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Tuesday, March 27, 2007

UFC scores TKO - Fox Sports

Must read article from Fox on the buyout.

"The UFC now oversees a staggering collection of talent, including nine fighters in's world pound-for-pound Top 10 ratings. And their vision for the rules of the sport on a worldwide basis — or at least the Unified rules accepted by American state athletic commissions, with five-minute rounds and uniform weight classes — will be implemented in both groups effective immediately. "

"What the transaction does not do, despite what you may read elsewhere, is give the UFC anything close to a monopoly over the business.

This deal went down in large part because several other well-heeled players have gotten into the American mixed martial arts game, from Gareb Shamus' International Fight League (which airs on FOX Sports Net) to the Showtime-backed Elite Xtreme Combat to offshore gambling magnate Calvin Ayre's Bodog Fight promotion.

It was likely no coincidence the announcement of the purchase was held just hours before a press conference in Los Angeles announcing an ambitious Showtime-backed show in June at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum featuring MMA legend Royce Gracie.

Ayre's group has thrown around big money signing the likes of Pride star Fedor Emelianenko (to a one-fight deal) and American middleweight standout Matt Lindland. EXC reportedly offered UFC heavyweight Brandon Vera, who has one fight left on his deal, a $1.5 million signing bonus. Shoring up Pride's stable of fighters will slow down the contractual bedlam."

"In the short term, not much will change for the average viewer aside from rules changes, which means the foot stomps and kicks to the heads of downed opponents that distinguished Pride from the UFC are no more. Zuffa will continue to run the Japanese company as a separate entity, with its separate roster of fighters separate champions, and separate office staff. Pride will continue to air in America on FOX Sports Net, and Zuffa officials indicated they are working on getting the brand back on Japanese TV.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the info, I like the idea of keeping the brands seperate and then bringing them together once a year for a pay per view. This should be good for MMA in the long run, but then again, what do I know.


    Broken Samurai X


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