(Ed. note: this post was written prior to the weigh-ins; Gleison Tibau did in fact make weight. But so what? He’s still a chunky mofo.)
Gleison Tibau’s fight against Jamie Varner at UFC 164 Saturday night will be his 20th in the UFC. At 30 years old, Tibau will be the youngest fighter ever to reach that mark. At 172 pounds, however, he has some sweating to do before this afternoon’s weigh-ins.
Brazilian journalist Guilherme Cruz announced on Twitter last night that the lightweight “still has 17.6 pounds to lose for UFC 164’s weigh-ins tomorrow,” according to members of his camp. That’s a daunting cut for a fighter in any division, but it would be especially impressive at 155.
“Especially impressive,” in this case, is a euphemism for “not likely to happen.” Tibau is large for the division and has been working with a nutritionist since May to ease his weight cuts. He described himself as “lighter, leaner and more confident” going into his last fight, which ended with a submission victory over John Cholish. If Cruz’s report is accurate, though, Tibau will almost certainly have trouble making weight this afternoon.
Presuming he fights tomorrow, Tibau will become one of only twelve UFC fighters to record 20 appearances in the Octagon. He is one of four to reach that mark without fighting for a championship, and has yet to win a post-fight bonus in his career. Still, he told Mike Bohn and Christian Stein of MMAFighting that he envisions “a great victory” tomorrow night.
“[I] trained everywhere, and I’m ready for anything—it can be standing, wrestling or on the ground,” Tibau said. “I see a great fight, a great victory and my arm raised at the end. That’s what I see.”
Tibau made no mention of his weight, but presumably he also sees several bottles of Pedialyte. By the time you read this, Gleison Tibau will be sad. We wish him the best of luck in re-inflating to the terrifying juggernaut he has been 19 times before.
While I was away from Fightlinker over the past year, besides having sex in every corner of New York City (NSFW link to my other blog; big boobs), I noticed the emerging trend of fighters turning down fights. Well, I neglected to discuss another, slightly less disturbing trend: fighters acting as their own matchmakers via Twitter.
The latter trend has reared its blonde (i.e., dumb but kinda sexy) head again, as UFC Matchmaker Chael Sonnen has matched himself with Rashad Evans. Matchmaker Sonnen was also charitable enough to provide Evans with the date and event at which the UFC will schedule their fight: November 16 and UFC 167. Evidently, he even had an event poster designed for the occasion:
The inclusion of an event poster for a fight that hasn’t been booked by the actual UFC matchmakers is only slightly less presumptuous than a hamburger saying it has a chance against Butterbean. Is Sonnen being paid two salaries for this? Overall, having UFC Matchmakers Joe Silva and Sean Shelby beholden to one more factor in fight booking is probably not a good thing. Although self-matchmaking gets in the way of things less than fighters refusing fights, it also motivates fighters to only call out those with whom their fights will generate the most revenue. Further, the matchups that are truly demanded by the fans for actual fight-related reasons will probably be in the matchmakers’ minds regardless. However, if Sonnen has to do this, I at least give him credit for doing it in style. I look forward to Sonnen staging a full-on press conference for a nonexistent event the next time he has an opponent in mind.
When Tito Ortiz came out of retirement to join Bellator, I could just see the two remaining hair follicles popping out of UFC President Dana White’s head from the stress. I have kept my antennae perked in order to proliferate the insane ramblings that were certain to result from the renewal of this feud. After all, not only is Ortiz fighting Quinton “Rampage” Jackson on Bellator’s upcoming pay-per-view card, he also manages Christiane “Cyborg” Justino, whom not even Dana White denies an interest in signing to a UFC contract.
All in all, the cray cray aspects of the White-Ortiz situation were just bursting at the seams waiting to spill out. Well, we can now be glad that Ortiz has moved back up from Jamesonweight to take on his old verbal sparring partner, White, once again. White fired the opening salvo by calling Ortiz a buffoon and saying that he has less intelligence than a monkey at the zoo:
Can you imagine trying to do business with that fucking buffoon? Try to have an educated conversation with him. It’s not possible. You can’t have an intelligent conversation with him. I could go to the fucking zoo, OK? Go over to the fucking monkey cage and have a better interaction, a more intelligent interaction with the monkeys at the zoo than fucking [that] buffoon.
