At 38, The Iceman is talking about doing what scores of athletes in every sport have done before him: go into coaching after he’s done competing. Liddell has stated that he loves what he does — not sure if he meant getting drunk and groping chicks, or fighting — but he figures he’s got between 2-4 years left in the cage. The reality of age is starting to creep in and he’s got a plan for the future…or at least an idea of what he might do in retirement.
(The #1 image on GIS for “friday grind”…seriously.)
It’s the usual post-April Fool’s holiday blues wind-down. We’re all just biding our time until Happy Hour, so here are a few shorties to keep you busy until then.
— The UFC is now making more fights official for UFC 85. The show is to go down on June 7th in London. We already know Chuck Liddell will face Rashad Evans in the lame main event, and we’ve followed the other rumors, so let’s take a look at the UFC’s official card as it stands now:
– Chuck Liddell vs Rashad Evans
– Fabricio Werdum vs Brandon Vera
– Martin Kampmann vs Jorge Rivera
– Mike Swick vs Marcus Davis
– Nate Marquardt vs Thales Leites
– Jason Lambert vs Luis Cane
– Thiago Tavares vs Matt Wiman
Other rumored fights for the event that have not been stamped with the UFC official approval yet include: Jess Liaudin versus Paul Taylor, Antoni Hardonk versus Neil Wain, and Ryo Chonan versus Roan Carneiro. This comes via MMAWeekly, but we’ll keep our eyes on it for you.
— BloodyElbow is reporting that the UFC Fight Night 13‘s ratings were — in a word — shitty. The show did a 1.1 rating, which is terrible if you know anything about ratings. For such a stacked card, this really sucks for MMA on free TV. It goes to show you the unfortunate need for a Kimbo/Brock Lesnar/Chuck Liddell as a main eventer.
“TUF 7″ pulled a 1.3 immediately after the 3-hour event, so the previous joint retained its audience and gained some reality show hounds, too. For whatever it’s worth.
— And file this one with the Too Drunk to Care Bureau. Fightlinker dug up a crack-head’s video of Ken Shamrock apparently jonesin’ for meth. Check it out if you dare:
I’ll give them a tip o’ hat for editing, but first — a few quick words to the meth-head:
1) Work on your spelling and punctuation
2) Work on a Ken Shamrock ‘roids video
3) Meth…we’re assuming the Ken Shamrock pictorial is meant as sarcastic?
4) You gotta’ hook-up?
Despite some of you suggesting that madman striker Houston Alexander should take on Chuck Liddell as a replacement for the injured Mauricio Rua — not a bad idea, and one we overlooked earlier — the UFC has gone with one of the safer options that we were expecting, booking Rashad Evans to face the Iceman. Sherdog confirmed last night that the undefeated Ultimate Fighter 2 winner will be meeting Chuck Liddell at UFC 85 on June 7th in London.
It seems like Evans was picked to fill-in because he’d be the least likely to make Liddell eat another loss. Chuck’s a banger, and if he stayed in the pocket with unpredictable brawlers like Alexander or Sokoudjou, he could easily catch a knockout punch. Thiago Silva would have been just as dangerous, as he’s a threat both standing and on the ground, and he’s won all but one of his fights by stoppage. But aside from the occasional head-kick, Rashad Evans sticks to takedowns and lay-and-pray, and it’s nothing that Chuck won’t be able to deal with. In fact, we see this one turning out a lot like UFC 82′s Arlovski/O’Brien farce.
I can’t imagine many people being psyched about this matchup. Evans has a reputation for dullness, and UFC fans aren’t going to want to see Liddell spend entire rounds on his back. And from a marketing perspective, it’ll be tough to sell — Rashad’s a much smaller name than Chuck, and there’s no personal rivalry between them. But it will give the Brits a chance to throw bottles at the man who edged out their beloved Michael Bisping in November. Let’s all hope for a quick and brutal knockout…
(Remember this? Because Houston Alexander doesn’t…)
According to an interview on Tatame.com (translated into English here), undefeated light heavyweight Thiago Silva claims he’ll be fighting Rashad Evans on May 24th. Excellent news, considering that we were just wondering when Silva was going to get another fight, and Evans could really use a definitive beat-down. On Rashad and the rest of the UFC’s LH division, Silva said:
I wanna continue unbeaten, that’s my goal. I know he likes to get down and work on ground n’ pound. He has a heavy hand too, but nothing that scares me. I’ll work on a better way to defeat him, because I wanna fight for the UFC belt this year…There’s a lot of guys that I would like to fight in UFC, but I think I would [like] to fight against Lyoto Machida and Chuck Liddell, because they like an exchanging fight.
