Archive for February, 2009

Mayhem returns to Hawaii

February 11th, 2009
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Former Icon Sport champion Jason “Mayhem” Miller returns to Hawaii to take out another of Hawaii’s best MMA fighters when he faces Kala “Kolohe” Hose in the debut event of KINGDOM MMA, the new creation from Icon Sport and Superbrawl founder T. Jay Thompson.

We had it on here a couple weeks ago, but Thompson made it official in a press release last night. Miller, who owns wins over Niko Vitale, Egan Inoue, and Robbie Lawler, will face Hose in the main event of the first show at Blaisdell Arena the weekend of March 28th. Whether it’s Saturday the 28th or Sunday the 29th has yet to be determined.

It’s a good sign for MMA in Hawaii, which has slowed to a crawl since the death of EliteXC and the regulation laws that will become reality July 1. Miller (21-6) hasn’t been in the ring since losing to Ronaldo Jacare Souza in DREAM in June of last year. Hose (7-2) has been in limbo since the demise of EliteXC, and hasn’t tested his skills in the ring since beating Rolando Dominique in the final Icon Sport event in August of last year.

Tickets go on sale Feb. 21, and the cheap seats will be available for as low as $15. Ringside seats will be $150.

UFC 94 around 1.3 million PPV buys

February 9th, 2009
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A lot has been made of the initial report that B.J. Penn was only paid his base salary of $125,000 for his fight against Georges St-Pierre.

News that the UFC 94 PPV got around 1.3 million buys has been confirmed by both the UFC and a person independent of the company. At 45 bucks a buy, it’s estimated that the UFC earned between 58 and 60 million dollars in PPV gross.

Not only does that mean it was the most watched MMA fight on PPV in the history of the sport, but it means a nice payday for B.J. As a main event fighter, Penn gets a percentage of the PPV revenue. So yes, his current contract only calls for a $125,000 appearence fee to show, but with PPV revenue and revenues from sponsorships, Penn’s final take from the event is around 7 figures, if not more.

Just to give some comparison, here are how some other notable fights did on PPV that I was able to find. Interesting to note that it’s hard to tell because the figures aren’t exact, but Penn/GSP II may have just barely edged out Pacquiao/De La Hoya in PPV buys. The numbers are extremely close. Keep in mind it cost 10 bucks more for the boxing fight, so the PPV revenue was still greater for Pacquiao/De La Hoya then it was for Penn/GSP II.

MIXED MARTIAL ARTS
UFC 63 – Hughes vs. Penn II, 700,000
UFC 61 – Ortiz vs. Shamrock II, 775,000
UFC 92 – Evans vs. Griffin, 1,100,000
UFC 91 – Couture vs. Lesnar, 1,010,000
UFC 84 – Penn vs. Sherk, 475,000

BOXING
5-7-07: De La Hoya vs. Mayweather Jr., 2,400,000
6-28-97: Tyson vs. Holyfield, 1,990,000
Sept. 2004: De La Hoya vs. Hopkins, 1,000,000
12-6-08: De La Hoya vs. Pacquiao, 1,250,000
1-19-09: Trinidad vs. Jones Jr., 500,000

And for you wrestling fans out there, WWE Wrestlemania in 2008 did 670,000 buys.

Penn comments on GSP, rematch

February 6th, 2009
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Here’s a statement from B.J. Penn he put up on his Web site, BJPenn.com:

For the past several days I have been reading statements made by St. Pierre and Greg Jackson about our fight on January 31. St. Pierre claims that he is “not a cheater” and that he and Greg Jackson will have “no problem with a rematch in the summer of 2009.” To the untrained eye the grease might not look like much, but every grappler knows the effect that it has. Being able to apply your submissions and sweeps or just being able to hold on to your opponent to defend yourself from being hit is absolutely critical! There is a reason why you are not allowed to put grease anywhere on your body except for the area around your eyes. Because of the grease applied to St.Pierre’s Body the Nevada State Athletic Commission’s executive director, Keith Kizer has stated that the Penn-St. Pierre fight “definitely wasn’t fair”. I hereby accept George St. Pierre and Greg Jackson’s challenge for a fight in the summer 2009. Lets call Dana now and set it up.

