Uhrich wins at Titan FC 33

Uhrich wins at Titan FC 33

Posted on 21 March 2015 by Allen


Andy Uhrich picked up his third straight win last night at Titan FC 33. “Stunner” won a split decision over Bobby Cooper in Mobile, Alabama that was broadcast live on CBSSports.com.

The first round was all Uhrich as he got a takedown and kept Cooper on his back for most of the round. Round two was a back and forth affair as both men did some damage on their feet. In round three Uhrich got another takedown and had Cooper’s back for most of the round. Cooper eventually got back to his feet and the two stood toe to toe exchanging blows as time expired.

Two judges gave the fight to Uhrich, while one awarded the bout to Cooper.

“It was a fun fight,” said Uhrich. “Cooper is very tough and a great striker. My hat is off to him. He hits extremely hard and I knew it wasn’t going to be easy. Anytime it goes to the judges you always have to wonder, but I was confident I did enough to get the win. I really wanted to get a finish but fortunately the judges thought I won the fight.”

After two consecutive losses in Bellator Uhrich has won three straight and asserted himself as one of the premier welterweights in the Midsouth. On Feb, 21st Uhrich defeated Marcus Andrusia. Nine days later the west Tennesse native was offered the fight for Titan and saying no never crossed his mind.

“I wasn’t really looking to fight right after the fight with Marcus,” said Uhrich. “But when I got the call I knew it was a great opportunity and couldn’t pass it up. Titan is one of the top promotions and they are known for treating the fighters the right way. I knew Cooper’s style was going to make for a fun fight. I talked to my coaches about it and we said yes.”

After a series of highs and lows over the past two years things are starting to Uhrich’s way. Now 12-5 with three straight wins “Stunner” really has got the ball rolling.

“I’m ready to get back at it,” said Uhrich. “I’m headed to Arizona Thursday to corner Teddy Holder but when I get back I’ll be in the gym getting ready for the next one. I’ve got a great team behind me and David Ferguson is a hell of a coach. I just want to keep the momentum going and make 2015 my year.”

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August UFC Fight Night in Nashville a good sign for MMA in Tennessee

August UFC Fight Night in Nashville a good sign for MMA in Tennessee

Posted on 17 March 2015 by Allen

MMA: UFC 159-Villante vs St. Preux

Last weekend the UFC officially announced that they will return to Nashville on Saturday, August 8, 2015 for a summer UFC Fight Night card at the Bridgestone Arena. Zuffa had been in talks with the venue since early this year but after the Tennessee Athletic Commission was in sunset talks broke down. This announcement is a sign that things are going in the right direction even though the Commission hasn’t officially been given the year extension that local lawmakers are working on.

We spoke to a rep with the UFC about the problems in Tennessee in January and February. NSM reported that the show was coming but due to all the uncertainty with the Commission could not reveal the date.

As of now the Commission is still in sunset but the State Senate and House have both approved bills to grant them a one year extension. Currently the bill is waiting on the Government Operations Committee to make a decision and then go to the Governor’s office to be singed into law. Given the announcement by the UFC it appears everything will be fine. The UFC has been working behind the scenes to get this bill passed and didn’t want to see Tennessee become the first state to do away with their Athletic Commission.

The card hasn’t been announced it and probably won’t for a few months. The state really needs a good showing and attendance will be crucial. But it’s really up to the UFC to put on a good show and create a card that local fans will care about. The last time Zuffa came to Nashville in January 2012 UFC on FX: Guillard vs. Miller didn’t do very well and only drew 7,728 fans. The card was terrible with two journeymen in the main event. Josh Neer vs Duane Ludwig was the co-main event.

If the UFC puts Ovince St. Preux on the card a lot of fans would make the trip from east Tennessee down I-40 to see the former Vol linebacker. St. Preux is set to face Patrick Cummins next month and depending on how healthy he is he would be a smart pick for the card.

Rampage Jackson would also be a great fit for the Nashville show. However, his contract situation with Bellator that is supposedly tied up in court may prevent him from making an appearance. A Jackson vs. St Preux fight would be a huge main event pitting east TN vs. west TN.

Dustin Ortiz would also be a good pick for the show. He grew up in Franklin and got his start at Nashville MMA before moving to Milwaukee to train with Duke Roufus several years ago. Ortiz is 3-2 in the UFC and is coming off a decision loss against former #1 flyweight contender Joseph Benavidez.

East Tennessee native, Scott Holtzman could also make his debut in Nashville. “Hot Sauce” competed in Nashville twice under the XFC banner in 2012 and 2013. He was signed to the UFC last year but has yet to appear in the octagon.

