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UFC 98 (5/23 Las Vegas)

By Zach Arnold | May 22, 2009

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Steve Cofield: Sean Sherk left the MGM Grand Garden Arena without taking urine drug test

Event results: MMA Opinion | AOL Fanhouse | MMA Weekly | Sherdog | MMA Torch | Bloody Elbow | MMA Junkie | Five Ounces | MMA Frenzy

Make your predictions for the PPV buyrate. Over/under… 550,000 buys?

As it currently stands:

Dark matches

Main card

Topics: Media, MMA, UFC, Zach Arnold | 68 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

68 Responses to “UFC 98 (5/23 Las Vegas)”

  1. Ivan Trembow says:

    The update is that Sherk was supposedly not one of the fighters who was scheduled to be tested anyway, and he returned after 15 to 20 minutes. It doesn’t look like he’s going to be facing any kind of disciplinary action.

  2. liger05 says:

    Is a much smaller B.J. Penn the guy that has performed the best v Machida?

    Rampage will not beat this guy. Machida to clever and his style will expose Rampage.

    Shame Inoki isnt still around with Machida. We could of seen Machida take a slap at the end of the fight.

  3. Mark says:

    Machida is retiring with that belt. Fighters like him only lose when they start getting too arrogant and lazy in the gym. But Machida seems to eat, sleep, live and breathe MMA so I cannot see that happening.

    lol@liger05. That would be awesome if crazy ass Inoki came back to ride on Machida’s coattails as his manager. Machida would quickly become my favorite fighter if he had Inoki making all kinds of insane claims in the press for him. Or if he moves his training camp to “Friendship Island”.

  4. Chuck says:

    If Inoki had his way, we would be seeing Machida vs. Choi Hong Man vs. some 450 lbs. Russian Judoka/Samboist in a three way Turkish oil match.

  5. Dave says:

    Yeah, the sad thing is, if Lyoto stuck with Inoki, well, I don’t think Lyoto would have gone far. He’d still be promoted as LYOTO, heir to Inoki-ism and fighting in freak shows in front of a few hundred people.

    Its funny, isn’t it? The guys Inoki latched onto were Lyoto Machida and Brock Lesnar and both are champions who look to be rather dominant in where they are.

  6. Mark says:

    In his scattered moments of sanity, chInoki can spot talent. The problem is he either wants to regulate them to being his sidekick to keep himself relevant, or he comes up with some bat-shit crazy idea nobody in their right mind would agre to do, so they end up leaving him. Is IGF even opened anymore? Inoki has been really quiet for about a year.

  7. Jeremy (not that Jeremy) says:

    I was up in Toronto for the weekend, caught this one at Boston Pizza on Courtneypark near the airport.

    Hughes got a round of applause for his decision win (great fight btw), and Machida got a nice pop on entrance and a huge reaction with the win (well beyond what the other K.O.s got).

    The casual guys who won’t spend $40 on the PPV love the Machida.

  8. Ivan Trembow says:

    It’s really amazing that Machida didn’t get a title shot sooner. Earlier this year, with a UFC record of 6-0 and an MMA record of 14-0, Machida was still passed over for a title shot in favor of Quinton Jackson (even with Jackson’s legal issues), who had won an incredible two fights in a row.

    Even when Jackson’s injuries made it clear that he couldn’t fight on the May 23rd card, Machida still wasn’t going to get the next title shot.

    It was only because both Jackson and Frank MIr were injured (thus preventing the UFC from delaying Evans’ first title defense until July) that Machida got a title shot before Jackson.

    Even then, published reports at the time said that it still would not have happened if Zuffa had been able to convince Georges St. Pierre to move up his title defense against Thiago Alves to May 23.

    The only reason they finally gave Machida the title shot when they did, rather than having him fight yet again before getting a title shot and likely against another tough opponent like Thiago Silva, was because all three of these things happened:

    1. Quinton Jackson hurt and can’t fight on May 23
    2. Frank Mir hurt and can’t fight on May 23
    3. GSP not willing to move his fight up to May 23

    If any two of those things had happened, we’d be looking forward to Evans vs. Jackson in July, and Machida would have yet another tough fight before getting a title shot. It’s only because all three of those things happened that Evans vs. Machida happened on May 23.

    It’s kind of crazy to think that such an historic night would not have even happened if not for all of those things happening at the same time.

  9. klown says:

    I am beyond impressed with Machida’s performance and he is now the undisputed #1 LHW in the world.

    Having said that, I don’t believe Machida had earned his title shot yet. To go from facing Tito Ortiz and Thiago Silva (who has never beaten anyone of worth) to a title shot against the likes of Rashad or Rampage isn’t a logical progression.

    I’m a believer in #1 contender fights and I’m not satisfied Machida ever had one. It would have been reasonable to give Machida yet another tough fight, albeit his toughest yet against the highest-ranked opponent he’s ever faced, as a precursor to his title shot. Against someone like Rua, Griffin or Liddell.

