My suspicions have been confirmed regarding the strained relationship between HDNet and SUN Sports & Entertainment Inc's (SUN) Art Of War (AOW) MMA promotion. SUN held their fourth card this weekend, the first to be held outside of the state of Texas with AOW 4: Mississippi Mayhem.
I had postulated that with the formation of HDNet Fights that SUN would be left competing in the same space as their former broadcast partner, which would probably lead to friction.
With the issue of this press release it has been confirmed that AOW's new television production partner, American Television Distribution (ATD), headed by TV producer Tommy Habeeb, has produced the latest show and recorded it in High Definition (HD) for national syndication. The Tunica, Mississippi sports special will be in a two hour format for general release by ATD as stations are cleared for syndication.
ATD and SUN also has an MMA reality television show under production called Star Fighter MMA. The show stars Herschel Walker and a cast of former NFL players who train MMA and compete for a chance to fight for the IFA world Heavyweight title (currently held by Pedro Rizzo). Herschel Walker of course, is slated to be one of the stars of the yet to be named MMA reality show produced by Pro Elite and Mark Burnett which seems to feature a similar format as Star Fighter. I've contacted ATD for comment on this issue and hope to know more soon.
It seems to me that SUN can't catch a break with its AOW production. Its former broadcast partner hired away their matchmaker, Guy Mezger and decided to run their own Dallas based MMA events with HDNet Fights. Now it appears that their reality TV show concept has been duplicated by Pro Elite and Mark Burnett.
In Other News From Around The Web:
Team Link trainer Marco Alvan is interviewed at GracieMag.com.
GracieMag also learns that Team Link fighter Gabriel Gonzaga will face Fabricio Werdum at UFC 80.
The Savage Dog Show visits American Top Team and learn of two bouts on November 10th's Elite XC card featuring ATT fighters. Antonio Silva vs. Jonathan Wiezorek and Yves Edwards vs. Moses Baca.
MMA News covers the brewing war between Canadian MMA promoters:
15 Rounds.com breaks Strikeforce newsUndefeated World Light Heavyweight Kickboxing Champion Brian "The Mad Stork" Schwartz (18-0) will step in the cage for the first time in his 16-year professional fighting career to face Lemont Davis (8-4) in a 175 lb. limit matchup during the Strikeforce "Four Men Enter, One Man Survives" mixed martial arts mega-card at San Jose’s HP Pavilion on Friday, November 16th.
You can listen to Bloody Elbow's EIC, Luke Thomas on Fight Network Radio even if you don't have Sirius! Hardcore Sports Radio (Sirius 186) has a live, free web stream. Tune in Tuesday from 3-4pm ET. Fight Network Radio airs every weekday and is hosted by Mauro Ranallo.