(A face made for pay-per-view. PicProps: Middle Easy.com)
As if you needed any reminder. For whatever reason – probably psychologically rooted in our inability to look away from the scene of a car crash – the MMA media has covered the shit out of Impact FC’s rapid fire debuts in Australia during the last couple of weeks. Last Friday’s show – in which Josh Barnett crushed some can named Geronimo Something-or-other — was just a subtle aperitif before tonight’s main course, which is available on pay-per-view for all to see, beginning at 10 p.m. EST/7 p.m. PST.
Look, we’re not going to beat around the bush here. Impact FC needs you to buy this card. For evidence, look no further than the promotion’s refusal this week to buy Bob Sapp a plane ticket from Bulgaria to Sydney because it allegedly couldn’t afford it. If true, that’s not the mark of a cash-rich business, people.
According to a press release from Impact, tonight’s broadcast will include bouts from both events – Barnett and Karo Parisyan will be featured — though the continuation of Ken Shamrock’s long, slow march toward his own demise will reportedly still be the main event, as he fights Pedro Rizzo. If that’s not a fight that screams to be viewed in high definition, then we don’t know what is.
Here’s a rundown of the rest of the action, which promises the likelihood of craziness, if nothing else …
As far as we know, Paulo Filho is also still scheduled to appear, although you never can be too careful with these things. Reports from those on the scene allege that the former WEC middleweight champion bared all at the weigh-in this week, stepping on the scale totally nude (without the prerequisite protective towel barrier) in order to make 186-pounds to clear the way for his fight with the perennially overhyped Denis Kang.
Additionally, Paul Daley follows up his cheap-shotting of Josh Koscheck at UFC 113 with something of a gimmie fight against Daniel Acacio. The Chute Boxe fighter’s strengths should play right into Daley’s all-punching-all-the-time game plan, after all.
Brad Morris, who was initially scheduled to appear on last week’s Impact card, will step in for Sapp to face Soa Palelei in a heavyweight bout. Both guys are local products who have some fleeting UFC experience under their belts. Morris lost to Cain Velasquez and Jason Brilz in back-to-back appearances in the Octagon in 2008. Palelei lost to Eddie Sanchez at UFC 79.
Old school favorite Murilo Bustamante comes out of retirement to face “TUF” washout Jesse Taylor. Taylor will have youth and athleticism on his side, but he’s a wrestler at heart and has shown in all but one of his professional losses that he’s not above getting submitted in the first round. The outcome of this one might well depend on the amount of rust on Bustamante.
Likewise, “Little-ass Ninja” Rua – as Mark Coleman likes to call him — has to be considered the favorite against another former aspiring “Ultimate Fighter” when he takes on Jeremy May. May picked up a win at something called “Ruckus Entertainment” in March, but the victory merely boosted his professional record above .500, at 7-6. Rua has won three straight since consecutive losses in EliteXC and Dream.
Word is you can pick up the Impact PPV for $29.95 from most providers. C’mon, at that price it’s like they’re paying you to watch.