Carlos Newton confirmed for JEG London, Ontario show for May 19th

MMA fans and fanatics across the map saw their dreams turn to reality on January 1, 2011 when the Government officially legalized Mixed Martial Arts in Ontario!

The buzz has been going for weeks and Jones Entertainment Group (JEG) is among the first to carry it forward. On May 19, 2011 JEG will fill the John Labatt Centre (JLC) with over 9,000 MMA fans, creating one of the most memorable sporting events to ever happen in London, ON. Canada’s top fighters will go face to face with the world’s best, in an 8-bout matchup that is sure to leave spectators high on MMA adrenaline for days!

President of Jones Entertainment Group, Brad Jones, says:

“We are thrilled to have been licensed by the Ontario Government to promote 3 large scale MMA fights across Ontario in 2011 – the first one being here in London, at the JLC on May 19th. We’re making a promise to MMA fans that these events will be world-class. With the highest calibre of fighters, superior production (sound, lighting and video) and taking place in top-notch venues.”

With the Jones family having been in the entertainment business for over 80 years – starting back in the 1920’s promoting boxing and wrestling events with heroes like Whisper Billy Watson – it’s no wonder Brad Jones finishes off his quote by saying “This is a very exciting day”.

The excitement is spreading like wildfire. General Manager of Tourism London, John Winston, sums it up perfectly:

“This will be huge! Not just for MMA Fans but for the City of London!”

Next to Toronto’s April 29th UFC event, MMA LIVE1 on May 19th at the John Labatt Centre in London, will be the biggest event in Ontario in 2011.

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Lights, cameras…GSP!

By Chris Doucette

As the face of the UFC in Canada, and arguably around the world, Georges “Rush” St-Pierre has performed in front of thousands of screaming fans countless times.

But Friday night in Toronto it was GSP’s acting ability that was on display instead of his fighting prowess.

He and fellow French-Canadian David “The Crow” Loiseau, who also makes his living with his fists, were in town for the premiere of their new movie, The Striking Truth, at the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts.

About 2,000 fight fans packed the theatre for a slightly different show than what they’d normally expect of their mixed martial arts heroes.

Producer and director, Steven Wong, and his co-stars have made it clear in recent interviews that it’s a movie for everyone, not just fight fans.

It’s a human story, one that uses the world of MMA as a metaphor for life.

That’s clear in the tagline the fighters chant in previews:

“Some days you win and some days you lose.”

The film began four years ago as a documentary about Canadian mixed martial artists, Wong said.

 

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Jason Brilz meets replacement Vladimir Matyushenko at UFC 129

By Dann Stupp

A light-heavyweight bout between Jason Brilz (18-3-1 MMA, 3-2 UFC) and Vladimir Matyushenko (25-5 MMA, 6-3 UFC) is being finalized for April’s UFC 129 event in Toronto.

Sources close to the event today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that verbal agreements are in place and that bout agreements are being finalized.

Brilz initially was a replacement for Matt Hamill and expected to fight Phil Davis at the show. But Davis recently was pulled from the card and booked for a UFC Fight Night 24 headliner with Antonio Rogerio Nogueria.

UFC 129 takes place April 29 at Toronto’s Rogers Centre and has already broken box-office records for a North American MMA event with 55,000 tickets sold and a live-gate tally of approximately $11 million.

The night’s main card airs on pay-per-view, though it’s not clear if Brilz vs. Matyushenko will retain its spot on the televised lineup.

 

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Jason MacDonald: Frustrated fans

By Jason MacDonald

The UFC sold 55,000 tickets for the Toronto show, but some friends and family were left empty-handed.

I’ve just come home after spending time in Vancouver with the UFC’s director of Canadian operations Tom Wright.

Tom asked me if I would attend a charity event for the Boston Pizza Foundation, which raises money for charities across Canada.

They usually bring in notable people in the financial world to be guest speakers. This year, they chose to bring in Tom to talk about the UFC and its success, and he thought it would be good to bring a fighter along to give his perspective on the sport, the training and the success from an athlete’s point of view.

I really enjoyed myself, and it was nice to rub elbows with the president of the company. There were a bunch of businessmen in attendance and it definitely gave them a whole new outlook and perspective on the UFC and the sport of mixed martial arts.

Afterward I had the opportunity to chat with Tom about the UFC, its direction in Canada and of course the upcoming event in Toronto where I’ll be fighting Ryan Jensen.

On my way back home to Red Deer, I stopped in Calgary to do my usual training with Josh Russell. I’m pleased with my preparation at this point. So far, so good.

