Showtime hosted a conference call earlier this afternoon in preparation for the upcoming EliteXC: Uprising event scheduled to take place on September 15th in Honolulu, Hawaii. The fighters featured on the call were ICON Middleweight Champion Robbie Lawler, EliteXC Middleweight Champion Murlio Rua through the use of an interpreter, Jake Shields, and Gina Carano. Other officials participating in the call were EliteXC President Gary Shaw and ICON Sport President T. Jay Thompson.
Damon Martin of MMA Weekly made an interesting statement earlier today in his “Top Five Topics” column. He states that Karo Parisyan will most likely be part of the card for UFC 78 in November and that PRIDE veteran Hayato Sakurai has been mentioned as one of Parisyan’s possible opponents:
UFC welterweight contender Karo Parisyan has been quiet since his win in May over Josh Burkman, but he will most likely fight on the upcoming UFC taking place in New Jersey on November 17th.
One name that has been mentioned amongst possible opponents is Hayato “Mach” Sakurai, who would be making his return to the UFC at 170lbs. A few other names have been mentioned including Hector Lombard.
There has never been an official announcement concerning Sakurai signing a deal with the UFC. The promotion did however show him sitting in the stands at UFC 73 and his on-screen description read “UFC Welterweight”. Sakurai was heavily rumored to have been signed to fight Diego Sanchez at this weekend’s UFC 74 but that rumor was shot down by Frank Trigg in June.
A few weeks ago Jake Shields went on the record calling out UFC veteran Frank Trigg saying “I’m wishing Frank Trigg would step up and fight me but I think he is scared. The guy has always talked shit to me and stuff but then he won’t fight me. He runs his mouth but when the contract gets thrown in front of him he always has an excuse not to fight me.”
It’s not the first time Trigg and Shields have exchanged words but last night both fighters joined MMAWeekly’s Sound Off Radio to exchange pleasantries. Shields graced the airwaves first announcing his upcoming fight with Charuto and discussing a possible fight with Trigg.
“I’m waiting because to me it sounded like everything was finalized you know? From the promoter to Trigg’s manager and everything but now Trigg is saying different so I don’t know. Maybe he is playing games. Maybe he signed the contract and he is ready to fight, I don’t know. Maybe he is trying to mess with my head, who knows what’s going on. Or Maybe he doesn’t want to fight and he is trying to get out of it. Maybe there was some poor communication between him and his manger because I think traditionally he said he would fight anyone on the their show so maybe he didn’t think they were going to get me when he said anyone and then when he found out he changed his mind, I don’t know. They just set it up because Trigg told them anyone.”
Shields stated that he would be willing to take the fight at 185 lbs. but he’d need more time to bulk up. According to reports the scheduled showdown between Frank Trigg and Jake Shields was proposed for 175 lbs. but Trigg turned the fight down because “he is a 185 lbs. fighter.”
Later during the broadcast Frank Trigg joined the air and provided his thoughts on the situation.
“What promoter is going to put it on? Who is going to pay my f**king rate? and where is it going to be seen and who is going to do it? So now he has put a challenge out there that he wants to fight me and that he is going to come in at 185 lbs. Well who the f**k cares? Is the UFC going to pick it up?, WEC?, Bodog?, IFL? Who the hell is going to pick it up… Who gives a shit.”
I guess it came out last night that Jake has signed the contract and I wasn’t signing my contract. I don’t have a contract in front of me. There is no contract in front of me so I don’t know what he is talking about. Why would I fight Jake Shields? What does this do for me? What does it bring? Well it doesn’t bring anything. Who knows who Jake is besides the diehard mainstream MMA fans, who knows who Jake is? I guess he is 7th ranked at 170 lbs, I am 10th ranked at 185 lbs. So it’s two different weight classes. I have a weekly show on Fox Sports Net and two weeks ago I was on three different shows on Fox. So what does Jake bring to the table when he fights me? Nothing. He doesn’t bring fans from outside the realm of MMA, he doesn’t bring any notoriety, he doesn’t bring anything other then his mouth. All he is really bring to the table is his big mouth. There is nothing else he brings to the fight.
Fans are not coming to watch him, fans are coming to watch me. Fans aren’t coming to watch him fight, they are coming to watch me fight. Fans aren’t buying pay-per-views, t-shirts or hats for him other then his little crew of guys he trains with and the little crew of guys he has up in San Francisco, they are all coming for me. So to fight Jake for me is kind of stupid. It doesn’t make any sense.”
Earlier this week on Tagg Radio, Frank Trigg, stated that Hayato Sakurai is not fighting Diego Sanchez, at least not right now.
