Thursday, December 11, 2014

Olympic Champions And MMA Superstars To Wrestle In The 3rd Annual Grapple At The Garden, Presented By MusclePharm

Live on Pay-Per-View from Madison Square Garden on Sunday, December 21

Gray Maynard, Joe Warren, King Mo and Olympic champion Khadjimurad Gatsalov amongst the world-class competitors lined up for battle

New York, NY (December 11, 2014) – A collection of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) icons, including Gray Maynard, Joe Warren and “King Mo” Lawal will join Olympic Gold Medalist and five-time world champion Khadjimurad Gatsalov of Russia, Olympic hopeful Kyle Dake of the U.S. and world champion Arsen Julfalakyan of Armenia in the much-anticipated Grapple at The Garden, presented by MusclePharm live on pay-per-view from Madison Square Garden on Sunday, December 21.

Grapple at The Garden, presented by MusclePharm is being distributed in North America by Integrated Sports Media for live viewing at 12:00 p.m. ET / 9:00 a.m. PT on both cable and satellite pay-per-view in the USA via iN Demand, DISH, and Vubiquity and Bell TV, Shaw PPV, Rogers, SaskTel, TELUS and MTS in Canada for a suggested retail price of only $14.95. Viewer’s world-wide can order on-line at www.GFL.TV.

Dake will collide with Julfalakyan in the Greco-Roman rules main event of the third annual “Grapple at The Garden” event presented by MusclePharm, while Gatsalov will face off with world bronze medalist Tervel Dlagnev. Team Joe Warren, assembled by the reigning Bellator MMA champion and consisting of half of the event’s MMA stars, will take on Team Renzo Gracie, a squad formed by the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu legend and former MMA champion.

The Team Joe Warren vs. Team Renzo Gracie matchups include Warren, an All-American at Michigan, competing at 150 pounds against Scott Jorgenson, a former collegiate star at Boise State and current UFC fighter.

A 140-pound contest will pit Olympic silver medalist and three-time NCAA champion Stephen Abas on the Renzo Gracie team against Rollie Peterkin, the former Univ. of Penn star and talented freestyler, who left Wall Street to become an MMA fighter.

Two current Olympic hopefuls will battle at 155 pounds, as Oklahoma State NCAA champion Jordan Oliver, currently ranked No. 2 on Team USA, will take on Frank Molinaro, the Penn State NCAA champion who is ranked No. 3 on Team USA.

Shawn Bunch, an All-American at Edinboro who competed on the 2009 U.S. World Team in freestyle, will take on Damacio Page at 150 pounds. Bunch competes for Bellator MMA, while Page wrestled at Cerritos College, and has competed in the UFC and other mixed martial arts promotions.

Maynard, a three-time All-American at Michigan State and a current UFC star, will battle World Series of Fighting standout Ozzy Dugulubgov at 170 pounds.

Three members of the world-famous Gracie family will also take the mat. At 185 pounds, Gregor Gracie will square off with Darryl Christian, a former Greco-Roman Team USA member, University of Oregon star and MMA coach. At 190 pounds, Igor Gracie will battle Brennan Ward, a current Bellator MMA star who wrestled for Johnson and Wales. At heavyweight, Lawal, the 2005 Freestyle World Team member, Oklahoma State All-American and current Bellator star, will go up against Rolles Gracie.

All three of the Gracies competing have extensive professional MMA backgrounds coupled with tremendous success in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

Coaching Team Joe Warren are Chad Ravannack (Oklahoma State) and Damion Logan (Michigan). Renzo Gracie will coach his team, along with Mario Mercado (Syracuse) and Hamid Kemanshah (New York AC).

The exciting feature and co-feature matchups will be championship matches with the new Global Wrestling Championships promotion, with prize money awarded to the participants. The Dake vs. Julfalakyan match will be for the Greco-Roman Welterweight Belt, while the Dlagnev vs. Gatsalov will be for the Freestyle International Heavyweight Belt.

Gatsalov won the Olympic gold medal in 2004 and added World titles in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009 and 2013. His other World medals include a silver medal in 2010 and a bronze medal in 2014. He moved up to the heavyweight class in 2013, where he has won a World gold medal and World silver medal in back-to-back seasons. He was a 2001 Junior World champion before moving up to Senior-level success.

