Jason High Added to Titan FC 16 on January 28, Televised on HDNET

January 3, 2011

Coming off a huge win over Japanese MMA legend Mach Sakurai on NYE’s Dynamite show, Jason High looks to keep his momentum going in 2011 as he will take on former Strikeforce and Bellator veteran Rudy Bears on the Titan FC 16 event, which will be televised on HDNet.

The Titan Fighting Championship (www.TitanFighting.com) officially announced today that standout welterweight Jason High has been added to its scheduled Titan Fighting Championship 16 event on January 28. The show, which will be televised live on HDNet (www.HD.net) and is set to emanate from the historic Memorial Hall in Kansas City, Kansas, will be headlined by two-time UFC heavyweight champion Tim Sylvia facing Abe Wagner, a veteran from the tenth season of the Spike TV hit reality show, The Ultimate Fighter.

The addition of High to the card comes off the heels of his impressive win on New Year’s Eve in Japan during DREAM’s “Dynamite!!” event over Japanese MMA legend Hayato “Mach” Sakurai. High entered the bout as the underdog but walked away with a decision victory over Sakurai despite the fact that he was fighting in Sakurai’s home country.

A veteran of the UFC and Affliction, High returns home to his native Kansas City to take on Bellator Fighting Championships and Strikeforce veteran Rudy Bears. Bears, a former world champion kickboxer, lives and trains in the Kansas City area and the High vs. Bears matchup could determine who is arguably the city’s best welterweight.

“On paper, High vs. Bears has a chance to be the fight of the night,” commented Titan Fighting CEO Joe Kelly. “Jason is coming off the biggest win of his career and Rudy’s last fight was a brilliant TKO victory over UFC veteran Chad Reiner during a Bellator show. Both Jason and Rudy are going to tear the roof off of Memorial Hall.”

HDNet Fights CEO Andrew Simon added, “It’s great to feature Jason in two high profile televised fights within 30 days on HDNet. Jason deserves the exposure as he fought an intelligent fight on New Year’s Eve at Dynamite!! on Sakurai’s home turf and still found a way to come out with a decision. I am looking forward to seeing the two hometown guys fight for bragging rights in Kansas City.”

In addition to his recent win over Reiner, Bears, 12-6, also holds notable victories in his career over Brendan Seguin, Brian Green, and Ted Worthington. Nicknamed “Bad News,” Bears is an instructor at the Caveman Crew fight gym and competes regularly in marathons.

With the win over Sakurai on Friday, High improved to 12-3. He has now won three consecutive fights following a decision loss to Charlie Brenneman in his one and only UFC appearance. High also holds notable wins over Strikeforce veteran Andre Galvao and UFC veterans Kevin Burns and James Giboo. An impressive win over Bears could earn him the designation of being the highest profile unsigned fighter in the welterweight division.

High vs. Bears will be featured during the national televised broadcast of Titan Fighting Championships 16 on Jan. 28 starting at 10:00 p.m. ET/9:00 p.m. CT with the local undercard starting at 8:00 p.m. ET/7:00 p.m. CT. Tickets for the event, which will emanate from the historic Memorial Hall ( www.MemorialHallKC.com), are currently on-sale at Ticketmaster.com and the Memorial Hall box office.

Payout Perspective:

Titan FC 16 will be headlined by former UFC HW champion Tim Sylvia, as he takes on former TUF participant Abe Wagner. Todd Duffee taking on Abe Wagner was the planned main event for the telecast, but Duffee accepted the last second invite to the Japanese NYE Dynamite event to take on Strikeforce HW champion Alistair Overeem for the Interim DREAM HW championship belt.

It’s great to see HDNet provide a platform for young promising fighters such as Duffee and High to increase their value as fighters, and hopefully catch the attention of promotions that are willing to use them as main events or to attract offers from other promotions to keep developing their careers as mixed martial artists.

