News and Notes
- Our rumors section has been updated once again…
- Remember to cast your vote on our latest poll: Rock the Vote - Favorite UFC 73 Fight
- MMA on Tap would like to congratulate UFC Junkie’s Eric “Performify” Foster on being hired as a columnist for Fight! Magazine.
- For those of you that haven’t already heard, Wesley “Cabbage” Correira has been forced to withdraw from his scheduled bout with James Thompson at Cage Rage 22 this Saturday after suffering a broken ankle during a recent training session. Cage Rage has also announced that Correira will be replaced by Kimo Leopoldo in the bout.
- Full Contact Fighter is reporting that former UFC Heavyweight Champion Ricco Rodriguez has been forced to withdraw from his scheduled bout against Ron Waterman at HCF: Unfinished Business on July 21 because he has been denied admittance into the country of Canada:
Hardcore Championship Fighting promoter, Keith Crawford, informed FCF this afternoon that Ricco Rodriguez will not fight Ron Waterman on the July 21st, “Unfinished Business” card, in Edmonton, Alberta, as had been advertised. The fight was to be the card’s main event, which will take place at the River Cree Resort and Casino in Alberta’s capital city. According to Crawford, Canadian authorities have denied Rodriguez entrance into the country.
“Mr. Rodriguez’s bond to get into Canada has been revoked due to recent situations.” said Crawford, which was the extent to which he cared to comment. As of last week, Crawford had maintained in correspondence with FCF that he believed all American fighters that were scheduled to compete on the card would be granted entry into Canada.
Rodriguez’s lawyer and agent, James C. Gallo, told FCF this afternoon that “I’m not an expert in Canadian law, but I’m unaware of any reason as to why Rodriguez would be precluded from leaving the U.S. to enter Canada.”
- The Fight Network is reporting that Mirko Cro Cop has hired a talented group to be used as sparring partners in preparation for Cro Cop’s upcoming bout against Cheick Kongo at UFC 75. Sergei Kharitonov, Ricco Rodriguez and Zelg Galesic will all be participating in Cro Cop’s training camp.
- Randy Couture and Quinton Jackson fell short of their bid to become the first mixed martial artist to receive an ESPY for Fighter of the Year as Floyd Mayweather Jr took home the honor.
- Gracie Fighter is stating that Nick Diaz has been released of his contract with PRIDE and Zuffa because of his ties with Elite XC:
We will be running a series on a seldom seen look at the behind the scenes workings that ultimately lead to the ouster of Nick Diaz from the new Pride organization. In our opinion this ouster had everything to do with Nick’s participation in the EliteXC organization and nothing to do with Zuffa’s technical grounds. Everyday this week we will post corresponding emails and let you the reader be the ultimate judge.
MMA Weekly: This Thing is a Unification Bout
NBC Sports: Sport, not savagery
CBS Sportsline: A look ahead at UFC championship picture
Fight Opinion: Thursday trash talk: Trigg and Toughman
Bloody Elbow: California and Oversaturation
411 Mania: Where Do The UFC 73 Fighters Go From Here
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].”
PRIDE FC has officially announced that Sergei Kharitonov will be fighting Mike Russow at PRIDE 33: The Second Coming.
Kharitonov was originally scheduled to face Dutch striker Gilbert Yvel but the fight was dropped when the NSAC denied Yvel’s VISA application. Yvel’s application was denied due to an incident that took place in the past where is punched, then kicked a referee. Kharitonov who is currently on a two fight losing skid will now be facing Mike Russow who is 3-0 with 1 NC.
It has also been announced that Yoshido Dojo member, Kazuhiro Nakamura, has been forced to withdraw from his fight against Travis Wiuff due to a knee injury suffered while training. To this point PRIDE still has not found a replacement for Wiuff.
News and Notes
- Fight Opinion is reporting that PRIDE Lightweight Champion Takanori Gomi may be on his way to the UFC. Gomi has apparently received the green light from PRIDE which will allow him to fight in the UFC. In doing so he’ll be representing PRIDE unlike Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic who is now a UFC fighter.
- Former UFC Heavyweight Champion Ricco Rodriguez will be making his pro boxing debut against unbeaten Chase Shields. Also on the card will be MMA journeyman Travis Fulton who is fighting Lou Savarese. Savarese is an accomplished boxer who has faced the likes of former champions James “Buster” Douglas, Tim Witherspoon, Mike Tyson and George Foreman.
- Sergei Kharitonov will make his return to the ring at PRIDE 33 against Gilbert Yvel.
IGN: Flock Talks UFC
Here is a little excerpt from the interview:
IGN: This isn’t the first time THQ has handled a mixed-martial arts game. What does this mean for THQ? What makes this announcement and this decision so important?
Kelly Flock: The previous games we did were picked up from Japan, and they were based on Pride FC. These games are a different story. What’s happened since then is that the popularity of the UFC has really kicked into gear. It’s amazingly popular right now. We saw the numbers, how it was taking off, how our demographic was interested, and we felt like it was time to bring it back to the interactive arena. The response from people we know about it all think this is a great move.
IGN: What are the two or three most important elements of your announcement?
Flock: It’s a huge announcement because most of the active videogame publishers were after the license. But Zuffa selected us. That’s the biggest element of our announcement. The reason THQ got the license was because we were the ones most passionate about it. We have a big presence in the category and we have a couple people internally at THQ who really get it. We really understand the property, its value. We know how to launch these kinds of games, and we have the ability to execute. That’s why Zuffa picked us; that’s why it’s important.
IGN: Will this be an annual game?
Flock: That’s our expectation. UFC lends itself to an annual update, so we expect to have annual iterations of the game with new features, updated and upgraded graphics and gameplay, the whole deal.
The Fight Network: The UFC UK Rumor Mill
Dream Stage Entertainment has announced that former team-mates Sergei Kharitonov and Aleksander Emelianenko will fight September 10th as the reserve bout for the PRIDE Open Weight Grand Prix finals.