The Tuesday Takedown 09.18.07: What's Happening Now In MMA
Posted by Adam Morgan on 09.18.2007
Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, children of all ages, welcome to the very first edition of The Tuesday Takedown here at 411 Mania. Inside we have the latest on Fedor and the UFC, a couple of PRIDE vets possibly getting into the Octagon, a look ahead at UFC Fight Night and UFC 76, and much more. Let's get to it!
What's going on in the world of the UFC? Let's take a look.
UFC Quips and Quotes
Matt Hamill has torn ACL, may require surgery
Since everyone loves to talk about the Bisping/Hamill fight/decision/travesty/rematch, I figured I better throw my name into the hat as well. However, I don't want to talk about Bisping and Hamill having a rematch. I want to talk about the latest news coming out that Matt Hamill's got a torn ACL. Not only does he have a torn ACL, but apparently he fought Bisping with said torn ACL.
This brings me to two points. One, Hamill is a complete badass for stepping into the Octagon hurt and, in most people's minds, winning the fight. This shows true heart and gameness on his part.
Secondly, Hamill will most likely have to have surgery on the torn knee ligaments, a process which has a standard 6-8 month recovery time before he might be able to step back into the Octagon.
What that means is the likelihood of seeing this rematch has gotten slimmer. The possibility of it happening anytime soon is nil. With Bisping likely dropping down to 185 in the near future, I doubt he will wait around for 6-8 months at 205 just to fight Hamill again. That's unfortunate because the young wrestler from Ohio deserves a rematch.
UFC WiRED to begin airing October 6th
UFC announced that they will begin airing a show by the name of "UFC WiRED" beginning October 6th in select markets. The show will take a look back at some of the best bouts ever to take place in the Octagon. You can check the listings here to see if it's going to be on in your area.
Here's the weird thing. In a lot of markets, the show will be on MyNetwork TV affiliates. This is the same network that shows IFL Battleground. IFL Battleground recently got cut from a two hour prime-time Monday night spot to a one hour Saturday spot.
And now, here comes the UFC with a library of exciting past fights to suck even more fans in. Great business move for the UFC to get a syndicated program on a network with previously established MMA programming. Bad news for the IFL.
Former PRIDE fighter Ryo Chonan signs with the UFC
Sources are reporting that Ryo Chonan has officially signed with the UFC. The most likely scenario for bringing Chonan into the UFC is this: Anderson Silva destroys Rich Franklin at UFC 77. Ryo Chonan is billed as an opponent with a victory over the middleweight champion in spectacular fashion. Cue clips of Chonan's flying scissor heel hook submission victory over Silva and voila, we have Anderson Silva's next opponent.
With the current state of the middleweight division right now, this is probably a good move for the UFC. After Rich Franklin, there is no real clear cut contender at 185. It's possible that Dan Henderson could move down to 185, but I don't think it's likely he'll get a title shot right away.
Either way, the addition of Ryo Chonan to the UFC middleweight roster is a welcome one.
The latest on UFC and Fedor Emelianenko
It seemed that all talk of any negotiations regarding Fedor and where he might end up had stopped completely in the couple of days leading up to UFC 75. Lots of hardcore fans expected a big announcement at UFC 75 because Fedor was in attendance. They also kept mentioning him during the pay-per-view broadcast.
Well, none of that ever happened and lots of fans are mystified as to what happened to the negotiations between the UFC and Fedor. According to Zach Arnold of Fight Opinion, here's what went down:
"M-1, the promotion operated by Vadim Finkelstein (Fedor's backer), has announced some news regarding their contract negotiations (on behalf of Fedor) with UFC. According to the M-1 office, Finkelstein and UFC negotiated terms of a contract that would allow the PRIDE Heavyweight champion to fight in the Octagon. M-1 claims that the negotiations were a success and that the parties agreed to what the terms of the UFC contract would be. However, M-1 claims that when UFC sent the contract to their office, the terms of the deal were ‘absolutely different' than what had been negotiated and that management did not agree on what was stated in the contract. This is why, according to M-1, Fedor has not signed a contract with UFC."
Well, there you have it. According to Fedor's camp, the UFC tried to pull the old switcheroo on him. Can you really be that shocked? We know how the UFC handles these things and in this case, it looks like they screwed the pooch. Now, the real test will be how bad this ruffled Fedor's feathers. Was it enough to stop him from ever signing with the UFC? Only time will tell. I know that if I was Fedor and the UFC thought I'd be stupid enough not to read the fine print, I'd be a little angry.
Ricardo Arona to sign with UFC?
