EA Sports MMA Reveals HW & LHW Roster Plus Online Features

August 16, 2010

EA Sports MMA announced their Heavyweight roster last week as a marketing strategy to release each one of their weight class rosters during the month of August.  Earlier today, they followed last weeks pattern and released the Light Heavyweight roster along with an Online features promotional video.  EA Sports is ramping up their advertising and marketing for the long awaited EA Sports MMA release scheduled on October 19th. Via EA Sports MMA’s Twitter feed:

Check out the complete class of Heavyweights in EA SPORTS MMA. Light Heavyweight class to be announced next Monday. Next week…..EA SPORTS MMA online modes revealed….keep an eye on easportsmma.com for more info…

Complete roster reveal by weight class starts 8/9 with heavyweights at easports.com/mma…..new update each Monday in August.

EA Sports MMA HW Roster Revealed

HW Roster: Bobby Lashley, Randy Couture, Fedor Emelianenko, Alistair Overeem, Fabricio Werdum, Hidehiko Yoshida, Andrei Arlovski, “King Mo” Lawal, Jeff Monson, Ken Shamrock, Kevin Randleman, Brett Rogers, Bob Sapp, Josh Barnett, Tim Sylvia, Andreas Kraniotakes.

LHW Roster: Ken Shamrock, Jason “Mayhem” Miller, Bas Rutten, Randy Couture, Renato “Babalu” Sobral, Gegard Mousasi, Frank Shamrock, Vladimir Matyushenko, “King Mo” Lawal, Scott Smith, Roger Gracie, Melvin Manhoef, “Ninja” Rua, Matt Lindland, Kevin Randleman, Dan Henderson, Alistair Overeem.

EA Sports MMA Promotion with Walmart, BestBuy, and Gamestop: Big John McCarthy, Herschel Walker, and “Classic” Frank Shamrock will be bonus downloadable characters in the video game if you pre-order your game with either Walmart, BestBuy, or GameStop stores.

Pre-Order EA Sports MMA

EA Sports MMA Online Features Promo:

Payout Perspective:

EA Sports MMA has been doing a great job of slowly leaking video game features and fighters on their roster over the past year.  It appears they will continue that trend during the next few months up to the launch date in October.  Starting last week, they started revealing their full roster to the public and today announced their LHW roster along with Online modes and features.  They are doing some promotions with video game and retail giants such as Walmart, Best Buy, and Game Stop.

As strategy is concerned, they will do a great job keeping their video game in the news for the upcoming weeks, but on the negative sides fans can get a jump start at pointing out some faults they already see in the game.  As MMA fans and the MMA media rankings like to frequently point out, quality LHW fighters outside of the UFC are scarce.  EA Sports MMA tries to get around the troublesome weight class by adding some fighters that fought there before like Bas Rutten and Alistair Overeem or in the past like Mayhem Miller, Ninja Rua, and Matt Lindland.  Fans on the net have been quick to point out that they are not true LHW’s and that there should be more options available for them. Personally, I would have loved to seen Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou, Dave Herman, and Rafael Feijao added to the weight class.

A saving grace for EA Sports MMA here are the numerous features which come with the game, one being Game Face, which will let you take any fighters picture and virtually create them for you in the game.  In fact, there is also another feature named “Fighter Share” which will let users share their own created fighters with gamers worldwide.  These features will allow fighters from all MMA promotions to be added to the game and is a loophole EA Sports MMA will exploit to get around the exclusive contracts UFC fighters have signed with THQ to allow them to appear in their UFC Undisputed titles.

Ontario to Legalize MMA

August 16, 2010

MMA is officially coming to Ontario! An announcement was made by Sophia Aggelonitis on an Ontario Government website Saturday, declaring that MMA events will be legalized and regulated in the Canadian province by early 2011.

Ontario is taking steps to allow professional Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) events in the province.

 

The province would adopt the same rules for professional MMA that are widely used across North America. This announcement paves the way for the first regulated professional MMA event to be held in Ontario in 2011.

