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Ever since Jordan Breen left his independent blog and turned to the dark side of the force, there’s been something of a void when it comes to dependable daily doses of Japanese MMA news sprinkled with commentary. Zach, posting one line about something and linking it to a Japanese article doesn’t count. Fortunately, my new favorite site for that shit is Nightmare of Battle. Don’t be fooled by the terrible layout … the guy’s pretty sharp.

Today’s big news is that HERO’s Sept 17th show has added two potentially explosive matches to satisfy ignorant gaijin like me : Alistair Overeen vs Sergei Kharitonov and Fabio Silva vs Melvin Manhoef. That brings the number of matches up to twelve! Oh those wacky Japanese, always overcompensating.

The rest of the card is stacked with Japanese fight royalty: Sakuraba, Minowa, and Kid Yamamoto. The fact that they’re all in pushover matches is kinda annoying, but it’s still nice to see a HERO’s card with at least some compelling matches. This card also features the finals of the middleweight tournament, which is interesting if you care about guys like Caol Uno and Vitor Riberio. In other words, no it is not interesting.

Overall, I’d say this is possibly HERO’s best card since their inception. There’s still a lot of room for improvement, but could this be the start of their plans to fill the void left by PRIDE? I certainly hope so!

According to ADCombat.com, there’s going to be a press conference tomorrow in Dallas to give everyone the scoop on Mark Cuban’s new MMA venture. As I mentioned before, Cuban’s HDNet already has tons of MMA on it, but it looks like he’s ready to dive into the sport and start making some waves. On hand will be Cuban, Guy Mezger, and “Main Event fighters for inaugural card at the American Airlines Center”.

So because I love speculation, lets see: Dana White was dumb and released Ken Shamrock. Ken Shamrock is butt buddies with Guy Mezger. Guy Mezger is now in charge of Mark Cuban’s MMA project. Can we expect a Shamrock sighting at the conference tomorrow? I’m not a betting man (losing both pinkies turned me off it), but if I was, I might put a few bucks down on yes.

Oh, and for all you aspiring MMA bloggers, here’s your chance to get in on the actions and ask the right questions. ADCombat.com never seems to remove the media call phone numbers from their articles, so if you want to try and bust in on that shit, go do it. I managed to get in on the EliteXC conference call that way but all I did was breathe heavy and fantasize about Gina Carano.

It was one year ago today that Mirko Crocop won the PRIDE Absolute Grand Prix tournament by punting Wanderlei Silva’s head into the bleachers and pounding out an exhausted Josh Barnett. Oh how things can turn around in a year.

Sam Caplan’s my boy, but the dude says some strange things from time to time. This here is in regards to “How do you solve a problem like Mirko?” (that’s a Sound of Music reference for you hardcore motherfuckers)

Let him go to Japan, and let them put him against the kind of obvious tomato can that the UFC is so far above at this point. Let HERO’S foot most of the bill for Cro Cop’s fight, and in return, get them to loan Kid Yamamoto to Zuffa LLC and the WEC for one fight. With Yamamoto in tow, perhaps the WEC could hold their first-ever pay-per-view event built about a Yamamoto vs. Urijah Faber dream match.

Expecting the UFC to ‘loan’ crocop out in exchange for Kid Yamamoto is about the most absurd thing I’ve ever heard in the history of my existence. I’ve had acid trips that seemed more sensical, which is a tribute not to the weakness of the acid but the whackness of Sam’s proposition.

Okay, to be fair, Sam did follow up with ‘this idea is not very realistic’, but why even speculate on the unrealistic? Damn, Sam! The rest of the article was solid! But if you put a small piece of poo in my submarine sandwich, I’m not gonna say it was a good sandwich no matter how tasty the rest of the sub was! I just ate poo! You put poo in my sandwich! Who does that? Dear god, that’s gross! Poop! In my mouth!

A month and a half ago, Joe Riggs was fighting in Canada ‘for the right to keep his UFC contract’. He won the fight, but I guess that wasn’t enough: he’s now showing up on the next Strikeforce card at the Playboy mansion. And while it would be nice to imagine that Zuffa has grown fond of Strikeforce and is willing to share fighters with them, I seriously doubt it. My magic 8-ball says all signs point to Riggs being cut from the UFC/WEC.This is pretty significant stuff. A move to the WEC made sense for Riggs … he’s got name value and has shown sparks of greatness. I wonder what caused Zuffa brass to drop him? I suppose pulling out of his WEC debut two days before it happened was the last straw for them. Which once again goes to prove that it’s always safety first as far as Zuffa is concerned, and there’s never any pressure for injured fighters (like uuuh Hermes Franca) to do whatever it takes to fight.

**Update** Oh snap, I wuz wrong! Looks like it was Riggs himself who asked to be released from his WEC contract. So um … I take back the whole ‘Zuffa cutting people who dare to cancel because of injuries’ comment. FOR NOW!!!!!!!!!

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