The Tuesday Takedown 11.13.07
Posted by Adam Morgan on 11.13.2007
In this week's edition of The Tuesday Takedown, we'll take a look at Kimbo Slice's pro MMA debut, Dana White's new decision on Sean Sherk's title, who Randy Couture may be fighting next, the possibility of the UFC on CBS, and much more!
UFC Quips & Quotes
Randy Couture's been offered a fight against Minotauro Nogeuira
On Monday, Dana White confirmed that he has offered Randy Couture a title defense against Antonio Rodrigo "Minotauro" Nogueira. The UFC has yet to hear back from Randy, but Dana confirmed that Randy wanted to sit down and talk about the potential matchup. I do hope that Randy comes to terms with UFC and that this is his first fight back. The fact that Fedor's no longer out there makes this the next best heavyweight matchup on the planet right now. Very tough fight to pick if it does end up happening. Just because Randy Couture has all the momentum behind him coming off the two big fights against Sylvia and Gonzaga, I would have to pick Randy.
Dana White could still strip Sean Sherk of the lightweight title
Last week there was an uproar about Dana's decision not to strip Sherk of the title regardless of the outcome of the CSAC's hearing. The backlash was not good and in many fans' eyes, Dana White was condoning the use of steroids from one of his champion fighter. Someone must have knocked some sense into Dana White, because on Monday's conference call, he had this to say:
"B.J. Penn and Joe Stevenson are going to fight for the interim title. We'll see what happens with Sherk. If Sherk is found guilty, we'll support the (California) State Athletic Commission and he'll probably be stripped of his title. If not, then he'll keep his title and it will be champion vs. champion."
Could we see Dana White possibly beginning to turn a corner and get rid of the gunslinger act? The decision to not strip Sherk of the title regardless of the outcome of the CSAC's hearing was total gunslinger Dana. A slap in the face to the CSAC and an "I'll do what I please" attitude doesn't go over well when you're dealing with the government. I'm happy that Dana's decided to rein back on his attitude. Pissing off the CSAC and not respecting their decision is something that could have severely backfired on the UFC. Considering how many shows the UFC runs there, it would be unwise to piss off Armando Garcia and Co., even if they are total idiots.
Evan Tanner to make his return to the Octagon?
Rumors are swirling that Evan Tanner, a sort of cult hero among hardcore fans, has signed a four fight deal with the UFC. Tanner is the kind of guy that everyone can get behind because he's got demons just like everyone else and he's totally self-made in MMA. The guy taught himself how to be a fighter by watching instructional DVDs. What's not to like about that? Tanner's problems with alcohol outside the Octagon have been well documented. For him to be able to make a return to MMA while being a recovering alcoholic would be astounding, no matter the outcome of his first fight.
While Tanner may not be one of the best middleweights in the world, he would be a welcome addition to the UFC's depleted middleweight division right now. Tanner claims that he knows how to beat Anderson Silva, so I'd like to see that fight happen as well. While I don't think Tanner stands a snowball's chance in hell of beating Anderson, maybe he can give us a glimpse of a proper gameplan to fight Silva.
CBS to televise UFC 81?
With the writer's strike taking place, many networks are going to be left scrambling for programming. The UFC may end up being a beneficiary because of the strike, which seems as if it's going to be pretty lengthy. Many sitcoms are almost out of episodes and shows like Lost and 24 may not even go to air. This leaves a huge opportunity open for the UFC and rumors have been making the rounds that CBS has approached the UFC in regards to providing programming during the strike. One report from Sherdog radio claims that the UFC/CBS deal would include a two hour prime-time spot on CBS for UFC 81 on February 2nd, a card which will feature Brock Lesnar vs. Frank Mir.
The UFC needs to do everything in its power to make sure that this deal happens. This isn't HBO we're talking about here. We're talking about a UFC card that features a prominent former pro wrestler being aired live on CBS in more homes than the UFC has ever dreamed about. The production of the shows on HBO was a huge sticking point for Dana White and the UFC. They should not let this get in the way of their product getting onto CBS. If CBS wants to use its own production team, let them do so. I'm sure both sides can come to a compromise, but the UFC needs this and they need to crush this opportunity to be on network television. Only good things can come from being on network television and the UFC needs to pull out all the stops to ensure that this happens.
My UFC 78 Picks
Rashad Evans over Michael Bisping via 2nd round TKO
Houston Alexander over Thiago Silva via 2nd round KO
Karo Parisyan over Ryo Chonan via unanimous decision
Joe Doerksen over Ed Herman via 2nd round submission
Frankie Edgar over Spencer Fisher via unanimous decision
Thiago Alves over Chris Lytle via unanimous decision
Joe Lauzon over Jason Reinhardt via 3rd round submission
Marcus Aurelio over Luke Caudillo via 1st round submission
Tamdan McCrory over Akihiro Gono via unanimous decision
In other MMA news...
EliteXC: Renegade Thoughts
Nick Diaz looked godawful. Have you ever seen that sloppy of a takedown attempt? He was just leaning over for them and putting his arms out. I wouldn't even call them shots. They were half-assed, telegraphed, and extremely sloppy. KJ Noons had no problem stuffing those takedown attempts and Diaz paid for it. Even when he got KJ down, he didn't have the top control to keep him down. Diaz's post-fight antics were also childish. No need for it, especially when it was a good stoppage. I know Diaz hates to win a fight like that, but it is what it is. I have never been so disappointed in Diaz during his career than I was Saturday night.