 

As MMA has grown in popularity throughout the world, many cities have reaped the economic rewards of hosting events. A major MMA event in Ontario could attract up to 30,000 fans and generate up to $6 million in local economic activity — everything from hotel rooms to restaurants and other stores and services.

 

While MMA events provide an economic benefit, Ontario’s priority is the safety of the competitors. By regulating professional MMA, Ontario could enhance the safety of all participants with explicit safety and medical standards at licensed events.

Payout Perspective:

MMA in Ontario will drive education as over 1/4 of Canada’s population and nearly all of its major media will have access to sport right in their own backyard. The regulation of the sport in Ontario will also help to generate additional interest in the sport nationally – where it’s already more popular than in any other country – because of the fact that Toronto is the media and economic center of the country.

The Ontario website is quite conservative in its $6 million economic impact assessment. I suspect the UFC’s debut in Toronto will push at least $10-12 million towards the local economy (based on 40% of the 60,000 at Rogers Centre coming from out of town and spending $500 that weekend on hotels, food, drink and transportation).

—–

Rogers Sportsnet’s Joe Ferraro was the first to report some months ago that the UFC booked a couple March dates at the Rogers Centre (formerly the Skydome) in Toronto. It seems as though the UFC and Marc Ratner may have known this was a certainty all along.

I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again: MMA could not have accomplished what it has without the efforts of men like Dana White, Lorenzo Fertitta and Marc Ratner. These are the guys spending the money and devoting the tireless effort in order to pave the way for this sport to break out. The MMA community in Ontario also deserves some credit for its relentless support in the province; its rallies, expos, and educational protests were requisite pieces of the puzzle that helped to convince the government that local support did exist for the sport – that the fat cats from Vegas weren’t just coming in to take advantage of Canada’s biggest market and then leave.

UFC’s Shane Carwin linked to purchasing steroids

August 15, 2010

UFC Heavyweight Shane Carwin has been implicated in purchasing steroids from an Alabama pharmacy. Carwin’s name appears on orders for the illegal substances. Notably, former WWE professional wrestler, Kurt Angle is also on the list. According to court documents, the purchase of the steroids occurred sometime between April 4, 2004 and August 30, 2006.

Via mmamania.com:

Former number one UFC heavyweight contender, Shane Carwin, was named — along with six athletes — as a customer who purchased steroids from a Mobile, Ala., pharmacist who was sentenced Friday to a four-year prison term for participating in a nationwide conspiracy to sell the anabolic agent, according to AlabamaLive.com.

Payout Perspective:

Three important facts for Carwin when speaking to the press: 1. He has never failed a drug test in his professional fighting career; 2. His drug test for UFC 116 was clean; 3. Carwin did not start fighting in the UFC until 2008 and his name appears on the list sometime between April 2004 and August 2006. These are important talking points when addressing steroids with the press. It would also help if he has a talk with UFC officials to ensure them that he is clean.

Despite an impressive first round showing in his title fight with Brock Lesnar, this news will cast a shadow over Carwin. His likeable, nice-guy image will be replaced by thoughts that he cheated to get ahead. Plus, the negative media attention may hurt his chances for a return shot at the Heavyweight title. It may also hurt his reputation with UFC officials. Carwin needs to explain why his name is linked to the purchase of steroids and hopefully he has a good reason. Carwin’s management team must go into crisis PR mode to ensure that Carwin preserve his image.

Bellator Strikes Back

August 13, 2010

Earlier this week, Bellator Fighting Championship filed a lawsuit against the Ultimate Fighting Championship for alleged use of one of its contracted fighters. Bellator claims that Jonathan Brookins was under contract with Bellator when Brookins accepted a slot on Spike TV’s reality series The Ultimate Fighter. Brookins is a cast member of this fall’s Team GSP v. Team Koscheck season.

In addition to the UFC, Bellator has sued Brookins and his manager in the lawsuit. According to Bellator’s CEO, Brookins’ management team hid the fact that Brookins was going to be on The Ultimate Fighter.