The big news last week was the Toronto show selling out in record time, with record attendance and record gate. But I have to say, I have some pretty upset friends and family. None of them were able to get any tickets.

A couple different people told me the only reason they signed up for the UFC Fight Club was to ensure that they could get tickets and then they couldn’t get one of the 55,000 tickets that were sold. They said they have no desire for being part of a fan club and now they have this $89 membership that’s useless to them.

 

 

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UFC, a business that keeps breaking records

By Graciemag

In a press conference held over the phone this Tuesday the 15th, UFC president Dana White spoke of the significant growth the event has experienced, proven by the spike in pay-per-view packages sold and the success in ticket sales at the events held around the world.

“It’s truly phenomenal the success we’ve seen in ticket sales around the world. We made $11 million in ticket sales for UFC 129 in Toronto. In Australia (UFC 127, February 27), it will be around US$ 3.5 million; we made US$ 4.5 million in Montreal, in Ireland, US$ 1.6 million; and the last time we did Vancouver we made US$ 4.2 million,” recounts Dana White, who celebrated a record 55 thousand tickets sold for UFC 129, set for April 30.

The event, for the first time ever to be held in a stadium, Toronto’s Rogers Centre, is already a landmark in UFC history. The 42 thousand tickets sold out in minutes. Due to the enormous demand, this number was subsequently raised to 55 thousand, which also quickly sold out.

“I always talk about how big an event like this can be in Canada and how the UFC is growing internationally. It was exceptional that we sold 55 thousand tickets. A record. But the question is: ow many people were looking for tickets? 25 thousand? 30 thousand, maybe?” queried the UFC president.

Dana admitted that, due to the enormous worldwide growth of the event, the day will come when events will have to be held simultaneously in different countries.

“We’re taking everything up a level. The UFC is taking on bigger proportions. I have no doubt that it will be the most popular sport in the world. And the day will come – I can’t believe I’m going to say this – but the day will come when we will hold, for example, an event in Las Vegas and another in Australia on the same day. That’s the direction we’re heading,” he declared.

 

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Jose Aldo won’t talk trash with Mark Hominick

By Erik Engelhart

UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo will put his belt in line first time against the Mark Hominick, who’s coming from five wins in a row. The belt defense is scheduled for UFC 129, which happens on April 30th, in Toronto, Canada, Hominick’s homeland, and it’ll be broadcasted live by SporTV in Brazil. The Canadian stated on many websites that Aldo have never face a powerful striker as he is and that the Brazilian had only fought grapplers.

TATAME got in touch with the champion to know his opinion about the statement, and Aldo said he doesn’t care about his trash talking. “Oh yeah, what he said is part of who he is, we’ll see it later at the fight. To me, it doesn’t change a thing. I think that all fighters that challenge the champion, always say something, but I’m cool with that. He’s doing his job, and if I never fought a striker like him, we’ll see it in the fight”, said, commenting on his trainings. “The preparation phase is going just fine, I’m on the final phase, finishing all the work in Brazil. My mind is good, I’m motivated, and I ask for the fans to watch my fight”, said Aldo.

 

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Dana White on boxing prices: ‘That model doesn’t work’

By Sergio Non

Do large revenues trump large audiences?

The size of a crowd at an event isn’t as important as the size of the live gate, boxing promoter Bob Arum said this week, during a roundtable with USA TODAY journalists. The head of the Ultimate Fighting Championship begs to differ. Pricing tickets expensively might generate short-term profits, but it detracts from a sport’s ability to build a loyal fanbase, UFC President Dana White believes. He spoke to USA TODAY about it on Wednesday:

Q: You’ve had a string of sellouts lately. How has your average ticket price held up?
Very well…I don’t want to do crazy, overpriced tickets like boxing does. Somebody asked me, “How come you guys don’t do gates like boxing does? $20 million, $30 million gates?” Because boxing’s a completely different model. That model doesn’t work. Real people buy tickets to the UFC events. These guys (in boxing) did all these events in Las Vegas, and the tickets were insanely priced where fans couldn’t even buy them, and the casinos bought them all up. We don’t do that. We sold 55,000 tickets in Toronto to UFC fans.

Q: If you can get a big live gate, why not go for it?
I consider what we’re doing right now a big, live gate, especially in this economy.

Q: Ok, but if you can do a bigger live gate, why not do it?
I just don’t think that’s good for long term. I just don’t think you do that. I don’t think you charge that much money for tickets. We already have one of the highest ticket prices in sports, if you look at our average ticket price, and we kill it. I mean, how greedy are you going to get? (chuckles)

 

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