ProElite announces new CEO

June 29, 2012

ProElite announced Jerold Rubinstein has been appointed CEO and Chairman of the Board of ProElite, Inc and parent Stratus Media Group.  He replaces Paul Feller who steps down but remains as a consultant with the company.

Via press release:

ProElite, Inc. (otc pink:PELE) announced today that Jerold Rubinstein has been appointed CEO and Chairman of the Board of ProElite, Inc. and its parent company Stratus Media Group, Inc. (otcqb:SMDI). Mr. Rubinstein replaces Paul Feller, who will remain a consultant to the company.

Mr. Rubinstein has been a member of the board of directors of Stratus since March 2011 and has been chairman of the audit committee since that time. He is a member of the board of directors and the chairman of the audit committee of CKE Restaurants, the parent company of Carl’s Jr. Restaurants and Hardee’s Restaurants, which had $1.3 billion in revenues in 2011. He also serves as the non-executive chairman of U.S. Global Investors Inc., a mutual fund advisory company which had $42 million of revenues in 2011 and $2.6 billion of assets under management. Mr. Rubinstein has created and sold numerous companies during his career, including Bel Air Savings and Loan and DMX, a cable and satellite music distribution company. Mr. Rubinstein started and sold XTRA Music Ltd., a satellite and cable music distribution company in Europe. Most recently Mr. Rubinstein consults with, and serves on, 3 early stage development companies. Mr. Rubinstein is both a CPA and attorney.

 

 

Payout Perspective:

It will be interesting to see how Rubinstein will do with ProElite.  As reported this past March, ProElite was delinquent with its SEC reporting.  At the time of the report, ProElite indicated that it would take care of the necessary filings with the SEC.  As of now, ProElite has no events scheduled and it could be a result of the lack of capital at this point.  Hopefully, Rubinstein will be able to turn the company around.

Bad Boy going to UFC Hall of Fame

June 28, 2012

The UFC announced that Tito Ortiz will join the UFC Hall of Fame with an induction ceremony the same day as his fight with Forrest Griffin on Saturday, July 7th.  Thus, Ortiz will be fighting his last bout in the UFC as a current Hall of Famer.

Via UFC Press Release:

Ortiz will be officially inducted at midday on July 7 at the UFC Fan Expo, meaning he will fight the final bout of his 15-year career against old nemesis Forrest Griffin at UFC 148 on July 7 as a confirmed UFC Hall of Famer. Ortiz is the first inductee since 2010, and joins Matt Hughes, MMA pioneer Charles ‘Mask’ Lewis, Mark Coleman, Royce Gracie, Ken Shamrock, Dan Severn as well as contemporaries Chuck Liddell and Randy Couture in the pantheon of Octagon immortals.

The release also had comments from Dana White:

“Everyone knows the story of me and Tito and all the things that went on between us. A lot of it wasn’t fun at the time, but all that controversy and craziness is now part of the story of the UFC, and there’s no question that in his prime he was a huge star and one of the greats of his era.”

“You can’t write the story of this era of mixed martial arts without Tito Ortiz, and that’s why he belongs in the Hall of Fame. He’s been in the UFC for 15 years – and sticking around that long is an achievement in itself – and now he’s down to just 15 minutes at UFC 148. Believe me, I know how proud and stubborn this guy is and I expect him to use everything he has left as a fighter to go out as a winner at UFC 148.”

Payout Perspective:

This ending is a good companion piece to the Silva-Sonnen main event.  Ortiz has done his part in making the media rounds for his last fight at UFC 148.  It seems as though the fans have gravitated toward Ortiz since his upset win over Ryan Bader last July.  Call it nostalgia, but even though fans may have grown tired of his antics and excuses in recent years, the last year has been a farewell tour for Ortiz.  A classy move by Dana White, or maybe a business move to put Ortiz in the Hall of Fame the same night as his last match.  Despite their feuds, it was the right thing for White to do. Not only does it honor Ortiz, it should boost fan interest.

