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« | Home | »

Wednesday war room: Sean Sherk put on hold, again

By Zach Arnold | November 7, 2007

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Jeff Thaler & Zach Arnold appeared at the first annual Jarry Park MMA awards. Well, as much as you can appear on an Internet radio show.

Ken Shamrock made an appearance on Fight Network Radio (audio here).

Spike TV is home to UFC and Takeru Kobayashi of Major League Eating. (Hat tip: Mikeinformer.)

Todd Martin has the second installment of his Japanese MMA history series. Given the audience that Todd is writing for, he does an excellent job trying to put over the basics. There are two criticisms I have of the article, however, that I do think need to be addressed.

  1. Pancrase was important historically for Japanese pro-wrestling and MMA, but it didn’t do anywhere near the level of business that UWF International did. To basically pass over some of the major events that occured during the time period of UWF-Inter in the article is not something that I would have done.
  2. The start of UWF-Inter (including the famous Takada vs. Koji Kitao match that had nuclear heat at Budokan) and the end of UWF-Inter (Takada tried to get into politics, lost money, and the group was broke so they ended up doing business with Choshu & New Japan and got destroyed). It was New Japan’s destruction of UWF-Inter that ironically led to the destruction of Japanese pro-wrestling on a major scale due to the creation of PRIDE.

Comparing the business models between boxing and MMA.

Jordan Breen has a preview for tomorrow’s Shooto event, which marks the return of Joachim Hansen.

Dan Severn’s thoughts about the way UFC acts.

The line-up for the IFL’s 12/29 Mohegan Sun Arena show.

WEC 31 12/12 Las Vegas card line-up: Urijah Faber vs. Jeff Curran, Rob McCullough vs. Alex Karalexis, Jens Pulver vs. Cub Swanson, Chance Farrar vs. Micah Miller, and Brian Bowles vs. Marcos Galvao.

Sean Sherk’s 11/13 CSAC appeals hearing has been postponed. MMA Analyst elaborates further. The new hearing date is 12/4.

Ruben “Warpath” Villareal is back.

Thoughts on UFC’s Middleweight division. Plus, someone is not buying the creation of UFC’s ‘interim’ Lightweight title.

Ramblings about Yahoo’s Top 10 MMA poll.

Topics: IFL, Japan, MMA, Media, PRIDE, Pro-Wrestling, UFC, WEC, Zach Arnold | 31 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

31 Responses to “Wednesday war room: Sean Sherk put on hold, again”

  1. doem says:

    interesting suggestion with regards to supplements being put under the authority of the FDA
    though the FDA currently lacks sufficient funding to do its job properly now without having to deal with the 1000’s of supplements on the market

  2. 45 Huddle says:

    The CSAC has completely botched the handling of Sean Sherk’s steroid case. This is getting to the point of pathetic.

    I am looking at the Newcastle & Superbowl UFC cards coming up. They are within a few weeks of each other. I can’t help but think that less is more. I will make the assumption that Rampage/Griffin will happen on Superbowl Sunday. Wouldn’t it be nice to see this card on PPV:

    1. UFC Light Heavyweight Title: Quinton Jackson vs. Forrest Griffin
    2. UFC Interim Lightweight Title: BJ Penn vs. Joe Stevenson
    3. Brock Lesnar vs. Frank Mir
    4. Gabriel Gonzaga vs. Fabricio Werdum

    That right there is already a supercard. Combine that with perhaps Henderson/Marquardt, and this is a unbelievable. Hopefully UFC 80 wil be free on SpikeTV.

  3. Zack says:

    UFC has fallen into a pattern of a main event, one fighter under the main event that has some sort of relevance to the title picture, a solid LW bout, and one or two fights featuring fighters from previous seasons of TUF fighting someone beatable on each PPV. It’s their formula. It’s successful. I don’t see it changing.

    Whatever…at least the sport is popular enough that I can go watch cards for free at a bar down the street. Otherwise, I’d probably be watching the fights on youtube.

  4. Zack says:

    One fight under the main event I mean, obviously.

  5. Jim Allcorn says:

    OK. I’ve been an avid, rabid boxing fan since I was 14 WAY back in 1976. And, being a voracious reader as well, I feel comfortable matching my boxing knowledge with pretty much anyone.

