Your MMA News, My Views 8.10.07
Posted by Larry Csonka on 08.10.2007
News on who will officiate Couture vs. Gonzaga, an update on the next Fight Night card, Human Weapon news, matches for the next WEC show and the Story of the Selfish Sherk!
Welcome once again to another edition of Your MMA News, My Views! It has been a relatively calm week in the MMA world again, but I am back to dish the dirt so to speak. First of all I would like to offer some apologies for missing the news column last week. There wasn't a ton of news last week, I didn't have anything of interest to rant about and I was running the site solo; leaving me wasted by Thursday. So I took the week off. Hopefully you didn't mind too much. But I am back, and I have a lot of news to cover, as well as a special story to kick off the column. Sit back, relax and enjoy the column.
The Story of the Selfish Sherk~!:
The thoughts and statements within the following commentary are not necessarily the feelings of 411mania.com, the staff or anyone else considered a human being.
Right after UFC 73 the drug testing results for the event came in, and UFC Lightweight champion Sean Sherk failed his test, testing positive for Nandrolone. A man that has an All Access special dedicated to him in which they praised his awesome discipline, workout ethic, diet and supplement regime. This was a guy that was billed as a natural athlete has, presumably failed his test. Now this week, Howard Jacobs, Sean Sherk's lawyer, requested and was granted an extension on the appeal in order for his office to receive and review paperwork from the lab having conducted the drug test on which the champ showed use of Nandrolone. Sherk says he has never done anything illegal and never even heard of the substance, which as an athlete I find hard to believe, it seems as if Mr. Sherk is working hard to pass the buck.
Now I feel that many people are questioning both the sincerity and innocence of Sherk, and that is due to his choice of attorney. Howard Jacobs is familiar with steroid litigation, having represented other athletes in similar situations such as Olympian Marion Jones, cyclist Floyd Landis, and sprinter Tim Montgomery, and that was a case associated with the Balco scandal. Sherk is either trying to go for someone with great experience; either because of his innocence or because he is guilty and is doing anything he can to get off. With the work of Mr. Jacobs Sherk's appeal will now take place at the CSAC's next gathering on October 31st, 2007.
Personally I find it hard to believe that Sherk never heard of Nandrolone, he is playing stupid and I feel that he is playing stupid to cover up his mistake, his crime. And now instead of admitting to his crime, like Hermes Franca did and accepting the time, he is trying to see if he can weasel out of it. And not only is he trying to weasel out of this, he is also being very selfish as he holds back the UFC Lightweight Division. If he would have gone into the meeting, took the punishment and time off, UFC could have stripped him of the title and laid out plans to crown the new champion. Instead, Sherk is being selfish I feel. He's looking for an out and is now hurting the rest of the division. He and Franca were selfish and cheated the division by using in the first place, and now Sherk is doing it again. He is holding back match ups, a new champion and is also giving UFC a negative image.
Stop being selfish Sean. You did the crime, do the time. You're a jacked up juice (spider) monkey that should be fighting at 170 anyway. Stop being selfish and do what you can to help the UFC. Give up the title and take your year off. Try the waitress and tip your bison; I'll be here all week. You don't have to like the above opinions; they are mine and mine alone.
ZUFFA (UFC/WEC/PRIDE) stories, scuttlebutt and rumors:
Your News:The pride of Boston, Kenny "Ken Flo" Florian will step up to battle fellow The Ultimate Fighter® alumnus Din Thomas in what promises to be an explosive lightweight match up headliner for UFC® Fight Night™ live on Spike TV Wednesday, September 19 at 9:00pm ET/PT.
My Views: I like this. First of all I dislike Ken Flo. Secondly, I really like Din Thomas. So seeing Din Thomas beat the piss out of Ken Flo will be glorious. Hopefully Din Thomas will cut another promo on boxers and drop 13 "F-Bombs" on live TV. I'll allow it.
Your News: Hermes Franca, who tested positive for "Drostanolone", was also at today's meeting in order to request a reduction in the length of his suspension. Franca publicly admitted to taking the banned substance and was suspended for twelve months (and fined). His appeal was denied and he will be serving the full year.
My Views: Franca admitted the usage and that is a good thing. Of course he was trying to get the year reduced, which failed, but at least he admitted it. What's sad is James Toney got his suspension reduced to 180-days. Not by providing evidence to the contrary of his usage, no, he was just a fat ass that told the commission to fuck off, cried conspiracy theory and they voted and reduced the suspension. What a load of horseshit. Hermes admitted to it, apologized and did that part of it right. But he's gone for the year, and will have to find a real job so his little children have food on the table while James Toney continues to be fat and angry.
Your News: "Las Vegas, NV (USA) – Zuffa, LLC, owner of the Ultimate Fighting Championship® (UFC®) organization, announced today that the United States District Court for the Central District of California issued an Order granting Zuffa's Motion for Summary Judgment regarding Federal claims of Trademark Infringement and Unfair Competition against Total Fighting Alliance ("TFA") and Todd Meacham Promotions.
