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With the 1001 responsibilities that come from being Randy Couture, I’m always amazed that the Natural has the time to train for his own fights. Between his gym, his clothing line, his massive roster of fighters, and god knows what else, you’d think he’d be distracted a bit. Fortunately for him, he’s got a good woman behind him who’s acted as his business manager. And unlike his last wife who just distracted him and fucked his shit up, his new wife frees him up so he’s able to train the way he needs to and do what he’s got to do to keep the heavyweight belt around his waist.

Not everyone is as lucky as Randy Couture. Rich Franklin is still pretty lucky … his wife is a hottie and seems to be okay with the whole ‘fighting’ thing. But that’s not quite enough when you’re getting ready to fight a guy who smashed your fucking face in the last time you met. So rather than take the Randy Couture approach, Rich Franklin is taking the Rocky 4 approach : going off into the wilderness to focus on training.

“(Public Relations Work) It takes away from your family and all that kind of stuff and builds distractions into your training. Knowing that if I have some PR work to do this evening when I’m done training, I have to come into the gym, get my stuff done and I can’t go home and rest for the remainder of the evening and plan for tomorrow’s training. I have to worry about what PR is on the agenda.”

“That’s why I’m leaving town. It’s not going to be tough at all, because I won’t be here.”

“I’ve obviously never had this kind of exposure locally. This is insane. As for the sport, I don’t know. I think this is one of those fights that could possibly make me a hall of famer or not within the UFC.”

Franklin will set up camp at an undisclosed Western location. His travelling party will include three coaches and three training companions, including Jorge Gurgel, the Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt who has been alongside Franklin throughout his career.

I was criticizing Rich earlier for all his side projects and business ventures … I honestly didn’t think he was giving his fight with Silva the attention it deserved in order for him to win. But now I’m not so sure. Will isolating himself help him regain focus? Leaving your cell phone behind will keep you from hearing it ring, but can Rich stop thinking and worrying about all his shit? Plus you’d imagine there are disadvantages to such a small training team.

Regardless, I’m glad to hear he’s taking extra steps to keep from being distracted.

The day Sean Sherk filed for a continuance in his steroid case was the day UFC78 started to go belly up. The UFC has literally run out of belts to put on the line. Couture is out with an arm injury. Rampage is out with a hand injury. Anderson Silva defends in October. Matt Serra is busy with TUF and booked for December. And the lightweight belt is stuck pending the outcome of Sean Sherks stupid nandrolone drama.

So what was the UFC to do? The UFC couldn’t book BJ Penn vs someone and put a big asterisk next to the fight saying “May be for the LW belt, we’ll know 20 days before the show”. BJ’s not interested in sticking around if it’s not for a title shot. So now the UFC has moved Penn onto the Dec 29th card, where he’ll either face a vindicated Sean Sherk or a healed Joe Stevenson. Either way it’s gonna be for the lightweight belt, so that’s awesome. Unless of course Sean Sherk’s lawyers delay the whole thing again on some technicality.

Okay boys and girls. Gather around the fire and let me show you another story about boxing being the dumbest sport in the universe. This is a story with all the drama of a soap opera, with earnest challengers being denied, existing champions ducking fights, people being sued, fighters getting paid to not fight, purses being argued, and even a Champion Emeritus coming out of nowhere to fuck shit up!

No, Champion Emeritus is not a spell from Harry Potter, although this retarded story is almost as bad as being put under the cruciatus curse. If up until today you haven’t been able to put your finger on what’s wrong with boxing, take 10 minutes and read this article. Then when educated boxing fans ask you why MMA is better than boxing all you have to say is “Maskaev vs Peter” and you’ll look very smart indeed.

Okay, this is Super Gay 1000%. Guy Mezger just took the only fighter past Drew Fickett with decent name cred on their HDNETs debut show and canned him over ‘a miscommunication’:

I will start first with HDNet Fights. I signed a contract with them about six 6 weeks ago. In that contract I agreed not to fight within 31 days of the HDNet Fight. Obviously, my fight last week in Finland fell within those 31 days. I was under the impression that I had permission to take this fight, so I was very surprised to get a personal phone call from Guy Mezger Tuesday evening telling me that I was off the card for violating my contract. After about 25 minutes of arguing our position, we realized that there was a miscommunication somewhere between my agent, his assistant, Guy, and his assistant. They felt that they were not made aware of me taking the fight in Finland; therefore, I was not taking their show seriously. I believed that I had permission to fight in Finland.

The bottom line is that my representatives and I should have been more diligent in this matter — perhaps even getting permission for the fight in writing. Guy and I squared everything away, and I apologized for the misunderstanding several times. I did not intentionally disrespect HDNet Fights by taking another fight inside of the 31 days outlined in my contract. I remain in good standing with HDNet Fights and hope to work with them in the future. In fact, I would like to take advantage of my position as a columnist here at MMAJunkie.com to personally apologize to Mark Cuban. Mark, if you would email me your number at salmonsean@yahoo.com, I would love the opportunity to personally apologize, as I had the chance with Guy. I look forward to hearing from you.

So let’s read between the lines here, because Sean Salmon isn’t exactly known for shit talking. The fact that he said he ‘should have gotten permission in writing’ makes me think that he told SOMEONE at HDNet that he was fighting, and they told him it was okay. I’m also surprised that Guy Mezger called Sean directly rather than going through his agent. The whole point of having an agent is to deal with issues like this … did Mezger call Salmon because he knew Salmon’s agent Ken Pavia wouldn’t just roll over on this?

All in all there’s a pretty fishy smell coming off this, and I’m not impressed that Mezger canned Salmon over what sounds to me like a fuckup on HDNet’s side. I’ve said it before: Sean Salmon has a posse. He may not be the greatest fighter in the universe (Salmon vs Fedor in 2008!), but he’s got a connection with the fans through his MMAJunkie columns and is basically the Everyman that represents us kinda goofy looking computer potatoes. Why Guy Mezger smoke Salmon on what was at worst a miscommunication is still unknown. Guy, you’re not top dog and you don’t get to power trip yet, okay?

**Updated** Now with 50% more fish jokes added!

I’m not the biggest K-1 fan in the world. In fact, I have about as much use for kickboxing as I have for a horrific case of genital warts. But the K-1 Grand Prix World Finals look pretty sweet. Since K-1 has about a zillion ‘Prix’ ‘World’ ‘Final’ things, I have no idea how important this event is, but the Fight Network says it’s one of the most prestigious K-1 events of the year. Regardless, there’s a bunch of oldschool K-1 guys on the card mixing it up with some of the newer blood:

Jerome LeBanner vs. Hong Man Choi
Semmy Schilt vs. Glaube Feitosa
Badr Hari vs. Remy Bonjasky
Peter Aerts vs. Junichi Sawayashiki

Two of these guys are 7+ feet tall. If you stacked all 8 guys on top of eachother, they’d be 52 feet tall. It would be pretty cool to see them do that, or transform into a Votron style kickboxing robot. But I guess seeing them battle through a three round tournament will be good enough. Thank God for Japan or we’d never be able to see this kind of testicular fortitude any more.

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