Photo courtesy of TitoOrtiz.com.
Former UFC light heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz was featured as a panelist on last night’s edition of Inside MMA on HDNet and discussed his current state as a free agent in the world of mixed martial arts following the conclusion of his contract with the Ultimate Fighting Championship earlier this month.
Despite his ongoing feud with UFC President Dana White, Ortiz admits that he is actually still negotiating with his long-time home, although a clause in his contract may be giving the UFC more room to talk to him than he would like.
Even after all of the drama, Ortiz says that there is still a small chance he may end up signing with the UFC after all.
“EliteXC - possibility, Affliction - possibility, the UFC - a small chance of that happening,” Ortiz said when asked about where he might end up. “You know I’m taking this stuff with Dana White and shoving it aside and moving on with my life. I’m going to wash my hands [of it] and make sure that my future is going to be very, very, very… great.”
Photo by Jon Swenson.
HDNet will reportedly televise Strikeforce’s scheduled “Payback” card, which takes place on October 3rd at the Broomfield Event Center in Denver, Colorado. The show is headlined by a main event rematch between Duane Ludwig and Sam Morgan.
Strikeforce vice president Mike Afromowitz has confirmed the plan to MMA Weekly and HDNet now has the show listed on it’s website as well. The digital cable network announced a deal to televise four Strikeforce shows this year back in February. “Payback” will be the second of that agreement.
Despite Strikeforce officials releasing a press release advertising former UFC welterweight title challenger Frank Trigg as facing fellow veteran Falaniko Vitale at the show, Trigg himself has stated that he will not commit himself to the fight until after his scheduled matchup against Makoto Takimoto at World Victory Road’s “Sengoku IV” show on August 24th in Japan.
Along with the pending participation of Trigg and Vitale, UFC veterans Phil Baroni and Pete Spratt were also officially announced as being part of the card in October. Opponents were not named for either fighter but are expected to be revealed in the coming weeks.
Tito Ortiz was nowhere to be found at today’s Affliction press conference in Las Vegas, fueling speculation that may not have signed with the promotion after all. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Affliction Entertainment held a press conference earlier this afternoon at the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas to confirm a quartet of fights and reveal broadcast details for the promotion’s scheduled “Day of Reckoning” event, which will take place on October 11th at the Thomas & Mack Center on the campus of UNLV.
Among the bouts officially announced today by Affliction Vice President Tom Atencio included two previously reported bouts: a rematch between IFL light heavyweight champion Vladimir Matyushenko and longtime divisional contender Antonio Rogerio Nogueira and a middleweight contest between former UFC standouts Vitor Belfort and Matt Lindland.
DALLAS - HDNet Fights today released its June schedule for MMA coverage - including live events from all over the country and the world.
“HDNet Fights is thrilled to announce this awesome schedule,” said Andrew Simon, CEO of HDNet Fights. “I believe the live events that HDNet is offering free to subscribers during the month of June are even better fights than many of the Pay-Per-View offerings we’ve seen recently!”
HDNet’s June schedule for MMA includes the following events and specials after the jump.
John Alessio. Photo property of World Extreme Cagefighting.
Longtime veterans John Alessio and Pete Spratt will meet for the first time in their respective careers in a main event showdown that will headline an ESPN-promoted boxing and mixed martial arts card, which will take place on June 20th at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas.
Alessio had a three-fight winning streak snapped in March when he lost to Brock Larson via disqualification after an illegal knee left Larson unable to continue. Following the loss, World Extreme Cagefighting opted not to re-sign Alessio, who is currently training with Xtreme Couture.
Spratt most recently bounced back from a controversial loss to Canadian welterweight prospect Ryan Ford at a Maximum Fighting Championship event in February to score a first-round knockout of former fellow “Ultimate Fighter” cast member Jason Von Flue in April.
Two fights from the boxing portion of the card will be televised live on ESPN’s “Friday Night Fights”. The MMA portion of the event will begin following the conclusion of the broadcast and will air live on HDNet. The event is free to the public.
Additional MMA bouts scheduled to take place include a co-main event featuring Kim Couture, the wife of former UFC heavyweight and light heavyweight champion Randy Couture, who will be making her professional debut against Kim Rose. Dennis Davis also takes on Team Quest product Dave Jansen in a catch-weight bout at 150 lbs.
Gilbert Melendez and Josh Thompson. Photo by Jon Swenson.
