Robbie Lawler and Scott Smith. Photo by Esther Lin/EliteXC.
Less than two months after their first bout ended in disappointing fashion, Robbie Lawler and Scott Smith will duke it out once again for the EliteXC middleweight title during the organization’s second network television event on CBS this Saturday night.
The two spoke about their upcoming battle on a pre-fight conference call with the media yesterday that also included female fighters Shayna Baszler and Cris Cyborg as well as ProElite chairman Doug DeLuca. As usual, Lawler kept his answers short and sweet, just letting everybody know that his focus was on this weekend’s fight with Smith and nothing else.
“Really, I don’t care,” Lawler said when asked about his previous fight with Smith. “I look at it as a new fight and I kind of look at it as we’ve never fought before. I’ll be ready to go. I’m not focusing on that anymore. I’m focusing on this next fight and I don’t care how that last one went. I just need to go out there and get the job done on Saturday.”
Meanwhile Smith revealed that he was especially happy that a rematch between the two happened so soon. With his eye and foot injuries suffered in the first bout completely healed, Smith discussed his training for the fight and how he feels that a different regimen this time around may result in seeing an even better fighter this weekend.
Gina Carano. Photo by Esther Lin/EliteXC.
At a pre-fight press conference to promote this past weekend’s Affliction: Banned event in California, FSN Executive Vice President George Greenberg hinted that the network was set to begin airing EliteXC programming in the near future, potentially making the organization the fourth such MMA brand to be featured on the channel.
“For us here at FSN…. we’ve shown UFC, we’ve shown PRIDE, we’ve shown the IFL, and we’re about to start showing ProElite,” Greenberg said. “I can really say that we’re careful of what we put on air in terms of a television product and I can say that everyone that has been associated with the process does the same thing.”
Video of Greenberg’s quote is here. His words harken back to a comment made by ProElite chairman Doug DeLuca last week during another conference call to promote EliteXC’s upcoming “Unfinished Business” event on July 26th.
“I can’t talk too much about it now, but we’re probably going to announce another broadcast deal pretty soon with a cable network that will do similar to what you’re saying, where you’ll see all our brands in action,” DeLuca reportedly said during last week’s phone call.
Fedor Emelianenko and Tim Sylvia. Photo courtesy of Affliction Entertainment.
Those interested in seeing the rest of the preliminary fights featured on this weekend’s Affliction: Banned undercard will now have the opportunity to see those bouts live on television.
Affliction Vice President Tom Atencio informed our friends at MMA Junkie yesterday that the promotion’s debut broadcast on pay-per-view will run for a surprising four hours, allowing for the inclusion of eight bouts on the main card. Additionally, FOX Sports Net will now be airing three bouts instead of the originally-planned two.
“Every fight except the three that are going to be on FSN will be on pay-per-view,” Atencio said in the report.
The televised card for the event now looks as follows:
Main Card (PPV)
Fedor Emelianenko vs. Tim Sylvia
Josh Barnett vs. Pedro Rizzo
Matt Lindland vs. Fabio Negao
Mike Whitehead vs. Renato Sobral
Ben Rothwell vs. Andrei Arlovski
Antonio Rogerio Nogueira vs. Edwin Dewees
Mike Pyle vs. J.J. Ambrose
Justin Levens vs. Ray Lazama
Preliminary Fights (FSN)
Aleksander Emelianenko vs. Paul Buentello
Vitor Belfort vs. Terry Martin
Mark Hominick vs. Savant Young
Snapshot courtesy of AfflictionBanned.com
FOX Sports Net will air the first hour of Affliction Clothing’s upcoming “Banned” show on July 19th at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California.
FSN Vice President George Greenberg was on hand today at the popular California-based clothing company’s press conference held at the Westfield Mall in Los Angeles to announce the details as well comment on additional matchups that were announced this afternoon.
