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Sunday media review: The aftermath from UFC 73

By Zach Arnold | July 8, 2007

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The Gainesville Sun (FL) has a hell of an article on MMA in today’s newspaper. You should go read it.

Dave Meltzer has a recap of UFC 73 at Fox Sports. I was on CBS Sportsline and Fox Sports this week, DM is at The LA Times and Fox Sports (plus all the cable TV appearances). I’d say it is a good week for the professional wrestling-based combat writers.

Nobuyuki Sakakibara is claiming that BodogFight offered money to Fedor to not work in PRIDE. I find it fascinating that Sakakibara just can’t stay out of the limelight. Yuji Shimada is teasing about practicing his officiating in case PRIDE comes back. I had to laugh at one report (at Kakutolog) claiming that Sakakibara used the term “nisemono” in comparing Ed Fishman to Lorenzo Fertitta, essentially calling Fishman an imitator or wannabe.

Here is the RSS feed for Yahoo Sports’ MMA/Boxing blog site. Dave Doyle reports that Jorge Gurgel suffered a broken jaw in his fight against Diego Saraiva. The claimed attendance for UFC 73 was 14,370. Fighting words from Tito Ortiz and Rashad Evans after their fight.

A lot of UFC 73 coverage in regards to the event’s aftermath. One interesting question – did anyone else notice that UFC had Amp’d Mobile logos on the Octagon canvas? UFC HP report from Sacramento. Sam Caplan shares his thoughts on the UFC 73 event. Associated Press article on the show. Denny Burkholder at CBS Sportsline has an event report. Additional reports at The Washington Post, Yahoo Sports, The Houston Chronicle, The Orange County Register, and Sports Illustrated. Plus an article at Fight Report.

More coverage at The LA Times, The Sweet Science, The Denver Post, The Sacramento Bee, The Stockton Record, and The Appeal Democrat.

Onto today’s headlines.

  1. The London Free Press (Canada): London ultimate fighters prove mettle
  2. The Palm Beach Post (FL): Cage fighting comes to Wellington
  3. SLAM! Sports: Brandon Vera the ‘future’ of MMA
  4. MMA on Tap: IFO-Steele Cage Las Vegas event results
  5. Sherdog: Eastman escapes controversy, nabs vacant IFO title
  6. The Klamath Falls Herald and News (OR): Jake Wonser moving from the ring to the cage
  7. The Miami Herald: Gym’s cage open for fight lessons (Randy Couture’s new gym)
  8. MMA on Tap: Cage Rage 22 – Hard as Hell (Herb Dean is fighting!)
  9. Sportsnet (Canada): Sam Stout to defend TKO Lightweight title against Martin Grandmont in September
  10. UFC Mania: UFC 73 – A quick look at missed opportunities
  11. The Appeal Democrat (CA): In this corner… can upstart MMA ever deliver a KO to boxing?
  12. The Long Beach Press-Telegram: Silva, Sherk retain their belts
  13. The Shreveport Times: UFC surges without support of corporate America

Topics: BoDog, Canada, Japan, Media, MMA, PRIDE, UFC, Zach Arnold | 30 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

30 Responses to “Sunday media review: The aftermath from UFC 73”

  1. Ivan Trembow says:

    From The Shreveport Times article:

    “”When we bought this business, this industry, the UFC was dead and mixed-martial arts didn’t really exist.”

    From The Gainesville Sun article:

    “Zuffa bought Pride’s assets… to do so, [Zuffa] created Pride FC Worldwide Holdings LLC and White excitedly spoke of a “Super Bowl” of MMA card.

    White now says that instead of just having one huge show, his plan is to spread out debuts on multiple cards.”

  2. Jeremy (not that Jeremy) says:

    “White also spoke about reviving the Pride brand, which the company purchased earlier this year. White said that they need television deals in either or both the U.S. and Japanese markets to revive the brand. The reality is that running big shows without a television deal isn’t economically feasible. Because the Pride fighters need to work, many of them will be appearing on UFC events in the interim. Among those who fit into the category is Hayato Sakurai, who was at the event and talked of fighting in the near future.”

    This makes sense. When you’re running 10,000 to 15,000 in the house and your average ticket price is $300, you have a very different starting point for your revenue mix than you do when you have 40,000 and your average ticket price is $20 or even $50. Unless you can make up the difference with concessions, parking, luxury boxes, or something like that, then you have to have television revenues as well. For most pro sports, TV is necessary to gain profitability even when you have dozens of openings a year, own your facilities, and have all those revenue streams plus licensed merchandise, etc.