As a side note, does anyone else remember in the early years that Spike or Fox was to air a boxing match between Ortiz and White?

Poll states NY voters unaware of MMA legislation

June 28, 2012

A poll indicates 52% of registered New York voters have heard nothing about the legalization of mixed martial arts in New York.  The latest Siena College Research Institute poll asked 766 New York registered voters about a variety of topics including the legalization of MMA in the state.

The following are the results:

766 New York registered voters
Margin of Error +/- 3.5

52% – Heard nothing at all about legalizing MMA in NY.  This response stems from the question:  Legalizing mixed martial arts  – or MMA – in New York State. How much have you heard or read about it – a great deal, some, not very much, nothing at all. The rest of the results are as follows:

8% responded with “a great deal”
17% some
22% not very much
52% nothing at all
1% don’t know/no opinion

On legalizing MMA in the state:
32% – Support
26% – Oppose
38% – Don’t have enough information
4% – No opinion

Among other things the poll asked New York voters included legalizing medical marijuana and raising the minimum wage.

Payout Perspective:

The polling information is a little dated so we apologize but we thought it would be interesting.

Fight Opinion has an extensive analysis and opinion on the results of the latest poll including a comparison as to the results from an April 2012 poll which had 52% of the respondents siding with opponents of MMA.  Zach Arnold points to the wording of the question which may have caused the disparity in results.  As Arnold notes with the results of the latest poll conducted in May 2012, despite the lobbying efforts, economic studies and public relations, the message is still not making it through to the bulk of New York voters according to the poll. While one might argue that the sample size is relatively small, it still may reflect the voting public.  Thus, it seems that either most New Yorkers aren’t aware of the sport of MMA, that its not legal within the state or just don’t care.

H/T Wrestling Observer and Fight Opinion

K-1 announces open tryouts in LA

June 27, 2012

Kickboxing organization K-1 will be conducting open tryouts at Muscle Beach in Los Angeles, California on July 19, 2012 for events later this year.

Via K-1 press release:

K-1 is offering this unprecedented opportunity for K-1 hopefuls to fight in a 2012 event and the chance to compete for $2 Million in prize money. $1 million will be awarded to the 2012 K-1 Heavyweight Grand Prix winner along with $300,000 for second place, as well as $300,000 for the winner of the 2012 K-1 MAX tournament.

“K-1 would like to invite all talented stand-up fighters to come to Muscle Beach in LA on July 19 and show us what you have, and why you belong in the K-1 family,” said Doug Kaplan, Chief Executive Officer, K-1. “K-1 is the gold standard in stand-up fighting, and we are searching for the best new athletes out there to represent K-1 and possibly become one of kickboxing’s newest icons.”

Signing up for the K-1 Open Tryouts is easy – simply visit the K-1 FACEBOOK page at:http://www.facebook.com/K1GlobalTV.ENG. After registering, you will receive your confirmation via email.

Payout Perspective:

Make sure you sign a waiver before you tryout in July.  According to our friends at Liverkick, there will be a K-1 event in Los Angeles on September 8th.  While the card is not set for September it appears that some of the participants will be drawn from this open tryout.

The open tryout should boost its Facebook traffic as those K-1 hopefuls will need to visit the page to sign up.  It’s an interesting way to promote the organization and the upcoming event in LA.  There is a question as to the level of talent obtained from an open tryout but it should gain some media attention and with the backdrop of the beach, it would be a good photo/video op.

For those wondering about K-1’s parent company going bankrupt, the reports of its demise were incorrect.

Zuffa sues unnamed alleged illegal streamers

June 27, 2012

Zuffa has filed a lawsuit in Nevada against unnamed defendants for alleged copyright infringement from illegally streaming UFC 130 and 131.  The lawsuit filed June 8, 2012 has the IP addresses of the claimed infringers but no names as of yet.

Zuffa claims that the actual names of the infringers will be named through the discovery process.

