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If you were interested in seeing pictures of Josh Barnett trouncing a much smaller opponent from last night’s Pancrase event, go here, scroll down a bit and look on the right of the page.

Word has been spreading across the internets for the past few days that JZ Calvan vs Shinya Aoki was canceled on account of an injury JZ suffered on the 17th. Or is it because JZ had recently had knee and nose surgery and hadn’t trained at all for the fight? You pick.

Either way, once again Monte Cox was the last one to know. It must be embarrassing when reporters phone you up knowing more about shit than you do. It’s kinda like when the paparazzi informed Britney Spears that her sister was pregnant … talk about being out of the loop! Britney gaining weight and getting the same ‘deer in the headlights’ look that Monte seems to have lately just makes the comparison all the more apt in my books.

Anyways, I feel haven’t done enough ripping on Yarennoka up until this point. As I’ve stated before, I just expect Japanese promotions to be a total gong show, so nothing really surprises me. But I figure you readers might want to know that at this point (just shy of a week from the day of the event), Yarennoka only has six matches confirmed:

      * Fedor Emelianenko vs. Choi Hong-Man
* Yoshihiro Akiyama vs. Kazuo Misaki
* Mitsuhiro Ishida vs. Gilbert Melendez
* Hayato “Mach” Sakurai vs. Hidehiko Hasegawa
* Tatsuya Kawajiri vs. Luiz Azeredo
* Murilo Bustamante vs. Makoto Takimoto

This is in stark contrast to K1’s new years eve show, which is weighing in at 14 matches. Just thought you ought to know!

Out of all the people involved with M1, I’d say the only guy I trust further than I can throw him is Monte Cox (and even then, that’s only because I can’t really throw him that far). Regardless, I kinda feel like he’s at the helm of an out of control ship in the middle of a storm … he can only do so much, and the ship will sink or survive more on God’s grace than anything else.

Anyways, Cox did an interview with some random guy, and had this to say about why Hong Man Choi was chosen to fight Fedor:

Brandon Brigham: Fedor will be fighting Hong Man Choi on New Years Eve in Tokyo, Japan. What are your thoughts on this match up and what do you have to say to the fans that have been critical over Fedor’s previous opponents and now, Hong Man Choi?

Monte Cox: There are a lot of politics and issues when you do fights in Japan. We are trying to get all the Japanese organizations to work together and we needed the opponent for Fedor to be from K-1… we looked at the Grand Prix and Choi was the only guy excited to do the fight… it will be a big deal in Japan and Korea… and that was the major concern… not how U.S. fans felt about it.

Of course, Monte forgot to mention that Semmy Schilt also basically called out Fedor after winning the Grand Prix tournament. I can understand why M1 ended up choosing Choi, but it’d be nice if Cox didn’t pretend like they had no other legitimate choices. Schilt took Fedor to a decision last time they fought, and that was before evolving into the best kickboxer in the world.

And Monte also gives us a hint of what Josh Barnett is up to (past beating up men who dress up like cat maids):

Brandon Brigham: The whole MMA World seems to be wondering what is going on with Josh Barnett. Has M-1 been in contact with Josh at all and if so, how have those talks been going?

Monte Cox: I contacted Josh shortly after I got the job with M-1 Global and never got a call from his manager. I keep hearing he is going to sign with Elite, but I’m not sure what he is doing.

It blows my mind that Barnett’s management didn’t return Monte’s call. Of course, who knows if other M-1 people were talking to Josh at the same time, causing all sorts of crossed wires and stupid bullshit. M-1 seems to have a pretty big problem with different people doing different stuff without anyone knowing what the fuck is actually going on.

As for Josh signing with EliteXC … it’d be kind of sad considering he’d be stuck fighting guys like Bigfoot Silva, but at this point I don’t really give a shit any more. Any fighter that’s not signing with the UFC is gonna end up fighting scrubs half the time anyways, so we all might as well just get used to the idea and move on with our lives.

It’s Christmas, which means the entire MMA industry shuts down for 4-5 days because the bloggers which break news are trapped in hellish family situations where booting up the laptop and checking your email = potential divorce / finger waggling from parents / drunk brother in law chucking laptop in a snowbank.

Fortunately for you all, my girlfriend already dumped me a few weeks ago because of my internet addiction and my parents are either dead or so far gone I could do the naked macarena in front of them and they wouldn’t recognize who I am. So it’ll be semi-regular business as usual around here. Even though there’s not that much ‘fresh’ news, there’s literally 1001 stories I never bothered to cover in the first place which I can catch up on now. So spare me the ‘old news’ comments if you know what’s good for you, or I’ll just put my energies towards this bottle of vodka instead of this website!

We love to poke fun at Evan Tanner, but truth of the matter is we’re huge fans. Which I suppose sucks a bit for Evan, because apparently being friends with Fightlinker means being made fun of all the time. Regardless, it’s all in good fun, and although we’ll gleefully point out when Evan fucks up and sinks a boat, we’ll also point out when he’s doing well for himself:

Everything is coming together. I set a date back in October. I set a date to make some major changes in my life. I stood by it. I did what I said I would do. It was a very deep hole to climb out of, and although I am still dealing with some financial issues, life is good.

From first hand experience, I can tell you that there’s nothing worse in life than a lack of purpose. Fortunately for Evan, he’s re-found his purpose: to fight in the UFC. No word yet on if this will carry him past his first bout though. I’ve always wondered how fighters can stay mentally strong and motivated with 3-5 month layovers, especially after quick wins or devastating losses. To me, this is the greatest challenge a fighter faces in their career.

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