By Zach Arnold | August 30, 2011
Wasting no time in stirring the pot on the new & improved version of his MMA radio show, Mauro Ranallo got the ball rolling on Monday with two interviews he had with Frank Shamrock & Dana White.
The subject of two MMA legends, Kazushi Sakuraba & Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, popped up during the radio discussion. Sakuraba is scheduled to fight on September 24th at Saitama Super Arena under the DREAM banner.
(And here you thought I was joking when I told Jordan Breen that the highest-profile biggest-drawing match UFC could book for a Japanese show was Sakuraba vs. Fedor. Scarily, I’m not lying.)
MAURO RANALLO: “This guy is literally going to die in the ring and, yet, here we are six years later and the 42-year old is still fighting. I wanted to get your thoughts on why what was considered one of the big fights and one that both Bas Rutten & I were both looking forward to calling never materialized, that being Frank Shamrock vs. Kazushi Sakuraba under the PRIDE banner. Why didn’t it happen?”
FRANK SHAMROCK: “Well, it never happened because we just could never come to terms with it and at the time, you’re right, Sakuraba was the biggest thing in Mixed Martial Arts and honestly my brand was on the decline and… you know, I was a tough fight, him and I were the exact same style, our teacher’s teachers were the same teachers, so it seemed like we were destined to fight each other but, you know, that was a time when I was going down and he was going up and he was, you know, superstardom ahead of me.
“But when you talk about continuing to fight past your ability to represent your own brand, you know, the Japanese culture believes differently. To them, dying in the ring, that’s a big honor and, you know, I hate to say it but it looks like Sakuraba’s going to go out that way.”
MAURO RANALLO: “You’re joking?”
FRANK SHAMROCK: “No! I mean, when I was in Japan… I would have loved to have died in the ring fighting.”
MAURO RANALLO: “Why?”
FRANK SHAMROCK: “Because that’s what I love to do, that’s the essence to of putting everything on the line and risking your life and your heart and your soul, your spirit, and putting everything out in front of the people. What better way to do if you’re a warrior?”
In a pre-taped interview last Friday, Dana White chimed in on Sakuraba’s legacy in MMA
DANA WHITE: “I’m a huge Sakuraba fan. The problem with the Sakuraba story is, Sakuraba should have fought at 170 pounds instead of doing all these Japanese freak show fights where they got him destroyed by guys who were two weight classes heavier than him. So, it goes unanswered whether Kazushi Sakuraba could have been the greatest fighter to ever come out of Japan. The Japanese ruined him!
“It’s just like any other sport that starts out in the beginning. Guys that were great that you try to compare ‘em to different eras and, you know, like I told you — (I’m a) huge Sakuraba fan and it’s unfortunate that his career wasn’t handled in the right way where we could have found out if this guy was possibly the best fighter ever in Japanese history and I don’t disagree with you at all that he was a huge superstar and definitely put, you know, it on the map, not only in Japan but in the rest of the world.”
It is humorous that he thinks he can be the arbiter of determining the history of the Japanese fight business.
This led to a discussion about another PRIDE legend, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira. Nogueira saved his career in the UFC by beating Brendan Schaub last Saturday night in Rio. Nogueira has a chance to exit MMA gracefully but appears to be wanting to continue and claiming that he will fight for UFC in Japan this February. Unfortunately, he made headlines last week for the following:
MAURO RANALLO: “You’re wearing a t-shirt right now, Parental Advisory: Explicit Content. Dana, you’ve been a guy who’s always said what you wanted to and now, you know where this is going, you guys have reached the promise land, something you’ve been waiting years to achieve and I don’t think it’s a coincidence on November 12th, the 18th year to the day of UFC 1, you guys will be making your network debut on Fox. We’ve heard this last week Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira say some things that may be construed as homophobic, Michael Bisping on Twitter saying what Mayhem Miller did to his sister, used the term gay. You, yourself, has been put to task in the past. Are we going to see a changing of the culture, Dana, or what we see is what we get with the UFC?”
DANA WHITE: “Yeah, listen, we’re in the fight business. Obviously… the last thing we want to do and even the stuff that’s happened with me, and really in the last 10 years there’s been one thing that I’ve regretted and apologized for and, uh, it was taken out of context. It wasn’t a homophobic slur but… this is the fight business, man.”
MAURO RANALLO: “Absolutely.”
DANA WHITE: “I think that people need to stop taking themselves so seriously and… it is what it is.
