Posted On:11/15/2007 5:59am
Style: MT & No-Gi Grappling
not sure if this has been discussed yet, searched but nothing, but it looks very interesting....
November 15, 2007
by Joe Hall (Photo by Matthew Kaplowitz) (firstname.lastname@example.org)
NEW YORK, Nov. 14 -- A group of business and fight-sport veterans launched a sanctioning body on Wednesday that will try to enable cross-promotional bouts between top mixed martial artists.
The World Alliance of Mixed Martial Arts will use a committee, currently comprised mostly of journalists, to rank 10 fighters in each weight division, recognize unified champions in each division and suggest matches that should happen regardless of fighters' promotional affiliation.
In explaining the need for WAMMA, President and CEO Dave Szady pointed to the multitude of promotions and champions in mixed martial arts. WAMMA, said Szady, will attempt to bring more credibility to the sport through inter-league competition and undisputed titleholders.
"We view ourselves as a supplement, not a threat, to all the promotional organizations and individuals who have brought MMA to where it is today," said Szady, a retired FBI assistant director.
WAMMA will not promote fights. Rather, the sanctioning body hopes its rankings will be embraced by fans, fighters and media to the point that when WAMMA suggests a match, promoters will make it.
That is when WAMMA, a for-profit corporation, would make money through the sponsors it brings to the table. A promotion would still host the fight, Szady explained, but WAMMA, for instance, could have a sponsor advertised on the ring canvas.
Szady also plans on world championship belts with a sponsor's name on it for each division. He offered a few hypothetical examples, saying the top two fighters in a weight class could meet for the WAMMA-Budweiser title, the WAMMA-Toyota title or the WAMMA-Hooter's title.
"For the record," joked WAMMA founding partner Bill Goldberg, "I'm already the WAMMA-Hooter's world champion."
Szady believes this sanctioning process appeals to promotions because it can create mega-fights that will make mega-bucks for everyone involved.
The key question, of course, is whether promotions will play ball -- with WAMMA and with each other.
"We have made contact with just about all the major promoters in the sport," Szady said. "Their response has been cordial. We are continuing to have ongoing discussions with them, and conclusions will be reached as we move this forward."
But the question of how promoters have been reacting to WAMMA kept coming up Wednesday at a news conference. Szady emphasized that, for the most part, promotions had given "positive" responses.
"Most of them have a wait-and-see attitude," he said.
International Fight League executives attended the news conference and were openly supportive of WAMMA, but they were also honest about its chances of success.
"It's a big task, but I think it's worth exploring," said IFL Commissioner Kurt Otto.
Jay Larkin, IFL chief operating officer, praised WAMMA's reasoning and its intentions. "Having said that," Larkin continued, "I want to address the elephant in the room that's not in the room."
He was talking about the UFC. The leading promoter in mixed martial arts, the company with the majority of the top fighters in the world, is hosting an event on Saturday in Newark, N.J. -- about 15 miles from Wednesday's WAMMA news conference in Manhattan.
Yet, Larkin pointed out, no one from the UFC had attended the conference.
"I cannot imagine a scenario that would encourage the UFC to participate in this," Larkin said, adding that the UFC's lack of involvement appeared to be a "fatal flaw" in WAMMA's plan.
Michael B. Lynch, WAMMA's executive vice president, said that refusing top fighters the chance to fight each other would be a "tremendous disservice," but Szady interrupted him to say he had met with UFC owners Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta III.
"They didn't bring the guards down and throw us out the door," Szady said jokingly before describing Lorenzo Fertitta as receptive, appreciative and polite. "The door was left open."
The WAMMA president reiterated that the immediate participation of all promoters was not necessary. "We're in this for the long haul," Szady said, explaining that his sanctioning body had the financial backing to persist even if the UFC did not participate for a couple of years.
"We understand that this is a very huge undertaking," Goldberg added. "We understand that going up against an 800-pound elephant -- a la Dana White and the UFC -- is going to take a bit of time. There's no question about it. But we have no ulterior motive. We are in it for the fighter and we are in it for the fan."
Pat Miletich (Pictures), who is also representing WAMMA, has butted heads with UFC President Dana White before. However, Miletich said that the super-fights WAMMA wants to sanction would make promoters like White more money.
"Bob Arum and Don King are not buddies, but they work together because they know they're going to make money together," Miletich said. "That's what this is about."
WAMMA also plans on influencing standards for referees and judges as well as the safety standards for fighters, but perhaps most integral to its success will be its monthly rankings.
Sam Caplan, editor of ProElite.com and FiveOuncesOfPain.com, will chair the rankings committee. He is joined by Nelson Hamilton, Todd Martin, Mauro Ranallo, Michael Woods, Oliver Copp, Alex Marvez, Ann Marie Lynch and Jeroen Winters.
Asked if this committee will be compensated, Lynch, WAMMA's executive vice president, said that Caplan would be compensated for performing managerial duties as the chair.
"No one's getting paid for their opinion," Lynch said.
