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Tag: Dana White

EliteXC Close to Network TV Deal?


(Will Kimbo kick ass after “Without a Trace”?)

MMA Junkie is reporting that ProElite – the parent company of EliteXC – is set to announce a partnership with CBS to air their events. An agreement has apparently been approved between both parties.

The EliteXC airs on Showtime under EliteXC and ShowXC. As we already stated, EliteXC and Kimbo has had at least something to do with Showtime’s recent spike in subscribers. Showtime is cheaper than dishing out for UFC pay-per-view events every month and you get to see tasteful adults films late at night as a bonus. This rumor is easy to buy into because CBS owns Showtime and has certainly recognized the channel’s cross-over potential to network television – “Dexter” airing on CBS being a recent example. EliteXC: “Street Certified” pulled in a sold-out crowd and pulled in over 500,000 viewers to Showtime. Sure, Kimbo was a major part of that, but other EliteXC shows will reap residuals from him being in their fold. Network execs know that larger-than-life sports personalities draw ratings, so naturally they’d want to be in the Kimbo business.

And with Dana White ruining every chance of getting the UFC on network television – CBS was once the frontrunner to air UFC events – networks have started seeking other organizations to sign up. CBS and EliteXC is by far the marriage with the least hoops to jump through, so we could get this announcement very soon. The events would be broadcast live in prime-time and probably every month.

This could be a very large step and do for MMA what network TV has done for Arena Football…okay, bad example, but you get what I’m saying about the exposure. And I know I probably don’t even have to mention it, but “What Would Kimbo Do?” would be natural fit for CBS’s Saturday morning kid’s programming. Story line ideas now being accepted.

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Mark Coleman Confirmed for UFC Hall-of-Fame

MC
(The foot of a champion.)

Though reports about Mark Coleman’s induction into the UFC’s Hall of Fame have been swirling for a month, the UFC officially confirmed it today — Coleman will get the honor at UFC 82, which takes place in his hometown of Columbus, OH. Coleman’s career highlights include winning the UFC’s first heavyweight title and stepping on Wanderlei Silva’s head during a melee after his fight with Mauricio Rua at PRIDE 31.

As for the next fighter to follow Coleman into the UFC’s Hall of Fame, Dana White was quoted in an ESPN.com article as saying that Tank Abbott “absolutely will be in our Hall of Fame” when he officially retires. White also called Tank’s fight with Kimbo Slice “a farce.” Man, does he love that word or what! Unrelated but awesome Tank Abbott quote from the ESPN article: “I was in really great shape. Don’t judge a book by looking at the cover. Just because I got blubber on me, that’s genetics basically, thanks to my mother.”

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Cro Cop Makes Another Non-Announcement


(My shorts rock the party!)

Rumors have been swirling about Mirko Cro Cop Filipovic’s retirement/leaving the UFC/switching organizations for the past week or so. He currently makes $350k per fight, plus bonuses and was signed to the contract when many thought he would dominate his division. After losing 2 of 3 fights and having no appeal for the UFC, Dana White has asked Cro Cop to sign a somewhat less-lucrative contract – the option being to re-sign or to sit out the remainder of the contract.

Has Cro Cop made a decision? Here’s yesterday’s non-announcement from his personal blog:

“I promised to share some news with you today and I feel bad by not doing so. There are some reasons for this that I can’t speak of at the moment. However, I promise to make the statement as soon as possible. Thank you for supporting me and I hope that little more patience is not too much to ask.”

And then today, he followed that up with a prelude to an announcement:

“I’m off to Tokyo! A big announcement will come straight from Japan tomorrow (February 13). When the official part is done I’ll be able to provide more information about everything, and believe me, I have many things to say. What you could easily guess by now is that I won’t be retiring. I’ll keep on fighting, it’s my life, it’s what I do.”

So he promised an announcement tomorrow (the 13th). And you’ve got to love the classic Dana in this one. He’s more than willing to let – actually make – Cro Cop sit out the remainder of his contract, and is equally as willing to dump millions on a lawsuit against Randy Couture for wanting to do the same thing.

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Fedor’s New Pen Pal: Dana White


(Fedor feeding the geese, or catching them for his supper? You be the judge.)

We’ve heard from Randy Couture about all the shit surrounding the attempt to make the Fedor/Randy fight happen and the subsequent lawsuit spin-offs. And we’ve heard from Dana White almost daily defending his ridiculous position. Now we’re hearing from Fedor Emelianenko himself about the fight and Lex Luthor’s repeated public bashings of him. In an open letter to Dana White that was posted on m1mixfight.com, the site of Fedor’s management team, the Russian superstar let it all out.