There are other middle Tennessee fighters who are on the verge of the big leagues and it appears to be only a matter of time before Luke Sanders, Ben Brewer, or Nate Landwehr find their way into the UFC or the Ultimate Fighter. Sanders is presently under contract with the RFA and still has at least one fight on his contract with the organization. Brewer appeared to be right on the brink of a UFC contract but after a knockout loss in January he will have to put a few wins together before he gets a shot in the octagon. “The Ruler” could have a good shot at getting on the next season of the Ultimate Fighter at 170. Like Brewer, Landwehr would also be a good fit on ‘TUF’ but he will likely have to add a few more wins to his three fight win streak to get a UFC contract.

Nothing is in stone with the August Nashville Fight Night card but it’s important to the UFC and the Tennessee Athletic Commission to put on a show that brings in fans to not only the Bridgestone Arena but also local hotels, bars, and restaurants. There is still work to be done to keep the Commission from sunsetting again but the UFC Fight Night will go a long way in showing the politicans that MMA is important and can bring in cash to Tennessee so future stars like Sanders, Brewer, and Landwehr can compete here in years to come.

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Uhrich steps in on short notice to face Cooper at Titan FC 33

Uhrich steps in on short notice to face Cooper at Titan FC 33

Posted on 08 March 2015 by Allen


After a big win at Summit Fighting Championship last month Andy Uhrich (11-5) will step right back into the cage when he faces Bobby Cooper (11-4) at Titan FC 33 in Mobile, Alabama on March 20th. Uhrich took the fight on short notice over the weekend after Le’Ville Simpson backed out due to injury.

“Stunner” is on a two fight winning streak since leaving Bellator last year and is looking for another big win next weekend. “This is going to be a fun fight,’ said Uhrich. “Bobby is tough and he’s beaten a lot of the top guys in the Southeast and Midwest. I think our styles make for a dogfight and I can’t wait to get in there and put on a show.”

In his last outing Uhrich competed at middleweight, defeating fellow Bellator veteran Marcus Andrusia by unanimous decision. Despite the win at 185 he will go back down to 170 for Titan FC 33.

Bobby Cooper has competed for Titan on three occasions and also has a win in Bellator on his resume. With five wins in his last six fights “SuperDuper” is firing on all cylinders and like his opponent is right there knocking on the door of the UFC.

Also appearing on the undercard is Austin Lyons(12-3). The west Tennessee native is coming off a big win over former Ultimate Fighter champion Jonathan Brookins last August. Lyons is facing Anthony Gutierrez (5-1).

Titan FC 33 is part of Mobile AeroFest‬ which is a big two day festival in Mobile. In addition to MMA there will be arts and live music. Big & Rich, Ironglide, and DAWES are just a few of the musical acts slated to appear. As part of the festival the Titan FC 33 weigh-ins will take place on March 19th aboard the USS Alabama.

“Mobile Aerofest is a very special event that will be bringing the Gulf Coast Community together for all the right reasons—we wanted to put forth our most talented fighters and most compelling fight card Titan has had to date,” said Titan FC COO, Lex McMahon. “The Gulf Coast is MMA Country—and we are confident that the Aerofest Title Fights will have a full house.”

Titan FC 33 will take place at the The Aeroplex at Brookley in Mobile, AL on March 20th. The main card featuring Desmond Green vs. Kurt Holobaugh, Pat Healy vs. Kurt Kinser, Chase Gormley vs. Jon Madsen, and Brett Johns vs. Walel Watson will air live on the CBS Sports Network. Uhrich and Lyons’ undercard bouts will air on CBSSports.com

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Rousey beats Zingano in 14 seconds

Rousey beats Zingano in 14 seconds

Posted on 01 March 2015 by Allen


The last time Ronda Rousey was in the octagon she beat Alexis Davis in only 16 seconds. The UFC women’s bantamweight champ had talked about topping that performance at UFC 184 though, many thought she was just hyping the fight with Zingano. Wrong. Rousey submitted the #1 contender in only 14 seconds. Pretty soon she will have to fight guys just to have some competitive fights.

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Jon Jones and Anthony Johnson get into a fake brawl at press conference

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Jon Jones and Anthony Johnson get into a fake brawl at press conference

Posted on 28 February 2015 by Allen

bones jones

Dana White was onstage in L.A. today at “UFC: Welcome to the Show” which was being held to drum up support for UFC 187 in May in Las Vegas. Chris Weidman and Vitor Belfort came out and did a staredown for the fans. Then it was time for Jon Jones and Anthony Johnson to do the same. Jones had gotten into a brawl with Daniel Cormier last year at a similar event and a lot of people were wondering if it would happen again.

It did. Sorta. Johnson and Jones pretended to get into to it with Dana White in the middle. White was going crazy trying to separate both men but the two quickly started laughing and let it be known they were only playing around.