  3. KennyP says:

    In addition to the return of Amp’d Mobile, Xyience Xenergy was also back. (I wonder if they are now sponsoring selectively, picking ppv shows over Spike fight cards and TUF)

  4. 45 Huddle says:

    According to the guys at Sherdog, it was announced at the ARCO Arena that if Cro Cop beats Kongo, then we will get Nogueira/Cro Cop 2. Winner will get a title shot.

    Also, it wil be Penn vs. Sherk for the Lightweight Title in November.

    Two really good upcoming fights.

  5. chairibofjustice says:

    What the hell was up with Tito’s conditioning in this fight? Him gassing like that in the third round was just weird.

  6. Robert Poole says:

    So wait, Noguiera is in for a shot, Cro Cop seems to be fast tracked for another shot… what about Arlovski? It seems he’s being left out in the cold.

    My friends and I seemed to agree last night that if Dana White were to acquire Fedor, that we’d be giddy if Tim Sylvia was his debut opponent. 🙂

    Rp

  7. chairibofjustice says:

    Arlovski’s last fight bumped him down a bit.

  8. chairibofjustice says:

    By the way the word is misemono, not nisemono. Imitation or knockoff is probably a better word in english.

  9. 45 Huddle says:

    If you look at most people’s Heavyweight Rankings, both Nogueira & Cro Cop were ranked higher then Arlovski, so it is correct that both of them should be in line BEFORE Arlovski for a title shot.

    As much as Cro Cop vs. Nogueira 2 is nice…. eventually (in 2008) I want to see Arlovski & Sylvia against these former Pride guys. It will answer a lot of questions.

  10. Preach says:

    Wladimir Klitschko’s camp announced that he broke his left hand early in the first round (!), yet still he managed to dominate for 5 more rounds…

  11. The Gaijin says:

    45 – Frankly I think we all know the answer to questions like Sylvia/Arlovski vs. CC/Nog. I mean there’s always room for a huge upset but c’mon…Sylvia was absolutely EMBARASSED by a guy who came out of retirement at 44-45 and who could no longer hang in the LHW division.

    It’s ridiculous that people suggest “PRIDE” guys or in this case guys like CC/Nog who are clearly superior to the above named UFC flag bearers. These guys were on top of one of the weakest divisions in the albeit brief history of mma…they’re out of their league.

  12. 45 Huddle says:

    Sylvia had a back injury. Myself, having a neck injury in the past, I know how much it can handicap even the greatest of athletes (not saying Sylvia is).

    Look at the Nogueira of UFC 73. He was slower and sluggish. I honestly don’t know if he beats Sylvia. He probably can’t take him down, and Sylvia’s reach and jab might be enough to hurt him.

    This whole idea that these past Pride Heavyweights were so great has really been smashed with Cro Cop getting completely embarrassed by Gonzaga and Werdum having absolutely no offense against Arlovski.

    This doesn’t mean that Cro Cop & Nogueira can’t win, but it is much closer fights then you are saying they would be.

  13. klown says:

    I’m not keen on Pride vs Pride match-ups, and I’m rarely keen on rematches. The last thing I wanted to see was Nogueira-Herring 3, nor am I thrilled at the prospect of Nogueira-CroCop 2. I’d definitely prefer to see Sylvia and Arolovsky thrown into the mix.

  14. Jordan Breen says:

    “Sylvia had a back injury. Myself, having a neck injury in the past, I know how much it can handicap even the greatest of athletes (not saying Sylvia is).”

    One would imagine given Sylvia’s lack of athletic virtues that a back injury would be considerably more detrimental to his game.

  15. The Gaijin says:

    I don’t see how Gonzaga beating Cro Cop “destroys the whole idea”…Gonzaga is EXACTLY the type of fighter that is bad news for Cro Cop.

    A bigger, athletic and more physical fighter who smothers him, doesn’t allow him to get into a comfortable range and keeps him off balance. Hunt did it, Fedor did it and Randleman was able to do it…people just had to have the gameplan and go in there and execute it. Cro Cop doesn’t perform well when he’s outside his comfort zone – do you honestly see Arlovski or Sylvia, who’s game are striking based giving Cro Cop those kinds of trouble? I certainly don’t. Arlovski’s ground game and takedowns are nowhere near good enough to take it to Cro Cop on the ground either. Sylvia would get demolished standing by Cro Cop – nothing more needs to be said there (and he’s far too sloth-like to ever dream of being able to take it to the ground if he needed to).

