Saturday, April 28, 2007

Mixed Martial Arts news and notes 4/28/07

-- By Art Shimko

-- Just like Thursday's pro wrestling update we're catching up with all the latest news in MMA...

-- Last weekend in Manchester, fans watching UFC 70 on TV and at the MEN Arena saw quite the upset in the main event as Gabriel Gonzaga (who Casey, Euan and myself ignorantly gave no chance in hell of winning) defeated Mirko Cro Cop using Cro Cop's finishing move, a devastating high-kick which KILLED him and was sent into oblivion. At 4:51 of the first round Mirko landed in a very awkward position to the point that his leg buckled underneath and was bent in a way that a leg isn't supposed to.
If I remember correctly referee Herb Dean quickly dashed to put Cro Cop's leg in the proper position, I thought for sure that he fucked up his knee and ankle but reports stated that he was walking around fine after the match. So now Gonzaga advances to fight heavyweight champ Randy Couture, and if you think a Cro Cop/Couture encounter sounded scary for Couture's fate, one with Gonzaga will be even more insane, not only can he fight on his feet but if it goes to the ground Couture will be working overtime trying to keep up with Gonzaga.
The rest of the show was good, nothing spectacular but historic nonetheless. The David Heath/Lyoto Machida match, which was scheduled to air on the Spike TV broadcast in the States, was said to be so fucking boring that it didn't even make onto Spike.
Instead Spike showed the Matt Grice/Terry Etim dark match which made sense as Liverpool-based Etim got the victory and was the second Brit of the evening to score a victory for the crowd as Michael Bisping won his match against Elvis Sinosic.
The most BORING matches were the Andrei Arlovski/Fabricio Werdum and Assuerio Silva/Cheick Kongo fights, both of which went the distance. Kongo bored me again, not sure what the deal is because I could've sworn the first time I saw him in UFC I thought Kongo was a killer and could be a major deal in the heavyweight division but after seeing his recent fights I'm not sure what's going on. By the way Kongo won via majority (split) decision.
Remember when I said that the Heath/Machida fight was so bad that it didn't make the airwaves in the States? Well as Casey brought up on a recent podcast, one can wonder why the Arlovski/Werdum fight was aired when this had to be a fucking boring-ass fight. The crowd hated it booing like crazy and Joe Rogan was on Arlovski's back during commentary regarding his mundane performance. Arlovski won via unanimous decision but I have this feeling that he'll be going the route that Heath Herring did and work dark matches on Fight Night specials. Complete results can be read on UFC's site.

-- Attendance for the show was reported to be a sell-out at 14,921 with £1.3 million ($2,600,000 US) in ticket sales making UFC 70 MEN Arena's third highest-grossing event. The show did well on Spike TV which drew a 1.84 rating (2.8 million viewers) and peaked at 3.5 million viewers during the main event.

-- Gonzaga received a hero's welcome when the Ludlow, MA native arrived at the Marco Alvan Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Training Center earlier this week and was greeted and congratulated by proud students and Alvan. "I want to thank all my teammates," Gonzaga said through his manager and translator, Alvan. "No one can be in the best of shape without their partners." Gonzaga's fight with Couture has been reported to take place on 8/25 but Gonzaga couldn't confirm that date.

-- If only Melvin Guillard was booked on UFC 69 or UFC 70... The Houston Chronicle reports that fighters who participated in UFC 69 and 70 weren't drug tested as according to the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation stated that was the responsibility of "sanctioning body" of the event, that being the UFC who ran UFC 69 in Houston earlier this month. As far as what happened at UFC 70 regarding testing: "We were ordering tests, but found we had no legal means to do it," said [UFC rep Marc] Ratner. "They had no commission there. There was no drug testing there." I was under the impression that Zuffa was going to fly people out to England to take care of this, those fighters who may have dabbled in any type of questionable substance better count their lucky stars and not fuck around with fate next time.

-- Matt Serra and Matt Hughes have been announced as the coaches for season six of The Ultimate Fighter. That will be GREAT~!

-- UFC 71 on 5/26 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena: (matches announced so far) Chuck Liddell Vs. Quinton Jackson; Josh Burkman Vs. Karo Parisyan; Thiago Silva Vs. James Irvin; Sean Salmon Vs. Eric Schafer; Jeremy Stevens Vs. Din Thomas

-- Chuck Liddell discusses his upcoming battle with Quinton Jackson on KCAL 9 in L.A. this morning, no NyQuil malfunction this time.

