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Open post Friday

By Zach Arnold | October 12, 2007

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Any news that breaks today or anything of interest that is MMA-related, post it in the comments section.

First, an important site note. Expect a new Fight Opinion Radio show to be online late tonight or early tomorrow morning. We will have a very intriguing guest on to talk about Randy Couture’s departure from UFC and what the MMA landscape is behind-the-scenes as we speak. It’s one of our best interview segments.

Here is the latest IFL SEC filing. Any relevant news in the filing?

AOL Fanhouse asks if Dana White is bad for MMA. Someone should tell The Fanhouse that there are plenty of MMA sites available besides Yahoo Sports.

Here is Dave Meltzer’s first Yahoo Sports column.

Nick Diaz vs. KJ Noons appears set for 11/10 in Corpus Christi, Texas.

Topics: IFL, Media, MMA, Pro Elite, Zach Arnold | 40 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

40 Responses to “Open post Friday”

  1. Jeremy (not that Jeremy) says:

    Well, here’s a new choice quote from Dana:

    “He hooked up with some Hollywood agent that I bitch slapped about a month ago, and these Hollywood agents are parasites.”

  2. Hey I hear that randy couture quit the UFC. pretty big news huh?

  3. Jeremy (not that Jeremy) says:

    IFL filing:

    They’re selling 40 million shares, 14 million are warrants (ability to buy shares in the future). Expected share selling price: 51 cents.

    These are existing shares. Basically, they have a bunch of shareholders that are bailing out.

    They’re reiterating under risks that they don’t have positive operating cash flow, so they need to raise cash through financing.

    Gareb Shamus was replaced by Jay Larkin as president in September.

    They are only enclosing their June 30 unaudited financials. We should be expecting September 30 unaudited quarterlies soon, I would guess.

    They’re in a bad place with their TV deals. They haven’t been renewed yet on My Network TV or FSN, and if they are renewed, then they’re going to have to enter an exclusive content deal. Sounds like there’s another wrinkle here, basically because of the terms of their deal with Fox/MNTV, if MNTV doesn’t pick them up, they could still be exclusively locked in with FSN, so they’d only have regional sports cable as their TV outlet, no over the air.

    FSN has always been a bad deal for everyone because they like to pick up content to fill holes in their schedule, you can never get things scheduled at a consistent time or day nationally. If you thought there was any chance of live TV, you could kiss it goodbye if they were exclusively locked to FSN.

    There’s a weird warning about Otto and Shamus being free to move on to other businesses. Maybe a hint that they’re going to bail?

    Since this is kind of a prospectus, they’re noting that despite the massive number of shares that they keep issuing, the insiders still own 72% of the shares and control everything. Basically, you’re buying no control, and these guys have been driving the business into the ground.

    They don’t pass the (pretty lenient IMHO) standard for registering securities in California. As a result, they can only sell a limited number of shares (under the registration limit) in California.

    Nothing good, but nothing particularly new here.

  4. Davide says:

    If Randy is so disgusted by his contract, why the hell did he sign it?!?!?! I know it’s easiest to blame White in these cases, but I have to wonder why Randy signed a contract only to complain about it two fights later. What about a fight against Nogueira? Isn’t that a big enough fight for him to close out his career? I think he’s making some sweet moola making movies, doesn’t have time to train to what he needs to and is bowing out for a bigger pay check in hollywood. I’m sure compared to the rest of some of the contracts out there, Randy deserves more, but I have to say again, WHY THE HELL DID HE AGREE TO THE CONTRACT THEN?

  5. Smith’s analogy of an Internet startup eventually bringing in the MBAs in the AOL article is about as perfect as gets. The sport has matured to a point where White’s brash personality is hurting, and not helping it, with Couture being the obvious example.

  6. Davide, while I’m sure money is a factor here, both Randy’s comments and White’s nonsense suggest there is something else going on here.

    Also, there’s a good column by Meltzer up at Yahoo.

  7. Jeremy (not that Jeremy) says:

    I agree with Aaron, these guys statements have that same tone to them that you get when two old friends stop talking to one another because of a new girlfriend.

