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UFC 100

UFC 100

Gareth Davies  over at The Daily Telegraph is reporting that front row seats for UFC 100 are now changing hands for a whopping  $45,000.

That’s a hell of a price to pay for something that was once described as “human cock fighting” and almost went bust after its freak show novelty wore off. That was before Dana White convinced multi millionaire Las Vegas casino moguls the Fertitta brothers to part with an initial $1m for the UFC brand. The Fertitta’s then bankrolled the UFC for the next 16 years with tens of millions of dollars per year.

So when UFC parent company Zuffa (Italian slang for “scrap” or fight”) bill this weekend’s UFC 100  as “historic” and  “the dawn of a new age” it’s more than just marketing and PR spin.

Dana White, with the backing from Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta, has in 16 years transformed the UFC into not only the newest global sport in the last 100 years but also the largest provider of pay per view content in the world.

The Daily Telegraph’s Davies reports from Las Vegas that;

Seats for the UFC 100 sold out in less than a day, and reports from Las Vegas are that Octagon-side pairs of seats in the front rows have been exchanging hands for $45,000 dollars.

One UFC official said: “For fans of mixed martial arts, this is the equivalent in boxing of ‘The Rumble In The Jungle’, with Marvin Hagler v Thomas Hearns and Sugar Ray Leonard v Roberto Duran on the undercard.”

UFC 100 is not only bringing thousands of fans together in the world’s fight capital, alongside the televised pay-per-view event expected to generate well over one million buys, but thousands of industry insiders from around the world take part in a two-day mixed martial arts exposition tomorrow and Saturday, with more than one hundred brand and exhibitor stalls at the Mandalay Bay Resort.

At the time of writing this UK fans are still waiting to see where and when UFC 100 will be shown. Setanta going bust has left the UFC without a broadcast home in the UK and a new broadcaster has still not been announced only two days away from the event.

For MMA news and views you should check out Gareth Davies’s blog over at the Daily Telegraph. The Daily Telegraph is Britain’s biggest selling quality broadsheet newspaper and for such a high end publication to carry MMA news it’s a serious step in the direction of mainstream acceptance. So support MMA and check out Gareth’s blog.

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UFC UK President Marshall Zelaznik

UFC UK President Marshall Zelaznik

UFC UK President Marshall Zelaznik confirmed to The Sun today that UFC 100 will be shown in the UK live and as it happens. Speaking exclusively to The Sun, Zelaznik said “I’d like to guarantee our loyal British and Irish fans that UFC 100 will be LIVE on television over here. You won’t have to wait to see the biggest event in UFC history. UFC 100 will be live in the UK.”

Although the UFC have not confirmed which broadcaster will be showing UFC 100 in the UK he did go on to say “We’ve got some very exciting options on the table and I expect to be able to make an announcement by Monday.”

The Sun has claimed that no less than SIX broadcasters are vying for the rights to air the UFC in the UK.

Taken from The Sun Online

ESPN are said to have lodged a huge bid to become the new home of the UFC in the UK and are the frontrunners to seal a long-term contract with the promotion — probably starting with UFC 101 in August.

But they face a challenge from Five, who are keen on bringing MMA to a mainstream audience.

Although Five cannot match ESPN’s financial clout, the lure of terrestrial television may help swing them the deal in favour of their subscription-based rivals.

Sky Sports are also in the running, but their failure to fully back UFC programming with a weekly talk show saw them lose out to Setanta two years ago.

Bravo are also interested in screening live fights but it is understood the UFC would prefer to team up with Virgin 1 if an agreement with ESPN or Five cannot be reached.

Insiders at Virgin 1 were reportedly amazed at the viewing figures season nine of The Ultimate Fighter produced considering the minimal advertising spend the show received.

Over 380,000 people watched the TUF 9 finale earlier this month and the UFC are said to be delighted with its success.

UFC 100 is a milestone in the history of the UFC and the sport of Mixed Martial Arts. What was once described by presidential candidate and ex US Navy boxer, Senator John McCain, as “Human Cockfigting” the UFC has gone on to become the largest provider of pay per view content in the world.

UFC 100 Bisping vs Henderson

UFC 100 Bisping vs Henderson

UFC 100 is headlined by the heavyweight title bout between Brock Lesnar and Frank Mir. UFC 100 also included the battle between the TUF 9 coaches Dan Henderson and Mike Bisping.

The full UFC 100 fight card is

Brock Lesnar vs Frank Mir

Geroges St Pierre vs Thiago Alves

Jon Fitch Vs. Paulo Thiago

Dan Henderson Vs. Michael Bisping

Yoshihiro Akiyama Vs. Alan Belcher

Mark Coleman Vs. Stephan Bonnar

Mac Danzig Vs. Jim Miller

Jon Jones Vs. Jake O’Brien

Dong Hyun Km vs TJ Grant

CB Dollaway Vs. Tom Lawlor

Matt Grice Vs. Shannon Gugerty

The Sun Online

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The new UFC Magazine. Behind the scenes of the Mir vs Lesnar photo shoot

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It’s the biggest event in mixed martial arts history, and for UFC100, the Ultimate Fighting Championship is bringing out the big guns. Two championships will be on the line when UFC heavyweight title holder Brock Lesnar defends his crown against rival Frank Mir in their long-awaited grudge match, and UFC welterweight champion Georges “Rush” St-Pierre puts his belt up for grabs against Brazilian knockout artist Thiago “Pitbull” Alves. Also, The Ultimate Fighter coaches collide as Dan Henderson takes on Michael “The Count” Bisping in a pivotal middleweight showdown.

UFC 100 preview

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UFC 100: JULY 11, 2009

Mandalay Bay Las Vegas, Nevada

Main Card Bouts:

  • Frank Mir  vs. Brock Lesnar
  • Georges St. Pierre  vs. Thiago Alves
  • Jon Fitch  vs. Paulo Thiago
  • Dan Henderson vs. Michael Bisping
  • Yoshihiro Akiyamavs. Alan Belcher

Preliminary Bouts:

  • Mark Coleman  vs. Stephan Bonnar
  • Mac Danzig vs. Jim Miller
  • Jon Jones vs. Jake O’Brien
  • Dong-Hyun Kim vs. T.J. Grant
  • C.B. Dollaway vs. Tom Lawlor
  • Matt Grice vs. Shannon Gugerty

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Dana White thinks so

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