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Random Rant: Issues with UFC 74 main card

The third edition of “Inside the Cage Radio” will be posted later today. At one point during the show, the schedule for the televised matches at UFC 74 was brought up. I have some issues with the decisions behind what matches will be televised and which matches may only end up being seen by the live audience in Vegas.

I’m looking forward to seeing both Randy Couture vs. Gabriel Gonzaga and Josh Koscheck vs. Georges St. Pierre. Both have the potential to be great matches and I obviously have no issue with their inclusion on the main card. I also have high expectations for Kurt Pellegrino vs. Joe Stevenson. It’s a fight that could be contested primarily on the ground so there’s a chance some in the ground might grow restless but both are proficient ground fighters and I think the technique that will be on display should be top notch.

My issues though are with both the Kendall Grove vs. Patrick Cote and Roger Huerta vs. Alberto Crane matchups. The respective matches were made to set up Grove and Huerta with wins. I understand the UFC has high expectations for both and wants to get them additional exposure in front of what will likely be a large PPV audience tuning in to see Randy Couture.

Who knows how the matches will turn out. Cote could step up inside the Octagon for once and shock the world. Crane could also follow in the footsteps of Leonard Garcia and Doug Evans and give Huerta a run for his money for a few minutes. But the fact that the UFC is putting not one, but two showcase matches on the card is rather irksome, especially since one of the matches currently not slated to be shown live is Marcus Aurelio vs. Clay Guida.

Guida put on a hell of a performance against Tyson Griffin at UFC 72 and was robbed of a decision win. How does the UFC reward him? He gets an opening match assignment against Aurelio, a fighter who many expect to play a big role at the top of the UFC’s lightweight division.

A lot of hardcore fans are excited about Aurelio’s arrival and are disappointed they might not get to see it. Some might say that novice fans have no idea who he is, and thanks to putting him on the preliminary card, that’s unlikely to change anytime soon.

Guida vs. Aurelio has the potential to be a great match but the television audience will only get a chance to see it if 1-2 main card matches wind up ending early. Personally, I’d rather see Frank Mir vs. Antoni Hardonk and David Heath vs. Renato “Babalu” Sobral, although I realize I am probably in the minority there so I won’t press the issue. However, I think the decision not to feature Guida vs. Aurelio on the PPV telecast is a major oversight. I’m just glad I’ve been given the chance to cover the show in Vegas so that I’ll have an opportunity to see it live.

13 COMMENTS
  • Matt says:

    Sam,

    While I would like to see Aurelio vs. Guida, the fact of the matter is that both fighters have lost their last two fights. Yes, they are exciting, but should you put guys who have lost multiple fights in a row EACH on the main card? I say no. On the other hand, Grove and Coté are coming off multiple wins each, while we all know Huerta’s record and Crane is undefeated.

    Each fighter in the Mir/Hardonk and Babalu/Heath fights are coming off losses. Nobody in the disputed fights on the main card are. Mir and Babalu are names, but have looked like, excuse the expression, total ass in their last few fights.

    Essentially, the solution to this would’ve been to move some of these preliminary fights to the UFN in September and move those fights to UFC 77, which isn’t looking to great right now even to me, a UFC sunshine blower.

    It’s strange that all these cards (UFC 74, 75, 76 and UFN) are pretty stacked themselves, yet they seem to have forgotten about UFC 77, maybe hoping that Rich Franklin alone would sell the card. Maybe in person, but not the PPV.

    While I agree that those two fights are showcase fights, they do need to both Grove and Huerta out there. In Huerta’s case, they need to get him a name opponent if he gets past Crane.

    So we’ll see, but if you reward mid-tier fighters coming off losses with a main card bout, there’s no turning back from that. If the winner of Guida/Aurelio is fighting a preliminary bout next time out, then we have a serious problem.

    Keep up the good work!

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  • garth says:

    I disagree totally about the two loss thing. that’s getting into boxing territory. I mean, a couple years ago, some heavyweight had two losses in a row, dropped weight classes (ducking guys!) and still somehow was considered a top guy. Randy Couture? since 04 randy’s only 500. Am I suggesting it’s a perfect anaolgy, no, of course not. But if it was simply wins and losses then the game loses something.
    and cote isn’t exactly tearing up the UFC. He’s 1-4, with his only win a decision against mid-tier fighter scott smith. Kendall Grove can be exciting, but be real, what’s going to happen here? Unless cote gets lucky and clips grove, he’s getting taken down and subbed in the first round. the TUF finale against Lutter was EMBARRASSING. Sherdog has his win over Belcher listed as a “Brabo choke”, I thought it was a D’Arce choke?
    Huerta, I like, though I’d rather see him fighting someone a bit better. He had first round troubles with Evans last time around.
    i don’t have a problem with Babalu/Heath being an undercard, or Mir/Hardonk. Only the Guida/Aurelio fight, I think it should be the first televised event and Grove/Cote should be off it. of course, as long as grove/cote is over as quick as it should be, and maybe one other fight doesn’t go the distance, we should see an undercard fight still.
    I DO think, for some fans, they should offer the whole damn thing on PPV no interruptions. I’d pay $15 more for that option. so. irritating….