“I mean, look at Fox as a network. Fox is an edgy guy’s network. Family Guy, exactly, Family Guy and if you look at the programming on FX, their stuff is edgy. It is what it is, you know… some people are going to get offended and some people are going… if you don’t like it, don’t watch it. Guess what? We live in a day and age where there’s 390,000 channels. You don’t like what we got on? Change the channel and watch something else.”
There is great irony in this topic being brought up now. When Fox Sports announced their deal with UFC at the Los Angeles press conference, several MMA writers (including Tomas Rios) said that being aligned with Fox would force UFC to up the professionalism now that they are dealing with network television. I, of course, said no way in hell because if Dana White & Lorenzo Fertitta have been able to secure a $100 million USD/year deal via Ari Emanuel without having to change their personal & professional attitudes, why would they change their behavior now?
During the course of this debate, I brought up Dana’s infamous Youtube rant on Loretta Hunt. Dana glossed over it there in his comments to Mauro. (The backstory on why Dana was angry can be read here.) The mere mention of me bringing this up irritated & agitated UFC supporters on social media who then proceeded to claim that I’m trying to take down the MMA industry.
(First it was PRIDE and now it’s UFC I’m taking down? Pretty powerful, aren’t I? That’s sarcasm for those of you reading on Twitter.)
As a refresher course in regards to what Dana said on that Youtube video of Loretta, here’s the transcript.
“I just heard that there was another absolutely
fucking retarded story written by Loretta Hunt. Loretta, you fucking moron, it is always been the policy at the UFC that the fighters get so many credentials and they can credential whoever the fuck they want, it can be their manager, whoever they want to have in the back with them, they can credential. And you are such a fucking genius, I actually, totally off track here, I heard your interview that you did too about where you said Rich Franklin was our poster boy and we were trying not to get him beat by Matt Lindland and all that fucking shit, too. Yeah, that’s why he fought Anderson Silva fucking twice because we were trying to fucking protect Rich Franklin to save him. Rich Franklin’s fought the best fighters in the world and the only reason I’m talking about this is just to show how fucking dumb you are, number one, OK?
“And it’s always been our policy, always, since
fucking day one and you also put in the article apparently that you know I used to manage Tito and Chuck. Yeah? You want to know what happened when I managed Tito and Chuck? When I went to their UFC fights, I bought my own tickets. I paid for my tickets to go to the UFC and never was I allowed in the back, to go back there, what the fuck do I need to be in the back for if I’m his manager? What, am I holding the mitts for them while they’re warming up? Am I back there talking strategy? No, I’ve done all the fucking business deals before they go there and my work is done, I go there and I watch the fucking fight. I don’t need to be in the fucking back and if I needed to be in the back that bad, then one of those guys would have credentialed me to get in the back, they would have used me as one of their credentials that they get, OK? 90% of the time, these fighters don’t want their fucking managers in the back. You don’t even know what the fuck you’re talking about and to write a story that says, “Oh, and here’s a quote from a guy who wanted to remain anonymous because of fear of repercussions from the,” SHUT THE FUCK UP.
fucking guy that won’t put his name on it, first of all, whoever gave you that quote is a pussy and a fucking f—-t and a fucking liar and everything else whoever gave you that quote. Or maybe it’s you, Loretta, maybe you’re the liar writing bullshit fucking stories. Everything that comes out of your mouth is fucking stupid, OK? What else… Why would I give a shit who represents who? Yeah, there’s no doubt, there’s some guys out there that have managers that are absolute sleazy, dirty fucking scumbags, absolutely. There’s a lot of them, but there’s a lot of guys out that have a lot of good guys who manage them too, who I have no problem with. Who you fucking ask to manage you doesn’t bother me one bit. Ask fucking Rampage Jackson, OK? Ask Rampage Jackson if I ever said anything about any of his fucking managers or anybody who represented him.
“Hey Loretta, if you’re going to write a story, you
fucking moron, at least make sure it’s fucking true and you have some facts and if you’re going to put some fucking quotes in there, get some quotes from people who at least have the fucking balls to put their fucking name on it. I mean, how do you write a story from a guy who fucking it’s like, hey it’s like in an interview where they fucking like put a black thing over the guy’s face and change his voice and shit, you fucking dumb bitch.
Fuck you, Loretta Hunt!”
The great irony in all of this? Loretta was the first guest on Mauro’s radio show on Monday. Dana’s interview played after her segment. Nice timing.