|The MMA News Feed - Anderson Silva vs Chuck Liddell and Much More
By Matthew Degonzaque (Nov 5, 2008) Doghouse Boxing
How's it going MMA fans. In this week's article we are getting ready into the thick of things and going over the controversy surrounding Anderson Silva's performance in the main event of UFC 90 against Patrick Cote. We'll also talk about the rumors, and hope, of a future Anderson Silva-Chuck Liddell bout. We'll cover the results of the Florida Athletic Comission investigating the dead EliteXC promotion for fight fixing. We'll also take a look at Fedor's upcoming reality show and I'll preview this Wednesday's WEC 36 show which airs at 8pm, eastern time, on the Versus network. But first lets start with
UFC 90 Results: Silva dances his way to victory
In front of a sold out crowd of 15,359 and a gate of $2.8 million, UFC held their latest PPV at the Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Illinois. In the main event, Anderson Silva retained his championship against Patrick Cote in one of the most bizarre fights in Mixed Martial Arts history. For the entire fight, Silva decided that the best way to fight Cote was not to fight him. He spent the entire fight seemingly taunting Cote and dancing around the cage. Silva even offered to help Cote up off the ground during the second round in the fight. Cote seemed confused as to Silva's strategy and did not understand what his opponent was doing. Despite not coming after Cote, the shots that Silva did throw were enough to win him both the 1st and 2nd rounds. At the start of the third round, Cote held up three fingers to signify that he had made it to uncharted territory; he made it to the third round, something no other fighter in the UFC has done against Silva. Unfortunately for Cote, only 39 seconds into the third round Cote injured his knee and fell to the canvas. Both Silva and the referee stared on in confusion as Cote squirmed in pain on the mat. The fight was stopped and Silva was awarded the win amidst boos of the Illinois crowd.
On the under card: Thiago Alves defeated Josh Koscheck by unanimous decision to win a title shot at the UFC Welterweight Championship in the future. Junior Dos Santos made a statement in his UFC debut and knocked out Fabricio Werdum 80 seconds into the 1st round. Gray Maynard defeated Rich Clementi by Unanimous decision. In the opening fight of the night, Sean Sherk got back on the winning track and defeated Tyson Griffin by Unanimous decision in the 'Fight of the Night'.
Anderson Silva's performance has been the talk of the MMA world since his fight with Cote. In a fight where Silva appeared to be able to finish Cote any time he wanted to, which many predicted. Instead Silva instead chooses to show boat, showing none of the aggression that he showed in his previous 7 UFC fights.
There is one school of thought going around that Silva was fighting cautious because he was worried about Cote knocking him out. But I don’t buy that, Silva's 7 previous victims in the UFC are all better opposition than Cote. Two of them; Chris Leben and Travis Lutter, have already beaten Cote. Leben defeated Cote by split decision in a war back in 2005 while Lutter easily submitted Cote in 2:18 in late 2006. If you recall, Silva knocked Leben out in 49 seconds and submitted Lutter in the 2nd round of their fight. 4 of Silva's last 7 opponents; Franklin, Henderson, Leben and Irvin are either better strikers than Cote or have bigger knockout power.
Personally, I think it was an obvious example of a fighter being bored in the Octagon. This was Anderson Silva a guy who tore apart feared fighters like Dan Henderson and Rich Franklin, a guy who is considered the best striker in the UFC and the #1 fighter P4P in the MMA. He is someone who wants to leave an incredible legacy in this sport. After defeating some of the best fighters in the sport...they go and stick him into the cage with Patrick Cote?! A journeyman in the UFC who heading into the fight sported a UFC record of 5-4 and had never beaten a legitimate top 10 contender. Silva knew Cote didn't have a chance so he decided to have a little fun in there.
Silva has always had tremendous respect for Roy Jones and has even said he wanted to fight the boxing legend (which Jones has also expressed interest in until the fight was derailed by Dana White). To me it looked like Silva decided to emulate Jones back when 'RJ' was in his prime in that he would showboat, taunt and carry his opponents longer than most expected to before he decided to finish them off or would win a lopsided decision. He did this to entertain his fans and play up his P4P #1 image being that he could do all this and his opponents couldn't touch him. To me, Silva did the same thing with Cote. I'm 100% that had the fight not ended in an injury that Silva would've finished Cote off within the next round or so and all of this hate that Silva is getting would be remote. Instead we'd be talking about how Silva toyed with Cote and finished him when he decided the time was right.