Via MMA Junkie:

“We’ve been offering the fighter fights, and hindsight being 20-20, we were lied to by his management saying he was injured and couldn’t accept fights,” Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney today told MMAjunkie.com. “We find out afterward he was filming and fighting on ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ – that he made the show and was in the house.”

Prior to The Ultimate Fighter, Brookins was allowed to fight for another organization on two occasions. However, Bellator approved the fights outside of Bellator.

Payout Perspective:

Bellator claims that the UFC interfered with the contractual relationship Brookins had with Bellator by offering Brookins a spot in The Ultimate Fighter.  In addition, Bellator claims that Brookins and his manager misrepresented that Brookins was hurt or unavailable to fight for Bellator in order to preserve himself for The Ultimate Fighter.

Brookins’ management states that Bellator verbally told Brookins that he was released from his contract.

This lawsuit is similar to the Tennesee Titans suing USC and Lane Kiffin when Kiffin hired Titans assistant coach Kennedy Pola. In that case, Titans head coach Jeff Fisher claims that he was not notified by Kiffin that Kiffin was pursuing Pola. It is unlikely that the UFC sought approval from Bellator to pursue Brookins once he made the show.

Bellator’s lawsuit comes just weeks after Zuffa, the parent company of the UFC sued Bellator. Coincidence?  Bellator’s lawsuit will depend on whether it can be show that the UFC caused Brookins to break its contract with Bellator. Brookins’ contract with Bellator will be a key issue in this case. If this lawsuit proceeds, we might be able to learn more about the nature of fighter contracts. How long are fighter contracts? Is it a set number of fights or an annual contract? If Brookins was released from his contract, did it have to be in writing or was a verbal release sufficient? Are there penalties for breach specifically included in the contract? If so, does the fighter have to pay?

Ironically, Zuffa’s lawsuit against Bellator was based in part on the alleged taking of propriety information included in UFC fighter contracts.

Jason Cruz is a freelance writer and attorney licensed in Washington state and California (currently inactive). He holds a BA in History and JD from the University of Washington and a Masters in Journalism from the University of Southern California. A longtime MMA fan, he has written about the sport for various publications.

WEC 48 DVD Selling Well

August 13, 2010

John Morgan of MMAJunkie recently caught up with WEC General Manager Reed Harris to discuss the up-coming WEC card and talk DVD sales.

“The first step was doing the show, and the WEC pay-per-view in Sacramento was an absolute success,” Harris said. “The DVD has been selling really, really well. It’s got some behind-the-scenes stuff, which is interesting, but also it’s got obviously the (Urijah) Faber and (Jose) Aldo fight.

“The whole event, it put WEC on the map. We were on the map before, but a lot of new eyeballs came to the show.”

Payout Perspective:

The WEC is entering a critical phase in its development. Its first PPV was a roaring success, but it needs to prove that it can sustain and build upon the interest it generated in the Spring. The company received a pass for the television performance of WEC 49, because it was largely expected that stacking Aldo-Faber for the PPV would leave it without many strong draws for an immediate follow-up. Varner vs. Shalorus was a less than compelling, especially in comparison to what fans got at 48.

However, the grace period is now over. The performances of WEC 50 and WEC 51 will be fairly critiqued to gauge how much the PPV accomplished on behalf of the brand in the short term. In other words, these cards should give us an idea of whether or not the WEC is capable of making a significant jump up in popularity or whether it still needs some time to develop its brand and fighters.

Regardless of this immediate outcome, one thing is certain: the boys at the WEC have put together two very strong cards in attempt to sustain the company’s momentum. WEC 50 is a solid card that features a title fight (Cruz and Benavidez) in addition to a host of intriguing match-ups – it could very well be Chad Mendes’ coming out party. WEC 51 is an even more impressive offering that features Aldo vs. Gamburyan and Varner vs. Cerrone, plus the additions of Miguel Torres, Leonard Garcia and Chan Sung Jung.