Jones will face Johnson On May 23 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.

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UFC 184 Weigh-ins Video

Posted on 28 February 2015 by Allen


UFC women’s bantamweight champ Ronda Rousey and Cat Zingano will go to war tonight after weighing in yesterday in Los Angeles. The weigh-ins went pretty smooth but Mark Munoz did some in heavy but did make the weight after another hour.

The event is really geared towards the women. Should Holly Holm get by Raquel Pennington it’s likely she will get the next shot at Rousey as long as she beats Zingano.

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Kimbo vs Ken Shamrock set for June

Posted on 26 February 2015 by Allen


While the UFC lays claim to most of the best fighters in the world Bellator is now relaunching itself as the promotion that does big fights. Last year they put on Tito Ortiz vs Stephan Bonner that did great ratings for Spike TV. Now they are going with Kimbo Slice vs UFC Hall of Famer Ken Shamrock. Slice washed out of the UFC several years ago and Shamrock is 51 years old. It will be a trainwreck but people will watch.

Here is the press release from Bellator.

On October 4, 2008, a freak accident robbed the MMA world of one of the most anticipated fights in the history of the sport. On June 20, Bellator MMA will right that wrong.

Street fighting legend and YouTube sensation Kimbo Slice and “The World’s Most Dangerous Man,” Ken Shamrock, have agreed to renew their rivalry and will now meet in the main event of “Bellator MMA: Unfinished Business,” which takes place at St. Louis’ Scottrade Center and airs live and free on Spike TV.

Additional information, including ticket prices and an on sale date, will be announced shortly.

“I remember how excited I was when this fight was originally announced, and how disappointed I was when it didn’t come to fruition at that time,” said Bellator President Scott Coker. “I’m very happy we were able to put this one together because I know these guys still have a lot of unfinished business to take care of, and when they do, it will be something special.”

The two superstar each played featured roles in the two most-watched MMA contests in U.S. television history, as Slice’s 2008 win over James Thompson peaked with a remarkable 7.281 million viewers, and Shamrock’s 2006 tussle with Tito Ortiz earned 6.524 million viewers.

Slice also fought in the third most-watched contest, as his bout with Seth Petruzelli – who replaced Shamrock on that 2008 evening – scored 6.451 million viewers.

Slice and Shamrock were originally supposed to fight in 2008, but in one of the most bizarre incidents in MMA history, Shamrock suffered a cut over his eye during pre-fight warmups and was ruled ineligible for the contest just hours before it began.

For Slice, a chance to revisit the matchup provides an opportunity to rewrite history.

“Ken Shedrack, I owe you this ass whooping,” Slice said. “No more running! No more hiding!”

Meanwhile, Shamrock is an MMA Hall of Famer and multiple-time world champion who is universally recognized as a true pioneer of the sport. Competing professionally since 1993, Shamrock has fought the absolute biggest names in the history of MMA, including Rich Franklin, Don Frye, Royce Gracie, Matt Hume, Ortiz, Bas Rutten, Kazushi Sakuraba and Dan Severn, among many others.

Now in the twilight of his career, Shamrock believes his drive and determination have him in the best form of his career.

“I am back,” Shamrock said. “It’s good to be performing again for my fans. I feel great, and my health is great. Age should never be a factor if an athlete is healthy, in great shape, and has the drive to continue their sport. I will quit fighting when I want to.”

And for Shamrock, the frustration of that bizarre 2008 night has lingered for years. Now is a chance to prove he would have been the one with his hand raised.

“Kimbo Slice and I have some unfinished business,” Shamrock said. “I am a fighter – that’s who I am. Fighting has always invigorated me. Never give up.”

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Uhrich returns at SFC vs Andrusia

Posted on 16 February 2015 by Allen


Andy Uhrich will make his return to the cage Saturday night at the Southaven Arena in the main event for Summit Fighting Championships when he faces Marcus Andrusia in Southaven, MS. Uhrich was originally slated to face Dave Burrow but Andrusia stepped in on short notice after Burrow took a fight for Legacy.

After a big upset of previously undefeated Joe Williams at Bellator 73 Uhrich stepped into the spotlight when he was asked to join the cast of Bellator Fight Master in 2012. On the show the west Tennessee native defeated Dom O’Grady to earn a spot in the competition. Unfortunately during the fight Uhrich received a cut that caused him to be suspended. Due to the suspension by the Louisiana Athletic Commission he was sent home and promised a fight on a future Bellator card.

In September 2013 Uhrich would go on to face Nate Coy at Bellator 101 only to lose a controversial decision. “Stunner” pushed the pace for most of the fight and dropped his opponent several times but Coy used his wrestling to grind out the win in Portland, Oregon.

