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If the UFC was wondering how the fuck to do business in Japan, here’s how it works:

  • To get rid of the stench of scandal, appoint FILA vice president Tomiaki Fukuda as president and former Tokyo chief of police Yukihiko Inoue as commissioner.
  • Add some star power to your brass by including famous 70’s boxer Yoko Gushiken and pro wrestling icon Hiroshi Hase.
  • Secure financing from established backers like Takao Yasuda and Naoya Kinoshita.
  • Build your promotion around popular Japanese fighters from the J-ROCK camp, and have Hidehiko Yoshida star.

And here’s how it doesn’t work:

  • Send some pencil pusher from the states over to tell everyone what to do
  • Don’t bring in any names the Japanese know and trust to deal with all the baggage left over from the DSE scandals
  • Act surprised when you can’t get a TV deal
  • Strip the promotion of all it’s stars
  • Close the office down and blame the Japanese for being punks

Just for reference sake.

So I’m making an effort to pay more attention to that whole ‘boxing’ thing … the site is called ‘Fight’ linker, not MMA Linker. And although I originally called it that because it sounded cooler and to rip off Zach Arnold, I figure I might wanna live up to the name and at least have a passing knowledge of what’s going on in the world of boxing, kickboxing, and all sports that involve one person beating another person up. Or sports that at least claim that one person is going to beat another person up but all the fights end with no one really hurt and go to a boring decision.

That being said, I’m glad I watched the Pavlik/Taylor fight last week or I would have already given up on boxing already after watching the Evander Holyfield / Sultan Ibragimov fight from this weekend. I’m down with the whole aging fighter vs underperforming champion thang – we all saw how awesome that was when Couture pulled it off against Tim Sylvia. But instead of 5 rounds of Couture outsmarting and outclassing Sylvia, this fight was twelve rounds of slow monotany.

In fact, the most exciting part of the whole fight was when Holyfield’s corner shat all over him before the 8th round, berating him like a kid caught sniffing his sister’s panties. I knew Holyfield was done when he just took it and didn’t respond … he went out in the 8th and just continued to plod. Ibragimov was happy to pick Holyfield apart with the jab and throw occasional body shots, and in the end he won an uninspired decision.

Even the announcers were commenting on how dry and unexceptional this fight was. But apparently boxing announcers do this on a regular basis … fuck. I can understand why. 12 rounds = 36 minutes I’ll never get back. I’ve taken shits that have been more satisfying than this fight.

Anyways, I only checked this out because Holyfield was involved, and I don’t think I’ll make that mistake again. As for the whole retiring shit, people have to fuck off and mind their own business. The day Holyfield gets smashed in the ring is the day he should consider stopping … while the fight definately sucked, there’s tons of high profile matches that have sucked just as hard if not worse.

People are blaming Holyfield’s age for it, and maybe it’s true. But if he was really over the hill, should he have been able to go twelve rounds with a heavyweight champion and emerge unscathed? Is that the sad state of boxing, or are people just flapping their gums about ‘protecting a legacy’. Hmmm, that sounds pretty familiar to me.

Last week was the Low Blow 2.0, and now it’s the Low Blow 20. That’s right, 20 freaking shows adding up to somewhere around 15 hours worth of completely useless blather. Amazing how time flies.

This week marks the return of Sean Connery, a Xyience taste test, our UFC77 preview, and several items of random news that may already be obsolete. Damned MMA, slow down for a second. We also talk about how depressing it’s been to be a fan of Ultimate Fighting over the past two weeks. But don’t worry, we’re fucking smashed so it’s not a downer … really. We’ve inserted a pee break 45 minutes into this episode so you can last the whole 72 minutes. We’re starting to feel like FightOpinion here with our marathon shows. Next week we’ll try and make it short.

Download the latest show here or listen to it on our handy dandy talkshoe app to your right. And as always, feedback is loved and cherished.

