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Tag: UFC

The Other Half

Hatton sees (and wears) stars

This holiday season I am thankful for friends with real jobs, nice apartments, four-foot HDTV’s, and pay-per view. Aside from TUF’s finale, there was a quaint little boxing match between the infinitely humble Floyd Mayweather and Bedazzled British brawler-slash-sequin-model Ricky Hatton. Pretty much everybody I talked with wanted to see Floyd shitting his teeth out by the 6th round. But he fought a great match, paced himself, and proved that he is (unfortunately) the best. I know, this is an MMA blog. But we have to admit that the sports coincide. Here’s some topical analysis from Bloody Elbow.

MMA is vying for the space that boxing has occupied for years. The popularity of TUF proves that it’s only going to be more and more mainstreamed. Rumors have even popped up that CBS might be airing UFC81.

In other news, don’t forget that Versus is taking time out of their stellar line up to give us this one. Should be good. I envison a future where the popularity of MMA yields to a sport that involves clones of Randy Couture in unarmed combat against 1500 pound amphetamine-fueled bulls. Ultimate Bull Fighting Championships. We’re going to copyright that.


Oh Yeah, the Main Event…

For all the attention we’ve been giving to the Danzig/Speer matchup at Saturday’s TUF Finale, we haven’t shown much love to the Roger Huerta (19-1-1, 5-0 UFC) vs. Clay Guida (22-8-0, 2-2 UFC) lightweight bout that’s actually headlining the card. Many fans have been questioning Huerta’s impressive record, arguing that the UFC has given him easy matchups to protect its Hispanic poster-boy. But as tough as Clay Guida is, he has trouble finishing fights, and it’s not like he’s been tested by the best either; he’s certainly lost to talented fighters, but he hasn’t really beaten any. Personally, I think the Guida love among fans is a little unwarranted (maybe they just want to see him destroy something beautiful). I’m going to pick Huerta in a unanimous decision. But hey, feel free to come to your own conclusions. You can start by watching this clip from the UFC 79 press conference, then Huerta and Guida’s most recent fights…

(Roger Huerta vs. Alberto Crane, UFC 74, 8/25/07)

Click here to download Clay Guida/Marcus Aurelio at UFC 74 (221 MB), courtesy of MMALinker.


Danzig to Drop Down to Lightweight After ‘TUF’


Following in the footsteps of past Ultimate Fighter finalists like Rashad Evans, Joe Stevenson, and Diego Sanchez, Mac Danzig plans to drop down in weight class after Saturday’s TUF finale — no matter what the outcome of his fight against Tommy Speer. As he says in a profile on

“I decided that before I even went on the show. I really have no business fighting the top five guys at 170, or even the top ten when it comes down to it. It’s not that I can’t beat them, but if you put me in with Matt Hughes or Georges St-Pierre ten times, I’m gonna win a number of those times, but realistically, with all skills being the same, those guys are extremely skilled and much bigger than me. I walk around at 170, those guys walk around at 190, so it’s not a good idea for me. I really want to make a run for a title, and 155 is my weight class. I feel that within a couple of years I can be a world champion at 155.”

Danzig has shown tremendous balls in moving up from from his natural weight to compete on The Ultimate Fighter — and for saying that he could beat Matt Hughes on a good day — and dropping down to lightweight is clearly the right move for his career. But God damn, the UFC really needs to put the brakes on this tradition of finalists dropping down in weight as soon as the show ends. The second season of TUF was partly intended to inject fresh blood into the heavyweight division; of the two finalists, one (Rashad Evans) immediately dropped down to light-heavyweight and the other (Brad Imes) doesn’t even compete in the UFC anymore. The next season of the show will feature middleweights in an attempt to get some new names in the hat for the UFC’s second-weakest division, but the finalists could easily drop down to 170 pounds afterwards, adding to the welterweight division’s gridlock. Many suggestions have been offered to aid The Ultimate Fighter‘s sinking ratings — would it hurt to have the competitors sign an agreement stating that the weight class they competed at on the show is the one they’ll stay at for the length of their initial UFC contract? At this point, I feel that anything that would make the seasons’ results matter more in the long run could help maintain the interest of fans, who are jumping the TUF ship in droves due to its predictability.



