Pride held yet another press conference yesterday discussing details about their upcoming US debut in October…
We already learned about the announcements of Josh Barnett-Pawel Nastula and Mark Hunt-Eric Esch yesterday. Dream Stage CEO Nobuyuki Sakakibara stated that some more fights will be named later this week and the rest of the card will be revealed at the end of the month.
It’s interesting to note that because the event is taking place in Nevada, the rules will be similar to those that the UFC uses with a couple of changes. The fight will obviously take place in a ring rather than the UFC’s famed octagon. As it pertains to striking, there will be no elbows to the head permitted while on the ground. Kicking or kneeing of a downed opponent will be illegal as well despite that it is usually allowed in Pride events.
No shoes or Gi’s are allowed to be worn. The fights will be three five-minutes rounds instead of Pride’s usual one ten minute round followed by two five-minute rounds. The event will be four hours long and will be broadcast on PPV and the web.
Even more interesting then those announcements is the fact that Sakakibara was willing to talk about Silva-Liddell and the current status of the possible matchup. ..
“Speaking on behalf of Pride, we are ready anytime. Also, Wanderlei is ready. We just need the doctor’s confirmation regarding his injury from last week. We are still waiting for the UFC’s response. Mirko even said that if Wanderlei is not ready to fight in November, he would fight in his place. In some interviews, Mr. Dana White stated that this fight won’t happen. However, speaking from Pride’s side, we are ready.”
Hey, that’s not what Dana said!
I really don’t know which side to believe. I want to side with Dana and the UFC seeing how Pride has screwed over other promotions before by pulling crap like this whole saga. I wonder what he will have to say about this.
Even though Dana already said that Silva shouldn’t get a shot at Chuck Liddell because he was destroyed by Mirko Cro Cop, there is still room for things to happen. Dana’s right - Silva shouldn’t get Chuck after that massacre.
But if what Dana said at UFC 61 is true - They were supposed to have Wanderlei for three fights - Why don’t they have Wanderlei face someone else, like Babalu or Forrest for example. This way Tito can get his title shot and providing Chuck and Wanderlei both win, they can meet after that.
I’m such a genius…
Chuck Liddell versus Wanderlei Silva may one day happen but it won’t be in November. UFC president Dana White recently spoke about the fight and Silva’s loss in the Pride Open Weight Grand Prix.
“It kind of defeats the purpose now. The guy just got, literally, destroyed. They’re (PRIDE) still saying we can do a fight in November. They can’t do a fight in November. The athletic commission would put them on suspension for 90 days. The guy got knocked out cold. First, he got beaten to death, then he got knocked out cold. There’s no way the guy could fight again in a month and a half. Plus, he just lost.”
It seems that Tito Ortiz seems to dislike Renato Sobral these days. Judging by his comments, I think it’s a good observation. Ortiz has been pretty willing to rip into Babalu for his recent performance against Chuck Liddell at UFC 62…
“Renato Babalu is not really as good as they try to make him to be. They kind of painted the picture more of what they think. I think that was a typical fight for Liddell. That fight will go the same way each and every time. The first time went 2 minutes and 30 seconds and this one went 1 minute. Renato Babalu is not really that great a fighter. He’s a great ‘B’ fighter and an average ‘A’ fighter. He’s not at the level of (Randy) Couture or Liddell or myself.”
I wouldn’t go that far Tito. Anyone who takes Fedor the distance and beats Trevor Prangley, Shogun, and Jeremy Horn all in the same night has to be considered among the best fighters out there without question. The main reason why Babalu lost in my opinion is that he failed to execute the proper game plan that could beat Chuck. Babalu must have been dreaming if he thought that he could win the stand-up battle.
It’s the classic mistake that Couture, Horn, and now Babalu have made during their fights with him. All of the fighters had fought him before, all of them had a superior ground game to him, yet all of them decided that they wanted to beat Chuck at his own game and they paid the consequences by getting dropped.
Anyway, enough of my rambling…
After hearing about Tito’s remarks, Babalu has issued a statement through his manager:
Through his manager, Sobral sent the following retort to MMAWeekly.com, “I earned my title shot after my results in the Octagon. I won my way up to the title shot against Liddell and Tito has his fight guaranteed on a contract. I won my way up with 10 wins in a row with the last three being at the UFC by submission. Tito had two victories at his two recent UFC fights with the judges helping him… very controversial results, not convincing!! Even though I believe it’s impossible, I really hope Tito beats Liddell because it will be easier to smash his face and get the title from him instead of Liddell.”
Babalu does make some good points, however I don’t think he will be getting a shot at Tito or Chuck for quite a while…
Chuck Liddell was recently on MMA Weekly Radio discussing his plans for the near future...