    Gonzaga isnt even a good example for the PRIDE vs. UFC HW comparisons because he was never really an active HW member in the UFC while all of this is going on, plus the fact that he was a relatively unknown commodity with an excellent record going into this fight (only loss was to Werdum). So it’s pretty stupid to say “Gonzaga smashed this myth by beating Cro Cop”…when it seems pretty likely that he wouldntbe on the losing end against Monson, Sylvia, Arlovski to begin with and those were the top HW’s that were always being compared in the PRIDE vs. UFC.

    I’m pretty skeptical that you think Sylvia has what it takes to beat Nogueria…lets be fucking honest here – the guy beat Barnett and he’s at least top 3 in the world at HW, to say with a completely straight face that you think Sylvia has what it takes b/c of his reach and jab is beyond retarded and UFC-shilling.

    Nog was easily able to deal with a taller, better striking and better mma fighter in Semmy Schilt, all Nog needs is one mistake by Saliva Sylvia and it’s all over…so no I honestly don’t think Sylvia wins, sorry.

    As for Werdum…was he even considered a top 5 guy in PRIDE??? So what if he lost a craptastic decision against Arlovski, if he got blown away in 2 min. maybe there’d be a bit more relevance to that, but otherwise that fight doesn’t give much of an indication of anything.

  16. Daniel says:

    Dude, seriously, make the links in your articles open up a new window…

    for the good of everyone

  17. The Gaijin says:

    And Nog was slower and sluggish??!?!

    Did you actually watch the fight or did you just defer to Fight Finder as usual?

    He dominated the fight standing and took the fight to Herring the entire time and absolutely picked him apart standing and took him down at will. With exception of eating that kick (how the hell does Herring ALWAYS land that sloppy “knee-kick”, for the love of god almighty!?!) and being obviously dinged and sea-legged…he didn’t look too sluggish and slow to me. He’s always been a methodical fighter (read doesn’t go out there like Silva and throw non-stop bombs), but I know how big of a hard-on you have to try to discredit PRIDE guys and shill your little heart out for anything to do with UFC.

  18. D. Capitated says:

    I’m pretty skeptical that you think Sylvia has what it takes to beat Nogueria…lets be fucking honest here – the guy beat Barnett and he’s at least top 3 in the world at HW, to say with a completely straight face that you think Sylvia has what it takes b/c of his reach and jab is beyond retarded and UFC-shilling.

    Its not. Its smart fight picking. Noguiera has a slow ass shot that even Bob Sapp was able to pick up and defend. He’s shown that he can be tagged on his feet by guys with less physical attributes than Sylvia. All Sylvia has to do is paw with his jab for 5 rounds and sprawl for his awful shot and he wins.

  19. D. Capitated says:

    Actually, now that I think of it, he only has to do it for *3*. Noguiera’s boxing isn’t that bad, but he’s kinda robotic, which comes with training only with amateurs. He might shock me like Couture did and display head movement, but he’s never done it before. Besides, Noguiera has a history of making crappy heavyweights look good. Kharitonov and Yokoi looked shockingly good against him, and there’s the infamous Ricco fight. Comparing Schilt to Sylvia is nigh retarded because everyone knows Sylvia can stop takedowns, and Schilt has been taken down by everyone and their mother.

  20. The Gaijin says:

    Oh i see – yet somehow Nogueira’s “awful shot” has been able to takedown Barnett, Herring, Nastula, Kharitonov, Werdum, Schilt, Cro Cop (the man with the best takedown defence in the HW division and possibly the sport) etc, etc, etc but he can’t takedown Sylvia?!?! Sylvia proved against an older, smaller and slower (than Nog) Couture that he’s so slow you can close the distance on him and indeed put him down and Sylvia’s also he can be tagged on his feet by guys with less physical attributes than himself.

    For crying out loud, he got rocked by old man Couture and you think he won’t get thumped by Nog?!?! You guys are absolutely fucking delusional!!

    Nog’s got “rocked” twice in his career from what Ive seen and the 2nd time was on a shit-lucky “knee-kick” that he ducked into by Herring and now you rocket scientist UFC ball-janglers are trying to use that as evidence that Sylvia’s got the goods to win…please.

  21. The Gaijin says:

    Against exactly whom has Sylvia actually proved this so called great takedown defence?

  22. Euthyphro says:

    I’m trying something new for this event, writing up a running diary of UFC 73, which you can see at http://www.mmaspectator.com

  23. The Gaijin says:

    Super glad that with all the talent the UFC has at 185 they’re going ahead with the Franklin x Silva rematch. Two fights and Franklin gets another title shot after beating two guys that are nowhere near the title picture in the first place – wtf?!?!

