WEC To PPV in 2009

August 29, 2008

An article on Yahoo! Sports MMA discusses the Zuffa’s plans to cut some of the divisions in the WEC and in the discussion this little bit of info was dropped:

That’s particularly true given White’s plan to add pay-per-view shows to the WEC’s offerings, perhaps as early as May.

The ability for the WEC to draw on PPV will be more dependent on the company’s ability to sell the 135 and 145 divisions. Part of being able to draw successfully is convincing your customer they are receiving a world class product. That case can be easily made at the 135 and 145 levels, and would be next to impossible with the 185 and 205 weight classes. The 205 class isn’t worth much discussion at all, while the 185 class has a world class fighter in Paulo Filho, but a collection of journeymen, rookies, and never will be’s underneath him…not the most marketable of collections.

The WEC have the luxury of having two marketable stars in those lower divisions with champs Miguel Torres and Urijah Faber. Getting rid of the 185 and 205 divisions will allow them to concentrate and build up the fighters in the lower weight classes, boosting the profiles of the champs but also building up the other fighters in those divisions so that they are seen as plausible contenders. An example of this would be the upcoming Faber vs Mike Brown fight. If you are a hardcore fan, you know that Brown is a plausible contender, but the ability to sell him as such kind of gets lost in the shuffle when some of the WEC cards are being filled with non-starters at the 185 and 205 level on Versus.

Billboard Rec Sports DVD Chart – 9/06/08

August 29, 2008

The Billboard Rec Sports DVD Chart for the week of September 6th:

1 NFL: Favre 4 Ever
2 WWE: The Rock: The Most Electrifying Man In Sports Entertainment
3 NBA Champions 2007-2008: Boston Celtics
4 WWE: Nature Boy Ric Flair: The Definitive Collection
5 WWE: SummerSlam: The Complete Anthology 1988-2007
6 UFC 83: Serra Vs St-Pierre
7 WWE: WrestleMania XXIV
8 WWE: Night Of Champions 2008
9 Pride Frighting Championships: 33: The Second Coming
10 NFL: Road To Super Bowl XLII

KJ Noons: "I am tired of being bent over by Elite XC with no Vaseline".

August 28, 2008

Noons vs Diaz or Noons vs EliteXC?

It is not about being scared to fight Diaz, who I previously defeated, it is about the fight I am currently in with Elite XC regarding my career.

I would first like to address all the false allegations and insults from Jared Shaw, aka $kala, VP of Elite XC. You will see why I am so disgusted of how Elite XC treated me and how it applies to this proposed fight and my career.

$kala says:Honor my contract. Elite XC wants to talk about honoring the contract. How about when Elite XC honored the contract and my pay to fight Edson Berto went down after I lost my first fight. That was not part of my contract. Or how about the contract Gary Shaw breached by not promoting my boxing career? Gary Shaw only gave me one out of four of the agreed upon fights. I have not boxed for over a year. When I signed with Elite XC, I was promised they would promote both my boxing and MMA careers. I could have signed with another MMA only company, but I wanted to box too.

Elite XC does me a favor after I lose, by putting me on the first ShoXC against Edson Berto? Berto’s father is good friends with Jared’s father, Gary Shaw who wants Berto’s brother on a boxing contract. Berto was the next guy Elite XC wanted to build. But I win that fight and now I am 1-1. Elite XC gives me an opportunity to fight Diaz. Elite XC puts me against Diaz because Elite XC’s roster was so light and there was nobody else to fight him.

Elite XC creates a new weight class for Diaz because he beat Gomi. Giving Diaz a belt and creating a weight division (160) he can make, will make your belt legit. Sorry to ruin Elite XC’s plans and beat him.

Elite XC never promoted or took care of me as their champion.
Examples:
In the Elite XC’s DVD where Diaz and I fought there are two (2) baseball cards of Diaz and Kimbo. Hello! I won the fight and Elite XC’s promoting Diaz after I beat him? Or how about the day Elite XC flew Diaz in to do a signing on the DVD where he lost. Wow, that must have been uncomfortable Nick? Signing a DVD, and it is a fight that you lost. Why wasn’t I flown in for the signing?
Elite XC has never promoted me on either of their websites, EliteXC or Pro-Elite.
Elite XC offered me a fight on the first CBS show, but only if I signed a new long-term contract. Instead of promoting their best fighters on CBS, you have to be on a long term contract for them to promote you. That was not our deal.

