Tag Archive for Saturday’s

Video: Main Card Fighters On Weight for Saturday’s Bellator DAZN Debut

Bellator MMA is set to debut on the DAZN streaming service with a blockbuster card featuring a superfight between middleweight champion Gegard Mousasi and welterweight champ Rory MacDonald, as well as a fourth grudge match between Quinton Jackson and longtime rival Wanderlei Silva.
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LFA Flyweight Champ Sabina Mazo Pulled From Saturday’s LFA 51 After Opponent Suffers Injury

Legacy Fighting Alliance flyweight champion Sabina Mazo has been pulled her main event bout at LFA 51 this weekend after her opponent Jaimelene Nievera announced she was injured on Thursday.
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Gilbert Burns vs. Olivier Aubin-Mercier Pulled from Saturday’s UFC on Fox 28 Card

Weight cut concerns for Gilbert Burns have led to the cancellation of his proposed UFC on Fox 28 showdown with Olivier Aubin-Mercier.
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Boxing: Kanat Islam, Breidis Prescott Added to Saturday’s PBC on NBCSN Card

Undefeated junior middleweight contender Kanat Islam will look to keep his momentum rolling when he enters the ring against Jonathan Batista on Saturday in one of the featured undercard battles of Premier Boxing Champions’ next PBC on NBCSN event.
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‘Raging’ Al Iaquinta’s blow-up during Saturday’s UFC matinee was…something

The fight between Al Iaquinta and Jorge Masvidal ended up being the kind of afternoon riddle that could make any concept of a bunny rabbit laying chocolate eggs come off as logical. Masvidal stormed Iaquinta early at UFC Fight Night 63, dropping him and opening a gash on his cheekbone that streamed bloody tears the rest of the fight. Then Masvidal took his foot off the gas a little bit, and hell began to slowly unravel. Iaquinta fought on, but not with tremendous urgency. He was thwarted on every takedown. The exchanges evened out. For as slick an operator as Masvidal is, he began (perhaps) to coast.

The fight was remarkable, unremarkable and just regular markable all at once.

Yet Iaquinta did just enough to convince two of the cageside judges that he won the fight in the end. The other, Douglas Crosby, saw it 30-27 for Masvidal. And here’s where it got real confusing, a little bit epic, and entirely raw. I thought Masvidal won the fight, 29-28. The crowd in Fairfax, Virginia, must have thought he won, too, and they booed the decision accordingly. Iaquinta, hearing these boos as FOX commentator Jon Anik held a hot microphone out for him, took exception.

“Are you guys booing me?” Raging Al boomed out. “You better not boo me.” And then he went into a momentary tirade laced with good Long Island profanities, singling out some particular somebody in the lower bowl with the audacity to wave a middle finger at him. Ray Longo patted Iaquinta’s back. Anik’s face changed like a man whose parlay just got sunk by a garbage time touchdown. And Twitter broke out in a smattering of applause, with the words “regrettable, regrettable, regrettable” breaking through here and there.

Madness.

Iaquinta won and was mad. Masvidal lost and was smiling. The crowd was booing the decision, not Al. Al nonetheless didn’t like the Commonwealth’s take on things and let his emotions get the better of him. Two judges had it for Iaquinta, which was mildly surprising. The one judge, Crosby — who has a long-standing if under-publicized feud with Ray Longo’s camp, and should never have been assigned the fight — had it for Masvidal in a landslide, which was not. The reactions to Iaquinta’s reaction to the crowd’s reaction was a lot more action than what went on during the actual fight (which had plenty).

Only in the fight game can so much exist under the surface.

In the end, though, in a sport where two people are literally fighting for their livelihoods, you’d like it to make more sense. Just a little more transparency. Did Iaquinta really win? Maybe and maybe not, but it shouldn’t be up to Crosby to decide if there’s even a remote chance that he could be biased. In a sport where the judges are judged, how this could happen is in itself pretty unbelievable.

Then again, Iaquinta can’t even compete in his home state of New York legally. At least not yet. This sport has come a long way but it’s got a long way to go. There’s not a lot of gray matter in a word like professionalism, but there is in MMA. The Iaquinta-Masvidal fight, from the commission assignments down to Iaquinta scorching some earth on the microphone, proved it once again.

And as time goes on, it doesn’t get any easier to clap while smacking your forehead at the same time. It just doesn’t.

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Unusual highs and lows for Saturday’s UFN 62 ratings

If ever there was a mixed message, the ratings for Saturday’s UFC show were it.

The Fight Night from Rio de Janeiro, headlined by Demian Maia’s five-round decision win over Ryan LaFlare, drew 617,000 viewers, well short of every UFC televised prime time show so far this year, and among the lowest numbers for such a show in since FS 1 became UFC’s main cable destination point. The show finishing well below the usual average wasn’t much of a surprise, given the lack of star power on the show.

