Week in MMA & Boxing #37
MMA & Boxing News From the week of
April 29nd- May 6th, 2016
Bellator Fighter Parsons Killed
Jordan Parsons, a 25-year-old Bellator fighter, passed away on 5/4 stemming from being involved in a hit-and-run accident just after midnight Saturday night. Parsons was rushed after the accident to Delray Medical Center in Delray Beach, FL, where he had his leg amputated and a splenectomy, and had remained in critical condition.
The accident took place at 12:30 a.m. late Saturday night in Delray Beach at the corner of South Federal Highway and Lindell Boulevard. Parsons was crossing Federal Highway when a 2012 or 2013 Range Rover hit him. The driver, who has not been found, took off while Parsons was left on the road with a horrible leg wound.
A police officer, Derek Chahine, responded and treated Parsons, who was taken to the hospital. Police believe that the headphones Parsons was wearing as he crossed the road may have prevented him from hearing the SUV approaching.
Police were unable to determine who had the right of way.
Police are searching for the driver, whose car would be missing the drivers's side mirror and would have damage on the driver's side headlight and surrounding casing.
Parsons had an 11-2 record and was scheduled to fight on Spike on the 5/14 show from San Jose against Adam Piccolotti.
UFC 200 Business
UFC 200 tickets went on sale this past weekend for the company’s first show at the new 20,000-seat T Mobile Arena. The tickets were going from $205 to $1,255 and they were scaling the building to set the all-time gate record. The two lowest price ranges went instantly and most tickets are gone, but it’s not sold out at this point. But it has sold tons more tickets than UFC 197 with the same main event, so obviously the name value of UFC 200 means a lot.
Conor Wants Diaz
Conor McGregor is still pushing to keep the Nate Diaz match instead of next defending his featherweight title. On 5/1, on Instagram, he wrote, “Nobody gives a f*** about these other fights until this one is settled. Cut the bullshit. Run it back.” Clearly McGregor is angling to get the Diaz fight on UFC 201 or UFC 202, as opposed to waiting to defend the featherweight title against the Jose Aldo vs. Frankie Edgar winner. It makes all the sense in the world to still do that fight since it’ll do similar numbers to the first time. What makes it tough is McGregor is such a big draw for Irish tourists and brings so much to the Las Vegas economy, but after UFC 200, UFC really needs to cut back on running Las Vegas for a while. But you don’t want to waste, so to speak, a McGregor show if a PPV isn’t booked in a market that can do a huge live gate.
Women's Flyweight Division
UFC may be opening a new women’s weight class at 125 pounds. The company announced the first fight in the division, as former 115 pounders Joanne Calderwood faces Valerie Letourneau at flyweight on the 6/18 show in Ottawa. While for marketing and business reasons, adding another division and title may not be the best idea, from a sport standpoint, the more divisions added, the better and more fair the sport is and a 20 pound gap from 115 to 135 is really too much considering the type of size difference that entails.
Hall of Fame
The UFC Hall of Fame ceremony will take place at Noon on 7/10 at the Fan Expo at the Las Vegas Convention Center, which is the day after UFC 200. It will air live on Fight Pass. There will be five inductions, a Pioneer Era fighter (someone who debuted prior to 2001), Modern era (someone who debuted after 2001), Contributor and two men in a legendary fight (fight has to have taken place before July 2011). Attendance is part of Fan Expo attendance.
Edson Barboza vs. Gilbert Melendez will be one of the fights on the 7/23 FOX card from Chicago. This would be Melendez’s return after failing a test for artificial testosterone in his June 13, 2015, loss to Eddie Alvarez in Mexico City when he gassed out. He is currently serving a one year suspension that will expire on 6/12.
New Fights Announced
Roy Nelson vs. Derrick Lewis in a heavyweight match has been added to the 7/7 show in Las Vegas. A win by Lewis would put him into the mix with the top heavyweights. Mitch Clarke vs. Joe Duffy was also added. This will be Duffy’s first right since his loss to Dustin Poirier. He had looked great up until that point but was taken down and dominated. He was best known for having beaten Conor McGregor before McGregor came to UFC. Others announced this week are Alan Jouban vs. Nordine Taleb, Mike Pyle vs. Alberto Mina and Alvaro Herrera vs. Vicente Luque.
Bellator Ethics in Question.... Again
The situation with Kimbo Slice and his failed steroid test on 2/19 is now dicier because Texas and Slice agreed to a deal where Slice’s license was revoked. The general rule is if a fighter has his license revoked, all commissions respect that as a suspension and they are supposed to apply for a license and get accepted in that state, usually after a certain time frame, often one year. However, Bellator is running a show on 7/16 in London, which has no commission, with Slice vs. James Thompson as the main event.
It was already questionable from a sports standpoint to bring Slice back less than five months after a positive drug test, but his original suspension in Texas was only three months, which is also crazy for a positive drug test. It does show the difference between Bellator and UFC, as in UFC, a first test positive would be a two year suspension, while Bellator isn’t even suspending a fighter who admitted guilt.
Bellator is making no bones about the idea they are looking for ratings and that’s the goal, but the Dada thing could have been a disaster for the sport and Slice fighting this soon overseas is a black eye to the promotion as well.
Thomson Injured and Out
Josh Thomson was injured and his fight with Michael Chandler, one of Bellator’s bigger fights of this year with guys who can still go, is off for now. Chandler vs. Thomson was scheduled as the No. 2 fight on the 5/14 show in San Jose, which is headlined by Phil Davis vs. King Mo in a match to determine the next contender for light heavyweight champion Liam McGeary. The plan seems to be to do the match after Thomson recovers from his undisclosed injury.
Boxing PPV Numbers
It looks like the public announcement of the 400,000 to 500,000 for the Manny Pacquiao vs. Timothy Bradley PPV show on 4/9 was a little optimistic as later numbers are looking more like 325,000 to 350,000.