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Tuesday tough talk

By Zach Arnold | February 26, 2007

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  1. MMA Weekly: Pennsylvia state athletic commission preparing to regulate MMA in its state
  2. Sherdog: Greg Savage has unkind words for Jerry Millen
  3. IFL HP: Dear Don – advice from “The Predator”
  4. The Canadian Press (via CBC Sports): The Iceman (Liddell) ready to get back to training, looks forward to Sylvia-Couture
  5. Vegas Pop: Star PRIDE (celebrities show up for PRIDE 33)
  6. Mad Squabbles: Judging PRIDE 33 (a good article)
  7. Egotastic: Pretty soon, Jenna Jameson will be all breasts and no face
  8. MMA California: Murilo Ninja seminar in Los Angeles today
  9. The Cumberland News (UK): Fight fans in ticket rush for Workington War
  10. Salt Lake Tribune: More on the athletic commission fall-out in Utah that could affect MMA negatively
  11. The Cleveland Plain Dealer: MMA knocks out boxing
  12. UFC Mania: Bruce Buffer, poker pro
  13. Ground and Pound: Paul “Semtex” Daley interview (he’s going to Elite XC)
  14. The Canadian Press (via The Ottawa Citizen): From comedy to MMA, welcome to the world of Joe Rogan
  15. Fox Sports: American stars shine at PRIDE 33
  16. The Washington Times: In reality, Rulon Gardner’s good TV (the writer rips on Gardner for fighting Hidehiko Yoshida in MMA)
  17. The Canadian Press: Liddell-Silva match-up no longer on the cards, UFC rues lost opportunity (Dana White shreds PRIDE apart over their booking of Silva)
  18. The Boston Herald: Chuck Liddell is open for anything (including a run in the UFC Heavyweight division)
  19. Ivan Trembow: PRIDE 33 fight salaries (if Silva is fighting for only $150,000 USD…)
  20. UFC HP: Tim Sylvia, Randy Couture ready for historic battle Saturday
  21. NBC Sports: Dana White wants to sign Emelianenko Fedor

Topics: All Topics, IFL, Media, MMA, PRIDE, UFC, Zach Arnold | 88 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

88 Responses to “Tuesday tough talk”

  1. Tomer Chen says:

    There was an assload of routes DSE could have taken. I have no idea why people think that title shots need to be substantiated by a guy being the absolute number one contender, especially with no real ranking system in place. Champions ought to face all comers. This ladder-driven image of championship contention is straight foolishness. Non-title fights just straight up aren’t acceptable in fightsport if you’re gonna have titles.

    I agree. I’m a fan of the Joe Louis system of constantly putting the belt on the line irregardless of who the other guy is (although most of his challengers were top 10 contenders besides Harry Thomas, Jack Roper, Al McCoy, Gus Dorazio & Tony Musto). If you’re a real champion, you should be ‘in the mood’ to defend it at all times, not when you feel up to it.

  2. Jordan Breen says:

    “And as for Mr. Breen granted champions should take on all comers and thats what Gomi did when he fought Aurelio but c’mon do u think Aurelio deserved a title shot? Who has he even beat? Who has Baron beat? Do u think Zhulu deserved a title shot with Fedor?”

    Aurelio was ZST Grand Prix champion, that’s not a shabby accomplishment. I wouldn’t have given a title shot to him based on his fairly recent loss to Mishima, even with all the weight contract bullshit around the fight. Baron was considered one of the best guys at 170 or so in Europe, and won the 2H2H tournament at 161 to earn his way into PRIDE. Again, the loss to Eklund in EVT hurts him in that regard, but he’s not really a bogus competitor.

    I’m not even saying these guys deserved shots, for reasons I pointed out above. What I am saying is that while champions needn’t face top five guys on a big ass hot streak all the time, since it’s vastly unrealistic, the guys they do face should at least be individuals who have been winning fights and have some rational argument for testing the division’s class. In that regard, Fedor vs. Zulu should’ve never happened period, it’s not about whether he deserves a title shot.

    “. PRIDE does let their fighters fight anyone and everyone, the problem is alot of the times there was no one for those champions to fight.”

    There were guys more worthy than Aurelio and Baron to face Gomi, who I would’ve had no problem getting title shots. Ishida when he made his PRIDE debut was on a top ten guy on a hot streak coming off his Pacific Rim title win. That’s but one example.

    “im sure the Shooto organizations would have been upset about that and possibly not let it happen.”

    What the hell is Shooto gonna do? Sustain is paying guys a couple hundred bucks and a big bag of protein powder for a win. They’re gonna start vetoing DSE’s whims? Alright then.

    “So this sint really about number 1 contender vs champion (though it really should be) its that NO ONE else would have been a legitimate contender (number 1 or not). And if u think someone should have been, tell me (ur knowledge of japanese fighters is definitly better than mine)”

    This is exactly what I’m saying. A lot of times, there is no true, clearcut, elite level number one contender, but it doesn’t mean the champion shouldn’t be putting his title on the line against someone who is winning consistantly and worthy of testing the division’s class. Ishida, Hansen, Eklund, Danzig, or whoever else would’ve all been decent guys to get a crack. Eklund and Danzig are obviously on a lower level than Ishida and Hansen, but I use them to reinforce my point that guys winning consistantly can be still be worthy of that title shot if there are no other significant contenders at the time period.

    “Im sure if PRIDE could have they would have set the fights up.”

