DALLAS - Andrew Simon, CEO of HDNet Fights, announced today that HDNet will feature the man considered by many to be the greatest fighter in any weight-class, Fedor Emelianenko in a LIVE bout from Japan only available in the United States on HDNet.
“HDNet Fights: Fedor Returns” will air LIVE on Monday, December 31 on HDNet.
This LIVE broadcast is made possible by a partnership between M-1 Global and HDNet Fights.
NEW YORK - The International Fight League and HDNet Fights today announced that the 2007 World Grand Prix Finals will be televised live from the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut, on HDNet on Saturday, December 29, starting at 9:30 p.m. EST.
This will mark the first collaboration between the IFL, which is completing its first full season of operation, and HDNet Fights. It will also mark the first-ever live IFL broadcast in HD. The regular IFL broadcast team of Kenny Rice, Bas Rutten and Ron Kruck will call the action.
?“We are very pleased to be able to offer our fans around the country this special event live and in HD for the first time”,? said IFL President and COO Jay Larkin. “?Our first live television event on November 3 received great reviews, and we think this event, with an unprecedented five titles on the line, may be the MMA event of the year.?”
DALLAS, TEXAS—-Mark Cuban’s HDNet Fights has inked a promotional deal with Rob Zombie’s Halloween Unrated to sponsor “Reckless Abandon,” scheduled for December 15th at Dallas’ American Airlines Center. The ten-bout mixed-martial-arts event will feature two of the sports top middleweights, Frank Trigg and Jason “Mayhem” Miller, in separate co-main event fights.
Each fan attending the event will receive Zombie’s Halloween Unrated on DVD. Halloween is scheduled to be released on DVD to the public on December 19th.
Catching up on the day…
- Kevin “Kimbo Slice” Ferguson announced today on The Fight Network’s radio show that he will be fighting in EliteXC’s next event set to take place in February. An opponent for Slice has not yet been named.
- According to M-1’s official Russian site, the company will hold it’s first event under the M-1 Global banner on New Year’s Eve in Japan and Fedor will fight on the card as well:
The first M-1 Global event will take place in Japan, Saitama Super Arena on December, 31!
No one other than four time Pride Heavyweight Champion Fedor Emelianenko will fight in the main event.
- MMA Mania is reporting about a possible heavyweight showdown at UFC 79 between Eddie Sanchez and Soa Palalei.
- Joe Hall of Sherdog put together a great summary on yesterday’s public annoucement of the forming of the World Alliance of Mixed Martial Arts (WAMMA).
I don’t want to bad mouth the idea since a few fellow writers out there are involved with the the sanctioning body but something like this may end up bringing MMA closer to the way the world of boxing is run. That’s a place where a lot of fans don’t want the sport to go…
- Kurt Angle will appear on Inside MMA this Friday night on HDNet at 9:30 PM EST.
From the official press release:
Angle, who is the only wrestler in history to hold the distinction of winning four different world heavyweight championships throughout his career, sits down with Bas Rutten and Kenny Rice to discuss his thoughts on all of this week’s MMA action.
Angle also discusses his potential career change from pro-wrestling to MMA - and talks bluntly about which MMA organization he is NOT going to join and why!
- Let’s start talking about suspension shall we…
Bill Mahood plans to appeal his fine and suspension for a positive test for Drostanolone even after he openly admitted that he took the drug.
- The Nevada State Athletic Commission announced that they have suspended Josh Diekman, Anthony Lapsley, and Adam Torres.
Diekman has been suspended for nine months and fined $1000 after testing positive for Nandrolone, Hydrochlorothiazide, and Marijuana. Both Lapsley and Torres have been temporarily suspended for suspected use of illegal substances. Lapsley tested positive for the suspected use of Marijuana while Torres tested for Stanozolol and Methenolone
- The California State Athletic Commission has announced that they have suspended Jermaine Wilson until February 2 of next year and fined him $500 after testing positive for Marijuana.
Some notes from yesterday’s M-1 Global press conference which took place in New York City…
- Sibling Sports LLC is the name of the undisclosed American entertainment company that purchased M-1. The company is formed by Sibling Theatricals Inc and Garlin Holdings Limited. Mitchell Maxwell will serve as President of Sibling Sports while Monte Cox will serve as President and CEO of M-1 Global.
