Xyience Update

September 25, 2008

The Deal.com catches us up to speed on the recent developments in the ongoing saga of Xyience. The company itself seems to be down for the count but the legal proceedings are headed for a five round decision:

Xyience is on the verge of liquidating. Its assets were sold for $15 million to Manchester Consolidated Corp. in April and Judge Mike Nakagawa of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Nevada in Las Vegas confirmed its wind-down plan on Aug. 26.

But fisticuffs, and worse, are far from over. Litigation surrounds the former maker of the power drink known as Xenergy and the seemingly endless cast of characters involved in its creation, its day-to-day management and its descent into Chapter 11.

The article from there does a good job of summarizing the questionable history of the founder, the impending fall from grace for the company, and the various legal entanglements that have sprung forth in the aftermath.

The entire article is worth a read. There will be more movement soon in the case, as indicated in the closing portion of the article:

A status conference on the shareholders committee’s and Bergeron’s lawsuits is scheduled for Oct. 8. ……. A status conference on the unsecured creditors’ committee’s lawsuit will take place the same day. Zyen and the Fertittas have sought dismissal for that case, too.

Thanks to Fightlinker for the find.

Interview with Director of Renzo Gracie Legacy

September 25, 2008

Director Gethin Aldous discusses the origins of the documentary Renzo Gracie: Legacy with MMAPayout.com’s Andrew Falzon. The interview is available here.

The trailer can be viewed below:

Official CBS Release on Arlovski vs Nelson

September 24, 2008

LOS ANGELES, Sept. 24 — CBS, EliteXC, and Trump’s Affliction Entertainment jointly announced today that a fifth fight has been added to the lineup for CBS ELITEXC SATURDAY NIGHT FIGHTS on Saturday, Oct. 4 featuring top-ranked MMA heavyweights Andrei Arlovski against the last reigning IFL heavyweight champion Roy “Big Country” Nelson.

Arlovski, who was originally slated to fight in the main event of the Oct. 11 Affliction card, is the No. 4 ranked heavyweight in the world, according to MMAWEEKLY.com. A native of Belarus, Arlovski was last seen ending Ben Rothwell’s 13-fight winning streak during the inaugural “Affliction Banned” show, which was held on July 19, 2008. Arlovski is a former UFC heavyweight champion and currently has a record of 13-5.

Roy “Big Country” Nelson has made a name for himself with impressive knock outs, a remarkable ground game and stellar submissions. He was the IFL’s last reigning heavyweight champion and currently holds an impressive record of 13-2. Training with Ken Shamrock’s legendary fight camp, the Lion’s Den, Nelson stands at 6’0″ and weighs approximately 250 pounds.

“This is yet another testament to EliteXC’s willingness to work with other MMA promotions to bring the best possible fights to the broadest possible audience,” said Jeremy Lappen, head of the Live Fight Division of EliteXC. “Special thanks to the hard working team at Affliction and of course our partners at CBS and Showtime.”

Michael Cohen, Executive Vice President of The Trump Organization and Chief Operating Officer of Affliction Entertainment, added, “Mr. Trump and the Affliction Entertainment group are honored to be working alongside CBS, Showtime and EliteXC. It is without question that this event will exceed everyone’s expectations and will continue to uphold Affliction’s promise to promote the best fights for the benefit of the fans.”

The third installment of CBS’s primetime MMA event, CBS ELITEXC SATURDAY NIGHT FIGHTS, will be broadcast live from the BankAtlantic Center in Sunrise, Fla. on Saturday, Oct. 4 (9:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.

EliteXC and Affliction have teamed up to deliver one of the strongest MMA cards, top to bottom, of the year. 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)
* Andrei Arlovski vs. Roy “Big Country” Nelson (Heavyweights)
* Gina Carano vs. Kelly Kobold (Women’s 140-Pound Weight Class)
* Murilo “Ninja” Rua vs. Benji Radach (Middleweights)

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.