    This is just straight idiotic. DSE don’t give a shit about their title belts, and the only time they’re really utilized is to magnify the hype for a fight where necessary. That’s it, that’s all. That’s just how they get down. If DSE cared about the titles as a top priority, we wouldn’t have constant non-title fights.

    I don’t even have a problem with a non-emphasis on title fights, if they’re going to do Grand Prix events and whatnot, even though I can’t stand them and think they’re one of the most irritating pieces of pro-wrestling pageantry that MMA has. I’ll gladly accept one or the other, but DSE’s complete idiocy when it comes to their championship titles is apparent, and to say that they’d do whatever was in their power to set up championship title scenarios properly is just a flagrant joke.

    “I agree. I’m a fan of the Joe Louis system of constantly putting the belt on the line irregardless of who the other guy is (although most of his challengers were top 10 contenders besides Harry Thomas, Jack Roper, Al McCoy, Gus Dorazio & Tony Musto). If you’re a real champion, you should be ‘in the mood’ to defend it at all times, not when you feel up to it.”

    Tomer, you didn’t even have to reply. I know you know what’s up. I actually had Ali/Lyle in my head when I wrote it.

  3. Mike says:

    From MMA Weekly:

    Philadelphia is likely to be the largest target market in Pennsylvania for MMA due to its size, as is Pittsburgh.

    How are both the largest target market?

  4. JThue says:

    PRIDE wants to have a title-fight on every show this year. Obviously there simply can not be one on Apr 8th, and with the LW tournament starting in May, Apr 28th is out of the question too, but neither is a case of PRIDE opting not to do title matches, just pure logistics.

    DSE not caring about the titles is a completely backward conclusion to make. They hype their champions like hell and protect them by trying to make sure only someone “worthy” even has a shot at the belt, i.e. through winning a GP or a non-title match first. The fact that they haven’t NEEDED to do constant title matches is simply because they’ve been selling like Barbie without them in their main market for a decade. Obviously this all changes with the advance on America and losses of marquee names, and they are acting accordingly.

    Having said that, I absolutely agree that they should lower the contender-standards, and they already seemingly did with Henderson vs. Silva. As for Diaz, they already had a title match on the show, and regardless of someone’s background before coming in first time to a company, you don’t want to put them in a title match first time out. Ishida was a different deal though.

  5. JOSH says:

    “Aurelio was ZST Grand Prix champion, that’s not a shabby accomplishment. I wouldn’t have given a title shot to him based on his fairly recent loss to Mishima, even with all the weight contract bullshit around the fight. Baron was considered one of the best guys at 170 or so in Europe, and won the 2H2H tournament at 161 to earn his way into PRIDE. Again, the loss to Eklund in EVT hurts him in that regard, but he’s not really a bogus competitor.”

    C’mon ZST? 2H2H? Man thats like saying u win the Rage in the Cage or King of the Cage title and u should be an instant crack at teh UFC titles. Dana did that with some fighters and that didnt work so well (ie Patrick Cote, Joe Riggs, Louiseu etc etc…though GSP worked out pretty well and Im hoping Franca does too). But as u stated before neither of those guys deserved a title shot and that why they didnt BUT they were given a chance to roll with the champ because they were at least highly touted fighters.

    “There were guys more worthy than Aurelio and Baron to face Gomi, who I would’ve had no problem getting title shots. Ishida when he made his PRIDE debut was on a top ten guy on a hot streak coming off his Pacific Rim title win. That’s but one example.”

    Yes Ishida did deserve a title shot and look what happend to him in a NON title bout. Case closed.

    “What the hell is Shooto gonna do? Sustain is paying guys a couple hundred bucks and a big bag of protein powder for a win. They’re gonna start vetoing DSE’s whims? Alright then.”

    Wasnt there a whole drama incident between Aoki/Hansen and that fight NOT happening in PRIDE because Shooto wanted it to happen in their ring? I think even with Shooto being a “bush league” PRIDE has some class and bends to their whims. Plus some fighrers are pretty damn loyal to their organizations, even if they are being paid protein powder.

    “This is exactly what I’m saying. A lot of times, there is no true, clearcut, elite level number one contender, but it doesn’t mean the champion shouldn’t be putting his title on the line against someone who is winning consistantly and worthy of testing the division’s class. Ishida, Hansen, Eklund, Danzig, or whoever else would’ve all been decent guys to get a crack. Eklund and Danzig are obviously on a lower level than Ishida and Hansen, but I use them to reinforce my point that guys winning consistantly can be still be worthy of that title shot if there are no other significant contenders at the time period.”

    To be honest u can make a clear cut number 1 contender, hell UFC has been doing it all the time now. Lousieu earned a number 1 status, GSP earned one for beating BJ (and u cant argue that he didnt deserve it either) and so on so on. Just because their is no written document doesnt mean that u cant have a clear cut no.1 contedner. As u pointed out the guys who are consistantly beating people and doing it in a just fashion should get a shot. Baron and Aurelio were not, as u pointed out urself.

    I agree with u that Hansen should get a shot at Gomi, especially considering he beat Gomi fro the Shooto title BUT they didnt want to just Anderson Silva him into that title shot and look what happened he lost to Aoki…so who knows if he can get it until he wins the LW GP. Im not sure why u icked Eklund or Danzing, as especially in the case of Danzing I dont think either deserve a title shot with Gomi.

