Hendricks backs Wounded Warrior Project

March 11, 2013

Johny Hendricks is helping raise money for the Wounded Warrior Project.  The UFC welterweight contender is donating his MMA memorabilia to the cause which will be auctioned off.

“I have always been very appreciative of our armed forces and have followed the Wounded Warrior Project for awhile.  These men and women are the real heroes and I feel they don’t get nearly enough credit,” said Hendricks. “This is just a super small way that I can show my personal appreciation by utilizing the platform that UFC has provided me.”

HendricksAuctions

For more information, follow this link to learn more about the action.

Payout Perspective:

Its always good to know that athletes give back to good causes.  While Hendricks may be on the cusp of something big if he gets past Carlos Condit this weekend, he recognizes that he can use his notoriety to help out a worthy cause.

 

The Wrestling Post – 12.24.12 edition

December 24, 2012

Welcome to another edition of The Wrestling Post.  This edition we’ll take a look at THQ’s bankruptcy, the Survivor Series buy rate and Daniel Bryan makes a young boy’s dream come true.

THQ goes bankrupt

The Wrestling Post takes a look at THQ’s Chapter 11 Bankruptcy filing and what that means for the WWE.  According to court filings, the WWE is an unsecured creditor that is owed $45 million.

The video game maker had been accumulating losses over the past couple years which caused the company to file a Chapter 11 reorganization plan.

The WWE sent out a statement this past Wednesday which likely was sent out to ease the minds of its investors.  It indicated in a short press release that it anticipated “actively participating” in the bankruptcy proceeding.

The WWE is listed as an “unsecured” creditor in THQ’s bankruptcy filing indicating that the company owes the WWE $45 million which reflects the entirety of its multi-year agreement with THQ.

The WWE indicated in another press release  on Thursday that the amount owed by THQ would not impact the financials of the company.  It went on to state that even if the $45 million debt would have an impact on the financials it would not affect its stock price.

THQ will not cease operations as it is in the process of being purchased which means that THQ may still have an existing contract to make the WWE video game franchise.  The bankruptcy court would have to allow the purchase to go through.

Payout Take:  Being an unsecured creditor in this type of bankruptcy proceeding means that its highly unlikely that the WWE would recoup any of its $45 million from THQ.  Although it indicated that it would actively participate in the bankruptcy proceedings it may be more saber rattling than having a good chance of collecting on the debt.  The press releases were investor relations PR to ease the minds of its stockholders.  Losing $45 million is not a good thing for the company and letting investors know it wouldn’t affect its financials seems more important than actually recouping the debt.  Although, both would be nice if you were Vince McMahon.

Survivor Series buy rate disappointing

The Wrestling Observer (subscription required) reports that the Survivor Series buy rate received only 212,000 buys.  In comparison, last year’s Survivor Series did 281,000 buys.  Of course, the main event featured The Rock and John Cena.  But, the year before, the 2010 Survivor Series received 244,000 buys for a Randy Ortron-Wade Barrett PPV.

(h/t Cageside Seats)

Payout Take:  Poor ratings for what used to be the biggest event of the fall for the WWE.  A CM Punk-John Cena-Ryback main event failed to draw enough interest from fans.  It will be interesting to see what the WWE will do to create more interest for its PPV buyers considering the vast amount of WWE content via many platforms.

Bryan taps for a good cause

On a recent stop in Pittsburgh by the WWE, wrestler Daniel Bryan made a pre-show visit with a young fan with cancer.  The highlight of the visit was the young boy putting Bryan in a submission hold and Bryan tapping. (via CBS Local Pittsburgh)

Payout Take:  Despite some of its questionable storylines, the WWE recognizes its obligation to charity including the Make A Wish Foundation.  John Cena has made many appearances with young children with terminal diseases.  While the appearance by Bryan is good publicity for the company, it also fulfilled the dream of a young boy.  A very good story for the holiday season.

Clothing brands raise funds for Japan

April 12, 2011

Tokyo Five clothing brand announced efforts to raise funds for the emergency relief efforts in Japan.