    Is anyone expecting the results to be any different? What’s changed in the last 9 months? Is Franklin going to be allowed to bring a sawed-off shotgun into the octagon with him…I realize it’s a business first and it will be a big draw, but why the need to have it so soon??

    It’s just like this immediate rematch of Ortiz/Evans – Ortiz showed he’s better and screwed himself with that point deduction. You’d think having such a deep pool of talent would make it easier to book interesting fights, but they’re just being completely lazy and have in fact been booking less interesting fights than when they had a roster with 1/5th the talent depth imho.

  24. D. Capitated says:

    Oh i see – yet somehow Nogueira’s “awful shot” has been able to takedown Barnett, Herring, Nastula, Kharitonov, Werdum, Schilt, Cro Cop (the man with the best takedown defence in the HW division and possibly the sport) etc, etc, etc but he can’t takedown Sylvia?!?!

    Tell me about those fantastic doubles he did against Barnett, who is certainly not a noted striker. Kharitonov was chiefly a standing boxing match. Herring’s been taken down by everyone. Schilt’s been taken down by literally everyone (watch him fight Aleksei Medvedev sometime). The takedown in the second round was as much the action of Cro Cop as it was Noguiera, seeing as Cro Cop defended his shot the entire opening round and beat the pulp out of him as a result. Cro Cop is a K-1 kickboxer and BJJ blue belt level grappler, and nowhere near the best takedown defense in MMA. You think he has better takedown defense than any of the multitude of Olympic wrestlers in MMA?

    Sylvia, on the other hand, has fought top submission wrestlers who actually have really good shots like Ricco Rodriguez and Jeff Monson and stopped them both cold when they went for singles or doubles. Couture, an elite wrestler, did what they couldn’t by moving his head. I don’t see Noguiera doing that. He never has before, instead preferring to wade in.

    For crying out loud, he got rocked by old man Couture and you think he won’t get thumped by Nog?!?! You guys are absolutely fucking delusional!!

    Rule #1 of watching REAL fighting: Styles make fights. Noguiera has a great chance to beat Couture. Overwhelming favorite, in fact. Probably at least dead even with Gonzaga because he’s so active off his back. Not so much with Big Tim.

    Nog’s got “rocked” twice in his career from what Ive seen and the 2nd time was on a shit-lucky “knee-kick” that he ducked into by Herring and now you rocket scientist UFC ball-janglers are trying to use that as evidence that Sylvia’s got the goods to win…please.

    A) There’s no such thing as PRIDE or UFC heavyweights anymore.

    B) Who says he has to rock or KO Noguiera? I told you. He just has to keep his jab in Noguiera’s face and side step his attempts at shooting in from far outside and do that for 15 minutes. I have a better feeling that Tim Sylvia can do that than that Minotauro’s shot will have magically become Randleman speed and that he’ll get the double against Tim that he had problems getting with Sapp.

  25. The Gaijin says:

    Ok I don’t want to turn this into a giant dick waving argument – you make valid points and I guess at some point we’ll have to agree to disagree or keep on arguing.

    But a few (respectful) replies to your comments (and feel free to reply – I hate when ppl say “oh the argument’s over, but let me get in my last two cents.”):

    – Who says Nog needs to pull off some fantastic double leg takedown to get the fight to the ground?? It’d make things easier but it’s not absolutely necessary…Nog has shown time and again that he can/will get the fight to the ground in any way shape or form and once there it’s usually a very dangerous place to be. He’s got an excellent chin and his boxing (stylistically) is far better than Sylvia’s painfully slow and sloppy 1, 1, 1 striking and I think it will allow him the time to find the opening he needs (which was a lot easier than people thought in the Couture fight). Monson isn’t really a great example, as you said “styles make fights…”, as he’s 5’8 and has basically non-existent striking ability. So it was a GIVEN what Monson’s plan was from the second the bell rang and when you know its coming it’s a lot easier to be ready and stuff it.

    – The takedown defence point stands. I’m certain that Olympic wrestlers have better takedown defence on the whole, but looking at its necessity to a fighter’s game – how many people would try to takedown Couture, Lindland, Coleman etc?? You never see them have to use it, meanwhile a guy like Cro Cop actively and consistently needs and uses his takedown defence b/c that’s where his opponents want the fight to go. Cro Cop has been noted by just about every mma expert as having one of the best “mma takedown defences” in the sport…so agree to disagree there, but my point was Nog was able to get it to the ground with him and he’s a far better striker and has far better TD than Big Tim.

