Sean Sherk reinvents himself at UFC 90
“This was a great fight and a great opportunity for me to come out and show some stuff that people haven’t seen before. I want to show everyone that I’m growing as a fighter and show everyone that I’m three dimensional. I though I did that tonight. And hopefully I get to fight the winner of Joe [Stevenson] and Kenny [Florian] next. That’s my goal.”
At the ripe old age of 35, former lightweight champion Sean Sherk talks after defeating Tyson Griffin via unanimous decision at UFC 90: “Silva vs. Cote” last night about the improvements he has made to his all around mixed martial arts game. Primarily known for his overwhelming wrestling, Sherk demonstrated a much improved striking attack and was not as one dimensional, earning him and Griffin the “Fight of the Night.” It’s a match up that many fans predicted going in would be dull because of the wrestling backgrounds of both fighters. That simply was not the case.
Ribeiro, Calvancante to Return at DREAM New Years Eve Show
Two-time K-1 Hero’s middleweight tournament winner Gesias “JZ” Calvancanti and former Shooto and Cage Rage lightweight champion Vitor “Shaolin” Ribeiro will both reportedly return to action at Fighting and Entertainment Group’s annual “Dynamite!” show on New Year’s Eve in Japan according to MMA Weekly’s MMA Insider Blog.
Both Calvancanti and Ribeiro have been battling injuries for much of 2008. Calvancanti last took on Shinya Aoki at DREAM.2 in April, where he dropped an unanimous decision. Following the fight, the Brazilian was forced to undergo surgery to repair a torn meniscus and ACL in one of his knees and was expected to be sidelined until the end of this year.
Meanwhile Ribeiro has battled an injury bug that has prevented him from competing since suffering a first-round TKO loss to Calvancanti at the K-1 Hero’s middleweight tournament finals in September 2007. “Shaolin” owns career victories over some of MMA’s top lightweights, including Mitsuhiro Ishida, Tatsuya Kawajiri, and Joachim Hansen.
Did Anderson Silva Disrespect the Fans and Patrick Cote?
Kevin Iole jumps his case:
In a lame attempt at humor, Silva made a mockery of himself, his title and his sport in one of the most bizarre matches in UFC history.
"I think I’m living in an alternate universe," a befuddled UFC president Dana White said, shaking his head. "That was bizarro world."
Silva retained the belt when Cote collapsed in agony 39 seconds into the third round as he went to throw a punch. He later said he aggravated an old knee injury and was heading to the hospital, believing he had damaged the meniscus in his right knee. The near-sellout crowd of 15,359 booed Cote roundly, but it was Silva who really deserved its wrath.
There was no fighting in the match, largely because Silva opted not to fight. On the rare occasions Silva chose to engage, he got far better of the few exchanges.
Steve Cofield jumps in as well:
...the story of the night was Silva (23-4, 8-0 UFC) turning off the crowd by clowning around for the first 10 minutes. Between dancing around the ring, twirling his hands, bowing disrespectfully towards Cote at the end of the first and at one point offering a hand to help Cote off the floor, Silva came off as a big jerk. He went from displaying a Muhammed Ali-like playful aura early in the fight to looking like he was sticking it to the UFC for matching him up against such a longshot.
Iole is presumably in his usual role of Dana White's mouthpiece but Cofield is known as an independent voice.
While I was as bummed as the next guy when Cote's knee blew out, I'm certainly not ready to start hating on Anderson Silva. If Dana White can't find worthy opponents for the "greatest pound-for-pound fighter in the sport" then he shouldn't be surprised when things go awry.
Put Silva in the cage with Chuck Liddell ASAP. Resign Matt Lindland. Give Henderson or Marquardt another shot. Sign Gegard Mousasi, Jacare, Frank Shamrock, Cung Le, Robbie Lawler, somebody! Let Anderson box Roy Jones, Jr.
Give the man some challenges worthy of his abilities.
The man's talking about retirement for a reason. He's totally bored out of his mind. When a competitor of his skill and ability is put in the cage with an opponent he can toy with, no one should be surprised when that's what he does.
Sam Caplan agrees:
I did not see an unmotivated Silva take it easy last night and try to take liberties with Cote. I did not see a champion fight with over-confidence. Rather, I saw Silva fight with extreme caution. I saw a man who did everything in his power to avoid a repeat occurrence of the UFC 69 upset of then-welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre against the underdog of underdogs, Matt Serra.