- BJ Penn

AP Story on Penn/GSP fallout

February 5th, 2009
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The Penn family has declined official comment on the advice of their lawyer, but here’s the story released by the Associated Press today on possible discipline for GSP for the Vaseline incident.

By Oskar Garcia
Associated Press Writer
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Mixed martial arts fighter Georges St. Pierre could be disciplined by Nevada athletic regulators after his corner illegally applied petroleum jelly to his body during his Ultimate Fighting Championship title fight against B.J. Penn of Hawaii last week.
Keith Kizer, executive director of the Nevada State Athletic Commission, said Thursday that he entered the ring after the second round of Saturday’s welterweight championship fight to instruct the fighter’s cornerman to stop putting petroleum jelly on St. Pierre’s shoulders and upper back.
Kizer said he and a fight inspector for the commission made St. Pierre’s cornermen wipe the jelly from his body.
Under UFC rules, petroleum jelly may be used on a fighter’s face, but not elsewhere.
“That’s not appropriate,” Kizer said.
Kizer said he’s not sure whether the jelly affected the outcome of the fight, but said officials are concerned about whether it could have prevented Penn from performing certain grappling moves.
A doctor stopped the fight in the fifth round after a dominant St. Pierre battered Penn. He pressed Penn against the fence in the first round and took him down almost at will throughout the next three rounds. The fight was nearly stopped in the fourth round.
Penn’s lawyer, Raffi Nahabedian, told The Associated Press that Penn, a lightweight from Hawaii who relies on grappling to submit opponents using Brazilian jiujitsu, wants a rematch because he believes St. Pierre had the jelly on his body to prevent attempts to grasp him.
“If a ground and pounder can get away with neutralization of a jiujitsu person’s game, the sport is corrupt — the sport is fundamentally corrupt and it cannot be considered a fair fight,” Nahabedian said. “If it is not a fair fight, then no one should recognize the winner.”
Penn’s lawyer sent a letter this week, asking the commission to look into the use of the slippery substance. Kizer said the commission forwarded a copy to St. Pierre and asked him to respond within 20 days.
UFC president Dana White was not available for comment because he was traveling, a spokeswoman for the league said. White has said St. Pierre’s cornerman — not the fighter himself — is at fault for using the jelly.
St. Pierre’s manager Shari Spencer said the Canadian fighter was not cheating, and that the cornerman who applied the jelly accidentally got some on St. Pierre’s body while rubbing him during a breathing exercise between rounds.
Spencer said St. Pierre was cooperating fully with athletic commission and was willing to fight Penn again anytime. St. Pierre won a split decision when the two fought the first time in March 2006.
Kizer said the Nevada commission would likely make a decision at its March meeting, after St. Pierre has responded to its inquiry.
Kizer said disciplinary possibilities include a warning, fines or suspension.

Penns will file formal complaint

February 3rd, 2009
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Finally back home after a long day of travel. Had a 3-hour layover in Phoenix (yes, there were tears on the plane from Cardinals fans) before the flight back to Hawaii. Good to be home, but it seems the Penn/GSP fight will continue.

The Penn camp will make a formal complaint to the Nevada State Athletic Commission today regarding Georges St-Pierre and his use of Vaseline. Since I was at the fight, I didn’t see it. They had the media right behind BJ’s corner. But apparently it is clear as day on the PPV broadcast that one of St-Pierre’s cornerman did wipe Vaseline on his back.

It wasn’t a substantial amount, and there’s a good chance it may not have been intentional, but the fact is that it happened, and the Penn people think they have substantial information to make a complaint. Where this will lead, who knows? Will it chance the outcome of the fight? Highly doubtful. Will St-Pierre himself face any consequences? Probably not. The guy that did it may never be allowed to corner someone in Nevada again, but I don’t know how much more will come out of this.

It’s one of those tough situations for the Penn’s, because obviously, people are going to think it’s sour grapes, but then again, they put Vaseline on St-Pierre’s back. It’s a fact. It did happen. Regardless of how much it was, it’s just an incredibly stupid thing to do on his part.

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