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Wednesday war room: Some big turkeys in MMA

By Zach Arnold | November 21, 2007

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On this upcoming Thanksgiving holiday in the States, let us remind you that there is more than UFC on Spike TV. Oh yes, there is.

Boxer Jeff Lacy thinks MMA is a fad and not a sport.

Solar, a channel in the Philippines, has found its request to air UFC programming rejected. The only way UFC will air is if it is ’sanitized.’

Strikeforce’s next event will happen at the Tacoma Dome on 2/23 in Washington state. Bryan Alvarez will be thrilled about this.

Jon Fitch defeated Diego Sanchez last September in Anaheim and surely you would think that this could earn him a UFC Welterweight title shot… or earn him a match against Akihiro Gono. This is an odd match-up and if I was Fitch’s agent, there no way I would accept the booking (zero up-side whatsoever to the match). Furthermore, if it is a true story, what does this say about UFC’s opinion of Fitch overall? They really have not marketed this guy well or even tried to do so, in my opinion.

Plus, Yushin Okami may be returning to UFC.

War of web sites

Over at Sam Caplan’s web site this morning, he has a post titled 5 Oz. EXCLUSIVE: Tim Kennedy to fight Jason “Mayhem” Miller at HDNet Fights. Around the same time this post was added online, The Fight Network posted the following:

Team Quest representatives have confirmed that Jason “Mayhem” Miller will square off with Tim Kennedy in the co-main event at HDNet Fights “Reckless Abandon” on Saturday, Dec. 15 at the American Airlines Arena in Dallas, Texas.

Kennedy (8-1) will replace UFC veteran Sean Salmon, who was medically suspended by the California State Athletic Commission following his knockout loss to Jorge Santiago at Strikeforce “Four Men Enter, One Man Survives” on Nov. 16 in San Jose, Calif.

Miller has a history with Kennedy, who defeated him by decision at an Extreme Challenge event in February 2003. An Army Ranger who was awarded the Bronze Star for his service in Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2006, Kennedy has not lost a fight in more than six years.

Sam Caplan is issuing a war cry to all bloggers to unite against lifting of original news material.

Other MMA news and notes

UFC’s new ring girl.

An interivew with Clay Guida.

Sports Illustrated has a new article about fighter salaries in MMA.

Kevin Iole got no reader feedback for UFC 78’s main event, despite him a few days ago proclaiming UFC 78 to be a card worthy of running at MSG. Fightlinker has an observation about Iole’s mailbag post on Yahoo.

A new sports marketing blog.

What kind of value should be placed on takedowns when judging an MMA fight?

Jay Larkin’s opening statements at yesterday’s IFL conference call.

Inoki clones are invading Japan. (Hat tip: Mikeinformer.)

Pro Elite’s stock price is down to $8 USD/share.

According to The Fight Network, Hiroyuki Kato and Sotaro Shinoda (Sakakibara’s right hand man) are behind the proposed Saitama Super Arena NYE MMA event (although I had heard another name as well behind-the-scenes). Whenever I think about Shinoda, I think about what Bodog did to him on their TV show.

Interestingly enough, a trusted source in Japan is claiming to me that K-1 made an offer to Fedor to fight on their 12/31 Osaka Dome show. The offer was supposedly for $150,000 USD and Fedor’s management team allegedly thought that ‘a zero was missing’ and considered the offer insulting.

Mauro Ranallo is really taking comments from Gus Johnson’s interview with Bill Simmons to heart.

An update on Shonie “Suitcase” Carter.

Oleg Taktarov returns to action on 11/30 for BodogFight in Moscow. He will be fighting John Marsh.

Meet Jeff Souder.

A test for HGH is coming soon:

Researchers have told the White House that a reliable test for human growth hormone will be available soon, but Burns did not know if it will be ready before the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Boxing news and notes

Boxing story of the day is Frank Warren stating that there are negotiations underway to book a fight between Joe Calzaghe and Clinton Woods, which would be a u-turn from discussion of Calzaghe vs. Bernard Hopkins.

