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Open Directory – Sports: Martial Arts.


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According to the The Sports Business Journal, Cablevision is going to launch a 24 hour mixed martial arts television network in the New York area on May 24th. MMAPayout has the story:

Cablevision’s sports and entertainment tier is currently in 100,000-130,000 homes. The channel will only be offered on Cablevision for its New York audience. A bit of irony considering the ban on MMA in the state.

A description of Fight Now! from the National Cable and Telecommunications Association web site:

Fight Now!, America’s first 24 hour television channel dedicated to giving viewers a front row seat, seven days a week to experience the very best in boxing, wrestling/grappling, mixed martial arts and other combatant styles; along with top notch “fight theme” movies, documentaries and wrap around news coverage makes Fight Now! the untimate TV destination for fight fans.

The Sports Business Journal (subscription required) states that Randy Couture is a minority owner in the channel. The channel does not have a deal with the UFC although Couture is quoted as being hopeful of developing a relationship with the UFC.

The Sports Business Journal has more information regarding the new channel, quoted via the MMAPayout article, stating that it will also offer boxing and wrestling alongside its primary product of mixed martial arts action. Channel Zero is behind the channel’s conception, a Canadian broadcaster that also helped create The Fight Network.

Obviously, the reach of this network, which as MMAPayout writer Jason Cruz points out is ironic due to New York’s ban on MMA, is very small and limited. It will more than likely have no impact on the overall landscape of the sport without added subscriptions. The article quotes the number as being specific to that “tier” of programming, so I’m assuming it runs parallel with what a sports package would be on other carriers. If that’s the case, Cablevision’s actual reach is much larger, and the addition of the channel could cause more subscribers to add the tier.

The more interesting story is that New York hasn’t legalized MMA, yet the amount of mixed martial arts action that New York residents can consume is going to be unrivaled in any part of the United States. Furthermore, Couture hopes to develop a business-oriented relationship with the UFC. While business comes first for Zuffa, I can’t help but wonder if Dana White and company will sell their footage for a cut rate simply to flood the New York market with their product and get more interest in the region.

Cruz opines that this could serve as a litmus test for potential advertisers if the UFC intends to produce their own network in the future. It will be interesting to see what type of advertisers Fight Now! can get, and if the subscription base for Cable vision increases with the addition of the channel. With one of the UFC’s greatest champions as a minority owner, it leads me to believe the UFC isn’t far from influencing the success of the network.About Time


If you are interested in finding out how to get into amateur cage fighting, you will first need to make sure you are up to the challenge. Mixed martial arts (MMA) fighters put in many long hours of training before they try cage fighting. You will need to develop the necessary grappling and striking skills, as well as improve your strength and fitness. Try to take some lessons if you are able, which will greatly accelerate your learning curve. When you think you are ready to get into amateur cage fighting, set up a match with an opponent who also is new to the sport, so you stand a better chance of winning.

To get into amateur cage fighting, you will need:

  • MMA gear
  • MMA lessons
  • Weights or a gym membership
  1. Hit the gym to develop some strength and speed. Work out with weights and run on a treadmill to improve your fitness. The stronger and more fit you are, the more damage you can inflict on your opponent once you get into amateur cage fighting. Building up muscle armor will also help you absorb more punishment from an opponent.
  2. Find an MMA school so you can learn from experienced cage fighters. The membership fee may be expensive, but the knowledge that you will gain will more than pay off when you get into amateur cage fighting. Buy the necessary MMA gear including gloves, headgear and a mouthpiece, then join a beginner’s class and work your way up through the ranks. Watch how the experienced fighters train, and eventually you will start to see your skills improve.
  3. Work out on a heavy bag and speed bag often. Hitting the heavy bag will help you improve your punching power and striking technique. The speed bag improves your hand-eye coordination and hand speed, which will make you more dangerous when you get into amateur cage fighting.
  4. Try a practice cage match. Work with someone from your MMA school and try your hand in the cage. Wear protective gear since you are only sparring. Work on your moves and strikes, and get used to being inside of the cage before you try to get into amateur cage fighting for real.
  5. Ask your MMA instructor if he thinks you are ready for a real match. Once the instructor agrees you are prepared, see if you can set up a match. Train yourself mentally and physically, so when you get into amateur cage fighting against your opponent you will be ready to compete with no excuses.

WILL SANCTIONING ORGANIZATION HELP MMA?

Many say without UFC on board, WAMMA is unnecessary.

Mixed martial arts grow larger everyday with more fighters, promoters and venues emerging like weeds following a winter storm.

With rapid growth come the flood of questions from fans eager to see if Russia’s Fedor Emelianenko can beat Randy Couture? Or if Japan’s Takanori Gomi can out-fight America’s BJ Penn? Some even wonder if Ultimate Fighting Championship has the best fighters in the world?

