Calvin Ayre

Report: BodogFight Nearly Dead

Photo by David M Singer.

BodogFight, the once promising mixed martial arts promotion founded by millionaire Calvin Ayre, seems to be on it’s last legs after suffering brutal financial losses in 2007.

The news comes from Adam Swift of MMA Payout, who found through Dave Meltzer’s recent print edition of Wrestling Observer that Ayre and company reportedly lost $38 million last year, despite holding three live events and a slew of tapings for their weekly shows on ION Network.

More from Swift:

Most of the company’s employees have been let go, there are no events planned (although they are sponsoring some smaller events), there is no new TV deal, and a recently proposed small budget (with the idea of slowly rebuilding) by Jeff Osborne was turned down.

Matt Lindland’s claims of the organization failing to pay their fighters and honor their contracts are starting to seem more and more legit these days. Despite being the promotion’s figurehead for some time now, Bodog welterweight champ Nick Thompson’s potential departure may be a sign of things to come as well.

Looking Back at the Sportsbook Fiasco

This isn’t even close to the complete story, just bits and pieces that I was able to find here and there that may or may not be completely accurate, but what appears to be the best information out there.

I think everyone by now has heard how wearing a shirt at the UFC 54 weigh-ins ended up in the UFC releasing Matt Lindland from his contract at a time where he was widely known as the number one contender for Rich Franklin’s then-UFC middleweight title.

At the time those type of sponsor-fighter relationships were said to be prohibited by the UFC. Or was it just Sportsbook that was prohibited? Maybe just online gambling sites?

After all Dana White has called Calvin Ayre a criminal in the past for his dealings in online gambling. Sportsbook’s CEO Peter Dicks was arrested in 2006 on charges of racketeering, conspiracy and fraud, the same reasons why Ayre can not step foot inside the United States according to some.

Did Dana know something that made him think twice before allowing his fighters to be sponsored by online gambling sites? Did an event occur that made White change his mind about them? If something did, it may have been the Sportsbook/Team Quest scandal that occurred in the early months of 2005.

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Thompson Defends Against Troyer in Feb

Bodog Fight Welterweight Champion Nick “The Goat” Thompson will defend his title against hard-hitting John Troyer on February 1 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

“It’s always exciting when ‘The Goat’ steps into the ring,” says Bodog Fight’s billionaire founder Calvin Ayre. “Nick is a larger than life character, so it’s fitting that this fight will take place under the neon lights in Las Vegas.”

Bodog Fight: Nick Thompson vs. John Troyer will take place at the Las Vegas Sport Center. Doors open at 6:30p.m., fights start at 7:30p.m.

Thompson (39-8-1), who suffered a shoulder injury in November and was forced to withdraw from a scheduled bout in Indiana, says he’s back to 100-percent and will be at his best for this title match with Troyer (8-0).

“From what I hear, Troyer’s a tough guy,” says “The Goat”. “He is undefeated and recently beat three guys in one night to win an 8-man HOOKnSHOOT tournament, so I’m expecting a tough fight.”

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Blue Collar Hollywood

Calvin Ayre and Tara LaRosa
Photo: Alanah McGinley, MMA on Tap

BodogFight owner Calvin Ayre is a friendly, easy-going guy to hang out with. He can talk a little trash and crack a few jokes,  doing a little business on the side and shaking some hands… all while making a half dozen of people around him feel like he’s genuinely enjoying their company.  Charm is a necessary talent in showbiz and Ayre has got it in spades.

However, that’s show business and in this writer’s experience, ‘charm’ is a rare quality on the business side of sports.  But then Calvin Ayre is a rare sort of businessman, and one who’s come a long way from his start in Saskatchewan, Canada

“Oh, my. A long, long way!” laughs Ayre, who currently makes his home in Antigua.  Though with some 10 months of the year living in hotels, “home” is a bit of a foreign concept to him these days.  But that’s the lifestyle he enjoys – just don’t try and tell him that he’s doing the ‘Hollywood thing.’ The guy is charming, but he’ll still (very politely) smack you down for it.