Titan FC 16 Card:
Date: January 28, 2011
Venue: Memorial Hall
Location: Kansas City, Missouri

– Tim Sylvia (28-6) vs Abe Wagner (8-2)
– Jason High (10-3) vs Rudy Bears (12-6)
– Drew McFedries (8-6) vs. Gary Tapasua (6-1)
– L.C. Davis (15-4) vs Jared Downing (5-0)
– Aaron Derrow (8-2) vs Alonzo Martinez (28-12)

Martial Combat MMA: Singapore, May 2010

October 6, 2009

Asia’s ESPN Star Sports has announced a new partnership with World Resort Sentosa of Singapore to form a new mixed martial arts organization called Martial Combat, which is set to make its debut in May, 2010.

Here’s a snippet of their press release (followed by some Payout Perspective):

5 October 2009, Singapore: Asia’s top sports content provider, ESPN STAR Sports (ESS), today announced a 3-year exclusive partnership with Resorts World Sentosa to create, stage and broadcast a range of world-class sporting events in Singapore, kicking off with the launch of the inaugural MARTIAL COMBAT – Asia’s Ultimate Mixed Martial Arts Fight Championship in 2010.


The MARTIAL COMBAT will feature a grand total of twelve events comprising 60 action-packed fights per year, featuring some of the most popular and celebrated Asian fighters and many ranked fighters from around the world. It will receive an unprecedented amount of television coverage from ESS in excess of 60 hours, making it the largest MMA broadcast in Asia. The first leg of events, scheduled on 14-15 May 2010, promises to be a star-studded event showcasing non-stop action inside a ring, from some of the biggest fighters in the region and from around the world. This will be the first-ever MMA event till date to receive television coverage in 24 different countries in Asia, extensive online support through www.espnstar.com and mobile initiatives through mobileESPN. 

Payout Perspective:

Martial Combat debuts in May, 2010, but will look to follow-up the effort with an additional 11 events over the course of the three-year agreement between ESPN Star Sports and World Resort Sentosa.

I’m excited to hear a little bit more about Martial Combat, because the size and scope of this partnership is pretty impressive – especially on the distribution and venue side of things:

  • ESPN Star (ESS) is a 50-50 joint venture between Disney and News Corp. that owns 17 sports television networks across 24 countries, and caters to a market of approximately 310 million people across Asia. It uses networks like ESPN Asia, ESPN China, ESPN India, and Star Sports Asia to deliver international and regional programming to many diverse regions throughout the continent.  
  • World Resorts Sentosa also looks to be quite impressive. The $6 billion project is still under construction on the island of Sentosa in Singapore, and is set to be completed for early 2010. The resort will feature six hotel complexes, a casino, theme park, marine life park, and water park.

I’ve got to caution that we’ve all seen this scenario before. There are no guarantees for success in mixed martial arts – not even with a multi-billion dollar venue and access to over 300 million television viewers. Martial Combat will still need to create and produce high-quality and professional MMA events on a consistent basis.

Yet, I tend to believe the significance of the deal with ESS and World Resort Sentosa cannot be overlooked. ESS and World Resort Sentosa are major players, playing to win. Neither is likely willing to risk their reputation and capital on a poorly-run venture.

Miletich, Caplan Resign From WAMMA

May 19, 2009

After serving in prominent positions with the World Alliance of Mixed Martial Arts since its inception 20 months ago, Pat Miletich and Sam Caplan have jointly announced their resignations from the MMA sanctioning body, effective immediately.

Miletich, the first-ever UFC welterweight champion and a world class mixed martial arts trainer, had been serving as the company’s Vice President of Fighter Relations. Additionally, he had recently made multiple appearances on ESPN.com’s weekly MMA show “MMA Live” on behalf of WAMMA.

“Throughout my entire time with WAMMA, I’ve been sincere in my belief that the sport needs undisputed champions in every major weight class,” Miletich began. “To this day, I still feel that way and still believe in WAMMA’s basic principles. However, I no longer believe that WAMMA’s execution is where it needs to be in order for it to meet its full potential. Based on that and a growing difference of opinion with WAMMA’s board of directors, I made the decision that it is time to move on.”

