Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Very Detailed Recap From HDNet Fights Conference Call

Noob from the MMANews.com forums attended the HDNet Fights conference call and sent along the following detailed recap:

HDNet Conference Call Notes:

*Lester Bedford (leading the conference call):

HDNets Fight, Dec 15th, American Airlines, Dallas, TX, live on HDNet Fights. 'Reckless Abandon' 6:30PM Eastern time.

Guy Mezger, Jason Miller, Sean Salmon.

Co-main event. Frank Trigg v. Edwin Dewees. Jason Miller v. Sean Salmon
Mayhem 6 of last 7, Salmon 5 of last 6.
Trigg, ranked in top 10. Dewees, 25 yo, 44 fights, 85% win percentage.
Can look up information on hdnetfights.com

Announces the new CEO of HDNet Fights. Former Vice President of Cox Communications. Recently named CEO of HDNet Fights. Andrew Simon.

*Beginning of Conference Call:

Andrew Simon goes first. Starts question session for him, open up to any questions. Long pause, no one has any questions. Very awkward moment, but funny. The call moves on.

*Guy Mezger: Summary: “We are growing, cards are getting more interesting. Want to get more recognized athletes as we go. HDNet going to be bringing you some good fights.”

–On Miller and Trigg being signed:

“Two of very well-known MW's. Both of them are highly ranked, and exciting. Stepping up levels of commitment to MMA fans by bringing these guys in here. Salmon was a good LHW, now coming down to MW, is a monster at that weight. Pictured as underdog, but evenly-matched fight.”

“Trigg is fighting Dewees. Really tough guy. Frank coming off of a tough loss, and this is where he gets serious.”

–Questions for Mezger:

i. Mayhem: “How do you get your hair so illustrious?” “It's a shame when you have such wonderful hair naturally.”

Awkward silence.

ii. Scott from Sherdog: “What do you guys think about filling out your divisions, who would you like to add?”

Mezer: “It's a tough question to ask. We're in the process of keeping the interest of our MMA fans, by bringing in guys they recognize. But to separate ourselves, we need to bring up our own guys. Like UFC, Pride, athletes become universal as it grows. On February card, Jake Ro(mumbled name, couldn't catch it). These guys are going to be the future. As we build up in the next year or so. Also, while we support our legitimacy with the hardcore fans with guys like Trigg and Mayhem. UFC, Pro Elite, have a lot of good guys. Want to look at ourselves not so much as being, would like to work something out with Pro Elite. Work something out so that we can work with their athletes. Work with other organizations to build each other up.”

iii. Sam, 5 oz of Pain: “Jake Roshalt. Team takedown. Any plans to get other Team Takedown members involved?”

Mezger: “Yeah, of course. A lot of that has to do with their management. They have to see what's going to be best with them. We have to let them know that having a home at HDNet is going to be what's best for them. They have some guys with great potential. These guys are coming off strong, think they're going to be real stars. Would love them to be stars with us.”

States that Trigg, Mayhem contracts are multi fight contracts, non-exclusive. 3 fight deal.

Mezger, continued: “Our intention is to [have them] fight in February too, so obviously we don't want them fighting January, you know. Let them be open to be able to move to other events. Our intention is to help build these guys up. We want our champions to be able to go out there and fight other champions. If our champion loses to the UFC champion, I don't look at that as UFC is better than us, just that their guy was better than our guy. That's why we have our open contracts, we want to build up our guys. If Mayhem wants to fight a 325 lb guy, we would ask him not to do that.”

Mayhem interjects: “What's wrong with you? I want to be able to fight 300lb guys if I want.”

iv. Ken, MMAWeekly: “There have been rumors that HDNet has been talking to Randy Couture, maybe bringing him in as a face for the promotion. Is that something you can talk about, or confirm?”

Mezger: “Would love to stick to the topic of getting HDNetFights going. If we could get Randy on board with us, that would be awesome. But it would be irresponsible to even speculate at this point.”

v. Name Mumbled, didn't catch it: “Are you guys looking to build toward a title, winner of these MW bouts?”

Mezger: “To be honest, people criticize boxing for having too many titles. MMA makes boxing look sane. X, Y, Z, that doesn't mean anything to me. UFC, Pro Elite, Icon, only a few of these guys mean anything to me. What we really want to do is get the respect of our fan base first. So that when we have a title, it means something. Rather than just buying a shiny belt and strapping it on someone. We're going to hold off on doing that, so that it makes a little more sense.”

vi. Random Guy: “Any thoughts on bringing Ken Shamrock in?”

vii. Mezger: “Sure, we would like to have him, bring him in on a PPV type thing. But we have to be responsible with how we spend money. His price tag is higher than some people. Mayhem and Trigg are expensive fighters (laughs). Our intention is go grow, and PPV is going to be crucial for us to be successful. So our goal is to be able to responsibly pay these fighters, without throwing money away, so to speak.”