Dana White has already said that the real Anderson Silva was not present at the fight and he didn't understand what happened. Well Dana, if you want the real Anderson Silva to show up then next time have him fight someone that requires the real Anderson Silva to show up. If that requires him going up to Light Heavyweight to fight, well then so be it. Anderson Silva's already tested the 205lb waters before, picking up an easy 61 second knockout victory over journeyman James Irvin. This time have him fight either Wanderlei Silva or Shogun Rua, both fights have fight of the year written all over it. There is also the possibility of an Anderson Silva-Chuck Liddell fight, which if promoted right might have the potential to hit that one million PPV buy mark.
I'm sure some will call for a Silva-Cote rematch, including Cote himself when he heals up, but honestly who would want to see that? Cote had ten minutes and thirty nine seconds to do something against a showboating Anderson Silva and he couldn't pull anything off. No one wants to watch a rematch between these two, as it is this fight was considered a lackluster challenge for Silva. If you want the real Anderson Silva, stick him in with someone who he won’t be a massive favorite against then you'll see the old Spider.
Junior Dos Santos just erupted onto the heavyweight scene, which is in desperate need of some star power. Fabricio Werdum was a legitimate heavyweight and was coming off of two stoppage wins against Gabriel Gonzaga and Brendon Vera. Dos Santos overwhelmed Werdum in this fight though and knocked him out in only 80 seconds. I'd like to see Junior Dos Santos fight someone like Cheick Kongo or Heath Herring in his next fight. Quality tests to see where Dos Santos is at while we wait for the heavyweight champions to complete their round robin (the winner of Nog-Mir fights the winner of Couture-Lesnar to unify their belts).
Thiago Alves positioned himself as the next challenger for the UFC 170lb championship. Alves, opponent, Josh Koscheck was taking this fight on short notice due to the number 1 contenders shot for the winner, replacing Diego Sanchez. Koscheck decided to go against his best discipline, his wrestling, and decided to strike with Alves for the entire fight. Koscheck was thoroughly outclassed and as a result was out struck, out kicked and outworked and lost a clear unanimous decision to Alves.
Would Silva dance against “The Iceman”?
The UFC will return to London, England on Saturday 21st February 2009, Fighters Only can exclusively report.
Sources contacted Fighters Only at the weekend to reveal that UFC 95 will take place at the O2 Arena. It will be the third time that the organization has used the venue.
No fights have been announced for the event as yet, but rumors have circulated that Anderson Silva and Chuck Liddell are among a list of possible performers.
John Joe O’Regan
I was going to talk about this in depth in my previous post on UFC 90, but I figured since its already being rumored why not just give the rumor its own section here in the news feed? I think this would be a big enough fight that could easily get Silva to let go of his dancing with the stars aspirations and get him to sit down on some strikes. The fight also gives people a chance to see whether or not Chuck Liddell is really finished or not as he would need to be at his absolute best to hang with Silva.
The fight could go either two ways though; either both guys, natural counter punchers, show respect for each other and wait for the other to mistake so they can deliver the knockout shot. Or the other option is that they both realize that they need a win (Liddell more so than Silva) and come straight at one another. I'm guessing that if the fight happens it would be a combination of both.
If the fight happened, I'd have to favor Silva to defeat Liddell. Silva has easily the best stand up game in MMA right now. Since he has entered the UFC no one has been able to test him on the feet yet. Silva also has a black belt in BJJ under the Nogueira brothers and has used it in the past to submit Travis Lutter and Dan Henderson, both who sport impressive ground skills. Silva is just a more rounded fighter.
But there is an X factor in this fight and its Chuck Liddell's still dangerous knockout power. While Chuck Liddell doesn't have the pin point strikes that Silva has; Liddell does have some of the most unusual punches in the sport. Liddell likes to throw punches from weird angles, the best way to describe his strikes are “loopy”. It's what usually gives Liddell his best success because he catches guys from unorthodox angles and fighters aren't prepared to defend them. Liddell has a purple belt in BJJ, but he has rarely shown his ground skills during fighting. The only times I can think of him going for a takedown are his fights against Alistair Overeem and Wanderlei Silva, in 2003 and 2007 respectively.
