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Remember when the writer’s strike seemed to guarantee that we’d be seeing a few early 2008 UFC events on prime time network TV instead of on PPV? Yeah, that was a fun thought. But word is now that the UFC has blown the negotiations with CBS over the same production control issues that killed the HBO deal. Add in the fact that other MMA companies are stepping in to offer better deals with less restrictions, and we’ve got a recipe for disaster:

NBC continues to talk with a number of players about late night time slots, including the IFL, Strikeforce, M-1, and K-1. Speculation within the industry suggests that Strikeforce, with financial backing from the owners of Hewlett-Packard, may have already came to terms with the network, however, such a deal would not preclude other promotions involvement.

I wanna know what happened to the Zuffa that bought Pride just to put them out of business and slotted the WEC on Versus to block other promotions from getting on cable TV? The Zuffa that recognized the threat of a rival promotion on television?

Perhaps the UFC thinks that since the IFL flunked out on MyNetworkTV that they don’t have to worry about another company getting on TV. But let me tell you something: If an eyesore like American Gladiators can become as big of a success as it has, you better believe that another MMA company will be able to pop too. The TV world is starved for content like Lindsay Lohan is starved for cock. And if the UFC misses out on this opportunity because they refuse to get rid of their stupid gladiator opening and Mike Goldberg, they’re making a huge fucking mistake.

Man, Dana White really hates the IFL. It seems like there’s no better way to get on his shitlist than to allow your name to be mentioned in the same breath as the team league. You’d think the focus of the UFC’s lawsuit against Randy Couture would be on the fact that he’s trying to sneak out the backdoor to fight Fedor in another promotion. Well, that’s in there too, but adding the IFL thing in is like ignoring the cake and squabbling over the crumbs. Here’s the skinny:

Monday’s lawsuit claims Couture’s negative statements about the company constituted “injurious falsehood and trade disparagement,” that has led to significant financial losses for the UFC.

The lawsuit also alleges conspiracy, stating that several unnamed parties to be identified at a later date worked with Couture to intentionally inflict harm on the UFC.

According to the lawsuit, Couture is also in breach of a stipulation that prohibits him from engaging in “direct or indirect competition” with the UFC for a period of 12 months following the termination of his contract.

Thus, Couture’s sponsorship and promotion of a team in the International Fight League would be in direct violation of the stipulation.

I’m especially partial to the whole ‘conspiracy’ angle, which I have no doubt is absolutely true. I’d eat my shoes if Couture hasn’t had serious (theoretical) talks with both M-1 and HDNet Fights by now. Something is obviously going on … Fedor and Couture are set to meet up on Thursday (no ulterior motive there), and there’s even rumors that Couture’s defense fund will be bankrolled by Mark Cuban. Oh, irresponsible unsourced rumors, where would my site be without you?

Normally I’d say Dana and Zuffa are just being hella paranoid, but there’s no doubt in my mind that everyone and their dog wants Randy vs Fedor to happen so badly that they’re all in on this massive plot to help Randy escape Zuffa’s evil grasp. In fact, it wouldn’t surprise me if the judge rules in Randy’s favor simply because “Randy vs Fedor is simply too sweet of a fight to deny.”

Reading MMA Madness’ latest interview with Marcus Davis, there was one thing that kept going through my mind: this guy is getting pretty fucking cocky. And to a degree I don’t blame him: he’s got a nice little winning streak going for him punctuated with an exclamation mark of a win over Paul Taylor back in September.

Of course, if you’re a critical thinker and all around genius like I am, you might take a closer look at Davis’ winning streak and say it’s not actually that impressive. Out of all the guys Davis has beaten in the UFC, none of them are still around except Paul Taylor, who came within millimeters of finishing Davis. Marcus showed heart and earned me as a fan with his comeback, but that doesn’t make me forget the fact that he took a whoopin.

Marcus is facing off against Jess Liaudin, who’s looked pretty damned good in the UFC thus far but still hasn’t really been tested either. A quick look at Liaudin’s record also shows a pretty brutal 7-8 record prior to 2006, when he hooked up with Team Quest and apparently got much much better. The dude’s got some tricky kicks along with a solid ground game so it’ll definitely be an interesting fight.

I mentioned it on the Low Blow – I’m expecting this match to be fight of the night. Both these guys don’t fuck around, so expect a war. But I’m picking Liaudin over Davis, if not only because Davis seems a bit too cocky for his own good this time around.

Related: Help pick a new nickname for Marcus Davis

We love to give other MMA websites a hard time, it’s kinda what we’re all about. One of the regular things we do is call people out for selling out or setting the sport back. This amuses us because getting served on shit like that by us is like being called a potty mouth by Dana White.

To prove the point that we are total hypocrites, here’s some hardcore midget cage fighting. And this isn’t some pansy shit like the ‘fake’ stuff we featured before. These guys are kicking the literal shit out of eachother and even dropping some nuts on neck action 1:40 in a la Rich Clementi.

So it looks like the relationship between Gina Carano and EliteXC is on the rocks. We here at Fightlinker noticed some cracks in the facade a few weeks ago when Gary Shaw referred to issues with Carano as ‘legal matters’ … never a good sign! You’d think Shaw would be happy that one of his up and comers was breaking out on national television, but no … he seemed pretty peeved about the whole situation.

Now things get worse – in all of the promotional appearances Gina has made over the past few weeks, she hasn’t said the word EliteXC once. And the latest news is that she’s off the February EliteXC card. Oh Gina … please don’t tell me you’re choosing American fucking Gladiators over mixed martial arts?

Hey, you can’t blame someone for picking the easier route that pays better. I figure Gina probably had a few more fights left before she started getting her ass whupped by the cream of the female MMA crop. And I bet Gina figured the same thing … it’s not like she’s not training with some of the best fighters in the world at XTreme Couture … working with those people, you know exactly where you stand in the skill department.

So yeah, I can understand why she might be fucking off but it still peeves me off. She was given the role of “the face of women’s MMA” and now she’s ditched that in favor of a cornball show that only exists because of the writer’s strike.

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