    “This is just straight idiotic. DSE don’t give a shit about their title belts, and the only time they’re really utilized is to magnify the hype for a fight where necessary. That’s it, that’s all. That’s just how they get down. If DSE cared about the titles as a top priority, we wouldn’t have constant non-title fights.”

    Thanks for the intelligent response. Anyway dont u think that because they have non title fights they DO care about their titles. Look why sully ur belt by having these pointless title defenses. I would be more pissed at a champ who defends against nobodies then a champ who at least fights on almost every card (comapred to champ that fights once every blue moon Mr. liddel). I mean u look at it as a defense stand point and who do u respect more? Frank Shamrock who fougth against a list of b-class figthers or Hughes who has taken down some legitimate contenders when he defended his title (sans Riggs). I think PRIDE plays the marketing well by letting their champs (who bring in the money) fight BUT nt at the risk of lowering their belt fighting aganst people who dont deserve it. Its like boxing when u have paper champs fight against no name contenders, dodging the real contenders. I cant respect a champ EVEN if he has fify title defenses when he’sfought nobody but scrubs with those title defenses.

  6. Tomer Chen says:

    DSE not caring about the titles is a completely backward conclusion to make. They hype their champions like hell and protect them by trying to make sure only someone “worthy” even has a shot at the belt, i.e. through winning a GP or a non-title match first. The fact that they haven’t NEEDED to do constant title matches is simply because they’ve been selling like Barbie without them in their main market for a decade. Obviously this all changes with the advance on America and losses of marquee names, and they are acting accordingly.

    Two problems with your assessment, IMO:

    1) DSE has already booked someone who won a non-title fight into another fight where he lost yet got the rematch on the grounds that he had previously earned it (Marcus Aurelio where he beat Gomi, lost to Ishida and then lost to Gomi in the title rematch). That’s pretty nutty logic, considering: (i) the rematch should have been immediate (to prevent an interim loss situation) and (ii) the interim loss stained the legitimacy of Aurelio’s title shot the second go around even if he did beat the champion.

    2) There have been a few head scratching challengers in the past (Kiyoshi Tamura and Hiromitsu Kanehara against Wanderlei Silva for the PRIDE MW belt come to mind), so it’s not like DSE was afraid of booking fights that on paper were perplexing or even distasteful as ‘worthy’ challengers to the title belts. It was simply a gaijin champion vs. native challenger gimmick.

  7. Jordan Breen says:

    “Yes Ishida did deserve a title shot and look what happend to him in a NON title bout. Case closed.”

    So a worthy challenger shouldn’t face a champion if there’s high potential for him to get wrecked? Does that even contain a logic-like substance?

    “Wasnt there a whole drama incident between Aoki/Hansen and that fight NOT happening in PRIDE because Shooto wanted it to happen in their ring? I think even with Shooto being a “bush league” PRIDE has some class and bends to their whims. Plus some fighrers are pretty damn loyal to their organizations, even if they are being paid protein powder.”

    It was Kawajiri/Hansen, and if DSE really, really wanted the fight, they could’ve made it. They didn’t bow to Shooto, so much as took another road that they found to be just peachy. Shooto authorities and promoters really have no pull, beyond “If you’re nice to us, we can keep churning out fighters.”

    As for loyalty, money talks, bullshit walks. Shinya Aoki said he wasn’t interested in PRIDE or HERO’S particularly and said they were more about entertainment than true sport. Since Saeki convinced him to compete in Bushido, he’s been a PRIDE staple. Aoki is still pretty loyal to Shooto, and says his Shooto commitments will always come first, but even then, it’s not like guys competing in Kitazawa Hall aren’t chomping at the bit for a bigger payday.

    “I agree with u that Hansen should get a shot at Gomi, especially considering he beat Gomi fro the Shooto title BUT they didnt want to just Anderson Silva him into that title shot.”

    How do you know what DSE wanted? DSE didn’t give a fuck about Hansen for MONTHS after the Azeredo fight, while Hansen sat around at home in Norway beating up bums in boxing clubs while he waited for his phone to ring.

    “and look what happened he lost to Aoki…”

    And Gomi lost to Diaz. Fighters lose. Are the only guys worthy of contesting champions those who will go on a huge win streak over the next couple years if they win?

    “Anyway dont u think that because they have non title fights they DO care about their titles. Look why sully ur belt by having these pointless title defenses”

    Again, you’ve drastically missed my point alltogether. They sully the belt by not having regular title defenses against all comers; Gomi shouldn’t have been facing Aurelio or Baron in the first place, if you can’t rationalize a title shot for them. That’s all there is to it.

    “Its like boxing when u have paper champs fight against no name contenders, dodging the real contenders. I cant respect a champ EVEN if he has fify title defenses when he’sfought nobody but scrubs with those title defenses.”

    In case you didn’t notice, DSE have some real contenders. That’s not what’s at stake. What’s at stake is how often they’re utilized, how they’re put into situations to contend for titles if at all, and what fighters are suitable defenses who aren’t clearcut number one contenders, but have earned the right to face the class of the division.

    DSE’s mentality with their championship titles is shit. It doesn’t speak in any way to meaningful championship competition. The fact people even defend it just blows my mind.

  8. 123 Kid says:

    Mr. Breem is knocking the correct out of the ballpark today.

