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The great thing about MMA news is that eventually, all truths come to light. A story will change 50 times over the course of it’s development, but in the end you get to know what happened if you know where to look. Case in point: a few weeks ago we were wondering where the fuck Andrei Arlovski was. Well, now we know: Zuffa’s benched him until he signs a new contract.

For those not familiar with the UFC’s brand of contract negotiation, let’s revisit Cut Throat Business Tactics 101. You sign a guy to a two year, four fight contract. That guy fights three times in 14 months. Now is the time that you want this fighter to re-sign with you.

But geez whiz, why now? This guy still has a fight left on his contract! Why don’t we wait till his contract is over before renegotiating? Because this is fucking ‘Cut Throat Business 101′, not ‘I Wanna Be Your Best Friend Forever Business 101′. If you wait until the contract is over, you have to compete with other promoters to re-sign your guy. But if you’ve got 8 months left on his contract, you can bench him until he re-signs with you. No new contract? Then he doesn’t see the light of day until his current contract is up.

This all serves a few purposes: You no longer have to compete with other promotions for the fighter’s services. This keeps prices low. If a fighter waits long enough for his contract to expire, the lack of exposure has probably done a number on his popularity too. This also lowers the price he can get. Finally, if a guy really doesn’t want to re-sign with you, you can stuff him in a dark match with a professional blanket to make him look bad on the way out. That’s always a good old fashioned ‘Fuck You’ to throw in at the end of a business relationship.

Now some people may call that evil, but others just prefer to call it ‘smart business’.

One year ago, Victor Valimaki was flying high. Coming into the UFC with an impressive 8-2 record over some serious names (including Dan Severn, Vernon White, and Jason Day), it seemed like Victor was destined for great things. But with a split decision loss to David Heath and a downright embarrassing loss to Alessio Sakara, that destiny abruptly changed. Valimaki was sent back to the local leagues and his manger / MFC promoter Mark Pavelich fed him to the new upcoming guy, Roger Hollett. And with that loss, it seems like Pavelich is done with Victor too:

“He has an enormous amount of talent, but the problem with Victor always has been that he decides when he wants to train, and he decides when he wants to do things,” said the promoter. “I’ve lost that loving feeling, and that was prior to the fight with Roger Hollett (Pictures), so it’s not like I’m jumping off the bandwagon. He trained hard for this fight, but not like you would train to get ready for a title defense, especially against a caliber guy like Roger Hollett (Pictures).”

When asked about where Valimaki stands now with Pavelich’s Pro Camp Sports Management, he replied, “What’s his status? I don’t know. We’re going to sit down and revaluate stuff, but I really have zero interest anymore to have him in any training camps with us — I’m really disinterested.”

It always amazes me how fast the tide turns on guys who stop winning. Valimaki has lost twice in the UFC and once in the MFC and already Valimaki’s manager has basically turned his back on him. Who knows if there’s real substance to the stuff going on behind the scenes, but it still always suprises me how fast things change if you can’t keep hitting those wins consistantly.

Hi everyone, three months ago called up and told me that Hulk Hogan and his butchy daughter Brooke were at the last Ultimate Fight Night. This is just an excuse to post the above picture … there’s nothing really else to say on the matter. Except perhaps “Hulkamania will live forever!” Or more accurately, “Hulkamania will live until Hulk Hogan dies from an enlarged heart or liver damage or whatever steroids do to aging pro wrestling stars nowadays”.

What’s it gonna take for another fighter to break into the title picture at 170? The MMA Digest breaks down their vision of a fighter who’d be able to stand up to guys like Matt Hughes, Georges St Pierre and (heh) Matt Serra:

In the welterweight class where there is such a deep pool of talent when it comes to wrestling and takedown ability, any new dominant champion to emerge onto the scene in this division will need to be a miniature version of a Chuck Liddell. It’ll be a fighter with devastating knockout striking power who can stop a takedown, and get back if when taken down. Such skills are rare and the abilities of Liddell in this area have not been duplicated in other weight classes. But with the superior wrestling of fighters at 170, the next big thing in the division will required to be equipped with devastating striking, an amazing sprawl, and equally talented scrambling skills.

I can’t think of anyone in WW off the top of my head who has more power in his hands than GSP, and even he doesn’t hold a candle to the blowtorch of Senor Chuck Liddell. Is it possible that those extra 35 pounds between light heavyweight and welterweight remove the ability to be a knockout artiste? I’m not buying it. The only guy who might fit the above bill is Mike Swick, and we’ll have to wait and see if his quick and powerful punching power can withstand the wrestling ability of the welterweight’s top dogs.

Like everyone else, I enjoyed Houston Alexander’s awesome knockout of Keith Jardine at UFC72. Past that point I wasn’t too hot on him … a hip hop dj with ‘hundreds’ of underground fights? Yawn. He came off kinda hokey screaming “Nebraska!” over and over, but I’ll forgive him in light of this interview with UFCJunkie.

It’s a long read but worth it … we get to hear the story behind Houston and he comes off as a sincere and intelligent individual. The only thing I could find to make fun of is the fact that his supplement sponsor’s name is ‘8-Ball Nutrition‘.

So here’s what it comes down to next week: 8-Balls or bison meat? Which product produces a winning fighter? I guess we’ll have to wait until Saturday to find out!

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