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Cesar Gracie has been on a tear lately! First was his explosive statement that Phil Baroni was possibly off the Strikeforce card. Then there was a challenge issued from Nick Diaz to Frank Shamrock. Now his website is coming atcha with a double whammy: Mauricio Shogun Rua is off the UFC76 card with a knee injury and Brazilian Top Team is falling apart.

We’d mentioned a while back that BTT wasn’t doing too well, and if there’s someone out there dickish enough to tell it like it really is, it’s Cesar Gracie. So I’m willing to believe that account. On the other hand, didn’t that whole Phil Baroni thing turn out to be bullshit? Hmmm, maybe not. Here’s an interview from an Phil’s agent after the fight:

“I don’t know if you guys knew this but the weigh-ins were Thursday and Monday he was informed by the CSAC that he wasn’t going to fight because additional medicals were mandated that he didn’t have time to do. So what he did was left Las Vegas on Monday – flew to Northern California and went through a battery of tests. Flew back to Vegas – flew then to Southern California for an additional battery of tests, I know because I drove him and we camped out at Dr. Gloveson’s (?) office at 6 AM in the morning because Phil couldn’t sleep he was so anxious to get over there. He went through an additional battery of tests there – flew back to Vegas and ultimately up to San Jose so at the day of the weigh-ins he was finally physically cleared to fight.”

So it looks like Cesar was relatively on the money when he stated Phil Baroni was having massive CSAC issues. I wouldn’t discount this Shogun news too quickly … my bet is that Shogun *did* injure his knee, but it’s not known how serious it is yet.

I dunno if it was the impressive Strikeforce/EliteXC showing last weekend, but all of a sudden there are fighters who aren’t looking so loyal to the UFC anymore. Of course the UFC made a new enemy in Ken Shamrock when they released him. Now Dana White’s favorite public whipping boy Tito Ortiz has changed his tune on leaving the UFC:

411: You mentioned it, Chuck said the same thing when I talked to him during the “300” junket. He foresees he’s pretty much gonna end his MMA career with UFC. You pretty much feeling the same thing?

TITO: Not now. I still see another three years of competition. Whether it’s in the UFC or if its another organization, but in my heart is to be loyal and stay in the UFC. All I want to see is the big pie being shared with the fighters. I’m sick of eating off the crumbs. I wanna piece of the pie, not just eating all the crumbs like they’ve been doing for the last four years that they’ve been collecting lots of revenue.

You might not see this as a big deal, but this is the first time Tito Ortiz has said he will consider other options. Perhaps all of the reporters asking him why he’s Dana’s little punk bitch has made him reconsider his position?

Yesterday I wrote an article about how dumb Dana White would be to ditch Ken Shamrock. Well, it looks like Dana really is that dumb, because that’s what happened yesterday. The split was apparently based on Ken’s coaching position with the IFL, which is about as insane as you can get.

Let’s run this logic through our heads here: Dana White is trying to crush the competition so he doesn’t allow his fighters to participate in other organizations. Because of this, he releases one of the biggest stars on his roster for working with an organization with one foot in the grave. Now that star is going to fight for another organization, and because of his participation that organization is going to become REAL competition. Not bullshit money-burning competition like the IFL or K1. But real mainstream competition. The UFC has just thrown EliteXC the world’s largest bone, and I have no doubt they’re going to use it to really break into the market:

Shamrock said he is not opposed to a bout with his adoptive brother Frank, who sprung back into the limelight with a second-round TKO over power puncher Phil Baroni at June 22’s Strikeforce-Pro Elite event in San Jose, Calif.

“I’m a fighter. I’ll fight anybody,” said Shamrock, regarding his brotherly love for his younger sibling. “I’m in better shape than I’ve ever been. I’m mentally focused. I’m physically focused. I’m training. I’ll fight anybody right now.”

This follow’s Frank Shamrock’s similar statement at the Judgement Day press conference. So now Dana White’s idiotic move paves the way for one of the biggest showdowns in the history of mixed martial arts. Congrats Dana. Way to crush the competition.

Dana White showed up on ESPN Hotlist wearing a cheap Bruce Lee t-shirt he got from Old Navy. And then Mirko Crocop showed up at a European press conference looking more like a golfer than a fighter. I don’t know what the fuck is up with today, it’s like one big MMA fashion disaster.

Hat Tip: UFC Countdown


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