WEC 50 and 51 are the types of events that should sell. I just hope we see a marketing effort from Zuffa commensurate with the quality of the cards. That means digital promo videos, numerous articles and PR releases, social media promotion through Twitter and Facebook, and even some ad placement on Spike and Versus.

UFC Store Promoting Silver Star Apparel

August 12, 2010

The UFC Store is now sending out e-mail blasts to promote Silver Star walk-out t-shirts from UFC 117.

Payout Perspective:

This is an intriguing move for the UFC. Zuffa has traditionally been loathe to promote any brand that isn’t its own, a partner, or one in which it has a financial stake. Yet, Silver Star does not fit the above criteria. This leads me to believe a partnership may be in the works. We’ve also seen the Silver Star logo appear on the canvas lately, which further suggests some sort of significant partnership – beyond an ad buy – is happening.

Fighters Only Announces 2010 World MMA Awards

August 12, 2010

Fighters Only has officially announced the third annual World MMA Awards is set for December 1, 2010 at The Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Las Vegas, NV (USA) – Fighters Only, the world’s biggest Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) magazine, announces the launch of its 3rd annual awards today. Devised to celebrate success and achievement within the MMA industry, the World Mixed Martial Arts Awards gives fans across the globe the chance to cast their vote on which athletes, brands, and industry professionals have made the greatest impact on the sport in the last 12 months. Voting will take place across 20 different award categories including Fighter of the Year, Knockout of the Year, and Best Lifestyle Apparel.

 

“The anticipation for the 2010 awards has been a little overwhelming,” says Rob Hewitt, President and CEO of Fighters Only. “I couldn’t be more thrilled by the potential of this year’s event. Last year’s ceremony opened many people’s eyes: ‘seeing is believing’ so more and more people want to get behind the awards. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who’s supported us in making the World MMA Awards a landmark occasion in the industry’s calendar, and appeal to the fans to let their voices be heard. ”

 

2009’s incredibly successful event saw a who’s who of MMA walk up the red carpet. The Fighters Only World MMA Awards is set to return even bigger and better with a live ceremony held on Wednesday December 1st 2010 in the exclusive Pearl Concert Theatre inside the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas. This black-tie event will be sponsored by Bodybuilding.com, the global leader in online sports nutrition.

Payout Perspective:

Fighters Only has really been the only group to gain any sort of traction and recognition for its annual award ceremony among both the fans and industry people. This has largely been facilitated through the buy-in at Zuffa; a veritable who’s who in the MMA community attended last year’s event, including Dana White, Georges St-Pierre and more.

Perhaps the only criticism laid against Fighters Only is that they’ve pandered too much to Zuffa fights; last year’s awards were dubbed the “Zuffa Awards” by hardcore cynics. However, it’s difficult to fault Fighters Only when the nominees and awards are fan-voted, and upwards of 80% of the MMA we watch on television comes from the UFC or WEC.

Illegal Streams Still Easy to Find

August 11, 2010

Nicholas Deleon of Crunch Gear blogs about the availability of UFC 117 streams on UStream even after the subpoenas issued and lawsuits filed in the last few months.

What seems to be happening with these streams—and that goes for all sports, not just UFC—is that you’ll find channels set up on Usteam, Justin.tv, etc. advertising the availability of a stream, but then you go off-site to actually watch the stream.

P2P streams, which are somewhat harder to fight, particularly if they’re hosted in foreign countries, were still going strong, as well.

High-quality copies of the event have already spread to various BitTorrent sites.

Bottom line is, streams are still out there. For how long that remains the case—there’s another UFC pay-per-view at the end of this month—is completely unknown.

Payout Perspective:

The UFC is likely going to argue that it’s strategy will take time to pay off, but I tend to agree with Nicholas that there will always be an appetite for free streaming content (and a community to serve that appetite).

Piracy presents a unique and difficult challenge for all companies, because there’s no clear way to evaluate how successful counter measures are  at stopping the illegal activity.

