But one thing the fanboys have been trumpeting is the return of at least one potential middleweight contender: Ricardo Almeida. Almeida tore Pancrase a new asshole, beating top notch Japanese talent like Shibuya, Minowa, Misaki, and Chonan. But if you’re looking for Almeida to jump back into the fray and be ready to take on Anderson Silva any time soon, you’re about to be dissapointed:
MMAWeekly: Has there been any discussion about possible future opponents, such as Rich Franklin, Dean Lister, Yushin Okami, or perhaps rematches with Marquardt or Chonan?
Almeida: Not yet. All those names sound like great fights, but I want to earn my right to fight some of these guys, because right now I am just some guy who has been sitting on the side lines for awhile.
I am not arrogant to think that I can come back from a three-and-a-half year layoff and mix it up with the top guys in the division right away. I am looking forward to slowly, but surely, climbing my way back into the top of the division.
Most people who listened to the UFC conference call and Randy’s press conference left with a generally optomisitic view of the situation between the two parties. Dana White wasn’t taking his normal tactic of devaluing his enemies (he saved that for Fedor), and Randy ‘never said never’.
However, I think people just aren’t reading between the lines with what Couture was saying. Pretty much everyone is missing Couture’s point when he says “This isn’t about the money”. I think this statement sums everything up nicely:
“This is the last statement I’m going to make,” Couture told Sherdog.com. “Those guys know the truth. Dana knows in his heart of hearts what’s gone on. I’m not gonna sit and debate every time they want to spin something their way. It’s not about money. They could offer me $5 million — I’m gone. I know how I feel. I know what’s what. I’m tired of it.”
Wake up people: Randy’s not coming back to the UFC.
After Stephan Bonnar’s BJJ coach kicked it and he dropped a deuce to Rashad Evans and Forrest Griffin, I thought he was pretty much toast. He just didn’t seem to have the ability to adapt to his new situation. Fortunately for him, he seems to have sorted his shit out now that he’s down in Vegas training at Xtreme Couture. Not content to stay and train with the best of the best, Bonnar is now on his way to Thailand to work on his muay thai:
Stephan Bonnar: Let’s see. . . (to) get my jiu-jitsu better. I have a teacher now, and I would say I’m learning a lot. I’m focusing on wrestling and straight boxing also. Gonna take a trip to Thailand pretty soonâ€” about a week and a halfâ€”to train Muay Thai. Pretty much everything. . . I know that. It’s a lot easier to work everything now. I’ve got good training partners, good coaches, and everything’s really close.
Honestly, if I hadn’t read it from the fucker’s mouth I wouldn’t have believed it. Good on him for doing something extreme to improve a shitty aspect of his game. You don’t see guys like Rich Franklin or Matt Hughes doing that, and in my opinion that’s why those two are dropping fights to the new generation of fighters.
Another eagerly anticipated matchup will pit Korean judo and mixed martial arts fighter Dong Sik Yoon against Fabio Silva of Brazil. There was a bit of drama when these two appeared center stage for photographs, Yoon adapting the usual stoic fighting pose while an in-your-face Silva brandished fists and stared menacingly at his opponent.
Yoon refused to be intimidated, and got a bit of a laugh when he said, “Sunday I will show a good fight. I don’t fight with my eyes, maybe he prefers to fight that way? I prefer to fight in the ring!”
Silva replied directly to his opponent: “I know what a real fight is, I will show you what a great fight is, and you will lose!”
Randy Couture’s blog has been abuzz the past two days with lots of content direct from the source, including:
But my favorite blog by far from there has to be the huge rant against Kevin Iole’s ‘pissing match’ with Couture. Here’s some of my favorite excerpts:
It would appear you are either peeved that Randy (rather politely) singled you out for publishing numbers that were apparently unsubstantiated, or you are carrying water for Dana White – who has created a huge PR nightmare for himself by a.) letting this happen in the first place, and b.) making matters worse by turning it into a pissing match.
You neither reported the true intent of Randy’s message, nor shed any light on this senseless falling out. You simply itemized the various accusations and counter-accusations and wrapped it in a blanket statement that says something to the effect that: “athletes are all liars – they’re just in it for the money – move along folks – nothing to see here-.”
But instead of clearing up the discrepancy, you unceremoniously threw the apparently factual numbers into the mix with the old apparently un-factual numbers – offering no account for the gaping difference and no apology for what appears to have been pretty sloppy journalism first time around.