Wednesday, March 18, 2015

WWE Network® Post-WrestleMania Conference Call

STAMFORD, Conn., Mar. 18, 2015 -- WWE® (NYSE:WWE) announced that it will host a conference call on Monday, March 30, 2015 at 12:00 noon ET to discuss the progress of WWE Network, including WWE Network’s level of subscribers following WrestleMania and the network’s 2015 programming schedule. The Company’s Chairman & CEO, Vincent K. McMahon, and the Company’s Chief Strategy & Financial Officer, George Barrios, will host the conference call.

All interested parties are welcome to listen to a live web cast that will be hosted through the Company’s web site at ir.corporate.wwe.com. Participants can access the conference call by dialing 1-855-200-4993 (toll free) or 1-913-489-5104 from outside the U.S. (conference ID for both lines: 7011866). Please reserve a line 5-10 minutes prior to the start time of the conference call.

The WWE Network presentation referenced during the call will be made available on March 30, 2015 at ir.corporate.wwe.com. A replay of the call will be available approximately two hours after the conference call concludes, and can be accessed on the Company’s web site.

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: WWE Network; major distribution agreements; our need to continue to develop creative and entertaining programs and events; a decline in the popularity of our brand of sports entertainment; the continued importance of key performers and the services of Vincent K. McMahon; possible adverse changes in the regulatory atmosphere and related private sector initiatives; the highly competitive, rapidly changing and increasingly fragmented nature of the markets in which we operate and greater financial resources or marketplace presence of many of our competitors; uncertainties associated with international markets; our difficulty or inability to promote and conduct our live events and/or other businesses if we do not comply with applicable regulations; our dependence on our intellectual property rights, our need to protect those rights, and the risks of our infringement of others’ intellectual property rights; the complexity of our rights agreements across distribution mechanisms and geographical areas; potential substantial liability in the event of accidents or injuries occurring during our physically demanding events including, without limitation, claims relating to CTE; large public events as well as travel to and from such events; our feature film business; our expansion into new or complementary businesses and/or strategic investments; our computer systems and online operations; a possible decline in general economic conditions and disruption in financial markets; our accounts receivable; our revolving credit facility; litigation; our potential failure to meet market expectations for our financial performance, which could adversely affect our stock; Vincent K. McMahon exercising control over our affairs, and his interests may conflict with the holders of our Class A common stock; a substantial number of shares which are eligible for sale by the McMahons and the sale, or the perception of possible sales, of those shares could lower our stock price; and the relatively small public “float” of our Class A common stock. In addition, our dividend is dependent on a number of factors, including, among other things, our liquidity and cash flow, strategic plan (including alternative uses of capital), our financial results and condition, contractual and legal restrictions on the payment of dividends (including under our revolving credit facility), general economic and competitive conditions and such other factors as our Board of Directors may consider relevant. Forward-looking statements made by the Company speak only as of the date made, are subject to change without any obligation on the part of the Company to update or revise them, and undue reliance should not be placed on these statements.

SOURCE: WWE

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Attention: Backyard Wrestlers (Among Others)! ... Looking For Some Exposure?

If so, this could be your ticket.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Variety Reveals Ronda Rousey's Next Film Project

'Mile 22,' whatever that is, also starring Iko Uwais and directed by Peter Berg, whomever they are.

Bellator MMA Statement On Quinton "Rampage" Jackson

Today, Bellator MMA was compelled to go to court to stop Quinton "Rampage" Jackson from fighting in an April 25th bout promoted by Bellator's competitor, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). Jackson, who has completed only three fights of his exclusive six-fight contract with Bellator, is barred by contract from fighting for any promoter other than Bellator. Our lawsuit for an injunction and related relief - filed in the Chancery Division of the Superior Court in Burlington County, New Jersey - will compel Jackson to honor his contractual agreement. We look forward to having one of our MMA stars fighting for Bellator again.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

My Two-Cents - Ronda Rousey and Arianny Celeste

(Hat-tip: Marissa Payne's 'Early Lead' and The Washington Post)

It's amazing how Ronda Rousey is considered to be so "brash" and "outspoken," yet her words tend only to be directed at the sport's bit players, never at those who sign her paychecks.

Rousey believes that fighters are underpaid and ring-card girls are overpaid, which is her right.

Speaking of ring-card girls, Arianny Celeste (who also has a right to her opinion) thinks that Rousey is something of a bully.

Rousey clearly has little respect for Celeste (who seems to be a favorite target of Rousey's) or her work, but I can't help but wonder, when it comes to those who employ Celeste and Rousey, where is that same venom?

