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Tag: Mark Cuban

Zuffa Strikeforce Purchase Tidbit of the Day: The UFC Tried to Sign Fabricio Werdum After He Beat Fedor

(“Strikeforce is the best….Sorry, I just can’t say it with a straight face.”)

Now that UFC’s parent company, Zuffa LLC has bought Strikeforce nuggets like *the buying price for Strikeforce was $40-million* and *Pro Elite was one of the frontrunners for taking over the San Jose-based organization before DW and the Fertittas swooped in and bought Scott Coker’s baby*.

One of the more interesting behind the scenes tidbits today comes from an interview Tatame did with Fabricio Werdum regarding Zuffa’s latest belt notch. Werdum reveals that following his June 26, 2010 upset win over Fedor Emelianenko, he received a call from UFC matchmaker Joe Silva to see if and when he was available to negotiate. Vai Cavalo was inexplicably dropped by Silva following a KO loss at UFC 90 in October 2008 to up-and-comer Junior dos Santos. In his two bouts prior, the Sylvio Behring BJJ black belt defeated Gabriel Gonzaga and Brandon Vera by TKO

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Now Bob Reilly’s Just Trying to Piss Everybody Off


(Video courtesy HDNet/InsideMMA)

On tonight’s episode of HDNet’s Inside MMA, the guest panel is shown an inflammatory clip from New York Assemblyman, Bob Reilly, in which the oblivious councillor compares "Ultimate Fighting" to dogfighting and prostitution, and let’s just say the guests are not impressed.

Before we get to that, here’s what Reilly’s latest bout of verbal diarrhea contained:

"Wait! Let’s have dogfighting and make money. We could make money off of dogfighting. We might make more money off of dogfighting than we could make out of human fighting. We certainly could make money off of prostitution as they do in Nevada. We don’t want prostitution here and we don’t want dogfighting here and we don’t want Ultimate Fighting here."

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Friday Link Dump


(Andrei looks ripped.  Fedor looks chubby.  Yep, everything went as expected at the Affliction weigh-ins.)

– Oh yeah, Fedor knows how to fight a good striker.  (USA Today)

– Donald Trump Jr. talks Dana White, UFC.  (MMA Payout)

– Mike Chiappetta tells MMA fans, ‘Yes, we can.’  (NBC Sports)

– One last look at Arlovski’s boxing skillz.  (MMA Fanhouse)

– Brit boxers don’t sweat the UFC, or so they say.  (The Sun)

– The New York Times goes from covering to lambasting MMA.  (NYT)

– Foot injury sidelines Mike Swick for at least three months.  (Five Ounces)

– "Fighting Chance" promises to be the oddest MMA movie yet.  (Al.com)

– Top 5 MMA spectator brawls.  (MMA Journalist)

– Who’s afraid of Mark Cuban?  Major League Baseball.  (Scores Report)

– "Notorious" is just aiiiight.  (Bullz-Eye.com)

– Inside the Taco: New Employees.  (Holy Taco)

– 13 insanely horrible local TV ads.  (Screen Junkies)

– Cop knocks protester out cold.  (Nothing Toxic)

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Dana White Talks Failed HBO Deal with Playboy

The good people at famed gentleman’s magazine Playboy have an interview with UFC prez Dana White in their September issue (which drops Friday, August 15) and one of the more interesting nuggets to come out of it are White’s remarks on what torpedoed the HBO deal:

“I pulled the plug at the 23rd hour. HBO was pi**ed off… I would have had to sell out, literally. They would have owned the UFC… I took meetings with HBO’s boxing guys. I’ll tell you, if I had to hear one more time about how many fu**ing Emmys they had won, I was going to dive out the window. I said ‘You won a bunch of Emmys, but I’m kicking your a** on pay-per-view.”