    I’ve also been a diehard fan of MMA since UFC 1, but I have no qualms about admitting that my knowledge of it’s infancy in Japan ( & to a lesser extent Brazil ) has many gaps in it. Therefore, I’ve found Todd Martin’s recent articles & the responses/critiques to them here very informative & interesting. I could spend virtually all day absorbing info like that, were it available.

    Unfortunately, other than Martin’s recent work & a few scattered pieces here & there, I’ve yet to find what I would consider to be THE source for the sort of in depth knowledge I desire. So, maybe those here could help me out with questions that I’ve sought the answers to for quite a while now.

    Some of which are:

    – What was the deal with the Ken Shamrock-Bart Vale “fight”?
    I know for a while in the mid ’90s that Vale was fond of telling folks
    that he “knocked out” Shammy & that said KO was of VERY dubious
    legitimacy & “outed” as a work not long after Vale’s boasts got
    under the legit MMA crowd’s skin. But, for what organization did the
    match take place in Japan & what were the details?

    – In the early 90s there was a card in Japan featuring pro wrestlers vs
    Roberto Duran, James Warring & I believe another boxer of note in
    which it was said, that the fighters expected the bouts to be works of
    some sort, but they turned out to be shoots. Resulting in Warring
    claiming that there had been some sort of a “double cross” & Duran
    coming out of his match with an injured shoulder.
    Any clues as to what organization these bouts were for, who the
    grapplers involved were & what the details were?

    – Also, back in ‘93 & ‘94 there were some shoot-fighting shows on
    PPV that had been taped in Japan. A couple of which I ordered. Some
    were obvious shoots, while others were rather over the top works,
    including some tag team matches with a pair from the US in a series
    of “grudge matches” against a Japanese team & also a big ass
    bearded fellow that I believe was either American or billed as being
    from Russia. I can’t recall which.
    In one of the non-worked bouts a Japanese grappler took on former
    World Lightheavyweight Champion Mathew Saad Muhammad in a
    mixed match, which ended awfully quickly via an armbar.
    Does anyone know who the fighter was that Saad tapped out to & for
    what organization the match took place? RINGS perhaps?
    And, what about those tag team matches?

    – Back then, when they were available here in the States, I also used to
    order all the Pancrase PPVs & at the time, there were no closed fist
    strikes allowed above the shoulders. The only part of that rule that I
    enjoyed was being witness to so many of Bas Rutten’s awe inspiring
    & often brutal knock outs with an open hand!
    My query about Pancrase being, when did they change the rules to
    allow punches to the head?

    Any help you can give me with answers to these questions will be
    very much appreciated.

  6. 45 Huddle says:

    Don’t quote me on this, but I thought the Shamrock/Vale “fight” took place on a UWFi card. And the fight was definitely a work.

    For Pancrase….. In 1999, Pancrase started to incorporate a few MMA fights. By the start of 2000, it become true MMA, with punches to the head included. I forget the exact rules, but they were somewhere between Pride & the UFC. To me, anything before the start of 2000 can be questioned as a work. Obviously, the closer to 1993 the fight is the more likely it was a work. And the closer to 1999 the fight was, it was more likely a legit fight. But even guys like Ken Shamrock did works… Heck, his match with Matt Hume is an example of this. It has also been highly rumored that his title loss to Minoru Suzuki was a work, as Pancrase feared that Shamrock would lose in the Superfight to Dan Severn, and didn’t want their champion being beaten on American Television. Boy were they wrong.

  7. Zack says:

    At least Severn got revenge in that brutal brawl @ UFC 9. Most punishing fight ever.

  8. klown says:

    The Fertittas own Station Casinos and are enemies of the Culinary Workers Union which represents Las Vegas casino, hotel and restaurant workers, as evidenced here:

    http://www.culinaryunion226.org/feature.asp?feature_id=15

    These people have nothing but contempt for workers. They won’t let their fighters unionize without a bitter war.

  9. 45 Huddle says:

    I’m sorry, but unions in this society have very little purpose. It is no more evident then the motor and airline industries where these unions have sucked these companies beyond what should be normal pay that the companies now need help from the federal government. Now, there are a few good areas where unions are good. For example, the writer’s strike is a positive thing. Those writers are the life blood of an entire industry. And yet they get no residuals on DVD sales or internet TV purchases.

