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« | Home | »

Saturday media slate: What’s the UFC 76 main event?

By Zach Arnold | July 14, 2007

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UFC & Spike TV ink a new deal.

Chuck Liddell vs. Keith Jardine as the UFC 76 main event? One word – what? Why not book Liddell vs. Houston Alexander, the guy who beat Jardine? How about Liddell vs. Forrest Griffin, who actually won his last fight?

Wanderlei Silva responds to charges that he’s ducking Chuck Liddell.

Onto today’s headlines.

  1. Mike Coughlin: MMA overload
  2. Fightlinker: Frank Shamrock reality show – now with more Mark Burnett connections!
  3. Kevin Iole: His turn – Herb Dean ready to rumble
  4. Fight Report: Pavlik-Taylor signed for September 29th
  5. Sam Caplan: Sokoudjou deal falls through with Elite XC
  6. The Manteca Sun-Post (CA): The Diaz Brothers are ready to fight
  7. The Washington Post: Anything goes (in MMA)
  8. The Ashland Daily Press (WI): Jesse Riemer heads ‘Battle on the Bay’ card
  9. The Hillsboro Argus (OR): Jessica Cruz finds her ‘release’ through training, fighting
  10. MMA Weekly: Armando Garcia clears the air about Gabe Ruediger
  11. 411 Mania: Luke Cummo gearing up for UFC Fight Night 11
  12. NBC Sports: Friday fight notebook
  13. Sherdog: Pro Elite looking to purchase ICON & KOTC
  14. The Alexandria Town Talk (LA): Paragon hosting IFC MMA fight card
  15. The Munster Times (IN): MMA fits Mark Burch’s style of fighting
  16. SLAM! Sports: GSP looks ahead despite shocking fall
  17. The Chronicle Herald (Halifax): King of the Cage comes to town, ruffles feathers of Extreme Cage Combat
  18. The Shreveport Times (LA): Local fighters headline Battle Cage card at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs
  19. The Sacramento Bee: What’s a sport? Pop culture, even ESPN alter our views
  20. The Visalia Times-Delta (CA): Caged animal – ‘Rhino’ Marshall holds light heavyweight title and plans to keep it

Topics: Boxing, Brazil, Canada, HERO's, K-1, MMA, Media, Pro Elite, UFC, UK, Zach Arnold | 46 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

46 Responses to “Saturday media slate: What’s the UFC 76 main event?”

  1. 45 Huddle says:

    The Pro Elite/KOTC Deal sounds like it could be similar to the UFC/WEC deal, where they use the KOTC as a feeder system. The only problem I see with KOTC is that they haven’t produced a crop of quality fighters in a while. WEC & TKO MMA have churned out many more solid fighters. Plus, KOTC’s model is to pay the fighters basically nothing and run on Indian Reservations to stay away from commissions and lower costs.

    As for ICON Sports, I really find the purchase pointless. They really don’t have anything. They have Trigg & Lawler, but who else? This isn’t like the WFA purchase that got the UFC Rampage, Salaverry, McCullough, & Faber. And ICON Sports, do they have enough film footage to make it worth while?

  2. Ivan Trembow says:

    As I mentioned previously, it’s difficult for a company to claim poverty in contract negotiations when it has a huge TV deal that is publicly reported on (in this case potentially a $100 million deal). Just ask WWE.

  3. 45 Huddle says:

    What should be the minimum pay for a UFC Fighter? There are some guys in there who are basically on the card to fill up space on the undercard. In those cases, I really don’t have a problem with them being paid $3k/$3k. And it seems like all of the worthy fighters are at least making decent money. The UFC is going to be renewing a lot of contracts in the next year. A lot of those fighters will be worth substantially more, and they know they.

    At the same time, the UFC has to take these pay increases slowly. It just takes one Sokoudjou to sign for $200,000 a fight with 5 fights on his resume, and all of the rest of the fighters will want raises. That is really the UFC’s limitation as this point. They have to be careful for the ripple effect. To no fault of their own, they are really dealing with those contracts the only way they can. They are slowly increasing the pay and not setting off alarms with certain fighters being out of those pay ranges. Hopefully in a few years that increase will continue. Because a $10,000 increase per fight for each fighter is $30,000 per year for each fighter, and with 100 fighters on that roster…. That is an extra $3 Million per year. So a small increase amounts to huge differences in fighter payouts.

