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Thursday trash talk: M-1 loves PRIDE

By Zach Arnold | November 22, 2007

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Quote of the day from Vadim Finkelstein in Daily Sports newspaper: “I want to work with the old PRIDE staff in America & Russia. PRIDE’s team is the best quality in the world.” The more things change, the more they stay the same. In separate quotes at the press conference, Vadim said that he wants to run 2-3 US shows in 2008 and try to run a show in Japan next August. He also discussed the possibility of running an M-1 Bushido event in Russia. Furthermore, Vadim seems confident that Fedor will fight in February after the 12/31 fight in Saitama.

M-1 has an energy drink.

We do functional (and not emotional) well, so we’ll let Sam Caplan be emotional.

Hiroyuki Takaya may be coming to WEC. Kevin Iole has a profile article on Urijah Faber.

British welterweight Paul Kelly is coming to UFC. Plus, Patrick Cote vs. Drew McFedries is reportedly book for UFN 12.

The Associated Press has an article about the latest Ultimate Fighter tryouts in New Jersey.

Two updates on the upcoming Super Challenge Grappling event: 1) The Fightworks Podcast is reporting that Robert Drysdale has been pulled from the event due to injury, 2) Sports Navigator is reporting that Roger Gracie, Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza, and Ricardo Almeida are also not expected to participate. SN claims that Nino Schembri will fill-in as a replacement.

Kevin Iole calls out Fernando Vargas in a big way:

It was no surprise to see Mayorga acting moronic at Monday’s final news conference, but there was Vargas again, yanking off his shirt, posing as if he were Hulk Hogan and cursing a blue streak.

Somehow, you thought that Vargas would have wanted to leave a better impression of himself in his final fight than that of a raving, out-of-control lunatic who wasn’t good enough to back up his tough talk against anyone who could actually fight back.

Save your money and then root for Vargas. He’s retiring (he says), so we won’t have to listen to his bluster any more. And if he knocks out the crass Mayorga, perhaps we’ll get lucky and he’ll go away, too.

Topics: Boxing, Brazil, Japan, M-1, Media, MMA, PRIDE, UFC, WEC, Zach Arnold | 48 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

48 Responses to “Thursday trash talk: M-1 loves PRIDE”

  1. ukiro says:

    A bit of a gamble, but I’m hereby guessing that they’ll try to book Fujita against Fedor for a rematch.

  2. 45 Huddle says:

    I like the Cote/McFedries fight.

    The more that M-1 does, the more that Dana White’s IQ rises. Talk about a delusional bunch.

  3. Ultimo Santa says:

    You know what’s awesome about PRIDE?


  4. Andrej says:

    You Know what is awesome about PRIDE: The Lightweight’s and Fedor

    You Know what is not awesome about PRIDE: Everything else.

  5. Tomer Chen says:

    I’m rooting for Mayorga to obliterate Vargas.

  6. Ultimo Santa says:

    Pfft. After the snooze-fests that UFC has delivered recently (did anyone NOT think that Bisping vs. Evans as a main event would be a bust?) it’s nice to have an event with some exciting fighters, competing with the best rule and judging system ever created for MMA.

    Soccer kicks and stomps, knees on the ground, and no elbows so that lay-and-pray specialists can’t just flop into the guard and try to land cheap shots to open a cut.

    Plus, no f’ing ‘Ten Point Must’ system that was designed for boxing, which for some reason also HAS to apply to MMA in the US.

  7. Jim Allcorn says:

    Sorry to put the damper of reality on this gentlemen, but you know what’s awesome about PRIDE?

    Nothing. It no longer exists.

  8. DROC says:

    Vadim has had the energy drink for a long time, he also has a Red Devil Energy Drink but I don’t think he’ll be launching it in the US any time soon.


  9. ilostmydog says:

    So who is in charge of M-1 now? Vadim Finkelstein or the guys that bought him out? This is bizarre.

    *shakes at head at those crazy Russians*

  10. MMA Fan says:

    the russian mob, the yakuza, plus monte cox….. zack will be busy in ’08 🙂

  11. JThue says:

    Several undercard fights announced for the UFC TUF Finale. I wonder who Georgieff pissed off 😀

  12. haha seriously. It’s like “Short straw gets fed to the angry frenchman

  13. David says:

    Super Challenge Grappling should be good but damn seems like the three best guys are out… Crazy world.