The Court also issued a permanent injunction against TFA prohibiting TFA from any use of the Octagon™ competition mat, the Octagon™ cage and/or the Octagon™ logo in promoting mixed martial arts events, its website or merchandise.
The octagonal competition mat and cage design are registered trademarks and/or trade dress of Zuffa, LLC and are symbolic of the highest quality mixed martial arts events presented under the Ultimate Fighting Championship brand name. In 1993, UFC events were the first to feature an eight-sided competition configuration, which has become known worldwide as "the UFC Octagon" trademark.
My Views: People are throwing a fit here, saying that UFC is trying to trademark a shape. That's not what is going on here. What they are doing is protecting a trademark, on a shape, in regards to the use in the world of fighting, MMA, wrestling and such. That is smart business. It is like when Chris Jericho tried to use the "Living Legend" phrase, and Larry Zbyzko threatened to sue because he trademarked the phrase for use in professional wrestling, to preserve and protect his gimmick. UFC is doing the same here. They started it, they lost a lot of money off of it and then turned things around and are making a ton of cash. They just don't want people riding the wave of their popularity and they want to protect against brand confusion. I have no problem with this at all.
Your News: Skilled jiujitsu practitioner, and Ultimate Fighter 4 winner, Travis Lutter had hoped to establish himself inside the UFC Octagon at UFC 74 on the heels of a competitive loss to Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva earlier this year (an event where he lost an earned title shot due to coming in heavy). Unfortunately, it appears as though the native Texan will have to put off that dream due to an unfortunate injury. Lutter posted the following on his MySpace page:
"Saturday July 28th I was training and re-aggravated a old injury. After giving my neck a chance to heal I decided I was not going to be healed in time for the fight. I would like to thank all the people that were helping me prepare for this fight and I look forward to fighting in the near future."
Earlier today, news broke that Thales Leites will step in to replace Lutter against a debuting Ryan Jensen. Leites is 2-1 in the UFC, only losing a decision in his first fight against Martin Kampmann.
My Views: It was probably a buffet related injury, fatties love the buffet. I have no love for Lutter, if you are stupid enough not to make weight for a TITLE FIGHT than you obviously don't have that much dedication to your career. Thales Leites is 11-1, with that only loss to Kampmann. I say good for him and that he deserves a fight more than someone that can't make weight. Now jus make sure you put on a good fight Thales.
Your News: Herb Dean will referee Randy Couture vs. Gabriel Gonzaga.
My Views: The good news is that it isn't Steve Mazzigatti. I really don't dig this decision. To me, Big John is THE man as far as officials go, and I feel that he should officiate the big fights. This isn't the best example, but in pro wrestling all of the companies have their own "senior official." When they have the big fight, they always have the senior official in charge of the match. Herb has a lot of controversy behind him, and I feel that we don't need that for this bout. Cop a squat dreadlocks and let the big dog do his job!
Your News: Jens Pulver vs. Cub Swanson confirmed for September 5th in WEC, as well as Rob McCullough vs. Rich Crunkilton for the Lightweight Title and Chase Beebe vs. Manny Tapia for the Bantamweight Title.
My Views: The last WEC show was a good show, lots of mismatches it came out to me, but a good show. This next one for September 5th also looks great. We have the WEC debut of Jens Pulver, fighting at 145, where he wants to be and two more title fights. That is good shit right there kids. I like watching Rob McCullough and Manny Tapia fight, so that solidifies me watching. Free MMA kids, all you need is Verses. So that means 93 of us will be watching. And people wonder why hockey is dead.
Your News: Kazuhiro Nakamura vs. Lyoto has been added to the main card for UFC 76 in September.
My Views: WHY? Lyoto is boring as shit and I don't see anything changing with this bout. BOO-URNZ!
Your News: In a brief interview with ESPN's Ryan Hockensmith, a still-vacationing Dana White offered his opinion on UFC fighters who test positive for steroids and discussed actions he'll be taking to help curb future users in his promotion...MY THOUGHTS IN BOLD.
On his overall reaction to Sherk and Franca testing positive: "We invest a lot of money in these guys, then they get caught doing something stupid. It's going to happen. It's so hard to deal with. Should I call everybody every day and say, 'Don't snort cocaine, don't smoke heroin, don't kill anybody, don't drink and drive, don't do steroids'? It's common sense. Steroids are illegal. If you get caught by the athletic commission, you're getting suspended and fined and you'll never be looked at the same way again.
I totally agree with his here. These guys are making stupid decisions, especially in Cali as they are busting people left and right. He shouldn't have to call people as he said, he isn't their mom. They also never will be looked the same, I mean, when do you think Franca will see an important TV or PPV role when he comes back?
