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Thursday trash talk: Head to head in Las Vegas

By Zach Arnold | October 24, 2007

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That whole drug testing thing in California for MMA… what can you say.

Lots of big talk and proclamations about M-1 over at Russian MMA.

Sean Salmon vs. Jason “Mayhem” Miller is set for December 15th in Dallas for HDNet Fights.

The latest IFL SEC filings. Plus, their updated prospectus.

NBC Sports has a video interview with Fedor. will be streaming the Randy Couture press conference live online tomorrow. If anyone can capture some of the video highlights and put them on YouTube or DailyMotion, I would appreciate it very much (it would make my job easier to pull the audio from those sites for our radio show).

Dana White scheduling a conference call to run against Randy Couture’s press conference in Las Vegas? A move straight out of the Vince McMahon 101 playbook. Couture vs. White is escalating in Hogan vs. McMahon political proportions. Fightlinker has the playbook from Cut Throat Business Tactics 201. MMA Weekly supposed has seen what a standard Zuffa contract looks like and the ‘retirement’ clause in it. Keep in mind, this is an independent contractor situation.

Rex Richards is fighting this weekend in Tunica, Mississippi.

Should you be optimistic or pessimistic about M-1? Perhaps, Three Card Monte… Monte Cox says that he has a good relationship with UFC right now. I think that might change soon.

Defending Dana White in regards to bad MMA judging. Matt Hughes, however, is not thrilled about UFC judging. Keith Kizer trying to deflect the heat from Hughes… what can you say. Adam Morgan elaborates.

A feature article on Jens Pulver.

Here is an audio interview with Kurt Angle talking about his thoughts on the world of MMA.

An update on Wednesday’s meeting in Tennessee to start the process of legalizing MMA in that state.

There will be a big show at the MassMutual Center in Springfield this Saturday night. Team Link will have a big presence at the event.

Spot the errors in this article.

The Winnipeg Sun has an article on Herb Dean.

Cliff Rold on the media coverage of both boxing and UFC:

The mainstream media in the mid-to-late nineties turned their nose up and boxing and left. The failure to give fair coverage to the sport in this current exciting period, and even to fully cover UFC, reflects…I don’t know? Feminization of media? Classism? Who knows? I do know this. UFC and boxing have both put on shows this year that outdrew the NBA All-Star game in TV viewers and none of boxing’s referees were shown to be gambling on the fights they referee. Boxing doesn’t need saving. It needs fair coverage. Give it and the sport is providing the action to thrive.

How Anderson Silva and Yushin Okami winning at UFC 77 hurt the UFC Middleweight division.

Takanori Gomi is not all that interested in fighting JZ Calvan.

Andrew Simon is the new CEO of HDNet Fights.

Topics: Boxing, HDNet, Japan, M-1, Media, MMA, Pro Elite, Pro-Wrestling, UFC, Zach Arnold | 44 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

44 Responses to “Thursday trash talk: Head to head in Las Vegas”

  1. David says:

    Thank goodness, an empty comment board. After fiending for MMA news I checked up on MMAWeekly and read their “War of Words” article regarding Couture and White’s public statements. A very interesting legal situation seems to be in the works.

    BRILLIANT promotion. I am a UFC hater along with the best of them but can you guys fathom the promotional machine that is Dana White, Randy Couture, and major news media??? When introducing Couture on news shows they will show his fights (courtesy of The Ultimate Fighting Championship) and this war of words could really turn into a media spectacle. Notice how Kevin Iole sticks himself in the middle magically.

    Maybe in 5 months this will all be resolved and I will look like a stoned conspiracy theorist but my track record in the market has been decent (+) so let’s see how this situation unfolds. Comments?

  2. Kev says:

    If there is one thing that irritates me the most about your writing in general Zach is the countless little shots at Dana White being Vince McMahon. Yes, you are from the world of pro-wrestling and yes, Dana White is an aggressive, dominance-seeking capitalist (cum asshole) like Vince McMahon was (and is). But, in the world of business, there are countless examples of people like White. Bill Gates for instance, is someone you can draw multiple parallels to White. To continually suggest White is the McMahon of MMA suggests a limited and myopic view.

