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Shooting From The Hip: Renzo Gracie, Bigfoot & the crowning of the TRUE Strikeforce HW Champion

titoortiz1Does anyone want to see a third match between Tito Ortiz and Chuck Liddell? Apparently Tito does.

In a recent conversation with MMAWeekly, the former UFC light heavyweight champion stated, “I know I’ve lost two matches. I still think I can beat him, and I still think that’s a big fight. I still want that fight. That would be awesome.

“I think if I call him out enough times I think he’ll be a man and step up. Why wouldn’t he? That’s a huge fight and a big payday for him. It will be good.

“I’ve got nothing to lose. Lets make some money, and this time I’m going to kick his ass.”

As far as the money issue is concerned, Ortiz raises an extremely valid point: There’s no way Tito vs. Chuck III doesn’t spell $$$$$ for all of those involved. Good for Tito, good for Chuck, good for the UFC. After all, at this point in the careers of both Ortiz and Liddell isn’t it all about the money when becoming champion again is seeming more and more like a bonafide pipe dream?

There’s not a lot of match-ups for either fighter that make as much sense financially as fighting one another in the near future, so I say why not. I’d watch it.

As far as Tito somehow managing to “kick Chuck’s ass” in a third meeting goes; stranger things have happened in this sport. History has shown us that the third time isn’t always the charm when it comes to laying beatdowns on your rivals. See the Wand/Rampage trilogy.

However, there’s no reason this fight shouldn’t go any other way than the prior two. Tito doesn’t have the takedowns to drag Chuck to the canvas, and he doesn’t have the firepower to hang standing. Bad match-up for Tito all around.

Is Renzo Gracie on his way to the UFC? It’s looking like a strong possibility in recent days.

Zuffa CEO Lorenzo Fertitta recently made the following comments on his Twitter account:

Here in abu dhabi with renzo gracie. Do you want him to fight in the ufc?

While the Gracie name will forever be a guaranteed draw in MMA, and Renzo has long been among the all time greats of the sport, I have to ask myself just how much sense a move like this would make. Surely with Matt Hughes complete destruction of the dated Royce Gracie during UFC 60 was enough to drive the point home to the masses that MMA had evolved past the Gracies to some degree. I can see no point to make an example of the 42 year old Renzo who hasn’t seen competition since February of 2007.

This just reeks of Renzo wanting to prove that he still has what it takes, and truth be told, the UFC is the wrong place for him to figure that out. Quite honestly Gracie would be eaten alive in the UFC’s current middleweight division. It’s not the place for him, and quite frankly I’m good on seeing an aging father of three children put his health on the line to prove a point that will not be proven, or to make a few quick bucks.

Who are some of the guys that Renzo could face if the UFC can close the deal? Lets just imagine Renzo signs with the UFC tomorrow; Who’s his first opponent?

There’s been a tremendous amount of speculation surrounding a potential showdown with Matt Hughes circulating on the Internets since the recent Fertitta Twitter, but I find the possibility of this match-up being far fetched at best.

Unless Matt Hughes has already decided in his mind that he is going to make a go of it at 185 pounds for the rest of his days in the Octagon. Which of course, could always be a longshot possibility, but a longshot never the less.

Renzo has long been a middleweight, so logically it makes sense to take a look at some of the realistic opponents he could face off with should he find himself in the Octagon anytime soon.

For me, if I had to watch Renzo in the UFC at this day and age, I’d like to see him face off with either Dennis Hallman, Chris Leben or perhaps even a rematch with Pat Miletich, there’s been rumors of him being in talks with the UFC as well.

It’s refreshing to see one fighter keeping it real. I recently had the opportunity to ask Brett Rogers about any television shows or movie spots he may have been approached about during the recent media conference call to romote his upcoming showdown with Fedor, and was a little bit surprised to learn that he turned down a role on MTV’s Bully Beatdown, AND was also approached to play the role of B.A. Baracus in the A-Team remake currently featuring Quinton “Rampage” Jackson. It was music to my ears to hear Big Brett talk about how he doesn’t have time for that sort of stuff right now, he’s focused on fighting Fedor, and fighting in general.

I know “Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Rogers” is this Saturday, but try not to forget about “Strikeforce: Gurgel vs. Evangelista” on Friday. These ShoMMA cards never disappoint and I guarantee this Friday evening’s Strikeforce Challengers card on Showtime will be no exception to the rule.

The lightweight showdown between Jorge Gurgel and Billy Evangelista will be an absolute war, we’ve got a heavyweight bout between undefeated prospects Shane Del Rosario and Brandon Cash “Money”, and a welterweight brawl between Jesse “JT” Money Taylor and Luke Rockhold to look forward to.

