(Third time we’ve used this picture.)
And now the news:
I say you Affliction dead:
Affliction finally decided whether they like money or not. Turns out they do: as of July 24th, 2009, Affliction MMA is no longer. The company’s major source of bank, Showtime, decided that the show wasn’t worth putting on without a legitimate opponent for Fedor, and pulled the plug on going forward with the show. (Total diss to Vitor Belfort; these are the same fans that paid for Fedor/Zulu.) After that, Tom Atencio made the decision to finally lay Affliction in the burial plot that’s been in place since before their first show. Him and Dana then made-up and ensured that ugly, embarrassing clothes will have a place in the UFC from now on. Honestly, nothing degrades traditional martial arts more than putting a skull wearing a top hat with a flaming rose in its mouth on your gi.
Still no Fedor:
The chances of Fedor in the UFC took one step forward and two steps back – then got in a car and drove away in reverse like Biggy and Puffy. The demise of Affliction made it as likely as ever that we would see The Russian Bear mixing it up in the octagon. All of that hope was thrown away, though, once the Crazy Russians tried going after that Zuffa grip the wrong way (again). All of the M-1 apologists had to shut up after Gary Millen came out and blew everything for the company’s public image. M-1 is basically trying to pull one over on the UFC and fans by putting up a front of negotiating. Seriously, that’s the ONLY logical explanation. Name any other fighter getting offered an obscene amount of money — true numbers or not — that retorts with “Looks good. We’ll take that…and half your profits.” Co-promotion is a no go since The Fertittas aren’t going to put their Nevada gaming license at risk by working with likely shady characters. So until promotions stop giving Fedor the key to the MMA castle, he won’t be under Zuffa contract.
Josh Barnett’s urine killed an entire promotion and caused over thirty fighters to lose their jobs. That’s some cataclysmic pee right there. I’m one of the few guys who still has mad respect for Josh and even I can’t defend him anymore. The damage is done to Josh’s legacy and career. This is the third time in his career he’s gotten popped for being on something: once in ’01, again in ’02 and then this time. He pulled the zip-lipped routine after the news broke last week to much of our chagrin, and then we got the standard press release along with an “I’ll clear my name” kinda promise. Both of those strategies didn’t really work after it came out that the other half of his sample was also positive. Oops.
Massive changes to Strikeforce:
Strikeforce needs a new poster for their August 15th event after three-fourths of its main card was unwillingly altered. Alistair Overeem had to pull out of his title defense rematch with Fabricio Werdum when his hand started acting up. Yup, the same hand he injured by beating up multiple bouncers in an eastern European nightclub. Thanks Alistair – like we needed a reminder of how awesome we aren’t. Affliction’s death meant that Babalu was free to defend his Strikeforce Light Heavyweight belt against Gerard Mousasi as a replacement bout. Then, Josh Thomson’s doctor decided his leg wasn’t healthy enough and pulled him from his title defense rematch with Gilbert Melendez. Mitsuhiro “THE HERO” Ishida has been named as Melendez’ opponent meaning a rematch for an interim title is replacing a rematch for a title. Seems fairly-squarely to me. Finally, Nick Diaz won’t have his unofficial rubber match with Joe Riggs since Diesel had to pull out because of allergies. Jay Hieron snuck his way into the championship match after his Affliction contract was made as useful as toilet paper. If Jay-Z was Strikeforce and Linkin Park was Affliction, this show would be that mash-up album (if it was actually good).
Title fights without the titles?:
The Nevada State Athletic Commission is going to vote on the addition of five round non-title fights for mixed martial arts. Good idea? No. Never. Ever. You know why title fights mean so much? Because five rounds has a certain sanctity that you don’t get in a regular fight. They’re called the “championship rounds” for a reason: it’s the closest thing to a gimmick match that MMA has. Usually the fighters make a fight, but a belt on the line allows the fight to also make a fight since there are ten extra minutes devoted to it. Not to mention the inevitable misuse of five round non-title fights. I know I’m in the minority, but it’s just a Pandora’s Box I don’t think should be opened.
Results: Sengoku 9th Battle
Yoshihiro Nakao def. Mu Bae Choi via unanimous decision
Hatsu Hioki def. Masanori Kanehara via unanimous decision
Michihiro Omigawa def. Marlon Sandro via split decision
Chan Sung Jung def. Matt Jaggers via 2nd round Triangle Choke
Eiji Mitsuoka def. Clay French via 1st round Guillotine
Dan Hornbuckle def. Akihiro Gono via 3rd round head kick
Blagoi Ivanov def. Kazuyuki Fujita via split decision
Kazuo Misaki def. Kazuhiro Nakamura via 1st round Guillotine
Masanori Kanehara def. Michihiro Omigawa via split decision
Mizuto Hirota def. Satoru Kitaoka via 4th round TKO with knees
Booked: A-Bomb vs. Hendo II “soon”
Booked: Rich Franklin vs. Vitor Belfort at 195 lbs. @ UFC 103
Returning: Tito Ortiz to the UFC
Whining: BJ Penn
Other Fightlinker highlights:
UFC 100 does about 1.72 million buys
Every positive test for PEDs
ESPN UK is better than ESPN USA because of free UFC in HD
Forrest Griffin with the hard sell in a bookstore
Esther’s pictures of (hawt) Gina Carano