I tend to think the UFC’s goal should be to eliminate easy access to its illegal copied and distributed content – the Ustream and Justin.TVs of the internet community. Anything beyond that is difficult to eradicate, because that appetite will always exist and the cost-benefit ratio is terribly unfavorable. It won’t do the UFC any good to pursue the last remaining and most dedicated pirates/viewers to the ends of the Earth.

Who is the Biggest UFC PPV Draw? – Part 1

August 11, 2010

Overview: One of the common debates among MMA fans concerns which fighter is the biggest draw.  From the business side, a fighter’s draw shapes PPV expectations (and, subsequently, PPV revenues) and should play a major role in sponsorships for both the given fighter and every other fighter on the PPV.  In this series of articles, we’ll examine several intuitive ways that one can estimate a fighter’s draw and examine the wide variation in these estimates.  We’ll be focusing on the ten fighters that Derek Jenkins identified as the biggest draws in a recent article at Yahoo! Sports.

Today’s Comparison: Average PPV buys versus average PPV buys for cards with a fighter

Welcome to the first part of our series on which fighters are the biggest UFC PPV draws.  We’ll start with some basic numbers today and increase the difficulty as we progress through the series.

The Number

Average PPV buys are the most basic numbers we can use to determine a fighter’s draw.  Today, we’ll take the average number of buys for all UFC PPVs (including events with all ten fighters) and compare it with the average number of buys for UFC PPVs featuring each fighter.

We’ll discuss the reasons below, but we will look at the numbers from 2006-present and 2008-present.

The Fighters

As mentioned in the overview, we’ll be using the ten fighters that Derek Jenkins identified as the biggest draws: Brock Lesnar, Georges St. Pierre, Chuck Liddell, Rashad Evans, Quinton Jackson, Forrest Griffin, Lyoto Machida, BJ Penn, Anderson Silva, and Randy Couture.

The Data

We’ll be using the PPV buys for all UFC pay-per-view events from UFC 57 (Couture-Liddell III) to UFC 116 (Lesnar-Carwin).  You can view the PPV buys for events up to UFC 107 in our MMAPayout.com Blue Book.

Average buys for all UFC PPVs since 2006: 545,000

Fighter Average PPV buys for cards featuring fighter Difference from overall average
Brock Lesnar 1,007,000 462,000
Georges St. Pierre 682,000 137,000
Chuck Liddell 600,000 55,000
Rashad Evans 577,000 32,000
Quinton Jackson 669,000 124,000
Forrest Griffin 602,000 57,000
Lyoto Machida 572,000 27,000
BJ Penn 539,000 -6,000
Anderson Silva 456,000 -89,000
Randy Couture 530,000 -15,000

Average buys for all UFC PPVs since 2008: 581,000

Fighter Average PPV buys for cards featuring fighter Difference from overall average
Brock Lesnar 1,007,000 426,000
Georges St. Pierre 889,000 308,000
Chuck Liddell 550,000 -31,000
Rashad Evans 693,000 112,000
Quinton Jackson 735,000 154,000
Forrest Griffin 691,000 110,000
Lyoto Machida 610,000 29,000
BJ Penn 603,000 22,000
Anderson Silva 530,000 -51,000
Randy Couture 573,000 -8,000

Payout Perspective

Quick Thoughts

Regardless of which table you look at, two numbers confirm the general consensus – Brock Lesnar is a huge draw, and Anderson is a weak draw.

Chuck Liddell is a bit less of a draw when you look at the numbers for 2008-present, but your perspective can be swayed quite a bit based on whether you look at the left-hand column or the right-hand column.  If you compare the left-hand columns in both tables, Liddell drops about 50,000 PPV buys when you drop the numbers from 2006-07 (from 600,000 to 550,000).  If you instead look at the right-hand column, Liddell goes from drawing 55,000 PPV buys above the average buyrate of 545,000 to losing 31,000 buys from the average buyrate of 581,000.  Even though his overall numbers don’t change drastically, he appears to go from draw to anti-draw.

