1. Strikeforce releases two veteran fighters: FiveOuncesOfPain.com is reporting that Strikeforce has released two veteran fighters from their roster. According to the reports, Joe Riggs and Joey Villasenor have parted ways with the organization, though by different circumstances. In Riggs’ case, he opted not to re-sign with Strikeforce after his recent deal expired. Villasenor, however, was released from his contract following back to back losses. I’m not surprise Riggs didn’t resign. He’s been vocal about Strikeforce not allowing him to fight regularly. I am a little surprised about the Villasenor release. He’s pretty good and it’s not like Strikeforce can’t use someone like him on their roster.
2. TapouT founder’s killer found guilty: According to multiple published reports, 53-year-old Jeffrey Kirby was found guilty on one felony count of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated on Wednesday by a jury in Orange County, California in the death of TapouT founder Charles “Mask” Lewis in 2009. Kirby faces a maximum of 13 years in prison, and his sentencing will take place in February of 2011. No surprise here. After the accident Kirby fled the scene, only to be picked up by police a few blocks down the road. Not only that, his blood-alcohol level was .13, well above the legal limit. Sad day, but justice was most likely served.
3. Josh Koscheck is third best: In an interview with MMAFighting.com, GSP ranked Josh Koscheck as third best trash talker. “The top trash talker, one of the best was Dan Hardy, because he was smart. He’s a very clever guy and he was very good trash-talking…I’d say BJ Penn was a good trash-talker, not because what he said was smart, but because he attacked me on a personal point, saying I take steroids and stuff like that…And Koscheck? I would say he’s not as clever as Dan Hardy, but not as bad as BJ Penn, either. I would put him third…It’s always the same thing in every fight. Some guys try to trash talk more than others. He’s not the biggest trash talker I ever fought but he’s pretty good. I have to give it to him, he’s one of the best, one of the most arrogant guys. I’d say he’s in the top three most arrogant guys I’ve fought and it’s good, it makes me very motivated.” Indeed. But doesn’t saying “not as good as Hardy, but not as bad as BJ” mean he’s second? Perhaps his French to English leaves room for misinterpretation.
4. Koscheck is better than GSP: Two-time Olympic wrestler and current Strikeforce heavyweight, Daniel Cormier, told MMAFighting that he believes Josh Koscheck is a better wrestler than GSP. “In reality, Josh is the better wrestler. That’s just a fact. People talk about Georges taking Josh down. What if Josh takes Georges down? Josh is a better wrestler, so why wouldn’t he be looking to use his advantage there? He’s got to be looking to take him down at times, stand with him at times. He’s got to mix it up, and he’s a better wrestler, so that’s an advantage for Josh. Josh is prepared to go everywhere.” I agree, and I’ve been saying this for a while. GSP isn’t really a wrestler. He uses wrestling to dictate where the fight will go. I don’t think anyon in the 170lb division can stop GSP, but Koscheck could negate some, and maybe even turn the tide once or twice in this fight.
5. The UFC and “Kid” Yamamoto: With the new additions of the 135lb and 145lb classes to the UFC, they have been looking to fortify those divisions. And according to MMAJunkie.com, the UFC is in talks with Jappanesse superstar Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto to join their featherweight division. Yamamoto, 18-3, could debut as early as February or March in the UFC’s new featherweight division if he’s signed. And this would be an epic signing. He’s a very talented fighter and would bring over some Asian audience. And have you seen his wife? Money. I look forward to the UFC claiming other overseas fighters in the future now that they have the smaller weight classes.