    I honestly cringe when I hear people say that Wanderlei Silva was a champion for 5 years. During that run, he never fought Vovchanchin. He never fought Overeem. He never fought Nogueira. While they all weren’t number 1 contenders, they were fair superior to many of his opponents. Silva has been a paper champion since August 2005. That is when he lost to Arona, and Rua become the true king of the Pride Middleweight Division. When people would talk about putting the UFC vs. Pride champions together, I always thought it was a farce because Silva wasn’t the best at the time.

    Even Dan Henderson has a lot to prove in PRIDE at the welterweight division. He needs to avenge his loss to Misaki. He needs to be fighting Filho. The fact that he wasn’t even the undisputed Welterweight Champion, and still got a title shot in a weight class up with a disgrace. The fact that he won had no baring on this fact.

    Gomi is the biggest paper champion of them all. 2 losses already during his “title run”. He should be ashamed to even call himself a champion at this point.

    Imagine if the UFC pulled this crap. What if Anderson Silva lost twice in the UFC and was still champion. What if Liddell was given pure scrubs on a semi regular basis, and legit challengers were continuously filtered away from him. Imagine if Sean Sherk got a title shot at the Welterweight Title, despite not even having order over his current division. If Zuffa pulled even one of these things, the fans would verbally demolish them.

    This is one of the reasons I get frustrated at MMA Weekly’s rankings. Pride creates a cluster fuck, with tons of loose ends, and their fighters get rewarded for it by being ranked higher then UFC fighters. Before Little Nogueira got KO’d, it was easy for him to be in the Top 10 because he never fought Silva. If it was the UFC, we would have found out a year ago if he could win the title, and when he lost, his stock would have fallen. Fighters like Kazuo Misaki should not be rewarded by having a record of 4-4 in Pride and then winning a Grand Prix after losing in the Semi-Finals.

    The double standard of this sport is amazing. The UFC does so many things right. They bring a level of respect to their title belts like never before seen in this sport. The UFC Light Heavyweight Title means something. The UFC Welterweight Title means something.

    Sorry if I wondered in my thoughts.

  9. The Gaijin says:

    I think they are ATTEMPTING to get better at actually using the title belts for title fights with quality challengers.

    You can’t fault them with Silva: he defended against Rampage, Arona and Henderson in b/w MWGP’s and OWGP. So that’s at least a start on the road towards “legitimizing” the belt in the eyes of those of whom it is not legitimate.

    The WW belt looked to be getting more respect by having MW champ vs. WWGP champ – but there’s a bit of a quagmire now that Henderson has two belts.

    The HW was going to be Fedor vs. Cro Cop – but CC went with the big money contract (no blaming him – he’s always been a biz first guy) and the belt was well defended by Nog before he lost it to Fedor.

    However, the LW belt scene however is a total disaster right now and there’s no defence for that at all.

    But I think they’re starting to realize, especially in the US that the belts have to be of the utmost importance. Whether the company survives and keeps the elite fighters for this to progress is the next question.

  10. 123 Kid says:

    To add one more point.

    The UFC feels like a well structured machine. Fighters, in a general sense, know that if they continue to win, that they will be working their way towards a title shot. It is never perfect, but rarely do we see a fighter lose, and then get a title shot before the guy that beat him. Nathan Marquardt goes 4-0 in the UFC, and is due for a title shot in July. Diego Sanchez continues to win, and is working his way towards a title shot. At the end of the day, the fans know that in the long term, the best fighters will be determined.

    This NEVER seems to be the case with Pride. Everything seems manipulated at every turn.

    A fighter like Antonio Rogerio Nogueira continued to win, and a fighter he beat (Dan Henderson), gets the title shot instead of him. Marcus Aurelio beats Gomi, and then is given another fight before he gets a title shot. This stuff reeks of scandal.

    Even the Pride Grand Prix’s are highly manipulated. The fans NEVER get a full bracket at the beginning of a tournament. Pride always moves fighters around to best please them. Just look at the Pride 2005 Middleweight Grand Prix for proof of this….

    Mauricio Rua gets Quinton Jackson, Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, Alistair Overeem, & Ricardo Arona. Those are the toughest 4 fights in a tournament ever.

    Wanderlei Silva gets Yoshida, who he already beat. Then he gets Nakamura, who isn’t exactly a world class beater. Then, only when Pride can’t match him up against anybody easy, then het gets Arona.

    The same thing happens in the Pride Open-Weight Grand Prix last year. Josh Barnett has to fight Aleksander Emelianenko, Mark Hunt, Antonio Nogueira, and then Mirko Cro Cop. He fights 4 HEAVYWEIGHTS.

    Mirko gets Ikuhisa Minowa, Yoshida, and Silva. He fights 3 205 LBSers, and only in the finals does he have to fight a Heavyweight.

    This is manipulation to the 10th degree. And the fans just don’t see this. They just see that it is a tournament, and the best fighter must have won. When in reality, Pride MANIPULATES the tournament as much as possible to get the outcome they desire the most. While they can’t fix it, they skew things enough to try.

    The fact that any fight fan would be behind these type of promoting practices is just beyond me. I have never understand the true love of Pride. The general public hates boxing for these antics. Yet hardcore Pride fans love when Pride does the same thing.

  11. The Gaijin says:

    Reading Savage’s article I HOPE AND PRAY that Fishman pulls a power play Fertitta’s-style move on PRIDE with the April show and forces them to sell to him. I’d love to see what can happen with a high exposure TV deal and someone that understands the US market. I’m all for them continuing to run in Japan and even Brazil etc. as it keeps that “international” feel, but really at this point they need it out of the inept hands of Sakikabara & friends before he demolishes what was once the Crown Jewel (and still could be if things aren’t left too late) of MMA.