Personally I'm surprised that a rumor like this could be true, which it may not be. I'd figured they'd put Liddell in with someone he could beat before they gave him another dangerous fight. Credit to UFC for not trying to protect their golden boy and credit to Chuck Liddell if this fight happens, as he has never backed down from a challenge regardless of the odds.
Although I said earlier that the fight has the potential to do one million PPV buys, I think the UFC needs to put the fight on a better position? The end of February? I mean that would mean that Silva-Liddell would be the second UFC PPV that month, following UFC's Super bowl weekend PPV; UFC 94 featuring Georges St. Pierre vs. BJ Penn II in the main event. Why not just stick Liddell-Silva on the Super bowl card? Being that Silva is considered #1 P4P, I don’t think many would complain with a non title fight taking the main event spot from GSP and BJ.
Also, the fight would take place in London and normally the European cards don’t get as much attention from fans as the American cards do. In 2007, UFC 72 was in Ireland and featured Rich Franklin and Forrest Griffin in separate bouts and the card did only 200,000 PPV buys. At the beginning of 2008, UFC 80, BJ Penn and Joe Stevenson fought in Newcastle, England for the UFC Lightweight Championship and the show did 225,000 PPV buys. UFC 85 also took place in London in June and featured Matt Hughes, the UFC's second biggest draw behind Liddell, and Thiago Alves in the main event and the show did the same number as UFC 80. The other cards that the UFC brought to England were instead featured on live television.
I think part of the problem is that the UFC doesn't promote the cards as well as others, most of the time there was an American card on PPV either right before or right after, as was the case with UFC 80, 85 and as will be the case with the upcoming UFC 93: Franklin versus Henderson card. It's usually crammed in between two other major cards. Also, another problem is that usually the under cards for the European cards sucked. Unlike boxing, under cards are very important to fans when buying an MMA PPV. A lot of fans aren't just in it for one fight, but for the entire card. The only good under card I can think of from a recent UFC England show was UFC 75 which featured Dan Henderson vs. Quentin Jackson in the main event for the Light Heavyweight Championship and had Cro Cop-Cheick Kong and Bisping-Hamill on the under card. But UFC 75 was also available for free on Spike TV.
Silva-Liddell could be big, but UFC should promote it right. Either put it on the UFC 94 card or give it its own month, regardless of whether or not its in England. Save it for March and do promote it like they never have before. I have always wanted UFC to mimic (aka: rip off) HBO's 24/7 documentary series they use to promote big boxing fights. They should be doing it for Couture-Lesnar, but Silva-Liddell would be a nice first test to see if MMA fans would get behind an MMA documentary.
A win by Liddell could put him back on top and put him line for rematches with Rashad Evans, Keith Jardine or Wanderlei Silva, all of which would be acceptable choices for Liddell. Or if the UFC really needs it they can match up Liddell against Forrest Griffin, if he is still champ, for the title. A win by Silva could finally give him the notoriety and drawing power that has been missing during his UFC run. Will the UFC pull the trigger on this fight? Who do you guys have?
Strikeforce gets its highest rating ever on NBC
One mixed martial arts promotion called it quits last week while another is enjoying record ratings on network television.And it isn’t the UFC.
The San Jose-based mixed martial arts promotion Strikeforce posted its highest ratings ever last Saturday night when 1.1 Million viewers tuned in to watch “Strikeforce on NBC.”
The October 18 episode featured the light heavyweight rematch between Trevor Prangley and Anthony “A-Train” Ruiz from last month’s “Strikeforce at the Mansion II” event at the infamous Playboy Mansion in Beverly Hills, California.
The thirty-minute program, which airs every Saturday following “Poker After Dark,” debuted on April 12 of this year and has consistently received solid ratings, going as high as 949,000 viewers on May 9.
This latest spike in ratings couldn’t have come at a better time and should alleviate a lot of anxiety for Strikeforce executives, especially in the wake of the recent implosion of its frequent co-promoter EliteXC.