You might even call it a fine mess.

But one new sanctioning organization called World Alliance of Mixed Martial Arts (WAMMA) claims it can solve all of those questions by overseeing the whole world of MMA.

If UFC allows it.

During a November press conference held in New York City, WAMMA unveiled its plan for a world federation under its firm umbrella that boasts the support of several known MMA fighters, promoters and a former federal government man.

One of the participants is Bill Goldberg, a former pro wrestler and pro football player now giving analysis for Showtime’s EliteXC, who says an organization like WAMMA could refine MMA with “a unified rules system” and other guidelines to allow for the “best to fight the best.”

“Unlike boxing, we want to present a unified system where the No. 1 (ranked fighter) fights No. 2,” Goldberg told the Kristal Hart Show during the press conference held November.

The new organization has established a ratings system for MMA fighters that is compiled and voted by a WAMMA committee comprised of writers and experts of the sport.

Newly elected WAMMA president David Szady, a former FBI investigator, says most of the ingredients for success are intact, except for one crucial element and it’s not sugar.

“Most important is getting the promoters on board,” Szady said. “No. 1 is dialogue and cooperation with UFC.”

It’s not an easy sell.

With UFC raking in money with both fists and last year purchasing Japan’s rival Pride FC, the need for an outside sanctioning organization falls flat.

Based in Las Vegas, UFC is considered the goliath of MMA organizations and the so-called parent of the sport. It also has many of the best athletes under its umbrella. Its parent company, Zuffa LLC, also owns other MMA organizations like World Extreme Cagefighting.

Dana White, the president of UFC, vehemently shakes his head at the idea of a sanctioning organization for MMA.

“Sanctioning organizations are the biggest problems with boxing,” said White, who formerly promoted boxing before changing to MMA. “They’re corrupt.”

He’s not alone.

Kevin Iole, considered one of the top MMA and boxing writers in the country, foresees problems for the sport if sanctioning bodies are picked up.

“All it does is take money out of the fighter’s pockets,” said Iole, who writes for Yahoo! Sports.com. “To me it’s just a money grab.”

Boxing woes

For three decades sanctioning organizations have sprouted up in boxing and have caused problems with ratings, mandatory fight requirements and capricious rulings that usually benefit the organizations monetarily.

“If something like the World Boxing Council came to MMA it wouldn’t mean anything to the fighters,” said Iole, who has covered boxing for two decades. “All the fighters want is just that UFC belt.”

Carlos Arias, an MMA writer for the Orange County Register, agrees with Iole.

“If the UFC doesn’t participate, then who really cares?” asks Arias, who also covers both boxing and MMA. “I think any MMA organization that doesn’t have the UFC and WEC on board is pointless.”

White says WAMMA’s claim that it could lead to better fights are just words.

“We make all the best fights we can make,” said White following a press conference in Las Vegas in early February. “We make the fights the people want to see.”

Those who have experienced the sanctioning woes in boxing do not see any benefit of establishing one in MMA.

“It’s a big problem with boxing,” Iole said of the various sanctioning organizations in boxing.

Gary Shaw, who promotes both professional boxing and MMA, knows both worlds and can see the benefits and pitfalls. But he views WAMMA as something that could help his organization and others.

“I think it’s a good idea, they’re (WAMMA) well-intentioned,” said Shaw, who heads EliteXC, a rival of UFC. “But if one sanctioning organization is successful then what’s to stop others?”

WAMMA’s Szady realizes that other sanctioning organizations may follow but in doing it first and doing it right, he feels the other sanctioning groups that follow will not succeed…….

Cross-promoting

Szady has had conversations with UFC’s parent company Zuffa and has not been able to make it budge in his direction. But talks with other MMA groups like HDNet Fights, M-1, International Fight League and EliteXC have been promising.

Mike Lynch, WAMMA’s COO, says outside of UFC, other MMA organizations are beginning to realize working with each other has benefits.

“There’s already a trail of cross-promotions,” said Lynch, citing an upcoming show that features Strikeforce USA and EliteXC sharing a fight card in California.

But still there are doubters.

“They might start off with good intentions, but inevitably they end up with crooked rankings and ridiculous sanctioning fees,” said Arias of sanctioning organizations.

WAMMA intends to prove otherwise.

“We’re not asking for a sanctioning fee,” said Szady. “All our funds come from our sponsors, not the fighters.”

The sanctioning group uses ad sales from its web site to sustain itself.

“We’re not here to cause fracturing of titles and watering down the sport,” says Lynch. “We truly are a value to MMA.”

Bottom line, says Lynch, it’s about the best fighting the best.

For recent WAMMA rankings and more on the organization go to http://www.gowamma.com

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