Punch Drunk Hangover 11.05.07: Remember, Remember the 5th of November
Posted by Bren Oliver on 11.05.2007
Monday has arrived and with it comes the Punch Drunk Hangover, your quick reference guide to news related highlights from the past week coupled with unfiltered opinions from Bren Oliver - the Kent Brockman of 411Mania's MMA Zone. Read ahead for my thoughts on rumors surrounding UFC 80, last week's UFC press conference, Din Thomas' arrest, Ken Shamrock's alleged lawsuit against Zuffa, and why I think the UFC 78 card might offer fans the best overall lineup of 2007.
Incredible might it be, the weekend is already over and Monday morning has arrived an hour later than normal thanks to Daylight Savings time. I hope all the Punch Drunkards out there enjoyed the additional hour of shut eye! I trust everyone survived their Halloween experience and finished off any leftover witches' brew over the last couple of days.
Before biting into the creamy center of this week's Punch Drunk Hangover I want to take a few minutes to discuss the underappreciated, overcriticized card of UFC 78. Fellow 411Mania MMA columnist Ken Kobel wrote a nice piece last week called "Don't Believe the Gripe" where he stepped up in defense of the UFC's November PPV venture. Like Kobel, I support the notion UFC 78 is lacking a true main event, but also believe it's a very good card from top to bottom. In fact, when taking into account all nine fights, I even find myself convinced it is perhaps the best overall card the UFC has put together in the whole of 2007.
Yes, Michael Bisping vs. Rashad Evans is a secondary main event on most PPVs and would be better served headlining a Fight Night or TUF Finale, but it still should be a very good fight. One of the two will walk away with his first professional loss and the other will likely main event a future PPV against a major player in the Light Heavyweight division. Here's a quick rundown of the rest of the card and why fans should be excited. It's honestly the kind of show where people should consider forking out a few dollars for the live, streaming undercard option on UFC's website:
Houston Alexander vs. Thiago Silva
Speaking of a bout featuring talented 205 pound fighters with divisional implications on the line, UFC 78's main event is not alone in its subtext, as Silva vs. Alexander should be a flurry of punches and an early bedtime for one of these two LHW brutes.
Ed Herman vs. Joe Doerksen
Ed Herman needs to show he's earned his spot in the UFC after struggling thus far. David Terrell's return to the Octagon would have been interesting to watch, but Doerksen is an accomplished fighter who has a very good chance of pulling off an upset and finishing "Short Fuse".
Ryo Chonan vs. Karo Parisyan
Both these men are buzzsaws in the ring and fans should be treated to a full fifteen minutes of action (barring someone being finished). This has "Fight of the Night" candidate written all over it which is somewhat strange since the UFC's Lightweight division seems to have a monopoly on putting together FOTNs.
Frankie Edgar vs. Spencer Fisher
A great match between two ultra-talented 155 pound fighters. Fisher vs. Edgar should be a fast-paced affair featuring solid stand-up and some extremely entertaining scrambles. Dana White may have a hard time awarding a "Fight of the Night" bonus with Chonan/Parisyan and Fisher/Edgar on the card.
Thiago Alves vs. Chris Lytle
Thiago Alves and Chris Lytle are two very solid fighters and I see them as having fairly equal skillsets. Alves is younger, and perhaps more explosive, by Lytle's experience in the Octagon and jiujitsu skills will make for a tough opponent.
Joe Lauzon vs. Jason Reinhardt
I've never heard of Jason Reinhardt but a little research tells me he boasts an impressive 18-0 professional record. Joe Lauzon may have his hands full, but then again he's also a very talented fighter, so the combination tells me this bout also has "barn-burner" potential.
Marcus Aurelio vs. Luke Caudillo
Aurelio came into the UFC with a lot of hype and fell to Clay Guida in his debut. It's hard to fault Aurelio for the loss given Guida's talent, so this fight against Caudillo gives him the chance to start making his name in the Octagon. Caudillo shouldn't be too difficult an opponent so hopefully Aurelio, an American Top Team Product, will shine.