    So I don’t blame Fertitta for not wanting a union in his company. At the same time, I think a fighters union would be a positive thing. So it all depends on the industry.

  10. Tomer Chen says:

    But, for what organization did the match take place in Japan

    Pro Wrestling Fujiwara Gumi (PWFG) (I believe it was on the 5/15/92 show), a shoot-style pro wrestling organization (in the tradition of UWF v. 1 & 2, UWF-i and early RINGS).

    Any clues as to what organization these bouts were for, who the grapplers involved were & what the details were?

    Roberto Duran faced Masakatsu Funaki on the 4/19/92 PWFG show. James Warring faced Billy Scott on the undercard of the Nobuhiko Takada vs. Trevor Berbick match on the UWF-i 12/22/91 show.

    Does anyone know who the fighter was that Saad tapped out to & for what organization the match took place? RINGS perhaps?
    And, what about those tag team matches?

    Kiyoshi Tamura was the one that tapped out Matthew Saad Muhammad and it was in UWF-i on their 5/8/92 show. As for the tag matches, I’m not really sure off hand as their tag matches were in general meh.

    Hope that helps.

  11. The Gaijin says:

    “I’m sorry, but unions in this society have very little purpose. It is no more evident then the motor and airline industries where these unions have sucked these companies beyond what should be normal pay that the companies now need help from the federal government.”

    Oh give me a god damned break. I guess we should send workers back to 18hr/day-7 days a week, no overtime, benefits or protection from employers in any way, shape or form and getting pulled through machines to boot.

    Yup, damn those unions – the root of all evil.

  12. IceMuncher says:

    Unions are inefficienct. When the workers are getting ripped off (and the UFC fighters are not), they’re necessary. Otherwise, management and employees are usually better off without them.

    My best friend worked for a union a couple years after high school, he said it sucked. They limited the amount of hours he could work a week, he had to pay union dues out of his paycheck, and they went by seniority instead of talent/hard work so he couldn’t get promoted readily. He said it was like trading one dictator for another. He also said quitting that job and working for private contractor was the best thing he ever did. More money and more freedom. So unions in my opinion are pretty meh. Sometimes good, sometimes bad, but they should never be an automatic knee jerk reaction.

  13. IceMuncher says:

    “The Fertittas own Station Casinos and are enemies of the Culinary Workers Union which represents Las Vegas casino, hotel and restaurant workers, as evidenced here:

    http://www.culinaryunion226.org/feature.asp?feature_id=15

    These people have nothing but contempt for workers. They won’t let their fighters unionize without a bitter war.”

    Heh, maybe you should see where Station Casinos ranks in the list of best companies to work. I’m sure that’s because they have nothing but contempt for their employees.

  14. Rob says:

    “nuclear heat at Budokan”

    There’s a phrase one doesn’t expect to read.

  15. The Gaijin says:

    My grandfather, father, brother and most of my uncles are all union workers. They believe they would not be anywhere near as well paid, safe and stable in their jobs without one.

    Seniority is the one way you can assure that no one is playing “favorites” and/or no one is being discriminated against b/c they don’t get along with management/aren’t someone’s brother or beer buddy. Most labour and skilled trades are unionized and I haven’t met too many people in my lifetime that thought they were a bad thing (they were mostly people who weren’t in unions who were negative on them). I’ve rarely seen jobs that were lower paying when they were unionized. And as for having to pay union dues – it’s probably a pittance when you look at all the roles they play for their workers (legal, arbitration, negotiation, their increased role in bargaining power etc. etc. etc.)

    I guess it comes to what you value, your beliefs on the labour force etc. but from my experiences I don’t see how unionization hurts anyone other than making an employer bargain fairly with employees and treat them well. You’re always hear the negatives magnified (they’re usually quite rare) and I’m sure the “lazy union workers” story is no different than any other line of work, union or not.

  16. spacedog says:

    45, you are WRONG, WRONG, WRONG in your contempt and dismissal of Unions. I’m way to tired to explain why, but remember 99% of the workplace rights you take for granted, the weekend for example, are the result of long hard fought battles, battles that were fought by the unions.

