The Fight Network

Pride 33 Wrap-up

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.
*Read More*

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].”

 

Werdum-Arlovski and Griffin-Machida added to UFC 70

The Fight Network is reporting that Pride veteran Fabricio Werdum is the latest fighter to jump ship to the UFC.  And he’s being put in a very competitive fight to debut against former UFC heavyweight champ Andrei Arlovski.  Dana White made the announcement at a press conference in Manchester, England to promote the upcoming UFC 70 and the return of the promotion to Europe.  In addition to the Werdum-Arlovski match, White also announced that Ryota Machida will be on the card fighting Forrest Griffin.  These are two extremely competitive matches, perhaps answering some of the recent complaints that the UFC was putting on too many mismatches.

According to the Fight Network…

Fabricio Werdum was today announced as the latest PRIDE fighter to jump to the Ultimate Fighting Championship – and Dana White warned “I’m not done yet.”

The announcement came at a press conference to formally introduce the Las Vegas-based promotion’s April 21 event in Manchester, England, at which Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt Werdum (9-2-1) will fight former UFC Heavyweight Champion Andrei Arlovski (10-5). The show, set for the Manchester Evening News Arena, will feature Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic (22-4-2) vs. Gabriel Gonzaga (7-1) in the headline slot, with Clitheroe native Michael Bisping (12-0) vs. Elvis Sinosic (8-9-2) and Forrest Griffin (13-4) vs. Ryoto Machida (9-0) also signed. Dana White confirmed that should Cro Cop defeat Gonzaga, he will receive a heavyweight title match against either Tim Sylvia or Randy Couture, who fight at March 3’s UFC in Columbus, Ohio.

Thiago Alves Suspended

The Fight Network is reporting that Thiago Alves has been suspended after testing postive for a banned substance during his post-fight drug test at UFC 66: Liddell vs. Ortiz II.

Dec. 30 UFC 66 contestant Thiago Alves – who scored a second round TKO over Tony DeSouza – was suspended for eight months and received a $5,500 fine (25% of his purse) after testing positive for a diuretic not approved by the Commission.

Zelg Galesic Injured

According to The Fight Network, “Little Mirko” Zelg Galesic has been forced to withdraw from his fight at Cage Rage 20 after he sustained a shoulder injury in training. Galesic was scheduled to defend his Cage Rage Middleweight belt against PRIDE veteran Daijiro Matsui.

Galesic’s replacement will be undefeated fighter Tom “Kong” Watson (2-0).

CKA: Feb 02, 2007

News and Notes

- The UFC 67: All or Nothing weigh-ins will air live today at 4PM PST on Yahoo! Sports.

- Yesterday the UFC held their pre-fight press conference for UFC 67: All or Nothing. All of the headliners were there except for heavyweight ace Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic.

- At the press conference, it was mentioned that UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva may move to California, possibly to open a branch of his newly-formed Black House gym.

- The Fight Network has signed a multi year deal with Elite XC and they will begin by televising their first event live on February 10th at 10 PM EST.

Recommended Reads

TKO: TKO 28: Inevitable Preview
UFC: Anderson Silva - The Champion of Cool

CKA: Feb 01, 2007

News and Notes

- The Fight Network will be televising the EliteXC debut show live at 10 PM EST on February 10th.

- UFC and PRIDE veteran Kevin “The Monster” Randleman has been released from the hospital after he suffered near kidney failure.

- Mauricio “Shogun” Rua and Alistair Overeem will face off in the ring PRIDE 33: Second Coming.

- Canadian welterweight Jeff Joslin is scheduled to face Kuniyoshi Hironaka on April 5th live on Spike TV.

- Tonight on ‘Inside the UFC’, Joe Rogan will sit down and talk to UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva and his opponent Travis Lutter.

- Be sure to check out our newly created rumors page. We’ve updated the PRIDE 33 card with Overeem vs. Rua.

- Sherdog has announced that they will be going live 3 days a week starting February 12th. The show will run from 1PM - 5PM EST with 2 hour episodes of ‘The Beatdown’ and ‘The Savage Dog Show’. The show will also have updates at the top of every hour. For the users who cannot listen live, there will still be a podcast available through iTunes.

- Elvis Sinosic has signed a new deal with the UFC and it looks like his next fight will be in April. It also looks like Gonzaga will be fighting on one of the UFC cards in April.

Recommended Reads

UFC: Roger Huerta - Saving Nothing for the Swim Back
UFC: Will Cro Cop and Rampage live up to the hype?
UFC: Lyoto Machida - In the Blood
OC Register: UFC 67 Preview

CKA: Jan 20, 2007

News and Notes

- MMA journeyman Travis Fulton suffered a KO loss to the hands of former heavyweight contender Lou Savarese.

- Shinya Aoki will make his return to Shooto when he faces Akira Kikuchi in a rematch as he defends his Shooto 167-pound belt.

- UFC veteran Wes Sims will headline the March 22nd Palace Fighting card when he faces Anthony Fuller.

“I like this show. It’s a great setup,” Sims said. “For this being the first show, I’m very happy with the number of people here. If I had to rate this promotion on a scale of 1-10, I’d give it a 10 for a small show. If it keeps growing, I think it will be a great big show.”

- The WEC has announced that Versus will begin airing events in the summer. Versus will air three live fights and six one-hour highlight shows.

- NBCSports.com has added the UFC to their sports coverage.

Recommended Reads

The Fight Network: A Cut Above the Rest
The Fight Network: IFL Play-by-Play

CKA: Jan 17, 2007

News and Notes

- UFCmania is reporting that John Halverson will make his octagon debut against Roger Huerta. Also on the card will be Terry Martin versus Jorge Rivera.