    I honestly wouldn’t want to be Zuffa. If they offer a fighter $15k/$15, and that fighter goes 2-1 during the year, they make $75,000. After costs of training and paying for health insurance, that is probably closer to $40,000 a year. In the Mid-West, that is a very solid living. In CA, that is junk pay. However, they have to pay everybody the same based on skill, and not cost of living. And with a nation that is so diverse in terms of housing costs and living expenses, Zuffa is in a no win situation.

    And then you have somebody like Anderson Silva. He signs a contract that basically pays him $90,000 for a win and $45,000 for a loss. Let’s say he comes into the UFC and goes 0-3. People would be complaining that he is overpaid. Yet he wins his first few fights, and people are complaining that he is being underpaid. Which in reality he is, but how is Zuffa supposed to know that he would be this great in his first 4 UFC fights?

    I guess a few solutions would be very simple. Fighters need to negotiated tiered contracts. Basically, if they are fighting regular fights, they get their normal dollar value. But if they start winning championship fights, they need to be getting paid substantially more. I know Zuffa does pay guys like Sherk & Silva money on the side for being champions, but is it enough for the performances they are putting on? I guess only those guys know, as they know how much it is.

    Ed. — Related post here.

  4. MoreThanUFC says:

    The headline fight is between two guys who got KOed BAD in their last fights? Brilliant.

  5. cyphron says:

    I agree,

    The market will dictate the pay. There is a risk in all contracts negotiations. Cro Cop looks like he’s overpaid right now. Who knows, Sokoujou may end up losing his next three bouts. One thing I do know is that as pay rises, the gap between the superstars and bottom-feeder fighters will only get bigger. The average rise in pay has never benefited the smaller guys.

    Let’s be honest, the under cards are almost always interchangeable. Guys are chomping at the bits to get their 3k/3k contract to show their stuff. If they don’t take it, another guy would gladly do it. Under cards are meant as a chance for new guys to make it big and not to meant to make a living. Rise in pay will never trickle down to the under cards. The best that it will get is 5k/5k, unless the UFC becomes one of the top 4 sports, which I think is unlikely any time soon.

  6. 45 Huddle says:

    Plus, some of the blame has to be put on these lower level fighters.

    They sometimes have 5 or 6 fights and they or their manager are already signing contracts with the UFC. I could see if they were doing it for the money, but most of the time they aren’t. They really should be getting that experience in the lower level shows, get 10 to 15 fights, and then make a run at the UFC. There are a few exceptions like Frank Edgar, but for every Frank, there are 20 fighters who compete in the UFC far too early in their careers.

    Any serious fighter should be getting at the very least $10,000/$10,000 for a UFC fight. That is if the fighter has the credentials to be in the UFC. Anybody with substantial experience in the UFC should be getting nothing less then $20,000/$20,000 per fight. This is based on heir time in the octagon, and drawing power because they are a known entity. So you figure a fighter like that going 2-1 in a year will make $100,000, and sponsorship money will hopefully take care of health insurance and training costs. Now that is a solid living. Unless you live in CA or NYC….

  7. cyphron says:

    California is not a mythical state where only millionaires live. 100k is solid living, even in California. =) It would be tough in downtown San Francisco, but the suburbs is quite livable. And most cities in California, the standard of living is quite comparable to other states as well. It’s only the metropolises (SF and LA) that is high.

  8. [...] Zach Arnold sez: Chuck Liddell vs. Keith Jardine as the UFC 76 main event? One word – what? Why not book Liddell vs. Houston Alexander, the guy who beat Jardine? How about Liddell vs. Forrest Griffin, who actually won his last fight? [...]

  9. 45 Huddle says:

    I’m a North Easterner…. House prices are expensive here, but then I hear about CA and the $500,000 750 sq ft houses, and it makes me cringe… I guess those are only in the major cities.

  10. Preach says:

    Huddle, the ICON library is worth a few bucks. Remember, ICON used to be Superbrawl until 2005, and under that Banner they produced 42 fightcards with guys like Tra Telligman, Vitor Belfort, Pat Miletich, Frank Shamrock, Niko Vitale, Rich Franklin, Tim Sylvia, Robbie Lawler, Mayhem Miller, Roger Huerta, Yushin Okami…

    With the ICON cards that’s 50 shows with around 500 fights in total. Definetely enough to fill a few tv-shows, best of-PPV’s, DVDs about the early careers of various fighters, or just pay-content for their website.