Last May Uhrich made his third appearance for Bellator on the undercard of Bellator 120 “Rampage vs King Mo” against rising prospect Ben Brewer. Uhrich was dominant in the first round but got caught in the second and lost the bout by TKO. Four months later he rebounded from the defeat by earning a unanimous decision over Codale Ford for SFC.

With an impressive 10-5 record Uhrich is considered one of the top welterweights in the Midsouth. Tapology ranks him as #4 in their Mississippi rankings and a win Saturday could put him back on the radar of Bellator or the UFC.

“I don’t get too caught up in rankings and all that,” said Uhrich. “I have a big fight ahead of me Saturday against a really tough opponent and I am focusing on going out there and getting the win.”

But standing in Uhrich’s way will be Marcus Andrusia. The Louisiana native has won three of his last four bouts by knockout including a win over UFC veteran Corey Hill. Andrusia went 4-1 in 2014 and like Uhrich has competed for Bellator.

“Marcus is a very game opponent,” said Uhrich. “I’ve watched a lot of video and I know he has heavy hands and is always looking for the finish. I just have to go out there and push the pace and do what I do. We both like to stand and bang it out. It’s going to be a fun fight for the fans, that’s for sure.”

For more info on the card or to purchase tickets check out SummitFighting.com

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Tennessee Athletic Commission to Receive One Year Extension

Posted on 11 February 2015 by Allen


After a few weeks of MMA fans pestering their local elected officials it appears that the sport will live to fight another day in Tennessee. Last week the Tennessee State Senate passed SB0212 that granted the Athletic Commission another year. Bills in Tennessee must go through the Senate and House of Representatives so it was also encouraging that the House is looking over HB0392 and will likely vote on it later this week to make it law.

Feb. 12th was previously the deadline for new legislation to be introduced. But now with both chambers of the State Legislature picking this up, it all but guarantees that the Tennessee Athletic Commission will get at least one more year.

For a quick summary of what has been going on check out the links below.

Lawmakers want to pull the plug on MMA and Boxing in Tennessee

MMA and Boxing Events to become Illegal in Tennessee on July 1

How to keep MMA in Tennessee

Tennessee Athletic Commission isn’t going down without a fight

Senator Mike Bell, one of the Commission’s toughest critics sponsored SB0212 and filed it on Jan. 29th. On Wednesday the Senate voted to approve the bill.

On Feb. 4th the House kept the ball rolling when Rep Jeremy Faison introduced HB0392. Rep John Ragan, and Rep Joe Pitts as came onboard sponsors on Monday. Hopefully it will be voted on and passed by the end of the week. It appears that getting the bill through the House is a bipartisan effort as Faison and Ragan are Republicans and Pitts is a Democrat.

The UFC had tentatively penciled in a show for Nashville this year that would’ve been after the June 30th sunset date. With all the uncertainty surrounding the Commission, the venue that was going to host the event was uncomfortable with potentially holding an unsanctioned MMA show and no contracts have been signed. Zuffa has been working behind the scenes and still wants to come to the Music City but the date won’t be in finalized until HB0392 is passed and signed into law by the Governor.

While getting SB0212 and HB0392 through is considered a win for the MMA Community in Tennessee, it is ultimately a band-aid. Instead of sunsetting the Commission on June 30, 2015 it now pushes the sunset date back one year. The Athletic Commission still has to be able to sustain itself. If it continues to operate in the red it will eventually go away as lawmakers are always looking for ways to balance the budget.

For the next year it’s up to us to make a push to our local State Senator and House members to look at ways of increasing revenue for the Commission. One idea is bringing professional wrestling under the jurisdiction of the Tennessee Athletic Commission.

Over 60% of the Kentucky Boxing and Wrestling Authority’s funds come from regulating pro wrestling events but in Tennessee those events go unregulated. In Kentucky promoters must be bonded and licensed in Kentucky. Each promoter pays a $300 fee and 5% of gross ticket sales. The promoter agrees to abide by the KBWA’s rules at all times. The KBWA is making money from each show but they are also present to keep things safe for the athletes. The KBWA has found shows running in barns that were in very unsafe environments for the wrestlers. The bottomline is that pro wrestling isn’t a cash grab. It is a way to bring in revenue but like MMA and boxing it keeps things on the up and up for a business that has a history of some very shady things.

A wrestler (and manager, referee, etc…) must also pay $20 for a license each year in Kentucky. the KBWA requires each wrestler to undergo an extensive physical and then send the results to the state before receiving their license. In addition to the physical there is a laundry list of things the Commonwealth looks out for to keep the show as safe as it can for each licensed wrestler.

