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If you were wondering how EliteXC was justifying the financial burden of adding Arlovski vs Nelson to their CBS card last second, it turns out they don’t have to. Because Affliction is paying for the whole thing.

When I first heard about this, I thought it was the stupidest thing I’d ever heard of. But now I’m wonder how much advertisers pay for a 30 second spot during the commercials. If you look at this from the angle of Affliction essentially buying a big ad on CBS that will last at least 10 minutes (walk outs, announcing, results) and could possibly last 30 minutes, then all of a sudden the situation no longer seems as dumb. What’s smarter? Paying for several spots then or putting one of your main guys in the cage on broadcast television?

So now we see how this could potentially be a good idea from Affliction. What’s left is seeing if they manage to execute things so that they actually benefit from it.

Yesterday, the UFC pulled an Ireland event out of it’s ass, complete with headlining bouts all ready to go. Now they’re following up by announcing a bunch of NYE bouts we’ve all been waiting for:

On Wednesday, he at least got the top three fights of UFC 92 finalized. The co-main events will feature the interim heavyweight title match between champion Antonio Rodrigo and Frank Mir. Forrest Griffin will defend the light heavyweight title against Rashad Evans and Quinton “Rampage” Jackson will meet Wanderlei Silva, who defeated him twice when they fought in PRIDE.

I’m glad the UFC decided to add Jackson vs Silva onto the card. While Griffin vs Evans should be an interesting match, it lacks sizzle. And don’t even get me started on Big Nog vs Fat Mir. If Mir manages to win that fight I’ll do naked jumping jacks outside of a police station. So I’m glad there’s a fight on there that’s got all the ingredients to make me a happy MMA fan.

Poor CroCop. You know you’re not doing too well when every interview has the “So when are you going to stop embarrassing yourself” subtext going on. In Mirko’s case, he’s saying he has no plans to retire any time soon. He’s also admitting that he’s a headcase and the pressure is getting to him:

CC: Despite the commentary that I’m too old, all my physical conditioning and speed test point to the fact that I’ve never been better prepared than for my last fight. But it doesn’t matter what I think, the only thing that matters is what actually happens in the ring.

Q: So what’s the problem then?

CC: I’m under more pressure then I have been earlier in my career. I lost two fights in the UFC, and I have a fear of it happening again. I cant afford more failures. I have a fear of failing not of punches or kicks. Many fighters have the same problem.

Q: Do you have a exit strategy after you leave the sport?

CC: No along as I’m healthy my mind is only on fighting on.

Q: So you don’t have any plans to leave the sports?

CC: Peter Aerts has been written of for 5 years now. He recently defeated K1 best fighter and tournament favorite Semmy Schilt. If he can do it why should I at 35 be too old? I feel great, my conditioning is excellent and I’m motivated to fight. There is no reason to end my career.

Now I’m not going to say that Mirko should retire or anything, but I’m starting to get the feeling that his best days may be behind him. Nagging injuries, lagging techniques, and poor performances put him into a different category than Peter Aerts, who has gone 7-1 since 2007 compared to Mirko’s 2-2-1.

If Mirko’s knee is troubling him so much during takedowns and groundplay as he claims, maybe he should head back to K-1 where he doesn’t have to worry about that? Then again, the idea of heading back to kickboxing with bad knees doesn’t sound too promising either. And frankly, so long as Mirko’s head is in the wrong place he’s probably gonna keep on getting dominated.

The entire CroCop interview is after the jump, translated by Robert at Betwwx.com

Cro Cop: Ending my career is not a option

Ending his career is not a option for Mirko Cro Cop. Currently his only mind is occupied with revenging Overeem.

Q: Hows your health?

CC: Right now everything is fine. My injuries have healed up and I’ll return to training soon.

Q: It wasn’t easy watching those knees to your groin-

CC: I’ll quote a favorite movie of mine “Maratonci trce pocasni krug” — “I don’t like it, but its part of the job!” That’s how I feel about what happened at Dream 6.

