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Fox Sports: "Zach Arnold's Fight Opinion site is one of the best spots on the Web for thought-provoking MMA pieces."

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Thursday news blotter

By Zach Arnold | January 31, 2007

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Today, PRIDE announced in Japan that Mauricio Shogun vs. Alistair Overeem has been added to their 2/24 Las Vegas fight card.

Sherdog is reporting that the Frank Shamrock vs. Renzo Gracie fight, scheduled for Elite XC on 2/10, is possibly up-in-the-air. Update: Gracie Fighter claims a settlement has been reached. One other note: Showtime sent out a press release stating that Showtime Networks Inc. has invested money into ProElite Inc.

Also, a report by Jose Mauricio Costa of Jornal do Vale Tudo states that Shooto will suspend all Brazilian fighters from Japanese events due to a title belt dispute. More here.

Open request – I try to link to as many news stories as I possibly can. Take this opportunity (as a reader) today and link me to some sites that provide news or commentary that perhaps I don’t link to often enough or never have before. Let’s get some fresh material here.

Onto today’s headlines.

  1. Billboard: Top list of recreational sports DVD sales (hat tip: Mikeinformer)
  2. 10 News: Hearing on Jim Lampley restraining order delayed again
  3. Radio: MMA writer Mike Coughlin responds to Eddie Goldman’s challenge to the MMA media (time mark – 1:18:00 to 1:33:15)
  4. The Edmonton Sun: ‘One of us is going to leave this fight bloodied up’
  5. Doghouse Boxing: Can ‘Lil Evil’ climb back to the top again?
  6. Infinite MMA: An interview with Elvis Sinosic
  7. On the Mat: Interview with Gabriel “Napao” Gonzaga
  8. The Dixie Sun: UFC’s popularity growing with every hit (someone let the author know that you can get information on UFC outside of UFC.com)
  9. The Spartan Daily: Campus sorority holds violence awareness workshop today (representative from Shamrock Martial Arts Academy will be in attendance)
  10. The Green River Star: Taking the extreme into the ring
  11. The Bedford Today (UK): Kevin Anderson wins in K-1 rules fight
  12. The Houston Chronicle: A woman’s place is in the ring
  13. MMA California: First all-female MMA event in California
  14. UFC Mania: Josh Burkman cut 40 pounds to make weight?
  15. MMA Insider: Interview with Miletich fighter Sherman Pendergarst
  16. Boxing Scene: Ricardo Mayorga arrested for fraud
  17. ITN News: Boxer Scott Harrison in court on drug charges
  18. Engadget HD: UFC PPV hits HD this weekend
  19. UFC Junkie: BJ Penn book set for May 2007 release
  20. Los Angeles Times: Floyd Mayweather Sr. says $2 million USD demand was legitimate

Topics: All Topics, Boxing, Media, MMA, Pro Elite, Zach Arnold | 42 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

42 Responses to “Thursday news blotter”

  1. monkey says:

    Reading some of these national press articles on MMA and the UFC, it’s a crying shame they don’t pay people who know what they are talking about–and can actually write–to pen these columns.

  2. Henrik Rautila says:

    What I am missing in Fightopinion whis is a great site but can always get better is the lack of K-1 and HERO reporting. In Europe it is by far the most covered promotion.

    I may be in the minority here but stand up fightning such as K-1 Max Id like to see covered here. Also Thai Boxing and Pro Boxing more frequently.

    My point is to look beyond the north american boarders and Japan. If there is interest among your readership.

  3. Henrik Rautila says:

    Those interested in K-1 scene in Europe can visit:
    http://www.fansofk1.com its a newly created site and will improve if more fight fans finds it.

  4. Zach Arnold says:

    If there are more articles in English re: the European MMA scene, I would be glad to link them. I would also be glad to have European MMA writers (we have Mark Pickering covering the UK) on the site as well.