**UPDATE** Talkshoe sucks and the file isn’t uploading. I’ll keep trying, but for now that means no streaming and no iTunes

Back in April the NSAC approved a small show’s request for doing a two round tournament on one night. At the time I was young and naive, and thought perhaps this could mean the UFC-owned PRIDE would be able to continue it’s Grand Prix in America now. Oh, stupid me. But all hope is not lost … it looks like Strikeforce is hearing the call of every PRIDE fanboy on the internet and is bringing back tournaments:

Scott Coker, who promoted numerous tournaments when he helped promote K-1 kickboxing shows, will stage a four-man tournament to determine the No. 1 challenger for the Strikeforce middleweight title on Nov. 16 at HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif.

Coker said he has signed Joe Riggs (27-9) and Niko Vitale (24-7) to compete in the tournament and is working on landing two others.

“It is my hope that the winner can fight Frank, and I’ve talked with him about that,” Coker said.

Coker said Strikeforce plans to use the tournament format extensively going forward. He said he plans to have tournaments for the heavyweight and lightweight titles sometime in 2008.

I’ve always been a fan of tournaments … sure they often create unfair finals between a fresh fighter and an exhausted fighter. And sure, it’s easy to skew the results however you want by matching the guy you want to win against a pushover in the first round. But you just can’t beat the drama and excitement of having guys fight more than once over the night. Plus, it’s for the belt which means you get to see all of a promotion’s best fighters in one weight class over the night.

Of course, there’s some problems with Strikeforce’s plans. First, they’re crossing their fingers and hoping Frank Shamrock agrees to fight whoever wins. Frank already seems to have his mind made up that he wants to fight Renzo Gracie again in the spring, so given his slow schedule that might mean the winner of this tournament may be stuck twiddling his thumbs until this time next year. And that’s IF Frank Shamrock decides the winner is worthy of fighting him.

Second, because you’re stacking a card with all your top names in a weight class it’s gonna be a pretty expensive card. Plus you need to have decent depth across several weight classes in order to still have talent to fill your other cards with. Finally, you always run the risk of everyone injuring eachother and having some dude win the tournament by default. Tournaments are a wild and unpredictable thing … you never know what’s gonna happen. That’s why it’s great as a casual fan to see.

Me, I just hope the legitimacy of the tournament system isn’t smashed because Frank Shamrock doesn’t feel like fighting whoever wins.

Is there a bigger bonehead in the UFC than Dan Henderson right now? Dan Henderson, who refuses to drop down to middleweight. Dan Henderson, who wants more money despite the fact that all he’s done is be dominated by Quinton Jackson. Dan Henderson, who thinks he beat Jackson in that fight.

Dan Henderson, who isn’t interested in fighting Tito Ortiz because ‘Tito isn’t the road back to a rematch with Rampage’. Dan Henderson, who doesn’t realize beating Tito Ortiz is all he has to do to get ‘on the in’ with the average US fans. Dan Henderson, who doesn’t realize he’s completely and totally expendable at this point and time. Dan Henderson, who’s also ‘managing’ Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou, another fighter who can’t seem to land himself a contract in any organizations right now. Hmmm, I wonder why.

Lookit: I’m not disagreeing with Dan Henderson’s point that UFC fighters aren’t getting paid what they should. But Dan Henderson isn’t one of the guys who should be talking right now because Dan is one of those overpaid PRIDE guys who haven’t managed to win a fight in the UFC yet. These guys are the root of a lot of the angst going around with veteran UFC fighters. In fact, I heard some guy named Randy actually quit over this stuff. How about that, huh?

On the other hand, trying to get Dan to sign a contract with the verbal addendum of “Don’t worry, we’ll take care of you” is pretty shifty of Dana White, and this is yet another one of the big issues with the UFC’s pay structure. Relying on the goodwill of your boss to give you bonuses is no way to live a life, and while it’s nice that the UFC is known for handing out the cash on a regular basis, I doubt there’d be many fighters who would be against upping the general payscale and removing random secret bonuses from the equation.

Of course, they aren’t about to say that shit in public because … well, it probably sucks when the secret random bonuses stop. Dan Henderson … I’m not giving him a hard time for daring to stand up for himself. I’m giving him a hard time because he has a very inflated idea of his value and worth in the current market.

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