Category Archives: UFC

Dana White on Fox Sports today

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Blogging conspiracy?

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Bellator ordered to comply with discovery in Zuffa lawsuit

Originally published on MMA Payout

Sherdog’s Tracey Lesetar and J.R. Riddell report that Zuffa received a boost in its lawsuit against Bellator Fighting Championships and Ken Pavia of MMA Agents as the United States District Court of Nevada denied Bellator’s protective order to stay discovery until the court decides Bellator’s motion to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction.

The background of the lawsuit was summed up by MMA Fighting last summer:

The suit alleges Bellator and Pavia were conspiring to essentially steal trade secrets from Zuffa through the exchange of confidential documents in e-mails. Pavia, head of the MMA Agents representation firm, handles dozens of MMA fighters, including many under the Zuffa umbrella.

In its motion to stay discovery, Bellator requested the court hold off on the parties from having to conduct written discovery and depositions before the court decides on whether to dismiss Zuffa’s case. Prior to the motion for protective order staying discovery, Bellator took issue with Zuffa filing the lawsuit in Nevada. Bellator claimed that it had no ties with Nevada and, by law, Zuffa could not file a lawsuit in Nevada. Instead, if the lawsuit were to continue, Bellator would want it moved to New Jersey.

Payout Perspective:

The issue being fought over is a basic Civil Procedure question involving jurisdiction. The papers even include a reference to International Shoe (a famous case for those that have attended law school). The court ruling means that Zuffa will agressively pursue Bellator and Pavia with discovery. This will range from written requests to depositions. It is likely that there will be many skirmishes between the parties about the production of documents and other information. The discovery deadline for the parties is set for the end of June.

As Sherdog points out. this case may serve as a model on how non-Nevada promotions and MMA companies will be treated in the future. Basically, can the UFC and other Nevada companies sue promotions in Nevada if those promotions have minimal contacts with the state.

(h/t: MMA Supremacy)

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Lesnar’s next move unclear

Originally published on MMA Payout.

Does Brock Lesnar want out of the UFC? Dave Metzler of The Wrestling Observermade news this week with news that Lesnar may walk away from the UFC after his contract ends. The news took off that Lesnar was quitting MMA and going back to the WWE–which was not the case. Metzler needed to clarify the situation in an interview with Steve Cofield of Cagewriter.

In his interview with Cofield, Metzler believes that Lesnar does not want to go back to pro wrestling full-time but may entertain one-off appearances like a Wrestlemania. He also believes that Lesnar would like a deal in which the UFC would allow him to do Wrestlemania in exchange for his participation on The Ultimate Fighter opposite Frank Mir.

Zach Arnold of Fight Opinion has more about Lesnar and a return to the WWE:

What’s intriguing about UFC being reluctant to allow Brock to appear at Wrestlemania is that not only is UFC destroying WWE in PPV buys but they have also taken away a lot of disgruntled WWE/wrestling fans who are sick of the McMahon/Kevin Dunn cookie-cutter production. In one respect, Dana’s objections make complete and total business sense. On the other hand, why should he be worried about Lesnar appearing at Wrestlemania if the public at-large knows that UFC is real and WWE is not so much? Despite the amazing growth of UFC, I do think the situation with Lesnar indicates how nervous people in MMA still are to the fact that the public at-large, or at least the media, is willing to lump the two into the same business category.

MMA Fighting has Dana White’s thoughts on Lesnar:

[Dana] White reiterated that Lesnar is restricted under the terms of his contract from doing a guest spot for any pro wrestling promotion without the UFC’s permission, and that permission is not coming anytime soon. Asked if he could discuss any developments in Lesnar’s potential return to the octagon, White took a deep breath and took a drink of water before answering. “We’ll see what happens,” he said. “We’ll see what happens.”

Not the most confident response from White.

There is speculation that his “run-in” with the Undertaker after his loss with Velasquez is setting up a return to the WWE just in time for Wrestlemania this spring. Thus, the reason we haven’t heard much about his return to the Octagon. On the other hand, some think that he is destined for a third fight with Frank Mir and he would be a “coach” on The Ultimate Fighter. This could explain the reason why White has not announced the new coaches for the next TUF. Is the UFC waiting to hear on whether Lesnar agrees to do it. Based on White’s statements, the UFC is unsure what Lesnar’s next move will be.