As posted on MMA Junkie:

As Emelianenko wrote (keep in mind it’s been translated by a third party):

Numerous times have I read mister White’s statements on Internet concerning myself. In my opinion, allowing yourself to say those things is not a sign of a gentleman or a grown man at all! If he candidly wants to prove himself right then let my fight with Randy happen or let me face the reigning UFC champion Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira. In the future I wouldn’t want to hear those statements in my address ever again and I won’t tolerate that.

My last fight in Japan proved that I’m ready to fight anybody with any height advantage, skillset or experience. I have fought and still wish to fight the best athletes. The Randy fight is my goal number one right now, he’s a great fighter and this is a very unfortunate situation when too strict and one-sided UFC contracts don’t let this fight happen.

The whole world is eager to see me fight your champions, people don’t want to listen to your press-conferences. I’m signed with M-1 Global and this promotion is ready to organize such fights under our banner or in co-promoted events.

Fedor wants to fight the best. For those out there who thinks he only takes mediocre fights, he wants to shut them up. But he didn’t sign with the UFC because of the restrictive contracts and Dana White’s business tactics. We all know Dana’s style. If you don’t want to play by his sometimes-absurd rules, he’ll make it his life’s work to kick shit on your name. And he’s tried to do that with Fedor and now Randy.

Yet again, M-1 is ready to make this happen. Fedor has penned a letter begging for it. Randy is willing to be sued in order to hold out for it. Dana, you blow.

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UFC to Create Official Rankings?

It’s taken complaints from fighters and bitching from fans, but it appears Dana White and the UFC might actually put out their own official fighter rankings. The Sun printed a fan Q&A with the bald baron of fight and while not confirming anything, which always seems to be the case, White hinted that it could be on the horizon – although not too soon.

Numerous media organizations – CagePotato included – have produced rankings of all the fighters and other MMA outfits rank their own fighters. The UFC has refused to rank their fighters, which would at least give us an idea of who might get a title shot soon or how far away a fighter is in getting a shot. Here’s how the questioning transpired:

Will the UFC ever set up a ranking system in each of the weight divisions so people know which fighters are in line for a title shot? For example, fighters could score points for winning fights and lose points for any defeats they incur. – Dean Hayward, Leicester

White: “Actually, Dean, I said we’d never do that because I figured people would say our rankings are biased. But, when you look around at some of these other rankings that are out there I think we probably will do our own after all. I have no idea when we will get to that, though. I wouldn’t look for any rankings anytime real soon.”

When White was asked to pick who he thinks will be on top in each weight division in January of 2009, he deflected the question and only hinted that he thought Anderson Silva might be there. Although he thinks Dan Henderson could take Silva down in March.

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TV Deals To Give MMA Wider Exposure


(“Ma, the telly has men fighting and bleeding on it!”)

Not much going on today, but we do have some MMA on TV news for you. Over at 15 Rounds, Dana White has said some interesting things about the rumored network TV deal with the UFC.

The long awaited debut for the Ultimate Fighting Championship on a major network may not be very far off. Ongoing conversations are heating up. UFC President Dana White expects major progress in the next few days.

“I am going out of town tomorrow for a week. Hopefully, I’ll come back with good news,” White said.

And here we go again. Just when you think Dana has blown every chance to sign with a network, this pops up. Rumors have been swirling about what network would agree to air UFC events and this just adds to the intrigue.

The other TV deal involves the IFL. 5oz of Pain has the lowdown:

The International Fight League’s next two cards on February 29 in Las Vegas and April 4 in East Rutherford, NJ will be televised on HDNet and on Fox Sports Canada.

The 29th event will feature battles such as Ryan “The Lion” Schultz vs. John Gunderson, Matt Horwich vs. Ryan McGivern, and Fabiano Scherner vs. Roy Nelson. The April 4th show is not set just yet.

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Weekend MMA News Cruise

CC
(Is Cro Cop leaving the UFC?)

Here’s what else was happening in the world while your thoughts were being dominated by Brock Lesnar:

Gary Herman of 15 Rounds reports that Brandon Vera will be returning to the Octagon in June against a yet-unnamed opponent, and Dana White has given Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic a deadline of today to decide whether he wants to remain in the UFC; Filipovic’s last fight was a decision loss to Cheick Kongo at UFC 75 in September 2007.

— Josh Barnett announced on his MySpace blog that his next fight will be against Hidehiko Yoshida at World Victory Road’s Sengoku event on March 5th in Tokyo. Barnett hasn’t competed in a professional MMA bout since his unanimous decision loss to Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira at PRIDE Shockwave on New Year’s Eve 2006. Yoshida is a former Olympic gold medalist in judo who has a 7-5-1 MMA record, with notable wins over Don Frye, Mark Hunt, and David “Tank” Abbott. According to Barnett, M-1 never offered him a fight with Aleksander Emelianenko, and the rumored Roger Gracie/Yoshida matchup is total rubbish.