    What’s the point of this? To say, hey, you should feel exactly the way you feel towards Dana White that you do with Vince McMahon and that the UFC is the WWE of MMA?

  3. white ninja says:

    Kev – you seriously think that comparing Bill Gates to Dana is more valid than comparing McMahon to White?

    If so, you certainly have a strange view of the world – myopic is certainly a word that doesnt go astray with you

  4. ilostmydog says:

    Scheduling a conference call at the same time as Randy’s press conference may be pretty cutthroat, but you have to remember that Randy was the one who fired the first shot in this whole debacle.

    Anyways, that MMA Madness article is hilarious. Okami would have no chance against Anderson? IMO, Okami’s style of a powerful top control game and judicious yet controlled GnP is the perfect style to combat Anderson. And suggesting that they match Maia/Jacare up to find a contender? Sheer nonsense. Neither of them have faced any real top flight competition at this point and they have what, 11 combined fights or some similar number? Throwing either of them at Silva at this point in time would be akin to sanctioning murder.

  5. sebastian says:

    I agree that Okami has the style to beat Anderson. Looking at their first fight, Okami was terrified of Silva’s striking, but he did indeed take Silva down and who knows what would have happened then.
    They could, and should in my opinion, make that fight.

    The bigger issue would be the rumors that they are letting Okami go. I saw a comment on this site that Okami himself perhaps was looking to get out, but from the last comments of his I’ve seen, I seems very willing to move ahead in the UFC.
    If they have to option to keep Okami on or not, I feel that what they choose would be defining of the way they want to go. A true sport or entertainment?

    I want to start a “keep Okami” petition or something…

  6. Zack says:

    How in 2007 is anyone a Pride/UFC hater or nuthugger? You guys are fucking dorks. On that note, Don Frye and Houston Alexander are the shit…peace!

  7. Body_Shots says:

    Why does their have to be a villain in all this? It’s just business – on the both sides. If you’re going to call Dana Vince you should start calling Randy T.O.

    The classy thing for both parties would be to come to the table and work it out, but it’s past that now.

  8. 45 Huddle says:

    Dana White is George Steinbrenner, not Vince McMahon.

    McMahon uses his athletes like pieces of meat and has no care for their personal safety.

    Steinbrenner is extremely tough on his athletes, but once they prove themselves, he sticks by them through thick and thin. Including guys with drug problems.

    White is much more like the later of the two. He will call guys out in the media if they are idiots, but he really does stand behind them if they show their loyalties to his company.

    As for Randy being TO….. That is a perfect example….. Randy is being a typical mainstream athlete at this point… Whiney and annoying…. And not fulfilling his contract…..

  9. Sheldon says:

    RE:Randy = TO
    I hope Randy’s press conference today is outside his house while he is doing situps and all the while his agent is saying no comment.

  10. Ivan Trembow says:

    Saunders vs. Barrera was, above all else, a very good fight, but it was not a particularly close fight, and I don’t think there would be much in the way of controversy if Matt Hughes didn’t react the way that he did. (Hughes, by the way, didn’t seem to have a problem with MMA judges when two of the three judges in his fight against Renato Verissimo somehow scored the fight 30-27 in favor of Hughes, which was downright ridiculous.)

    Saunders kicked Barrera’s ass for the entire second round, and while different people have different opinions on what constitutes a 10-8 round in MMA, it’s fair to say that Round 2 of that fight COULD have been a 10-8 round due to the complete domination, but at the very least it’s a 10-9 round for Saunders.

    In the first round, it wasn’t the complete ass-kicking that Round 2 was, but Saunders still out-struck Barrera for the vast majority of the round. The obvious exception to that is the one knockdown, but even with that knockdown, Saunders did not appear to be dazed or on the verge of being finished. He was trying to apply a submission within seconds of being knocked down, and he was back up and winning the stand-up not long thereafter. Asking yourself who won the first round really comes down to what is more important: Barrera’s one knockdown, or Saunders winning the other parts of the round.

    This is not boxing, so one knockdown does not necessarily mean that you won the round. One knockdown can give you a round in MMA if very little else happens in the round, but it doesn’t automatically give you the round as it does in boxing.

