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Like Fedor wants to make sure his training partners get taken care of as fighters, he wants to fight in Russia which isn't in the UFC's plans, and the contract clause I mentioned earlier about defending the UFC title (if he wins it) before he can leave.

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Like Fedor wants to make sure his training partners get taken care of as fighters, he wants to fight in Russia which isn't in the UFC's plans, and the contract clause I mentioned earlier about defending the UFC title (if he wins it) before he can leave.

I do remember all of that being discussed now that you mention it, but according to the MMA insiders the Combat Sambo thing was the deal-breaker.

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I just read a couple of articles and found some interesting information regarding Fedor and M-1. For one, Fedor's mananager, Vadim Finkelstein, also oversees M-1, so from the start, in a sense, the organization and Fedor were joined at the hip vis-a-vis his manager (who also manages the Russian Red Devil team). Also, the Bogdog MMA organization also appeared to have made a bad impression on Finkelstein and Fedor, in addition to the demands being made by the UFC, so I think part of the issue has to do with the Russian's impressions of Americans.

Combine Russian pride and the fact that Fedor competes yearly in Sambo competitions, along with other UFC demands, and you have the making of a deal gone wrong. At one point, in an article with either Finkelstein or one of Fedor's trainer, a comment was made along the lines of "We'll never see eye to eye with the Americans."

I just think there are philisophical issues between the two sides, which isn't surprising.

I don't think this (older) article has been posted, but I thought it was a bit enlightening:

http://sports.espn.go.com/extra/mma/news/story?id=2951422

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I don't think this (older) article has been posted, but I thought it was a bit enlightening:

http://sports.espn.go.com/extra/mma/news/story?id=2951422

That article is old. Written on July 27th. But wow. How stern and honest Fedor's manager is. I'll write out the parts of the interview that he talks about the UFC:

Sherdog.com: As Fedor's manager, can you please fill us in on the current state of his contract negotiations.

VF: At the moment we are in negotiations with a number of organizations who have put offers on the table. I'll be blunt in saying that the UFC offer is the most financially attractive one. However they are very harsh in their terms and are not very flexible in actually negotiating them.

Fedor has now been the PRIDE heavyweight champion for four years and I think we have earned the right to negotiate a contract that suits both parties. Instead we are faced with a blunt "you are either in or you're out." This does not really suit us. If the negotiations continue in a similar manner, we'll prefer to fight for less money but with an organization which is more flexible.

The problem is that Fedor is the face of Combat Sambo in Russia. His popularity is at a level where he is acquainted with president Putin himself, in part because he is so successful and well known for Combat Sambo here.

Combat Sambo is a Russian sport that's not at a level of difficulty of MMA, but is hugely popular with our public. Fedor must represent Russia in Combat Sambo and at world championships, specifically the ones coming up in September. All we want him to do is compete something like once a year in Combat Sambo. But the UFC is not happy with that.

Their proposal has all kinds of clauses, all kinds of fines etc. that do not suit us. The UFC is not really that eager to communicate and negotiate. The negotiations are still continuing, and we will try very hard to get our demands met, if not Fedor will simply not compete in the UFC, even though that will be unfortunate as they currently have one of the, if not the, strongest, heavyweight divisions in the world.

Sherdog.com: What do you think of the way the UFC markets itself? I am asking specifically about an interview Dana White gave recently where he mentioned that the negotiations [for getting Fedor into the UFC] were continuing, but that he was dealing with "crazy Russians," and he wasn't sure what they were going to do next.

VF: I think that first thing is that the UFC politics are that they probably want an American champion. I think it's safe to say that in America this is the case.

But in theory, if the organization is honorable, take the Japanese for example, for them the sport and integrity of the success of the fighters was most important. Their philosophy was that once at a high level the fighters were going to be matched with only the top level of the competition, and we know that eventually if you only face the best, eventually you will lose.

The UFC is slightly different. They have their own ways of doing things. For example, I suggested that they have a UFC event in Russia, which I would organize for them, including financial assistance. They said that didn't suit their current development plans.

I requested the right to show UFC content during the television slot we have with the state broadcaster in Russia. They declined and said that they had their own people who would organize this here. And today those people came to me to ask me to place the UFC content into our slot. I was fine with this, it's going ahead. I'm not a spiteful person. What matters is the exposure of the sport in Russia, UFC, or other organizations, it doesn't matter. What's important to me is my fighters getting recognition and the sport gaining popularity here.

Of course I prefer that they came to me for help in Russia, in organizing an event for them here in St. Petersburg, or in Moscow, no on else could do what I can. There is no one in Russia that can even get close to us with MMA promotion.