Georges St. Pierre became a star and looks like the only true MMA star to breakthrough to the mainstream.  One interesting aspect of GSP’s draw is to look at the fights from 2006-07 that get dropped in the second table.  These fights are: BJ Penn, Matt Hughes (GSP wins title), Matt Serra, Josh Koscheck, and Hughes again.  These were all huge fights when they happened, which highlights just how popular GSP has become as the sport continued to grow.

One thing that’s easy to overlook is the growth in the average number of PPV buys 2006-present (545,000) and 2008-present (581,000).  The extra 36,000 buys may not look very big, but it amounts to an additional $1,620,000[i] in PPV revenue (of which the UFC gets about 50%) per event.  If you then look at the sheer number of events the UFC runs now, those 36,000 extra buys add a substantial amount of money to Zuffa’s bottom line.

The Number

Average PPV buys are the most basic numbers we can use to determine a fighter’s draw.  We’ll take a look at some of the advantages and disadvantages of these numbers.

STRENGTHS

Simplicity. The primary strength of using such a simple number is that everyone understands the number.

Consistent baseline. The second big advantage in comparing a fighter’s average PPV buys to the overall average PPV is that we get a consistent baseline.  This consistent baseline allows us to compare the numbers for one fighter with the numbers for another fighter (eg. the difference between a fighter’s average and the overall average, presented in the right-hand column of both tables).  In the 2008-present table, we see that Machida is good for 29,000 buys above the average and Penn for 22,000.  Since both of these numbers use the same baseline, we can easily conclude that Machida pay-per-views generally get 7,000 buys more than Penn pay-per-views.

Aggregate information. Given that most fighters only fight a handful of times each year, aggregating their PPV buys over several years can give a better picture of a fighter’s draw, especially if a fighter only fought once in a year; in that situation, a fighter’s average PPV buyrate is identical to the buyrate for the only PPV he fought on.

WEAKNESSES

Hides changes over time. The downside to aggregate information is that it can hide trends over time.  Given that MMA is still in its infancy and has experienced substantial growth in recent years, we would expect numbers from recent years to be more representative of a fighter’s draw.  This issue is the primary reason we presented information from 2006-present and 2008-present.  2008 is the first year that all ten fighters appeared in the UFC, with Lesnar and Machida being the most recent to fight for Zuffa.  Using numbers from 2006 and 2007 may penalize fighters – like Liddell and Couture – who were headlining PPV events when the sport was less popular.

Makes good draws look worse and bad draws look better. Consider Brock Lesnar, whose worst PPV did 600,000 buys.  His five PPVs in the dataset sold 600K, 625K, 1.01 million, 1.6 million, and 1.2 million.  These PPVs drive up the overall UFC average, which is what Lesnar is being compared to here.  A better comparison for Lesnar is to compare his average PPV buyrate to the average buyrate for all UFC PPVs that do not feature Lesnar.  Similarly, weaker draws like Anderson Silva look better because their lower buyrates pull the overall average buyrate down.

Someone has to be worse than average. This point is tied to the previous one, but it deserves special attention.  Only seven pay-per-view events since 2006 have not featured any of these ten fighters.  Essentially, we’re comparing these ten fighters against the average of all ten.  In doing so, someone has to have an average buyrate that’s below the overall average.  Mathematically, it’s just how averages work.  The problem here is that a fighter can look like an anti-draw, meaning people literally turn off the television or refuse to buy a PPV, when a certain fighter is on the card.  This also implies that the UFC would get a higher buyrate on an Anderson Silva card if they dropped him from the card, which is a bit absurd and probably not true.  If Silva had gotten hurt and Zuffa replaced him with Nate Marquardt against Chael Sonnen, the buyrate would likely be lower than if Silva was on the card.  Even though Silva looks bad in these tables, it’s because we’re comparing him to the other major draws in the UFC.  Dropping him from the card and replacing him with Marquardt would have given a more accurate picture of how many buys Silva pulls in against a UFC PPV without a “major headliner” which still has a solid card.  (Side note: Matt Hughes was arguably the biggest name on UFC 117 after Silva, and his place fourth-from-the-top of the card should tell you that Zuffa thinks Hughes’ days as a headliner are over.)

