Archive for the ‘Money in sport’ Category

Ticket Rush for UFC 193

Ronda Rousey Image: https://www.facebook.com/ronda.cips/photos/pcb.10153689082834382/10153689076994382/?type=1&theater

Ticket sales for UFC 193 in Melbourne look set to break all stadium records.

At 10 am on Monday morning the vendors’ servers were smoking as fans rushed to book their seats for what will arguably be the greatest sporting event the southern hemisphere has ever seen.

Seat prices ranged between $100.60 and $468, with the later being sold out in minutes.

Corporate boxes and ringside VIP seats were selling for $18,000 and are all but gone.

Etihad stadium said that the seating capacity will be increased by around 15,000 to 70,800 for the event.

Should they sell out it will set a new world record for an Ultimate Fighting Championship event, beating that of Toronto four years ago with 55,724.

Ronda Rousey Image: https://www.facebook.com/ronda.cips/photos/pcb.10153689082834382/10153689076994382/?type=1&theater

Ronda Rousey Image: https://www.facebook.com/ronda.cips/photos/pcb.10153689082834382/10153689076994382/?type=1&theater

Headliner Ronda Rousey is wooing the city of Melbourne. She has been the darling of the media and fans alike. Her accessibility to media and fans has – and will continue – to only heighten interest that is already at fever pitch.

Rousey’s opponent, Holly Holm, is new to MMA but is a decorated boxer. Should she be able to elude Rousey’s takedowns and grappling she will present the incumbent bantamweight champion with some stiff competition and damaging punches.

Englishman Michael Bisping and his opponent Aussie Robert Whittaker have almost passed unnoticed. But make no mistake this will be an intriguing, brutal, and high-level battle between a veteran and an up-and-comer.

UFC 193 is going to be AWESOME!

Floyd’s Final Fight a Flop

Image: https://twitter.com/floydmayweather

According to some reports Floyd Mayweather’s final fight has been the biggest flop in a decade.

He may have retired undefeated, but the lacklustre opponent he chose for his swansong turned viewers away.

Reports put the viewing public between 400,000 and 550,000 – the weakest numbers in ten years for Mayweather.

UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey told TMZ she wasn’t surprised.

“A lot of people were pissed after the Manny Pacquiao fight. Fans aren’t dumb.’

Rousey appears to have hit the nail on the head. Mayweather vs Pacquiao drew a record 4.4 million pay-per-view buys at an average $100 each. But the fight failed to live up to expectations.

Mayweather fought defensively to out point Pacquiao and win. But it was more a points fight than a real fight.

Mayweather had a winning strategy and superior movement. He fought defensively and landed scoring counter-punches without doing an real damage to Pacquiao.

But rather than attempt to win fans back with a real fight before retiring Mayweather chose an easy opponent and hoped his fame would be enough to buy viewers.

It wasn’t.

Boxing is fast losing legitimacy in the eyes of fight fans around the world. And it is doing so at a fast rate than ever now that the UFC is offering a viable alternative.

Fight fans want to watch fights. If you want to watch points being scored watch tennis.

Ronda Rousey is capturing world attention, She has posted the biggest pay-per-view numbers of all time at UFC 190. Her upcoming fight against Holly Holm in Melbourne is expected to be the largest sales promotion of the year.

MMA Fighters Boycott Nevada in Response to Diaz Sentence

Image: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nick_Diaz

The fallout from the Nevada State Athletic Commission’s handling of the Nick Diaz drug charge continues to worsen.

The Commission handed out a five-year suspension to Diaz (effectively ending his career) for testing positive to cannabis after his UFC 183 bout.

Fans and fighters were outraged at the excessive nature of the ban. And MMA fighters are making their displeasure known by refusing to fight in the state of Nevada.

The latest to add his name to the blockade is Henry Cejudo, an Olympic gold medallist.

Fast rising bantamweight Aljamain sterling tweeted that he is intent on doing the same, “ … let the NSAC know,” he broadcast on the 17th, “they need to be unbiased & give a fair process.”

They join female bantamweight Leslie Smith in expressing their dismay at the Star Chamber-like actions of the NSAC.

“This situation is just the latest example demonstrating the need for mixed martial artists to stand together,” said Smith. “(We need) to influence our sport and have our voices heard by speaking together as the mixed martial arts fighter association.”

These fighters are fervently hoping others will make a similar stand. Alone they will accomplish little; but should the stars decide to follow their lead the NSAC may actually be answerable to someone.

Heavyweight Matt Mitrione blasted ex-UFC fighter now executive Matt Hughes for his comments supporting the NSAC. UFC superstar Ronda Rousey has labelled the ban ‘unfair’. For Diaz to receive a penalty five times greater than that given to Anderson Silva. Silva tested positive for steroids in the fight against Diaz.

‘It makes no sense at all.’

She describes herself as a close friend to Diaz and is shocked at the suspension.

UFC Stars Front Media in Melbourne

Rousey image: https://twitter.com/RondaRousey?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor

UFC boss Dana White has fronted the media ahead of UFC 193 in Melbourne. Sitting beside him was MMA superstar Ronda ‘Rowdy’ Rousey, challenger Holly Holm, Strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzehczyk, and her challenger the ever hopeful Valerie Letourmeau.