    There were probably issues along the way, but one thing was the final straw that broke the camel’s back, and I don’t think it was the money, because the dollar statements don’t add up.

    I wish Randy the best of luck in his movie career, and I can’t think of a more standup guy in MMA, he was always a gentleman in the cage and well spoken in interviews. That counts for something in my book. He was good for the sport.

    I just hope that this spat doesn’t carry over to the other guys who are training at Xtreme Couture. Heavyweight isn’t the strongest UFC division, and it makes sense that Randy would see no challenges on the horizon if they couldn’t bring in the other top guys in the world. Losing Randy doesn’t kill the division because the division’s been in a coma for years. However, some of the other guys in that gym are key contributors in the marquee UFC weight classes.

  8. Davide says:

    What else could be going on? Randy is not happy with the money given to him compared to others and White says he’s off on what he thinks other’s make. I think it’s pretty black and white. Questioning or hating on Randy in the MMA is like hating on Ghandi, people just don’t do it. At 44, you can’t spend months making a movie (not training) only to have to fight in the not so distant future at 100%. I think Randy signs with M-1 down the road to fight Fedor for huge money. Not sure what kind of soul owning contract White claims he has with Randy, but I would assume legally after Randy has resigned, he’s free to do what he wants. But if Randy was dumb enough to sign for money he wasn’t happy with, who else knows what he put his name to.

  9. Davide says:

    But don’t get me wrong guys. I think Randy is usually a class act and an amazing fighter and trainer. I don’t hate the guy at all. Just think it’s odd that he is complaining about money he makes when its him that signed his contract. If Dana offered him $100 to fight and he signed it, whose the real idiot? He was given a title shot at heavyweight out of nowhere. Yes he won, but did he deserve the fight? He got beatup bad at 205 in his last fight but then becomes the #1 contender for hw out of retirement?

  10. Preach says:

    I’m in the process of getting on a flight to Bulgaria (Tim, i get back to you later), so i’ll keep it short:

    “I think he’s making some sweet moola making movies, doesn’t have time to train to what he needs to and is bowing out for a bigger pay check in hollywood.”

    He’s definetely making less money working on the new Scorpion King-sequel than for a fight in the UFC. From what i’ve heard the film’s budget is somewhere between 3 and 4 mio. U$. Even if he gets 2nd billing, he’s most probably just making something like 150k. IF he even gets that (which i sincerely doubt). Until now his whole acting career hasn’t even brought in as much cash together, than one of his UFC fights (the minimum SAG pay rate is 759$ per day/2634$ per week for principle actors [meaning a role with text]. Given the roles he played up until now [and and added “celebrity bonus”] i’d say he earned something like 4k-5k per film).

    As for Danas agen=leech quote: He’s right on the money with that. Hollywood agents have destroyed more lifes and careers than a crash at the NY stock market…

  11. David says:

    Every other day I wonder if I can make a quick profit on IFLI and then you guys shoot my hopes down. Dana White is the biggest scumbag. His arrogance is a more devastating parasite than if Randy Couture and Chuck Liddell were Persian and Armenian.

  12. Davide says:

    I’d love to see a source for the budget of that scorpion king movie. Three million is less than most indie movies and with the big budget special effects and shit those mummy movies usually have, I’d be incredibly surprised if it was as low as 3 million.

  13. Croatian Strength says:

    From the interviews, I think Randy’s point is not that he’s underpaid, it’s the fact that Zuffa are making more from the PPVs then they are telling the talent, are giving people like Cro Cop more $ (especially as he gets it win or lose) when they do not draw as much as Randy, who is the #2 guy behind Chuck and that Zuffa lied to him about where he is on the payscale when he signed his contract.

  14. Jonathan says:

    I have a theory that the Pride guys record in the UFC would be almost the same as if the UFC guys fought in Pride…kind of like people are most likely to win where they have fought most.

    As for Randy (is it still news), how many people think he will REALLY end up in M-1.

  15. Jeremy (not that Jeremy) says:

    Re: Scorpion King Zero

    I have a feeling that this may actually just be the movie version of the videogame they released a while back with the same name. SK had about 90mil in box office, so you’re looking at a film that they’re not going to want to put more than about … 25 mil into so that they can pretty much guarantee net income.