Consider when Elite XC gives a couple thousand tickets away at their CBS show in Stockton.
Elite XC gives me a hard time about comping me one extra ticket for my cousin that helped me train for my fight. I only get four tickets per show. I am the main event in Honolulu, my home town! I did not ask for any tickets for my family and friends and they gave me a hard time about one extra ticket!
Or how about when Elite XC brought Diaz into the ring after my last victory in Hawaii to disrespect me and my family.

Chuck Champion (President Elite XC) threatens me, my family and my manager with lawsuits and how he’s going to sue me. HAHA. Pretty hard to sue a guy who does not make jack with your company. I’m glad $kala disclosed how much I make, which breached the confidentiality clause of the contract. I will break down the real numbers for you. I am the defending world champ, I have been the main event for Elite XC three out of four times on Showtime. In almost two years I have made approximately $83,000?

After paying my trainers and managers fee, I have $50,000 thousand. After taxes, probably 30 grand. Divide that by two years for $15,000 thousand a year. Divide by 52 weeks that amounts to approximately $300 a week. I do not know anybody that can survive on that amount of money. My buddies make more money than that in a couple days being a bus boy or bar back. And yes you can argue I should fight more. Elite XC doesn’t give me fights or promote me, they ice me. Gary Shaw Productions only gave me one of the agreed upon four fights per the boxing contract.

And I do not want to ramble on about all the little small stuff that I can keep going on about. But the straw that broke the camel’s back is they want me to fight Diaz for the second time. Diaz is not the number one contender and they are paying Diaz three times more money than me. Diaz complained after the Stockton fight, he was not paid enough. How do you think that made me feel? Yes you can argue that Diaz gets more for the draw, therefore I do not deserve as much compensation. If that is the case, it is a result of Elite XC terrible job promoting me. Instead of promoting me as their champ and upcoming athlete, Elite XC has resented me for ruining their plans to make Diaz their champ. That is just total disrespect. So it comes down to money and what is fair. I am tired of being bent over by Elite XC with no Vaseline.

I am right when I say Diaz is not the number one contender. Elite XC is trying to force this fight for their ratings. Eddie Alaverez is the number one contender and anybody with half a brain knows that a fight with Eddie is a way harder fight for me than Diaz. I will fight Diaz, but Elite has to be fair. I’m not ducking Diaz, why the hell would I be scared of someone I already beat.

With that being said, I am going to focus on my boxing career. I can make more money doing 6 and 8 rounders every other month and make more than I did being the Elite XC defending world champ. At least I will be able to sleep at night and be able to look myself in the mirror everyday. That right there is worth more than $300 bucks a week or fighting a guy I cannot stand for less money than him the second time around.

Will the Diaz fight happen, yes. Will the fight happen on Elite XC on October 4, 2008, probably not. The way things are being run by Chuck Champion, a guy whose history is newspapers, not fighting, and $kala, someone who talks a lot of game, but has never put on a pair of gloves, never stepped in a ring or cage. $kala has had everything handed to him with a silver spoon from daddy. Does anyone else but me think $kala just wants to be famous and stir up all this dirty laundry? I guess any publicity is good publicity. When I think about it, it has been good promotion for their October card since nobody is talking about it until you bring up the Noons vs. Diaz match up.

Before I end, I would like to thank my team, my trainers and workout partners for helping me prepare for my fights hours every day. I would like to also thank my manager Mark Dion for standing behind my decision making. I want to be a fighter who is not doing whatever I am being told like some kind of mindless puppet.

Thanks for hearing my side.

K.J. NOONS

WEC To Make Possible Mexico Debut

August 28, 2008

Leonard Garcia spoke with Tagg Radio, and intimated that a WEC card may be in the offing for those south of the border. MMAJunkie reports:

So, could the WEC be headed to Mexico for a Faber vs. Garcia fight?

“They’re flying me out six days after the (Pulver) fight to Mexico City to do a press conference and to make a huge announcement,” Garcia said. “As I understand it, both Urijah and I are going. … I think both of us just need to hold up our ends of the bargain on Sept. 10.

“So yeah, you essentially hit the nail on the head.”

The WEC looks to be the major vehicle for Zuffa to expand into Mexico. Zuffa recently announced the airing of the WEC brand on the Mexican television network Cadena Tres. With most of the Mexican MMA fighters being in the lower weight classes, the WEC looks to be home to most fighters signed by Zuffa.

