More on Mirko’s Departure: Emelianenko vs. Cro Cop II Now Possible
During today’s press conference to announce that Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic has left the UFC to fight for the new DREAM organization, the company’s executives announced that they had struck a deal with M-1 Global, which could mean a future bout between DREAM’s Filipovic and M-1 Global’s Fedor Emelianenko.
The news comes from Yahoo! Sports, a content-partner site of MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
According to reporter Dave Meltzer, the two upstart organizations have signed a business deal — a move that could open the door for the promotions to share talent. Melzter said that Emelianenko (as well as free agent UFC hall-of-famer Royce Gracie) both appeared in videotaped messages saying they planned to compete for DREAM.
Dana's Response to Cro-Cop's Departure
I just talked to DW and this is what he had to say:
The split was amicable and the terms were decided on in advance. Cro Cops $350k (plus bonuses) contract had a clause in it stating that if he lost two consecutive fights Zuffa had the right to void the existing agreement and negotiate a new one.
CC never dreamed that he would be so overwhelmed by the level of competition he has faced in the UFC so far and and the losses have impacted him mentally.
The UFC did NOT cut Cro Cop from the roster nor did they threaten to make him sit out until his contract expired if he didn't take the pay cut deal.
Rather than negotiate a new contract with the UFC right now (and risk racking up more losses), Cro Cop wants to get a couple of tune up fights (and wins) in some of the smaller shows (no more tune up matches for him in the UFC) in hopes of rebuilding his confidence and getting himself back on track.
DW understood completely and supported Cro Cop in his decision. The last thing DW wants to do is shell out a six-figure purse to a fighter that isn't fighting worth a dayum. Even though it would have been lower than the original figure, it would still be a waste of money and resources.
Cro Cops ultimate goal is to win the UFC HW championship belt and DW believes he still has the potential to accomplish that goal. CC's plan when he signed with the UFC was, "I will become Champion after three matches. I will need two and a half or three months off between each match. I expect to hold the UFC belt by the Summer. Then I want Pride Champion Fedor Emelianenko, Vs Me the UFC Heavyweight Champion on New Years Eve."
World Victory Road thoughts
Should be a good fight for Gomi I love watching him fight.
The rest of the card is shaping up nicely as well.
I may just book this night off work and drink beer and eat pizza....
WHOS WITH ME?!!
If WVR keeps putting out cards like this I think they'll be serious competition for the UFC with in a year or two!
CRO COP TO K-1!!!
As reported yesterday, Mirko Cro Cop is going to be in Japan today at a press conference to make an announcement regarding his future. What we didn’t know was what the announcement was going to be, but now Dave Meltzer from the Wrestling Observer is reporting that Cro Cop is going to be at a press conference that’ll be held by FEG. The Fighting Entertainment Group (FEG) actually owns K-1 and its sub-division HERO’s. FEG was going to hold a press conference today prior to the Cro Cop announcement but now it only makes sense that he would be in Japan today.
A translation of K-1 HERO’s official website says, “big-time athletes are scheduled to fight in an emergency visit to Japan” and by “fight” we assume that it actually means appear at the press conference.
I’m sure you’re all wondering “isn’t Mirko Cro Cop under contract with the UFC?” The simple answer is yes, but Meltzer is reporting that the UFC has been in the process of attempting to restructure Mirko’s contract which would force him to take a paycut. Obviously nobody would willingly give up money so it looks like the UFC may let the former PRIDE open weight Grand Prix champion out of his six-fight deal after only three fights.
We’ll have more details on this situation as we get it, but for now it looks like the next Mirko Cro Cop fight we’ll see will be in a ring and not a cage.
Gomi to face Ludwig - March 5th - Sengoku
Date: March 5th, 2008
Place: National Yoyogi Stadium in Tokyo, Japan
Hidehiko Yoshida vs. Josh Barnett
Kazuo Misaki vs. Siyar Bahadurzada
Makoto Takimoto vs. Evangelista Cyborg
Takanori Gomi vs. Duane Ludwig
Ryo Kawamura vs. Antonio Braga Neto
Fabricio Monteiro vs. Nick Thompson
Kazuyuki Fujita vs. TBA
I would have to assume this means Ludwig will not fight on the 2/23 Strikeforce card as has been planned for the past few weeks but who knows.
EDITED: Sherdog put the news up so I switched to the Sherdog link instead of the previous one.
Josh Haynes Replaces Injured Radach
Due to injury, middleweight Benji Radach has been forced to pull out of a Feb. 29 bout with Leopoldo Serao in Las Vegas, but he will be replaced by Xtreme Couture teammate Josh Haynes.
Disappointing news, but happy to see Haynes get a shot.
