Carlos Condit vs. Hiromitsu Miura. Photo property of World Extreme Cagefighting.
Without Urijah Faber on the card, World Extreme Cagefighting’s latest offering reportedly turned in disappointing, yet normal ratings during it’s two-and-a-half hour August 3rd broadcast on Versus.
The latest ratings lesson comes from the 8/3 WEC show on Versus. The show did a 0.5 rating and 423,000 viewers, doing a 0.4 in Males 18-34 and 0.8 in Males 35-49. It’s the same numbers WEC was doing for non-Faber headlined shows before the 6/1 blowout. So even coming off a hugely successful event, the base regular WEC audience hasn’t changed. Most expect the next show with Faber to do a better number, but the hope for a ratings difference for a normal show didn’t happen.
Meltzer also states that despite the ratings dropping way down compared to Faber’s slugfest against Jens Pulver on Memorial Day Weekend, the show was still a success for Versus, which despite being around for two years now, still struggles to pick up viewers. (It apparently only averages a 0.2 rating in prime time)
Robbie Lawler. Photo by Esther Lin/EliteXC.
With EliteXC’s next network television event on CBS being officially announced for July 26th, additional details have surfaced regarding a potential venue for the show, some of the participants on the card, and the potential of featuring three title fights on the broadcast as well.
In his latest column for Yahoo! Sports, Dave Meltzer is reporting that EliteXC officials will work with executives from both Showtime and CBS on a dual-network show that would have Showtime air a 60-90 minute lead-in show that would feature a couple of preliminary fights before the main card goes live on CBS later that night, marking the first time in the history of this sport where two networks have combined to air a single event.
The promotion has already revealed the main event of the show as EliteXC middleweight champion Robbie Lawler will go head-to-head with Scott Smith in an anticipated rematch of their exciting bout that took place just two weeks ago during Memorial Day weekend. The first bout between the two ended in a no-contest after Lawler inadvertently poked Smith in the eye in the third round of their bout.
The ringside doctor ultimately ruled that Smith was unable to continue due to vision problems, despite protests from Smith himself to let the fight continue. However after the fight, Smith admitted that he would have likely been knocked out by Lawler because he couldn’t fully see out of his eye. Distraught as well after the fight was Lawler, who may now find solace in the fact that EliteXC officials have been working to bring the event to his hometown of St. Louis. Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall seems to be the second option.
Wanderlei Silva. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Update 7:30 PM ET: Dave Meltzer is reporting in his latest column for Yahoo! Sports that the rumored event the UFC was planning for next month on Spike TV was never made official by the promotion or the cable channel and was only discussed as a possibility. Although a potential show hasn’t been ruled out yet, Wanderlei Silva, who was reportedly offered a main event slot against Brandon Vera, has rejected the offer, citing a lack of preparation time as reasoning behind not taking the fight.
On the same night that Affliction Clothing’s will put on their first mixed martial arts event in the form of their “Banned” show on July 19th in California, the Ultimate Fighting Championship is reportedly planning on spoiling their party by putting on a live event on Spike TV.
The news comes from a report by Sherdog.com, which has learned from “multiple industry sources” that the UFC is currently working on holding an impromptu event in Las Vegas.
The show’s main event would likely feature Brandon Vera dropping down to light heavyweight for the first time in his career to take on former longtime PRIDE middleweight champion Wanderlei Silva, who is coming off of a stunning first-round knockout of fellow title contender Keith Jardine. In addition, MMA Mania is reporting that heavyweight prospect Cain Velasquez has been approached to be part of the card.
However this afternoon, Dave Meltzer reports that both UFC and Spike TV officials are completely denying the report, stating that no such event is in the works.
While a free event on Spike the same night and time that Affliction’s show goes on would definitely hurt the popular California-based clothing company in terms of interest and pay-per-view buys, putting together an event in just five weeks would be extremely tedious for the UFC and it’s fighters, especially these days where most of the talent has several months in between fights.
Stay tuned for more information on this growing rumor.
Randy Couture. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
After months of being tossed around in his separate lawsuits with UFC parent company Zuffa, Randy Couture, the promotion’s current heavyweight champion, will now find out whether or not he can pursue a showdown against top ranked heavyweight Fedor Emelianenko later this year.
Dallas, Texas District Court ruled yesterday to deny three motions by Zuffa to dismiss or delay Mark Cuban’s HDNet Fights’ request for a declaratory judgment concerning the contractual status of Couture when it comes to his promotional contract (the deal that dictates where Couture can fight) according to Sherdog.com.
