2.03.2008 - 12:59:00 AM -
Minotauro Becomes Interim Heavyweight Champion; Mir taps Lesnar
I couldn't be happier that jiu jitsu came out on top tonight. Minotauro tapped Big Tim with a guillotine in the third round to become the interim heavyweight champion. After taking some visible damage Frank Mir submitted Brock Lesnar with a knee bar.
Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira vs. Tim Sylvia by Submission (guillotine choke) at 1:28, R3
Frank Mir def. Brock Lesnar by Submission (knee bar) at 1:30, R1
Nathan Marquardt def. Jeremy Horn by Submission (guillotine choke) at 1:37, R2
Ricardo Almeida vs. Rob Yundt by Submission (Rear naked choke), R1
Tyson Griffin def. Gleison Tibau by unanimous decision, R3
Chris Lytle def. Kyle Bradley by TKO (Strikes) at 0:33, R1
Tim Boetsch def. David Heath by TKO (Strikes) at 4:52, R1
Marvin Eastman def. Terry Martin by Unanimous Decision, R3
Robert Emerson def. Keita Nakamura by Split Decision, R3
I don't know how this guy keeps getting title shot after title shot considering that he's one of the most boring fighters around. His "I've got a big head and I'm going to hug you against the cage" style is beyond god awful to watch and I imagine to market as well. Yet still time after time the UFC throws him into title shots. Not to mention all the dumb shit he says and does outside the ring, but I digress; here's the video of the big ape talking about his fight at UFC 81:
12.30.2007 - 1:31:00 AM -
UFC 81: Big Nog vs Tim Sylvia for the heavyweight title
The UFC subtly announced tonight that Tim Sylvia will fight Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira at UFC 81 for the INTERIM heavyweight title.
Now I'm all fucking confused and thought this interim title bullshit was over and they go and try to sneak this tiny IMPORTANT fucking detail past everyone. I wouldn't know why in the fuck there would need to be an interim heavyweight title unless for some reason the UFC feels that Randy Couture is going to come out of his resignation/retirement. I'm just not quite understanding this shit anymore. I thought we could wash our hands of all this Randy Couture/UFC drama after Randy publicly turned down a fight with Big Nog. But no, just more god damn questions. Maybe this has to do with a championship clause in their contract that the UFC is going to try to use as leverage when this thing inevitably hits the legal system.
- 11:08:00 AM -
5 Oz. takes a look at the heavyweight title picture
Five Ounces of Pain writer Sam Cupitt takes a look at the UFC's heavyweight title picture after the resignation of then champion Randy Couture. I believe that we'll see Big Nog wearing the belt at the beginning of 2008. Here's what Sam had to say over at 5 Oz.:
With the failed signing of Fedor and the letter of resignation from Couture, the UFC is now left with a Heavyweight Division that is going to have a very hard time supporting a champ as the legitimate No.1 in the world. In the coming months and the early part of next year there are a number of fighters who will stake a claim for the belt. Depending on who becomes champ, the UFC is going to have varying levels of difficulty when it comes to marketing them as the World's best. Let's examine the situation:
Antonio Rodrigo Noguiera
There is no denying "Minotauro" is a great Mixed Martial Artist and no doubt in the top 3, or at the least top 5 heavyweights in the world. However, if he were to beat Cheick Kongo and then the winner of Vera/Sylvia (or just, as been speculated) for the title, the UFC will have an extremely hard time selling him as the No.1 when Fedor has demolished him twice.
If Tim Sylvia manages to get past Vera and then Noguiera/Kongo the UFC is left with a champ who was never really popular to begin with and also has just been man-handled by a 44 year old legend, who many believe should still be fighting inside the octagon.
Non-UFC sources say that the contract Couture negotiated and signed before his comeback fight against Tim Sylvia in March is for four fights and between $13 million and $15 million, which puts him behind only Chuck Liddell, at four fights and $17 million, in the UFC salary pecking order. Those numbers are believed to include percentages of pay-per-view money.
I would take this at face value. Kevin Iole is a respected writer and has credible sources but this is a non-UFC source. The UFC has never before released figures of what people make and for good reason. If those figures were to get out to people the fighters may have more leverage at the negotiating table. Something I highly doubt the UFC or Dana White want to deal with. If this is brought up I'm sure they'll dismiss it as it isn't even coming from someone inside the UFC.
Here are two more interesting points about Randy's Retirement. Sam Caplan provided us with some insight earlier in the week with regards to this situation. Check out what Iole has to say:
Couture believes he can be a free agent after sitting out nine months, which would mean he figures he can fight Emelianenko sometime in late spring or early summer of 2008.
UFC president Dana White insists Couture must fight twice for the UFC to fulfill his contract and become a free agent
Kevin also went on to post about the future of the heavyweight division:
The winner of the Brandon Vera-Tim Sylvia fight on Saturday at UFC 77 in Cincinnati will meet Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira for the vacant heavyweight title sometime early next year.
Either winner to come out of Saturday nights UFC 77 fight will make a good opponent for Big Nog. Nogueira was the PRIDE heavyweight champion before Fedor came through and took the belt and has had it ever since. Nogueira is arguably one of the best BJJ practitioners in MMA. He also complements his ground game by working on his hands with the Cuban National boxing team. My prediction is we'll see Brandon Vera take on Nogueira, which will start the reign of Big Nog as the UFC Heavyweight champ.
Click here to read the rest of the mailbag from Kevin Iole.