A Fan’s UFC 200 Conspiracy theory

Hello MMA fans and everyone else!

In the past few weeks, we’ve seen updates from UFC regarding the card of their upcoming seminal event – UFC 200 scheduled for July 9th, 2016. To sum up fan reactions (including this fan right here) in a word, it feels – Underwhelming.

So far, three fights were announced:

  • Cain Velasquez vs. Travis Browne
  • Gegard Mousasi vs. Derek Brunson
  • Johny Hendricks vs. Kelvin Gastelum

Don’t get me wrong, I’ll take a card featuring these great fighters any day of the week and twice on a Sunday. But we’re not talking about “just” a PPV. We’re talking about the 200th!

Just a reminder – UFC 100 featured both bestselling fighters at the time – George St. Pierre and Brock Lesnar, in addition to other good fights. This is 100 PPVs later and I just don’t see the stakes being raised just yet…

I’ve heard the idea that the announced fights may be prelim fights and that makes perfect sense.

Unless we consider the current schedule for the various UFC biggest stars and Champions:

  • Daniel Cormier (LHW champ) vs. Jon Jones (Technically never dethroned LHW champ) – UFC 197
  • Mighty Mouse (Flyweight champ) vs. Henry CejudoUFC 197
  • Fabricio Verdum (Heavyweight champ) Vs. Stipe MiocicUFC 198
  • Luke Rockhold (Middleweight champ) Vs. Chris WeidmanUFC 199
  • Dominick Cruz (Bantamweight champ) Vs. Urijah FaberUFC 199
  • Joanna Jedrzejczyk (Strawweight champ) Vs.Claudia GadelhaTUF finale

Unscheduled:

Conor McGregor (Featherweight champ) rumored to fight Nate Diazno Featherweight title fight available for UFC #200

Rafael Dos Anios at LW – a phenomenal fighter. Not such a big seller compared to some of the already booked champions.

Robbie Lawler at WW – Another fantastic fighter, who is popular but with less sales power than other champs.

Next on the PPV sales chart? I guess that’s still Ronda Rousey. Who is she fighting? The champion Miesha Tate? Or a rematch with Holly Holm? Either one will be a great fight and well deserving on being on UFC 200 Main card. But what else?

Here is where the conspiratorial speculation begins…

Imagine this card.

  • Frankie Edgar vs. Max Holloway (or perhaps Renan Barao if he goes up a weight class)
  • Conor McGregor vs. Nate Diaz
  • Co-Co-Main event: Rafael Dos Anios Vs. (Winner of Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Tony Ferguson)
  • Co-main event: Miesha Tate vs. Ronda Rousey or Holly Holm

Now you might be saying, so you took care of every unscheduled champion, “bestseller” except for Robbie Lawler (Who I admit, is popular but not a major seller)… So who’s in the main event?

A-ha!

Another person, from whom we’ve been getting steadily increasing updates and news is no other than…

George St. Pierre!

Ever, the diplomat, GSP claims again and again that he’s not returning. Yet.

But what could possibly be a better tie back to UFC 100? What other fight could the UFC possibly dream for champion Robbie Lawler other than the greatest WW alive? We know that Rory Madonald is occupied with Stephen Thompson. I suspect that following that controversial decision win, UFC may not be in a rush to put Robbie in the cage with Carlos Condit right away. But GSP? Are you kidding me? It is the one and only fight I can see at this point, worthy enough to headline UFC 200.

It could be strictly as advertised – a fan’s conspiracy theory.

But… what if?

ManPraying

By all means, I’d be happy to hear your opinions. Your suggested fight cards. Drop us a line.


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MMA Evolution Is Not Independent (Decisions, Decisions…)

Welcome back everyone,

I sure am glad I opened 2016 with a positive post because this post is a rant of sorts. Well, I will try not to be whiny, though this morning – it may prove very difficult indeed, and instead try to put together some thoughts that may explain what it is that’s behind the growing frustration I feel with regards to this great sport of MMA.

MMA is a relatively young sport and it is always evolving, inside the cage as well as on the outside. Rules and regulations have standardized, weight classes were put in place and don’t get me started on training methods and philosophies.