Caplan first started with WAMMA as the Chair of its independent Rankings Committee. In early-April, he accepted a position within the company as WAMMA’s interim Chief Operating Officer following the resignation of renowned class action attorney Michael Lynch.

“There’s no way to sugarcoat it. When you leave a position you had planned to serve for at least three months after just six weeks, it’s not an amicable parting,” said Caplan. “But like Pat, I believe in what an organization such as WAMMA could bring to the sport. However, in my brief time as serving as its COO, I also share Pat’s concerns whether WAMMA will be able to accomplish all that it originally set out to do. I felt the only decision for me to make was to leave the organization.”

Like Miletich, Caplan also was clear to indicate that his support of WAMMA has always been an accurate reflection of his beliefs.

“For as long as I’ve been associated with WAMMA, I’ve asked people to look at what we had to offer and to pledge their support to our cause,” he began. “Some people offered their support while others did not. Regardless of what was decided by each individual, I always respected their decision but I am also especially appreciative of those who did support me by supporting WAMMA. I can’t thank them enough. I want those people to know that when I asked for their support, I was 100 percent sincere in my beliefs. Recently though, I’ve lost some faith in WAMMA and I am not going to ask anyone to support a cause I am no long fully committed to.”

In the time that Miletich and Caplan both served with WAMMA, the organization became the first-ever sanctioning body to launch independent rankings polls for both male and female mixed martial artists. The WAMMA men’s poll, featuring some of the most respected names in the MMA media, were also used to crown champions in both the heavyweight and lightweight divisions. Additionally, WAMMA also gained acceptance within the industry after ESPN.com’s “MMA Live” premiered its mens rankings poll on its past two episodes.

“I am proud of the work we did during our respective tenures at WAMMA,” said Miletich. “WAMMA still has its critics to this day but not nearly as many when we first began. When we first started, many people pre-judged WAMMA because it was a sanctioning body and since sanctioning bodies have hurt boxing, people just assumed WAMMA would have the same effect. But WAMMA has always been about trying to move the sport forward and I feel confident in my belief that during my stay with the organization, WAMMA did nothing but try to act with the best intentions. Despite being a sanctioning body, we never once asked a promoter or a fighter for a fee. In fact, in many cases, WAMMA went out of its way to contribute to the growth of several promotions.”

Caplan concurred with Miletich’s sentiment.

“I often have asked people to name one bad thing that WAMMA has done for the sport,” he said. “And when I ask that question, I never receive a straight answer. Instead, I would be told about all the ways that WAMMA could possibly hurt the sport. There were a lot of assumptions that were made by people that simply never proved to be the case. Since Pat and I have been involved with WAMMA, we never witnessed or partook in any actions that we believed would be detirmental to the sport of mixed martial arts. And the reality is that we spent a lot of time talking to people within the industry with the intent of trying to make MMA bigger and better than it already is.”

While both Miletich and Caplan have ended their association with WAMMA, they will continue to work in the MMA industry on a daily basis. Miletich will continue running his Miletich Fighting Systems fight camp in Bettendorf, Iowa and has also been named in recent months as a color commentator for many of Showtime’s mixed martial arts background. Meanwhile, Caplan will continue as the owner of the highly-trafficked MMA content site FiveOuncesOfPain.com and has plans to announce a new venture within the near future.


April 1, 2009

Proving that there is life after TUF, the following is news on a new fight group helmed by TUF 6 alumnus, Dorian Price (http://www.sherdog.com/fighter/Dorian-Price-9786).

COLUMBUS, OH (USA) – Shine Fight Promotions (Shine Fights) announces a change in the line-up for Genesis due to unforeseen circumstances. Replacing UFC veteran and Hawaiian fighting legend Ronald “The Machine Gun” Jhun versus five-time UFC veteran Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu ace Roan “Jucao” Carneiro is now The Ultimate Fighter 7 (TUF 7) alumnus, Luke Zachrich versus up and coming middleweight, Marcus Reynolds. With the remaining bouts including: Harris Sarmiento, Mario Stapel, Bryan Vetell, Phil Friedman, Jason Riley, Joel Wyatt, Beau Baker, Jason Nickoson, Kyle Baker, Bryon Foster, Ed Newalu, Billy Vaughn, Kris McCray and the main event, Antonio Mendes and Antwain Britt, Genesis will be one this the most stacked cards of world-class athletes to ever hit Ohio.

