The Iceman Cometh With A Lot On His Mind

Chuck Liddell talks UFC 85 and his legendary exploits outside the cage

Joey Sports Fan: Yo, Chuck, what do you think about Shogun’s injury?

Chuck Liddell: It’s sucks man…Really sucks.

Joey Sports Fan: Yeah.

Chuck Liddell: Ya.

Joey Sports Fan: You know what? You should go to this cool-ass site called and talk about having no opponent for UFC 85 and who you want to fight next.

Chuck Liddell: What’s

Joey Sports Fan: Well, it’s this…

Chuck Liddell: Just kidding. I know what it is. Duh. I go there everyday to hear all their great interviews. Great idea! I’ll call that Canadian dude who runs the site and we’ll talk a little Shogun, my future and other MMA news like the CBS/Elite XC deal.

Joey Sports Fan: Awesome! You should also talk about all your exploits outside the Octagon – if you know what I mean. I hear you’re the next Wilt Chamberlain.

Chuck Liddell: Ha. Not quite but another great idea! I’ll talk about the time I had sex four hours before a fight and the time I did an interview while actually doing it!

Joey Sports Fan: Really? That’s amazing!

Chuck Liddell: Yup, but for all the juicy info you’ll have to check out the interview…gotta run.

Chuck Liddell – 03/04/08

(P.S. That convo never happened but I sort of dreamed it would all go down like that at some point. I called him – he certainly didn’t call me – but, still, a really fun interview.)

Patrycja Mikula Plays A Good Ol’ Fashioned Game of ‘True Or False’

Patrycja Mikula Discusses Andrei Arlovoski’s Future & More

l_185cc634f2575bc88871cd0c19b899cb.jpgIt’s a question that has been on the minds of MMA fans for several months: Will Andrei Arlovski re-sign with the UFC or choose to fight elsewhere?

Obviously, “the Pitbull” has kept his lips sealed so I decided to bypass him and go straight for the person closest to the former Heavyweight champ – girlfriend Patrycja Mikula (photo courtesy of her tremendous MySpace page).

If you are fan of Playboy Magazine you might be familiar with Patrycja’s work. She’s the girl who tends to not be wearing much.

More importantly, she is also a full-time resident of Jarry Park and was kind enough to talk about her beau’s future and even play a special game “True or False.”

Some of the questions she answered in the game were:

* Was this Arlovski’s last fight in the UFC?

* Does Arlovski abstain from any kind of sexual relation before a bout?

* What’s his groupie situation like?

That’s just a taste. Plenty more fun from Patrycja down below.

Patrycja Mikula – 03/04/08

By the way, hope everyone enjoys the fruits of our improved audio system as well as the new intro.

A Few Precious Minutes With Mark Cuban

The super-owner weighs in on Money May in WWE

You’ll never guess who I bumped into in cyberspace over the weekend. No, it wasn’t “To Catch A Predator”‘s Chris Hansen. It was super-owner Mark Cuban! It’s strange meeting a billionaire in cyberspace and, as you can imagine, he doesn’t have much time for shenanigans. However, I was able to ask him a few interesting questions…

Ariel Helwani: What do you think of Floyd Mayweather’s involvement with World Wrestling Entertainment?

Mark Cuban: Love it. Floyd knows how to build a fan base he can take with him to
anything he does.

Ariel Helwani: Have you seen the clips of his work in the ring thus far? If so, what did you think of it?

Mark Cuban: Hysterical. (Ed. note: I told you he didn’t have much time.)

Ariel Helwani: Are you still talking with Floyd about competing for HDNet Fights? If so, how have the talks been going?

Mark Cuban: Yep. We have ongoing talks. He is talking to a couple of our partners about working on cross-training. He would teach striking/boxing skills and learn more about the sport of MMA.

Ariel Helwani: Has the WWE ever contacted you about doing a wrestling angle? If not, would you ever be interested in that?

Mark Cuban: We have talked about various things.

Ariel Helwani: Can you elaborate on that?

Mark Cuban: Can’t…sorry.

Ariel Helwani: In his blog, WWE announcer Jim Ross mentioned a rumor that there may be “a partnering of resources” between you and the McMahons? Any truth to this and if so can you explain?

Mark Cuban: See above (Ed. note: Damn.)

Ariel Helwani: Are you happy with the progression “Inside MMA” has made as well as the production of the HDNet Fights live events?

