5oz’s of Fury: Ultimate Fighter Fallout, the LW and HW title picture, and the UFC Debuting at MSG?!?

“I didn’t know [Matt Serra] was such a bad guy. I just think he’s a bad role model. I want my kids to look at me. Do what I do, say what I say. I don’t think Matt Serra can do that with his kids.” – Matt Hughes

“Do you want to be a FUCKING fighter?” – Dana White, the face of UFC and Matt Hughes’s boss.

Speaking of Hughes being a role model, did anyone notice how he didn’t corner either of his team members in the finals? I thought that was disrespectful to them and to the sport? Anyway, this week we take a look at the fallout from the Ultimate Fighter Finale, see what may or may not be going on with the heavyweight and lightweight titles, see what former champion may or may not be coming back in March, and what’s this about the UFC debuting at Madison Square Garden? Plus it wouldn’t be 5oz’s of Fury without a picture of everyone’s favourite UFC siren…

ULTIMATE FIGHTER FINALE FALLOUT: Where to begin? They announced Forrest Griffin as one of the coaches for the next “Ultimate Fighter,” (three guesses who the other coach is), we had seven fights, and I think the worst fight on the show was the Mac Danzig vs. Tommy Speer…and even that wasn’t as bad as much as it was quick and one sided (where Mac Danzig won the six figure contract). The rest of the show was just sick. George Sotiropoulous, Matt Arroyo, and Troy Mandaloniz all finished the fight in a dominant fashion, and if John “War Machine” Koppenhaver and Jared “J-Roc” Rollins weren’t given a contract after their fight, I’d be shocked. Generally when you start connecting with elbows, the fight is more or less over because it’s like getting hit in the noodle with a ball-peen hammer. Rollins and Koppenhaver exchanged e-mails for three rounds, and J-Roc even looked like he was about to finish the fight until War Machine reversed with a jiu-jitsu move that was so quick and flawless, I missed it thinking that J-Roc finished the fight. I made them both MySpace friends after that (yes, I’m that big of a dork).

The main event featured Roger Huerta, after barely surviving round two, submiting Clay Guida in the third for the victory. Huerta is an interesting character. He’s 20-1, and I know the Sherdoggers and other net nerds claim the UFC had been feeding him easy opponents. I judge a fight with two simple questions: am I entertained, and am I not entertained? I’m always entertained with Huerta, and when you consider that last night’s fight and his ones earlier in the year against Garcia and Doug Evans are all considered fight-of-the-year candidates, I’m not alone. He probably goes on to fight Kenny “Worst Nickname” Florian, with the winner being next in line for a title shot. Speaking of the lightweight title…

SEAN SHERK VS. BJ PENN VS. JOE DADDY: When last we left off, they had just booked Penn vs. Stevenson at UFC 80 for the interim lightweight championship, while Sherk dealt with the California State Athletic Commission (CSAC), with the intention of unifying the interim and proper championships as soon as Sherk was eligible to fight. After about seventeen different delays, and an all around cockamamie process, the CSAC reduced Sherk’s suspension to six months, and all reports point to the UFC quietly stripping Sherk of the title. Nothing has officially been announced, but I think it’d be safe to assume the match at UFC 80 is for the proper lightweight title, and not the “interim” one.

THE UFC HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE: Remember last week when I waxed poetically on, “what if they were able to sign Randy Couture vs. Antonio Nogueira?” Feel free to ignore me, because the word this week is that Couture turned down the title shot (though, apparently he and Dana White did kiss and make up). On what might be a somewhat related story, Tim Sylvia posted on his website that he’s scheduled to fight at UFC 81…but “can’t yet release the name of his opponent.” The popular rumor in the event of a vacated heavyweight title has been Sylvia vs. Nogueira, and it would appear the title is for all intents and purposes vacated, so…*shrugs.*

THE RETURN OF RICH FRANKLIN: According to the good folks at MMAJunkie.com, former middleweight champion Rich Franklin has been offered a fight at UFC 82 against Travis Lutter, and it’s currently being assessed between him and his management. It’d be tough to do timing-wise, because Franklin is just finishing a movie and needs to be in Los Angeles at the beginning of the new year to film something for some UFC DVD project. That would only leave him with eight weeks to train, which is the minimum time needed for most training camps.

Franklin is in an interesting point in his career. He’s already lost to Anderson Silva twice, so unless Dan Henderson pulls off an upset and wins the title, I doubt Franklin would be fighting for the championship any time soon. So what’s a guy to do? Go back up to light-heavyweight? Catch-weight fights against guys like Georges St. Pierre and Matt Hughes? Slip nandrolone into Anderson Silva’s protein shake? Only time will tell.

THE UFC DEBUTS AT MSG: Well, kinda sorta. MMA is still outlawed in New York so they aren’t holding a live event. However, they did rent out Madison Square Garden to show UFC 79 on closed circuit television AND it will be hosted by Long Island’s own Matt Serra. So sayeth Dana White, “When I found out that Matt Serra was injured and couldn’t fight at UFC 79, I knew there would be a lot of fans on the East Coast who would be disappointed. So we are holding a UFC 79 viewing party at Madison Square Garden for all those fight fans, so they can watch UFC 79, meet UFC Champion Matt Serra, and find out who he’s going to fight next.”

Tickets are only $25.00, and while I’m skeptical, I’m hoping for as close to a sell out as they can get. Maybe once Mayor Mike Bloomberg sees how much money the city can make off of the UFC, we can start to do something about legalizing it.

And now, here it is, your moment of Zen…

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