  14. ilostmydog says:

    Someone needs to explain to me how Goulet keeps getting fights in the UFC. His greatest achievement there was his making Jay Hieron coat the entire surface of the octagon with his blood. Bang schooled him, Hazelett schooled him, and Koscheck schooled him. Get rid of this bum already.

  15. 45 Huddle says:

    Have to laugh at the angry Pride fanboys still hanging on to a glimmer of hope.

    Pride was not a sport. It was a spectacle. They had guys like Sherk & Okami fight in their shows, and never used them again because they were not exciting enough. They had a judging system that could be used to make basically anybody the winner (that they wanted). They had paper champions who would only defend a belt once a year. They had champions lose in non-title fights, and then the winner would still be pushed less then the champion.

    Not to mention that Pride was a lot of smoke and mirrors, as has been shown with many of their fighters lack of success in the UFC.

  16. ilostmydog says:

    I kid though. He’s exciting to watch at least. I can think of some other fighters in the WW division I’d like to be as exciting as him.

  17. terrence halladay says:

    thank god we have 45 huddle on here to represent the ufc company line

  18. 45 Huddle says:

    Just because I got all fat eating the turkey, doesn’t mean my love for everything Dana White has diminished.

    Guess who I will be cheering for between Machida & Sokoudjou……

  19. JThue says:

    “Pride was not a sport. It was a spectacle.”

    – Way to be open minded about cultural differences, buddy, although you of course have every right not to like a product.

    “They had guys like Sherk & Okami fight in their shows, and never used them again because they were not exciting enough.”

    – Okay, now ask Dana White why he hasn’t thrown himself after Arona and didn’t dare to put Machida – Heath on the featured card, and if you think Okami is boring you can’t have seen much of Misaki. Better yet, watch a tape and listen to how the japanese fans boo like crazy once a fight goes to the ground for one minute. It wasn’t about fighters always having to be super exciting, it was about fighters giving it their all in the ring. “AXION!”

    “They had a judging system that could be used to make basically anybody the winner (that they wanted).”

    – “could” perhaps, but this is such a BS statement. Just because the rules were complicated and you don’t understand them doesn’t make them completely open to misuse. PRIDE was renowned for having some pretty objective judging, even though most of their judges were Japanese. I can not even begin to tell you how many times I saw a close fight with JP vs. outsider and was almost shocked that they didn’t go the easy way and award it to the home guy just because he was the home guy. K-1 – totally different story. The amount of suspect (judge)decisions was absolutely minimal in PRIDE (Rodriguez vs. Minotauro does come to mind), and certainly not any worse than what we see under the unified rules. Was PRIDE’s refereeing and booking favorable to certain fighters? YES. Their scoring system a sham? No.

    “They had paper champions who would only defend a belt once a year. They had champions lose in non-title fights, and then the winner would still be pushed less then the champion.”

    – It did work for them, but you’re absolutely correct.

    “Not to mention that Pride was a lot of smoke and mirrors, as has been shown with many of their fighters lack of success in the UFC.”

    – Absolutely true that a couple of their fighters were overrated by the promotion and their hardcore fans, but then again as were Chuck Liddell, Tito Ortiz, Frank Mir, Rich Franklin etc. “elsewhere”. Smoke and mirrors.

  20. JThue says:

    M-1 Global needs to just go die. They come off as a messier version of bodogFight, for cryin’ out loud, and that statement about the US-shows brings back fond memories of Sakakibara and Dodger Stadium.

  21. Jeremy Lynch says:

    The one issue I had with Pride’s judging and refing was that they hired and paid them. Rampage had a ref that trained with his opponent.

  22. JThue says:

    Anybody know what’s the latest on the supposed sanctioning body over there?

  23. Andrej says:

    Anybody know what’s the latest on the supposed sanctioning body over there?

    Your being funny right?

  24. JThue says:

    “Your being funny right?”

    What’s there to be funny about? They announced a BS sanctioning body, and I just realized it’s been a while since I heard anything about it.

  25. StreitigKaiser says:

    That is the problem with old school boxing fans, they don’t know how to appreciate a good trash talking promo. Iole needs to get with the times and realize that promos sell tickets.

  26. 45 Huddle says:

    1. There is a huge difference between not heavily promoting a boring fighter…. And removing one from the equation. The UFC just signed Okami to a new contract. They gave Marquardt a title shot, despite not really having much exposure. Yes, the UFC does put more TUF guys on their fight cards….. But in terms of the ultimate goal (title shots), they still give them to boring fighters. How long did it take Filho to get a title shot in Pride…. Oh wait, he never got one….

