The show starts off with a recap of last week’s fight of course, where George Sotiropoulos picked apart Jared Rollins en route to a TKO victory.
That means that the last preliminary fight will be Tommy Speer vs Jon Koppenhaver. Profile pieces are done on both fighters. Speer is just like Matt Hughes in that he has a farm back home and runs it with his brother. Also like Hughes, Speer usually relies on his natural “farmer strength” and ability to win most of his fights.
Koppenhaver on the other hand doesn’t have very much. No mother, no father, only a few friends. Koppenhaver visually shows the emotional toll that his path in life has taken on him. The most eye-opening part of the show was when “War Machine” recalls attempting to save his father from a heart attack by using CPR when he was only 13 years old.
Both fighters weighed-in fine. It’s fight time.
Now I picked Koppenhaver to win this fight. I thought that Speer wouldn’t really put forth much effort in the Octagon. Matt Hughes nearly made my point a reality if it wasn’t for his attempts to try and fire Speer up during practice.
Seconds into the fight Koppenhaver lands a right and cuts Speer wide open. He takes Speer down and quickly takes his back. Speer is bleeding all over the mat and Koppenhaver spends the majority trying to sink in a rear naked choke. I could have sworn that I saw Speer tap out at one point. Members of Team Serra were even screaming it. However neither fighter nor referee Steve Mazzagatti acknowledged it. With just about two minutes left, Speer flips Koppenhaver over and spends the rest of the round pounding at him.
The second round was all Speer as he immediately took Koppenhaver down after a blocked kick and spent the rest of the time there. Koppenhaver did a better job of protecting himself in the second but he wasn’t able to get back to his feet.
The judges scored the bout 20-18 in favor of Speer. I personally thought that it should have gone to sudden death. How the judges could have scored the first round for Speer after he spent nearly three minutes barely hanging on is beyond me.
The show starts off with a recap of last week’s controversial Ben Saunders-Dan Barrera fight. Matt Hughes is pissed to put it lightly. After throwing some verbal bombs at Barrera for not following directions and sticking to the game plan they had put together, he storms out of the room in anger.
Dana White finds Hughes sitting in the gym by himself and asks him what his problem is. Hughes explains that his fighters aren’t listening and aren’t even trying. Hughes says that he has no idea how to fix the problem. White recommends that he beat his fighters down in practice and that’s exactly what Hughes intends to do.
After attempting to fire his team up with a pep talk where he tells his guys that the only reason he is still on the show is because he has to be, Hughes puts his squad through a grueling practice. Hughes’ methods aren’t taken too kindly by Jared Rollins and Tommy Speer, who haven’t even fought yet. Mac Danzig says that Hughes should find an alternative way to release his anger. He says that he would expect Hughes to be angry at a veteran fighter like him but not a bunch of guys who only have 2-3 fights to their name.
It’s time to pick this week’s fight. Hughes says that Rollins wants to fight Sotiropoulos and that’s exactly what happens. Danzig considers both to be the 1-2 fighters below him in terms of overall talent. Rollins injures his ribs during practice and breaks down once he learns that it might be a serious injury. He goes to the hospital only to find out that his ribs are bruised.
Back at the house, George and Ben Saunders get into a constant argument about George not having the decency to wake the rest of his teammates up for practice and causing them to nearly be late. George tells Saunders that he should be able to take care of himself and that he’s not his mother. Saunders argues that George doesn’t care about the team and is only here for himself.
Both Rollins and George successfully weigh-in for the fight. A near scuffle resulted in an intense staredown between the two. The fight starts out at a slow pace. George is the only one throwing hands while Rollins is content to feel things out for the first minute of the fight. They scramble on the ground at one point and Rollins nearly gets an armbar but they quickly return to the feet. George starts picking Jared apart on the feet and eventually lands an uppercut that drops Rollins. George pounces on him and continues to pound away until it’s obvious that Jared has been put to sleep.
Next week will feature the final preliminary bout between Jon Koppenhaver and Tommy Speer.
The UFC held a press conference earlier today with the media to in order to “protect” themselves from any false claims that UFC Heavyweight Champion Randy Couture made during his own press conference last week.