  10. klown says:

    klown’s attempt at objectively ranking the LHW division

    (Includes anyone who’s fought at 205 against a ranked opponent in the last 3 years.)

    1. Machida
    2. Evans
    3. Griffin
    4. Jackson
    5. A. Silva
    6. Henderson
    7. Rua
    8. Liddell
    9. W.Silva
    10. Jardine
    11. Ortiz
    12. Franklin
    13. Bisping
    14. Hammill
    15. Jones
    16. Bonnar
    17. T. Silva
    18. Irvin
    19. Shafer
    20. Alexander
    21. Cane
    22. Sobral
    23. Sokoudjou
    24. Nogueira
    25. Matyushenko

  11. Mark says:

    Houston Alexander ranked above Babalu and Rogerio Nogueira? Come on.

    I agree with Ivan it was bullshit that Machida got passed over for Rampage. But on the plus-side it seemed to motivate him to get even better. Trying to get respect can bring out the best in a lot of athletes. It wasn’t too surprising, though, since Dana always goes with starpower over who actually deserves a title shot. Remember he was hellbent on giving Liddell a title shot no matter what until Rashad destroyed him.

  12. Jeremy (not that Jeremy) says:

    Remember that Dana’s not the matchmaker, he’s there to sell PPVs.

    It’s unfortunate, but a reality of the industry that your title shots are going to be at the top of cards, and that there’s always going to be a tug of war between the deserving and the marketable.

    Fortunately, the fans know who the deserving are, and those guys become marketable, mostly.

  13. The Gaijin says:

    “COME ON!” 🙂

    Alexander’s probably not even a top 25 right now let alone worthy of being ranked ahead of Cane (!?!), Babalu, Nog or even the Janitor.

  14. Mark says:

    And I don’t know how I feel about ranking a part time LHW like Anderson Silva so highly. His wins come from 185 not 205.

    And Bisping is done with 205 so he should be removed as well.

  15. Ultimo Santa says:

    WOW is right. Machida is a god.

    Every time he’s about to fight, I think his opponent has a decent chance, and I’m always dead wrong. I sincerely thought Evans could take this to the 4th or 5th round – maybe a decision. I was wrong.

    Matt Hughes got very lucky with Steve “How the fcuk do I still have this job” Mazagatti referring that fight.

    He let them lay on the mat for a VERY long time, taking away any chance Serra had to score some points.

    Aside from some superficial hammerfists and some lay’n’pray, Hughes never tried for a submission, any significant g’n’p, or really to even to pass guard.

    But I guess smothering someone still wins you a decision in the UFC…too bad.

  16. The Gaijin says:

    “And I don’t know how I feel about ranking a part time LHW like Anderson Silva so highly. His wins come from 185 not 205.”

    Let alone the fact that his only win was over #18 – Irvin. That’s some pretty interesting rankings…not saying he couldn’t be ranked that high or higher *if* he fought at LHW, but as of now, he’s only had one showcase fight against a lame duck. If he beats Forrest and decisively, then bully for that placement.

  17. klown says:

    On Alexander:

    If he’s ranked too highly, that’s a leftover from his win over #10 Jardine. Since then, Alexander has been steadily plummeting thru the ranks. Unless he beats a higher-ranked opponent, he’ll be out of there soon.

    Keep in mind that Alexander is the best win on the records of T.Silva, Irvin and Shafer. Without ranking him where he is, there is no justification for ranking them where they are. Ironically, many people rank T.Silva much higher than I have him (#17). Yet the only ranked opponents he’s ever beaten are Irvin and Alexander.

    On Anderson Silva:

    To deal with the potentially confusing effect on rankings of fighters crossing over weight classes, like A.Silva, W.Silva, Franklin, Henderson, Bisping and others, I think it’s easiest to include anyone who’s fought at LHW in the last 3 years.

    In addition to beating #18 Irvin, A.Silva also holds wins over #12 Franklin and most importantly, #6 Henderson. The latter is the justification for his ranking at #5. These fights occurred at MW but it’s difficult to imagine the fights would have gone differently if the fights took place at LHW. It’s possible the class affected the outcome but it’s difficult to account for in rankings. That would be like trying to factor into rankings the fact that a fight took place in a ring vs a cage. Intuitively, it seems wrong to rank Silva over Henderson at MW but flip them at LHW….

    Anderson’s match-up with Griffin is an excellent one. It will definitively answer any questions about where Silva stands among the LHW elite.

  18. Mark says:

    @klown

    This is exactly why I hate the “beat a top 20 fighter, you get their spot” way of ranking.

    I wouldn’t call his victory a fluke, but it certainly isn’t going to happen again. He came in so unknown UFC.com couldn’t even come up with a picture of him before the fight, I remember. And since then he’s shown nothing beyond Tank Abbott-like skills. He will never beat anybody who means anything ever again. So if he’s on any semi-respectable rankings then it proves my point.

    That little girl he saved wouldn’t even claim he’s a top 25 fighter.

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