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Bellator Posts Season-High 175,000 Viewers for Bellator 64 Last Weekend

'TUF 15' Episode 5 Averages 947,000 Viewers on FX; Bellator 64 Draws 175,000 on MTV 2
www.sherdog.com

Sherdog.com confirmed the figure with an industry source on Tuesday, who also revealed that Bellator 64 averaged 175,000 viewers on MTV2, a season high for the Chicago-based promotion.
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Meanwhile, Bellator 64 posted an increase of 35,000 viewers from last week’s event, which netted 140,000 viewers on MTV2. Featuring the second world title fight of the season, Bellator 64 saw Ben Askren successfully defend his welterweight championship against Douglas Lima in Windsor, Ontario, Canada.

IFL Veteran and Bellator Light Heavyweight Rafael Davis Arrested for Insurance Fraud

Rafael Davis, Laid-Up L.A. Firefighter, Arrested After He's Caught MMA Fighting
blogs.laweekly.com

Prosecutors say that laid-up L.A. city firefighter Rafael Davis was caught moonlighting as a mixed martial arts fighter, under the name “The Noodle:”

The 35-year-old was arrested at his Lomita home at 9 a.m. this morning on suspicion of insurance fraud, according to a statement from the L.A. County District Attorney’s office.

He was hit with four felony counts of insurance fraud, the office says.

Prosecutors contend that the Los Angeles Fire Department employee filed for workers compensation insurance between Dec. 2, 2008, to May 20, 2011, even as he fought in MMA bouts.

Touch of gloves to The UG for the find.

CSAC Now Allowing Exemptions for TRT, Marijuana

CSAC passes amendment that would allow exemptions for TRT, marijuana
mma-boxing.si.com

The California State Athletic Commission voted on Monday to approve an amendment that allows therapeutic use exemptions (TUE) for combat sports’ athletes who use drugs currently banned by the state agency for medical purposes, including testosterone and marijuana.

To be adopted into state law, the amendment’s verbiage must now be reviewed and approved by the Department of Consumer Affairs and then the state’s Office of Administrative Law, a process that could take months or even years, if it passes at all.
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Loosely modeled after the exemption process the World Anti-Doping Agency uses for Olympians, Monday’s CSAC-approved amendment states that the exemption will only apply to “medication needed to maintain health and not obtain an unfair advantage over an opponent during a match.”

“TUF: Live” Ratings Dip Below 1 Million for the First Time in the Show’s History

Ultimate Fighter TV Ratings Drift Below 1 Million for the First Time
www.mmaweekly.com

The Ultimate Fighter: Live, just five weeks into season 15, continues its downward trend in the TV ratings.

For the first time in the history of The Ultimate Fighter franchise, an episode dipped below one million viewers. Week five of TUF: Live pulled in an audience of 947,000 to see Team Faber’s Michael Chiesa defeat Team Cruz’s Jeremy Larsen.

The victory kept matchmaking control squarely in Urijah Faber’s camp, but it did little to bolster the ratings.

The UFC and FX had to expect some sort of dip in the ratings during the switchover to an entirely new network and time slot. But five weeks in, I don't know if either side expected this. The time slot for the program is terrible. I personally have yet to watch an episode live and I don't expect to at all this season to be quite frank.

Are the casual fans still sticking to Spike thanks to their counter-programming or is the interest just not there anymore?

CSAC Denies Cris “Cyborg” Santos Appeal, Suspension and Fines Stand

CSAC denies Cris 'Cyborg' Santos, yearlong suspension stands
mmajunkie.com

At a meeting held today in Sacramento, Calif., the California State Athletic Commission voted to uphold a yearlong suspension and fine of Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos.
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During the meeting, Santos took responsibility for the positive test in a statement read to the commission.

“I made a mistake,” Santos said. “I do not condone the use of performance enhancing drugs in MMA.”

The statement played favorably with commissioner John Frierson, who applauded the fighter for appearing before the commission and introduced a motion to have the suspension reduced to six months.

“At least she came before us and fell on the sword,” he said.

I'm not sure if this was "Cyborg" admitting that she knowingly took PED's (she originally said that she used a dietary supplement to help her cut weight that she thought was deemed safe but ultimately was not) but either way, it was a step in the right direction in terms of her road back.

Jose Aldo’s Top Training Partner, Hacran Diaz, is Coming to the UFC

UFC Inks Nova Uniao Featherweight Hacran Dias to 3-Fight Deal
www.sherdog.com

Hacran Dias, the 27-year-old cousin of Bellator competitor Marlon Sandro and main sparring partner of UFC featherweight champ Jose Aldo, signed a three-fight contract with the UFC on Saturday before the cameras of Brazil’s Sensei SporTV.