The air was literally electric with anticipation.

It’s been a running joke that White was initially reluctant to have a women’s UFC division. But since changing his mind, Ronda Rousey has become the franchise’s greatest drawcard and asset.

White chuckles about being reminded of his opposition.

“She’s broken through – it’s amazing,” he said to new.com.au. “She’s the biggest star we’ve ever had.”

And White has had some stars. Chuck Liddell crossed over from Strikeforce, Georges St Pierre and Anderson Silva were megastars. But no one – and White confirms this – no one has ever been as big as Rousey.

“Normally it’s a [email protected] nightmare to manage somebody like her. But the thing with Ronda Rousey is the more rich and famous she gets, the easier she is to deal with. It’s not supposed to be like that. It’s always the complete opposite. Any of these guys, if they get this much fame, this much money, they lose their mind. Ronda is the exact opposite.”

And it’s not just White who benefits.

Rousey was clearly jetlagged when approached by reporters. And while everyone would be wise to be cautious around the most dangerous female athlete on the planet they found her approachable and friendly.

After a recent appearance on the Ellen DeGeneres show the popular talk show host felt she’d got the best from the UFC stable.

“She’s got unbelievable charisma,” White continued describing Rousey. “She’s intelligent. She’s literally the whole package.”

And Ellen DeGeneres agrees.

But Rousey adapts to her situation.

“She’ll fight anyone, anywhere, anytime,” said White about the fighter Rousey. “She’s mean. She’s nasty. She doesn’t just want to beat you, she wants to destroy you. She comes out of that tunnel with bad intentions.”

All of her previous opponents agree.

First Ever American Ninja Warrior Wins $1 Million

Image: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c-PC9CGpqSE

Isaac Caldiero, the first ever winner of American Ninja Warrior, has decided he’s not going to splurge after winning the US$1 million first prize.

“I might buy myself a nice shirt,” he told MarketWatch, a financial new website.

Caldiero managed to jump, twist, swing, and climb his way through the four-stage obstacle couse in the fastest time to become the inaugural winner of an event that has captured the attention of fans around the world.

But he clearly hasn’t let the prize go to his head, “You’re not going to see us driving around in a brand-new Ferrari. I’m going to be smart with the money and invest it.”

Only time will tell if the investment was a smart idea or a rip-off. But 33 year-old Caldiero will likely give up his job as a busboy.

“For the past six years, my girlfriend and I have lived on less than $10,000 a year.

“There have been times I’ve had less than $20 to my name. There were times I’d eat cereal and water for breakfast and live on ramen noodles and potatoes, and sleep in fhe front seat of my car or in the RV.

“Who needs all that consuming anyway?

“It’s a lot of sacrifice but it’s worth it to have the ultimate freedom we have.”

Caldiero and his girlfriend are avid rock climbers and search around the US for the most exciting climbs.

“This (prizemoney) is going to enable us to do some amazing things and go to some amazing places.”

Caldiero was only one of two people to finish all four stages of the obstacle course. It then became a race to scale a 23 meter rope in the fastest time.

Caldiero shot up the rope in 26.14 seconds; nearly a whole four seconds faster than his British opponent Geoff Britten.

Fans Ignore Mayweather’s Last Fight

Mayweather image: en.wikipedia.org

Boxing fans gave Floyd Mayweather the send-off he deserves, ignoring his last fight against chump Andre Berto.

With the fight taking place today there were still hundreds tickets still available.

Mayweather hit the media in an eleventh-hour attempt to drum up interest. He declared the challenger a genuine threat, though those with even a passing knowledge of boxing will tell you Berto is a massive underdog.

Berto’s trainer, Virgil Hunter, also stepped in to beat the drum, hinting at ‘personal issues’ between the two fighters.

Both are well-worn avenues for attracting interest. But it appears to be too little too late.

Mayweather’s camp believed the simple fact of this being the champion’s last fight would be enough to fill the stadium. Upon this assumption they didn’t think it mattered who walked out from the opposite corner. Why then, would Mayweather choose an opponent that could actually challenge him?

It appears the boxing public are a little more discerning: Boxing fans go to watch boxing. Mayweather fans go to watch Mayweather. It appears there are more of the former than the latter.

 

Mayweather won against Berto without much trouble. This win puts him equal with heavyweight legend Rocky Marciano at 49-0.

Ticketmaster were offering hundreds of empty seats in prices between $150 and $1,500.

NRL Furious at Captains’ Snub

NRL Captains Calll imgaes: https://twitter.com/nrl

NRL officials were fuming when three first-grade captains snubbed the annual finals captains’ call.

Melbourne storm captain Cameron Smith missed the engagement for the second year in a row claiming he has a virus. Instead the club sent Ryan Hinchcliffe, who confirmed the news.

“He’s got a little bit of a virus. He didn’t come to training yesterday and today. He is still crook.” But Hinchcliffe assured Storm fans that the captain will be okay when the finals series kicks off.

Other no-shows were Cowboys captain Jonathon Thurston who sited a slight groin injury for his absence.