I saw a man who respected Cote’s punching power and had enough respect for him not to present his chin on a silver platter, much like Chuck Liddell did to Rashad Evans last month at UFC 88. Granted, there were times where Silva dropped his hands, but he was always out of striking distance when he did so. The way I saw it, Silva didn’t want to press Cote and risk a knockout and instead wanted to take advantage of his reach by making Cote push the pace so that he could counter.
I didn’t see Silva take his opponent lightly; I saw a fighter in Cote who absorbed some tremendous combinations from Silva and barely winced after absorbing knees to the face.
Patrick Cote is consistently confident and …
“I ain’t scared of him and I like my chances against him…. We’re going to push the pace and we’re going to give him a real war…. I do this sport to be world champ…. I can’t wait to unleash the fury and just be the next champion of the world.”
Patrick Cote has been making seemingly crazy statements like this for the past two months leading up to his fight with 185-pound champion Anderson Silva at UFC 90: “Silva vs. Cote” at the Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Ill., on October 25. He has not wavered. It’s quite a strategy to adopt, considering the highlight reel track record that “The Spider” boasts against those foolish enough to simply stand and trade. So since it is finally fight day we ask our readers: Is Patrick Cote bluffing, brilliant or braindead?
ProElite Consultant T. Jay Thompson Spills Some Beans
CBS Sports has an interview with T. Jay Thompson (former promoter of the SuperBrawl and ICON Sport promotions, and later a consultant to ProElite) up with some nice bits of information.
Regarding Gary Shaw:
I just didn't like Gary and that I didn't like him morally or ethically. That's just the reality. I was hoping I was going to come in and learn from him. I really was. I was excited to come and work with another promoter that had more big show experience than me. I didn't find him smart, I didn't find him engaging, (and) I didn't find him to be compelling. I am amazed that he's gotten where he's gotten.
mattew riddle's tuf 8 blog
As for the show, I was going to start cutting down to 155 just so I could beat Junie senseless. After reading Ryan Bader’s blog I realized that Junie might be heading to 170 with Haagen-Dazs as the main sponsor. That and I promised my Mom I would never pick on children with special needs are the only reasons I have not flown out to Kentucky to smash him. I thought it would be impossible to have someone who is a bigger loser then Jeremy May on the show and they proved me wrong........
WAR CHIPPER!!!! I love the junie hate!
Anderson Silva back to LHW with Patrick Cote UFC 90 win
“If Anderson wins this fight on Saturday night, I think we’ll look for another fight for him at 205 (light heavyweight), then we’ll figure out in the 185-pound (middleweight) division what’s next.”
– UFC President Dana White tells USA Today that if middleweight champion Anderson Silva can defeat Patrick Cote at UFC 90: “Silva vs. Cote” later this evening that “The Spider” will likely climb back up and test the light heavyweight waters. The Brazilian recently made the move up at UFC Fight Night 15, annihilating James Irvin with a punishing first round technical knockout in July. One would imagine that this time around White would book Silva in a big money match against a high profile name in the 205-pound division to get the most out of his talented star, who he refers to frequently as the best mixed martial arts fighter in the world today. White has even mentioned that if Silva is up for it he can get him back in action within the next two months, meaning he would be in line for another appearance as soon as UFC 92: “The Ultimate 2008? on December 27 or an event scheduled shortly thereafter. Former light heavyweight champion Chuck Liddell is a juicy option … but who would you like to see Silva challenge next if he makes the jump? Sound off in the the comments section below.
THE HUMAN SIDE OF THE ELITEXC COLLAPSE
JT Steele started his career at ProElite, Inc. as an intern when the company was first formed in November of 2006. Hungry to get into the MMA business, he worked for free during the day while completing a law degree at Southwestern University by night.
In a short time, Steele became a paid employee of the company, a beneficiary of the rapid growth the company experienced in 2007. Steele worked in talent acquisition, fighter contracts, and regulatory affairs under Head of Fight Operations Jeremy Lappen, eventually gaining the title of Senior Manager of Fight Operations. Steele had met Lappen while interning for the World Fighting Alliance in its short-lived comeback.
Steele was at ground zero when EliteXC’s deal with CBS fell through, and says the fallout shocked rank and file employees.
“It happened so fast,” he said. “Literally, faster than any of us could have ever anticipated it. We were forced to shut down almost immediately. I think a lot of people didn’t anticipate that.”
Friends Fighting Friends
They say familiarity breeds contempt, but in the world of mixed martial arts, the lines are a bit more blurry. Promoters often pit teammate against teammate, friend against friend, in their pursuit of financial success. Some fighters refuse those advances, no matter the lure.
