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Cesar Gracie has been a busy bee lately. After the disaster that was the Gracie Fighting Championships he was lying low. But yesterday he has posted some explosive and possibly libelous statements regarding the UFC trying to mess with Phil Baroni’s physicals for Friday’s Strikeforce card. And with a new day comes a new story regarding his student Nick Diaz:

Nick Diaz will not be cornering his younger brother, Nathan Diaz, in what will surely be the biggest fight of Nathan’s career. Nick, who is himself under a six month NSAC suspension, has been advised that due to his suspension he will not be able to secure a corner’s license in Nevada.

This is kinda harsh. The baseball commission banned Pete Rose from being inducted in the Baseball Hall of Fame, but it’s not like they’d toss his ass out of the building if he tried to take the tour. My advice to Nick: Get ringside seats and a megaphone. Or better yet, run out from backstage and smash Manny over the head with a folding chair. That’s what always seems to happen in pro wrestling when someone is banned from ringside.

As a side note, I think this is the first time in a few months where I’ve actually had dirt on a commission other than the CSAC. Congratulations NSAC for breaking the CSAC’s total cocksuckery streak.

Somehow my address got onto the list for the Strikeforce press conference email. Included in the package was a general overview for the event, which included:

Former UFC middleweight champion and King Of Pancrase, Frank Shamrock, will square off Baroni, a UFC and Pride Fighting Championship veteran, for the vacant Strikeforce world middleweight (185 lb. limit) title while former Pride stars, Joey “The Dream Smasher” Villasenor and Rua will battle for the vacant EliteXC world middleweight (185 lb. limit) crown.

Yup, that’s two different middleweight belts on the line at one event. As it says in the title, that’s a very ‘boxing’ thing to have.

You can see the entire press conference email including pics after the jump.

FINAL PRESS CONFERENCE QUOTES

From Wednesday, June 20, 2007

The Grill at HP Pavilion; San Jose, CA

Shamrock vs. Baroni Is On

Villasenor Faces “Ninja” Rua

Friday, June 22, 2007 At 10 pm ET (7 pm PT)

Live On Showtime PPV

From HP Pavilion

Watch The Undercard Free On ProElite.com at 7:30 ET (4:30 pm PT)

Despite rumors concerning the eligibility of both “The New York Badass” Phil Baroni and Murilo “Ninja” Rua to compete on Friday’s “Shamrock vs. Baroni” world championship mixed martial arts fight card, it was confirmed, two days beforehand, that both will suit up and enter the cage for their respective matchups. Former UFC middleweight champion and King Of Pancrase, Frank Shamrock, will square off Baroni, a UFC and Pride Fighting Championship veteran, for the vacant Strikeforce world middleweight (185 lb. limit) title while former Pride stars, Joey “The Dream Smasher” Villasenor and Rua will battle for the vacant EliteXC world middleweight (185 lb. limit) crown.

As many as five additional bouts will be broadcast during the live Showtime Pay Per View event at HP Pavilion in San Jose, CA. Tickets are on sale and can be purchased at the HP Pavilion box office (408-287-7070); by logging on to www.ticketmaster.com, or at any TicketMaster outlet. The event is being co-produced by Strikeforce and EliteXC.

Complete “Shamrock vs. Baroni” Fight Card:

Main Event – Strikeforce World Middleweight (185 lb. limit) Championship Bout:


Frank Shamrock vs. “The New York Badass” Phil Baroni – 5 x 5 Rounds

EliteXC World Middleweight (185 lb.) Championship Bout:

Joey “The Dream Smasher” Villasenor vs. Murilo “Ninja” Rua – 5 x 5 Rounds

Additional Pay Per View Bouts:

Cung Le vs. Tony “The Freak” Fryklund – 185 lbs. – 3 x 5 Rounds

Carter “The Beast” Williams vs. Paul Buentello – heavyweight – 3 x 5 Rounds

Victor “Joe Boxer” Valenzuela vs. Charles “Krazy Horse” Bennett – 155 lbs. – 3 x 5 Rounds

Pay Per View “Swing” Bouts:

Josh “The Punk” Thomson vs. Nick “The Ghost” Gonzalez - 155 lbs. – 3 x 5 Rounds

Duane “Bang” Ludwig vs. Paul “Semtex” Daley – 170 lbs. – 3 x 5 Rounds

Preliminary Card – Live Broadcast on ProElite.com:

Rex Richards vs. Steve Jester – superheavyweight (+ 265 lbs.) – 3 x 5 Rounds

Seth Kleinbeck vs. Sam Spengler – 185 lbs. – 3 x 5 Rounds

Anthony Figueroa vs. Chris Cariaso – 135 lbs. – 3 x 3 Rounds

Jason “Live Wire” Von Flue vs. Luke Stewart – 175 lbs. – 3 x 5 Rounds

Aaron Wetherspoon vs. Mike “Quicksand” Pyle - 170 lbs. – 3 x 5 Rounds

Phil Baroni

“He’s done a lot of talking and, now, I think he’s wrote some checks that I don’t think his ass will be able to cash”

“This ain’t a joke. This ain’t about fighting in my hometown and fighting hand-picked opponents.”

