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Jon Jones vs. Rashad Evans FULL Fight Video Highlights

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Video: Bellator 66 HighLights

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Fight Video: Buakaw Banchamek Destroys Latest Opponent

If like us you are fond of some Muay Thai and K-1 kickboxing as part of your fightsport diet, you might have been following the recent trials and tribulations of Buakaw Banchamek nee Por. Pramuk.

The fighter formerly known as Buakaw Por. Pramuk split ways with the Por Pramuk team recently amid allegations that he was being treated improperly and had been the victim of financial irregularity - like most thai boxers, Buakaw grew up in the camp and lived in its dormitories, with the management handling his income and earnings.

Having gone AWOL and off-radar for a bit he then popped up with a new gym all of his own, courtesy of his sponsors Yokkao Fight Gear. He had long been scheduled to fight on the major Thai Fight event in Pattaya this past weekend but his appearance was thrown into doubt because of his issues with the Por. Pramuk camp.

There were allegations his safety was under threat for going public with his allegations against Por. Pramuk but he was also under fear of arrest for taking part in the event. But in the end he decided to go ahead - much to the detriment of his opponent, who took one of the worst beatings Buakaw has dished out in year.


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Bellator Video: Eddie Alvarez Vs. Shinya Aoki 1 Fight Video (2008)

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UFC 145 Dana White Vlog Part 1

This video features backstage footage from last Saturday's UFC on Fuel TV 2 in Sweden. Highlights include a busted up Thiago Silva getting stiches after his decision loss to Alexander Gustafsson

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UFC: More clothing deals to come

USA TODAY spoke to Fertitta and Johnston this week about how UFC's apparel business works with fighters. Excerpts from the conversation:

USA TODAY: I gather UFC believes "sponsorship" is the wrong term for what's going on with Jon Jones. Is it inaccurate?

BRYAN JOHNSTON: Yes, it's inaccurate because you've got to remember that their organization has got over 350 fighters in it.

So if you start at the very basic level, our job is to support the fighters. At the fighter summit, we probably gave out a quarter of a million dollars in product. Every single fighter – whether they were a new fighter entering the organization or a fighter like Jon Jones – got the exact same product offering. So it starts with lifestyle product (and) training product, things that they need specifically in the gym.

It's no different than the mindset that you have working at Nike or Adidas or Under Armour, where you use the athletes that are within your world to help you develop world-class products for that specific sport.

LORENZO FERTITTA: At the end of the day, this is not your traditional fight-promotion company. What we've really built here is a completely different animal.

Yeah, we put fights on, but we're a global media/lifestyle company. As part of that, we've been able to create a number of different business silos, whether it be on the videogaming side; on the licensing side with different products; on the DVD side; digital downloads.

And this is another silo which is, we've developed a lifestyle clothing brand, in addition to a performance line of clothing that's used for training. The people that are responsible for running that department understand that the way they're going to be able to hit their sales quotas is that the general consumer, the general public needs to be exposed to the product.

How you do that is, you get the product on the athletes. No different than (how) TapouT wants to do that, and MMAElite and Jaco and all these other guys.

The Jon Jones thing, it's really kind baffling to me that people have kind of responded the way they have. I guess because people don't really understand how it came about.

To give you a little bit of background, I was going through the process of renegotiating with Jon and his management team on his fight contract. One of the things they brought up was that Jon was at a point where he didn't necessarily want to sign contracts with some of these smaller, what I'll call, T-shirt companies that you historically see in UFC, whether it be Tapout or MMA Elite or any of these other guys.

His aspirations (were) that he wanted to be signed by a Nike or an Adidas or an Under Armour, somebody like that. The reality is, those opportunities don't present themselves to Jon right now, and that's why I suggested, "Hey look, we've got this performance line of gear. Let us send it to you. You can test it. You can try it out. If you like it, then you can wear it in your next couple of fights."

In addition to that, it's nonexclusive. (He) can still go out and get a deal with Nike, Under Armour, Reebok or Adidas. So it's a very open-ended process as far as him wearing that.

And there's been other guys that have worn UFC-branded product to fight in as well. So it's not necessarily the first time.

BRYAN JOHNSTON: We tried to actually do a quick count of how many times fighters have worn UFC gear, and we can't even count it. But it's in excess of 20. If you go to UFC's (website) and you look at the apparel part of the website, you'll see Phil Davis, Urijah Faber, Clay Guida – I can't even give you the list of fighters that are all wearing the performance gear and all wearing the lifestyle gear.