Payout Perspective:

Lesnar is the biggest UFC draw when it comes to PPV. He has drawn 1 million buys in his last two fights. The Carwin fight drew 1.1 million buys and his loss to Velasquez drew 1 million buys. If Lesnar left, his drawing power would be sorely missed. GSP is the only other UFC fighter that can rival Lesnar in PPV buys.

Perhaps it’s his WWE training, but Lesnar is a main event draw despite what you think of his ability. With Cain Velasquez injured, Roy Nelson out indefinitely with legal issues and Shane Carwin recovering from surgery, the UFC Heavyweight division lacks many top of the food chain fighters to main event PPVs.

It will be interesting to see how the UFC approaches the situation. It must decide its TUF coaches and plan Heavyweight fights with or without Lesnar in the mix. Fortunately, the influx of WEC talent can fill fight cards, but the UFC has to determine its Heavyweight division with so many of its notable fighters out.

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White honored at 2010 Sports Media Marketing Awards

Originally Published on MMA Payout

UFC President Dana White was honored with the Sports Media Marketing’s Game Changer Award Thursday night in New York. The award was presented to him by PromaxBDA, a global nonprofit organization dedicated to the development of new technologies, applications, business models and industries.

From the Sports Media Marketing web site:

The Game Changer Award recognizes a cultural innovator who, through the development of new strategies, business models technologies, applications and industries, has transformed the business of Sports Media and Sports Media Marketing.

White was recognized especially for embracing social media and engaging UFC fans and sponsors in a bold and innovative fashion, something that hasn’t been accomplished by any other sports leader.

Payout Perspective:

White stands out from executives of other sports leagues for his forward thinking in marketing the UFC. He constantly uses Twitter to promote the UFC product without pushing it on followers. His tweets aren’t commercials like some other famous people on Twitter. I appreciate his pictures at the weigh-ins and/or backstage the most. He also uses #Hunt4UFC on  Twitter for scavenger hunts and ticket giveaways prior to UFC events. In addition, we’ve also written about viral videos the UFC has made in promoting its product.

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Fedor Deposed in M1/Affliction Case

August 24th post on MMA Payout.

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Why I’m excited about UFC 117

1. Chael Sonnen: In another life, Sonnen would be a pro-wrestler. He’s hyped what most would assume an easy win for Anderson Silva. Yet, Sonnen’s promotion of the match has elevated the interest in the match and the interest in Sonnen. Its a little hard to determine who is the “heel” in this match. Is it Silva, who seems bored with the middleweight division…or just the opponents that the UFC put in front of him. Or, is it Sonnen. Up until this week, many folks had been behind him. However, Sonnen went one step too far by claiming that Lance Armstrong caused his own cancer in a 45 minute interview. Then, went overboard when he vehemently denied having done the interview on the Jim Rome Show, even when Rome played an audio clip from said interview. Despite the evidence, Sonnen denied, denied and denied that the audio was him. Too bad, I think many would have rooted for him to beat Silva.

Expect Silva to revive his competitive spirit and knock Sonnen out.

2. Big Country v. Dos Santos: The beer bellied winner of Tough Enough fights the man with the mangled ear. This will be an interesting fight as Nelson is underestimated due to his physique. Dos Santos is on a hot streak and has looked unstoppable in his last couple fights. Expect a short fight ending in a knockout by either combatant. But, Junior looks sharper and he’s my pick.

3. Clay Guida. You forget that the hyper-energetic lightweight is on this card. Although he’s been up and down of late, expect a solid performance against Rafael Dos Anjos.

4. Gracie Hunter? HOF Matt Hughes is on the card too. Although not a favorite of mine, you kind of get nostalgic about Hughes since each fight could be his last. He had an impressive showing in Abu Dhabi, of course, his opponent was in his 40s. Now, he’s up against another Gracie descendent in Ricardo Almeida – a sharp jiu jitsu specialist. It will be interesting to see how Hughes handles the jiu jitsu game of another Gracie trained practitioner.

Although I think Almeida has what it takes to beat Hughes, I think Hughes pulls it off. The win, not an arm.

5. Fitch/Alves fight. I am not too thrilled with the 170 lb division. This December’s GSP-Koscheck fight does not excite me since we saw the boring, GSP dominated win a couple years back. Now, the winner of this fight gets a 2nd run at GSP (really, no one else to step up). Alves has had all kinds of problems, including not making weight.

Look for Fitch to win this fight as Alves will likely be weak due to his recent health issues and the weight cut.

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