Dlagnev won World bronze medals in 2009 and 2014, and was fifth in the 2012 Olympic Games. He also placed fifth at the 2011 and 2013 World Championships. A two-time NCAA Div. II national champion for Nebraska-Kearney, Dlagnev won a University World gold medal before moving to the Senior level and becoming one of the best heavyweights in the world.

There will be 25 college teams competing, representing NCAA Div. I, NCAA Div. II, NCAA Div. III, NJCAA junior colleges, and NCWA club programs. The currently ranked teams competing are #3 Cornell, which will face #13 Edinboro and national power Northern Iowa, #12 Lehigh (facing Edinboro and Princeton), and #23 Rutgers. All of the college dual meets will be available on www.flowrestling.org.

In addition, this event will feature the Grapple at The Garden high school tournament and the NYC Mayor’s Cup will, once again, feature the best New York City high school wrestlers from the Public Schools Athletic League (PSAL), Catholic High School Athletic Association (CHSAA) and independent school wrestlers in each weight class as they compete for the title of “Best in the City.” Additional information about the NYC Mayor’s Cup can be found at www.facebook.com/nycmayorscup. On Saturday, December 20, the 2014-15 NYC Mayor’s Cup Wrestling Championships will take place at Riverbank State Park, after which the winners and runners-up from each weight class will take on the best high school wrestlers from the Metropolitan Division.

The Metropolitan Division portion of the Grapple at The Garden high school invitational will take place on Saturday, December 20 at Clarkstown South High School and will include: Long Beach (NY), Long Branch (NJ), Clarkstown South (NY), Hasbrouck Heights (NJ), Columbia (NY), West Milford (NJ), John Glenn (NY), Colonie (NY), Eastport South Manor (NY) and Nutley (NJ).

For information and to register individuals and/or clubs for the Grapple at The Garden Elementary School and Middle School Championships please visit www.wrestlereg.com.

The event will also feature a special musical performance by rapper Kosha Dillz. Dillz, aka Rami Even-Esh, is a former Edison High School New Jersey Region 5 finalist and Rutgers Division I wrestler, who was recently announced as perform on all 40 dates of the 2015 Vans Warped Tour. He has appeared in everything from the BET Hip Hop Awards w/ RZA of the Wu Tang Clan to world tours with fellow Jewish reggae artist Matisyahu. The former stand out wrestler prides himself in training at Team Hammer of Lakewood NJ in the late 90's. Currently, he trains at Rhino Wrestling Club and Underground Strength Gym of Edison with his brother Zach Even-Esh. Besides rapping, he is a world wide inspirational speaker who frequently speaks to students and at risk youth about addiction, jails and recovery, with over 10 years substance // alcohol free.

Tickets, priced at $20, $35 and $55, are currently on sale and can be purchased online at www.thegarden.com, all Ticketmaster locations and the Madison Square Garden box office.

GRAPPLE AT THE GARDEN PRESENTED BY MUSCLEPHARM
Madison Square Garden, New York, N.Y., Sunday, December 21

7:15AM: Mats 1-8 – YOUTH TOURNAMENT FINALS

8:00AM: Mat 1– HIGHSCHOOL: MAYOR’S CUP VS. METRO
Mat 2 – LIU POST VS. MINN. ST. - MOORHEAD
Mat 3 - STONY BROOK VS. MONTCLAIR STATE
Mat 4 - SO. MAINE VS. STEVENS
Mat 5 – SUNY SULLIVAN VS. MIDDLESEX CC
Mat 6 – NORTHERN IOWA VS. DUKE
Mat 7 – MT. ST. VINCENT VS. WHEELING JESUIT
Mat 8 – HIGH SCHOOL: MAYOR’S CUP VS. METRO

10:00AM: Mat 1 – DAVIDSON VS. BUCKNELL
Mat 2 - LEHIGH VS. PRINCETON
Mat 3 – RUTGERS VS. ARMY
Mat 4 – MARYLAND VS. HOFSTRA
Mat 5 – DUKE VS. GEORGE MASON
Mat 6 – NORTHERN IOWA VS. DREXEL
Mat 7 – EDINBORO VS. CORNELL
Mat 8 – SO. MAINE VS. MUHLENBERG

12:00PM: Mat 1 – ARMY VS. PRINCETON
Mat 2 - LEHIGH VS. EDINBORO
Mat 3 – DAVIDSON VS. RUTGERS
Mat 4 – HOFSTRA VS. BUCKNELL
Mat 5 – MARYLAND VS. DUKE
Mat 6 – DREXEL VS. GEORGE MASON
Mat 7 – NORTHERN IOWA VS. CORNELL
Mat 8 – TEAM JOE WARREN VS. TEAM RENZO GRACIE

2:10PM: Mat 9 – (center) Co-Main Event: Tervel Dlagnev vs. Khadzhijurat Gatsalov (Freestyle)
Main Event: - Kyle Dake vs. Arsen Julfalakyan (Greco-Roman 75 kg/165 lbs.)