The WWE is bringing their pay per view “Fast Lane” to Memphis later this month and then Monday Night RAW to Nashville the next night. 5% of their ticket sales would do wonders for the bottom line of the Tennessee Athletic Commission.

Pro wrestling regulation isn’t the only option for the Tennessee Athletic Commission. Washington, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and California require amateur fighters to get licenses. Tennessee does not. In Washington gyms are required to pay $500 a year for a license. There are options but it’s important to not just attach a fee to everything that deals with MMA, boxing, or wrestling just because Tennessee needs money. It needs to make sense and the state should be providing something worthwhile to whomever is paying for the license.

Tennessee has cleared a pretty big hurdle but there are still more rounds left to fight.

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St. Preux set to face Cummins for UFC on FOX 15

St. Preux set to face Cummins for UFC on FOX 15

Posted on 01 February 2015 by Allen

MMA: UFC 159-Villante vs St. Preux

Ovince St. Preux will face Patrick Cummins at UFC on FOX 15 April 18, 2015 at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ. The bout will be on the televised card that will air live on Fox. Lyoto Machida vs. Luke Rockhold is the main event.

St. Preux is ranked 8th in the UFC’s light heavyweight rankings after knocking out former champ Shogun Rua in November. The former Vol linebacker is 5-1 in the UFC after making his debut in April 2013. St. Preux was brought over from Strikeforce after he went 5-1 with the promotion and it was acquired by the UFC.

Cummins has quietly won three straight at 205 after losing to Daniel Cormier in his debut last year. The two time D-1 All American wrestler could be a bad matchup for St. Preux who struggled against Ryan Bader, another standout wrestler last summer.

If St. Preux could get the win it’s likely he could jump into the top 5 in the division and put himself in title contention.

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MMA: UFC 159-Villante vs St. Preux

Tennessee Athletic Commission isn’t going down without a fight

Posted on 26 January 2015 by Allen

MMA: UFC 159-Villante vs St. Preux

Since last June I’ve been working on trying to rally the troops to save the Tennessee Athletic Commission. I’m not going to rehash everything here, instead I’ll post the links to the other stories below for those hadn’t read them.

Lawmakers want to pull the plug on MMA and Boxing in Tennessee

MMA and Boxing Events to become Illegal in Tennessee on July 1

How to keep MMA in Tennessee

Last week I spoke with House Speaker Beth Harwell’s office and asked them what their position was on the Commission sunsetting. They didn’t know about it at the time but told me they would look into it and get back with me. This afternoon I received a phone call from the Speaker’s office. I was told that on January 26, 2014 Senator Mike Bell and Rep Judd Matheny sponsored bill SB 1564 – HB 1586 that gave the Athletic Commission a one year extension to keep it out of sunset. Speaker’s Hartwell’s office informed me that it was likely that the Commission would be given another year and legislation would be introduced by Rep Jeremy Faison from the 1th District in East Tennessee. As chairman of the Government Operations Committee Mr. Faison would be the one to sponsor a bill giving the Commission another year.

If you want to speak to Mr. Faison about the commission he can be contacted via email, rep.jeremy.faison@capitol.tn.gov or by phone, (615) 741-6871.

The UFC is also aware of what is going in the Volunteer State. I have been in touch with Zuffa and they tentatively have plans to bring a show to Nashville this year. A lot of that hinges on what happens with the Commission though. The vice president of regulatory affairs for the UFC, Marc Ratner went on record with MMAFighting.com today stating that the UFC was aware what was going on in Tennessee and were working to help the commission. It’s unclear what exactly they can do but the UFC obviously has deep pockets and a lot of clout when it comes to regulation.

The UFC has two of the most notable fighters from Tennessee on their roster. Rampage Jackson or Ovince St. Preux would draw a lot of local interest and pack the Bridgestone Arena if they were on the card. A fight in Nashville between the two men from west and east Tennessee would likely sell it out.

Sherdog, MMAMania, MMAFighting, and the underground have all picked up on the story and have helped energize the hardcore fans in Tennessee. The problem is that fans in Texas and Kentucky can’t fight this battle. It has to come from Tennesseans.

Today the local media in Clarksville did a piece on what is going on. I was also contacted by Channel 5 in Nashville and they are working on a piece that will air at 6 PM Central. They did their own investigation and shot some footage at Nashville MMA.

It’s good that local media is starting to take note but we still must encourage other journalists, talk show hosts and reporters to report on what is going on.

Keep on fighting. It’s not over yet.

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How to keep MMA in Tennessee

How to keep MMA in Tennessee

Posted on 25 January 2015 by Allen


I’m sure if you are reading this then you have heard that lawmakers in Tennessee want to pull the plug on the Tennessee Athletic Commission on July 1st. If new legislation is not introduced by February 12, 2015 then June 30th will be the last day the Commission is in place and boxing and MMA shows will be legal in the state beginning July 1.