    It isn’t that my focus is narrow, I just don’t have enough resources on my own to cover the entire globe. If some of the European MMA sites have RSS feeds or syndication feeds, it would make it much easier for me to grab links.

  5. monkey says:

    Zach, he was asking for more K1 / Heroes coverage…

    But European MMA would be interesting too. The guys at Total MMA are usually pretty on the ball, and funny, too.

    As for HEROES, they hardly put any events on, so it can’t be covered that much…

  6. Zach Arnold says:

    There are a lot of K-1 shows happening in Europe that I don’t see a lot of information about (which is why I answered the way I did). I know that there may be a It’s Showtime event by Simon Rutz in June with Alistair Overeem on it.

  7. GassedOut says:

    Re: “Can Li’l Evil” climb his way to the top once again?”

    NO. Unless we’re talking about replacing Goldie as a commentator, maybe.

    Seriously though, I don’t think he’s got the stuff to beat Sherk, let alone Penn, and you KNOW Penn will take Sherk out.

  8. It’ll be interesting to see if this Shamrock situation really bites EliteXC in the ass. Losing Shamrock would be a huge blow, and an embarassing screwup for Gary Shaw. Now lets wait a few more months and see what happens with the Jungle Fight lawsuit :-p

  9. JOSH says:

    for K-1 info the best sites are k-1fans.com, or k-1sport.de.eng and centralkickboxing.org is AMAZING!

  10. Jordan Breen says:

    On the Shooto tip, I’ve spoken with ISC secretary general Toshiharu Suzuki who seemed to indicate that Shooto promoters only wanted to prohibit Pequeno, not ALL Brazilians. However, I’m still waiting to hear back from him to clarify. At any rate, Pequeno is allegedly going to return the title belt on Monday.

    Also, no, Pulver isn’t ever going to be a top guy at 155 ever again. He belongs at 145 now anyway.

  11. badape says:

    Some people at the NSAC are putting up a (zuffa paid for ) stink about Antonio Rogerio Nogueira vs Rameau Thierry Sokodjou for 33. Yet they had no problem with Razor Rob (penultimate record: 13 – 3 – 0), Kit Cope (penultimate: 1 – 3 – 0 ).

    Hey, which is more shameful: the NSAC or the CSAC?

  12. ED says:

    NSAC also ok’d the fight at UFC 64 between 18 year old Dan Lauzon, who was 4-0 at the time (and a pro fighter for only 6 months) and Spencer Fisher, who was 18-2 at the time.

  13. The MMA Critic says:

    Two things that most people already know about Vegas, but needs to be pointed out just for the sake of it.

    1. Where the money flows, the athletic commission will follow.
    2. Zuffa is a hometown company, and Vegas will often protect their own.

    I agree, that Zuffa gets away with things that other company’s cannot. It is absolutely unfair.

  14. KillaBeez says:

    “Open request – I try to link to as many news stories as I possibly can. Take this opportunity (as a reader) today and link me to some sites that provide news or commentary that perhaps I don’t link to often enough or never have before. Let’s get some fresh material here.”

    audio/text versions of new interviews with Rashad Evans, Charles “Krazy Horse” Bennett, David Loiseau, Antonio Silva, Gina Carano and K.J. Noons over at http://www.mmanews.com

  15. KillaBeez says:

    “Open request – I try to link to as many news stories as I possibly can. Take this opportunity (as a reader) today and link me to some sites that provide news or commentary that perhaps I don’t link to often enough or never have before. Let’s get some fresh material here.”

    audio/text versions of new interviews with Rashad Evans, Charles “Krazy Horse” Bennett, David Loiseau, Antonio Silva, Gina Carano and K.J. Noons over at mmanews.com

  16. JOSH says:

    ach i dont mind about the fit as LONG as that means that we can see Lil Nog/Shogun II, which will be WAAAY better than Shogun/Overeem II.

  17. The MMA Critic says:

    Pride USA should be entitled “What’s The Point”.