MMA Expo Looks to Expand, License

August 28, 2008

Huntington Beach, CA – IMMAE announced today that it will be launching an ambitious licensing program designed to project Mixed Martial Arts Expos across the globe and propel the IMMAE brand to household name status. IMMAE plans to produce these community level events across North America in an effort to help further penetrate Mixed Martial Arts into mainstream America.

IMMAE will look to produce state level and regional shows. These shows will be larger in production and attendance than community level shows and will be designed to promote the sport of MMA on a much larger scale. The largest show will remain the annual event currently held in Southern California. This event will remain annual avoid to void market saturation and will be engineered to draw in exhibitors and fans from around the world.

IMMAE is announcing its first state level exposition through its licensee network. June 26th, 27th, and 28th 2009 marks the first state level exposition to be held in Honolulu, Hawaii. The event is being held at the Blaisdale Exposition Center in downtown Honolulu and is being produced in conjunction with Evolution Sports. The purpose of the event is to promote awareness for MMA at a state level as well as to promote networking and synergy between Hawaii based MMA businesses. The event also promises to be a bridge between the mainland MMA community and its Hawaii based counterpart. The event will feature up to 120 booth spaces, a grappling tournament, and amateur MMA events.

IMMAE is also announcing its first community level exposition through its licensee network. October 11th and 12th 2008 will mark the first community level exposition, to be held in Chandler, Arizona. The event is being held at the Rawhide Rodeo & Fairgrounds and is designed to promote awareness of Mixed Martial Arts in the Chandler Community. The event is being produced in conjunction with Apocolypse Productions based out of Chandler, and was formerly called SWMMAE. There will be professional seminars hosted by top MMA fighters across the two day event.

For more information on IMMAE or upcoming IMMAE events in your area, visit www.immae.tv

M-1 Pairs With HDNet For Challenge Series

August 28, 2008

M-1 Global announced Wednesday the signing of a contract with HDNet Fights. Starting on September 19th, the audience in the North America (USA, Canada and Mexico) will be able to watch the 2008 first season of M-1 Challenge on HDNet network. The deal looks to be for multiple events, with most of the cards being European-based.

ShoXC Rating

August 28, 2008

Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter reported in the print version some growth for EliteXC with their ShoXC-branded fights:

The 8/15 Show XC card did a 0.66 rating on Showtime and 175,000viewers. That’s the best rating in the history of Show XC and that’s a successful number for a show with no names and no promotional effort put into it.

While the ShoXC show is never going to do huge numbers, it looks like they may be getting a little traction with the show, much like a Friday Night Fights type of show for the boxing crowd. Both FNF and ShoXC are havens for the hardcores where MMA fans can get their fix, with both showing off decent mid-level competition.

Rampage Jackson Signs With UK's Wolfslair

August 27, 2008

John O’ Regan of FightersOnly.com breaks another scoop with the news of Quinton “Rampage” Jackson signing with the UK based Wolfslair Academy. Wolfslair will serve as both fight and business manager for Jackson. O’ REgan also confirmed via Jackson that he has parted ways with former manager Juanito Ibarra.

“I feel like Wolfslair can make me go farther than I have been; I’m really excited about being able to travel there to train. The guys on the team, they like to laugh and joke around but they train hard and that’s me, that’s what I like to do.”

“I like the tea, I like the ‘birds’ (English slang for women), and I like the culture. I’m looking forward to learning a lot more about British culture – because America really doesn’t have one (laughs).”

This is certainly an interesting pairing for Jackson. Rampage is said to be close with Wolfslair ace Michael Bisping, training at Big Bear with Bisping on several occasions, and this is likely at the root of Rampage’s decision. Outside of Bisping and Paul Kelly, Wolfslair is a bit bereft top shelf talent and is even more lacking in the coaching and training area. It is hard to see his game make any great leaps with this move to train in the UK. One advantage of the move may be the ability to operate in a low profile environment, which is mentione in the Fighters Only piece.

Lauzon Eyeing Big Things In '09

August 27, 2008

Lauzon positioning himself for UFC title run in 2009

Bradley fight Sept. 17 in Omaha on UFC Fight Night 15

E. BRIDGEWATER, Mass. (August 26, 2008) – In a relatively short period, 24-year-old Joe “J-Lau” Lauzon has gone from computer geek to starring on The Ultimate Fighter 5 television reality show, upsetting a former world mixed-martial-arts champ, and then headlining UFC Fight Night 13.