Even though LaFlare came into the fight undefeated, he had never been in a featured fight previously nor had he made an impact to the average viewer. Maia, a veteran, has been a top contender for years, even got a middleweight title shot at Anderson Silva, and has some of the best ground skills in the sport.  But he never achieved significant popularity in the U.S.

The show peaked at 767,000 viewers for the early rounds of the main event, so the audience did decline as the fought wore on, but was at a lower than usual level all night.

The flip side is that the prelims on FS 2 did 280,000 viewers, making it the third-most watched show in the history of the station. Even when UFC ran significant live shows on FS 2 and its predecessor, Fuel, such a number for a main card with name fighters would have been considered excellent given the limited reach of the station.

FS 2 is now in significantly more homes than it was as Fuel, when UFC was featured more regularly on the station, up from about 36 million to more than 45 million, so overall viewership numbers should be up. But even figuring that, the FS 2 numbers still would have been larger than most main cards previously on the station.

FS 1 is currently in 84.8 million homes.

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Dennis Siver Gets Another New Opponent for Saturday’s UFC Fight Night in Stockholm

With less than one week to go until UFC Fight Night “Nelson vs. Story,” undercard featherweight Dennis Siver has received yet another new opponent.
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Bonus Watch! Potential UFC award winners for Saturday’s ‘Fight Night’ doubleheader

UFC will be put on two events on the same day for the second time in its history this weekend, with “Fight Night” events in New Zealand and Texas, live on Fight Pass and FOX Sports 1, respectively. Take a look at the special fighters and fights from the day-night doubleheader who have the potential to haul in one or more of UFC’s new performance-based bonuses.

For the second time in the promotion’s history, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) will run two events in the span of one day, presenting UFC Fight Night 43 and 44 this Saturday (June 28, 2014), from Auckland, New Zealand (Fight Pass), and San Antonio, Texas (FOX Sports 1).

Headlined by James Te Huna vs. Nate Marquardt and Cub Swanson vs. Jeremy Stephens, respectively, it’s obvious that these are not blockbuster cards. Nonetheless, they should deliver solid mixed martial arts (MMA) action. With cards that will only sell based on its main events, let’s take a look at some of the other fights (and fighters) who may be worth watching between these two events, as well as potential bonus/award winners.

Here we go …

Nate Marquardt (Fighting James Te Huna): Marquardt has been around for quite some time. And it’s safe to say he has more tools at his disposal than the rather predictable Te Huna. What he gives up in size he makes up for with agility and technique, which “Shogun” Rua proved to be an effective means to defeating the Aussie slugger. Unless Te Huna gets lucky and clips Marquardt’s now-suspect chin, expect The Great” to win this fight impressively.

Hatsu Hioki vs. Charles Oliveira: These two are pretty similar in many ways. They’re terrific grapplers with respectable striking games, and both have uncommonly lanky frames for the 145-pound weight class. Hioki has a definitive edge in top-level experience, but Oliveira is a young, high-paced fighter who will test him whenever possible. From interesting range striking to incredible scrambles and ground exchanges, expect this fight to be a showcase of two very fun fighters.

Robert Whittaker vs. Mike Rhodes: Whittaker, a TUF alum, is showing some pretty nice improvements to his game since coming off the show. His crisp kickboxing is highlighted by a very effective jab, but a flaw in his game is that he still seems a little too hittable. Rhodes is a talented fighter in his own right, with good stand-up as you’d expect from a Roufusport product, as well as solid takedowns. Ultimately, I just think this fight will be one in which both fighters get after one another from the opening bell, more willing to deal out damage than avoid it, which always makes for a fun spectacle.

Neil Magny (Fighting Rodrigo De Lima): Magny is a solid fighter, with a respectably rounded skill set, highlighted by a formidable wrestling game. De Lima’s game is submissions, and I just don’t see him getting the fight to the mat, and Magny is definitely the better striker of the two. Magny’s going to employ a classic “sprawl and brawl” gameplan to wear De Lima down and likely finish him with strikes at some point.

Gian Villante (Fighting Sean O’Connell): O’Connell is neither a good athlete nor a good fighter. Villante is markedly better in every aspect and should bounce back from his loss to Fabio Maldonado with ease here.

And now on to UFC Fight Night 44:

Cub Swanson (Fighting Jeremy Stephens): Stephens can talk all he wants about who has the greater knockout power between the two, but Cub easily has the better track record and is by far the more complete fighter. Cub’s striking is slicker than ever these days and after seeing what Yves Edwards did to Stephens, I think Cub replicates that with style here.

