Well, it’s official: UFC80 is happening in Newcastle England on January 19th. Headlining fights are BJ vs Joe for the bullshit interim lightweight title and Werdum vs Gonzaga, which should be pretty good unless both fighters hide in their respective corners afraid that a loss will send them packing from the UFC.
Other interesting bouts include Sam Stout vs some Swedish guy named Per, and Marcus Davis vs Jess Liaudin. These two bouts should be slugfests, and I’m glad to see the UK getting another UFC75-quality card rather than the shit they got in Ireland. Big question now of course is whether SpikeTV is gonna show this or not. Fingers crossed!
Here’s the card so far, and I’m very glad the UFC has gotten off it’s ass and started booking the 2008 shows up.
-B.J. Penn vs. Joe Stevenson (UFC LW Interim Title)
-Gabriel Gonzaga vs. Fabricio Werdum
-Kendall Grove vs. Jorge Rivera
-Sam Stout vs. Per Eklund
-Marcus Davis vs. Jeff Liaudin
-Antoni Hardonk vs. Colin Robinson
**Update** According to the studious individuals at MMAJunkie, there will also be a battle of the Pauls in the form of “Paul Taylor (8-2-1 MMA, 1-1 UFC) and Paul Kelly (6-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC)”
We want Keith Jardine to perform TechnoViking as his entrace to the octagon. We agree, that if he does this, it would:
a) Raise his stock 5000% b) Make all girls want to marry him 500 times c) Make all men feel insecure in his presence d) Make the name “Jardine” a holy name, which thou shalt not take in vain, lest the Dean smite thee e) Make Goldy wonder what’s going on f) Make his opponent intimidated, by sheer awe of his entrance
For those of you who didn’t know, the above video is the ‘Techno Viking’ video in all it’s glory. I would die with glee if Jardine ever had the sense of humor to come into a fight a la Techno Viking. Oh, and don’t worry … this video is no ’2 girls 1 cup’.
Today is ‘shit on fighters’ day, apparently. This post’s victim is EliteXC welterweight (or whatever his stupid weight is) contender KJ Noons. I’m not a big fan of Noons’ … he’s had some success in boxing and kickboxing but his only significant win so far in MMA was against Edson Berto, who is respectable but nowhere near top quality MMA.
Gary Shaw has been working his ass off trying to build Noons up as a star in a similar fashion to Gina Carano. Except now I guess Gary’s decided to throw Noons into the deep end against Nick Diaz to see what happens. I don’t know exactly what Noons has done to earn this fight / title shot … once again, I think this shows a lack of depth in EliteXC’s roster.
I don’t really mind that much because I’ll enjoy watching Nick punk this bitch. But I do feel bad for Diaz. To come off a win against one of the top lightweights in the world and now be stuck fighting scrubs must be pretty damned frustrating. Not only does Nick not get any props for beating these guys, he’s putting his rep on the line every time he steps into the cage to fight. If he gets caught and knocked out by one of these upstart challengers, that would do hella damage to his rep. These fights are all risk and no gain for him.
On the surface, putting Brock Lesnar up against Frank Mir in his first UFC bout may seem like a pretty ballsy move. Of course, that’s only because everyone keeps forgetting Frank Mir sucks cheesy balls. And no, I don’t think that statement only applies to post-accident Mir. Honestly, I don’t think Frank Mir has ever been half as good as everyone has always made him out to be.
Like Vitor Belfort, fans never know ‘which guy’ is gonna show up when Frank Mir fights: The fatty fat fat lazy fucker, or the relatively in shape lazy fucker? Either way, it’s gonna take a pretty big fluke for Brock Lesnar to lose to Frank Mir.
So hey … congrats to the UFC! You guys picked the perfect dude to set Brock Lesnar up with. Beating a former UFC champ gives you instant cred, even if Mir’s tenure as title holder was spent in a hospital half dead. And hey, beat Mir and people are going to say “Wow, Lesnar has the ability to beat guys with a solid ground game.”
Bullshit. The only reason Frank Mir hasn’t washed out of the UFC already is because he’s balls deep with UFC brass. I’m sure he’s not thrilled at the idea of having to fight Brock Lesnar, but hey … Zuffa did him a favor by hooking him up as a WEC commentator, so one good turn deserves another, right? Mir already did a pretty good job of validating Brandon Vera’s overhyped reputation. So why not Lesnar too?
More gay IFL news … they just ‘fired’ Don Frye as coach because his team sucks. Of course, no one really cares about that, but I do want to point out what this means on a larger scale.
New IFL president and general MMA virgin Jay Larkin stated in a conference call last week that the IFL was planning on moving away from their schlocky animal related team affiliations to concentrate more on actual fight camps. This, as I said at the time, was a good idea. And I also said they’d probably still fuck it up, which it looks like they’re doing.
The fact that they’re still slowly firing coaches probably means they’re planning on keeping the ‘coaching’ position existent in their league. While it seems like a good idea at first glance to keep ‘celebrity’ coaches in place, it’s *the* main reason the IFL is so cut off from the rest of the MMA world.
In case you didn’t know it, Dana White fucking hates the IFL. He sued them several times when they first came into existence and burned many a bridge with people like Pat Miletich and Ken Shamrock over their participation in the IFL. So long as Dana White is running the show, you’ll never see one of the fighters in his organization fielding an IFL team.
And hey … that makes sense. The UFC spends a lot of money developing guys like Rich Franklin, Matt Hughes, and Randy Couture. You can’t have them signing on to be employees of a rival promotion. But while individual fighters are prevented from entering a business relationship with the competition, it’s understood that their fight camps are not tied to any one promotion and are free to do whatever they want.
Get rid of the ‘coach’ as an employee of the IFL and you get rid of the technicality that keeps camps like Xtreme Couture, H.I.T. Squad, Team Punishment, and Team Quest from participating.
In fact, the IFL should completely ditch the concept of teams being ‘a part of their league’ and instead position themselves as an organization that books teams against eachother, no major strings attached. Again, the less strings, the less ability the UFC has to be pissed when training camps that are generally known to be associated with them participate.