Judgment will now be made in Texas court on June 2nd, a date that could either make Couture a free agent after his current deal with the UFC expires this summer or force him to fight two more times inside the confines of the Las Vegas-based organization.
HDNet Fights reportedly entered into a contractual agreement with Couture back in February, thus the request for a decision on Couture’s contractual status. Zuffa originally filed to remove HDNet’s request back in March. The move was made because the suit was not filed in Nevada, where Zuffa is based. However HDNet MMA 2008, the name Cuban filed suit under, is a Nevada limited liability company. Zuffa also alleged that HDNet’s Nevada address was an attempt to manipulate the court’s jurisdiction, but the accusation fell on deaf ears.
Even if he is granted free agency, Couture will still have to contend with a defamation suit Zuffa filed against him in January. The lawsuit cites that Couture made negative comments about the promotion and those involved with it’s management. They also stated that the comments have caused “irreparable damage” and that he has breached the employment contract he signed with the company.
The accusations stem from the International Fight League’s attempts to field a team using the Xtreme Couture gym name. The lawsuit, which will now go ahead in court, will also attempt to collect up to $10,000 in damages from Couture and seek a restraining order that will prevent him from being involved with any other organizations that compete against the UFC.
News and Notes
- Our rumors section has been updated…
- The IFL has announced that it has signed welterweight Mark Miller to a contract extension through the end of 2008.
- Bubba the Love Sponge mentioned on his satellite radio show yesterday that he ran into Dan Henderson over the weekend and Henderson mentioned that he would be fighting in December and possibly at middleweight:
It appears that Dan Henderson may very well be fighting on the UFC 79 Nemesis December 29th card. While on a trip to Vegas this weekend, Bubba the Love Sponge mentioned on his Satellite Radio program today that he ran into Henderson. He stated that Dan mentioned in conversation that he thought he would be fighting in December. Bubba went on to say that Dan would not say who he would be fighting, but did mention that he may be fighting at 185 lbs.
- MMA Junkie is reporting that Pete Spratt will take on Tristan Yunker at HDNet Fights II in December.
- UFC Mania has now become MMA Mania...
- HCF CEO Keith Crawford and Scott Zerr of Maximum Fighting Championship exchanged heated press releases yesterday. Crawford claimed that the slated MFC bout between Shonie Carter and Brad Zazulak is a complete mismatch and shouldn’t be allowed to happen. Zerr fired back with claims that Crawford’s company is losing money and not paying their fighters on time.
- Kevin Randleman is currently in the hospital, dealing with an extremely severe staph infection. .I’m not going to upload the pictures of his infection on here because it’s pretty tough on the eyes but you can see it here.
Randleman was apparently in critical condition for three weeks:
Kevin spent three weeks in the hospital and was released two weeks ago. After having a look at that picture I could only assume that it was painful, Kevin offered this: “I was in critical condition for almost three weeks and I am two weeks out of the hospital now.” He continued, “pain is just part of the healing, and it hurts a lot.”
Painful indeed as one could only assume two holes in the side of your body could be. Kevin is doing okay now but will need to be careful. “I had two organs shut down again. I think what I need to do is stop enduring the pain and go see the doctors earlier.”
- Dave Meltzer has an excellent piece on how olympic-skilled wrestlers have revolutionized MMA’s heavyweight division over the years.
News and Notes
- Strikeforce announced the four participants for their first ever one-night tournament set to take place at their next event on November 16th at the HP Pavilion in San Jose.
The four middleweights that will participate are Falaniko Vitale, Trevor Prangley, Yuki Sasaki and Jorge Santiago.
Each tournament bout will consist of two, two-minute rounds. If a draw is declared following the second round of a fight, an overtime round will be added to the bout to determine a victor. The winner of the tournament may earn the opportunity to face Frank Shamrock in the near future.
- Rich Franklin’s publicity manager has stated that reports about a possible early retirement for Franklin are not true:
“Rich still has a lot left to accomplish in this sport,” said J.T. Stewart, Franklin’s publicity manager. “It’s too early for him to even consider retirement at this point.”
- Paul Buentello will face Alistair Overeem or the vacant Strikeforce Heavyweight Title on November 16th as well.
