The Pit Report: Previewing the Months Ahead

First things first…

R.I.P. RYAN BENNETT


MMAWeekly.com founder and former UFC broadcaster Ryan Bennett died on Wednesday in a tragic car accident. He was 35 years-old. Ryan’s wife, Tonya, was still in surgery as of Thursday, and two of their children are still in the hospital, while their two youngest have checked out fine.

I didn’t know Ryan, but I respect the hell out of the man for what he did with MMAWeekly and for his passion for MMA. If you read my column regularly you’ll notice a credit to Ryan and/or MMAWeekly damn near every week. Bennett will be deeply missed by the MMA community, and on behalf of Inside Pulse I’d like to extend our deepest sympathies to his family and friends.

You can check out a nice video tribute to Ryan here, courtesy of TheFightNetwork.

UFC 60: NOT QUITE A SELLOUT CROWD

Ticket sales are suggesting that a little over 8,000 tickets were sold for UFC 60, but UFC is reporting an attendance record of 14,802. The Staples Center holds 16,947, so we’re obviously not looking at a sellout crowd. I’m very surprised, especially considering how much hype the main event received. I imagine that the buyrate for the pay-per-view will live up to UFC’s expectations.

UFC 61: BITTER RIVALS UPDATE


As the lovely and wise Shelly pointed out last week, Tito Ortiz announced that he has been cleared by doctors to fight Ken Shamrock on July 8th. The UFC confirmed the news soon after on UFC.com. The show will be headlined by the rubber match for the UFC Heavyweight Championship between Tim Sylvia and Andrei Arlovski. Rumored fights for UFC 61 include: Joe Stevenson vs. Yves Edwards, Frank Mir vs. Dan Christison, and Jeff Monson vs. TBA.

Tickets went on sale on Sunday. With this double-main event, I won’t be surprised if it’s sold out by next week.

THE ULTIMATE FINALE

It was announced recently that Kenny Florian will face Sam Stout in a Lightweight bout as the main event of The Ultimate Fighter 3 finale. Spike TV will air the finale live on Saturday, June 24th at 9pm EST.

ULTIMATE FIGHT NIGHT 5

Ultimate Fight Night 5 is shaping up quite nicely. I’m always up for a Cat Smasher fight. Chris Leben will meet Price FC and Cage Rage veteran Anderson Silva, in his first appearance for UFC.

It’s been a long time coming, but Rich Franklin’s hetero lifemate, Jorge Gurgel, will make his official UFC debut. He will face TKO star Mark Hominick; the man that upset Yves Edwards at UFC 58. Gurgel recently had reconstructive knee surgery, so it’ll be interesting to see how he does.

TUF 1’s Josh Koscheck will take on former UFC Middleweight Champion Dave Menne. Menne has ben absent from the company since UFC 39.

The rest of the card, while not officially announced by UFC yet, is said to include the following bouts.

  • Stephan Bonnar vs. Rashad Evans
  • Luke Cummo vs. Jonathan Goulet
  • Jon Fitch vs. Thiago Alves
  • Justin Levens vs. Jorge Santiago

Ultimate Fight Night 5 will broadcast live from the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas on Wednesday, June 28th, just four days after the TUF 3 finale. The show will air on Spike TV at 8pm EST.

THE ULTIMATE FIGHTER 4

UFC President Dana White confirmed at UFC 60 that the fourth season of the Ultimate Fighter has already begun filming. Season four will be titled “The Comeback,” and will focus on UFC veterans who have never tasted UFC gold. The night and time will stay the same, but the concept will be different. The show will focus on the Middleweight and Welterweight divisions, and one fighter from each weight class will win a six-figure contract and a title shot.

There won’t be coaches for the vets, but rather counselors in the form of UFC legend Randy Couture, Georges St. Pierre, and widely respected Muy Thai coach Mark DellaGrotte.

The premiere episode is scheduled to debut on August 17th at 10pm EST on Spike TV.

WE’LL MISS YOU, EVIL BRUNETTE HOTTIE

I kind of saw this coming, due to her absence from UFC 60: It was announced today that UFC Ring Girl Amber Nichole Miller has left the company. No further details of her departure are available.

Maxim and Amp’d Mobile are currently running a competition to find the next UFC octagon girl. Click here if you are interested in voting. I’m not thrilled with the choices, so I’m sending in a write-in vote for Shelly.

THE REV ON THE RADIO

I have been invited to be a guest on Rocco DeMaro’s Weekend Sportsline show this Saturday, June 3rd, to discuss, what else, UFC. If you live in the Pittsburgh area, tune in to FM Newstalk 104.7 between 1 and 4pm to hear the interview. For the rest of you, point your browsers to WPGB.com to listen over the net. I believe my segment will be around 3 or 3:30pm.

I have Inside Pulse to thank for this opportunity. The show’s producer read over my awful stuff here and dediced I’d be the guy to go on a Clear Channel station. Either she skipped over all the profanity, or Rocco’s show has a ton of delay built up.

One more thing…if you live near Pittsburgh and can record my segment for me, I’d really appreciate a copy in MP3 format. I live near Columbus, OH, so it ain’t exactly local for me.

MUTANT MAILBAG

I only have one e-mail worth posting, but it’s a f*ckin’ gem from our own Patrick Nguyen.

From: Patrick N., May 28

Royce got totally owned sniff sniff. He got beat in grappling and then
Matt punched the shit out of him. I’m not sure why Royce looked so calm
unless he knew he was going to get his arm raped like his dad by kimura
and beaten up in the first round.

If you’ve ever listened to Patrick on IP Sports Radio, he comes across as a smart, well-spoken guy. I’m beginning to think either the guy on the “Pulsecast” in an imposter, or perhaps a drunken foreigner has access to his e-mail account.

PLUGS

Speaking of Pulsecasts, Erik Hernandez and James Hatton are back with RabbleCast #2. Hatton is, to quote Jim Norton, a perfectly annunciating boob, and the intro music will make you want to slit your own throat, but it’s a good show so check it out.

I have a quota of Shelly mentions that I need to meet, so make sure you check out her brand spankin’ new recap of The Ultimate Fighter 3: Episode 9.

Believe it or not: It’s a new edition of The Scorecard! Not even finals can stop Rokk from getting psyched up about the Castillo vs. Corrales rubber match.

Our boxing coverage wouldn’t be complete without our buddy Trent. Who the f*ck else would discuss Mariah Carey and diarrhea in a boxing column? Check out the latest Body Blows, and delve deep into the mind of a truly disturbed motherf*cker.

One final non-IP plug: If everything goes as planned, this Tuesday (06.06.06) will mark the return of WhiteTrashDevil.com. For those who don’t know, White Trash Devil is a comprehensive heavy music site that I started about six years ago. I closed the site for about two years, but we’re coming back. If you dig heavy music (doom, black metal, hardcore, stoner rock, death metal, thrash, power, etc.), WTD is the place for you. It’s real commentary by real music fans. Fuck all the snobery and/or childish antics of so-called metal sites. We take a tongue-firmly-planted-in-cheek approach to running a music site, so come check us out and join us on our forum.

That’s all for this week. I have a torn rotator cuff, which is why I’ve been late for the last two weeks, but hopefully this piece of garbage makes up for that. Look for a bonus non-UFC MMA column from me next week, as well as my usual UFC fanboy bullshit.

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