In addition, VXRSI and MiddleEasy.com are offering t-shirts with proceeds going to help Japan.

Via Tokyo Five press release:

NEW YORK, NY, April 12, 2011 (FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE) – Contributing to the emergency relief effort in Japan, Tokyo Five brand will begin raising funds for GlobalGiving through the sale of their ‘Japan Endure Tee.’

Available for purchase starting April 12, 2011, the Japan Endure tee will retail for $20 exclusively through Tokyo Five’s website.  All proceeds will be donated to GlobalGiving’s Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Fund.

More than one month after the tragic Earthquake and Tsunami in Japan, this effort seeks not only to raise funds but keep a spotlight on a region still in need. GlobalGiving’s vast network of charities with creative ideas allows Tokyo Five to aid projects that might never be funded through traditional structures. This is Tokyo Five’s first step in a long commitment to a country that continues to give the brand endless inspiration.

To purchase the Japan Endure t-shirt, please visit: http://www.tokyofivebrand.com/shop/specials/japan-endure.html

To donate directly and learn more, please visit: http://www.globalgiving.org/tokyofivebrand?rf=tokyofive

In addition, VXRSI and MiddleEasy.com have combine to offer its own t-shirt with 100% of the profits going to Save the Children.

Via MiddleEasy:

An estimated 100,000 children have been displaced after Japan’s colossal earthquake that rocked the entire country, forever. In fact, according to The Guardian, about 25% of the 1,200 people sleeping on cardboard mats at one shelter in Sendai are children, many of them with disabilities. Some of these children have been separated from their family for up to a week and with lack of proper nutrition and societal instability, their lives may be permanently scarred with psychological trauma. With our new Save Japan! shirt, we’re doing our best to raise enough money to provide children with the proper counseling and therapy in order to recover from the trauma of what they have experienced.

Payout Perspective:

This is a nice gesture from the MMA community to raise funds for the disaster in Japan. At Saturday’s Strikeforce event, there were signs offering their support to Japan. Not only is the move good from a public relations standpoint, it shows concern for the global community. We saw similar efforts with mudslides in Brazil earlier this year. With the sport being popular in Japan and Brazil, its nice that businesses are making efforts to give back.

Payout Perspective: UFC 127

March 1, 2011

Welcome to another edition of Payout Perspective! This time we look at UFC 127 which took place at the Acer Arena in Sydney, Australia. The main event saw a draw between Jon Fitch and BJ Penn. In the other featured bout, Michael Bisping defeated Jorge Rivera after an illegal knee and a questionable decision to continue the fight.

Fitch-Penn Draw

Although one judge had Jon Fitch beating BJ Penn, the other two judges scored the fight a draw resulting in a majority draw decision. Two judges scored the fight 10-8 for Fitch in the third which caused the draw. While the draw may not be the most questionable call of the night, it was an interesting matchup with both fighters displaying their strengths. At the end, it had BJ bummed, and contemplating retirement and Fitch uncertain of the direction of his career.

Bisping illegal knee drops Rivera, then KOs Rivera

Michael Bisping is a sensitive guy. At least that’s how he started his post-fight interview with Joe Rogan. He certainly displayed this characteristic after his illegal knee put Jorge Rivera on Dream Street. Perhaps the knee was due to the emotion of the trash talk videos Rivera made in ramping up to the matchup. Inexplicably, the ring doctor and ref did not take control and stop the fight. Instead, they asked Rivera if he could continue. What do you think would be the response? Rivera was game enough to hold off Bisping momentarily before the stoppage. After the fight was when the real fireworks began as Bisping spat at Rivera’s corner as well as middle fingering the crowd (or someone in the crowd but the camera panned away). Bisping’s actions caused a mention on ESPN’s Sportsnation.

In recent memory, when most bad blood fights happen (except Rashard-Rampage); the fighters are professional in squashing whatever beef they had after the fight. Bisping looked like he would do the same, but he decided to rub it in. Even Paul Dailey thought the illegal knee was unprofessional. The UFC has decided to punish Bisping for spitting at Rivera’s corner, not for the knee.

