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Valiss
3/21/2008 12:03pm,
DALLAS, March 4 /PRNewswire/ -- The future of combat martial arts is here and will be seen on televisions around the world starting this month. A new season of Chuck Norris' World Combat League (WCL), the explosive form of standup mixed-martial arts which has garnered impressive ratings in the United States on the VERSUS network, will now be aired in over 100 countries thanks to one of the sport's most comprehensive international distribution plans.

"Chuck Norris is an international martial arts icon," said Matthew Ody, from Matthew Ody & Associates, the company, which oversees the distribution of the WCL's global television rights. "(Mr. Norris) has said, 'This is where the sport is headed.' That's tremendous worldwide credibility for a young league like the WCL. Our international partners have been quick to respond. This has been one of the most well received international rollouts of a sporting product I have ever seen."

"Our production is really top notch," said WCL President Damien DiCiolli. "We brought in some of the top talent working in television sports production to enhance our shows. The result is a quicker paced, more exciting product. If you liked Season 1, you'll be blown away by Season 2."

The WCL is a team-based sport featuring four Western Conference squads (the Los Angeles Stars, Oklahoma Destroyers, Texas Dragons and Denver Fury) and four Eastern Conference teams (the St. Louis Enforcers, Miami Force, New Jersey Tigers and New York Clash). Each team consists of six fighters (including one female) and each individual fights two three-minute rounds.

"Our matches are non-stop action," said Norris. "It's the most exciting three minutes of mixed-martial arts anywhere. The athletes get into the ring and go full throttle. In fact, the WCL had a 34-percent knockout rate, which is tops in any sport. If a fighter tries to slow the pace of the fight down, they will be penalized for passivity."

"We're a long-term player on the mixed-martial arts landscape. The WCL has been a 30-year dream of mine, and to see how quickly it was embraced by both fans and television sponsors surprised even me. We are doing what the spectators want, 'Knock outs not tap outs.' That's the WCL's approach."

Article:
http://sev.prnewswire.com/sports/20080304/LATU09604032008-1.html

Matt W.
3/21/2008 12:30pm,
You know, I actually find the WCL to be fun and exciting to watch. But just because they have guys from Karate AND Taekwondo doesn't make it "mixed martial arts." And "knock-outs, not tap-outs"? WTF is that???

The Question
3/21/2008 12:37pm,
Motherfuck that article. That article is fucking gay. The WCL is fucking gay. I mean come the **** on. Any sport in which they make you wear booties is fucking gay. What the **** is "standup mixed martial arts?". Gay.

Valiss
3/21/2008 12:42pm,
The WCL is really growing on me as well. There are a number of rules I'd like to tweak, but they have changed a few of rules since season 1 for the better (i.e. they don't wear foot pads anymore). So at least they are attempting to react to what the audience wants.

The "Knocks outs, not tapouts" is just a marketing tool. I read an interview a couple of months ago (don't have the link - maybe from Inside KungFu) that Chuck Norris belives an audience exsist that is more interested in the standing fight game than ground work. This is his way to market to that crowd.

Matt W.
3/21/2008 12:58pm,
Any sport in which they make you wear booties is fucking gay.

They now wear standard shin-instep pads and have since about halfway through season 1.

Valiss
3/21/2008 4:11pm,
They now wear standard shin-instep pads and have since about halfway through season 1.

They also now allow some holding; you may grab an opponent and throw a knee, but then you must release. So no real clinch per se, but it's a step in the right direction as far as I am concerned. And even though it will probably not come to pass, I'd like to see elbows allowed.

HappyOldGuy
3/21/2008 4:29pm,
But why reinvent the wheel. Just use Sanda, K1, or MT rules and call it a day? The whole no defense, all high kicks rules ruin it for me, whatever kind of cute slippers they have on.

billy sol hurok
3/21/2008 4:39pm,
Wasn't there some jiveass rule about "no leg kicks unless they're part of a punching combo," or some such? I happened across a WCL telecast last week, where it seemed as though that rule had been changed . . .

Valiss
3/21/2008 4:52pm,
I'm not exactly sure what you mean by "all high kicks" rule and they don't allow boots. You can kick the knee level and up in the WCL. Is there some other kind of kick you are looking for that isn't allowed? The wikipedia says that you can us any kick, so I'm not sure I follow what you mean here.