UP NEXT

In part two, we’ll break down these numbers by year.  This breakdown will let us see how much of a difference aggregating our data makes.  As we continue on in the series, we’ll address some of the other issues raised above.


[i] The $1,620,000 figure is based on 36,000 buys at $45 each.  Given that the lowest price for a UFC PPV is $44.95 and increases for the HD broadcast, we are likely underestimating the additional revenue from the 36,000 additional PPV buys.

____________________________________________________________________________

Tony Williams is a PhD candidate in economics at the University of Zurich.  He holds prior degrees in political science, economics, and mathematics from Florida State University, an MA in economics from Johns Hopkins University, and is expected to be awarded a MSc in social psychology from London School of Economics at the end of the year.  He has followed mixed martial arts for over seven years and currently lives in Zurich, Switzerland.

MMAterial Facts 08/10/10: Legal Battles Heating Up

August 10, 2010

- Akiyama Charges Manager with Embezzlement

– MMA promoter sues over canceled match

– XCAP Proud to have Ryan Couture on Board

– President: Announcement of Shark Fights 13 broadcast plans coming next week

– Bellator sues UFC, alleges “tortious interference of contract” of Jonathan Brookins

Akiyama Charges Manager with Embezzlement

Proving once again that the sharks in MMA swim mostly outside of the ring, Bloodyelbow.com and GotMMA.com have unearthed that Yoshihiro Akiyama once accused his (obviously former) manager of embezzlement. Writing in his autobiography, “Two Souls,” Akiyama claims the unnamed party stole anywhere from hundreds of thousands to a million, representing nearly all of his career earnings. That’s bleak stuff.  (Sherdog)

MMA promoter sues over canceled match

Maximum Fighting Inc. has filed a $500,000 lawsuit against the Edmonton Concert Hall Foundation (ECHF) after alleging it suffered losses when the ECHF unilaterally cancelled an agreement for three Maximum Fighting Championship (MFC) events to be held at the Winspear.

According to a statement of claim filed July 28, MFC and ECHF entered into a written agreement on Dec. 15, 2009, whereby MFC would be entitled to hold an MFC event at the Winspear on April 9. (Edmonton Sun)

XCAP Proud to have Ryan Couture on Board

Strikeforce officials announced last week that Las Vegas resident Ryan Couture, son of MMA legend Randy Couture, has agreed and signed a multi-fight deal all in which XCAP (Xtreme Couture Athletic Pharmaceutials) is proud to have Ryan  Couture represent the line and wear its colors. (XCAPNEWS)

President: Announcement of Shark Fights 13 broadcast plans coming next week

“One of the great things is that I’ve got great, great investors who are committed,” said Medley, a former pro fighter who owns a 1999 victory over WEC contender Leonard Garcia. “They’re big fight fans themselves. … So I went to them, and we got separate money for this show. I said I want it (the event costs, including fighters salaries) paid for before the event.

“I’m a fight fan then a promoter. … Are we trying to play with the big boys? Is this event going to leverage our company? The answer is no. The event is separate from our day-to-day profile.” (MMAJunkie)

Bellator sues UFC, alleges “tortious interference of contract” of Jonathan Brookins

The legal battle between the Bellator Fighting Championships and the Ultimate Fighting Championship has taken an unexpected turn.

While Zuffa, LLC – the parent company of the UFC – recently filed suit in Nevada against Bellator due to an alleged theft of “trade secrets and confidential Zuffa documents,” Bellator officials have now fired back with a suit of their own.  (MMAJunkie)

***

Targeted by Bellator lawsuit, Mickey Dubberly says company’s claims inaccurate

Mickey Dubberly, the CEO of K.O. Dynasty Sports Management has a simple message for Bellator head Bjorn Rebney: Stop lying.