All of the bad blood stems from the trash talk and videos made between the two. From a fan perspective, the hype is great and it’s definitely motivation to watch a fight (which frankly did not look too exciting on paper), but as professional fighters they have to know that what’s said to hype the fight can’t be taken personal. Yet, both camps (Alchemist-Wolfslair) are still issuing statements calling out the other.

For Bisping, Vito Belfort and Chael Sonnen (assuming his career is thawed out by the UFC) have already requested to fight him. Does anyone else think it should be Bisping calling out Belfort and/or Sonnen?

Last minute fill-in Ebersole becomes feel good story of UFC 127

Self-proclaimed journeyman Brian Ebersole upset Chris Lytle in his debut in the UFC. It was great to see Ebersole’s raw emotion on two specific occasions: as Ebersole readied himself to enter the Octagon for the first time and at the end of the fight. The cameras caught Ebersole realizing his dream–good TV.  Ebersole was unique as seen with his cartwheel kick, shaved chest and wearing headgear to the ring. Great visibility for Hayabusa-Ebersole’s sponsor.

Bonuses

Fight of the Night honors went to Ebersole and Chris Lytle for their fight.

Former TUF cast member, Kyle Noke won Submission of the Night honors with an early choke out of Chris Camozzi.

Mark Hunt won KO of the night with his second round beat down of Chris Tuchscherer. It was also featured on ESPN’s Sportsnation.

Each fighter earned an additional $75,000 to their pay. (H/t MMA Junkie)

Attendance and Gate

As previously reported, UFC 127 was a success as it set the record for attendance for UFC events outside of North America. 18,136 fans attended for a gate of $3.5 million.

Facebook/ION/PPV

For the first time, the UFC aired its fights over three platforms: Facebook, TV and PPV. The ION broadcast garnered 714,000 viewers according to MMA Junkie. This is down from the 829,000 viewers of ION’s initial broadcast in January. This is a significant downturn from the UFC 126 prelims on Spike TV which garnered an all-time best of 2 million viewers.

Despite the decrease in viewership for UFC 127, fans had the opportunity to watch more fights. The drawback was that you had to switch from your computer, to finding the ION channel (again) and then switching to PPV. Not the most convenient for the casual fan.

Sponsorship Watch

SafeAuto Insurance – This was the first of several times this year where SafeAuto will be on the mat and ring posts for the UFC since it became an official sponsor.  It also sponsored Dennis Siver in his upset victory over George Sotiropoulos.

Lids –The hat store, a new sponsor to the UFC, was presenting sponsor of the Tale of the Tape. Interesting to see it becomes involved in MMA sponsorship.

Gamefly.com, the Netflix of video games, and new shooter game Killzone3 were prominent sponsors with the former having its logo on the center of the ring and the latter on the ring posts.

US Marines sponsored the mini-Fitch and Penn Keys to Victory segment. This is a nice segment that they started at 126. It’s a new way to get sponsor visibility during the PPV.

Dethrone Royalty – Surprisingly, there were a lot of positive comments about Jon Fitch’s walkout shirt which depicted a dog.  It definitely was a nice alternative to the usual fare.

Public Relations for 127

Like other places where MMA is trying to penetrate the market, some local newspapers wrote negative pieces (here and here ) about the sport in general. The Herald Sun had an especially ignorant rant on MMA.  For the UFC’s part, it conducted a PR tour in December. The tour consisted of going out into the community, working out at local gyms and giving interviews to local press. Educating the public on the sport is the key for it to make inroads in new markets.

The UFC contributed to the relief efforts for Tropical Cyclone Yasi which caused widespread flooding in Australia. The UFC held an auction featuring UFC memorabilia with funds going toward flood victims. It also matched the fight purse of James Te Huna, who donated his fight purse to the relief efforts. This was a good move by the UFC in recognizing an opportunity to help the community. It shows that it is more than just flying in, making money and leaving.