*Miller v. Salmon

–Sean: “It's a dream fight for me. I was a fan of Mayhem before I even started fighting. To have this fight is a great honor, but I am not in awe of him. I'm impressed of what he does…but excited to step into the cage with him. I'm coming for 15 minutes. This is a tough kid. I can't expect to finish him, I have to expect to go 15 minutes, and hope to end with my hand raised.”

–Questions

i. Scott, Sherdog: “Can you talk about Mayhem, how you plan to battle him and also your dropping weight classes.”

Salmon: “He has good kicks, and for sure a reach on me. I've been working hard on submissions, staying in position. I have been working extremely hard on staying patient, and looking for opponents who are large and flexible, but I have to have a lot of respect for Mayhem on the ground and not get impatient.”

Salmon, on cutting weight and dropping to MW: “Coming down to MW was a natural decision for me. I was always a small LHW, and now I'm just more comfortable. Stepping up my diet, and I feel good here. My conditioning and my recovery time are great.”

ii. MMAJunkie.com (to Salmon): “Do you feel like you are overlooking Mayhem by taking a fight with Hallman this weekend?”

Salmon: “I decided after my last loss that I need to fight frequently. Either one of these guys could finish me, but to say that adding a schedule like this has added motivation to my training would be an understatement. You can't overlook anybody. You take anybody lightly would be foolish and irresponsible on my part.

“I take good care of my body, smart with my down-time. I'm completely healthy.”

iii. Random Guy (asked about a comment Salmon made wherein he referred to 'taking a step down' in his career when he left the UFC, and used the term 'tune-up.': “Where do you think you are in your tune-up process?”

Salmon: “I think I'm going good. I took a step back, but I have more confidence now than ever. I feel I'm exactly where I want to be. I can't imagine being happier anywhere else in my career. To be honest, it's not really a goal of mine to get back into the UFC. If I'm getting top-notch fights against top-notch fighters, then I'm happy. I want to keep fighting, and keep moving to bigger and better competition.”

–Conference Call opens up for questions to Mayhem. Call moderator announces that 'Jason is no longer on the line.' Very awkward silence.

Andrew Simon: “Jason is no longer on the line?”

Moderator: “Jason is no longer on the line.”

Another long pause.

“Andrew Simon: Well, let's someone get him on the line.”

Another long pause, Simon apologizes to everyone. Mayhem eventually comes back on.

Mayhem: “Sorry about that.”

Andrew Simon: “No problem.”

i. Asked about Salmon as an opponent: “Sean is going to come at me, and I'm going to try and not go to the ground. I want none of those shenanigans. But I can flop on the ground as well as the next guy.”

ii. Asked about what fans can look forward to in the show: “Guy Mezger's illustrious hair can give us all something to look forward to with each show. I don't know, we can open the floor up, I'm ready to talk about whatever.”

iii. NoHoldsBarred: “When's your next Tapout parody coming?”

Mayhem: “Fairly shortly, pretty soon. I have production crew ready to go. I actually can't believe I'm making another one, but I am.”

iv. MMAWeekly: You said earlier that HDNet has been 'treating you like a princess.' What led you to leave the WEC?

Mayhem: “It's pretty hard to get excited for the fight. But, I felt like I was back in high school wrestling. Fighting in front of 200 people. I didn't feel excited about my career. Zuffa does a good job of keeping their guys locked up in a contract. When I saw a chance to leave, I went. Now that I've come to HDNet, I'm really happy that I made that decision.”

v. Mayhem is asked “What do you think about non-exclusive contracts, do you think they are something that's going to grow?

Mayhem: “Absolutely. The talent is going to rise to the top, and all the competition is going to have to fight each other. As soon as the fighters grow bigger than an octagon, it's going to be good and there will be a shift in the power paradigm. Being on this side, I'm happy about that. If I'm a fight promoter, maybe I wouldn't be so happy about that.”

vi. 5 oz of Pain: “If Trigg and Mayhem win, would you guys face off in February?”
Mayhem: “I would have a woody.”

vii. FightMagazine: “For Jason, when you fight in December it will be right at 7 months. That would be the longest layoff of your career. Any concerns with rust, or anything like that?”

Mayhem: “Man, I'm too young to rust.”

Random Questions interjected out of sequence:

–To Guy Mezger, but answered by Andrew Simon: “How many shows is HDNet planning on running in 2008?”

Andrew Simon: “22-24 shows between HDNet and partner organizations. Throughout the country, build the fan base up in Dallas.”

Closing Comments: Basically the same as the opening comments. Reiterated the time and date of the event, thanked everyone for participating in the call. Andrew Simon gave out his email address. [email protected], I believe. I could have that wrong.

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