Despite ban, Shlemenko to fight in Russia

January 23, 2016

MMA Junkie reports that former Bellator middleweight Alexander Shlemenko is slated to fight in Russia despite a three-ban by the California State Athletic Commission for alleged steroid use.

Last June, Shlemenko was suspended 3 years and fined $10,000 by the California State Atheltic Commission.  It was the harshest penalty against an MMA fighter since it began regulating the sport.

Shlemenko filed a lawsuit in California seeking judicial review of the commission ruling.  The case is stil ongoing, but Shlemenko believed that he could no longer wait on a determination and took the fight in Russia for the M-1 Global promotion.  According to a report from Bloody Elbow, Shlemenko stated that Bellator gave him written permission to fight for M-1.

The CSAC indicated that it would not take further administrative action against Shlemenko since it had no jurisdiction.  It is not known whether the CSAC would use Shlemenko’s decision to fight elsewhere in the court case.

Payout Perspective:

At the age of 31, you can understand why Shlemenko is seeking somewhere to continue his career.  Despite being banned by the CSAC, one had to know that this would be a possibility with a 3 year ban.  The inevitable return of Shlemenko reflects the fact that a state commission’s reach when banning fighters can only be so far.  Even if Shlemenko were to lose his court case, it’s clear that a fighter can find other promotions to continue fighting if the promotion is willing.

M-1 Global Challenge 27: 185,000 viewers

October 20, 2011

MMA Junkie reports that ratings for M-1 Global Challenge on Showtime Friday night scored an average of 185,000 viewers. The event drew a 0.6 household rating.

Via MMA Junkie:

The event was the third M-1 Challenge show to air on Showtime. M-1 Challenge 24 drew 189,000 viewers earlier this year, and M-1 Challenge 26 drew 161,000 viewers in July. The three shows now have averaged 178,000 viewers on the premium-cable channel.

By comparison, the Strikeforce Challengers series on Showtime has averaged 207,000 viewers per event in 2011.

Payout Perspective:

Good numbers for the promotion especially with its Friday night time slot. Still lower than Strikeforce Challengers  average numbers, but as pointed out by readers, the M-1 average matches Bellator 54. It will be interesting to see what Showtime will do with Ken Hershman leaving for HBO and Zuffa in talks with the network about its future on Showtime. M-1 could be an alternative for Showtime if Zuffa leaves and it decides to remain in the MMA business.

Details Emerge Involving “Affliction Trilogy” Cancellation and UFC/Affliction Deal in 2009

June 16, 2011

The Affliction vs M-1/Fedor Litigation has provided some great insight on the behind-the-scenes dealings throughout the lifespan of the Affliction/M-1 partnership, which includes the cancellation of the Trilogy event and a last minute deal between Affliction and the UFC.

On June 7, 2011, a 55-page decision document was released, depicting in great detail as to what lead Affliction into dropping its MMA promotional aspirations and concurrently signing a deal with the UFC to get back in their good graces after being banned by the promotion in 2008.

 

Here are some of the tidbits disclosed in the decision:

– As of March 2008, Fedor had an oral agreement with M-1 that “obliged him to fight for M-1 for a two-year period in exchange for $2 million per bout, as well as a $1.5 million signing bonus”.  Fedor also has an 8.5% interest in the company.

– In early 2008, Affliction’s Todd Beard informed M-1 that they were going to form an MMA promotion company after their relationship with the UFC had deteriorated.

– On April 14, 2008, Affliction and M-1 agreed that Fedor Emelianenko would be paid a $300k purse which was reported pay, and received an additional $1.2M consulting fee via M-1 Global, which totaled to a $1.5M purse after re-negotiating an earlier contract which did not include the Consulting Agreement (which was set up after considering some financials regarding taxes).

– Vadim Finkelstein invested $1 Million to open Affliction stores in Russia to make Affliction happy in order to form an Affliction/M-1 Global business, which they were also hoping to team up with Japanese promotion DREAM to run some co-promotional events in Japan, but Affliction was worried about the costs of such venture.

– On December 8, 2008, M-1 and Affliction clothing agreed on a $1 Million sponsorship deal that would heavily feature Affliction on the M-1 Challenge broadcasts for the 2008 and 2009 seasons.