    Silva vs. Henderson. With Arona 3 and Nogueira as possible challengers, this fight makes no sense.

    Shogun vs. Overeem. Overeem has lost his last 2 fights to Nogueira & Arona. He has already lost to Shogun. Shouldn’t Shogun be fighting Arona or Nogueira again. Those rematches make so much more sense.

    Gomi vs. Diaz. Let’s have Gomi fight without defending his title (again). And let’s give him a guy who went 2-3 in his last 5 UFC fights.

    It is amazing that a company that can put on such great events like Final Conflict ’06, can turn around and put on watered down events like this within a 6-month time period. Just amazing.

  18. David says:

    Did we ever find out how many buys the first Pride ppv in America got?

    Pride either needs to get some kind of tv deal in America or their attempts to make money in the US mma market will be worthless.

  19. Ivan Trembow says:

    “Gracie Fighter claims a settlement has been reached. One other note: Showtime sent out a press release stating that Showtime Networks Inc. has invested money into ProElite Inc.”

    This story is not accurate. No agreement has been reached yet between the Strikeforce side and the EliteXC/Showtime side. That doesn’t mean that an agreement won’t be reached, but it hasn’t happened quite yet.

    Also, regardless of which fights do or do not end up taking place on the Showtime card, the UFC has scheduled a multi-hour block of programming that coincidentally goes head-to-head with EliteXC’s debut broadcast on Showtime… and then a second multi-hour block of programming that goes head-to-head with EliteXC’s West Coast feed. Details in the MMA Television Guide section on MMAWeekly.

  20. Ivan Trembow says:

    David— a little bit north of 50,000 (ie, nowhere near enough to be profitable)

  21. JOSH says:

    just to play devil’s advocate (though we have danced this dance NUMEROUS times MMA crtic)

    Henderson/Silva II- purely for a markeetable stand point. American fans will NOT care for Silva/lil Nog or Silva/Arona III. Neother would be a slugfest (which is what the american fans are looking for) and both would do better buisnes in Japan

    Overeem/SHogun- that I will give u…I dont see the point either

    Diaz/Gomi- Hey Gomi proved with Ishida, he doesnt need to put his title on the ine all the times, to devliver a great fight. IMO Ishida was the only number 1 contender to Gomi and he got beat badly…whose next? Dont know, dont care ebcause I am going to LOVE Gomi/Diaz. Then when they do their next PRIDE show in Japan they can figure out if Melendez, Aoki or Hansen deserve a shot or not.

  22. Mr. Roadblock says:

    UFC 67 could be called What’s the Point too. Or Superstars of MMA. Both companies do the same thing.

  23. Zack says:

    Pride’s USA product is kind of moronic in that they try to put an American in every fight. I think a lot of hardcore fans want an alternative to the UFC, and Pride should bring over their traditional product. Put the best against the best. Wanderlei vs Lil Nog is a great fight, and necessary. I have no desire to see Wanderlei vs Arona under the unified rules, and I don’t know if Arona would be able to pass the piss test, which he’d have to do in a main event or title fight (in this case both.) Hendo vs Wanderlei doesn’t excite me, but its still a decent matchup. I’d much rather see Hendo vs Kang/Misaki or Filho (he may have the same problems as Arona with having to piss for a title fight.)

    If Pride wants to showcase an American, Henderson is a great one to get behind. Last year, the UFC was finally able to put lower weights in the headlining slot and were able to flourish. Why not showcase your only American champ, give Wanderlei a different fight, and have 2 title fights? I also agree that non-title fights are retarded, and are a real disservice to the fighters and the fans. I’d like to know how the champs feel about them, because they take away some glory from being champ and defending your title too.