  16. cyphron says:

    Croatian Strength, I think you have something there.

    I bet dollars to donuts that the argument is whether the PPV #s are actually reported correctly to Couture. When he’s getting a cut of PPV, and Dana tell the press that they did 1 million buys while telling their fighters that they did 600k, then there’s a huge discrepancy somewhere.

  17. Zack says:

    I can’t wait to get the Scorpion King movie with Randy in it. I’m a huge fan of terrible MMA related movies and it’ll fit perfectly next to The Eliminator, Godzilla: Final Wars, Brazillian Brawl, & Scarecrows Gone Wild in my collection.

  18. Jonathan says:

    Is Sherdog down?

  19. GassedOut says:

    I can’t view Sherdog either…maybe a temporary glitch?

  20. Jeff says:

    Who cares about Sherdog? According to Dana, they’re awful. And I always believe what Dana says.

  21. The Gaijin says:

    “He’s definetely making less money working on the new Scorpion King-sequel than for a fight in the UFC. From what i’ve heard the film’s budget is somewhere between 3 and 4 mio. U$. Even if he gets 2nd billing, he’s most probably just making something like 150k.”

    That’s such a ridiculously retarded statement.

    $3-4M for a movie…right buddy…video games have bigger budgets than that. Nice of you to make up information to suit your argument however 😉

    TSK made ~$100M box office and probably doubled that with DVD sales and tv etc…trust me, even shitty Van Damme movies have bigger budgets than that b/c special FX budgets for movies like that are probably $3-4M in themselves. Don’t kid yourselves, even the straight to DVD movies make a ton of money and if a person has any share of the royalties they’re going to make a sweet deal on that alone.

  22. GassedOut says:

    Who cares about Sherdog? According to Dana, they’re awful. And I always believe what Dana says.

    LOL Jeff.

    Anyway, it’s back up.

  23. lynchman says:

    Regarding the Skorpion King:
    It had a budget of 60 million and did 90 million in the U.S. After international release and DVD, it made a profit but the U.S. release was not profitable after P.R.

    My guess is that this film does indeed have a budget of around 25 million, but not much more.

    Randy MIGHT be making one million for the film, but not much more. The Rock made 5 million for TSK and he was A) The star and B) Much bigger than Randy is.
    So Randy is in the prequel that has a budget of less than half and is playing a supporting role. He is not making a ton of money for this.

    Redbelt, the film he just completed, had a budget of only ten million. Not all Hollywood films are big budget.

  24. Johnny P. says:

    Obviously I haven’t listened to the new Fight Opinion Radio yet, but based on the last few days, I gotta say, the negativity I called you out on seems to be the baseline level of the average fan online, Zach. I’m not blaming you, belive me. This one is all on Dana White. I look forward to your Negative Nancy podcast 🙂 I’m one this weekend too! Just terrible.

  25. Ivan Trembow says:

    “Imagine if, in October of 1993, Michael Jordan had said he was retiring from the NBA not just because he had nothing left to prove in basketball, but because he was sick of the lack of respect that Commissioner David Stern had shown him. And then imagine if Stern had responded by saying Jordan was retiring because of his “scumbag agent,” whom Stern claimed he had “bitch slapped.””

    lol, and they’re not even aware of the fact that Dana White also just compared Randy Couture and his other fighters to “bitches in a beauty salon”

  26. 45 Huddle says:

    Players leave teams all the time because of the coach, management, or GM.

    I remember when people were making a big deal of Ortiz being in The Crow 7. When people made a big deal about Hulk Hogan being in movies. When people made a big deal about Oleg Taktarov being in a movie. When people made a big deal about HHH being in the movie. When people made a big deal about various other people.

    The only person who has been able to become a breakout star (in entertainment) from Pro Wrestling or MMA is The Rock, Duane Johnson. That is it. And he had one of the greatest personalities in Pro Wrestling History. Couture was never known as Mr. Personality. his acting career will be short lived.

