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Between massive database issues and general site problems, it has been a rough administrative week for me here at Fightlinker.com. Fortunately I had the pleasure of being one of the guest bloggers over at mad-squabbles.com and working on the blog there made me reconsider my choice of site formats. So I’m throwing my hat back into the blog ring and changing the format of this site. Sure, there’s a lot of MMA blogs out there. But most of them suck. I promise I won’t become another shitty blog regurgitating the same old stuff. If you’re looking for news, go somewhere else. If you’re looking for interesting and occasionally offensive commentary, then stick around.

If you liked the old fightlinker format, I encourage you to check out news.mixedmartialarts.com, it’s built on the same engine and is basically the same thing. If you’re interested in picking up where i left off, shoot me an email at news@fightlinker.com. Past that, enjoy the new site.

Tucked down at the bottom of Sherdog’s results article for Friday’s Art of War show was this little lineup preview for their next event:

The Art of War picks back up in late June with a card featuring Jeremy Horn (Pictures), Jeff Monson (Pictures), Pedro Rizzo (Pictures) and Ricco Rodriguez (Pictures).

Considering Friday’s show was headlined by Wes Sims vs some dude and David L’Oiseau vs some dude, this is a pretty impressive step up. However, I still don’t have much faith in the likelihood of these guys making it in the long run. Official attendance for this event was reported at 2800 people. That’s roughly around what most medium scale promoters in Canada are pulling without any star power. Anyways, now I just hope they manage to stay afloat long enough for the next Art of War show, which actually looks like it could be half decent.

You know things are going bad when even your fan sites are shitting on your product. UFC Mania’s recap of the first half of TUF5’s season goes something like this: the show is a joke and the contestants are bottom of the barrel fighters. Key quote:

Jeff Foxworthy once said: “If you mix pond scum with raw sewage you ain’t gettin’ Evian”. So too does it hold true that if you put a group of inexperienced drama queens in a steel cage you ain’t gettin’ Couture/Liddell.

Personally, I’m enjoying season 5 more than season 4, but that’s not saying much. I’d rather drown a kitten than sit through season 4 again. But I do agree with what these guys are saying: there’s gotta be some middle ground where talented fighters, exciting matches, and interesting personality come together to create a show that isn’t a steaming pile of dogshit.

A quickie before I run off for the day: Gareb Shamus was named one of Brandweek’s 10 Marketers of the Next Generation. Am I the only one who finds it funny that this guy wins a marketing award? His company is hemorrhaging money specifically because they can’t figure out how to market their live shows properly. Sure, he’s done some interesting things. But so far none of it has worked, and in business it’s not what’s cool and fresh, it’s what succeeds that counts.

This is a fun little rumour floating around at the moment. It makes sense for several reasons. First, the UFC brought Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira into the ring at UFC69 … basically that tells me they’re skipping the introductory ‘can’ fights. I don’t know if this is because the UFC feels they can promote him properly with Pride’s video archive, or just because he’s not coming in with several month’s ring rust like Rampage or Crocop did. So this means the UFC is going to be lining him up against one of their top fighters.

Following this logic, there’s not a lot of fighters who are legitimate threats to Nogueira. Arlovski, Werdum, Couture, Crocop, Gonzaga, Kongo, and Silva are all booked. I think the UFC is still giving Heath Herring time to get into top form. Jeff Monson would be an interesting match but his status as a UFC fighter is kinda blurry at the moment. That basically leaves Tim Sylvia, Frank Mir, and Brandon Vera.

The heavyweight division has gone from being a total shambles in 2006 to bursting at the seams with talent. The Light Heavyweight division … not so much. With the sudden shift, Vera becomes a more valuable commodity to the UFC as a light heavyweight. So pitting Vera against one of the largest heavyweights is a good way to force the issue and see if he can really hang at heavyweight.

As well, we still haven’t heard much about Vera’s contractual situation since he signed an ‘extension’ with the UFC. This extension basically said that Vera’s contract wouldn’t expire in May like it should, giving Vera time to work out the legal situation with his former manager. However, no one knows if the UFC has already come to terms with Vera on the details of his next contract. If they haven’t, then handing Vera an extremely difficult match is a good way to see how he performs before sitting down at the negotiating table. Vera’s wins are impressive but it’s too soon to say if he’s worth the hype. Win or lose, a match with Nogueira would answer a lot of questions.

Anyways, this is just speculating on a rumour. But fun none the less.

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