MMA Sun Rumor Mill September 2014

Every now and then I hear little bits of information.  Here are some things I have heard.  Most are just rumors, so I am not reporting them as fact, but I will say that many of these rumors have some solid footing.  Take these for what they are worth…

  • It looks like it is quite possible that season 20 is the last season of the Ultimate Fighter.  UFC has not made plans to have a 21st season.  Dana White was mum on the future of the reality show recently.  Fox is not unhappy with the numbers, but it looks like there are either going to be some big changes or cancellation.  I have tried to reach out to Fox Sports for a comment.
  • I had heard that a TUF-like reality show is possible on Fight Pass, which would theoretically replace TUF on Fox Sports 1
  • TUF will still be a part of the UFC’s international expansion.  UFC is also targeting TUF shows in other places.  Canada has been seriously discussed for a second season…perhaps a Canada vs. U.S. or Canada vs. U.K. season. A European TUF is not impossible.  I wonder what it would take to convince UFC to do a show in Russia/Eastern Europe?
  • Remember when UFC announced a deal with Vale Tudo to do a reality show on Japanese TV?  That deal is not done.  It may not get done.  The announced format may not be the actual format.  Discussions are still ongoing for that venture.  I expect a deal to be done this week or at least some decision made this week as UFC brass meets with Vale Tudo and other Japanese TV people.
  • Do not be surprised to see another promotion added to UFC Fight Pass.  I can 100% confirm that UFC has had multiple talks with multiple promotions to air events on Fight Pass.  It seems that UFC is really not giving great financial incentive for these promotions.  However, they may see a upside anyways.  Two promotions I know of that have had discussions are U.S. based.  One is based in European.  Another is Japanese based.  No deals have been finalized yet, although it looks like one of those is on the verge of being completed.  I am not sure if that deal is just for a certain amount of live events or if it also includes fight library access on Fight Pass.  The deals are quite complicated and take a long time to structure from what I understand.
  • Speaking of Fight Pass, Eddie Bravo has a jiu jitsu tournament coming up that he is trying to get on Fight Pass, but it is more likely that UFC strikes a deal with Metamoris very soon.  In fact, I would think that the next Fight Pass deal we hear about is one with Metamoris.
  • Ring of Combat has publicly talked on Twitter about getting on Fight Pass.  I am unaware if negotiations with Ring of Combat have taken place (which means they are not the U.S. based promotion I referenced above), but they could have had talks.  I think Ring of Combat would be a perfect fit.  They put on great shows and have an incredible fight library full of UFC stars.
  •  prominent UFC fighter failed a drug test.  The news has not broke yet.  It is possible that the news will not break.  The said fighter may just take a year off as a suspension from UFC
  • UFC was very pleased with TUF Latin America.  They were so pleased that a second season is being planned.  In fact, casting for lightweight and welterweights is already being discussed.  I am not certain when the show would film or air, but I would guess early 2015.
  • All 16 cast members from TUF Latin America will get a fight in UFC, but not all will fight at the finale.  A few are nursing injuries and their debuts will be delayed
  • All 16 cast members from TUF 20 will get a fight in the UFC as well.
  • I had published before that the UFC had a deal with Jackson’s MMA to send Mexican and Latin American fighters to train there.  This program has been a success.  They used that program to develop several competitors of TUF Latin America including Gabriel Benitez and Guido Cannetti as well as new UFC signee Augusto Montano.  UFC was so pleased with this that they are doing a similar venture at American Top Team.  For some reason, UFC officials are very “hush, hush” about this program.  However, it is a great strategy and opportunity to develop talent in some of these countries that are further behind in MMA.
  • UFC would love to get Marlon Moraes from World Series of Fighting.  It isn’t likely to happen…maybe ever.  I am told that Word Series of Fighting’s contracts are worse than Bellator’s were.  It is virtually contractually impossible for a guy like Moraes to get out of that deal.  The only thing in his favor is that his manager is also WSOF’s matchmaker.  I am not sure how that comes into play.
  • I am not sure it is ground breaking rumor or not, but UFC still wants to Make Anthony Johnson vs. Alexander Gustafsson (Probably in early 2015) and Junior Dos Santos vs. Stipe Miocic (probably in Brazil).
  • UFC is going to be making several cuts in coming weeks.  They have to make room for TUF Latin America and TUF 20 competitors….they kept all 32 of those fighters for at least one fight.
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