The one-hour stand-up comedy special that UFC color-man Joe Rogan filmed in Columbus before UFC 96 has finally gotten an airdate: June 20th at midnight ET/PT, directly following the broadcast of TheUltimate Fighter: U.S. vs. U.K. finale. As Rogan confirmed during an appearance on The Greg Fitzsimmons Show yesterday, his will be the first of several comedy specials that Spike will air this year, and the late-night time slot allows it to be aired uncensored. ("I couldn’t believe it. They don’t have to cut anything.")
Sounds like a kickass night of free entertainment. To refresh your memories, the TUF 9 finale card be lookin’ like this:
— Renato "Babalu" Sobral has pulled out of his June 6th Strikeforce light-heavyweight title defense against Rafael "Feijao" Cavalcante, because the due date of his next child falls too close to the event. According to Sobral’s manager Richard Wilner, Sobral originally accepted a Strikeforce fight for May, but the May date was instead taken by the first Sho MMA: Strikeforce Challengers show, and Sobral was told that his fight would be moved to June. "We basically said okay, but about three days after that, the doctors confirmed that Babalu’s baby was meant to be born on May 24," Wilner said. Sobral expects to return in August. As for Feijao, he will likely still compete on the June 6th "Lawler vs. Shields" card against a yet-unnamed opponent, and hopes to get a shot at Babalu’s belt when the champ returns.
Since Anderson Silva doesn’t seem terribly interested in defending his UFC 97 performance against critics, and because his lack of English skills makes that difficult anyway, his manager, Ed Soares, has been doing it for him. Soares said in a recent interview that he didn’t think Silva’s fight with Leites was “a bad fight,” and even partially blamed the UFC for putting a “one-dimensional” fighter against the champ. He also made the case for Silva’s dominance by pointing out the lack of damage he took in the fight:
"After watching the fight on TV, I thought [Silva] fought a good fight. He didn’t finish him, but I thought he fought a good fight. Technically, I really didn’t see anything wrong with the way he fought. Who goes in there and fights five rounds with somebody and doesn’t even have a mark on his face? Not too many people can do that."
"I don’t know. People have to look at it that way instead of always thinking that Anderson is going to go in there and knock people out or submit them really quick. It just doesn’t happen sometimes."
Soares is right. It is unrealistic to think that even Silva is going to finish everyone in spectacular fashion, especially if he’s facing an opponent who doesn’t want to engage with him. But that’s only part of the problem.
A little less than three months out from his rematch with Brock Lesnar at UFC 100, and Frank Mir is already starting in on the trash talk and mind games in this Raw Vegas interview. He’s decided to go the self-deprecating route, which means Forrest Griffin has a royalty check coming. Mir also isn’t afraid to toss a few little burns in there just for the hell of it, even commenting at one point on the "penis" tattooed on Lesnar’s chest. You can thank Dave Farra for bringing that up. Hey, we were all thinking it.
Aside from the Lesnar talk, Mir offers the best response yet to the inevitable Fedor questions. Instead of doubting his credentials and just refusing to talk about the guy, Mir says it’s "not fair" that other heavyweights have gotten a chance to feel how hard Fedor hits and he might never get that opportunity. You have to admit he has a point. It’s about time somebody called Fedor out on his discriminatory punching practices.
I wasn’t impressed at all with the main event. You never want to disrespect fellow fighters, much less two contesting a UFC world title, but I think both guys should hang their heads in shame, quite honestly. Leites probably won the first two rounds but nothing happened in the fight.
I fought on the first card in Montreal last April, and the Canadians are tremendous supporters of the UFC. They deserved a hell of a lot better than they got from these two. I’ve seen more aggression from my fiancé when she hits the January sales. [Ed. note: Again with the January sales thing?]
It was very frustrating for me to be sitting on my couch seeing Anderson Silva, who keeps saying how he’s gone through the middleweight division. I would have fought harder than both of them put together, and so would a lot of other middleweights.
If Bisping can get past Dan Henderson at UFC 100, he’ll likely get the chance to back up his words. And it’s hard to disagree with him. Cote and Leites played it timid against Silva, and didn’t inspire him to greatness. Maybe all the champ needs is a confident challenger. Or maybe Anderson’s just gone batshit loony. Time will tell.
Meanwhile, Matt Hughes tried his own method of baiting Anderson for a future fight…
Here’s the explanation we were given to go along with this photo:
"Mixed Martial Arts star Andrei Arlovski is featured in the sequel of the iconic hit film UNIVERSAL SOLDIER. Stars Jean-Claude Van Damme and Dolph Lundgren return as fight-to-the-death enemies in "Universal Soldier: A New Beginning." The film has just wrapped principal photography.”
But between us, we think that’s all a clever cover story. That’s what the government would like you to believe. But look in those eyes. See the despair? See the anguish? That’s a man who has grown disillusioned with the world of pro fighting and has traveled into the future to join some totally sweet army of motocross riders with machine guns who do battle with aliens or giant bugs or robots or something.
At least that’s our take. We’ll let you decide which explanation sounds more plausible.
“I used the same diet that I used to fight Shayana and I made 140lbs, much less than this time. But I had a little problem that all women suffer every month. I had the menstrual period three days before the weigh-in and it put me in trouble.”
Oh, that pesky menstrual period. Here’s the thing, I’ll admit to not knowing much about woman problems, but I did a little asking around in my social circle and what I learned is 1) women know we menfolk don’t know much about it, and on occasion they’ve been known to take advantage of our ignorance, and 2) they can look at the freaking calendar and know when it’s coming.
"I felt so bad for him to see him go out like that. He is a great person and a legend and when you see that as a fighter, you get a small glimpse of your own demise in the sport. At one point, he was unstoppable, but I guess the saying is true, ‘Nothing stays gold forever’."
"There were no changes [in Liddell's style and preparation]. I knew that before the fight because an inside source told me that it was just a front. It’s too late for him. His reactions and ability to take punishment is gone and you could never get that back…He deteriorated so fast, it’s not even funny. Just a season ago he was on his way back after his win over Wandy and now, it’s over. You have to wonder if he is on the border of a medical problem."
I’ll refrain from making any young lion/old lion analogies, but yes, we’ve finally seen the last gasp of the Tito/Randy/Chuck era of the UFC, and it’ll be a somber week for some MMA fans. The new generation has taken over in full force, led by fighters like Rashad Evans, Lyoto Machida, GSP, and Brock Lesnar. And maybe one of these days, Jon Jones is going to spinning-backfist Rashad Evans into a living death, and we’ll start talking about how great Sugar used to be until he started slowing down just enough for younger guys to pick him apart. It’s the circle of life. Still, this claim that Liddell was just frontin’ about working on the holes in his standup game? Well damn, dude. If you hope to hang with fighters who are more than ten years younger than you, you have to put in the work. The UFC front office doesn’t need any loafers.