Not too shabby for the nerd-looking but fearless fighting lightweight contender who has a Bachelor’s degree in computer networking from Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston. Two years ago, he was fighting part-time and working full-time at Charles River Analytics in Cambridge (MA), where he was responsible for maintaining a 130-computer network.

Now, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu specialist Lauzon (16-4, 3 KOs, 13 submissions) is currently preparing for his next fight, September 17 against Kyle Bradley (13-5) in UFC Fight Night 15, on Spike television live from Omaha, Nebraska.

“Every fighter will tell you that their next fight is the most important and that won’t change here,” Lauzon said. “Fighters can make or break their careers with a few good or bad fights, so I’m not going to let any fight slip by.”

Born in Brockton, Massachusetts, known as the “City of Champions” because Hall of Fame boxers Rocky Marciano and Marvelous Marvin Hagler fought out of there, Lauzon fought on the relatively small New England circuit during the early part of his still young MMA career, earning 2004 Massachusetts Fighter of the Year honors.

In 2006, “J-Lau” won an 8-man tournament by defeating three fighters on one night in the World Fighting League, and he was crowned WFL Grand Prix champion. His impressive showing led to a UFC contract, although he believed that he’d lose his love of fighting if he became a fulltime fighter and it became a job.

His UFC debut was against former world light weight champion Jens “Little Evil” Pulver (21-7-1), who was a solid 7-1 favorite, in UFC 63 (September 23, 2006). Lauzon immediately took Pulver to the mat, but they got up and Joe rocked Pulver with a right knee, leading to a devastating left hook that dropped Pulver. A barrage followed and the referee halted the fight at 43 seconds of the opening round, marking Pulver’s first UFC loss in eight fights.

“Going into the fight with Jens,” Lauzon reflected, “I had all the upper tier fighters on his plateau and I thought that I was far off. Getting a big win like that let me know that I could compete at that level.”

Lauzon’s impressive performance led to him being cast on The Ultimate Fighter 5, where Joe met his new mentor and training partner, UFC lightweight champion BJ Penn, who was his coach on the television series. Joe won his first two fights in the series against a team coached, ironically, by Pulver, but Joe lost a decision to Manvel Gamburyan in the semifinals. In the finale, however, “J-Lau” beat Brandon Melendez by submission (triangle choke) at 2:09 of the second round.

“The Ultimate Fighter was great for me because it put me on television in front of everyone,” Joe noted. “On the local level, MMA shows are filled by fighters selling tickets to their friends. The UFC has expanded that model by letting the world get to know fighters. You could fight a dozen times and still not have the same connection with people as you do when they see how you live for a month and a half.

After The Ultimate Fighter 5, Lauzon finally left his job at Charles River Analytics to become a fulltime MMA fighter, and took Penn up on his offer to train him, moving to Hawaii where one of his training partners was WEC featherweight champion Urijah Faber.

“Training with BJ was the best,” Lauzon remarked. “You always try to have a worst case scenario opponent in mind while training and BJ is just that” world-class Jiu-Jitsu, great striking with heavy ands and a solid chin, as well as crazy flexibility and takedown defense. All of that is hard to come by in one person, but BJ brings it all, the complete package. I am fortunate enough to have worked with BJ and I realize how much further I can improve. I am back training in Bridgewater at my school for this fight, but I’m sure I will be training with BJ again in the future.”

Last November, Joe defeated Jason Reinhardt by submission (rear naked choke) in the first round at UFC 78: Validation, setting up an All-Massachusetts showdown against Kenny Florian in the main event on UFC Fight Night 13 in Denver on April 2. The older, more experienced Florian registered a win by second-round TKO. “I learned from that fight that I need to pace myself better and not think that I have to go all out from bell to bell,” Joe commented. “It was real tough in Colorado with the elevation. I tried to prepare for it but I didn’t do enough. It was a costly lesson but one that I will never make again.”

Lauzon, representing Lauzon MMA, has moved back to Massachusetts and he’s living again in the town he grew-up in, East Bridgewater. Given his youth and talent, along with Penn possibly moving up to the welterweight division, “J-Lau” hopes to parlay an impressive win next month against Bradley into a top 10 ranking and eventually a UFC lightweight title shot in 2009.

For more information about Joe “J-Lau” Lauzon, go online to www.joelauzon.com or myspace.com/lauzonrsd.