    Here is my prediction:

    1. Randy Couture starts to rethink his decision. Heck he has 9+ months to do so.

    2. Randy Couture gets more money to come back to the UFC.

    3. By the time he does, he is substantially slower and gets beat down by the #1 contender.

    4. The Fertitta’s & White have relief that their championship was never completely vacant.

    5. They then fire Couture and tell him to go stick it.


    On a side note, people continue to bash Dana White for this situation. People seem to forget that even Dan White has a boss, and his name is Frank Fertitta. And White can sometimes become a puppet for what this guy wants.

    Frank Fertitta is a business man through and though. He runs a billionaire dollar empire and recently brought his company private. This guy knows what he is doing in business.

    The fact that Frank has also been handling Couture’s contract…. And Couture is still pissin and moaning…. Is a good sign that this issue has very little to do with Dana White, and everything to do with Couture acting irrationally due to somebody being in his ear.

  27. 45 Huddle says:

    They talked about Randy Couture on PTI…. And Randy Couture was basically trashed. The black guy (forget his name) was saying how he has a 16-8 record and how Quinton Jackson could beat him down. It was funny stuff.

  28. Bryan says:

    So the UFC does not have a definitive HW Champion, the LHW champion is out until next year as a result of an injury, they don’t have a definitive LW champ, and HBO got sick of dealing with White and pulled the plug on UFC on HBO. Man, somebody remind me not to laugh too hard the next time Dana bashes another organization for being “bush league.”

  29. Ivan Trembow says:

    holy crap, they had an entire slot on the rundown dedicated to the couture story on PTI. usually any mention of MMA gets 5-to-10 seconds in the rapid-fire “Big Finish” portion of the show. it was good that they had Dan La Batard (from the Miami Herald) on the show, as he knows a lot about MMA, whereas with the normal hosts, Tony Kornheiser doesn’t know anything about MMA or have any interest in it, while Mike Wilbon is sort of a casual fan in that he knows what it is, but he said in the past that he only has any interest in watching anymore UFC fights if Randy Couture were to fight Quinton Jackson. La Batard is always trying to get Wilbon to watch more MMA, and Wilbon sometimes tries to get Kornheiser to watch MMA.

    on today’s segment, La Batard said that Couture is the baddest man in sports, Wilbon said that he’s not and that Quinton Jackson would beat him. at that point, the whole segment was about arguing who baddest man is without really talking about Couture’s resignation, other than Wilbon saying that Couture feels he doesn’t get enough respect. Wilbon also said that Chuck Liddell has lost his last two fights and that Quinton Jackson beat Chuck, at which point Le Batard jokingly said, “Look at you, you mixed martial arts expert!” and Wilbon said, “You think I’m sleeping on MMA?” Wilbon said that Couture should beat somebody in the ring, and La Batard said, “He just did beat someone! With a broken arm!” then they had a good laugh as Le Batard said, “You’re so tough, you wouldn’t even do this show with a broken arm.” very refreshing to see MMA treated in a respectful way, where it was just a regular news story and not treated like some kind of freak show

  30. The Gaijin says:

    “They talked about Randy Couture on PTI…. And Randy Couture was basically trashed. The black guy (forget his name) was saying how he has a 16-8 record and how Quinton Jackson could beat him down. It was funny stuff.”

    What’s funny stuff is that a week ago you’d be bitching like you had sand in your v@gina if this had happened and be lambasting the guy for disrespecting Couture, now of course, it’s funny stuff!

  31. Ivan Trembow says:

    big SportsCenter segment, woah

  32. Ivan Trembow says:

    In the in-depth SportsCenter interview, Couture repeated some of the same points that he made in the Sherdog interview, but he also added Couture on SportsCenter that there are plenty of other fighters on the mid-card and undercard who are “getting the shaft” (his words) from UFC management in terms of their pay, and he hopes that his resignation from the UFC will raise awareness of that.

    After the interview, they read Dana White’s bitch-slap comment from There was a SportsCenter anchor in the background (off-camera) who could be audibly heard gasping and saying, “Woah!” when they got to the bitch-slap comment. I can’t imagine what the reaction would have been to the “bitches in a beauty salon” comment had they been aware of it.

