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Most MMA sites don’t take the time to do anything but post breaking news and generic analysis of breaking news. It’s pretty rare that we get an article that delves into the history of the sport. Well, rare outside of Sherdog, and most of the time they’re just way too holier-than-thou for me. Well, today we’ve got a good article on fights that never happened by MMA on Tap. It goes over a number of high profile matches that nearly occurred but got iced because of injuries. The list included:

  • Evan Tanner vs Jeremy Horn (UFC 59)
  • Matt Hughes vs Karo Parisyan (UFC 56)
  • Rich Franklin vs Matt Lindland (UFC 56)
  • Patrick Cote vs Lee Murray (UFC 52)
  • Ken Shamrock vs Ian Freeman (UFC 43)
  • Evan Tanner vs Vladimir Matyushenko (UFC 38)
  • Tito Ortiz vs Vitor Belfort (UFC 33)
  • Randy Couture vs Mark Coleman (UFC 17)

Of course, the Franklin / Lindland fight has become something of a legend as it feeds people’s opinions that a) the UFC cares more about entertainment than skill and b) the UFC protects it’s champions from boring / dangerous fighters. I never knew about the Couture / Coleman fight, and as much as I shat on the idea of this fight now, it would have been pretty awesome to get into a time machine and check that out.

Last night Kevin Iole printed a letter from a reader that said that Matt Lindland had signed with HDnet, and implied that Matt was an HDNet fighter now. At first, I was flabbergasted : Kevin Iole was breaking news that didn’t drip from the tip of Dana White’s penis? That’s unpossible! And unpossible it was, as I got an email from HDNet marketing’s Megan Magana (hot???) saying this:

Just wanted to clarify something I read today on your site. Mr. Lindland signed with HDNet Fights to broadcast.

That mirrors what one of our readers said as well: Matt didn’t sign to fight with HDNet, he made a deal to show his Sportfight promotion’s events on HDNet. ‘To broadcast’ might also mean commentary or other stuff too.

Now, we’re not perfect at Fightlinker. As fight ‘linkers’ and not fight ‘reporters’, we put the burden of being correct on other websites that we reference. Some would say we’re passing the buck and they would be absolutely correct! But hey … as time goes on we learn pretty quickly who can or can’t be trusted, and while we knew that everything coming from Kevin Iole’s computer had a taint to it, we’re amazed that he would print something that implied Lindland was fighting for HDNet when he’s not.

So at this point we are officially putting Kevin Iole on our blacklist: there is nothing he can report that we will print as fact without a big asterisk beside it saying “WARNING: Kevin Iole is at best an irresponsible source with clear conflict of interest issues, and at worse an incompetent no fact checking douche. Take whatever he says with the world’s largest grain of salt.”

Mike over at Bloody Elbow points out that it looks like the UFC is choosing HD DVD over the Blu Ray technology. If you didn’t know, the HD and Blu Ray technologies are locked in a battle to be the next big tech thing. The world hasn’t witnessed a battle like this since 8-track vs Cassette tape or VHS vs Betamax.

Of course, it doesn’t really matter who wins because if you ask me, neither of these dumb fucking things are ever going to really take off. Regardless of how you package it, disc technology has moved way past practical and is just utter bullshit now.

CDs were bad enough for scratching and skipping … then they came out with DVDs – the concept being instead of 1 highly scratchable layer, they now have several! And both these new technologies hold even more info on even more layers, meaning the second you put one of the discs on top of your television it’s gonna get dirty, scratched, and stop working.

I’m all about data storage, and while that might not seem like a viable option, I’m betting it will be in five more years. You wait and see. Until then, if you want to spend 400 bucks on one of these new HD or Blu Ray players, go ahead and have fun. Me, I’d rather just burn the money on hookers and blow. Same thing, except I guess you have a slightly better chance of catching herpes from a hooker than from a blu ray player.

2006 was year of the welterweight. That year saw great fights from Georges St Pierre, Matt Hughes, BJ Penn, Karo Parisyan, Diego Sanchez, and so on and so on. 2007 was the year of the lightweight, not for any specific breakout fighter, but because the division as a whole gained a reputation for always having the best fights. So who’s up next for best division? Could it be … the middleweight division?

Now before you call me crazy, read this:

Reports out of Xtreme Couture suggested that he looked more like a natural middleweight and the evidence from the weigh-in at UFC 79 seem to suggest that he’s not cutting much weight at 205. There Silva would have a quicker and easier road to the title and is an attractive matchup with either Anderson Silva or Dan Henderson. Hughes has also long entertained thoughts of moving up to 185 and could try to rejuvenate him career there as well.

Adding Wanderlei Silva and Matt Hughes to a division that just got Evan Tanner and Dan Henderson would certainly do a lot to shore up the deficiencies that made the middleweight division the runt of the 2007 litter. And who knows … it looks like the momentum is starting to shift towards Matt Lindland possibly returning in 2008.

There’s a lot of really big ‘ifs’ involved in the middleweight division shaping up for 2008. But if all that shit did happen, it would be pretty damned awesome.

Sean Salmon dropped by MMAJunkie to say happy new years to all the peeps there, and to say he’d be taking a break from active competition for a while:

On that note, I have re-evaluated my approach (and then re-evaluated it again and again) and will be taking off until I believe that I am a new fighter. I got in this game 25 months ago and fought 19 times, but I never gave myself a chance to improve. Honesty, I thought I was the next world champion. I have been humbled and can admit when things need to be fixed, and that is what we are doing here. I am taking the time to fix everything — even the things that I always believed I was best at. The next time you see me in a cage, I will be the best version of me that I can present. And for the people that really care, my health will always come first, so relax.

Here’s hoping Salmon doesn’t do any wrestling training for a few months and ends up in Thailand or something. There seems to be so many guys who get stuck training the same shit all the time instead of working on new skills or integrating new skills into their existing skillsets. Matt Hughes and Rich Franklin come to mind. On the other end of the spectrum is Jens Pulver, who worked his ass off to develop his submission skills and applied a killer standing anaconda choke against Cub Swanson in his last fight.

Also on Sean’s to do list should be some lessons on how not to look like you’ve died every time you lose. I dunno where they train you in stuff like that, but it certainly would be useful for him.

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