– M-1 contends that each M-1 Challenge event costs around $250K US Dollars, which includes expenses such as venues, visa fees, travel expenses, stage, refs, and production. Affliction paid the first installment of $500K, never paid the rest ($500K). Affliction claims contract calls for 30 “unique” one-hour episodes of M-1 Challenge and only 27 were provided.

– M-1 claims that Affliction had growing concern, noting that Affliction’s Beard probably that the UFC was ready to sign with Fedor on any terms M-1 wanted, but M-1 held back trying to grow a “competitive promotion” with Affliction, using Fedor as the “trump card”.

– On May 13, 2009, the Trilogy event set for August 1st was presented, with Fedor fighting Josh Barnett.

– On July 9, 2009, Affliction began discussions with the UFC regarding a potential sponsorship deal.

– M-1 used their personal contacts to broadcast the Trilogy event on national TV in Russia, Channel One.

– On July 13, 2009, Affliction’s Bassiri met with UFC’s Lawrence Epstein, UFC’s general counsel, and discussed the possibility that the UFC would assume responsibility of the Trilogy event and postpone the event to September 19, 2009 in Dallas. Affliction wanted to leave the MMA promotion business and re-establish a relationship with the UFC.  … MMAPayout: If you recall, this is around the time Zuffa insider’s were prematurely announcing a Fedor vs Lesnar main-event in Dallas for September, since part of the deal involved Affliction’s belief that they had a good enough relationship with Fedor that either he would follow them to the UFC, or would honor the one fight that was left in their contract. No one in Affliction informed M-1 of the meetings they were having with the UFC.

– After M-1 found out that Josh Barnett failed a drug test on July 21, 2009 from the CSAC, both parties started looking for a suitable replacement for the Trilogy event on August 1st.  Affliction’s Tom Atencio presented M-1 with Brett Rogers, Roy Nelson, and Alistair Overeem as possible opponents for the Trilogy main event.

– Tom Atencio offered Brett Rogers $500k to fight Fedor on July 22, 2009, but Strikeforce – who Rogers was currently signed with – refused.  Strikeforce eventually gave Rogers permission to Rogers to be able to take the fight on July 23, but by that day, Affliction canceled the Trilogy event and on that same day announced a deal with the UFC.

– The agreement between Affliction and the UFC  is detailed as follows:

“Paragraph 1 of the UFC/Affliction agreement provided: “[E]xcept for any rights that [Affliction] has with respect to Fedor Emelianenko (‘Fedor’) and conditioned upon [Affliction] . . . assign[ing] the agreements between [Affliction] and the [Affliction] Fighters to the UFC, the UFC agrees to assume [Affliction]’s responsibility for payment of the entire purse of the Affliction Trilogy Event which [Affliction] represents is not in excess of $741,000 purse and $370,000 win bonus. . . .”  Paragraph 2 stated that “[w]ith respect to Fedor, in the event the UFC is able to come to an agreement with Fedor on terms and conditions satisfactory to the UFC, the UFC shall assume responsibility for payments of Fedor’s purse for the Affliction Trilogy event or cause Fedor to release [Affliction] from its agreement with Fedor.”  Paragraph 6 required that Affliction Promotions cancel the Trilogy event.”

– On July 23, 2009, M-1 didn’t know about the cancellation of the event until after it arrived to Los Angeles with 30 fans from Russia.  Fedor was studying some footage on Vitor Belfort and Brett Rogers on the flight to LAX. … MMAPayout: On June 22, Atencio accused Dana White of tampering and trying to sign Vitor Belfort to a UFC contract to face Anderson Silva. White appeared on a TUF 9 Finale promo on Spike TV making the reference.

Court Denies Summary Judgment Motions in Affliction M-1/Fedor Litigation

June 16, 2011

On June 7, 2011, Judge Margaret M. Morrow denied the parties cross-motions for summary judgment in the Affliction v. M-1/Fedor litigation. I have previously posted about the litigation — most recently here.

The 55 page decision is a VERY interesting read especially with respect to the facts surrounding the “Trilogy” non-event — in particular the discussions and ultimate agreement between Affliction and the UFC.

Below are some of the interesting points — note the chronology.

As set forth in the Court’s decision, at a “July 13, 2009 meeting, Bassiri and Lawrence Epstein, UFC’s general counsel, discussed the possibility that UFC would assume responsibility for the Trilogy show and postpone it to September 19, 2009, in Dallas. Bassiri told Epstein that Affliction Promotions wanted to leave the MMA promotion business and re-establish its relationship with the UFC.”

