December 13, 2013
When Mac Danzig enters the Octagon against Joe Lauzon on Fox, he will not have any logos on his person except for his gym. It’s not because he was not originally slated for the main card, but because he chose not to have any sponsors for this fight.
The interesting business move was made public at the UFC on Fox 9 press conference when Ariel Helwani asked Danzig about his matchup and being moved up to the main card. Helwani then asked about his sponsors to which Danzig stated he had none. The Former TUF winner appeared disillusioned by past treatment from sponsors that did not take interest in him but used him as a billboard.
Danzig acknowledges he is walking away from money but is fine with it. In his last fight at UFC on Fox 8, he made $30,000 flat in a KO loss to Melvin Guillard.
Is Danzig walking away from money? Certainly. Maybe Danzig is naïve to think that sponsors should become involved in a fighter’s career. Obviously, a manager could assist in finding proper sponsorship that fits for Danzig wherein a sponsor may be more involved with a fighter and vice versa (e.g., fighter appearances, longer terms of involvement, etc.). Then again, Danzig stated he does not have a manager.
In a post-press conference interview with MMA Junkie, Dana White indicated that the UFC was working on retooling the sponsorship fees to aid all fighters. We can be cynical about this announcement by suggesting that Helwani fed the question to Danzig so that he can state that he is not going to be sponsored. White then states in an interview that the UFC is actually working on a “fair” sponsorship fee. Otherwise, this story would not have been known until we saw Danzig Saturday night.
Overall, we’ve heard discontent with the UFC sponsor fee. In October, Cole Miller spoke up about the obstacles in finding sponsors. But, he also expressed the same concerns that Danzig had about finding sponsors that were willing to establish more than just a “one-off” logo grab. We will see if the UFC devises a structure that will allow more sponsors access into the UFC while helping fighters with a sponsorship revenue stream.
December 12, 2013
Kevin Iole of Yahoo! Sports penned an informative article about the HBO-Showtime boxing viewership this year which turns out to be a great time for the boxing fans. It also shows the HBO-Top Rank v. Showtime-Golden Boy is heating up.
Iole reports that 25 events on HBO and Showtime scored over 1 million viewers in 2013. 21 of the 25 were HBO fights. The seeming dominance comes despite HBO severing ties with Golden Boy Promotions. Even though HBO had the better ratings, Showtime can claim one of the biggest PPVs ever this year with the Mayweather-Canelo fight grabbing 2.2 million PPV buys.
On Saturday, the two networks competed for boxing fans with dueling events that took place in the same area (HBO –Atlantic City) (Showtime – Brooklyn). HBO’s ratings were disappointing as the main event featuring Guillermo Rigondeux drew just 550K viewers according to Nielsen (via Dan Rafael). In comparison, Showtime’s main event of Malignaggi-Judah received a 640K viewer average. (via Rafael tweet).
Regardless of which premium network won the ratings war, the overarching statement is that viewers are watching boxing and 2013 has been a big year for the sport and HBO and Showtime. The competition and venom between Top Rank-Golden Boy has seemingly fostered better fights and overall events. With the continued boxing programming on each network, fight fans that don’t have both premium channels may look into the investment for 2014.
December 12, 2013
The good news is that UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez' Tuesday shoulder surgery was a success, according to a tweet the fighter sent out to followers on Wednesday.
"My shoulder surgery yesterday went well. Can't wait to be back at it!," he tweeted.
The bad news is that even after the successful surgery, Velasquez will likely not be able to fight for about a year. Dave Meltzer reports that UFC president Dana White sent him a text message saying that he was told Velasquez will not be able to train with his shoulder for a full six months. That means that, after recovering, beginning training again and a full training camp, Velasquez would be looking at a fall, 2014 return to action at the earliest.
This would not be the first time Velasquez would have to wait a year or more between fights in recent memory. After winning UFC gold in October of 2010, the new champ had to undergo surgery and recovery before defending and losing his title to Junior Dos Santos more than a year later in November, 2011.
