After watching UFC 79 and hearing all of the discussion about how Matt Hughes and Matt Serra were originally supposed to fight but Serra pulled out with an injury, I got to thinking. It wasn’t the first time that a situation like that occurred.
So I sat down and did some research. There were actually a good number of fights in the UFC that were signed and slated to happen but ended up not taking place for one reason or another. The final number was a lot higher than I expected so I went ahead and narrowed the list down to the fights that would have been the best if they were to happen at the time.
So here they are. I’ve sorted them starting with the most recent and excluding Hughes-Serra. Each instance is pretty interesting.
Evan Tanner vs Jeremy Horn (UFC 59): The two long-time MMA veterans were set to clash at UFC 59 in what was unofficially an “elimination” bout for the two of them. Horn had split his two return bouts in the UFC while Tanner had lost two straight, including his middleweight title. The bout would have been an interesting chess match between two slick grapplers but Horn ended up pulling out after injuring his back during training. Justin Levens replaced Horn and Tanner went on to submit Levens in the first round of their bout. Horn was released shortly after defeating Chael Sonnen at UFC 60.
Matt Hughes vs Karo Parisyan (UFC 56): After losing to Georges St. Pierre at UFC 46, Parisyan went ahead and racked up three straight wins over Nick Diaz, Chris Lytle, and Matt Serra to earn a title shot against then-champion Matt Hughes. The anticipated welterweight showdown was set to headline the event until Parisyan was forced to pull out of the fight after suffering an elbow injury during training. Joe Riggs stepped in for Parisyan and ended up failing to make weight, costing him his shot at the title. Hughes would go on to submit Riggs in a non-title bout and wouldn’t defend his belt again until UFC 63, making it over a full year since the welterweight title was contested. To this day, Parisyan is still yearning for another shot at the title.
The saga continues…
Over the weekend former UFC Heavyweight Champion Andrei Arlovski was one of the many fighters from a wealth of organizations that attended HDNet Fights: Reckless Abandon. The only sure-fire thing that the press was able to get out of Arlovski is it seems that he will be fighting “very” soon.
MMA Weekly passed along a report yesterday where sources were cited to have confirmed Arlovski is planning on waiting out the remainder of his contract with the UFC in order to go ahead and fight in other organizations.
Well according to Arlovski’s agent, Leo Khorlinsky, that’s not true:
“We have a great working relationship with the UFC and are waiting for Andrei’s next fight there,” said Khorlinsky. “Any news otherwise is false and negligent. There is no ‘source’ that could accurately make this claim. At no point in time did Andrei or any of his representatives make this claim. Andrei is very upset to hear that these lies about him were reported.”
Khorlinsky also told The Fight Network that Arlovski was offered fight for November and March but that both of his potential opponents turned down the fights. There was also no indication given that Arlovski would be fighting in the Octagon through his next bout.
Basically we’ve found out nothing new is what I’m trying to say and it’s probably going to continue that way until the UFC finally announces an official fight that includes Arlovski or Arlovski is signed by another organization. And to think that I thought Arlovski was going to fight the winner of Couture and Gonzaga…
The UFC held a conference call with the media earlier today to announce a new television deal with Spike TV and to discuss the UFC’s recent acquisition of former pro wrestler Brock Lesnar and the much anticipated bout between Chuck Liddell and Wanderlei Silva at UFC 79 in December.
Jennifer Wenk, the UFC’s head of public relations was the host of the call. Participants on the call included UFC President Dana White, former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Chuck Liddell, former PRIDE Middleweight Champion Wanderlei Silva, Brock Lesnar, and Spike TV officials Brian Diamond and Kevin Kay.
Right off the bat Dana was asked if he purposely planned a conference call at the same time Randy Couture was slated to hold his press conference.
“Am I putting on a press conference to fuck with Randy Couture right now?” asked White. “Is that what you’re asking me? No, it’s not intentional. I’m here to announce the Spike deal and discuss the Lesnar signing as well as talk about Chuck Liddell and Wanderlei Silva and their fight, that’s it. Is it a coincidence that we got this deal done the same week that Randy decided to speak out? No.”
White let everyone know that he still likes Couture as a person and would love to have him back. He was also confident that Couture would return in the near future.
“He’s mine,” claimed White “He’s under contract to me and he can’t fight anywhere else. I don’t know what his people are telling him but resignation or not he won’t be permitted to fight anywhere else. Besides that I love Randy. Randy is pissed at me. We’re friends and friends get pissed at each other. However I’m real confident that we’re going to kiss and make up real soon.”