According to the decision, “[o]n July 21, 2009, M-1 learned from Affliction that the California State Athletic Commission would not renew Josh Barnett’s license because he had tested positive for the use of steroids.”

Then, “[o]n July 22, 2009, Atencio offered [Brett] Rogers $500,000 to replace Barnett as Emelianenko’s opponent at the August 1, 2009 Trilogy event,” but “Strikeforce, with whom Rogers then had a promotional contract, was not willing to release him from his contract to fight in the Trilogy event, however.”

“[O]n July 23, 2009, Strikeforce released Rogers to fight in the event. By that time, however, Affliction Promotions had decided to cancel Trilogy. At 4:00 p.m. that day, Affliction concluded a deal with UFC.”

As set forth in the decision, that agreement provided, in part, as follows:

Paragraph 1 of the UFC/Affliction agreement provided: “[E]xcept for any rights that [Affliction] has with respect to Fedor Emelianenko (‘Fedor’) and conditioned upon [Affliction] . . . assign[ing] the agreements between [Affliction] and the [Affliction] Fighters to the UFC, the UFC agrees to assume [Affliction]’s responsibility for payment of the entire purse of the Affliction Trilogy Event which [Affliction] represents is not in excess of $741,000 purse and $370,000 win bonus. . . .” Paragraph 2 stated that “[w]ith respect to Fedor, in the event the UFC is able to come to an agreement with Fedor on terms and conditions satisfactory to the UFC, the UFC shall assume responsibility for payments of Fedor’s purse for the Affliction Trilogy event or cause Fedor to release [Affliction] from its agreement with Fedor.” Paragraph
6 required that Affliction Promotions cancel the Trilogy event.

According to the decision, “[p]rior to the time M-1 learned of the cancellation, it had put Emelianenko on his scheduled flight to Los Angeles, and given him footage of both Rogers and Vitor Belfort so that he could study the fighters while in flight. Emelianenko did not learn that Trilogy had been cancelled until he arrived at Los Angeles International Airport with thirty fans from Russia.”

Here is the decision:
Affliction SJ Decision

 

Fight Lawyer

Justin Klein is an attorney at Satterlee Stephens Burke & Burke LLP in New York City where he concentrates his practice in commercial litigation and represents clients in the fight industry. He regularly addresses current legal issues that pertain to combat sports, including efforts to legalize MMA in New York, at his Fight Lawyer website. He is a licensed boxing manager with the New York State Athletic Commission as well as the founder and Chairman of the Board of the New York Mixed Martial Arts Initiative, a non-profit organization that gives inner city youth the opportunity to experience the emotional and physical benefits of martial arts training. Justin lives in New York City where he trains in jiu jitsu and boxing.

DISCLAIMER

The information in this post and on my site consists of my opinion only, i.e., it is not the opinion of my employer or anybody else. In addition, and because this is my opinion, it is not intended to be (and is not) legal advice or an advertisement for legal services. This post provides general information only. Although I encourage interested parties to contact me on the subjects discussed in the articles, the reader should not consider information on this site to be an invitation for an attorney-client relationship. I disclaim all liability in respect to actions taken or not taken based on any contents of this post. Any e-mail sent to me will not create an attorney-client relationship, and you should not use this site or my site to send me e-mail containing confidential or sensitive information.

M-1 Challenge 24 – Showtime Debut: Payout Perspective

April 1, 2011

Welcome to another edition of Payout Perspective! This week we’ll be taking a look at M-1 Challenge 24: Damkovsky vs Figueroa, which made its solo promotional debut with Showtime last Friday night. The event was headlined by M-1 Lightweight champ, Artiom Damkovsky taking on title challenger Jose Figueroa, who is a member of American Top Team based in Florida.

The event took place at the Ted Constant Center in Norfolk, Virginia and featured 5  fights: Artiom Damkovsky vs. Jose Figueroa, Magomed Sultanakhmedov vs. Tyson Jeffries, Vinny Magalhaes vs. Jake Doerr, Jason Norwood vs. Billy Horne, and Alexander Sarnavskiy vs. Beau Baker.