Sherdog.com: As Fedor's manager, how long would you like to see his career progress for, and also who would you like to see him fight before he retires?

VF: He's only 30, there is lot's of time left to fight still. The UFC is of course fighting in the cage, not in the ring. And we'd prefer that he would not fight the very strongest opponent straight away. Of course we want to fight strong fighters, but would like an opportunity to grow, get a little used to the new format.

I have absolutely no doubt that right now Fedor is the strongest heavyweight in the world, and could beat anyone they throw at him, but we would nevertheless like an opportunity to develop a little, get used to the new surroundings. There are elbows now, etc.

Of course we want to fight with them. Though there are other opportunities, other organizations. There is the offer from K-1, a good offer, though a little less in terms of finances, mostly as they do not have the kind of revenue streams that the UFC currently has today, due to PPV.

But there are other factors. The UFC is only interested in Fedor; they are not considering other Red Devil fighters. K-1 is prepared to take our boys and provide other assistance as well, in developing the team. But we're not in a huge hurry. If Fedor is not signed for a while, I will organize a match here for him.

We have the resources and audience and television rights to make a good go of it here. The first large overseas organization that properly enters into Russia will do very well. But the UFC is not interested. They are only interested in North America and a few European shows.

I've tried to explain this to Dana White, I suggested working together as I believe there is a lot of potential in this part of the world for joint ventures to be hugely successful. Apart from Russia there are other former republics of the Soviet Union which will be good sources of revenue in the future also, as there is growing interest in the sport which will only increase over time.

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Yeah, I found that article to be very enlightening. To me, a lot of this screams "DANA WHITE!" Fedor and his manager had a few requirements and Dana and company, with a bit of arrogance, probably felt they didn't have to meet their needs. I bet the UFC negotiators were thinking, "What are they going to do? Sign with someone else?"

Dana White and the UFC probably just had to bend on a few points and they were unwilling to do so. Sometimes, in negotiations, this can be a strong tactic, if you are negotiating from a position of strength. And sometimes this can blow up in your face.

For example, I don't see why a UFC in Russia would be a bad idea. I enjoyed the whole "US vs Russia" Bodog events, and Russia, with a large population that enjoys combat sports, is a HUGE untapped market for the U.S. Considering that M-1 was unhappy in the way they were treated by Bodog, Finkelstein probably wanted to ensure they received a little better treatment by the UFC.

I dunno - this is only one side of the story. But, from my observations, Dana White does have a side of him that is a bit arrogant at times, and I can see some of the issues being caused by the UFC and White's negotiations. Especially since Russians are proud - you can sense this in the interview - and Western arrogance never sits well with Russians. In particular if the Westerner's attitude is, "No, you have to sign with us, and we won't accomodate you."

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Yeah, I found that article to be very enlightening. To me, a lot of this screams "DANA WHITE!" Fedor and his manager had a few requirements and Dana and company, with a bit of arrogance, probably felt they didn't have to meet their needs. I bet the UFC negotiators were thinking, "What are they going to do? Sign with someone else?"

Dana White and the UFC probably just had to bend on a few points and they were unwilling to do so. Sometimes, in negotiations, this can be a strong tactic, if you are negotiating from a position of strength. And sometimes this can blow up in your face.

For example, I don't see why a UFC in Russia would be a bad idea. I enjoyed the whole "US vs Russia" Bodog events, and Russia, with a large population that enjoys combat sports, is a HUGE untapped market for the U.S. Considering that M-1 was unhappy in the way they were treated by Bodog, Finkelstein probably wanted to ensure they received a little better treatment by the UFC.

I dunno - this is only one side of the story. But, from my observations, Dana White does have a side of him that is a bit arrogant at times, and I can see some of the issues being caused by the UFC and White's negotiations. Especially since Russians are proud - you can sense this in the interview - and Western arrogance never sits well with Russians. In particular if the Westerner's attitude is, "No, you have to sign with us, and we won't accomodate you."

I disagree that it is Dana's fault. You have to look at the big picture. If they would have made Fedor the highest paid fighter in the organization and given him all kinds of special clauses the UFC would be putting themselves in a bad position with their other fighters. Coutre has already said that he would have "held out" of a Fedor fight until they renegotiated his contract so he was getting at least as much as Fedor. The UFC did what they had to do. They let Fedor walk.

