Casey’s UFC 211 drug test flagged by Texas

May 26, 2017

UFC women’s strawweight fighter Cortney Case tested positive for elevated levels of testosterone in an in-competition drug screen at UFC 211 on May 13th.  The test does not mean she took a banned substance as Texas can cite a fighter for elevated T:E levels.

Per MMA Fighting, Casey had a testosterone-to-epitestosterone ration of 5.4:1.  Per Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR) rules anything over a 4:1 ratio is flagged.  The report also notes that she is under suspension for three months on the American Boxing Commission database which results from a failed drug test in Texas.

Payout Perspective:

The sample from Casey will be further tested via isotope-ratio mass spectrometry to determine if the elevated levels came from testosterone.  If that is the case, Casey would be disciplined.  Again, we are left here to look at the disclosure forms prior to the fight.  Casey did not disclose any substance that might elevate her T:E levels which might have mitigated the fighting.  Since nothing was disclosed, a finding via the isotope test of testosterone would mean a suspension.

USADA has not been in contacts with TDLR regarding the test since there has not been a potential anti-doping policy violation at this time.  We once again see the potential conflicts between the promoter, its third-party administrator and commissions.  Here, Casey will likely be fined and possibly suspended by Texas.  Unless there is a banned substance, she may not be suspended at all.

Updated viewership ratings for Bellator 179

May 26, 2017

Last Friday’s Bellator 179 drew 659,000 viewers in overall adjusted ratings for those that watched via DVR.  In addition, the main event featuring the Bellator Debut of Rory MacDonald peaked at 955,000 viewers.

The overall main event between MacDonald and Paul Daley drew 877,000 viewers.  On Monday, Nielsen reported the event drew an overnight (Live + SD) rating of 607,000 viewers.

The event was tape-delayed from London.

Payout Perspective:

The tape-delayed event did well in viewership at nearing 1 million viewers for MacDonald’s debut is good news for the promotion.  For MacDonald, it means a new career in a new promotion.  With a reported raise from the Viacom-owned company, the change seems like the best move for The Red King.

Bellator NYC available in selected theaters

May 26, 2017

Bellator NYC: Sonnen v. Silva will be made available in movie theaters according to a company press release.

Via press release:

One of the year’s biggest combat sports events is headed to the silver screen. Bellator NYC: Sonnen vs Silva, headlined by the long-awaited fight between two of the biggest names in mixed martial arts history,Chael Sonnen (29-15-1) and Wanderlei Silva (35-12-1, 1 NC), will be available in movie theaters nationwide on Saturday, June 24, in addition to pay-per-view.

Emanating from the legendary Madison Square in New York City, the mecca of combat sports, this blockbuster event includes a heavyweight bought between Russian icon Fedor Emelianenko and hard-hitting Matt Mitrione along with two championship bouts including Douglas Lima (28-6) defending his 170-pound strap against Lorenz Larkin (18-5, 1 NC) and current lightweight champion Michael Chandler (16-3) putting his world title on the line against the undefeated Brent Primus (7-0).

Bellator NYC: Sonnen vs. Silva will be broadcast live to cinemas nationwide for this special one-night event at 10:00 p.m. ET/ 7:00 p.m. PT. In addition, audience members will receive an exclusive commemorative poster with their ticket purchase (while supplies last).

Tickets for Bellator NYC: Sonnen vs. Silva can be purchased beginning Friday, May 26, online by visiting www.FathomEvents.com or at participating theater box offices. Fans throughout the U.S. will be able to enjoy the event in more than 350 select movie theaters through Fathom’s Digital Broadcast Network (DBN). A complete list of theater locations will be available May 26 on the Fathom Events website (theaters and participants are subject to change).

“MMA fans will be treated to a very exciting and unique experience by watching this momentous event on the big screen,” said Kymberli Frueh, Fathom Events VP of Programming. “This is the biggest MMA event of the year – and if you can’t attend at MSG, the theater experience will be unforgettable.”

Bellator NYC: Sonnen vs. Silva also airs live on pay-per-view beginning at 10pm ET/7pm PT. Prior to the pay-per-view event, SPIKE will air Bellator 180 LIVE and FREE on both coasts, beginning at 8pm ET/5pm PT. Additionally, Bellator 180 prelims will air exclusively on Bellator.com and the Bellator Mobile App at 6pm ET/ 3pm PT.

Payout Perspective:

In my area, the tickets are going for $15 per adult.