This success could eventually lead to NBC airing live, prime-time events similar to what CBS did with EliteXC. If so, the responsibility will rest on Strikeforce to make sure it doesn’t make the same mistakes its predecessor did (credit: MMA mania).
Strikeforce in my opinion is really a sleeper company in MMA. I think Strikeforce has the potential to one day rival the UFC in terms of overall popularity. Unlike EliteXC, IFL, Bodog and the WFA who all came in with big money and big talk and quickly fizzled out, Strikeforce has come in and started off small and built up a groundswell of popularity. They have spent most of their existence promoting shows in California, where they have built up their home base. They have held 15 shows in their 2 and a half year existence and have worked with some of solid names in the sport; Frank Shamrock, Alistair Overeem, Paul Buentello, Tank Abbott, Joe Riggs, Frank Trigg, Bobby Southworth, Bob Sapp, Maurice Smith and Phil Baroni have all fought in the promotion. The company has also created their own popular and marketable homegrown star in Cung Le (6-0), who defeated Frank Shamrock last March to win the Strikeforce Middleweight title in front of over 16,000 fans.
But 1.1 million viewers for the show is great. From what I've heard already, the Strikeforce show had already been drawing good ratings with its previous high being about 940,000 viewers. If you know television, you know that having those kind of ratings at a 2am on a Saturday night is pretty good. Saturday is generally considered a horrible time for television shows to air, unless you’re 'Saturday Night Live' which 'Strikeforce on NBC' follows. Even more surprising is that people stayed up to watch the show that late at night, which might mean that MMA fans have no life.
But either way, I hope a rating like this will cause NBC to have a more serious look at airing Mixed Martial Arts fights live. I just hope that the problems that Elite XC had with their specials on CBS are too much of a problem for NBC to consider airing live fights. I mean, could you imagine the ratings if Strikeforce was able to hold a show with Cung Le vs. Frank Shamrock II as the main event? Or possibly signing Tito Ortiz and putting him on a card? It could be like back in the late 80's when WWE and NBC were working together; they'd give SNL the week off one month and air a live wrestling show. They could do the same with Strikeforce or hold it on a different day if the idea appeals to them.
Pro Elite cleared of any wrong doing
The Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulations, which oversees the state's boxing commission, concluded its preliminary investigation of the Oct. 4 heavyweight bout between Kevin "Kimbo Slice" Ferguson and Seth Petruzelli on Thursday and found no wrongdoing on the part of promoter ProElite.
"The preliminary investigation concluded that there was no legal sufficiency to the claimed violation [Florida statute] 548.058  and therefore no need to move forward with a full investigation," DBPR press secretary Alexis Antonacci told ESPN.com."The case has been closed."
While the investigation exonerates ProElite of wrongdoing, it comes too late. The California-based promotional company went out of business Monday.
Florida State Boxing Commission executive director Thomas Molloy and the DBPR opened the preliminary investigation Oct. 8 after suggestions representatives for ProElite, the parent company of EliteXC, approached Petruzelli and offered him a chance to face Slice if he would agree to fight "standing up."
Petruzelli was approached hours before the fight to fill in for Slice's original opponent, Ken Shamrock, who sustained a deep cut over his left eye during a workout session earlier in the day and was deemed unfit to compete. According to the DBPR report, Petruzelli was offered $35,000 to fight and $15,000 to win. Petruzelli would stop Slice just 14 seconds into the first round.
Molloy and the DBPR reached their conclusion after speaking with fighter David Lee "Tank" Abbott, Nevada State Athletic Commission executive director Keith Kizer, California State Athletic Commission executive director Armando Garcia, matchmaker J.T. Steele, ProElite vice president of fighter operations Jeremy Lappen and Petruzelli.
I expected Pro Elite to wind up being proven in the clear. It's the best news that’s come from that promotion since it held its first show. Not much to say about this other than it will hopefully be one of the last news tidbits to come out of Pro Elite post-death. Now all we need to know is what is the status of all of the fighters Pro Elite contracts; are the fighters free agents now that the promotion is dead or can their contracts be bought up by a third party and another promotion will take the fighters, similar to how the UFC bought the WFA and acquired Quentin Jackson and Heath Herring in the process.
Fedor to get his own reality show???
