Personalities

Loretta Hunt Joins The Fight Network

The Fight Network has announced that they have hired Loretta Hunt who will join their news team covering the world of mixed martial arts.

Hunt will be working as the Managing Editor of News content for MMA coverage across all company distribution platforms of television, radio, mobile and web under The Fight Network brand.

“This is an amazing opportunity that I have been presented with,” said Hunt. “When I look back on how the sport of mixed martial arts has grown so much in the last few years, where we now have a service like The Fight Network, that can not only showcase MMA events on a 24-hour basis but will cover it from a news standpoint like no other mainstream media outlet has done before—let’s just say this is very exciting and I look forward to the role ahead.”

Some Dana White Notes

So Dana had some interesting things to say once again at the UFC 63 Post-Fight Press Conference on Saturday night/Sunday morning…

What did he have to talk about? I guess I’ll give it you interview style…

What are your thought’s on Pride coming to the US market?

“I think it’s great for the sport… There are going to be a lot of guys up-and-coming. There are a lot of opportunities for these guys to make money, so I can’t have everybody. I can’t pay everybody… I think it’s necessary.”

Any thoughts on Wanderlei Silva’s loss to Mirko Cro Cop?

“I think he just got executed. Isn’t that what happened to him?”

Will we see Silva in the UFC in the near future?

“Did he wake up yet? Let’s put it this way, everybody’s terrorized me about the fight with Wanderlei Silva. I’ve been trying to make that fight for five years. If that fight happened in the United States right now, he’d be on a ninety day suspension for getting his head kicked to another planet. He’s out. There’s no way he can come fight in the United States right now. When he gets back up and wins another fight or something… trust me when I tell you, I’d love to have Wanderlei Silva under contract with the UFC. I joke around, but I’d love to have him under contract.”

Could you elaborate more on your plans for expansion as you have mentioned before?

“We’re going to get real aggressive over the next two, three years. We’re going to expand our market. We’re going down to Mexico. We’re going up to Canada. We’re going over to the U.K. in October. We’re going to do 4 or 5 fights a year over there. We’re going to see how that goes and then possibly reaching out into Europe.”

“We’re going to aggressively go after the Hispanic market over the next couple of years. Right now down in Mexico, they get the Ultimate Fighter on DirecTV. Every time I go down to Mexico, people know about the sport and the show and we’re looking for a television deal.”

From the Mouth of Dana White

Leading up to UFC 63 this week, UFC President Dana White has to be very vocal. However, he decided to comment on a few of the rumors that have been floating around as of late, things that he really didn’t even have to address.

When it comes to the stories out there that say many big-name UFC fighters are considering leaving the company because of horrible pay, what does White have to say?

“Believe me when I tell you, brother, people aren’t leaving me,” Dana White said in an interview Tuesday.

While declining to detail UFC’s finances, he said his athletes were happy with their take. “We’re a private company and our fighters make a lot of money, a lot of money,” he added.

“None of us are arguing, none of us are bitching and none of us are fighting. We get along with all of our fighters very well. They feel like they’re part of a very happy family. Let me tell you what, I can sleep at night. I’m not in this for the money and I never was.

“We’re a real business. We’ve got this thing rolling and we’re thrilled, thrilled that these guys are able to make what they’re making.”

Dana happened to use UFC Middleweight Champion as an example of this:

White cited middleweight champion Rich Franklin, a native of Cincinnati whose UFC deal calls for a basic fee of $18,000 per fight with another $18,000 for each win.

“Him and his wife just bought 15 acres of land and a big fat house that they just moved into,” White said.

White also decided to comment on Jeremy Lappen, CEO of the WFA, and the real reason as to why he was ejected from UFC 61.

White also denied being responsible for having the head of the rival World Fighting Alliance ejected from the Mandalay Bay at UFC 61: Bitter Rivals. Jeremy Lappen was asked to leave by Mandalay Bay officials, White said, because he had people distributing flyers in the casino for a WFA event.

The UFC president said he “embraced” competition from rival organizations.

“These guys create the talent that’s going to end up in my show some day. I’ve got no problem with these guys.”

“I’ve made more millionaires in this business than anybody else has,” White added.

Those are pretty brash comments by Dana right there. However with the UFC on top of the MMA world right now, I’d say that he can make those remarks whenever he pleases…

Pride Talks The Real Deal, Liddell-Silva

Pride held yet another press conference yesterday discussing details about their upcoming US debut in October…

We already learned about the announcements of Josh Barnett-Pawel Nastula and Mark Hunt-Eric Esch yesterday. Dream Stage CEO Nobuyuki Sakakibara stated that some more fights will be named later this week and the rest of the card will be revealed at the end of the month.

It’s interesting to note that because the event is taking place in Nevada, the rules will be similar to those that the UFC uses with a couple of changes. The fight will obviously take place in a ring rather than the UFC’s famed octagon. As it pertains to striking, there will be no elbows to the head permitted while on the ground. Kicking or kneeing of a downed opponent will be illegal as well despite that it is usually allowed in Pride events.

No shoes or Gi’s are allowed to be worn. The fights will be three five-minutes rounds instead of Pride’s usual one ten minute round followed by two five-minute rounds. The event will be four hours long and will be broadcast on PPV and the web.

Even more interesting then those announcements is the fact that Sakakibara was willing to talk about Silva-Liddell and the current status of the possible matchup. ..

“Speaking on behalf of Pride, we are ready anytime. Also, Wanderlei is ready. We just need the doctor’s confirmation regarding his injury from last week. We are still waiting for the UFC’s response. Mirko even said that if Wanderlei is not ready to fight in November, he would fight in his place. In some interviews, Mr. Dana White stated that this fight won’t happen. However, speaking from Pride’s side, we are ready.”

