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Looks like Fedor’s crack management team have shifted their sights off Pedro Rizzo and onto Semmy Schilt. You might think this is a bit strange of them … they’re actually setting up what could be considered A HARDER FIGHT for Fedor. But when you remember that styles make fights in MMA, you start to realize that Semmy Schilt is yet another carefully picked opponent.

First let me preface this by saying I’ve got hella respect for Semmy Schilt. Sure he looks like the world’s largest geek, but he’s more than paid his dues in both kickboxing and MMA. The guy’s got a legitimate record including a decision loss to Fedor where Fedor basically had to lie on him for three rounds to win a decision. But just once, I’d like to see Fedor fight an opponent who’s

  • in the same weight class
  • not 40+ years old (excluding Randy)
  • not a joke on the ground

And that’s my problem with Schilt … I just don’t think he has the ground pedegree to hang with Fedor. Of course, you could say that I’m not gonna be satisfied with Fedor’s opponents until he’s fighting Josh Barnett. After all, Josh is basically a larger, goofier version of Randy Couture who just happens to NOT be stuck in crazy legal quagmires. I’m just saying.

Can’t he manage to stay out of jail?

The 28-year-old lightweight from Ocala, Fla., will be arraigned Tuesday for charges stemming from a domestic dispute on Jan. 9 — Bennett’s 25th arrest in Marion County since December 1997, according to media reports.

The arraignment comes just two days before “Krazy Horse” was scheduled to fight Victor Valenzuela (Pictures) for a third time in King of the Cage.

The only explanation I can think of is that Victor Valenzuela placed some prank phonecalls to the Florida police saying “Eeee! Help me, I am a girl and Charles Bennett is beating me up!” And knowing Bennett, there’s a 50% chance that he’s in the process of doing just that when the popo arrive. Or a 25% chance he’s stuffing a chick in the trunk of his car. Then there’s a 20% chance he’ll assault a police officer while being arrested.

All in all, there’s a pretty good chance that Krazy Horse is ALWAYS in the middle of something illegal.

Oh big surprise of surprises! Xyience continues to slide down the slippy slopes of financial ruin and has just filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, which sounds much more serious that Chapter 10 or 9. At least it’s not CHAPTER 13. I’m not actually sure what the different chapters entail but 13 is a bad ass number. Those familiar with the case, either through Rich Bergeron’s insane but probably true rantings or Adam Swift’s Payout site, know that Xyience has been in trouble for a while.

Without going into conspiracy land, the general gist of the story is that Lorenzo Fertitta and Dana White are highschool buddies with the original owners of Xyience, Russel and Jennifer Pikes. Lorenzo bailed Xyience out several times over the years, most recently to allegedly cover overdue sponsorship money owed to UFC fighters.

But a small product line, insane advertising budget, and a whole lot of alleged embezzling sunk the company into debt, and a few months ago they fired their entire sales staff. From there the company’s been coasting on fumes, and now here we are: Bankruptcy land.

To me, I don’t really give a shit. I’m just glad to see Xyience off the center of the Octagon canvas and out of the hands of every UFC fighter who wins a bout. What about the loser? Why doesn’t the loser get to sip from a closed can of delicious Sour Apple Xenergy too?

I try not to say “I told you so” a lot, because I know that the majority of you guys agree with most of what I post. But to all those people who said Tito would never leave the UFC no matter how balls they treated him … I told you so. I also look forward to another “I told you so” in six to twelve months when Tito signs with another major organization and helps them to become the first real competition the UFC has faced since Pride. Gotta love it when the UFC shoots itself in the foot.

Lots of people don’t like Tito, not so much because of his talk but because his walk hasn’t backed it up since … hmm. 2002, let’s say. I, on the other hand, choose to love Tito Ortiz because he’s one of the biggest names in mixed martial arts and the sport needs guys like him to help it grow. The bigger the sport grows, the more events we get to see, and the more everyone in the sport gets paid. Eventually the sport will grow big enough that a little blogga’ like me will get a few crumbs from the table, and we can rejoice, slap a salary cap on the fighters, and all live happily ever after.

Here’s what I want to do: can everyone put aside their opinion of Tito Ortiz for a second and look at the hard fact: Tito Ortiz makes the UFC lots of money. Let’s even ignore all the money he made them through the dark ages of the sport, where he basically carried the promotion on his young and unbusted back. Lets just look at now. Put Tito against a decent name, and you’ll have awesome PPV numbers and sold out venues. It’s that simple.

Even if you decide that Tito Ortiz ain’t worth the time or trouble, you can’t ignore the growing trend of insanity that’s developing: the UFC sure seems to be losing a lot of guys lately. Randy Couture is gone, Tito’s come out and straight up said he’s going. Andrei Arlovski is playing his cards close, but leaks have shown he’s ready to fuck off too. And the fishy silence between the UFC and Mirko Crocop points to the UFC trying to wrangle a cheaper fight out of the Croatian due to his past performances.

Oh, and let’s not forget that the UFC tossed Ken Shamrock out on his ass to boot. I don’t care how old Ken is, how shitty Tito is, how boring Arlovski’s been, or what Crocop’s shown in his last two fights. The UFC is losing marquee fighters who should be in the ring fighting, not on the sidelines over contractual disputes. In fact, if they keep this pace up they’ll have lost more cornerstone fighters than most other promotions have combined.

I don’t think the solution to these problems is to throw money at the fighters. But I also don’t think crazy hardball tactics are the way to go either. Zuffa should be smart enough to figure out a way to solve these problems without reading the riot act and burning bridges every time a fighter wants to be paid more.

Here’s the wrapup of yesterday’s news for you guys. Posting today will be spotty as I’m sick as a dog and going to the doctor’s this afternoon. Trust me when I say it’s killing me not being able to give you the coverage I’d like to. Now I know how Luke Thomas felt when he kept saying “I suck, sorry”. I suck … sorry.

Frank Shamrock’s running the show
Looks like Frank will be in charge of throwing the Ken vs Frank Shamrock fight. Word is he’s selling off pieces of the pie the same way boxing promoters often do with their shows. No word yet on how much of a disaster this will be if he can’t get anyone with any decent MMA experience to put together the production end of things. If I were another MMA company like EliteXC and Strikeforce, I’d shun this thing and not help a bit. It’s just not the kind of system you want being set up.

Big John poops on the UFC
A while back I tried to drum up support for the idea that Big John didn’t like the way the UFC was running things. Now he basically says that himself.

Jason MacDonald doesn’t like Joe Doerkson
Or rather, he doesn’t like the fact that he has to fight Joe again. Jason’s a cocky guy so I guess he doesn’t really understand the point of a rebound match. Losing three in a row is pretty much game over for Jason, so I’d say an easy fight is just what he needs right now. In the meantime, learn some goddamn standup skills, buddy.

Lambert’s loss was not a fluke
The guys at Bloody Elbow break down the end of Gouveia / Lambert and explain how Lambert threw away the fight with sloppy striking and posture. Somebody get this guy a boxing coach!

Mirko CroCop training
Here’s pictures of Mirko Crocop training hard. But I’m confused. Didn’t Dana White say that Crocop isn’t sure he still wants to fight?

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