    Eventhough on paper Pride hasn’t presented the matches I want to see right now, it’s hard to argue that it’s not a stacked card, or the fights won’t be entertaining. I think Diaz beats Gomi and I can’t wait to see the lines. He’s better on the ground and will have a ridiculous reach standing, if he wants to keep Gomi at bay with the jab. He’s also only been KO’d once, in the first Jeremy Jackson fight, where he was caught with his hands down, but his traditional standup seems much improved since then. I think that its a great matchup. Diaz is one of the most underrated fighters there is. He’s only lost to the very elite, and all were razor thin decisions.

  24. Diamond Dave Williams says:

    UFC 67 should be “PRIDE FC REVENGE” . When the average UFC fan witnesses Mirko and Rampage destroy UFC cans Sanchez and Eastman, every Pride PPV will escalate in sales as most of the UFC fans will want to know more about where the worlds greatest fighters are coming from. What an informercial for PRIDEFC.
    One could almost argue that the most important signing for PRIDEFC was allowing Mirko to go to the UFC and waltz all over their best fighters.
    When the fans see how dominant MIRKO is, they will want to see the fighters that MIRKO could not defeat in Fedor, Big Nog and Mark Hunt.
    Great move SAK

  25. Mike says:

    People are going to abadon UFC for Pride in droves if Rampage and Mirko beat a pair of non-headliners? Um, no.

  26. Jordan Breen says:

    “UFC 67 should be “PRIDE FC REVENGE” . When the average UFC fan witnesses Mirko and Rampage destroy UFC cans Sanchez and Eastman, every Pride PPV will escalate in sales as most of the UFC fans will want to know more about where the worlds greatest fighters are coming from. What an informercial for PRIDEFC.
    One could almost argue that the most important signing for PRIDEFC was allowing Mirko to go to the UFC and waltz all over their best fighters.
    When the fans see how dominant MIRKO is, they will want to see the fighters that MIRKO could not defeat in Fedor, Big Nog and Mark Hunt.”

    No offense, but you clearly know fuck all about the UFC’s consumers.

    Also, after speaking to Toshiharu Suzuki from the International Shooto Commission, he’s seemed to claim ignorance, saying that he didn’t know exactly what the promoters had told Pedernieras, Pequeno and others, and that they didn’t want to bring in any Brazilians, that was their choice. Either way, Pequeno is supposed to return the title on Monday.

  27. ED says:

    If Cro Cop and Rampage both score spectacular knockouts at UFC 67 (and chances are excellent that at least one of them will), that will amount to the best advertising that Pride could possibly receive in America — hundreds of thousands of UFC fans seeing these fighters for the first time, not knowing anything about them, not really expecting anything spectacular, but vaguely hoping for something special due to the hype surrounding these mysterious UFC debutantes, and, if things go according to plan, witnessing things they’ve never seen done in the UFC, certainly not from “rookies”. In their search for information about these phenoms, many will find their way to Pride through internet searches, or conversations with local MMA “experts”. That doesn’t mean that they will “abandon the UFC in droves”, (why do the two have to be mutually exclusive?) but that thousands will have their eyes opened to Pride for the first time.

  28. JOSH says:

    Eh I’m with the majority in saying that if Mirko and Rampage do their thing people are NOT going to go to PRIDE. All this will do is give people more reason to watch UFC so they can see Mirko and Rampage. Duh.

  29. Mr. Roadblock says:

    Classic boxing settlement on the Showtime deal. Showtime allows Strikeforce to broadcast a Strikeforce show on Showtime and SF drops the lawsuit. All in all, the right thing to do. Let’s see who puts on a better show Scott Coker or JD Penn. I think Showtime is going to be a very interesting player in MMA.

  30. David says:

    Ivan thanks for posting the number. May I ask where you got the number from? Also, do you know if Pride is making any progress towards getting a tv deal, or do they stupidly believe that more than 15 people watch Fox Sports Net (because they show local sports programming, there is no real set schedule, so promoting a weekly show on FSN would be near impossible). Thanks again for the ppv buy number.

