Archive for June 23rd, 2009

UFC drops setanta

setanta micThe UFC has issued a notice of termination to the beleaguered Irish sports broadcaster Setanta Sports.

Setanta has rarely been out of the UK media over the last week, recently losing its Premiership Football rights. Its dire financial situation has finally come to a head and Setanta finally went off air in the UK and into administration at 6pm today with the loss of around 200 jobs.

Setanta’s UK channels were turned off at 6pm and replaced with a message telling viewers that the company had “ceased trading in Great Britain. Setanta, which has 1.2 million subscribers, suspended the collection of subscription payments from customers in the UK.

The UFC were really left no option but to seek a new home for its UK broadcasts and UFC UK Division President Marshall Zelaznik made a statement regarding the Setanta situation

“It was with great regret that the UFC ended its relationship with Setanta. Over the last two years, Setanta has helped the UFC become the biggest indoor sporting event in the British Isles. They were the right partner for us at the right time as we continued to build the sport of mixed martial arts and our brand.

Throughout the last few weeks we have been kept informed of the situation at Setanta and therefore we are in a position to ensure our UK and Eire fans will not miss any of this summer’s huge UFC events, commencing with UFC 100 in July.

We will be announcing the new home of UFC shortly but assure our fans they won’t miss any of the upcoming super-fights.”

On behalf of the UFC I want to wish the team at Setanta all the strength to get through what must be very difficult times. We have worked very closely with the entire Setanta team over the past years and wish them the best of luck in the future.”

According to the BBC, Setanta has been running at a loss of about £100 million per year and recently missed payments to both the English Premier League and the Scottish Premier League.

The accounting firm Deloite have been appointed as the administrators and they hope to secure a deal for Irish and international businesses soon.

A new home for the UFC in the UK has not yet been announced but the UFC have stated that they have several options open and UK and Irish fans will not miss out on a summer MMA action.

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ULTIMATE CHALLINGE – HEAT on July 11th is shaping up to be one of the best fight cards assembled in the UK this year as once again Ultimate Challenge continue to raise the standard in match making.

Richard Griffin versus Scott Jansen promises to be an all out war as both men go looking for a decisive and explosive win in the UK1 bout. Both men have great striking ability and should keep the fans on the edge of their seats.

Brad Wheeler versus Dino Gambatesa will be a technical battle between two great wrestlers, who are well versed in all attributes of MMA. Brad is coming off a great win against Wesley Murch, where he took some serious punishment but retained his composure and won with a text book triangle. Dino is coming off a loss to Brad Pickett but not before he inflicted some serious damage to Brad’s ribs and was in no way outclassed by the cage Rage and Ultimate Challenge veteran. This is a fight for the MMA purists and will not disappoint.

Jake Bostwick versus Alex Reid is another great UK1 match up that has the potential to be an out and out war. Both men have devastating striking power and both will be keen to put on a show. Both fighters have great supporters and will raise the roof with their vocal support when both these men enter the cage.

Ultimate Challenge Heat 11th July The Troxy London

Ultimate Challenge Heat 11th July The Troxy London

Jack Mason will be looking to continue his winning streak against the tough, Dorlan O’Mally. Jack is rapidly becoming a fighter to watch as his powerhouse ground n pound style seems unstoppable, but will face a tough test against O’Mally. O’Mally has been in against the likes of Tom Watson and Ed Smith and will certainly be no pushover. This will be a hard hitting contest.

Ricky Andrews versus Dyson Roberts will prove to be an intriguing battle as Ricky makes his comeback after a horrific knee injury sustained while training. Ricky will be looking to start his comeback with a victory, but will face a resilient opponent in Dyson Roberts. Dyson, who came through the “Fighting Hurts” reality show, has proven himself to be a more than capable fighter with some great victories under his belt. This could be fight of the night with both fighters having a point to prove.

