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Oh, the laughs and screams and fun continue on this rollercoaster ride we call ‘Fedor being signed’. The latest big dip is the surprising news that apparently the UFC and Fedor’s management came to an agreement last week, but when Zuffa sent a contract over the terms were completely different:

M-1 claims that the negotiations were a success and that the parties agreed to what the terms of the UFC contract would be. However, M-1 claims that when UFC sent the contract to their office, the terms of the deal were ‘absolutely different’ than what had been negotiated and that management did not agree on what was stated in the contract. This is why, according to M-1, Fedor has not signed a contract with UFC.

This is some pretty wacky shit, and if it was coming from anyone other than Zach Arnold I’d be tempted to say there’s no way it was true. Because if it is, there’s only a few different possibilities:

  • The UFC is stupid and sent the wrong contract to Fedor. Of course, if this was the case it’s not like they couldn’t just send the right one immediately after.
  • The UFC is stupid and thought they could pull a switcheroo on Fedor’s management. Just because you can switcheroo the will on your senile grandmother doesn’t mean it’s going to work on some cranky old Russian dudes.
  • The UFC is stupid and are now using the Japanese way of negotiation: say yes yes yes but mean no no no. Maybe Dana picked up a few things other than hepatitis in Tokyo!

Overall, there’s no obvious reason why the UFC would do this that doesn’t make them look pretty stupid. Which is why I think Fedor’s management is making shit up. Which also means we are now officially in the part of negotiation where both sides start telling wild lies and stories about eachother. This is typically called the ‘hardball’ portion of negotiations. The UFC will start spreading rumors that Fedor was afraid of certain joke fighters like Tim Sylvia. Fedor’s people will counter with the idea that Zuffa are swindling amateurs. And so on and so on until someone breaks.

This may seem like a bad thing on the outside, but you’ll notice that in the past this is always the last stage of negotiations … either things are inches away from signing or both parties are going to say fuck it and walk away. And I don’t think I’m alone in saying this deal needs to be done or done, because we’re all sick of hearing about it.

Some unfortunate verbiage in a recent Tito Ortiz interview has caused some confusion on wether or not Tito has re-signed with the UFC (news) or he’s just saying he hopes to (not news):

Q: To my understanding, this rematch is going to be the last fight on your contract. What do you anticipate happening after that contract is over?

A: I’ve actually taken a step, since me and Dana really don’t have a good working relationship, I’ve gone a step over him. I’m going straight to Lorenzo Fertitta, the owner of UFC and I’ll speak with him. He’s a very smart businessman and he looks out for my best interest and I’m excited too.

I’ll be re-signing with the UFC and they gave me what I want. I know a lot of other companies that are asking about me and I can’t count how many phone calls I’ve said “I can’t talk to you guys anymore,” because it’s against my contract. I’ve got guys literally who have called me and they’ve said, “Is this Tito?” And I’ve said, “Yes.” And they’ll say, “This is so and so.” And I’ll have to stop them right there and tell them, “Oh, let me stop you there. I can’t talk to you no more.”

I’m not going to speculate on this topic, but the fact that Tito went over Dana’s head was definitely a smart move on his part. Dana White has been on a mission to provoke Tito Ortiz and drag his name through the mud for almost a year now, dispite the fact that Tito has made more money for the UFC than any other guy in the company’s history. Lorenzo Fertitta knows this. And Lorenzo isn’t out there trying to make himself look like a superstar. With several companies floating around trying to catch a foothold in the MMA industry, Zuffa would be absolutely retarded to let Ortiz get away.

LAS VEGAS NEVADA – Well-respected EliteXC fighter Nick Diaz and StayPuft, America’s favorite brand of Marshmellows, are proud to announce a strategic advertising partnership.

Reginald Wallace, Director of Marketing for StayPuft said “After seeing Nick Diaz’s inspiring performance at EliteXC Uprising, we knew we had to have Nick become the new face of Staypuft. His slow, soft, and fluffy striking represents Staypuft Marshmellows in a way no other mixed martial artist could.”

Limited edition bags of StayPuft Marshmellows will be released featuring a picture of Nick on the bag. As well, Nick will be appearing in several nationally syndicated commercial spots. Diaz is excited to be the face of StayPuft, and released this statement: “There is no better snack than StayPuft Marshmellows to win a close decision against the munchies. After offering my opponent three rounds of soft and light punches, I will reward myself with some soft and light Staypuft Marshmellows!”

I didn’t make this picture, but I agree with it 100%. I’ll also agree that Goldberg was a lot less annoying at this show … but then I realized it was only because he didn’t talk as much. Which is good and should be encouraged, but still. Perhaps EliteXC can just give him an unplugged microphone or something? I’m starting to like their shows, but the prospect of having to deal with him until his organs shut down from past steroid use is kinda depressing.

The great thing about reffing an unregulated event is that you just collect a paycheck and fuck off. There’s no ‘being accountable’ for your actions, there’s no commission to face afterwards. Instead of ‘the safety of the fighters’ being your number one concern, your main concern is whatever you feel like. In Mario Yamasaki’s case at EliteXC Uprising, it seemed like he was mainly concerned with getting someone killed.

First, there was the Shields/Verissimo fight: For thirty seconds, Jake Shields sat in full mount on Verissimo and unloaded over 60 unanswered punches. No, I’m not exaggerating … i went back and counted. Yamasaki stood watching, waiting for the ‘oh fuck I’m stuck’ look in Verissimo’s eyes to change to the ‘who am I / where am I / I can has cheeseburger’ look.

Next up we have the Robbie Lawler vs Ninja Rua fight. Lawler dropped Ninja with a pretty brutal combo and then went in for the kill. While Lawler pounded away, Ninja waved his hands in the air like he just didn’t care. He looked like an epileptic Jim Henson puppet rather than a fighter intelligently defending himself. After Yamasaki stopped it, Matt Hughes did a very Christian thing and took Yamasaki to task for allowing Ninja to turn the other cheek … and the other, and the other, and the other:

Though his man had won, former UFC champ Matt Hughes (Pictures) charged into the cage, where he got into Yamasaki’s face and berated the official for letting the fight continue the way it had.

Anyways, it sucks that you’ve got refs like Herb Dean stopping fights too early and guys like Yamasaki who won’t stop the fight until someone’s been beaten half dead. Is there any high profile ref out there who consistently hits the sweet spot?

**UPDATE** I had to remove a whole paragraph of fun because once again I’m a stupid retard who doesn’t fact check my work. I accused Yamasaki of being the ref in the Heath/Sobral fight, when it was obviously Pornstache Mazzagatti. Thanks to the better educated Ryan for correcting me, and not being mean about it!

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