Adding to an already stacked card is Luke Zachrich, who appeared as one of the Middleweight hopefuls during Season 7 of The Ultimate Fighter under the tutelage of Forrest Griffin. After losing to current UFC Welterweight, Dan Cramer during the first round, Zachrich extended his pre-TUF 7 winning streak by knocking out Mike Musselwhite with less than two minutes in the first round (ending Musselwhite’s own win streak). At 8W-1L with an identical 4 knockouts and 4 submission victories, Zachrich is poised to make his mark on the Shine stage.

Up for the challenge is Marcus Reynolds a 5W-4L stand-and-bang striker. With 4 of his 5 wins by way of KO, Reynolds has only seen 39 seconds of a third round before his hands dealt justice. With two of his losses coming by submission and the others via decision, Reynolds will definitely want to keep this one standing. With an able Zachrich who is equal parts submission specialist and striker and Reynolds ready to accept the forthcoming bad intentions, this should make for as much excitement as the former co-main event.

The Ultimate Season 8 alumnus, Antwain “The Juggernaut” Britt is looking to prove to the world that he is a human wrecking ball in the Light Heavyweight division. After breaking his hand during the entry round of The Ultimate Fighter Season 8, Antwain Britt went on a tear in MMA. Never having a fight enter the third round, Britt knocked out 3 straight opponents in the first round and another in the second with all knockouts ever breaching the 2-minute mark. After a recent loss via submission to Jamal Patterson, Britt will be stepping up in class once again taking the dangerous Muay Thai striker from Brazil, Antonio “The Samurai” Mendes.

Antonio “The Samurai” Mendes is a two-time UFC veteran training out of MMA powerhouse, American Top Team. Having some of the best training partners in the world including renowned 5X BJJ world champion, Marcelo Garcia to help polish up his ground game, this will be a pivotal fight for both Britt and Mendes.

Now postponed for a later date the match between Ron “The Machine Gun” Jhun and Roan “Jucao” Carneiro is definitely one worth the wait. A vet of over 50 professional mixed martial arts and kick boxing matches, Ron Jhun has held world titles in KOTC, Gladiator Challenge, and Super Brawl Hawaii. In addition, Jhun has fought a who’s who of athletes globally that reads like a marquee of super-fights.

Roan “Jucao” Carnerio, 5x UFC vet and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Black Belt fighting out of Florida-based American Top Team, is an explosive grappler possessing an outstanding resume stemming from a Black Belt earned under the legendary Carlson Gracie. After a run in the UFC, Carneiro is ready to move to his next step dominating the Shine Fights welterweight division.

Harris Sarmineto vs. Mario Stapel

Bryan Vetell vs. Phil Friedman

Jason Riley vs. Joel Wyatt

Beau Baker vs. Jason Nickoson

Kyle Baker vs. Bryon Foster

Ed Newalu vs. Billy Vaughn

Kris McCray vs. Brian Rogers

About Shine Fight Promotions, LLC

Shine Fight Promotions, LLC is a U.S. based enterprise that seeks to raise the awareness of the art, discipline, respect, passion, and talent that is mixed martial arts (MMA) to the global marketplace. Founded by MMA Fighter/Thai Boxer, Dorian Price along with his brother, Devin Price, Shine is committed to the growth and development of MMA creating a positive experience for both fighters and fans. Shine works diligently to put on fights that fighter’s want and that fans want to watch by arranging the most competitive and interesting matches. Shine Fight Promotions seeks to grow through innovation, high production values, dramatic and engaging fights, and the promotion of authentic MMA.

