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« | Home | »

Open thread Monday

By Zach Arnold | November 27, 2006

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Admittedly, it’s been a slow news cycle the last couple of days. Consider this an open-thread for MMA, pro-wrestling, or boxing-related talk in the comments section. I’ll throw a few discussion points out there and see if there’s any interest in talking about them.

The Fight Network reports that Jason “Mayhem” Miller, who is facing Frank Trigg in Hawaii this Friday, will be fighting as a member of Team Quest.

The one interesting story right now in Japan is the impasse in negotiations between Choi Hong-Man and K-1. The Joong AngIlbo reports today that Hong-Man is looking for a one-year deal, somewhere in the 5-6 billion won salary range (that would be anywhere from $6-7 million USD). His camp believes that he has leverage because of marketing power in South Korea and in Asia with sponsors (along with the fact that he draws strong cable ratings for his fights back home).

  1. With 34 days left before New Year’s Eve, I cannot believe that UFC is the promotion (out of the major three – UFC, PRIDE, & K-1) with the most fights announced or planned for their New Year’s Weekend show series. Outside of K-1 and PRIDE having their main events announced (K-1 has Yoshihiro Akiyama vs. Kazushi Sakuraba, PRIDE has Emelianenko Fedor vs. Mark Hunt), it is going to be difficult for the two major Japanese players to get business done. K-1 has a Tokyo Dome show coming up this weekend which, in the grand scheme of things, will eat some valuable time they need to promote their Osaka Dome show on New Year’s Eve. Jeff Thaler on the latest Fight Opinion Radio show made the comment that he thought it could be a weak New Year’s Eve for fighting. I’m starting to wonder if he’s right about this. Chuck Liddell vs. Tito Ortiz could end up being the top fight in terms of business from the three major promotions. Don’t forget, the IFL also has a major TV special on Fox Sports Net in America on 12/31. UFC on 12/30, then right after that both K-1 and PRIDE have their live shows in Japan, and then the IFL on FSN.
  2. If the rumors are true that UFC is interested in purchasing the WEC promotion (based of California), it opens up some interesting business questions. The question that strikes me as potentially the most important is the role of the California State Athletic Commission. If you believe the various message board postings and rumors, future WEC shows in 2007 would be regulated by the CSAC. In the past, promotions that ran events on Indian reservations paid a flat fee (I think it was $1,500 USD) to the commission. Now, if the CSAC oversees events for WEC on Indian land, the commission would likely get 5% of the live gate. The legal question I have is this: What does the CSAC regulating WEC events on Indian land mean for other promotions that might or are already running at various Indian reservations/casinos? Will the CSAC now have full jurisdiction over future MMA events on Indian land? Does this open up the possiblity of lawsuits?
  3. If PRIDE decides to use a roster of lower-salary fighters for their 2007 events in America, will the hardcore PRIDE fans accept the product like they do today? In other words, will watching guys like Joe Doerksen and Travis Wiuff (coming from the IFL) be acceptable enough for the standards that the hardcore PRIDE American fans have?

Topics: All Topics, Boxing, K-1, MMA, Pro-Wrestling, Zach Arnold | 24 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

24 Responses to “Open thread Monday”

  1. nikuraba says:

    If K-1 pay up millions for Choi Hong-Man then that rules out meaningful fights for the first six months doesn’t it? They can’t have him looking inept on a regular basis and still have him draw. So we can expect him in freakshow fights (e.g. the Predator) or against washed up former stars (e.g. Bernardo, JLB). That sucks cos I was looking forward to him getting annihilated.

  2. Frankie J says:

    Passing on some news…

    Please Spare a Thought for MMA Fighter Calvin Bales
    Date submitted: 27 November 2006
    Submitted by: Keith Rockel via
    I have not seen much exposure on this. On Friday November 17th at the Massachusetts WFL event, MSA fighter Calvin Bales had a match against Ricardo Funch. Calvin lost the fight after a punch that rocked him and was choked out. Calvin suffered a major stroke right in the ring and was brought to Massachusetts General Hospital. There has been some improvement but Calvin has a long road ahead of him.

    I thought maybe everyone could put him in there thoughts and prayers today.