— Because of a military commitment, Tim Kennedy has been forced to drop out of the IFL’s season opener at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas on February 29th. Though he was scheduled to face middleweight champion Matt Horwich for the 185-pound belt, a new press release has announced that Kennedy has been “called to service,” and that Ryan McGivern will be taking his place. A member of Pat Miletich’s Silverbacks team, McGivern has a professional record of 11-5, and previously defeated Horwich by unanimous decision at the IFL Championship Final on 12/29/06.

In a post-UFC 81 interview with Mr. Sunshine, Dana White referred to Hong Man Choi as “Long Duk Dong.” Funny or offensive, depending on your perspective.

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WCF Fishin’ For Attention


(Dan Lauzon as “Jigsaw”)

World Championship Fighting’s new season is set to kick-off on February 8th. Along with some okay fights, the WCF has already announced they’ll have Dana White’s bald head glaring under the lights that night. And as if that wasn’t enough, they’ve got another announcement on their website. Seems that “Tapout” – the Versus reality show made by the guys at Tapout that travels around profiling up-and-comers – will be filming at the event as well.

MMA Fightline has a portion of the press release:

World Championship Fighting announces the filming of the “Tapout” reality show at the February 8 event.

The Tapout Crew will be filming another episode of their self-titled reality show on the Versus network at the World Championship Fighting (WCF) event in Wilmington, Mass., on Feb. 8 where Brockton-native Dan Lauzon will be the featured fighter for the episode which documents the Tapout Crew’s quest to search for the best up and coming Mixed Martial Arts fighters in the Country.

As a testament to the phenomenal growth of Mixed Martial Arts, The Tapout Crew went from selling t-shirts out of a trunk in the parking lot at mixed martial arts (MMA) shows in California 10 years ago to building their company into the largest apparel brand in the sport. The Tapout Company now grosses millions of dollars per year, has their own magazine publication, their own television reality show and sponsors many of the top fighters in the world including those in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).

Shall we stroke each other a little more?

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Palhares to See First Action at UFC 84


(Rousimar Palhares…future middleweight superstar?)

We recently told you that the UFC had signed Brazilian fighter Rousimar Palhares and now it looks like his first action is being slated for May. MMA Junkie is reporting that Palhares will pop his UFC cherry Mary 24th. His opponent will be Ivan Salaverry, who is 12-5 and has been spotty in the UFC against good fighters. He owns a notable win against Joe Riggs, but has struggled in the UFC since. Salaverry literally just received the fight offer and it’s expected to move forward.

Palhares trains with Brazilian Top Team and recently won Fury Fighting Championship’s 185lb Grand Prix tournament. He’s won five fights in a row and is a die-hard disciple of BJJ – he’s won five of his fights by submission. He’s never been knocked out and his lone professional loss was to Arthur Cesar.

This should be a good one for Palhares to get his feet wet in the UFC. Dana White and Co. are hoping he’s a future star in the lagging middleweight division and he looks to have the skills to fulfill their hopes. By the time the fight rolls around, it will be a year since Salaverry has fought – a loss to Terry Martin. An injury kept him away from the game for a while, but if he’s at full speed now, he’ll be a nice test for Palhares.

Their fight will be on the UFC 84 card – which was originally UFC 85 until UFC 83 was…what number are we on again? Anyway, you guys know that old chestnut by now. The possible heavy hitters on the card could be Tito Ortiz in his UFC swan song vs. Lyoto Machida and the Sean Sherk/BJ Penn fight-to-the-death match. With new blood like Palhares thrown in, too, I’m digging how this one’s shaping up.

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Even More Fighters Added to TUF 7


(Got your attention? Good…read on.)

Since our earlier report, more fighters have been added to the seventh season of The Ultimate Fighter. It’s now being reported that a Mississippi dude has been picked to step into the TUF 7 cage. Jeremiah Riggs is 1-0 as a pro, soooooo there’s not too much we can know about him yet.

The fighter used to be a sheriff’s deputy and fought in Alabama as an amateur. His pro debut was back in September, where he beat Craig Sjoerdsma via submission (on strikes). MMA Junkie had this to say:

Although he’s had little professional experience, Riggs has sought out some quality training. A source close to Riggs told us that the fighter recently spent some time in California training with Strikeforce world middleweight champ Frank Shamrock. Riggs was set to become part of the San Jose Razorclaws — an International Fight League team coached by Shamrock — but after never winning a team matchup, the IFL disbanded the team after the 2007 fight season.

As for his personality, “Jeremiah’s just a freakin’ crazy country boy,” we’re told.

Just can’t wait to have another “freakin’ crazy country boy” among us – especially one actually from the south. Other TUF 7 additions being reported, are:

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