About The Madison Square Garden Company

The Madison Square Garden Company is comprised of three business segments: MSG Sports, MSG Media and MSG Entertainment and is built on a foundation of iconic venues and compelling content that the company creates, produces, presents and/or distributes through its programming networks and other media assets. MSG Sports owns and operates the following sports franchises: the New York Knicks (NBA), the New York Rangers (NHL), the New York Liberty (WNBA), the Westchester Knicks (NBADL) and the Hartford Wolf Pack (AHL). MSG Sports also features the presentation of a wide variety of live sporting events including professional boxing, college basketball, bull riding and tennis. MSG Media is a leader in production and content development for multiple distribution platforms, including content originating from the Company’s venues. MSG Media’s television networks consist of regional sports networks, MSG Network and MSG+, collectively referred to as MSG Networks. MSG Entertainment is one of the country's leaders in live entertainment. MSG Entertainment creates, produces and/or presents a variety of live productions, including the Radio City Christmas Spectacular and the New York Spring Spectacular, both featuring the Rockettes. MSG Entertainment also presents or hosts other live entertainment events such as concerts, family shows and special events in the Company’s diverse collection of venues. These venues consist of Madison Square Garden, The Theater at Madison Square Garden, Radio City Music Hall, the Beacon Theatre, the Forum in Inglewood, CA, The Chicago Theatre, and the Wang Theatre in Boston, MA. More information is available at www.themadisonsquaregardencompany.com.

SOURCE: Witz End Communications

Monday, December 1, 2014

For Anyone Buying Into Or Spreading Rumors About Brock Lesnar And Bellator ...

Stop ... Just, please, stop.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

UFC HOF'er To Be "Roasted"

From March 19-21, 2015, the NCAA will be holding the D1 Wrestling Championships, which will emanate from St. Louis.

Of particular interest to fans of MMA, the National Wrestling Hall Of Fame's "roast" of former-D1-wrestler Randy Couture, set for Thursday, March 19.

For more information, and for details on the auctioning of a related package, visit the NWHOF's website.

Where Are They Now? A Must-Read On Alexander Emelianenko

Jail, and looking to get married, according to Russian News Outlet TASS.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Programming Alert For November 26

Part-time actress and full-time Women's Bantamweight Champion, Ronda Rousey, is scheduled for Wednesday's edition of ABC's 'Jimmy Kimmel Live' (11:35 ET), marking her second appearance (that I'm aware of) on the show.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment And WWE Announce New Partnership

BURBANK, CA AND STAMFORD, CT – November 19, 2014 – Warner Bros. Home Entertainment (WBHE) and WWE (NYSE: WWE) have announced a multi-year partnership for home video distribution of WWE programming that will start on January 1, 2015 and include US distribution rights for physical and digital formats.

The new agreement will provide WBHE the home entertainment distribution rights to release new documentaries, match compilations and pay-per-view events, including WrestleMania® and SummerSlam®, as well as a robust catalog of collectible titles throughout the US. The companies have recently worked together on two animated series tied to the Scooby Doo and The Flintstones franchises.

“WWE is an iconic brand that has one of the most passionate fan bases in sports and entertainment,” said Jeff Brown, General Manager and Executive Vice President, Television, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment. “Since WWE titles accounted for all of the Top 10 sports DVDs of 2013 and WrestleMania® 29 was the #1 sports title, we’re very excited to expand our distribution in 2015 and beyond.”

“We are thrilled to partner with Warner Bros Home Entertainment, a brand that has proven itself to be the market leader,” said Casey Collins, Executive Vice President, Consumer Products, WWE. “They have already demonstrated success leveraging the WWE brand with the hit Scooby Doo! WrestleMania Mystery, and we look forward to expanding our home video relationship utilizing their expertise.”

About Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, Inc.

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment (WBHE) brings together Warner Bros. Entertainment’s home video, digital distribution, interactive entertainment, technical operations and anti-piracy businesses in order to maximize current and next-generation distribution scenarios. An industry leader since its inception, WBHE oversees the global distribution of content through packaged goods (Blu-ray Disc and DVD) and digital media in the form of electronic sell-through and video-on-demand via cable, satellite, online and mobile channels, and is a significant developer and publisher for console and online video game titles worldwide. WBHE distributes its product through third party retail partners and licensees, as well as directly to consumers through WBShop.com.

About WWE

WWE, a publicly traded company (NYSE: WWE), is an integrated media organization and recognized leader in global entertainment. The company consists of a portfolio of businesses that create and deliver original content 52 weeks a year to a global audience. WWE is committed to family friendly entertainment on its television programming, pay-per-view, digital media and publishing platforms. WWE programming reaches more than 650 million homes worldwide in 35 languages. WWE Network, the first-ever 24/7 over-the-top premium network that includes all 12 live pay-per-views, scheduled programming and a massive video-on-demand library, is currently available in more than 170 countries. The company is headquartered in Stamford, Conn., with offices in New York, Los Angeles, London, Mexico City, Mumbai, Shanghai, Singapore, Dubai, Munich and Tokyo.

Additional information on WWE (NYSE: WWE) can be found at wwe.com and corporate.wwe.com. For information on our global activities, go to http://www.wwe.com/worldwide/.

Trademarks: All WWE programming, talent names, images, likenesses, slogans, wrestling moves, trademarks, logos and copyrights are the exclusive property of WWE and its subsidiaries. All other trademarks, logos and copyrights are the property of their respective owners.

Forward-Looking Statements: This press release contains forward-looking statements pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, which are subject to various risks and uncertainties. These risks and uncertainties include, without limitation, risks relating to entering into, maintaining and renewing key agreements, including television and pay-per-view programming and our new network distribution agreements; risks relating to the launch and maintenance of our new network; the need for continually developing creative and entertaining programming; the continued importance of key performers and the services of Vincent McMahon; the conditions of the markets in which we compete and acceptance of the Company’s brands, media and merchandise within those markets; uncertainties relating to regulatory matters; risks resulting from the highly competitive and fragmented nature of our markets; uncertainties associated with international markets; the importance of protecting our intellectual property and complying with the intellectual property rights of others; the risk of accidents or injuries during our physically demanding events; risks associated with producing and travelling to and from our large live events, both domestically and internationally; risks relating to our film business; risks relating to new businesses and strategic investments; risks relating to our computer systems and online operations; risks relating to general economic conditions and our exposure to bad debt risk; risks relating to litigation; risks relating to market expectations for our financial performance; risks relating to our revolving credit facility specifically and capital markets more generally; risks relating to the large number of shares of common stock controlled by members of the McMahon family and the possibility of the sale of their stock by the McMahons or the perception of the possibility of such sales; the relatively small public float of our stock; and other risks and factors set forth from time to time in Company filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Actual results could differ materially from those currently expected or anticipated. In addition, our dividend is dependent on a number of factors, including, among other things, our liquidity and historical and projected cash flow, strategic plan (including alternative uses of capital), our financial results and condition, contractual and legal restrictions on the payment of dividends, general economic and competitive conditions and such other factors as our Board of Directors may consider relevant.

SOURCE: WWE

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

A RECORD 1.8 MILLION VIEWERS TUNE IN TO SEE TITO ORTIZ-STEPHAN BONNAR BOUT AT BELLATOR 131 ON SPIKE TV

Most Watched MMA Fight On Cable in 2014
Most Watched Bellator Event In Franchise History
Ortiz-Bonnar Fight Peaked At 2 Million Viewers

New York, NY - November 18, 2014 ­Bellator 131 knocked out the competition on Saturday, November 15 with record ratings for the emerging MMA franchise under new president Scott Coker. The Bellator 131 main event between Tito Ortiz and Stephan Bonnar (11:50pm-12:16am) drew 1.8 million viewers, peaking at 2 million, making it the most-watched and highest­-rated MMA fight on cable in 2014.

The Ortiz-Bonnar fight ranks as 2nd highest-rated MMA fight telecast in all of television with Men 18-34 and Men 18-49, including broadcast, in 2014. Also, Ortiz-Bonnar ranked #2 in its timeslot in all of cable with Men 18-34 and Men 18-49.