  12. 123 Kid says:

    “But I think they’re starting to realize, especially in the US that the belts have to be of the utmost importance.”

    I disagree. And Diaz vs. Gomi being a non-title fight shows they still haven’t “got it”. Look at each division outlined below, and you will see why they have a VESTED INTEREST in screwing around the fighters and fans with these types of fights…..

    Pride Heavyweight – A complete mess. They have no up & coming talent. Fedor has no challengers except Josh Barnett, and he just lost to Nogueira. After Barnett/Nogueira 3, and Fedor/Barnett, this division is completely done. There are literally no more fights left. Hunt, Little Fedor, and Sergei are just not good enough for title shots.

    Pride Middleweight – We should be seeing Henderson/Rua fight the winner of Arona/Silva 3. After that, they have Nogueira, who’s career is hanging by a thread. Once again, no up & coming talent. Sokodoju, who’s WEC fight I finally saw, got lucky and is not a real title threat. If they play this division out legit, they are out fights by the end of the year.

    Pride Welterweight – Once Henderson loses to Rua, he should be fighting Misaki for their 3rd fight. Meanwhile, we should be getting Filho/Kang and Trigg/Gono. The winner of those 2 fights should fight each other, with the winner getting a shot at Henderson/Misaki. Once again, almost no up & coming talent, which means this division is played out by the end of the year.

    Pride Lightweight – The Tournament might actually make this division even more of a mess. Gomi needs to fight Diaz for the title. If he enters the tournament, that won’t happen for a long while. This is the only Pride Division that is stacked with talent, and has longevity.

    And with my thoughts, you can kind of see why Pride has been delaying key match-ups for fights like Silva/Henderson. If they “played it straight” and gave traditional match making, there would be no more good fights by the end of 2007. They have done nothing to build up their younger talent for a while now. Heck, a lot of key fights in the Middleweight Division were completely neglected in all of 2006.

  13. Armen says:

    On the point halfway up about protecting Fedor I would have to disagree with the poster. While I think arguments can be made that that PRIDE’s other three champions have not faced legitimate top contenders when there was obvious opportunity or necessity for it, I hardly think Fedor falls in with them.

    You would be hard pressed to find anybody who doesn’t rank Mirco Cro Cop the #2 Heavyweight fighter in the world. Fedor fought him and we saw what happened, he won fair and square. In the meantime, Mirko has been kicking the crap out of the rest of the HW division in PRIDE. I don’t think PRIDE is protecting Fedor from the contenders. If anything, they’re protecting the contenders from Fedor! Who’s got a legit chance against that guy besides Cro Cop? Nobody I can think of. The guy’s not invincible but given the current crop of fighter talent versus his, odds are very good that he will beat all of them on a given night.

  14. Fan Futbol says:

    This is easily the most intelligent MMA posting I’ve seen on the web.

    I’d like to switch gears a little bit, back to Dana White on the “unknown” Shogun. That comment genuinely puzzles me. White would have no problem marketing Shogun. He’s young, talented, and an exciting fighter to watch. Chuck’s getting old…who better to groom to take over the division than Shogun? Bring Shogun in, have him defeat a couple TUFers, and have him face Chuck in a year. If Chuck wins, he moves up to heavyweight to fight Cro-Cop, while Shogun stays at LHW to battle it out with Tito, Rampage, and Babalu. If Shogun wins, book a big money rematch with Chuck six months later. Plus, if the UFC took Shogun from Pride, Sakikabara might kill himself.

    FF

  15. Barnett has a more than legitimate chance against Fedor.

  16. JOSH says:

    “So a worthy challenger shouldn’t face a champion if there’s high potential for him to get wrecked? Does that even contain a logic-like substance?”

    Ach Breen u missed my point. I agreed with u that Ishida should have gotten a title shot. he didnt BUT it didnt matter anyways because Gomi turned him to mush. Gomi prvoed he could bea contender like Ishida. So end of story.

    “It was Kawajiri/Hansen, and if DSE really, really wanted the fight, they could’ve made it. They didn’t bow to Shooto, so much as took another road that they found to be just peachy. Shooto authorities and promoters really have no pull, beyond “If you’re nice to us, we can keep churning out fighters.”

    Fine BUT the point is DSE decided to work with Shooto, they didnt have to BUT they did. If UFC faced the same situation would they have done the same thing? Probably not and thats the point Shooto means something to DSE and they worked around it.

    “As for loyalty, money talks, bullshit walks. Shinya Aoki said he wasn’t interested in PRIDE or HERO’S particularly and said they were more about entertainment than true sport. Since Saeki convinced him to compete in Bushido, he’s been a PRIDE staple. Aoki is still pretty loyal to Shooto, and says his Shooto commitments will always come first, but even then, it’s not like guys competing in Kitazawa Hall aren’t chomping at the bit for a bigger payday.”

    Yea BUT again Aoki is staying loyal to Shooto AND believe me there are MANY other fighters like that in Japan. Hell u should know how loyal us Japanese can be.

    “And Gomi lost to Diaz. Fighters lose. Are the only guys worthy of contesting champions those who will go on a huge win streak over the next couple years if they win?”

