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Monday headlines: The next big thing… in MMA

By Zach Arnold | October 21, 2007

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So, there are a lot of MMA sites marking out right now over UFC’s signing of Brock Lesnar. For those who don’t know Lesnar’s past track record in the fight industry, read here. Adam Swift has further thoughts. So does MMA Analyst and his alter-ego, Leland Roling.

Luke Thomas has more thoughts on the UFC 77 show. One thing I do want to address in Luke’s post are his comments about The Predator. The guy is legitimately tough, make no question about it. He gave Remy Bonjasky all he could handle in the K-1 ring. I would love to see Predator in one of the bigger MMA leagues right now.

An update on the StrikeForce one-night tournament in November.

The latest update on the brand new online fighter ranking system.

A Carlson Gracie Jr. sighting.

Putting to rest the rumors about Rich Franklin retiring soon.

The proposed fight between Chuck Liddell and Wanderlei Silva has still not been signed.

A new, experimental way to score MMA fights.

Katsuyori Shibata has been booked for the HERO’s 10/28 Seoul event. He will be fighting Heo Min-Seok of CMA Korea.

Topics: HERO's, K-1, Media, MMA, South Korea, UFC, Zach Arnold | 34 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

34 Responses to “Monday headlines: The next big thing… in MMA”

  1. Strikeforce’s two 2-minute rounds is ridiculous for the tournament. They might as well just joust.

  2. liger05 says:

    I hope to see Lesner take some beatings. Unprofessional waste of space!!

  3. sebastian says:

    Tuff-N-Nuff (or however you spell it) had a one-night tournament sanctioned in Nevada some time back. They too had shortened time limits.

  4. KOTC used to have short fights, but 2×2 is nuts.

  5. 2 minute rounds are very, very short. I’m not too crazy about that.

  6. Preach says:

    Two 2-minute rounds? What the hell? Why don’t they just go for one 5-minute round then? What are they supposed to do in 2 minutes? They could go and change the cards name to “Strikeforce:Decision”, cause that’s how the fights will turn out…

  7. Wow, I heard that rumor yesterday as well. Mitch Maxwell and Sibling still seemed unlikely as hell.

  8. Preach says:

    The revelation of Maxwell and Sibling is really weird.

    Seriously, who would’ve ever imagined that a guy who produces Broadway and Off-Broadway musicals for a living would try his hands at MMA? I could’ve seen every other possible “candidate”, hell, even Trump could’ve been an option, but the guy who produced “Jeffrey”???

  9. The Broadway aside, this also puts Rothwell and Whitehead not resigning with the IFL into perspective.

  10. Haha, they produced HATS!. The musical about the women of the Red Hat Society starring Kathie Lee Gifford, come on! This seems a bit amateur to me.

  11. Preach says:

    I wouldn’t say amateur, but they’re definetely getting into a business they don’t have the slightest shimmer about. On their website they state that they produced 5 feature films (yet i can only dig up information on three, and two of them are adaptions of their own plays, and my guess is that the producer credit is more of a honorary one there), and that they’re running a record label (whose only release so far is the OST to “Hats!”). I for sure hope that they’ll try to get a few more people from the MMA or Pro-Wrestling business to run the company for them, especially when it comes to producing the actual shows for television. In theater you’re able to rehearse and plan everything for months, so that you’re able to eliminate most problems, but you just don’t have that luxury if you’re trying to put on a live tv-show (or just record a live show). If they’re trying to rely on in-house talent: have fun sinking your own ship.

    But i gotta admit, the prospects of crossover-appearances are interesting… Fedor on stage, bursting out into a rendition of “Kalinka”? And when they’re at it – why not a musical dedicated to the sport? 😉

  12. That is really bizarre.

    Very queer eye for the mma guy stuff here.

  13. LR says:

    Wow, check out their financial sheets are Yahoo! Finances. They really have a limited amount of money it seems like. I’m wondering where their funding is coming from.

    Ticker Symbol: SIBE

  14. Wow, here’s some great information:

    According to the Major Holders page, Michael Baybak owns 6.3 million shares in Sibling Entertainment Group Holdings. Another 6.8 is owned by the company, so they have control in the company. This was part of the deal with Sona. I may be mistaken, but isn’t Baybak a crazy scientologist who was suing a bunch of magazines, etc. in defamation suits?

  15. Baybak was one of the guys who sued AOL Time Warner for libel a while back, yeah.

  16. Preach says:

    He is, Leland, he is. Among others he sued TIME Magazine (and won) A more than shady fella… I think he even tried to sue the german government, for not recognizing Scientology as a religion (It’s categorized as a cult over here, and being investigated by the authorities).

  17. Matter of time before Tom Cruise shows up at an M-1 event

  18. Sam Scaff says:

    Whoa, Scientology??

    This is getting weirder by the second.

  19. Rollo the Cat says:

    When I think about Vadim Finkelstein all I can remember are failures. Has he ever really succeded in promotions? Now, combine Vadim with Scientology and mix in poor Monte Cox and I can’t see this going anywhere.

    I am sure Vadim and Fedor will have already made a boatload of cash by the time this thing folds in two years.

