Cardio Freak MMA News Report 02.21.08: Internet Sensation
Posted by Jeremy Lambert on 02.21.2008
Cardio Freak returns with a look at the possible over-saturation of MMA. Plus recaps of last weeks WEC show and this past Saturday's EliteXC show. Also, the latest on the Couture/HDNet/UFC situation, upcoming EXC fights, and the ever growing UFN 13 card. Finally, I deliver with the Top 5 Guilty Pleasure Dream Fights. All that and so much more is just one click away.
Welcome back to Cardio Freak everyone. As you know by now, I am your host ‘Bringing the Hood' Jeremy Lambert and it's an honor to be here.
I can't think of anything important to mention off the top so we'll jump right into the content for this week.
Top Story of the Week
Well where do I begin? There's a week late recap of WEC, a very good EXC, or more fun with Couture and UFC. One of those things makes sense right? Yes, but I'm not going in that direction. WEC wasn't a big enough show to warrant a top story (despite being a good show overall), EXC was a one fight draw, and I'm just as sick of Couture vs. UFC as all of you. That's why this week's top story is…
It seems like every week that goes by that there's another MMA event. Just last week we had WEC on Wednesday and EXC on Saturday. This weekend we've got Strikeforce at the Dome featuring Bob Sapp. Next weekend there's IFL on Friday, UFC 82 on Saturday, and World Victory Road on March 5th. In the month of March alone, there are six MMA shows taking place on a mainstream type level. I don't care who you are, that's a lot of events to keep up with.
So has MMA reached a point of over-saturation? Honestly, it probably has. It seems like every week a MMA event occurs and every week, another person thinks they can throw together a MMA company and start running shows. Don't get me wrong, as someone who doesn't get paid to write about the happenings in the MMA world, I've got no problem with a slew of MMA events taking place and MMA promotions opening. But it seems like the guy next to me in Sociology class who failed the last exam thinks he can successfully open a MMA promotion and make money. Then again he failed a Sociology exam, who the hell needs to know about people when running an organization based on people fighting?
The problem with the current over-saturation in MMA is the simple fact that all these companies starting up do so many things wrong that within months, no one cares about them. EliteXC/ProElite/Strikeforce/Cage Rage are all under the same banner yet they run separate shows with their own divisions and titles. They could easily combine all of the promotions and have a solid company but the fact that they're separate gives fans far too much to keep up with. IFL is well….IFL. The Japanese promotions also tend to run together and all seem nothing more than the Second Coming of Pride.
What these companies (mainly the US promotions) fail to realize is that they want to be like UFC, but they're never going to be UFC. It's the same problem in wrestling with TNA and WWE. TNA wants to be WWE so they try to do everything just like WWE but really, they're just coming off as WWE-lite. When I watch EliteXC and HDNet Fights and other companies, all I see is UFC-lite in so many aspects. If these companies tried to be less like UFC and more like themselves, they could become the distinct #2 promotion. Instead MMA is a lot like the PGA right now, a bunch of #2's and a distant #1.
The Japanese promotions are in a different boat. The Japanese audience love their MMA and even though a lot of companies are coming off as just another Pride, the Japanese audience just sees MMA. The problem with companies like K-1, Dream, and M-1 Global is the fact that they're lacking US TV so names like Gomi, Calvancanti, and even Fedor aren't really known to most MMA fans. Unfortunately that means not many people are watching these shows, which is really their loss. And of course when they do watch these show, they don't see the cage, they don't see the guy from Fear Factor, and they don't see the Mickey's replay so they're turned off. Of course by producing a good show, the fans won't really care about the secondary aspects.
MMA is currently peaking in popularity and everyone seems to want to get on board. When Pride went out of business, 300 new companies opened up and while I'll watch any MMA show anytime, it may all be too much for some people, namely your casual UFC fan. Some people (not anyone who reads this, all of you are awesome) won't pay attention to anything that doesn't feature Chuck Liddell or Quinton Jackson. For these companies to convert those fans, they have to continue to produce exciting shows and they have to do something different. Lets face it, no company is going to out UFC the UFC. No company can bring down the house lights and sell the moment before the fight more than the actual fight better than the UFC. What companies need to do is focus on their positives and go from there. Take the ECW (not the current WWE version with Eddie's Nephew as the Champion) and ROH approach by doing what you do best and not worrying about what UFC does best.