    With a cumulative, non-ten-point-must scoring system, it was not even a close fight because of that second round. Even with a ten-point-must scoring system, the only way it could be a draw is if you both:

    A) Determine that Round 2 was not a 10-8 round even though Saunders was kicking ass from the beginning of the round to the end


    B) Determine that Barrera’s one knockdown in Round 1 was more important than Saunders out-striking Barrera for the vast majority of Round 1

    There are a lot of highly questionable BS judges’ decisions in MMA, with Bisping vs. Hamill being the most recent example, but I don’t think this was one of them.

  11. It’d be pretty cool to have a triumphant return championship battle with Rampage heading up the card at the Pyramid in Memphis.

    In fact, that would be insane.

  12. Let me add this to the whole Couture vs. White ordeal. When has it ever been good that a journalist has become involved in such a public dispute between a company and its employee? Iole is suddenly in the middle of this thing, and I hope he gets completely contradicted.

  13. Ivan,

    My initial thoughts on the fight were that Barrera somehow won the first round, but Saunders received a 10-8 second round. He completely dominated Barrera in the second.

    Once they revealed the cards, and two judges were seen as judging it 10-9 Saunders in the first round, I wasn’t surprised. As you stated, Saunders did outstrike Barrera for most of the round. Apparently Hughes was flying off the handle due to the one big punch that knocked Saunders down. I do believe Saunders landed a good two to three knee strikes toward the end of the round and was still out punching Barrera. Barrera also did NOTHING when Saunders was on the ground or fell down. I completely agree with your assessment.

  14. dice says:


    THere is no doubt in mind that he lied about what randy was making. I wrote that the day he came out with the article (I don’t even think most UFC nuthuggers believed Iole’s numbers). It didn’t make sense for randy to say “If the UFC signed Fedor, I would have asked for the same amount he was getting or more”, when according Iole, he was already making way more than the UFC offered fedor (1.5 to 2 mill. meltzer reported). And its not like he would have been making a little more than fedors proposed offer, he would have been making more than 2 times what fedor was going to make. So I guess the question was at the time, do you believe randy couture or Kevin Iole? And we all know that anyone with a half a brain (so this excludes 45 huddle) can tell who is the liar between the two.

  15. RussianMMA says:

    Yeah, it’s crazy what I have been told. It’s so unbelievable, that even I have my doubts…

    P.S. Updated a post a little.

  16. Yeah, I read the posting regarding your sources. I’m a bit skeptical.

    Sokoudjou and Gomi are completely obvious names for M-1 to possible get. Gomi would be a great addition to headline a Japanese show. Any PRIDE fighters would be. I highly doubt they have stopped looking at Sokoudjou as a potential fighter in the organization.

    ESPN? I doubt it. I highly doubt it. I think the UFC has a much better chance at gaining the ESPN tip. Now, with that said, ESPN and the Tennis industry have had great relations and maybe SFX has a good working relationship with ESPN. Who knows, it’s all speculative, but for me, I seriously don’t think ESPN is in the works. Cuban confirmed he was trying to work a business deal with M-1 weeks before this announcement, HBO and Showtime are both in the mix as well. MMAWeekly also confirmed only those 3 companies. It’s possible ESPN is in the mix, but I’m not buying it until I hear a deal. ESPN could sign M-1 to a deal to broadcast on one of their subsidiary networks, not their main network though, so it’s possible I suppose.

    Fedor’s media rights is interesting. I don’t know if he possibly has rights along with Zuffa as well. I thought maybe this was a possibility.

    I believe a source talked about Fedor fighting in a tournament next year, so I imagine M-1 may turn to that format.

    The Japan talks have probably happened. The Japanese market is a big money market for a fighter like Fedor.

  17. 45 Huddle says:

    Couture is likely making $1.5 Million a fight after PPV Buys. Even I don’t buy into Iole’s numbers…. But either way, Couture is the one who signed that contract and it is not like he signed it 3 years ago. It was rather recently, so any money issues are his own fault and not Zuffa’s….