WAMMA acknowledged that rankings are somewhat subjective, but said an effort will be made to keep them as objective as possible. Additionally, Lynch said that WAMMA administers the rankings but will not influence them. He described the system as independent and transparent, though WAMMA does not plan on publishing each committee member's individual rankings.
The first rankings are expected Dec. 15. WAMMA hopes to sanction cross-promotional bouts by the first or second quarter of 2008 and eventually to sanction up to 25 world championship fights a year.
If successful, similar sanctioning bodies could proliferate. Szady said the UFC asked him about such a development.
"What we're hoping to do is get out there in front of this, as fast as we can, with the most reputable people in the world to rank the fighters and with a sanctioning body that's recognized by the promoters as the sanctioning body," Szady said.
Two WAMMA partners -- Fred Levin, an attorney who represented Roy Jones, Jr., and Kay Stephenson, a former NFL coach -- tried to create a similar umbrella organization for boxing several years ago.
"In the boxing world, things were so entrenched that it was very difficult to get this done," Miletich said, noting that mixed martial arts is also splintered, though perhaps the sport is not as deep-rooted in its ways as boxing. "Coming together with WAMMA -- that one sanctioning body that can help unify all of this -- makes perfect sense to me. To be honest with you, there's no need for another sanctioning body after this happens."
sounds like there could be some great match ups if this thing is succsessful.....
Posted On:11/15/2007 6:45am
I really don't see how it is meant to work.
Say this board decide that Jackson vs. Griffin has to happen for the lightweight title, and they have a sponsor willing to put money into it... why would the UFC accept that sponsor (which WAMMA will obviously take a cut from) when they can just sort it all out themselves?!
Seems like anything they propose could already happen without the need for them. Plus, how is them proposing something going to make it any more likely to happen? So they say Anderson Silva has to fight Lindland... if UFC doesn't want to sign Lindland it ain't going to happen, they are going to have Silva fight who they want.
Dark Overlord of the Bullshido Underworld
Posted On:11/15/2007 8:55am
Style: Taai Si Ji Kung Fu
Does anyone else find it amusing they are trying to unite MMA by creating yet another sanctioning body?
Calm down, it's only ones and zeros.
"Your calm and professional manner of response is really draining all the fun out of this. Can you reply more like Dr. Fagbot or something? Call me some names, mention some sand in my vagina or something of the sort. You can't expect me to come up with reasonable arguments man!" -- MaverickZ
"Tom Kagan spins in his grave and the fucking guy isn't even dead yet." -- Snake Plissken
My Bullshido fan club threads:
Tom Kagan's a big hairy...
Tom Kagan can lick my BALLS
Tom Kagan teaches _ing __un and bigotry?
Tom Kagan: Serious discussion here
Lamokio asks the burning question is Tom Kagan a ***** or just cruising for some
I'm Dave the gay Kickboxer from Manchester and I have the hots for Tom Kagan
TOM KAGAN, OPEN ME, THE MKT ARE COMING FOR YOU ! ARE YOU MAN ENOUGH TO MEET ?
ATTN TOM KAGAN
World Dominator 'Kagan' in plot to lie about real Kung Fu and Martial Arts
Tom Kagan just gave me my third negative rep in a day
I am infatuated with Tom Kagan
Tom Kagan is a fat balding white guy.
Posted On:11/15/2007 9:10am
Style: Muay Thai
The UFC refused to sign Fedor because he wanted to fight outside the org. What makes WAMMA's executives think they'd join them? The chance to unify the UFC heavyweight title with WAMMA Hooters?
An American Hero!
Posted On:11/15/2007 2:35pm
TryKickboxingNow.com - Free Internet Marketing for Kickboxing Programs! Style: BJJ
If you want to fight the best, go to the UFC. WAMMA is just trying to make some money by doing nothing. The UFC isnt that retarded.
Sure there are guys outside UFC who are great, but oh well.
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Enforcer of Northeast Anti-Silliness Department Inc.
Posted On:11/15/2007 3:59pm
Style: Kaju, BJJ, Judo, Kempo
money grubbers trying to get a piece of the pie with their BS. EliteXC already has their business model, and they are working hard to promote the sport and put on good shows. Not just declare themselves the lords of MMA and that anyone who wants legitimacy must go to them.
They can go **** themselves.
Knowing is not enough, you must apply...
...Willing is not enough you must do ~Bruce Lee
GIJoe6186 like boys, mainly his brother
Posted On:11/15/2007 4:12pm
WAMMA looks gay, we don't need more sanctioning bodies. they want to get paid for suggesting matchups they won't promote? Looks stupid and unnecessary.
Posted On:11/15/2007 4:35pm
A committee of sports journalists getting together to hash out and write about who is who in the MMA world irrespective of which organization is hawking a particular fighter can only be a good thing for the MMA world overall.
The only question in my mind is whether WAMMA can achieve this and sustain it beyond the initial hoopla.
For the rest of WAMMA's plans, I give a big 'Meh' of amusement.
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