- Fedor Emelianenko’s contract is a two-year, six-fight, multi-million dollar deal. He has a clause in the contract that will allow him to fight in other organizations. If the UFC is able to bring Randy Couture back and would like to set up a mega-fight between him and Fedor, M-1 will send him over and also pay Couture and the winner of the fight an extra $1 million.
- M-1 Global is planning their first show to take place in the United States in February. They would also like to host shows in Russia, Korea, Japan, and the Netherlands as well. At least three of the promotion’s events next year will take place outside of the United States. The first show in Japan will most likely take place next summer.
- The company is still looking for a television deal. HBO, Showtime, and HDNet are said to all be among the interested parties.
- The new stable of fighters recently signed with the promotion will be revealed within the next 7-10 days.
- Fedor’s next opponent has not yet been named. Josh Barnett and Mark Hunt are said to be the favorites.
- M-1 Global will continue to use a rule set similar to the set that PRIDE used before it’s collapse. The promotion would like to adopt a set of rules that could be used anywhere in the future however.
- According to Fedor, the UFC apparently turned down an offer from PRIDE to have Fedor fight Tim Sylvia when he was the UFC Heavyweight Champion for unknown reasons. Fedor also added that a similar offer was made to match up Chuck Liddell and Wanderlei Silva when they were champions as well.
- The UFC made a contract offer to Aleksander Emelianenko but the deal was apparently much lower than what Aleksander is worth according to his brother.
I give this guy an A for effort. Hopefully the UFC considers him at least.
News and Notes
Everyone is excited about the return of Gilbert Melendez…
Sherdog: Melendez Makes 2007 Debut in Strikeforce
MMA Weekly: Melendez Returns More Determined Than Ever
Yahoo! Sports: Melendez the best fighter you might not know
Bloody Elbow: The World’s #1 Lightweight Fights Saturday at the Playboy Mansion
CBS Sports: Q&A with Strikeforce lightweight champ Gilbert Melendez
- Jordan Breen says that the UFC is trying to secure another TV deal in Japan with WOWOW:
In the most recent issue of the Japanese combat sports periodical Gonkaku, Zuffa co-owner Lorenzo Fertitta said he hoped to ink a new deal with Japanese satellite channel WOWOW next year. He added that an agreement could be accomplished sooner rather than later.
While a deal is far from complete, this is good news for Japanese MMA fans. As of March 2007, WOWOW has just over 2.43 million subscriptions in Japan. After the channel’s UFC 70 telecast in April, network executives had officially announced that they could not reach a contractual agreement with Zuffa to continue broadcasting UFC events.
- Din Thomas will most likely be out for at least four months according to MMA Weekly.
You may remember that Thomas injured his knee while attempting to take Kenny Florian down in their fight at UFC Fight Night 11. It turns out that Thomas suffered a torn meniscus, stretched anterior cruciate ligament, bruised femur, and a damaged tibia and will be required to undergo arthroscopic surgery within the next two weeks.
- Falaniko Vitale has been added to the Strikeforce card for this Saturday and will make his Strikeforce debut against Ron Fields.
- 411 Mania has confirmed with B.J. Penn’s camp that he is booked for UFC 79 in December.
- Tonight’s episode of Human Weapon on The History Channel will feature Strikeforce welterweight Cung Le.
- The second installment of Inside MMA will be broadcasted tonight at 9:30 PM EST on HDNet. Tonight’s episode will feature a segment on Shane Carwin, a visit to Duke Roufus’ MMA school in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, highlights, and rankings. Hosts Kenny Rice and Bas Rutten will be joined by guests UFC referee “Big” John McCarthy, Kevin “Kimbo Slice” Ferguson, and Chris Bruno.
- Still looking for something else to watch? Spike TV will be airing a replay of UFC Fight Night 11 tonight starting at 9 PM EST.
- Zach Arnold is reporting that Kazuhiro Nakamura and his management team, J-Rock, plan to file an appeal with the CSAC:
J-ROCK, the management team of Kazuhiro Nakamura, fired back at the California State Athletic Commission in the Japanese press on Thursday. The company released a statement on behalf of Nakamura, denying that he was guilty of using marijuana and that they are appealing the ruling. They want a drug test re-examination and are considering the current ruling a mistake. (In the statement, J-ROCK claims that they talked to Nakamura after the news of the failed drug test came out. Nakamura stated that he had no motive whatsoever for using marijuana and has not used marijuana.)