On changes he's making pertaining to steroid use: "Moving forward, I am putting the bitch-slap on guys who get caught using steroids from here on out...They're not going to get paid. I take care of all of my guys. If you fight your ass off for me, you'll get paid. But what I'm going to do is: I'm going to wait and see if they pass their drug tests. If they don't, you're going to get paid what's in your contract and that's it.
I like this stance. I think he'll need to include this in the contracts though so that they have a legal foot to stand on, but yes, I think this is a great idea. You mess up, you don't get paid. I like this a lot.
On fans' frustration: "The fans are frustrated? How do they think I feel? You build these guys up, you tell them over and over again not to do this stuff, and they do it anyway."
Calm down Sally, we know you're mad. We're allowed to be frustrated as well.
On plans for the Lightweight Championship: "I don't know. Like I said, I trust when Sean Sherk tells me something, and I believe him. I'm not just saying this because I'm president of this league. He's my friend, and if he tells me he didn't do this, I believe him. He's innocent until proven guilty. He's not a liar, he's not a cheater. We'll see what happens. If at the end of the day the commission says he took steroids, then that's what the ruling is and he'll get whatever they put on him. That division will live on. This is a speed bump, and it hurts us bad. But we're going to move on."
He is innocent until proven guilty, but with the lawyer he brought in one could say that he looks guilty there. And as I said above, and Dana said, his selfishness hurts them badly. I do have confidence that UFC will overcome as they have been on a roll.
On a future seminar he's planning to hold to address UFC fighters: "That's coming. When we get a break after the Sept. 22 card, I'm putting on a two-day seminar. It's not going to be just about drugs, but that'll be a big part of it. It's going to be all of our top-level guys and all of our mid-tier guys. It'll easily be 50 fighters, maybe over 100."
I think that this is an excellent idea. Some of these guys apparently need talked to, to understand the ramifications of their actions, both personally and as if effects the company. Good for you Dana.
Tons of great stuff to read this week from the 411 MMA crew!
Your News: Human Weapon is still in the midst of tapings, and they haven't finished the sambo episode in Russia yet. According to one source, the producers are trying to get Fedor Emelianenko to appear in that episode.
My Views: Human weapon is a fun ass show and I dig it. Getting Fedor on would make me watch even more, and I think Fedor vs. Bill Duff in a Sambo match would be nothing but glorious. Duff cries like a woman.
Your News: Chris Warner failed his marijuana test on the Gladiator Challenge show that took place July 27th in San Francisco. He was fined $500 and suspended for three months.
My Views: Message to everyone fighting in California, STOP USING DRUGS OF ANY KIND! THEY WILL BUST YOUR STUPID ASS! Seriously guys, smoke out after the fight if you need to. Dumb asses.
Your News: The September 29th Strikeforce show will air live from the Playboy Mansion in Beverly Hills. There is no line-up yet, but they're claiming Gilbert Melendez, Josh Thompson and Daniel Puder will be fighting. No word on whether it will air on Showtime or PPV.
My Views: This is a stunt worthy of Bodog. Live fighting at the Playboy Mansion, tremendous. Can I get some press credentials for that one? Anyway, having Gilbert Melendez, Josh Thompson and Daniel Puder lined up so far is decently solid, but I will have to see who rounds out the card before I make any kind of commitment to the event watching wise. From what I heard this isn't an EliteXC co-promotion and probably wouldn't air on Showtime and if it isn't on Showtime, there is about no chance that I pay for this on PPV. The good news is this, free ring girls!
Your News: Bodog's next season is taking place in Vancouver, BC at the Squamish Nation Indian Reserve. Bodog's offices are nearby and it's a cost-cutting measure.
My Views: The company was losing so much money that major changes are being made, and even though their owner is a multi-millionaire, losing so much money even for him was an alarm tripper. Hopefully they can scale back a bit, solidify and keep going. Not all Bodog has been bad, but the jus had the wrong business plan going into things, kind of like the IFL.
Your News: KJ Noons has a broken hand, suffered in his fight with Edson Berto at the ShowXC event. He'll be out at least two months, meaning no fight with Nick Diaz at the September 15th show in Hawaii.
My Views: I am not sure if this is a good or bad thing for Noons. First of all I think it is good because fighting Diaz may not be the best thing at this point in his career. Also, he just fought July 27th, and fighting again on September 15th is a little too close I feel. When you get to a higher level, you don't take fights every 40-days. Noons needs to learn this. Bad because he looked damn impressive in his last fight, and maybe he would have been riding the momentum to a good and competitive fight. Bottom line is I will go with this is a good thing, he can rest, heal up all his nagging injuries and continue his upswing when he returns.
Your News: North Carolina is very close to passing a bill to sanction MMA.
My Views: Yes please. That would be great to see some UFC in Charlotte or especially closer, maybe Raleigh. Just make it so!