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I disagree that it is Dana's fault. You have to look at the big picture. If they would have made Fedor the highest paid fighter in the organization and given him all kinds of special clauses the UFC would be putting themselves in a bad position with their other fighters. Coutre has already said that he would have "held out" of a Fedor fight until they renegotiated his contract so he was getting at least as much as Fedor. The UFC did what they had to do. They let Fedor walk.

Actually, they didn't let Fedor walk: Fedor signed with someone else, namely M-1, which is also run by his manager. And, if this wasn't evident during this discussion, it wasn't about the money for Fedor. If you look at Fedor's competition record, you'll notice that he fights Sambo every year and it is pretty important for him (and his record). I have a feeling that some UFC fighters also participate in grappling matches, though I am not sure if they have a clause in their contracts, or what. (At least some of the Brazilian fighters probably still fight in BJJ matches...)

Now, you may be correct on your point that White and the UFC couldn't make special accomodations for Fedor, or they'd have to do the same for other fighters. But maybe they do and we just don't know it. And perhaps I have over-stated the "arrogance" angle of Dana White, but you have to admit that he does come across that way, at times. (Don't get me wrong: I like Dana White and I appreciate what he and Zuffa has done for the sport....)

Of course, there are two sides to the story and it takes two to tango, so it is probably wrong, either way, to blame one side or the other. But I was just presenting a certain angle of the whole discussion with Fedor, and what I felt was invovled with it.

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My predictions for UFC 77: Hostile Territory

(I do this so everyone else will know to pick the exact opposites) :)

1. Silva over Franklin- KO 2 (Too much Silva last time.)

2. Vera over Sylvia- Dec. (Randy exposed Tim's ground game.)

3. Petz over Burkman- Dec. (Yawn...)

4. Schafer over Bonnar- Dec. (Stephon is declining steadily.)

So there you have it. My honest appraisals. Bet the other way and you'll be rich.

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Of course, there are two sides to the story and it takes two to tango, so it is probably wrong, either way, to blame one side or the other..

That's all I'm saying. I blame them both. I'm not as upset as most people though because I would much rather see Fedor fight Josh Barnett. I think Fedor would kill Coutre and I think Barnett is the only guy out there right not that can beat him.

So, it looks like the Kongo-Nog fight is off.

Nog gets the winner of Sylvia-Vera probably at Super Bowl weekend for the vacant title.

http://ufcmania.com/2007/10/17/ufc-quick-quote-sylviavera-winner-to-fight-antonio-rodrigo-nogueira-for-vacant-heavyweight-title/

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Here are my predictions for UFC 77: Coutureless

Burkman vs. Petz: Burkman by UD. Both guys will beat each other up, I hope it's shown.

MacDonald vs. Okami: Okami by rear naked choke in the 2nd. MacDonald will be ready for Okami, but Okami's skills will prevail.

Belcher vs. Starnes: Belcher by armbar in 3rd. Belcher didn't handle Grove's height advantage well. But I see him pulling it out.

Schafer vs. Bonnar: Bonnar by UD. Schafer hasn't faught in the UFC for 10 months. Bonnar is a gamer and can fend off Schafer's sub attempts.

Sylvia vs. Vera: Vera by TKO in 2nd. I like Tim, but Randy threw him around and Vera has amazing technical skills. This fight is going to the ground most likely.

Silva vs. Franklin: Franklin by ref stoppage in 3rd. Everything points to Anderson being an unstoppable force. I believe the hype has gotten to his head. Rich will pull out an upset.

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So, it looks like the Kongo-Nog fight is off.

Nog gets the winner of Sylvia-Vera probably at Super Bowl weekend for the vacant title.

http://ufcmania.com/2007/10/17/ufc-quick-quote-sylviavera-winner-to-fight-antonio-rodrigo-nogueira-for-vacant-heavyweight-title/

Thanks, Sebowski..

IMO, Neither Kongo or Minotauro has earned a title shot yet. Kongo should have to fight someone better than Assuerio Sylva and a greatly-reduced Cro Cop. Big Nog looked un-champlike against Herring.

Sylvia v. Vera should be the title match. Tim just lost the belt to Couture and didn't get a rematch. Vera has had a most impressive string of wins and deserves it more than Nog.

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Silva vs. Franklin: Franklin by ref stoppage in 3rd. Everything points to Anderson being an unstoppable force. I believe the hype has gotten to his head. Rich will pull out an upset.

Silva doesn't take anyone lightly, since winning he's been respectful and classy to all of his opponents. He knows that Rich is a good fighter and fighting in his hometown. Silva will come out looking to finish.

my predictions for the fight will after i see the weigh-ins.

Thanks, Sebowski..