UFC President Dana White, UFC Co-Owner Lorenzo Fertitta, and the UFC’s Chief Financial Officer John Mulkey were all on hand to share their thoughts on the situation involving Couture, to challenge some of the claims that Couture made, and to answer any other questions that the media had.
White started off the press conference by mentioning that he hated that the whole situation was going on that the UFC never wants to have to do anything like this again, but they felt as a company that they wanted to protect themselves. White said that he still considers Couture a friend and that the UFC wasn’t holding the press conference to belittle him.
One of the first counters that White made was to a statement made by Couture’s wife Kim, who said that the UFC did not market her husband. White reminded everyone that Couture was one of the first coaches on The Ultimate Fighter, was involved in the 2nd and 4th seasons of the show, and also had his own day of programming on Spike TV, an idea created by White himself.
White said that he was proud of the fact that Randy claims he makes just as much money outside of the UFC as he does competing in the organization. White said that is the long-term goal for the fighters – that they can continue to profit from their success long after they stop fighting in the Octagon.
Fertitta, who was making a rare press conference appearance, revealed that he had negotiated Couture’s new contract that he signed in January with him. He said that after the talks were done, Couture seemed relatively happy with the results and what he had agreed to. Fertitta also noted that he was hurt by many of the comments that Randy made last week and feels that he put on that press conference in order to attempt to hurt the UFC.
We all wanted to know what the numbers were and here they are:
Couture made a base salary of $200,000 for his fights against Tim Sylvia and Gabriel Gonzaga. Couture also asked for and received a signing bonus of $500,000. $250,000 of that bonus was given to Couture up front and the final $250,000 was given to Couture following his fight against Sylvia at UFC 68. Couture received this check on January 15th and cashed it on January 30th.
On top of his salary, Couture was also paid a $200,000 employment fee, a commentating fee of $56,000, and the PPV bonus for UFC 68 was $936,000. Not counting the signing bonus, Couture made $1.186 million for fighting at UFC 68. Couture has received $936,000 to date from his UFC 68 earnings.
For UFC 74, Couture received a $35,000 bonus for fight of the night. He is also expected to earn $787,000 in PPV bonuses for UFC 74. He is expected to earn $1.072 million for UFC 74. The UFC has not yet been paid for UFC 74 but when they do, Couture will be paid 10 days after that. The UFC expects Couture to have grossed $2.9 million by years end.
All of the numbers were reported by Mulkey. Mulkey also stated that the discretionary fees Couture talked about are not just determined by Dana White but by all those involved in the management of the UFC. Mulkey said that Couture was off by $436,000 in his bonus claims.
- White says that the UFC is the only company he knows of that pays fighters more than what is stated in their contracts. White says that they do not pay guys under the table in reference to Couture’s multiple “off the book” claims from last week.
- White says that the UFC is not a monopoly, they just happen to be the best at what they do. White says that a monopoly is impossible because there are more opportunities now for fighters to be able to compete than ever before.
- Fertitta spoke to Randy the day before his press conference and said that he had a nice conversation with him, not knowing what he was about to say the next day.
- Both Fertitta and White sat down with Couture before UFC 76 and heard and discussed Couture’s problems that he had. White said that the meeting abruptly ended early after Fertitta was forced to leave but that he told Randy that they would finish talking at a later date. Couture claimed that two weeks went by and he didn’t hear an answer. White says that he didn’t know he had a time table of two weeks before Randy would resign.
- This is the last time that White or any other UFC officials will discuss the Randy Couture situation.
- White and Fertitta seemed to not have a definitive answer when asked if Couture’s contract would expire in nine months or if he was definitively locked in for his next two career fights. White responded with “We’ll find out”, “We expect Randy to honor his contract”, and “We aren’t going to discuss the contracts.”
- White says that he doesn’t consider Fedor Emelianenko the number one heavyweight in the world and that he considers Couture the number one heavyweight today. He mocked Fedor’s last four opponents and called him a “farce”. White also said that he wouldn’t even consider Fedor among the top five heavyweights in the division.
- Both White and Fertitta agreed that they don’t things to play out in court. However they did say that they would take any means necessary in order to protect themselves.
- There are no plans to report numbers for revenue or anything like that in the near future.