  17. Sergio says:

    Gaijin and spacedog sound like old marks saying I should respect a 3 hour Lou Thesz match just because it’s Lou Thesz.

    IceMuncher is right on the money.

    I’ve worked union and non-union jobs and there are definite drawbacks and definite perks either way.

  18. Here’s a clean direct link to that Jarry Park thing:

    http://jarrypark.com/audio/MMAawards110607.mp3

    I can’t sit in front of my computer monitor to listen to this sort of stuff.

  19. Grape Knee High says:

    Sherk? Yawn. Even his out-of-the-ring fights are boring.

  20. I’m with Gaijin on this one. 45 clearly has no idea as to the history of the union movement or the significant positive purposes that they fulfill in a properly functioning company.

    People who are anti union and justify it by the airline and automotive industry companies performance need to remember that there are two parties to every contract. Unions didn’t force management into anything, there were negotiations and the parties agreed.

    Incompetent management, hard nosed foreign competition out of Japan and Europe, and zero foresight as to the future costs of benefits put those companies where they are, not unions. Meanwhile, the unions are the ones bailing those companies out right now.

    Think before you speak.

  21. Preach says:

    doem: “though the FDA currently lacks sufficient funding to do its job properly now without having to deal with the 1000’s of supplements on the market”

    The best way would be for the FDA to work with foreign facilities like the Deutsche Sporthochschule Köln (German Sports University Cologne, which i have mentioned time and again), and simply blacklist the supplements they deemed unsafe/tainted, and instead concentrate on those that were not tested by the DSHK.

    And Villareal should really change his name to Ruben “The Replacement” Villareal. Seriously, the guy’s making a career out of it…

  22. Jim Allcorn says:

    45 Huddle & Tomer Chen, thanks to both of you for your help with those questions. You’re both scholars & gentleman.

  23. Jim Allcorn says:

    Regarding the unions, I’m far from being your staunch pro-union sort, but in the two jobs I’ve had where I was a member of them, my experiences were mostly positive.

    The first one was when I was employed at a hospital laundry & I had to join some union or another. I can’t even recall what it was, but that was pretty much a wash ( no pun intended ). They didn’t do anything more than take our dues each week that I could see.

    But, about a decade later when I was a school bus driver for Laidlaw, the teamsters were voted in & I wasn’t sure what to expect. I’d heard a lot of negative stuff about them, but they actually got us all some good raises & a bit better benefits as soon as they were in charge.

    Plus they saved my bacon when a new base manager came in that “had it in” for all the parkout drivers ( meaning we drove the “short buses” & actually took them home with us each night & parked them in our driveways ) & wanted to eliminate them, but couldn’t because the positions were “grandfathered” into our contract. So, she decided that she was going to do her best to get rid of all the parkout drivers.

    And boy did she try, but every time she came up with some fabricated bullshit to write me up for so that eventually she could fire me, the teamsters union rep came to the rescue. He even managed to turn what was supposed to be a week long suspension into a week off with pay. So, I’ll never say anything bad about the teamsters, ’cause they did good by me.

  24. The Gaijin says:

    “Gaijin and spacedog sound like old marks saying I should respect a 3 hour Lou Thesz match just because it’s Lou Thesz.

    IceMuncher is right on the money.

    I’ve worked union and non-union jobs and there are definite drawbacks and definite perks either way.”

    You’re right – I guess growing up in a “pro-union” environment, I’m obviously going to be drawn to the pro union side. I respect others opinions or beliefs to either side of the issue, but I get offended when I see people spewing venom and animus against unions and justifying it with grossly exaggerated blanket statements.

  25. The Ken Shamrock thing is pretty incendiary.

    It’s interesting that he hasn’t fought in over a year according to fightfinder. I guess he had his surgery or whatever, but you’d think that if he was ready to fight, then he would have signed at least a one fight deal with someone in the last couple months.

  26. Ultimo Santa says:

    Ken Shamrock getting fired for coaching in the IFL? This proves three things about the UFC:

    stroking ego > making money
    fucking people over > what’s best for the company
    Dana White = Vince McMahon

  27. Well, that’s assuming that you buy Ken’s story as the literal truth. That is probably a mistake. They’re negotiating in public ahead of a lawsuit trying to court public opinion.