Hey, that’s not what Dana said!

I really don’t know which side to believe. I want to side with Dana and the UFC seeing how Pride has screwed over other promotions before by pulling crap like this whole saga. I wonder what he will have to say about this.

Even though Dana already said that Silva shouldn’t get a shot at Chuck Liddell because he was destroyed by Mirko Cro Cop, there is still room for things to happen. Dana’s right - Silva shouldn’t get Chuck after that massacre.

But if what Dana said at UFC 61 is true - They were supposed to have Wanderlei for three fights - Why don’t they have Wanderlei face someone else, like Babalu or Forrest for example. This way Tito can get his title shot and providing Chuck and Wanderlei both win, they can meet after that.

I’m such a genius…

Liddell-Silva = No Go

Chuck Liddell versus Wanderlei Silva may one day happen but it won’t be in November. UFC president Dana White recently spoke about the fight and Silva’s loss in the Pride Open Weight Grand Prix.

“It kind of defeats the purpose now. The guy just got, literally, destroyed. They’re (PRIDE) still saying we can do a fight in November. They can’t do a fight in November. The athletic commission would put them on suspension for 90 days. The guy got knocked out cold. First, he got beaten to death, then he got knocked out cold. There’s no way the guy could fight again in a month and a half. Plus, he just lost.”

Rutten, Quadros Reunited on TV

The IFL has announced that Bas Rutten and Stephen Quadros will be reunited and will be the announcers for the organization’s next event on September 23rd. The event will be televised nationally on Sunday, October 8th at 6:00 PM EST on FOX Sports Net.

“There is no doubt that Stephen Quadros is the most knowledgeable commentator on mixed martial arts today, and reuniting him with Bas Rutten, one of the sports’ legendary champions, outstanding coaches and most charismatic personalities, will be a treat for all fans of mixed martial arts,” said IFL president Gareb Shamus. “We are very proud not only to be able to bring this pair back together, but to also expose them to a larger sports audience on basic cable for the first time.”

Dana White Comments on Bonnar

Wensday night it was made public that UFC light heavyweight Stephan Bonnar had tested positive to Boldenone which is a banned substance. Boldenone is the same substance that former UFC heavyweight champion Josh Barnett tested positive for after his victory over Randy Couture in March of 2002. Dana White stated that he supports the NSAC and their work to keep the sport clean.

“Obviously, we need to wait and hear Stephan’s side of the story, but the UFC wholeheartedly supports the commission’s continuing efforts to keep this sport clean and to protect the athletes,” said UFC President Dana White. “I hope this is the type of news we never have to hear again in professional sports.”

MMAWeekly Radio is Back!

MMAWeekly.com has announced that the SoundOff will be back on air Tuesday, September 5th at 9 pm EST. The show went off air May 31st as SoundOff host and MMAWeekly.com co-founder Ryan Bennett passed in a tragic car accident. Since that time ‘The Fight Network’ has worked hard to get things set to put the show back on air and they’re finally ready.

The show will be hosted by Damon Martin who is a regular writer on MMAWeekly.com and he will be joined by Jeff Cain. It is still unknown whether Frank Trigg will be back.

For those of you who haven’t listen to any MMA radio, I definitely recommend checking this show out today at 9 pm. SoundOff has always been the best radio show around and with ‘The Fight Network’ running it I’m sure you can expect big things. Also unlike the Beatdown which is only on 1-2 times a week, SoundOff is a daily radio show which is streamed live Monday through Friday.

The Ultimate Fighter: Mexico and UK Coming Soon

In a recent article with the Miami Herald, UFC President Dana White stated that the UFC is currently in the works to put a deal together which would see them producing seasons of The Ultimate Fighter featuring Mexico and UK with fighters from their respective countries fighting.

“We’re trying to put a deal together right now for the Ultimate Fighter: Mexico, where we just have Mexican fighters. Same scenario, just for Mexico. Right now, the Ultimate Fighter plays in Mexico in English, and it’s a huge hit down there. We think Ultimate Fighter: Mexico will be huge. We’re doing the Ultimate Fighter: UK. That’s why we started with two guys from the UK last season. All three seasons have aired in the UK too.’‘

Also in the article Dana White stated that domestic agreements with ESPN and HBO are expected soon.

“There’s never a deal until a deal is done. . . . but, yeah, we’re going to do a deal with HBO,’’ White said. “HBO is getting pulled, kicking and screaming, into this thing. They’ve obviously spent millions of dollars on boxing. [HBO Sports president] Ross Greenberg has boxing gloves running through his veins. It’s a real kick in the [groin] for all the boxing people to see this thing coming up the way it is. It is what it is. It’s here. It’s not going anywhere. This is what all the young people like. It’s going to be around for a while.’‘

Bodog.com Produces MMA TV Show

Bodog.com’s founder and CEO Calvin Ayre has officially made his venture into the mixed martial arts world. Ayre has announced that he has put together TV’s first mixed martial arts television show.

The show will feature two dozen American fighters who will be featured in head-to-head bouts with a field that will eventually be broken down to seven.

Those seven fighters will then form a U.S. team which will face off against fighters from the Russian Red Devil Sports Club. The Red Devil Sports Club is home to the likes of the Emelianenko brothers, Roman Zentsov, Amar Suloev and many more.

The series will air September 12th on Men’s Network and online at Bodog.tv. The Russia vs. USA card will take place in Los Angeles on November 4th live on pay per view.

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