NEW YORK - In an attempt to foster a global base for their growing company as well as the mixed martial arts industry, Affliction Entertainment, in association with Trump Enterprises and M-1 Global, announced a new reality show that would feature current world No. 1 ranked heavyweight and World Alliance of Mixed Martial Arts champion Fedor Emelianenko.
The program, entitled “Fighting Fedor” would recruit 16 heavyweight fighters from throughout the world, transport them to Emelianenko’s hometown in St. Petersburg, Russia, and whittle down the contenders until one is left to fight Emelianenko in an Affliction pay-per-view main event.
The show will serve to re-introduce Emelianenko and his myth into the American consciousness, as well as hopefully discover promising heavyweights.
After announcing the 32-year-old Emelianenko as “the Tiger Woods, the Mike Tyson, the Michael Jordan of mixed martial arts,” it might seem preposterous to think that a superstar of that level could find competition through a reality show. Even Trump himself made light of it, joking from an executive boardroom in his namesake tower, “I don’t know who these folks are who are trying to qualify to get a fight with Fedor. I wouldn’t particularly like to do that. I can think of a lot of other things I’d rather be doing.”
Despite the announcement, little came in the way of details. A television broadcast partner has yet to be determined (though one executive noted negotiations “are ongoing with many different networks and channels”), and no timetable was given for airing the program. It was, however, revealed that the company has already begun the recruitment process for the cast. Trump also added that he would travel to St. Petersburg but would not have a big role in the TV taping (credit: NBC Sports).
This could be a great benefit to Fedor Emelianenko, who despite being regarded by fans as the #1 Heavyweight in the world, has had trouble finding his place in mainstream MMA in America. Reality shows have been known to raise the profile of even the most mediocre of celebrities, just ask Kathy Griffin, Dustin Diamond and Stephen Baldwin who, despite being washed up, have still been able to hold onto their fame due to being cast in several reality shows.
I only wonder how the show is going to be presented. Fedor doesn't speak English and, as arrogant as it sounds, it’s going to be hard to get American fans to watch a 30-60 min television program where the the main character can't speak English. Another problem is finding 16 fighters who can believably stand a chance against Fedor to compete in this tournament format. The thing about The Ultimate Fighter is that UFC doesn't immediately send the winner against dangerous opposition; they put the winner in with competition that is not terrible, but not dangerous either. They are up and comers who shouldn't be fighting for championships yet except for season 4 when the show featured experienced (read: journeyman) fighters who were competing for an immediate title shot.
Personally, Instead of a 'TUF' knockoff I think Trump and Affliction should look to do a reality show that follows Fedor in his day to day activities. The camera should follow Fedor around as he prepares for an upcoming fight and the finale could air right before the fight happens. That way the show can also feature other personalities like his family, his training partners, friends, managers etc. Reality shows don't take very long to film, maybe a couple weeks for an entire season, and they are incredibly cheap. If this happens, Trump's name value should definitely help this find a place on some network.
WEC 36 this Wednesday on Versus
This upcoming Wednesday, the WEC will have their 12th event since being purchased by Zuffa at the end of 2006. The star studded show will feature WEC Golden Boy Urijah Faber, coming off of his June win over Jens Pulver, taking on Mike Brown in the main event. Paulo Filho also defends his WEC Middleweight title in a rematch against Chael Sonnen after their first fight ended controversially. Jens Pulver also returns on the under card, taking on Leonard Garcia as he attempts to climb back to the top for another title shot. Here is the main card:
WEC Featherweight Championship (145lbs): Champion Urijah Faber (21-1) vs. Mike Brown (17-4)
WEC Middleweight Championship (185lbs): Champion Paulo Filho (16-0) vs. Chael Sonnen (20-9-1)
145lbs bout: Jens Pulver (21-9-1) vs. Leonard Garcia (11-3)
155lbs bout: Rob McCullough (16-4) vs. Donald Cerrone (9-0)
185lbs bout: Jake Rosholt (4-0) vs. Nissen Osterneck (5-0)
Not a bad card. This will be the last WEC Middleweight Title fight as Zuffa has dropped the 185lb and 205lb divisions from the WEC and moved all of their contracted fighters up to the UFC. The first fight, at WEC 31, between Filho and Sonnen ended in controversy when, after Filho was being beaten up, Filho caught Sonnen in an armbar and the referee stopped the fight despite Sonnen not tapping. The rematch was originally scheduled for WEC 34 but Filho pulled out of the fight and checked into rehab for substance abuse. Sonnen instead picked up an easy win over replacement Bryan Baker. Normally I would've picked the BJJ wizard to take Sonnen easily, but after their competitive first fight and Filho's recent personal problems I wonder if an upset is brewing. Sonnen is largely regarded by most as a journeyman, but don’t let perception fool you because Sonnen is dangerous. Sonnen already holds wins over Jason Miller, Trevor Prangley and Amar Suloev.