Zuffa v. Does 1-15 June 2012 Complaint

The Fight Lawyer wrote a detailed article on this subject a couple years ago which outlines the possible liability of those that illegally stream.

H/T: The Fight Lawyer

Payout Perspective:

We may have expected this considering news earlier this spring that Zuffa obtained user information in the Greenfeedz lawsuit. Although it has yet to go after those users, the legal strategy here is not surprising considering Zuffa’s aggressive stance on copyright infringement.  It will be interesting to see the progression of this case and what will the court do with the IP address infringers (i.e., who are these people, what will be their defenses).  We will keep you posted.

Silva and Sonnen made comic book characters

June 26, 2012

The UFC is pulling out all of the stops to ensure that UFC 148 is a success including a comic book strip depicting Anderson Silva and Chael Sonnen.  The comic depictions appear on the UFC’s Facebook page and will be updated daily to promote July 7th’s showdown.


 

Via UFC press release:

Reigning UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva and bitter rival and No1 contender Chael Sonnen have long been known as two of the most colorful characters in the Ultimate Fighting Championship® organization. But that has been taken to a whole new level in a special comic strip which will countdown to the UFC 148 main event between the two bitter rivals.

Each day another page of the strip will be published on the UFC’s Facebook page, Facebook.com/UFC leading to the biggest fight of the summer at the MGM Grand, Las Vegas, on July 7.

The strip has been drawn by British artist Dave Golding, 37, a professional comic book artist since 2006. Golding was the original artist for the critically acclaimed Dare graphic novel ‘The Hunter’, which has recently been optioned by Hollywood, and his work has been featured throughout the medium as well as on designs for various science-fiction shows for British television.

The strip – which launched on Sunday on Facebook – will tell the story of this almost-inevitable rematch of the 2010 fight of the year, and is peppered with in-jokes long-time UFC fans will appreciate.

Golding has also re-imagined Silva – a lifelong comic book fan – and Sonnen as costumed heroes for two special faux comic book covers. Silva dons the tights as ‘the Silver Spider’ and wears an outfit featuring the colors of his beloved Brazil’s national flag. Sonnen, meanwhile, is taken at his word and has been transformed into the ‘American Gangsta’, and given a patriotic Old Glory color scheme.

Silva said: “I’ve always been a comic book fan since I was young. I liked heroes who had everyday problems but still tried to help people.”

Sonnen said: “What a thrill, to see myself in comic book form. Never before has a real life super-hero been turned into a mortal in a comic book, you will never see this in your lives again.”


Payout Perspective:

This is a unique way to promote this match and great tie-in to utilize social media via its Facebook page with a new comic each day.  The obvious inference made by the comic strip depictions are that Silva and Sonnen are superheros on a collision course of enormous importance.  It’s a reason for fans to keep returning to the UFC page and a constant reminder for fans to order the PPV July 7th.

White predicts 1M buys for UFC 148

June 26, 2012

MMA Mania reports that Dana White estimates UFC 148 on July 7th to hit “UFC 100” levels including 1 million PPV buys.  It appears that The Spider is doing his part with some uncharacteristic strong trash talk for the challenger.


Payout Perspective:

The UFC has not hit 1 million PPV buys since Brock Lesnar lost the Heavyweight title to Cain Velasquez at UFC 121 on October 21, 2010.  For those wondering, UFC 100 received 1.6 million buys on July 11, 2009.

The first Silva-Sonnen bout at UFC 117 in Oakland received 600 PPV buys.  If you recall, Sonnen did most of the talking in hyping the fight as Silva was coming off of an embarrassing title defense in Abu Dhabi.

It seems like we’re getting a huge push for UFC 148 as this PPV may be the only one currently set that may hit 1M PPV buys.  The UFC may get another shot with Jones-Hendo on September 1st but it happens Labor Day weekend and no other fights of note have been set.  Certainly for 148, Silva’s trash talk should spur the venom between the two.  As a result, many fans will definitely be interested in tuning in.