In the less serious department, during fight week, the UFC had multiple greet and grin opportunities as UFC fighters visited a rugby team, went surfing at Bondi Beach and the UFC Octagon girls visited the zoo.

Storylines Post-UFC 127

– What now for Fitch and Penn? Is a rematch in the future and does anyone want it? Both sides seemed dejected afterward. Fitch wants a shot at the Shields-GSP winner but that is unlikely. Although Penn wondered about hanging it up, it would be hard to see him going out like this.

– Siver upsets Sotiropoulos. Dennis Siver’s win over George Sotiropoulos in front of his homeland crowd stopped Sotiropoulos’ march to the top of the 155 contender list.

– Zhang wins. A preliminary bout with potential major implications. Tiequan Zhang dropped down to 145 pounds and submitted Jason Reinhardt. Zhang, coming off an upset loss needed a victory here. It’s not too big of a stretch to say that Zhang’s success will make it easier for the UFC to create inroads into China. With the global expansion of the company, it would benefit the UFC if Zhang does well at 145. In his post-fight interview he noted that he doesn’t feel pressure to grow the Chinese market but believes the UFC will be in China.

– Judges do it again. Not only was there questionable scoring made in the main event and sketchy decision-making by the ring doctor and ref in the Bisping-Rivera fight,  the judges got it wrong in the Nick Ring-Riki Fukuda fight. Dana White said as much as he tweeted that Fukuda would receive his win bonus despite the loss.

– Australian crowd. The Aussie crowd showed its knowledge of MMA and was into the fights. The attendance reflects the popularity of the sport down under. It was announced that a possible stadium show in Australia could happen in the future. Australia could be marketed as an annual destination stop for the UFC.

Odds and Ends

– Other than the draw, what received more attention for Jon Fitch: his shirt or his diet?

– Speaking of t-shirts, I thought BJ Penn’s shirt/banner, “Aloha Mate” with Mate upside down was pretty clever. Penn was a fan favorite in Sydney.

– Did you know Kyle Noke was “The Crocodile Hunter” Steve Irwin’s bodyguard?

– Sonnen and Belfort use email and twitter to lobby for a potential matchup with Michael Bisping. Doesn’t anyone use a cell phone to text anymore?

White pays for girl’s liver transplant

December 21, 2010

UFC head Dana White is paying a substantial part of the costs for a liver transplant for the baby daughter of a well-known Muay Thai instructor.

Rattanachai “Kru Nai” Jadngooluem’s four-year old daughter Tuptim, will be the recipient of the new liver. Jadngooluem teaches in Phuket, Thailand at Tiger Muay Thai, where many professional MMA fighters have trained.

From USA Today: (UPDATE: The story originated from mixedmartialarts.com)

Doctors at the start of the month estimated Tuptim would die by the end of the year without a transplant because of an ailment that prevents bile from being carried out of the liver. Tiger recently started a fundraising campaign to raise $50,000 needed for the operation.

White was notified of Jadngooluem’s predicament through an online message board. A UFC employee responded to the plea for assistance with assurance that White would cover the costs. Subsequent logistics were made for the young girl to have the operation.

Payout Perspective:

There are two things interesting about this story. First, this gesture shows the generosity and compassion of White and the UFC. White has not attempted to take advantage of the press it is receiving. From all accounts, they are not making a big deal about the donation.

Second, it shows that White and the UFC are paying attention to what’s written online. Obviously, White and the UFC likely made sure that the story was true to avoid a hoax. But, it shows the forward thinking of the company. Although White chastises internet writers, he still pays attention to stay in touch with his audience.

This is a great story and hopefully the young girl has a successful transplant. The one concern White (and the UFC) may face is what to do about these types of requests. The UFC has the money to pay for hundreds of surgeries to save lives, but how does it approach these situations.

Another question, did White personally pay for the operation or did the UFC?

Regardless, during the holiday season, it is good to see such a great gift.

