Home > Uncategorized > May ’07 Troy Night Out, Pops, UFC 71

May ’07 Troy Night Out, Pops, UFC 71

I completely forgot to pay my phone bill when it was due on the 21st. It’s been that kind of a week.

Last night I went out to dinner with Ed and Fr. Wetsel IN THE HIIIIIGHEST at Plum Blossom. We were discussing what to do next, and I remembered (out loud) “holy shit, tonight is Troy Night Out.” So off to downtown Troy we went to peer at all the open stores and go into very few of them. In one of the corner shops there was an experimental group, with one kid that was just standing around high out of his mind, holding a microphone, and every once in awhile banging said mic on a drum. We watched for a couple minutes, walked away, and I thought to myself how cool that would have been twenty-five years ago.

We took a detour and wandered through the Sage campus. One of the signs for the various historical monuments had some awesome names that the three of us have now adopted as our own fake names, should we ever require them – for example, if we meet people we don’t like and feel the need to introduce ourselves. Mine is Nelson Davenport, which is just an incredible name. And if you disagree, then I will destroy you.

Wetsel also kept getting that damn Beyonce song (“To The Left” or whatever it’s called) stuck in my head. We were both singing it on the way home, and it drove me up a damn wall.

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Condolences to my good friend Artie who lost his father, Arthur “Pops” Fredette, last Saturday. Pops was from the old school, and never stopped working his ass off. In addition to being a hard worker his entire life, he was also a humanitarian in the most selfless sense (i.e. he didn’t go around telling everyone about it). It was a shock and a huge loss to anyone that knew him. My condolences to Artie and his entire family in what must be a very trying time.

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UFC tonight at my house. Call the cell or message if you’re interested in stopping by.

DARK (airing before the live feed)
Carmello Marrero (205) vs. Wilson Gouveia (204)
Jeremy Stephens (156) vs. Din Thomas (155)
Sean Salmon (205) vs. Alan Belcher (205) Sean Salmon was the guy who had that scary knockout loss to Rashad Evans back at the Ultimate Fight Night in January
Thiago Silva (202) vs. James Irvin (204)
LIVE SHOW:
Terry Martin (186) vs. Ivan Salaverry (184)
Chris Leben (185) vs. Kalib Starnes (186)
Keith Jardine (205) vs. Houston Alexander (202)
Karo Parisyan (170) vs. Josh Burkman (171)
Chuck Liddell (205) vs. Quinton Jackson (205)

In terms of fight quality, there’s a good chance that Karo Parisyan/Josh Burkman will be fight of the night. Not just because of the match-up, but because whenever Parisyan fights, he almost always has the best fight on the card. It’s good to see him actually fighting again in the UFC, since the promotion was happy for so long to just name-drop him at any given opportunity (eg. hyping a fighter up by noting he trained in submissions with Parisyan or held his own in a fight against him).

Houston Alexander and Keith Jardine had a great staredown at the weigh-ins yesterday, which means absolutely nothing but it at least gives people something to talk about. In terms of Vegas odds, Alexander’s the biggest underdog on this card. He’s a guy who’s had 7 fights, but is largely untested. Nobody seems to know that much about him, which makes it hard to predict how he’ll do. The nature of this sport is such that a guy who’s unknown is a total wild card and should never be written off as a pure novice who doesn’t know what he’s doing. Jardine’s damn good, but -600 odds is way too much to put on any fighter, let alone one facing a total wild card.

The idea is that Kalib Starnes is being fed to Chris Leben so that the latter can regain some of the star power he had coming out of his winning the first season of “The Ultimate Fighter”, which was hurt by a KO from Anderson Silva and then a loss two fights later to Jason MacDonald (it’s never good to get choked out by a guy so vanilla that his nickname is simply “The Athlete”). Unfortunately, he’s said to be just waiting for his contract to end and has a gig lined up training guys in Hawaii, so I’m not quite sure how much his heart is into it. Starnes is dangerous on the ground and if Leben isn’t focused or motivated could take this fight.

The main event is interesting. Yes, Quinton Jackson beat Chuck Liddell four years ago in Pride. However, that was four years ago (an eternity in terms of where Chuck was at in his game), the second round of a one-night Light Heavyweight tournament, and was fighting with a bad hamstring that he wouldn’t tell anyone about. That isn’t meant to give excuses or take anything away from Jackson’s performance that night – he completely dominated Liddell in a manner that Liddell has never been dominated – but rather to point out that the result of one fight can’t be the sole determining factor as to who’s going to win. Up until this week, I was saying Liddell. However, seeing Jackson on the All Access shows and in other interviews, it’s clear that he’s motivated again and that the Rampage of old that dominated Pride in the early 00s is back. Liddell, on the other hand, has looked awful in all the media appearances I’ve seen him in. Everything pales in comparison to the Nyquil Incident a few months back, but overall he’s looked worn down and tired over the past week. Some have speculated that’s due to all the media appearances (of which there have been many) to hype this fight, but he did just as many for the Ortiz fight and didn’t look nearly as bad. I attribute it more to what nobody seems to want to talk about: Chuck’s 38 years old, has been partying hard for 20 years, and has always tried to blow off injuries rather than being upfront about and addressing them. It’s going to take its toll eventually. He’s still Chuck Liddell, but there’s going to come a time where it’s going to become clear that he’s on the downturn in his career, and that moment’s going to be sooner rather than later. I still say smart money is on Liddell, but Jackson winning shouldn’t be considered a huge upset unless you’re Dana White and have something planned for him for the end of the year.

Speaking of which, there’s going to be an announcement at the pay-per-view concerning the winner of Liddell/Jackson and the first “Superbowl” type fight. This is a direct reference to the talks of a Pride/UFC supercard at the end of each year (by the way – it’s going to happen but the Pride sale STILL hasn’t been finalized). The speculation is that the winner (UFC’s banking on Chuck since he’s a much more recognizable name) is going to face either Dan Henderson, Shogun Rua, or Wanderlei de Silva. Silva’s said he’s taking a year off, but I doubt it. Should be interesting.

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More later…

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