About Shine Fights: Genesis

As the inaugural event of Shine Fight Promotions, Genesis is appropriately named for its inception and the birth of true world-class competition. Shine Fight Promotions matchmakers, Ron Foster and Dorian Price, both fighters themselves, are committed to scouring the globe to pit only the best fighters against one another. The Genesis card has been filled with fighters from the best training camps and MMA gyms from across the world including: Randy Couture’s Xtreme Couture MMA (Las Vegas), Matt Hughes’ H.I.T. Squad (Granite City IL), American Top Team (Coconut Creek FL), Renzo Gracie Academy (New York, NY), Hybrid Academy (Virginia Beach VA), The MMA Institute (Richmond VA), Buckeye MMA (Columbus OH), Strong Style MMA (Cleveland OH) and The 808 Fight Factory (Honolulu HI).

MMA Social Network And Web Broadcast Network Planned

February 5, 2009

Stamford, CT – February 5, 2009 — SNM Global Holding (OTC Pink Sheets: SNMN) announced today that their technology division, SNM Technologies are in discussions with outside technology companies for the development of a MMA Social Network “The Brutal Nation” and a Web Broadcast Network for their subsidiary The MMA Independent Alliance.

SNM Technologies, a division of SNM Global Holdings are currently in talks with outside technology companies to develop a Mix Martial Arts (MMA) Social Network “The Brutal Nation” and the development of a Web Broadcast Network to broadcast live and taped sports and entertainment events.

“With the growth of MMA and Entertainment live events, content will be king and our thought is to enhance this process with social networking. “The Brutal Nation” will be a great support vehicle for our fans. Our broadcast network will focus on the live broadcast of our MMA events, re-broadcast of our sports and entertainment events and marketing of our content for DVD distribution via the internet. Revenue projections are extremely strong for social networking and with the integration of Digital in the broadcast industry makes our Web Broadcasting network is a Home Run!” stated Nick Gamst, President of the MMA Independent Alliance.

The company is seeking partners to assist with the funding, to try to avoid stock dilution. Talks are ongoing with funding sources. Additional details will be forthcoming as the projects develop along.

Stand Alone MMA Stores Increasing, But What Does The Future Hold?

February 2, 2009

Retail is taking a hit much like other businesses in the economy these days but a trend that is emerging in relation to MMA is the increasing number of stand alone MMA apparel/training gear stores. Up to this point in time, product in the apparel/training gear market has been distributed through one of two ways for the most part: either through online entities like a mmawarehouse.com or as an offshoot of pre-existing MMA entities like gyms. That is not to say that these stand alone stores haven’t existed until now but their numbers have started to flourish as the sport has exploded in popularity.

Online has been a popular venue because the niche status of MMA for much of it’s span has not allowed for the large numbers of customers within any given geographic location to support a brick and mortar operation. Online allowed for a wider net to be cast in offering MMA related goods, giving the MMA gear/apparel the ability to reach a critical mass and shift from viability to profitability to sustainability.

An entity like a gym being a vehicle for distribution has been ideal because it presented a dedicated audience that had a pre-existing disposition to the product. It also allowed the retail portion to serve as secondary source of revenue, not having to pay all the freight for the success or failure of apparel/gear venture.

The new angle is the spread of the stand alone brick and mortar store that provides access to gear and apparel. Stores of this type are popping up with increasing prevalence. Stores recently opened up in Yuma and Mesa, Arizona as well as places like Greensboro, NC.

It is still up in the air as to the viability and long term chances of success for these stand alone MMA stores. Has MMA grown in popularity to the degree that a stand alone store would be able to generate the foot traffic needed to make them a success? You’d like to think so, but without some entity attached to the stores as a driver of sales (like a gym) these stores will face an uphill battle to survive.

They may also see increased competition in the form of the UFC branded gyms that were recently announced by Zuffa and their partners. As these branded gyms spread out over the country, they will serve as another distribution channel for the UFC to push product through. The UFC can sell their own line of UFC branded apparel/product as well as that of those it holds business interests in like Tapout, Cage Fighter, Skeletal Metal, Xyience, etc. They would also have an audience for such things as their UFC branded gloves, and opportunities to sell things like gis, rash guards, heavy bags, shin guards, etc. Having such a location serve as a one stop shopping location for such items may mark the death knell to the viability of these stand alone entities.