Dream 6 Disappoints in Ratings

September 24, 2008

Zach Arnold of FightOpinion delivers the news on Dream 6 ratings and it isn’t good:

Update: Sports Navigator is reporting that DREAM 6 drew a 9.0% rating on TBS, with the high QH (quarter-hour) mark showing Yoshihiro Akiyama vs. Masanori Tonooka drawing a 13.4% rating. Bad numbers, as expected.

The ratings for Dream’s debut started off on a disappointing level and only seem to have stagnated from there. The debut pulled in an 8.9 rating which was deemed below average, which means that that the ratings have essentially remained level over time. This would not bode well for Dream, which will need a big rating for their New Year’s show to salvage some goodwill with Tokyo Broadcasting System execs.

Arnold sees the Dream concept as one in deep trouble and possibly a casualty to consolidation in the Japanese MMA industry. This could also have an affect Stateside as it could impact the ability of TV partners like HDNet to air Japanese MMA in the States.

Up-Update: Arlovski vs Nelson to CBS, January Affliction Not A Co-Promotion

September 24, 2008

Loretta Hunt of Sherdog.com is reporting that Affliction Entertainment has offered a Roy Nelson vs Andrei Arlovski match-up to EliteXC for their Oct. 4th CBS card. The fight would be a co-promotion between Affliction and EliteXC. The fight is still pending agreement from both fighters:

Arlovski’s management team would not comment Wednesday on the proposed bout, while Nelson’s attorney, Rod Donohoo, also refrained from remarks. However, Sherdog.com has learned from separate sources that both fighters have agreed in principle to the match and that contracts have been issued for review.

This an interesting development to say the least. Is this a marriage of convenience necessitated by the postponement of Affliction’s Oct 11th card? Or does this mark a initial phase of greater co-operation between the two MMA promotions? And if so, how do you make the numbers work? Could this be a case of too little, too late for both parties? Mixed martial arts certainly makes for strange bed fellows.

Update: Sergio Non of USAToday has spoken with Michael Cohen, COO of Affliction, who stated that the partnership between the two will also extend to the January Affliction card:

Under a deal worked out to co-promote bouts with Affliction Entertainment, Elite XC has added a fight between Affliction fighters Andrei Arlovski vs. Roy Nelson to the Oct. 4 show that will air on CBS. Arlovski-Nelson will is currently slated to be the third of five fights planned for the live broadcast, said Michael Cohen, chief operating officer of Affliction.

Elite XC and Affliction will also co-promote Affliction’s next event with Golden Boy Promotions, now scheduled for Jan. 24, Cohen said. That fight will air either on CBS or Showtime, he said.

“We truly believe this co-promote will help the sport to become more mainstream,” Cohen told me on Wednesday. “Fans should certainly look forward to seeing more fights on primetime television and Showtime.”

Of Course the right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing as usual, as Jared Shaw is saying this is a one time deal, in his interview with Ariel Helwani:

AH: What does this mean about the relationship between EliteXC and Affliction?

JS: This is just one fight. This is a co-promoted fight and it’s the first time out and it’s the beginning of a working relationship There’s nothing else in place. We hope that Roy Nelson vs. Andrei Arlovski is the beginning of a great budding relationship between Donald Trump’s Affliction and EliteXC.

Cohen later clarified his comments to Non, stating that any further collaborations between the two parties would be a work in progress, with nothing concrete at this point:

The two companies are co-promoting an Andrei Arlovski-Roy Nelson bout Oct. 4 on CBS, but no deal for anything beyond that date has been signed with Elite XC, CBS or Showtime, said Michael Cohen, Affliction’s chief operating officer.

“Any additional co-promotes with these groups are not definitive and are in discussions at this moment,” told me on Thursday morning.