    2. I completely understood the criteria for the Pride judging. I also know that it was set up so they could pick a winner in a close fight. And just because a foreign fighter won, doesn’t mean he didn’t get a gift decision. Dan Henderson is one American Fighter who comes to mind. He was liked by Pride for his style, and got more then one gift decision. His fight with Yuki Kondo easily comes to mind.

    3. The UFC has never used smoke and mirrors for their champions. Liddell might be getting old now, but he completely cleaned out the UFC Light Heavyweight Division during his streak. It wasn’t like they kept qualified opponents away from him. The only time they did this was with Matt Lindland. Pride did this all the time. Filho was kept away from a title shot. So was Little Nog. Both Arona & Aurelio beat the champions in non-title fights….. Then lost razor close decisions in title fights. Due to their styles (boring), they were not given the rubber matches right away. Or what about Wanderlei Silva. He stayed as champion despite not being the best Light Heavyweight in Pride for over a 1 year period.

  27. Ultimo Santa says:

    Hey 45 Huddle…

    Pride guys not doing good in UFC…weren’t Anderson Silva and Rampage Jackson from PRIDE? And aren’t they both undefeated UFC champions now? And Big Nog has yet to receive a title fight. So I wouldn’t write them off just yet, chief.

    And re: Chuck Liddell: HE WAS ALMOST 100% SMOKE AND MIRRORS. WAKE UP. The proof is the year he became a household name, 2006, was the year that Dana White matched him against 3 guys whom he’d ALREADY BEATEN.

    Styles make matches, as we all know (thank you, Mike Goldberg!) and Chuck did excellent against smaller, slower grapplers with suspect striking. it’s who he’s comfortable against, and he became an expert at beating them. I’ll give him that.

    Against larger 205 opponents with good hands? We’ve seen a MUCH different result.

  28. David M says:

    Ultimo Santa-your characterization of Liddell’s opponents is just silly.

    Couture X2, Randleman, Overeem, Mezger, Tito X2, Monson, Babalu X2 who is basically underrated simply because he can’t beat Liddell, Vitor when he was still good, etc. None of those guys are smaller than Chuck is (judging from the fact Couture is a multi-time hw champ, Overeem just won a hw belt, and Monson has done very well at hw), and Overeem, Mezger, and Vitor all probably are better technical strikers than Chuck is.

  29. Grape Knee High says:

    45, is there really a point in trying to turn this into Sherdog?

    PRIDE was an entertainment company and ran their operations as such (freak shows, non-title fights, yellow cards, etc). The UFC tries to be more of a straight fighting operation, but occasionally strays into the entertainment side of things (Sean Gannon, say no more). They both have their pros and cons, though I’ll admit I prefer PRIDE because I’d rather be entertained than find out who the “best” fighter is if that entails being punished for 5 rounds of lay and pray.

    Regarding Paulo Filho, you’re just plain wrong and you’re showing your lack of knowledge about the goings-on of PRIDE. How could he have been denied a title shot when the WW belt was only created in 2006?

    As far as smoke and mirrors, I think you need to stop being so subjective. Any promotion that brings in sloppy brawlers with no semblance of any grappling skill like Alessio Sakara, James Irvin, Drew McFedries, and Houston Alexander clearly is trying to entertain fans rather than use the “best fighters”.

  30. David says:

    45 Huddle knows how doochy he sounded…

  31. David says:

    Fighting is dynamic and both organizations have their good and bad qualities. Without A Trace had a pretty negative image of cage fighting tonight in their show.

  32. Sergio says:

    Serra is out,

  33. terrence halladay says:

    “The one issue I had with Pride’s judging and refing was that they hired and paid them.”

    you mean like when UFC runs shows in UK?

  34. 45 Huddle says:

    My guess is that we will see Hughes compete at UFC 79. He has been out way too long to wait this one out. Since the Welterweight Division is so backlogged, we could see him fight GSP in a rubber match…. Or potentially Fitch or Koscheck.

    Either way, this should be a lesson to the UFC to not put off perfectly good title fights just to build up a TV show. It was bad enough that this division was put on hold. Now with this injury, the title won’t be defended for at least a year since it’s last title defense. That is horrible.

  35. Canson says:

    45 huddle and Ultimo need to take this crap to Sherdog or a Youtube video comment section..