Almeida, Edgar Donate Seminars to Benefit Haiti

February 15, 2010

MMAPayout.com has learned that Frankie Edgar and Ricardo Almeida will be hosting a series of instructional seminars at a local New Jersey gym this week; the proceeds from which will be donated to help the citizens of Haiti recover from the devastating earthquake that killed over 200,000 people last month.

Edgar is known within MMA as the lightweight fighter with a heavyweight heart, but he’s also known within the New Jersey MMA community for his generosity. “What happened in Haiti was very sad and tragic,” Edgar told MMAPayout.com. “I’m privileged to be able to participate in this seminar to help the people of this torn country.”

The native of Toms River, New Jersey is 11-1 as a professional (6-1 in the UFC) and will take on BJ Penn for the UFC lightweight championship at UFC 112 in Abu Dhabi on Saturday, April 10th.

Tamiso: Frankie Edgar Lends a Helping Hand

June 2, 2009

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Frankie Edgar Lends a Helping Hand

by Eric Tamiso

After his impressive unanimous decision victory over Sean Sherk at UFC 98, Frankie “The Answer” Edgar is back in the gym, but also finding time to help someone in need.

On June 7, Edgar will take part in a charity event in Belmar, NJ to help benefit former UVA and Rutgers wrestler Ryan McGrath. McGrath was diagnosed with chronic myloid leukemia last summer, and recently underwent a stem cell transplant. The illness has left McGrath out of work since Christmas, and the event Sunday aims to help ease the financial strain put on him and his family.

The event is being organized by John Leonardis, a personal friend of McGrath’s, and assistant coach on the Rutgers wrestling team with Edgar.

“Frank and I have coached together at Rutgers for the past 2 years. I have so much respect for what Frankie does and how he prepares, and Frankie helping us instill that work ethic into the Rutgers Wrestling Team,” said Leonardis.

For Edgar, now 10-1 in his mixed martial arts career, will sign autographs at the event this Sunday in New Jersey.

“It just feels good. It really is better to give than to receive I guess, you feel a lot better than receiving and that’s the truth,” said Edgar. ““I work with John and Ryan’s a Rutgers alumni so we’re just trying to help each other out.

McGrath wrestled for the Scarlet Knights in 2002 and 2003. McGrath won the ACC Title at 197 pounds at Virginia in 2000, and was now working as a teacher in the Keansburg school district.

As for Edgar’s next move in the world of MMA, he’s already back in the gym training, and now waiting to hear from his boss.

“I’m pretty much just waiting on the UFC. I’d like to fight in the fall, September possibly. I just want to fight someone who’s going to get me a step closer.”

The event takes place at Connolly Station, at 711 Main St. in Belmar, New Jersey from 2-6 PM. For ticket information or how they can help, email John Leonardis at j_leonardis@yahoo.com

More Info On Ryan Bennett Benefit

May 3, 2009

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Click Here for more info on the Ryan Bennett Benefit Golf Tourney

Ryan Bennett Golf Benefit Being Held

April 26, 2009

A charity golf tournament on Aug. 11, at the Sierra Lakes Golf Club in Fontana, Calif has been organized as a benefit for the Ryan Bennett Foundation. Ken Pavia’s MMA Agents agency are organizing the benefit and you can learn more about the event by visitng the website at http://mmaagents.com/golf.php

Bennett was known in the MMA world for being a co-founder of the MMA Weekly website as well as with his announcing duties with the UFC. Ryan Bennett died May 31, 2006, and left behind a wife and four children. The Ryan Bennett foundation was started to help support his children.

Chuck Liddell, Randy Couture, Tito Ortiz, Pat Miletich, Mark Coleman, and Dan Henderson are among the multitude of names that have committed to the event. The wide range of people and personalities looking to contribute to the event are a testament to how highly Bennett was thought of in the MMA community. Bennett was a widely respected and much loved figure in the MMA community and the MMA world lost one if its best with his passing. Please help the cause if possible.


Headed To UFC 96? Meet the Stars, Contribute To a Good Cause

March 3, 2009

NTR 2009 8.5 x 11 Poster 2-22-09

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