I think the issue that we have and that we're dealing with in a weird way is a very uneducated media audience as well as a fanbase that's not really looking at this from a way that an Adidas, a Nike or an Under Armour would.

My background was with Burton Snowboards. Just to be really clear, Burton Snowboards owns and operates five of the largest snowboard events in the world: the U.S. Open, Canadian Open, European Open, Australian Open, the Asian Open. Not only do we own the event, we actually own the judging. ... This concept (of not having specific athletes endorse an event organizer's clothing) has never even come up in that world of sports.

You take surfing; Kelly Slater, 10-time world champion. The Quicksilver Pro is one of the biggest events in the world. So should Quicksilver stop sponsoring Kelly Slater – not even sponsoring, but having Kelly involved in product development – because they own a surfing event? Probably not.

You want to go into Under Armour. Under Armour probably has 25 percent of the high-school football programs in the country. They've probably got 25 percent of the college-football programs in the country. They also have the NFL combines and the college combines. Should they get out of the combine business?

It's really a baffling (idea).

LORENZO FERTITTA: Yeah. I was actually surprised that people were concerned with this. But whatever.

USA TODAY: The perception or suggestion on the part of some folks is that because only one fighter is wearing your gear in the cage, he is being favored over the other in the fight. Why is that not true?

LORENZO FERTITTA: Well, first of all, I don't know what we could possibly do to favor him. Anything relative to the fight or the outcome of the fight is 100 percent completely out of our control.

The fact of the matter is, Rashad has a deal with Jaco. I don't know the express terms of it, but it's probably a very good deal. That's who he chose to sign a deal with. He's not available to even wear any UFC-branded gear in a fight because he's already got a pre-existing deal.

So I don't know how anybody can come to the conclusion that one fighter is being favored over the other.

Jon was out of contract. He didn't have a deal, and he didn't want to sign another deal with one of those typical MMA brands and decided that he wanted to wear UFC gear.

BRYAN JOHNSTON: The general frustration, if you talk to our fighters, is that no one is making a performance line specifically for a mixed martial artist and a mixed martial arts fighter.

Everything that they're adopting from either Nike, Adidas or Under Armour, it's built for other players in other sports. So the fit's not right. The things that they need to train in is not built specifically for what they do every day.

So when Lorenzo hired me – this goes back three-and-a-half years ago – probably one of the very first things we did was, we got Gray Maynard in here. Because Gray Maynard was close by, had a great background, had a great relationship with the guys in our gym.

Again, no different than Nike, Adidas or Under Armour. We brought Gray Maynard into the fold and really started using him to start helping us develop the first product.

This is the way things work in a sporting-goods business.

USA TODAY: When the athletes wear this performance gear or lifestyle apparel into the cage, are they compensated extra for that, or is it built into their fight contracts?

Fertitta: It depends. Every contract's different.

There's different incentives that are built into fight contracts. There's different modes of compensation. In some cases guys wear the gear as part of their fight contract, and in some cases they're compensated above and beyond that.

USA TODAY: If Rashad was not under contract to another apparel manufacturer, would he be a guy you'd want wearing your gear?

Fertitta: Certainly. Listen, we'd love to have as many guys that want to wear gear.

Of course, Rashad would (be someone we'd want). You're talking about two of the highest level, most exposed fighters that we have on our roster. Of course, Rashad would be.

BRYAN JOHNSTON: Then again, if you go to the UFC website, not only did Rashad get involved in the early development of product, there's photos of him on our website in the compression gear, in the training gear.

He was one of the main guys that we used to develop sizing. In the Nike/Adidas/Under Armour model, you pick certain athletes that actually fit people who walk the street, and he worked perfectly.

Brian Stann, you'll see Brian Stann on the website because he fits the profile of the extra-large guy in the street working out in the gym.

Again, the number of athletes that have been involved in this product development, above and beyond the 350 that were given product at the fighter summit ... there's a core group of 20 people that we used on multiple, multiple bases for testing and doing photo shoots.

USA TODAY: In terms of actually wearing the gear into the cage for a real fight, how many fighters have done that besides Jon?

BRYAN JOHNSTON: Again, we can't really count it, but you've got everything from the guy who just came over from China (Tiequan Zhang), and then there's a whole list of fighters who typically find on the undercard, that may not have a sponsor, that we gladly give product to.

