A few news and notes coming out of UFC 113 before I hit the sack…
— Tonight, Shogun claimed what should have been his since October 24, 2009 — the UFC light heavyweight title and his spot atop the world’s light heavyweight rankings. What we didn’t know was Shogun was lucky to even make it to the fight tonight. Franklin McNeil reported on ESPN MMA Live before the fight that Shogun wasn’t 100%, he had a left knee injury. McNeil was only partially correct though. Shogun wasn’t 100%, but it wasn’t his knee. Shogun confirmed on ESPN MMA Live’s post-fight extra show that he came down with appendicitis a few months before the fight, and underwent surgery to have it removed. Apparently, the UFC had Randy Couture waiting on deck in case Shogun couldn’t make it. Obviously he did though, and the surgery didn’t affect his performance against Machida one bit.
“In my first fight against Machida, I tried to exploit the kicks a lot,” Rua said. “I noticed that every time he would try to attack by timing my kicks, he was attacking but without his guard in the proper place. He attacked with his face exposed.
“This time, I worked a lot not only on the kicks, but also on a high overhand right punch to surprise him as he was trying to move in from my kicks.”
Shogun on all the criticism he took despite his knee surgeries after the Forrest Griffin fight all the way to the Chuck Liddell fight.
“The toughest times that a fighter can face are the injury times,” Rua said. “Injuries are the worst thing that can happen to a fighter’s career, so the worst times of my life were after those knee surgeries … because it was very tough and people were criticizing me a lot.
“I work so hard, and when I was going through that criticism, I tried to think that someone had to pay the bill. Someone had to pay for what I was going through and I tried to do that in my fights and pay it back when I’m fighting.”
— Dana said on MMA Live the Rampage-Rashad winner will “probably” get the first title shot against Shogun. Anyone else salivating at the prospect of Shogun-Rampage 2?
— Anderson Silva has no excuse not to make a run at the UFC light heavyweight title now. His good friend, Lyoto Machida, is no longer the belt holder, so unless Machida somehow reclaims it or his other good friend and training partner, Lil’ Nog, wins it in the next year or so, there’s no reason for Anderson to hold back if he beats Sonnen and Belfort. Shogun has no problem fighting him.
— Paul Daley has not only been cut by UFC president Dana White for taking a cheap shot at Josh Koscheck after their fight ended, he’s been permanently exiled.
“He’s done,” White said after the event. “I don’t give a [expletive] if he’s the best 170-pounder in the world. He’ll never come back here again.
“There’s no excuse for that. These guys are professional athletes. You don’t ever hit a guy blatantly after the bell like that, whether you’re frustrated or not. It was probably one of the dumbest things I’ve ever seen because he is a talented guy, and he is one of the best 170-pounders in the world.”
“I don’t care if he fights in every show all over the world and becomes the best and everybody thinks he’s the best pound-for-pound best in the world, he will never fight in the UFC ever again,” White said. “He’s done.”
Dana later said on ESPN MMA Live he didn’t like Daley’s explanation when he confronted him after the fight. Apparently, Daley “didn’t hear the bell.” It was a bitch move and a weak excuse, and Daley deserves every bit of the fine and suspension he receives from the athletic commission, but to exile him from the UFC seems a little harsh. Dana could have slept on it first, especially considering how eager he is to sign Jake Shields who threw a post-fight punch of his own a few weeks ago. (Yes that was a different situation, but still)
Koscheck’s reaction to the news? “Well, I think I won twice.”
— Kimbo Slice is done-datta in the UFC. Dana White on MMA Live:
Yeah, this was Kimbo’s last fight in the UFC…He took my challenge, he came in, he worked hard, he represented himself very well. Kimbo Slice is a great guy, he’s worked hard to become a mixed martial artist, and I’ve earned a lot of respect for him…Let’s face the facts. It’s tough to come in at his age and become a mixed martial artist, but he’s done a great job. He’s really improved his game, he looked good tonight, but he’s not cut out for the UFC yet. Maybe he’s going to keep training and keep fighting in smaller shows and he’ll be back someday. But he’s had a good run, represented himself and the sport very well, and I’m glad I actually got the opportunity to meet and work with Kimbo Slice.
The improvement in Kimbo’s game was noticeable tonight. He still has a long ways to go as evidenced by how easily Mitrione handled him in the second round, but early on, it was the best Kimbo we’ve seen thus far. Dana’s right though, Kimbo just isn’t UFC material at this point in his development. Mitrione was already at the bottom of the heavyweight totem pole. Who could they even match him up with after he just lost to their most unproven heavyweight?
It will be interesting to see what Kimbo does now. Will he continue to train and develop his game? Who will make him offers? Strikeforce? DREAM? K-1? Bellator? Whose will he take? Or will he retire? Win or lose, I think Kimbo Slice will always be someone people keep their eye on even if it’s just in their peripheral vision.
By the way, Mitrione was impressive tonight. He’s coming along fast, but I guess you have no other choice when you have Pat Barry launching bombs at you everyday.
— The internet pirates who illegally stream live UFC events and the individuals who watch them are clearly not concerned at all by the UFC’s threats to sue them for all they’re worth.
Update: A few more…
— Josh Koscheck accused Paul Daley of “blatantly cheating,” specifically greasing, in his interview with Ariel Helwani. Still, he manages to come off as a decent guy when he’s not telling off the crowd.
His acting is almost as good as fighting. Don’t think Natasha Wicks didn’t notice. Miss that girl.