UFC Event News & Notes
Dave Meltzer is reporting that UFC 81: Breaking Point did around 650,000 buys
See Tim, YOU DO HAVE FANS! And those fans watched you get OWNED on February 2nd. HA! Ok, kidding aside, we all know that Lesnar sold a lot of PPVs and that Dana will get a lot of credit for pushing the Lesnar vs. Mir fight over the Sylvia vs. Nogueira fight. While I agree that it was a smart move to push Lesnar, I still don't think he should have made more than anyone else on the card (bonuses not included). The next PPV with Lesnar will be very telling. He'll either solidify himself as a top draw in the company or we'll see that the interest peaked with his first fight and has dropped down after the loss.
Renato ‘Babalu' Sobral recently stated in an interview that Tito Ortiz has withdrawn from his fight against Lyoto Machida. The fight was scheduled to take place at UFC 84 in May
The question here is, is Renato Sobral a reliable source? For some reason, I just doubt his quote. Despite publically saying he doesn't think fighting Machida is a money fight, Ortiz really wants out of his UFC contract. With one fight left, the easiest way to get out of his contract is to do the fight and then leave. I just don't think it makes sense for Ortiz to pull out of this fight and stay under the UFC banner with one fight remaining.
The problem with Tito is that he wants to fight a big name but he's not going to get that chance. To Tito, the only guys he seems willing to fight are: Quinton Jackson (only because he has the belt), Chuck Liddell, and Wanderlei Silva. Despite the fact that Evans is undefeated, Jardine holds a win over Liddell, Thiago is undefeated, Machida is undefeated, and Shogun is still a top fighter, Tito doesn't seem to want to fight those guys because he doesn't think they're big enough draws and Tito is, "tired of making stars." Ortiz should just do the fight Machida, get out of his contract, move on with his wanna-be celebrity life. He's not going to fight Quinton because there's no way he gets a title shot, Chuck will always and forever beat Tito, and I don't think UFC wants to risk Wanderlei to another loss, especially with Tito on the way out.
In different interviews, Lyoto Machida's manager confirmed the fight with Tito Ortiz and Tito Ortiz confirmed that he'll be leaving UFC after his fight with Machida
It seems clear to me that Renato Sobral got his information from David Lagana.
So this fight seems to be a go for UFC 84 (headlined by BJ Penn vs. Sean Sherk) and this is either going to be the most boring fight ever or an awesome ending that answers some questions.
MMAMania.com is reporting that Nate Diaz vs. Kurt Pellegrino has been added to Ultimate Fight Night 13
NATE DIAZ~! My only problem with this fight is that Nate Diaz, the guy who won The Ultimate Fighter 5, should be in the main event against Kenny Florian instead of Joe Lauzon, the guy who didn't even make the finals of TUF5. At any rate, Diaz vs. Pellegrino should be awesome and I can only hope that Nate continues his winning ways, if only to hear his post-fight interview.
MMAJunkie.com claims that Ultimate Fight Night 13 will be 3 hours on April 2nd
As it should be. Hell, this card should be 4 hours considering Frankie Edgar, Gray Maynard, Clay Guida, Din Thomas, Spencer Fisher, and Tommy Speer are all in dark fights. Luckily, I have UFC on Demand so I'll be able to catch the preliminary fights the next day. Looks like my April 2nd consists of sitting in my room and watching UFC for 4 straight hours, I can't wait.
Dana White On…
Kimbo vs. Ken Shamrock
Another fucking joke from Gary Shaw. This fucker is so clueless that it's laughable. First he thought we protected our guys, which is bullshit. Then he gave us shit for matching up Brock against Frank Mir. Which would he rather us do? Obviously he's in favor of protecting guys since Kimbo doesn't seem to be fighting a good fighter anytime soon. Bo Cantrell? Who the fuck is Bo Cantrell? Tank Abbott? He was never that good, he just looked tough and always got his ass kicked. Now Ken Shamrock? When is Kimbo going to fight a guy who was relevant past 1998? Tito Ortiz, who sucks, destroyed Ken Shamrock three times. It's clear that Gary is going to milk his YouTube cash cow for all he's worth but true fans know that Kimbo is a joke and he would get destroyed against any UFC Heavyweight. Maybe that moron Ken Shamrock will expose Kimbo and he'll go back to fighting guys at the local Burger King. Gary Shaw and his 3rd rate promotion have no fucking credibility.
