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MMA Live (July 2nd, 2009) show recap

By Zach Arnold | July 3, 2009

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Hosts: Jon Anik, Pat Miletich, & Franklin McNeil

Mr. Anik opened up the show proclaiming UFC 100 to be the ‘single biggest event in MMA history.’ The panel opens up with discussion of Frank Mir vs. Brock Lesnar and comments Mir recently made online. Pat said that with 10 days to go, the fighters are working on their technical aspect of their games and are ‘blowing out their lungs’ but are being careful about not getting hurt. Franklin said that Mir’s talk about big guys being easier to face is curious because he’s not sure how fast Mir really will be come fight time. Franklin added that just because he’s training with Forrest Griffin doesn’t mean Forrest is necessarily that fast. Pat said that Mir’s confidence is growing after the win over Nogueira because Mir’s displaying better boxing skills, but Lesnar is being trained by Greg Nelson who is one of the best MMA minds in the world. He concluded by saying that Lesnar is a specimen and a fast learner.

ESPN will be in Las Vegas next week

MMA Live show – 12:30 PM PST on Thursday
Weigh-in Special – 3:30 PM PST on Friday
Preview Special – 6 PM PST on Saturday
Post Fight Extra – 10 PM PST on Saturday

Full Tilt Poker is MMA Live’s new sponsor.

Pat Miletich was asked to name his five favorite UFC fights:

5. Randy Couture vs. Chuck Liddell at UFC 43 (June 2003)
4. Couture vs. Liddell II at UFC 52 (April 2005)
3. Matt Hughes vs. BJ Penn II at UFC 63 (September 2006)
2. Tyson Griffin vs. Frankie Edgar at UFC 67 (February 2007)
1. Frank Trigg vs. Matt Hughes I at UFC 45 (November 2003)

Franklin seem appalled that Pat didn’t include Stephan Bonnar vs. Forrest Griffin. Pat noted that those two fighting was like watching the Harlem Globetrotters play each other because there was no defense. Franklin still looked shocked.

411 news segment – Roger Huerta vs. Gray Maynard in September, Swick vs. Kampmann at UFC 103, Jamie Varner remains on the shelf, Nick Diaz vs. Joe Riggs in Strikeforce, Roger Gracie in Strikeforce, and Jorge Rivera signs a new deal with UFC. Plus: MMA now regulated in Hawaii, UFC getting a deal with Inner Mongolia TV.

Next up is an interview with Jacob “Stitch” Duran. Jon Anik introduced him into the interview by saying, “What Michael Buffer did for ring announcers, Stitch has done for cut men.” Stitch’s story in a nutshell – he moved to Las Vegas 14 years ago to become a boxing cutman, ended up meeting Dana White at a K-1 show at the Bellagio, and the next day Dana was owning UFC and invited him to work for the company. Stitch says that it’s been mind blowing to see how many people recognize him and stop him. He said that people in Germany recognized him and that growing up in a small Central California farm town, he is happy that dreams do come true. Stitch says that he loves boxing, but it’s nothing like MMA and that he likes MMA two-fold over boxing because the excitement of the game is every minute and every round. For a cut man, there are many cuts to treat in MMA whereas in boxing you get a cut and you can eat popcorn when watching the fight.

Stitch explained in his interview that there are four guys who can wrap hands in UFC and that the fighters having the option of using them or their own cornerman. He said that if he is assigned five fighters, he usually ends up with 7 or 8 requests and that he doesn’t turn them down. Stitch is assigned to the ‘red corner’ and another person is assigned to the blue corner. Their job is to give the fighter one more round and protection. They treat every fighter the same.

Stitch says that the thing he is most proud of is bringing education to the art of cutmen, including making videos showing other trainers how to wrap hands properly, how to treat swelling, and how to apply the right medicine to treat cuts. He noted that when he was getting into the cutman business, other cutmen would ignore him so he decided that if anyone asked him for advice on how to do the job right, he would be glad to give advice to others.

Pat Miletich said that having hands wrapped correct and having a good cutman is very important. Franklin said that MMA is different because cuts can be messed up by elbow and ground attacks, therefore making a cutman’s role more important especially in later rounds.