  18. RussianMMA says:

    “I’m a bit skeptical.”
    Believe it or not, but I’m too. 🙂

    “I believe a source talked about Fedor fighting in a tournament next year, so I imagine M-1 may turn to that format.”
    In Russian language “tournament” and “event” have the same meaning.

  19. dice says:

    Yeah your right 45, its not like the UFC has ever iced a fighter midway through a contract because that fighter won’t resign for another few fights.

    Please, its a two way street, the UFC lets go of guys when they want to (lindland) and will ice them if they are unhappy (AA, vera) with the fighter wanting to see what other offers come in from outside orgs.

    Dana started signing guys pride guys after randy signed his contract (randy had no idea what cro cop was making when he signed the dotted line). He then found out what everyone knows except for guys like you: that Dana was lowballing the very guys who had helped build the UFC into the powerhouse it is today and paying outsiders more money. Dana had to pay those pride fighters more because thats what they were used to getting paid.

    I know you love deepthroating dana, but your posts have been even more ridiculous than usual. You sound like a guy who still thinks that Saddam had WMD’s or was helping the Al qaeda carry out the 9/11 attacks. I was unable to find any sources stating that randy was “likely making 1.5 million per fight”. It sounds like that statement is a lot of speculation on your part. I am glad that you don’t believe Iole, it makes me think there is still hope for you. LOL

  20. dice,

    “Icing” a fighter isn’t a breach of the contract. It may be somewhat cutthroat, but if the contract is for 36 months and six fights, and the guy has fought five times in the first 24 months, then UFC is entirely within their rights to wait 11.5 months to schedule the guy. I’m willing to bet that the contract includes a cut of the potential purse if the fighter is released from the contract by UFC before he fights X times as well.

    Maybe it seems unusual to some of you, but in the United States, contracts are historically regarded as king. Unless there is an extremely unusual situation where two parties are not able to engage in a legitimate contract (one party is too young to contract, one party is significantly controlled by the other party, the two parties are related parties), or unless the activity contemplated by the contract is illegal, then a contract is as forceful as law, or perhaps more so, since much of our legal system is designed to protect the ability of parties to engage in contracts and ensure that people want to contract with each other.

  21. cyphron says:

    I hope the UFC keeps Okami. Not everyone can be an Anderson Silva. If they dump Okami, they might as well turn the UFC into Chuck Norris’ “MMA” league. Whatever happened to “Just win, baby?”

  22. 45 Huddle says:

    1. Vera’s management was the issue, not Zuffa. This was proof when Vera fired his management when he figured out what was going on.

    2. Arlovski is asking for a lot of money. From what it sounds like, much more then what Sylvia is even getting. Another Heavyweight who thinks they are worth more then they really are.

    3. I agree about Lindland. Always have. Zuffa dropped the ball on this one.

    4. Concerning the “icing”. The UFC is playing within the rules of a mutually agreed upon contract. I don’t see the issue there. Couture BROKE his contract. Major difference.

    5. $1.5 Million = Source is Dave Meltzer’s Newsletter. Meltzer also paints a picture that both sides likely are not lying when they talk about how high Couture is on the pay ladder compared to other fighters.

    6. Tonight (when I have more time) I will get into my true thoughts concern Couture. I was kicked off The Underground for posting these thoughts (Over a year ago). But let me say that Couture has commitment issues with both friends and family….. And has a LONG history of this.

  23. cyphron says:

    I think people need to lay off 45 Huddle. Some of the hate against him is unjustified. Although his point of view may be pro-UFC, his analysis is interesting. I think it’s good to have differing opinions. We shouldn’t turn this place to turn into an “I hate Dana White” forum like that other one… *cough* Sherdog *cough*

    And in all disputes, it takes two to tango. Randy Couture is no saint, either. If you’re going to leave an organization, then just do it. Calling a conference to air disputes that supposedly should stay private is not exactly cool. If you’re going to blame Dana for his WWE tactics, then you need to blame Couture first for this ridiculous stunt. And don’t tell me the media doesn’t enjoy this stuff. It’s like the story is writing itself.

