Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Nefarious. Dastardly. Villainous. These are words often used to describe UFC matchmaker Joe Silva, whose latest act of treachery is the August 9th UFC 87 match-up between New York bad boy Jon Jones and New Jersey star Andre Gusmao. By rights, this pairing of explosive and ultra-exciting fighters belongs to fans in the Northeast - perhaps something savored as the main event on a ROC or BCX. Yet Silva wants otherwise. And now fans at the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and on pay-per-view around the world, will get Jones vs. Gusmao instead. Sadly, this isn't the first time Silva has done this (the rematch between Pete "Drago" Sell and Chris Liguori was considered for UFC 45) and it likely won't be the last. Is no top-level fighter sacred? Will the Northeast ever get to keep one of its best athletes to itself? With Silva the Trickster, Silva the God of Mischief and Deceit, around to fulfill dreams and offer up lucrative contracts, probably not.
Trainer/manager Mike Constantino of the AMA Fight Club in New Jersey announced today that Jim and Dan Miller have been signed by the UFC. With flawless wrestling and top-notch submission skills, Jim has cut a swath through the Northeast's lightweights. He's won a slew of championship belts, and has wins over the likes of Chris Liguori and Bart Palaszewski. Older brother Dan - also a grappling stud - has done much of the same in the 185-pound weightclass, with his kneebar win over Miletich-trained Ryan McGivern garnering him the IFL title. How good are these guys? At the news that they were graduating to the UFC, the Northeast's lightweights and middleweights breathed a collective sigh of relief. Believe it, baby.