NEW YORK - Sibling Entertainment Group Holdings, Inc. (OTC Bulletin Board: SIBE) [“Sibling Holdings”] announced Sibling Theatricals, Inc. [“Sibling Theatricals”], a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sibling Entertainment Group, Inc., together with Garlin Holdings Limited as Managing Members, have formed Sibling Sports, LLC (a Delaware limited liability company) for the purpose of creating M-1 Global, LLC (a New York limited liability company), a new mixed martial arts organization.
In addition, Monte Cox, a 13-year veteran of the mixed martial arts industry, was named President and CEO of M-1 Global.
Monte Cox, manager of many MMA stars including Mike Whitehead, Ben Rothwell, and Jay Hieron, had public phone sessions with many members of the MMA media yesterday to discuss the curreny situation involving the IFL removing Rothwell and Whitehead from the IFL Grand Prix in November.
Sam Caplan’s conversation with Cox is a must read. Here’s my favorite quote from the interview:
Monte Cox: A lot of times if you’re looking to go to a place like the IFL, there’s a lot of things that could change your mind. Ben started kind of souring on the IFL before the season even ended. And one of the things that he was upset with was during his fight with Ricco Rodriguez, Ricco spit on him and nobody did anything. The commission didn’t do anything (and) the IFL didn’t do anything.
When his own mom asked Kurt Otto about it, she said something like “That kid spit on my son.” Kurt’s response was “Maybe Ben should have hit him harder?” And that left a bad taste in Ben’s mouth. He’s supposed to be one of their biggest stars and this is the way he’s getting treated?
Sounds like Kurt Otto is a great guy.
To summarize everything that is going on: Both Rothwell and Whitehead are still under contract with the IFL until January 1st, 2008. Neither of them will be fighting for the IFL again this year. Cox plans to entertain offers from other promotions on that date which the IFL will have the opportunity to match.
Sam Caplan is reporting that both Ben Rothwell and Mike Whitehead have been pulled from next month’s IFL Grand Prix because of contract problems:
The IFL made a decision to pull both Rothwell and Whitehead from their respective brackets after the promotion was unable to secure signed commitments from each fighter for the 2007 season. Rather than risk having one or both of the fighters winning a title only possibly to see them never defend it within the IFL, a decision was made to change directions.
The IFL’s policy in this regard is similar to the UFC’s of not allowing fighters with only one fight remaining on their contract to challenge for a title. The IFL felt it had secured verbal commitments in regard to 2008 from Rothwell and Whitehead’s camp. Both are managed by Monte Cox.
However, when the IFL tried to finalize the 2008 contracts for Rothwell and Whitehead they felt as though their management was being unresponsive. After a deadline passed, the team-oriented fight promotion was left with the feeling that the two might be considering offers from outside the organization.
Huge blow to the Grand Prix right there, especially since Rothwell is the company’s star.
So what happens now?
Caplan says that Bryan Vetell will serve as Rothwell’s replacement take on Antoine Jaoude. Roy Nelson will face Reese Andy in the other. As for the light heavyweights, Andre Gusmao has been forced to pull out with a foot injury so Vladimir Matyushenko will be fighting Alex Schoenauer for the title instead of having a tournament take place.
Caplan also mentioned that Jay Hieron was almost pulled from the event but agreed to a contract extension at the last minute. I find this odd because I spoke with Hieron last week and he didn’t mention anything concerning that.
The Minneapolis/St. Paul City Pages has posted an excellent article titled “The Ballad of the Muscle Shark”. The article documents the career of UFC lightweight champion Sean Sherk who went from outcast to champion.
Sherk was left with a dilemma. He could bide his time with Cox and hope to eventually get a title fight. Or he could drop his manager and take his shot at the belt. Ultimately, his desire to fight Hughes won out.
“It was really disappointing,” Cox says. “He was the first fighter that I had managed that ever left. I traveled all over the world with Sean.”
Sean Sherk has been on the shelf for the past 9 months after he underwent surgery to mend his torn rotator cuff. Sherk’s first title defense will come July 7th at UFC 73: Stacked when he steps into the octagon with Hermes Franca.
On a recent Tuesday morning at the Minnesota Martial Arts Academy, Sherk spars for the first time in nearly six months. He’s 11 weeks out from the fight and ramping into full training mode. Over the next 10 days, he’ll shed 25 pounds, a trial run for the July weigh-in. The goal is to get his body acclimated to 155 pounds. “You’ve got to get used to it so your body’s not going to go into shock,” Sherk explains.
The first 20 pounds he’ll shed through dieting and hard work. The final five he’ll sweat off in the sauna. After the July weigh-in, he’ll have 30 hours to rebuild his strength. By the time the bout begins, he’ll be back up to 175 pounds.