  11. JThue says:

    Cage Rage 22 is LIVE NOW(1pm EST, 19:00 CET) on proelite.com, for free. Didn’t get a bulletin about this for some reason.

  12. JThue says:

    Ross Pointon wins by guillotine choke. Hell is freezing over.

  13. Kev says:

    Given the UFC’s past booking (Hughes vs. Lytle, Franklin vs. McDonald), Liddell vs. Jardine makes sense. IE, when your champ gets knocked out, give them a relative softie to prop them back up, then wait for the next fight to give them a challenge.

  14. Dr J says:

    Zach,

    I understand the “uproar” over the Liddell vs Jardine fight, but lets be honest. If the UFC had announced Liddell would be fighting Houston Alexander, wouldn’t there be even more questioning and uproar than there is now? We would be asking why should Alexander get to fight Liddell after only 1 quick win in the UFC. I look at it this way; both Liddell and Jardine are coming off a loss so lets see what happens. Personally, I would rather see the Liddell vs Griffin fight, but I dont think Dana and Joe Silva want to risk another Griffin loss at this point.

  15. Zack says:

    KOTC is run more like a franchise than an actual organization. Still, the Gladiator Challenge/KOTC tape library has lots of gems. Same with the Superbrawl/Icon library.

  16. Zack says:

    You really don’t know why they’d want to purchase Icon? It goes back to ‘96 or ‘97. Wasn’t Belforts first fight in Superbrawl?

    It’s one of the most long standing promotions there is. I think its an interesting business strategy to buy up two of the most long standing promotions. Can’t wait to see how this pans out.

  17. The Gaijin says:

    I just think EXC is going to have to steal a few big names to start making themselves a big draw. I think they have some good ideas with their live streaming of events and getting themselves aligned with Showtime. But they don’t seem to have a “face” that they can really put out there…maybe if they could start using Frank Shamrock??

    Why don’t they consolidate the efforts of EXC and Strikeforce to make them one recognizable brand name and concentrate their efforts with the one entity…I think it was actually a good thing they lost Soko – why the hell would you pay the guy $200,000/fight when he’s built up about zero recognition or goodwill with the fans in the US???

  18. The Gaijin says:

    I don’t understand Dana White…he wants the Liddell vs. Silva fight to happen but he’s constantly pissing all over the Chute Boxe guy’s shoes over this thing.

    White and Liddell calling Silva a chicken etc…excellent idea *rolls eyes*…that should really help negotiations. So b/c of ego’s and Dana’s idiocy we get Liddell vs. Jardine instead? Guess they want to build the Chuck image back up to fight Rampage/Henderson and Jardine’s the type of fighter that will stand there and go down swinging and make Liddell look like the “awesome counterstriker” he was built up as in his run.

  19. Body_Shots says:

    Neither White or Liddell called Silva a chicken, going public about the fight was an interesting move. I’m also sure there’s more to this than what was said on both sides.

    I think if the UFC still wants to do Silva-Liddell they can can do it, but they’re fucked for the Sept. show regardless.

  20. JROCK says:

    Any word on what’s going on with the bodogFIGHT tapings that are suppose to be happening in Vancouver as noted in yesterdays update?

  21. The Gaijin says:

    Yes you’re correct B_S they didn’t literally call him “a chicken”, but one can read between the lines of what they are saying and the way they are saying it as well as how they’re portraying Silva in light of the situation.

    My question: Silva had no problem taking a fight with Mark Hunt on 3 days notice and stepped up to fight Mirko Cro Cop with zero reservations…why exactly would he be unwilling to fight Chuck Liddell???????!?!!? (Especially after we saw chinks in the armour against Rampage).

  22. Body_Shots says:

    According to Silva he’s done fighting on a promoter’s beckoning, which is a good move on his part, but I wouldn’t be suprised if he agreed to the Sept. fight before he pulled out….I mean the date is all over his website.

    He may have screwed the UFC a little for UFC 76, and that’s why they took the issue public. But it seems as if Silva isn’t going to change his mind and I don’t believe it would be wise to have Chuck fight before he faces Silva, so they may have to take one on the chin and hope the UFC brand can sell itself for the Anaheim event.

  23. Smoogy says:

    Anybody not watching the ProElite stream of Cage Rage 22 is missing out on some pretty good fights.