“We’re anti-Hollywood. I don’t think we’re Hollywood at all. We’re not stuffy. Hollywood’s all about pretenses and shit. This is a kind of blue collar thing… let’s call it Blue Collar Hollywood.  It’s an “everyman’s” kind of Hollywood.”

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BodogFight to Debut on The Score

With a growing legion of loyal fight fans in Canada, Bodog Fight and Score Media Inc. (TSX: SCR) are pleased to announce that the hardest hitting mixed martial arts show on television will now be available in Canada on The Score Television Network.

The Score is a national specialty television service providing sports, news, information, highlights and live event programming, and is available across Canada in over 6.2 million homes.

“We are thrilled to be partnering up with The Score,” said Calvin Ayre, the billionaire founder of Bodog Entertainment. “As a Canadian myself, I know first hand how passionate the country’s fight fans are, so I am especially pleased to be able to bring them Bodog Fight from coast to coast.”

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BodogFight: St. Petersburg Winners Return to Russia for PPV

To the victors go the spoils! This is the theme of a special recap episode of BodogFight: St. Petersburg airing Tuesday, April 3 at 11 p.m. / 10 p.m. Central on ION Television.

Something was bound to give with 28 deadly mixed martial arts fighters - 14 Americans and 14 Internationals - converging on the imperial capital of Russia to lay claim to global bragging rights. Now the smoke has cleared, revealing which of these men and women have earned the right to return to St. Petersburg to fight at a historic pay-per-view event, BodogFight: Fedor Emelianenko vs Matt Lindland ‘Clash of the Nations’ on April 14th.

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BodogFight Names New Commissioner

Stylish mixed martial arts force BodogFight is adding to its highly regarded team of MMA professionals. Today, the show announced it has secured the services of Jeff Osborne as BodogFight Commissioner.

Since founding Hook and Shoot in 1996, Osborne has become a recognized personality within the MMA community for his commentary work with various fight promotions. He has also spearheaded the effort to integrate women into the mixed martial arts scene - a strong credit to his name as BodogFight is quickly acquiring contracts for many of the world’s top female combatants.

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BodogFight’s Second Season Continues

The action heats up the frozen Russian tundra in Episode 2 of the hit mixed martial arts reality show BodogFight: St. Petersburg. This week’s episode, which airs February 20th at 11 p.m. /10 p.m. Central on ION Television, features two more brutal elimination bouts.

Our featured match includes a pair of American welterweights, as Miami’s Jorge “GameBred” Masvidal squares off against Steve “Red Nose” Berger of St. Louis.

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MMA Stars Add Expert Commentary To BodogFight: St. Petersburg

BodogFight, the mixed martial arts (MMA) brand garnering a worldwide fan base, is thrilled to have MMA superstars Josh Barnett, Phil Baroni and Eric Paulson weighing in with expert commentary during select episodes of the BodogFight: St. Petersburg series, which airs Tuesdays on ION Television at 11p.m. / 10p.m. Central. Check local listings for times in your area.

“Having Josh, Phil and Eric add their personal insights to the St. Petersburg series is an absolute privilege,” says Calvin Ayre, creator of BodogFight and Founder of digital media giant Entertainment. “The BodogFight team is striving to introduce new components to MMA reality television; unbiased third-party fighter perspectives from top-level athletes bring a strong element of credibility to our efforts.”

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BodogFight Releases Roster For Upcoming Seasons

Solidifying its position as a stylish mixed martial arts (MMA) brand, BodogFight has enlisted a talented roster of athletes for the next season of its popular reality TV show. Filming is scheduled to begin February 10 in the exotic Central American jungles of Costa Rica.

“We are extremely proud to associate with athletes who are clearly committed to the development of this sport,” says media mogul Calvin Ayre, the founder of Entertainment and creator of the BodogFight reality series. “The BodogFight team has been working around the clock to ensure MMA fans are delivered the best in TV content and fight quality.”

Each weight class features highly anticipated battles with returning BodogFighters, such as Trevor Prangley, Eddie Alvarez, Chael Sonnen, Yves Edwards and Kyacey “Ice Cold” Uscola. First-time appearances of established newcomers will include the likes of Daniel Puder and Sami Aziz.

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