Liddell stated that his next opponent will most likely be Tito Ortiz for the Light-Heavyweight title in December provided that Ortiz gets by Ken Shamrock on October 10th as expected.
Although a major push was made to get the fight with Wanderlei Silva worked out, things fell apart. Chuck noted that the announcement made at UFC 60 was a ploy by Pride to use the venue to promote themselves. He also said that the deal fell through because of Pride and had nothing to do with Wanderlei.
As always, Liddell expressed interest in rematching Quinton Jackson and avenging his loss to him a few years ago. Chuck said that Rampage signed with the WFA to avoid him. When interestingly asked if he would ever move up a weight class and fight in the heavyweight division, Liddell didn’t rule out the possibility and said that he was open to fighting anyone.
He was questioned about retirement and when it would take place - Liddell said that he would be taking things one day at a time and that he doesn’t have plans to stop fighting any time soon.
Here are some post-fight video interviews with the fighters from UFC 62: Liddell vs. Sobral.
Last night UFC light heavyweight champion Chuck “The Iceman” Liddell was able to knock out Renato “Babalu” Sobral to retain his UFC light heavyweight title with relative ease.
“I don’t change my style for anybody,” Liddell said. “They’re trying to figure out how to beat me. They have to improve. I have one way of fighting: I’m going to come after you, put hands on you and knock you out.”
“I thought it would take a little longer for him to come after me,” Liddell said. “I hurt him with a jab early and he didn’t really like that so he came after me with a big overhand. He must have thought he hurt me and then I hit him with that right.”
UFC light heavyweight champion Chuck Liddell will be entering the octagon to face “Babalu” Sobral for the second time this Saturday at UFC 62: Liddell vs. Sobral. Liddell took a big risk fighting “Babalu” the first time but it provided great rewards. Liddell will now face off against “Babalu” for the second time and he knows it won’t be easy.
“I love it,” the Ultimate Fighting Championship light heavyweight champion said Wednesday. “It’s a reward for all the training I did. I train five times a week, two to three times a day. This is my reward.”
“I think it will be a good fight,” Liddell said of the rematch. “I mean, he’s deserving. He’s only been KO’d once, and that was by me. I don’t think it will be an easy KO, ‘cause he’s not an easy guy to KO. I’m expecting it to take a while, but I expect to catch him sooner or later.”
“The Iceman” broke on to the UFC scene back in 1998 when the sport was still considered barbaric. Since that time Zuffa LLC purchased the company and implemented rules which have made it one of the fastest growing sports around. Nowadays Chuck Liddell is considered one of the sports biggest names and first millionaires. With all that being said he is still the same guy who grew up in San Luis Obispo, California.
“I’m a fighter, man,” said the 38-year old Liddell. “All this other stuff, this celebrity stuff, I mean, don’t get me wrong, it’s good making some money now, but I’m the same person I always have been. Nothing that comes along is going to change me.”
“When people ask me how long I think I can do this, to me, that is the silliest question,” he said. “I have been training to fight since I was 12 years old. I’m a fighter. That’s all I know and that’s all I want to be.”
Liddell has been on a role of late racking up five wins in a row with KO victories over Tito Ortiz, Randy Couture twice, Vernon White and Jeremy Horn. Liddell is looking to continue his streak against Renato Sobral who he previously knocked out with a beautiful kick to the head.
“I know people look at the first fight (with Sobral) and say that I knocked him out, but that doesn’t mean anything for this fight,” said Liddell, who also flustered Couture’s legendary grappling skills. “Any time you’re matched up with someone, anyone can leave themselves open for one punch or one kick. That’s just the way it is. Babalu keeps winning and he keeps getting better and better and he’s a really smart fighter.”
Here is my preview of UFC 62: Bitter Rivals. I only wrote my thoughts for the main card but the full card looks like this…
Main Card Bouts:
Chuck Liddell vs. Renato “Babalu” Sobral
Forrest Griffin vs. Stephan Bonnar
Josh Neer vs. Nick Diaz
Hermes Franca vs. Jamie Varner
Christian Wellisch vs. Cheick Kongo
Yushin Okami vs. Alan Belcher
Rob MacDonald vs. Eric Schafer
Wes Combs vs. Wilson Gouveia
David Heath vs. Cory Walmsley
Tonight Spike TV will be getting fight fans ready for UFC 62 with two world premiere broadcasts. At 9pm, Spike TV will broadcast the official UFC 62 Countdown Show which will feature an hour of interviews and fight highlights. Then at 10pm tune in to UFC All Access with Renato Sobral. The show will give you a behind the scenes look at a day in the life of Babalu.