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Saturday headlines: Media heat-up for UFC 78

By Zach Arnold | November 17, 2007

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If anyone reading this has high-quality photos available (.TIF format, preferred) for either of the PRIDE Las Vegas events or the Kimbo Slice/Ray Mercer fight that you own the copyrights to, please e-mail me and let’s talk. Thanks.

BJ Penn compares Sean Sherk to Marion Jones.

Franklin McNeil sat down with Steve Cofield to talk about Larry Hazzard being fired. The Philadelphia Daily News has an article talking about both Hazzard’s supporters and detractors coming out of the woodwork. Bernard Hopkins issued a public letter in support of Hazzard.

Dave Meltzer is reporting that the California State Athletic Commission may not sanction Sean Salmon to fight any more in MMA. Salmon was knocked out on Friday night at San Jose Arena by Jorge Santiago on the Strikeforce event.

Fox Sports is now working with Inside Fighting for MMA coverage.

Weigh-in results for the UFC 78 participants. If you want to follow the CompuStrike stats for UFC 78 fights, go here. More UFC 78 notes here and here. Additional event coverage here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.

MMA Analyst has two new articles (here and here) that you should go read.

It appears that there is political infighting in the World Anti-Doping Agency.

Tara La Rosa will fight in HOOK ‘n SHOOT on 11/24 against Cody Welchlen.

The St. Paul Pioneer Press claims that UFC is coming to Australia next year.

Topics: BoDog, Boxing, Media, MMA, StrikeForce, UFC, UK, Zach Arnold | 18 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

18 Responses to “Saturday headlines: Media heat-up for UFC 78”

  1. 45 Huddle says:

    The things that yesterday’s Strikeforce card showed:

    1. Paul Buentello is not even a Top 15 Heavyweight.

    2. Strikeforce, besides Renato Sobral, has no good Light Heavyweights. This is evident with Anthony Ruiz beating Bobby Southworth.

    3. Non-Title fights are the worst idea ever. Ruiz should be the Light Heavyweight Champion, not Southworth. Not like that title belt means anything, but in terms of fairness, Ruiz should be champion.

    4. Tournaments are still a bad idea. How was it fair that Santiago had 24 seconds in his first fight, while Prangley had 10 minutes. Hence why Zuffa got rid of the tournament.

    5. Strikeforce never intended to put a true threat in front of Cung Le before they held their big money fight of Frank Shamrock vs. Cung Le. Sorry, but at least one legit test would have been nice.

    6. Sean Salmon should never fight again. Period.

    7. For as nice as it is for Jorge Santiago to win that tournament, it still felt like the “Battle of the UFC Rejects”. The UFC currently has 4 people under contract that have wins over Santiago.

  2. CapnHulk says:

    Paul Buentello was utterly decimated.

  3. Jim Allcorn says:

    45 Huddle,

    Regarding point #6. How dare you assume to make judgments on a professional athlete’s ability to continue his or her career!

    Just shitting you mate.

    You’re spot on about this, obviously. Coming on the heels of his having been coldcocked in a similar manner by that Rashad Evans kick to the head not all that long ago, it’s clear that Salmon is a neurological liability. And that the fight game it definitely NOT the place for him.

    Forcibly retiring Salmon is not at all the same thing as a grandstanding commissioner refusing to license Evander Holyfield. Who, though his skills weren’t world class anymore, could still fight a bit & wasn’t suffering brutal KO losses or taking horrific beatings. He could still compete with & defeat a moderate level of competition & ( as evidenced by his most recent comeback ) not suffer too much damage in the process.

    While on the other hand, Salmon has suffered two brutal knock outs that have left him totally unconscious & concussed in a short period of time. Enough is enough. It’s obvious that his head just wasn’t built for withstand high impact blows, not to the level required to be a professional fighter anyhow.

    Hopefully, once he’s released from the hospital, he’ll make the proper, intelligent decision & retire on his own terms for the sake of his health, his future well being & his loved one’s sake. If not, then I’m all for the CSAC retiring him.

    Of course, that won’t stop him from seeking to continue his career in unsanctioned shows if he can find promoters willing to take the risk of using him. Which, unfortunately, I’m sure he’d be able to do should he decide to take that ill advised route though …

  4. sebastian says:

    Buentello had virtually zero offense in round one. Does anyone have the judges score cards for that one? Would be interesting to see if it was 10-8s across the board.