UFC Signs Mobile Entertainment Deal

September 24, 2008

NEW YORK – September 23, 2008 – Thumbplay® ( www.thumbplay.com ), the #1 mobile entertainment content service in the U.S.*, and the Ultimate Fighting Championship® ( UFC® ), the world’s premiere mixed martial arts sports organization, today announced the launch of a wide array of mobile content through the Thumbplay service. Effective immediately, UFC fans can hear from their favorite UFC fighters, replay videos of the most intense matchups and view the stunning Octagon Girls™ through the convenience of Thumbplay’s online and mobile content retrieval service.

Thumbplay, available on more than 2,000 mobile devices across all major U.S. carriers, will now showcase some of the most exciting throw-downs in fight history and other riveting content, including:
• Fighters: Download videos and wall papers from various UFC fighters
• Octagon Girls: Arianny Celeste, Edith Labelle and Rachelle Leah heat up your background
• Events: Video Clips and stills from the biggest battles in UFC history
• Sound Effects: All the sounds of the Octagon in one convenient spot

“UFC has exploded on the sports scene and enjoys an enormous fan following that is as dedicated and passionate as the athletes themselves,” commented Are Traasdahl, Thumbplay’s CEO and founder. “Now, the fans will have an even deeper connection to their favorite athletes and all of the compelling content the UFC has assembled. And naturally, it is all delivered with the great service and easy access Thumbplay is known for.”

UFC, the world’s largest pay-per-view content provider with more than 12 events per year, is a mixed martial arts competition between highly skilled professional fighters who use such disciplines as jiu-jitsu, judo, karate, boxing, kickboxing and wrestling. UFC fighters are among the best-trained and conditioned athletes in the world hailing from such diverse countries as the U.S., Canada, Brazil, Japan, Russia, Holland and the United Kingdom.

“We are always pushing technology and looking for new ways to deliver the UFC experience to our fans,” stated Dana White, UFC President. “With Thumbplay, we can offer the UFC fighters, sounds and action from UFC events as downloads. This partnership makes new UFC content available to fans and can literally make the UFC come to life right on your mobile device.”

About Thumbplay

Headquartered in New York City, Thumbplay was founded in September 2004 by Are Traasdahl and Evan Schwartz. It is backed by Bain Capital Ventures, SoftBank Capital, i-Hatch Ventures, Redwood Partners, New Enterprise Associates, Meritech, Brookside Capital Partners and Cross Creek Capital. More information can be found at www.thumbplay.com or at m.thumbplay.com from a mobile phone.

Strikeforce Playboy Mansion 2 Payouts

September 24, 2008

Kazuo Misaki: $1,400 (no win bonus)
def. Joe Riggs: $20,000

Josh Thomson: $20,000 (no win bonus)
def. Ashe Bowman: $2,000

Terry Martin: $10,000 (no win bonus)
def. Cory Devela: $10,000

Mitsuhiro Ishida: $1,400 (no win bonus)
def. Justin Wilcox: $5,000

Trevor Prangley: $40,000 (no win bonus)
def. Anthony Ruiz: $6,000

Luke Stewart: $8,000 (no win bonus)
def. Jesse Juarez: $2,000

Eric Lawson: $6,000 ($500 win bonus)
def. Kenneth Seegrist: $2,000

Brandon Magana: $2,000 (no win bonus)
def. Brandon Thatch: $2,000

Jesse Gillespie: $2,000 ($1,000 win bonus)
def. Dave Martin: $1,000

The total disclosed payroll for the event was $140,800. Payments to Ishida and Misaki look to have been done either as bonuses or through some other means that wouldn’t be reflected in Strikeforce’s filings with CSAC.

