UFC Announces China Debut in November With UFC on FUEL 6
After years of speculation, the UFC will make its long-awaited Chinese debut on November 10, 2012 with UFC on FUEL 6, promotion officials announced on Tuesday’s episode of UFC Tonight.
The international event is slated to be held in Macau, a special administrative region of China located on the country’s eastern shore, at the 15,000 seat CotaiArena inside the Venetian Macao-Resort-Hotel. The $2.4 billion hotel opened in 2007 and is currently the largest casino in the world.
“Breaking into a market with a population of over 1.3 billion is both a testament to the growth of our sport and a long-term challenge we are excited to undertake,” UFC Chairman and CEO Lorenzo Fertitta stated. “This is just the first of many world-class fights we plan to hold over the coming years in China, one of the birthplaces of martial arts.”
This is huge news for the UFC, who earlier this year, didn't believe a trip to China was in the cards until 2013 at the earliest. The promotion has slowly built a following in the country through television specials and online broadcasts and will now test the market with a live event in Macau, which hosted Chinese-based Legend Fighting Championship in recent years. It'll be exciting to watch.
Dan Hardy: Pay Structure May Affect Fighters' Strategy
“We’ve all seen him fight. We saw his fight against [Diego] Sanchez and all those other crazy ones where they were back-and-forth wars. He’s got a great pace and he’s a fantastic fighter. So really, for me, that showed that he made the choice of going in there and fighting that way. And whether that was down to his coaches convincing him or what, I don’t know, but I do think a lot of the responsibility is on the fighter.
“But at the same time, I think pay scale could be an issue as well. I think that there could be a way of paying people so there’s not a massive amount of money resting on winning and losing. I mean, 50 percent of purse pretty much is a win bonus for most people. If you win the fight, you get double the money. For a lot of people, double the money is what they need in order to cover their training camps. It’s really difficult. We need a little bit more money turning towards the fighters and we need the fighters with a bit more of an aggressive work ethic.”
Hardy's take on things is definitely something that's part of the equation here. However, there are other factors. The biggest is the UFC's ability to cut struggling fighters. Three losses and you're out has been the policy for years now, with a handful of exceptions for certain guys. We're starting to see cuts after two consecutive losses as well as two defeats in three fights more and more, especially with those fighters that don't carry any sort of name value.
Pay certainly has something to do with it, but job security has more. In Guida's case though, it may not have been either of the two. It could have just been the plan employed by his camp. It's not the first time that Guida has been conservative in fights since joining Jackson's. Just ask Anthony Pettis.
“When we did the press conference down in Brazil, Silva hadn’t even agreed to fight him,” White said. “That fight wasn’t happening. I had them bring Anderson to the place where the press conference was, and we sat in a room for three hours fighting about the fight.”
Fans may remember the April 24 news conference in Rio de Janeiro for its late start. And White said that late start was because he and his biggest star were at odds over Silva signing on for the rematch.
Silva, as should come as little surprise, is not a fan of the brashness and trash talk that led up to UFC 117, and the talk that Sonnen has continued for nearly two years since then. But when Sonnen got on the plane with White, he flew to Brazil with no guarantee of a fight – only the hope that White could get Silva to agree to the rematch.
“Yeah, (Chael knew),” White said. “He knew there was no fight. (What Chael said) was true, absolutely true. We went down there to make that fight. We set up a press conference, and I had to get it done.”
As interesting as that story is and was, I'd be even more intrigued to find out what the UFC's plans were for the press conference had Anderson not agreed to the bout. Would they have allowed Sonnen to call him out again in his home country? Or would Dana and Chael have just held a "state of the UFC" address?
Dana White: Shogun Would Rather Be Cut Than Face Glover Teixeira
But according to UFC President Dana White, Shogun wanted no part of that fight for whatever reason. He was so serious in fact that he said he’d rather be released than to fight Teixeira for his next bout.
“Shogun didn’t want to fight Glover Teixeira. He said he would rather be cut then fight him,” White revealed in an interview with Fuel TV following UFC on FX 3.