What can you do to help keep MMA and boxing events legal? There are several things.

Contact your local elected state Senator and Representative. A bill needs to be introduced and must pass in both houses for the Commission to stay in place. Contacting the Governor’s office will do no good. They have been very supportive but they cannot enact or sponsor new legislation. That comes from the House and State Senate.

Find your local representative and Senator here. Call them and email them. When you talk to them tell them you want to know your representative’s position and explain what is going on. Explain how the local economy will be affected and bars and restaurants will miss out on millions of dollars from fans who come to see the UFC. Talk to them about ideas to increase revenue for the Commission such as putting pro wrestling under the jurisdiction of the Athletic Commision or licenses for amateur fighters. Or just read this post from last year to see what some other states are doing. Be polite but firm. They may tell you your local representative is out of the office. Ask them to call you back. They work for you so make them accountable. Ask them to sponsor new legislation to keep the Commission in place.

Another main thing is to draw awareness to what’s going on. When you call your local representatives there is a 95% chance you will get an aid or member of their staff. You won’t get to talk to them right away. Their staff will be friendly and courteous but you need to educate yourself as to what you are talking about and have ideas as to how the Commission can be viable and why it is necessary. If they mention that the Commission is not able to sustain itself, you need to be able to tell them that the fights will go on unregulated in bars where promoters won’t have to carry insurance. Fighters could be carrying HIV or hepatitis into the cage with them without bloodwork being done. The sport going on without checks and balances is very dangerous.

Also, Tennessee will be the first state to regress from having an Athletic Commission to having none. It’s possible that one day there could be something new proposed by lawmakers and we could get a new sanctioning body but God knows how long it would take to get set up. With the way the government works it could be several years.

Another idea is raise awareness. On Saturday Sherdog and MMAMania picked up the story but they are preaching to the choir. This issue needs to be covered locally. Contact your local news stations and make them aware. Tell them what is going on or send them a link to the story. Most stations have websites with ways to contact them. Most reporters have Twitter accounts too. Reporters are always looking for a good story. And what better story than politicians who are taking something away from their constituents?

These reporters can put pressure on the politicians to talk about their position on the record on camera. The reporters or media members can also talk about what’s going on on the air (television or radio) to increase awareness. Right now the hardcore MMA fans know what’s a stake. Once it gets on the news or sportstalk stations boxing fans or casual UFC might hear about it and get ticked off too.

Here are some Contact pages with email addresses and phone numbers to news stations in Tennessee.

WMC 5 Memphis
Fox 13 Memphis
WKRN 2 Nashville
WSMV 4 Nashville
Fox 17 Nashville
WATE 6 Knoxville
WTVC 9 Chattanooga

I have reached out to numerous people in the media in Middle Tennessee recently and a few responded. MMA is a niche sport and it’s fanbase isn’t a broad as football or basketball. But if enough people tweet these people and blow up their Twitter feed they will see that losing MMA in the state is a big deal. Eventually they will have to pay attention to it.

Here are the Twitter handles for news people and media members in Tennessee. Tweet them and respectfully tell them you want MMA and boxing in Tennessee. In 140 characters or less tell them what is going on.

Channel 5 WMC
Joe Birch @JBirchWMC
Ursula Madden @UMaddenWMC
Kendall Kirkham @KendallKirkham
Janice Broach @JBroachWMC
Amy Speropoulos @amysperopwmc

Channel 13 Fox
Mearl Purvis @Mearlonfox13
Darrell Greene @dgonfox13
Matt Stark @MattStarkFOX13
Scott Madaus @scottmadaus

Channel 3 CBS
Alex Coleman @AColeman_WREG3
Todd Demers @Toddon3_WREG
Adam Hammond @AHammond_WREG3
Jessica Gertler @jgertler_WREG3

Memphis Commercial Appeal
Zack McMillin @zackmcm
Daniel Connolly @DanielConnolly

Sports 56 WHBQ / 87.7 FM
Peter Edmiston @peteredmiston
Rob Fischer @thefishnation
Greg Gaston @Greg_Gaston

Here are the Twitter handles for Nashville newspeople.

