Tuesday, July 28, 2009 | midnight
Torres throws out first pitch
Go ahead and place WEC bantamweight champion Miguel Torres at the front of the line to challenge Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s notion that mixed martial arts is only for white "beer drinkers."
“I would love to fight Mayweather, just because of the simple fact that I think he's a cocky (expletive),” the East Chicago, Ind., star told Yahoo’s Maggie Hendricks last week, after throwing out the first pitch prior to White Sox pitcher Mark Buerhle’s perfect game against Tampa Bay.
“Mayweather's got all the exposure in the world, and everyone thinks he's a god because of all the exposure he's gotten. If it was not for that 24/7 show, no one would give a (expletive) about Mayweather, he'd be some other punk, wannabe rapper. But with the exposure he's given, they market him the right way, and his brand recognition is through the roof because of how they market him. If I had that same marketing, I'd be "Money Miguel." It would be me, instead of "Money Mayweather."
While Torres’ most entertaining talk revolved around Mayweather’s comments about MMA, he did turn his attention to upcoming WEC 42 opponent, Brian Bowles, who he’ll fight on Aug. 9 at the Hard Rock.
“I know what his strategy is going to be. He's going to try to beat me on my feet, he's going to try to knock me out,” Torres said. “When he gets in trouble, he'll get a takedown and play safe and stand up. He's not going to want to get me on the ground.
“He's not going to knock me out. He's not going to submit me, and he's not going to steal a fight with takedowns. I fought a lot of guys who will stall already, I've fought a lot of guys with his mentality, the cockier he is, the harder he's going to fall.”
As for Buerhle’s historic outing, the Mexican-American Torres says you're welcome.
“I left a cup of lion’s blood and some cobra venom for him (Buehrle) at the mound to throw a no-hitter,” Torres said with a laugh. “That’s how I roll. It was an awesome experience."
New Heights: UFC president Dana White — fresh off his 2009 Nevada Sportsman of the Year celebration last weekend during ESPN 1100’s 24-hour Radio-thon that raised $250,000 to benefit The Caring Place — might want to double check that parachute before making his swan dive off Mandalay Bay later this week.
White joked with media members at UFC 100 that if the promotion did more than 1.5 million pay-per-view buys for the historic event, he would take a plunge off the shimmering gold resort-casino on the south end of the famed Las Vegas Strip. The UFC didn’t announce an official number, but hinted that magic tally needed for the main man to jump was way above the set mark.
However, a tentatively scheduled press conference this Friday to address “a lot of crazy things” going on in the UFC will likely feature White behind a podium talking about the UFC’s newly announced partnership with Affliction, the possibility of a return by former UFC star Tito Ortiz and maybe Fedor Emelianenko coming into the fold, rather than White defying gravity.
Mir(ly) Speaking: Reports on two foreign-based Web sites (U.K.-based MMABay and Canadian-based Spotsnet.ca) suggest Las Vegas native Frank Mir (12-4 MMA, 10-4 UFC) will match up against Cheick Kongo (14-5-1 MMA, 7-3 UFC) at UFC 107 set for Dec. 12 at the FedExForum in Memphis, Tenn.
Both fighters will be trying to rebound from disappointing losses that snapped three-fight win streaks. Mir had defeated Antoni Hardonk, Brock Lesnar and Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira before losing to Lesnar at UFC 100. Kongo had knocked off Dan Evensen, Mostapha Al Turk, and Hardonk, before falling to Cain Velasquez at UFC 99 in Germany.
Around the octagon/ring and beyond: The door is as wide open as ever for Russian star Fedor Emelinanko to make his move to the UFC, but from the sounds of his manager negotiations won't be that easy. "This the moment of truth that the UFC has talked about," Vadim Finkelchtein said in a recent release issued by M-1 Global. "Fedor and I are here in the States. If they want to come out and fly here, we are ready to conduct negotiations." ... Not everything from "Affliction Trilogy" has been abandon. Strikeforce announced that it has salvaged the dynamite light heavyweight showdown between Renato Sobral and Gegard Mousasi. ... "Sugar" Shane Mosley talks about the passing of Vernon Forrest, who was the first boxer to beat him.
Andy Samuelson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-948-7837.