NAGA BATTLE AT THE BEACH 10

The North American Grappling Association (NAGA) is holding their 10th annual grappling tournament this weekend; Saturday August 1st & Sunday August 2nd at the Wildwoods Convention Center in Wildwood, New Jersey.

Doors open at 8 AM both days. Tickets will be available at the door and can be purchased at nagafighter.com. $60 front row seat tickets are sold out. However, $30 & $40 general admission and floor seats are still available.

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Adult Divisions Schedule Saturday August 1st:

10:30 AM – No-GI Women, Master, Director, Executive & No-GI Absolute

11 AM – No-GI Novice Grappling Divisions

11:30 AM – No-GI Beginner Grappling Divisions

12 PM – No-GI intermediate Grappling Divisions

12:30 PM – No-GI Expert Grappling Divisions

2 PM – GI Divisions – White through Black Belt

8 PM – MMA Fights

Kid & Teens Divisions Schedule Sunday August 2nd:

10 AM – Rules Meeting

10:30 AM – No-GI Grappling Divisions

* GI Grappling Divisions Will Begin When No-GI Divisions Are Complete

American Steel Cage Fighting- 10 matchups scheduled for Friday in Salem, N.H.

The New Hampshire Boxing/Wrestling Commission is holding American Steel Cage Fighting on Friday, July 31, 2009, at the Ice Center on 60 Lowell Road, Salem, N.H. Ticket price ranges from $50-100 and can be purchased through Two Guys Smoke Shop (603-898-2221), the Stateline Ticket Agency (603-893-7454) or the Ice Center box office (1-888-224-4272).

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Doors open at 6 p.m., with the first fight starting at 8 p.m.
The event includes 10 bouts with fights scheduled for three rounds, with each round lasting three minutes. 

For more information, matchmaker Gary Marino can be reached at mmamatchmaker@comcast.net or (603-682-9078).


Fight card:

Nate Lamotte (10-4-0) vs. Doug Gordon (9-7-0)
Pat Audinwood (7-0-1) vs. Al Buck (5-7-0)
Kevin Jordan (11-8-0) vs. Patrick Smith (16-13-0)
Lamont Lister (5-7-0) vs. Randy Rowe (2-6-0)
Evan Parker (0-0-0) vs. Albert Reccio (0-0-0)
Damien Trites (2-3-0) vs. Joe Dechaves (3-1-0)
Brian Denner (1-1-0) vs. Chris Foster (2-0-0)
Carlos Nieves (3-6-0) vs. Ryan Schieding (3-1-0)
Nick Drummond 1-0-0) vs. Adam McQuaid
Al Germain Sterling (0-0-0) vs. Ibrahiem Tody  

The Best Thing Since Sliced Bread

In November, 1993 the McNichols Sports Arena in Denver, Colorado, hosted UFC 1: The Beginning. The Arena, capable of seating 17,000, only sold 2,800 seats for the event which had a dismal 86,000 PPV purchases.

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Despite poor sales and attendance, the controversial event had lucrative potential; a second tournament was scheduled to air in March, 1994.

UFC 2: No Way Out took place at the Mammoth Gardens in Denver. The Gardens with a capacity of 11,000, only sold 2,000 tickets, but PPV purchases skyrocketed to 300,000.

It was quickly picked up by major PPV distributors like Viewers Choice and TCI Cable.

UFCs 3, 4, and 5 were all mini PPV hits, and really brought the organization and sport of MMA into the spotlight. However, not all the attention it gained was posotive.

After a brief Campaign held by senator John McCain asking governors to put a stop to no-holds-barred fighting, the UFC was banned in 36 states.

They were dropped by major cable and PPV providers, and forced to hold events in states like Wyoming and Iowa, where there was very little public appeal for the sport.

However, after negotiations with state athletic commissions, the UFC revamped their product; adding rules, weight classes, and safety measures.

In 2000 the dust cleared and the controversy was mostly forgotten. Most state athletic commissions granted the UFC sanctioning and John McCain was even quoted as saying “The sport has grown up. The rules have been adopted to give its athletes better protections and to ensure fairer competition.”

Casino Moguls Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta along with boxing promoter Dana White, purchased the UFC in 2001 for $2 million, and created Zuffa, LLC as the parent company, making White the president. Shortly thereafter, the UFC returned to PPV television, just in time for UFC 33.

UFC 33, took place in September, 2001 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas. Zuffa had hardly capitalized on their purchase with a disappointing $816,660 gate revenue and 75,000 PPV buys; 11,000 less than UFC 1.