    Keith Rockel

  3. Has Pride always been so late to announce their cards? Perhaps it is only because they have been ‘put under the microscope’ a lot more lately that many of their possibly standard business procedures seem so sketchy. Many insiders are claiming to know many of the matchups already … so what the heck might be keeping DSE from announcing the card?

  4. Royal B. says: is trying to confirm a report that UFC will be doing a show in Colombus, OH around the time of the Arnold Classic in March.

    If I was Dana White or any major MMA promoter and I saw Survivor Series last night, I would not hesistate in trying to find out if I could broadcast a card around March 31st.

  5. Tomer says:

    Pro Wrestling, but anyway…

    I thought that the cover of the latest Rolling Stones magazine with Borat looked oddly like Razor Ramon HG. Check out the cover here:

  6. Zack says:

    Royal B….Meltzer confirmed the Ohio rumor in this weeks Observer.

  7. Chuck says:

    Since now that it is official that the Showtime network will show MMA on their station starting February 2007, I wonder who they will snatch up for their first MMA broadcast?

    And I wonder what is up with the WWE/PRIDE talks?

  8. Preach says:

    Pride has always been rather late in announcing their cards, but it’s nonetheless a bit odd, since they’re heavily banking on the success of their NYE show (even without a tv-deal in place). It’s been rumored for some days now that CroCop will fight Bobby Ologun (the tv-celebrity turned fighter from the last few K1-NYE shows), and even though it’s not a match of the magnitude like Fedor/Hunt (there are some people who’d really love to see that, including me), it still puzzles me why they don’t announce it to try and hype up the show a bit…

    I think the Pride nuthuggers (and that’s unfortunately the majority of Pride’s most loyal fans) will just try to spin the signings of guys like Wiuff and Doerksen into a big deal, that they’re great talents, who would’ve ended up in Pride sooner or later, yada yada yada…

  9. Preach says:

    Chuck: Since JD Penn’s involved i’d bet that he’s trying to put as many Hawaiians and ROTR veterans on the card as he can. Most probably the usual suspects, such as Falaniko Vitale, Charuto Verissimo, Cabbage, Ross Ebanez and Ronald Jhun, and a bunch of free-agents with some name value, like Jason Von Flue, Paul Buentello or Frank Trigg.

  10. Preach says:

    Seems Zach was right all along, when he said that Pride would be restructuring and eliminating the Bushido-Series:

    “Sakakibara: “I will reform Pride strongly. Pride-Bushido was a toy box. We considered the various plans and something was born. We made a lightweight class and welterweight class. Fresh power came from it. Bushido was a special event for light and welterweights. Now, this separate system is nonsense. Bushido and Pride will be united in 2007 into one event including heavyweight fighters like Fujita and lightweights like Gomi Takanori.”

    Question: Is Bushido finished completely?

    Sakakibara: “Bushido will become a brand name for foreign country’s Pride events.””

  11. Lynchman says:

    Dave Meltzer has said that Showtime is not investing a large amount of money into this MMA venure. I don’t think we will be seeing event of the UFC or Pride level, but likely closer to ROTR.

  12. The Gaijin says:

    Preach: you seem to paint PRIDE fans with pretty broad strokes and to also put comments in their mouth solely for the purpose of making them look bad. I think a minority of their true or diehard fans view Wuiff or Doerksen signings as people who really ever would have made it there “yada yada”….they’ve been around forever and havent really been able to crack into the top of their divisions.

    But lets call a spade a spade – you seem to me (at least from my few views of your postings) to be a ‘diehard’ UFC fan. Should I start making generalizations b/c many UFC’s diehard fans think guys like Leben, Quarry, Rivera, Diaz etc etc etc…are awesome and deserving of being on the #2 worldwide promotion, that it indicates their loyal fans are nothing more than blind nuthuggers, whose opinion doesnt matter??

    Gain some perspective.

  13. Ivan Trembow says:

    The March UFC show has been listed in MMAWeekly’s Rumors section for a few weeks. Sylvia vs. Vera is a strong possibility for that show.

  14. Ivan Trembow says:

    FrankieJ— Has there been any update on the condition of Calvin Bales?