"Bellator 131 was an incredible event that had something for everybody, and I'm thrilled to see our efforts were so well-received by our fans," said Coker. "I'm very proud of our entire Bellator and Spike family for all of the hard work they put resulting in these record-breaking ratings. The most exciting thing for me is the knowledge that that we are just getting started, and I can't wait for everyone to see what we have in store for the future."

Bellator 131 ratings breakdown:

Bellator 131 ­ Ortiz vs. Bonnar ­11:50p
1.8 million viewers

Bellator 131 ­10:11p
1.3 million viewers

Bellator 131 ­9p
994,000 viewers

Overall, the entire fight card delivered (9:00-12:16) delivered 1,241,299 viewers, a record for Bellator MMA on Spike TV.

Bellator 131 was a knockout with social media as well ­ as it was the most tweeted Bellator event in Spike history. Reach on Facebook and the associated video views were also record highs for Bellator.

About Spike TV:

Spike TV is available in 93.7 million homes and is a division of Viacom Media Networks. A unit of Viacom (NASDAQ: VIA, VIAB), Viacom Media Networks is one of the world's leading creators of programming and content across all media platforms. Spike TV's Internet address is www.spike.com and for up-to-the-minute and archival press information and photographs, visit Spike TV's press site at http://www.spike.com/press. Follow us on Twitter @spiketvpr for the latest in breaking news updates, behind-the-scenes information and photos.

*Previous Bellator MMA viewership high was 1.1 million viewers for Alvarez-Chandler II (11/2/13)
*Highest rated MMA telecast of the year among M18-49 and M18-34 (FOX broadcast ­ Sat 1/25)

SOURCE: Spike TV

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

I Don't Know How The Guy Does It!

Sure, his fifteen-minutes-of-fame should've ended before it even began, but, according to an ESPN press release, the network has hired Chael Sonnen to provide analysis of UFC's "major" pay-per-view events (whatever that means).

Lisa Siddell must be ecstatic (he starts on Friday, Lisa), but I can only shake my head in amazement. Well, if recent history is any indicator, it won't be long until Sonnen blows this gig, too.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

UFC Reinstates Anthony Johnson

After a September suspension, which could've resulted in his being placed on the chopping block, Anthony Johnson is back in the UFC.

The gist of it, is that Johnson's original accuser (believed to be the mother of his children) has dropped her complaint, meaning her protection order has been dismissed and Johnson no longer faces any legal issues.

No word on the light heavyweight's next booking, but something tells me it won't be long before we find out.

If You're Going To Be In Or Near Calgary On December 13 (Wandering Euan, I'm Talking To You!) ...

... You can purchase tickets (via Ticketmaster) to see comedian Dane Cook, marking fourteen-years of The Owen Hart Foundation (if you can believe that), who will have shows at 6:30 PM and 10 PM at the Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium.

To members of the general public, tickets will be available starting Monday, November 10 at 10 AM (prices range from $97.65 to $118.40).

We all know that Casey doesn't pay much, so let's hope Wandering Euan has plenty of time to save up.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Former UFC Lightweight Champion Available For Seminars

If you're looking to book Jens "Lil' Evil" Pulver, he's available for seminars at https://fightmatch.com/seminar.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Bobby Lashley's Ready To Go!

Not that I'm biased, but, courtesy of SPIKE, here's a look at my favorite fighter (and one of my favorite people), Bobby Lashley.


Catch him, Marloes Coenen (who rules!; not that I'm biased), and Bellator 131, tonight at 9 PM ET.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

My View: Why The "Game Changing" WSOF Announcement Will Be Anything But

In case you hadn't heard, the World Series Of Fighting has announced its intention to stage pay-per-view events, expected to begin "in the second half of 2015."

It's been tried before, it'll be tried again, and in this case, I won't say it's not possible. After all, WSOF did manage to wrangle themselves a coveted timeslot on the NBC Sports network.

What I'd instead rather focus on is what amounts to the company's profit-sharing aspect of the plan. On the surface, paying fifty-percent of net revenue to fighters featured on the broadcasts sounds too good to be true. I think it is.

I'm all for better treatment of fighters, but does anyone at WSOF have any idea what costs are involved in running pay-per-views, or what happens to promotions who (in attempting to show up or compete on equal footing with the UFC) overspend?