A Closer Look At Bellator and ESPN Ties

November 6, 2008

The Bellator Fighting Championship has made news this week with the announcement of their pending deal with ESPN and their moves to acquire fighters. The braintrust for the Bellator fighting group have their roots in both the boxing field as well as the entertainment industry, indicating that the reality portion of the equation will play almost as important a part as the fighting part. All have deep ties to ESPN/Disney, which should lead to a greater than usual commitment to the project. A look at the executive level:

Bjorn Rebney,Founder/Owner/CEO:
Founder and former owner/CEO of Sugar Ray Leonard Boxing.Produced/promoted highest average rated fight programming on ESPN for 4 years. As an attorney and sports marketing agent represented the San Francisco 49ers, Steve Young, Oscar De La Hoya and many others.

Brad Epstein ,
Founder/Owner/Overall Producer:
Top entertainment executive/producer and sports programming visionary. Former Executive Vice President of Production at Disney. Former President of Tribecca Productions. Producer and Studio Executive responsible for films including, Invincible, Ladder 49, About a Boy, Dan in Real Life, Meet the Parents and numerous others.

Rob Beiner , Executive Event Producer: Winner of 12 SportsEmmy awards. Producer/Director of ESPN’s Friday NightFights from 1998 to present. Producer/Director of USA’s Tuesday Night Fights from 1990 to 1997. Producer/Director for numerous Pay Per View Fighting Events.

Teri Wagner , Producer: Former Executive Vice President of Programming and Development ABC Sports. Was responsible for creation, development, acquisition and scheduling of network sports programming. Lead Programming Executive on ABC’s marquee sports properties.

As with any start up, Bellator forecasts a loss in the first year, with start up costs and first year losses being significant. The company looks to quickly leverage their ESPN platform, with profit in the near eight figure range for year two. PPV will be a key component for the group, with 1 PPV planned during the first year, and 3 in the second year, according to documents attained by MMAPayout.com.

The main selling point for the company and what they are banking on is the ESPN platform. The company will start off on ESPN Deportes but hope to move up to either ESPN or ESPN2 by the show’s second season. The company touts the reach of ESPN as key to success, noting “On an average week, more than 100 million persons are reached by ESPN. This number represents the actual number of persons reached by ESPN and not simply their available universe,” and hailing the platform as superior to Spike. The company has had a deal in hand since the Spring and had hoped to be on the air this Fall, but the roll-out has been delayed to most likely the first half of 09.

Credeur Wins At Fight Night, Reps Graffight (Pic)

July 23, 2008

Graffight gets their first win as a sponsor. Tim Credeur made quick work of Cale Yarborough, leaving him plenty of time to model his sponsor shirt.

Graffight to Sponsor Credeur

July 16, 2008

It seems like the rubber is starting to meet the road over at Graffight. They are starting one of the key marketing efforts for any MMA apparel company: sponsoring fighters. Gary Ibarra gives us the lowdown:

Last week I was on the road when I received a call from a person who’s turning out to be a trusted friend in the business, Jake Hattan from Denaro Sports Marketing who called me with a really good opportunity. He told me that the shirt sponsor for Tim Credeur had canceled on him last minute and if I was interested in creating some pre-launch buzz this would be a good way to do it. He gave us a really good deal so we decided it was worth the money. Tim was a semi-finalist on this past season of T.U.F. Look for our signature Graffight Logo shirt on Tim as well as his corner men on July 19th when he takes on Cale Yarborough on Spike TV.

Best of luck to Credeur and Graffight on the upcoming Fight Night card.

Uproar Follow-up

July 10, 2008

We have mentioned Uproar Magazine a few times, so we thought we would give you a shot of their first edition….

Check them out at their website, Uproar Magazine.

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