Thursday, August 31, 2006
Much has been written of late about the differences between what are actually two brother combat sports, boxing and mixed martial arts. But they also share something else in common, which is hardly as noble as their legacy as being fighting arts which have existed for thousands of years: Both the HBO boxing pay-per-view on August 12 headlined by Maskaev vs. Rahman and the UFC mixed martial arts pay-per-view on August 26 headlined by Liddell vs. Sobral had rematches as their main events, featured fights which had dubious entertainment value at best as well as poor quality technique, and were also available for free, at least in highlights, on YouTube.com.
Mindful of the dislike by many people of pay-per-views as a medium and their walling off most of the public from sampling the product live, the International Fight League (IFL), the fledgling mixed martial arts company which uses a team concept, has just announced that the non-pay cable network FSN (Fox Sports Net) will air ten hours of new IFL programming in the fall in the U.S.
You can read more about this in my piece on the ADCC News entitled "IFL TV Deal on FSN Could Be a Winner".
Tuesday, August 29, 2006
There was an unusual second media teleconference call last week between top heavyweight contenders James Toney (69-4-2, 43 KOs) of Los Angeles and originally from Grand Rapids, Mich., and Samuel Peter (26-1, 22 KOs) of Las Vegas, Nevada, and originally from Akwaibom, Nigeria. These two fight Saturday, September 2, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles in a fight which will be aired in the U.S. on Showtime. As on their previous conference call, the exchanges between these two were heated, which was either entertaining, disgraceful, a marketing ploy, or some combination of the above, depending upon your perspective. We are running an uncensored, unedited excerpt from that call with Toney and Peter, which some people may find offensive.
On that same Sept. 2 card are IBF featherweight champion Eric Aiken of Washington, D.C. (16-4-0, 12 KOs) and his challenger that night, Robert Guerrero of Gilroy, CA (18-1-1, 11 KOs). They were also on this conference call. The tone between these two couldn't have been more different from that between Toney and Peter. While both Aiken and Guerrero are confident that they will prevail Sept. 2, each man spoke humbly about himself and quite respectfully about his opponent. We also got a chance to speak with Aiken and Guerrero on that call.
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On this week's edition of NO HOLDS BARRED, host Eddie Goldman goes it alone to broach a series of topics which are usually too hot for most in the combat sports in general and the mixed martial arts in particular to address.
Among the issues discussed are racism and white supremacy, especially in mixed martial arts; whether or not UFC is a major league of mixed martial arts in terms of the quality of its shows; and the continued silence by many about the allegations in the Japanese media about the ties between Pride and the yakuza, the Japanese mob.
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