 

Attendance and Gate

MMAFigthing reports that M-1 Challenge 24: Damkovsky vs. Figueroa, drew 2,031 fans (1,024  comps) for a live gate of $30,65. The venue at the Old Dominion University campus can hold over 8,100, not to mention that with additional floor seating it can hold over 10,000 attendees.

 

Ratings

MMAJunkie also reports that the M-1 Challenge on Showtime had 189,000 (0.52 rating) viewers.  The event did only slightly lower than what Strikeforce Challengers shows do in that time slot and beat Strikeforce Challengers 11: Bowling vs Voelker and tied Challengers 6: Kaufman vs Hashi . The event also had more viewers than Bellator did the next day on a Saturday night- drawing 150,000 viewers (it’s lowest mark to date) on MTV 2, though we must point out that they were going head-to-head with the UFC prelims on Facebook and NCAA March Madness.  It also wasn’t in it’s regular slot as it moved to an earlier time to avoid overlapping the UFC televised portion of the event.

Average Showtime viewership for Strikeforce Challengers:

– Strikeforce Challengers 7: 316,000
– Strikeforce Challengers 8: 249,000
– Strikeforce Challengers 10: 237,000
– Strikeforce Challengers 13: 223,000
– Strikeforce Challengers 12: 210,000
– Strikeforce Challengers 14: 200,000
– Strikeforce Challengers 9: 197,000
– Strikeforce Challengers 6: 189,000
– M-1 Challenge 24: 189,000
– Strikeforce Challengers 11: 178,000

 

Sponsors

M-1 Global got a big boost airing on Showtime, when GOOD4U Drinks announced that they had signed a deal with M-1 Global to sponsor the event on Showtime on March 21st.  Good4U Drinks, after being banned from the UFC for being a competitor to Xyience (owned by Zuffa) and AMP Energy.  They were also in talks with Strikeforce to become a sponsor but sponsor Rockstar Energy had exclusive rights.  After failing to get on Showtime with Strikeforce, GOOD4U Drinks jumped at the opportunity to be on the mat for the M-1 Challenge last week, placing a big logo of their brand in the center of the M-1 mat, which had great visibility 

 

Event Notes:

* The promotion and marketing heading into the event was almost non-existent for M-1, with some of its fighters claiming that Visa issues prevented Showtime and M-1 from promoting the event ahead of time.  Members of both parties said there will be more promotion for the upcoming event since the Visa issues should be cleared up now.

* The next Showtime event will be M-1 Challenge 26: Figueroa vs Weichel, which will take place on July 8, airing at 11 PM ET/PT.  M-1 Challenge prospect Guram Gugenishvili (11-0) has been scheduled to participate in the event.

* Both Showtime and M-1 were said to be happy with the ratings and how the event turned out, claiming the next event in July would be even better.

 

Recap Video

M-1 Challenge Returns to U.S. on 3/25, Showtime Debut Expected

February 17, 2011

Sherdog reports that the on March 25, M-1 Global will hold their first stateside M-1 Challenge event of 2011 in Norfolk, Virginia at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. MMAPayout was able to verify that Showtime has tentatively scheduled the event to be televised on the network.

Showtime is scheduling the event to air on the network on March 25, placing it in the 11:00PM – 1:30AM time slot. The deal was said to be a multiple event deal, 4 events, which would broadcast M-1 Challenge events on the network throughout the year, as MMAPayout reported back in September of 2010.

The M-1 Challenge event will be headlined by Lightweight champ Artiom Damkovsky, as he takes on 2010 M-1 Selection Americas tournament winner Jose Figueroa.


Payout Perspective

Back in September when MMAPayout broke the news regarding the negotiations between M-1 Global and Showtime, it was speculated that this was part of the deal in order for Fedor to re-sign with Strikeforce and keep him on board, which was a key piece since Strikeforce and Showtime were already working on putting the Heavyweight Grand Prix together.  Since that time, sources close to the negotiations have informed MMAPayout that this TV deal between Showtime and M-1 Global was seperate to the Fedor deal, and has been ongoing since September of 2010.

M-1 took a big blow with Fedor’s loss in the first round of the HW GP this past Saturday, as he almost announced his retirement on the network, but with Showtime TV set to air the M-1 Challenge events and Fedor’s most recent comments that he will continue to fight, the blow has at least softened a bit.

