In what I can only assume is an attempt to keep another New Jersey card from occurring, the UFC is spreading the talent that was once piled up on their New Years Eve show across other events.
So far, fighters who were originally marked to be on the card like Roger Huerta and Josh Koscheck have been moved to the TUF6 finale and some other event in 2008 respectively. Now it looks like the BJ Penn vs Whoever fight for the lightweight belt may also be pushed back to a 2008 event.
Hey, it makes sense: you’ve got Hughes vs Serra for the welterweight belt and now the possibility of Silva vs Liddell as well. That’s enough name power right there to float a big Las Vegas show. I doubt it’ll do the mega-business that Chuck vs Tito 2 did, but the UFC apparently isn’t interested in admitting Tito is still a marquee fighter that people love to see. Yes, more than Matt Hughes. More than Rich Franklin. Fuck, even more than Chuck Liddell. And y’all can hate on me for hugging Tito’s nuts, but the truth is I’ll call him a middle-class fighter any day but his draw is still unparalleled.
The UFC seems to be giving Marcus Aurelio a chance to shine by putting him up against an opponent so obscure he doesn’t even have a single picture on Sherdog. Luke Caudillo’s greatest achievement was … um … losing to Nate Mohr at Ultimate Fight Night 10. Past that he’s got a shitty 12-8 record, with almost all of his wins coming against guys with under .500 records.
I gotta find out who Caudillo’s agent is … if he can make it into the UFC maybe I can too. We’re probably about the same skill level and goddamn if I ain’t more marketable with my pretty boy good looks and sweet talk. The ladies would go nuts for me, I tells you.
Is this really the best fight the UFC can sort out for Aurelio? This guy was once considered the king without a crown of the PRIDE lightweight division. Now he’s been reduced to fighting a scrub in the dark matches of the UFC. PRIDE curse? Never heard of it.
Normally I wouldn’t waste my time writing about a fight between cockface Rich Clementi and a textbook TUF washout like Melvin Guillard, but there’s a couple of interesting tidbits of information surrounding this one. Way back at the beginning of the year, these two losers had a run in with eachtother that ended up with Guillard sucker punching Clementi. Not content to leave the altercation with just a cheap shot under his belt, Melvin then threatened to beat Rich ‘with my pistol’. Oh the crazy hijinx that Melvin Guillard gets up to.
This isn’t the first case of Melvin being a moron. He also accused Joe Stevenson of being on human growth hormones, then lost to Joe in 30 seconds, then tested positive for cocaine after the fight. This guy is officially up there in my list of dumb fighters who’ll be found face down in a ditch one day.
As much as I don’t like Clementi, he’s got this fight in the bag already. The two used to spar together and have had numerous run ins during kickboxing and grappling tournaments. Word on the street is Clementi p0wn3d Guillard on a regular basis during that time. So unless Melvin has learned something other than the half-life of recreational stimulants since last year, he’s gonna go down hard.
The shit hasn’t really hit the fan regarding what a stinker UFC 78 is … that will only happen once the average New Jersey fan sees how pitiful their card is compared to the New Years Eve supershow Zuffa is putting together. But I have no doubt that when Dana White starts fielding interviews with the press, he’ll throw Tito Ortiz under a bus like he always does and lay 78’s crappiness at Tito’s feet.
Possibly realizing that getting his side of the story out first is a good idea, Tito posted the following on the Underground forums:
Getting in shape. I’m doing rehab for my injuries. I’m sick of fight 75%. I’m trying to pay my bills injured and making guys like evans and forrest look good. I can’t do it anymore. I’m going to take some time to take care of myself. Everyone wants the old Tito back and I’m going to give it to them.
Of course, Tito should know that one post on the Underground does not equal the firepower Dana White will probably throw behind his version of events. Maybe he realizes there’s no competing with a guy who can produce an hour long show called “Tito Sucks Balls”. Why Tito would want to fight for a dude who’s constantly shitting all over him is beyond me.
And this is why I find it so laughable that Dana White can get away with blaming Tito for fucking up UFC 78. Let’s get one thing straight : Tito Ortiz is under absolutely no obligation to save the UFC from spreading itself too thin. In fact, the last person Dana White should be expecting any kind of favor from is Tito.
People can bitch and whine about Tito causing trouble and being a pain in the ass, but Tito is just protecting his own interests. I don’t doubt that he has injuries that he needs to heal up from. I also don’t doubt that for the right amount of money he would have stepped up to the plate and fought at UFC 78. Why the UFC would expect him to help them out considering the way they’ve been treating him is beyond me. Especially without proper financial compensation.
So the moral of the story, Dana, is “You reap what you sow”.
How many times am I going to get sucked into this shit? Word on the street is that Chuck Liddell vs Wanderlei Silva is gonna happen on UFC’s December 29th card. The source isn’t too shabby either: Chuck’s trainer John Hackleman. Of course, we’ve all been through the ups and downs of this fight way too much, and I’m hesitant to believe anything short of an official announcement on UFC.com.
My bet at this point is Dana White is trying to set this fight up on a budget … since Chuck lost, this won’t be a headlining fight and therefore retardo headline bonuses and PPV percentages may not apply. Of course, it’s still not gonna be cheap. If Shogun Rua was getting 150k just to show up, I have to wonder what kind of numbers Wanderlei is getting. 250k/250k doesn’t seem that unlikely.
Right now we just have to sit tight and keep our fingers crossed. I’m sure there’ll be more leaks regarding this fight than there were in Evan Tanner’s boat.