After all, if Celeste weren't working for the UFC, she wouldn't even have a job for Rousey to be unimpressed by.

Last week, Rousey was praised for taking a "momma's basement blogger" to task for what she perceived to be their slight on women's mixed-martial-arts.

His comments were nothing when compared to what Dana White has publicly said about female mixed-martial-artists and their abilities, but that was before Rousey was signed by the UFC and made the face of their distaff division, so all appears to be forgiven.

Funny how that works, isn't it?

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

MILLER LITE NAMED THE OFFICIAL TITLE SPONSOR FOR BELLATOR MMA

New York, NY, February 10, 2015 - Miller Lite has been named the official title sponsor for Bellator MMA events in 2015, marking the first-ever title sponsorship for the emerging MMA brand.

The partnership will debut with Bellator 134: The British Invasion on Friday, February 27 from the Mohegan Sun Arena, in Uncasville, CT.

"We are thrilled to partner with Miller Lite as we embark on our biggest year ever at Bellator," said Scott Coker, Bellator president. "We share a similar philosophy with Miller Lite where we put quality above all else."

"We've enjoyed being a part of the Bellator family for the past two years and are excited to become the first premier sponsor," said Adam Dettman, MillerCoors director of sports, entertainment and licensing. "We know MMA resonates with Miller Lite fans and look forward to another great year."

"Bellator MMA Presented by Miller Lite" will feature many of the most exciting athletes in the world in hard-hitting events from all around the country. The Miller Lite sponsorship will be across all of Spike and Bellator's platforms and on-site at venues. The partnership includes an on-air branded fight clock graphic, mat signage, custom tune-in spots, and signage at all press conferences. Miller Lite will also support local market activations.

About Bellator MMA

Bellator MMA is a leading Mixed Martial Arts organization featuring many of the best fighters in the world. Under the direction of veteran fight promoter Scott Coker, Bellator is available to nearly 500 million homes worldwide in over 140 countries. In the United States, Bellator can be seen on Spike TV, the MMA television leader. Bellator MMA is comprised of an executive team that includes top industry professionals in television production, live event orchestration, fighter development/relations, venue procurement, sponsorship creation/development, international licensing, marketing, advertising, publicity and commission relations. Bellator is based in Santa Monica, California and owned by entertainment giant Viacom, home to the world's premier entertainment brands that connect with audiences through compelling content across television, motion picture, online and mobile platforms.

About Miller Brewing Company

Miller Brewing Company was founded in 1855 by Frederick J. Miller when he purchased the Plank Road Brewery in Milwaukee, a city he chose as the best place for a brewery given its access to great water. Miller Lite, the original great-tasting light pilsner beer, (MillerLite.com, Facebook.com/MillerLite, @MillerLite on Twitter) was introduced nationally in 1975 and is among the top-five selling beers in the United States. Miller Fortune (MillerFortune.com, Facebook.com/MillerFortune, @MillerFortune on Twitter) is brewed with caramel malt and cascade hops for a balanced taste and smooth finish. The brewery's oldest enduring beer is Miller High Life (MillerHighLife.com, Facebook.com/MillerHighLife, @MillerHighLife on Twitter). Known as the Champagne of Beers, it was introduced in 1903 and is still brewed with the same yeast strain that Miller carried in his pocket from Germany. Miller Genuine Draft (MGD.com, Facebook.com/MillerGenuineDraft, @Miller_Global on Twitter), introduced in 1986, is the original cold-filtered, packaged draft beer. Miller Brewing Company operates in the United States and Puerto Rico as part of MillerCoors, a joint venture of SABMiller plc and Molson Coors Brewing Company. Learn more at MillerCoors.com, at Facebook.com/MillerCoors or on Twitter through @MillerCoors.

About Spike TV:

Spike TV is available in 98.7 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.

SOURCE: Brener Zwikel & Associates, Inc.

Note from Ric: Impressive, but, as far as revenue and exposure, Bellator is still a long way from the UFC.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Press Release - Hollywood Marketing Expert Rolfe Auerbach To Help Grow Sponsorship Sales For World Series Of Fighting

LAS VEGAS, Jan. 27, 2015 -- Renowned Hollywood brand builder Rolfe Auerbach has joined World Series of Fighting (www.wsof.com), the world championship Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) promotion and NBCUniversal television property announced today.