    Uh yea because thats what makes contenders. Why should Fighter A get a shot if Fighter B is undefeated and Fighter A has two losses on his belt? Hansen should have got a title shot earlier but oh well he lost. Im sure though he could get a shot sooner or later but if Aoki or Melendez goes on a hot streak how can anyone justify Hansen getting a shot before them?

    “Again, you’ve drastically missed my point alltogether. They sully the belt by not having regular title defenses against all comers; Gomi shouldn’t have been facing Aurelio or Baron in the first place, if you can’t rationalize a title shot for them. That’s all there is to it.”

    But again IF u dont have anyone who deserves a shot then do u just let ur champion sit and wait, like the UFC use to do? No instead u let ur champ fight because people will want to come and see the champion fight. Hell I went to the Vegas show BECAUSE Gomi was on the card…NOT because it was a title fight BUT becsause Gomi was going to fight.

    “DSE’s mentality with their championship titles is shit. It doesn’t speak in any way to meaningful championship competition. The fact people even defend it just blows my mind. ”

    Then we will be arguing about it for a while until one of us changes our minds. 😉

  17. JThue says:

    “Two problems with your assessment, IMO:

    DSE has already booked someone who won a non-title fight into another fight where he lost yet got the rematch on the grounds that he had previously earned it (Marcus Aurelio where he beat Gomi, lost to Ishida and then lost to Gomi in the title rematch). That’s pretty nutty logic, considering: (i) the rematch should have been immediate (to prevent an interim loss situation) and (ii) the interim loss stained the legitimacy of Aurelio’s title shot the second go around even if he did beat the champion.”

    — I didn’t argue that all they’ve done makes sense, but that they certainly do not undervalue the title belts like Breen claimed. Thus the “worthy” instead of worthy, and my comment later in the post that they tend to go overboard with how much a contender has to go through/a champion is protected at times. They didn’t book Ishida vs. Aurelio because they don’t care about belts – they booked it because they(foolishly) wanted to up the stakes even further for a title match. Which of course failed miserably.

    “2) There have been a few head scratching challengers in the past (Kiyoshi Tamura and Hiromitsu Kanehara against Wanderlei Silva for the PRIDE MW belt come to mind), so it’s not like DSE was afraid of booking fights that on paper were perplexing or even distasteful as ‘worthy’ challengers to the title belts. It was simply a gaijin champion vs. native challenger gimmick.”

    — Yes, PRIDE, like K-1, has a off and on history of pushing japanese talent over foreign talent. I wouldn’t call either of those opponents perplexing or distasteful as challengers considering the market it was aimed at and how they were sure to improve the image of the champion. The red line though is the amount of total defenses Wanderlei ended up having in all those years.

    RE: SHOGUN

    Of course Dana White doesn’t really believe what he said. He knows what we all know – that Rua at the end of the day will as marketable as Silva as the unbeatable PRIDE MW champion.

  18. Tomer Chen says:

    – Yes, PRIDE, like K-1, has a off and on history of pushing japanese talent over foreign talent. I wouldn’t call either of those opponents perplexing or distasteful as challengers considering the market it was aimed at and how they were sure to improve the image of the champion. The red line though is the amount of total defenses Wanderlei ended up having in all those years.

    My point is that DSE in the past has tossed non-‘worthy’ level challengers at their belt instead of more challenging opponents.

  19. Tomer Chen says:

    Uh yea because thats what makes contenders. Why should Fighter A get a shot if Fighter B is undefeated and Fighter A has two losses on his belt? Hansen should have got a title shot earlier but oh well he lost. Im sure though he could get a shot sooner or later but if Aoki or Melendez goes on a hot streak how can anyone justify Hansen getting a shot before them?

    Let’s say Fighter A is Charley Burley and Fighter B is Billy Fox. I would favor Fighter A in terms of quality of opponent since he was the ducked ‘policeman’ of his era that no one wanted to face because he wasn’t a marketable fighter but he could potentially kick anyone’s ass. Billy Fox had the nicer, padded (arguably full of dives including the infamous Jake La Motta one) record but he was the noticeably inferior fighter between the two. Perfect records mean nothing if you’re beating guys in Oklahoma (or the equivalent of that in MMA).

  20. Ultimo Santa says:

    MY MAIN COMPLAINT ABOUT BOOKING: make the main event fights at least a little bit competitive.

    Most UFC main events aren’t fights – they’re executions. People will soon tire of one-sided beatings, and they’ll burn out on the UFC (like they did with heavyweight boxing).

    I always liked how Pride cards are exciting from top to bottom – not meaningless filler fights comprised of people who lost on a reality show, while we wait for the usually academic main event. (or a 25-minute Tim Sylvia snorefest)

    If Pride dies completely, I really hope Dana White starts booking 4-5 good fights per card, and not 1. Or else myself, and many others, will spend our PPV dollars elsewhere.

  21. In my opinion Pride is actually suffering from their lack of prelim cards stacked with young and developing talent.

  22. JOSH says:

    “Let’s say Fighter A is Charley Burley and Fighter B is Billy Fox. I would favor Fighter A in terms of quality of opponent since he was the ducked ‘policeman’ of his era that no one wanted to face because he wasn’t a marketable fighter but he could potentially kick anyone’s ass. Billy Fox had the nicer, padded (arguably full of dives including the infamous Jake La Motta one) record but he was the noticeably inferior fighter between the two. Perfect records mean nothing if you’re beating guys in Oklahoma (or the equivalent of that in MMA).”

