’s inability to sign Fedor Emelianenko and claimed the organization lied to him about what other fighters were being paid, Couture quit — and threw the entire heavyweight title picture into disarray.Regardless of what the UFC decides to do with the now-vacant title, Sylvia will surely be a part of the plans. Love him or hate him, the fighter is one of the most-accomplished heavyweights in the sport today. In an eight-year career with 26 professional fights, Sylvia has never been knocked out. In fact, he’s been stopped just twice — once by an Achilles lock in a fight with Andrei Arlovski (a fight which went only 47 seconds), once by armbar in a fight with Frank Mir. And while fans criticize his sometimes-safe and calculated game plans, the fact of the matter is that Sylvia has only gone to decision in five of his 23 career victories.After his loss to Couture in March, Sylvia underwent extensive back surgery. He now says he’s completely healthy — and that the procedure had nothing short of spectacular results. Feeling good, he’s now ready to compete, whether it’s for the title or not.“Surgery obviously went well, or I wouldn’t have taken this fight because Brandon’s a tough guy,” Sylvia said. “Surgery went awesome. As soon as I came out of anesthesia, I jumped out of bed. The nurse told me to settle down, but I couldn’t because the pain was all gone… I’m now just ready to get back in there and fight again.“

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

FOX SPORTS HAS THE UFC ON CUE ...READ THIS

Great article breaking down the future of the light heavyweight division from Fox Sports.So the question becomes, what to do from here?First off, you look at the championship picture. Jackson is expected to be ready in March. Griffin is also banged up, with a bum shoulder and a lot of cuts. It's not the perfect direction and many will be critical of it because of the resentment of the idea the company gives Griffin preferential treatment as a homemade star. But for business, Jackson vs. Griffin is the way to go. On paper, it's an exciting fight. Jackson is the favorite but Griffin operates better as the underdog. The public will buy this fight more than any other the company can offer today. Every fan poll of the match they want leads you to this conclusion, and Griffin's not being expected to win in early 2008 becomes a selling point in its favor.
\u003cbr\>And with UFC, you can't try and build it up over time because everyone can and will lose before you get to your destination if you hold matches off.\u003cbr\>\u003cbr\>Jardine vs. Alexander is a natural rematch. It's the man who cost Jardine the title shot vs. a fighter coming off the Liddell win in a rematch. Another win by Alexander will prove he's for real. Another win by Jardine and he'll have earned a title shot. Right now, the UFC is looking at a different direction with Alexander, so he's going to have to win one match before this is under consideration. Keep your fingers crossed on this one.\u003cbr\>\u003cbr\>Liddell vs. Silva. Everyone wants the match. Both are coming off two straight losses. The only holdup is whether Liddell's ribs, battered by Jardine's kicks, will recover in time for Dec. 29, when UFC has booked Silva to debut. Stylistically, Liddell has always seemed to have the advantage in this match-up. He's got a better chin. He's the bigger man. He can counter Silva's wild style. But at this level, there is no result you can count on, particularly when both men have major question marks. And if Liddell doesn't win, at least he's lost to a guy who holds two wins over Jackson and can immediately be put into title contention.\u003cbr\>\u003cbr\>The winner of Ortiz-Evans vs. Rua. Rua is out for a few months and the winner of Ortiz-Evans won't be ready until the spring. If Ortiz beats Evans, a Rua win will be seen to the public like a big deal because Ortiz is one of the biggest names. If Evans beats Ortiz, it'll be a real baptism-under-fire if the old Rua comes back. In this series, two wins by Ortiz, unlikely as that might be, puts a money player into legitimate title contention, and that means big business. Two wins by Evans and he'll at least be seen as a top-tier star. And if Rua wins, he'll have rehabbed his image pretty well.\u003cbr\>\u003cbr\>LIKE THIS STORY?\u003cbr\>\u003ca href\u003d\"http://msn.foxsports.com/boxing/story/7284218?CMP\u003dOTC-K9B140813162&ATT\u003d209#\" target\u003d\"_blank\" onclick\u003d\"return top.js.OpenExtLink(window,event,this)\"\>",1]
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And with UFC, you can't try and build it up over time because everyone can and will lose before you get to your destination if you hold matches off.Jardine vs. Alexander is a natural rematch. It's the man who cost Jardine the title shot vs. a fighter coming off the Liddell win in a rematch. Another win by Alexander will prove he's for real. Another win by Jardine and he'll have earned a title shot. Right now, the UFC is looking at a different direction with Alexander, so he's going to have to win one match before this is under consideration. Keep your fingers crossed on this one.Liddell vs. Silva. Everyone wants the match. Both are coming off two straight losses. The only holdup is whether Liddell's ribs, battered by Jardine's kicks, will recover in time for Dec. 29, when UFC has booked Silva to debut. Stylistically, Liddell has always seemed to have the advantage in this match-up. He's got a better chin. He's the bigger man. He can counter Silva's wild style. But at this level, there is no result you can count on, particularly when both men have major question marks. And if Liddell doesn't win, at least he's lost to a guy who holds two wins over Jackson and can immediately be put into title contention.The winner of Ortiz-Evans vs. Rua. Rua is out for a few months and the winner of Ortiz-Evans won't be ready until the spring. If Ortiz beats Evans, a Rua win will be seen to the public like a big deal because Ortiz is one of the biggest names. If Evans beats Ortiz, it'll be a real baptism-under-fire if the old Rua comes back. In this series, two wins by Ortiz, unlikely as that might be, puts a money player into legitimate title contention, and that means big business. Two wins by Evans and he'll at least be seen as a top-tier star. And if Rua wins, he'll have rehabbed his image pretty well.LIKE THIS STORY?