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  • bubbafat says:

    How about giving me my $39.99’s worth and just show me every fight on the card so I can pick and choose myself. Instead of making me spend another forty on the bloody DVD.

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  • Luke says:

    “Sherdog has his win over Belcher listed as a “Brabo choke”, I thought it was a D’Arce choke?”

    They are essentially the same thing. Just the positioning – near side versus far/top side positioning – are different.

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  • Accomando says:

    I agree that Guida got robbed and it’s horrible that the Aurelio/Guida is not on the main card.

    Patrick Cote, jeez, lame.

    Who cares about the win/loss expecially when Guida WON his last fight, only Tyson Griffin and 2 judges thought he won that fight.(I even doubt Griffin thought he won. In his mind he knew he lost. Look at Griffin’s demeanor immediately after the fight, he knew he lost, Tyson wouldn’t even let Clay help him up.)

    Guida/Aurelio has the makings for the fight of the night and the UFC is making a mistake by not showing it.

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  • robnashville says:

    I’m 50’50 with you on the two fights. I don’t have a problem with the Grove-Cote match. Grove is at least 2-3 years of solid wins from a title shot. At this point in his career they should be matching him up with mid range 185’ers like a cote or MacDonald. Win those impressively then you can step it up a bit to someone like an evan tanner or david loiseau. Beat one of those guys and then have him face a rich franklin, marquardt or someone of that ilk, with a title shot if he wins. Cote doesn’t have a good record in the UFC, but he has “big stage” experience and to use baseball terminology he could be a tough out for the younster Grove.

    The Huerta fight, can’t see why they keep having him pop some newb’s UFC cherry. Huerta isn’t learning anything in these match-ups and isn’t getting much credit when he wins them. It comes off as meaningless card-filler meant to puff the guy up to appear like a legit contender.

    I don’t mind having the grove fight on the ppv but the build they are doing with Huerta would be better suited to a “friday night fights” type vehicle, a weekly show on basic cable situation.

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  • garth says:

    thanks Luke, that’s awesome. i wanna learn how to do those.

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  • jaydog says:

    I think the card looks really good and I’m sorry to miss any of it for whatever reason. If Aurelio needs a win before I can see him from my bar-stool, well that’s more motivation for him to bring it and work his way up in the UFC. The fact that he isn’t on the main card tells me that Dana got a bargain on him. If he’d paid Cro-Cop dollars for him, he’d be near the top.

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  • MoreThanUFC says:

    There is no consensus as to the differences between a Brabo or D’Arce choke. Luke has his opinion, and others have their’s. I personally describe a Brabo as a gi choke and a D’Arce as a non-gi.

    http://www.grapplearts.com/Brabo-Gi-Choke.htm

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  • pr0cs says:

    I have no problems with 74 except the Guida fight. He’s proven that he’s one of the most exciting fighters to watch, why in hell wouldn’t they put him on the TV schedule. If they don’t show his fight I will be really disappointed.

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  • LR says:

    I’m seriously getting fed up with this marketing crap. Aurelio vs. Guida should be on the main card, without a doubt. I will say that I think Crane is a very good matchup against Huerta, but Grove/Cote, I’m not convinced.

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  • Zack says:

    LR – they are building up Grove so there’s no way they don’t put him on every main card until he is champ or flames out.

    That being said, I’m seriously bummed that Aurelia/Guida may not be televised (I’m going to hope Grove decimates Cote with knees in the first 45 seconds and all the bitching will be for naught). Guida has the potential to be really great for the sport and Aurelio is a stud. Frankly, I wish both were in the WEC so we could see them consistently.

    If I had one complaint about the UFC right now, it’s how they have handled the LW division. Besides Sherk, nothing short of a grand prix (which in my opinion will never happen in the UFC) would make any sense to determine the real contenders. LW is loaded with talent but the current order of title shot contenders just makes no sense to me.

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  • […] not the only one bitching about this. Sam Caplan and half the people on MMA forums agree too. The only thing keeping me from hijacking a Boeing and making demands is the fact that UFC74 is so […]

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