September 21st, 2010 By Pedro Fernandez
B.J. PENN & MATT HUGHES FIGHT “RUBBER” MATCH
San Francisco, CA- Dethroned by Frankie Edgar in March, then losing a recent rematch, B.J. Penn, the UFC lightweight (155 lbs) icon who hadn’t lost a lightweight round prior to Penn-Edgar I since 2002, will again move up to welterweight (170) and fight ex-champ Matt Hughes when UFC plays Motown (Detroit, MI) for the first time November 20.
PENN LOOKED LIKE MIDGET NEXT TO GSP!
In his last fight at welter, Penn lost to champion Georges St. Pierre in a match that was marred by GSP’s corner guy rubbing “grease” (Vaseline) on the fighter twice between rounds. Having split a pair of fights, Penn is physically smaller than Matt and yet is the betting favorite. Speaking of St. Pierre, I’m hoping once beaten Josh Koscheck kicks the spit out of him in their upcoming UFC title tiff!
ONTARIO LEGALIZES MMA & DOUBLES TAX!
With Canada accounting for nearly 20% of the UFC revenue, the recent legalization of MMA in Ontario will further the company’s MMA stranglehold in the market. For years the Commission took 2% of the gross gate at boxing and kickboxing events. Now with the UFC coming to town real soon, they immediately raised the tax rate to 5% of the gross.
BELLATOR FIGHTS WERE ON AT 2 AM ET!
Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter reported that the Bellator MMA fights drew 671,000 viewers at 2 AM ET a fortnight ago. Considering the time slot, these are impressive numbers for a non-pushed event.
CHAEL SONNAN POSITIVE FOR STEROIDS!
That’s what the California Commission is saying. When I called late Tuesday I was told that there would be a statement forthcoming regarding the alleged drugs in Chael Sonnan’s system after his August match with UFC middleweight (185) king Anderson Silva in Oakland. If this is correct, the February rematch with Silva, mandated by the fact that Chael nearly beat Silva is off! Expect a suspension. A report on SI.com stated that Chael had an abnormally high level of testosterone.
TWO UFC CHAMPS TO MEET IN JAPAN
Tim Sylvia, a two-time UFC heavyweight (205+) champ is in Tokyo to take on Josh Barnett, another ex-UFC heavyweight titleholder this coming Saturday in a pro wrestling ring. Barnett, 29-5 in MMA, who lost the belt on a positive steroid test, recently inked a pact with Scott Coker and the MMA company Strikeforce.
SPEAKING OF STRIKEFORCE
That October 10 Strikeforce card in San Jose, CA will be topped by double bad Nate Diaz in a welterweight title contest with K.J. Noons on Showtime. Their next show is October 22 in Fresno, CA will be a “Challengers Series” with Roger Bowling and Bobby Voelker on top in a rematch from May.
FORMER WWE STARS & STRIKEFORCE
Still no word on Dave Bautista’s debut, or whether or not Bobby Lashley has an MMA future? The two ex-WWE champs would have made big money facing one another in a real fight. But with Lashley’s recent “bitch” showing and TKO loss to a full time fireman, he is virtually done in MMA! Speaking of the WWE, the 2011 Wrestlemania show main event looks like the Undertaker vs Sheamus.