Akihiro Gono vs. Tamdan McCrory
This fight might be more competitive than many MMA diehards think. Gono is beloved for his work in Japan, but McCrory isn't quite a tomato can and has at least fought before in the eight-sided cage. I'd like to see Gono, a veteran of both PRIDE and Pancrase, emerge victorious and give the UFC's Middleweight division the depth of a shallow creek (instead of a puddle).
That's my three cents. Feel free to toss a few coins of your own in my direction by contacting the email address at the bottom of this column. Now on to my humble opinion on a variety of subjects rearing their ugly heads over the past seven days. File your final TPS report, check your Fantasy Football score one last time, and settle into your cubicle - here comes this week's Punch Drunk Hangover...
The following medley of items were reported between October 29th, 2007 and November 4th, 2007:
Multiple news outlets are reporting that Gabriel Gonzaga (411mania's 4th ranked Heavyweight) is set to face Fabricio Werdum (411mania's 9th ranked Heavyweight) at UFC 80 in January 2008 to be held in Newcastle, England. Werdum defeated Gonzaga by KO back in September of 2003 at Jungle Fight 1.
Jungle Fight 1? Wasn't that the first in a series of Don "The Dragon" Wilson flicks? If not, it should have been, as a show with such a heading takes my imagination to a dark rain forest filled with with poisonous snakes, crocodile-filled rivers where the bloodthirsty beasts have to be used as stepping stones, and a mission to rescue POWs featuring tons of asskicking action and poorly delivered dialogue.
Transitioning back into reality, I like this pairing regardless of the promotion they originally faced off in, and I think it makes for a decent co-headliner at UFC 80. Couture's current absence opens the door back up for Gabriel Gonzaga and a win over Werdum would be a great first step on his journey back to a title fight. I like the problems he presents for other contenders like Tim Sylvia and Cheick Kongo. Werdum, on the other hand, only has one fight in the Octagon to his name and did little to make his mark in fans' collective memory (other than by delivering a pimp-slap to Andre Arlovski in their snoozefest at UFC 70). If he loses to Gonzaga I doubt he'll make another appearance in the UFC. It's a shame too, because Werdum is a world class jiujitsu guy and has hung with, or beaten, some of the best Heavyweights in the world. Hopefully the slow-start to the UFC phase of Fabricio's career had something to do with popping his Octagonal cherry.
UFC has shot down rumors that Brad Imes will be Brock Lesnar's first opponent. No word yet on who will face Brock in his first UFC fight.
Brad Imes may act as a wise-cracking, trenchcoat-wearing, half-robotic detective in his spare time because he apparently has an affinity for using the term "gogo"...as in "gogoplata". I'm not surprised the UFC has squashed rumors of Lesnar's first fight in the cage being against Brad Imes. The former TUF competitor has beaten his last two opponents using the rare submission "gadget", a way of tapping an opponent out from your back. Brock Lesnar's primary strength will involve shooting on whoever he faces, taking him down, and likely using a ground-and-pound strategy. Put one and one together and it seems pretty clear why Lesnar won't be facing the submission stylings (7/9 wins) of the big Californian.
Multiple news outlets have reported that Din Thomas was arrested today in Port St. Lucie, Florida for running unlicensed fights from his gym.
It's been reported those participating had signed waivers, meaning they wanted to take part in the event, and I can absolutely see how it could be a good way for young fighters to get some experience in a "real fight" environment. Isn't that similar to what TUF does? I completely understand why doing so without a license is against the law and having broken it, as it appears Thomas has done, he should deal with the consequences of his actions. I hope this ultimately leads to nothing more than a fine and suspension from promoting events in the State of Florida. As as I understand things this seems like a victimless crime. It would be a shame if Thomas, a nice guy by all accounts, were to serve additional time over this kind of situation.