“Shogun didn’t mind fighting Brandon Vera, so he is fighting him. Shogun is a warrior; he has fought everyone from PRIDE, to Dan Henderson in his last fight. It’s just a weird situation.”
Nick Ring: Calgary Assault Was 'One of the Most Cowardly Acts I've Ever Seen'
“It was a group of about ten guys and one girl who were doing the assault, and the girl had the victim girl by the hair and was kneeing her in the face,” Ring told MMA Fighting. “The boyfriend was being held back by some of these other thugs, basically watching his girlfriend get beat up. He was trying his best to protect her, but he was getting beat up too. It was a horrible thing to see.”
According to Ring, this is not the kind of thing one sees in Calgary. It’s not the kind of thing anybody wants to see, either, which is why the 33-year-old Ring resolved to do something about it.
The attackers fled as Ring went across the street to check on the victims, who were both “hysterical” and suffering from obvious injuries, he said. Another man—“a total stranger”—had gotten out of his car to help. He was the one who first suggested the idea of going after the group.
Rolles Gracie In Consideration to Face Fedor Emelianenko in Russia
Fedor Emelianenko will next compete in June in his home country of Russia against an as of yet unnamed opponent, but a new contender has entered the fray.
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt and student of legendary trainer Renzo Gracie, Rolles Gracie is now under consideration for the bout with Emelianenko on June 21 in St. Petersburg.
While there is no deal in place at this time, Gracie is one of the leading candidates to potentially land the spot against the former pound-for-pound king later this year.
Nick Diaz, World Champion Braulio Estima Agree to Meet in BJJ Superfight
Braulio Estima, one of the best Jiu-Jitsu players in the world, will welcome Nick Diaz back to the world of BJJ.
The Diaz vs. Estima BJJ superfight, which will be contested at 180 pounds, will take place at the World Jiu-Jitsu Expo on May 12 in Long Beach, Calif., according to WJJE officials.
The 31-year-old Estima has won a plethora of BJJ competitions over the past decade. He most recently defeated Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza in a super-fight at the 2011 edition of the prestigious Abu Dhabi Combat Club Submission Wrestling Championship and won gold medals at the 2009 ADCC tournament in the 88kg and Absolute divisions. He is currently training with the Blackzilians in South Florida in preparation for his MMA debut later this year.
Winklejohn recently told Bleacher Report’s Ari LeVaux that he ultimately convinced Jackson to corner Jones against Evans at UFC 145 after feeling Evans criticized his former coach one too many times.
“I was always going to corner Jon because I was working with Jon since almost day 1 here, and Rashad had left camp, and Rashad is actually cool with that. We’ve spoken many times and he understands that everybody is out there to make a living, do their thing and we’ve got a good rapport.
“But he upset me in that he kept throwing Greg under the bus. Enough’s enough. You have your disagreements, I understand that, but there’s more important things out there and it’s time for Greg to work in Jon’s corner.”
“The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil” is expected to air for U.S. audiences on FUEL TV in June, FUEL TV executive vice president and general manager George Greenberg today confirmed.
Greenberg said FUEL TV decided to delay the debut of the first international season of the long-running reality series in order to avoid competition with “The Ultimate Fighter: Live.”
“We don’t want to take any air out of the room promotionally for ‘TUF’ on FX,” the executive told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). “As soon as ‘TUF’ on FX is done then we will premiere ‘TUF: Brazil,’ which will feed into the next ‘TUF’ on FX.”
Good news for those who haven't seen any of the season yet and are waiting for it to hit the television airwaves. I've been catching the episodes a couple of days later online and they have been pretty entertaining.
Target Dates Revealed for Remaining UFC on Fuel TV Events in 2012
During a conference call with media on Tuesday, Fuel TV Executive Vice President and General Manager George Greenberg laid out a tentative plan for the UFC’s shows on the network for this year.
“(UFC on Fuel) 4 you’re looking at July,” Greenberg stated.
“Right now for us we’re probably, the fifth one could be September 4th, and I think the sixth one perhaps November, not exactly sure yet, things are still floating around, but I would say probably September/November,” said Greenberg.