- White plans on offering Couture a fight most likely this week. He mentioned Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira as an opponent. He said that if Couture did not take the fight, he would take that as Randy retiring.
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.”
A lot of drama and a not-so-good fight describes the third episode of The Ultimate Fighter 6.
The show starts off with a recap of last week’s Price-Arroyo fight and then Bam! Joey Scarola wants to go home already again.
Serra tries to talk him out of it but nothing is working. His teammates give a shot. No go. Pete Sell tries his best but fails. Then the Dana stops by the house and offers some words of encouragement to Scarola. Ultimately it wasn’t enough as Scarola packed his bags and walked out of the house. Along with it he lost his job at Serra’s gym as well as his best friend. Oh well, it was his decision.
They show that Billy Miles is missing his family back home but nothing comes of it.
The fighters are allowed to watch UFC 72 from inside the house. Hughes comes over and brings food for his team. Serra brings nothing.
Eventually it was time to pick the next fight and Hughes decides to match up Billy Miles with John Kolosci. Apparently Kolosci has wanted to fight Miles since the start of the show.
Both fighters make weight and it’s fight time.
They poked away at each other with some jabs to start the bout. Everyone thought that Kolosci would want to stand with Miles but he goes ahead and shoots in for a takedown. Miles stuffs it for a moment but eventually ends up on his back. Kolosci throws some weak shots and Miles sweeps him, ending up on top. Miles just lays there and Kolosci sits up against the cage. During a scramble both try to stand up and Kolosci locks in a guillotine that forces Miles to tap out in about two seconds.
Next week looks like fun as Dorian Price flips out at the camera crew.
The UFC officially announced the main event for UFC 78: Validation earlier this morning as Ultimate Fighter 2 winner Rashad Evans will take on Ultimate Fighter 3 winner Michael Bisping on November 17th at the brand new Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey.
Both Evans and Bisping are currently undefeated inside of the Octagon.
Evans earned a split decision over Brad Imes at The Ultimate Fighter 2 Finale and went on to rack up four more consecutive victories with wins over Stephan Bonnar, Sam Hoger, Jason Lambert, and a spectacular knockout of Sean Salmon. Evans’ last fight was a draw against former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Tito Ortiz at UFC 73.
Bisping stopped Josh Haynes at The Ultimate Fighter 3 Finale and then went on to defeat Eric Schafer and Elvis Sinosic respectively. Bisping recently earned a controversial split decision over fellow TUF 3 cast mate Matt Hamill.
The fight will mark the first time that winners of The Ultimate Fighter will meet inside the Octagon.
Also announced for UFC 78 is a light heavyweight battle between two dangerous strikers as upstart Houston Alexander faces off against Chute Boxe’s Thiago Silva.
Alexander has bursted onto the UFC scene rather quickly, scoring impressive first round knockouts of Keith Jardine and Alessio Sakara in his first two fights. Silva won his UFC debut when opponent James Irvin was unable to continue after suffering a knee injury. Silva followed up with another victory over Tomasz Drwal at UFC 75.
Forrest Griffin wishes you a good morning.
News and Notes
- Our rumors section has been updated…
- Luke Thomas of Bloody Elbow is reporting that the The Ultimate Fighter 7 will focus solely on the middleweight division:
UFC matchmaker Joe Silva made an appearance at the Combat Sports Challenge in Richmond, VA this past weekend where he announced to the crowd that the next season of The Ultimate Fighter will focus exclusively on the middleweight class. No further details are available at this time. However, if ultimately true, this would be a boon to a comparatively weak division. Stay tuned.
- Fight Opinion via MMA Movement is reporting that renowned grappler Rondalo “Jacare” Souza has announced that he has signed with the UFC.
Souza’s manager, Andre Cabral, apparently made the announcement at a recent Amazon Challenge event and was then later interviewed by a Brazilian news station.
Souza currently sports a professional MMA record of 5-1. He is a veteran of Jungle Fight, fighting in that promotion on four separate occasions. His lone loss came at the hands of Jorge Patino in 2003.
- Rafael Cordeiro of Chute Boxe has stated that Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos will fight at the next K-1 Hero’s event in October and then at Cage Rage 24 in December.