Though scheduled to meet earlier today with the California State Athletic Commission, Sean Sherk in fact will be waiting until November 13th to appeal the positive result (Nandrolone) of a drug test stemming from his title defense against Hermes Franca at UFC 73.
This is the second continuance the CSAC has granted surrounding the appeal. The first came in August when Sherk's camp asked for an extension in order to prepare for the appeal. Today's decision was made in order for the CSAC to review documents submitted by Sherk's lawyer.
I don't see why people are upset by the CSAC delaying Sherk's appeal another two weeks in order to look over the UFC Lightweight Champion's paperwork. Yes, if rumors are true and it was an error on the CSAC's part, then it was unprofessional of them and their mistake had lead to a fourteen day delay in the process. You know what else is unprofessional? Sean Sherk testing positive for steroids. You know what has lead to a four month delay in the status of a UFC title belt? Sean Sherk testing positive for steroids. There's no echo in the column. It was "The Muscle Shark" who urinated in a cup and is 100% at fault until he proves otherwise. Drug tests can be altered. They can lie. They very rarely do. Human beings who have agendas, however, are quite prone to telling a tale or two when the spotlight is on or the need arises.
Phil Baroni's suspension for a positive steroid test has been reduced from one year to six months. The California State Athletic Commission made the decision today. Baroni will now be able to fight again after 12/2.
I have no doubt Baroni will be back in the ring come December. He loves to fight, almost always putting on a good show in victory or defeat. His destruction at the hands of Frank Shamrock, then subsequent groin-showing to Goldberg in the locker room, was classic stuff as are so many of his moments in MMA. Mixed Martial Arts could use more meatheads like Baroni. He's one of the genuine characters in the sport.
EliteXC President Gary Shaw announced recently that EliteXC will be adding 150 (Featherweight) and 160 (Lightweight) pound weight divisions. It had also been announced that the upcoming Nick Diaz (15-6) vs. KJ Noons (5-2) fight will be for the new EliteXC Lightweight Championship. The fight will be held November 10 and shown on Showtime.
I'm still hoping to garner some 411Mania Exclusive access to this event, as Corpus Christi, where the November 10th show is taking place, is only a few hours' drive from my place of residence here in good ol' Austin, Texas. I like Shaw's ideas about making numerous weight classes to avoid fighters having to cut too many pounds, though I think it will eventually make for a confusing situation because I don't see any MMA promotion having the ability to sell 8-10 divisional champions to the public. KJ Noons vs. Nick Diaz is going to feature caged fireworks. I'll be interested to see how Diaz's stand-up compares to Noons' ability to throw fists. With Kimbo Slice and Jake Shields also on the card this is a must-see event for fans of MMA. I have a feeling Showtime will be getting a few new subscribers this upcoming weekend...
Dana White recently announced that since he is getting fed up with the California State Athletic Commission regarding the Sean Sherk case, that he will not strip Sean Sherk of his UFC Lightweight Title. Instead, White said that BJ Penn will fight Joe Stevenson at UFC 80 for the interim UFC Lightweight Title. UFC 80 is going to be held in January of 2008 in Newcastle, England.
Okay, can someone explain to me how there will be an "Interim Lightweight Title" even though Sean Sherk is not being stripped of his championship? Stevenson and Penn are fighting over a belt that doesn't really exist. How is their bout any different than being for "Number One" contendership? The winner fights Sherk for the actual gold sometime after his suspension ends. Can we please shed the "interim" nonsense?
White defends Sean Sherk, the guilty party, and criticizes the athletic commission. Nice! There are times I question how good Dana really is for the UFC. This is one of them.
In addition to Penn/Stevenson and Werdum/Gonzaga taking place at UFC 80, Xtreme Couture is reporting that Kendall Grove vs Jorge Rivera will also be on the card though contracts are not finalized yet.