  5. SamScaff says:

    1. Paul Buentello was never a top-10 HW anyway. Personally I was never a huge fan, but his loss doesnt mean that he’s not still an entertaining standup fighter.

    2. True. I dont know why it took watching this event for you to realize that.

    3. Having a bullshit title is the bad idea. Neither Ruiz nor Southworth should be “champion.”

    4. Tournaments are not a bad idea. And thats a ridiculous argument to say they are not “fair.” Is the US Open not fair because someone can cruise through without losing a set? No, it means your good, or you have what they call “luck of the draw.” Tournaments are great because they motivate fighters to end fights and they control their own destiny. I love the tournament format. Oh, i’m sorry, maybe its not fair that some guys can throw flying knees and some guys cant. Or its not fair that some guys have chins and others dont. Maybe its not fair that I can make a logical argument but 45 Huddle cannot. Tough luck.

    PS, thats not why Zuffa (your god) got rid of the tournament.

    5. Thanks for stating the obvious.

    6. While this may be a controversial opinion, I disagree. Sean Salmon dos not have a losing record. He has decent skills. I can list MANY fighters who have been knocked out cold on multiple occasions (Randy Couture and Mirko Crocop come to mind). Its especially unfair for a layman who really does not know the details of the situation to make this conclusion about somebody else’s life. Just my opinion.

    7. Wow. What a surprise !! You somehow manage to point out that the UFC is better than this event. I’m shocked.

  6. D. Capitated says:

    Tournaments also motivate fighters to do as little as possible to try and get into the next round without getting hurt, not just “end the fight”. I’m sorry, one night tournaments suck. I thought this was well established by K-1’s World Grand Prix in 2002, but here were are in 2007….

  7. Grape Knee High says:

    I don’t think one night touraments *always* have to suck. Sometimes they do, sometimes they don’t. Just like regular events. The one thing that doesn’t happen is that it’s not just a test of skill but one of endurance, pain threshold and staying injury-free.

    This past K-1 MAX tournament was one of the best that I’ve ever seen. Masato was really on his game and beat Buakaw with the perfect gameplan and then went on to KO his second opponent. Then he proceeded to lose by TKO because of a lower leg injury. But that’s how it goes in a tournament.

    That said, I do wish Zuffa would consider multi-event touraments, similar to PRIDE’s GPs with the exception that you’d only ever fight once per event. I don’t think anyone can deny that those PRIDE and Bushido GPs were collectively the pinnacle of MMA events so far in this young sport. And I don’t see why Zuffa wouldn’t be able to top those events, if they actually chose to.

  8. D. Capitated says:

    I dunno. You can do those fights without the auspices of a tournament pretty easily. I mean, its not as if UFC 78 is chock full of mismatches. Matter of fact, very few UFC cards have been filled with them as of late. I’d rather see people making title defenses against their #1 contender each time out than see them fight the #8 guy and then #4 guy before doing so.

  9. 45 Huddle says:

    The US Open example is a poor one. They have 1 to 2 days between matches. So being tired from a previous match can play a roll, it is not a main component to the match. in a 1 day tournament in MMA, it plays sometimes a bigger role then the skill level. That is a problem.

  10. Jim Allcorn says:

    Sammy,
    While I respect your opinion, I just don’t agree. Not at all.

    I could be wrong because I haven’t seen all of Cro Cop’s losses between his careers in K-1, Pride & the UFC, but don’t recall him ever being carted off on a stretcher, with a neck brace on after any of them. Same with Couture.

    Aside from a brief moment following the Gonzaga KO loss, I don’t recall ever seriously fearing for either man’s health in the immediate aftermath of Filipovic’s or Randy’s defeats. And even then, I think the concern was more for the way that Cro Cop’s leg collapsed beneath him rather than fearing any sort of a possible life threatening head injury.

    While last night, while Salmon lay in a complete state of unconsciousness with his arms sticking up rigidly, there was definitely a long, worrisome “Oh Shit” moment. Agree? Especially since we had just seen him suffer a very similar fate just a ( relatively ) short while before.

    Perhaps last night’s brutal KO loss wouldn’t be as amplified as it is in significance had the KO loss to Rashad Evans taken place a couple-three years or so ago, but that’s not the case. I’m no neurologist nor a medical professional of any kind, but I’ve been around the fight game long enough to know that that suffering that sort of a total knock out on the heels of another one not long before it is bad news.