- Dave Meltzer has another description of Don Frye’s apparent street fight with the bodyguard of Leland Chapman:
The fight with Don Frye and “Sonny,” who was Leland Chapman’s bodyguard, started when promoter Chris Salsbury told Scott Steiner that MMA promoter Phil Flathres would be in charge of paying the wrestlers. The wrestlers came to Flathers for their money. Somehow the MMA people and wrestling people were played against each other and tension developed. “Sonny” started making remarks about pro wrestling, which saw an MMA fighter/pro wrestler, Frye, telling him to shut up. Frye had been drinking and was loaded. It wound up with them going outside.
“Sonny” allegedly sucker punched Frye, bloodying him up. Frye then allegedly single legged Sonny and was punching him hard from the mount when it was pulled apart. The second confrontation in the parking lot saw Sonny knock down Frye and Sonny and Leland Chapman ran off as Scott Norton came and Frye got up. It should be noted that we’ve gotten many different versions and all are slightly different but this seems to be the best detailed version.
- Meltzer is also reporting that a fight between Chuck Liddell and Wanderlei Silva has not yet been signed, thus why there was no announcement of it on Saturday night.
Some more details on whether or not Chuck Liddell and Wanderlei Silva may or may not finally fight in December…
MMA Weekly spoke to Liddell trainer John Hackleman yesterday and Hackleman said that he won’t believe anything is official until he sees some signatures on paper:
“I’ll believe it when I see the signatures,” he said of the proposed fight that has been on-again, off-again for the past several years.
I think everyone would tend to agree with Hackleman.
However Dave Meltzer of Wrestling Observer is reporting a different kind of news. Kind of like Liddell and Silva verbally agreeing to fight:
Chuck Liddell vs. Wanderlei Silva is now verbally agreed upon by both sides to take place on 12/29 in Las Vegas
Meltzer is a very reliable guy when it comes to rumors like this but we’ll see what happens. The timing between Meltzer finding out of the news and Hackleman’s comments to MMA Weekly could be farther apart than we think. I’m not going to say that Hackleman isn’t permitted to talk about the matchup because we all know that he loves to speak his mind.
News and Notes
- Palace Fighting Championship will be in talks with both Kimbo Slice and Tank Abbott this morning in an attempt to try and bring the bout between the two to PFC’s show on October 18th:
“I have spoken to both sides’ management,” said PFC’s Christian Printup. “I am submitting a formal offer (Wednesday) morning. If it satisfies their financial needs the fight will happen on Oct. 18 in the PFC. If it doesn’t, I can take comfort in knowing we made a very substantial offer nonetheless.”
- Speaking of Kimbo Slice, he is set to be profiled on ESPN’s newest venture, E:60:
The new sports news show from ESPN, E:60, will be taking a closer look into some of sports’ larger stories, much like 60 Minutes or Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel. The surprising thing? Kimbo Slice will be profiled by Rachel Nichols in one of the segments, according to the October 8th edition of USA Today.
- Tonight’s episode of UFC Unleashed will feature Rory Singer vs Josh Haynes from UFC: The Final Chapter as well as Rich Franklin vs Anderson Silva from UFC 64.
- MMA Opinon discusses why Dave Meltzer’s move to Yahoo! Sports is going to revolutionize MMA media and slams others:
Meltzer’s ascension is not only deserved, but it could shape the way we read and digest thoughts and ideas on MMA. Coverage effects how we all view our MMA. The Sam Caplans’ and Todd Martins’ of the world are excelling because they understand the synergy and goals of business and entertainment as much as true sport. They are equally necessary. And somewhere in between Josh Gross and noted Negative Nancy Zach Arnold (great for community of MMA journalism, but often a malcontent when the sky isn’t falling) there is Dave Meltzer. Well, in between it all is Fight Linker, but that’s commentary.
Meltzer has waited a lifetime for compliments like the one given to him by famous sports writer Frank Deford this past summer. Often the object of disrespect, Meltzer (who writes a giant newsletter or two by himself, did radio shows, and covered ten times what anyone felt was required), was called the best sports journalist in the world by Deford. Here’s hoping he gets to make his mark at Yahoo Sports (he’ll dwarf Kevin Iole in months) and gets to retire from his newsletter. Dave deserves to watch his child grow up and not worry about losing another friend in pro wrestling.
Zach Arnold defends his work:
Who predicted the collapse of PRIDE before it was ever conventional wisdom in any media circles? I took two years of abuse for that one. The track record is good.
- UFC Daily is reporting that Frank Mir will definitely not be facing Fabricio Werdum at UFC 79 because he won’t be fighting until February or March of next year anyway.
- Fightlinker tells Dana White to not expect any favors from Tito Ortiz.
- Royce Gracie is teaching the Palm Beach, FL police department BJJ.