Kendall shouldn't have any problem with Jorge Rivera. Then again, I said he would walk through Patrick Cote too, and we all know how that fight turned out. I don't doubt the loss to Cote has provided a great deal of motivation for Grove and he should be in top shape against a fighter, Rivera, whose best days are far behind him.
From the UFC's October 30th press conference...
Dana White began by stating his intense dislike for discussing money when the focus should be purely on the sport and its athletes. However, he felt the press conference was necessary to specifically address false claims made by Randy Couture (and his camp).
I would prefer to only hear about the sport, and its athletes, so I can understand where Dana is coming from. It truly seems as though Couture may be getting bad information, or possibly even getting ripped off by parties other than the UFC, if all this paperwork is in fact on the books for tax purposes as White stated at this press conference.
White talked about Kim Couture's claims the UFC underpromoted her husband, stating he felt their company had been more than fair and mentioned specific examples as to why including August 24th's "Randy Couture Day" on Spike TV and Couture's involvement with the first two seasons of the Ultimate Fighter. Dana also agreed with Kim Couture's assertion that her husband made as much outside of the Octagon as in it and said he was "proud" of Couture's ability to do so. White elaborated on the matter, saying it is his goal to give fighters' the ability to make money based on their Octagon accomplishments once they've retired from the sport.
I again side with White on this issue. Randy Couture was one of few faces of the company. One of my 411Mania colleagues wrote a great piece on the fighters publically associated with the UFC (Couture, Franklin, Hughes, Ortiz, Liddell) and who their replacements might be in 5-10 years. I think "The Natural" and Chuck Liddell are/were the cream of the crop when it comes to UFC icons. Couture, without a doubt in my mind, was promoted as he should have been. As paid as he should have been? That might be a different story.
Lorenzo Fertitta mentioned he was personally surprised by Couture's statements about never being happy with his contract, signed this past January. Fertitta went on to say the deal was done over breakfast and ended in an exchange of hugs, smiles, and (what he thought) mutual satisfaction in the agreement. He found some of Randy's statements last week to be without factual basis and felt they were made in a way potentially damaging to the UFC's image.
Do you think there's any chance they had "fritatas" for breakfast?
"Your fritata, Mr. Fertitta."
I was watching the Ultimate Fighter 3 Finale this past week and the broadcast featured Randy Couture's "Hall of Fame" enshrinement. He looked awfully happy there. He signed a contract eight months ago so that indicates to me he was happy then too. Fertitta tends to stay behind the scenes so him coming forward to state his surprise says to me he feels very strongly about the matter. Dana White may have taught Ace Ventura how to speak out of his rear end but Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta come from a different school.
Randy Couture received a $500,000 signing bonus (a claim Couture denied last week) with $250,000 payouts before and after his fight against Tim Sylvia. Both checks were cashed within weeks of being issued. Couture also received a $936,000 bonus from PPV revenue for the fight, plus another $56,000 for non-specifc reasons (believed to be announcing/promotion), giving him a sum total of around $1.85 million for UFC 68.
The average NFL salary is $1.4 million on an annual basis. Randy Couture making $1.85 million for UFC 68 makes it more difficult to maintain my compassion for his salary/respect woes.
Randy Couture received another $250,000 purse for his fight against Gabriel Gonzaga plus $35,000 for a "Fight of the Night" bonus. He is estimated to be receiving an additional $787,000 based on a PPV bonus projection giving him over a million dollars for his lone UFC Heavyweight Championship defense.
That would give him around $3 million for a year's work. I've heard a similar figure tossed around as far as what Fedor's UFC contract would have involved. Perhaps this was the point of contention? Emelianenko making a near-equivalent amount without having contributed anything prior to the UFC?
Dana White decided to take a shot at Fedor Emelianenko, calling him a "farce", and ran down his previous opponents. White mentioned "Rampage" Jackson, a Light Heavyweight, also defeated Fedor's last opponent (Matt Lindland). He said there is no way he would have allowed Fedor to make more money than Couture if he'd been signed and questioned Randy's knowledge of Emelianenko's contract offer (when apparently Randy doesn't know what he himself is making).