  33. Blocker says:

    The thing that really annoys me about this whole situation is that Randy Couture would not even be talked about as someone Fedor should fight a year ago. The UFC gave him a chance from retirement limbo against Sylvia. They didnt have to do that, they could have had Tim fight a Gonzaga or Kongo. They could have postponed a few months. Couture wasnt worth dick until then, and I dont believe he should be trying to get more money when 90% of the UFC’s fighters earn 1% what he does. The PRIDE guys are overvalued but that would have been taken care of in their next negotiation. This whole thing is just bizarre and Randy Couture risks sliding into mediocraty.

  34. 45 Huddle says:

    I think Couture is walking a slippery slope when he starts to get other fighters involved in his fight with Zuffa. No other organization can pay the number of fighters Zuffa does. None of them can pay the amounts that Zuffa actually does. Every company that tries to compete goes under.

  35. LR says:

    Heads up, Couture was on ESPN. Dana White’s quote regarding “bitchslapping” was splashed on the screen. Mainstream is going to portray Dana as a naughty boy… uh oh.


  36. […] fan (think dirt sheets), while Wilbon is your very casual MMA observer. Couture’s departure was also mentioned on Sportscenter. ESPN video […]

  37. Jeremy (not that Jeremy) says:

    What slippery slope?

    Fucking Tito Ortiz has been doing it for years. It’s half of what allowed Pride to have any meaning in the US at all (in terms of US fighters going to Japan to avoid fighting in UFC because they were members of Tito’s camp).

  38. Jeremy (not that Jeremy) says:

    I don’t even know what to do about that kind of crap. Catering to Tito’s cancer clearly got us where we are today in terms of guys holding out (I’m not saying they have no right to hold out, but if you continuously bow to that kind of pressure, everyone’s going to do it, and if you don’t, then they’re going to form a union and you won’t have that kind of problem among your legitimate fighters).

    What makes me particularly upset at this point is that we’ve had some of those Tito exiles coming back into UFC lately, and THEY’RE WORTH WATCHING. I don’t want another five years of lost fighters.

  39. klown says:

    Couture, stick it to White.

    45 Huddle, take your hatred of fighters elsewhere.

  40. Preach says:

    Well, i’m back on german soil. Lesson for the day, kids: book your own flights, don’t bank on some intern in the US doing it, that has never flown with an eastern-european airline. They have the tendency to either go kaput and have to land somewhere other than your destination, or just fall out of the sky. Thankfully in my case it was neither, but there were a few moments where i thought the latter would happen. Moving on…

    Gaijin, in Germany we have a nice saying that goes “Wenn man keine Ahnung hat, einfach mal die Fresse halten”. In english this means “If you don’t know what you’re talking about – shut the fuck up!”.

    “The Scorpion King: Rise of the Akkadian” is a german/south-african co-production that’s being made for Universals new direct-to-dvd division. Over the last few years many major studios discovered that there’s a huge (more or less) untapped market for direct-to-dvd sequels of somewhat profitable films. The pioneer in this market was Columbia/Sony, which produced sequels to films like “Cruel Intentions” (2 d2dvd sequels), “Wild Things” (2 sequels), “8mm” (1 sequel), “The Butterfly Effect” (1 sequel, another one’s in the pipeline) or the “Walking Tall”-sequels. And now more and more majors are jumping on this trend: Warner (with “Return to Haunted Hill” and “The Lost Boys 2”) and the aforementioned Universal. They’ve already put out d2dvd sequels such as “The Skulls 2 & 3”, “American Pie 4 & 5” and “White Noise 2”. Sony even just started up a new label that’s intended solely for sequels, “Stage 6”. The first wave of sequels will include “Vacancy 2”, “Art of War 2”, “Center Stage 2″ and Starship Troopers 3”.

