Bringing MMA to the Internet

Normally, a reporter getting his ass kicked by a highly trained fighter would lead to assault charges, but when Forrest Griffin planted a front leg kick on Eric Newby from Raw- Vegas.tv in May, the result ended up being a video bonanza for MMA fans.

For those who live under a rock or are still insisting that the internet is a fad, RawVegas.tv is an internet television channel that covers anything and everything in Las Vegas.

One of their regular features is a webisode called Laimon’s Terms, which follows Marc Laimon, owner of Cobra Kai Jiu-Jitsu in Las Vegas, as he trains some of the top fighters in Ultimate Fighting Championship and PRIDE.

In May, Newby showed up late to a filming at Cobra Kai. He wanted to ask Griffin a question on camera, and Griffin agreed – as long as he could kick Newby once as punishment. The video featuring the kick ended up being one of the most popular in RawVegas history and also created a buzz in the MMA world.

While Newby spent the next few weeks limping around town after suffering a hairline fracture of his femur, the buzz became too hard to ignore, especially for Steve “Chops” Preiss, president of RawVegas.tv.

“It was a pretty big eye-opener for us. That one clip just totally blew up,” said Preiss. “It just took off on us. We saw that clip and realized how big MMA content could be for us.”

Through their existing relationship with Laimon, RawVegas.tv was already known to a number of the fighters who were training at Cobra Kai. And while they have relationships and friendships with the fighters, Preiss is now looking to ensure RawVegas develops a strong following with the fans by providing new content covering the MMA world three times per week.

“After fi lming 18 webisodes of Laimon’s Terms and spending that much time in the gym, we just got to know some of the fighters and they got to know us,” said Preiss.

The first step in adding new content came with the Road to . . . series, which follows one fighter as he prepares for a fi ght at an upcoming UFC card. The fi rst to step up was The Ultimate Fighter Season 3 winner Kendall “Da Spyder” Grove, someone who already knew all about RawVegas.tv.

“Grove was actually the very first person in our fi rst promo video,” said Preiss. “He was the first MMA fighter to give a shout out to RawVegas.tv.”

Grove will film three separate webisodes prior to his fi ght with Patrick Cote, as well as a follow-up segment once the fi ght is over. After UFC 74, fans will be able to follow a new fighter leading up to each UFC card.

That’s not all RawVegas has in store for the devout followers of MMA action. On top of the Road to . . . series, returning for a second season is Laimon’s Terms, as Laimon again gives fans an insider’s look at how the top fi ghters train each week.

“He’s training so many guys at Cobra Kai. He is so engaging and a really good personality,” said Preiss. “We’re excited to have him back.”

The final jewel in the crown of coverage that RawVegas.tv will produce is a weekly news show, covering all the news from both UFC and PRIDE.

Hosted by resident RawVegas.tv hot chick Denise Pernula, the show will feature exclusive interviews, previews of upcoming cards, and recaps of fights. This is where Preiss feels they may be able to deliver the most for the contenthungry fans of UFC.

“This will be one of the tent-pole programs for us. The market for MMA, particularly UFC and PRIDE, is still growing at a pretty good rate,” said Preiss. “There’s this huge appetite for MMA content and such a surprisingly low amount of video content. We think that fans of MMA will love the stuff we’re producing.”

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