Just the fact that WSOF thinks this will somehow prove to be a "game changer" leads me to believe that they haven't spent enough time thinking it through. To the UFC, this isn't a game - it's all business, and at the end of the day, they're wildly successful for many reasons, some of which boil down to the understanding that they're a fighter's employer, not a fighter's friend.

Instead of trying to stick it to the UFC, or whatever WSOF is trying to do, they should focus on the bottom line, which is turning a profit and giving us a reason to care about what they have to offer.

It's been proven, time and again, that while not necessarily the best way, the UFC's way is the only way, and no matter your take on WSOF's idea, the average mixed-martial-arts fan still has no desire to invest much of their time or money in UFC Lyte or UFC-Jr.

I'm not saying I have all the answers, but I do know, just from reading today's press release, what the WSOF probably shouldn't be doing ... Do they?

Game Changer: World Series Of Fighting To Revolutionize MMA Pay-Per-View Business With Unprecedented Fighter Revenue Sharing Model In 2015

LAS VEGAS, Sept. 23, 2014 -- In a radical move that could forever change the earning potential of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighters, World Series of Fighting (www.wsof.com) has announced that it will enter the pay-per-view business in the second half of 2015 with an unprecedented revenue sharing model that will pay 50 percent of all net revenue earned from live pay-per-view events it produces, to the fighters featured on the telecasts.

"This is a proud day for the sport of mixed martial arts and our organization and one that we hope will create a better opportunity for the fighters who put everything on the line every time they step inside the cage," said World Series of Fighting President, six-time world champion and two-time Hall of Famer Ray Sefo.

"Until now," continued Sefo, "one of the main things holding this sport back from becoming even bigger than it is today has been fighter compensation and the inability of the sport's top athletes to earn on par with top-level professional athletes in other sports.

"If fighters can't earn a fair share of the money at the top," said Sefo, "the fighters lose hope or become disenchanted with the sport, which impacts their commitment to training and preparing properly for title fights. That is about to change, thanks to this major step we are taking -- now fighters will train harder than ever to become a champion, giving the fans some epic championship bouts to enjoy. We want to thank NBC Sports and NBC for giving us such an amazing stage to grow World Series of Fighting since its debut."

Since it launched its live event series on Nov. 3, 2012 with a stellar six-bout fight card on NBC Sports Network that reaches over 80 million homes, World Series of Fighting has effectively been building its brand and on July 5, the promotion made its debut on broadcast television before a live NBC audience of nearly 1 million viewers.

World Series of Fighting has successfully expanded its footprint to over 80 countries and counting with its premier fight programming as part of a multi-year agreement with IMG, the world's leader in sports content distribution.

Additional details about World Series of Fighting's 2015 pay-per-view launch will be announced soon.

Source: World Series of Fighting

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Maybe The UFC Should Book Ronda Rousey For Its Chinese Return

After domestically taking in roughly $37-million, 'The Expendables 3' is poised to easily beat that number in China, according to 'The Hollywood Reporter,' with nearly $34-million in its opening week.

Next year's schedule seems to be quite open. Time to strike while the iron's hot.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

DYNAMIC DUO! WWE’S JIM ROSS AND CHAEL SONNEN TEAM UP TO CALL BATTLEGROUNDS MMA ONE NIGHT, EIGHT-MAN WELTERWEIGHT TOURNAMENT

LIVE ON PPV FROM TULSA, OKLA. ON OCT. 3

TULSA, OK (Sept. 4, 2014) – Two consummate performers in WWE Hall of Famer Jim Ross and recently retired UFC superstar Chael Sonnen have teamed up to form what is bound to be one of the most memorable commentary teams in sports entertainment history, and will call the world-class Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) action on the LIVE pay-per-view telecast of BattleGrounds MMA: ‘O.N.E.’ from BOK Center in Tulsa, Oka. on Friday, October 3.

Headlined by the first one-night, eight-man tournament in Tulsa since UFC 4 in 1994, BattleGrounds MMA: ‘O.N.E.’ will award its welterweight (170 pounds) winner a grand prize of $50,000.