Quite frankly, going forward, there's more and more. As we develop better products specifically for guys fighting in UFC, you'll see more of them want to wear the product.

USA TODAY: Are you looking to have more of the type of partnerships that you have with Jon Jones, as far as a apparel goes, or is that more of a unique situation?

LORENZO FERTITTA: Look, we're in the very early stages of developing a business plan and a business strategy.

Merchandise is a business that we're pursuing. We're out there talking to multiple different distributors, sporting goods stores in both Canada/the United States and Europe. ... In fact, the line doesn't actually officially launch into retail stores until the fall, is my understanding. So we're just in the very early stages of putting together the marketing plan.

As we've said before, it's very basic and very obvious. You get an 18-year-old kid out there, and how do you create demand that that kid wants to wear the gear? They want to wear what the athletes are wearing. And that's what the basic strategy is.

USA TODAY: Back in 2008 when Affliction was getting into the fight-promotion business, USA TODAY did an interview with Dana White in which he said: "Are you kidding me? It's like me saying I'm going to go out tomorrow and start a T-shirt company and compete with Affliction. The [expletive] do I know about selling T-shirts?"

Since then, what convinced UFC that it should go into that business and investigate that sort of lifestyle apparel?

LORENZO FERTITTA: Well, I think at the time, we didn't have that core competency. Certainly, I'm no expert and Dana's no expert.

But that's why we hired Bryan, who was senior marketing guy at Burton, (which) is a massive retail business – we've recently hired a whole separate infrastructure of guys – and really one of the guys at Burton that was responsible for over $800 million of revenue coming into the company, and multiple different types of merchandise platforms.

And they operate as a completely separate business. They don't know or care who's fighting who, who's doing what, any of that stuff. They're building strategies and plans on their own to build that business, and leveraging the distribution that we have and the billion homes around the world that are potentially going to be viewing the event. They're brainstorming, trying to figure out, "OK, how do we sell more product?"

They believe we sell more product (by getting) the product on our athletes. To get the product on our athletes, we've got to go out and either give it to them or do a separate deal and, once again, provide our athletes with another benefit that other promoters can't.

USA TODAY: Does this cause any tension with the companies that currently pay you fees to be sponsors in UFC?

LORENZO FERTITTA: I don't know. I don't think so. I think at the end of the day, they're looking for the same thing that our guys are looking for: exposure. That's why TapouT and all these other guys want their product on our show because it's an extremely valuable thing. That's how they built their company.

BRYAN JOHNSTON: The other people that kind of surround our business, the majority of them are licensing businesses built on making T-shirts. To do what we're trying to do, you can't do that on a license model. Nike, Adidas, Under Armour – they don't license anything.

We're running this business like a real sporting goods/apparel and equipment business. So that's the fundamental difference, and it's why we don't get the pushback – because they don't have the resources to do it.

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New York State Senate Votes in Favor of MMA Bill (Once Again)



The state Senate has once again entered the octagon and emerged with passage of a bill — sponsored by Sen. Joe Griffo — approving professional mixed martial arts bouts in New York. It passed 43-14, and was one of the few bills we’ve seen in which the makeup of the opposition cut across the usual party and demographic lines.

This is the third year in a row the measure has passed the Senate. As noted by Jimmy earlier this afternoon, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver is more amenable to seeing it on the chamber floor than he has been in past years.

Here’s the release from the Senate GOP:

The New York State Senate today passed legislation (S.1707A) to legalize and regulate mixed martial arts (MMA) competitions in New York State.

“I am glad to see the Governor has said that he would strongly consider taking a position that I have held for four years now – that bringing MMA events to New York State will have a tremendously positive impact through the jobs that can be created and the spending that will stimulate the economy,” said Senator Joseph A. Griffo (R-C-I, Rome), the bill’s sponsor. “Instead of just talking about this idea, we brought it to a vote and passed this legislation now, so that we can start holding events in New York this year.”

“In recent years, mixed martial arts has evolved from its beginnings into a more reformed, organized and regulated sport worthy of our review for sanctioning consideration in New York State,” Griffo said. “In nearly 20 years, it has grown into an international phenomenon. It’s long past time to look into officially sanctioning this sport in New York. Forty-seven of the 50 states allow mixed martial arts matches. There are significant tourist and tax revenue dollars flowing to neighboring states who are hosting these events. I want that revenue coming here.”