UFC champs have struggled with serious injuries lately. Bantamweight champ Dominick Cruz has not fought for about two years since injuring and re-injuring an ACL in his knee. Jon Jones has had his next title defense sort of scheduled three different times because he needs time to rest and heal after his brutal bout in September to Alexander Gustafsson.
Georges St. Pierre may not be seriously injured, but he's got his own stuff going on as well.
We'll keep you posted on any news that emerges with this story as it does.
December 12, 2013
Dana White has announced that the UFC has signed 11 women’s straw weights to the UFC roster from Invicta FC. The new 115 pound division will also make-up the first all-women’s season of TUF.
just announced a new women’s 115lb division. We have signed 11 women and they will be the first all women’s season of TUF. Congrats ladies
— Dana White (@danawhite) December 12, 2013
The move expands the UFC women’s roster and creates another women’s division. The procurement of talent from Invicta FC reflects the working relationship the all-women’s organization had with the UFC but also creates a big void for the organization that just had another ill-fated PPV gaffe.
Via MMA Junkie, the list of women’s fighters added to the UFC roster are Carla Esparza, Alex Chambers, Claudia Gadelha, Felice Herrig, Bec Hyatt, Emily Kagan, Juliana Lima, Rose Majunas, Tecia Torres, Paige VanZant and Joanne Calderwood.
It appears that times have changed as the UFC has now embraced women’s fighting. Not only is one of its top stars a woman (Ronda Rousey), fans have gravitated to seeing women fight. With the expansion of the women’s ranks, the UFC will have more women fighters on more cards.
Perhaps seeing that ratings for this past season’s TUF grew when women fights were featured, TUF 20 (set to begin May 2014) will feature the 11 women with the winner of the house being crowned the new straw weight champion. We will see if an all women cast will grab ratings for the series.
With this announcement, one has to wonder about the organization that the 11 women left, Invicta FC. Although most that do not follow women’s MMA closely, it’s likely that the 11 women women that moved to the UFC were some of the best on Invicta’s roster. As a result, one now wonders if Invicta becomes a developmental territory for the UFC and a business agreement is brokered. With Invicta’s efforts to monetize its product going awry, what will it do to make money.
UPDATE: Tweet per Helwani and RT by Fox Sports. So that counts as two sources…right.
— FOX Sports Live (@FOXSportsLive) December 12, 2013
The women’s pay is not going to sit well with the $8K/$8K fighters on the roster right now.
December 11, 2013
UFC welterweight Matt Brown has competed with serious injuries before, and so he didn't want to let the two herniated back discs he suffered last week while wrestling to stop him from fighting this week. Brown was just a little over a week away from his highly anticipated contender's fight against former UFC title holder Carlos Condit this Saturday on the UFC on Fox 9 card when he badly injured his back and was forced to pull out of the fight.
Brown once fought with a cracked sternum. So, needless to say, he didn't want to let even this debilitating back injury stop him from fighting Condit. Luckily, his doctors, family and coaches helped him make the decision.
"It was a good thing they pushed me to pull out of the fight," Brown tells Cagewriter.
"It was extremely difficult for me to pull out even after the injury and the doctors told me the seriousness of it. On my own, I didn’t want to make the call. My family and coaches were more adamant about it."
Brown says that he is under doctors' orders to not do any physical activity other than his prescribed and directed therapy for one month's time. If all goes well with the physical therapy, Brown says he is told that in two months he should be back to full contact training.
"The Immortal" hopes to still fight Condit next if possible. Missing out on locking up with "The Natural Born Killer" Saturday has been tough on Brown, he admits, but says he just has to focus on recovering so he can get back to extending his current win streak.
"Yeah. It is a little bit hard to talk about fights right now," Brown reveals.
"But at this point it is what it is. I have to suck it up and deal with it."
Check back with Cagewriter on Monday for a special UFC 168 Head-to-Head breakdown of the card by Matt Brown and myself.