IMO, Neither Kongo or Minotauro has earned a title shot yet. Kongo should have to fight someone better than Assuerio Sylva and a greatly-reduced Cro Cop. Big Nog looked un-champlike against Herring.

Sylvia v. Vera should be the title match. Tim just lost the belt to Couture and didn't get a rematch. Vera has had a most impressive string of wins and deserves it more than Nog.

a list of fighters Vera has faced and beaten:

1. Frank Mir (shell of his former self when they fought)

2. Assuerio Silva

3. Justin Eilers

4. Mike Whitehead

5. Fabiano Scherner

6. Andre Mussi

7. Don Richard

8. Adam Rivera

you say that Nog or Kongo shouldn't get a shot at the title, yet you say Vera has an impressive string of victories. Vera hasn't fought in a long time, and he still hasn't faced anybody remotely close to the top 10. I like Vera, but he doesn't deserve a shot over Nog at this point. Once he starts to beat people who are actually ranked, then give him the shot (which i expect him to do).

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Anyone else watching the Ultimate Fighter and hoping that the Mac dude gets his ass kicked?

I haven't been watching it, how is he doing? He's the most experienced fighter on the show I know that. Is he an ******* or something?

I know he just did a seminar at Capital Jiu Jitsu in Alexandria not too long ago.

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I haven't been watching it, how is he doing? He's the most experienced fighter on the show I know that. Is he an ******* or something?

I know he just did a seminar at Capital Jiu Jitsu in Alexandria not too long ago.

He's coming off as a real ******** on the show.

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Silva doesn't take anyone lightly, since winning he's been respectful and classy to all of his opponents. He knows that Rich is a good fighter and fighting in his hometown. Silva will come out looking to finish.

my predictions for the fight will after i see the weigh-ins.

a list of fighters Vera has faced and beaten:

1. Frank Mir (shell of his former self when they fought)

2. Assuerio Silva

3. Justin Eilers

4. Mike Whitehead

5. Fabiano Scherner

6. Andre Mussi

7. Don Richard

8. Adam Rivera

you say that Nog or Kongo shouldn't get a shot at the title, yet you say Vera has an impressive string of victories. Vera hasn't fought in a long time, and he still hasn't faced anybody remotely close to the top 10. I like Vera, but he doesn't deserve a shot over Nog at this point. Once he starts to beat people who are actually ranked, then give him the shot (which i expect him to do).

Solid point, but my logic comes from the observation that at least Brandon Vera has had a string of UFC victories at all. Minotauro has 1 UFC fight under his belt and he had to come back from la-la land to squeeze that one win. I say Vera is more deserving than Nog, but let's say for the sake of analysis that you and I are both wrong. Should we endure another Sylvia-Arlovski fight? Should we throw Cro Cop another bone when he's clearly undeserving?

Wow, Randy really threw a monkey wrench in the UFC HW picture. Perhaps the Sylvia-Vera fight will produce one contender and an Arlovski-Nog fight would produce another. I just don't see where Kongo can fit in at this early stage in his development.

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Solid point, but my logic comes from the observation that at least Brandon Vera has had a string of UFC victories at all. Minotauro has 1 UFC fight under his belt and he had to come back from la-la land to squeeze that one win. I say Vera is more deserving than Nog, but let's say for the sake of analysis that you and I are both wrong. Should we endure another Sylvia-Arlovski fight? Should we throw Cro Cop another bone when he's clearly undeserving?

Wow, Randy really threw a monkey wrench in the UFC HW picture. Perhaps the Sylvia-Vera fight will produce one contender and an Arlovski-Nog fight would produce another. I just don't see where Kongo can fit in at this early stage in his development.

I agree with you about Kongo, he hasn't done enough to earn a title shot yet. i say match him up with Gonzaga to help clear things up.

Arvloski has kinda shot himself in the foot since being knocked out by Timmy. he hasn't been that exciting lately, he could've finished Werdum if he pressed the action but he was content to get a decision victory.

I would say that Minotauro did more than squeeze past Herring. He got caught with a great kick in round 1, he dominated the fight besides that kick and flurry that followed by Herring.

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Good to hear about Cro Cop, I knew he wasn't done yet. I think he'll be back in a big way, he's too talented. But you know how MMA is, it's like the NFL "What have you done for me lately?"

Link: http://www.mirko-crocop.com/?id=4&solo=79

CroCop back to trainings after a nose surgery

After a successfull nose surgery Cro Cop is back on track. Mirko doesn't hide the fact that he's highly motivated for his next bouts.

"Many are saying that I'm done, but I'll prove that they are wrong", says Mirko for Vecernji list (www.vecernji.hr)

What do you think you should change in your trainings?