    And inadvertly Tomer u just proved my point about PRIDE and how they handle championship belts. I would consider a champ like Billy Fox wothless even if he had ten times the title defenses then anyone else if his defenses are against nobodies. PRIDE has tried thier hardest to amke sure all their title defenses were against quality opponents and not against nobodies for the sake of title defenses. The “anywhere, anyone, anytime” mentatlity can only go so far.

    “In my opinion Pride is actually suffering from their lack of prelim cards stacked with young and developing talent. ”

    I agree fightlinker, and now Im starting to miss the one sided prelim matches that were used to showcase talent. The once competitive PRIDE has almost eliminated all the competition by having all the top fighters fight each other. But im sure if PRIDE survives they can findsome new talent somwhere.

  23. J-Man says:

    So how does Pride decide who is a quality opponent for a title fight? Tamura and Kanehara must have won a #1 contender fight when I was not looking.
    Arona and Aurelio had to beat the champ in a non title fight. There has to be a better way than that to decide a title contender. Maybe like Misaki you get a title shot you don’t deserve then lose. Next you beat the champion non title then go 1-2 in you next three fights with losses to a real contender and a announcer.

  24. Well, they’d have to develop some consistancy … set up some internal rankings and a system similar to the UFC’s where guys coming up fight guys going down etc. They’d also have to stop pushing fighters so hard, bring it down to one fight every 3-4 months. Also I’d say get rid of GPs because they don’t do anything but screw up the whole ranking system. Now mind you this would make me sad because the OWGP is one of my favorite things from pride … but to create a consistant and clear title ladder you can’t have all these wierd wild tournaments messing everything up … the case with an exhausted Josh Barnett having to face a relatively fresh Crocop is a classic example of this. And of course the Misaki situation with the Bushido tournament is a classic example of why tournaments mess rankings up.

  25. JOSH says:

    Yes we all know how inconsitant PRIDE can be but look at some of the other title defenses. Fedor took down Heath Herring (who was in teh frist PRIDE championship match) to get his crack at the title. Cro Cop took down a whole mess of figthers to get his title shot. Rampage toook out a bunch of people including Liddell, Randleman, and Arona to get his title shot. The only title shots that didnt deserve it were the before mentioned Tamura and Kanehara (which were purely ways for DSE to try and get a japanese fighter to take the title away from Silva). Lets not even mention Misaki as even I agree tat was just crock.

  26. Oh, there’s definately many cases where the top contender has fought for the belt … but there’s just way too many cases in the past year where title fights haven’t been relevant to the rankings, and worse where the booking decisions by PRIDE have just messed everything up and confused things greatly.

    I don’t mind the fact that the rankings are all messed up because as Jordan has said I’ve come to the conclusion that the belts don’t really matter that much. But a lot of the bookings for PRIDE do drive me nuts because the matchups aren’t as competitive as they could be.

  27. MMA Geek says:

    I’d like to switch gears a little bit, back to Dana White on the “unknown” Shogun. That comment genuinely puzzles me. White would have no problem marketing Shogun. He’s young, talented, and an exciting fighter to watch.

    For the second time, people need to stop reading too much into what Dana is saying. Dana is not dismissing Shogun as a fighter. Remember, this is the same Dana that said he wants everyone. The problem is that Chuck needs an opponent like RIGHT NOW and the fact is, Wanderlei has a much longer resume and it more internationally well known superstar than Shogun. Shogun has yet to beat someone like Sakuraba to really put him over big time.

    If Pride dies completely, I really hope Dana White starts booking 4-5 good fights per card, and not 1. Or else myself, and many others, will spend our PPV dollars elsewhere.

    Speak for yourself. Like it or not, UFC is providing a product that many casual and hardcore fans actually enjoy and support. If that weren’t the case, the US wouldn’t be the new Mecca of MMA. If you stop buying PPVs, I highly doubt you’ll be missed.

  28. Well, i don’t think anyone would be sad to see the UFC ramp up their events. We’ve already seen a big quality shift upwards over the past year (minus the last UFC which *was* exciting back when it was Silva and GSP both defending in one event). I think if the UFC buys a few more feeder companies, you’ll see them using these groups to develop their talent, leaving the UFC as a place for the proven veterans to tumble.

  29. Ultimo Santa says:

    MMA Geek – when did I claim:

    A) I said myself and many others…yes, I’m pre-supposing that there are some people who feel like having one good fight on a $40 PPV is a rip-off. So what? I’m quite sure I’m not completely alone in this sentiment.

    B) Who the hell cares who “misses me”? I never make a claim that it would make a fucking difference if I stopped buying UFC’s shows.

    All I’m saying is that IN MY OPINION, on the FIGHT OPINION message board, it’s a little silly to fork out $40, plus tax, to see Liddell slaughter Ortiz (again) and a bunch of ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ reality show trainees.

    When Griffin vs. Jardine is the semi-main event on a card (band being paid pocket change), and you’re making TENS OF MILLIONS on an event, the only thing that’s clear to me is that you’re a cheap, cheap S.O.B.

    Pride, IN MY OPINION, has always put on more entertaining shows due to many factors: the rules, the match-making, and up until recently, the star power.

    I just hope that since UFC is taking over the MMA world (whether I like it or not) Dana White digs into his very deep pockets with his short little alligator arms and puts on several good fights on one event, and gives you, me, and everyone a little more bang for our PPV buck.

    Paying for CroCop was a VERY good start, and I hope the trend continues.