  36. Ultimo Santa says:

    Canson, how is stating that Liddell was given 3 people to fight in 2006 that he already beat ‘crap’? I think that’s what’s called a fact, my man.

    In 2007 I assume that since Chuck was on a roll, and Rampage had been KTFO a few times in Pride, Dana thought it would be another easy win for his meal ticket. Not the case. And Kieth Jardine out-punching him? That’s almost silly.

    So yes, I believe that calling shenannigans on Liddell’s mystique is not ‘crap’, especially if everyone is confortable picking on Pride all the time.

    And IMO – Pride was simply more entertaining. People can shout ‘Freakshow!’ and various message board buzzwords at Pride all they want, but it won’t make UFC any less boring. If Evans/Bisping is what passes for a main event, then they have some serious fucking problems.

  37. klown says:

    I’m pissed off. Serra and Hughes should have fought 3 months ago, and the winner should have been fighting GSP in December, and Karo/Fitch should have gotten a shot in March. Now the whole division is stalled indefinitely.

  38. The Gaijin says:

    @ Huddle,

    UFC is equally guilty of hiding/underpushing “boring” fighters and pushing ex-champions after losses, more than the new champs (re: Liddell/Rampage and Franklin/Silva). Granted PRIDE definitely used non-title fights far too often, but on the flip side of that, we got to see Gomi, Wandy etc. fighting 4 times a year instead of these ridiculous 1-2 times a year. When these guys are in their prime, they should be in there more than once every six months (barring injury)!!!

    Filho never got a title shot b/c the promotion was in the tank before he got the opportunity – he had the opportunity to win the MWGP, but for an unfortunate injury, that allowed Misaki to walk into the finals. And I’m sure he would have gotten the shot at Hendo – but how was he to fight the MW champ if he’s fighting for the LHW belt?

    As for close decisions that “go the way they want them”…you can say that with a straight face with the number of “close decisions” that go either way, and end up going in favour of someone the UFC would want them to (Bisping/Hamill, Tito/Forrest)? Even fights that WEREN’T close and still went the way they wanted them (re: Mir/Christenson, Bonnar/Jardine). Don’t hide behind the “unified rules” to make any of those decisions look any better than the ones you so harshly criticize.

  39. The Gaijin says:

    I’m dying to see what the numbers are going to look like for Vargas/Mayorga. We’ll see if you can sell fights on pure “pro-wrestling promotion”, seeing as these guys are something like a combined 1-5 in their last 6 fights and no big wins in forever.

    This will be a war and an exciting fight, but its far from determining the “best of the best”. The “circus sideshow” interest gets all of us at some point and I think I’m jumping on this runaway bandwagon to enjoy the ride.

  40. UFCMan says:

    Wow, even me (a hardcore UFC lover) can see that 45Huddle is a painfully obvious UFC mark.

    Newsflash buddy, you dont have to hate on Pride and make up outrageous claims about the promotion in order to push and like UFC. You are actually making the UFC and its fans look bad. Coming from you, it just sounds pathetic. Stop being so desperate.

  41. D.Capitated says:

    Vargas/Mayorga will do fairly well, but its not just because of “pro wrestling promotion”. Mayorga is a well known fighter and Vargas has a huge following. I doubt it’ll top 250,000 but it’ll make money.

  42. The Gaijin says:

    Oh I realize the sideshow isn’t the ONLY reason. You’re bang on that these guys were pretty big name guys (DLH realized Mayorga was a big enough, but safe name to have his comeback against) and aren’t total unknown scrubs.

    But I bet they’d get nowhere near the buys they’re going to get without the ridiculous amount of theatrics at the pressers and weigh-ins and the constant call outs in the media. However, I completely agree that you couldn’t just take two middling unknown/only know to hardcores and generate the type of interest these guys are getting.

    As for 45:
    He has valid points, but I think he’s obviously somewhat biased and naive to think many of his talking points aren’t equally applicable to the UFC or any fight sport promotion.

  43. D.Capitated says:

    Mayorga’s pretty true to life. He’s not just playing the part of mean scumbag, he is one. Vargas is a Mexican dude from Oxnard. Pretty much all mexican dudes (and pretty much anyone under the age of 30) from Oxnard is completely unhinged. Look at the Diaz Bros. The fight was made because they would clash so much and because it would be an entertaining fight. Given that the prefight shenanigans were like 3 months ago I’m not sure how much it will matter now.