BattleGrounds MMA ‘O.N.E.’ will be distributed at a price point of $19.95 in the United States and Canada by Integrated Sports Media for live viewing, beginning at 10 p.m. EST/7 p.m. PST on October 3 on both cable and satellite pay-per-view carriers iN DEMAND, DirecTV, DISH and Avail-TVN in the United States and Bell TV in Canada. A pre-show will begin at 9 p.m. EST/6 p.m. PST.

“As a longtime fan of MMA, to be asked to call the fights for the BattleGrounds MMA event is amazingly exciting for me,” said Ross, a 2007 WWE Hall of Fame inductee. From commentator to referee to executive and even occasional wrestler, Ross has played a multitude of roles for the world’s leading professional wrestling league.

“I've broadcast NFL and XFL games,” continued Ross, “FOX Sports boxing and WWE action, but MMA is a new adventure and one that I'm enormously excited about contributing to. To launch this phase of my broadcasting career in my home state, and with Chael Sonnen at cageside makes it an ideal opportunity and a bucket list experience.

“This is going to be a TV event that any MMA fan won’t want to miss,” said Sonnen, who recently retired from the sport that he competed in as a professional since 1997. A three-time UFC championship challenger, Sonnen fought his last 11 career bouts inside The Octagon and enjoyed a stint as an analyst for FOX Sports Network. “I am thrilled to be working with a legend like Jim Ross and, together, we are going to make the BattleGrounds MMA event one of the most exciting extravaganzas in combat sports history.”

Slated for action in the single-elimination tournament is submission ace Cody “AK Kid” McKenzie (15-4) of Spokane, Wash.; two-time, one-night tournament winner Brock Larson (37-8) of Brainerd, Minn.; hard-hitting brawler Luigi “The Italian Tank” Fioravanti (24-11) of St. Louis, Mo.; Urijah Faber protégé David “Bulletproof” Mitchell (14-4) of Lower Lake, Calif.; Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu expert Roan “Jucao” Carneiro (16-9) of Atlanta, Ga.; and Trey “That Just Happened?” Houston (11-2) of Bixby, Okla.

Dennis “Superman” Hallman and Chris Honeycutt, originally slated for action in the tournament, will be replaced by two competitors to be announced soon. Additional bouts for the telecast as well as a preliminary bout card will also be announced soon.

Tickets for the event, priced from $65, can be purchased online at www.bokcenter.com as well as at Arby’s Box Office at the BOK Center, all ticket outlets, or by calling 1-800-7-BOKCTR.

Doors at BOK Center open at 6 p.m. CST on Oct. 3. The first preliminary bout will begin at 7:15 p.m.

About BattleGrounds MMA

BattleGrounds MMA (www.battlegroundsone.com) is a world championship professional Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) promotion designed to place combative sports athletes on a major stage in the most challenging and exciting format possible: one-night, single-elimination tournaments that reveal the toughest competitors in their respective weight divisions. Launched by Olympic wrestling legend Kenny Monday and Bryan O’Rourke in 2012 as a regional organization in Tulsa, OK to unearth promising new talent in one of MMA’s biggest hotbeds, the promotion is quickly capturing the hearts of fans nationwide as it brings about an exciting new era in the world’s fastest growing sport.

About the BOK Center:

The BOK Center is Tulsa’s state-of-the-art sports and entertainment venue that opened in fall 2008. The 19,199-seat arena is home to the WNBA Tulsa Shock and the CHL Tulsa Oilers. The BOK Center was designed to host major concerts, family shows, ice shows, and other world class entertainment. Owned by the City Of Tulsa, the BOK Center is part of Vision 2025, a project to grow economic and community infrastructure for future generations. In 2011, the BOK Center won the prestigious International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM) Venue Excellence Award.

About SMG

Founded in 1977, SMG provides management services to more than 230 public assembly facilities including convention and exhibition centers, arenas, stadiums, theatres, performing arts centers, equestrian facilities, science centers and a variety of other venues. With facilities across the globe, SMG manages more than 14.4 million square feet of exhibition space and over 1.75 million sports and entertainment seats. As the recognized global industry leader, SMG provides venue management, sales, marketing, event booking and programming, construction and design consulting, and pre-opening services for such landmark facilities as McCormick Place & Soldier Field in Chicago, Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco, Houston’s Reliant Park and the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. SMG also offers food and beverage operations through its concessions, catering and special events division, SAVOR, currently servicing more than 100 accounts worldwide. For more information visit www.smgworld.com.

SOURCE: Witz End Communications, Inc.