    Very bad news if the victim of said knock outs plans on continuing to fight in their aftermath. Very, VERY bad news if that individual should attempt to climb back into the ring or cage any time even remotely soon after suffering them.

  11. Matthew Watt says:

    Was anyone else surprised that Salmon did not have a pee stain around his crotch area after that blow, with the seizure and all. That was beyond scary.

    For him never fighting again, that is two serious concussions in a year. The mind is a funny thing, some guys can handle more blows then others. Still, the evidence against Sean Salmon is pretty staggering on where exactly his mind is at right now, that being a very bad place.

    This is pure speculation, but has his torrid pace of fighting non-stop since the UFC dropped him played into what occurred?

  12. Australia…interesting.

    This is the MMA equivalent of Vietnam during the cold war. UFC is moving in in force, and meanwhile, ProElite has substantial support on the ground already, via their connections to Australian MMA events through their new wholly owned King of the Cage subsidiary.

    I wonder whether UFC has the muscle to totally beat down the local Australian MMA events, or whether any of them is strong enough to be the equivalent of Cage Rage. UFC has good event distribution on DVD in Region 4, even though the production quality is sketchy at best (IMHO).

  13. Michaelthebox says:

    Wow Sam Scaff, your argument about tournaments sucks on wheels. Which is funny because you crow about your logic in that very same argument.

    The US Open is a terrible comparison for multiple reasons.

    First, as 45 Huddle said, the recovery time between US Open matches is much longer than for MMA tournament fights. That doesn’t just apply to energy levels, that applies to any minor injuries incurred.

    Second, there is inherently a set amount of time any US Open match must last, so at the very worst, one US open competitor will have spent a quarter of the amount of time in his last match as his opponent. Santiago spent what, 1/20th the time against Salmon that Prangley spent against Vitale.

    Third, in a US Open tournament, when the level of competitors is similar, the time each spent in his previous match tends to be similar, because they faced similar competition. MMA fights don’t have any such tendency, because any fight can end in the first two minutes as easily as drag to decision, regardless of the quality of competitors.

  14. Grape Knee High says:

    I dunno. You can do those fights without the auspices of a tournament pretty easily.

    Oh, absolutely, and you’re point is well taken about not having mismatches. Just from the way Dana speaks about matchups and their resulting impact on the future title picture shows that he’s really in a way just simulating a tournament in his head for the current #1 contender for each belt.

    But think about what makes a tournament exciting — and I’m not talking about a one-night tournament here but a multi-event tournament. There is a buildup, an excitement that just isn’t there with regular events. In the same way that in football and baseball and basketball and hockey, there are great regular season games, but something about the playoffs heightens the tension and fun.

    Most regular people don’t want college basketball, but tons of people pay attention to March Madness every year. And not just for the betting pools…:)

  15. Garcia isn’t qualified to make the assumption that he could be done fighting. If it was Christopher Giza, who actually deals with head traumas, I’d be more inclined to believe it.

  16. IceMuncher says:

    Jeremy,

    When the UFC did their first event in England, Cage Rage had a show that same day. The UFC obliterated them. I think the UFC is going to have no problems whatsoever with doing a show in Australia. With Pride gone, the UFC became the sole apex predator.

  17. Are we talking about UFC 70 here? Royal Albert Hall in London was before Cage Rage held their first event.

    I Genki Sudo really retired btw? (I think that the Brawl was his first UFC event).

    In any case, Cage Rage seems to be doing fine, even if they’re not capable of holding a head to head event.

  18. D. Capitated says:

    Oh, absolutely, and you’re point is well taken about not having mismatches. Just from the way Dana speaks about matchups and their resulting impact on the future title picture shows that he’s really in a way just simulating a tournament in his head for the current #1 contender for each belt.

    That’s the way any sport that revolves around individuals works apart from perhaps golf. I mean, really, the best players in the world play each other with the best fighting the champ. And as you have one top contender fight the champion you prepare his next challenge. That doesn’t require tournaments and frankly I think that making official tournaments is just a waste of time. I don’t need Carlos Condit/GSP to know that GSP is the next top contender for the 170lb title and should be given a crack at it.

    But think about what makes a tournament exciting — and I’m not talking about a one-night tournament here but a multi-event tournament. There is a buildup, an excitement that just isn’t there with regular events. In the same way that in football and baseball and basketball and hockey, there are great regular season games, but something about the playoffs heightens the tension and fun.

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