  31. ED says:

    I think a lot of hardcore fans are jaded about Cro Cop and Rampage. If you’ve been watching them fight in Pride for the last 5 years, then you’ve grown accustomed to how spectacular they are. Think back to when you first saw Cro Cop LHK Igor & Aleks. Think back to when you saw Rampage pick up Arona over his shoulders like he was a 30 lb. sack of dog food and mercilessly slam him into unconsciousness. Those types of sights are basically unknown in the UFC. People will be electrified (like they were by Rashad’s ko of Salmon) and while most UFC fans will be content to watch Cro Cop & Rampage in the UFC without wondering where they came from, some will be intrigued enough to do some research on them, (the “international superstar” hype surrounding them is unprecedented, and invites further investigation by the curious) and they will eventually find Pride. They will discover Fedor, Wandy, and Shogun in the process.

    If 500,000 people buy UFC 67, and only 10% of them are impressed enough to do some research on Cro Cop and Rampage, that’s 50,000 potential new Pride fans, which is chump change to the UFC, but major exposure for Pride in America. There is precedent to support this notion. After UFC 66, when Cro Cop and Rampage were formally announced as new UFC fighters, Pride’s American website went down for the entire weekend due to the surge in traffic from UFC fans looking for information on them, and that was based soley on Rogan’s hype, boring WFA footage of Rampage, and a graphic of the Croation flag. Imagine what seeing them live in action will do.

  32. Rollo the Cat says:

    The UFC brand name is more important than the fighters to a large extent. People might look at the Pride website, but the fighters won’t be important to most people until they actually get to the UFC.

  33. monkey says:

    Nobody can deny that Pride will get a little more exposure as a by-product of the (potential) success of people who used to fight for them.

    ED’s info about the website conking out from the traffic is a pretty good indication of that.

    Nobody’s saying that fans are going to ditch the UFC for the organisation their new-found stars used to fight in, I don’t think.

  34. Preach says:

    Just thinking that having Rampage and CroCop in the UFC will drive hundreds of thousands of viewers to Pride is delusional, to say the least. Seriously, everyone who thinks that should think twice before attempting to procreate.
    This logic is almost as funny as: Mirko beating Sylvia -> Pride Fighter is the UFC Champ. Since that would equal: Rings Fighter is the Pride HW Champ (Fedor), Shooto Fighter is the Pride LW Champ etc.

    If doing good in another promotion would drive masses of fans to the fighters former employer, promotions like KOTC, Icon, RotR, RitC and others would be making shitloads of money….

  35. Ivan Trembow says:

    “do you know if Pride is making any progress towards getting a tv deal, or do they stupidly believe that more than 15 people watch Fox Sports Net (because they show local sports programming, there is no real set schedule, so promoting a weekly show on FSN would be near impossible). Thanks again for the ppv buy number.”

    They know that they need more than the FSN deal, but TV deals are hard to come by. When the Versus Network started talking about getting into the game and was in negotiations for sure with the IFL and perhaps with Pride as well, that’s when the UFC bought the WEC and it is one of the primary reasons for the purchase according to the Wrestling Observer— one less TV deal for any competitor to get.

  36. ED says:

    “If doing good in another promotion would drive masses of fans to the fighters former employer, promotions like KOTC, Icon, RotR, RitC and others would be making shitloads of money….”

    None of the fighters from those orgs has been hyped as an “international superstar” like Cro Cop and Rampage have. Name one KOTC fighter making his UFC debut who has been featured as a co-headliner for a PPV. Perhaps more importantly, none of the fighters from those orgs is as good as Cro Cop.

  37. David says:

    “They know that they need more than the FSN deal, but TV deals are hard to come by. When the Versus Network started talking about getting into the game and was in negotiations for sure with the IFL and perhaps with Pride as well, that’s when the UFC bought the WEC and it is one of the primary reasons for the purchase according to the Wrestling Observer— one less TV deal for any competitor to get. ”

    Thanks for the info. The UFC is like the fucking mafia the way they ruthlessly block other competitors from taking their market share and prop up puppet companies that look like legitimate competition. If nothing else, Dana and friends are quite shrewd.