 

You may recall that the UFC and major boxing events used the movie theater strategy to reach out to a broader audience for those that did not want to purchase the PPV at home or did not have access to it.  If you are a “cord cutter” or “cord-never” (a term I just learned of last week) , you would not have access to purchase the PPV.  The theater option gives a cheaper alternative to watch the event.  How many more people will it add, we shall see.  But, it’s clear that  Bellator is pulling out all stops to ensure that next month’s event in New York is big.

TUF 25 Episode 6 draws 380,000 viewers

May 25, 2017

The Ultimate Fighter 25 episode 6 drew 380,000 viewers on FS1 Wednesday night per Nielsen and via ShowBuzz Daily.

The episode drew 0.15 viewers in the Adult 18-49 demo.  The fight of the episode featured Ramsey Nijem versus Julian Lane.  Nijem stopped Lane despite almost being choked out on two occasions.  It featured another dustup between TJ and Cody as well as Justin Buchholz and Duane Ludwig.

While not previously reported by this site, last week’s DVR adjusted rating for Episode 5 grew to 510,000 viewers.  The DVR numbers improved from last fall’s episode 5.

Payout Perspective:

The ratings from this week make it the highest-rated episode of the season.  To think that 380,000 is the highest rated episode this season in comparison to ratings a couple years ago reflects how much the show is more geared for DVR numbers rather than live ratings.

Hunt lawsuit will continue after Motion to Dismiss hearing

May 25, 2017

The Las Vegas Court hearing the Mark Hunt lawsuit has denied the UFC, Dana White and Brock Lesnar’s Motion to Dismiss in part and granted portions of the lawsuit.  The upside for Hunt is that it has 10 days to file an amended complaint.

The hearing occurred on Monday, but the order was not posted until today.

Hunt filed this lawsuit in early January against the UFC, Dana White and Brock Lesnar claiming RICO violations, breach of contract, negligence and other allegations stemming from his UFC 200 bout against the current WWE star.

The Minute Order is as follows:

Full docket text for document 63:
MINUTES OF PROCEEDINGS – Motion Hearing held on 5/22/2017 before Judge Jennifer A. Dorsey. Crtrm Administrator: Danielle Cacciabaudo; Pla Counsel: Scott Ingold, Joseph Gonnella; Def Counsel: Colby J. Williams, Donald Campbell, Howard Jacobs, Kendelee Works, Peter Christiansen; Court Reporter/Recorder: Felicia Zabin; Time of Hearing: 1:58 p.m. – 3:08 p.m.; Courtroom: 6D;

The Court makes preliminary remarks and hears oral arguments on the motions to dismiss [11] and [30]. For reasons stated on the record, the Court GRANTS in part and DENIES in part the motions to dismiss [11] and [30] as stated. Plaintiff has 10 days to file an amended complaint.

The Court further DENIES the motion to stay [47] without prejudice as stated on the record.

The minutes of this proceeding and the transcript will serve as the Court’s official order. No written order to follow

Payout Perspective:

This was the likeliest of outcomes with respect to dismissal of Hunt’s Complaint.  Parties have a right to refile and the interesting issue will be to see if the amended complaint will include RICO claims which carry treble (3x the proven amount) damages.  Additionally, the Court determined that the Motion to Stay Discovery is denied.  Since Hunt has the opportunity to file an amended complaint, there is no need to halt discovery since all indications is that Hunt will refile and this lawsuit will continue.

Showtime Boxing main event draws 481,000 viewers

May 25, 2017

The main event featuring Gary Russell, Jr. versus Oscar Escandon on Showtime Boxing on Saturday night drew 481,000 fans per ShowBuzz Daily.

The telecast ran opposite HBO’s boxing event featuring Terrence Crawford.  The event drew 961,000 viewers for Crawford’s event against Felix Diaz.

Russell was the featured event on the telecast which also featured the unfortunate post-fight incident where Andre Dirrell’s uncle took a cheap shot at Jose Uzcategui after he was disqualified for an after-the-bell foul on Dirrell.  The fight drew 354,000 viewers and 0.11 in the A18-49 demo.

Also, a fight between super lightweights Rances Barthelemy and Kiryl Relikh drew 267,000 viewers.

The first fight on the Showtime telecast drew 206,000 viewers.  It was a junior lightweight contest between Floyd Mayweather’s fighter Gervonta Davis and Liam Walsh.  Davis won via third-round TKO.

The Russell event drew 481,000 viewers and 0.13 in the A18-49 demo.

Payout Perspective:

The event is on par with prior Showtime telecasts and likely had to compete with viewers that also watched HBO’s boxing telecasts.  Usually, HBO boxing events do better than Showtime although Showtime may have had better fights on Saturday.

