Your MMA News, My Views 12.14.07
Welcome once again to another edition of Your MMA News, My Views! I have a fine slate of topics for you children to read today as always. We’ll discuss all of the news of the week, including Sherk getting stripped of the title as well as an immediate title shot, the latest financials from Pro Elite, UFC Ratings, Coaches for TUF 7, Robbie Lawler’s recent injury, Bob Sapp’s next fight, My Take On WEC 31 and much more! Let’s get to work!
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My Take On WEC 31~!
WEC was back again with another show this week. Their last show was an excellent show, and they followed up that effort with a card that featured three title bouts as well as the WEC debut of Jens Pulver. Pulver comes to the UFC after his latest loss to BJ Penn. The idea was that Pulver could return to fighting at 145lbs, where he was 7-0 and more comfortable at. Also his name is marketable enough to get WEC more attention and not be seen so much as the Zuffa “B-SHOW.” While it is essentially that, a “B-SHOW,” they have been a new promotion under Zuffa management. They have improved production, a better cage and just a very good presentation. Could they follow up their last effort with another good showing? Let’s see!
The Prediction: Gandulla, STRIKES, RD2
The Result: Doug Marshall via RD1 (0:55) submission
Larry’s Enjoyment Index: 7.0
Final Thoughts: The night kicked off with the first of three title fights, featuring Marshall defending the light heavyweight title against Gandulla. I thought Gandulla had very good stand up, and could give Marshall issues, and I was horrible wrong. Gandulla looked for a flying knee, which signaled his end. He got the guard, but then got caught in a triangle, which he escaped, but the fell to the arm bar. This was a dominating performance by Marshall.
FIGHT WINNER: (0-1), ROUND: (0-1), WAY OF VICTORY: (0-1)
The Prediction: McCall, STRIKES, RD 1
The Result: Charlie Valencia via RD1 (3:19) submission
Larry’s Enjoyment Index: 8.0
Final Thoughts: They started with some good back and forth, This was but Valencia got some good strikes to land and that set up for Valencia to throw an awesome German suplex. I mean, this was sick.
SEE! Valencia followed with a guillotine and that was that. I love the lower weight guys and the pace they set. A lot of fun was had here.
FIGHT WINNER: (0-2), ROUND: (0-2), WAY OF VICTORY: (0-2)
The Prediction: Filho, DEC
The Result: Paulo Filho via RD2 (4:55) verbal submission
Larry’s Enjoyment Index: 5.0
Final Thoughts: The second of three title bouts saw Paulo Filho defending the Middleweight title against Chael Sonnen. Sonnen had a big reach advantage and was using it beautifully in round one. Filho didn’t seem to have an answer for anything, and was just plain looking bad. This allowed Sonnen to take round one on the scorecards. Round two started with more of the same, just flat out domination by Sonnen. His flaw is that he wanted to keep shooting in, when he was doing well with the game plan he had set. But he shot it, got caught with a DEEP arm bar and official Josh Rosenthal stopped the bout, sighting a verbal submission. Sonnen claimed that he never submitted. The fact was that he was caught and his arm was about to be ripped off when Rosenthal stopped the bout. The crowd hates the finish and Rosenthal is getting a bad reputation in the few times I have seen him for early/controversial stoppages.
FIGHT WINNER: (1-3), ROUND: (0-3), WAY OF VICTORY: (0-3)
The Prediction: Swanson, SUB, RD2
The Result: Jens Pulver via RD1 (0:35) submission
Larry’s Enjoyment Index: 7.0
Final Thoughts: Jens HUMBLED him. Swanson talked shit and couldn’t back it up. You know that you have been humbled when Jens submits you in under a minute. They can now move onto the title fight for Jens, I still think that Faber will own him, but for the night, Jens looked like he was back.
FIGHT WINNER: (1-4), ROUND: (0-4), WAY OF VICTORY: (1-4)
The Prediction: Galvao, DEC
The Result: Brian Bowles via RD2 (2:09) TKO
Larry’s Enjoyment Index: 6.0
Final Thoughts: We were treated to another bantamweight bout with Bowles vs. Galvao. Judging from what I knew of both men, I figured that we’d get a long battle, but again I was wrong. Man I sucked picking on this show. The first round wasn’t all that exciting, but I thought Galvao did enough with control and damage to take it. Bout round two was a wake up for Bowles, who started landing the better of the strikes and it appeared as if Galvao was both scared and confused. Bowles landed a good shot, followed by a combo and then he dropped him, and it was then that Yamasaki stopped the bout. A fine fight, nothing memorable, but good stuff.