After his loss to Urijah Faber, Jens Pulver decided, more like convinced, that he needed a scene of change. After much poking and prodding from friends Monte Cox (also Pulver's manager), Spencer Fisher and Rich Franklin, Pulver decided to leave Militech Fighting Systems, who Pulver has trained with since 2000, and go to Seattle, Washington and train with AMC Pankration and trainer Matt Hume. Despite at one point being considered the best lightweight (155lbs) Pulver is only a 5-5 in his last 10 fights. Pulver has a much better record overall at 145lbs, he is 8-1, but that loss was to Urijah Faber in his last fight where he lost every round. Pulver will turn 34 soon and a change in scenery could be just what is needed to get him out of his funk. Garcia is not going to be an easy fight though and Pulver will need all of his skills to get past him.
Garcia originally was a lightweight in the UFC but, after going 1-2, decided to move down to 145lbs and enter in the WEC. He made a dominant debut, knocking out Hiroyuki Takaya in just 91 seconds. Shocking that Garcia is getting this opportunity since he was arrested in March for his relation to a huge cocaine trafficking incident in Texas. Garcia is reportedly off the hook though since he was proven just to only be know the people involved and wasn't actually involved in the trafficking. It's a do or die fight for both; Pulver needs this win to stay relevant and Garcia needs this win to get serious consideration as a future challenger for the featherweight title.
Urijah Faber is currently the most popular fighter in the WEC. Along with Pulver, he is definitely the company's biggest draw proof by the 1.5 million viewers who watched his showdown with Pulver last June. His overall game is solid; he was able to control Pulver in the stand up area in their fight and his ground game has always been solid. He is very explosive and very athletic. I think he has a very bright future ahead of him in MMA and he train of momentum doesn't stop with Mike Brown. I don't know a lot about Mike Brown, so I'm hesitant to make a prediction about this. I dont think WEC would risk their money child by sticking him in with someone who could soundly beat him, especially after coming off of his huge victory over Pulver.
What I'm most curious about is whether or not WEC can draw another big rating like they did with WEC 34: Faber versus Pulver. That was the biggest show in WEC history; it drew more viewers than a lot of UFC Ultimate Fight Night cards and The Ultimate Fighter episodes. The entire card drew over 1.5 million viewers and made a star out of Urijah Faber and made WEC the talk of the town. All eyes were on whether or not the WEC could continue the momentum they had built into their next show, WEC 35. The show didn't have any star power, but it was still heavily promoted and it was heavily advertised that the show would feature 3 title bouts; Jamie Varner versus Marcus Hicks for the WEC Lightweight Championship, Brian Stann versus Steve Cantwell for the WEC Light Heavyweight Championship and Carlos Condit versus Hiromitsu Miura for the WEC Welterweight Championship.
I figured that a lot of fans who had watched Faber-Pulver would at least tune into check out WEC 35. But then the ratings came in and only a mere 423,000 viewers tuned into the show, more than a million less than the viewer who tuned in two months before hand. Also, Faber-Pulver sold nearly 13,000 tickets but WEC 35 sold only 734, but it was in a much smaller arena than Faber-Pulver. This card will have the advantages that WEC 35 didn't have. Urijah Faber is headlining the card, with Pulver and Filho on the undercard. This card will show whether or not the WEC has stars that can pull in big numbers on a consistent basis when they fight or that WEC 34: Faber versus Pulver was just a fluke.
That's all for this week readers. Tune in next week when I give you guys the results of WEC 36 and all of the latest news in MMA!
Questions or comments,
e-mail Matthew at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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