“One thing I do know is Sakurai is not fighting Diego at least as of Sunday morning when I talked to him, or talked to his guys, not him his english isn’t that good. He doesn’t have any plans of fighting Diego and doesn’t know anything about it.”
When asked if Sakurai had heard the rumors Trigg said…
“Yeah he’s heard them cause he’s like why do people keep asking me if I’m going to fight this guy Diego. I’m in Japan laying down, I’m literally on the couch with my wife and kids. I’m not training for this guy right now. “
Rumors of the possible Sakurai-Sanchez fight originally surfaced on KRQE News 13, a local New Mexico-based television station, when they said:
“Diego Sanchez is ready to return to the UFC stage after suffering his first defeat back in April. Sanchez will has a welterweight showdown on the UFC 74 card in Las Vegas, Nevada, August 25th. He will fight Hayato Sakuri of Japan. Sanchez says if he is victorious he could get a rematch with the only man ever to defeat him … Josh Koscheck.”
The first national issue of Gladiator Magazine, featuring new UFC champion Quinton “Rampage” Jackson on the cover with spiritual guru Dr. Christian Harfouche, is now on the newsstands in all 50 U.S. states in all major bookstores including Barnes and Nobles, Borders, Books-A-Million and more! Gladiator is also available in 20 countries including Australia, New Zealand, Europe, the Middle East, and the Far East.
Gladiator Magazine brings together the top writers and experts in the MMA, BJJ, and grappling world including Editor-in-Chief Todd Hester, Editor-at-Large Kid Peligro, Deputy Editor Matt Furey, Jiu-Jitsu Editor Royler Gracie, Grappling Editor Rico Chiapparelli and columnists and writers such as Frank Trigg, Erik Paulson, Jeff “Sherdog” Sherwood, Kipp Kollar, Eddie Goldman, Tom Supnet, Tyson Johnson, Lester Griffin, and more!
Extensive MMA coverage including exclusive content on UFC fighters such as Randy Couture and events such as KOTC, Gladiator Challenge, WFC, Reality Fighting, Jungle Fight, Fury FC and others. World-leading coverage of submission wrestling and Brazilian jiu-jitsu including the Professional Submission League (PSL), the North American Grappling Association (NAGA), and the Copa Pacifica. Upcoming articles include ADCC 2007, BJJ Pan Ams, and BJJ Worlds.
It’s hard to believe that it’s already been one year since MMA Weekly co-founder and famed sportscaster Ryan Bennett passed away on this day because of a tragic car accident. However Ryan’s spirit continues to live on today through the countless number of lives that he touched during his time with us.
MMA Weekly Radio will have a special two-hour tribute show this evening started at 8 PM EST. Bennett’s co-host Frank Trigg will join Damon Martin and Jeff Cain as several fighters and friends will call in to share their favorite stories and memories of Ryan.
As always we want to remind you about the Ryan Bennett Memorial Fund where you can make a donation to help support Ryan’s wife and kids.
Also earlier today Soyo Electronics announced a new line of TV’s sponsored by former UFC Heavyweight Champion Andrei Arlovski. Half of the money generated from the sales will be donated to the Ryan Bennett Memorial Fund by Arlovski himself.
Everyone here at MMA on Tap would like to send our best wishes to the Bennett family. We would also like to let Ryan know that we miss him and wish he would see how much the sport has grown in the last year that has passed.
PRIDE and UFC veteran Frank “Twinkle Toes” Trigg made his debut on Tagg Radio this past week. Trigg told listeners he had no new information on the Fertitta’s purchase of PRIDE but he did state that his services are no longer being rendered.
“All I know is there is a gentleman there by the name of Jamie who is supposively going to be the new president. Works for the UFC currently right now and he is getting ready to move his wife and family over there and that’s all I know. I didn’t get spoken to by anybody, ah nobody else was there from the powers that be so I don’t know what’s going on. As of right now to my knowledge I believe my services are no longer being rendered.”
Trigg also said he is still looking to fight but he isn’t currently under contract with any organization. His fight against Robbie Lawler was the last on his Icon Sport contract and his PRIDE contract was only a one-fight deal.
So as of right now, Frank Trigg’s future with PRIDE is in limbo but we should know more come May 1st.
News and Notes
- Last night Robbie Lawler KO’d Frank Trigg to become the Icon Sport middleweight champion for the second time in his career. Be sure to check out our ‘Live Blog’ for the evenings event.
- Mike Brown has been forced to withdraw from his upcoming fight at BodogFight: Clash of the Nations due to a torn bicep.