FIGHT WINNER: (1-5), ROUND: (0-5), WAY OF VICTORY: (1-5)
The Prediction: Faber, SUB, RD3
The Result: Urijah Faber via RD2 (4:34) submission
Larry’s Enjoyment Index: 9.0
Final Thoughts: And finally we came to the main event, the third of three title fights seeing Urijah Faber defend the Featherweight Title against Jeff Curran. I didn’t think Curran could win, but with his experience and style, I thought that he could cause some problems for Faber, and I was right. This first round was absolutely awesome. Curran quickly got control and took Faber down, controlled the back and did so for minutes. He was trying so hard for the choke, but Faber eventually rolled and got the dominant position. Faber was able to work him to the cage and then stand and drop good shots as the round ended. The first round causes issues when scoring, because it is one of those rounds where it depends on whether you score for control, or the escape out of what looked like a bad situation. Faber looked done, got the escape and came back well at the end and I gave him the round. Faber controlled more of round two, but Curran was always in the fight. Near the end Curran went for a single leg, and Faber was able to leap and land knees with the free leg, amazing. It ended when Faber got a deep guillotine and Curran tapped. Faber is simply amazing to watch.
FIGHT WINNER: (2-6), ROUND: (0-6), WAY OF VICTORY: (2-6)
Best Fight(s): FEATHERWEIGHT TITLE BOUT – Urijah Faber © (19-1) vs. Jeff Curran (31-8-1dr) 9.0
Worst Fight: MIDDLEWEIGHT TITLE BOUT – Paulo Filho © (15-0) vs. Chael Sonnen (21-8-1dr) 5.0
Final Thoughts: This was another very good show from WEC. Things fell exactly how they wanted them to as well. Pulver got his win and looked awesome, while Urijah Faber scored another impressive victory. His is a scintillating fighter and easily the face of the WEC right now. Once again, I look forward to their next show, which is in February. VIVA WEC~!
Show Score: 7.75
FIGHT WINNER: 2-6 (33.3%)
ZUFFA (UFC/WEC/PRIDE) stories, scuttlebutt and rumors:
Your News: According to a report on UFC.com, the BJ Penn/Joe Stevenson main event at UFC 80 will indeed be for the undisputed Lightweight Championship, but don’t expect former champion Sean Sherk to be too far out of the mix.
UFC President Dana White had the following to say in the report and suggests that Sherk will be next in line for a title shot after the Lightweight title situation is resolved. Said White;
“I have nothing but respect for Sean Sherk and I believe he’s been honest throughout this whole process, but BJ Penn and Joe Stevenson will be fighting for the lightweight title at UFC 80 on January 19th and Sean Sherk will fight the winner for the title.”
My Views: All right, I have gotten a ton of flack for my stance on Sherk. Let me break this down. Let’s say that he failed the test from use of a supplement, which I do not believe, but let’s say that he did. Tough shit. He is responsible for what he puts into his body, and thus it is his fault. But let’s talk facts. Sherk tested positive for Decadurabolin. When reached for comment on testing for this particular drug, Travis Tygart, the general council for the US Anti-Doping Agency said that positive test for DECA “could” be from supplements if it is under 20 nanograms. Sherk tested at 12 nanograms. The Olympic limit for a positive test is 6. At the last Olympics, nobody who didn’t test positive showed higher than a 0.4 nanograms. And Olympic athletes take insane amounts of supplements, just as much if not more than Sherk. So if they only registered an 0.4 and Sherk registered a 12 nanograms, you do the math. Sherk also offered up no evidence to dispute things. So they drug this out, wasted a ton of time and let him off with 6-months. So for all of you that want to say that he is clear and wrongly accused, well, piss off. Also Sherk is a baby and is refusing to fight in California ever again. Yeah, he’s not guilty at all. I also hate that he will get a title fight against the winner without having to fight again. He should have to fight once and test clean before getting a title shot, but since he’s Dana’s boy, he gets a pass. BULLSHIT!
