UFC Fight For the Troops Results and Reaction

Quick Results:

  • Josh Koscheck defeats Yoshiyuki Yoshida via knockout (Strikes) Round 1
  • Mike Swick defeats Johnathan Goulet via TKO (Strikes) Round 1
  • Steve Cantwell defeats Razak Al-Hassan via TKO (Referee stoppage due to Armbar) Round 1
  • Tim Credeur defeats Nate Loughran via TKO (Referee Stoppage) Round 2
  • Jim Miller defeats Matt Wiman via Unanimous Decision
  • Luigi Fioravanti defeats Brodie Farber via unanimous decision
  • Steve Bruno defeats Johnny Rees via submission (rear naked choke) in round two
  • Ben Saunders defeats Brandon Wolff via technical knockout (strikes) in round one
  • Dale Hartt defeats Corey Hill via technical knockout (leg injury) in round two
  • Justin McCully defeats Eddie Sanchez via unanimous decision

Official Fight of the Night: Jim Miller vs. Matt Wiman

Official Submission of the Night: Steve Cantwell

Official Knockout of the Night: Josh Koscheck

  • Josh Koscheck looked to be in a different league than Yoshiyuki Yoshida.  What a KO!  I hope he isn’t done with the UFC following his AKA troubles.  He showed he is improved and well rounded
  • Mike Swick also impressed in his quick KO of Jonathan Goulet.  He is a serious contender ay 170.
  • Steve Cantwell is known for good Muay Thai and striking, but this submission was sick.  If you didn’t see it check it out.  I think Al-Hassan’s arm is still in the octagon somewhere
  • Jim Miller looked really, really good against a tough Matt Wiman.  I think Miller can contend one day for the title.  Remember, this fight was on very short notice.
  • Tim Credeur has wild looping punches, but he was effective.  He is improving also.
  • Ben Saunders was most impressive.  That was vicious.  Brandon Wolff got dominated.   I have never seen someone eat more knees and have a bigger knot on their head.  Wow.  Saunders impressed me.
  • Prayers go out to Corey Hill who suffered a broken leg in his fight with Dale Hartt.  He had to be taken out in a stretcher.  More on this as news comes in
  • The fight for the troops idea was worthwhile and handled well.  What a classy event that showed the spirit of MMA.  I liked Goldberg’s comments that the UFC is a “sport”, but the soldiers fight real life.  There are no ref’s, tapouts, etc. in battle.  Very true.  Even hardcore fans ought not loose sight of that.  Also, Rogan had some good political thoughts at the end about the “bulls***” of the bailouts of  GM and AIG vs. the worthwhile cause of the intrepid fallen heroes fund. 
  • Overall, a great show with good fights.

WEC 37: Torres vs. Tapia and 2 Episodes of TUF on Tonight

Don’t forget tonight to watch WEC 37: Torres vs. Tapia live on VERSUS at 8:00 P.M.

 

Also, following WEC 37 turn to SPIKE to watch the final two episodes of the Ultimate Fighter Season 8.  There will be four fights aired, plus the potential to see Junie kicked off.  The light heavyweight fights will be Ryan Bader vs. Eliot Marshall and Krzysztof Soszynski Sosynski vs. Vinny Magalhes.  The lightweight scraps will be Philippe Nover vs. George Roop and Junie Briowning vs. Efrain Escudero.

MMA News: Paulo Filho Released By Zuffa

It is being reported from several MMA media outlets that WEC Middleweight Champion Paulo Filho has been released from Zuffa, the parent company of the UFC and WEC.  The WEC and UFC together decided to merge the WEC middleweight and light heavyweight divisons into the talent heavy UFC.  The UFC expected to pick up several solid fighters in the move including middleweight Paulo Filho who many considered to be the #2 middleweight in the world.  However, Filho had a rough year.  He beat Chael Sonnen in a controversial win and then things went down hill.  Filho checked himself into drug rehab and admitted to battling depression.  The WEC and Zuffa stuck with Filho through those problems and then gave him a second fight with Chael Sonnen.  Many people expected a renewed Filho, but that didn’t happen.  Filho went to the weigh ins and came in 9 pounds over the required 185 lbs.   He could not make weight, but Sonnen tookt he fight anyways and the fight was changed to being a non-title fight.  The fight was strange to say the least.  Sonnen dominated Filho, who looked like he was out of it and like he didn’t care.  This was most likely the final blow to his UFC dream.  Ed Soares, Filho’s manager confirmed the news:

It’s true. We’ve recevied paperwork that they’re releasing him from his contract. The WEC’s been great throughout everything, but it’s understandable. He’s had a rough year. We have faith that he’ll be back. I still believe he’s one of the best middleweights in the world.

Perhaps Soares is correct and Filho is one of the best, but his lack of ability to make weight, his drug/depression problems, his lackluster fight with Sonnen, his unwillingness to fight Anderson Silva, and his expressed desire to move to 205 lbs despite being 5’8″ all combined together did not help him.  I would bet it is off to Japan or Affliction for Filho where he can beat up on second rate competition.

Update on ProElite’s Status

ProElite had announced that they were shutting their doors, cancelling future fights, and filing for bankruptct.  All of this came as ProElite, the parent company of EliteXC continued to operate in the red.  Fianlly, Kimbo Slice’s loss at the last EliteXC event and the ensuing standgate scandal with Seth Petruzelli really was the final blow to ProElite.  Following the announcment of their demise many people wondered what would become of the fighters under contract.  It was assumed that the UFC, Affliction, and Strikeforce would soak up many of the big name guys. 

      However, ProElite recently sent letters to many managers of fighters including Monte Cox and Cesar Gracie saying that they intended to promote cards in 2009.  This threw fans, bloggers and fighters for a loop. 

   Then on October 31st it was announced that Showtime planned to have a private auction to sell the assets of proelite on November 17th.  The assets would include fighter contracts and video libraries.

Showtime, whose parent is CBS Corp., notified ProElite on Oct. 31 that it will auction off the company’s assets at a Los Angeles law firm on Nov. 17. The most valuable would appear to be the contract of one-time YouTube sensation Kimbo Slice. Also included are contracts with at least 13 other fighters, as well as a video library and the EliteXC and other brands.

It may not be so easy…Zach Arnold says:

What’s fascinating about this news item is the fact that Elite XC reportedly used personal service contracts with fighters. If you recall, PRIDE used the same type of agreements with its fighters. When DSE sold the PRIDE assets to UFC, I was screaming at the top of my lungs that fighters would be able to break away from those contracts if they were PSCs. UFC found itself having to renegotiate new contracts with PRIDE fighters because of it. Now, we have Monte Cox claiming that the fighter contracts up for sale at the auction on November 17th are PSCs, meaning in theory that they are not transferrable to third parties. This is why Cox is questioning whether or not Showtime will be able to pull off what they are doing.

Some managers such as Gracie and Cox have tried to file a suit saying that Proelite cannot fulfill the fighter contracts and therefore their fighters such as Jake Shields, Nich Diaz and Robbie Lawler ought to be released and made free agents. 

The impending auction of Proelite led many to wonder if Zuffa, the parent compant of the UFC would be in the market to buy the assets in order to gain guys like Jake Shields, Eddie Alvarez and Robbie Lawler. 

Today it was reported from ProElite that they will fight the auction…

The Company plans to take all appropriate measures to prevent the sale from occurring. Such measures may include raising additional financing, filing a lawsuit enjoining the sale, filing a bankruptcy petition or negotiating a settlement with Showtime. There can be no assurances that the Company will be successful in any of these actions.

The answer regarding ProElite’s status is no one knows.  First they are shutting down, then they aren’t.  Next they are selling assets, then they aren’t.  They are ceasing operations, then the are going to promote cards. 

ProElite is deep in debt including millions of dollars to Showtime and CBS.  There is no way they can promote more cards.  Why the heck must they screw the fighters and the fans in the process?  I will tell you why…because Dana White was right, Chuck Champion, the Shaws and the other ProElite brass do not care about MMA.