However, over the next few years, with the guidance of White and corporate muscle of Zuffa, PPV numbers grew and the UFC gradually brought once more, the sport of MMA into the spotlight.

In 2005 Zuffa struck a deal with Spike TV to air The Ultimate Fighter series. The show was an instant success, and Spike agreed to pick up the show. The series, which will begin it’s tenth season in September, proved to be a huge promotional success.

PPV numbers exploded. 280,000 viewers purchased the UFC 52 PPV; the first UFC event to air after season one of the contender. The event was a far cry from the PPV disaster of UFC 33.

In 2006, only a year later, the UFC set the all time PPV annual revenue record, generating over $222,766,000; Surpassing both boxing and WWE PPV revenue for that year.

Earlier this month, UFC 100 was held at the Mandalay Bay Events Center. However, in sharp contrast to UFC 33 only 8 yeas ago, the event grossed $5,128,490 at the gate and set a record 1,500,000 PPV purchases.

Last year the UFC generated over $250 million, 90% of all MMA revenue. This year, that  statistic is expected to take a substantial jump with the release of their video game UFC 2009 Undisputed and record high PPV numbers.

In less than a decade, Dana White and Zuffa transformed the UFC from a struggling business, experiencing financial deficits of more than $35 million only a few years ago, into a billion dollar corporation; synonymous with the entire sport of MMA.

Downtown Beatdown – Erie's First MMA Event

Extreme Fight Club will host Downtown Beatdown in Erie, PA, on Saturday July 25, 2009.  This will be Erie’s first mixed martial arts event.  Tickets are available at Okey’s Automotive (814-455-1871) and the Avalon Hotel of Erie (814-459-2220).  The event kicks off at 6:30 PM.

 

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Downtown Beatdown MMA Event  

 

Fight Card

Okey Lawrence (4-2-0) vs Adrian Yarboro (3-0-0)

Ty Perry (1-1-0) vs. Corey Nichols (1-2-0)

Doug Hodges (2-3-0) vs. Rodney Hurkman (0-1-0)

Mike Linza (5-0-1) vs. Phillip Estes (1-1-0)

Brock Menzil (2-0-0) vs. Sean Santella (0-1-1)

 Ron “Night Train” White Jr. (2-2-0) vs. Corey Frantz (2-1-0)

Jessica Wolbert (0-1-0) vs. Amanda Jones (0-1-0)

Adam Farrell (4-1-1) vs. James Moore (3-5-0)

James Rank (0-0-0) vs. TBD

Theodore Dobson (0-1-0) vs. Hazelton Elkins (1-1-0)

John Heynoski (0-0-0) vs. Cody Hinson (0-0-0)

Troy Musil (0-0-0) vs. Arthur Byrne (0-0-0)

Jason Galvin (0-2-0) vs. James Ingram (0-0-0)

Donnie Lennox (0-0-0) vs. Scott Rendos (0-0-0)

Noe Quintanilla (3-3-0) vs. Norman Alexander (4-9-0)

Jacob Spuck (0-1-0) vs. Thomas “Primetime” Ellsworth (0-0-0)

David Spinelli (0-0-0) vs. Randy “Rage” Owen (0-0-0)

Chris Jones (0-0-0) vs. Ian Knecht (0-0-0)

Anderson Silva: Unstoppable

For the last three years, since his middleweight debut against Chris Leben at UFC: Ultimate Fight Night 5 in 2006, Anderson Silva has been widely considered to be the most dominant force in the UFC.

Now fighting at light heavyweight, Silva is 24 and 4 in his professional MMA career, and remains undefeated in the UFC. Silva is considered by Sherdog to be the number one pound for pound fighter and holds the record for most consecutive UFC wins, which now stands at 9.

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One golden question has recently – not so recently for some – imbedded itself in minds of all Silva fans.

Why is this man so unstoppable?

I believe it is Silva’s expansive martial arts background, lanky body, and awkward style that make him such a force to be reckoned with.

Since the age of 14, Silva has been training to be the “superhero” he is today. He first studied Tae Kwon do and Judo, and earned his black-belt in each at 18. For the next decade he devoted himself to boxing and kickboxing and had a short lived boxing career in the late 90’s.

Silva’s most recent training took place in 2006 under the tutelage of MMA heavyweight legend Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira. Under Nogueira, Silva received his black-belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu; one of the foremost fighting influences in MMA.

Silva stands 6 feet 2 inches and has a reach of 77.6 inches; making him a freak of nature at 185 pounds, the heavy end of the middleweight devision, which ranges from 177 to 185 pounds. He has long legs as well, and utilizes his reach advantage without hesitation whether it be a flurry of kicks, or smothering punches which keep his opponents at bay.

