The Tuesday Takedown 10.16.07
Posted by Adam Morgan on 10.16.2007
In this week's edition of The Tuesday Takedown, we'll discuss the shocking news of Randy Couture's departure, who Fedor Emelianenko's next opponent might be, EliteXC signing two big names, a look ahead to my picks for UFC 77, and much more!
UFC Quips and Quotes
Randy Couture resigns from the UFC
Obviously every news article this week will start off with Randy's abrupt departure from the UFC, so I'll have my say on the matter as well. Randy leaving is a complete shock to the UFC and the world of mixed martial arts. Does it hurt MMA? Yes. Does it hurt the UFC even more? You bet your ass it does. With Chuck Liddell coming off of two consecutive losses, the lightweight title completely up in the air, a former Shooto and PRIDE star as your middleweight champion, and the UFC heavyweight title in the air as well, the UFC better A) hope that Rich Franklin wins on Saturday or B) Put more emphasis and marketing on Quinton Jackson as your face of the organization.
The UFC has tried to put their "retirement" spin on the whole situation but Randy has made it known that this is a resignation, not a retirement. That being said, it sounds like Randy has intentions of fighting again. And we all know who he wants to face: Fedor. Randy was unhappy with his compensation and they didn't sign Fedor, so he said "You know what? Screw it. I don't need the bullshit anymore. I'll find a way to fight Fedor elsewhere." I think we'll inevitably see this fight happen sometime down the line, but it seems like the only way that will ever happen is outside the UFC.
Also, as it turns out, Randy's not the only one who's dissatisfied...
Dan Henderson makes remarks about UFC's pay
Henderson made the following remarks to Steve Sievert in Monday's edition of the Houston Chronicle:
"It seems like guys could be happier," Henderson said. "Part of the problem is that they had a couple, three bad shows and got killed in Ireland (at UFC 72) on the money. And, possibly the fact that they spent a boatload of money buying Pride and didn't do anything with it; they are trying to make some cutbacks, and the fighters aren't overly happy about that."
Despite assurances from White that he would be taken care of in the UFC, Henderson is waiting for what he thinks is an equitable offer.
"He was telling me that, ‘We haven't had guys leaving. We take care of the guys, that's why they're happy. We don't want guys that are unhappy,' " Henderson said about initial negotiations with White. "I haven't seen that."
Now that one of the sport's biggest names has spoken out, how many more of these types of things do you think we're going to hear? Dan Henderson is also a pretty big name in this sport and another guy that the UFC definitely should want to keep a hold of. He is the kind of All-American Asskicker that lots of UFC fans love to get behind and rally, so they should do everything they can to retain him.
The fact that these issues are even coming up is really the issue. If you can't keep your top stars, then who do you expect to keep. Dana and Co. are learning this lesson the hard way. Pay your fighters what they're worth.
Hector Lombard officially scratched from UFC 78, Ryo Chonan v. Karo Parisyan on
Remember how I was bitching about this card last week? Well, I retract some of those statements. Turns out Hector Lombard not being able to get a visa is a good thing because now we get to see Karo Parisyan v. Ryo Chonan, an even more exciting matchup than previously anticipated. Chonan should be a pretty game opponent for Parisyan, who continues to float around at the welterweight division without a title shot. This could be a "trap" fight for Karo, especially only having a little over a month's notice before the change of opponent.
As for Chonan, I figured he would be brought into the UFC in order for him to be Anderson Silva's opponent should he beat Franklin. That would mean he'd be fighting at 185, but he's now fighting Karo at 170. As you should know, Ryo has a stunning flying heel hook victory over Anderson Silva in PRIDE, so I thought it would be logical for them to build Chonan up as someone who holds a victory over the current champion and then give Silva a chance to redeem himself. Seems like a good enough UFC storyline to me.
Either way, Parisyan v. Chonan should be a very enjoyable matchup.
My UFC 77: Hostile Territory Picks
Rich Franklin over Anderson Silva by 4th rd TKO
Yeah, I picked Rich, so what? I'm from Cincy, he's from Cincy. We got a thing. I can't pick against him. Plus, I think he's done the proper things to train for this fight. He's taken himself away from the hype, packed it up to the mountains, done some high altitude training, and taken the training for the fight very seriously. I know Anderson Silva is a monster, but if Rich can make it a wrestling match and keep top control, he has enough jiu jitsu to be able to pound Silva out. The key is taking Silva into the later rounds. Franklin has great cardio but we have yet to see just how well Silva can last for multiple rounds because he ends fights rather quickly. If Franklin can push him into the later rounds, it's Franklin's to win or lose.