Your News: The Ultimate Fighter Finale on Saturday night did a 1.8 rating. The replay did a 0.6 rating.
Meanwhile, episodes of The Ultimate Fighter that aired throughout Saturday did the following ratings: 0.1, 0.2, 0.2, 0.4, 0.4, 0.5, 0.6, 0.6, 0.6, 0.7, 0.7, and 0.8.
My Views: The 1.8 is a good number. They didn’t have a big name on the show, big to the casual viewer, so I think they will be very happy with that, especially since they peaked big with the man event. The marathon numbers are also good, as they grew all through out the day. This has to be considered a successful day by Zuffa.
Your News: The New Jersey State Athletic Control Board released word today that all 18 fighters submitted urine samples to be tested for performance enhancing drugs following the UFC 78 show on November 17, and that all 18 came back clean.
My Views: Four additional fighters were also subject to blood testing to check for 24 different steroids and various testosterone level changes, and those tests also came back clean. This is good news as I think UFC has to work to get the Sherk stank off of them.
Your News: UFC.com has confirmed that Quinton “Rampage” Jackson will defend his UFC Light Heavyweight Title against Forrest Griffin at an upcoming UFC PPV in 2008. It was also announced recently that the two fighters will be coaches on the next season of The Ultimate Fighter, which begins filming in January.
My Views: I love the idea of them being coaches, because of their personalities it will make the show extremely fun. But the problem is that they run the same risk as they did with Serra vs. Hughes. They will tape in January, air in April and fight in late May, early June. I just hope for UFC’s sake that neither man comes up injured. But yeah, their interaction should be gold.
Your News: Sources have indicated that a possible fight with Travis Lutter has been offered to former UFC Middleweight Champion, Rich Franklin. Franklin’s business manager has confirmed that Franklin has been offered a fight against Travis Lutter for UFC 82, which is set to take place March 1 at the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio.
Franklin’s business manager had this to say about a possible Lutter/Franklin fight:
“(Rich) has been asked about fighting Travis Lutter in March, The fight has been proposed, and we’re assessing it.”
My Views: Franklin is coming off a second straight loss to UFC Middleweight Champion, Anderson Silva. Lutter is famous for blowing his title shot against Anderson Silva because he couldn’t make weight like an idiot. I don’t think this is an easy fight for Franklin, Lutter faired a bit better against Silva, meaning he didn’t get his face rearranged twice. Rich better train hard and bring his A GAME, because while he has his new deal, a loss to Lutter could severely drop Franklin’s stock.
Your News: MMA veteran BJ Penn was sentenced to a year of probation, as well as ordered to pay $2,000 in restitution, in relation to a 2005 fight outside a bar in Waikiki where Penn was alleged to have punched a cop. According to official reports, the incident occurred when a police officer attempted to break up a group of men fighting in the street when Penn, involved in the melee, punched him in the face.
My Views: The good news is that Penn’s sentence will not affect his ability to compete at UFC 80 against Joe Stevenson for the newly vacant UFC Lightweight Championship. But the interesting news is that the plea agreement does, mandate he abstains from alcohol, submits to substance abuse treatment, performs fifty hours of community service, and submit to random drug tests. And really that shouldn’t be much of a problem right now since he is training. If he meets all terms of the deal the offense will be removed from his permanent record. I can see him training the local cops for his community service. That’s what I’d have him do anyway, why not?
Tons of great stuff to read this week from the 411 MMA crew!
Other MMA News…
Your News: M-1 Global officials made an announcement earlier today stating Korean phenom Hong Man Choi, also known as the “Techno Goliath”, would be facing PRIDE Heavyweight Champion Fedor Emelianenko on December 31st, 2007 at the promotion’s “Yarennoka” event. The 7’2″, 350-pound Choi boasts a 1-0 Mixed Martial Arts record and has also found success in other forms of combat.
I found this somewhere, it was awesome. Enjoy.
Your News: Promotional pictures of Gina Carano as American Gladiator “Crush” have been released.