- MMA Junkie is reporting that Renato “Babalu” Sobral has signed Ken Pavia as his new agent:
Renato “Babalu” Sobral, who recently signed with Strikeforce after the UFC terminated his contract, has become the latest client of Ken Pavia’s MMA Agents sports agency.
Pavia told MMA Junkie of the signing late last night.
Other fighters that Pavia has recently added to his stable also include Cyrille Diabate, James Thompson, Carmelo Marerro, Todd Moore, and Carlo Prater according to the post.
- Fightlinker is passing along it’s own insider information concerning Tito Ortiz and his potential opponent at UFC 78:
I guess we’re at that size now where we start getting tips on stuff. On Saturday night, Tito Ortiz was at the Little Creek Casino in Shelton, WA. and got on the mic to say “Blah blah blah blah, my next fight will be against Wanderlei Silva or Rashad Evans”
Sherdog: PRIDE and Prejudice
MMA Weekly: Marines and Sailors use MMA as part of Training
Bloody Elbow: Rankings Roundup: Heavyweight
Five Ounces of Pain: Frank Shamrock to be sued?
FOX Sports: UFC’s light heavyweights carry the sport
Fight Opinion: A Look Behind the Curtain: Zuffa’s Finances Come Into Focus
Yahoo! Sports: Strikeforce proves it isn’t an all-UFC world
411 Mania: Punch Drunk Hangover
I almost forgot that The Ultimate Fighter was on last night. Hopefully everyone else didn’t forget about the switch to Wednesday like me.
The show started out with a recap of Mac Danzig’s win over Joe Scarola last week. Scarola’s negative feelings about the house and being on the show are the focus of the episode. He goes back and forth concerning whether or not he should leave. He hasn’t left yet as of the end of this show.
Since he was eliminated from the competition, Serra is now using Scarola as a coach on his team, which works out since Scarola’s ground game is probably better than everyone else on Team Serra.
It’s kind of unfortunate that Scarola is on the show at all, let alone on Serra’s team. It just seems that Scarola is too much of a burden for Serra. Serra is obviously an emotional guy but he can’t be letting the actions of one person, no matter who it is, dictate whether or not he’s going to be there at practice for the team. Next week Dana White looks to be having a talk with Scarola from what was shown on the preview. It will be interesting to see what happens.
So Hughes gave everyone on his team Bibles to read a passage. A couple members of the team didn’t really care for it and didn’t read. Hughes’ was frank about it and let everyone know that it was optional. Of course once Serra heard about it he flipped out. I think Hughes did the right thing in making it optional but I still think that he should have run the idea by his fighters before whipping out the Bibles out of nowhere. I’m not going to dive deep into the whole religion debate because I respect the fact that people have different beliefs. Enough said.
It was Serra’s turn to pick the fight and he selected Matt Arroyo to take on Dorian Price.
Not sure if anyone else took note of this but Hughes made a huge mistake when he told Price, Lawler, Fiore, and company that Arroyo was a striker and that his striking was poor anyway. They were even laughing about it. In reality, Arroyo’s strength is his ground game. Interesting error on Hughes’ part.
As for the fight: They exchanged some strikes on the feet during the opening moments of the bout. Price connected flush with a jumping knee right on Arroyo’s jaw but Arroyo shook it off. Arroyo was able to take Price to the ground and then pounded on him until Price rolled to his back. Arroyo locked in a rear naked choke and Price tapped out.
Next week looks pretty crazy as everyone seems to get drunk as skunk while watching UFC 72.
MMA on Tap has learned that the UFC is currently in negotiations with Clay Guida and Roger Huerta for a possible showdown in December at The Ultimate Fighter 6 Finale.
Clay Guida is a versatile veteran who sports a mixed martial arts record of 22-8-0 and a UFC record of 2-2. Guida is coming off of a unanimous decision victory over PRIDE veteran Marcus Aurelio.
Roger “El Matador” Huerta sports a MMA record of 19-1-1 and a UFC record of 5-0. Huerta holds victories over the likes of Leonard Garcia, Alberto Crane, Doug Evans, John Halverson, and Jason Dent. Huerta’s sole professional loss came to the hands of IFL veteran Ryan Schultz at SuperBrawl 36 in 2004.