ZING! Sorry Dana, but I'm positive you've seen Fedor's reel, and no "farce" puts together a package like that. David Terrell also defeated Matt Lindland. He did it in less than a minute whereas it took "Rampage" a judges' decision. Does that mean a healthy David Terrell can hang with Jackson? Of course not. ZING ZING! If Couture is unaware of his income, which is completely possible, it's the fault of the people handling his money. Don't doubt for a second that there are some sheisty business managers and accountants out there. Never again will I invest in a Nigerian lottery...
Dana stated his confidence in eventually resolving the issues between the UFC and Randy Couture. He still sees Couture as the UFC Heavyweight Champion and wants to pair him against "Minotauro" Nogueira sometime in early 2008. He continued that this current situation with "The Natural" was far more disappointing than not finalizing a deal with HBO or signing Fedor. He expressed the UFC turned HBO's deal down and his only interest in signing Emelianenko was "for Randy".
Dana White is such a saint. He only wanted to sign Fedor for his pal. It had nothing to do with Emelianenko's mystique, his being viewed as the top Heavyweight in the world by everyone outside of the Zuffa offices, and the money he would have made for the UFC.
Earlier this week it was announced that former Middleweight future-star David Terrell was forced to withdraw from his UFC 78 bout against The Ultimate Fighter Season Three's Ed "Short Fuse" Herman with an ankle injury. UFC.com has announced Octagon veteran Joe Doerksen will step in to replace Terrell against the Team Quest Standout, Herman.
I think Doerksen may actually prove to be a more difficult opponent for Ed Herman than David Terrell would have been. Terrell hasn't fought in over a year and has struggled with injuries throughout his career. Doerksen boasts 33 more career wins than him and has been competing consistently for more than five years straight. Ed Herman is in a "must win" situation to prove he deserves the TUF contract he was offered after being defeated by season-winner Kendall Grove.
From the Ultimate Fighter VI...
George Sotiropoulos def. Jared Rollins - RD 1- KO
I never doubted the Matt Hughes' immaturity, but I continue to be surprised at the levels of which it's on display. The coaches on the Ultimate Fighter are window dressing to the most important aspect to the series. The show is about the contestants' lives and futures. Hughes continues to talk about the importance of working as a unit while making it clear it's only about the second word in "Team Hughes". I would have been happy to see him walk away from his role as coach and go down as being an even worse instructor than Ken Shamrock. I was glad to see Matt Serra echo thoughts in his blog similar to those I'd expressed to friends regarding the team possibly being in a better position with Mac Danzig as coach. His encouragement of Dan Barerra after losing to Ben Saunders was a true example of leadership.
I was extremely impressed by George's striking. His jabs were crisp and his punches came from nice angles. Jared Rollins was outclassed from the opening second. A few of those straights to the mug should have told him it was time to take the fight to the mat. The quarterfinal bouts are going to be fun to watch!
Dana White's post-fight speech to Rollins about losing was heartfelt and well-done. I've never competed in a MMA fight, but I understand the emotion attached to any kind of physical combat, and I know how frustrating it is to put yourself into something only for it not to turn out as you'd hoped it would.
On an unrelated note, how great was White's warning and J-Rock's near-miss of the tree branch directly after the emotional scene? Another moment in TUF infamy!
From the IFL Grand Prix...
Vladimir Matyushenko def. Alex Schoenauer - Judges' Decision
Somewhere in his office, Dana White is smiling and cackling over the thought "The Janitor" (Matuyshenko) is IFL Champion. I'm happy for Vlad though. He's a longtime MMA vet, and appears to be a good guy, so kudos to him on the success!