Tarded Reality Show Concept of the Day, Part 2
You think Fighting Fedor is a bad idea? Ho, baby. From a new press release on Reuters.com:
Rodrigo and Crosley Gracie have decided to co-produce a reality television show of mixed martial arts, combined with the Gracie Jiu Jitsu flavor, and a little drama. [Ed. note: Rodrigo and Crosley are cousins, and grandsons of Carlos Gracie.]
The reality show is based on true life grudges. Imagine a famous face knocking on your door. He/she shows you a photo. “Do you know who this is?” You know exactly who it is. He/she is the person with whom you have a grudge to settle. Then, without a clue as to where you are going, you are whisked off to an undisclosed location where you will be trained by one of the world famous Gracie Jiu Jitsu family members. Did you know that the person in the photo is also receiving the same treatment? Did you know that now is the chance to “Settle Your Grudge?”
“It gives me great pleasure to bring this show to you, despite any controversy that may arise. At the end of the day, we are all humans, we’ve all had grudges, and they all need to be settled to bring closure to real the life drama that leaves us perplexed every day” boasts [executive producer] Stacey “O”.
Episodes in production include: Cop vs. Con; Bouncer vs. Bounced; Biker vs. Nerd; Husband vs. x-Boyfriend; Manager vs. Employee; Old Bully vs. the Bullied; Teacher vs. Student; and Old vs. Young.
Tim Sylvia: Where There's Smoke, There's Fire
In this week's print edition of The Wrestling Observer, Dave Meltzer reports that negotiations between Tim Sylvia and The UFC are not going so well. He says they are a "full digit apart" on numbers, which suggests that Tim really is delusional, and that we won't be seeing him for a while.
UFC really dodged a bullet with his loss to Nogueira. If he had won they would have had to pay him whatever they wanted or else they would have lost another heavyweight champion to contract issues.
TIM BOETSCH STEPS UP AGAIN FOR UFC
Tim Boetsch will again step up for the Ultimate Fighting Championship on short notice, this time taking over for the injured Stephan Bonnar. He will take on Matt Hamill as a part of the April 2 UFC Fight Night in Broomfield, Colo. as confirmed by MMAWeekly.com with sources close to the fight.
Boetsch made a very impressive debut for the UFC just earlier this month, finishing David Heath in the first round. He took the bout on extremely short notice when Heath’s original opponent dropped out due to injury.
Exclusive Interview: Matt Arroyo Talks behind the Scenes on TUF, Amazing Race, New TV Show and Matt Serra
Last week, I had the opportunity to sit down with UFC star Matt Arroyo and do an in-depth interview. Arroyo made it to the semifinals in The Ultimate Fighter Season 6 but had to withdraw due to a rib injury. Arroyo then won his first UFC fight against John Kolosci at the Ultimate Fighter 6 Finale in December 2007.
MMAFightLine.com: Matt, I’d like to thank you for taking time out of your training to speak to me. Tell me about how you ended up at Gracie Tampa. You started training jiu-jitsu in 2003, right?
BET’s “Iron Ring Fighting” Finale Taped Monday in New Orleans
“Iron Ring Fighting,” an upcoming MMA reality/show competition that debuts next month on Black Entertainment Television (BET), will tape its season finale this coming Monday, Feb. 18, at the New Orleans Convention Center in New Orleans, La.
The event will feature competitors from the TV show, which is in its final stages of production. The show, which is set to debut on BET sometime next month, features six teams of fighters that are “managed” by Floyd Mayweather, Nelly, Ludacris and other sports and entertainment notables. Coaches, which include former UFC and PRIDE fighters, are also assigned to each team.
Stephan Bonnar Injured, off UFC Fight Night 13 Card (Story from Yahoo! Sports)
UFC light heavyweight Stephan Bonnar will be sidelined for at least six months after tearing ligaments in his left knee during training on Tuesday in Las Vegas.
Bonnar said he was working on his jiu-jitsu in preparation for his April 2 light heavyweight bout against Matt Hamill in Denver. He said he heard a pop and later learned that he had torn the lateral collateral ligament.
Cro Cop Talks
From his personal blog on mmaid......
I'm off to Tokyo!
A big announcement will come straight from Japan tomorrow (February 13).
When the official part is done I'll be able to provide more information about everything,
and believe me, I have many things to say.
What you could easily guess by now is that I won't be retiring.
I'll keep on fighting, it's my life, it's what I do.
Dana to Cro Cop: Less money or you're sitting out
Jist of the article as translated by someone else:
Mirko has been told that due to his poor performances in the UFC so far, the UFC is no longer willing to pay him the amount of his contract (signed when Mirko was at the high point of his career and was expected to be an immediate threat to the HW title).
He has been given the option of re-signing for a lesser amount per fight (didn't say how much), or sitting out the remaining year of his contract.
EDIT: The rumors floating around are that he's going back to K-1
WEC Champion Moving Up To UFC?
That's a possibility for current WEC Welterweight Champion Carlos Condit. While he's happy in WEC right now, he says he needs to take a step up in competition, which likely means UFC.