The sixty-minute broadcast on the cable network will air starting at 8:00 PM ET and is expected to feature at least two of the five scheduled preliminary bouts, including a heavyweight clash between former UFC heavyweight title challenger Paul Buentello and Aleksander Emelianenko.
The pay-per-view broadcast will then follow starting at 9 PM ET.
The show will be headlined by a heavyweight showdown years in the making as former PRIDE heavyweight champion Fedor Emelianenko will take on former UFC heavyweight champion Tim Sylvia. The event will be available on pay-per-view in the USA in Canada, in both standard and high-definition, for $39.95.
Along with the aforementioned Emelianenko-Sylvia matchup, former UFC heavyweight champion Josh Barnett will take on Pedro Rizzo in a rematch of their February 2001 bout, Team Quest founder Matt Lindland will return to action against Fabio “Negao” Nascimento, and UFC veterans Renato “Babalu” Sobral and Mike Whitehead will collide as well.
Dana White. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
While past discussions with CBS and ESPN never produced anything more than headaches, it seems that FOX may be the latest potential suitor in the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s quest to land a network television deal.
Adam Swift of MMA Payout has learned that FOX is now widely believed to be the front-runner in the race of become the UFC’s second television home. Unlike past dealings with other networks, it seems that the two sides are making progress, so much so that UFC President Dana White stated that a deal would be done within the next six months last week on Canadian television.
Swift also points out that FOX was rumored to have made a bid to purchase the UFC while co-owners Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta may have been shopping the organization around in order to gauge offers last year.
It’s believed that the UFC may also be still talking with ESPN executives about taking their relationship to another level. However it’s long been noted that ESPN still has not made a decision within that would have the network start to televise mixed martial arts events.
Photo courtesy of Art of War.
Art of War parent company SUN Sports & Entertainment Inc. has announced a deal with FOX Sports Net that will have the network air the promotion’s new television series, “GI Vs. Pro.”
The series, which will air nine new episodes over a three-month period on Saturday nights, will pit current and former MMA-trained armed services members against professional mixed martial arts fighters from around the country.
“MMA is on fire,” said FSN VP of Production Gary Garcia. “This show, featuring intense battles between elite, fine-tuned athletes, is the perfect brand extension for the U.S. military to hit their target demo right between the eyes.”
Jay Glazer and Frank Trigg, who have teamed up in the past as hosts of PRIDE Fighting Championships shows on FSN, will serve as the broadcast team for the series.
Art of War will hold one of the events that will be featured on the show on April 19th. Headlining the card will be Ron Faircloth challenging fellow heavyweight Damien Steely. Nick Agallar will take on Nuri Shakur in the co-main event.
NEW YORK - The International Fight League and Fox Sports Net (FSN) announced today that the IFL?‘s weekly, one-hour ?Fight Night? show will begin its 2008 run on Saturday, April 19, at midnight local time.
The show, which will begin with the IFL World Grand Prix finals from December 29, will run in that time slot through mid-July, a slot which will give the IFL limited pre-emptions on the FSN regional network in a spot that is key for the demo that follows the sport.
?“We are very pleased to be able to continue to work so closely with FSN, especially in this very desirable and consistent Saturday night time slot”,? said IFL CEO Jay Larkin. “?The FSN weekly component is key to our TV strategy, and it has proven to draw an audience everywhere it has been placed. This Saturday midnight spot is a great piece for us to build around and promote towards, since we will rarely be up against other sports programming.?”
?“The IFL has been a great compliment to FSN programming, and there?s certainly an audience for it. For two seasons it has delivered solid ratings and exciting, quality fights. We expect Season 3 will deliver as well”,? said George Greenberg, FSN Executive Vice President of Programming and Production.
In addition to the weekly ?IFL Fight Night,? on FSN, the first three IFL events of the year are being shown live on HDNet in the United States and Fox Sports Net Canada, as well as in over 70 other countries and five continents around the world, ranging from HBO Latin America to Star TV in Asia and Middle Eastern Broadcasting and the Armed Forces Network. IFL programming is already among the most viewed MMA programming worldwide, despite being in existence only two years.