Kelvin Gastelum (Fighting Nico Musoke): Gastelum has been very impressive since coming off The Ultimate Fighter, and seems to have a lot of potential as a fighter. His striking has developed very nicely, which is complemented by his excellent wrestling game. Musoke is a big step down from Rick Story, and Gastelum should do away with him easily.

Cezar Ferreira (Fighting Andrew Craig): Craig is your average-everywhere journeyman that is going to give everyone some problems. That said, Ferreira is also very well-rounded, in addition to being more physically imposing and more athletic. I think Craig is going to get bullied here by Ferreira, and quite possibly finished.

Ricardo Lamas (Fighting Hacran Dias): Lamas is a legitimate top-10 featherweight, whereas Dias is still unproven against top fighters. If Nik Lentz could beat Dias, Lamas definitely can, and I think he gets the finish here as his striking and power will give Dias more than he can handle.

Cody Gibson (Fighting Johnny Bedford): Bedford is a solid fighter who can probably test Gibson everywhere, but his submission defense is just awful. Gibson is pretty talented, albeit not a world beater, but I think he catches Bedford in a submission and gets the finish.

Andy Enz (Fighting Marcelo Guimaraes): Guimaraes is awful and hasn’t fought in more than one year. Enz is not awful and will be better than Guimaraes in every area. This looks like a clear submission win for the Alaskan.

There you have it.

These cards are not by any means must-watch, but looking at them from top to bottom there should be some solid entertainment throughout. These events take place at the beginning and end of the day, which is odd, but if you’re into that sort of thing, you’ll have some UFC fights and an unholy amount of advertisements to keep you occupied.

Remember too, that MMAmania.com will provide LIVE coverage of the entire UFC Fight Night 43 fight card, starting with the Fight Pass “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 2:30 a.m. ET, right on through the main card — also on Fight Pass — which is slated to begin at 5 a.m. ET.

Enjoy the fights!

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Saturday’s UFC ratings tell a strange dual story

UFC’s Fight Night on Saturday from Sao Paulo, Brazil has the dubious distinction of being the least-watched Saturday night live show with national distribution since the company’s big television breakthrough in 2005.

But all the news isn’t as bad as it sounds because the Saturday show drew an usually high viewership for the prelims.

The big question is how could prelim fights do 560,000 viewers, and the main card only average 609,000? What’s even more notable is that the main sports competition that night, Game 6 of the Oklahoma City Thunder vs. San Antonio Spurs NBA semifinals, which ended up with the Spurs punching their ticket to the finals, started against the prelims and was over before the big matches on the main card.

The 609,000 beat every UFC event that aired on FS 2, or before that, Fuel, but that station didn’t have national clearance. 

Probably the best answer is the time slot, since the main card was a 10 p.m. ET start, but UFC big shows traditionally start at that time on a Saturday. What is clear is that nothing on the main card made a big difference in viewership. It also would indicate a great percentage of viewers stayed for the five hours, but not a lot of newcomers came in for the main fights. But, with Rodrigo Damm vs. Rashid Magomedov as the headliner for the prelims, there was less of an explanation why that show did well than an explanation why the main card didn’t.

The main event was Stipe Miocic vs. Fabio Maldonado. Maldonado was a non-ranked light heavyweight moving up as a late replacement for Junior Dos Santos. Miocic was a ranked heavyweight with a good record, but with no strong national appeal even though he was coming off a FOX win over Gabriel Gonzaga in what was a key fight on that card.  Two other key fights were TUF Brazil finals,  The season didn’t air on U.S. television, so the finalists were unknown past the group that watched TUF Brazil on Fight Pass.

Perhaps the biggest name fighter on the main card was Demian Maia, but his opponent, Alexander Yakovlev, had never fought in the UFC previously.

The most recent Saturday night UFC show on FS 1 was on May 10, featuring the potential fight of the year winner in Matt Brown’s finish of Erick Silva. That show did 655,000 viewers for the main show, but only 125,000 for the prelims, but the prelims were on FS 2.

The last show where both the prelims and main card were on FS 1 was March 23, a rare Sunday show, headlined by Dan Henderson vs. Mauricio “Shogun” Rua.  On that show, the prelims did 369,000 viewers, but the main card, clearly with fights people went out of their way to want to see, did 936,000 viewers.

In the 18-49 demo, viewership grew 11 percent from prelims to main card.  But in Males 18-34, the numbers were identical, as the show did a 0.41 in that demo for both the prelims and the main event.  The show did grow significantly for the main card in adults 35-49.

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Full Lineup Announced for Saturday’s ‘TUF Brazil 3’ Finale

The full lineup for “The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil” Season 3 Finale is now finalized.
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