Q: Where you surprised he wasn’t disqualified?

CC: I wouldn’t have gained anything from a disqualification. I don’t need that kind of win. More importantly I shouded have given him the opportunity to knee me to the groin

Q: Disqualifying him would make him think twice about were he places his knees?

CC: Well next him he’ll be well advised not to go near my groin. If he does it again, I’ll give him a taste of his own medicine. And I’ll do it deliberately without holding back. Mixed martial arts is a brutal sport but there are rules to be followed. I have followed them trought my career and my opponents have also.

CC: There is no point crying over spilt milk. I expect my revenge at NYE.

Q: Do you have any plans between NYE and now?

CC: I’ll travel to Soul, Korea on 11.11.08 to support Igor Pokrajac when he fights against a yet unknown opponent.

Q: Do you concede that Overeem was the dominant one up until the injury?

CC: Yes he was, but it’s a 15 minute fight and anything could have happened had the fight continued. I should have been more aggressive of course. Its something I’ll have to work on.

Q: Did you properly train and prepare for the fight?

CC: Despite the commentary that I’m too old, all my physical conditioning and speed test point to the fact that I’ve never been better prepared than for my last fight. But it doesn’t matter what I think, the only thing that matters is what actually happens in the ring.

Q: So what’s the problem then?

CC: I’m under more pressure then I have been earlier in my career. I lost two fights in the UFC, and I have a fear of it happening again. I cant afford more failures. I have a fear of failing not of punches or kicks. Many fighters have the same problem.

Do you have a exit strategy after you leave the sport?

No along as I’m healthy my mind is only on fighting on.

Q: So you don’t have any plans to leave the sports?
CC: Peter Aerts has been written of for 5 years now. He recently defeated K1 best fighter and tournament favorite Semmy Schilt. If he can do it why should I at 35 be too old? I feel great, my conditioning is excellent and I’m motivated to fight. There is no reason to end my career.


Translated by robert at betwwx.com

Quinton Jackson is on the cover of this month’s Fighters Only, but who gives a flying fuck about that!?!??! Fightlinker is once again represented in this fine publication, in the form of two columns: one by Jake, and one by me. Mine was an expansion on this post, where I talked about the retards who are always clamoring for people to retire. Jake’s was about ego (a subject he has tons of first hand experience with).

The magazine is on sale tomorrow, so go out and get it! And okay, if you’re more interested in Quinton Jackson than us then you can go after the jump for a behind the scenes video of the Rampage photo shoot where he talks about Wolfslair taking over the world and how the Japanese think black people can’t swim.

Shinya Aoki has made it no secret that he dislikes Yoshihiro Akiyama. I know, it’s not like he’s the only one … Akiyama has become one of the biggest heels in MMA history. I don’t think I’ve ever heard of anyone taking more shit or getting more disrespect than him. If ya wanna know why, check this out.

Anyways, here’s Aoki’s latest column in Kampiro where he calls Akiyama scum for calling out Yoshida (who fights for rival organization Sengoku). Note that this is a Suki translation and she’s been known to miss undertones in fighter messages before, but the meaning seems quite obvious here:

I’m very mad. I’m proud to fight in DREAM. I believe In DREAM, both staff members and fighters work together to create the best MMA event. We have been working very hard since this event was started last March.

In the last event, a fighter said he wanted to fight someone who belonged to the other event. He added that he wouldn’t mind fighting in the other event. I wonder why he could say that in front of DREAM fun, who love this event and want to watch exciting events in DREAM. He always only care about his own convenience.

I don’t forget what he said. I believe I can be more popular than him and bring more benefits the event. I think I can be stronger and famous all over the world. He can go anywhere but I don’t run away. I represent DREAM.

A fight between Akiyama and Aoki would be something to see indeed … maybe it’ll happen at that NYE show no one has admitted is going to happen?

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