SAN JOSE, Calif. – HDNet, the first national television network broadcasting all of its programming in the high-definition format, will give fans an all-access, behind-the-scenes look at the lives and training camps of Strikeforce World Lightweight (155 lb. limit) Champion, Gilbert “El Nino” Melendez (14-1), and challenger, Josh “The Punk” Thomson (14-2), during a special 30 minute program that premieres Friday, June 13th at 12 a.m EST/9 p.m. PST, two weeks before the two rival forces collide at San Jose’s HP Pavilion.
“Unfiltered: Melendez vs. Thomson” follows both world-class fighters as they prepare for what is arguably the biggest battle of their lives and a fight that will determine supremacy in the sport’s 155 lb. division.
The 26-year-old Melendez, a protégé of both Muay Thai legend Jongsanan Fairtex and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt Jake Shields, notched his last victory, a second round TKO of Gabe Lemley, live on Showtime during the Strikeforce co-promoted “Shamrock vs. Cung Le” mega-event at HP Pavilion on March 29th. Recognized by every major, independent ranking system as one of the world’s top five lightweight competitors, Melendez has also established a reputation for being one of the most complete fighters in the sport.
Thomson has been on fire of late, winning his last six fights in impressive fashion. Following his last conquest, a first round stoppage of Adam Lynn during Strikeforce’s historic, first event at the world famous Playboy Mansion in Beverly Hills on September 29, 2007, the 29-year-old former Stanford University wrestling star was forced to undergo surgery to repair a tear in his shoulder. The showdown with Melendez marks his first appearance since his meeting with Lynn.
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.
Photo courtesy of FedorMMA.com.
Affliction Clothing will make it’s official entrance into the world of promoting mixed martial arts events when the company announces details tonight on HDNet’s “Inside MMA” television program regarding it’s upcoming planned “Banned” show on July 19th at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California according to our friends at MMA Junkie.
Tom Attencio, vice president of the clothing brand, will be on the program to discuss details concerning the event as well to announce the participation of a slew of fighters that will fight on the card. Fights that will be confirmed on the show include the previously rumored Fedor Emelianenko vs. Tim Sylvia and Josh Barnett vs. Pedro Rizzo heavyweights bouts as well as a middleweight clash between Matt Lindland and Fabio Negao.
Additional fighters that will be announced for the event include Mike Whitehead, Renato Sobral, and Ben Rothwell. Mark Hominick has already publicly confirmed his participation at the show. Andrei Arlovski and Aleksander Emelianenko are also expected to fight at the event as well.
Photo courtesy of FedorMMA.com.
A potential deal with HDNet that would have Affliction Clothing hold it’s first-ever mixed martial arts show at the Dallas-based American Airlines Center on July 19th has reportedly fallen apart.
The news comes from Five Ounces of Pain, which reports through a source close to the deal that an agreement to book the arena, which serves as the home for the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks and NHL’s Dallas Stars, was not able to be finalized.
The event could potentially be moved to the Honda Center in Anaheim, California according to UFC heavyweight champion Randy Couture, who mentioned the possibility on a Dallas radio show over the weekend.
The show will be headlined by a heavyweight showdown years in the making as former PRIDE heavyweight champion Fedor Emelianenko will take on former UFC heavyweight champion Tim Sylvia. A number of notable fighters are expected to compete on the card as well including Matt Lindland, Mark Hominick, Josh Barnett, Ben Rothwell, Andrei Arlovski and Aleksander Emelianenko.
HT: MMA Junkie
Photo courtesy of Fight Entertainment Group.
HDNet, the digital cable channel owned by billionaire Mark Cuban and Fight Entertainment Group, the parent company of DREAM, have struck a deal that will allow the Japanese organization’s event to be televised in North America.
The channel announced the news on last night’s episode of “Inside MMA”.
Tuesday’s DREAM 2 event, which features the first round of the promotion’s inaugural middleweight grand prix, will be broadcast on HDNet via tape delay on May 3rd. A re-airing of the first-ever DREAM show will be shown one day earlier. Both programs will begin at 10:30 PM ET.
DREAM live events have reportedly been dropped from the Tokyo Broadcasting System’s lineup due to lackluster ratings. The organization’s inaugural event only drew an 8.9 percent rating average in primetime, which is considered dismal by Japanese standards.
The network will air DREAM’s April 29th event on tape delay one week after the event takes place. It will be the last event the network airs. SkyPerfecTV pay-per-view will then assume duties of airing DREAM events for the future.
HDNet is expected to continue to televise DREAM events through September.