Evaluating Affliction

One of the questions that I keep thinking about is whether or not Affliction in here to stay and whether or not they will compete with the UFC.  No one disagrees that UFC is the standard of MMA right now, but Affliction is making up ground quickly.  It has been a tell tale sign of a slight change that Affliction has signed so many guys lately including many of the stars from the now defunt IFL, which was bought by the parent company of the UFC, Zuffa.  Affliction has signed Champs Roy Nelson and Vladimir Matyushenko.  They have signed lightweight star Chris Horodecki and are rumored to have welterweight champ Jay Hieron.  Affliction is cleaning up the free agents and doing better in that regard than even the UFC as of late.  So, what is there to judge a promotion…

1. Fighter Talent – Fight promotions are fight promotions.  There are other factors that come into play, but primarily if a promotion does not have top level talent they will not stay relevant.

2. Show Quality –  While good fighters is essential, the promotion must put on a good show.  They must entertain fans.  This includes exciting fights, good commentators and a solid show production.  Promotions have to build shows people will come to or buy.

3.  Solid Managment –  Managment is important to a fight promotion, not just anyone can do it.  A promotion may suceed or fail based ont he business savvy of the fight promoter or president.  The PR, fighter pay, contracts, TV deals, etc. all come into play here.

With that said, let’s see how Affliction is doing…

1. Fighter Talent…

There is a lot of hype around Affliction’s fighter talent.  Here is who I can think of off hand that they have and will use on their cards

  • Fedor Emelianenko
  • Andrei Arlovski
  • Josh Barnett
  • Tim Sylvia
  • Ben Rothwell
  • Roy Nelson
  • Pedro Rizzo
  • Paul Buentello
  • Aleksander Emelianenko
  • Antonio Rogerio Nogueira
  • Tito Ortiz
  • Vladimir Matyushenko
  • Renato “Babalu” Sobral
  • Mike Whitehead
  • Edwin DeWees
  • Vernon White
  • Vitor Belfort
  • Matt Lindland
  • Jay Hieron
  • Mike Pyle
  • J.J. Ambrose
  • Chris Horodecki

I went to HDNet’s Rankings to see how many Affliction Fighters were ranked in the top 100 pound for pound or top in their divisons  here is the results.

(Pound for Pound Rank, Divison Rank)

  • Fedor Emelianenko (2, 1)
  • Andrei Arlovski (25, 4)
  • Josh Barnett (27, 5)
  • Tim Sylvia (55, 7)
  • Ben Rothwell (81, 12)
  • Roy Nelson (84, 13)
  • Pedro Rizzo (NR, 19)
  • Paul Buentello (NR, NR)
  • Aleksander Emelianenko (76, 10)
  • Antonio Rogerio Nogueira (85, 13)
  • Tito Ortiz (87, 15)
  • Vladimir Matyushenko (66, 12)
  • Renato “Babalu” Sobral (92, 16)
  • Mike Whitehead (NR, NR)
  • Edwin DeWees (NR, NR)
  • Vernon White (NR, NR)
  • Vitor Belfort (NR, NR) – Unfairly I’d admit
  • Matt Lindland (22, 5)
  • Jay Hieron (59, 11)
  • Mike Pyle (NR, NR)
  • J.J. Ambrose (NR, NR)
  • Chris Horodecki (NR, NR)
  • Put this into perspective, out of the top 100 the promotions faires like this in pound for pound top 100 fighters…

    • UFC -39
    • Affliction – 13
    • DREAM -12
    • WEC – 10
    • EliteXC – 10
    • Strikeforce – 5
    • World Victory Road – 3

    The point is that Affliction’s talent is overrated. 

