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Tag: UFC 81

Classic Fight: Frank Mir vs. Brock Lesnar at UFC 81 [VIDEO]


(Match starts at the 10:48 mark. Props: YouTube.com/UFC)

To hype up Frank Mir‘s return to the Octagon at UFC 164 this coming Saturday, the UFC has released one of Frank’s career highlights — his first-round submission victory against pro-wrestling star Brock Lesnar at UFC 81, back in February 2008. Lesnar had first dipped his toes into the MMA pool the previous June, when he swallowed up Min Soo Kim at Dynamite!! USA in Los Angeles. That was enough to earn him an invitation to the UFC, but his debut fight would not be an easy one.

Lesnar wasted absolutely no time in dumping Mir on his back and firing some nasty shots from above. Then, referee Steve Mazzagatti makes a rather controversial choice, halting the action after Lesnar lands some punches to the back of Mir’s head. Theoretically, it’s the right call to make; Lesnar clearly lands at least four rabbit-punches at the video’s 11:08-11:12 mark. But how many times have you actually seen a UFC referee enforce that rule so quickly, without previous warnings? The Mazz deducts a point from Lesnar and re-starts the action with the fighters in a standing position. It’s a lucky break for Mir, who gets a moment to clear the cobwebs.

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Lesnar Earns His Keep: 600,000 Buys Estimated for UFC 81

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Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer reported today that the preliminary estimate of pay-per-view buys for UFC 81 was a big, girthy 600,000. As Meltzer wrote:

That show was not going to do more than 325,000 buys with the Tim Sylvia vs. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira match and a semifinal of Nathan Marquardt v. Jeremy Horn. In fact, that would be an optimistic expectation. So if this holds up, Lesnar was worth $12.36 million in overall revenue.

Adam Swift of MMAPayout explains that the figure may put UFC 81 among the all-time top-five UFC shows in terms of gross buys, and thanks to the $45 price tag, #3 in revenue after Ortiz/Liddell and Ortiz/Shamrock III. As Swift points out, the final number is usually significantly higher than the early estimates.

Swift also calls into question the sustainability of Lesnar’s drawing power, and the show’s success in taking wrestling fans who were first-time UFC buyers and converting them into regular fans. We’re of the opinion that Lesnar’s wrestling fans will keep paying for UFC events whenever he’s on the card — and only those events — meaning that Lesnar’s appearances will continue to translate to a spike in UFC PPV buys, but not an overall bump of the average buyrate. But hey, we don’t need those yokels anyway.

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Afternoon MMA News Roundup: Got Your Injunction Right Here

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(Tito Ortiz: Planning his next move?)

Too boring to get posts of their own — just boring enough to be lumped in with a few other stories!

UFC 81 drew 10,583 spectators at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas on Saturday, with 7,167 of those asses-in-seats actually paying for their tickets. That’s the lowest paid-attendance figure for a Mandalay Bay UFC event since UFC 48, which featured Ken Shamrock vs. Kimo Leopoldo as the main event. “Breaking Point” took in a live gate of $2,437,890, which is the sixth-lowest total out of the venue’s past seven UFC events. This could all be explained by an inordinate amount of comp tickets being handed out for Brock Lesnar’s Octagon debut, and the UFC could have easily gotten their money back on pay-per-view buys. But since the UFC isn’t required to release information on PPV revenue, we may not hear the full story for some time.

— Tito Ortiz may be planning a 10-year-anniversary re-match with Frank Shamrock outside of the UFC. The two fighters first met at UFC 22 back in September 1999, where they battled for the UFC’s 205-pound title. Shamrock won by submission due to strikes near the end of the fourth round, then retired from the UFC with a perfect 5-0 record in the organization.

Zuffa has filed a motion for preliminary injunction against Randy Couture, with a hearing date set for March 4th. The injunction will likely be focused on preventing Couture from making further breaches of the non-compete agreement in his employment contract.

— Though most Canadian provinces have given MMA their blessing, the sport is totes unkosher in Ontario.

— I just finished eating some thai food. It wasn’t bad.

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UFC 81 Medical Suspensions


(Frank Mir stopped the Lesnar hype train last Saturday.)

Six of last Saturday’s UFC 81 participants have been given medical suspensions by the Nevada State Athletic Commission, according to MMA Junkie. Most of the suspensions were relatively short, except for David Heath’s suspension. Heath lost via TKO in the first round of his fight with Tim Boetsch. He was brutalized by Boetsch with body kicks and strikes to the head when he hit the canvas.

Heath received a nasal fracture in the bout and a doctor has to clear him to fight if he wants to step into the Big O again before August 1st – which is when his suspension runs out. Boetsch had taken the fight just days before after Tomasz Drwal dropped out as Heath’s opponent due to a knee injury. Imagine if he had actually trained for David Heath. The medical suspension might instead be a death certificate for Heath.

Marvin Eastman, Kyle Bradley and Frank Mir got short suspensions because of lacerations. Tim Sylvia and Keita Nakamura were dealt medical suspensions as a precaution. Only Mir and Eastman won their fights – Mir was getting jacked by Brock Lesnar before catching the blonde beast napping and submitted him with a knee bar; Eastman won a unanimous decision over Terry Martin. Interesting that Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira escaped without a suspension since Tim Sylvia left his mark on Nog’s face.