In turn, Ortiz accused White of being a slave owner and a bully who will be struck down by Thor’s Hammer of Karma:
I thought slavery was over a long time ago. It’s just one of those things where you can’t trust a word the man says. And when you can’t do that, how can you work for him? When you work for a person and they’re badmouthing you no matter what, how can you work for them? When you apologize for the things that did happen and he still goes behind your back and says things about you, for no reason at all. Dana’s thing now is bullying and he is one of the biggest bullies in the business. He’s a big bully. One of these days, karma, it always comes back around.
Then, in a moment that made Dick want to say “zing,” Dana called Tito a “slave to stupidity”:
Now I’m a fucking slave master, or whatever Tito called me. That fucking buffoon. How about this fucking moron coming out and saying he was a slave. Do you even know… I shouldn’t even ask that question if he knows what being a slave means, because he’s one of the dumbest motherfuckers you will ever meet. Seriously. He’s a slave to stupidity is what he is.
Slavery? Monkeys at the zoo? This would actually be a provocative topic if it weren’t par for the course for these guys. The only question now is what comes next. Will there be an alliance between Dana White and Jenna Jameson whereby bottles of Advil mysteriously show up in Ortiz’s locker room, leading him to be suspended by the athletic commission? As Tito would say, stay tuned.
Go back to your old job, Tony Lopez.
We here at Fightlinker have been desperate for a new target of our hatred since Mike Kyle stopped acting up, Jason “Mayhem” Miller might be legitimately mentally ill, and Syria has bigger problems to worry about. So we are lucky to receive word of some—if not Joe Son-level—perhaps Mike Whitehead-level scumbaggery in the form of antics from last night’s King of the Cage (KOTC) show.
According to the gifs and reports posted at MiddleEasy, fighter Tony Lopez not only “pulled a Babalu” by continuing to choke his opponent after the referee was pulling him off, he also punched the hapless dude in the face afterwards. Then, according to reports on Twitter by @Fight_Ghost, he was announced as the winner instead of disqualified, and the post-fight interviewer told him “Great fight!” and went on as if nothing evil had occurred.
In an environment characterized by nearly unanimous legalization of MMA, growing cultural acceptance of the sport, and hundreds of millions of dollars from Fox, it’s good to see a long-standing community pillar like KOTC continuing to skeeve the place up with its charming antics.
Behold the wanton savagery of unfathomable dickishness.
Many who tried to tune in to Fox Sports 1 to watch the prelims for UFC on Fox Sports 1 2 aka UFC Fight Night 27 were treated to a surprise: no fights. Unfortunately, the UFC decided to throw a spinning backfist by airing the prelims on Fox Sports 2, switching channels mid-event when we hadn’t even gotten acclimated to the first brand new channel to begin with. Keep in mind that we are people who generally have trouble farting and chewing gum at the same time and just estimate how that went for the few UFC fans who actually pay for cable instead of stealing a webstream out of their parents’ basement.
Well, now the UFC has decided to stop confusing the hoity-toity TV owners among us by moving ALL PRELIMS to Fox Sports 1… except for the ones that aren’t on Fox Sports 1… and not for another few events. MMAMania has details from The Dana:
“I called Eric the other day and said, ‘We should just put everything on FOX Sports 1 like we did the first night.’ He was like, ‘You’re right. We should. Let’s do it.’”
So let it be spoken, so let it be done.
The new arrangement is not expected to affect the promotion’s reliance on Facebook for preliminary bouts that can’t be shoehorned into existing timeslots.
In short, anything not on pay-per-view (PPV) will likely air on Facebook, followed by FOX Sports 1, with the exception of fight cards already lined up for FOX Sports 2, like the UFC Fight Night 30 event in Manchester, headlined by a middleweight bout between Michael Bisping vs. Mark Munoz.
It’s sometimes nice how the UFC sort of takes care of its fans. As minor of a concession as this seems, it does stop people from having to switch channels and avoids turning us into pawns in corporate ratings wars. Instead of trying to prop up multiple channels, the organization is content to simply have us relax while it monopolizes 14% of our waking hours with its events. Many cheers to our hegemonic overlords in Vegas for being gentle masters!