News and Notes
- Kevin Iole of Yahoo! Sports has a direct quote from UFC President Dana White where White states he is working on an immediate rematch between Michael Bisping and Matt Hamill:
And, while they’re at it, the UFC honchos should mandate a rematch between Bisping and Hamill.
White said the rematch is “a no-brainer and I’m going to be on it right away.”
Having them fight again in a place where an official athletic commission will oversee the affairs is the only way to remove the stench surrounding UFC 75.
However FOX Sports is reporting that Bisping will most likely drop down to the middleweight division. I’m not so sure that Hamill could make 185 lbs.
- Staying with the quotes, it seems that Patrick Cote wants both Chris Leben and Terry Martin and would like to face the winner of their bout in December:
“I just want to prove to everybody that I was robbed last time [against Leben],” says Cote. “I will not leave the fight in the judge’s hands next time.”
“I just don’t like Martin,” says Cote. “He has a big mouth. Terry Martin has said he’s the next big thing at 185 and that he will be champion. He thinks he has heavy hands because he knocked out Jorge Rivera. But if you watch that fight, you see Rivera was already off balance and he caught him. He’s a one-dimensional fighter. He doesn’t shoot for the leg; he tries to trap you against the cage. I can use my reach against him, and I have good footwork and hands. It will be a long night for him if he wants to try and trap me against the cage.”
- The Ryan Bennett Memorial Fund is auctioning off Randy Couture’s autographed gloves from UFC 74. Bidding ends on Thursday.
- MMA Weekly is reporting that Fabio Silva will take on Melvin Manhoef at the September 17th K-1 Hero’s event.
- The British Medical Association is attempting to ban MMA in the country of England. Apparently it’s nothing to worry about as the BMA has also been trying to ban boxing since 1982. That obviously hasn’t worked.
- Mirko Cro Cop has told Croatian reporters that he suffered a broken rib in the first round of his recent loss to Cheick Kongo over the weekend.
- Zach Arnold has found that Hidehiko Yoshida may be appearing at K-1’s annual Dynamite show on New Year’s Eve. Now the big question: Will he fight or just be a guest?
Sankei Sports is reporting that Hidehiko Yoshida is considering an offer to appear at the K-1 Dynamite New Year’s Eve event. Yoshida was quoted as saying that he wanted to fight before the end of the year and that he is leaving any future career decisions to the J-ROCK office to determine. J-ROCK’s stance is that if PRIDE is dead, then Yoshida should be a free agent.
The International Fight League (OTC.BB: IFLI), the world’s number one team-based professional mixed martial arts league, and Fox Sports Net (FSN) announced today that the network will re-air the entire 2007 season of IFL action, in order, beginning on Sunday, Sept. 30, at 4 p.m., then following weekly at its regular new time slot of 5 p.m. local time in most regions. The re-airs will run each week through March 2008.
The 5 p.m. time on Sunday nights, which proved successful for IFL programming last year, is one of the most desirable national slots on FSN’s calendar during the busy fall and winter seasons, and will give the IFL added national exposure.
The International Fight League, the world’s first team-based professional mixed martial arts league, and television partner Fox Sports Net will host a family rivalry on Friday night, as Ken Shamrock’s Reno Lions take on the San Jose Razorclaws, coached by his brother Frank, this Friday night. It will be the second of 22 one-hour shows to be seen on FSN.
Start time for the show is 11 p.m. in most markets.
The key matchup in this week’s battle will be between two of the IFL’s rising stars, lightweights John Gunderson and Josh Odom. Gunderson outlasted 150 other contestants in an open tryout to make Ken Shamrock’s team (driving all night from a job in Oregon to the tryout), while Odom, an Army reserve sergeant who served a tour of duty in Iraq, will also be making his IFL debut.