UFC Fighter News & Notes
Cheick Kongo and Mirko Cro Cop have gotten into an Internet war of words. Kongo accused Mirko of being on the juice and Mirko stated that he wants to fight Kongo again
Normally I'm all for an Internet war of words but Cheick Kongo has no personality and Mirko has never been known for his charisma on the mic. Plus, does anyone really care what Cheick Kongo has to say? Seriously, why would you ask Cheick Kongo of all people his opinion on Cro Cop leaving UFC? Was Jake O'Brien not available? It's no secret that some of the Japan fighters have used but I've never heard Mirko's name brought up in that group. Does Cheick know something we don't or is he just making false accusations for the sake of attention? Whatever the case may be, I advise Cheick to worry less about what Mirko Cro Cop does and worry more about his upcoming fight with Heath Herring. Maybe if he spent less time on the Internet on more time on his wrestling he wouldn't go down more times than Paris Hilton.
According to his trainer, Wanderlei Silva is either going to move down to 185 or fight Keith Jardine at an upcoming event
No matter what way he decides to go, we as fans win. Either Silva stays at 205 and fights Jardine, in what should be a fight that consists of some "good ol' fashioned standing and banging" or he goes to 185 where there's some interesting match ups against Franklin, Henderson, or Silva.
The question for Wanderlei becomes, what's more important, money or the title? At 205, Wanderlei could have money fights with Tito Ortiz (if he stays around), Chuck Liddell, Forrest Griffin, and Quinton Jackson. Match up Wanderlei with any of those fighters and I guarantee that the event will do no less than 400,000 probably more depending on the rest of the card. The problem at 205 is that there's so much competition that it's going to be tough to win the title. At 185, he'd have to go through Franklin (who can't avoid the clinch so good luck there Rich), Henderson, and Silva. Obviously a rubber match with Henderson would be a big fight for the hardcore MMA. I'm not sure what kind of relationship Wanderlei currently has with Anderson but as most people know, they used to train at the same camp and Wanderlei cornered Anderson in some of his Pride fights. If they have no problem fighting each other that would be one hell of a fight to watch.
No matter what he does, Wanderlei will be putting on entertaining fights.
Guilty Pleasure Dream Fights
5. The Undertaker vs. Anderson Silva
4. Tito Ortiz vs. Antonio Silva
3. Chuck Liddell vs. Kurt Angle
2. Brock Lesnar vs. Kimbo Slice
1. Tim Sylvia vs. Sean Sherk
Other MMA News & Notes
Results & Ramblings from WEC 32
Leonard Garcia defeated Hiroyuki Takaya via TKO at 1:31 in Round One
Well we know Leonard Garcia has some good stand up and he can take a hell of a punch. I don't know if he's ready for Urijah Faber but maybe a fight against Chance Farrar will prove just where he's at in the 145 division.
Manny Tapia defeated Antonio Banuelos via Split Decision
Someone fire the guy who added up the scores and then fire Steve Mazagatti for his inconsistent refereeing. A fun fight to watch and Tapia stays undefeated. Jeff Curran could be next for him.
Miguel Torres defeated Chase Beebe via Submission at 3:58 in Round One to win the Bantamweight Title
Miguel Torres was a submission machine in this fight. He went for one submission and when Chase fought it off, he transitioned quickly into another. Very good performance by Torres as Chase is no joke at 135. I can't wait to see Torres again and my guess is that he'll face Brian Bowles.
Jamie Varner defeated Rob McCullough via TKO at 2:54 in Round Three to win the Lightweight Title
Rob did a good job defending the takedown, which he needed to do, but Varner got the better of the exchanges. What the hell was up with that timeout though? Since when do you get a timeout in MMA? Varner's mouth piece fell out so you pick it up, wait until the round ends, and give it back. You can't just stop the fight when Rob was seemingly finding his range. Good performance by Varner and maybe we'll see a rematch.
Carlos Condit defeated Carlo Prater via Submission at 3:48 in Round One to retain the Welterweight Title
I don't know what to make of this fight. On one hand, I think Condit is a very good fighter who should probably be in the UFC. On the other hand, what the hell was Carlo Prater doing? I guess he thought that by sticking his head between the arm and body of Condit, he was controlling him on the ground but that obviously didn't work. It will be interesting to see where Condit goes from here. I think he would be a solid addition to the UFC Welterweight Division but I don't think he can make that jump while still holding on to the belt.