  44. The Gaijin says:

    OH yeah…im not even really talking about Mayorga and Vargas themselves doing this type of promoting. I meant more on the promoter end w/ guys like DK and all the boxing writers – I mean there’s some that are admonishing them for their behaviour (Iole – is he a big boxing guy?) but for the most part the boxing guys seem to love this…maybe they’re just desperate for a big fight to “show mma boxing’s still got it”.

    I just know that up here (Canada), its been getting a fair amount of play on the sports networks and it seems to be getting a big push in the boxing circles (Russ Amber in particular). They’re continually playing up what a blood feud this fight is going to be and whether he’s going to get drawn into a brawling war. I’m certain Don King et al are putting the similar push on for this fight.

  45. D. Capitated says:

    Mayorga/Vargas can’t be ignored by the boxing press. There’s only one other big fight between now and next year and both men are names in the sport. I think the reason its being discussed as a all out brawl is because that’s exactly what it will be. I’m not sure boxing has to prove anything to MMA fans about its feasability with Mosley/Cotto doing somewhere over 400,000 buys and the Mayweather/Hatton fight looming in the distance.

  46. The Gaijin says:

    They don’t have anything to “prove” numbers wise…but there seems to the whole “alpha male” need to say “hey we’re not dead b/c of mma, like everyone’s been saying.” (See: Merchant, Larry and the need to talk about mma on the biggest boxing PPV in history)

    As for it being an all out brawl – it doesn’t HAVE to be, Vargas has the skill to outbox and beat him like Tito and DLH did…whether the ego allows him to or it turns into a Gatti-Ward like fight…thats another story.

    For pure entertainment value – I vote latino cajones get the best of him and they have a pier-six, but that’s just me.

  47. JThue says:

    45 Huddle:

    – Even if they did cut Okami purely because of his “boring” fighting style(I really have no idea if they did or not), how in the bluest of hell do you explain Kerr, Randleman, Coleman, Misaki, Gono, Takimoto, Kikuta, Arona…? There’s no sign of any company policy of releasing boring/non-IPPON-fighters. Others have already pointed out the complete lack of logic in your Filho remarks. He likely would have had a shorter wait than, say, what certain UFC welterweights are looking at, but the bottom line is that we’ll never know, so your comments are groundless.

    – You use the word “gift decisions” and also admit that “gift decision” fights were close. If a fight is close, there is no such thing as an obvious “gift decision”. This is pretty self explenatory. As for who to give the decisions to, I compared to K-1 and used the example of JP-talent because both PRIDE and K-1 have had a definite interest in seeing local talent succeed, yet one promotion has a far better record when it comes to judging said talent’s performances. It’s an example. Henderson was nowhere near being PRIDE’s poster boy. ONE fight comes to your mind? If they were systematically fixing his decisions we would have noticed it to a much larger degree with certain other fighters the company had a much larger interest in. As for certain judges favoring certain styles more than others – this happens everywhere and has little to nothing to do with match-fixing or point systems.

    – “The UFC has never used smoke and mirrors for their champions.”

  48. JThue says:

    “The UFC has never used smoke and mirrors for their champions.”

    – One of the least reflective statements I’ve read anywhere this week. What do you call Tito Ortiz’ title run? It was pretty much a complete joke from start to finish. And what about Frank freaking Shamrock? Liddell cleaned out the UFC LHW division? Perhaps, and you could say the same for Franklin, but that doesn’t make them the unbeatable monsters they were portrayed as by the UFC(as was proven when they began facing elite competition), and if you’re going to judge all these “failing” PRIDE fighters off their first one or two fights in the UFC now, how come Liddell’s venture in PRIDE doesn’t ruin his legacy?

    As for Arona and Aurelio, that whole immediate rematch because it went to the judges norm must be something you’ve imagined, because it sure isn’t being practiced anywhere on the big scene.

    “Due to their styles (boring), they were not given the rubber matches right away”

    – Right, and you base this on what exactly? Who are all these exciting challengers who lost close after a previous win and got a title rematch right away because they were exciting? Where’s this long list of happenings that leads credence to your assumption about Aurelio and Arona? As for Shogun never challenging Silva, that had nothing to do with the PRIDE Company Protect The Champion Policy – in fact PRIDE pretty much buried their own champion by putting him in GP’s and HW-fights – the complete opposite of smoke and mirrors(not that they didn’t protect him in earlier years).

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