John McCarthy. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Longtime mixed martial arts referee John McCarthy has resigned from his post as a commentator and analyst with The Fight Network amongst whisperings that the company is getting ready to collapse and many employees are leaving because of wrongdoings involving the current ownership.
McCarthy announced his departure from the network in a blog post on The Fight Network’s official website this morning. His closing comments to those working above him only emulate the current rumors floated around about the organization, which has seen the likes of Brian Knapp and Loretta Hunt leave their duties on the website in order to join the ranks of Sherdog.com.
“Well this is my farewell from the Fight Network,” McCarthy said in his post. “While I will not miss what has happened or transpired at the company, I am really going to miss some very special people that I have come to know and respect in my short time with them. To all of the higher ups that have taken over The Fight Network over the last year I only have this to say….shame on you.”
Photo by Jon Swenson, Sharkspage.
The Fight Network has announced that they will be televising tomorrow night’s ICON Sport: To Hell and Back event live starting at 10 PM ET.
The network made the announcement on their daily radio show on Sirus Satellite Radio.
A total of ten fights are slated to be shown including a main event between Phil Baroni and Kala Kolohe Hose, who will slug it out for the vacant ICON Sport middleweight title.
ICON Sport officials vacated the title from the waist of current EliteXC champion Robbie Lawler after the Miletich Fighting Systems product was forced to pull out of two consecutive title defenses against Hose due to injury. Lawler has since announced his intention of competing for the belt again in the near future.
Other fighters competing on the card include former professional boxer turned mixed martial artist Jeremy Williams, who will attempt to stay undefeated against submission expert Auggie Padekan. Tyson Nam will try to win his second consecutive fight when he takes on Russell Doane.
Ross Ebanez will try to bounce back from a devastating knockout loss to Eddie Alvarez in January when he clashes with Brennan Kamaka. An ICON Sport featherweight title bout between Sadhu Bott and Bronson Pieper is also scheduled to take place.
For those who don’t have The Fight Network, the event will be available to members of ProElite.com free of charge. The televised portion of the card will begin at 8 PM ET. You can visit the event’s official site here.
Some news and notes for you this morning…
Cote Expected to Color Commentate at UFC 84
Bad news for all of those Canadians that were eagerly hoping that Patrick Cote would be fighting on the UFC 84 card in Canada, but fun news nonetheless.
In a post-fight interview with The Fight Network, Cote revealed that the UFC has asked him to be the color commentator for the UFC’s French broadcast of the event:
“To be honest, [the UFC] wants me to do the French commentating for that show, so I don’t know if I’ll be fighting on it,” Cote told The Fight Network. “That’s okay; I’ll get to be the French Joe Rogan and do the play-by-play.”
LaRosa, Imes Returning to Action
Speaking of The Fight Network again, they’ve got the scoop on future bouts involving BodogFight women’s champ Tara LaRosa and Mr. Gogoplata himself, Brad Imes.
According to LaRosa herself, she will be defending her belt against Molly Helsel at a BodogFight-sponsored Hook-N-Shoot event on Saturday, March 29 at the Evansville Coliseum in Evansville, Indiana. This is the same location where Eddie Alvarez and Matt Lee were set to rematch before the event was scrapped.
Imes will face off against Matt Thompson for the International Fighting Council US heavyweight championship at an IFC event on February 23rd.
Above is an official preview video for UFC 79 courtesy of the UFC as well as a preview for tonight’s UFC All-Access with Wanderlei Silva.
News and Notes
-White Chocolate Management has filed a lawsuit against UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and his manager, Juanito Ibarra because of a breach of contract the two had with the company.
According to Sherdog, WCM was forced to file a lawsuit after Ibarra went out of his way to block all incoming transactions and deals offered to Jackson:
WCM President Reed Wallace is asking for $10,000,000 in damages after being “forced into filing the lawsuit by Rampage’s manager Juanito Ibarra, who ‘bad mouthed’” WCM, according to a news release issued by the plaintiff on Thursday.
Wallace said that while the fighter remained friendly, the champion’s manager has “rejected or blocked all transactions and deals offered to Rampage from WCM. Ibarra then went behind WCM and contacted or had his agent contact those very same parties that WCM brought to the table.”
- The mother of UFC middleweight Drew McFedries was found dead in a Davenport, Iowa alleyway according to a report by The Quad-City Times:
The woman who was found dead in an alley in Davenport was the victim of a homicide, an autopsy revealed, though police are not saying exactly how. Agnes McFedries-Kennedy, 51, was found Saturday evening lying in the alley in the 1800 block between West 7th and West 8th streets. A couple returning to a residence near the scene discovered the body.
All of us at MMA on Tap would like to send our condolences to Drew and his family.
- Every long-time MMA fan loves to read about past adventures involving Lee Murray. Here’s Pat Miletich’s account of the infamous street fight between Murray and Tito Ortiz through the words of Matt Hughes via his new book.
Ever wonder why a lot of people don’t like Hughes? Be sure to check this out.
Touch of gloves to Fight Opinion for both of the finds.
- Din Thomas expects to return to action in March according to a recent interview with The Fight Network.
- Jarry Park has a preview of all of the New Year’s Eve MMA events going on.
UFC lightweight contenders Kenny Florian and Joe Lauzon have verbally agreed to face each other in the main event of the next UFC Fight Night scheduled for April 2nd.
The news comes from a report by Loretta Hunt of The Fight Network.