According to the Brazilian fight magazine Tatame, decorated PRIDE light heavyweight and Brazilian Top Team member, Ricardo Arona, may be close to signing with the UFC. This would be a more than welcome addition to an already stacked light heavyweight division in the UFC. Arona has fought and defeated some of the best competition in his weight class and he is a very strong wrestler and jiu jitsu player. If he comes to the UFC, there's already bad blood between his camp and Chute Boxe. You can expect fireworks.
There's more to this MMA thing than just the UFC, right? You're damn right. Let's take a look at what's happening in MMA across the rest of the organizations.
Around The World In MMA
K-1 HERO'S Olympia
K-1 Hero's Olympia took place Sunday evening/early Monday morning. The event was not a letdown. We saw the return of Norifumi 'KID' Yamamoto in an entertaining three round decision against Bibiano Fernandes. Elswhere on the card, Japanese MMA and pro wrestling legend, Kazushi Sakuraba, got back to his winning ways by defeating fellow pro wrestler, Katsuyori Shibata.
The real story of the entire night, though, was JZ Calvan's (Gesias Calvancanti) run through the end of the middleweight tournament. He took down Shaolin Robeiro and pounded him out. He also submitted Andre Dida with an armbar. This is the second time in a row that Calvan's made a run through K-1's middleweight (70 kg or 155 lbs) tournament and taken home the grand prize. While he hasn't faced the stiffest competition yet, his victories are very impressive and he should be considered one of the top ten lightweights in the world.
K-1 Hero's 9/17 Quick Results
Takenori Sato def. Kenji Nagai - Submission (Armbar)
Tashiro Nishiuchi def. Wataru Takahashi - Decision (Unanimous)
Kazuyuki Miyata def. Harvey Harra - Submission (Armbar)
Andre Dida def. Caol Uno - Decision (Unanimous)
Gesias Calvancanti def. Vitor Ribeiro - TKO (Strikes)
Ikuhisa Minowa def. Kevin Casey - TKO (Strikes)
Dong Sik Yoon def. Zelg Galesic - Submission (Armbar)
Melvin Manhoef def. Fabio Silva - TKO (Strikes)
Sergei Kharitonov def. Alistair Overeem - TKO (Strikes)
Kazushi Sakuraba def. Katsuyori Shibata - Submission (Armbar)
Norifumi Yamamoto def. Bibiano Fernandes - Decision (Unanimous)
Gesias Calvancanti def. Andre Dida - Submission (Armbar)
EliteXC Uprising Thoughts
EliteXC continues to put on quality event after quality event. Even though there was some poor refereeing on the part of Mario Yamasaki (see: Shields/Verissimo and Lawler/Rua) and too many bouts fought at catch weights, the event as a whole was very entertaining.
- Jake Shields proved, once again, that he deserves Top 10 Welterweight consideration, tearing through Charuto Verissimo easily by ground and pound in the first round.
- Gina Carano was so much bigger than Tonya Evinger it wasn't even funny. Evinger got a quick takedown but was quickly overpowered by Carano who sweeped her and sunk in a choke. It was Carano's first submission victory. That's gotta feel good for Evinger, right? Knowing you got completely tooled by someone whose ground game is admittedly garbage. Yikes. Either way, the "face of women's MMA" earned another victory. Maybe someday she'll actually fight someone worth a damn.
- Nick Diaz proved that as slow as his boxing looks, it's really effective. I didn't think he was doing much damage, but looking at Aina's face after the fight, the Hawaiian got banged up pretty good. I guess Diaz's power is just deceiving. Some thought Aina won the fight, while I gave rounds two and three to Diaz. The one knockdown in round two didn't do a lot for me, especially because Diaz recovered almost immediately and dominated the rest of the round. We didn't see the best Nick Diaz, but we didn't see the worst either. Solid victory over a game opponent for Diaz's first foray back into MMA in 6 months.
- Robbie Lawler is back, ladies and gentlemen. He dominated Murilo Rua from start to finish with crisp standup, picking his shots, and letting the more aggressive Chute Boxe fighter tire himself out. Once Rua was depleted of energy, Lawler poured it on, capturing the EliteXC middleweight title in the process. This is not the Murilo Rua we once knew and his days as an elite fighter may be over. Lawler, on the other hand, looked to be in great shape and reborn in the middleweight division. As far as divisions go, EliteXC's middleweight division might be the best in the business right now (Phil Baroni, Frank Shamrock, Riki Fukuda, Joe Villasenor, Robbie Lawler, Cung Le, etc.)