Silva, a former member of the famed Chute Boxe academy, also stated that he’ll be joining the Florida-based American Top Team outfit at the end of the month, where he’ll get to roll with such MMA heavy-hitters as Denis Kang, Jeff Monson, Gesias Cavalcante, Marcus Maximus Aurelio, and Alessio Sakara.
In other news, TUF 6 winner Mac Danzig has been booked to face Mark Bocek at UFC 84, according to The Fight Network. The event goes down April 19 at the Bell Centre in Montreal; it’s been rumored that Rich Franklin and Mauricio Rua will also be on the card, but so far only the Serra/St. Pierre main event seems to be officially confirmed. Bocek, a Brazilian jiu-jitsu specialist from Toronto, had a 4-0 record before entering the UFC, where he suffered a TKO loss to Frankie Edgar at UFC 73 in July, then won a decision against Doug Evans during the undercard of UFC 79: “Nemesis.” In other words, the guy’s no pushover, but he’s about as inexperienced as the rest of the reality show jokers that Mac had to dispose of on The Ultimate Fighter, and the fightin’ vegan should have no problem turning his first UFC lightweight match into a victory.
“My last fight, before I fought Rashad (Evans), I wasn’t 100%, and I just wanted to make sure if I ever fight again I’m going to be 100%. The back injury that I sustained kind of hindered me for fight time. Now it’s a lot better…I spoke to Lorenzo (Fertitta), and it looks like in May. They’re going to wait until May, so the next Cinco de Mayo weekend will be Tito Ortiz’ next fight.”
Ortiz’s opponent has not yet been named, but it’s unlikely that the fight will be a re-match with Rashad Evans. Though Ortiz expressed interest in facing the winner of UFC 78′s Evans/Bisping match, MMA Fightline reports that UFC matchmaker Joe Silva has advised both Rashad Evans and Michael Bisping to drop down to middleweight. (This would also affect the possibility of a future Bisping/Hamill rematch.) In any case, with only one fight remaining in his current UFC contract, Ortiz better make his next appearance a good one, or Dana White will fire his ass faster than Trump.
[Lightweights] Frankie Edgar def. Spencer Fisher via unanimous decision
[Middleweights] Ed Herman def. Joe Doerksen via K.O. (punch, third round)
[Welterweights] Karo Parisyan def. Ryo Chonan via unanimous decision
[Light heavyweights] Thiago Silva def. Houston Alexander via TKO (punches, first round)
[Light heavyweights, main event] Rashad Evans def. Michael Bisping via split decision
Full report to come tomorrow, but here’s a sneak preview: This was the dullest and most disappointing UFC event I’ve ever seen. And that’s not just sour grapes because my prediction* turned out to be inaccurate. Name me one UFC card in the AF era that was worse than this one.
* If my dream wasn’t a foretelling, what do you think it meant? (There’s no “MMA” entry in my dream dictionary.) I’m open to all (most) suggestions.
CBSSports.com has a great preview of Saturday’s UFC card, where all of the match-ups (including the ones in the undercard) are analyzed by MMA writers Denny Burkholder, Sam “WAMMA” Caplan, Todd Martin and Ben Fowlkes. If you have some free time, check it out. If not, we’ll summarize:
— Nobody thinks Michael Bisping stands a chance against Rashad Evans.
— Ditto for Thiago Silva against Houston Alexander.
— Even though Joe Doerksen beat him when they met at SF 7 in 2004, Ed Herman gets the edge in their rematch tomorrow.
— Todd Martin calls a Karo Parisyan victory over Ryo Chonan his “lock of the night.”
— Sam Caplan predicts Edgar/Fisher will be the best fight of UFC 78.
— Thiago Alves, Joe Lauzon, Marcus Aurelio and Akihiro Gono will be sure things in their respective fights. (Man, it’s like these MMA writers share a brain…)