The club’s co-captain Matt Scott also begged-off with a neck injury.

Veteran backrower Gavin Cooper was sent to replace them both. He said the long flight for the short event was too much of a disruption to both men’s rehab’ and medicos preferred their star playmakers to rest and heal.

Cooper assured Cowboy fans Thurston and Scott should be right to play in time for the finals.

An NRL spokesman said it was ‘disappointing’ that not all captains were able to attend.

NRL Captains Calll imgaes: https://twitter.com/nrl

NRL Captains Calll imgaes: https://twitter.com/nrl

“But we understand that players cannot travel due to illness and injury.

“The clubs involved sent replacement players to ensure they were properly represented at the event.”

Whether the absences are legitimate or calculated snubs the NRL is fast losing credibility among its players, power-brokers, and fans – and this years’ captains call only reinforces that.

McGregor talks About TUF 22 Coaching Role

Image: commons.wikimedia.org

UFC star and TUF 22 coach Conor McGregor has done the unthinkable (again) and announced his plans for the upcoming TUF season.

He has said he has no intention of actually coaching the members of his team. Instead he’ll concentrate on keeping them fresh and focused on a career in the toughest MMA franchise in the world.

McGregor was initially reluctant to do the show. But once he was convinced of its benefit (to him as well as his fighters) he decided to approach it in an entirely novel way.

McGregor believes the six-weeks is far too short a time in which to add to or change anything in a fighter’s repertoire. Attempting to do so might actually confuse fighters and be detrimental to their chances of winning.

“I’m simply going to provide the platform for them,” McGregor said. “I’m going to bring eyes to the screen for them. I’m going to provide coaches that I have come with, but really it’s a six-week run of fights, on and off.

“I’m not going to go in and teach them anything. I told them their training should already be done. You should already have your hard rounds done. Now it’s about keeping the body fresh because every fight you get knocks and bruises so it’s about maintaining those injuries and making it through those fights.”

FOX Sports 1 will be airing the new season of The Ultimate Fighter on Wednesday night at 10pm ET.

McGregor has already told his team not to expect him to be running practices – or even showing up for training sessions. He casts himself more as a life coach – preparing young hopefuls for the rigours for life in the UFC.

“I’m not going to be at every training session, if I’m going to be at any training session (at all).

“I’m just going to be there picking the fights and doing that obligation and I’ll be at the fights. I have my team of coaches that will be preparing them and I trust they will give them the right training.”

But McGregor saved the bombshell for the end.

He said The Ultimate Fighter isn’t about teams, it’s about the winner getting a head start in the most lucrative fighting franchise in the world, a start that could put them tens of thousands of dollars ahead of their competitors.

“Forget teams, forget all this other stuff,” said McGregor. “It means nothing.”

Joanna Jedrzejczyk Named UFC 193 Co-Headliner

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Australian UFC fans are in raptures after Dana White announced another title defence for UFC 193.

Current women’s strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk will defend her title against Canadian Valerie Letourneau.

Jedrzejczyk (10-0 MMA, 4-0 UFC) was originally scheduled to fight Claudia Gadelha at UFC 195, but UFC powers have decided to open all the stops for Melbourne and asked Jedrzejczyk to share the card with Ronda Rousey.

Jedrzejczyk is one of the most exciting fighters in the UFC stable and considered one of the finest strikers in all of women’s MMA. She earned Fight of the Night bonus with her bloody title defence against Jessica Penne in June and has destroyed any and all opponents placed in front of her.

octagon-750x400Letourneau (8-3 MMA, 3-0 UFC) is riding a wave of success after winning her last three UFC fights. She will make a name for herself if she can upset Jedrzejczyk who is coming off her own unanimous decision victory over Maryna Moroz.

The announcement of Jedrzejczyk and Letourneau pushes Mark Hunt and Antonio ‘Bigfoot’ Silva from the co-main event status.

Despite this the November 15 crowd is expected to blow away all previous records for an MMA event in Australia. 70,000 are expected – and they’ve got good reason to go.

Briggs Confronts Klitschko Again!

Image: https://www.facebook.com/110523639683/photos/a.10152128700509684.1073741827.110523639683/10152650819319684/?type=1&theater

If emulation is the greatest compliment then boxing is a fan of the UFC.

This week Shannon Briggs took a leaf out of the UFC marketing playbook and continued his haranguing of heavyweight king Wladimir Klitschko – causing worldwide media interest.

Briggs, 43 years-old, is due to fight Michael Marrone this weekend. But he made sure there were cameras around when he confronted arch rival Klitschko at a Florida gym – and then posted the footage on social media.

Briggs is desperate for a fight against IBF, WBA, WBO champion Kiltschoko; and has been pursuing this dream for more than a year.

Klitschko, however, has bigger fights, with a defence of his title s against Britain’s Tyson Fury due on October 24.

This latest ‘staged’ run-in only escalates interest in an inevitable showdown.

Briggs has disrupted Klitschko’s press conferences, knocked him off a paddle board, even gatecrashed the champion at a quiet lunch.

TMZ Sport suggests the latest fracas became quite heated off camera, with boxing legend Evander Holyfield having to intervene before fists flew.