EliteXC: Street Certified Results & Ramblings
Brett Rogers defeated James Thompson via KO at 2:24 in Round One
James Thompson vs. The Ref was more exciting than the actual fight. A lot clinching until Rogers decided to break Cinderella's favorite shoe. Roger showed good takedown defense in this fight and heavy hands. He should be interesting to watch in the coming events and given his look and style, I wouldn't be shocked to see him fight Kimbo.
Yves Edwards defeated Edson Berto via KO at 4:56 in Round One
Was that KO awesome or what? Yves just measured him and then knocked him out with the knee. Beautiful. American Top Team has really turned Yves around and he seems to be on his way to being back in the Top 10. He showed some heart in this fight as well, surviving the guillotine from Berto and blocking the head kick after the questionable stand up.
Scott Smith defeated Kyle Noke via KO at 0:07 in Round Two
Scott Smith delivered a stinging blow to Kyle Noke for the victory. The first round was largely uneventful but Smith delivered in the second. Smith obviously has some power in his hands but his ground game is still questionable. Noke put together some nice punches but nothing seemed to hurt Smith.
Antonio Silva defeated Ricco Rodriguez via Split Decision
Holy hell did Ricco look way different in this fight than he does on Celebrity Rehab. Either rehab has changed his ways as cocaine no longer seems to be an option to slim down or he needs to go back to rehab because he seems to be on the Chuck Liddell diet. Speaking of physical appearance, Antonio Silva has one gigantic head. That thing rivals Tito Ortiz. I hope he's banging a porn star as well because those are the only people who are going to be able to push out a kid if they have their father's head.
Oh yeah, there was a fight…in the crowd. Those in attendance seemed a lot more interested in that than the fight taking place in the cage. Probably with good reason. The fight wasn't bad it was just kind of there. Silva said he fought with a torn MCL, Ricco was way out of shape, and it just made for a slow fight. If Silva was healthy and Ricco was in shape, it probably would have ended quick but instead it went to a decision and Silva won. No clue what's next for either guy but Ricco seems to think they will rematch for the EXC Heavyweight Title. With the way they're protecting Kimbo, that's likely.
Kimbo Slice defeated Tank Abbott via KO at 0:43 in Round One
For the 43 seconds it lasted, this fight was awesome. Yes it was a glorified street fight but who cares, it RULED~! When you picture two guys getting into a bar fight, the image of two guys can't be more perfect than what Tank and Kimbo look like. I know some of the hardcore fans are pissed about this fight but whatever. I enjoyed it for what it was and that's a sanctioned street fight. This fight was one of those guilty pleasure dream fights and I enjoyed it.
The fight was exactly as expected. They stood there, punched each other, and someone fell. Tank tried to clinch and takedown Kimbo but that failed. Kimbo showed some pretty decent head movement and some crisp punching with a lot of power. Tank showed pretty much nothing except that he learned how to pull off the Flair Flop during his time in WCW.
Now Kimbo needs a challenge. Bo Cantrell looked scared from the second he accepted the fight and Tank is way over the hill. The rumor going around is Ken Shamrock will be next and even that fight will be a joke. Unless Shamrock could take him down and transition into a leg lock very quick, he stands on chance. Kimbo isn't going to shoot on Shamrock and on the feet Shamrock has no chance. Another rumor is James Thompson, which I find absurd since Thompson just lost. The best rumor out there is Paul Buentello, who would be an awesome fight for Kimbo. Buentello has some name value and you know he's going to stand there and bang with him.
Mark Cuban has sued UFC for clarification on Randy Couture's contract. In other Couture news, Randy has signed a contract with HDNet fights that kicks in when his UFC deal expires
Cuban suing isn't that big of a deal. He just wants to know when Couture's contract is up and when Couture can fight. Really, he just sued as a good faith to Randy as if to say, "Hey, I'm the one who got all the dates straight so you pretty much owe me." Couture realized this and has now signed with HDNet Fights.
