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Saturday media slate: Fallout from Couture leaving UFC

By Zach Arnold | October 13, 2007

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Story of the day in Japan is that Arbocious Tiger, who was scheduled to fight Assuerio Silva on 10/14 in Tokyo at Differ Ariake, is apparently missing according to Pancrase.

It was an odd Friday to say the least, as the fallout continues over Randy Couture’s departure from UFC. The Couture situation was discussed on ESPN’s Pardon the Interruption (audio here) with hosts Dan Le Batard and Michael Wilbon. This choice of topic was clearly a Le Batard call, as he is a hardcore pro-wrestling and MMA fan (think dirt sheets), while Wilbon is your very casual MMA observer. Couture’s departure was also mentioned on Sportscenter. ESPN video here.

The sports media reaction to the story so far is very intriguing. Those in the media who do follow MMA are reacting to it in a big way, considering it a huge blow to UFC. However, to casual observers (like Wilbon), Couture is an old guy with a 16-8 record. In other words, the reaction has been mixed – at best. If it continues this way, UFC may be very fortunate in the end PR-wise. MMA Analyst takes a look at Dana White’s five stages of grief and The Canadian Press thinks that there may be cracks in UFC’s armor. So does Caleb at MMA Predictions.

Meet UFC’s legal team that is going after anyone on the Internet who they think is violating the company’s intellectual property rights.

While UFC is facing some difficulties recently, Elite XC has been making some moves. Also, Mark Cuban does in fact have an interest in working with M-1. Hardcore Championship Fighting in Western Canada is also picking up some steam.

Tonight is the first HDNet Fights event. MMA Weekly and Sherdog has you covered.

MMA Junkie says UFC’s proposed event in Montreal for January is not a lock. Also, $12,000 USD worth of tickets from US Bank Arena, including UFC tickets, are reportedly stolen.

There is a King of the Cage show tonight in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Also, today is the start of the Army’s own MMA tournament.

UFC Mania has a new interview with Nick Diaz. ADCC News has a new interview with Jake Shields.

Topics: Canada, HDNet, Japan, Media, MMA, Pancrase, Pro Elite, UFC, Zach Arnold | 23 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

23 Responses to “Saturday media slate: Fallout from Couture leaving UFC”

  1. King Famous says:

    Wow. That espn video threw DW under the bus. Out of all the quotes made they pick the one that tells Hollywood to F off. Speaking from experience, if you are going to tell Hollywood to F off, you better have some major power plays going on — I just hope we can see some good fights out of this — that is what the fans want. Just good, ENTERTAINING fights. Usually when you have a Russian combat World Sambo Champion who is going to lock horns with an almost Olympian fight master from the good ole US of A — I’d say we’ve got a good show on our hands.

    Now are you guys going to hire me to MC the damn show, and can we put in on HBO?

  2. Jeremy (not that Jeremy) says:

    To paraphrase Lewis Black…

    ESPN is to SPORTS what KFC is to CHICKEN.

  3. Ivan Trembow says:

    Again, it would have been even worse if ESPN had been aware of the fact that Dana White compared Randy Couture and other top UFC fighters to “bitches in a beauty salon.”

  4. 45 Huddle says:

    The PTI segment came off as a pure bash to Couture. Le Batard was making good points, but they were completely lost in the tone of the piece as Wilbon basically trashed Couture…. Said he lost to Couture, and would get beaten down by Rampage.

    As for EliteXC…. Putting on Diaz vs. Noons for a title isn’t really significant. Neither is signing Kimbo, who outside of hardcore internet fans is a completely unknown fighter.

    And I know each casual fan is different…. But I got a message from my brother who is about as a casual fan as you can get. I got him into the sport, and his knowledge is basically the UFC’s big named fighters are that is it. What did he say on the message?

    “Did you hear that Randy Couture is RETIRING?”

    As much as Dana White spins things, there is a business reason for it. And for as much information as us fans know, the casual fan still thinks UFC is MMA.

    And lastly, as I have said before…. 9+ months is a very long time in sports. There is always the chance Couture could be back in the UFC.

  5. jim allcorn says:

    Regarding tonight’s HDNet Fights debut card, I’m rather disappointed. I suppose I should have paid closer attention, but I was under the impression that it was going to be broadcast live on HDNet. Instead, we’ve got to wait the better part of a week to see it on tape delay next Friday night. Frankly, that sucks.

    I certainly hope that in the future Cuban desides to go live with his shows. He ought to well know that the hardcore MMA fans are going to be compelled to read the results of the fights online, which will eat into the show’s ratings when many deside to not watch because they already know the outcome.

  6. Rollo the Cat says:

    From’s Diaz interview:

    “I’ll be there even when they start falling off because I’m a long distance fighter not like these fragile guys who always get hurt in training. How the hell do you get hurt so much in training? Stop flipping tires and jacking up all these weights.”

    Exactly why I love the Diaz brothers and have an increasing dislike for most the athletes in this sport. When did we cross this line from technique to fitness; from when martial arts were about leverage, efficiency, sensitivity, agility, health and resiliency and turned them into a cross between bodybuilding and a strongman contest?

    Nowadays when people say they practice jiu-jitsu, what they do bears only a superficial resemblence to real jiu-jitsu. These guys are too muscularly unbalanced and extrinsic to execute real JJ. Instead of flipping tires, lifting weights, and injecting chemicals, they should practice skillful movement and application of technique.

    Rollo the Cat
    Founder of The Diaz Brothers Fan Club

  7. David says:

    45, I usually like the bull you have to say but saying Kimbo is not even relatively, but COMPLETELY unknown is absurd dude! If I never knew Kimbo before seeing his powerful image created through years of the internet, I would still be a fan. Let alone, the fact that so many of my peers in college know who he is, if Showtime can half-decently promote with ProElite, his image along with Diaz and all the other stoners, they can get decent event views. MMA is like the stock market. It is there for the taking, just got to be creative, put some money, and promote hardcore. Reminds me of some of these rap stars that want to be big and famous but don’t do shit to earn that.