- Sam Caplan has an excellent interview with UFC light heavyweight contender Houston Alexander at Five Ounces of Pain. A single father taking care of six kids while fighting in the UFC, hosting his own radio show, and traveling the country to lecture on the culture of hip hop. Holy shit.
Tonight on HDNet’s ‘Inside MMA’ hosts Kenny Rice and Bas Rutten will be joined by Shawn Tompkins, Guy Mezger, Richard Steele, and Justin Eilers.
Tonight’s “Inside MMA” features:
• A report on Thursday night’s IFL Championship.
• Highlights of matches from around the country.
• An updated “MMA Insider” ranking.
• A feature on what MMA legend Ken Shamrock has been up to.
• A visit to Nate Marquardt’s gym - one of the top training centers in the United States.
Catch the show at 9:30 PM EST on HDNet.
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.
A news filled Coffee and Kick Ass today folks…
News and Notes
- Our rumors section has been updated…
- Mark Cuban will be holding a press conference and conference call concerning his new HDNet Fights venture. We will have a full report later today.
- If you haven’t already, please check out Randy Couture’s signed gloves from UFC 74 that are currently up for auction by the Ryan Bennett Memorial Fund. Bidding ends on Thursday night.
- K-1 Hero’s parent company FEG announced a rematch between PRIDE veterans Sergei Kharitonov and Alistair Overeem at the K-1 Hero’s show taking place on September 17th.
- Duane Ludwig will now face Mario Stapel at this Saturday’s Ring of Fire event after his original opponent, Dragan Baklua, broke his hand during a recent training session. Despite all of this, Ludwig has trained hard and is ready to face whomever is standing in front of him:
“I was getting ready to face a stand up guy, but Mario is much more well rounded,” stated Ludwig. “He is more of a true MMA fighter. I changed my game plan accordingly. For this fight, I tightened up my game by training at Xtreme Couture in Las Vegas. The training was great and I feel prepared for whatever happens. I love fighting at home and can’t wait for Saturday.”
- Jeff Monson, Matt Horwich, and Tara LaRosa all won medals in last weekend’s World Grappling Championships in Turkey.
- Spike TV announced yesterday that UFC 75 was the most watched MMA event in the history of North America:
UFC 75 was the most watched mixed martial arts event ever in North America, drawing 4.7 million viewers, Spike TV officials said in a news release Tuesday.
The Sept. 8 event from the O2 Arena in London, England, featured UFC light heavyweight champion Quinton Jackson’s win over PRIDE champ Dan Henderson in a title unification bout. Airing delayed on Spike, the telecast peaked at 5.6 million viewers during Jackson’s battle against Henderson. The show’s ratings were particularly strong among men age 18-34 and men 18-49. For those audiences, UFC 75 beat everything on television, Spike officials said, including ABC’s NASCAR race and Michigan vs. Oregon college football game, as well as ESPN’s Virginia Tech vs. LSU and Notre Dame vs. Penn St. games.
Spike TV said its telecast of UFC 75 had an overall rating of 3.1 (3.0 million homes), including a 5.7 rating for men 18-34 (1.6 million), 4.5 for men 18-49 (2.5 million) and 6.2 for men 25-34 (1.0 million).
- The Honolulu Star Bulletin is reporting that Justin McCully has been forced to pull out of his scheduled bout against Christian Wellisch for undisclosed reasons. Wellisch will now face Scott Junk”
Kailua’s Scott Junk will make his UFC debut Sept. 22 against Christian Wellisch in a heavyweight fight at UFC 76: Knockout in Anaheim, Calif.
“It’s 100 percent going to happen,” Junk said. Wellisch (8-2) was originally scheduled to face Justin McCully.
Junk was notified about the fight yesterday, just 11 days before the event. He has put together six consecutive wins, including a TKO victory over Jimmy Ambriz back in June.
“It caught me off guard, but it’s good because I have been training this whole time,” Junk said.
Touch of gloves to UFC Mania for finding that interesting piece.
- The Governor of Illinois has signed legislation that will legalize MMA starting in 2008
- Michael Bisping’s father was apparently attacked in the parking lot of the O2 arena after the event.
Hat tip to Fight Opinion for that one.
- Sam Caplan of Five Ounces of Pain is reporting via Tagg Radio that Gilbert Melendez will be taking on Shooto’s Tetsuji Kato at Strikeforce’s Playboy Mansion event on September 29th.