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Looks like Mike Swick has gone through with his stupid plan to leave the weakest division in the UFC and fight as a welterweight. Right off the bat they’re throwing him into the deep end against Josh Burkman, who sucked so bad in his last outing that everyone still thinks he lost to Forrest Petz.

Burkman has a pretty basic formula for fighting … push, shoot, slam, pound. He does a good job of dominating guys who don’t have an answer for his style of fighting, but you saw what happened to him against Karo Parisyan. Swick dropped down specifically so he would be too strong to push around, so I guess we’ll see if the cut was worth it.

In a move that hopefully signals the fact that Chuck Liddell is diversifying his training a bit, he recently put a request through to train with WEC Middleweight champion Paulo Filho. Why Filho? I’m not too sure … the only relation I can see is that Filho used to absolutely hate Chute Boxe, Wanderlei’s old team:

In the BTT locker-room Paulo Filho answered: ‘I hate Chute Boxe, they don’t respect anybody. I really hope someone gets hurt in this tournament in Acacio’s side, so I can get in and beat him badly. Actually I would fight anyone from Chute Boxe no matter the weight category. I’ll shut their mouths’ said Filho, declaring war on Chute Boxe.

So perhaps Chuck’s hoping to dig up some dirt on Chute Boxe weaknesses or something. Let’s just hope he sorts out how to block leg kicks while he’s at it.

Okay, so apparently two new universal laws have been cemented this weekend:

  1. When you’re very drunk and you take your friend’s dog out for a piss, said dog will always escape and you will have to chase him all over the neighborhood for two hours.
  2. When you run a shitty MMA blog and you take a day off after being hit by a car while chasing a dog while drunk, big MMA news will ALWAYS be announced.

At least now I know that I just have to avoid being hit by cars and this kind of stuff won’t happen. Actually, if getting hit by a car was the karmic requirement for this big news to happen, then I’d say it’s worth it:

In the UFC, when one door closes, another opens, and on December 29th, that adage will ring true once against when Matt Hughes battles Georges St-Pierre for the interim UFC Welterweight Championship in the main event of UFC 79: Nemesis, at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.

For Matt Hughes, it’s a no brainer: if he won against Serra, he’d have to fight GSP anyways. This way he gets to fight a less-prepared GSP who wasn’t expecting to fight until March or April. Not only does Georges have much less time to prepare, but we all know what happens with his performance when he steps into the octagon with his head in the wrong place.

For GSP, it’s a pretty ballsy move to take a fight against Hughes on such short notice, but I’m pretty happy he did. I’ve pissed on Georges for waiting his turn for a title shot instead of Karo’ing it out. This proves to me that he does have a warrior’s spirit and will do whatever it takes to get to the belt.

And for the UFC … I’m pretty impressed that they stood up and fixed the problem with UFC79. I didn’t think they would, but they did. My hat is off to you guys. Well, it would be if I could put my hat on over my head cast.

Guy Mezger has been a busy bee lately, taking HDnet’s existing MMA network and ramping it up for 2008:

Our goal is to produce 24 live shows a year. That’s with us and HDNet Fights partners. We plan on having fresh TV because we’re going to show part of the shows live and part of them taped. We will have fresh TV; around 4 of them a month. HDNet Fights and HDNet Fights Presents should have the highest employees of mixed martial arts athletes in the United States; which again is helping out the fighters.

What this means of course is we’re going to be seeing a whole bunch of MMA that isn’t really fit for TV consumption. I’m a huge fan of MMA, and I used to watch everything I could get my hands on. But back in the day, the only shit that got taped was serious major league stuff.

With this HDNet stuff, they’re teaming up with promotions which are putting together cards featuring numerous newb fighters … many of whom haven’t even hit 5 fights. These guys are green as hell, and the fights look amateur.

So yeah … it’s great that HDNet is putting this money into MMA and down the road it’ll be a good thing. But right now for me as a fan it just means a whole bunch of really painful MMA.

Attempting some tricky counter-intuitive fighter alchemy, Joe Silva is matching up the fast and exciting Sokoudjou against deliberate and boring Lyoto Machida at UFC79. I’m kinda surprised that the UFC has decided to debut Sok against Machida … the African Assassin was like the Houston Alexander of PRIDE, and it would only take one knockout on an Ultimate Fight Night to put the beefy black judoka over the top with everyone.

Instead, they’ve matched Sok up against a fighter who’s known for stifling his opponent’s offense and earning himself calculated decisions. So it’s really a question of who can force their game plan on the other. If I was Sokoudjou my plan would be to rip the fucker’s knee in half, because he’s apparently really good at that.

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