TAGG Radio

Interesting Wait: Shaw Talks Couture-Fedor

Gary Shaw (center) speaks at an Elite Xtreme Combat press conference. Photo by Tom Casino/EliteXC.

Among those fielding answers on Tuesday’s conference call for next weekend’s Elite Xtreme Combat and Strikeforce co-promoted “Shamrock vs Cung Le” event included EliteXC Live Events President Gary Shaw.

When it comes to the drama involving Randy Couture and his desire to fight the world’s top heavyweight in Fedor Emelianenko, Shaw has been relatively conservative in his answers. With the Ultimate Fighting Championship handing lawsuits out like candy these days, it’s no surprise.

Neither was Shaw’s answer when asked why his name and promotion were not being linked to rumors about a potential home for a showdown between the two legends of the sport by Chris Fries of The Lights Out Show, a member of the TAGG Radio network.

“I won’t do anything until Randy Couture is absolutely out of his contract with the UFC,” Shaw said. “Everybody knows me and my reputation. I do not tortuously interfere with anybody’s contract with any fighter. I respect the fighter, I respect the contract, and believe it or not, I respect the UFC. I don’t deny that I have had talks with Fedor, but I have not approached Couture and I can’t approach Randy until I know he is out of everything with the UFC.”

However pretending that all of the smoke had cleared and both fighters were free men, Shaw’s answer to playing host to a fight between the two was loud and clear.

“I would sign it in less than a heartbeat,” said Shaw.

The prospects of a fight between Couture and Emelianenko happening under the EliteXC banner would be absolutely huge for the promotion. The chances of it happening also increased recently when Couture stated in a recent interview that he didn’t have a preference where the fight took place, as long as it didn’t take place in the UFC.

“I don’t care where it happens as long as it doesn’t happen in the UFC,” Couture said in the interview. “Outside of that, I don’t care where it happens as long as it does happen.”

Among the many organizations lining up to bid for the Russian’s services, the Ultimate Fighting Championship and Emelianenko’s management team have both confirmed that they are interested in speaking with each other once again in hopes of striking a deal.

While negotiations between the two sides ended badly last time around, one has to assume that Emelianenko may be looking for a solid home after his dilemma with M-1 Global. EliteXC officials will be praying that he doesn’t choose the house of Dana White and company.

The Lights Out Show is part of the TAGG Radio Network and is hosted by Chris Fries and The JDH. Be sure to visit TAGGRadio.com, TheLightsOutShow.com or iTunes to be able to listen to their most recent show as well as past shows in the archives. The Lights Out Show airs live every Tuesday and Thursday evening at 8 PM ET exclusively on TAGGRadio.com.

Franca Talks Steroids, Release from UFC

Hermes Franca weighs-in for UFC 73: Stacked. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

While it seems a lot longer, it’s only been a couple of weeks since Hermes Franca came to terms on his release from the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Following a positive test for steroids under the watch of the California State Athletic Commission, an accusation that he has since confirmed as being true, Franca now finds himself unable to fight until the summer.

However that doesn’t mean that he can’t have a lot on his mind.

Franca was a guest on The Lights Out Show yesterday, a member of the TAGG Radio network. The main topic of discussion was Franca’s steroid use and the aftermath of his decision.

“Nothing like it had ever happened before,” Franca told hosts Chris Fries and The JDH when asked about the CSAC’s test results. “It was really bad news. I’m not a liar. I made a mistake. Everyone makes mistakes. So I told everyone around me what I did. I could care less about Sean Sherk and what he does. I don’t want to lie to everyone.”

According to Franca, he asked to be released from his contract with the UFC in order to attempt to fight outside of the United States. However Franca quickly learned that going ahead with his plan might not be in his best interests.

“After the test, I realized that I wouldn’t be able to fight,” Franca said. “I’ was so used to constantly fighting that I didn’t know what I was going to do. I thought I’d be able to fight in Japan, England, or Canada…in another country. So I called Armando Garcia and he explained to me that I’d be able to fight in another country but I’d have a hard time coming back and fighting in the United States if I fought during my suspension.”

“I think the time off will be good though,” Franca continued. “Now I get to work on the business side of things. I have time to teach my fighters and heal my body.”

One of the most interesting bits of information Franca shared was the fact that he was pressured into his lightweight title against former champion Sean Sherk last July. Still recovering from lingering injuries, Franca ultimately turned to steroids in order to help his body prepare for the biggest fight of his career.

“When I was hurt I got lost,” Franca explained. “I wanted to fight for the belt and make my dreams come true. But Joe Silva told me that I had to fight Sean Sherk at UFC 73 and there was no other way around it without him finding another opponent. A lot of guys in the division wouldn’t be able to fight like Kenny Florian. I brought up Roger Huerta but Joe said that he wasn’t ready. So I took the steroids. However I learned my lesson.

While Franca has said that the split from the UFC was mutual and that he would love to return to the promotion in the future, the former Armory co-founder revealed that other organizations have been in contact regarding his services.

“My manager has been busy lately,” Franca said. “He’s had a lot on his hands, getting a lot of phone calls but nothing is for sure right now. I still have about four or five months before I’ll be able and ready to fight again though. Nothing is for sure with the UFC. I’m not a star but I don’t think the UFC doesn’t have any reason to not let me back. I left on good terms and there were no bad feelings but it’s all up to them so we’ll see what happens.”

The Lights Out Show is part of the Tagg Radio Network and is hosted by Chris Fries and The JDH. Be sure to visit TAGGRadio.com, TheLightsOutShow.com or iTunes to be able to listen to the complete interview with Franca (Volume 103) as well as past shows in the archives. The Lights Out Show airs live every Tuesday and Thursday evening at 8 PM ET exclusively on TAGGRadio.com.