Mark Cuban Announces HDNet Fights

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DALLAS, TEXAS…SEPTEMBER 12, 2007 — Mark Cuban announced today that his high definition network, HDNet will be entering into the mixed-martial-arts fighting circle, with the debut of HDNet FIGHTS in Dallas, Texas on Saturday, October 13 at 7:00 p.m.
While HDNet has aired MMA events in the past, this will be the first venture into the MMA business for Cuban and HDNet, with the inaugural event set for the American Airlines Center, the premier sports and entertainment venue that is the home of Cuban's Dallas Mavericks.
Slated for the light heavyweight main event will be former Shooto World Champion, Eric Paulson (10-4-1, Los Angeles) taking on 5-time World Kick Boxing Champion, Jeff Ford (7-2, Denver). The Paulson vs Ford fight will be one of ten bouts scheduled on the card.
Tickets for the event are priced starting at $10, $20, $30, $50 and $100 (VIP, which includes Platinum Parking, plus convenience charges. Tickets go on sale Monday, September 17at the American Airlines Center and all Ticketmaster outlets, including www.ticketmaster.com, and can be ordered by phone by calling 214-373-8000.
For more information, go to www.hdnetfights.com.
Highly regarded middleweights, Jason House (7-3, Dallas) and Freddy Espiricueta (6-2, Austin) square off in an all Texas shootout. Former UFC World Heavyweight title challenger, Justin Eilers (17-6, Las Vegas), will head up the undercard when he battles Justin Howard (7-1, San Antonio) in a 3-round Heavyweight contest.
Also featured on the card will be UFC Veteran, Sean Salmon (10-3, Los Angeles). Salmon is set to challenge Leopoldo Serao (14-6, Brazil).
According to Cuban, his fighting franchise will be a big plus for MMA fans at the live gate, as well as for his HDNet viewers.
“Mixed martial arts fighting is a fast, emerging business and there's a lot of demand out there right now.” said Cuban. “It is in the best interest of HDNet that we provide the programming that the viewers want and MMA fighting has done very well for us. At the same time, we can serve the many fight fans in Dallas and other cities by bringing the sport to them in an arena atmosphere.”
But is he an MMA fan, himself? “Absolutely,” he quickly responded. “I don't put my energy into anything I don't enjoy. This is simply an exciting sport.”
Cuban has hired Dallas MMA legend and former UFC champion, Guy Mezger, to take charge of fight operations for his new company. For Martial Arts Hall of Fame member, Mezger, working with Cuban and HDNet will give him an opportunity to help build a solid fighting organization.
“Actually, it's a dream come true for me to work with Mark and his HDNet team,” the 5-time World champion said. “I know that Mark is committed to producing the best MMA events possible and I'm going to do everything possible to help him do that. I'm looking forward to growing with the company and making some noise in this exciting business.”
As for HDNet FIGHTS first event, Mezger sees an entertaining fight card. “We have a solid main event in Eric Paulson against Jeff Ford,” he noted. “Both guys are former world champions in their respective fighting styles, so when you put them into the ring, together in an MMA fight, you can end up with some real fireworks.
“Justin Eilers and Sean Salmon are former UFC veterans that always put on great fights. We also have several Dallas area fighters that will be fighting on the card, so we have something for everyone — all kinds of fighting styles and all brave warriors, ready to go on October 13.”

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