by Ryan Bennett

What a crazy weekend it was in MMA and we have had
plenty of topics to discuss. This week I let you guys
pick the topics as I received plenty of emails about
UFC and Pride information…

How did Pride do on Fox Sports Network? – Luis
Castillo – Phoenix, Arizona

Fox Sports Network is VERY happy with their
partnership with Pride. They have been promoting them
on the Best Damn Sports Show and from what I hear the
orginial numbers were spectacular. Prides debut show
in August drew a .50 rating, which breaks down to
600,000 viewers. Dave Meltzer reported that the .50
number was higher than the UFC’s debut show at .47
when it debuted. The big difference though was the
fact that the UFC continued to grow in that time slot
going from .47 to about .52 as the show continued week
to week. It will be fun to see what Pride does each
month as far as ratings goes. By the way MMAWeekly’s
Ivan Trembow in his articles has stated that the Pro
Wrestling show TNA only did a .25 to give you a
reference point.

Is Matt Hughes, really like that in person? I was
appauled by his conduct as a coach and I won’t be
supporting the “All American Boy” anytime soon after
watching the Ultimate Fighter last night….” Maria
Narez – Los Angeles

I’ve been surprised that this has become a lightning
rod of controversy on the forums. Here’s my take. I
think Hughes is taking on this “role” as the villian
coach for the drama of the show. Remember, people
were bitching the first two weeks that there is no
“Leben” type personna on the show. I heard producers
of the TUF show were not happy the direction it was
going initially. Now they have mixed it up, moving a
coach into a “heel” role. It’s my theory, I could be
wrong, but ask yourself this question. How many times
has Hughes talked smack about another fighter before
any fight in the UFC? And no, Trigg doesn’t count
because Matt was invoked into that war of words by my
good friend Twinkle Toes. I guess next week it gets
worse judging from the promo as Hughes apparently
battles with Jorge Gurgel. Matt’s public persona may
take a hit as he has always been the “good guy” in all
of his fights. That ultimately will be interesting to
see if the public turns on the UFC Champion or not.

What is the latest with Ken Shamrock. You guys said
he may fight Sakuraba? Luon Dhan – Tokyo, Japan

From my understanding both guys have contracts in
their hands. I talked with people in Japan
and he said Sakaraba was offered the fight and from
what I gather Ken has a contract in his hands, but he
won’t be able to sign until October 12th.

The UFC actually has the right to match any deal from
K-1 or Pride for Shamrock for another week. The deal
runs until October 12th. I suspect the UFC won’t do
it because A. it’s going to be very pricey, B. Who is
the UFC going to match Shamrock up with (a guy from
Ultimate Fighter?) and C. If the UFC wanted to
showcase Shamrock they would’ve fed him guys he
could’ve beat, much like the UFC did for the
T.U.F Season 1 guys to build them up. Going from Kimo
to Rich Franklin is like having Cal Poly lineup vs USC
in football.

I talked briefly with a few of my contacts and it
looks like if this fight with Sakuraba does happen, it
would be the first of two fights with DSE. Apparently
Pride would love to use Shamrock not only on this
October 23rd card, but the New Years Eve card. The
fight Shamrock would love to have on New Years is a
rematch with Royce Gracie, but Gracie has been used
with K1 recently. Shamrock has made it clear within
the last year that Ortiz and Gracie are the two
rematches he desperately wants. Ortiz most likely
won’t happen. Gracie would be a fun way for both guys
to finish out their careers and enough fans would want
to see it for a third and final time. The other
match that I have had a few fans say they want to see
is a fight with Randy Couture. Only problem is the
fact that Shamrock and Couture are represented by the
same management, so it won’t happen anytime soon.

Speaking of Couture, here’s an interesting tidbit. It
looks as though the UFC has not signed Couture yet.
Couture would like a three fight deal and I believe
both groups will make it happen, but as of yet, it
hasn’t happened yet. It’s tough to do Couture vs
Liddell III, when Couture isn’t signed by Zuffa. I’m
sure the deal will get done because the UFC has too
much invested in Randy with the Ultimate Fighters
Shows and future Spike TV features.

What is the latest with Rampage Jackson. You talked
about it briefly in your last breakdown. Ed Saringuan
– Hunington Beach

That’s become a very interesting development. As I
mentioned in the last Bennett Breakdown he basically
has a contract with Pride through October. Well guess
who signed him to fight on their October 23rd show?
That’s right Rampage will be on the fight card for
Pride 30 which will be a stacked card. No word yet on
his opponent, but if he does well on October 23rd, I
wouldn’t be shocked if Pride re-signs him. Pride has
the money, but I just don’t see what kind of matches
Pride has left for Rampage. What else is left for
him? Rematches with Arona and Ninja? I just don’t
see what they have for him that would be good. The
other question you willl have to ask …will Zuffa pay
him the big money to come to the UFC? I think so
because they need 205 pound fighters, however it won’t
be Pride money and it will be interesting to see if
DSE wants to outbid the UFC for his services. Right
now Rampage is going to train with UFC’s James Irvin
as both Irvin and Jackson both have important fights
coming up. It looks as though Irvin will be a steady
partner for Quinton for future fights.

I read your rumors section and why on earth is Nate
Quarry going to get a title show with Rich Franklin?

I actually like this fight for a number of reasons.
Remember Matt Lindland is out of the UFC now with the
sponsor fiasco. The only logical choice is for Nathan
Marquardt to fight for the title next, but he has that
steroid court hearing still to come in front of the
Nevada State Athletic Commission, (which the
scoreboard reads 2 positive tests, followed by 2
negative tests if your keeping score at home). So who
is left to give the shot too? Ivan Salaverry who just
lost, Joe Riggs who lost to Salaverry? David Loiseau,
who some MMA fans say doesn’t deserve a shot yet,
because he was choked out under a minute vs Jeremy

Look Nathan Quarry is 3-0 in the UFC. He’s 10-1
overall and there have been plenty of other guys
getting title shots with less accomplishments than
Quarry. He looked very good against Pete Sell, thus
by process of elimination, he is the only guy to get a
title shot.