  24. Like Sam Caplan and Big John Macarthy, I don’t have any problems with the 10 pt must system. One of the great things about it is its simplicity which allows everybody to play along (which is also why people complain so much). The problem isn’t the system, but how its applied by the judges. I say work on improving the judges and possible increasing the amount of the judges from 3 to 5 may also result in better concensus. Ultimately, no system will be perfect and its better to keep things simple.

    And no the Pride judging system is not better. The Pride system is basically a license to ignore whatever the judge wants to ignore and judge the fight on what stands out the most. So flashy flurries and close of round action will be favored over stuff that happens in close rounds. Spectators don’t like to make calls on close rounds, but that’s the job of the judge and the 10 pt must system gives them better tools to be more objective and give a more balanced view of the whole fight and just stuff that pops.

  25. cyphron says:


    I agree with you about the Pride system. It’s designed to screw the foreigners and allow the homers to win. And there’s something fundamentally flawed about deducting 10% from your pay. I am not saying that the yellow card is a bad thing. It’s the money deduction that is bad. There’s positive reinforcements (UFC bonuses) and there’s negative reinforcements (Pride yellow card). One just feels wrong.

  26. 45 Huddle : wanna email me the couture stuff by any chance? I’d love to read about it :

  27. Mike Schroeder says:

    Am I the only one who simply doesn’t care about Fedor anymore? I have no idea how Cox thinks that he is going to make Fedor a house hold name by having him fight Monson. Unless Fedor fights a top ten opponent, soon, he will simply fade into the dust of history.

  28. David says:

    Oh come on! Dana gave them each $5,000, doesn’t that make it ok!?!?! And why don’t you newbs reply to my comment, which has more to with the purpose of this blog than anything else.

  29. The idea that this is all a big play by Zuffa for publicity? Nope, that’s dumb. This whole situation is bringing fighter pay to light in a way that’s gotta have everyone in the UFC shitting kittens

  30. The more I think about Couture’s moves, the more shady it looks. If he just retired and kept his mouth shut, he could have avoided all this media and legal mess, but I think he was aware of the contract freeze upon retirement so he or his management cooked up the “resignation” angle. What’s also interesting is that Loretta Hunt, who working on his bio implied on Hardcoresports radio that all of this had been in the works and if you read Mitchell Maxwell’s comments on Sherdog, it sounds like he’s in outright collusion with Randy to circumvent his contract with Zuffa since he has “intimate” knowledge of Randy’s contract. The story coming together here isn’t a guy whose getting underpaid and wants respect, but a guy who got an offer he couldn’t refuse and its trying to get out of his contract to make the deal.

  31. I think it’s a bit early in the day to start evaluating what Couture has to say in his press conference.

    You know, given that it hasn’t happened yet.

    Also, I think that unless an individual brings the topic up, their private life should be off limits. There’s the workplace and there’s home. Things can be totally fucked up in one place without impacting the other (although, let’s face it, there is some pretty significant bleed-over in most cases). The muckraking angle that 45 is implying here is inappropriate.

  32. cyphron says:

    Silva tops Fedor as pound for pound king on I can’t say I disagree:

  33. Zack says:

    Any sites have a transcript or breakdown of the Couture press conference yet? I just got into work now and missed it.

  34. dice says:

    Jeremy, I am glad you pointed out the difference between “icing a fighter” and breach of contract. However, I know this, as do most of the posters here (I am assuming). I never said a word about legality, I am talking ethics. Big difference, I never said that what the UFC does by “icing” is comparable to breach of contract in the legal sense. I am talking more about ethics and how the UFC likes to do business. Just because something is not deemed “illegal” doesn’t mean its ethical. (example: Just because its legal that private equity managers pay a flat 15% tax on their income doesn’t make it right, they simply have found a loophole that allows them to considered it capital gains when it is not)

    I give 45 props because he actually addressed the lindland issue, which I see you made no reference to. I know the specifics of it, yes the UFC found a legal loophole, so it made it legal, but did it make it right? To be real honest with you I put little stock in the legal system, it is highly tilted in favor of the wealthy.

