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Cuban Critiques Inaugural HDNet Fights

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Cuban Critiques Inaugural HDNet Fights

Postby Reymode » Tue Oct 16, 2007 12:16 pm

Anyone eager to start promoting in the ever-expanding world of mixed martial arts will certainly run into obstacles. In fact, separating yourself from the already saturated field of promotions is next to impossible unless your organization has deep pockets and a television deal.

HDNet Fights entered the game on Saturday, and unlike your average organization, it had some aces up its sleeve.

Is a television deal in the works? Nah, HDNet Fights just has its own network backed by a billionaire owner who, thanks to his antics in the NBA and current stint on ABC's smash show "Dancing With The Stars," is recognizable in more households than Dana White could ever dream to be.

"I'm a fan, and I think that it's time for MMA athletes to be treated with the same level of respect as any other professional athlete," Mark Cuban, HDNet founder and Dallas Mavericks owner, told Sherdog.com after his inaugural MMA event. "By doing so, the sport can grow to be even bigger than it is today. Basically I want to take the same principles I have learned from the NBA and apply them to MMA."

Cuban doesn't plan on arguing with MMA refs anytime soon. Even if he did, he certainly won't be fining himself. Keeping the attention of fickle fight fans will be the challenge for HDNet, and the first HDNet Fights card -- comprised of mostly good local prospects, along with UFC veterans Drew Fickett (Pictures) and Pete Spratt (Pictures) -- wouldn't exactly qualify for lineup of the year.

The headliner of Jeff Ford versus Erik Paulson didn't fill the seats to the rafters either. It had been seven years since Paulson entered a ring, and the last time anyone saw Ford someone from "Charles in Charge" was yelling at him on VH1's "Celebrity Fit Club."

In terms of production value, the event was very good. The promotion had the fighters come out together a la PRIDE and then kept the pace of the show moving quickly. However, there was also a heavy emphasis on the broadcast production's needs as opposed to "Joe Fan" sitting in the third row, and Cuban admitted as much.

"It's part of the learning process," Cuban said. "We were too focused on making this perfect for broadcast on HDNet in coming weeks. We need to make it more focused for fans in the arena. We aren't in a rush. It doesn't have to happen overnight. I think people forget that unlike other promoters, I control the entire value and business chain. From the arena to the TV network, to DVD sales and even broadcasting to theaters. Each fight provides programming for the entire chain. Unlike others I'm not dependent on a TV deal or TV ratings for our future. I can take my time and do it right."

Doing it right will be the key for HDNet if it is to make a splash with future events. A common theme on Saturday was respect. From the hotel that housed the fighters to the after-fight gourmet buffet, the athletes appreciated the way they were treated by Cuban's organization.

"They treated me well and treated me very professionally," Pete Spratt said.

Drew Fickett, another veteran of numerous organizations, said he would never be a millionaire in MMA and therefore respect means everything to him.

"They keep treating us like that," Fickett said, "they'll have my respect every time."

Even though fighters and fans left happy, Cuban said his event would improve.

"I'm happy that the feedback from fans was that they had a great time," he said. "I'm happy that the fighters and their crews all came up to me to thank me for how they were treated and how different it was from other shows. That said, my focus is on making it the best entertainment event it can be. It was far from it. There is a ton of room for improvement. … I spent most of the fights taking notes and talking to people for ideas. This was our beta test event. Next one in December will be better, and the one after that will be even better."

Leave it to an Internet pioneer to call an MMA event a "beta test."

The pieces do seem to be in place for HDNet Fights with the world heading toward a high-def future. The missing piece of the puzzle, at this point, is a card filled with talent from beyond the Dallas city limits.

October 16, 2007
by Scott Holmes
Last edited by Reymode on Wed Oct 17, 2007 4:29 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Reymode » Tue Oct 16, 2007 12:17 pm

HDNet's headliner was Jeff Ford versus Erik Paulson and Drew Fickett and Pete Spratt are considered good prospects. Come on guys do you really want Mark Cuban running M-1?
Last edited by Reymode on Tue Oct 16, 2007 12:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Kensei » Tue Oct 16, 2007 12:19 pm

I actually think that Cuban can be good for the sport and with some of the up and coming companies this could be a good thing...but do they have stay power? will the owner flake out on us?? well, UFC is about the only proven big company right now and even if the new companies work out they will probably sit just behind the UFC in Tallent.....HDNet sits WAY back at the moment however!