His unique blend of styles and ferocity are so devastating because he throws awkward strikes from awkward angles at awkward times; making him extremely unpredictable and effective.

“This is a different kind of striker,” said Joe Rogan after Silva’s debut knockout of Chris Leben. Silva finished Leben with a knee to the face after a brutal barrage of punches. Effective strikes like that are powerful and difficult to defend against. None can pull them off like Silva.

One of Silva’s best and most awkward performances was before his domination of the UFC, During Cage Rage 16, against Tony Fryklind. Right away Silva’s physical advantages were apparent. He poured on the offense; showcasing just how devastating a lanky fighter could be.

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Silva was able to land vicious knees to Fryklind’s body; using his arms and chest to smother his shorter opponent. He then followed up with a flying knee, connecting with Fryklind’s face, then finishing his man with an incredible move that has yet to be duplicated; a backwards elbow right on the button of Fryklind’s chin.

Silva’s knockout of Tony Fryklind is one of the most unorthodox I have ever seen. That is why when Silva fights it is exciting and why he is a great champion. Fans know they can expect excitement. He will not roll around on the ground and he will definitely not let someone else control the fight. Moves like backwards elbows and air-born knees are exactly why Anderson Silva is synonymous with devastation and domination.

Moratorium: The Death of Affliction

A few words on the demise of Affliction’s fight-promoting business and how Afflictions efforts will be viewed in the annals of MMA history.

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Josh Barnetts positive test destroys Affliction: Trilogy

Josh Barnett's positive test destroys Affliction: Trilogy

Firstly, Affliction’s failure proved that on the grand stage of modern MMA in America, brand awareness is more important than putting on quality fights. Both Affliction: Banned and Affliction: Day of Reckoning featured cards that were loaded with quality fights between quality fighters, but without any vehicle to promote to promote their cards (other than the internet), only hardcore MMA fans took notice and were willing to put down money to watch Affliction. In the end, both cards failed to turn a profit, and Josh Barnett’s single-handed sinking of Affliction: Trilogy was the final nail in the coffin.

Any meaningful promotion Affliction tried to start was blunted by the fact that many casual fight fans buy into UFC President Dana White’s expletive-laden rants. Ever since Affliction started promoting fight cards, White has constantly trashed Affliction VP Tom Atencio, Affliction’s main draw Fedor Emelianenko, and many of the other ex-UFC fighters who fought on Affliction cards. And while some of these criticism had basis, many were just spiteful attacks aimed to hurt Atencio, a former business partner of White and the UFC. However ludicrous some of the attacks were, though, they worked; many non-hardcore or longtime fans of MMA fully bought into White’s argument that Affliction was made up of scraps that fell off the UFC table, that none of the fighters would make it in the UFC, and that Fedor, widely regarded throughout the world as the number one pound-for-pound fighter in MMA, was nothing unless he came and “proved himself” in the UFC.

The way casual fans in the US are so illogically loyal to the UFC is a triumph for White and the UFC marketing machine Zuffa has built. From the massive exposure the UFC gets on Spike TV to the ongoing success of The Ultimate Fighter to the slow-but-sure battle of legitimizing MMA in America as a major-league sport, White has led the way in making MMA mainstream, and along the way has plastered his own face onto every UFC product, marketing himself as well (if not better) than the marquee fighters in his organization. His tactics have won over a whole new legion of fans, but the truth is that most of the new converts are fans of the UFC organization only, and don’t know and don’t care about any other facet of MMA which is not of the Zuffa brand.

P4P champ Fedor will be in the UFC sooner or later

P4P champ Fedor will be in the UFC sooner or later

Other nationally recognized promotions like Strikeforce still manage to thrive because they keep their payrolls relatively low and stress that they don’t seek to challenge the UFC in terms of market share. Affliction, by bringing in Fedor and a host of other highly-regarded and expensive names, tried to challenge the UFC as the top dog and were promptly beaten down, forced to cease all fight-promoting operations and slink back to being an official sponsor of the UFC, the position they were in before they sought to promote their own shows.

For lesser-known aspiring fighters, the end of Affliction means one less option in getting national exposure; that’s not a huge deal, with companies like DREAM, Strikefore and Bellator also around, but remember that competition between companies always works in favor of the fighters and the fans. Affliction’s demise may bring Fedor into the arms of the UFC and make possible a host of superfights that fans have long wanted to see, but in the long term, less competition will hurt fighter’s rights and erode the product being sold to fans. For every big-name fighter that the UFC will poach from Afflictions roster, a less-known fighter from the UFC will be cut loose, his dream of fighting in the big show prematurely ended. Meanwhile, fighters on the Affliction undercard are now left scrambling for a new fight anywhere else after seeing their paycheck snatched away from them at the last minute.