M-1 Global Negotiating With Showtime For TV Deal, Fedor Strikeforce Extension

September 21, 2010

MMAPayout has learned through sources close to the negotiations that M-1 Global is currently angling for a US TV deal with Showtime, in hopes for next years M-1 Challenge (independent of Strikeforce), to go along with a 5 fight extension (not including the 1 fight still remaining) for Fedor Emelienenko with Strikeforce.

Along with the announcement, M-1 Global Director of Operations Evgeni Kogan went on Eddie Goldman’s No Holds Barred Show and proclaimed that the June 26th co-promoted event between M-1 and Strikeforce was a successful show for M-1 and for the co-branding with Strikeforce and Showtime, despite Fedor’s loss to Fabricio Werdum. Kogan will spend the next few weeks working to finalize the deal with Showtime, which he states is going “well”, and hopes to have an announcement within the next month, which will hopefully consist of the TV deal and Fedor’s next fight and opponent in Strikeforce. If negotiations go well, M1 would like to see Fedor take on Fabricio Werdum and Alistair Overeem in 2011. Fedor is in talks to fight on the rumored Strikeforce December 4th event, with Antonio “Big Foot” Silva  mentioned as a possible opponent to satisfy his last contracted fight with Strikeforce.

Kogan also mentions that there have been no talks between M-1 and the UFC, says they are happy with their partners Showtime and Strikeforce.  MMAPayout will keep you updated as we learn more details regarding the negotiations.

Update on Fedor/Affliction Lawsuit

August 18, 2010

It has been a little over a year since Affliction had to cancel its third PPV at the last minute. Fedor Emilianenko, the company’s main attraction filed suit as a result of Affliction’s sudden demise. 

In October 2009, Fedor Emilianenko and M-1 filed suit against Affliction for breach of contract in Los Angeles. Fedor and M-1 Global, Fedor’s promotional group, seek damages as a result of Affliction’s cancellation of its third PPV. Fedor’s contract guaranteed three fights. The lawsuit claims that Affliction did not make reasonable attempts to find a suitable replacement for Fedor’s opponent, Josh Barnett. Barnett was taken off the card as he was denied a license to fight due to a failed drug test.

The following are developments in the case:

  • In February, Affliction’s original attorney, Michael Bassiri, was replaced by Judd Burstein of New York. Steven Silverstein of Orange, California is Affliction’s local counsel. According to Burstein’s web site, he currently represents Oscar de la Hoya and has represented boxer Lennox Lewis, Don King and Donald Trump.
  • On July 15th  the Fedor/M-1 legal team filed a motion to depose Affliction co-owner’s Tom Atencio and Todd Beard. Legal filings between the opposing sides show a failure to agree on dates to schedule the depositions.
  • On July 28th, on a motion filed by the Fedor/M-1 legal team, the court moved the trial date from November 16, 2010 to June 7, 2011.

Payout Perspective:

Based upon the recent court filings, the lawsuit aims to be a tough battle inside and outside the courthouse. The depositions of Atencio and Beard should be interesting, if not contentious. The hiring of a New York attorney that has handled high profile figures reveals a possible shift in litigation strategy for Affliction. It will be interesting to see the amount of information that will be obtained through the discovery process.  Hopefully, the information may shed light on the unique contractual relationship between M-1 and Affliction.

Fedor Tapout Shirt Nixed

June 26, 2010

Pedro Carassco of BJPenn.com is reporting that Tapout has nixed a potential signature t-shirt deal with Fedor Emelianenko for his fight against Fabricio Werdum allegedly because the UFC threatened the popular MMA clothing line with a lifetime ban from its Octagon if it went through with the deal.

Initially, Fedor Emelianenko, the number one heavyweight fighter in the world, secured a deal to sport the always growing and ever popular “TapOut” clothing line at this weekend’s Strikeforce events.

However, during my time here in San Jose, while spending time with very legitimate sources close to the situation, I was advised that certain parties within the UFC halted TapOuts participation in the event and threatened a UFC lifetime ban, if Emelianenko came out wearing their line.

Payout Perspective:

I want to emphasize that this is still just an allegation. If there’s only one thing you ever learn about the MMA business it’s this: nothing is ever completely as it seems.

However, with that said, I’m inclined to think these allegations are somewhat true based on what we’ve seen from the UFC in previous situations. If you recall, the UFC banned long-time BJ Penn supporter, RVCA, from the octagon last year when it sponsored Fedor against Brett Rogers. RVCA later dropped Fedor and was allowed to return to the octagon.

