- World Fighting Alliance
The World Fighting Alliance was a
mixed martial artsorganization based in the United States.
Originally organized by MMA trainer John Lewis and nightclub operator and "Club Rubber" promoter John Huntington, the WFA began promoting events after the
Nevada State Athletic Commissionbegan sanctioning mixed martial arts. The Las Vegas based promotion, unlike its cross-town rival, the Ultimate Fighting Championship, featured a nightclub environment and a slogan of “Where the fight club meets the Night Club”. Sexy and flashy, its events featured several scantily-clad ringgirls between rounds and go-go dancers between fights, and plenty of loud music, including guest performers like Ice-T. [http://www.mmaringreport.com/news_stories/wfa_3_review.htm] It held its first event, "WFA: Level 1", on November 3, 2001. About a year later, on November 23, 2002, the WFA held their third event, "WFA: Level 3".
However, in an incident at "Level 3" which seriously harmed the promotion's reputation, credentialed photographers were ejected by venue security from their areas and were forced to move to where they could not take acceptable pictures. The inconvenience caused by the ejection was substantial, some writers at the event were forced to track down their photographers and leave their beat, while some offended editors decided to yank coverage of the event altogether. [http://www.fcfighter.com/wfa3-problems.htm] While the difficulties of the last event did not seem to deter the promotion and the promoters promised a "Level 4", Lewis and Huntington did not promote another WFA event since, and the promotion was assumed to be defunct.
After a rise of interest in mixed martial arts in the United States in 2005, the WFA reemerged with new ownership and began an aggressive program to establish itself as a new major mixed martial arts promotion. The owners, Ross Goodman and Louis Palazzo, both attorneys from Las Vegas [http://www.sherdog.com/news/articles.asp?n_id=6308 Lappen Sues WFA for Breach of Contract] ] , began by signing contracts with several of the biggest free agents on the market, including former
UFCmiddleweight contender and Olympic silver medalist Matt Lindland, PRIDEmiddleweight contender Quinton Jackson, retired UFC and Pancrasechampion Bas Rutten, top-ranked bantamweight fighter Urijah Faber, and fomer UFC HeavyweightChampion Ricco Rodriguez. In their recruitment efforts, they also came close to signing Tito Ortizbefore he was enticed by an offer from the UFC. [http://www.mmaweekly.com/absolutenm/templates/dailynews.asp?articleid=3006&zoneid=3]
The fruits of their acquisitions culminated in "WFA: King of the Streets" on
July 22, 2006, a pay-per-view broadcast event at the Forum in Inglewood, California. The card was headed by a main event of Quinton Jacksonvs. Matt Lindland, Jackson's first fight on American soil since becoming a headliner in PRIDE, and featured famed boxing broadcaster Barry Tompkinsand wrestling star Bill Goldbergat the announce desk. Despite heavy expectations and an aggressive marketing campaign, including a pre-event special broadcast on Showtime, [http://www.sherdog.com/videos/videos.asp?v_id=798] the event only attracted a crowd of over 5,000, with only 2,300 tickets sold. [ [http://www.presstelegram.com/sports/ci_4823348 UFC beefs up with buyout of the WFA] ] [ [http://www.pridefc.com/pride2005/index.php?mainpage=news&news_id=889 Pride Fighting plans to stay in the US] ] Pay-per-view buys were also low, reportedly under 50,000.cite news|first=Josh|last=Gross|url=http://www.sherdog.com/news/articles.asp?n_id=6344|title=Eyes on the Prize: UFC Scoops up Jackson, WFA Fighters|date=2006-12-12|accessdate=2006-12-12|work= Sherdog.com]
Despite the disappointing numbers, and rumors of financial troubles, the WFA announced their next event, "WFA: King of the Streets II" at Aladdin Resort and Casino in
Las Vegas, Nevadascheduled for December 9, 2006. However, the event was then postponed until early 2007 for undisclosed reasons. On November 15, 2006, the WFA's CEO, Jeremy Lappen, sued the WFA and its owners for breach of contract, claiming he has not been paid since June 2006, a few weeks before "King of the Streets." Finally on December 11 2006, Zuffa, the parent company of rival promotion UFC, announced it had acquired select assets of the WFA, including the contracts of WFA fighters. The WFA will cease operations per the sale agreement.
* [http://www.sherdog.com/fightfinder/fightfinder.asp?organization_id=68 WFA event results at sherdog]
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