  24. Jeremy (not that Jeremy) says:

    I’ve advocated 12/12 with vesting (some number of fights) for the right to participate in a group health plan and 401k indefinitely (as long as they keep paying, they can stay in the UFC plans), with UFC picking up a decent part of the health plan as long as they’ve fought in the last 6 months.

    Liddell and Jardine are both earning their shot at earning a shot at the title right now. They should be fighting each other, just maybe not as the main event. Then again, they have nice big names…why not?

  25. JThue says:

    James Thompson just got KO’1 in ten seconds by last day replacement Neil Grove. Yikes. This is turning into a solid show, much like April’s CR21.

  26. D. Capitated says:

    Why don’t they consolidate the efforts of EXC and Strikeforce to make them one recognizable brand name and concentrate their efforts with the one entity…I think it was actually a good thing they lost Soko – why the hell would you pay the guy $200,000/fight when he’s built up about zero recognition or goodwill with the fans in the US???

    Because they don’t own Strikeforce. The Strikeforce/EXC PPV came off as a deal to get Frank Shamrock into EXC while he was still contracted to have the Baroni fight.

  27. The Gaijin says:

    I know they don’t own Strikeforce – I just meant that the two organizations together would be more powerful than each on their own.

  28. The Gaijin says:

    CR has been pretty “meh” – I’m watching but I definately wouldn’t have shelled money out for this card.

    Thompson has absolutely zero luck fighting at home in Wembley. What’s his record now that he’s been going back there? 0-3?? Sheesh.

  29. JThue says:

    Gaijin: It’s not a PPV, so you wouldn’t have had to shell out.

    Tengiz gets knocked down by Butterbean but comes back to get the TKO on the ground in R1. Pretty solid main after a dull HERB~~~~! fight.

  30. The Gaijin says:

    Oh really? (not a PPV) Well I guess that makes a lot more sense. Who are those two bald horses asses that provide the in-between hosting – what a pair of beauties they were.

    The Tengiz fight was pretty solid – but wtf was he even doing trying to stand with Butterbean? As the announcer said ‘Bean always baits guys by letting them get over confident jabbing on him and then plows them when they get a little to comfy standing there with him.

    I didn’t even really see anywhere in that fight that H. Dean would have gotten hit that caused all the “damage” to his eye.

  31. 45 Huddle says:

    Dana White hasn’t spat all over Chute Boxe….. They offered Mauricio Rua a contract rumored to be double the pay he was getting in Pride. They are putting their money into the youth of the sport.

    As for Elite XC & Strikeforce… Their only chances are working together, and even that is a slim chance. Together they have a solid Middleweight Division, but that is it. However, there isn’t enough airtime on Showtime to get a good presentation across. Even one show a month isn’t enough. Not with 6 weight classes (they are using Super Heavyweight) and a woman’s division. So far, they are actually coming across more like boxing, where they put on fights here and there, but there isn’t the real structure like the UFC has.

    To me, the new big boy of MMA is K-1 Hero’s. Their Lightweight Division is stacked. The rest of their divisions are lacking, but they have the potential to really make it into something. However, it should be noted that they have never taken MMA as seriously as even Pride took it. They don’t have defending champions. They don’t even have an exact weight class structure. The next year should really let the fans know how serious they are about the sport.

  32. Adam Morgan says:

    Herb dean found a way to stop his own fight too early. Amazing.

  33. The Gaijin says:

    “Dana White hasn’t spat all over Chute Boxe….. They offered Mauricio Rua a contract rumored to be double the pay he was getting in Pride. They are putting their money into the youth of the sport.”

    Every time the fight (and fights involving Randy prior to that) falls through Dana White goes out of his way to run down Silva, his management and when he had it as an excuse the PRIDE execs. Now there’s no PRIDE left to deal with and he’s still having problems hammering the deal out and who does he shit all over??

    I guess Chute Boxe must be happy b/c the only person they’ve insulted and attempted to embarass this time is their flag bearing fighter? Figure it out – Dana’s a little child that acts like a spoiled brat every time he doesn’t get something exactly the way he wants it…I don’t think I’m making too many stretches on that – but I’ll await your attempts to say so.

    AM:

    haha – awesome!!! too funny.