Thus, it wouldn’t surprise me if the UFC gave Tapout some sort of warning (nor does it surprise me that BJ Penn’s website is the one breaking the story…).

——-

Why does this make sense for the UFC? I suppose the rationale is two-fold:

1.) Tapout, the world’s premier MMA clothing company, would add credibility to Fedor and Strikeforce through the t-shirt deal.

This is significant when you consider the larger context of the decision. The heavyweight division has always been very important to combat sports, and it bothers the UFC that they do not have the undisputed best heavyweight in the world. The Tapout deal would lend further credibility to Fedor and Strikeforce – although it’s unclear how much – at a time when the UFC is preparing to showcase its own best heavyweights in Brock Lesnar and Shane Carwin next week.

Moreover, it’s been widely speculated that a potential Strikeforce PPV hinges on this fight. Here we enter territory where Strikeforce could actually be considered a direct competitor to the UFC.

2.) If Fedor doesn’t want to play ball and make his money in the UFC, then the UFC will make it hard for Fedor to play ball and make his money elsewhere.

This isn’t a move designed to bring Fedor back to the bargaining table. It’s a demonstration of the same “with us or against us” mentality that the company has always demonstrated in its business practices. If Fedor doesn’t want to play ball with the UFC – which assuredly drives Dana and Lorenzo crazy – then the UFC is going to do everything in its power to ensure Fedor cannot associate with anything closely related to the UFC, in order to benefit for himself.

I’m not sure I agree with the logic, but I can see the UFC’s side of the argument. I can also try to put myself in Dana White’s shoes as he’s assuredly endured some frustration in dealing with the numerous talking heads and flip-flopping position of M-1 Global and Fedor Emelianenko.

——-

There are obviously multiple other perspectives, here.

  • The Fedor/Strikeforce contingent is likely angry, because it misses out on sponsorship money, the credibility it would add to the brand, and marketing channels that Tapout has at its disposal.
  • Tapout is disappointed, because the t-shirt would have sold well amongst the hardcore crowd. I’m sure, depending on what actually happened (i.e., the nature of the UFC coercion), the company might also feel one half obligated and the other half betrayed. Tapout has stuck with the UFC through thick and thin, but it’s also been a mutually beneficial partnership: Tapout has built its brand largely on the back of the UFC, but has also helped to support the UFC and its fighters in the leaner years.
  • The fighters will probably see this as a UFC power move that’s taking money away from one of their own. I can almost guarantee that the decision hasn’t earned the UFC any extra good will amongst the ranks, which is potentially a dangerous long-term consequence of this move.
  • The fans are likely to see this entire thing from the perspective of Fedor and Strikeforce. In general, the MMA fan base has traditionally been very pro-fighter and pro-competition. It’s understandable, but sometimes the sentiment, while good intentioned, is misguided and uninformed (e.g., the reaction to disclosed payout releases or the entire fighter pay discussion as a whole).

——-

What are the long-term consequences of this decision? The UFC may have done more harm than good with this decision:

1.) The absence of the Tapout shirt may deprive Fedor of some money and Strikeforce of some additional publicity, but it’s not going to thwart them from staging a PPV in the Fall (if Fedor wins).

Moreover, the additional press given to both parties as a result of the UFC’s alleged pressure might outweigh whatever press Fedor and Strikeforce might have received from Tapout anyway. The theory here being that fans would have seen Fedor in a Tapout shirt and thought, “oh that’s cool (but not out of the ordinary for an MMA fighter to wear Tapout)” and that would have been the end of it. A few t-shirts sold, some money made, and everyone moves on. Not so…

2.) The UFC’s apparent involvement isn’t going to thrill the fighters. If you’re a fighter, you understand the sacrifices that other fighters need to make in order to earn a living in the sport. When somebody interferes with a fighter’s ability to earn a living, the natural reaction is one of disdain and resentment – regardless of whether the fighter is in your organization or not. Sometimes its a rational reaction, sometimes its not, but it’s a reaction the UFC may feel the brunt of in the future.