The details of the UFC’s new deal with Spike TV are as follows:
The contract is a four year deal. There will be five more seasons of The Ultimate Fighter. Two seasons will take place in 2008, two in 2009, and only one season in 2010. The UFC and Spike TV are also developing a new television show that will premiere in 2010. The show will feature live fights and fighters of a “higher caliber” than those currently featured on TUF according to White.
White also stated that the UFC will produce 12 live events on Spike TV for next year.
“We’re going to do 12 live fight cards for next year,” said White. “We’ll continue to do UFC Fight Nights. We’re back in bed with these guys. They’ve been so good to us over the years and we’re going to do a lot of good programs.”
I always knew that The Garv’s hands were deadly...
News and Notes
- Our rumors section has been updated.
- Forrest Griffin and Stephan Bonnar will most “The Tuffest 25 Moments of The Ultimate Fighter” tonight at 8 PM EST on Spike TV. It will be a two-hour long special highlighting the most memorable, drama-filled, and controversial moments that have taken place during the six seasons of the reality show.
- An episode of UFC Unleashed will air at 7 PM EST on Spike TV, just before the TUF special. Three fights will be shown: Chuck Liddell vs Renato Sobral from UFC 62, Matt Hughes vs Georges St. Pierre from UFC 65, and Andrei Arlovski vs Tim Sylvia from UFC 51.
- Tickets for the first round of the IFL Grand Prix in Chicago apparently only cost $12:
In an attempt to actually fill a venue, it looks like the IFL is offering tickets to its World Grand Prix on November 3rd in Chicago for only $12. The semi-finals, held in Florida, supposedly pulled in over 7,000 attendees, but those numbers (from the IFL) can lie and it’s hard to believe they are selling these tickets if they are so cheap. But tt’s a great deal if you live in the area and there should be some exciting matchups on the card.
- MMA News is claiming that the UFC was advertising Chuck Liddell vs Wanderlei Silva on the front of the site yesterday and then removed the text later on.
- UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva has told Sherdog that he would love to fight Matt Hughes:
Prior to that loss, Hughes speculated on retiring with both the welterweight and middleweight titles. If he can get past Matt Serra (Pictures) in December, he would be primed for a middleweight showdown with Silva.
“I would love to fight Matt Hughes (Pictures) if the UFC asked me to,” the Brazilian said. “He is a great fighter, and those are the people I want to fight.”
When pressed for a breakdown of a proposed match with the former welterweight champion, Silva demurred. “I am not going to comment on that,” he said, “other than saying it would be a great fight.”
The UFC has won battles in the past.
All we have to do is look no further than the tale of how Zuffa came in and saved the promotion that was nearly driven into the ground by Senator John McCain and the idea that mixed martial arts was nothing more than human cockfighting. Fast forward almost seven years later and the UFC has become the driving force behind MMA’s giant growth in popularity in recent years.
Now the UFC is seemingly on top of the world. Yet they have another battle to take on.
I’m serious about this…
Former UFC Heavyweight Champion Andrei Arlovski is going to serve as a guest bouncer on The Jerry Springer Show as part of some promotional deal with Soyo:
SOYO Inc., an innovative provider of computer and consumer electronics products, today announced that SOYO-sponsored fighter and former UFC Heavyweight Champion Andrei Arlovski will appear as a Celebrity Guest Bouncer on the Jerry Springer show. During the show, a lucky audience member was chosen in a random drawing and received a 42” Pit Bull Series LCD HDTV, made by Soyo. The episode will air on Wednesday, September 26, 2007. For show times, please check your local listings.
That’s right, the show airs tomorrow. Set your DVR’s people.
What does Andrei have to say about this?
“I love Chicago and did not know Jerry Springer filmed here. When I was asked to be a special guest on the show, it sounded like it could be fun for me and my fans. I am glad to see that Soyo got to participate in the fun as well and Jerry gave away one of my Pit Bull Series TVs as well.”
If Arlovski and Steve are both on duty, the guests are dead.
HDNet Fights hosted a conference call earlier this afternoon to promote their new venture into the world of mixed martial arts as well as their inaugural event which will take place on October 13th at the American Airlines Arena in Dallas, Texas. HDNet Fights officials eatured on the call were HDNet owner Mark Cuban and UFC and PRIDE veteran Guy Mezger. The fighters participating were Erik Paulson, Jeff Ford, Justin Eilers, Jason House, and Freddie Espiricueta.