Jay Hieron def. Donnie Liles - Judges' Decision / Delson Heleno def. Gideon Ray - RD 1- Submission
The two UFC veterans involved in the IFL's "Welterweight" Grand Prix may have had mixed success but the entire competition became somewhat of a joke to me the minute I heard the bouts would be taking place at a catch-weight because Ray, Heleno, and Liles couldn't make 170 lbs. The IFL has now given Dana White another punchline regarding their companies woes.
Benji Radach def. Brent Beauparlant - RD 1 - KO
Benji Radach is, without a doubt, one of the most impressive young fighters in the IFL. I imagine he'll be fighting for a bigger promotion (EliteXC, UFC, WEC) in the next 12-18 months.
The following soundbytes were delivered over the past week...
Sam Farkas, a spokesman for Florida's Department of Business and Professional Regulation elaborating on the charges against Din Thomas (to the TCPalm)...
"At the end of the day, he was having a professional mixed martial arts match that was not licensed through us. It was a case of unlicensed activity."
I thought the term "unlicensed activity" was reserved for Britney Spears driving on the Pacific Coastal Highway but I digress. Again, at the end of the day, Din Thomas' actions were a victimless crime. Anything involving jail time beyond what he's served already is ridiculous in my opinion.
The IFL's Bart Palaszewski after losing a close decision to Chris Horodecki in the Lightweight Grand Prix Semi-Final...
""I don't know what I have to do to win a fight against Chris. He looks like a train wreck and I don't have a scratch on me. I don't know how to describe that decision except for retarded."
Judges' decisions are often controversial and some are easier to disagree with than others. It's the very reason there's a MMA mantra regarding the risk you put yourself at when leaving a fight unfinished. Physical damage tells the tale of some fights, but on the flipside there are certain individuals who are cut more easily than others. Forrest Griffin is a prime example of someone with a great deal of scar tissue on his face. I'll reserve judgement on the bout's official scoring until seeing the actual contest.
Highly ranked Middleweight Matt Lindland stated the following things when spoken to by MMAWeekly over the UFC 77 weekend...
"It's been way too long since I've gotten back into the ring. I have two fights left on my Bodog contract, but I'm not exclusive with them as contracts shouldn't be. You shouldn't have to be exclusive with one promoter. I'm pretty much available to whoever wants me to come fight for their organization....I don't know where they're going or what direction they're heading. I think that's a question we've got to ask from them. The other side of that is who do we ask? Every time we talk to them it seems like it's somebody different that's making the decisions in that organization."
He makes it sounds as though its pure chaos in the Bodog offices. However, he should have known what he was getting into given the names behind the promotion. It's good he's not signed exclusively. Lindland is one of the world's best 185 lbs. fighters. We fans need to see him in action sooner than later.
"If somebody had somebody out there, like say Anderson Silva, that needed to get beat up, I'd be more than happy to step in the (ring) and take him on. I think that would be a great match up stylistic wise....I think I'm in the prime of my career right now, and I don't want to squander it away by not fighting."
I don't disagree with Lindland's notion that he is a great match up for Anderson Silva's style. I believe "The Spider" would have difficulty creating enough range to land his deadly strikes and Lindland is an accomplished enough wrestler to contend with Silva's ground game. That being said, I am not very confident in the UFC signing the Olympic-level mat technician out of Team Quest's camp.
"I thought (Silva) looked phenomenal (at UFC 77). I've always thought he was a good fighter, and he's getting better and better. His striking is, I think, the best in MMA. I don't think anybody else uses their striking skills as good as he does. I think my wrestling is the best in MMA. And I think I'd like to match up with him and see if I can close the distance and put him on the ground and out maneuver him on the ground, or see if he can keep the distance and create that space that he needs to do damage. And he doesn't need much space."
Matt Lindland and I are drinking the same flavor of Kool Aid on this subject. It's "Tropical Punch" just in case anyone is wondering...
