Media

UFC Update: Canada, Cro Cop, Penn, WFA

Moments after the UFC Fight Night event concluded UFC President Dana White took some time to answer questions with reporters on subjects ranging from Mirko “Cro Cop” to Marcus Davis.

White mentioned that UFC welterweight champion Georges “Rush” St. Pierre would be fighting Matt Serra in February and then his next opponent would likely be Matt Hughes in April at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Canada. White then went on to say he has heard Hughes may want to wait so we could possibly see a fight between Hughes and Diego Sanchez but nothing is for certain. No matter what White said “We’re going to Montreal in April no matter what.”

One reporter asked if there was any more news on which fighters the UFC would be picking up from the WFA and White said “No, not since yesterday. I mean we talked yesterday and obviously the big score there was Quinton “Rampage” Jackson.”

Shortly after that another reporter brought up the rumors of the UFC signing Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic, White smiled and said “Really, that’d be awesome too.”

Later White was again asked about “Cro Cop” and he smiled and said “I cannot deny or confirm that. We’re going after everyone; I’m taking over the world. We’re going after everyone.”

White confirmed that he’d love to do another show for the marines. He felt the atmosphere was tremendous and they were honored with the support provided by the folks in the armed services.

When asked about Jeff Joslin, White said “Joslin will definitely be back, no doubt about it. He’s a tough guy, a tough durable fighter. Josh Koscheck is no joke.”

White also confirmed that former UFC welterweight champion B.J. Penn would be a coach on season 5 of ‘The Ultimate Fighter’. Penn will be joining Pulver as a coach on the 5th season and it is expected that they will fight on the season finale which is expected to be in June/July.

It’s Official: Showtime, Pro-Elite to Televise EliteXC, MMA Events Live


World-class boxing promoter Gary Shaw, president of EliteXC Live Events Division, watches on as MMA pioneers Renzo Gracie (L) and Frank Shamrock pose for the cameras at Thursday’s press conference in Hollywood. Photo: Tom Casino/EliteXC

HOLLYWOOD, Calif. - At a jam-packed press conference Thursday at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, Showtime and Pro-Elite, Inc., officially announced the formation of Elite Xtreme Combat (EliteXC). Beginning Feb. 10, 2007, Los Angeles-based EliteXC will exploit the growing phenomenon of mixed martial arts by staging world-class live events on Showtime.

Legends Frank Shamrock, regarded by many to be the first true mixed martial artist in combat sports, and Renzo Gracie, a prominent member of the most famous family in martial arts, will make history when they collide in the featured attraction on Showtime at the Desoto Civic Center in Mississippi. Their match will mark the first time an MMA event has aired live on premium television.

Among the speakers at Thursday’s historic press conference were Ken Hershman, Senior Vice President/General Manager Sports & Event Programming, Showtime Networks, Inc.; Doug DeLuca, Chief Executive Officer of Pro-Elite Inc.; Gary Shaw, President of EliteXC Live Events division and Kelly Perdew, the “Apprentice 2’’ winner who is President of EliteXC.com.

It was announced Thursday that former wrestling superstar, (Bill) Goldberg, and enormously popular television personality, Mario Lopez, would be part of the announcing team. It also was announced that Feb. 10 undercard bouts not televised on Showtime would be streamed live at http://www.EliteXC.com.

Below are selected quotes from Thursday’s press conference. To view the conference in its entirety, please go to EliteXC.com.

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Shamrock-Gracie Headlines Showtime’s Inaugural MMA Event

Showtime and Pro Elite Inc. announced today that Frank Shamrock will battle Renzo Gracie on February 10th at the inaugural event for Elite Xtreme Combat - the MMA creation of the two.

The event will take place at the Desoto Civic Center in Southaven, Mississippi and will be broadcast at 10 PM EST on Showtime of course.

No other bouts have been announced but fighters who are currently expected to participate in the event are David Loiseau, Antonio Silva, Edson Berto, KJ Noons, and Tim Persey.

As we found out earlier this year, former professional wrestler Bill Goldberg will serve as the color commentator during the show.

UFC Update: HBO, WEC, WFA, Canada

Today UFC President Dana White sat down with the OC Register and provided fans with some excellent insight as to what’s on the horizon for the UFC. Here is some interesting information from the interview.

Dana White confirmed the company has picked up:

- Quinton Jackson
- Rob McCullough
- Heath Herring
- Ivan Salaverry
- Urijah Faber
He also mentioned that they are still sifting through it all but the main score was the acquisition of Quinton “Rampage” Jackson. We’ll be hearing more information on who was picked up in the coming days.

When asked if being associated with the IFL would be a problem, White stated “Not at all, I’ll take care of that too.” That means we could see the likes of Matt Lindland and Bas Rutten in the UFC in the near future.