Apparently Couture had to sign the contract with HDNet because without it, they couldn't go to court. So while it seems illegal that Couture could sign a contract with another promotion despite still being under contract with UFC, that doesn't appear to be the case. Couture's UFC contract ends in October and it seems like he'll be free when that date rolls around. UFC tried to implement a "retirement clause" but the court stated that such a clause was illegal.
I think it's safe to say that Mark Cuban has had a pretty good week. He sued the biggest MMA promotion in the world, he traded for Jason Kidd, and he signed Randy Couture.
DREAM is attempting to put together a fight between newly signed Mirko Cro Cop and Fedor
Their first fight was very good and if Mirko is as refocused as he claims to be, their second fight could be very good.
Now I've gotten some hate for my hate on Fedor so let me go ahead and address that. I don't hate Fedor. As I've said many times, I can't hate anyone I don't know. I dislike fighters (I'm looking at you Sherk and Sylvia) but that's because they come off as pricks who bore me. Fedor comes off as a very respectable guy who always seems to have entertaining fights. I don't dislike Fedor. What I don't like is that he didn't sign with UFC because they essentially wouldn't let him compete in a tournament where only half the fighters show up. I have this perception that every fighter should strive to be the best and if they don't want to be the best, they never will be. By turning down UFC, who had all the best heavyweights in the world outside of Josh Barnett when they were negotiating, Fedor seemed to lack that desire to be the best. Instead of fighting Randy Couture, Tim Sylvia, Antonio Nogueira, ect… he chose to fight Hong Man Choi. Now it's worked out that Cro Cop has left UFC, Couture is gone, Arlovski is all but gone, and Sylvia may be gone so the influx of talent for Fedor to fight has increased. Had this not happened and Fedor continued to fight guys like Pedro Rizzo or Jeff Monson then I would have continued to give Fedor shit because beating those guys prove nothing to me. So there, there's not hate for Fedor, I was just sour on him for not fighting the best.
Two fights have been confirmed for the EliteXC April 26th show in Hawaii. First, Nick Diaz will battle Mushin Corbbrey and then KJ Noons will defend his EXC Lightweight title against Yves Edwards
I'm all for both fights. Love him or hate him, Nick Diaz always puts on a solid fight. Mushin Corbbrey is very good on the feet and trains on the ground with Din Thomas. Like Noons, if Corbbrey can stuff the Diaz takedown, I like his chances on the feet as long as he avoids the PEPPERING PUNCHES~! With Gary Shaw's man crush on Nick Diaz, I assume that if he wins, he'll get a shot at the winner of Noons vs. Edwards.
Noons is going to have a tough time with Edwards. Edwards is a well-rounded fighter who seems like a new man since moving to ATT. Both guys are good on the feet but I think Edwards is more diverse. If the fight hits the ground, I give Edwards the advantage there as well.
To Know is To Love
For most fans, striking is their favorite part of the game. Lets face it, there's nothing more us drunk Americans love than two guys standing there and beating the hell out of each other. Mike Tyson was universally loved because he knocked people out and Chuck Liddell became a mainstream star because he knocked people out. MMA has arguably passed boxing because fights like De La Hoya vs. Mayweather go to a decision while fights like Chuck Liddell vs. Tito Ortiz end in a TKO.
A beautiful thing about MMA striking is that it's not all that technical. Don't get me wrong, watching Anderson Silva pick apart Chris Leben or Randy Couture display head movement against Tim Sylvia is awesome but watching Chuck Liddell throw a looping overhead right to stumble Alistair Overeem is just as awesome. Boxing and K-1 are described as having a sweet science when it comes to striking but in MMA when you have to worry about world-class wrestlers trying to take you down, you don't care how it connects as long as it connects.
The other great thing about MMA striking is something Bas Rutten made famous…the knee to groin. Ok, that's only useful if your name is Cheick Kongo and you're fighting Mirko Cro Cop. I'm of course talking about leg kicks. Personally, leg kicks are probably my favorite thing about striking. There's nothing I enjoy more than watching a guy chop his opponent down with powerful kicks to the leg or starting or ending combos with leg kicks.
Everyone loves a good stand up battle, technical or not. Tank vs. Kimbo was never going to be a technical masterpiece but you knew it would be awesome. Griffin vs. Bonnar was far from technical but it's the fight that contributed to UFC becoming so people. Fans can appreciate groundwork but at the end of the day, the stand up battle will always rule MMA.