  34. The Gaijin says:

    In the “use your head” category of news:

    Renato Sobral de Cunha was arrested at 4:15 a.m. and released yesterday on charges of Battery and Trespassing in Tampa. He was at the WFC event at the Florida State Fairgrounds, and was arrested at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Tampa. We don’t have any other details except it is believed he spit on a bouncer. (thanks to Mark Schreiner)

  35. 45 Huddle says:

    It is nice to see fighters acting like good citizens out in public.

    I am looking forward to the HBO Boxing Card tonight. 3 fights on it. Does anybody feel that there is now a push in boxing to make the fight cards a little stronger after what the UFC has done? This feels like one of those events.

  36. JThue says:

    http://www.wrestlingobserver.com/wo/news/headlines/default.asp?aID=20158

    - Dave Meltzer stops holding back. This piece blew my mind, to see him write something in such an emotional fashion. And yes it’s wrestling, Benoit, steroids, etc.

    Gaijin: The bald headed goofs would be the Cage Rage promoters, every bit as camera shy as our Dana ;)

  37. The Gaijin says:

    Man were they ever a pair of jackasses – love the sound of their own voices!

    45:

    If mma forces boxing to become interesting and make some strong events in order to compete I’m all for it!! It’s a good time to be a fans of fight sport.

    Gatti’s fighting tonight right?? Wonder if he’ll bounce back from PBF’s beating.

  38. 45 Huddle says:

    Looks like he didn’t bounce back.

  39. 45 Huddle says:

    This HBO Boxing card still shows how spoiled we are with MMA.

    According to The RING Rankings, we are getting 3 Top 10 Fighters on one card. We are getting 3 fights during a 3 hour time slot. Plus, there are more weight classes, so really there are more potential Top 10 fighters available. During the first hour of the telecast, there was around 6.5 minutes of fighting action.

    For a 3-hour UFC telecast, fans expect 5 to 6 fights. For UFC 73, we got SEVEN Top 10 fighters. They are Ortiz, Evans, Sherk, Franca, Silva, Marquardt, & Nogueira. And I would say 3 of those fighters are either Top 3 in the world (Silva, Sherk, & Nogueira).

    And yet hardcore fans are still displeased half the time. I guess it is what fans are used to.

  40. Zach Arnold says:

    I’m a North Easterner…. House prices are expensive here, but then I hear about CA and the $500,000 750 sq ft houses, and it makes me cringe… I guess those are only in the major cities.

    Don’t believe anyone who says that living in California is cheap – it certainly is not. The only thing remotely affordable about the state is that there’s Prop 13, which was passed in 1979 to cap the property tax. And the state Government for years has tried to find ways to get around the 1% prop. tax to raise it to 3-5%, similar to what it is in other states (like Nevada or Oregon). Even with the real estate bubble, you’re lucky if $300,000 USD gets you a place in the area.

  41. Adam Morgan says:

    Trevor Prangley wins Bodog Middleweight Title from Yuki Kondo. Lindland challenged him afterward and Baroni is ringside.

    Matt from UFC Takedown is there calling me with live updates.

  42. 45 Huddle says:

    The HBO Boxing card tonight was entertaining. Citron knocked the guy out cold. That was a serious KO. The Gatti fight was not fun to watch for me. It was more sad, and I’m not even a Gatti fan. And the main event was solid,

  43. Randy Rowles says:

    “Herb dean found a way to stop his own fight too early. Amazing.”

    That’s too funny — ROFLMAO

  44. 45 Huddle says:

    ********BODOG – SPOILER WARNING*********

    Yoshiki Takahashi got KO’d again. That guy needs to retire.

    Yves Edwards lost again. He is 1-5 in the last 2 years. His career is basically non-existent at this point. This is a guy who went 11-1 before his current bad streak.

    Chael Sonnen beat Amar Suloev, which I would consider a mild upset.

    Prangley beat Kondo. Yuki Kondo is 4-7-1 in his last 12 fights. I think it might be time for him to hang it up. Trevor Prangley has turned his career around a little bit as of late.

    I don’t think the card is finished yet.

  45. Jonathan says:

    That Bodog fight took me for a loop on the prediction side of things. Looking back, I have no idea why I chose Yoshiki Takahashi….what in the heck was I thinking?

  46. The Gaijin says:

    Wow….Glad Gatti hung it up….that was tough to watch – had tears in my eyes seeing a guy that I loved to watch fight look so overwhelmed in there. Seriously time to hang them up. Good on Larry Hazzard to step in on his own accord and end the fight.

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