Former PRIDE fighter Denis Kang signs with K-1 HERO'S
Denis Kang informed Sam Caplan of CBSSports.com that he has indeed signed a contract with K-1 HERO'S. This makes sense for Kang, considering that he is a superstar in Korea. His contract with K-1 likely allows him to fight in organizations in Korea such as Spirit MC. Also, K-1 is making a push into the Korean market as well. Who better to be the front man than Denis Kang?
This is sad news for those who wanted to see the UFC nab Denis Kang. With the way their middleweight division looks right now (like a turd sandwich), they could have really used someone with Kang's talent and marketability to create some competition and star power in the UFC's weakest division.
The Week Ahead In MMA
Wednesday, September 19th, 2007: Ultimate Fight Night 11 on Spike TV, 9PM ET
This card is headlined by Kenny Florian taking on Din Thomas in the main event. Originally it was supposed to be Spencer Fisher taking on Din Thomas, but Fisher had to pull out due to a staph infection. Florian's a more than worthy replacement and I expect him to take full advantage of this opportunity in front of a national television audience. Other fights on the televised portion of the card include Chris Leben v. Terry Martin, Junior Assuncao v. Nate Diaz, and Pete Sell v. Nate Quarry.
On paper, this card looks to be one of the most solid Fight Night cards the UFC has held yet. Florian and Din Thomas are both at the top of the lightweight food chain and this is one of those fights that should help clear up the clouded picture of the UFC lightweight division.
Kenny Florian over Din Thomas by submission
Terry Martin over Chris Leben by KO
Nate Diaz over Junior Assuncao by submission
Nate Quarry over Pete Sell by KO
Luke Cummo over Ediberto Crocata by decision
Leonard Garcia over Cole Miller by decision
Gray Maynard over Joe Veres by TKO
Thiago Alves over Kuniyoshi Hironaka by submission
Dustin Hazelett over Jonathan Goulet by decision
Saturday, September 22nd, 2007: UFC 76: Knockout on Pay Per View, 10 PM EST
When this card was first shaping up, I was none too pleased. A main event of Jardine v. Liddell really didn't appeal to me until I really started thinking about it. One way or another, someone is getting knocked out in this fight. That makes for an exciting fight no matter who you are. Along with that knockout special, we have a great welterweight match on our hands with up-and-coming Jon Fitch taking on Diego Sanchez. Sanchez has established himself as a contender in the welterweight division while Fitch has yet to lose in the Octagon. Coming off a lackluster fight against Josh Koscheck, Sanchez will want to show the world that his fight against Koscheck was a fluke. Jon Fitch will be looking to continue his undefeated streak and make his name known to the casual MMA fan. This one could be fireworks.
On top of that, we get to see the American debut of Mauricio ‘Shogun' Rua. He'll face a stiff first fight in Forrest Griffin, but it's nothing that he shouldn't be able to handle. If Rua goes on to beat Forrest, it's most likely that he'll face off against Quinton Jackson for the UFC light heavyweight title. This matchup would be a rematch of a PRIDE fight from 2005 in which Rua brutally destroyed Jackson. There is bad blood between Rua's Chute Boxe camp and Jackson, so if Rua wins, expect fireworks against Jackson.
The other two fights we're most likely to see on the televised portion of the card are Thiago Tavaraes v. Tyson Griffin in a lightweight battle and Kazuhiro Nakamura v. Lyoto Machida in a light heavyweight matchup. These should both be great bouts as well.
This might not be the best card of the year, but it sure as heck has the chance to be very entertaining.
Chuck Liddell over Keith Jardine by KO
Shogun Rua over Forrest Griffin by brutal ground and pound
Jon Fitch over Diego Sanchez by submission
Lyoto Machida over Kazuhiro Nakamura by decision
Thiago Tavares over Tyson Griffin by decision
Diego Saraiva over Jeremy Stephens by submission
Matt Wiman over Michihiro Omigawa by TKO
Christian Wellisch over Scott Junk by KO
Well, ladies and gentlemen, that wraps it up for the first edition of Tuesday Takedown. Hope you all enjoyed and continue to tune in each and every Tuesday. I would love to hear any suggestions, comments, complaints, feedback, etc. Feel free to email me at email@example.com or you can catch me at my MMA blog, Sprawl 'n Brawl.
And as always, each and every week I will leave you with a pertinent quote or story pertaining to MMA that is sort of Off The Beaten Path, so to speak.
This week, we take a quote from Nick Diaz from an earlier interview in the week with CBS Sports' Sam Caplan.
Q: After the suspension, are you still a regular marijuana user?
ND: Well, I don't plan on ever testing positive for a drug test again. That's pretty much all I have to say about that.
And that's that, folks. Gotta love Nick Diaz. Plain and simple.