December 11, 2013
UFC heavyweight Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva may not have just won the Super Bowl, but he's still going to Disneyland. In fact, Silva didn't even win his last fight, but he and opponent Mark Hunt are being lauded after a fight of the year candidate draw last week in Australia in the main event of UFC Fight Night 33.
Hunt broke his hand in several places thanks to Silva's hard noggin but the Brazilian says he'll be ready to fight as soon as the UFC calls again. First, however, a vacation.
“I’m feeling good," Silva told MMA Junkie recently.
"A little beat up but nothing serious. This was the toughest fight I have ever been in, but that is really good, to test one’s self. I’m going to celebrate and spend time with the family. After every fight, I take my family to Disneyland, but then I want to fight again ASAP.”
Silva said that he believed he did enough to earn the decision but is fine with a draw and would rematch Hunt if the UFC said to.
“I felt that I had won three rounds, but I think a draw is a good result also,” Silva said.
“We both went in there and gave it everything we had. We were both trying to finish the whole time. We let it all hang out, and I am ok with this result.”
December 11, 2013
Undefeated UFC fighter Daniel Cormier left the heavyweight division to avoid fighting one friend of his but will now face another in his light heavyweight debut at UFC 170 Feb. 22. Cormier is teammates with UFC heavyweight Cain Velasquez so the two-time Olympic wrestler decided to drop down a weight class to 205 pounds after his last fight, a win over Roy Nelson.
"It’s difficult," Cormier said. "[Rashad and I] talked a couple of days before when we were hearing that the fight was going to take place, and it was tough. We were like, ‘hey man we’re going to fight and put on a good show.’ But when you receive a bout agreement and you see a guy’s name on that bout sheet, it becomes a little different…then it’s real," Cormier said.
Evans is coming off of an impressive one round dismantling of broadcast partner Chael Sonnen at UFC 167 last month. Though it won't be easy, the American Kickboxing Academy fighter says he will try to hurt Evans, even if he won't enjoy it.
"I care about him a ton," he admitted.
"But now it’s time to get down to business and we got to go in that cage and I got to try and hurt him. I mean, I can’t go into the cage feeling like I don’t want to hurt my buddy. Because otherwise he’s going to hurt me, and beat me, and that will set me back and keep me from attaining my goals."
December 11, 2013
Welcome to another edition of The Wrestling Post. This week we take a look at the location of the next two Wrestlemanias as well as the latest ratings from Total Divas.
Wrestlemania 31 in Bay Area
The WWE announced that Wrestlemania 31 will take place at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California in March 2015. Levi’s Stadium is still under construction and is estimated to open August 2014. It will be the permanent home of the San Francisco 49ers. The stadium’s capacity is set for 68,500 but could be expandable to 75,000.
The NFL has committed Super Bowl L in 2016 (L is the Roman Numeral for 50) to the site.
Wrestlemania has been an economic boon for the cities that host it. Aside from the event itself, there are week-long activities which bring in thousands of WWE fans to the city. The WWE announced that New Jersey received an economic impact of $101.2 million received from non-locals spending that were visiting specifically from Wrestlemania 29.
For those wondering, Wrestlemania 30 is in New Orleans this year and Wrestlemania 32 will be held at Cowboys Stadium although no official announcement has been made.
Payout Take: Cities clamor to host the WWE’s biggest event of the year. Certainly the hospitality industry does well during Wrestlemania week and the reported economic impact is something that every city desires. The WWE’s announcement makes sense as Levi’s Stadium will be less than a year old with enough capacity and a healthy surrounding region to support the event.
Total Divas drop to 1.2 million viewers this week
This week’s Total Divas episode this past Sunday was down as it received only 1.2 million viewers according to The Wrestling Observer (subscription recommended). The ratings may have taken a slide due to the lack of lead-in since “Keeping up with the Kardashians” season ended.
Payout Take: The ratings for the second half of the first season are as follows via TV By the Numbers:
Episode 9: 1.25
Episode 10: 1.41
Episode 11: 0.92
Episode 12: 1.44
Episode 13: 1.20
Even though last week’s ratings have dipped, its overall ratings have been pleasing and a second season is on its way. The season finale airs December 15th.