I want to get into her guard for five rounds…
Your News: The next planned Elite XC show is on February 23rd 2008. The promotion is looking to run what would essentially be a four-man tournament with Butterbean, Kimbo Slice, Tank Abbott and Bob Sapp.
My Views: If this were to happen, it would either be the most glorious or the most horrible thing to ever happen. If they made this a one-night tournament, I would pay to see it. I don’t know why, but I would. MANY BUYS~!
Your News: Strikeforce announced today that Bob “The Beast” Sapp will be headlining their February 23 show at the Tacoma Dome in Tacoma, Washington against a yet-to-be determined opponent.
My Views: Sapp has amassed an 8-2-1 record in MMA, and last fought in November of 2005 and has recently been the subject of hot rumors that placed him in talks with the WWE, TNA, Elite XC and others. It now appears that Strikeforce had the right offer get Sapp to take a fight. Sapp is a big draw to casual MMA fans due to his charisma and the fact that people know him from the Longest Yard. I am a bit sad though, as I wanted to see the crazy four-man deal I mentioned above.
Your News: Pro Elite released their quarterly financial update this past week. The report claimed the following information. All numbers come from January 1st through September 30th 2007:
-The company lost a total of $21,048,566.
-$19,492.539 in loses from Elite XC
-$346,487 is profit from King of the Cage
-$1,798,285 in losses from the UK Based Cage rage
-$380,570 in losses from Spirit MC
-Most of the expenses, roughly $10,000,000 were in general administration costs
-They lost $2,351,429 on their website alone
-The Showtime deal cost them $2,594,705
-They made a profit of $240,133 in revenue from the Showtime deal
-At the end of September, the company had a total of $10,536,648 in available cash flow
My Views: On the surface this obviously looks very bad. The losses can be expected due to them acquiring other promotions and trying to build a brand to eventually compete with UFC. I think the most surprising number is the fact that they lost money on the Showtime deal, which cost them $2,594,705 and only b>made a profit of $240,133. The bottom line is that the company has yet to break through in a major way. Showtime ratings have been anywhere from 0.5 for SHOWXC shows, to a 1.7 for the one week delay of the Shamrock Baroni fight. In comparison, the lowest rated HBO Boxing event, featuring Joe Calzaghe vs. Mikkel Kesseler scored a 2.8 rating. The good news for them is that Showtime feels that MMA is a long-term investment, and as long as they feel that way ELITE is in no danger of losing the TV deal. Which is good news for MMA fans.
Your News: After having Robbie Lawler pull out of the main event of their December 15 card with a torn bicep, ICON Sport has cancelled the entire slate of fights after being unable to find a suitable replacement for the injured ICON Sport Middleweight Champion.
My Views: Bad timing for Robbie Lawler to suffer injury. He has been on fire and reenergized his career, culminating with the Elite XC Middleweight Championship win. Hopefully he recovers quickly and keeps his streak going.
Your News: The IFL has just announced that Shad Lierley of the Seattle Tigersharks is out of the World Grand Prix after suffering a broken toe. He was scheduled to face Chris Horodecki for the lightweight belt at the World Grand Prix on December 29th.
My Views: Replacing Lierley will be John Gunderson of the Nevada Lions. Gunderson is coming off a loss to Wagnney Fabiano in the semifinals of the Grand Prix. Horodecki is undefeated in IFL competition, and has the training advantage going into the bout.
Dan Miller, of the New York Pitbulls is also off the IFL World Grand Prix card after breaking a bone in his face. He was scheduled to face Rory Markham of the Quad Cities Silverbacks. Miller was coming off a victory against Dave Phillips in the IFL Semifinals and a win over John Howard in a Ring of Combat bout.
According to the IFL’s website, Tom Galechio will be replacing Miller to take on Markham. Galechio is 7-3 in MMA competition and will be making his IFL debut on the 29th. He’s won his last two bouts over Scott Argott and more recently Brian DeMuro in Extreme Challenge and Battle Cage Xtreme Bouts. This is a huge opportunity for him in his debut. IFL has had injury problems but have thankfully always been able to find suitable replacements. The World Grand Prix is scheduled to air on HDNET Fights.
And that’s all I have to say about that…