"I want to gain more weight, from 100 to 105 kgs. In fights gainst Gonzaga and Kongo I realized that I need more power when fighting heavier

opponents- I was spending too much power in clinching and ground game."

Who would you like to fight next?

"I would gladly fight Minotauro. Due to a septum deviation I had problems with my stamina, but now when I don't have such problems anymore I will prepare for my next fights with joy. I'll go to Amsterdam to train with Ivan Hyppolite and to spar with his fighters."

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Silva doesn't take anyone lightly, since winning he's been respectful and classy to all of his opponents. He knows that Rich is a good fighter and fighting in his hometown. Silva will come out looking to finish.

my predictions for the fight will after i see the weigh-ins.

I think he took the last guy lightly. Teasing with standing southpaw after having that kind of surgery doesn't impress me. Sure, he's a great champion, and I'm an Anderson Silva fan, but he was taken down in his last fight against, uh, whoever the heck that guy was. Taken down more than once. Yeah, right after the takedowns Anderson threatened about 5 triangles and punched from the bottom. But he also tried a karate kid kick that got caught. It was like he was trying to put on a show. THAT, is taking someone lightly.

It was even said on here before that previous to Anderson gaining control and putting the fight away, he may have been losing. If he's focused and in the pocket, he's unstoppable. But we may not have seen Rich at his best yet. And he embarassed Rich by moving his nose to his temple last time. Rich will be out to prove to HIMSELF that he's better than what people saw. And c'mon, he just helped write "The Idiots Guide to MMA". He's gotta win! :laugh:

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I think he took the last guy lightly. Teasing with standing southpaw after having that kind of surgery doesn't impress me. Sure, he's a great champion, and I'm an Anderson Silva fan, but he was taken down in his last fight against, uh, whoever the heck that guy was. Taken down more than once. Yeah, right after the takedowns Anderson threatened about 5 triangles and punched from the bottom. But he also tried a karate kid kick that got caught. It was like he was trying to put on a show. THAT, is taking someone lightly.

It was even said on here before that previous to Anderson gaining control and putting the fight away, he may have been losing. If he's focused and in the pocket, he's unstoppable. But we may not have seen Rich at his best yet. And he embarassed Rich by moving his nose to his temple last time. Rich will be out to prove to HIMSELF that he's better than what people saw. And c'mon, he just helped write "The Idiots Guide to MMA". He's gotta win! :laugh:

Marquardt is the last guy Silva fought and he is extremely strong on the ground. Sure Marquardt got him down, but he had to work for the takedown. Even still Silva was able to neutralize Marquardt's ground game and even managed a beautiful sweep that led to the ground and pound victory:

MMAAndersonSilvatransitionagainstMa.gif

to me this proves how much Silva prepares for each opponent. The main knock on Silva is his ground game, but he submitted a bjj black-belt in Travis Lutter and controlled another world-class guy in Marquardt and finished him. The fact that he tries diffrent types of flying kicks in a match is more of him trying to be a showman for the crowd, not a sign that he takes his opponents lightly.

I like Rich, but technically he's not great at anyone one area of fighting. He good at all, but not great in anything. His main advantage in his fights is that fact that he is a huge MW and can overpower most others in the division. he'll have problems with anyone who can match strength with Franklin (which Silva surely can).

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I just think that the kind of domination shown by Spider over Rich the last time they fought is not going to be easily overcome by Franklin this time. I'm sure it will be a closer fight because Rich will make himself harder to catch, but once they start to mix it up, this fight will start to look a lot like the first.

I was amazed at how easily Silva overpowered and outclassed him. Perhaps it was the broken nose. I'm not sure at this point if that happened before or after Franklin went down. If the nose was what did Rich in last time, maybe he'll do much better this time. I just doubt it.

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I just think that the kind of domination shown by Spider over Rich the last time they fought is not going to be easily overcome by Franklin this time. I'm sure it will be a closer fight because Rich will make himself harder to catch, but once they start to mix it up, this fight will start to look a lot like the first.

I was amazed at how easily Silva overpowered and outclassed him. Perhaps it was the broken nose. I'm not sure at this point if that happened before or after Franklin went down. If the nose was what did Rich in last time, maybe he'll do much better this time. I just doubt it.

Silva's knees to Franklins body led to the broken nose. Franklin lowered his arms to protect his ribs after being knee'd repeatedly, thats when Silva pulled down on his head and brought his knee up to break his nose. Silva's body attack on franklin is what killed him more than anything in my opinion.

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