We have to see that the only guys they have are Dallas locals, a few wash outs from the UFC and a real old guy...no not Randy...So, while it was backed by a millionair ext...it is still a C level event with A level money! I really hope that gets flipped soon.
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Postby Reymode » Tue Oct 16, 2007 12:23 pm

Dude HDNet is worse than BoDog and IFL just look at their headliner. All this in mind if he should have waited until he got the approriate talent then did an event. But HDNet is absolute crap and so will M-1 if Cuban gets a hold of it.
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Postby Kensei » Tue Oct 16, 2007 1:12 pm

I agree....what a crap card!
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Postby FEDORisGOD » Tue Oct 16, 2007 2:03 pm

This wasn't a big event. It was more like a rough draft. Cuban is just starting. Who did you guys expect to see on the card?

Do you guys remember what UFC was like when Dana just started? Come on guys, Cuban himself was critical. He'll be fine.
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Postby Kensei » Tue Oct 16, 2007 2:18 pm

FEDORisGOD wrote:This wasn't a big event. It was more like a rough draft. Cuban is just starting. Who did you guys expect to see on the card?

Do you guys remember what UFC was like when Dana just started? Come on guys, Cuban himself was critical. He'll be fine.


Wow, thanks for the EXCUSES.....first off when the UFC first started they still had some of the best, I mean when that bald ass bastard took over. They still had cards that were okay, the times were different. Right now with all the free agent tallent and Cubans deap pockets the only excuse that thier is for a card like this is inexperience...which Cuban addressed.

Dont make excuses people...remember Cuban didnt and he said they would be back and better. I kind of like the guy after reading that article. I can see Semi big things for them.
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Postby Reymode » Wed Oct 17, 2007 8:26 am

FEDORisGOD wrote:This wasn't a big event. It was more like a rough draft. Cuban is just starting. Who did you guys expect to see on the card?

Do you guys remember what UFC was like when Dana just started? Come on guys, Cuban himself was critical. He'll be fine.


This was the first card after Dana became President:
UFC 30
Sean Sherk vs. Tiki Ghosn
Phil Baroni vs. Curtis Stout
Bobby Hoffman vs. Mark Robinson
Pedro Rizzo vs. Josh Barnett
Elvis Sinosic vs. Jeremy Horn
Fabiano Iha vs. Phil Johns
Jens Pulver vs. Caol Uno
Tito Ortiz vs. Evan Tanner


That card was pretty solid. But you got a point though, we'll see what HDNet has on their next card.
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Postby Kensei » Wed Oct 17, 2007 9:19 am

[quote="Reymode]
This was the first card after Dana became President:[/quote]

UFC 30

Sean Sherk vs. Tiki Ghosn

I always liked Ghosin, funny guy and not a bad scrapper, but not much of a fighter. Good fight though!
Phil Baroni vs. Curtis Stout

Baroni is always entertainment and this fight was just that.
Bobby Hoffman vs. Mark Robinson

Hoffman needs a hair cut in every fight he was in, but not a bad fighter.
Pedro Rizzo vs. Josh Barnett

If you did not like this fight you are just a moron!
Elvis Sinosic vs. Jeremy Horn

Never liked Elvis but always good to see Horn perform
Fabiano Iha vs. Phil Johns

Crazy fight man Iha could have been someone if he had made a bit bigger splash
Jens Pulver vs. Caol Uno

Crazy fight loved it.
Tito Ortiz vs. Evan Tanner

Back when Tito was someone!

[

IF HDNet sets up something other than a bunch of local boys then they will do fine, with Cubans money all they need is fight makers and agents that know MMA and they will do just fine. Right now he needs to attract tallent and money is only one way of doing this. A fighter will not move to a new org if they look green or they look like they will sign a contract today and fold up next week.
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Re: Cuban Critiques Inaugural HDNet Fights

Postby LONNIEmcconne » Fri Jan 28, 2011 9:16 am

That's sound very Interesting....!!
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