- PRIDE veteran Wanderlei Silva is still awaiting medical clearance in order to compete on the upcoming PRIDE 34 card. No opponent has been named for Silva and the card is only one week away.
- According the The Fight Network, Zuffa is strongly considering moving Mark Hominick’s contract to the WEC so he can compete in their 145 lbs. division.
- Be sure to check us out on MySpace at http://www.myspace.com/mmaontap.
UFC Junkie: Interview with Josh Koscheck
If you have any good links feel free to leave them in the comments section.
The Honolulu Advertiser is reporting that Frank Trigg, fresh off a victory over Kazuo Misaki at Pride 33 this past weekend, will defend his ICON Sport Middleweight Title against Robbie Lawler at the promotion’s event - ICON Sport: Epic on March 31st.
The event is said to be taking place at the Blaisdell Arena in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Kazushi Sakuraba will be fighting Jurij Kiselov at K-1’s next Heros show on March 12th.
K-1 also announced two additional bouts, bringing the complete card thus far to this:
Kazushi Sakuraba vs Jurij Kiselov
Vitor Riberio vs Ryuki Ueyama
Caol Uno vs Ali Ibrahim
Kazuyki Miyata vs Kultar Gill
Melvin Manhoef vs Yoshiki Takahashi
Yoshihisa Yamamoto vs Katsuyori Shibata
Hiroyuki Takaya vs Andre Dida
Just some random thoughts from this past weekend’s Pride 33: The Second Coming show.
It was a great show put on by DSE, which is great considering the amount of mismatches that most thought plagued the fight card. Stunning KO upsets (Lil’ Nog especially), an absolute war between Nick Diaz and the Fireball Kid Takanori Gomi that saw the UFC vet Diaz choke out Gomi with a gogoplata, and another highlight KO of Wanderlei Silva by Dan Henderson highlighted the event. While the production style of Pride may take some getting used to in the American market, the event was a much better representation of Pride than their first foray into the US this past October.
PRIDE 33 FULL RESULTS
Dan Henderson def. Wanderlei Silva by KO at 2:08, Round 3
Nick Diaz def. Takanori Gomi by Gogoplata at 1:46, Round 2
Mauricio “Shogun” Rua def. Alistair Overeem by TKO at 3:37, Round 1
Sergei Kharitonov def. Mike Russow by Armbar at 3:46, Round 1
Hayato “Mach” Sakurai def. Mac Danzig by TKO at 4:01, Round 2
Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou def. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira by TKO at 0:23, Round 1
James Lee def. Travis Wiuff by Guillotine Choke at 0:39, Round 1
Frank Trigg def. Kazuo Misaki by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Joachim Hansen def. Jason Ireland by Armbar at 2:33, Round 3
That being said, there are some stories out there that claim the results of Pride 33 will hurt the promotion in the long run. The first one by Zach Arnold was first printed on BoxingScene.com.
PRIDE 33 will go down as an event that, on paper, had a fight card line-up that looked like a turkey but produced some exciting fights. Short-term, the event was successful. Long-term, however, major damage was done to several of PRIDE’s key Japanese assets.
There is no turning back to Japan now for PRIDE. *Read More*
Arnold goes on to intricately detail how the surprising results will hurt Pride, especially in their stronghold of Japan itself.
A few days later, Al Yu, a Japanese columnist for MMAWeekly who specializies in covering the Far East MMA scene for the site, offered very similar setiments to Arnold. He even called it a disaster, the same as Arnold.
Operating under financial turmoil, DSE continued forward with their second U.S. show in hopes to make a further impact in a market currently dominated by the UFC. Pride 33: The Second Coming produced many exciting fights and was easily one of the best events of the year. Of the nine scheduled fights, only one went to a decision. So why was it a disaster?
What makes an organization is its stable of fighters. Pride’s large roster consists of some of the best fighters in the world. Any time a marquee fighter loses, it can have an adverse affect on an organization. In this case, four of Pride’s stars faltered on a crucial night for the Japanese organization.
There is no question that the event itself was a huge success, especially fight wise. The key will be where the PPV buy numbers end up, especially considering how poor the PPV numbers for the October event turned out. Let’s hope for the best.
Finally, for the first time ever, Pride CEO Nobuyuki Sakakibara made a comment that did not deny that Pride may be up for sale. In the past, he has always firmly denied the sales rumors. From Loretta Hunt’s article on the Fight Network…
“Maybe,” PRIDE CEO Nobuyuki Sakakibara answered of rumors that the PRIDE organization could go up for sale. “Today[‘s] show is very good [though].”