“We won’t fight each other,” says famed mixed martial arts trainer Greg Jackson when asked about a potential fight between two of his top protégés, Rashad Evans and Keith Jardine.
Former UFC light heavyweight champions Tito Ortiz and Quinton “Rampage” Jackson have pledged never to fight unless the money was “right.” Other competitors seem to have no trouble putting relationships on the back burner and going toe-to-toe with their friends. Karl James Noons and Yves Edwards come to mind.
Few dynamics can match friend-versus-friend in terms of piquing interest. One needs only to look at the clashes between Ortiz and Chuck Liddell to understand the hype such fights can generate. In the case of James Irvin and Scott Smith or Stephan Bonnar and Forrest Griffin, mixing it up inside the cage can forge even stronger bonds and lead today’s modern-day gladiators to hone their games inside the same gym as their former opponents.
Here are some past, scheduled and potential bouts with thick plotlines...
UFC 90 weigh in results
Perhaps the biggest questions heading into the event was whether or not Thiago Alves could hit the scale with no problems. “The Pitbull” came in at a ready 171 pounds, using the one pound over the division limit that is alloted to all fighters in nontitle fights.
Josh Burkman was not as fortunate. “The People’s Warrior” has one hour to shed the additional two pounds and try again; otherwise, he risks having his purse garnished.
Here are the official UFC 90 weigh-in results:
185 lbs.: Anderson Silva (184) vs. Patrick Cote (183)
170 lbs.: Thiago Alves (171) vs. Josh Koscheck (170)
265 lbs.: Fabricio Werdum (256) vs. Junior Dos Santos (234)
155 lbs.: Sean Sherk (156) vs. Tyson Griffin (155)
155 lbs.: Gray Maynard (155) vs. Rich Clementi (156)
185 lbs.: Thales Leites (186) vs. Drew McFedries (186)
155 lbs.: Spencer Fisher (155) vs. Shannon Gugerty (156)
185 lbs.: Dan Miller (185) vs. Matt Horwich (186)
155 lbs.: Hermes Franca (156) vs. Marcus Aurelio (156)
170 lbs.: Pete Sell (170) vs. Josh Burkman (173)
*Note: Fighters are allowed to weigh one pound more than the division limit in non-title fights.
Partnership between Affliction MMA and Golden Boy Promotions off
The big plan to make pay-per-view super cards featuring both MMA and boxing has apparently already been knocked out.
ESPN.com reports Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions has changed its mind about combining the two sports. Last month Golden Boy and MMA upstart Affliction announced a deal to co-promote events.
The deal came in the days following Affliction’s cancellation of a scheduled card in Las Vegas.
The move was met with skepticism from fans of both sports. However, many in the MMA world hoped the partnership could lead to bigger paydays for fighters and help make Affliction viable competition to the UFC.
Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer told ESPN.com that criticism of merging the sports was part of the decision to scrap the idea.
"The Ultimate Fighter 8" ratings improve; Junie Browning to thank?
This past Wednesday's episode of "The Ultimate Fighter: Team Nogueira vs. Team Mir," which featured controversial cast member Junie Browning's quarterfinal fight with Roli Delgado, scored 1.7 million viewers, an increase of nine percent from the season's first five episodes.
Additionally, the Oct. 22 episode had an audience 35 percent larger than the season low of 1.1 million that tuned in for the third episode of the reality series on Oct. 1.
Spike TV today sent the ratings information to MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) via email.
With the recent ratings revival, in doubt aided by the antics of Browning, the eighth season of the show is now averaging 1.6 million weekly viewers. The seventh season of the show ("The Ultimate Fighter: Team Rampage vs. Team Forrest"), which aired earlier this year, averaged 1.3 million viewers for its 11 regular-season episodes.
The only basic cable stations that beat Spike TV and "TUF" this week were Comedy Central (with "South Park" and "Chocolate News") and FX ("Son of Anarchy").
Wednesday's episode of "TUF" peaked with 1.9 million viewers for the Browning-Delgado fight, which took place in the final quarter hour of the show. Browning, whose drunken rampages and confrontations with other cast members have resulted in ratings jumps over the past few weeks, recently told MMAjunkie.com that his actions were the result of being locked in the "TUF" house.
"You're in Vegas, and you can't go anywhere or do anything, so you let loose a little crazier than I normally would." Browning said. "I don't necessarily act like that at home. I can go out to a bar and drink, but I don't mess with people or anything. Once you're in the house, it's almost like being in high school again. You're around a bunch of young guys, we're all crazy and drinking, and I don't like being messed with at all."