Affliction and its “trilogy” of cards will serve as an example to any other promoter who wants to expand into the US in the future that Dana White is the boss of MMA stateside, and it pays not to cross the boss.

Broad Avenue Brawlers July 24, 2009

Valley Fight League will be hosting Broad Avenue Brawlers on July 24, 2009 at the Jaffa Shrine in Altoona, PA.  This will be the first MMA event to be held in Altoona and will feature 6x All-American NCAA Wrestling Champion and former NFL star Carlton Haselrig. Tickets range from $30-$100 and can be or over the phone at 304-283-3053.

Carlton Haselrig MMA Fighter from Johnstown PA

Carlton Haselrig MMA Fighter from Johnstown PA

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Styles Make Fights – DREAM 10: Zaromskis vs. High (Muay Thai vs. Freestyle)

In the finals of the DREAM Welterweight tournament, Marius Zaromskis completed his magical run in the tourney with a spectacular Crocop-esque head kick KO of Jason High to claim the DREAM Welterweight Championship.

Marius Zaromskis Koed all three of his tourney opponents en route to the DREAM WW title.

Marius Zaromskis Ko'ed all three of his tourney opponents en route to the DREAM WW title.

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Zaromskis, who defeated tournament favorite Hayato Sakurai in similar fashion earlier in the night to advance to the final, charged at High with a flying knee to start the title fight, but High put him on his back and tried to work the ground-and-pound. The fight made its way back up to the feet, and a lighting-fast high kick from Zaromskis flew out of nowhere and instantly put High to sleep.

It was a crushing defeat for High, who had earlier shown a great deal of heart in outlasting BJJ phenom Andres Galvao for a place in the final. Zaromskis, who was making his top-flight MMA debut in this DREAM tournament, has now become the exciting KO-machine champion that all promotions crave.

Styles Make Fights – DREAM 10: Aoki vs. Ribeiro (BJJ vs. BJJ)

In a matchup between two of the best non-UFC lightweights that DREAM has to offer, submission wizard and master tactician Shinya Aoki turned an on-paper exciting matchup into a snoozefest with a less-than-impressive victory over Vitor “Shaolin” Ribeiro.

Shinya Aoki again managed to to make top-level boring to watch.

Shinya Aoki managed to turn the usual Pro-Aoki DREAM fanbase against him at DREAM 10

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With both men being notable BJJ black belts, the battle of the two grapplers turned into an awkward stand-up battle, with “Shaolin” trying for short-range punches while Aoki threw leg kicks, trying to make use of his reach advantage. As the fight wore on, Aoki made the kicks to the arm and body count, but for the most part it was a tedious striking contest, with Aoki stuffing the occasional Ribeiro takedown attempt.

In the second round, Aoki continued to outstrike Shaolin, popping him with light kicks and knees until Ribeiro finally got the takedown. Ribeiro tried to work the ground-and-pound from top, but Aoki stuck to Ribeiro in guard and held him with the “chill dog” rubber guard as time expired, leading to an Aoki UD victory.

The match itself was a microcosm of why Aoki is such a frustrating fighter to watch and support; he possesses world-class submission skills and is one of the most talented lightweights in the world, but often rides out fights looking for a decision or laying-and-praying while waiting for his opponent to make the first move. Aoki’s strategy this match even managed to turn the usually pro-Japanese-fighter crowd against him, as he was greeted with an unexpected chorus of boos during his post-fight remarks.

TUF 7 Star Jesse Taylor Wins in DREAM Debut

Former TUF bad boy Jesse Taylor, known by most American MMA fans the man who was ejected from the TUF 7 title fight after a drunken incident in Las Vegas, was victorious in his return to the big stage at DREAM 1o, albeit through a freak injury stoppage.

Taylor gets a win at DREAM 10

Taylor gets a "W" at DREAM 10

Paired up against renown judoka and armbar enthusiast Dong Sik Yoon, Taylor exploded out of his corner and immediately took down Yoon, running all over the more experienced Korean on the ground before trying for a rear-naked choke. Amid the scramble, Taylors body weight landed squarely on Yoon’s ankle, an injury severe enough for the referee to stop the middleweight contest.

It was an anti-climatic end to Taylor’s DREAM debut, but he flashed some impressive wrestling during his very brief outing and will most certainly be expected back in DREAM at some point in the future. Since losing his lone UFC fight to CB Dollaway after the fallout from TUF 7, Taylor has won seven straight fights, including tonight’s bout against Yoon.

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