  20. I’ve glanced over SEGH’s most recent SEC filings.

    At the same time very weird and very standard stuff. They’re yet another of those empty shell companies that we’ve discussed previously in relation to IFL and Pro Elite. Looks like they were originally founded in the 1980s under some sort of Texas loophole for importers of produce (I don’t think they ever imported any produce). They spent a lot of time doing nothing, then a few years back were probably acquired by the owners of this other company that they were “considering merging with,” but that didn’t work out at all, and they wrote off their loans to that company completely.

    Last year they were bought and renamed with the intention of consolidating all of these film, theater, and music operations under one listed company (presumably so that they would be able to raise capital or pay off debt by issuing shares).

    The interesting thing is that in their latest filing, there is absolutely no mention of any intentions to form an MMA company. It’s all about exploiting synergies, selling CDs based on their theater productions, and evaluating various independent film projects.

    Hm, how does a theatrical production company become entangled with a Russian mixed martial arts promotion that may or may not have ties to the Russian mafia (baseless speculation)?

    I wonder.

  21. Preach says:

    One thing that just now comes to my mind: what about Monte’s duties as an agent? Wouldn’t there be some sort of conflict of interest?

    And: how will his fighters react when they find out that their possible new employer is (more or less) backed by Scientology? Most of Monte’s fighters are devoted christians…

  22. 45 Huddle says:

    There is absolutely a conflict of interest with Monte Cox. It was one thing for him to run the local shows for Extreme Challenge. Those shows were intended to build up talent and then ship them away to other organizations where Monte could then become their agents. It was still shady, but not overly bad.

    With this new company, they likely do not have the goals of becoming a feeder system. They are in direct competition with many of the organizations that Monte Cox’s fighters compete in. As a fighter, I would seriously start to wonder if he has my best interests in mind when he becomes a CEO for the company he is trying to recruit me for.

    Additionally, this company isn’t really making money. Nor do they have a lot of money. Unless they have somebody who continues to put money into this thing, but how long can that last for? Just like the IFL, Bodog, and the rest of the companies… This is a wait and see type of thing. They will obviously go for Couture/Fedor, but how much can Couture sell without the UFC hype machine behind him? How much can MMA sell without good TV behind it? That is a serious question. Not to mention that this company has no experience with producing live television, and we have all seen how that works out on a first PPV try with Bodog….

    Sadly, this is the organization that Couture wants to leave the UFC for. Nothing like an old man walking into a train wreck on the advice of his agent….

    As for the Strikefoce Tournament…. Scott Coker should be ashamed to even call himself a MMA promoter. 2 minute rounds? 4 minutes of fighting? What a joke. I am sick of these loser promoters with this garbage that they try to pass off as MMA.

  23. Dedwyre says:

    Brock Lesnar needs to come in and get beaten, just so we can see if he’ll treat i as a learning experience and improve, or if he’ll leave the sport immediately and look for yet another line of work. His track record for toughing out the hard times is pretty poor.

  24. Zack says:

    “I wouldn’t say amateur, but they’re definetely getting into a business they don’t have the slightest shimmer about. ”

    Well, that’s probably why they got someone like Monte in there who knows more about the business than most people on the planet.

  25. John says:

    Isn’t Monte Cox already running his own promotion: XFO? Anyway, it definitely puts the IFL stuff in perspective. Hmm …

    BTW, the SEG web site looks really professional. Not. (

  26. Zack says:

    He runs Extreme Challenge.

  27. Preach says:

    XFO and Extreme Challenge, John.

  28. Mike Schroeder says:

    I wonder if any on Monte’s guys in the UFC will suffer for this?

  29. Mike Schroeder says:

    What is the purpose for having a “new” criteria for mma rankings? it’s now nothing but a popularity contest. Cmon, BJ as the number 1 lightweight in the world? Get serious. What a waste of bandwidth.

  30. jim allcorn says:

    2 X 2?!!! C’MON, now. If that’s the best compromise that Strikeforce could work out with the CSAC, then why even bother? That would be a waste even if they opened it up a bit & made it an 8 man tourney …

    Three 2 X 2 fights isn’t a proper tournament, it’s a couple of exhibition bouts at best IMO. It’s hardly better than that nonsense that Chuck Norris has on his show & has the gall to insult fight fans by claiming as being “the future of MMA competetion”. Dream on, Chuck. Maybe it is the same fantasy world where he’s proclaimed as a former “World Middleweight Kickboxing Champion” instead of the middleweight tournament Karate champion that he was in reality. A BIG difference that you never see corrected properly.

  31. 45 Huddle says:

    I completely agree that Brock Lesnar is a tough signing. He could easily walk away at any time. The best thing is for him to have a couple of wins and then get beaten by a very good contender, which would only help that fighter.

    At the same time, if Lesnar is completely serious about this and excels, he could be one of the most marketable champions the sport has ever had. Yes, he did Pro Wrestling (fake in the minds of regular people)…. But that is easily negated with the fact that he was a D1 National Wrestling Champion. He has the look. He was never Duane Johnson on the mic, but he learned enough through 4 years of WWE to come across well for an athlete. There really is potential in him. He has the look that is for sure.

    He will like debut on SuperBowl weekend with a Quinton Jackson main event. That card will be huge.

  32. Blocker says:

    If Lesnar takes this seriously and by all accounts he is, he could very well run roughshod over the UFC HW scene, who else can handle him really? Especially if his BJJ is good…It would have to be a very very good striker….Oh wait, there isnt any…


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