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Two interesting little tidbits from the very engrish Gryphon:

newcomer to Josh Barnett team

Josh said “R.Babalu will join my team I will continue training in Carifornia”

Josh-PRIDE contract

Josh said!”I can not nagotiate to other Promotion,This is decided by contract with DSE”

Renato Babalu Sobral is an interesting addition to Josh’s training team. I’m not sure if they’re saying Babalu is helping out Josh or Josh is helping out Babalu or if it’s a general both ways arrangement. Regardless, I’m happy to hear Babalu is still out and about ‘doing stuff’ after that giveaway loss to Jason Lambert.

Josh’s comment about his DSE contract keeping him from fighting in other promotions is interesting as well. There’s been lots and lots of speculation on the state and legitimacy of PRIDE fighter contracts. Some people are saying they’re not worth more than the napkin they’re written on. Dana White just keeps saying “We’re gonna get them all” like he’s some kind of retarded Pokemon hunter. News from behind the scenes is DSE is trying to force fighters to transfer their contract to the new PRIDE or sit out the remainder of their contracts. Now Josh is saying that at the very least he’s stuck in his current contract and can’t fight elsewhere.

I dunno about you, but it sounds to me like Zuffa’s got a lot of people by the balls.

If you’re one of the 27 people still tuning into TUF5, you’ll know that Marlon Sims and Noah Thomas got into a fight at the house and were kicked off the show. Now it’s been announced that the two will face off at the TUF5 finale. I’ll let Steve Sievert from the Houston Chronicle follow up:

White was pointed in his profanity-laced scolding of the fighters, noting that he had worked six years trying to overcome the perception that ultimate fighting is no more than a glorified barroom brawl. Sims and Thomas didn’t do much to help White’s cause.

White took a hard line on the incident, and, frankly, I fully expected Sims and Thomas to have “fought” in the UFC for the last time. Their actions certainly warranted the harsh punishment.

However, not only are the two fighters still very much a part of the UFC, they are actually being welcomed back with open arms to fight on live television in the season finale and pocket some cash for their efforts.

So much for White’s hard line and ensuring the integrity of the sport.

There seems to have been a lot of two-faced stuff like this going on lately. At least the other examples were understandable: sucking PRIDE dry of all it’s talent wasn’t what anyone wanted, and merging the PRIDE belts into the UFC means having to give Dan Henderson a shot sooner rather than later. But to kick these guys off the show for fighting and then having the gall to book them against eachother on the final is just mind blowing. In someone’s mind it’s an easy buck and another angle, but to me it’s another step down a slippery slope. I have to wonder if this decision has anything to do with the fact that the incident caused ratings for the show to hit 1.3 (up from last week’s 1.1).

I just thought I’d take this opportunity as June approaches to thank the MMA Gods (Thor, Odin, and Jeff Blatnick) for the bounty they have provided us in this coming month:

June 2nd – EliteXC / DynamiteUSA (event subject to implosion)
June 3rd – WEC
June 12th – Ultimate Fight Night : Fisher vs Stout
June 16th – UFC72 : Victory
June 22nd – Strikeforce: Shamrock vs Baroni
June 23rd – TUF5 Finals: Pulver vs Penn
June 30th – ICON : Fearless

Goddamn. Sherdog continues to land some sweet deals, first with ESPN and now with Stephen Quadros. Quadros, one half of the best commentary team in MMA history, will be doing a radio show for the site every Tuesday at noon. Of course I’m sure Sherdog will team him up with some annoying fucking ass clown from their writer’s staff just to make the show unlistenable.

Yeah, I like to rip on the K1 show because they seem to be completely clueless. But K1 isn’t the only one having problems with losing headliners. The WEC is this weekend and there is still no word on a replacement for injured WEC Welterweight Champion Carlos Condit, who was fighting Brock Larson. With Urijah Faber fighting inexperienced sacrificial lamb Chance Farrar, this doesn’t leave the WEC card in very good condition. Condit’s injury was announced five days ago, so there’s been ample time to sort this whole thing out. At the moment Condit isn’t listed at all on the WEC’s event card, which is a bad sign.

UPDATE: WEC’s site has been updated with new promo banners and Brock Larson is stuffed somewhere in the middle of the pack against Kevin Knabjian.

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