Dubberly and his client, Jonathan Brookins, are among the defendants targeted alongside Zuffa, LLC in a lawsuit filed today by Bellator that claim tortious interference was at play in Brookins’ recent run on “The Ultimate Fighter 12.”  (MMAJunkie)

PICTURE OF THE DAY

Strikeforce Challengers 4-Woman Tournament

QUOTE OF THE DAY

Eye Injury Puts Alan Belcher in Career Jeopardy : “I had a detached retina, I just lost the vision in my right eye. It just happened all of the sudden, pretty much overnight. I was training in Brazil, messing around there for a few days and had surgery the day after I came home. I think it happened in training but I don’t exactly know when. It’s gonna take a couple of months to heal, to be at its peak, so then I’ll know how much my vision comes back.” (MMAFA.TV)

QUICK HITS

  • Rafael “Feijao” Cavalcante well-prepared by life lessons for Strikeforce title shot(MMAJunkie)
  • Nick Catone to undergo surgery on re-injured shoulder and back, return date unknown (MMAJunkie)
  • UFC 118 weigh-ins to air live on Spike TV (MMAJunkie)
  • Paul Daley meets Jorge Masvidal at Shark Fights 13 (MMAJunkie)
  • Strikeforce CEO: Fabricio Werdum out until 2011, no opponent set (MMAJunkie)
  • Silva: Submission Was Payback, Injury Layoff Undetermined (Sherdog)
  • Commission: Daley Suspended 30 Days for Koscheck Punch (Sherdog)
  • King Mo Declares Himself Underdog for Title Fight (MMAFighting)
  • Leonardo Santos vs. Sotaro Yamada Announced for SRC 14 (MMAFighting)
  • TRENDING INDICATED BIG PPV NUMBERS FOR UFC 117 (MMAWeekly)
  • STRIKEFORCE WILL HOLD 185 CONTENDERS TOURNEY (MMAWeekly)
  • Bellator Fires Back, Sues UFC Regarding Jonathan Brookins (Heavy)
  • UFC 117: Risks Don’t Outweigh Rewards (Heavy)

TV LISTINGS

  • Bellator 24: Lombard vs Goodman on FSN (08/12/10)
  • HDNet Fights Vault: DREAM at 8:00 PM ET on HDNet (08/13/10)
  • Fighting Words with Mike Straka (Chael Sonnen) at 8:30 PM ET on HDNet (08/13/10)
  • Inside MMA (Ben Henderson, Reed Harris, & Chad Mendes) at 9 PM ET on HDNet (08/13/10)
  • HDNet Fights: KOTC: Imminent Danger at 10 PM ET on HDNet (08/13/10)
  • Strikeforce Challengers: Riggs vs Taylor 11 PM ET on Showtime (08/13/10)

UPCOMING EVENTS

  • Bellator 24: Lombard vs Goodman on FSN (08/12/10)
  • Strikeforce Challengers: Riggs vs Taylor 10 PM ET/PT on Showtime (08/13/10)
  • HDNet Fights: KOTC: Imminent Danger at 9 PM ET on HDNet (08/13/10)
  • WEC 50: Cruz vs Benavidez at 9 PM ET on Versus (08/18/10)
  • Bellator 25 on FSN (08/19/10)
  • Strikeforce: King Mo vs Rafael Feijao at 10 PM ET/PT on Showtime (08/21/10)
  • Bellator 26 on FSN (08/26/10)
  • HDNet Fights: Sengoku Raiden Championships 14 on HDNet (08/27/10)
  • UFC 118: Edgar vs Penn 2 at 10 PM ET on PPV (08/28/10)
  • Bellator 26 on FSN (09/2/10)
  • UFC Fight Night: Maia vs. Belcher at 9 PM ET on SPIKE TV (09/15/10)
  • UFC 119 : Minotauro Nogueira vs Frank Mir 2 at 10 PM ET on PPV (09/25/10)

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