Here’s a little inside info on the upcoming Jamie Varner vs. Benson Henderson title bout at WEC 46 you may not be able to find anywhere else: I recently had a chance to speak with someone EXTREMELY close to one of the two fighters in an off the record conversation where I found out that Varner and Henderson have trained together in the past. According to this extremely reliable source that claims to have been present during these sparring sessions, it became apparent that Henderson wanted absolutely no part of Varner standing. Now granted this training session didn’t happen in the last month or two, and it was just the observations of one person with close knowledge of the events, but if true, we can expect to see Henderson looking to put Jamie on his back for a good chunk of the upcoming lightweight championship showdown.

It’s all kinds of messed up that Fedor vs. Rogers isn’t for the Strikeforce heavyweight championship. Now, I’ve already made my stance on Alistair Overeem’s perceived inability to defend the Strikeforce title quite clear in the past so I’m not going to beat a dead horse here, but I will say this: The fact that Fedor and Rogers have to face off on CBS for the heavyweight championship of absolutely nothing is a catastrophe. Just visualizing the winner of Saturday evening’s bout somehow being announced as a challenger against Overeem in the future makes my blood curl.

Just keeping it real, the winner of Fedor vs. Rogers will be the true Strikeforce heavyweight champion. That shiny new Strikeforce belt in Holland is nothing more than a reminder of what could have been for the champion that never was.

Finally we get to see Antonio Silva fight a heavyweight that’s halfway respectable as a legitimate top heavyweight. Not so much anymore since the steroid suspension that rightfully pushed “Bigfoot” out of the spotlight, but there was an extended period of time when Silva was regarded as one of the top heavyweights in the game, and it drove me absolutely mad. Nothing against Antonio, but who’s he beaten to justify any of this top heavyweight talk? Tom Erickson? Jonathan Wiezorek? Ricco Rodriguez? Or maybe it was Cabbage or Warpath? Please….

All I’m saying is that I’m glad to see what Silva is truly all about. It’s sink or swim time for the giant from Brazil. Werdum will either bring the best or thwe worst out of Antonio, I just so happen to think it will be the latter.

If you didn’t already know, Pat Barry is one of the absolute coolest, and most down to earth guys you’ll ever meet in the sport of mixed martial arts. When I first got wind of Pat Barry’s arrival in the UFC, I was like, “Oh, hell yeah!”, to be quite honest. I had been a fan of Pat’s since back in the days of K-1 when he literally kicked an eyebrow from the forehead of Gary Goodridge with a high kick.

When I called Barry prior to his UFC debut with Dan Evenson, I had no idea what to expect, as is the case anytime I’m calling a fighter I’ve never talked to before, but Pat puts you right at ease just because of how col of a guy he really is. What was supposed to be a 10-15 minute interview rapidly spilled over near the one hour mark after an exclusive off the record conversation followed the interview, and lasted well over a half hour in length. I learned a lot of things during that off the record conversation, but most importantly I learned that Pat Barry really is the man. Stand up guy.

That’s why I couldn’t have been happier for Pat following his recent stoppage of Antoni Hardonk that netted him $120,000 in bonus cash due to being awarded with both knockout and fight of the night honors.

A funny story recently surfaced where Barry went on to discuss some of the raised eyebrows he received upon attempting to cash the 120K check into his bank account.

Below are Pat’s own words as told to MMAScrapsRadio and transcribed by

It wasn’t until Tuesday when I got back home that I got a knock on the door, a special delivery for me. I opened it up and when I saw it, I was like, ‘What the…’ They weren’t joking man they seriously sent me a check for $120,000. I wrote to Joe Silva and said if this was an April Fool’s joke, let me know because I’m about to jump up and down and take off my clothes and run around the street naked. They said it was real man, it was real.

I walk outside to get my car and my car doesn’t start so I’ve got on a t-shirt and I’ve got some pink stripy shorts on, some flip-flops and a black eye. So I’ve got to stand in the street and flag people down, and I’m sweating…I’ve got to flag people down with a black eye and sweat marks to try to get me a jump.

I finally get this guy and I say ‘Yo man, I have a $120,000 in my pocket…can you give me a jump?’. He was like ‘Yeah man I’ll give you a jump’. It looked like ‘Hey man can you help me jump start this car I’m trying to steal right now’. I go to the bank, I’m sweaty, I’ve got the black eye, I haven’t shaven in two days, I’m strung out because I haven’t slept, I have green circles under my eyes so I’m like ‘Can I have a deposit slip mam?’. She gives it to me, I fill it out hand it to her. She looks at the deposit slip, then the check, then looks at me and says ‘Excuse me I’ll be right back’. Then a manager comes out, a guy in a suit and says ‘What seems to be the problem?’. I was like ‘Well I have a black eye, that’s the only problem I know this looks really ridiculous’. So he asks me for my ID, I hand him my license an he’s like ‘Your license says Pat Barry, but this check was written to Patrick Barry’. So I decided to be funny and tell him Pat Barry is in my trunk right now. He didnt laugh. So I told him take your time man do whatever you need to do because I have no where to go and my truck probably wont start when I go outside so you can just do whatever you need to do. An hour later he came back and everything was fine, the check was in my bank account.

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