A 20-year marketing veteran responsible for launching FOX Television Studios' Product Integration Organization and for ushering product integration practices into the music industry, Auerbach, the President and CEO of Los Angeles-based Brand in Entertainment, will be charged with spearheading all sponsorship sales and product integration strategies on behalf of World Series of Fighting.

"I am thrilled to have the opportunity to work with World Series of Fighting which, in its relatively short lifespan of just over 2 years, has grown exponentially into a powerful sports entertainment vehicle," said Auerbach.

"With its presence on the NBCUniversal platform, its tremendous reach on television platforms throughout the planet and some of the best and most exciting athletes in the sport of MMA, the World Series of Fighting product presents an incredible opportunity for consumer brands to engage the 18-34 year old male demographic."

"We are excited to bring a marketing mastermind and innovator like Rolfe Auerbach on board to our incredible team," said World Series of Fighting President, six-time world champion and two-time Hall of Famer Ray Sefo.

"With Rolfe's wealth of experience and blue-chip level relationships in the consumer products space," continued Sefo, "he will no doubt be able to catapult our brand into the next stratosphere."

Under Auerbach's leadership, Brand in Entertainment, since its inception in 2000, has incorporated products and brands into a host of the world's most popular studio films, television programs, music videos and video games.

In 2006, Auerbach's company famously incorporated a key marketing initiative of upscale hotel chain Embassy Suites, into one of the most-watched episodes of Donald Trump's smash-hit NBC-televised reality series The Apprentice.

Auerbach has executed similar integrations into the television productions of FOX, MGM, Lionsgate and Paramount, as well as into the works of major record labels Universal, Sony, Atlantic, Elektra, RCA, Arista and Jive.

World Series of Fighting programming is available in over 100 countries worldwide as a result of a partnership with IMG, the global leader in sports content distribution.

SOURCE: World Series of Fighting

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Zuffa Decides To "Punish" Jon Jones

The UFC wants you to know that, in testing positive for cocaine, Jon Jones has violated their "Athlete Code of Conduct," and as a result, he'll have to part with $25,000.

I'd call it a slap on the wrist, but that choice of words would be far too harsh.

Jones, of course, is the same guy who, while driving under the influence in 2012, totaled a Bentley, which was worth probably ten-times that amount.

The "fine," it is said, will be donated to a rehab facility, meaning that Jones or Zuffa (or both) will probably be able claim it on their taxes. I'm no tax expert, but maybe Zuffa will issue another statement, this one containing the particulars of how that might work. In the meantime, I won't hold my breath.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

This Must Make The Zuffa Brass REALLY Happy

As if Jon Jones, Nevada's Athletic Commission, and the UFC haven't taken enough flack for how "Cokegate" (I just made that up) was (not) handled, Jones' mother revealed to Binghamton, New York's WBNG that her son only spent a single night in rehab.

Perhaps Dana White should make his fighters sign contracts which only allow their families to accept interview requests from pre-approved media. Sure, it sounds completely ridiculous, but all that means is that it will fit right in with the rest of how this story has been playing out.

Monday, January 12, 2015

COMBAT SPORTS HALL OF FAME SIMULTANEOUSLY LAUNCHES FIRST ONLINE EXHIBITION AND A SOCIAL NETWORK

Exhibition: Muay Thai for MMA | Social Network: Rounds

Cambridge, MA, January 10, 2015 – The Combat Sports Hall of Fame is pleased to announce the launch the online exhibition Muay Thai for MMA, and a new combat sports themed social network called Rounds. The exhibition features text, images, video, and an interactive timeline. The Combat Sports Hall of Fame plans to organize pop-up exhibition events in an effort to link the online exhibition to the physical world. Rounds will serve as social space for members to discuss and share content related to Combat Sports Hall of Fame exhibitions, combat sports topics, and related areas of interest.

“I am excited to announce the launch of the Muay Thai for MMA exhibition and Rounds! The exhibit and the social space are designed to educate and entertain all who visit. This has been a long time coming. The Combat Sports Hall of Fame started as my Master’s thesis project at Harvard University Extension School, and now it is a nonprofit growing its online presence with a goal of establishing a physical space,” said Combat Sports Hall of Fame Founder and President Alvin Benjamin Carter III.

The Combat Sports Hall of Fame started as a graduate thesis, Collecting Excellence: The Creation of a Combat Sports Hall of Fame, written by the Founder and President Alvin Benjamin Carter III while he was in Harvard University Extension School’s Museum Studies Program. The hall of fame grew with support from his advisors, industry professionals, family, and friends. It also has benefited from his years of martial arts training at Redline Fight Sports in Cambridge, MA and his years of writing for MMA Torch. His training and ringside fight coverage have helped him cultivate his combat sports expertise.