  15. The Gaijin says:

    Just so you can read how they’re finally revealing that Dana and Zuffa were too chickenshit to allow a one-off fight between Chuck and Silva.
    Protect your Golden Boy some more – let him fight Tito…god knows wins over SHAM-rock and (bs – eke out) over Forrest leave him totally deserving of fighting Liddell.

  16. Ivan Trembow says:

    That was reported at the time as well. Zuffa only wanted to use Wanderlei Silva if it involved a contract that gave the UFC the right to release Silva after one UFC fight if they wanted to (IE, if Silva lost to Liddell), while also having the option of using Silva for up to three UFC fights (IE, if Silva beat Liddell). The only other circumstance under which they’d be willing to use Silva would be under an exclusive UFC contract that would have nothing to do with Pride at all. While Silva did re-sign with Pride earlier this year, the duration of his new Pride deal is not known.

  17. Preach says:

    As i’ve said time and again, i’m not a fan of a promotion, but of fighters, so, sorry, no “diehard UFC-fan” here (you don’t seem to have read too many posts by me). It’s just no secret, that the most delusional fans in MMA belong to the Pride camp. To them, every word that Sakakibara says is considered gospel. They like to sit in their little self-created bubble, talking about how Pride will “smash the UFC and steamroll into the US”, has the “best athletes of all time”, is the “biggest promotion on earth”, and simply dismissing everything that does not fit into their scheme of things as bullshit and lies. And they just love to spin everything their way.

    Sure, there are some Pride-fans who actually know about Doerksen and Wiuff, who know that they’ve been around a long time, aren’t the best there are, and who accept the fact that they’re brought in solely because of financial reasons. But those fans are in the minority unfortunately. The majority (at least the one online, and to be honest, i don’t even think there is one outside of it) consists of the aforementioned blind sheep. You just can’t deny that it has become overly hip on certain messageboards to be extremely Pro-Pride and Anti-UFC.

  18. Chuck says:

    [They like to sit in their little self-created bubble, talking about how Pride will “smash the UFC and steamroll into the US”, has the “best athletes of all time”, is the “biggest promotion on earth”, and simply dismissing everything that does not fit into their scheme of things as bullshit and lies. And they just love to spin everything their way.] as said by Preach.

    Of course Pride isn’t going to beat the UFC in the States, only the most naive (or “markish”, as much as I HATE that term) fans would believe that. Now if Pride does get a working relationship with WWE, something may happen, but let’s just wait and see for that. And Pride DID (and kind of still has) a good chunk of the most elite in MMA. Of course because DSE has mega bucks/yen. And just a few years ago, PRIDE was the biggest MMA/Fighting fed in the world. But that nod has to be split between K-1 and UFC, probably leaning towards UFC.

  19. Frankie J says:

    No further news on Calvin Yet, Ivan.

  20. The Gaijin says:

    Preach: admittedly I said I had read only a few of your posts…and yes I do agree with you on a lot of your points. However its equally “hip” these days to completely bash PRIDE, poke holes at every inkling of trouble and scream like chicken little that the sky is falling. While all the while taking what Dana White and Joe Rogan say as gospel – the people that buy Chris Leben as a legitimate premiere striker, thought Rich Franklin was unbeatable or that Xyience will make you a great fighter. The UFC has used (very very smartly mind you) media to brainwash fans into thinking that their underpaid and less talented “reality stars” are the among the most talented fighters on the planet – which they are most certainly NOT.

    I think it would easily be fair to say that PRIDE DOES have the best roster of fighters talent wise on the planet and at times (maybe not at this moment b/c of financial issues) but even very recently possessed the BEST COLLECTION OF MMA FIGHTERS EVER on their roster.

    I think that people are naive if they think in the current climate, that PRIDE will steamroll into the US. I’m very certain if they’d attempted to hit North America before this Yakuza shitstorm, that it would have been a very likely occurrence. They just seem to be lacking that huge financial backing that Zuffa has seemed to find.

    However, the odds are very stacked against PRIDE as UFC’s rules etc. are now the only rules allowed by the commissions to fight in mma. People won’t be able to see the types/styles of fights that make PRIDE so exciting b/c UFC has made friends in the right places and ensured this won’t happen – YES, I realize that the commission makes the rules, but who’s kidding who…UFC has been able to build a brand recognition and foothold that makes it very hard to beat.

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