    • They are right about the level of DREAM talent wise
    • They are no where near the talent level of the UFC
    • 10 of the Affliction guys that appeared on the rankings list have fought in the UFC before.  Some have been sucessful.  There are several former UFC champs (Sylvia, Barnett, Rizzo, Ortiz and Arlovski), however most of them did no better than fair in the UFC (see Matyushenko, Hieron, et. al)
    • Most of the top Affliction guys are in the second half of their careers and are past their prime.  They still have fight left in them, don’t get me wrong, but not for the long haul
    • What happens if two or three of those gusy get injured?  Affliction is hanging their hat on Fedor, Barnett, Arlovski and Ortiz.  They cannot keep putting everyone on every card, they will run out of match-ups.
    • To their credit, they can put on good fights.  The talent isn’t bad.  Their guys can fight exciting fighter, but they have exciting fights at tough man competitions. They need to sign younger talent and more talent.

    Show Quality…

    • I cannot judge them solely on their sole show.  Affliction needs to improve their show quality as far as commentating, interviews and production is concerned
    • Also, I thought with the exception of the last 3 fights the card wasn’t what it was billed to be
    • They are nowhere near the UFC level as far as enjoyability to watch

    Solid Managment:

    • The UFC with Dana White and the Fertitas is still the managment standard.  I have problems with the UFC and Dana White’s managing style.  I don’t like his constant expletives, I don’t like the way he trashes other promotions, I don’t like the stubborness he exhibits with signing guys like Lindland and Barnett, and even Fedor.  However, Dana is crafty.  Atencio is no Dana White.  Watch his video below where he can’t remember Josh Barnett’s name and he is the main event for the second show. 
    • Affliction does have the deep pocketed Donald Trump behind them which helps.  Trump is a business guiness, but he doesn’t neccessarily know MMA.  The money helps thought he same way it helped having Lorezon and Frank in the UFC early days when they lost tons of money.

    Here is the point folks…Affliction is a solid upstart company.  They may be around for a while, but before we jump ont he bandwagon and label them peers to the UFC and competitors to the UFC let them get through a few shows first.  Let’s see how much money they lose after 3 events.  Let’s see how many fights they can do after 3 card.  They could compete, but as for now it is the UFC and then everyone else.  Zuffa is sitting pretty in the MMA world.  They are the big leagues, everything else is just the minors.  Affliction, EliteXC and DREAM are in the same boat and in a year from now at least one of them will be non-existent.

    UFC News: Zuffa Buys IFL

    It has been rumored for a few weeks that Zuffa was going to buy the International Fight League (IFL), now it seems offifical.  we assumed it was going to happen with several clues.  First, came the announcment that the IFL was for sale for $1,000,000 and that Zuffa was the leading suitor.  Then came the July 19th card featuring IFL fighters such as Reese Andy, Brad Blackburn and Rory Markham.  Also, during the SPIKE telecast of the UFC Fight Night 14 card IFL footage was used and talked about openly, something the UFC had not done before.  Then came the rumor that  the UFC signed Jim and Dan Miller.  Here is a word from IFL Senior Vice President of Communications Joe Favorito:

    I apologize for this mass email but I wanted to take a second to let you know that as of July 31 my role at the IFL will be no more as the company goes into its final stage of being sold and/or closed down. We are very proud of what we did here in just over two years, building a brand from nothing into something that people in the industry and outside of the industry actually noticed, and I enjoyed working with so many different people and helped tell some great stories. At the end of the day sometimes the finances don’t make sense, but it certainly wasn’t for lack of trying. The good news is I think we have gotten all our good junior people placed in some great spots, so we are pretty proud of that. Even our interns landed in good places

    That is nothing shocking.  Again, the focus now will be where do the 10-15 top guys from the IFL land.  There is some news on that front.  The IFL lightweight champion Ryan Schultz seems to have landed with World Victory Road, as he is slated to appear on their Sengoku 4 card, which is a lightweight grand prix.  That is a pretty good indicator that he will not land with Zuffa.  Also, MMAjunkie says that Chris Horodecki is in negotions with the American Fight League.  I am sure ZUffa will sign more fighters and they will go between the UFC and WEC.  I would imagine that means that the UFC will focus on Roy Nelson, Vladimir Matyushenko, and Jay Hieron, while the WEC has to crave Waggney Fabiano at 145 lbs.