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UFC Signs Japanese TV Deal

Dana White
(See, Japan? Dana White knows what you’re into. You guys are still into samurai swords, right?.)

The UFC is headed back to Japanese TV sets via a new two-year deal with the Japanese subscription-based broadcaster WOWOW. They’ll be broadcasting all UFC pay-per-views starting with this Saturday’s UFC 89 from England on a tape delay. From the press release:

“The Japanese market has always been important to the UFC, and we want to bring MMA and all of its biggest stars back to Japan,” said Dana White, UFC President. “We are thrilled to be back with WOWOW.”

“WOWOW is extremely pleased to announce that UFC is back on WOWOW, starting with the UFC 89 event in Birmingham, UK,” said Mr. Kazuyuki Omura, Chief Producer, WOWOW. “The UFC will telecast in High Definition on WOWOW’s popular “Timely-on-Air” format, a limited delay broadcast adjusting the airtime to a time that will be convenient for the sports fans in Japan. After airing over 50 UFC shows from 2001 to 2007, we are excited to once again provide our subscribers with the most prominent mixed martial arts program in the world.”

There, Japanese MMA fans, does that take some of the sting out of Zuffa buying Pride only to dismantle it? No, probably not, but what can you do. At least you’ve still got Dream, and at least they finally paid Nick Diaz for a fight that happened last spring.

This TV deal is just one more box checked in the UFC’s global domination plans. Now look the fuck out, Phillipines.


Fedor’s Real Take From Affliction: $1.6 Million?

(Did Fedor make approximately 640,000 ice cream cones at Affliction? Oh, would that he had more than two hands.)

We all knew there was no way in hell that Fedor Emelianenko only pocketed $300,000 for throttling Tim Sylvia at Affliction: Banned, as was reported in the official payout figures from the CSAC. Word had it that he got “a sizable” amount of his money in the form of a signing bonus. Now says they have sources telling them that the figure was $1.3 million, bringing his total cheddar from the event to $1.6 million.

Sizable? Yeah, we’d say so. Especially since he owns the right to his fight footage in Europe, which is both a little weird and totally awesome. So this seems to be more in line with what we’d expect Fedor to be getting paid, right? After all, if Tim Sylvia got $800,000, and Fedor is at least twice as valuable, $1.6 mill is right on the button.

But if we’re to believe everything we read (and we do, even science fiction, which explains why we’re terrified of Asimov’s robots) Fedor was offered and declined a deal for more money with the UFC. Dave Meltzer wrote recently that Emelianenko was offered “a seven-figure signing bonus and a minimum of $1.5 million per fight.”

If that’s true — and we’ll point out that Meltzer is probably getting his info from the UFC on this one, who also once claimed that they totally weren’t offering Fedor waaaaaay more than Randy Couture, who as you’ll recall got pissed off enough to leave behind these failed negotiations — then something isn’t adding up here. Or else Fedor and his management team love their video rights and their freedom more than cash. Or else they’re dumb.