    ===

    The Jarry Park thing was quality. I’m going to download the guy’s other stuff.`

  28. For anyone who believes that Zuffa underpays its fighters and promotes its brand over its fighters, please read the MMA Payout article about boxing vs MMA pay scales. That article should settle the debate once and for all (probably won’t, but I can hope).

    I don’t think fighters should unionize at this point. MMA as a sport still in its infancy and financially unstable. A fighter’s union would only be fighting for scraps and hindering the long-term growth. What the sport needs is some sembalance of stability for fans, media and sponsors to get on board and Zuffa is the only one who can provide that.

    Before anyone brings up how Zuffa is making millions in PPV and taking fighters to the cleaners, those numbers are always gross revenue that doesn’t mention what percentage Zuffa gets and what expenses Zuffa incurred to put on the show. Until we see what kind of debt and expenses Zuffa has, we don’t know if fighters are getting their fair share or not.

  29. GameCritics,

    Some of us actually have a pretty good handle on the finance stuff at the moment. Or at least, about as good as we’re ever likely to get. Not all the details are out there that we’ve got. I’m sure you could talk to Adam for more information if you’re interested.

    In fact, I’m pretty confident that I could make a very solid estimate of Zuffa’s balance sheet and income statement at this moment.

  30. cyphron says:

    Unions is good and bad.

    Good
    - Gives everyone the same benefits and pay, based on seniority
    - Representation
    - Fights for a fare wage
    - If you’re lazy and suck at your work, you still get a pay raise yearly
    - No one can fire you…suckers!
    - Your company is forced to pay you regardless if they do well or not

    Bad
    - If you’re smarter the next guy and work harder… no one cares
    - You have to pay dues (yay, more taxes!)
    - The guy who works half as hard makes twice as much as you due to seniority
    - Very difficult to get jobs in high paying work (longshoreman) unless you KNOW someone in the union already (yes, it’s like fiefdom…father to son)
    - If your company is not doing well, the union will (a) keep on destroying the company or (b) renegotiate and you get a 30% pay and benefit cut
    - It causes inefficient management

    (Wow, how do I always get into discussions that will get me flamed? =)
    I believe unions were a good thing back in the days when the employers were taking advantage of the employees. Nowadays, with so many federal laws to keep employers in check, unions are a relic of the past. Businesses need to be flexible and agile… unions will cripple that decision making mechanism.

    Unions serve low-paying non-skilled work well back in the days. For work that requires skill and for talented people who needs to float to the top, unions are a detriment. In sports, unions raise your ticket prices! Yes, take a look at the MLB union establishment and correlate the athlete balooning pay with the ticket prices… Unions in sport is only good for the athletes. The fans are the ones who foot the bill for unions.

  31. cyphon, you’ve got your cause and effect wrong in the case of sports.

    Unions also provide other services that you’re completely ignoring that make them worth while for companies. They provide labor quality control, they discipline their own employees, and they provide stability in terms of turnover vs non-union companies. The cost predictability that a multi-year union contract gives you is a major benefit as well.

    It takes a special kind of idiot to run a company into the ground, and those types are the ones who are going to take the cash at the expense of the employees and the shareholders and run off with their golden parachute as your company goes bankrupt. Meanwhile, your ineffective board of directors made up of similar idiots from other companies fiddles while Rome burns.

    Any well run company is going to have a partnership between employees and management that extends in strategic and tactical directions. Unions can be part of that and will help to promote the efficiency of the workplace and provide shareholder value. It’s not for nothing that the majority of the companies that are regarded as blue chip investments come from unionized industries. Predictability, consistent quality, and stability create value and minimize risks.

    Can you do it without a union? Sure. But once your company has thousands of employees in dozens of locations, that one decent manager at the top isn’t going to be able to personally ensure that everyone is doing their job properly. You can either shift that responsibility to people that your employees are paying who come from the ranks of the employees, or you can rely on people that you pay who are looking to jump to the next higher paying job, and who often rise through the ranks because they are dominant personalities who are going to be causing you major problems with turnover.

    Union busting companies are letting their political prejudices get in the way of running their company efficiently and effectively.

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