MMAterial Facts (01/29/10)

January 29, 2010

  • Shine International strikes Strikeforce deals
  • Harris Confirms WEC 48: Aldo vs. Faber in May on PPV
  • Gov’s plan to legalize mixed martial arts gets mixed reviews
  • Michigan promoter reveals own highs and lows during state’s drive toward pro MMA
  • “Inside MMA” to Preview “Strikeforce: Miami”,  KOTC signs TV Deal With HDNet
  • Herschel Walker ready to tackle MMA

Shine International strikes Strikeforce deals

Distributor Shine International has completed a host of deals for its Strikeforce brand internationally, selling more than 70 hours of mixed martial arts programming in Europe, Australia and Latin America.

Virgin Media Television-owned Bravo in the UK, Turner in Latin America, FX in Portugal, Ukraine’s Megasport, Seven Network in Australia and Dahlia TV in Italy have all purchased Strikeforce’s library of TV programming.

“Strikeforce is the leader in mixed martial arts content as proven by the huge demand for their programming around the world,” said Chris Grant, president of Shine International.

“They have the world’s best fighters, the world’s best events and they know how to translate that into fast-paced programming that captures what will soon be the most popular sport in the world.”

The deal covers the 30 episodes and 56 hours of fights that have aired on NBC and Showtime respectively. (C21Media)

Harris Confirms WEC 48: Aldo vs. Faber in May on PPV

The upcoming featherweight title fight between champion Jose Aldo and challenger Urijah Faber will be the first pay-per-view fight card in World Extreme Cagefighting history, WEC President Reed Harris said Friday.

“I think the Aldo-Faber fight could truly be one of the most exciting fights ever in the whole sport of MMA,” Harris said on the Dave and Mahoney Show.

Harris said an official announcement is coming within the next week or 10 days, and that he expects the fight to take place in May and cost $45, the same price as a UFC pay-per-view.

There’s no question that Aldo vs. Faber is a good enough fight to be worthy of pay-per-view. The question is whether the WEC can convince enough people of its worthiness to make the event a financial success. Non-UFC MMA events have never turned a profit on North American pay-per-view, and the WEC faces an uphill battle in making this one work, no matter how great a fight Faber vs. Aldo is.  (MMAFighting) … [MMA Payout’s Perspective]

Gov’s plan to legalize mixed martial arts gets mixed reviews

New York Gov. David Paterson’s plan to legalize mixed martial arts in an effort to raise $2 million to help close the budget gap doesn’t have much support among registered voters.

According to the Marist Institute for Public Opinion, 68 percent of registered New York voters opposed Paterson’s plan to legalize what’s known as ultimate fighting. However, 29 percent support the measure.

The institute, which is affiliated with Marist College in Poughkeepsie, found 82 percent of women and 55 percent of men disapproving Paterson’s proposal.  (The Business Review)

Michigan promoter reveals own highs and lows during state’s drive toward pro MMA

Donofrio credits the UFC with helping Michigan regulators realize the importance of bringing the sport to the state, but he also feels the sport’s biggest promotion may have added a few regulations that make true grassroots growth of professional MMA very difficult.

“It wasn’t exactly as I hoped it would be,” Donofrio admitted. “There were so many stipulations that would make it difficult for a small-time promoter to be successful. One of them was you have to have a minimum of 30 rounds (on a card), which would be 10 three-round fights. You can’t have a pro-am card. The fee to do the show is $2,000 compared to $125 for boxing. And then the fighters have to have a CT scan and EKG, all that stuff.

“So it’s kind of difficult for anybody to be profitable doing a professional show here in Michigan. That was probably by design.”

Donofrio, who is the first to admit he’s not a medical professional, thinks perhaps the extensive testing could be reserved for older fighters and those who have shown previous reason for concern. Nevertheless, the promoter admits fighter safety is of the utmost concern, and simply hopes the commission will at least revisit the fees one day in the future.

In the meantime, Donofrio is pleased that unlike a handful of states still looking to pass regulation, Michigan will no longer have to concern itself with unregulated events.