Contracts have yet to be sent out to the fighters but are expected to be sent out, signed, and returned within the next few weeks.
Florian has been riding a wave of confidence since losing a UFC lightweight title opportunity to Sean Sherk last year, winning his last three fights in impressive fashion. He submitted Din Thomas in his last bout at UFC Fight Night 11 in September after Thomas suffered multiple injuries to his knee during a takedown attempt in the fight.
Lauzon stopped former champ Jens Pulver with strikes in his UFC debut in 2006 only to take 9 month hiatus to be on the cast of the fifth season of The Ultimate Fighter. Lauzon lost in the semifinals of the reality show to Manny Gamburyan. Since the show ended, Lauzon has defeated Brandon Melendez and Jason Reinhardt in consecutive bouts.
Brian Knapp of The Fight Network is reporting that lightweights Marcus Aurelio and Luke Caudillo have agreed to terms on a deal that will have them clash at UFC 78:
A representative from the American Top Team today confirmed Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt Marcus Aurelio has accepted a fight with Luke Caudillo at UFC 78 “Validation” Saturday, Nov. 17 at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. Though both parties have agreed to the lightweight bout, according to ATT, contracts have not yet been signed.
This seems like an easy win for Aurelio. Caudillo has some wins by submission throughout his career but was controlled on the ground in his last fight by Nate Mohr, who isn’t known for his skills on the mat as we all know. Let’s hope this one goes down as Aurelio’s presence on the card will improve it even more.
Showtime hosted a conference call earlier this afternoon in preparation for the upcoming EliteXC: Uprising event scheduled to take place on September 15th in Honolulu, Hawaii. The fighters featured on the call were ICON Middleweight Champion Robbie Lawler, EliteXC Middleweight Champion Murlio Rua through the use of an interpreter, Jake Shields, and Gina Carano. Other officials participating in the call were EliteXC President Gary Shaw and ICON Sport President T. Jay Thompson.
Bodog has announced the matchups set to take place on the sixth season of BodogFight. The taping will take place August 24th and 25th on the Squamish Nation Indian Reserve in North Vancouver, British Columbia.
Sami Aziz (Sweden) vs. Hiroyuki Abe (Japan)
JR Sims (USA) vs. DJ Taiki (Japan)
Rodrigo Damm (Brazil) vs. Darren Elkins (USA)
Per Eklund (Sweden) vs. Rafael Dias (USA)
Ryan Bow (Japan) vs. Santino Defranco (USA)
Chris Ade (Canada) vs. Koji Oishi (Japan)
Nick Thompson (USA) vs. Mark Weir (UK)
Piotr Jakaczynski (Sweden) vs. Dan Hornbuckle (USA)
Chris Wilson (USA) vs. Ray Steinbeiss (USA)
Diego Gonzales (Sweden) vs. Steve Berger (USA)
Tim McKenzie (USA) vs. Yuichi Nakanishi (Japan)
Kyacey Uscola (USA) vs. TBA
Steve Byrnes (USA) vs. Alexander Shlemenko (Russia)
Antony Rea (France) vs. Steve Steinbeiss (USA)
Mikhael Zyats (Russia) vs. Buddy Roberts (USA)
Assuerio Silva (Brazil) vs. Constantin Gluhov (Russia)
Andrew Pederson (Canada) vs. Scott Lincoln (USA)
Dan Evensen (USA) vs. Dominic Richards (Canada)
Kristof Midoux (France) vs. Brad Morris (Australia)
Megumi Fuji (Japan) vs. Lisa Ward (USA)
Carina Damm (Brazil) vs. Jessica Aguillar (USA)
Rosi Sexton (UK) vs. Julia Berezekova (Russia)
Kelly Kobold (USA) vs. Julie Kedzie (USA)
Tama Chan (Japan) vs. Molly Helsel (USA)
Ring Xtreme Challenge, a show co-promoted by Steve Claveau and David Loiseau, is starting to shape up for its debut event which is scheduled for September 7 in Quebec City.
Both Claveau and Loiseau are veterans of TKO who have had a rocky past with TKO promoter Stephane Patry. This new organization will allow them to split the matchmaking duties and use fighters from their respective teams. Claveau stated in the past that Team Legion would no longer be sending fighters to appear on future TKO cards.
It’s been speculated for a number of weeks that Claveau was interested in starting his own promotion, especially after he stated that Team Legion will no longer send representatives to compete at future TKO shows.
While Loiseau’s involvement with the promotion comes as news, it also opens up the possibility he could fight again in Quebec at some point. After his acrimonious split from TKO president Stephane Patry, it seemed very unlikely “The Crow” would get another opportunity to fight in front of his hometown fans.
Ring Xtreme Challenge
Sylvain Cloutier vs. Greg Compton
Shawn Davidson vs. Mike Dizak
Tommy Pariseau vs. Andy Ross
Danny Laflamme vs. Aaron Treagear
Yan Pichette vs. Yan Pellerin
Stephane Pinet vs. Rob Wynne
Dave Pariseau vs. TBA
Jacques Dube vs. TBA
Yves Jabouin vs. TBA
David Savard vs. TBA
The Fight Network has announced that veteran UFC referee, “Big” John McCarthy, has joined The Fight Network as an analyst for the “After the Bell” show that airs after major MMA events.
The Fight Network family continues to grow – “big” time. Iconic MMA referee “Big” John McCarthy has come onboard as an analyst, and will make his Fight Network debut on our original TV series “After The Bell” following UFC 71 to give his insight.