News 2 ABC
Anne Holt @anneholtwkrn
Bob Mueller @bobmuellerwkrn
Cory Curtis @CoryCurtis2
Andy Cordan @AndyCordan
Audra Martin @Audra_Martin

Channel 4 WSMV
Jeremy Finley @WSMVJeremyITEAM
Tracy Kornet @WSMVTracyKornet
Chris Harris @ChrisHarrisWSMV

Channel 5 CBS
Cuthbert Langley @NC5_CLangley
Vicki Yates @NC5_VickiYates
Chris Conte @chrisconte
Mark Bellinger @NC5_MBellinger

Fox 17
Dave Foster @DaveFoster17

104.5 The Zone
Kevin Ingram @KIngramSports
Brent Dougherty @brentdougherty
Blaine Bishop @bbishop23
Frank Wycheck @FrankWycheck1

102.5 The Game
Willy Daunic @WillyD1025

The Tennessean
Dave Ammenheuser @NashSportsEd
David Climer @DavidClimer

Here are the Twitter handles for East Tennessee newspeople.

Channel 8 CBS
Mark Packer @wvltpacker
Amanda Hara @AmandaHara
Rick Russo @wvltrick

Channel 6 ABC
Kristin Farley @krisfarley
Michael Spencer @WATEMichael
Stephanie Beecken @StephBeecken

Robin Wilhoit @robinWBIR
Nick Carboni @NickCarboniWBIR
Jim Matheny @JimMatheny

Knoxville News Sentinel
Jack McElroy @JackatNews

Jimmy Hyams @JimmyHyams

Channel 3 NBC
Cindy Sexton @CindySexton3
Jed Mescon @jedmescon
Matt Barbour @MattBarbourWRCB

Chattanooga Times Free Press
Jay Greeson @jgreesontfp

Also hit up the UFC. The guys at Zuffa know what’s going and they can help us with our cause by simply coming to town.

Dana White @danawhite
Lorenzo Fertitta @lorenzofertitta

Those two guys make the big decisions for the UFC. Don’t bother hitting up Joe Silva. Just because he’s the matchmaker doesn’t mean he decides where to take the cards. Hitting up Rampage might not be a bad idea but he doesn’t use Twitter very often. I was told that he wanted to fight in Memphis last year but had to settle for Southaven, Mississippi when he fought King Mo. His Twitter account is @Rampage4real.

Go after Scott Coker too. Bellator has never been to Nashville and Coker produced one of his biggest shows ever when he brought Henderson vs Shields to the Music City live in primetime on CBS a few years ago. His Twitter account is @ScottCoker.

We have just over two weeks until the deadline to sponsor new legislation passes. After February 12th MMA is dead in the water and the Commission will be officially put out to pasture on July 1st. Let your voice be heard. Just remember, be kind and respectful. Everyone has a job they are trying to do and if you belligerent you will get tuned out. Educate yourself then reach out and make a difference.

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MMA and Boxing Events to become Illegal in Tennessee on July 1

MMA and Boxing Events to become Illegal in Tennessee on July 1

Posted on 23 January 2015 by Allen

bones jones

The Tennessee Athletic Commission was set up in 2008 when the Tennessee State Legislature approved the “Tennessee Athletic Commission Act of 2008”. Now unless new legislation is introduced by February 12th the Commission will dissolve on July 1, 2015. On that day MMA and boxing events will be illegal in Tennessee.

Last June we reported that lawmakers were looking to pull the plug on the Commission due to it not being profitable and able to sustain itself financially. It is currently in “Sunset”. That’s the term politicians use when something is about to be obsolete.

In 2009 and 2010 the Commission reaped the rewards of having two UFC events and a Strikeforce show on CBS in primetime. The Athletic Commission is set up to get a percentage of the gate and television revenue and with two strong years early on it really set the bar for what was expected by lawmakers. But since then the UFC has only done one show in the Volunteer State. Jim Miller vs Melvin Guillard headlined UFC on FX 1 in Nashville on January 20, 2012. The show took place on a Friday and had a poor fight card drawing a disappointing 7,700 fans as opposed to the 10,200 that showed up the first time the UFC came to the Music City.

The Athletic Commission is set up to make the bulk of their money on televised UFC cards in Tennessee. There are some smaller untelevised regional shows in Memphis and Knoxville that do professional or pro-am shows every few months but the revenue generated is barely enough to cover the cost of having the Commission present at the shows. The majority of shows done in Tennessee are amateur shows which don’t have to pay as much to the state.

Just because there are some lean years for the state doesn’t mean we should cut and run. The UFC will come back one day and we have to wait it out. Five years ago the UFC did shows only in the United States and Canada. Now Zuffa is doing shows in Brazil, Sweden, Japan, and other foreign countries and Nashville has been put on the backburner. When the UFC does come to Nashville it will bring in a lot of money for the local economy. The UFC forecasted a $68 million dollar local economic impact for a show in New York at Madison Square Garden. I understand that Nashville is not New York City but if we drew just a quarter of that it would bring $16 million dollars to bars and restaurants in the Music City.