E-mail: Why do you think fighters that had done so well in PRIDE can’t seem to find the same level of success in the UFC? Is it the different rules? The ring versus the cage?

Pat said that so many PRIDE fighters fought in different weight classes (from 200 pounders to ‘monsters’) that the veterans there have been through many wars and by the time they get to UFC their better years are behind them. Franklin said that the cage might matter, but so do the Unified Rules and guys have to make adjustments. He did note that Rampage is the one guy from PRIDE who has made the transition the best (he forgot about Anderson Silva).

Interview time with Jake Rossen, talking about Bobby Lashley’s win over Bob Sapp. Jake said that we really didn’t need to see the fight to know that Lashley could outwrestle Sapp. Is Lashley’s managing easing him into better MMA competition? Jake said that it’s a smart move, but he does wonder if at some point Lashley’s notoriety will catch up with him in a sense that fans start getting impatient with him and want to see him step it up a bit. As far as Tom Atencio winning his MMA bout, Jake said that for a guy in his 40s who is a non-professional, he performed about as well as you would expect. He thought the fight would be sloppier was it really wasn’t that bad at all. Pat Miletich said that Tom wanted to get out there, feel the rush, and be able to relate to other fighters.

Question from Jon Anik – why do people have such a fascination with Lee Murray? Jake said that the bottom line is that Murray is an intriguing guy who doesn’t himself communicate in media circles but instead is always talked about from a distance by the media. This, according to Jake, drives people crazy in terms of their imagination and that Murray’s antics are a source of entertainment for people.

On this week’s MMA for Dummies segment, Kenny Florian showed everyone Matt Hughes’ crucifix ground-n-pound manuever where he takes an opponent’s arms, tucks it in between his legs, then traps the other arm in side mount and starts hammering away to the opponent’s head and body with punches and elbows.

E-mail: Both Mayweather/Marquez and Pacuiao/Cotto conflict with UFC events, 103 and 105. I can see the UFC going head-to-head with Mayweather/Marquez but I don’t think UFC 105 will sell well on the same night as Pacquiao/Cotto. Would it be a good idea to make 105 free on Spike and if not, what kind of impact would the conflict have on PPV numbers?

Franklin said that he totally agrees with the e-mail and that it doesn’t matter what runs against Pac/Cotto on TV, the boxing match will happen. He doesn’t know that the line-up will be for 105, but that UFC line-ups are better than boxing cards. Pat summed it up by saying, “I don’t care if aliens are landing, Pacquiao/Cotto is on my TV that night.”

E-mail: Rarely do I see any interviews with UFC matchmaker Joe Silva. Is this because he wants to keep upcoming fights confidential, or because of some other reason?

Franklin said that Joe is not a person who plays his hand(s) publicly and he understands how the media game works. Because Joe’s been a long-time matchmaker, he likes to keep things under wrap and is a smart businessman.

Next up is a round of three questions for the panel.

Fact or fiction — Gilbert Yvel will fight in UFC in 2010? Pat said fact, Franklin said fiction.

Over/under two months before Dana White announces Chuck Liddell’s next opponent – both Pat and Franklin said over.

Prediction — Lee Murray breaks out of jail and then fights in Japan. Pat says the breaking out is possible, Franklin says no way he is breaking out of prison.

Topics: Media, MMA, UFC, Zach Arnold | 3 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

3 Responses to “MMA Live (July 2nd, 2009) show recap”

  1. Jeremy (not that Jeremy) says:

    I’m more shocked that he couldn’t find a fight in the last two years that he thought was good.

    Almost 50 UFC events, and not one of them featured a top 5 fight?

    Especially when there’s a pretty strong argument that we’ve seen the dominance of the modern style in that period of time. Weird.

  2. Rob Maysey says:

    I love them–never see it otherwise.

  3. lucas says:

    hey zach… yea no need to recap mma live I dont read them and im sure most other people dont either. if we have internet to read your recap then we can watch mma live. Hey how about you take the time to write some original pieces that isnt some regurgitated garbage that I have read 8 times on other sites. When you actually write pieces they are usually fairly informative. More journalistic views and less wasting your time on wannabe tv shows

    thanks by the way

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