"I would love to get back in there (the UFC). If they want to deal like professional businessmen, I would love to work with them. I just want to do it professionally and put everything into a contract because this is a business, and it's my profession, and it's how I do business. It's truth and verify. You can say what you want, but if you can't verify it with a contract than it means nothing...I would love to come fight for that organization. They've got a lot of good talent. They put on a good show. They've got a great product. They understand how to market this sport. They understand how to promote. They've got a lot of good things going on for them, but they're inflexible. It's either our way or beat it."
The UFC only signs fighters to exclusive contracts so Lindland is out of luck he he expects otherwise. They're "inflexible" because they are the biggest MMA company in America which gives them quite a bit of pull around the world. What Lindland doesn't acknowledge is his style of fighting is considered boring by some and the UFC is notorious for scrapping guys who don't entertain (while winning). He deserves another opportunity in the Octagon but I won't be shocked if Dana decides to pass on the option. He's got Dan Henderson and Paulo Filho under contract to fall back on in terms of competition for Anderson Silva.
Ken Shamrock's criticism of the way he was treated by the UFC in a recent interview with MMAWeekly...
"The fact is, we have a lawsuit going on right now. They (UFC) released me from my contract. I had one fight left. Now, we're going to go after them for the damages and that's why I couldn't fight. I couldn't fight because I was holding up to my end of the bargain with them. Then they turn around and didn't hold up to their end of the bargain because they released me from my contract illegally, they breached my contract, I am now open and ready to fight."
Ken Shamrock has eaten a few too many punches. Does anyone reading this column believe he has a fine enough understanding of the contract he signed to know that the UFC didn't retain the right to terminate it? Shamrock's entire presentation of his claim is ridiculous.
"I do know from experience that Dana White says things, he lies. He lied to my agent, he lied to me, I know he's lied to other fighters. If it's anything like what happened to me, he basically just straight out lied to Randy."
Every single fan of MMA knows Dana White is a liar. However, he's also a good business man, and I doubt he would put himself or the company in a bad position by illegally voiding Shamrock's contract. I'm not surprised Ken inserted Couture's name into the situation as a way to garner sympathy towards his own personal situation.
"I know when I had my problems with the UFC, I voiced my opinion and people weren't really hearing it. It just goes to show the things I was saying are true. They're willing to do what they did to me, a guy that helped build their company, and then turn around and basically say ‘you're out of here,' breach my contract, turn around and do the same thing to Randy Couture, who is winning. I was hurt. I was injured and needed some time off to recover. I wanted to fight some more and they basically released me with no excuse or anything at all. They've done it to Tito Ortiz. Even though Tito has a bad attitude, Tito's done a lot for that company and they treated him badly."
What reason did the UFC need to release Shamrock? He hadn't proven he deserved to still be there. Again, Ken throws Couture's name out there (and Tito's) to make his own situation seem comperable to their own individual issues. Tito has shown he can compete, and draw, as a main event level talent. Couture is the UFC Heavyweight Champion and a multiple time UFC title-holder. Shamrock is lying to himself if he truly thinks he should be compensated as a major player in MMA. His time has passed. He's becoming one the most pathetic forms of athletes - the guy whose skills have eroded and who doesn't know when to call it quits.
Dana White's response...
"Ken Shamrock has been gone from the UFC for a long time now. He's been with the IFL and I think we all see what's going on over there, so now Ken is stirring up some sh*t. First of all, I have never disrespected Ken Shamrock. It has been the exact opposite actually. Inducted him in the Hall of Fame, brought him back, think about this…I brought Ken into the UFC to fight Tito after Pride cut him after losing to Don Frye. Before that Ken beat a guy named Sam Adkins, whose record is seven wins, 19 losses and two draws."
Dana sure does love taking shots at the IFL, doesn't he? It's not the only time he does it in this conversation which makes me think there were some hard feelings about Ken's involvement with the smaller promotion. White makes a good point about giving Shamrock another chance in the UFC after a lackluster stint previous to the run but let's not kid ourselves either. White also brought "The World's Most Dangerous Man" back to make money using his rivalry with Tito Ortiz as a selling point.
