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The Fight Network came out with this interesting tidbit from Brandon Vera:

Heavyweight contender Brandon Vera says he will fight two times by the end of this year, this in light of lingering contractual issues the 29-year-old has with both his existing manager Mark Dion and with the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Vera stated yesterday in an interview on FIGHT NETWORK RADIO that he has parted ways with Dion, who also owns the City Boxing gym in San Diego, and will seek arbitration through the California State Athletic Commission as early as July.

Of course, this is the exact same story coming from Brandon back in March:

I’ve left City and am in process with the [California State Athletic Commission] for my managerial contract. I WILL be fighting soon, and it WILL be a good one.

Since then the closest he’s come to being in the ring is showing up on an episode of Fight Girls. Lame.

Here’s a battle between a guy who doesn’t speak english and the dullest individual in the universe. Inside sources told me ten marketers committed sepuku when asked to try and sell this fight. UFC’s press guy Thomas Gerbasi slit his wrists while interviewing Marquardt (although he did it horizontally so we’re not sure if it’s just a cry for attention). Did I mention this is not a very exciting fight? Well, it’s not.

The only reason this fight has any hype at all is because people are hoping to see another epic ass kicking delivered by Anderson Silva. Let’s face it: Nate Marquardt has a dumb name, a dull personality, and boring fights. In anticipation of our UFC73 preview show we watched several of his fights, half from UFC and half from Japan. It literally felt like a chore.

Anderson Silva on the other hand is a pace-pushing clinch master who uses his fists, knees, and elbows to devestating effect. Again, we watched his UFC fights and several fights from the UK and Japan. In all the matches we watched in amazement as he crushed the competition.

Marquardt seems to have a hard time finishing opponents. Silva on the other hand seems especially good at going in for the kill. Marquardt is all about grinding out wins on the ground. Silva likes to keep it standing so as to cave your face in with his knees. If you haven’t guessed, here’s my prediction: Marquardt is going to win. Why? Because in a world where CroCop loses to Gonzaga and Matt Serra beats Georges St Pierre, it just makes sense. Silva is more talented and more entertaining, which is why I’m sure he’ll lose.

We reported back in May that the IFL’s big plan to survive another year was to double the number of stocks avaialable. Today we’re here to tell you that this plan has gone through and it will take at least a while longer before the IFL ship sinks:

Shareholders gave the company authorization at its annual meeting late last week to issue an additional 75 million shares of common stock. Rarely do companies sell the entire allotment of stock at one time following shareholder approval, but it’s imperative that the IFL issue a portion of its authorized stock by the end of 2007. The company previously stated that it does not have adequate funds to make it to year’s end. With approximately 21 million shares of original stock still un-issued, the company now has a total of 96 million shares at its disposal.

While issuing additional stock – especially at the current price of IFL’s stock – has the effect of diluting the value of stock previously purchased by shareholders, the move is all but a necessity for the league, which has been bleeding red ink since its inception in late 2005.

In my opinion, this is nothing but a band aid. If the IFL can deal with it’s real issues (the Team concept needs revamping, they need to learn how to promote live shows) then perhaps they’ll make it to this time next year. But considering everyone in charge seems more interested in making deals with popcorn and trading card companies, I don’t think these issues will be addressed.

Phil Baroni was nailed for steroids following his loss to Frank Shamrock from June 22nd’s Strikeforce show. This just cements the Rocky 4 theory: every fighter that does steroids loses. Or maybe it’s that every fighter caught doing steroids loses. Or every fighter who does steroids during a musical training montage loses. Anyways, it’s not important. The important thing is that I cannot remember the last time someone major tested positive and actually won. Unless of course you count Royce Gracie. And I’m pretty sure Tim Sylvia did too. And there was that time a roided out Josh Barnett smashed Randy Couture.

Hmm. Maybe my theory sucks. But it’s important to note that the majority of the guys using steroids are getting beaten by more determined and honest athletes. That’s a testament to the mental and finesse aspect of MMA. Or maybe just a testament to how smarter fighters are better at hiding their use. Damnit. This post has no point.

Phil Baroni did steroids. The End.

After a powerhouse performance against Jens Pulver, it looks like BJ Penn has kept his word and will not be staying at lightweight. You may remember half the internet saying Penn would be fighting the winner of Sherk vs Franca. We noted that Dana White simply said the fight was Penn’s if he wanted it. And now it looks like what he really wants to do is get back in the ring with Matt Hughes and smash his face in.

Of course, that’s not something that’s going to happen anytime soon. Matt Hughes isn’t going to be fighting until December, and then I wouldn’t expect another match from him until March or April. So what’s next for BJ Penn? Sherdog says it’s a fight against Diego Sanchez, which in my opinion will be awesome. Diego had a killer fight with Karo Parisyan but since then hasn’t had a chance to really show what he’s got. A fight with BJ Penn is the perfect test to see if Diego really is the next big thing.

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