“I think the regulations in Michigan are pretty strict, but I think the rogue promoters need to be put in check,” Donofrio said.  (MMAJunkie) … [MMAPayout’s Perspective]

“Inside MMA” to Preview “Strikeforce: Miami”,  KOTC signs TV Deal With HDNet

This week the “Inside MMA” panel will preview the “Strikeforce: Miami” fight card with the following fighters joining Kenny Rice and Bas Rutten to add perspective to the event and to discuss their own journey through the ranks in mixed martial arts.  The panel features Gegard Mousasi, Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Champ (and former Dream Middleweight Champ), Gilbert Melendez, Strikeforce Lightweight Champ and Tony Lopez, the Light Heavyweight and Heavyweight Champion of King of the Cage.  The panel will take a look at the Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos vs. Marloes Coenen match-up, along with the Nick Diaz vs. Marius Zaromskis fight and Herschel Walker vs. Greg Nagy.

Also, Ron Kruck files a report on the MMA debut of Walker, the Heisman Trophy winner, and former NFL running back.  Despite having several decades of experience in martial arts and being a sixth- degree black belt in tae kwon do, Walker admits he has quite a learning curve.

Also, HDNet will make a BIG announcement on tonight’s broadcast.  Don’t miss it!  (HDNet Fights)

MMAPayout Note: KOTC has partnered with Mark Burnett to produce KOTC based programming and signed a 3 year deal with HDNet for live monthly events. The first KOTC event to air live on HDNet will be the 2/12/10 show, which features Lopez v. East, Valenzuela v. Sanchez, Coca v. Cullum, Wiuff v. Kyle, and Clementi vs. Lapsley.

Herschel Walker ready to tackle MMA

Herschel Walker is most known for his accomplishments on the gridiron, but his athleticism extends further, and on Saturday, Jan. 30, he will add mixed martial artist to a stellar résumé, debuting for Strikeforce at the Bank Atlantic Center in Sunrise.

The 47-year-old Walker will face another MMA newcomer, Greg Nagy (1-1).

“I love martial arts,” he said. “I’ve loved it for years. I love the sport of it. When I saw MMA years ago, I fell in love with it.

“They’ve cleaned it up so much that it is now a mainstream sport, and I wanted to get involved in it. There are incredible athletes doing it, and I want to consider myself a good athlete, and that’s the reason I want to do it.”

A very good athlete, Walker, a 6-1, 220-pound former running back with the University of Georgia, Dallas Cowboys and Minnesota Vikings, holds a fifth degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do and boasts additional training in Kenpo karate and Muay Thai.

“People have to know that I love this sport [MMA], but I am green,” he noted. “I’m not stepping into this sport, fighting for a belt, `Oh, I want to be heavyweight champion.’ No.

“I’m stepping into this sport because I love it and to fight people who are trying to grow like I’m trying to grow. I don’t know how far I’m going to go and how long I’m going to be in it.”  (Miami Herald)

***

Drive to compete powers Walker’s jump to MMA

“This is probably the hardest thing I’ve ever done,” the 6-foot-1, 220-pound Walker said. “This was a very tough sport for me. … Every muscle in your body is sore.”

He added that his MMA instruction was even tougher than the grueling NFL training camps he endured for 12 seasons in the sweltering heat. Walker said that in football, a play goes for eight seconds and then players have 30 seconds to rest. In MMA, athletes don’t have such a luxury.

Even his Tae Kwon Do skills were somewhat neutralized, saying he had to, in essence, forget about that fighting style and enter his training with a completely open mind.

Walker, who said he’s an avid fan of MMA and watching it inspired him to enter the sport, is thankful to Strikeforce for giving him a shot. For a company looking to raise its profile any way it can, this was a simple decision. In announcing Walker’s signing in September, Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker said, “I flew to L.A. last month to watch Herschel train and was surprised to see his advanced wrestling and striking abilities. He’s got work ahead of him.”

