Featuring Ivan Trembow's Self-Important, Random Rants on Mixed Martial Arts, Video Games, Pro Wrestling, Television, Politics, Sports, and High-Quality Wool Socks
Saturday, September 10, 2005
Pro Wrestling--- Tito Ortiz Returning to Pro Wrestling Company
The Pro Wrestling Torch and the Wrestling Observer are both reporting that former UFC fighter Tito Ortiz is headed back to the NWA-TNA pro wrestling promotion, where he was a special guest referee earlier this year. Ortiz will be brought back in early October when TNA gets its new show on Spike TV, in an attempt to draw more UFC fans into the TNA product.
It's not currently known whether Ortiz will continue to do things like special guest referee gigs and other non-wrestling appearances, or if he will actually become an in-ring pro wrestler and have matches in the promotion. TNA Impact, which is now being advertised during The Ultimate Fighter, will be a weekly one-hour pro wrestling show on Spike TV. Each new episode of TNA Impact will debut on Saturday nights at 11:00 PM following the UFC's Saturday night programming block.
Incidentally, Vince McMahon is reported to have "flipped his lid" once again after last week's episode of WWE Raw, when he found out that not only was Spike TV prominently advertising the UFC during WWE Raw as it normally does, but the network was also airing commercials for a competing pro wrestling company during WWE programming. Spike TV is said to be at a point now where they "hate WWE" because of all the problems that they have had with WWE, and Spike executives could care less at this point if UFC or TNA commercials continue to infuriate Vince McMahon.
Mixed Martial Arts--- Liddell vs. Couture III Tentatively Set for February; More on Lindland's Release
The third match-up between Chuck Liddell and Randy Couture is tentatively scheduled to take place on February 4, 2006, according to statements made by UFC president Dana White to a reporter at the Portland Tribune.
In an article about Matt Lindland being fired from the UFC, allegedly for wearing an unauthorized t-shirt, the author of the article also wrote, "[Dana] White says the much anticipated rubber match between [Randy] Couture and light-heavyweight champ Chuck Liddell probably will take place on February 4th, the night before the Super Bowl."
Liddell and Couture have met twice before, with Couture dominating their first fight in June 2003, and Liddell dominating their second fight in April 2004. After Liddell and Couture each won their respective fights at UFC 54 last month, it was widely believed that Liddell's next UFC Light-Heavyweight Title defense would be against Couture.
However, it wasn't known if the UFC would include that fight on the UFC 56 card this November, or if the company would hold off until UFC 57 early next year. Based on Dana White's comments to the reporter at the Portland Tribune, it appears that February 4, 2006 is when this fight will happen.
In the meantime, the UFC 56 pay-per-view on November 19 of this year is very likely to be co-headlined by Ultimate Fighter 2 coaches Matt Hughes and Rich Franklin, as Hughes defends his UFC Welterweight Title against Karo Parisyan, and Franklin defends his UFC Middleweight Title against Nate Quarry.
The Portland Tribune article also revealed a very interesting detail about Matt Lindland's UFC contract. As previously reported, Lindland's pay for his fight at UFC 54 was $15,000 to fight and an additional $15,000 to win. The Portland Tribune article has revealed that Lindland's scheduled pay for the remaining two fights on his UFC contract would have been $45,000 for each fight and $45,000 for each additional win.
(Certainly, if the UFC was going to release Lindland at some point, the ideal time to do it would be right before he was set to get a massive raise. It is surely just a magical coincidence that Lindland's contract was terminated right before his salary was about to triple... right?)