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SBD/April 18, 2014/Events and AttractionsPrint All
UFC on Saturday makes its first foray into Orlando with an event at Amway Center, and the level of promotion for the event marks a "drastic change" from previous shows in South Florida that left UC President Dana White "less than pleased," according to Brian Linder of the Daytona Beach NEWS-JOURNAL. White said that the event "will be the promotion's biggest gate for a card televised on Fox." He added, "I told you guys the last time we were in Florida, this is a place where we do incredible pay-per-view buys but we don't sell tickets. All the executives said, 'We think it's the market in Florida that we are missing.' They were right, and I was wrong." White "did not release specific numbers, but, although some tickets remain, a sellout is expected" (Daytona Beach NEWS-JOURNAL, 4/18). White said, "When you have a fight that's live and free on a massive network like Fox and you do the kind of gate we did here ... Orlando is a home run. We're definitely coming back to Orlando." In Orlando, Shannon Owens notes UFC "doesn't typically host bouts at the same venue two years in a row." But White said that he is "not ruling out that possibility" (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 4/18).
INDEPENDENT WOMAN: YAHOO SPORTS' Kevin Iole wrote under the header, "Ronda Rousey's Tiger Woods-Like Domination Not Good For UFC Women's Division." Rousey's ascent is "great in one sense, because fans gravitate toward winners." But it has "cast a pall over non-title women's matches." Miesha Tate will meet Liz Carmouche on Saturday "in a bout that, in other circumstances, might have stirred up a lot of passion and interest." But Rousey has "manhandled both, and that has taken a bit of the significance" out of the match. It "isn't getting the hype that it might have gotten otherwise because of the Rousey effect." But the good news is that Rousey's dominance "will force other female fighters to boost their games, much like Woods did on the PGA Tour" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 4/17).
MGM Resorts Int'l Chair & CEO Jim Murren is "strongly hinting that his company’s turbulent relationship" with Top Rank Chair Bob Arum "might be over," according to Norm Clarke of the LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL. In a newsletter sent to 62,000 company employees on Wednesday, Murren "addressed the 83-year-old promoter’s epic tirade against the MGM Grand without mentioning Arum by name." The newsletter said that "bullying will not be tolerated." It also stated, "Your company will not associate with abusive individuals." Clarke notes Arum "lashed out last week," days before his Manny Pacquiao-Timothy Bradley fight at the MGM Grand, after "seeing signage at the hotel promoting the May 3 fight between Floyd Mayweather and Marcos Maidana." Arum "ridiculed" MGM Resorts Entertainment & Sports President & COO Richard Sturm, then "delivered a low blow" to the company. Arum said the Venetian "wouldn't make a mistake like that." He added, "But that's why one company makes a billion dollars a quarter and the other is hustling to pay its debt” (LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL, 4/18).