December 11, 2013
The family of ex-UFC fighter Shane del Rosario, who died tragically on Sunday following a Nov. 26 heart attack, released a statement on Tuesday in which it announced that it would honor his wishes by donating his organs.
Del Rosario is suspected to have the genetic anomaly, Long QT Syndrome, that may have contributed to his death.
In the statement, the family said it is looking into creating a foundation to support Long QT research.
The statement, in full:
It is with great sadness that the family of Shane Del Rosario shares that he succumbed as a result of his sudden cardiac arrest on November 26th. The family expresses their extreme gratitude to the paramedics, doctors, nurses and staff who worked tirelessly in an effort to save him. Also, to the many friends and family that reached out in support and love of Shane at the hospital and via social media. It has been truly amazing to realize just how many lives Shane touched in such a positive way. As always, Shane fought hard, but it was his time to go in peace. We will miss his huge smile, his huge bear hugs, his gift of giving to others, and his Aloha spirit. He was larger than life.
Shane excelled in multiple sports, but many of you know him as a professional fighter. He fought with courage and never gave up even in the most difficult situations. He was very proud that he was the first American to win the WBC World Heavyweight Muay Thai Championship and was honored to have represented his country successfully fighting for Team USA in the M-1 Global Tournament. What he learned in sports were "life lessons" for him that he transferred to everything he did in life.
Shane spent almost every summer in Lanai City, Hawaii where his grandparents instilled Lanai’s island and plantation values such as unconditional love and pride for the Ohana, loyalty to family and friends, duty, honesty, integrity, courage, and love of country. Shane loved Hawaii and embraced its culture. He was passionate about helping others and was always there to offer a helping hand, a smile, and encouragement to anyone, not only family and friends, but also to strangers. He always put others before himself and would give the shirt off his back. He brought genuine joy and happiness to everyone he touched.
Shane lived up to his Hawaiian name, Kalani, Royal Warrior. He was a warrior and protector of his family, friends, and anyone that needed help. Now he is a Heavenly warrior and will continue his good works on a higher plane. Shane is now an Aumakua and will watch over us forever.
Shane leaves a legacy of giving to others. In that spirit it was Shane’s wish to donate his organs in hope of saving the precious lives of others. The family is also exploring establishing a scholarship fund for disadvantaged children and setting up a foundation, the Shane Del Rosario Long QT Foundation. Long QT Syndrome is the genetic anomaly that may have contributed to his passing.
When more information is made available about services and/or the charitable foundation, Yahoo Sports will report it promptly.
December 10, 2013
MMA Payout has learned through Nielsen sources that World Series of Fighting’s event on Saturday night received a meager 94,000 viewers. WSOF 7 from Vancouver, BC in Canada competed with a heavy night of college football, boxing and Invicta FC.
WSOF 1 – 198,000 viewers
WSOF 2 – 210,000 viewers
WSOF 3 – 201,000 viewers
WSOF 4 – 264,000 viewers
WSOF 5 – 227,000 viewers
WSOF 6 – 161,000 viewers
WSOF 7 – 94,000 viewers
The 94,000 viewer average is a substantial drop off from its other events. Even WSOF 6, which aired on the same night as the Mayweather-Alvarez fight, garnered 161,000 viewers.
A tough night for WSOF as it competed with championship weekend in College Football, dueling boxing events on HBO and Showtime and an Invicta FC “PPV.” While the event included the amazing Nick Newell, there were no other compelling fights on the card despite crowning a new Featherweight Champion. Was it poor planning that WSOF scheduled its event on the same night as other events or is it a case that the organization has to get dates for events where it can be fit in?
As the WSOF heads into 2014, it will have an opportunity to be on NBC twice. Hopefully, it can sufficiently build interest in its product before both events on the network. Also, let’s hope for WSOF’s sake that the dates do not coincide with other major sporting events.