Ramblings on UFC 84, Kimbo Slice, Tito Ortiz and more
Ramblings will be a semi-regular feature. Short quips, quick links, news tidbits, shameless self-promotion for an interview coming Thursday: it's all here. There's just a lot to get to this week with UFC 84 fallout and the biggest event in MMA history this Saturday.
UFC 84: The biggest thing I took away from UFC 84 was Wanderlei Silva holding Keith Jardine down by the throat and destroying him with right hands. That was eerily reminiscent of a fighter I used to follow who, incidentally, also went by the name Wanderlei Silva ... hmmm. I’d love to see him take down UFC light heavyweight champion Quinton “Rampage” Jackson again. That will take some time, though.
Wanderlei Silva: The Silva fight was the biggest thing to take away from Saturday's event because we all already knew B.J. Penn was a better fighter than Sean Sherk and that Machida was “elusive” enough to decision Ortiz.
Tito vs. the UFC: The weirdest thing to come from UFC 84 was the brouhaha in the news conference. Tito shows up, claims he is banned. UFC PR-types kick him out. Jenna Jameson makes him stay. Ortiz is allowed to talk for a few minutes before the news conference. That is immediately stopped. Media gets angry. Four uniformed cops come into the room. Ortiz is then allowed to stay for the news conference. I’ll have more on this next week, but definitely a weird situation. Even without being there myself, I have to say it’s completely ridiculous to involve the police officers like this. Maybe there’s more to it.
UFC 87: More news on UFC 87. UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre will be defending his title against Jon Fitch in the main event now, which should be a decent fight. Brock Lesnar will be facing Heath Herring, which is a much more compelling matchup than Mark Coleman.
EliteXC: EliteXC’s moment of truth comes this Saturday. If people don’t tune in, it could pretty much mean the end of the company. The entire MMA-world has a lot riding on this event as it will be the first exposure to MMA for a lot of casual sports fans. Kimbo Slice is getting a push in the mainstream media similar to Chuck Liddell’s before he lost to Rampage at UFC 71. The main difference is Kimbo’s wave of popularity will continue and he'll win because he’s fighting a member of the Washington Generals (well, actually James Thompson), whereas Liddell fought one of the top pound-for-pound fighters in mixed martial arts. More on this later in the week. In the meantime, an interesting article from Sherdog on whether or not Slice is ready for the spotlight.
Gus Johnson: Speaking of EliteXC’s big event Saturday, we will have an exclusive interview with CBS broadcaster Gus Johnson coming later this week. Some interesting stuff here, including what his dad said to him when he found out he was calling the event and his preparations for broadcasting the action.
Kimbo's opponent: Hey, that guy Kimbo Slice is fighting actually has opinions and stuff. I just hope he can get his glass jaw fixed in time for the fight.
The WEC: The WEC has a huge fight on Sunday night on Versus at 9 p.m., as Urijah Faber takes on Jens Pulver. That will be a tremendous fight. There’s nothing more that needs to be said on the event, so here’s a tremendous feature on Jens Pulver from CBS Sports' Gregg Doyel.