“Today is the happiest day of my life,” Dias told the Brazilian outlet. “Dede [Pederneiras] has been working on this for a long time, trying to get me in there, and today he came up with the contract, super-happy. When he handed it to me, I couldn’t believe it. Everyone cheered for me. I’m very happy with everything that’s happening to me.”

Dias joins teammates Aldo, Renan Barao, Johnny Eduardo and Luis Ramos under the Zuffa banner. A product of Rio de Janeiro’s Santo Amaro favela, Dias began fighting at age 18 after a brief career in youth soccer and has since amassed an impressive 20-1-1 record. He currently holds the Shooto South America featherweight title and has won eight straight outings since dropping a decision to South Korean standout Yui Chul Nam in July 2009.

Bjorn Rebney Unsure on Futures of Eddie Alvarez, Hector Lombard in Bellator

Will Free Agency Take Both Eddie Alvarez and Hector Lombard from Bellator?
www.mmaweekly.com

“We’ve got two fights left, we’ve got the (Shinya) Aoki fight then we’ve got one more after that,” Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney told MMAWeekly Radio about Eddie Alvarez’s contract. “The guy has been just unbelievably good and positive for this organization. He’s been good and positive for Bellator, he’s also been good and positive for the entirety of MMA. Much like our situation with Hector Lombard, right now Hector’s a little bit further along cause I signed him earlier than I signed Ed, but you remember Hector and Ed were signed in 08′.
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“I had a sit down with Hector Lombard, this was about 8 months ago, and we’re coming up on the end of our deal, but it’s getting closer and he asked me what’s going to happen. I said I don’t know what’s going to happen, but I can tell you that 2012 is going to be an awesome, epic year for Hector Lombard. And whether it’s an awesome, epic year in the Octagon, or whether it’s an awesome, epic year at Bellator, I’m not sure. I can’t tell you how that’s all going to play out, but I can tell you it’s going to be a great year for you, you’re going to make a lot more money,” Rebney said.

According to Rebney, neither Alvarez nor Lombard have any kind of champions clause in their contracts. Once they are up, both are free to walk, and with the UFC openly interested in their services, it's going to have to take an offer that can't be refused in order for Bellator to keep either of them.

Georges St. Pierre to Play in 2012 World Series of Poker

UFC Champion Georges St-Pierre Joins Team 888; Will Play 2012 WSOP Main Event
www.pokernews.com

Online gaming company 888 announced Thursday that mixed martial arts champion Georges St-Pierre is the company’s newest global ambassador. The current UFC Welterweight title holder recently signed a 12-month deal with 888 that will see him participate in the 2012 World Series of Poker Main Event, as well as several other poker tournaments around the globe.
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“I am very excited to become a global brand ambassador for Team 888poker,” St-Pierre said. “I have wanted to play poker for a while now as it is a great game of skill. It is not just your cards versus my cards; it is you versus your opponent. However, the most important aspect of my partnership with 888poker is that we are going to generate a great deal of money for my foundation that dedicates its efforts towards anti-bullying causes.

Touch of gloves to Cagewriter for the find.

Michael Bisping Chose to Face Tim Boetsch Over Cung Le

To aid title quest, UFC 148's Michael Bisping chose Tim Boetsch over Cung Le
mmajunkie.com

“Because Tim Boetsch is coming off a great win over Yushin Okami, it just made more sense and was the more appealing matchup,” Bisping today told MMAjunkie.com Radio. “It’s also a tougher matchup for me, but I want to win that next fight and stake a claim to that title shot. I think beating Tim Boetsch rather than Cung Le gives me more grounds to do that.”
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“He’s looked great, and he’s had some good wins,” Bisping said. “As I said, he had a huge KO of Okami, who was recently the No. 1 contender. I think that puts him pretty high up there in the rankings, and those are the guys I want to fight.”

UFC Inks TV Deal in India

UFC Inks Four Year Distribution Deal with Multi Screen Media in India
www.sherdog.com

The Ultimate Fighting Championship has signed a four-year distribution with Multi Screen Media in India. MSM is a subsidiary of Sony Pictures Television and will broadcast UFC programming on a new sports channel called SIX.

“When we went to India over a year ago, I felt the market held enormous potential for the UFC,” said UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta in the official release. “India has a long history of martial arts and traditional wrestling like Kushti. Indian athletes have also demonstrated world-class levels in combat sports as evidenced by the country’s 2008 Olympic medalists in wrestling and boxing.”

General
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