The list of suspensions:
-Tim Sylvia: Suspended until March 3rd with no contact until February 24th for precautionary reasons

-Frank Mir: Suspended until March 3rd with no contact until February 24th because of a scalp laceration

-Kyle Bradley: Suspended until March 19th with no contact until March 2nd because of a facial laceration

-David Heath: Nasal fracture must be cleared by a doctor or he is suspended until August 1st – minimum suspension is until April 3rd with no contact until March 19th

-Marvin Eastman: Suspended until March 2nd with no contact until February 24th because of an upper-eyelid laceration

-Keita Nakamura: Suspended until March 19th with no contact until March 2nd for precautionary reason

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I Love Happy Endings…

SylNog

Tim: …basically, Antonio and I are professionals, and we leave it all in the cage. There’s no hard feelings whatsoever, because bottom line, he was the better fighter than me tonight and I respect the hell out of him.
Antonio: Estou cansado, querido.
Tim: Big guy says he’s sleepy! [journalists laugh] Don’t worry, lover. We’ll be home soon.

(Photo props: Sherdog)

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Fights of the Day #2+3: UFC 81 Knockout and Submission of the Night

If you missed our UFC 81 liveblog, click here. Check out the videos below for Chris Lytle’s nitro-burnin’ bash-fest against Kyle Bradley, and Ricardo Almeida choking out Rob Yundt despite being dropped directly on his head.

Chris Lytle vs. Kyle Bradley:

Ricardo Almeida vs. Rob Yundt:

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Fight of the Day #1: Brock Lesnar vs. Frank Mir

These things don’t last long on YouTube, so stop what you’re doing and watch. One major topic of discussion that has resulted from “Breaking Point” is Steve Mazzagatti’s questionable stoppage/point-deduction after Lesnar hit Mir in the back of the head. Though fighters usually get multiple warnings before a point is taken away for rabbit-punching (see most recently: St. Pierre vs. Hughes at UFC 79), Mazzagatti jumped in immediately, deducted a point, and put the fighters back on their feet. As the theory goes, Mazzagatti actually jumped in to stop the fight, but when he realized that it was a mistake, he covered his ass with an illegal-strike call. Did that cost Lesnar the fight? Let us know what you think…

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Liveblog-a-palooza: UFC 81

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As usual, click the MORE link to check out the greatest liveblogging on-line and remember to refresh the page every few minutes to get the latest on UFC 81: Breaking Point coming live – from Vegas, Baby! All times ET.

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UFC 81 Weigh-In Results; Brock Lesnar Has Enormous Hands

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All fighters made weight yesterday for UFC 81:

Tim Sylvia (261) vs. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (237)
Brock Lesnar (265) vs. Frank Mir (255)
Jeremy Horn (185) vs. Nate Marquardt (185)
Ricardo Almeida (185) vs. Rob Yundt (185)
Tyson Griffin (155) vs. Gleison Tibau (156)
Chris Lytle (170) vs. Kyle Bradley (170)
Tim Boetsch (205) vs. David Heath (205)
Marvin Eastman (185) vs. Terry Martin (186)
Rob Emerson (155) vs. Keita Nakamura (155)

I can’t remember the last time a UFC heavyweight weighed at the maximum of the 265-pound limit. From all accounts, Brock Lesnar will be looking enormous in the Octagon tonight, as illustrated in this report on Yahoo! Sports by Dave Meltzer:

Even though Lesnar is listed at 6-2 ½, he was slightly taller than Mir [6'4"]. At 265 pounds, he looked gigantic next to Mir, who weighed in at 255. Lesnar will likely be closer to 275-280 come fight time…

[Lesnar] is only the second man in the history of combat sports in Nevada to wear size 4XL gloves, the other being South Korean giant Choi Hong-man, who is 7-3 and 367 pounds…

Lesnar is guaranteed $250,000, the highest of anyone on the show, plus has a $200,000 win bonus. Generally speaking, most UFC headliners earn substantially more than their contracted guarantees. Mir, who has a chance to revitalize his career with a win, has a $40,000 guarantee with a $40,000 win bonus.

Not only is $250k per fight more than anybody else is making at “Breaking Point,” the figure puts Lesnar at the Liddell/Couture level of highest-paid fighters in the UFC. Quite an investment for someone who hasn’t proven himself in the Octagon yet. But if Lesnar’s WWE fans show up to support him with pay-per-view buys, he’ll easily earn his keep. The question is, will the hype of Brock Lesnar be enough to convince the UFC’s usual PPV-buyers to shell out for what could easily be dull event overall?

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‘Breaking Point’ Weigh-Ins, Livebloggin’, and More

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(“Ladies and gentlemen…I’m just a caveman. I fell on some ice and later got thawed out by some of your scientists. Your strange weight-measurement machine frightens and confuses me! My primitive mind can’t grasp these concepts. But there is one thing I do know — those girls behind me have glorious racks.”)

Alright settle down, settle down:

— Weigh-ins for UFC 81 go down today at 4pm PT / 7pm ET, and will be broadcast live from the Mandalay Bay Events Center on UFC.com.

— More importantly, we will be liveblogging UFC 81 tomorrow starting at 7pm PT / 10pm ET. Readers who have experienced our previous liveblogs know that it’s the best party on the Internet. Especially if you’re too cheap to pay for the event.

— In other UFC news, Michael Bisping has confirmed that his first fight as a middleweight will be against Charles McCarthy at UFC 83 in Montreal on April 19th. Dana White predicts that 83 will be “the biggest UFC event ever.”

— And: FiveOuncesofPain reports that a match between lightweights Frankie Edgar and Gray Maynard has been added to the talent-bloated Ultimate Fight Night 13 (Broomfield, CO; 4/2). Man, they should really break that card up into two back-to-back nights. Especially if they expect us to watch 16 non-stop fights directly afterwards. Our minds need time to recover…

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