  30. I definately think it’s time for a raise from the base 5 and 5 they offer starting fighters. I don’t think anyone should be fighting for less than 10 and 10 in the UFC.

  31. Luke says:

    Great discussion. As Preach alluded to, we might as well throw our message board in the trash because we can discuss this stuff right here.

    I’ll throw in my two cents. I like UFC’s booking because you only have so many main event level matches that will draw on PPV, and I don’t think UFC wants to blow through them too fast and leave themselves with nothing.

    The fans need time to get to know these guys (ie. Cro-Cop, Rampage, Anderson Silva) before they’ll pay to see them on PPV. I think giving these guys a couple tune-up fights (or squash matches) before putting them in primetime is a good move. Seeing Cro-Cop or Silva, or Rampage destroy a couple guys helps build interest with the casual fan to see them face current champions like Liddell, or Sylvia.

    PRIDE used to book this way, but they seem to have forgotten this formula that allowed them to have so much success. Feeding Wanderlei Silva ‘more cans than a coke machine’ made him a killer in the eyes of a lot of Japanese fans, and that built the interest in seeing him face Sakuraba, and that series of matches drew a lot of money for the company.

  32. JOSH says:

    Luke hit it on the nail.

    Going back though fightlinker…i think newbies are even paid 3 and 3….so how sad is that?

  33. Ultimo Santa says:

    I’m all for building guys up, and I’m all for ‘squash fights’ to get guys over.

    HOWEVER…on a PPV event, I think it’s OK to have several good fights, and not just one. Also – how about a couple fights where we don’t know who will win beforehand?

    Lytle vs. Hughes and Couture vs. Sylvia are basically squash fights, which Dana White is passing off as ‘main events’.

    Lytle can’t even beat Matt Serra, so what hope does he have against Hughes?

    And old Randy moved like a senior citizen vs. Liddell a year ago – how is he going to dea with Sylvia’s range and extra weight?

  34. That’s not really a fair assessment of Silvia/Couture. While he’s the definate underdog, that’s no different than the first time he faced and beat Liddell. In my opinion, fighting is largely mental, and Couture was going through some serious issues back when he was getting whupped. A re-energized and focused Couture is most definately not a squash match.

    Although amen re: Matt Hughes vs Chris Lytle. I honestly don’t enjoy watching any of the TUF4 fighters.

  35. Ultimo Santa says:

    I would LIKE to see Randy Couture take the title off Tim Sylvia – mainly because Sylvia bores the shit out of me – but I just don’t see Old Randy escaping R1 without getting KOed.

    Matt Hughes vs Chris Lytle is a fine match-up if you want to feed someone to Huges and fuel his comeback…maybe for a free TV event on Spike.

    But as the second most hyped fight on a PPV?

    I guess I just don’t like the boxing formula of one big fight, and 6-8 throw-aways. I know most of America is very comfortable with this type of booking, but it feels like a rip-off to me.

    If the undercard was Hughes vs. Diego Sachez (winner gets a title fight) and Rich Franklin vs. a more established fighter (who else is good at 185…Phil Baroni?), THAT would feel like it’s worth $40+ tax to me.

  36. MMA Geek says:

    A) I said myself and many others…yes, I’m pre-supposing that there are some people who feel like having one good fight on a $40 PPV is a rip-off. So what? I’m quite sure I’m not completely alone in this sentiment.

    I don’t agree with you assesment that UFC puts only one good fight per PPV and I think your opinion is in the minority by looking at the phenominal PPV numbers. I’m tired of hearing how “inferior” UFC is when its clearly satisying many many audiences and elevating MMA as a whole.

    B) Who the hell cares who “misses me”? I never make a claim that it would make a fucking difference if I stopped buying UFC’s shows.

    You implied that if the UFC didn’t change its way, it would lose you and potentially other customers. I’m just citing in that in reality, the trend is the exact opposite. There’s always room for improvement, but what you’re saying just doesn’t jive.

  37. MMA Geek says:

    If the undercard was Hughes vs. Diego Sachez (winner gets a title fight) and Rich Franklin vs. a more established fighter (who else is good at 185…Phil Baroni?), THAT would feel like it’s worth $40+ tax to me.

    I’m not crazy about the card either and I’m on the fence about whether to buy it. But to understand the success of the UFC, you have to understand the mindset of the casual fan who doesn’t care how someone is internationally ranked and whether they are actually the best fighter in the world. They just want to see their favorites kick ass and the ones with more on the line tend to sell better, but that doesn’t happen by accident. The mega fights need to be built up contarary to Pride’s belief that you can simply have the top fighter incestuously fighter each other over and over.

    So take a pass. I might do so as well, but there’s no need to complain about it because it does serve a purpose as others have pointed out.

  38. Ultimo Santa says:

    I know exactly WHY Dana White books the way he does, and yes, I’ve seen the impressive PPV numbers. But as a hardcore fan, I personally don’t like the formula. If the ‘casual’ fan enjoys paying $40 for a Tim Sylvia fight and 7 undercard throw-aways filled with TUF losers…hey, whatever tickles your pickle.

    The Ultimate Fighter has given Dana a goldmine: he can a) put over unknown fighters as something special, b) plop them into virtually any PPV to fill in the undercard, and c) pay them peanuts.

    It’s almost a joke, and Dana is laughing all the way to the bank.

    I will take a pass on UFC PPVs until there is 3+ fights on the card worth seeing. I’m hoping their London England PPV will be a little more stacked.

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