MMAterial Facts (05/07/10): UFC 113 PPV Goes Mobile, Shine Fights On

May 7, 2010

  • Shine Fights Dismisses Threat of Don King Legal Action Against Ricardo Mayorga
  • UFC to Offer UFC 113 PPV to FLO TV Mobile Devices
  • M-1 Global, Strikeforce come to terms; Emelianenko vs. Werdum set for June 26
  • Zuffa Files Suit for ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ Domain Name TV census ad
  • “TUF Canada” targeted for 2011; UFC seeks TV deals in China, India, South Korea

Shine Fights Dismisses Threat of Don King Legal Action Against Ricardo Mayorga

Despite demands from Don King Productions to “cease and desist” promoting Ricardo Mayorga, Shine Fights Promotions CEO Devin Price is assuring fight fans that the May 15th MMA event “WORLDS COLLIDE: MAYORGA VS. THOMAS” will go forward “without a doubt.” Price also added, “Shine Fights has a valid and exclusive promotional contract with Ricardo Mayorga for mixed martial arts. We are pleased to offer both MMA fans and boxing fans a great night of MMA action on Saturday, May 15th.”

“When we announced this fight I said that we think Mayorga’s fans are just that, his fans, and that they will follow him to MMA,” said Price. “Our target is to convert many boxing fans into fans of both sports.” (PRESS RELEASE)

***

Don King Productions issues Cease and Desist

Don King Productions has a valid promotional contract granting the right of exclusive representation of Ricardo Mayorga and has advised Shine Fight Promotions accordingly.

Shine Fight Promotions’ conduct constitutes tortious interference with Don King Productions’ agreement with Ricardo Mayorga, and Don King Productions has requested they immediately cease and desist promoting Ricardo Mayorga at one of their events to avoid the need for legal action in this matter.  (Max Boxing)

UFC to Offer UFC 113 PPV to FLO TV Mobile Devices

Purchase UFC Machida vs. Shogun 2 for $44.99.  Watch the action live May 8 on your FLO TV Personal Television or FLO TV Auto Entertainment System.  Tune in starting at 6:30pm pst.  Don’t miss light heavyweight champion Lyoto ‘The Dragon’ Machida and challenger Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua settle the score.  (FLO TV)

***

Twitter Updates from UFC and FLO TV:

@UFC :  Have you guys seen FLO TV? Live programming on a TV the size of an iPhone. Watch UFC 113 on the go Saturday night! http://www.flo.tv/

@FLOTV : The UFC promo channel airs this week on FLO TV. MMA fans can check out previews for upcoming UFC 113 : Machida vs. Shogun 2. #ufc

M-1 Global, Strikeforce come to terms; Emelianenko vs. Werdum set for June 26

After months of anticipation, the world’s No. 1 heavyweight and pound-for-pound Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighter, Fedor “The Last Emperor” Emelianenko (31-1), will make his eagerly awaited return to the cage to face two-time Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu world champion and top-ranked superstar Fabricio “Vai Cavalo” Werdum (13-4) in a STRIKEFORCE and M-1 GLOBAL co-promoted event at HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif. on Saturday, June 26,  live on SHOWTIME® at 10 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast).

The Fedor-Werdum match will headline an event which will feature up to five televised fights on SHOWTIME and several non-televised undercard bouts that will be announced in the coming weeks.

A special pre-sale ticket purchase opportunity for the event will take place for “STRIKEFORCE Insider” e-newsletter subscribers (http://strikeforce.com/insider.html) from 10 a.m. PT Monday, May 10, until 10 p.m. PT on Thursday, May 13.  Insiders will receive an e-newsletter with the pre-sale code.

Tickets go on sale to the general public at 10 a.m. PT on Friday, May 14, at the HP Pavilion box office, all Ticketmaster locations (800) 745-3000, Ticketmaster online (www.ticketmaster.com) as well as www.strikeforce.com. For more information, please also visit www.M-1GLOBAL.com.

For M-1 GLOBAL’s Fedor, it is a means of gaining revenge three and a half years after the 32-year-old Werdum defeated Fedor’s brother Aleksander Emelianenko, via submission (arm triangle choke) in the first round (3:24) of a bout in Rotterdam, Holland, on Nov. 12, 2006. (PRESS RELEASE)

***

MMAPayout Rumored 6/26 Strikeforce – Fedor vs Werdum Event:

Fedor Emelienenko (31-1) vs Fabricio Werdum (13-4)

Cung Le (6-1) vs Scott Smith (17-6)

Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos (9-1) vs TBA

Luke Rockhold (7-1) vs TBA

Zuffa Files Suit for ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ Domain Name TV census ad

Dana White has made it no secret over the past several months that the UFC intends to use “The Ultimate Fighter” series and online distribution to fuel the growth of the UFC’s brand around the globe.

