Attack of the clones

, Last Updated: 6:45 PM ET

Don't tell Ultimate Fighting Championship president Dana White that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

Upstart mixed-martial arts leagues that have been popping up across the continent and the ongoing rumours of boxing's old guard looking to get into the MMA game have White seeing red.

"There are so many knuckleheads out there right now, trying to jump in the game," says an agitated White.

"All these Johnny-come-latelys who didn't believe in it a few years ago, now they're all about it."

White, who says he and UFC co-owners the Fertitta brothers have sunk $44 million into the UFC to make it take off, says his biggest fear is that the likes of boxing promoters Don King and Bob Arum will be next to jump into the game.

"All these dirtbag boxing promoters who went out there and destroyed the sport of boxing are now slithering, creeping their way into MMA," says White.

The UFC has exploded over the past two years especially with young men between 18 and 34.

White credits the company's strategy to use free TV in the form of The Ultimate Fighter reality show and canned fight coverage from previous events to sell its live pay-per-view bouts.

It's a formula that has proven successful and prompted numerous new leagues to spring up.

The International Fight League -- which boasts former UFC welterweight champ Carlos Newton and MMA legend Pat Miletich among its fighters -- is the most notable recent entry into the fight game.

The World Fighting Alliance revived itself from a four-year layover to host an event last summer and in October, Japan's biggest fight club made its North American debut in White's own backyard with a Las Vegas card.

But White says, at the end of the day, it's about talent and his outfit has the best fighters in the world.

And with the UFC welterweight crown claimed by Canadian Georges St. Pierre two weeks ago, White says it won't be long before the UFC debuts in the Great White North.

"Hang in there Canada, we're coming," says White.

FIGHT NOTES:

My friend Neil Davidson of the Canadian Press has compiled a list of who-made-what at UFC 65: Bad Intentions. Canadian Georges St. Pierre earned US$58,000, according to figures released by the California State Athletic Commission. Matt Hughes collected $75,000 in a losing effort. Had he won, he would have made $150,000. Heavyweight champ Tim Sylvia earned $120,000 in defending his belt and his opponent Jeff (The Snowman) Monson got $13,000. Heavyweight upstart Brandon Vera earned $40,000 for taking out Frank Mir who made nearly as much at $36,000.

* Canadian Carlos Newton will take on Renzo Gracie in a "Superfight" on the card of the 2006 International Fight League World Team Championship final Dec. 29 in Connecticut.

* Two Canucks will make their UFC debut at Ultimate Fight Night 7 on Dec. 13. Hamilton welterweight Jeff 'The Inferno' Joslin will take on Josh Koscheck, while Edmonton light heavyweight Victor 'The Matrix' Valimaki will square off against David Heath. The main event on the card -- which takes place at the Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego, Calif. -- will feature welterweight sensation Diego 'Nightmare' Sanchez and Joe 'Diesel' Riggs. Further forging its relationship with the U.S. Military, the audience will consist solely of 3,000 Marines stationed at Miramar. Five pairs of tickets will be auctioned for the event with all proceeds going to Marines. The event will broadcast free on SPIKE-TV.


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