Mark Cuban: Yes. Inside MMA is unquestionably the leading show on MMA. And the combination of Inside MMA and our fight cards confirms that HDNet is the leading TV network for MMA. I do want to thank everyone who has been calling their cable and satellite providers to sign up for and ask for HDNet and to ask them to continue. Its definitely being noticed!

And just like that he disappeared…

Josh Haynes Looks To Bring The Pain Tonight

The former UFC fighter talks about his IFL debut

Really loved this interview* particularly because Josh Haynes was very candid with his thoughts. Haynes makes his IFL debut tonight against Leopoldo Serao at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas (HDNet, 11 pm EST).

Haynes gained his initial fame on The Ultimate Fighter 3 when he made it to the finals against Michael Bisping. Unfortunately, though, he would end up losing the bout.

It’s been well-documented that his son has had to endure seven brain surgeries for a tumor he developed at a young age and that has very much endeared the 30-year-old figher in the eyes of MMA fans.

Some of the topics we discussed included:

* How he hooked up with the IFL

* Why he chose to make the switch from Team Quest to Xtreme Couture

* His thoughts on the Couture/UFC saga

* Why things soured between him and the UFC

* Why he has no interest in ever fighting for the UFC again

* His disappointment in what mixed martial artists earn for their fights

* The difference between fighting in a ring as opposed to a cage

Josh Haynes – 02/29/08

*The only part I didn’t love about this interview was that just moments before talking to Josh my audio recording system decided to crash on me. So, I was forced to record it using my computer microphone. That would explain the hollow and slightly distorted nature of my voice. Sorry about that. I promise the audio problems will be fixed soon!

Ryan Schultz Is Set To Prove All The Doubters Wrong…Again

The IFL’s new Lightweight champ previews his first title defense

If you ask me (and I know you didn’t but whatev), no one has more to prove at the IFL’s season opener than Ryan Schultz. The promotion’s first-ever Lightweight champion is coming off a shocking victory over arguably their most popular star in Chris Horodecki. Given the fact that he was such a late replacement, most, if not all, MMA enthusiasts weren’t expecting Schultz to hand Horodecki his very first loss but he did and tomorrow night “The Lion” heads to the ring as the hunted when he puts his belt on the line against John Gunderson.

I spoke to Schultz about the upcoming fight and some other topics, such as:

* Has his life changed since defeating Horodecki?

* Why was he so confident going into that bout?

* Does he expect a rematch against Horodecki fairly soon?

* Does he deserve the right to main event tomorrow’s card?

* His mindset going into the bout as the champion as opposed to a huge underdog

* Has he received enough respect from the MMA community since becoming champion?

Ryan Schultz – 02/28/08

The Park Previews UFC 82 With Sam Caplan

Sam Caplan breaks down UFC 82’s biggest storylines

There’s another loaded weekend of combat sports on the horizon so we’re going to get a head start and hit you with a preview of the big one first: The 82nd Ultimate Fighting Championship pay-per-view.

I’ve been looking forward to this card since the Dan Henderson vs. Anderson Silva main event was announced back in October. Of course by now you know the story: Title vs. Title. Pride vs. UFC. Middleweight unification. It’s all so very exciting.

Since I have a feeling that Silva-Hendo might be one of the best main events of ’08, I called upon one of the best MMA writers around – Sam Caplan of, and – to preview the card.

The main topics discussed included:

* Comparing the buzz leading up to this event as opposed to UFC 68 (the last card held in Columbus, OH)

* Do Pride titles even mean anything anymore?

* What does Dan Henderson need to do to derail the Spider?

* Is Cheick Kongo a legitimate Heavyweight contender?

* Evaluating Heath Herring’s UFC career

* What’s at stake for Jon Fitch and how dangerous is Chris Wilson?

* What does the future hold for Andrei Arlovski, Diego Sanchez and Josh Koscheck?

Sam’s appearances at The Park are always tremendous and some of my favorites. This one was no different.

Sam Caplan – 02/27/08

The Second Coming Of The Star Of David

A year later, Dmitriy Salita returns to the ring

Boy does time fly. The last time boxing fans saw Dmitriy Salita (27-0, 15 KO) compete in the ring was almost one full year ago. March 22, 2007, to be exact.

So, where has he been hiding? Well, we covered that drama when we chatted with him last month but now it’s time to focus on the present and, more specifically, his upcoming bout this Thursday against Jermaine White (16-3, 8 KO) at the Roseland Ballroom in New York.