Awesome. Do I believe Dana White actually said that to HBO executives? Not really, but it’s still a good story. As much as people criticized him for not making the HBO deal happen, you have to respect his desire to maintain his autonomy, even if it means not blowing up big time with HBO’s Emmy factory.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a Dana White interview if he didn’t bash Tito Ortiz:

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FIGHT! Magazine Exclusive: ‘Brave New World’

Jens Pulver WEC Fight Magazine

FIGHT! Magazine’s June issue hits newsstands this week, containing articles on Jens Pulver and Lyoto Machida, as well as the following piece on the current state of competition in the MMA industry. Provided exclusively to CagePotato.com by FIGHT!, “Brave New World” features EliteXC’s Gary Shaw, Strikeforce’s Michael Afromowitz, and HDNet’s Mark Cuban weighing in on how they plan to survive and succeed in the vast shadow of the Octagon.

***

By Matthew Ross

First it was Royce vs. Ken on closed-circuit pay-per-view. Then came Forrest vs. Stephan on basic cable. Now? It’s the UFC vs. everybody else, coming to you live on enough channels to give your TiVo a nervous breakdown.

Welcome to a new era of MMA.

First, a recap. In 2005, Dana White and Spike TV revolutionized mixed martial arts with the advent of The Ultimate Fighter reality series, which introduced the channel’s historically frat boy-esque demographic to the world of organized ass-kicking. The results were rapid and dramatic. TUF skyrocketed up the Nielsen charts and Spike began airing live, high-quality UFC cards. What had once been a fringe sub-culture whose following in the U.S. consisted of fighters and a small but dedicated army of diehard fans had now become a mainstream attraction. New gyms began popping up in strip malls all over America. Guys like Chuck, Tito, and Randy became household names, and dudes could throw out terms like rear-naked choke and Thai clinch around their girlfriends without getting slapped in the face.

By the end of 2007, UFC championship bouts were regularly covered by the national news outlets, and the brightest stars had graced the covers of ESPN the Magazine, Sports Illustrated, and Men’s Fitness. As Dana White would tell any reporter who’d listen: “We’ve arrived.” Not since Tony Alva, Stacy Peralta, and the rest of the Dogtown Z-Boys showed the world how to catch air with a piece of plywood and some polyurethane wheels had any sport ever gotten so big, so fast.

Not surprisingly, fans and journalists weren’t the only ones who caught wind of what was going down. Spike and the UFC may have gotten the ball rolling, but a bevy of broadcasters have teamed up with one or more of the savvy new MMA promotions to get a piece of the pie. While the empire created by Dana White and the Fertitta family shows no sign of ceding its title to any of the young upstarts, it’s impossible to deny that the UFC is no longer the only game in town. They may have the best overall roster of fighters and biggest brand recognition in the game, but things are about to get interesting.

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WWE + MMA = Scripted Fights


(Partnering with the WWE for MMA events is not something to cheer about, Dude.)

In an e-mail exchange with Mark Cuban on Thursday, The Edmonton Sun posed some questions regarding the 49-year-old gazillionaire’s involvement in MMA and where HDNet’s participation in the sport was headed. Cuban’s HDNet most recently broadcast MFC 15: Rags to Riches last Friday, where Pete Spratt was choked out by Ryan Ford. The channel has been partnering with several organizations this year to become the MMA broadcast king – including showing their own HDNet Fights.

Q: Why did you decide to carry so much MMA content on HDNet? (The channel has created the HDNet Fights brand.)
A: “We think MMA is just starting to take off. It’s a great sport that combines athleticism and strategy and of course toughness that is just starting to go mainstream.

“It’s a great opportunity for HDNet to gain viewers in the U.S. and Canada.”

Cuban goes on to speak of his love for MMA and his plans to attend scores of live events in the near future. And he plans on keeping HDNet on track to get MMA in every house.

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“The Real Deal” (Not Holyfield)

 
MMA Junkie reports that recent HDNet Fights participant Pete Spratt has signed to fight at MFC 15: Rags to Riches.  You’ll recall that Spratt was a cast member on “TUF 4″ before going to work for Mark Cuban and kicking the shit out of Tristan Yunker back on December 15th.  Spratt is 17-10 and will face Ryan “The Real Deal” Ford, who is undefeated in four professional bouts.  The Maximum Fighting Championship has announced the fight will be the evening’s main event.
 