Speaking To Shamrock: “You can laugh and smile with that stupid looking face all you want, but when they shut the fuckin’ cage door, it’s not gonna be a fuckin’ joke. So, keep smiling. Keep smiling. You’re not gonna be smiling when I separate you from consciousness.”

“This is a big opportunity. I’ve been through a lot of ups and downs in my career and my life, but so has everybody. I just don’t cry about it like this guy.”

On being granted a license by the California Athletic Commission after additional medical exams: “People say I should be thankful. What the fuck am I thanking them for? They’re puttin’ me in a fuckin’ cage and telling me to fight–. But, they stepped up this time and they took my back. They did the right thing-.I guess I’m not that fuckin’ crazy.”

“I’m gonna fight like a rockstar-..(Speaking To Shamrock) You’re looking kind of scrawny. You should get some Gamma-O, bitch.”

Frank Shamrock

“Phil, what you don’t know is you are the hand-picked opponent and that’s why you’re here. This is my town. This is my arena and this is my sport and welcome to world, baby.”

“You think (this fight) is about you. That’s why you’re underneath the name ‘Shamrock.’ So, welcome to my show. I like your glasses. Your tan is better than me. You’re ripped more than me. You’ve got a better beard and I can’t really grow one. All I wanna see is – if you beat me, God bless you. If you don’t, we just move on from here. This is about fighting. I’ve said all I need to say. You’ve said more than you need to say.”

“All you fighters, fight your heart out. We’re an independent show, making huge waves. We’re gonna change MMA – help make it right. This is about fighting, about art.”

Murilo “Ninja” Rua

“Thank you very much. This fight should be the best fight of the night because of what we have on the line. We’re going to put on a great show for MMA fans.”

“I’m going to win this (fight) and dedicate this (title) belt to Gary Shaw.”

Joey “The Dream Smasher” Villasenor

On Rua’s comments about dedication of the fight: “Then, we’re in a tough spot because I’m dedicating this win to my mom cause it’s her birthday.”


This is a pretty awesome fight, definitely worth watching. Some people like to say it’s controversial, but if you ask me they’re only saying that because they’re all over BJ Penn’s penis. This match is like most other Penn defeats : Penn comes out strong, then wilts later in the fight from poor conditioning. While I think Penn is the more talented fighter, I think Jens may come out of this one on top.

Just when you thought California was where big promoters went to crash and burn, Strikeforce and EliteXC have managed to metaphorically pull their event up from a nosedive and back to cruising altitude. From Sherdog:

Hurdles in the way of Phil Baroni (Pictures) and Murilo Rua’s (Pictures) anticipated fights Friday in San Jose, Calif. have been cleared, California State Athletic Commission Executive Officer Armando Garcia told Sherdog.com.

Not so lucky is Charles Krazy Horse Bennet, who remains locked up with no chance of getting out before the beginning of July. But considering the day started with 3 of the headliners being off the card, this is a definate improvement. Now we just have to find out what Cesar was smoking when he posted that shit about Baroni.

From his interview with Sam Caplan on fighting at 145:

It’s definitely a weight class I can compete at, but you know, I’ll go where the UFC tells me to go. If I beat B.J. Penn and they want me to fight in the UFC, OK. But yeah, if they give me the freedom and the choice then I’m definitely going to go to the WEC, for sure. I’d love to be at 145. That’s my weight class. Especially now, there are some tanks! There are some big, big people going to 155. That’s too much work! I’d rather just be at 145, now I can be happy.

While everyone is always saying the lightweight division is the most exciting, it’s also missing star power at the moment. With BJ Penn adamant that he’s gonna go back up in weight after a few fights, the UFC really needs someone like Jens to be the superstar of the division. On the other hand, how much good is Jens Pulver if he keeps on getting tooled by ‘lightweights’ that come into the cage weighing over 170 pounds?

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