Memphis native Rampage Jackson is now back in the UFC so it is possible West Tennessee could expect a UFC event in the near future. The question is, are lawmakers willing to give the Commission time so the UFC can come back to Memphis, Nashville, or even Knoxville?

Last year I met with a prominent State Senator and the Governor’s Office to discuss the importance of the Commission and just how important it was to have MMA events in the state. Senator Mike Bell, who is the chairman of the Government Operations Committee did not want to support something that could not fund itself and didn’t have interest in adding fees for things like amateur licenses and other outside the box ideas that are done in other states to bring in revenue. In Kentucky the Athletic Commission regulates professional wrestling. In Tennessee we don’t. Pro wrestling regulation makes up 67% of their Commission’s intake.

The Governor’s office was helpful and we discussed a lot of different things concerning MMA, the commission, and ways to generate revenue. The problem is that they cannot introduce legislation to keep the Commission going. Their advice was to speak up as a constituent and get a legislator to sponsor a bill to keep the Commission in place. I recently reached back out to the Governor’s office and their response was the same. Except this time I was told that the bill would have to be introduced by February 12th, which was the last day to introduce new legislation.

The man who is the Executive Director of the commission in Tennessee is Jeff Mullen. He has been in place since day one. Mullen is highly regarded around the country and was a one of three finalist out of 350 applicants for the same job in Nevada when it came open last year. I reached out to him but he wasn’t at liberty to talk with me about the situation. He did say one thing though. “I can’t speak to what is going on with the lawmakers,” said Mullen. “But as things stand right now June 30 will be the last day the Commission will be in place.”

If no legislation is introduced by that date the Commission will be dissolved and MMA and boxing events will be illegal in Tennessee. Events could still be held illegally but promoters wouldn’t have to carry insurance and there would be no one regulating the card.

If you want MMA and boxing in Tennessee now is the time to reach out to your local elected officials. A sponsored bill needs to pass the State Senate and House of Representatives. If you don’t know who your local Senators or Representative are you can find it here. Reach out to them and let them know you want MMA in Tennessee. Call them, email them and have your friends and family do the same.

I reached out to my State Senator and Representative today and their staff had no idea what I was talking about. I spent roughly ten minutes talking to each of them explaining what was going on. If they didn’t know I really doubt other lawmakers understand what is at stake either.

If you would like more information I encourage you to read our originally story from last June.

Feel free to contact me allen@nashvillesportsmix.com if you’d like to know how to help keep MMA in Tennessee. Also check our latest post How to keep MMA in Tennessee for contact info for media members and politicians.

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UFC Champ Jones popped for Cocaine

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UFC Champ Jones popped for Cocaine

Posted on 06 January 2015 by Allen

bones jones

Jon Jones was coming off one of the biggest wins of his career on Saturday after defeating rival Daniel Cormier by decision at UFC 182 in Las Vegas. Now he is in rehab after testing positive for cocaine.

The Nevada State Athletic Commission tested Jones on December 4th and he tested positive for benzoylecgonine, which is a metabolite of cocaine. Cocaine is not on the banned substance list in Nevada and his win over Cormier will not be overturned. With the test being administered almost a month before the fight surely the UFC knew about the outcome before last weekend’s fight.

The UFC is in full PR mode and released a statement about Jones earlier today.

We support UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones’ decision to enter a drug treatment facility to address his recent issue. While we are disappointed in the failed test, we applaud him for making this decision to enter a drug treatment facility. Jon is a strong, courageous fighter inside the octagon, and we expect him to fight this issue with the same poise and diligence. We commend him on his decision, and look forward to him emerging from this program a better man as a result.

Jones also released a statement.

“With the support of my family, I have entered into a drug treatment facility. I want to apologize to my fiancée, my children, as well as my mother, father, and brothers for the mistake that I made. I also want to apologize to the UFC, my coaches, my sponsors and equally important to my fans.

I am taking this treatment program very seriously. Therefore, at this time my family and I would appreciate privacy.”

Jones is one of the biggest stars in the UFC and this is a pretty big black eye for the promotion. Despite the positive drug test ESPN reported that Reebok has not withdrawn their sponsorship from Jones and are standing beside him while he is rehab. UFC President Dana White also put out a statement commenting on how proud he was of Jones for getting help.

It’s not clear what exactly the UFC will do since they have drawn a hard line against other fighters who have been popped for recreational drugs in the past such as Matt Riddle who lost his spot on the roster. Fan favorite Chael Sonnen was let got after two failed drug tests for performance-enhancing substances last year. A drug like cocaine has not been on Zuffa’s radar and there has to be some kind of punishment coming down the line for Jones.

The UFC will be under the microscope for the next few weeks as this situation plays out.

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