    To Cyphron

    If you are referring to me when you say “people need to lay off of 45”, well please note that I have argued with him(once again, I am assuming gender here) before and my comment about having a half a brain was somewhat tongue in cheek. It has been somewhat of a running joke about 45’s uncontrollable UFC nutthuggery on this blog. In all honesty as far as UFC nuthuggers go, he is one of my favorite (both for his honesty and commitment to the art of nuthuggery, and for the fact that he is also funny while doing it).

    To 45

    Thank you for numbering your comments in your last post. It makes them much easier to reply to.

    #2 of post. Well I don’t even know what you mean when you speak of “a lot of money”. How much is a “a lot of money”? And I don’t know how you are able to judge whether or not a “heavyweight is worth more than they are”. There are so many variables that go into such a statement (how much does the fighter contribute to the company, how does that compare with other fighters, what is the potential of that fighter (ala brock lesnar) in terms of marketability).

    #4 of post. See my reference above to jeremy

    #5 of post. well I reread this one 10 times because I was unsure of what you meant. Obviously someone is lying and someone is telling the truth. I don’t see how both sides are not telling the truth when a lot of their comments are directly contradictory. Either Zuffa lied and randy is not the number 2 paid guy in the company or randy lied and he is the number 2 paid guy in the company. This particular statement is not really subjective (like a few of the statements have been between these two), it is objective. There is not a whole lot of middle ground here when it comes to some of the main points of argument between the two.

    #6 of post. I have no idea of the relevancy or validity of this statement. It would be like me posting on how there is no doubt Zuffa (fertittas) is in the wrong because of the past history of their old man (who was a ruthless mobster involved in numerous illegal activities, the money earned from these activities was eventually used by his two boys to start their current businesses). Like maybe some of his past business practices rubbed off on them. Using someones personal past to reflect on a current professional matter is shaky at best. If you want to bring up past marital issues of a fighter to make a point about his professional life, then I guess people can bring up childhood issues of the Owners of Zuffa to show that they may not be the most professional when it comes to business. There is a big difference in the commitment made in marriage and the commitment made to a company (Your statement also shows that you have never been married before).

    LOL, You see what I mean cyphron when I say 45 is funny?

  35. Zack says:

    45 is Fight Opinion’s resident expert on male bodies.

  36. Zack, it still hasn’t happened yet. It’s at 4:30 US eastern time.

  37. Kev says:

    Kev – you seriously think that comparing Bill Gates to Dana is more valid than comparing McMahon to White?

    Um, no I didn’t, I never said that. I’m saying there’s alot of traits that people like Gates, White and McMahon have, and continually comparing White and McMahon together every. single. time. doesn’t mean much of anything other than them being aggressive businessmen.

    Microsoft had an old tactic of undercutting publicity from one company about a new product they’re releasing by announcing their own competing (and non-existent at the time) product, causing media to split their resources and otherwise diminish whatever hype the original company garnered. As for the UFC, there’s no product to be released, but don’t tell me they’re not using the same divide and conquer technique on the media.

  38. It’ll be interesting to see what UFC has to say.

    Signing another new heavyweight would make a big statement. I doubt they’re just going to re-announce Liddell vs Silva.

  39. dice says:

    Jeremy, I don’t doubt that they are just going to re-announce Liddell vs Silva and/or the signing of Lesnar. I don’t think that they have an ace up their sleeve. This just seems like an obvious ploy to take attention away from randy’s press conference and nothing more.

    I hope I am wrong and that their is some huge announcement that no one saw coming, but I am skeptical.

  40. dice says:

    ps They could also be announcing a new TV deal with spike, which people have been talking about for weeks and frankly is nothing of much interest to me.

  41. Zack says:

    Thanks Jeremy…I was under the impression that it was at 10:00AM PST.

  42. We’ll have to wait and see.

    It’s entirely possible that it’s just an empty ploy, in fact, it’s probably the most likely scenario. However, you can get an awful lot of play out of turning a likely ploy into a real announcement, and UFC seems to have been somewhat more tight lipped about things recently than they have even in the not too distant past, so I wouldn’t put it beyond them.

  43. Fan Futbol says:

    the “standard Zuffa contract link” to won’t work for me. Anyone else having that problem? I’d really like to see that link, and I couldn’t find it after going to Can anyone give me a hand?



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