Roger Mayweather is calling Ricky Hatton ‘a high-profile club fighter.’

Ozell Nelson will be Jermain Taylor’s new head trainer.

Get ready for Wladimir Klitschko vs. Sultan Ibragimov for 2/23 at MSG, with Tony Thompson’s patience starting to wear thin.

How does Manny Pacquiao vs. David Diaz sound to you in 2008?

Topics: BoDog, Boxing, Canada, HDNet, IFL, Japan, M-1, MMA, Media, PRIDE, Pro Elite, StrikeForce, UFC, UK, Zach Arnold | 13 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

13 Responses to “Wednesday war room: Some big turkeys in MMA”

  1. white ninja says:

    its very fitting and ironic that Fedor’s return to Japan is as a part of HUSTLE

  2. Tomer Chen says:

    Boxing story of the day is Frank Warren stating that there are negotiations underway to book a fight between Joe Calzaghe and Clinton Woods, which would be a u-turn from discussion of Calzaghe vs. Bernard Hopkins.

    This isn’t really a big shock since Calzaghe wanted at least parity with Hopkins which likely wasn’t going to happen. Woods is a fellow UK fighter and is a LHW titlist and would be a far easier challenge for Calzaghe to overcome and become a 2 division champion than Hopkins.

    Get ready for Wladimir Klitschko vs. Sultan Ibragimov for 2/23 at MSG, with Tony Thompson’s patience starting to wear thin.

    The winner of the fight (more than likely Wladimir Klitschko) will have 2 mandatories (Tony Thompson for the WBO which is due by June 2008 and the winner of Aleksandr Povetkin-Eddie Chambers for the IBF, although that one will likely be 1 year within determining the mandatory), so it’s likely you’ll see Wlad or Sultan fight again in June to defend against Thompson.

    How does Manny Pacquiao vs. David Diaz sound to you in 2008?

    Pacquiao should be facing JMM or Edwin Valero at Junior Lightweight (since they don’t want to face Guzman after the ugly second half of the Soto fight; hell, they were hinting at facing Soto anyway even though he lost) instead of going up another weight class to face David Diaz. David Diaz should face Juan Diaz to unify the Lightweight belts some more since Joel Casamayor got embarassed in his robbery over Jose Santa Cruz.

    Eventually, Pacquiao’s power will diminish, so I’m not sure if him continuing to jump up in weight is a great idea.

  3. [...] like Brock Lesnar better make a lot of money fast in the UFC, because the day athletic commissions start testing for Human Growth Hormones, he’s [...]

  4. Jason Bennett says:

    So are you suggesting Fitch wait to fight until the title shot? If so it’s going to be a long time.

    Title shot discussion is so overblown it’s become laughable. The UFC has exactly 5 titles with 250-300 contracted fighters. Yet discussion surrounding every matchup revolves around when the winner could be in the ‘title picture’ or earn his ‘title shot’. Let’s give it a rest already.

    For the sake of the Welterweight title argument: the only title fights you’re likely to see for the 12 months will be contested between Matt Serra, Matt Hughes, Georges St. Pierre and rematches amongst the 3 (get used to it, UFC love$ rematches). So while we’re all waiting, let’s enjoy the division shake-up throughout the next year. Karo, Fitch, Diego, Koscheck and everyone else will have to face other opponents or go on vacation.

  5. D.Capitated says:

    So are you suggesting Fitch wait to fight until the title shot? If so it’s going to be a long time.

    Title shot discussion is so overblown it’s become laughable. The UFC has exactly 5 titles with 250-300 contracted fighters. Yet discussion surrounding every matchup revolves around when the winner could be in the ‘title picture’ or earn his ‘title shot’. Let’s give it a rest already.

    I agree one hundred percent. GSP is the next obvious title challenger no matter how Serra/Hughes turns out, so he should certainly wait until then. There’s so much talent at the top of that division that, simply put, he should wait. Look how long GSP had to wait for before getting a shot. He beat Trigg, Sherk, and Penn to fight for the title.