This leaves Henderson vs. Machida. Henderson's relentless style and aggressiveness may be the counter to Machida's usual boring matches. Plus, if Machida can get past him, people have no choice but to care about him.The beauty of these scenarios is that in every case, no matter who wins, you've got somewhere to go.Jackson-Griffin is the biggest money match available today, so you should make sure and do it right away. And when all of these matches are over, you'll wind up with four very legitimate contenders, no matter who wins. Barring injuries at the wrong time, the mess created over the past week that killed the biggest money match may have set them up for a series of strong business matches that could go well into 2009.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

UFC 78 COMING TOGETHER.....

MMAjunkie.com is reporting that Thiago Alves is likely to be added to the card for UFC 78 on Nov. 17 in Newark, NJ.
Alves, currently on a three fight win streak, last fought for the UFC at UFC Fight Night 11 in September, defeating Kuniyoshi Hironaka via verbal submission at 4:04 of round 2. It was his first fight back back from suspension after he had tested positive for a banned diuretic at UFC 66.
Junkie does not name an opponent for Alves at UFC 78 but the rumors section at MMAWeekly.com lists Ryo Chonan as a possible opponent.
Chonan, a veteran of both PRIDE and DEEP, recently signed with the UFC and holds a win over current UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva.
Despite his submission victory over Silva at PRIDE Shockave 2004, Chonan plans to compete in the UFC’s 170 lbs. division.
According to Junkie, Alves’ bout could be televised on the main card. If he’s in fact matched up with Chonan, that would increase Alves’ odds of fighting on the main card.
Additional matches rumored for UFC 78 include:
- Thiago Alves vs. Ryo Chonan
- Karo Parisyan vs. Hector Lombard
- Spencer Fisher vs. Frankie Edgar (Edgar has confirmed the match)
- Tamdan McCrory vs. Akihiro Gono
- Joe Lauzon vs. Jason Reinhardt
- David Terrell vs. Ed Herman
A main event has yet to be signed for the card but according to reports, it’s believed that the UFC is trying to sign a rematch between Rashad Evans and Tito Ortiz for the card.

HOORAY FOR EVAN TANNER ...I ALWAYS LIKED THAT GUY ....

I am setting a date.
I am setting a date, and on that day I will stop drinking. That will be the day I begin to be a better man. That will be the day I begin to find the best of me. That will be the day I begin to find the best of what life can be. I want to find the magic. Join me. If you want to make a change in your life, join me. If any of you want to find the best of yourself, join me. If you want to find your own magic, join me. I am going to quit drinking, get back into training, and step into the Octagon again, and when I do, it will be dedicated to all of you who have the courage to believe in the best of what you can be, all of you who have the courage to stand up with me and face your fears and weaknesses. We will stand shoulder to shoulder, an unconquerable army. BELIEVE in what you can do, and it will happen.
I am setting a date.
It has been said that I am done, that I will never fight again. It has been said that I have no chance of ever being a champion again. I refuse to accept that. I challenge you to believe in yourself. I challenge you to do what they say can not be done. Join this army of unconquerable souls.
It’s not about fighting inside of the Octagon anymore for Tanner. Although that may be his ultimate goal and the light at the end of the tunnel that keeps him on the correct path, battling alcoholism is Evan’s biggest issue at the moment. Tanner has given us some great moments inside the Octagon.
Being the middleweight champion of the UFC and only knowing MMA techniques through instructional DVDs is a pretty impressive feat. If Tanner can kick his drinking habit and make a return to the Octagon, then that will be his most impressive feat of all. Should he return, win or lose, he will be able to hang his head high.
We’re all rooting for you, Evan. Hope to see you back in the Octagon

STRIKEFORCE AT THE PLAYBOY MANSION

Strikeforce at the Playboy mansion looked pretty successful, and got a shit load of pulicity..good for MMA !
The Sept. 29 show took place on Hugh Hefner’s world-famous estate and was streamed live on Yahoo! Sports. The invitation-only event drew nearly 1,000 spectators who paid $1,000 per ticket. It was the first-ever MMA event held at the Playboy Mansion.
The total official payout for the event’s 24 fighters was $229,183.50.
Full payouts includes:
Gilbert Melendez ($30,000) def. Tetsuji Kato ($6,000)
Joe Riggs ($29,500)* def. Eugene Jackson ($15,000)
Josh Thomson ($24,500)# bonus def. Adam Lynn ($6,000)
Billy Evangelista ($6,000)^ def. Clint Coronel ($3,000)
Jorge Masvidal ($18,182.50) def. Matt Lee ($1,000)
Bobby Southworth ($20,000)# def. Bill Mahood ($1,000)
Falaniko Vitale ($20,000) def. Ron Fields ($7,000)
Daniel Puder ($20,000) def. Richard Dalton ($3,000)
Dewey Cooper ($500) def. Adam Smith ($500)
Daniel McWilliams ($1,000) def. Eddy Millis ($4,000)
Luke Stewart ($7,500)+ def. Sam Liera ($3,000)
Anthony Figueroa ($2,000) def. Miguel Linares ($1,500)* — $15,000 win bonus, # — $10,000 win bonus, + — $4,000 win bonus, ^ — $3,000 win bonus
As with other fight organizations, a disclaimer should be issued. The above figures do not include deductions for items such as insurance, licenses and taxes. Additionally, the figures do not include money paid by sponsors, which can oftentimes be a substantial portion of a fighter’s income — nor do they include other special bonuses paid by Strikeforce.