    One thing that they all, be it Sony, Warner or Universal, have in common is their small budgets: they all range between 1 and 10 Mio. Dollars. That may seem very miniscule, but it’s really not. They are mostly shot abroad, in countrys where the dollar still has some value left, where they get tax discounts, professional working local crews, and where they can work without SAG-actors. The unions are one of the main factors that filmmaking in the US has become so damn expensive. So they just go where they can get value for the dollar, to countries like South Africa, Hungary, Romania, the Czech Republic or Bulgaria. In most of these countries you’re able to produce a film for 5 mio that looks like 10 or 15, simply due to the fact that everything’s just so darn cheap.

    So the equation is simple: take a somewhat successful film that could be turned into a franchise, hire a few recognizable faces (a good mixture between good-looking The CW teenstars and veterans), go to eastern europe, shoot the film, put it on dvd and just MAKE money (most so-called “Blockbusters” hardly break even, including dvd-sales!).

    As for the “Scorpion King” with The Rock. The budget was not 60 mio $, sorry. The Inaccurate Movie Data Base is just that – inaccurate in most parts. It was the budget for the film AND the advertising combined, wich is common practice nowadays for most studio films that get a theatrical release. 40 Mio $ seems more accurate. And the 90 mio were the gross, of which the theaters get between 40 and 45%, always depending on the studio. Lynchman is right when he says that the film only made a profit after international rights and dvd. And it’s because the film did good on dvd, that they decided to give it a sequel.

    The 4-5 Mio U$ as the budget for the film seems pretty reasonable. Like i said, all the d2dvd sequels are somewhere between 1 and 10 mio, and the film has absolutely no “stars” with any name recognition. You’ve got a guy who did some episodes of “One Tree Hill” as the lead (the aforementioned “The CW”/”The WB” connection), a few british actors no-one outside of the Beeb has heard of and Randy. So, shooting in Africa, relying on “natural sets” and having most of the effects work done in eastern europe (there’s a bunch of groups who do the effects on most SciFi Originals) the 4-5 mio should make it look like it would have if they had shot it in the US – for 10-15 Mio.

    As for Randy getting 1 Mio – i’m sure Randy’s dreaming of that, but if someone were to actually give him that amount of money, i’d have this persons head examined. He’s just not worth it at this time. Lynchman cited “Redbelt” as having a budget of 10 Mio $. It has that budget, and let’s look at how many name actors the film has: Chiwetel Ejiofor (Children of Men). Tim Allen (Wild Hogs). Rodrigo Santoro (300). Joe Mantegna (Godfather 3). Max Martini (The Unit). David Paymer (City Slickers). They’re all better known to Joe Schmo than Randy Couture. Add to that director/writer David Mamet, one of the most famous playwrights the US has to offer. This film is leaps and bounds above “The Scorpion King: Rise of the Akkadian”, yet you think it has a budget 2 1/2 times as much? It might be a bit higher than 4-5 mio, but i sincerely doubt it…

    As for you saying that Videogames have higher budgets: of course they have. And that’s why they’re so friggin expensive. When you’re creating a video game you have a permanent staff on your payroll, that’s working on the game for years, day in, day out. On a film there are only two people that are permanently on it: the director and the producer. They’re there from the start until the end (that is, unless the producer fires the director before he finishes his cut). Or do you really think that a film production keeps a carpenter employed when he’s finished building the sets?

    And in the end, a budget doesn’t really have to do anything with the quality of a film. Go to the theater in two weeks, and watch “The Signal”. The film was done for a measeley 50,000 dollars (imdb says 5,2 mio, haha, yeah, that’s why they felt like Scrooge McDuck when they were able to sell it for 2,1 mio to Magnolia Pictures, right), but looks absolutely great…

    And here’s just a little reminder of just what type of films you can do with 4-12 mio, Gaijin, i guess you’ve heard of a few of them…

    – Cube (300k $ Can)
    – Requiem for a dream (4 Mio $)
    – 28 Days later (8 Mio $)
    – Saw (1,2 Mio $)
    – Saw 2 (4 Mio $)
    – Saw 3 (7 Mio $)
    – Hostel (4 Mio $)
    – House of a 1000 Corpses (7 Mio $)
    – The Devils Rejects (7 Mio $)
    – Crank (12 Mio $)
    – Night Watch (4 Mio $)

    Oh snap, they made truckloads of money for their studios, but had smaller budgets than videogames!!!


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