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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?

 

Cesar Gracie posted some explosive news on his website late last night:

The Frank Shamrock VS Phil Baroni Strikeforce card has suffered a major setback with Baroni now scrambling to pass his medical requirements. Baroni had in fact previously passed all his medicals but is now having his MRI results re-evaluated after it had come to the attention of the CSAC that there was a previous problem with an old MRI report from Las Vegas, dating back when he fought Pete Sell.

Our inside sources have confirmed that it was representatives from the UFC that faxed over Baroni’s MRI to Armando Garcia of the CSAC, thus prompting this latest issue. Baroni has been cleared to fight in Las Vegas, Nevada since the Pete Sell fight, with his latest appearance in the state occuring in Pride on October, 21st 2006. It is unclear why California would now bar him. We will keep our readers up to date with whether or not Phil is able to clear his latest hurdles, or if a replacement will be necessary.

Since then it’s been taken down and replaced with an equally tantalizing “REMOVED BY REQUEST” post. Of course, the internet is like pandora’s box, so good luck killing this story. If the first part is true, it’s basically lights out for the Strikeforce card. Losing Murilo ‘Ninja’ Rua, Charles ‘Krazy Horse’ Bennett, and Phil Baroni all in one week should be enough to make the promoter’s heads explode like in Scanners. If the second part is true, then the world is witnessing the most evil collaboration since the Germans and Japan during World War 2. All in all, it’s a pretty big fucking story, and I look forward to the delicious drama that drips from it like a ripe pomegranate.

Hat Tip: Fightopinion

UFC 72 was a shitty show, and it deserves a shitty podcast! This week’s show weighs in at 30 minutes and 13 seconds (I’m not sure how many ‘stones’ that is for you imperial bitches). Is it unlucky to end the podcast with 13 seconds? I don’t know. But we’re hoping all the talk of leprachauns and other lucky shit will counteract things. Also on the show is our thoughts on Royce Gracie juicin’ it.

Listen to the show on the Talkshoe applet to the right OR download the show by clicking here.

Thanks as always goes to my hetero life partner Jake at TheGoodAtheist.net. Go check out his site!!!

This press release / article / biased hate letter by Fiona Manning is a huge poorly written laundry list of complaints about our favorite guy in the world, CSAC head Armando Garcia. It’s full of fun stuff like this:

Garcia demoted Dean Lohuis, the Los Angeles man who WAS the Chief Official most boxing insiders always assumed was the head of the Commission since he is the only official ever seen at fights. Lohuis was stripped of all his duties in what most boxing insiders see as an obvious attempt to get him to resign. Left out of the loop, Dean was no longer permitted to assign fights, approve boxers or make decisions beyond hamburger or salad for lunch.

Under Garcia’s new rules, blood work bypasses Dean and this led to last year’s June 3 fiasco at the Doubletree Hotel in Ontario on a Thompson boxing promotion. Matchmaker Alex Campanovo received the blood work for super featherweight Tommy Perez, which he then sent to CSAC inspector Joe Borrielli. Neither man noticed that the blood work showed that Perez was HIV positive.

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