Coker’s company has plenty of work to do too. Strikeforce is the No. 2 MMA company in the United States, behind the juggernaut Ultimate Fighting Championship. Not many sports bosses are going to travel to watch a guy pushing 50. But, Walker brings a known name and will attract mainstream interest.  (Fox Sports)

QUICK HITS

  • MMA fighting: Herschel Walker faces new challenge at 47 (Miami Herald)
  • ESPN Primer: Strikeforce: Miami’ (ESPN)
  • COENEN READY TO GO TOE-TO-TOE WITH CYBORG (MMAWeekly)
  • The future of women’s MMA (Baltimore Sun)
  • Nick Diaz getting back in cage (Lodi News)
  • Cyborg Santos ‘Ready for War’ With Marloes Coenen (MMAFighting)
  • Shamrock gives Coenen a shot at ‘Cyborg’ upset (Cage Fighter)
  • Diaz, Manhoef tabbed to earn victories at Strikeforce: Miami (Sports Illustrated)
  • Strike Force Miami (Sun Sentinel)
  • Nagy Ready to Seize his ‘Opportunity of a Lifetime’ (Sherdog)
  • Lawler: I’ll take my chances on the feet against Manhoef (USA Today)
  • Melvin Manhoef Coming to Strikeforce for ‘American Dream’ (MMAFighting)
  • Wes Sims promises Hogan legdrop on Lashley (USA Today)
  • Five Burning Questions for Strikeforce in 2010 (MMAFighting)
  • Five Burning Questions for WEC in 2010 (MMAFighting)
  • Intimidation Clothing Sponsors Greg Nagy at Strikeforce Miami (Email Wire)
  • 5 Heavyweights Strikeforce Needs to Sign (Fight Magazine)
  • Matrix Fights to launch in Philadelphia on Feb. 27 with Matt Makowski vs. LeVon Maynard (5OzsOfPain)
  • Ultimate fighting a knockout and bound for Sydney (Cumberland Courier)
  • King of Cage competition producer returns home (U.S. Marine Corps Bases Japan)
  • Marloes Coenen: Survival of the Fittest (Fight Magazine)
  • DREAM LIGHTWEIGHTS HEADED TO STRIKEFORCE (MMAWeekly)
  • HIERON/RIGGS WINNER LIKELY TO GET TITLE SHOT (MMAWeekly)
  • DREAM Roughs Out 2010 Plans, Korea Possible (MMAWeekly)
  • King Of The Cage Japan: “Toryumon” Preview (MMARising)

VIDEO OF THE DAY

  • Inside MMA Preview (01/29/10): Guests Gegard Mousasi, Gilbert Melendez and Tony Lopez weigh in on the latest in mixed martial arts news with hosts Kenny Rice and Bas Rutten. Also, reporter Ron Kruck previews the upcoming Strikeforce: Miami fight card.

QUOTE OF THE DAY

Updates on the attendance for the past two shows. The Jan. 2 show drew 13,529 fans in total according to the Nevada State Athletic Commission. Those are different numbers than announced that night or numbers from the building. The live attendance and gate were the same as we reported, with 8,004 paying $1,969,670, so there were 5,314 comp tickets, and of those paid tickets, a couple of thousand were casino buys, so there were actually more fans who didn’t pay for tickets in the arena than paid. (Dave Meltzer commenting on UFC 108 attendance, Wrestling Observer)

TV LISTINGS

  • HDNet Fights Presents K-1 Classics (Musashi Tribute) at 8 PM ET on HDNet (01/29/10)
  • InsideMMA (Gegard Mousasi, Gilbert Melendez, & Tony Lopez) at 9 PM ET on HDNet (01/29/10)
  • HDNet Fights Presents Best of DREAM Super Hulk GP at 10 PM ET on HDNet (01/29/10)
  • Best of Pride FC at 10 PM ET/PT on Spike (01/29/10)
  • Strikeforce Miami: Diaz vs Zaromskis at 10 PM ET/PT on Showtime (01/30/10)
  • Countdown to UFC 109 at 12:30 AM ET/PT on Spike (01/30/10)

UPCOMING EVENTS

  • Strikeforce Miami: Diaz vs Zaromskis at 10 PM ET/PT on Showtime (01/30/10)
  • FCF 39: Women’s 135 lbs Grand Prix: Opening Round on PPV (01/30/10)
  • KOTC: Toryumon from Okinawa, Japan on PPV (01/30/10)
  • UFC 109 at 10 PM ET on PPV (02/06/10)

One Response to “MMAterial Facts (01/29/10)”

  1. Strikeforce signs TV Deals w/ UK, Latin America, Portugal, Ukraine, Aus, & Italy - Sherdog Mixed Martial Arts Forums on January 30th, 2010 2:01 PM

    […] […]

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