New Jersey Athletic Commission writes open letter to ABC

May 25, 2017

The state of New Jersey Athletic Commission, sent a letter to the American Boxing Commissions (ABC) requesting that it reconsider the rules regarding a downed fighter and kidney strike rule amendments.  New Jersey wrote the letter to urge all athletic commission to one rule set for the sport.

The open letter dated May 22, 2017 was written with the anticipating that it would be discussed at the upcoming 2017 ABC annual convention in Connecticut in late July.

“Other major sports are implementing changes to make the sport safer while the ABC has rushed through changes that could increase danger,” the letter states.

New Jersey claims that there are at least four different sets of rules regarding a downed fighter and cite three instances in the UFC (Means-Oliveira at UFC 207, Weidman-Mousasi at UFC 210 and Alvarez-Poirier at UFC 212) where there has been confusion on what rules were being used.

The letter states that the 2016 ABC convention presentation on these matters “opened the floodgates to multiple disjointed rule sets in play dependent upon venue.”  The letter claims that the two rule changes were rushed to passage by the ABC as they “were not distributed to the membership for advance review as past rule changes had been,” according to the letter.  New Jersey claims that is was not made aware of the rule changes until they were alerted to them by a media member moments prior to the convention start.

As for the downed fighter rule the four interpretations per New Jersey’s letter is as follows:

  1. Prior rule (still rule in at least 20 jurisdictions): Anything but the soles of a fighter’s feet on the mat made that fighter a grounded opponent, which allows for a competitor to just place a finger on the mat to be considered a grounded opponent.
  2. ABC recommendation: A referee that believed that a fighter was “gaming the system” and “playing the rules” could be considered a standing fighter “even if a finger or hand was touching at the time of the strike’s contact.”
  3. At least three jurisdictions: One full hand down to define downed fighters.
  4. Herb Dean stated that he analyzes whether the downed opponent is “supporting weight.”

Kidney strikes are being questioned by Ohio, Maryland and Pennsylvania.  The reason being that kidney strikes are prohibited in other combat sports and the query is why they are allowed in MMA.

Payout Perspective:

The letter makes it sound like that ABC and the commissions will have things to discuss in late July.  The conference takes place at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, Connecticut.  With the amount of confusion that occurred in the three UFC events identified in the letter, one has to think that the rule with a downed opponent should be clarified.  As pointed out by New Jersey, there should be some uniformity in the rules to avoid confusion.  Even though the ABC does not have authority over commissions, they are a great influence in producing the unified rules.

Anthem exec releases portions of Hardy contract in IP dispute

May 24, 2017

Ed Nordholm, Executive Vice President of Anthem Sports & Entertainment, sent out an email and attachment of portions of Matt Hardy’s contract related to the use of the “Broken Brilliance” creative which is sparking a potential Intellectual Property dispute between the Hardy’s and its former contractors.

MMA Payout obtained a copy of the along with members of the pro wrestling media.  The email sent out on Tuesday outlines the substance of communcations between Anthem (i.e., TNA Impact Wrestling) and the Hardy Brothers over the potential use of their “Broken” gimmick in WWE.  For those that have been following, the Hardy Brothers used the gimmick in Ring of Honor after leaving Impact Wrestling.  A cease and desist letter was sent to Ring of Honor and its distributors to prevent the Hardys to use their gimmicks while developed in Imp act Wrestling.

The email outlines the log of communications between Nordholm and the Hardy’s.  You can envision it being included in a declaration if this were to go to court.

  • March 10 – EBN speaks with executives at ROH about “Broken Brilliance” being used in ROH shows. I indicated willingness to provide an arrangement that would allow the creative to be used in ROH shows and encouraged ROH to have Matt speak with me if he wanted to pursue that discussion
  • March 11 – EBN spoke at length with Matt by telephone about the structure of an amicable arrangement for use of the Broken Brilliance creative
  • March 14 – Matt sent text message to Ed Nordholm at 4:05pm:

“Tried giving you a call, it rang & went busy. I’m open to working things out amicably as we spoke about. The lawyer who represent me is interested in seeing your offer. My lawyer’s email is {redacted} which you could send the offer to for review. Thanks.”

And I responded by text at 6:41 pm

“Thank you Matt. I was supposed to be [flying] into NYC today and am a little twisted. I will pull something together with [our] lawyers and try to get it over to your lawyer tomorrow or Thursday at latest“

  • March 16 – At 8:25 pm I sent an update text to Matt:

“Hi Matt. My lawyer got me a draft too late to get reviewed for today. I will look at it in the morning. Sorry for the delay”

And he responded at 9:16 pm

“Ok, he’s ready for it. Thanks for the update.”