Couretsy of MMAJunkie.com

G4 Looks at Strikeforce at the Mansion II (Video)

September 24, 2008

UFC FIGHT FOR THE TROOPS

September 24, 2008

The UFC recently announced their intention to do a Fight Night from Fort Bragg as a way of raising funds for the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund. The folks at the UFC and Spike TV should be commended for their efforts on behalf of our country’s injured soldiers. Fort Bragg and the surrounding areas are a fitting location for the event. Fayetteville and points east in North Carolina are home to a large military presence including Camp Lejeune, Fort Bragg, MCAS Cherry Point, Pope AFB, and Seymour Johnson AFB. The communities that are home to these bases have seen the impact of the injured soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. The choice of venue should make for an appropriate back drop for the proceedings. The card should also serve as a release of sorts for those at Ft Bragg.

Since we operate in the online sphere (by virtue of you reading this), hopefully the the UFC and Spike can also enable folks to donate online via UFC.com and Spiketv.com. It would be nice if the MMA blogosphere could contribute in some way to these efforts, via an ad link of some type if they do decide to extend this campaign to the online realm.

“UFC FIGHT FOR THE TROOPS”

Three-Hour UFC Live Event On December 10 From Fort Bragg, NC

To Raise Money For Treatment Center Serving Soldiers With Brain Injuries

New York, NY, September 19, 2008 – The Ultimate Fighting Championship® and Spike TV have joined forces to present “UFC Fight For The Troops™”, a special three-hour live televised event on Wednesday, December 10 starting at 9:00 PM, ET to raise funds to build a treatment center for the brave men and women in the United States Armed Forces who have experienced traumatic brain injuries. The facility is being sponsored, built and equipped by the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund. The announcement was made today by Dana White, UFC President and Kevin Kay, Spike TV President.

The goal of “UFC Fight For The Troops” is to raise the necessary funds for The National Intrepid Center of Excellence (NICoE), an advanced research facility in Bethseda, MD dedicated to the diagnosis and treatment of military personnel and veterans suffering from traumatic brain injury (TBI) and psychological health issues.

“With this event on December 10th, we hope to raise millions for the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund and to help increase national awareness for the meaningful ways the National Intrepid Center of Excellence will impact the lives of our service personnel here in the United States,” said White.

“Spike TV has the deepest respect and admiration for the men and women who put their lives on the line for us every day,” said Kay. “Spike TV is proud to be a part of raising
funds to build this world class state of the art research and physical rehabilitation facility where active duty personnel and veterans with traumatic brain injuries can receive the best medical care this country has to offer – we owe them no less.”

More information about the facility, including ways to donate, can be found online at http://www.fallenheroesfund.org or by calling 1-800-340 HERO.

Spike TV will telecast “UFC Fight For The Troops” live from Fort Bragg, NC, Wednesday, December 10 from 9:00 PM – Midnight, ET. The event will feature a full UFC fight card as well as celebrity appearances and an all-star lineup of UFC fighters. A phone bank in Los Angeles will also be created where donors can interact with the celebrities and UFC fighters answering phones. Further details on appearances and event information will be released soon.

A Vegas Downturn

September 24, 2008

While not mentioning the UFC specifically, Reuters via Yahoo! had an article about the gradually increasing downturn in business in Las Vegas. It is worth a read for some perspective on the economic environment that is facing the home market for the UFC and still host to a majority of UFC/WEC events.

Vegas barreled through previous U.S. economic recessions with no problem, but the current slowdown — marked by home foreclosures and then high gasoline prices — has had a much bigger impact on the gambling mecca than economists expected.

And while free rooms and room discounts have kept hotels relatively full — occupancy is down just 1 percent in the year to July — gambling revenue is down 6.5 percent.

“People still have Las Vegas as their destination of choice, but their budget is less,” said Jan Jones, senior vice president at Harrah’s Entertainment, operator of nearly one-third of the Strip, from Bally’s to Caesars Palace.

Harrah’s and MGM, which operates 10 properties on the Strip including Bellagio and Circus Circus, have each cut about 1,500 Las Vegas jobs over the past year.

“There is no question that people are spending less money now,” said Jim Murren, president and chief operating officer at MGM.

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