-- UFC 72 on 6/16 at the Odyssey in Belfast: (matches announced so far) Rich Franklin Vs. Martin Kampmann; Rory Singer Vs. Jason MacDonald; Scott Smith Vs. Ed Herman

-- Tickets are now on sale for The Ultimate Fighter 5 finale which takes place on 6/23 at the Palms Resort Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas featuring TUF 5 coaches BJ Penn and Jens Pulver in the main event.

-- An interview with Tito Ortiz on

-- Rashad Responds to Tito Ortiz

-- the Iowa Senate is looking to end state regulation of MMA claiming that the sport's so dangerous it cannot be regulated. Are these guys dipshits or what? “We’ve got a serious problem with shoot fighting. We’re either going to regulate it or we’re not,” said Sen. Bill Dotzler, D-Waterloo, the leading backer of the plan. The Senate had passed a deregulation bill last month but the House was indecisive on passing the bill so early this week the MMA proposal was lumped in with a larger budget bill to be voted on this week. The budget bill was passed but the MMA proposal was not discussed or settled. Throughout this tug of war on coming to a conclusion the state basically doesn't want to be liable for injuries and such resulting in fights. “I’ve got e-mails from Las Vegas and Canada telling me I’m a dummy,” [Sen. Bill Dotzler] said. “They don’t understand the bill. All it says is in Iowa, you can do all your events, just the state isn’t going to be liable for it because we can’t make the sport safe.”

-- Meanwhile in Nebraska, Legislative Bill 471 to regulate MMA events received first-round approval making the State Athletic Commission oversee the sport and events run in the state. State Sen. Ernie Chambers, who actually propsosed the bill, is not a fan of the sport and doesn't think the state should run events but states, "We should not want to drive it underground," he said. "Regulation is better than ignoring it or banning it."

-- Cage fight in legal gray area

-- MMA in Philly? After red tape

-- This coming Monday's IFL Battleground will feature DEAR DON~! as a regular segment, I so hope it's as great on TV as it has been on IFL's site. Here's a sample that may not make it to television.

-- IFL has moved its 6/16 show from Reno to the Las Vegas Hilton making it the first ever MMA event held there. “We were presented an opportunity for this breakthrough event in Las Vegas, and we felt it is an opportunity we could not pass up,” said IFL CEO and co-founder Gareb Shamus. The event, which will be the last of nine regular season IFL events, features the Nevada Lions against the Tucson Scorpions and the New York Pitbulls against the Toronto Dragons.

-- Seattle Tiger Sharks coach Maurice Smith will be fighting for the first time in almost seven years when he takes on SoCal Condors coach and rival Marco Ruas on 5/19 at the Sears Centre in Chicago.

-- WEC at The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel Las Vegas on 5/12: Doug Marshall vs. Justin McElfresh; Lightweight Bout: Rich Crunkilton vs. Jamie Varner; Middleweight Bout: Jason “Mayhem” Miller vs. Hiromitsu Miura; Light Heavyweight Bout: Gary Padilla vs. Ariel Gandulla; Lightweight Bout: Marcus Hicks vs. Sergio Gomez; Welterweight Bout: Tom Speer vs. Sidney Silva; Bantamweight Bout: Brandon Foxworth vs. Manny Tapia; Lightweight Bout: Ed Ratcliff vs. Johnny Sampaio; Middleweight Bout: Eric Schambari vs. Art Santore

-- Frank Trigg has a new MMA radio show that airs daily from 9-10AM PST at

-- Zach Arnold of Fight Opinion has the latest on the Ed Fishman/DSE lawsuit.

-- Total Fighting Alliance's War on the Shore event will be broadcast live online for free. The event takes place on Saturday between 6-9PM PST at the Santa Monica Civic Center an can be viewed at

-- Rumble in Round Up City II at the Pendleton Convention Center on Saturday , go to for more info.

-- Palace Fighting Championships hold its first title fight on 7/19 at the Tachi Palace Hotel & Casino in Lemoore, CA when David Espinosa fights Shawn Klarcyk for the bantamweight (135 pounds) title. Other fights include: Jason Von Flue vs. Chris Botelho, Ruben Villareal vs. Rafael Del Real, Kenny Ento vs. Palika Drummondo, Jeremy Freitag vs. Lamont Lister and Angelo Antuna vs. Seth Dikun. Tickets are priced at $20, $30 and $40, on-sale date is 5/18 at 10AM at outlets, the Palace Gift Shop or by calling (800) 225-2277.
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