The exhibition will have periodic updates keeping it interesting for returning visitors. Visitors are also encouraged to use Rounds to discuss the exhibition and connect with each other. Rounds provides a space where fans of the hall of fame, novice to expert fight fans, museum professionals, and combat sports professionals can learn from each other and have fun sharing content and ideas. Users can create an account and login with their current Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn accounts. The exhibition and the social space are just the first offerings from the Combat Sports Hall of Fame in 2015. Stay tuned!

Visit

Muay Thai for MMA - http://exhibits.combatsportshalloffame.com/
Rounds (A CSHF Social Network) - http://rounds.combatsportshalloffame.com/

Main Website – http://combatsportshalloffame.com

Twitter.com/combatsportshf (#CSHF)
Facebook.com/combatsportshf
Linkedin.com/company/combat-sports-hall-of-fame

About The Combat Sports Hall of Fame

The Combat Sports Hall of Fame is a member of the New England Museum Association (NEMA).

The mission of the Combat Sports Hall of Fame is to celebrate the achievements of elite practitioners, training camps, and organizations in mixed martial arts and all other combat sports; document the history and progression of all martial art forms; and to educate visitors, researchers, and combat sports enthusiast.

The activities of the Combat Sports Hall of fame will include induction ceremonies, exhibitions, archiving records and statistics of various combat sport and its fighters, and producing educational events and programs. Individual martial arts systems will be featured as well.

Combat Sports Hall of Fame. Honoring Excellence in Martial Arts.

SOURCE: Combat Sports Hall of Fame

Friday, January 9, 2015

Programming Alert - Saturday, January 10, 1 PM ET

Cung Le will be featured on the premier of the AXS TV series, 'Celebrity Sweat.'

If you're hoping to learn more about the Le-UFC lawsuit, though, don't bother watching, because this was taped back in August (about one-week before Le's fight against Michael Bisping).

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Pop-Quiz Time! Jon Jones Or Justin Bieber?

1.) Which one is the UFC Light-Heavyweight champion?

2.) Which one is a world-famous singer/songwriter?

(I know what you're thinking ... This is too easy.)

3.) Which one of these role models, despite being a self-avowed Christian and only in his twenties, has a recent past scattered with such moral behavior as a public skirmish (or two), a DUI arrest (which included a vehicle crash), and drug use?

(Now, all Jones needs is to buy himself a plane.)

Monday, January 5, 2015

You Always Wanted Hulk Hogan To Autograph Your Pinball Machine (Just Admit It), And, Now, It Can Finally Happen!

That's right, brother!

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Break Out The Party Hats, Wandering Euan! (I'd Have Told Him To Break Out The Booze, Too, If I Didn't Think He Already Has)

Why? This press release, courtesy of WWE, is why:

WWE Network Comes to the UK and Ireland

STAMFORD, Conn., January 4, 2015 – Beginning Monday, January 19, WWE Network will be available in the UK for £9.99 per month and Ireland for €12.99 per month on a direct-to-consumer basis, with no commitment and the ability to cancel any time. Fans will be able to sign up in time to watch Royal Rumble® LIVE on Sunday, January 25 and see which WWE Superstar competes for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at WrestleMania® 31.

WWE Network subscribers in the UK and Ireland will have access to the U.S. English language version of WWE Network with all 12 annual pay-per-view events LIVE at no additional cost, 24/7 scheduled programming and the most comprehensive video-on-demand library with more than 2,700 hours of content, including every WWE, WCW and ECW pay-per-view.

“We are thrilled to start the new year by offering WWE Network directly to our fans in the UK and Ireland,” said Vince McMahon, WWE Chairman & CEO. “I want to thank our fans in the UK and Ireland for their patience, and I’m confident it will be well worth the wait.”

Like other digital subscription services, such as Netflix and Hulu Plus, fans are able to sign up online by going to WWE.com and can watch WWE Network on their TV through connected devices such as Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Roku streaming devices, Sony Playstation 3, Sony Playstation 4, Xbox One, Xbox 360 and Smart TVs including Sony and Samsung.

WWE Network programming includes groundbreaking original series, reality shows, documentaries, classic matches, exclusive coverage of special events and more. The U.S. English language version of WWE Network is available direct to consumer in more than 170 countries and territories.

For a complete listing of WWE Network availability by country and device, please click here.

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.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

So, Brock Lesnar Stars In A New Hardee's Commercial ...

Yeah, well, I'm still going to keep eating there.

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