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Wednesday, Aug 08, 2001

Ufc Hits Hollywood

UFC Hits Hollywood
By Aaron Crecy

Carmen Electra
HOLLYWOOD–On Tuesday, August 7, the Ultimate Fighting Championship descended upon the House of Blues for a press event celebrating the commencement of ticket sales for "Victory in Vegas," the first-ever sanctioned mixed martial arts competition in the state of Nevada. And while the turnout was not what Zuffa had hoped for, the audience did include KABC and KNBC television, ESPN Radio, Los Angeles Times columnist T.J. Simers and several MMA journalists.

UFC president Dana White touched upon several dated topics, all of which were old news in MMA circles-the sport’s sanctioning in Nevada; Zuffa’s new mainstream advertising campaign; the date, time and location of UFC 33; the UFC’s return to cable pay-per-view television; and the kick-off of ticket sales for Victory in Vegas on August 8. Next, White introduced light heavyweight belt holder Tito Ortiz, challenger Vitor Belfort and spokesperson Carmen Electra.

Cuba Gooding Jr.
Dennis Hallman, Fabiano Iha and Ricco Rodriguez were on hand, as were Carlson Gracie and Wallid Ismail. Academy Award winning actor and Gracie associate Cuba Gooding Jr. also made an appearance.

After he was introduced, Belfort thanked Zuffa for the opportunity to return to the Octagon and predicted "a war." Meanwhile, Ortiz announced his association with Carlson Gracie, a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu legend and Belfort’s former trainer.
Carlson Gracie
However, the moment lacked the expected drama as Belfort-who himself is training with an MMA luminary in the form of Bas Rutten-graciously and respectfully applauded the proclamation.

UFC 33 "Victory in Vegas" will take place on Friday, September 28 at the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino. Tickets are priced at $30, $60, $100, $200 and $300 and can be purchased at the Mandalay Bay box office, TicketMaster outlets or on the Internet at www.TicketMaster.com.

The event will be broadcast live on iN DEMAND and DIRECTV pay-per-view for $29.95. Only five of the scheduled nine fights will be aired live-if time permits, highlights of the four remaining bouts may be televised after the main event.

Tito Ortiz, Carmen Electra, Vitor Belfort
UFC 33-Victory in Vegas
Friday, September 28, 2001
7:00 PM PST/10:00 PM EST
Mandalay Bay Events Center
Las Vegas, Nevada

Main Event – UFC Light Heavyweight Championship
Tito Ortiz (Champion) vs. Vitor Belfort (Challenger)

Co-Main Event – UFC Lightweight Championship

Jens Pulver (Champion) vs. Dennis Hallman (Challenger)

UFC Middleweight Championship (title vacant)

Dave Menne vs. Gil Castillo

Light Heavyweight Bout
Chuck Liddell vs. Murilo Bustamante

Lightweight Bout
Fabiano Iha vs. Din Thomas

Heavyweight Bout
Pete Williams vs. Ricco Rodriguez

*Plus three more fights to be announced

Shame on Simers
By Aaron Crecy

The mixed martial arts community saw its collective blood pressure nearly boil over upon reading Los Angeles Times columnist T.J. Simers’ depiction of the Ultimate Fighting Championship on August 8. Simers was on hand the previous day to witness the UFC’s "Victory in Vegas" press conference at the House of Blues in Hollywood.

For reasons that only he knows, Simers saw fit to ridicule UFC spokesperson Carmen Electra and Tito Ortiz in his column, this after being accorded a private interview with both of them. Referring to Ortiz as a "goofy lug" and intimating that Electra is some sort of tawdry strumpet who plied Dennis Rodman with drink in order to win his favor, the article was drunk with Simers’ trademark lowbrow humor.

Notorious for his bitter, self-aggrandizing musings, it should be noted that Simers is not to be taken seriously. Anxious to earn even a modicum of notoriety, Simers is consistently opinionated and demonstrates an obvious intent to agitate his readers.

While they are undoubtedly displeased that Simers would smile to their faces and then stab them in the back, the UFC and Zuffa must remember the old advertising adage that there’s no such thing as bad press. Rather than inundating Simers with embittered e-mails and providing even more fodder for his trite and all too predictable diatribes, take heart–the mere fact that the Los Angeles Times dedicated a column in its sports section to the UFC is confirmation enough that MMA has arrived. So, don’t hate–celebrate!

posted by Full Contact Fighter @ 8:00 pm
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