White’s reason for purchasing the WFA was mainly for the contracts and in the process he was able to squash the company.

For the past couple of weeks there have been rumors floating around stating that the UFC had purchased the WEC and today Dana White confirmed them. In the interview White said he did in fact purchase the WEC and he went on to say “We’re going to take that to a whole other level, put it on television and blow it up. Pretty soon the WEC will be number 2.”

“The WEC isn’t going to be looked at as a feeder show or guys who are aspiring to be in the UFC. There is going to be no trading or swapping. It’s going to be UFC versus WEC.”

White continued to assure the reporters that 2007 was going to be huge and we now know that is true. At this point we are still at the tail end of 2006 and White has already gone out and purchased the WEC, bought out the WFA, acquired numerous WFA contracts, and he expects his product to be televised on HBO in the very near future. Also there have been many rumors floating around that heavyweight ace Mirko Cro Cop may be testing his luck in UFC in the very near future. When asked about Cro Cop, White said “I’m looking at a lot of guys right now, I want them all.”

White closed out the interview by saying that the UFC would be coming to Canada in April of 2007 for the Georges St. Pierre vs. Matt Hughes rubber match. When talking about the rematch in Canada, an excited White said “How crazy do you that place going to be that night? How do you think it’s going to be for Hughes when he walks in with 16,000 Canadians in there? They’re going to kill him.” On top of that he said the UFC plans on branching out into Mexico and the U.K.

2007 is going to be great!

UFC Acquires Assets from WFA; Purchases WEC

Zuffa, LLC, the company that owns the Ultimate Fighting Championship has announced that it has acquired select assets from the World Fighting Alliance.

The company purchased select fighter contracts and the trademarks and other intellectual property of World Fighting Alliance.

Dana White, UFC President and Zuffa co-owner said, “Zuffa is committed to giving our fans the best fights between the best fighters in the world. This acquisition helps us continue fulfilling that goal.” White also said, “Goodman and Palazzo were working towards building a strong promotion. But bringing the WFA fighters into the Zuffa family is the best thing that could happen for the fighters – and for the fans.”

The WFA will now cease all operations.

The UFC also is in the final stages of buying out the WEC, according to MMA Weekly.

The WEC is expected to serve as a sort of developmental promotion for young fighters that the UFC signs. The WEC will use the offical Octagon and is scheduled at this time to hold it’s first event under the UFC next month…

Update - 11:11 PM
The Fight Network is reporting that UFC president Dana White has confirmed that Quinton “Rampage” Jackson is among the talents acquired.

Inside the UFC Premieres Tonight

Be sure to tune into Spike TV tonight at 12 AM EST as the UFC’s newest weekly series “Inside the UFC” will premiere.
The show will be a weekly half-hour magazine-style series that will feature interviews, up-to-the minute UFC news and much more.

The first episode will include an exclusive interview with UFC President Dana White as well as one on one interviews with UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre and his next opponent Matt Serra. Also the first episode will include an in-depth look at the UFC Octagon Girls.

BJ Penn States Loyalty to UFC

Despite his older brother signing with Showtime to produce MMA events, BJ Penn has released a statement on his website, reaffirming his loyalty to the UFC and his quest to get his hands back on the welterweight title…

Here is the statement off of his website:

With all that recent press about my brother, JD, and his recent business decision, I want all my fans to know that I am committed to the UFC and to carrying out my dream of regaining the title of UFC Welterweight Champion of the World. See you all at the UFC.
-BJ Penn

Showtime to Televise MMA

NEW YORK — In a landmark deal for premium television, Showtime Networks Inc. has partnered with Pro Elite, Inc. to televise live mixed martial arts (MMA) events on SHOWTIME beginning in 2007, it was announced today by Ken Hershman, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Sports and Event Programming, Showtime Networks.

The first event will air live on Showtime on February 10, 2007, with additional events airing on the premium television network through 2009. All MMA events on Showtime will be televised in high-definition.

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TUF 4 Finale Weigh-In Results

Here are the results from last nights weigh-ins for The Ultimate Fighter 4 Finale.

Main Card
Chris Lytle (170) vs Matt Serra (170)
Patrick Cote (185) vs Travis Lutter (186)
Rich Clementi (156) vs Din Thomas (155)
Edwin Dewees (186) vs Jorge Rivera (185)

Undercard
Jeremy Jackson (170) vs Pete Spratt (171)
Scott Smith (185) vs Pete Sell (185)
Gideon Ray (185) vs Charles McCarthy (186)
Thales Leites (185) vs Martin Kampmann (185)

UFC Signs Jeff Joslin

Today on The Score, Jeff Joslin was featured as a guest and he stated that he has signed a three-fight deal with the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

His first fight will be December 13th at UFC Fight Night against Josh Koscheck.

Stay tuned for more.

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