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MMA Round Up: Mariusz Pudzianowski Vs Kimbo Slice & Brock Lesnar

By Scott Heritage

It has been a fairly quiet week in terms of major events in the MMA world but that hasn’t stopped the news from flowing in as usual. This week M-1 have been outlining new demands they would make for the UFC signing Fedor, Steve Cantwell returns, Moosin II is in the works and Mark Hunt is heading for the UFC.

Plans are being made for the second Moosin event, which will take place in Chicago in October. Although no fights have been confirmed as yet, both previous main event combatants Tim Sylvia and Mariusz Pudzianowski have been penciled in for bouts.

Pudzianowski vs. Kimbo Slice is one fight being discussed, and by all accounts is close to being finalized. Having lost recently in the UFC and Moosin respectively, this is actually a fight that makes a lot of sense for both fighters at this stage. Neither are probably going to get much better than they already are, and both are suitably big enough draws that they should be able to sell a decent amount of pay per views with the event.

As for the winner should the fight be confirmed, Pudzianowski needs to make some major changes to his frame if he wants to last more than a minute. Then again he seems to be able to take a punch fairly well while his gas lasts. Kimbo’s problems are more ‘old man in a young man’s sport’ than ‘lifetime of body building’ related, although he did make some improvements to his wrestling during his stint with the UFC. Even so though, Kimbo lacks both the reach and movement that Tim Sylvia used to keep Pudz at bay, meaning the big Pole should be the favorite.

For the co-main event, Tim Sylvia vs. Hong Man Choi is apparently in the works, which is a fight that nearly happened last year in Japan but eventually fell through. Both are strikers and both are huge, Sylvia 6,8 and Choi 7,2. It will be interesting to see how Sylvia copes with being significantly smaller than his opponent, not to mention how he will approach the fight. Choi’s losses in MMA thus far have come from being out grappled, and in one fight chopped down with leg kicks, and Sylvia isn’t known for either.

From one former Pride fighter to another now, with the news that New Zealand kickboxer Mark Hunt has been unexpectedly signed to the UFC after it transpired that they owed him several fights from buying out his Pride contract. Most of the contracts the UFC bought from the ailing Japanese outfit turned out to be non transferable, much to the anger of UFC bosses. Hunt’s though apparently was transferable somehow, all this time later, and he takes on a debuting Sean McCorkle at UFC 119 in September.

McCorkle is 9-0 and 6,7, so won’t make for an easy debut for the Samoan, although he has yet to face anyone even close to Hunt’s level. A possible issue for both Hunt and McCorkle will be making the 265lb heavyweight limit. Hunt despite being only around 5,10 is currently around 290lbs, and admits that he has never really had a serious training camp in the past. McCorkle has come in over 300lb in the past, although has the frame to carry that kind of weight more easily.

M-1 Global have once again put forward terms that they would accept for Fedor Emelianenko to sign with the UFC, and as usual they aren’t terms the UFC can agree to. Instead of co-promoting, they are now asking for co-branding. Which basically means that they would want events featuring Emelianenko to be called M1-Global/UFC, similar to the official title of the last StrikeForce event. The main difference from their previous demand is that this time they would not be taking half of the money from each event.

What they don’t seem to realize though is that no single fighter is bigger than the UFC brand, and to think that their admittedly all time great is a one man empire is rather deluded. Fighters come and go, but brands are a constant, and the UFC has been the longest lasting constant in the sport so far. With their brand alone they can guarantee that they will achieve a certain amount of viewers or pay per view buyers for any card they put on. M-1 can’t say the same, and without Fedor, who will be retiring in the next few years, they are very much still a minor league.

To accept any kind of co-branding is also a dangerous precedent for any company to get involved with. M-1 are the only group who have pushed for it so far, but accepting them would no doubt attract open the floodgates for other fighters to make the same kind of demands. Brock Lesnar for example is a much bigger pay per view draw than Fedor, so what’s to stop him demanding that all his future events come to be known as ‘DeathClutch/UFC presents’. So clearly the UFC can’t and won’t accept any kind of deal like this from M-1 Global.

Impact FC held the first of three cards they have planned for the near future last weekend in Brisbane, Australia. All of the favorites on the card won as expected, apart from Carlos Newton, who once again looked to be out of shape and like he didn’t really want to be there.

War Machine is beginning his year long county jail term next week, and from the sounds of things seems to have his head in the right place for the time being. There were concerns from fans that the boredom of jail coupled with his well known reputation would lead to more charges after he was arraigned. However most of his problems in the past seem to have been alcohol related, so as long as there isn’t any toilet vodka going spare, he should come out the other side without landing himself in more trouble.

Some good news to end on, former WEC light heavyweight champion Steve Cantwell will be returning to competition at UFC 120. There were rumors that Cantwell’s injury troubles had sidelined him permanently after his last appearance against WEC rival Brian Stann. However the issue was apparently with medical paperwork rather than an actual injury, and whatever the problem was it has now been resolved.

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