Vera Sets Sights on World’s Worst Rematch


According to an interview on The Fight Network, Brandon Vera has decided to stay at heavyweight, despite Joe Silva’s advice to drop down to light-heavy after his loss to Tim Sylvia at UFC 77:

“I was like, ‘For what? I ain’t moving nowhere,’” Vera said. “Why the hell would I even think of moving [down]? I have a whole bunch of stuff to do still. I’ve got to beat Tim. I’m not going to let that one go. Our paths will cross again, I promise…To me, that wasn’t even a loss. I didn’t catch an ass whoopin’. I didn’t get beat down.”

Vera suffered a broken hand during the fight that affected him in the clinch, and required a four-hour operation and three screws to repair. He has five fights left on his UFC contract, and will be ready to fight again as early as mid-April.

Personally, I’d stay at heavyweight too if I were Vera. The UFC’s heavyweight division is an all-inclusive resort compared to the grinder known as the 205-pound division. Unless Brock Lesnar can bring in the Undertaker and The Big Show to thicken up the weight class, Vera is top ten just by showing up, and he never has to worry about shedding his love-handles. Must be nice!


Mac and Tommy Advance to TUF Finals


How quickly the game changes. Despite all his efforts in reminding his team to breathe, Matt Serra’s two remaining fighters were eliminated on last night’s episode of The Ultimate Fighter. As Matt Serra himself might say, “Ouch!” Let’s take it from the top…

The episode opens tragically, with Matt Arroyo suffering a rib injury while practicing with Richie useless motherfucking Hightower. He tries to work through it, but the pain convinces him to see the doctor; the prognosis is a small crack in the rib and deep bruising. The doctor doesn’t actually forbid him from fighting, but Arroyo knows that he wouldn’t be able to get through two rounds against Mac Danzig in the shape he’s in, so he takes himself out of the competition. Dana White, who has maybe never fought with a broken rib before, pressures Arroyo into fighting hurt (“words cannot fuckin’ describe what you’re giving up”), and basically calls him a filthy quitter, but Arroyo makes the right choice and stays sidelined, which means a replacement has to be found.

Dana and Matt Serra interview War Machine, Troy, and Richie to see if they’d step in against Mac. The guys want absolutely nothing to do with him. Richie is concerned about dropping 20 pounds in three days; I’m just as concerned that he apparently gained 20 pounds in three days. Anyway, as we all knew would happen, Smilin’ John Kolosci rolls in, pleads for the fight against Mac, and he gets it.

This doesn’t sit well at all with Mac, who looks nervous for the first time all season. “I beat this guy decisively, and he gets another chance to fight me, and if he beats me he’s in the finals?” he asks. Mac starts worrying about getting caught with a shot from Kolosci, who, as Mac points out, has by now “figured out what not to do” against him.

Then there’s this awful commercial for Wahl beard trimmers, co-starring Andre Arlovski:


Big John Goes the Way of Couture, Sonoma :* (


You know that teleconference that “Big” John McCarthy is holding tomorrow? Let’s just say some of the suspense has been lost. Scoop-getter/thunder-stealer Kevin Iole at Yahoo! Sports has revealed that the 45-year-old ref is retiring after Saturday’s Ultimate Fighter finale, and is taking a job as an MMA analyst for The Fight Network. Stay tuned to find out if McCarthy’s decision to leave the UFC was spurred by a perceived lack of respect (a la Randy Couture) or if it was just about the money (a la Randy Couture).

I’m going to throw out a rumor now — you can take it or leave it. Dana White has been saying that the UFC is going to “shake things up” with the next season of The Ultimate Fighter, right? I’m thinkin’ sixteen referees living in a house, two coaches (Herb Dean and Steve Mazzagatti, obviously), and one six-figure contract. If you thought alcohol creates havoc when in the hands of young fighters, you haven’t seen what a pack of drunken refs can do. These guys love to drink. Upper-decking is how they normally use the toilet…


F.o.t.D: Kenny Florian vs. Din Thomas

In honor of Ken-Flo’s upcoming debut in the announcer’s booth, here’s his most recent fight against Din Thomas at UFC Fight Night 11 (9/19/07), which was kind of a fiasco, actually. First, Florian nails Thomas with the hardest accidental groin kick I’ve ever seen. He was looking to break Thomas’s leg with that shot, and instead nailed him directly in the pills. Then, Mario Yamasaki does an awesome job of standing there with his thumb up his ass while Florian repeatedly pounds Thomas in the back of the head; at one point, Florian makes a gesture at Yamasaki as if to say, “Do you actually need to see the dude’s brains before you jump in?” But hey, all’s well that ends well.


