Odds and Ends
Notorious boxing promoter Don King issued a cease and desist letter this week to Shine Fights, the company promoting a Ricardo Mayorga vs. Din Thomas MMA pay-per-view fight next week in North Carolina. King, Mayorga’s boxing promoter, claims the promotion of Mayorga constitutes an illegal intrusion on his rights to Mayorga. Shine responded by drawing a distinction between Mayorga’s boxing and MMA contractual obligations, and said the Thomas fight will go off as advertised May 15.
The Tennessee State Athletic commission issued six citations to individuals involved in a brawl that broke out on network television after the Jake Shields-Dan Henderson fight April 17 in Nashville. The commission didn’t disclose who received the citations, but Sherdog.com confirmed campmates Nick Diaz, Jake Shields and Gilbert Melendez received them. The citations are a first step toward commission disciplinary proceedings that could affect the fighting licenses of those involved. Jason Miller, whose post-fight interview sparked the fight, and Nick Diaz were cut out of upcoming Strikeforce cards out of concern they may be suspended.
After experimenting with the idea for the first time at UFC 111, the UFC will again broadcast a pay-per-view event in movie theatres. Through a partnership with Fathom Events, UFC 115 on June 12 in Vancouver will air in hundreds of theatres across the country. MMAJunkie.com learned this week that Spike TV will air Tyson Griffin vs. Evan Dunham and Mac Danzig vs. Matt Veach on another preliminary fights special prior to the pay-per-view. An official announcement from Spike TV is expected next week. The UFC is set to return to England on Oct. 16, possibly in London, for a Spike TV broadcast, MMAJunkie.com reported. Sherdog.com reported that the UFC was working on a Dan Hardy vs. Dustin Hazelett fight for an England card in the fall, but that the bout will not happen due to Hazelett’s September wedding.
The UFC secured the URL “TheUltimateFighter.com” this week after filing suit against the site owner, who said he acquired the domain name in 2004 to launch a t-shirt company that never got off the ground. The owner, Anton Resnick, told Sherdog.com the URL “will be transferred by the court with no-contest and the .net will be transferred to Zuffa as well.” The move would appear to be part of the UFC’s strategy to launch several editions of “The Ultimate Fighter” in different countries around the world and make them all available through an Internet portal.
After drawing poor ratings in a Friday night timeslot, Spike TV has found great success airing “Best of Pride Fighting Championships” on Wednesday nights. MMAPayout.com reported that the last three telecasts of fights from the legendary library have drawn from 911,000 to 995,000 average viewers, a big improvement compared to a 675,000 average when the series temporarily went off the air shortly after debuting in January.
2004 Olympic silver medalist Stephen Abas eked by with his wrestling in his pro MMA debut at Tachi Palace Fights 4 on May 5, defeating Sam Stevens-Milo by majority decision. Abas, 32, controlled the bout until getting caught in a tight third-round guillotine that was only broken because Abas put his fingers into Stevens-Milo’s eyes, drawing a point deduction from the referee. Abas trains out of San Diego with the likes of Diego Sanchez, K.J. Noons and Rani Yahya.
Also on the May 5 card, Ulysses Gomez became the promotion’s flyweight champion and David Mitchell captured the welterweight title. Gomez’s win led to him being invited to compete in Bellator Fighting Championship’s bantamweight tournament that launches this fall.