"So when Ken comes into the UFC, he has a ton of financial problems. We help him clean up all his financial problems. He fights Tito and loses and then we help Ken fix his knee. We get his knee rebuilt … So now we're sitting around thinking we invested all this money in this guy, we have to find somebody this guy can actually beat. So we get him a fight with Kimo. He beats Kimo. Then we get him a fight with 185-pound Rich Franklin. Ken gets knocked out in the first round. He leaves the UFC, goes back to Pride and gets knocked out in the first round by 185-pound (Kazushi) Sakuraba. I still bring him back into the UFC as a coach on "The Ultimate Fighter" season three. He actually comes out looking like the f*cking bad guy against Tito! Which is amazing. I don't know how you f*ck that up. So at the end of the show he has to fight Tito again. He gets knocked out so bad in the first round of this crazily hyped up Tito fight that the fans are actually pissed off. So I have to go back and make a third fight cause I think it's the right thing to do, make good for the fans. So Ken gets another huge payday to fight the same guy over again for a fight that should have never happened again. Ken's last 10 fights, he's three wins and seven losses and he's lost four fights in a row. The last time Ken Shamrock beat anyone even considered in the top ten was 13 years ago, in 1995, when he beat Dan Severn. This guy thinks that I (expletive) him? Give me a break. Nobody wants to see 43-year-old Ken Shamrock get beat up again."
Ken, you called Dana White a liar in the statements he's responding to. Tell us all, when it comes to getting destroyed by competition, looking like a huge dick on the Ultimate Fighter, and your inability to draw money...is he lying?
"Now, I have never ever dissed Ken Shamrock. I actually always liked Ken and Ken and I always got along well. Where he's coming up with this crazy sh*t … he must be broke again. I've never said anything negative about Ken, so for Ken to come out of left field with psycho craziness and that I've lied to him and I've done this… I made Ken Shamrock a multi-millionaire again. I guarantee that didn't happen over at the IFL."
Never dissed Ken Shamrock...until ten seconds prior to this statement. Dart #2 thrown at the IFL too. The comment about Ken being "broke again" is pretty personal. Sad to see things sink to this level between another UFC Hall of Fame Fighter and UFC President Dana White.
"Is he in a lawsuit with the UFC? No. His attorney sent a half page letter to us, which we're responding to right now. Randy Couture has made millions of dollars with the UFC. But Randy Couture is the type of guy who has stepped up and performed. I mean Randy Couture has pulled off amazing things in this sport. He's an incredible athlete, an incredible fighter, he's an incredible human being. The things that he's accomplished just make people go, ‘Wow, holy sh*t!' The guy's 44 and fights like he's 24. Ken Shamrock is 40-something and fights like he's 50-something. So for Ken Shamrock to ever be chirping… I have made Ken Shamrock a millionaire. Me and Randy Couture helped make each other money. Big f*cking difference."
At this point it would seem wise for Shamrock to give up his war of words with Dana White. He might as well be taking on an above average Mixed Martial Artist, because similar to the verbal battle with Dana, it's a fight Shamrock just can't win.
"It's like every time some guy's going to pop up because he's mad at me, what am I going to do? Keep running out here and making f*cking statements? Keep running around and making statements every time someone says something bad about me? Listen, at the end of the day, I know exactly who I am and I know exactly how we treat our fighters. I can't run around defending myself all the time."
If Dana White didn't want to comment on situations he wouldn't do it. I don't buy for a second his modesty or shunning of the spotlight. Guys tend to be mad at him because he is the figurehead of the UFC. It also doesn't help ease tensions when he never waivers on issues and isn't afraid to throw playground insults at people he has a problem with.
Thanks for tuning in to another episode of the Punch Drunk Hangover. I hope you've laughed, gained some insight on the world of MMA, and passed some of your Monday in an enjoyable manner. Have a great week and I'll see you next week with new commentary on whatever morsels of news reveal themselves over the next seven days.