  • March 17 – counsel for Anthem Wrestling delivered draft proposal to counsel for Matt Hardy
  • March 24 – counsel for Anthem Wresting followed up with Matt Hardy counsel requesting comments on the proposal
  • March 27 – counsel for Matt Hardy responds that they have been away and have not reviewed the proposal but will be back “in the next few days”

After which no further communication until

  • April 18 – counsel for Matt Hardy leaves a voice mail message for counsel for Anthem Wrestling asking to arrange a meeting
  • April 20 – EBN contacts WWE by email to determine veracity of internet rumours concerning WWE interest in Broken Brilliance
  • April 21 — WWE respond by email that there “is no interest on our end” {redacted email exchange attached}
  • April 21 – counsel for Matt Hardy sends a follow up message requesting a meeting
  • April 27 – lawyers speak to arrange a meeting
  • May 16 – lawyers meet but no agreement reached

In addition, Nordholm included relevant portions of the Hardy contract with Impact Wrestling.  The blue underlined sentences are from Nordholm’s copy.  It is done to highlight the terms which they argue rule this contract issue.   Notably, section C reflects that the Company owns all Performances, “free from any claims of ownership by the Contractor (i.e., Matt and Jeff Hardy) or any other party.  Section D notes the “Assignment of Works” is owned by the Company even if the contract is terminated.  Under the Original Intellectual Property and Merchandising Section B it notes that the Company shall be “free from any claims of ownership by the Contractor.”

Hardy Contract Extract by JASONCRUZ206 on Scribd

Payout Perspective:

As we opined in our post on March 30th, “Who owns your gimmick?”  The contract is the first thing that you have to look at when determining who owns the intellectual property created during the contracted relationship.  Was the contract legal?  It appears it is from what has been produced.  Next, the Independent Contractor Agreement reflects the fact that anything made while under contract is owned by the Company.  It’s quite unfair but not unusual.

The release seems like a way to avoid potential litigation over the Copyright issue.  Assuming the contract was signed by the Hardys and was valid at the time of signature, the provisions in the contract would favor TNA.  Clearly, what the company is angling toward is a possible license it can sell to the WWE for use of the gimmick.  MMA Payout will keep you posted.

Cyborg cited for misdemeanor after Magana confrontation

May 23, 2017

MMA Junkie reports that Cristiane Justino has been cited by Las Vegas Metropolitan Police for misdemeanor battery as a result of confrontation with Angela Magana on Sunday.

Both fighters were in attendance at the UFC fighter summit.  Magana indicated that she wanted to press charges.  The information was from an incident report from Junkie reporting.  The Clark County District Attorney’s Office will be sent the report and determine whether to prosecute Justino.

Per Junkie, a charge of misdemeanor assault carries a potential penalty of six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.

Payout Perspective:

We will see if the DA decides to prosecute this case.  It seems like a very small incident that is not worth the time of the attorney’s office.  Despite the fact that Magana wants to “press charges,” that’s not how it works.  Of course, if she wants to file a civil suit for battery she could.  She could also sue the UFC and the JW Marriott for not providing a safe environment and premises liability.  Don’t know if that happens but you can follow the lawsuit that boxer Dominic Brezeale filed against the Wilder brothers and the Mariott.

Crawford-Diaz draw 961,000 viewers on HBO

May 23, 2017

The Terrence Crawford-Felix Diaz fight on HBO Boxing drew 961,000 viewers on Saturday night per ShowBuzz Daily.

Crawford dominated the fight against Diaz.  Per ShowBuzz Daily, it drew a 0.37 rating in the A18-49 demo.

The other fight on the telecast between Raymundo Beltran and Jonathan Maicelo drew 687,000 viewers on HBO.

Previously, Crawford drew 982,000 viewers for his fight this past February against Hank Lundy.  In October 2016, Crawford drew 1.07M subscribers against Dierry Jean.  In April 2015, he drew 1.004M subscribers against Thomas Dulorme.

Payout Perspective:

The telecast was opposite a Showtime show so there may have been a split in viewership.  Crawford is one of HBO’s prized boxers but will he get a shot at the upper echelon?  The one sure way is a big fight with Manny Pacquiao.  The ratings reflect that his viewership is around 1 million viewers but if he’s to return to PPV, he’ll need a Pacquiao fight to do so.

« Previous PageNext Page »