, Port Arthur, Texas


December 22, 2012

David Estrada column: Best fights we've never been able to see

PORT ARTHUR — Could've, would've, should've. That's the basis of this week's column. One

allure to the combat sports is the anticipation of a head-to-head matchup. With

two fighters excelling in parallel sooner or later they'll have to converge.

These are the fights fans dream of and live for.

    Unfortunately, due to a a myriad of reasons these dream matchups sometimes never

come to fruition. History books are left with a blank chapter that could have

been its most captivating.

    This week will look back at the three biggest, greatest fights that should have

happened, but never did.

    3. Randy Couture vs. Fedor Emelianenko — Starting in 2000, Fedor Emelianenko was

an undefeatable MMA fighter. The Russian owned the PRIDE Fighting Championships

heavyweight belt and was the consensus number one fighter the planet. Stoic and

inhuman, he was the living embodiment of Dolph Lundgren's "I will break you"


    During the early 2000's, Randy Couture was the quintessential

American hero. Against all odds he won the UFC light heavyweight title by

defeating Tito Ortiz in 2003 and later earned the UFC heavyweight title by

upsetting Tim Sylvia in 2007. Rocky Balboa was his unmistakable parallel.

    When the UFC brought PRIDE in 2007, Emelianenko versus Couture was the fight

fans clamored for. The stage was set for the Russian Red Devil fighter to take

on Captain America Randy Couture.

    Surprisingly, Fedor Emelianenko didn't transfer over to the UFC from PRIDE after

the buyout. He opted to fight for rival promotion Affliction. The UFC refused

to cross-promote a bout with Affliction because it would give them public

credibility which wouldn't have been a smart business move. Couture held out on

his contract with the UFC for more money and the shot to fight Fedor.

    There were several teasers that tantalized fight fans even such as Couture meeting

Fedor face-to-face in the ring after one of Fedor's victories. The two were

even highlighted in EA Sport's MMA video game fighting each other.

    Sadly, that's as close as the two ever got to fighting each other. Couture

eventually re-signed with the UFC, Fedor did not, and the real life version of

Rocky IV never occurred.

    2. Brock Lesnar vs. Fedor Emelianenko — After Brock Lesnar defeated Randy

Couture in 2008 and put together a string of convincing UFC heavyweight title

defenses, he became the man to beat. Fedor with his continued winning streak

was inhuman. Lesnar, with his once in a lifetime size and athleticism, was


    The UFC continued to try to lure Fedor into the UFC. Again, one of the sticking

points was cross-promoting. A demand that Fedor's management had was that in order

for Fedor to fight in the UFC the bout had to be billed as a Russian M-1 and UFC


    M-1 was a Russian promotion co-owned by Emelianenko and his management.

Again, this would give a rival promotion some credibility so the UFC balked on

this fight as well.

    1. Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Manny Pacquiao — Who said this was strictly a mixed

martial arts column? Perhaps the greatest combat sports fight that never

occurred was Mayweather versus Pacquiao. Rarely does one see two parallels of

excellence last so long and never meet up. Mayweather versus Pacquiao would

have been the most watched fight in the history of mankind.

    Oscar De La Hoya vs. Floyd Mayweather in 2007 was supposed to be the fight that saved boxing but

it fell short. Mayweather vs. Pacquiao would have been the fight that punched back

and saved boxing from being completely absorbed by the interest of MMA.

    As widely known, it was differences in drug screening processes that made

Mayweather and Manny Pac refuse to fight each other. Pacquiao would not agree

to the Olympic-style testing Mayweather demanded.

    With Pacquiao's loss to Juan Manuel Márquez three weeks ago, and Mayweather's

legal issues landing him in jail, this matchup has lost all of its steam. With

the two fighters in their mid-thirties, they are now leaving their prime which

makes it less likely for them to gain any momentum.

    It's a shame fans have been ripped off from seeing the fights they want to see

because of differences. What can't we just all just get along and fight?

    David Estrada Jr. is a Mixed Martial Arts columnist for the Port Arthur News. He can be e-mailed at

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  • Bassmaster Elites are coming back

    The Bassmaster Elite Series returns to Southeast Texas in March 2015 to fish out of Orange.
    The announcement was made last week, ahead of Bassmaster’s official tournament schedule announcement and the buzz is already strong in Southeast Texas and beyond.
    I was in Orlando, Fla. attending the ICAST (fishing trade) show and talked with a number of top anglers including Kevin VanDam, Mike Iaconelli and Shaw Grigsby who said it was no surprise they would return considering the massive turnout for the weigh-ins and that the area welcomed them in a very special way.
    It’s far too early to speculate anything like who the top contenders will be or how the fishing will be but there are some things to keep in mind and to look for over the next few months and into the event itself.
    • Prefishing-There is a pre-fishing cutoff that usually extends to right before the Bassmaster Classic and I fully expect most of the anglers in the Elites to come back and prefish.
    Last go-round probably 2/3 of the field fished the area but this time I expect that to be just about everyone. Many of the anglers that did not pre-fish told me they expected to have a lot of water to fish but the sheer volume and diversity was almost overwhelming.
    Beginning probably in the early fall we will see many anglers fishing local waters to get a better idea on how to approach the area.
    • East to West Runs-The Elite anglers fished far and wide but I expect even more running next go-round. After launching from the Simmons Drive Boat Ramp in Orange angler Bill Lowen ran down the Intracoastal, across Galveston Bay and fished in the Clear Lake area and placed in the top 12. The more adventurous anglers will try super long runs, in my opinion, even longer than last time to try and score on big fish. The Intracoastal Canal system makes that possible.
    • Sabine River -Very few of the anglers actually fished in the Sabine River despite the event being called the “Sabine River Challenge”. I think that will change with more anglers running as far north as they can to find pockets of fish that receive little pressure and perhaps a four or five-pounder to push them over the top.
    • Bigger Turnout-Last year some 34,000 people attended the event which set a Bassmaster record for an Elite event.
     It was broken a couple of weeks later in New York but I fully expect the 2015 tournament to draw 40,000 plus. The reason they are coming back is not for the stellar fishing because while we have lots of bass, everyone knows our fishery cannot compare to Toledo Bend for example.
    The support from the public however was amazing and that is what is bringing the top anglers on the planet to fish our area.
    We will have the very best coverage of the event beginning now and leading up to it with exclusive interviews with all of the top pros with not only their thoughts on the big event but with unique tips on how you can catch more fish.
    It’s an exciting time and I look forward to bringing you special coverage on a special event.
    (To contact Chester Moore, e-mail him at You can hear him on “Moore Outdoors” Fridays from 6-7 p.m. on Newstalk AM 560 KLVI or online at or watch him on “God’ Outdoors with Chester Moore” Saturdays at 10 a.m. on

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    Thursday nights Summer Money League produced some very impressive scores.

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  • Babe Ruth.jpg Mid County Babe Ruth set to host Southwest Regional

    The Mid County Babe Ruth 18U team is once again knocking on the World Series door. Mid County will host the Southwest Regional at Nederland High School starting today. Mid County’s first game of the tournament is slated for 7 p.m. Friday against Pine Bluff, Ark. Thursday was a special day for Mid County Babe Ruth as two locals, Jimmy Collins (shown speaking) and Skip Hopkins (back left) were inducated intot he Southwest Regional Babe Ruth Hall of Fame. Both Hopkins and Collins have been involved in Babe Ruth for over 40 consecutive years either as player, coach or board member. There are nine teams in the tournament with the winner headed to Washington state for the World Series.

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • West golf notepad: Eleven-year-old Henry scores ace in YMBL tourney

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From the Fieldhouse blog