Brandon Vera over Tim Sylvia by unanimous decision
Tim Sylvia's not going to know what hit him on Saturday. Brandon Vera is a super aggressive fighter who is incredibly well-rounded. He has great muay thai and kickboxing, strong wrestling, and he's a Lloyd Irvin BJJ brown belt. Sylvia, while being the biggest heavyweight in the division, has never fought someone with Brandon Vera's all around complete game. Don't expect Vera to let Sylvia jab his way to a decision. He's going to make Big Tim fight. Sylvia has a great skill set, but I just don't see him winning this fight. Vera could be a guy who could hold both the light heavyweight title and the heavyweight title at once.
Jason McDonald over Yushin Okami by unanimous decision
Okami is one of the best wrestlers you have seen in the 185 lb. division, but he's not active enough in the early rounds to win fights. His style is not suited well for the 10 point must system. A lot of people thought that if the Franklin/Okami fight would have been scored like PRIDE was scored, then Okami would have come out on top. Either way, that's beside the point. Both of these guys want to work from the ground, so I expect it to end up there early and often. McDonald has pretty killer jiu jitsu, but if he ends up on his back with Okami on top he could be in trouble. This is a dead even fight, but I have to pick McDonald because he can finish a fight while Okami waits too long for opportunities instead of making them himself.
Other UFC 77 Picks:
Alan Belcher over Kalib Starnes by 2nd rd submission
Stephan Bonnar over Eric Schafer by unanimous decision
Forrest Petz over Josh Burkman by 2nd rd TKO
Jorge Gurgel over Alvin Robinso by unanimous decision
Demian Maia over Ryan Jensen by 2nd rd submission
Jason Black over Matt Grice by 2nd rd KO
In other MMA news...
Kimbo Slice signs long term with EliteXC
Legendary internet street fighter Kimbo Slice has been signed long term to Gary Shaw's EliteXC promotion Kimbo will make his EliteXC debut on November 10th on Showtime. An opponent has not yet been named, but Kimbo himself said in a recent interview with Sam Caplan that it would either be James Thompson or Tank Abbott.
This is a big move for EliteXC in my opinion. Kimbo has a built in fanbase, he could become a huge draw, and a marquee talent for EliteXC. Their heavyweight division is more or less nonexistent and this could be a chance for Kimbo to really make a name for himself. He could be the first person ever to become a professional athlete after being found on YouTube. That's the craziest part right there.
People should take Kimbo seriously. From what I can see, he's taking the sport very seriously, training with Bas Rutten and Shawn Tompkins. He's put street fighting aside and made MMA his focus for the future. I would like to see him fight Abbott or Thompson, but preferably Thompson. I think Thompson would be a much better test of Kimbo's skills than Abbott. That being said, they will want to bring Kimbo along slowly and market him heavily, so Abbott is a more than likely opponent. Either way, good signing for EliteXC in my opinion.
EliteXC also signs Nick Diaz long term
Nick Diaz has also signed a long term contract with EliteXC and is scheduled to fight KJ Noons for the newly created 160 lb. EliteXC title on November 10th. By locking up both Kimbo and Nick Diaz, EliteXC has locked up very marketable and good talent for their organization. While the UFC is in turmoil right now, these two moves have been big for them.
Diaz is an excellent fighter and will be an instant name recognition for EliteXC. Good signing once again.
Ricardo Arona signs with M-1, could fight Fedor in December?
There is a report floating around that PRIDE light heavyweight Ricardo Arona has signed with the new M-1, the organization that Fedor has committed to. These two have fought in the past at a RINGS event, where Fedor took home a controversial decision. I personally thought Arona won the fight, but that's just me. Either way, I'd like to see these two scrap again.
On the other hand, the UFC loses out on another great talent in Ricardo Arona.
Off The Beaten Path
This week, we'll take some quotes that I'm sure everyone has seen, but I want everyone to see them again.
Here's Dana White, showing his hate toward the internet sites:
"This business is like a beauty salon," he said. "These guys are all the toughest guys in the world, but they're like (expletives) in a beauty salon. They pass along rumors and gossip, which has no basis in reality and they believe all the (rumors) they hear. The Internet is very powerful and one of the best promotional tools we have, but it's a crazy place.
"They hear these rumors and they believe them and then they get insulted like (expletives) after we try to talk reality with them. They'll say, ‘Well, this guy is getting this much,' but when I ask where they heard it, it's never a contract, it's always, ‘I read it on the Internet.' It's crazy."
Did he just call his fighters "bitches in a beauty salon?" Wow. That's pretty harsh. Too bad these "inflated numbers" that Dana is talking about don't exist on the internet. On every site that reports fighter pay, the numbers come from official athletic commission reports. In fact, they're probably much lower than what gets paid out to the fighters in reality. Dana, please, we love you, but this act of yours has to go. You have to look inward on this one. You screwed up, you lost Randy Couture, time to deal with it like a man, just like you would tell the fighters to do. Grow up. Oh, and please pay these fighters what they're worth.