HDNet Fights has announced it’s intent to cancel it’s upcoming event scheduled for February 15th at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas according to a report from Loretta Hunt of The Fight Network.
HDNet Fights president Guy Mezger stated that the promotion plans to do some in-house work instead:
“We’re taking the time to build a little more infrastructure that’s all our own,” said Mezger. “Right now, we share a lot of it with HDNet and the [Dallas] Mavericks.”
So when will the next event take place? According to Mezger, it may be a little difficult to re-schedule for a couple of months based on the list of events going on at the arena:
“The availability of our venue is tough in March and April,” says Mezger.
Mezger isn’t kidding. The arena’s official events calendar shows that the months are chock full with events already scheduled to take place.
After watching UFC 79 and hearing all of the discussion about how Matt Hughes and Matt Serra were originally supposed to fight but Serra pulled out with an injury, I got to thinking. It wasn’t the first time that a situation like that occurred.
So I sat down and did some research. There were actually a good number of fights in the UFC that were signed and slated to happen but ended up not taking place for one reason or another. The final number was a lot higher than I expected so I went ahead and narrowed the list down to the fights that would have been the best if they were to happen at the time.
So here they are. I’ve sorted them starting with the most recent and excluding Hughes-Serra. Each instance is pretty interesting.
Evan Tanner vs Jeremy Horn (UFC 59): The two long-time MMA veterans were set to clash at UFC 59 in what was unofficially an “elimination” bout for the two of them. Horn had split his two return bouts in the UFC while Tanner had lost two straight, including his middleweight title. The bout would have been an interesting chess match between two slick grapplers but Horn ended up pulling out after injuring his back during training. Justin Levens replaced Horn and Tanner went on to submit Levens in the first round of their bout. Horn was released shortly after defeating Chael Sonnen at UFC 60.
Matt Hughes vs Karo Parisyan (UFC 56): After losing to Georges St. Pierre at UFC 46, Parisyan went ahead and racked up three straight wins over Nick Diaz, Chris Lytle, and Matt Serra to earn a title shot against then-champion Matt Hughes. The anticipated welterweight showdown was set to headline the event until Parisyan was forced to pull out of the fight after suffering an elbow injury during training. Joe Riggs stepped in for Parisyan and ended up failing to make weight, costing him his shot at the title. Hughes would go on to submit Riggs in a non-title bout and wouldn’t defend his belt again until UFC 63, making it over a full year since the welterweight title was contested. To this day, Parisyan is still yearning for another shot at the title.
HDNet Fights matchmaker Guy Mezger discusses Sean Salmon’s decisions to twice cause himself to be removed from separate HDNet Fights events, claiming that the fighter has made some bad decisions during a recent interview with MMA Weekly:
“I think he makes incredibly bad decisions,” Mezger said about Salmon. “Sean’s a good guy, but he makes some very poor decisions and he allows his manager to help influence some of his most important decisions.”
Salmon was pulled from HDNet Fights inaugural event in October after he took a fight against Mikko Rupponen at Fight Festival 22 in Finland just weeks before his scheduled appearance in Mark Cuban’s newest venture. Salmon was victorious but was removed from the HDNet Fights card since he violated the contract he had with Cuban and company.
Mezger went on to talk about the circumstances surrounding Salmon making another mistake after he was given a second chance:
“He told us he was fighting a different opponent, someone who I wasn’t really fearful of him losing (to), let along being knocked out,” said Mezger about Salmon’s original fight in StrikeForce. “He chose to instead go to enter himself in the tournament when there was an opportunity to do it, which he did not let us know he was going to do and which was not part of our agreement and he went and lost and so that’s where it goes.”
Salmon was brutally knocked out by Jorge Santiago in the first fight of that tournament. He is currently on an indefinite medical suspension put forth by the California State Athletic Commission and won’t be permitted to fight again until he receives clearance from a physician.
Are we ever going to see Salmon again? I’m sure there’s a chance but it’s probably not going to be in HDNet Fights anytime soon:
“I’ll be honest, he’s become unreliable for us so it’s really difficult for us to build in and around him with basically being irresponsible,” Mezger stated. “I feel it’s kind of irresponsible decisions, but he’s a good guy. We may look down the road to do something with him, but I think for right now we need to work with the guys who are going to work with us.”
DALLAS - Mixed Martial Arts superstar Chuck Liddell and actor/comedian Kevin James help kick off the premiere episode of Inside MMA, the new weekly HDNet series covering the latest news, rankings, stats and highlights from the world of Mixed Martial Arts.
Inside MMA, hosted by Kenny Rice and former MMA fighter Bas Rutten, debuts on HDNet at 9:30 p.m. ET on Friday, September 14. This episode includes an appearance by former MMA fighter and HDNet Fights Commissioner Guy Mezger. Each episode of Inside MMA will also include in-depth features by HDNet’s Ron Kruck.
“Inside MMA is the only program of its kind,” said Mark Cuban, president and co-founder of HDNet. “It will be THE destination for MMA fans looking for the latest news and information on this exciting sport.”
HDNet has also announced the new HDNet Fights series that will premiere on the network on October 19.
HDNet Fights hosted a conference call earlier this afternoon to promote their new venture into the world of mixed martial arts as well as their inaugural event which will take place on October 13th at the American Airlines Arena in Dallas, Texas. HDNet Fights officials eatured on the call were HDNet owner Mark Cuban and UFC and PRIDE veteran Guy Mezger. The fighters participating were Erik Paulson, Jeff Ford, Justin Eilers, Jason House, and Freddie Espiricueta.
Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has confirmed that he has signed Guy Mezger to run the day-to-day operations of his MMA project. Mezger will be responsible for things such as managing fight cards and signing fighters.
“We have already started,” Cuban said. “Our first hire was Guy Mezger, who will be responsible for managing fight cards, attracting and signing fighters.”
It looks like Cuban is taking MMA seriously with the hiring of Guy Mezger and his discussions with Reed Wallace in regards to signing PRIDE heavyweight ace Fedor Emelianenko.
“Mr. Cuban has a strong interest in MMA,” White Chocolate president Reed Wallace said in the press release. “He is very serious about Fedor and is entering the MMA business with very serious partners. Mr. Cuban is widely known to treat his athletes with great respect and care, and there were discussions regarding health insurance and many other areas for supporting MMA athletes and their families.”