UFC: Lots to Discuss


— According to The Fight Network, veteran UFC ref “Big” John McCarthy will be making an “important announcement regarding his future” during a teleconference on Friday morning. John, please don’t walk away from the Octagon — now is the time when we need you the most.

Tim Sylvia will be fighting at UFC 81, against a fighter who hasn’t been named yet. If the match isn’t against Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira for the vacant heavyweight title, UFC 81 would be the fourth-consecutive pay-per-view UFC event without a championship fight.

— Sean Sherk won’t fight in the state of California ever again. BJ Penn won’t fight Sean Sherk anywhere.

— Matt Serra will be hosting a viewing party for UFC 79 at Madison Square Garden. UFC fan club members can purchase tickets starting tomorrow, newsletter subscribers can buy ‘em starting Friday (with the pre-sale password “SERRA”), and the general public can pick up what’s left on Sunday. The price is $30 for a general admission ticket, or $25 if you order before 12/22 — a small price to pay for the opportunity to start chants of “BRIDGE AND TUNNEL!” as soon as Serra shows up to sign autographs. With MMA competitions banned in New York state, watching a jumbotron surrounded by drunk meatheads is as good as it gets!


Wanderlei on Fedor: “He’s Crazy”


Quote of the day, from via MMA Mania:

What do you think about Fedor Emelianenko’s choice not to fight in the UFC?
WS: He’s crazy. I don’t know why the guy doesn’t want to fight here. These are the best events. This is the biggest promotion. The guy could be a symbol here. He could have money for the rest of his life. He could do well with the promotion, with sponsors, with commercials, and many other possibilities…He needs to come to the UFC.

Silva went on to say, “Dana White is an intelligent, virile, beautiful man who definitely does not keep me in a cage at night and beat me with hoses. Well, sometimes he beats me with hoses, but they’re thin hoses, and it’s only because I’m so clumsy and ungrateful.”

But seriously, you should read the rest of the interview, in which Wandy gives major props to Forrest Griffin and addresses the rumor that he could be a coach on the next season of The Ultimate Fighter:

I’d love to coach or even be a fighter on it. What I think they should [do] some day is have a program with major professional fighters. For me, I’d want to do it. It’s a great show.

Having pro fighters compete on The Ultimate Fighter is a fantastic idea, but it might be a little tough to pull off. For now, I think the UFC should just hold a one-off TUF special where Silva fights Richie Hightower to the death. Winner gets a Xyience sponsorship!


Sean Sherk Half-Guilty of Taking Steroids


…or fully guilty of taking half-steroids, whichever way you want to look at it. Bottom line is, the California State Athletic Commission just reduced his one-year suspension for testing positive for Nandrolone to six months. Not exactly sure what the CSAC’s reasoning behind this one is — maybe they figured that being on a little bit of ‘roids isn’t that big of a deal? Anyway, Sherk is basically getting time served; he’ll be eligible to fight again in January. If the term of his suspension goes until exactly six months from his last fight, he’ll be all-clear on 1/7, which is actually before B.J. Penn and Joe Stevenson fight for the interim title at UFC 80. So, a Sherk/Penn unification bout is still a possibility, which is wonderful because they really seem to hate each other.

By the way, Hermes Franca — Sean Sherk’s opponent at UFC 73 who also tested positive for steroids after the match — had his one-year sentence upheld at his hearing in August. Not to get all political, but has the California justice system ever given a Brazilian a fair shake?

UPDATE (From The Stephen Quadros Show via Five Ounces of Pain):
Sean Sherk isn’t letting this one slide. He still claims he is 100% innocent, and plans to continue to fight the suspension, no matter how much money or time it takes. According to his own research*, urinalysis is the worst way to test for Nandrolone. His suspension ends on January 5th, and he’s still salty about this whole “interim title” thing.

* The mental image of a labcoat-and-safety-goggles-clad Sean Sherk urinating into beakers and marking things on a clipboard is making me giggle right now.