Here’s what’s on my mind:
– If Andrei Arlovski knocks out Jake O’Brien in vicious fashion, will he be eligible for the knockout of the night bonus? Just pondering that scenario makes it obvious why so many fighters and managers hate the arbitrary nature of the UFC’s locker room bonuses. Let’s just say Arlovski knocks out O’Brien in highlight reel fashion but Cheick Kongo does the same to Heath Herring. Who do you think is going to get that fat $45,000-$60,000 bonus? Politics could be a factor.
– It’s really starting to frustrate me that I won’t be able to see Arlovski tonight. I’m going to be paying $49.95 for the HD feed yet politics will still prevent me from getting to see one of the best heavyweights in the world? And speaking of HD, I watched “Strikeforce at the Dome” last night (the DVR might be the greatest invention ever), and while I saw a lot of production flaws, the camera angles were great and the picture was extremely crisp. It just seems like the resolution for an HDNet telecast in high-definition (yes, I realize, every show on HDNet is in HD) is much higher than the UFC’s HD telecasts on pay-per-view (the resolution appears better on Spike TV telecasts). I just get the feeling the UFC is charging for HD without having fully invested into the technology. Also, am I the only one whose screen looks like there is static when the lights from the ceiling rotate when they do a closeup of the cage just before the fighters enter?
– If Anderson Silva is only able to win in close fashion tonight, then I think chances are good that we’ll see an immediate rematch between him and Dan Henderson. And should Henderson win, as I am predicting, then we’ll definitely see an immediate rematch because there simply is not enough top-level depth in the UFC’s middleweight division. There are a lot of intriguing prospects coming up but few top-level contenders. That being said, Henderson vs. Rich Franklin is an intriguing matchup, don’t you think?
– Tonight it will be the UFC middleweight title vs. the PRIDE welterweight title. I was a guest on JarryPark.com earlier this week to discuss UFC 82 and host Ariel Helwani asked me about the significance of the PRIDE belt and I said there really is none. Let’s face it, the PRIDE brand has been buried by the UFC. Tonight’s “unification” match might mean something if the winner would be allowed to bring both belts with him to the cage for his next fight, just like they do in boxing when a couple holds multiple titles. I have to admit, it does look pretty cool in boxing when a guy is walking in and needs three handlers just to make sure everyone can see his titles.
– I hear a lot of people complaining about the price point for the Yahoo! PPV stream of UFC 82. I can’t speak for Yahoo!, but I’m sure they’d love to charge less for it to give people an incentive to buy their stream as opposed to the PPV telecast. But let’s think logically here for a second. The UFC needs to preserve strong business relations with the PPV industry and allowing Yahoo! to sell the same product for less wouldn’t make PPV distributors too happy now, would it? Not to mention, the short-term goal isn’t to market PPV streams to the masses. The idea is to build on the concept for the future. The hope is that down the line when the technology becomes easier for people to watch content downloaded to their computers on their televisions that they will have the infrastructure for pay streaming completely built. I keep hearing a lot about content providers (i.e. cable channels) looking for ways to eliminate the middle man (i.e. cable and satellite companies and PPV distributors) in order to increase profits. Basically, the UFC’s deal with Yahoo! isn’t for now, but for the future. I don’t think the UFC is going to be put off by the idea of you refusing to buy the Internet stream, so long as you still buy the PPV.
– Normally I’m not comfortable talking about other men’s physiques, but during the weigh-ins yesterday Diego Sanchez looked about as muscular as he did when he first entered the UFC. Which is a good thing because he needs that upper-body strength to make sure he can impose his will. Diego also looked a little zany walking around on stage. I think Diego is at his best when he’s at his craziest.
– I read on the Wrestling Observer’s website that tonight’s fight is the last on Josh Koscheck’s UFC contract. I know his deal was coming close to expiring, but I didn’t know his fight vs. Dustin Hazelett was his last one. If the Observer is correct, it will be interesting to see what Koscheck’s market value is. He’s a tremendous athlete, knows how to work a crowd, and has excellent name recognition value because of his turn on the first season of TUF and having fought in so many high-profile TV matches. However, not all of his fights have been the most exciting.
– Do you know what annoys me more than anything else in the world? It’s “Kids Songs.” If you don’t have a child under the age of 12, you probably have no idea what I’m talking about. But there’s some company that buys the rights to top 40 songs and re-records them with kids singing them. Thank god my eight-year old is just as annoyed by the concept as me but the commercials alone make me want to put my first through my TV. If I was in a band and my record label attempted to allow my art to be butchered in such a manner, it might drive me to murder.
– You know what else is annoying me? I keep reading that Chris Wilson left the IFL for the UFC. Incorrect. Wilson fought for BodogFIGHT before signing a contract with the UFC and agreeing to fight Jon Fitch.
– Remember to check out our chat tonight during the PPV and to tune in to hear Adam Morgan on “Any Given Saturday” right after the show!