Luke Smith versus John Joe Ellis is rapidly becoming the most talked fight in the Grand Prix. The trash talk on the various internet mediums has been red hot as the build up to this fight reaches boiling point. Both men have devastating hands and knockout power that can be delivered in a split second. John Joe is coming off the back of his devastating 9 second demolition of Marcus Thomas, while Luke scored a decisive victory over Dragos Voiculescu with a textbook rear naked choke. Both men come from a boxing background and will be looking for a knockout win to take them through to the Lightweight Final. If there was ever a fight where you couldn’t afford to blink, this is it.

Wesley Johnson will be facing a late replacement in the shape of Ale Harvey, after the unfortunate pull out of Jamaine Watkins. Wesley will be looking to make his way to the final and extend his winning streak, while Alex will be looking to grab his opportunity and stake his claim to a first Grand Prix win. Both these fighters have an unbeaten record and will look to maintain it.

Jamaine Facey versus Nigel Whittear will be a match up between two men that are comfortable, whether the fight stays standing or goes to the floor. Jamaine will be looking to bounce back from his disappointing loss to Michael Pastou at the last event, where he showed great striking ability, in what was a three round war. Nigel Whitear also suffered his last loss to Michael Pastou and will be looking to re establish himself as one of the leading Welterweights in the UK.

Max Henchey versus Giorgio Andrews will be a great Featherweight match between two tough opponents, who will give it everything in the cage. The London Shootfighter, Andrews will be looking to cement his place as one of the leading Featherweights in the UK, while, Henchey will be looking to bounce back from a loss at his last outing.

Dominic Plumb will be looking to create another stir after his explosive victory against Mark Brown at Ultimate Challenge- Unstoppable, which lasted an unbelievable 22 seconds. His opponent Joe Holder will be raring to go after the pull out of his opponent the day before they were due to fight and is looking to make a statement and put himself into contention as one of the young up and coming Welterweights in the UK.

Ultimtate Challenge HEAT takes place at The Troxy, London, E1 0HX on 11th July

For more details on Ultimate Challenge please click here


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The following figures are based on the fighter salary information that promoters are required by US law to submit to the state athletic commissions, including the winners’ bonuses. Any undisclosed bonuses that a promoter also pays its fighters, but does not disclose to the athletic commissions (specifically, pay-per-view bonuses, fight of the night bonuses, etc.), are not included in the figures below.


-Diego Sanchez $90,000 (includes $45,000 win bonus) def. Clay Guida $23,000 (win bonus would have been $23,000)

*Sanchez and Guida each earned an additional $25,000 for Fight of the Night


-James Wilks $16,000 (includes $8,000 win bonus) def. DaMarques Johnson $8,000 (win bonus would have been $8,000)

-Chris Lytle $36,000 (includes $18,000 win bonus) def. Kevin Burns $9,000 (win bonus would have been $9,000)

*Lytle and Burns each earned an additional $25,000 for Fight of the Night

-Ross Pearson $16,000 (includes $8,000 win bonus) def. Andre Winner $8,000 (win bonus would have been $8,000)

-Joe Stevenson $70,000 (includes $35,000 win bonus) def. Nate Diaz $20,000 (win bonus would have been $20,000)

*Stevenson and Diaz each earned an additional $25,000 for Fight of the Night


-Melvin Guillard $24,000 (includes $12,000 win bonus) def. Gleison Tibau $17,000 (win bonus would have been $17,000)

-Brad Blackburn $18,000 (includes $9,000 win bonus) def. Edgar Garcia $5,000 (win bonus would have been $5,000)

-Tomasz Drwal $15,600 (includes $7,000 win bonus) def. Mike Ciesnoleviscz $6,400 (win bonus would have been $8,000)

*Ciesnoleviscz had to give 20% of his show money or $1,600 to Drwal for failing to make weight, which is reflected in the amounts here.

-Nick Osipczak $16,000 (includes $8,000 win bonus) def. Frank Lester $8,000 (win bonus would have been $8,000)

-Jason Dent $16,000 (includes $8,000 win bonus) def. Cameron Dollar $8,000 (win bonus would have been $8,000)


*Disclosed Payroll Does Not Include Bonuses

UK's Ross Pearson - $8000 win bonus from TUF 9

The UK's Ross Pearson - $8000 win bonus from TUF 9

Photo by Martin Rhodes

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