UFC FX weekend ratings score pair of 1.3M audiences

June 25, 2012

MMA Weekly reports that ratings for the UFC 147 Prelims on FX scored 1.3 million viewers.  The rating is in line with the UFC Prelim average since the UFC-Fox deal.

It is being reported that more than 20 million viewers in Brazil watched Saturday night’s PPV.

In addition, MMA Junkie reports that 1.3 million viewers tuned in for UFC on FX 4 on Friday night.

Via MMA Junkie:

The event was the second-highest-rated show on cable in its timeslot among male viewers. Additionally, along with its presentation of “Iron Man” beforehand, FX was the highest-rated cable channel of the night among all viewers 18-49 and men 18-34.

UFC on FX 1:  1.3 million
UFC on FX 2:  1.4 million
UFC on FX 3:  1.1 million
UFC on FX 4:  1.3 million


Payout Perspective:

The ratings on FX were solid but did not move the dial.  In comparison to Friday’s FX event, WWE’s Smackdown scored 2.97 million viewers on SyFy (via MMA Supremacy).

Saturday’s prelim numbers were good considering that many did not know the fighters on the prelim card.  If the 20 million viewers figure is anywhere near correct, its a big coup for the UFC internationally as it appears that UFC 147 was geared specifically toward the Brazilian audience as the card lacked many North American names and Rich Franklin was just a late add.  Also, Mike Russow, the other notable non-Brazilian was KO’d early in his bout.

The Pro Wrestling Post: WWE announces new show on ION network

June 25, 2012

Television By Numbers reports that the WWE will debut a new one hour show on the ION Network starting October 3rd.  “WWE Main Event” will feature WWE superstars from the Raw and Smackdown rosters according to a press release from the WWE.

As MMA fans recall, ION was the home for a couple UFC Prelims broadcasts although the ratings for the ION broadcasts were forgettable.  However, it replaces WWE Superstars and NXT which were taken off of television and put on its WWE channel.  Another return to television helps with advertising and sponsorships despite the fact it is ION.

Cageside Seats also adds what this may mean for the WWE Network:

The other issue that comes to mind is what this means for the WWE Network. Perhaps it won’t get off the ground after all, seeing as this show isn’t even slated to debut until Oct. 3 and the Network was supposed to launch late this year. With problems cutting distribution deals, it’s safe to assume it may not ever come to fruition. And that might not be such a bad thing.


Payout Take:

Will the WWE’s show do better than the UFC did on the ION network?  WWE ratings on SyFy are decent and, in fact, were much better than TUF Live or Bellator.  As we note, the move is a positive for the WWE since it means it will have the ability to sell ad time as well as feature its superstars on another platform.  But, will this be pro wrestling overkill?  With Raw going to 3 hours permanently in July and Smackdown’s 2 hours, the pro wrestling fan will have 6 hours of weekly wrestling without mentioning its monthly PPVs.

UFC numbers from this weekend

June 25, 2012

The UFC put on two shows on Friday and Saturday with both shows selling out in Atlantic City, New Jersey and Belo Horizonte, Brazil.

MMA Junkie reports the numbers for UFC 147.  The attendance on Saturday night drew a reported 16,643 fans.  According to Zuffa, its the best showing for the promotion in Brazil.

The bonuses for UFC 147 were $65,000 each and as follows:
Fight of the Night:  Rich Franklin and Wanderlei Silva
Submission of the Night:  Rodrigo Damm
KO of the Night:  Marcos “Vina” Vinicius

A night before, UFC on FX 4 reported the following bonuses:

Fight of the Night:  Sam Stout and Spencer Fisher
Submission of the Night: Dan Miller
KO of the Night:  Cub Swanson

The fighters received $50,000 each.

Attendance for Friday night’s fight in Atlantic City, New Jersey was 4,652 which amounted to a sell out via Yahoo! Sports (through MMA Weekly).

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