According to the MFC’s official site, the event will be on February 22 at the River Cree Resort and Casino in Edmonton.  That little Canadian town is getting in on the MMA action lately.  The welterweight fight could see Spratt stay on track now that he’s uprighted himself after three losses in a row to open 2007. But Ford is turning heads with the way he has dispatched his opponents so far and he’s only been at this for six months.  If he turns in another impressive fight, look for him to start fielding fat contract offers elsewhere.
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Floyd Mayweather Never Actually Said He’d Switch to MMA, You Idiots

floyd
(Check the watches and necklaces…that’s the difference between MMA money and boxing money.)

A minor hubbub was caused this weekend when an ESPN.com article reported that boxing superstar Floyd Mayweather met with HDNet owner Mark Cuban to discuss “a revolutionary jump to mixed martial arts.” Said Mayweather’s advisor/friend Leonard Ellerbe:

“It’s definitely something he is interested in, and when Floyd makes his move, obviously it’s going to be a mega event…Mark Cuban is a very successful businessman and has some very, very successful business ventures that we’ve discussed…Doing an MMA event with him is most definitely something we are looking at, among many things we are looking at doing with Mark Cuban.”

In turn, Cuban was quoted as saying:

“Floyd is considering fighting with HDNet Fights. We are going to let him visit some gyms to talk to some folks about what it would take to learn. He knows it won’t be easy. But he is getting involved with MMA and HDNet Fights one way or another. He is pumped about it. He wants to go on to the next big thing. Floyd is a brilliant marketer. He follows the money…If I said there’s a guaranteed $30 million payday, Floyd would be lacing them up.”

For the benefit of the dangerously naive, everything in that last quote that I didn’t put bold tags around is utter horseshit, intended to hype up the fact that Floyd Mayweather will soon be having some sort of involvement in HDNet Fights. Mark Cuban, who has been tight with Mayweather since their stint on Dancing With the Stars, is floating that stuff about Mayweather visiting MMA gyms so that you, the stupid fight fan, will pay close attention to Mayweather’s next move (and by extension, HDNet’s). But Mayweather himself never said he’d be strapping on some four-ounce gloves and stepping into a cage. Here’s what he actually did say, two weeks ago, after his TKO of Ricky Hatton: “I don’t know if I’ll fight again. I’m not going to let boxing retire me, I’ll retire from boxing. I accomplished all that I could as a fighter. Now it’s time to be a promoter.

Let’s take it from the top, because I feel like y’all aren’t hearing me.

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Fedor vs. Mr. X Will Be Broadcast Live on HDNet

Fedor

First, the good news:

The “Yarennoka!” New Year’s Eve event that will feature Fedor Emelianenko will be shown live on HDNet. The all-high-definition cable channel already had a stacked month of MMA scheduled, with live broadcasts of HDNet Fights: Reckless Abandon on 12/15 and the IFL 2007 World Grand Prix Finals on 12/29, and the landing of Fedor Emelianenko in his first match since April is a huge coup.

“This announcement reinforces our commitment to becoming the home for live MMA action,” said HDNet owner Mark Cuban. “No one else but HDNet will have the return of Fedor live from Japan.”

Now, the bad news: Emelianenko’s opponent has not yet been named. Hong Man Choi competes at the K-1 World Grand Prix Final tournament this Saturday, and with a first-round draw of Jerome Le Banner, he could be in no condition to fight again just three weeks later. Later rumors named Josh Barnett as Fedor’s opponent, but his participation hasn’t been locked down yet either. So, kind of a gamble for HDNet — the possibility of Fedor fighting a random last-minute replacement could make for a supremely disappointing night that could negatively affect MMA fans’ opinion of the channel. But honestly, who the hell would fight Fedor Emelianenko on such short notice? Bo Cantrell? It should be noted that heavyweights Mark Hunt and Aleksander Emelianenko are also scheduled to fight at Yarennoka!, but currently lack opponents. I say throw the three of them in a cage together and see who’s the last man standing. Obviously, the Emelianenko brothers would table-top Hunt, pound him out, then agree on a draw, but hey, if you can think of a better main event I’m all ears.

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