- Yoshihiro Akiyama has been suspended indefinitely by K-1 after he was caught using an oil-based substance in his fight against Kazushi Sakuraba.

- Here is what will be on ‘Inside the UFC’ this Thursday…

Rogan will sit down with UFC light heavyweight contender Rashad Evans.
He’ll talk to Randy Couture about Pros vs. Joes.
Fans will get to take a look at the UFC’s newest ring girl, Ali Sonoma.

Recommended Reads

The Fight Network: Hansen Eyes America
Las Vegas Review-Journal: Couture Coming Back
LA Times: Couture Will Face Sylvia in Return to Competition

CKA: Jan 14, 2007

News and Notes

- Icon Sport will be holding an event February 9th and the headline bout will be a battle between UFC and Pride veteran “Ruthless” Robbie Lawler and Trevor Garret. Also on the card will be Renato Verissimo, Jeremy Williams, and Scott Junk.

- UFC veterans Justin Eilers and Pedro Rizzo will fight March 9th at the American Airline Center. The fight will take place in the new organization dubbed the ‘International Fighters Association’ and it will be televised on HDNet. HDNet previously televised the WEC until it was purchased by the UFC and moved to Versus. The matchmaker will be UFC and Pride veteran Guy Metzger and the ring announcer will be Bruce Buffer. Here is the current card…

Pedro Rizzo vs. Justin Eilers
Carlo Prater vs. Dennis Levensky
Alex Andrade vs. Klas Akesson
Matt Grice vs. Yuki Inoue
Buddy Clinton vs. Kenneth Rosfort
Eric Schambari vs. Christian Smith
Justin Wren vs. Trent Standing
Alonozo Martinez vs. Tom East
Sonny Neilson vs. Travis Bush

- MMAWeekly has Luke Cummo vs. Josh Haynes and Wilson Gouveia vs. Hector Ramirez rumored for the UFC Fight Night 10 card on April 5th. Also rumored to be on the card is Josh Koscheck and Kendall Grove.

- Mitsuhiro Ishida has vacated his Shooto Pacific Rim 154-pound championship title.

- In an article on the TKO homepage, UFC matchmaker confirmed that Mark Hominick and Sam Stout would be back in the UFC in the New Year.

Recommended Reads

The Fight Network: Crecy’s 2006 MMA Honors
Fight Opinion: 5 Good Reasons UFC Will Not Buy PRIDE
Sherdog: Sakakibara on PRIDE: “We Are Here to Stay”
TKO: Sam Stout: Taking on All Comers

CKA: Jan 13, 2007

News and Notes

- Former UFC Welterweight Champion Carlos Newton will take on Matt Lindland in a “superfight” on the IFL fight card Feb. 2 in Houston.

- A few days ago Seth Petruzelli released a MySpace bulletin which said that his fight at UFC Fight Night 8 was off. Petruzelli recently released another bulletin saying he may still be on the card.

Petruzelli’s bulletin said “Hey guys, I still have to train and go weigh in the 25th for the UFC…my opponent injured his ankle. They are trying to find me a new fight on short notice but it doesn’t look good. So I still have to go ready to fight just in case. Thanks and I hope to be back fighting for you all soon!”

- As we reported yesterday, The Gracie Fighting Championships: Evolution event has been postponed due to unknown circumstances. This is an unfortunate turn of events as the GFC: Evolution card was looking very solid with UFC veterans Jeff Monson, Wes Sims, Nick Diaz, Renato Verissimo, and others. Hopefully the get things sorted out and find a new date for the show soon. The response so far from fighters and fans is fairly negative, here is what Randy Harris and Marco Avellan had to say on ‘The Underground’.

Marcos Avellan - “I’m obviously super bummed out. One of my biggest disapointments was for all the people who made a lot of sacrifices so that I could train for this fight. My brother and other FFA instructors picked up the slack for me and taught all my classes for the past six weeks. My wife had to deal with my temper tantrums because of the weight cutting and training - I’m the first to admit I’m a bit difficult to deal with when training full time and dieting.

And then Lloyd Irvin trained me personally for a week… and Eric “El Tigre” Castanos and Paulino Hernandez took a ton of time out of their personal schedules to train me.

So thank you to all of them, you guys did an AWESOME job getting me ready and we’ll do it again one more time when the fight is rescheduled.

In the meantime, to my students, I’m back! I miss all you guys and am looking forward to teaching some classes again!

And about the GFC, I think they are trying their best to resolve this the best they can. I used to promote shows (not nearly as big as the GFC) and it is a TOUGH business. A lot of people don’t realize some of the crazy monkey wrenches that get thrown your way as a promoter. Believe me… if anyone is suffering from this… they are taking it the WORST. I really think they did everything they could to treat the fighters A+... I genuinely believe they probably had no other choice.

So a strong recovery to all those involved with this show - fighters, spectators, and promoters.

Marcos “

Randy Harris - “Yes I was told postponed but as far as I am concerned it has been cancelled. I wouldn’t plan on attending it ever again. People have spent money on plane tickets and more and they are now out! BAD BAD business!”

Recommended Reads

The Fight Network: The Couture Chronicles: Why I’m Coming Back
MMAWeekly: Sylvia Responds to Couture’s Challenge
BoxingTalk: Interview with Rashad Evans

Weekend Shows

- 01/13/07 American Bushido: “2007 Grand Prix Round 1” in McCook, IL.
- 01/13/07 Battle in the Cage VI: “Aftermath” in Denver, CO.

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