The UFC ended 2007 with a great card in UFC 79 capped off by an epic battle that has been years in the making. and Wandy vs Chuck didn't disappoint. 15 minutes of 2 of the greatest 205 lbers ever going toe to toe. We also saw the "passing of the torch" so to speak with St. Pierre defeating Matt Hughes by armbar. (Ironically enough the first time they fought Hughes won by armbar) We also got to see a much anticipated fight two up and coming light heavyweights Sokoudjou and Machida. From that fight I took away that Machida is good. Damn good. A master of his craft even. His stand up is just on another level. He's the #2 light heavyweight fighter in my book right now.
As usual there were tons of post fight reviews, press conferences, audio, recaps etc. Here a list of all the goods:
MMA Junkie is reporting that UFC handed out $55,000 dollar bonuses for Fight of the Night, Submission of the Night, and Knockout of the Night. Fight of the Night went to both Thiago Alves and Chris Lytle for their back and forth undercard fight. Submission of the Night went to Akihiro Gono for his arm bar submission of Tamden McCrory in the nights first fight. The Knockout of the Night bonus went to Ed Herman for KOing Joe Doerksen in one of the undercard fights. At UFC 77, $40,000 bonuses were handed out after the fight. The bonuses have recently started increasing. They started at $10,000 dollars a year ago and have jumped to $55,000 at UFC 78.
The Junkie is also reporting that they sold out the event with 14,071 people in attendance. The crowd produced a live gate of $2.1 million.
I will post the post fight press conference when it becomes available...
10.22.2007 - 10:34:00 AM -
Rich Franklin retirement talk premature.
Dann Stupp, The junkie of MMAJunkie.com also has a column at the Dayton Daily News squashing the post UFC 77 rumors that Rich Franklin is headed for a retirement.
"Rich still has a lot left to accomplish in this sport," said J.T. Stewart, Franklin's publicity manager. "It's too early for him to even consider retirement at this point."
Likewise, UFC President Dana White - the fight executive who strategically blueprinted Franklin's rise to the top - says he'll be there no matter how far Franklin may fall.
"Rich Franklin will always be a part of this organization," White said. "He's one of the team players here in the UFC, and he's going to be here forever."
I would personally hope that Rich doesn't retire. He's always been one of my favorite fighters and he truly is a great fighter. Anderson Silva is just that much better. There isn't anyone in the middleweight division that I see beating Rich Franklin let alone Anderson Silva. I think we'll see Rich take a little break from MMA and see how the middleweight division unfolds over the next few months.