  8. Rollo the Cat says:

    I am listening to the FO Podcast right now. A few question.

    1. How do any of us know what Randy or anyone in the UFC makes? The numbers released are obviously only a fraction of the final figure. Jardine supposedly gets 14,000 but is rumored to walk away with over 100,000.

    So Randy is guaranteed 250K and Cro Cop 350K. But Randy probably ends up with over a million. Do we know if Mirko gets a penny over 350K? Randy may very well be the second highest paid fighter in the UFC.

    2. What obligation does Dana have to reveal fighter salaries to Randy? Do other fighters want their numbers released to Randy? Randy can ask, but he shouldn’t expect Dana to reveal other fighter’s personal information. Or am I wrong somehow.

    3. Randy signed a contract. He negotiated it. He can walk away if he wants, but crying over a contract you negotiated yourself is bad form.

  9. Zack says:

    Kimbo was interviewed by the MMA Weekly guys on their radio show and he was VERY humble. The guy has committed himself to training. I’m a fan and I hope he succeeds. He’ll be fighting either Tank or James Thompson on the Nov EXC show.

  10. Diamond Dave Williams says:

    “jim allcorn Says:

    October 13th, 2007 at 8:06 am
    Regarding tonight’s HDNet Fights debut card, I’m rather disappointed. I suppose I should have paid closer attention, but I was under the impression that it was going to be broadcast live on HDNet. Instead, we’ve got to wait the better part of a week to see it on tape delay next Friday night. Frankly, that sucks.

    I certainly hope that in the future Cuban desides to go live with his shows. He ought to well know that the hardcore MMA fans are going to be compelled to read the results of the fights online, which will eat into the show’s ratings when many deside to not watch because they already know the outcome.”

    Jim, Mark Cuban is using this as a learning experience. The man made his billions by learning from his experiences. I am sure he knows that live sporting events draws the crowds. (He does own an NBA francise). By utilizing local talent for his show, he is trying to draw a MMA live gate that he could mingle with in order to get their opinions on what he could do better to attract a live crowd. Mark Cuban has been at the recent UFC shows and the EliteXC shows, he is trying to learn on how the competition produces and try to improve in his own unique way.
    Jim, you have made some excellent points in previous posts, but I feel either you are naive on Mark Cubans success or you do not understand a basic business model.

  11. 45 Huddle says:

    Pay can be a funny thing. People can talk a lot about how much they are making. Then you have access to your local HR for your job and find out the real salaries. And what people say and what people actually get can be far different. I speak from experience.

  12. grafdog says:

    That Nick is a card…
    He must have toked up before that interview…

    His final statement in regards to the question “who paints their hair and toes in mma?

    “Real fighters eat real chocolate”

  13. Jonathan says:


    To answer your question about when our sport changed from technique martial arts to tire flipping, the answer is when the Japanese fighters started to lose to American wrestlers. Perfect example is Brandon Lee Hinkle beating MAsanori Suda at Vale Tudo Japan 1998. Fighters learned as the other fighters became good enough and had attained enough knowledge to know how to defend against a guillotine/heel hook/toe hold, that they would have to be big and strong enough to physically dominate their opponents into submitting rather just relying on opponents who didn’t have a clue as how to defend.

  14. Jordan Breen says:

    Flipping and throwing tires in nothing new to martial arts. Gene Labell used to run around flipping and throwing tires while running to simulate technical throw mechanics.

  15. D.Capitated says:

    Mark Coleman dominating the UFC upentrance had as much to do with the domination of Japanese fighters, if not more. BJJ was seen as being the end-all-be-all, and once top American wrestlers starting coming in and pounding dudes out, well, that flew out the on his window.

  16. Rollo the Cat says:

    Wrestlers, especially the early Hammer House guys, did change the sport. But the reaction to their dominance was only one of several possible reactions. Look at the Diaz brothers. Look at BJ Penn. These are guys who react to the “enhanced” MMA fighter by primarily improving their technique.

    So many people took the opposite path. That is they reacted by trying to match the wrestlers strength. It is actually the easier way, especially for people from modern industrial countries. High pressure, mechanical socieiteis don’t develop a large percentage of resilient, functionally integrates bodies. But they do develop tense, strong, athletic types.

    One of the great things about “real” martial arts, as I would call them, is that the fight this unnatural effect. It is part of the beauty of the fighting arts that they can benefit someone in so many ways. Of course, MMA is a sport where pressure and big money dictate everything. Those conditions don’t always go hand in hand with holistic development. Too bad.

  17. D.Capitated says:

    MMA isn’t about proving your abilities as a martial artist. Fuck, look at Tank Abbott. Fighters will learn what will help them to win first and foremost to make money. Everything else is secondary.

  18. Zack says:

    Hey Zach…I’m loving the interlude music on FO Radio. Who are the bands/songs? I feel like I’m watching Starcade 86 or something.

  19. groda says:

    I hope Fishman gets going and actually puts something together soon, I seem to remember he said he was close to getting something going months ago.

    Thanks for a very informative show.

    Go negative Nancy!

  20. 45 Huddle says:

    I’m not sure if BJ Penn is a good example of countering the top wrestlers. That guy is just a freak of nature, not what a prototypical fighter would do to beat a wrestler. His takedown sprawls are just not normal.

  21. Preach says:

    Nice sleeves, Zack.

    Jordan, “nothing new in combat sports” is quite the understatement. Pylometrics has been used since the 15th century by the chinese…

  22. Zack says:

    Thanks Preach! 🙂


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