The MMA Update For Tuesday June 26th, 2007
Written by Chris Howie
'Twas a busy weekend in the MMA world and a very entertaining one on top of that. Strikeforce/EXC put on an excellent show Friday night and that was followed up by The Ultimate Fighter 5 Finale on Saturday. Both shows were great in their own rights, with some top-notch performances and the fight a lot of people had been waiting for between Frank Shamrock and Phil Baroni. Neither show disappointed, so lets get to the news and see everything that went down…
Kimbo Slice Defeats Ray Mercer in MMA Debut
Yes, Kimbo won his debut fight inside the cage and how you ask? Guillotine choke would be your answer. I shit you not when I say this, Kimbo came out against Mercer and shot in for the takedown and locked in the guillotine to secure his first MMA victory. When I first heard about this fight I was thinking how it would be a sideshow considering the majority of Kimbo's fights gained noteriety from YouTube, but Kimbo showed that he actually is taking this serious. He is training with Bas Rutten who is one of the best coaches in the game and knows his shit. I'm not saying he will be wearing a world title anytime soon but if he stays dedicated I think that he has a chance to maybe get some face time in the big dance someday. Rumors have already began to surface that his next opponent could be none other than UFC vet, David “Tank” Abbott.
Pride Show On 10/11/07
Nobuhiko Takada was quoted in a Japanese newspaper as saying Pride will be holding an event on October 11th, 2007, the 10th anniversary of Pride's inaugral show that had the main event of Takada going up against the legendary Rickson Gracie. As with all the latest rumors about Pride shows lately, it is hard to say what can be believed as nothing has been confirmed from the Zuffa side and considering Zuffa now owns Pride they would most likely have the final say in when a show happens. It would be great to see a Pride show especially on this 10th anniversary day but it is only speculation at this point.
EDIT: Dana White put the end to these rumors stating there would be NO Pride show in the fall.
Randy Couture & Quinton Jackson Nominated for ESPY Award
In what can be seen as a glance into how big MMA is becoming, the award formerly known as Best Boxer has been changed to Best Fighter in the annual ESPY's. Couture and Jackson were nominated for the award along with Floyd Mayweather Jr., Miguel Cotto, and Manny Pacquaio. This goes to show how big the sport is becoming and shines a bright light on the future of MMA. I for one am hoping Couture or Jackson walk away with the ESPY.
The Ultimate Fighter 5 Payouts
The following are the reported pay outs to fighters who participated on the Ultimate Fighter 5 live finale show on Spike TV:
-B.J. Penn ($100,000) def. Jens Pulver ($30,000)
-Nate Diaz ($16,000) def. Manny Gamburyan ($8,000)
-Thales Leites ($14,000) def. Floyd Sword ($3,000)
-Roger Huerta ($24,000) def. Doug Evans ($3,000)
-Joe Lauzon ($16,000) def. Brandon Melendez ($8,000)
-Cole Miller ($16,000) def. Andy Wang ($8,000)
-Gray Maynard ($8,000) def. Rob Emerson ($8,000)
-Leonard Garcia ($4,000) def. Allen Berubie ($8,000)
-Matt Wiman ($16,000) def. Brian Geraghty ($8,000)
Total fighter pay outs: $298,000
One thing about these payouts that I am finding hard to understand is why Leonard Garcia was paid less money than Allen Berubie. Garcia is coming off his entertaining war with Roger Huerta and I would expect that performance would earn him a little more coin. Overall the payouts seem good with the TUF'ers really cleaning up but I can't get over the fact Garcia made that much.
This show really delivered and was everything I was hoping it would be. Top-to-bottom the show was entertaining and had everything an MMA fan would want. Each fight was entertaining in its' own right and with knockouts and submissions all over the place this was definitely one fans should not have missed. The EliteXC Middleweight championship fight was a great display of talent and heart from “Ninja” Rua and Smokin' Joey Villasenor. Rua pulled out the victory via TKO stopping Villasenor in the second and winning the title.
The fight everybody had been waiting for between Phil Baroni and Frank Shamrock lived up to its' hype. Shamrock and Baroni slugged it out but Shamrock proved to be too much for the “New York Bad Ass” as Shamrock put Baroni to sleep late in the second round. Shamrock picked Baroni apart on their feet even taunting Baroni at one point gesturing that he was going to put him to sleep, only to nearly KO Baroni seconds later. Phil easily took Shamrock down numerous times throughout the fight but once the fight hit the floor, Baroni had nothing to offer Shamrock. Shamrock really out-classed Baroni from bell to bell as Baroni had little to offer in terms of offense. After Shamrock's first knock down, Baroni seemed wobbly on his feet the rest of the fight and it seemed to only be a matter of time before “The Legend” finished him off.
The question has been brought up whether or not Shamrock has returned to his ways of old. At this point it is hard to say exactly what could go down with Frank. A return to the UFC is far-fetched as him and Dana White do not get along and Shamrock seems to have no desire to return to the UFC. In an interview conducted with Shamrock prior to his fight here at MMANews.com, he told me that he wanted to fight every quarter of the year which would mean he would be back in the cage around September. I'm hoping to see Shamrock keep with those words and keep on fighting. Many fans sometimes don't understand just how good Frank Shamrock can be as his cocky attitude can get in the way of his actual talent. The jury is still out on where Shamrock will go from here but one could only hope that someday before it's too late Shamrock and White will get to settle their differences and possibly set up a Shamrock return to the UFC.
The Ultimate Fighter 5 Finale Thoughts
The finale to the fifth season of The Ultimate Fighter was highlighted by the main event rematch between B.J. Penn and foe Jens Pulver. The two had a heated history and when they were brought in to coach the show it was announced that on the finale they would be fighting to settle their score. Penn came out looking really well basically owning Pulver before choking him out in the second round. At a few points during the fight it appeared Penn had Pulver in some bad positions but Pulver pulled through and fought off Penn's submission attempts. In the second Penn took back control over Pulver and locked in a rear-naked choke, submitting the former lightweight champion. After the fight the two settled their differences and embraced to put an end to the feud. Pulver would state that he asked B.J. to help train him and Penn accepted.
The finals of the show were met with an unfortunate end as Manny Gamburyan suffered a shoulder injury and would not be able to continue, giving the win and the title of Ultimate Fighter to Nate Diaz. Gamburyan shot in for a takedown on Diaz and his shoulder popped forcing him to stop the fight. This wouldn't be the only freak incident on the card. During the Gray Maynard and Rob Emerson fight, Maynard picked Emerson up for a slam and dropped him down with great force. Emerson tapped out due to pain as he had been rocked in the first round from a body shot from Maynard. Unfortunately for Maynard while slamming Emerson to the mat he knocked himself out.
Overall the show was good even with the freak incidents during the event. Penn and Pulver delivered and finally put an end to their problems.
MMANews.com Weekly Awards
Fight of the Week: Frank Shamrock vs. Phil Baroni. This fight delivered.
Fighter of the Week: B.J. Penn. B.J. came out and really put on a show, letting people know that he still has it and that there is a reason people think he's the man.
Fuck You of the Week: Tommy Morrison for a 2nd straight week. What's the buzz on this HIV situation Tommy? Call me.
That's it for today. Coming up I'll have interviews with UFC fighters Hermes Franca, who will be challenging for the UFC lightweight title against Sean Sherk and also Nathan Marquardt who will step in the Octagon to take on Anderson Silva for the Middleweight championship. We're under two weeks from this show so make sure to check in to www.mmanews.com daily to keep track of all the news and updates regarding this “Stacked” card.
Send in all your questions to [email protected].