Kenny Florian. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Kenny Florian will reportedly serve as the temporary host of ESPN’s newly-planned online mixed martial arts magazine show that will appear exclusively on the company’s official website and on mobile phones according to Adam Swift of MMA Payout.
According to Swift, Florian will serve as the show’s host at least for the first two weeks of tapings. However it’s unknown whether the show will be UFC-based, something that apparently delayed the launch of the program, or if it will cover the entire world of the sport.
Affliction-HDNet Deal Still Possible
While it was previously reported that a potential deal between Affliction and HDNet that would have the clothing brand hold it’s first MMA show at the Dallas-based American Airlines Center fell apart, HDNet Fights CEO Andrew Simon says that the event could still possibly be televised on the digital cable network.
According to MMA Weekly, the event would not be permitted to take place at the home of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks due to a lack of time to substantially promote the show. However the potential of at least part of the event airing live or on tape-delay on HDNet is not out of the realm of possibility.
“We talk to everybody and I wouldn’t say that any conversation is dead yet,” Simon said in the report. “You just never know. You know how this sport works, one day you think you’re not working together and the next day you might announce something. Affliction… I would say, never say never.
ASU Shuts Down Storied Wrestling Program
Arizona State University has decided to shut down it’s storied wrestling program along with men’s swimming and men’s tennis as part of a financial cutback at the school according to MMA Weekly.
Normally this wouldn’t be the type of news to be reported on this site, but the school’s wrestling program has produced a slew of highly-touted MMA prospects in recent years, including current UFC fighters Cain Velasquez and C.B. Dollaway. Shoe-in hall-of-famers Dan Severn, Don Frye, and Dan Henderson all competed for the school as well in the past.
There may still be hope for the program. NCAA President Myles Brand is expected to hold a meeting later this month to discuss the possibility of protecting school sports that also take place in the Olympics, wrestling being one of them.
Bush Tests Positive for Marijuana
Heavyweight prospect George Bush has reportedly tested positive for marijuana following his first-round tournament loss to former UFC heavyweight champion Ricco Rodriguez at YAMMA Pit Fighting’s inaugural show last month in Atlantic City, New Jersey according to Sherdog.com.
“I just found out a few days ago, and needless to say, I’m very surprised and disappointed,” Bush said in the report. “I accept full responsibility for my actions, and I assure the fans that this will never happen again.”
While there won’t be any official announcement from the New Jersey State Athletic Control Board, (they don’t release drug-testing information to the media) Bush has confirmed that he has not been fined but has been suspended by the commission for 90 days.
Travis Wiuff weighs-in for UFC 52: Couture vs Liddell II. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Revolutionary? The jury’s still out. However YAMMA Pit Fighting’s inaugural show went off without much of a hitch at the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City, New Jersey, where veteran Travis Wiuff (52-11) won three consecutive fights to win the promotion’s first-ever heavyweight tournament last night.
Wiuff’s road to victory contradicted what Bob Meyrowitz and company predicted that YAMMA’s cage, which sported an incline close to the fence all the way around, would prevent. Wiuff used the leverage of the incline to continuously take his opponent down to the mat. YAMMA’s attempt to keep fights on the feet backfired in a big way.
The quarterfinals of the tournament saw former UFC heavyweight champion and tournament-favorite Ricco Rodriguez (28-9) use well-timed takedowns to score a unanimous decision over George Bush (5-1). Chris Tuscherer (13-1) and Wiuff both used the same strategy to earn first-round wins over Tony Sylvester (10-2) and Marcelo Pereira (0-1) respectively.
The first fight of the night saw Alexey Oleinik (7-4) have a point deducted after he continued to punch Sherman Pendergarst (10-9) while referee Kevin Mulhall was bringing the fight back up to the feet. However Olenik quickly scored a takedown and secured a fight-ending front choke with less than a minute left in the first round.
In the semifinals, Minnesota natives Wiuff and Tuscherer dodged submission attempts and scored takedowns against Rodriguez and Olenik to move to the three-round final that saw Wiuff use superior wrestling to earn a unanimous decision and the tournament crown.
Don Frye connects with a right hand against Min Soo Kim in October 2006. Photo courtesy of Fight Entertainment Group.
YAMMA Pit Fighting, a new mixed martial arts organization created by Ultimate Fighting Championship founder Bob Meyrowitz, has announced the complete card for it’s upcoming inaugural event in April.
The event is scheduled to take place on April 11th at the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City, NJ. It will be highlighted by two “masters division” fights and an eight-man heavyweight tournament.
Longtime veterans Don Frye and Oleg Taktarov will fight for the first time in the night’s main event. A bout between kickboxing veteran Gary Goodridge and infamous professional boxer Eric “Butterbean” Esch will also take place. An eight-man heavyweight tournament featuring Travis Wiuff and Sherman Pendergarst will proceed the fights.
The complete lineup for the event is below:
Masters Division Fights
Don Frye vs. Oleg Taktarov
Gary Goodridge vs. Eric Esch
Eight-Man Heavyweight Tournament