  6. People have to stop repeating Dana’s bullshit talking points. The active roster of fighters is nowhere near 250-300 fighters. And Fitch should fight Karo for #1 contender … it only makes sense. The UFC has fucked up the WW division for too long trying to keep certain guys from fighting eachother outside of a title match and I’m fucking sick of it.

  7. Zach Arnold says:

    So are you suggesting Fitch wait to fight until the title shot? If so it’s going to be a long time.

    No, not necessarily.

    However, accepting a fight against Akihiro Gono is a waste of time for both men. What does the winner gain from it? Very little. You lose and you lose a lot.

    Fitch vs. Parisyan needs to happen now. If there’s one lesson we’ve learned in MMA booking 2007, it’s that when you have a match ready at hand to book, book it. Don’t waste your time with pseudo-eliminator bouts. Book the best fight you can and make the money you can at the moment.

  8. D.Capitated says:

    However, accepting a fight against Akihiro Gono is a waste of time for both men. What does the winner gain from it? Very little. You lose and you lose a lot.

    Gono gains a ton by winning. For Fitch it is, on paper, a solid name on his resume and a fairly safe win.

  9. Tomer Chen says:

    Gono gains a ton by winning. For Fitch it is, on paper, a solid name on his resume and a fairly safe win.

    While Gono is a quality fighter, he is an unknown commodity to the UFC fanbase, which is the most important factor in this equation. If he loses to Gono, it may not be a horrible L from a hardcore fan perspective, but to the casual fan, it will look bad since this is a guy who does weird ring entrances and had a non-so-incredibly dominant submission win against a far less experienced McCrory in his UFC debut at UFC 78.

  10. D.Capitated says:

    While Gono is a quality fighter, he is an unknown commodity to the UFC fanbase, which is the most important factor in this equation. If he loses to Gono, it may not be a horrible L from a hardcore fan perspective, but to the casual fan, it will look bad since this is a guy who does weird ring entrances and had a non-so-incredibly dominant submission win against a far less experienced McCrory in his UFC debut at UFC 78.

    Gono isn’t significantly lesser known than Fitch, who has many of his fights off TV against opponents I can barely remember. Fitch getting a title shot at WW is about like Marqhardt getting a title shot at MW. “Who?” is more likely the emotion that will be elicited, and thus the only way to change that is to keep Fitch on TV against strong opposition. Gono represents that.

  11. Tomer Chen says:

    Gono isn’t significantly lesser known than Fitch, who has many of his fights off TV against opponents I can barely remember. Fitch getting a title shot at WW is about like Marqhardt getting a title shot at MW. “Who?” is more likely the emotion that will be elicited, and thus the only way to change that is to keep Fitch on TV against strong opposition. Gono represents that.

    To be fair to Fitch, he did get a decision over Diego Sanchez, one of the more marketable names from the division due to winning TUF Season 1 (at MW) in his last fight. Still, why not book him against a Josh Koscheck (or other high profile WW that’s not Serra, Hughes or St. Pierre) if one thinks he stills needs to gain more value? Gono is a step down from Sanchez in name value.

  12. D.Capitated says:

    To be fair to Fitch, he did get a decision over Diego Sanchez, one of the more marketable names from the division due to winning TUF Season 1 (at MW) in his last fight. Still, why not book him against a Josh Koscheck (or other high profile WW that’s not Serra, Hughes or St. Pierre) if one thinks he stills needs to gain more value? Gono is a step down from Sanchez in name value.

    Kos and Fitch are out of the same camp. Forget about them fighting one another. Diego’s moving to 155, so a rematch is out of the question. So then you’ve got Karo (who just fought poorly), Alves, Burkman, and Hironaka in the next level. Still a drop off.

  13. Tomer Chen says:

    So then you’ve got Karo (who just fought poorly), Alves, Burkman, and Hironaka in the next level. Still a drop off.

    Pretty sure Fitch beat everyone on there besides Karo, so the only likely match up on that list would be Karo, even if he looked less than stellar in his last performance (at least he got the W).

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