It's interesting that you use those organizations as examples and ask "why reinvent the wheel." I think you might have implied the answer to that question in your very own post: kickboxing is dead in the US. Those orgs don't mean anything to the mainstream crowd. My co-workers, for example, know of (and some of them watch) the UFC but names "ISKA" and "K1" fall flat to them. However most of them have heard of the WCL, even if peripherally. "Oh that Chuck Norris thing, right?"

Whatever is out there right now apparently isn't capturing the US audience, and if one chooses to make a new organization, you better bring something different to the table. If a 10 round kickboxing match is a marathon, then I think the WCL is trying to create a kickboxing sprint in order to hold on to the infamously short attention span of the US tv audience.

As far as I am concerned, anything that promotes kickboxing positively and helps to get it into the minds of the US viewer is a good thing. As far as I know the WCL is the only kickboxing org with a steady TV deal in the US at the moment and is actively working to get some real mindshare among sports fans. I certianly can't fault them for that.

HappyOldGuy
3/21/2008 5:23pm,
K1 MT and Sanda have never gotten any exposure in the US. It's not that they got put on TV here and failed. It's that they never got on TV. Why, because early on US kickboxing was this wierd hybrid full contact point fighting that was fucking silly to watch and it left audiences laughing. The WCL is just the latest incarnation of the same thing.

High leg kicks (3 inches above the knee) are allowed, but not by themselves, and not with punches. That, plus getting penalized for moving and the super short matches means that the fights turn into high kick plus power punch flailing matches.

If you like it, great. I don't.

Valiss
3/21/2008 5:48pm,
K1 MT and Sanda have never gotten any exposure in the US. It's not that they got put on TV here and failed. It's that they never got on TV. Why, because early on US kickboxing was this wierd hybrid full contact point fighting that was fucking silly to watch and it left audiences laughing. The WCL is just the latest incarnation of the same thing.

Interesting points, HappyOldGuy. However note that K-1 was on FSN last year (and I think the year before that), but they showed older fights and at weird times (i.e. 1am). It wasn't really advertised (or advertised well), which I think is a major issue many orgs have, but that's besides the point. However, a couple of the WCL guys fought in K-1 last year (Raymond Daniels & Peyton Russell). But either way, it has since been cancelled.

I think the current overall consensus in the US is that fighting sports that last more than 4 or 5 rounds are "boring." I'm not saying I agree with that; short fights tend lose strategy and planning. Yet I hear people complain about boxing because "all they do is hug" and with the UFC the complaint tends to be the tired old, "I hate all that rolling around nonesense." It's disappointing but it's just a symptom of a public uneducated about the sports ruleset.



High leg kicks (3 inches above the knee) are allowed, but not by themselves, and not with punches. That, plus getting penalized for moving and the super short matches means that the fights turn into high kick plus power punch flailing matches.

Where did you get that information? I'd be interested in a source as I am not an expert on the WCL. The wikipedia is somewhat light on details and mostly seems to reflect the WCL's page, but as far as I can tell there is no required follow-up punch/kick to a leg kick. Perhaps that was something they did when they first started? As I mentioned in a previous post, they seemed to have refined the rules between seasons so perhaps that was an old rule. At thevery least I have seen a lot of single shot leg kicks and the ref's haven't penalized for it.

Anyway, all very interesting stuff. Ultimately I don't kickboxing (under any org rules) will last in the US. The audience just isn't there, in my opinion.

Matt W.
3/21/2008 5:59pm,
Yeah, I like K1. But you have to admit some of those fights are snoozers where the fighters end up clinched and throwing weak knees at each others thighs for the last couple rounds.



That, plus getting penalized for moving

You don't get penalized for "moving." You get penalized for backing away. Moving side to side, cutting angles, etc. are all okay. You just can't back straight up until you run out of bounds. *shrug* Not saying none of the criticism is valid or that everyone should like it. But there is some mischaracterization of it that goes on.

jdinca
3/21/2008 7:56pm,
And "knock-outs, not tap-outs"? WTF is that???

Marketing to people who don't care to watch grappling?

jdinca
3/21/2008 8:03pm,
The problem with K1 in this country is that they couldn't get a decent stable of good fighters and it ended up being a snoozer. The people worth watching were few and far between.

I like WCL. It's fast, there's a lot of stuff going on and some great knock outs but it's certainly not going to thrill all spectators, especially those that like ground and pound.

Phrost
3/21/2008 8:20pm,
The WCL has potential but the rules, like the shin guards, insulate the participants from actually fighting. It's a cardio sparring match.

Valiss
3/21/2008 11:00pm,
Don't you mean cardio sparring match with KOs? :)

Here's a fast one:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d4hVMfi_5cU