    – Barnett’s obviously not an elite striker, but he’s definately got some pretty good mma stand-up and is very well rounded. The guy was pulling out HK’s against Cro Cop, so believe he’s got dangerous enough standup I(see his fight with Rizzo).

    – I realize there’s not PRIDE and UFC HW’s anymore; but I was replying to the statement by 45 – and don’t act like people still don’t make the comparisons b/w guys who were “PRIDE guys” and “UFC guys”. And people are trying to make silly and snide arguments that suddenly they were right about PRIDE HW’s not being better than UFC HW’s…which I’ve touched on in an earlier post.

    – I apologize for the “ball janglers” comment; it was an ad hominem and unnecessary. Like I said you make good and relevant points, but I guess I’ll have to respectfully disagree on point of Sylvia/Nog.

  26. D. Capitated says:

    [quote]It’d make things easier but it’s not absolutely necessary…Nog has shown time and again that he can/will get the fight to the ground in any way shape or form and once there it’s usually a very dangerous place to be.[/quote]

    I think he’s shown exactly the opposite. He eventually wills it to happen, it seems, but its not without great difficulty. Once there, he can be tied up and isn’t exactly perfect either.

    He’s got an excellent chin and his boxing (stylistically) is far better than Sylvia’s painfully slow and sloppy 1, 1, 1 striking

    I agree with this. The problem is that he’s on on the level with Sylvia when it comes to size. You cannot teach size. Its born. And Sylvia, while not necessarily a better striker than Semmy Schilt, is assuredly better at preventing takedowns. Ask Andrei Arlovski, Ricco Rodriguez, Jeff Monson, et al about that aspect of his game.

    Monson isn’t really a great example, as you said “styles make fights…”, as he’s 5?8 and has basically non-existent striking ability. So it was a GIVEN what Monson’s plan was from the second the bell rang and when you know its coming it’s a lot easier to be ready and stuff it.

    And what will Noguiera’s game plan be? I think that’s as telegraphed as anything.

    I’m certain that Olympic wrestlers have better takedown defence on the whole, but looking at its necessity to a fighter’s game – how many people would try to takedown Couture, Lindland, Coleman etc??

    They don’t bother because they know better. The only time it ever seems to occur is in grappler/grappler matches like Randleman/Couture.

    Cro Cop has been noted by just about every mma expert as having one of the best “mma takedown defences” in the sport…so agree to disagree there, but my point was Nog was able to get it to the ground with him and he’s a far better striker and has far better TD than Big Tim.

    I see it unlikely that Big Tim let him Noguiera get into similar range as Cro Cop did at the start of that second round, and he’s displayed previously that he’s good at shutting people down within his guard and getting the fight stood up again.

    Barnett’s obviously not an elite striker, but he’s definately got some pretty good mma stand-up and is very well rounded. The guy was pulling out HK’s against Cro Cop, so believe he’s got dangerous enough standup I(see his fight with Rizzo).

    Rizzo also KOed him in that fight. I think his standup is passable, but its a different game entirely from what Tim Sylvia does. Barnett’s a big dude, but Tim is bigger.

  27. Jonathan says:

    Daniel Says:

    July 8th, 2007 at 1:54 pm
    Dude, seriously, make the links in your articles open up a new window…

    for the good of everyone

    You need find the world of Firefox. In it, you have the ability to click on any link with your scroll wheel and open up in a new tab in your browser. Plus, there is even a default setting that will make any link open up in a new browser, thus, leaving your current page as is.

    http://www.getfirefox.com

    Ed. — Use the HTML version of ‘blockquote’ in true/false brackets and it should work fine.

  28. cyphron says:

    I don’t think Pride fighters are as good as everything think and UFC fighters are not as bad as they seem. However, Nogueira is still, in my opinion, a far better fighter than Tim Sylvia. The fact that Randy Couture beat him in a five round decision should be proof of that. Randy Couture, as great a fighter as he is, is too old and too slow to defend that belt against either Gonzaga or Nogueira. Nogueira is both a better boxer and submission (IMO) fighter than either Sylvia or Couture.

    People point out the fact that Nog almost got caught as proof that he’s lost it. But what people forget is that Herring isn’t as bad as he appears and that his last fight was a “do or die” fight that would determine whether he gets resigned with the UFC or not. His kickboxing has improved tremendously as well. A well trained and motivated Herring could be a real force in the UFC.

    The bottom line is this, if Sylvia is better than he appears, eventually he will meet up in a fight with Nog. The merger with Pride has virtually guaranteed this scenario.

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