Actually, Salita’s name has been all over the news lately. First came the split with DiBella Entertainment. Then came the release of a documentary on his life entitled “Orthodox Stance.” And finally, the big one, he was rumored to be one of the three opponents Oscar De La Hoya was considering to fight in his next bout. The winner of the DLH sweepstakes (the three candidates were Salita, Steve Forbes and Paulie Malignaggi) would surely enjoy the biggest pay day and exposure of his career. Needless to say, New York City was pulling for one of Brooklyn’s Finest.

Ultimately, Forbes’ name was called but, regardless, Salita was considered and that must be viewed as a step up for the 25-year-old Welterweight. Perhaps this is a sign of things to come for a fighter who has been anxious to fight better opponents.

First things first, though, polish off some of that ring rust this Thursday night.

I spoke to Salita about his return to the ring, a potential fight against De La Hoya and even his thoughts on Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s involvement at Wrestlemania 24.

Dmitriy Salita – 02/26/08

Rob Yundt Gets Second Chance To Make A First Impression

The Alaskan-born fighter reflects on his UFC debut

Imagine being an MMA fighter whose ultimate goal is to someday compete for the Ultimate Fighting Championship. You’ve compiled six straight victories in your career and things are starting to look good. You decide to try out for The Ultimate Fighter 7 show but only make it as an alternate. You stay in shape but begin to wonder when your time will come. Then you get a phone call…

Agent: “Hey, listen, you know how Alan Belcher was supposed to fight Ricardo Almeida at UFC 81 in a few days? Well, he has a bad case of bronchitis and had to pull out.”

You: Yeah…and?

Agent: Well, the UFC wants to know if YOU would be willing to replace him?

You: You mean fight on three days notice?

Agent: Yeah.

You: Give me five minutes to pack my bag and I’ll be ready.

While I can’t confirm the conversation between agent Ken Pavia and Rob Yundt went exactly like that I am pretty certain that’s a close enough reenactment of it. Of course, Yundt ended up losing to Almeida in 68 seconds via guillotine choke but, fortunately for him, he recently signed a four-fight contract with the promotion and will get a second chance to make that first impression.

I spoke to Yundt about his UFC debut, his amazing Petey Williams-esque slam during the bout, when he expects to fight next and much more. Take a listen.

Rob Yundt – 02/25/08

The Klitschko Coronation Is Almost Here

No Mas’ Large previews Klitschko-Ibragimov

No disrespect to Las Vegas but there really isn’t anything like a big fight at Madison Square Garden. Throw two heavyweight title holders in the mix and things get really interesting. So, while I have no doubt that Wladimir Klitschko will defeat Sultan Ibragimov tomorrow night at the Mecca, I’m still all jazzed up about the bout (that might have something to do with the fact that New York City subways have been plastered with posters for this fight – that always does the trick for me). For the record, the IBF, WBO, and IBO Heavyweight crowns will be on the line.

And, as you know by now, whenever there is a big fight to be previewed we always call upon our trusty Sweet Scientist Large from No Mas and The Sporting Blog to break it all down.

However, this time around our discussion was not limited to the Heavyweight title scene. Oh no, we also spoke about:

* What the future holds for Kelly Pavlik and Jermain Taylor

* Would John Duddy have a shot at defeating Pavlik?

* What does Ibragimov have to do to knock off Klitschko

* In their prime, who’s the better fighter: Vitali or Wladi?

* The Heavyweight scene

Oh yeah, I also had to ask Large about Money May’s involvement at Wrestlemania. Always interesting to hear a boxing writer’s point-of-view on a wrestling angle.

Large – 02/21/08

Be sure to check out Large’s coverage of the fight at the Sporting News website.

Here Comes The Money

Four days later and I’m still jacked up over the Mayweather-Show Wrestlemania angle. It partially has something to do with the thought of my combat sports worlds colliding but I think more about the lost art of surprises in wrestling. That said, I will never forget the night Money May broke Big Show’s nose in a WWE ring (that and Leonard Ellerbe tripping over the guard rail).

Anyhow, you’ve all heard my opinion on the greatest angle of the last decade so I wanted to invite the producer of Live Audio Wrestling and Fight Network Radio, “The Prodigy” John Pollock, to share his views on this money-making angle as well as some of the key matches on the Wrestlemania 24 card.

We also spoke about:

* His initial reaction to the angle

* How he would book it from this point forward

* Did Mayweather really break Big Show’s nose?

* Should WWE try and turn Mayweather heel?

* Who deserves to win more: Edge or Undertaker?

* HHH’s involvement in the WWE title match

* Why is HBK wrestling Ric Flair at WM 24 and should Hulk Hogan replace him?

All that and much more more so take a listen.

John Pollock – 02/21/08