    Does anyone know what the chances are of American athletic commissions ever allowing knees to the head on the ground? I dont need to see stomps or soccer kicks, but knees to the head on the ground really can make the difference in fights. For instance with knees on the ground, Heath might have finished Jake Obrien.

  38. Diamond Dave Williams says:

    Jordan Breen Says:

    February 1st, 2007 at 6:43 pm
    “UFC 67 should be “PRIDE FC REVENGE” . When the average UFC fan witnesses Mirko and Rampage destroy UFC cans Sanchez and Eastman, every Pride PPV will escalate in sales as most of the UFC fans will want to know more about where the worlds greatest fighters are coming from. What an informercial for PRIDEFC.
    One could almost argue that the most important signing for PRIDEFC was allowing Mirko to go to the UFC and waltz all over their best fighters.
    When the fans see how dominant MIRKO is, they will want to see the fighters that MIRKO could not defeat in Fedor, Big Nog and Mark Hunt.”

    No offense, but you clearly know fuck all about the UFC’s consumers.

    Also, after speaking to Toshiharu Suzuki from the International Shooto Commission, he’s seemed to claim ignorance, saying that he didn’t know exactly what the promoters had told Pedernieras, Pequeno and others, and that they didn’t want to bring in any Brazilians, that was their choice. Either way, Pequeno is supposed to return the title on Monday.

    Breen, obviously your bullshit overshadows your intellectual quodiant. As formerly just a UFC comsumer, I once was as near sited as yourself. Any fan of any sport wants to know how and where the best atheletes come from?
    Just because you are ignorant to research, don’t claim to interview anyone them claim to have found the information on your own. Plagerism is not legal.

  39. Ivan Trembow says:

    “Does anyone know what the chances are of American athletic commissions ever allowing knees to the head on the ground? I dont need to see stomps or soccer kicks, but knees to the head on the ground really can make the difference in fights. For instance with knees on the ground, Heath might have finished Jake Obrien.”

    Probably not very good. The UFC has a lot of influence over this, and their position on the matter has changed a couple times. They fought long and hard to argue that knees on the ground should be legal when Pride was trying to get sanctioned in the US, but Dana White recently said in an interview that he thinks knees to the head on the ground should be legal.

    As for the effect that it would have had on the Herring vs. O’Brien fight, I’d actually argue that it would have made O’Brien more likely to win by stoppage, not Herring. It was O’Brien who was taking down Herring at all and would have been able to use knees to the head when Herring would constantly turtle up on all fours on the ground.

  40. David says:

    “Probably not very good. The UFC has a lot of influence over this, and their position on the matter has changed a couple times. They fought long and hard to argue that knees on the ground should be legal when Pride was trying to get sanctioned in the US, but Dana White recently said in an interview that he thinks knees to the head on the ground should be legal.

    As for the effect that it would have had on the Herring vs. O’Brien fight, I’d actually argue that it would have made O’Brien more likely to win by stoppage, not Herring. It was O’Brien who was taking down Herring at all and would have been able to use knees to the head when Herring would constantly turtle up on all fours on the ground.”

    If Dana thinks knees should be legal, and Ratner is in his pocket, perhaps within a year or two we will see kness on the ground..

    As for the Herring-O’Brien fight, I don’t think O’Brien would have the know how nor the confidence to effectively use knees on the ground. Hell, he barely had enough confidence to punch on the ground..

    Heath on the other hand has great knees, and the second time he knocked O’Brien down, he was in perfect position to knee the fuck out of O’Brien’s head. I would agree with you that Heath was certainly turtled up a lot, but I don’t have enough confidence in O’Brien’s offense to think he would capitalize on it at all.

  41. Ivan Trembow says:

    Yeah, you’re probably right that O’Brien still wouldn’t have finished the fight, but I’d still say it would have been O’Brien by decision.

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