KJ Noons impressed me. Man, does this guy throw leather or what? He's got dynamite in his hands and he almost knocked Diaz completely out about halfway through the first round. If the punch would have landed a bit cleaner, Diaz would have been a goner. KJ fought a perfect fight. He defended Nick's takedowns, kept it standing, and killed Diaz with the speed and power of his punches. On the flip side, no matter how good Noons looked, a solid wrestler like Sean Sherk or Joe Stevenson would still eat his lunch.
Kimbo Slice is scary. Or at least Bo Cantrell thinks so. Kimbo had this fight in the bag when he was making his entrance. It was won before he ever stepped foot inside the cage. Kimbo Slice, round one victory, by way of intimidation. Cantrell was visibly scared during the nineteen seconds he was in there. He wanted nothing to do with this fight, especially when he caught a big body shot and an elbow right behind the ear. He'd had enough. Reports are that Cantrell was puking in his locker room beforehand and that promoter Gary Shaw got anonymous calls from people telling him that Cantrell shouldn't be allowed due to his health. Either way, the docs cleared him and he "fought," if that's what you want to call it. Cantrell was there to pick up a check and that was about it. Don't ever expect to see him in EliteXC again.
We still know zip about Kimbo Slice. Bo Cantrell did not provide us the opportunity to see how far Kimbo has come during his training. For all the ranting and raving that Bas Rutten does about this guy, we have yet to see the fruits of his labor. I feel that it's coming soon enough, but I sure would have liked to have seen Kimbo deal with some adversity or see the fight go longer than nineteen seconds. Ray Mercer lasted longer than Cantrell, so what does that say? In one pro fight and one exhibition, we have seen less than two minutes, total, of Kimbo inside the cage. Let's hope Kimbo's ready to go in a month or so. I think we're all anxious to see what he can do in a real fight, not against some clown shoes like Bo Cantrell.
Jake Shields belongs in the UFC. Without a doubt, this guy has the world class skills to be a contender in the UFC's stacked welterweight division. I know he just signed a long-term contract with EXC, but he deserves to be fighting world class competition. He weathered Mike Pyle's initial storm and when he got him on the ground, Jake's jiu jitsu shined. Before this event, Shields was making it known that he wanted to go to the UFC after his fight with Pyle. I wonder what changed in such a small amount of time. As we all know, money talks and bullshit walks. I think in Shields' case, he's purely about the green. Fitch/Shields and GSP/Shields are two fights I would love to see, but it looks like we may have to wait awhile.
Kyle Noke and Seth Kleinbeck were putting on a show. It's really too bad that this fight had to end because of a doctor stoppage. Kleinbeck and Noke looked to be fairly evenly matched. Kleinbeck won the first round, unfortunately, because in this day and age in MMA, being on top = winning a round. Noke was in control the second round and landing some nice ground and pound until he landed a wicked elbow that sliced Kleinbeck's brow open. Definitely one of the worst cuts we've seen this year. Think Starnes/Belcher, but wider and more blood. I was impressed by both of these guys and I hope we get to see them scrap again.
Antonio Silva looked beastly. At 265 lbs., Antonio Silva is a freaking beast. He was more in shape, lighter on his feet, and quicker than we've ever seen him before. He dismantled Wieozorek on the feet and on the ground, just completely overpowering him even though Wiezorek weighed about 7 lbs. more. Even though this was technically a "super heavyweight" fight, Silva was most likely just testing out how he feels at the 265 lb. heavyweight limit. Expect to see him fight at heavyweight from now on. He looked real good.
And, as always, I will leave you with..
Off The Beaten Path
I'm going to do a little bit of shameless self promotion during this segment. I had the opportunity to interview TUF 6 contestant, Dan Barrera over the weekend. If you've been watching the show, you know all about the now infamous "shadowboxing in the bathroom" incident during the episode which featured Barrera's fight. I felt the need to ask him about the situation to see if he could explain it for everyone. I found his response quite humorous:
AM: We all know there's some tricky editing as far as putting the episodes of The Ultimate Fighter together goes. At one point during the episode with your fight, there are multiple scenes where you leave practice to go to the bathroom. Later on, they show us the camera angle from the bathroom and it was you shadowboxing in the mirror almost the whole time. Care to explain the situation for everyone?
DB: Yeah, you know what, man? These cats weren't telling me they were gonna do this. They did me dirty with the shots of the bathroom. They didn't tell me they were gonna do it like that, but honestly I shadowbox a lot but it wasn't like that, man. I'll tell you what it was. Hughes had us drinking Muscle Milk all the time and it was messing my stomach up during practices, like always right in the middle. I was getting torn up, my stomach was just torn up. Some guys wouldn't even drink it, but like I said, it was just kind of like a military thing, drink your Muscle Milk. I mean, yeah, I would shadowbox in the bathroom a lot, but not that much like they were showing.
We may have found the culprit in the search for why Hughes' team was losing so much. Muscle Milk! Mmm, mmm. Does a body good. Dan had some interesting things to say, (here comes the plug) so feel free to check out the full interview to hear his thoughts on the season so far.