“We’re trying to get these television deals in all these countries, major TV deals exposing the fans to it, then you bring a live event to those places,” White said at a recent news conference. “Then the virus spreads and people start training at it, trying to make a living at it, eventually becoming professional athletes. That’s what we’re going to do over the next 10 years.”

The recent acquisition of UltimateFighter.com and the legal efforts to obtain TheUltimateFighter.com appear to be part of the UFC’s plan for international growth.

Anton Resnick, the domain name’s registrant, expressed complete surprise that a suit had been filed when contacted by Sherdog.com.

“I’m not at all aware of the suit,” said Resnick. (Sherdog) … (MMAPayout Perspective)

“TUF Canada” targeted for 2011; UFC seeks TV deals in China, India, South Korea

In fact, White said an international version of “The Ultimate Fighter” may focus on Canadian athletes as soon as 2011, and UFC co-owner Lorenzo Fertitta will soon set out across the globe with the intention of netting TV deals in China, India and South Korea.

“Our model is you go in with television – the right television – and then you bring the live event,” White told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). “After this fight, Lorenzo is going to get on a plane, and he’s going to be gone for 14 days. He’s going to China, India and South Korea. Those are the three countries we’re focused on next.  (MMAJunkie)

QUICK HITS

  • Alvarez Subs Neer, Curran Decisions Huerta (Sherdog)
  • Bellator 17 recap: Curran shocks Huerta, meets Imada in lightweight final (MMAJunkie)
  • Strikeforce champ Cristiane “Cyborg” moved to June 26 “Fedor vs. Werdum” event (MMAJunkie)
  • Spike TV’s “The Ultimate Fighter 11” draws 1.7 million viewers for episode No. 6 (MMAJunkie)
  • Dana White: UFC 113’s Paul Daley vs. Josh Koscheck winner gets title shot (MMAJunkie)
  • Kevin Randleman good to go for May 15 Strikeforce fight with Roger Gracie (MMAJunkie)
  • PVT Mag Analyzes Anderson Silva (Sherdog)
  • Bellator Books Fujii for June 10 Event (Sherdog)
  • Dana White Discusses His Relationship With Machida, Kimbo Slice’s Future (MMAFighting)
  • DREAM EP Keiichi Sasahara on Shinya Aoki, the Cage and Future of DREAM (MMAFighting)
  • BELLATOR ADDS ULYSSES GOMEZ TO 135 LBS TOURNEY (MMAWeekly)
  • UFC 113 PREFIGHT PRESS CONFERENCE PHOTOS (MMAWeekly)
  • MMA Moms, Part I: The women behind the fighters (Yahoo! Sports)
  • UFC 113 Pre-Fight Press Conference Highlights (Heavy)
  • Win VIP Tickets To Strikeforce With Backstage Fighter Meet And Greet (Heavy)

TV LISTINGS

  • HDNet Fights Vault: Head Kick KO’s at 8 PM ET on HDNet (05/07/10)
  • Fighting Words with Mike Straka (feat. John McCarthy) at 8:30 PM ET on HDNet (05/07/10)
  • InsideMMA (Stephen Bonnar, Jens Pulver, Reed Harris) at 9 PM ET on HDNet(05/07/10)
  • HDNet Fights: MFC Vindication at 10 PM ET on HDNet (05/07/10)
  • UFC 113 : Machida vs Shogun 2 at 10 PM ET on PPV (05/08/10)

UPCOMING EVENTS

  • HDNet Fights: MFC Vindication at 10 PM ET on HDNet (05/07/10)
  • UFC 113 : Machida vs Shogun 2 at 10 PM ET on PPV (05/08/10)
  • Bellator Fighting Championships XVIII at 7:30 PM ET on FSN(05/13/10)
  • Strikeforce St. Louis: Overeem vs Rogers at 10 PM ET/PT on Showtime(05/15/10)
  • Bellator Fighting Championships XIX at 7:30 PM ET on FSN(05/20/10)
  • UFC 114 : Rampage vs Evans at 10 PM ET on PPV (05/29/10)

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