News and Notes
- Our rumors section has been updated…
- We are planning on posting an updated MMA on Tap Top 10 at some point this week.
- If you haven’t already, be sure to check us out on myspace.
- K-1 Hero’s and their parent company FEG held a press conference on Tuesday announcing two additional bouts and a new opponent for Ikuhisa Minowa.
Kazushi Sakuraba will be fighting at the event on September 17th but it won’t be against rumored opponent Denis Kang. Instead Sakuraba will be taking on Katsuyori Shibata. Also announced was a middleweight bout between PRIDE veterans Zelg Galesic and Dong Sik Yoon.
Ikuhisa Minowa will no longer be taking on Ralek Gracie as Gracie was forced to pull out of the bout for undisclosed reasons. Minowa will now face Kevin Casey, who will be making his professional MMA debut.
- So the real reason why Andrei Arlovski isn’t being booked by the UFC has finally been revealed - He only has one match left on his contract and the UFC won’t use him until he signs an extension.
Steve Sievert of The Houston Chronicle comments:
The big Belarusian is currently on the UFC sidelines because he has only one match left on his contract. As we know (see Brandon Vera), the UFC doesn’t make key bouts with a fighter who could be on his way out of the organization. After talking with Joe Silva last weekend, that’s actually a possibility.
While the UFC matchmaker stopped short of saying the organization doesn’t need the former heavyweight champ, comments such as “where else is he going to go” and the contract “has to make sense for us” send a clear message as to who has the upper hand in the ongoing negotiations. The UFC won’t book Arlovski until the contract issue is resolved.
Arlovski (11-5) wants a big payday. However, the harsh reality is he’s a mediocre 2-2 in his last four and just hasn’t been impressive since 2005. A year ago, the UFC couldn’t afford to let Arlovski walk. Today, the heavyweight division has ample fire power, and doesn’t need Arlovski to make big fights.
- Cub Swanson has announced via his myspace page that his fight with Jens Pulver has been rescheduled for November 3rd.
Fighting Jens Pulver in WEC November 3rd at the Hard Rock in Vegas. Pulver had a knee injury so we had to push the fight back.
- Sam Caplan wants people to stop stealing content from his site. You let me know if it happens again Sam, I’ll take them out…
News and Notes
- Another reminder to leave your selection on our latest Rock the Vote: Should Sherk Be Stripped of the Title?
- Hayato Sakurai has not yet signed a contract to compete with the UFC according to The Fight Network:
Following his introduction to the United States audience by UFC president Dana White, Sakurai conducted several interviews over a seven-day period. He said “the [UFC] contract hasn’t been signed yet, but there are fighters in the UFC I would love to fight.”
- Former TUF runner-up Stephan Bonnar will now be training alongside rival Forrest Griffin at Xtreme Couture in Las Vegas.
- The Ultimate Fighter reality show will be moved to Wednesday nights instead of it’s usual Thursday time slot for the upcoming sixth installment according to Spike TV. The show will still air at 10 PM. The season premiere of TUF 6 will air at 11 PM on September 19th because of the scheduled UFC Fight Night 11 airing from 9-11 PM that same night.
News and Notes
- Our rumors section has been updated once again…
- The always popular MMA on Tap Top Ten has been updated and was posted yesterday for everyone to break down and take in. Be sure to leave comments with any corrections, props, thoughts, and suggestions that you might have.
- Our latest edition of Rock the Vote has been posted - Who will be victorious in UFC 72’s main event: Rich Franklin or Yushin Okami? Be sure to add your pick…
Here are the results for our last poll:
Chuck Liddell: 25%
Mirko Cro Cop: 23%
Andrei Arlovski: 17%
Tim Sylvia: 17%
Gabriel Gonzaga: 8%
Randy Couture: 8%
Heath Herring: 2%
- Scott put together a nice mini-interview with Jonathan Goulet discussing Goulet’s recent win over Travis Axworthy this past weekend as well as his thoughts on John Alessio’s peformance on Sunday night. MMA Weekly caught wind of the piece and was going to ask Alessio about Goulet’s comments on last night’s radio show but Alessio failed to appear.
- The Fight Network is reporting that renowned grappler Marcelo Garcia is in California training with Team Quest this week. K-1 stated in a pre-fight press conference for Dynamite!! USA that Garcia would make his debut in September.
- Leonard Garcia has announced that he will be fighting on the finale of The Ultimate Fighter 5. Garcia did not say who his opponent will be.
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