One of the fastest growing sports in America, MMA is regulated in 47 states including New Jersey, Pennsylvania, California and Florida. The Ultimate Fighting Championship is the most heavily regulated of the mixed martial arts leagues. Since 2001, UFC has employed strenuous rules and regulations to protect its athletes, including medical testing and safety requirements more rigorous than those in professional boxing.

“Legalizing and regulating mixed martial arts in New York would strengthen our economy and help create new jobs,” Senate Majority Leader Dean G. Skelos said. “Almost every other state has recognized the economic potential of MMA events. It’s time for New York to join them.”

Senator Griffo said that he is also upbeat about the potential for several New York–based fighters to participate in bouts in their home state. “I think it would be great for MMA stars to be able to appear before their hometown fans,” Griffo said. “It would also be a tremendous shot in the arm for the economy.”

Senator Griffo noted that a 2008 study reported that a UFC event in New York City would generate $11.5 million in net new economic activity:
$5.3 million in direct event spending, $1.4 million in non-lodging visitor spending, and $4.9 million in indirect/induced benefits. UFC events would produce substantial employee compensation: UFC events require over 300 staff working on the event, equivalent to the creation of 88 full-time local jobs per event. The 2008 study found that a UFC event in Buffalo would generate $1.7 million in direct event spending, $1.4 million in visitor spending, $2.1 million in indirect/induced benefits.

“I have been trying to get New York into this market for four years,” Senator Griffo said. “The longer we wait, the more revenue we lose out on. We’re calling for action to approve these competitions to help our economy and our communities.”

The bill has been sent to the Assembly for their consideration.



The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) today applauded the Senate’s Committee on Cultural Affairs, Tourism, Parks and Recreation for approving S.1707A, which would authorize the New York State Athletic Commission to add Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) to the list of contact sports that may hold matches and exhibitions in New York, and sending the bill to the Committee on Commerce, Economic Development and Small Business for consideration.

"New York is one of only three states that does not allow professional MMA events to take place within its borders,” UFC Chairman & CEO Lorenzo Fertitta said. “It’s unfair to the millions of UFC fans in New York who want to see matches in person without having to travel out of state, and we hope this is the first step in legalizing MMA in New York in 2012. Mixed Martial Arts is the fastest growing sport in history – both in fans and in participants. There are literally hundreds of MMA schools and training facilities in New York, and the UFC has contributed to economic development and job creation in scores of communities around the country and across the world.”

"We want to bring the UFC to New York and to our loyal fans here, and we will do so immediately if this bill is passed and signed into law,” Fertitta added. “In fact, the UFC announced this very week that the UFC light heavyweight title bout between two New Yorkers – champion Jon Jones of Rochester and challenger Rashad Evans of Niagara Falls – will be held in Atlanta in April. It is a shame that such a huge event, which will attract fan and media attention around the world, between two New Yorkers cannot be held in their home state. The UFC remains committed, however, to bringing world class events to New York, and specifically Western New York, as soon as we are able to do so.”

S.1707-A is sponsored by Senator Joseph Griffo (R-Utica), along with nine cosponsors – Republicans and Democrats. The bill passed the Senate in 2011 by a vote of 42-18.

“I want to thank Senator Betty Little and my colleagues on the committee for their swift action on moving this bill,” Sen. Griffo said. “This is not a bill that pits Republicans vs. Democrats. To the contrary, we have broad bipartisan support for this legislation and I know that we will once again pass it overwhelmingly in the Senate. And I believe we will do so early enough in the session to provide ample opportunity for the other House to consider it and to pass it.

“While I respect those who do not support this legislation, I must humbly say that they are misguided. This legislation will spur economic development in communities across the state, create jobs and produce new revenue for the state and for local governments where MMA events are held. And it will give the millions of MMA followers the ability to see this exciting sport in person and not just on television,” Sen. Griffo said.

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Video: Brendan Schaub talks UFC 145 fight with Ben Rothwell, losing to Big Nog

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Watch today's Bellator 66 fighter weigh-ins live on at 5 p.m. ET

CLEVELAND – The Great Lakes Ballroom at Cleveland's I-X Center plays host to today's official Bellator 66 fighter weigh-ins, and we're providing a live video stream of the proceedings at 5 p.m. ET (2 p.m. PT).

Bellator 66 takes place Friday and features a lightweight headliner between Eddie Alvarez and Shinya Aoki, as well as the semifinal round of the season-six middleweight tournament.


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