CBS October 4th Card Press Release

August 27, 2008

KIMBO SLICE, KEN SHAMROCK, JAKE SHIELDS, PAUL DALEY AND GINA CARANO AMONG MMA SUPERSTARS ENTERING THE CAGE FOR “CBS ELITEXC SATURDAY NIGHT FIGHTS” SATURDAY, OCT. 4

ON THE CBS TELEVISION NETWORK

Undefeated Heavyweight Sensation Kimbo Slice Faces One of the Sports All-Time Greats, Ken Shamrock (Co-Main Event)

EliteXC Welterweight Champion Jake Shields Makes First Title Defense Against Cage Rage Welterweight Champion and UK Standout, Paul Daley (Co-Main Event)

Undefeated Female MMA Superstar Gina Carano Faces Toughest Challenge to Date Against Talented Kelly Kobald

Former EliteXC Middleweight Champion Murilo “Ninja” Rua Takes on Veteran Striker Benji Radach

LOS ANGELES, Aug. 27 — The third installment of CBS ELITEXC SATURDAY NIGHT FIGHTS will be broadcast live from the Bank Atlantic Center, in Sunrise, Fla., on Saturday, Oct. 4 (9:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. A four-fight broadcast will feature two main events: undefeated heavyweight sensation Kimbo Slice faces legendary Hall of Famer Ken Shamrock and EliteXC Welterweight Champion Jake Shields makes his first defense against Cage Rage Welterweight Champion Paul Daley.

The following is the confirmed lineup for the Oct. 4 CBS ELITEXC SATURDAY NIGHT FIGHTS:

· Kimbo Slice vs. Ken Shamrock (Heavyweights)

· Jake Shields vs. Paul Daley (for EliteXC Welterweight title)

· Gina Carano vs. Kelly Kobald (Women’s 140-Pound Weight Class)

· Murilo “Ninja” Rua vs. Benji Radach (Middleweights)

KIMBO SLICE VS. KEN SHAMROCK

Kimbo Slice, of Miami, returns to CBS following his third round TKO over James “Colossus” Thompson on May 31. Kimbo will be squaring off against Ken Shamrock, of Reno, Nev., a true MMA legend and one of the biggest draws in the sport. Known as “The World’s Most Dangerous Man,” 22 of his 26 wins have come via submission.

JAKE SHIELDS VS. PAUL DALEY

Jake Shields, of San Francisco, enters the cage with an undefeated streak spanning nearly five years. A winner of 10 straight, Shields is widely considered one of the best in the world at 170 pounds. He currently holds the title of EliteXC Welterweight Champion. Shields’ opponent on Oct. 4 is Paul Daley, of Nottingham, England, a dangerous Muay Thai specialist, who is also the current Cage Rage Welterweight Champion. Daley has won his last six fights, five by KO. Thirteen of his 18 wins have come by stoppage.

GINA CARANO VS. KELLY KOBALD

Gina Carano, of Las Vegas, will attempt to follow up her impressive second-round TKO over Kaitlin Young on May 31 on CBS when she takes on Kelly Kobald of Minneapolis. Carano is a skilled Muay Thai specialist with model looks and world-class ability, while Kobald began her career 16-0-1.

MURILO “NINJA” RUA VS. BENJI RADACH

Murilo “Ninja” Rua, of Curitiba, Brazil, is a Jiu-Jitsu and Muay Thai black belt. A former EliteXC 185-pound champion, “Ninja” has won five of his last six, including a first-round TKO over Tony Bonello in June. His opponent, Benji Radach, of Castle Rock, Wash., is a heavy-handed veteran who has won five of his last six fights.

In one of the evening’s exciting undercard bouts, Brazilian female newcomer, Cristiane Cyborg, who made her U.S. debut on July 26 on CBS, will square off against Japan’s Yoko Takahashi. Highlights from this match will be shown during the CBS broadcast.

CBS Sports play-by-play announcer Gus Johnson, cageside analysts Frank Shamrock and Mauro Ranallo, and reporter Karyn Bryant will return as the “CBS ELITEXC SATURDAY NIGHT FIGHTS” broadcast team.

CBS ELITEXC SATURDAY NIGHT FIGHTS will be produced by SHOWTIME Sports. The executive producer is David Dinkins, Jr.

For more information on CBS ELITEXC SATURDAY NIGHT FIGHTS, visit cbssports.com or www.proelite.com.

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