I think it’s safe to say that what evolved more than anything are – the fighters themselves. From specialized martial artists, they have become – the better ones at least – well-rounded fighters with well-defined emphasis on their natural advantages (and disadvantages).

For the most part, I’m happy with the direction the sport went to. I do not share the misguided nostalgic view of some fans who wish we’d go back to some “olden times” when fighters were paid peanuts to get into a potentially unsafe environment to fight someone twice their size.

No, I like the standardization, I like the professional outlook and I like that big money comes into the picture – to an extent.

Now, so far so good right? So why am I so frustrated?

Well, like anything really, MMA cannot keep evolving into a household mainstream sport as long as – what is supposed to be – supporting personnel and organizations don’t evolve along with it.

I will try to break it down point by point, so it makes some kind of sense:

  • Weight Classes and fighter safety – I’ve written about this topic in the past, and in light of recent events I think it demands immediate attention. The last thing an organization like the UFC needs is a fighter dying, or severely injured due to an irresponsible weight cut. People may not like this, but additional weight classes (I’m looking at the gaps between 170/185 and 185/205 especially) may greatly help on two fronts.
    • Weight cut risks – Fighters won’t need to cut so much weight prior to fights (a MW may be walking around at 205 lbs+ and a WW may be almost 205 himself), thus significantly reducing the risk of adverse reaction.
    • Help the in-betweeners – There are fighters who may be small for their weight class, and the existence of a closer weight may provide them the opportunity to achieve more, without putting their health at such a great risk. Want some examples? Think Kelvin Gastelum, Johnny Hendricks or Nate Marquardt. something between MW and WW would be a perfect fit for them.
  • Big Money/That Reebok Deal – On the one hand, that makes perfect sense. We want a sport that doesn’t look like a backyard production. A sport that the people viewing, won’t look down on. Great. But as it currently stands, it is unfairly tipped in the promoter/product’s favor. That, ladies and gents, is not how you treat fighters who quite literally risk their well-being for said promoter. Big money is good. But more money should be directed at the people taking the risk. Otherwise, the organization runs the risk of bleeding talent in the long run. Just my 2 cents on the big bucks.
  • Rules adaptations – While I’m pleased with how well-rounded fighters are these days, it seems like there’s a place for some rules changes. The first one – in my most humble opinion – is scoring for TD defense. A takedown will count in the scorecards, but when a fighter prevents such attempt, it is ignored. I see no reason why. It’s a simple example of how rules may need to be adjusted in light of the progress that is made by fighters.
  • PEDs – Sure, progress was made and I can’t be happier. Well, for the sake of the sport, and mostly the fighters themselves – I hope that this envelope would be pushed to the max. We do not want fighters ending their careers and lives due to drug use. See WWE for possible traumatic results.
  • Judging – If there is one thing that can be solved fairly easily – again, in my humble opinion – it’s that painful issue of judging. How many times, for GSP’s sake, have we been outraged by judges calls? Seriously, this has to stop. Now, I know how Dana says “Don’t leave it to the judges” and to some extent I’m on board with this, but when you watch a fight like Lawler Vs. Condit you have to ask yourself – “What more do you want?”. We’re way past the street fight mentality of the early days – and for a damn good reason. We’re supposed to be watching a professional sport here. And when two fighters go at it for 5 rounds and do not get a finish, a decision needs to be made. No excuses. And the people making it need to be on the ball. Now, granted – I’m a regular Condit fangirl – and you may (if so inclined) blame me for having a case of butthurt, but regardless, it is my absolutely unbiased opinion that the judges messed up yet another key fight, with huge implications. This is just one example of so many botched decisions and my opinion on the whole is not based only on one of my favorite’s loss. Joe Rogan ranted today about the topic, and while I don’t sign on each and every word he said, I agree that there are things that could be done today, right now, to improve on this front. The idea of having 5 judges (instead of 3) score big fights – at the very least title fights – makes so much sense it actually baffles me how it wasn’t implemented years ago. This is not only needed so fans like me won’t get their panties in a bunch. It is a need of the UFC as an organization that wants to be taken seriously. If decisions are jokes, it makes a joke of the sport and the organization.

Well, this is the end of today’s rant. As for my UFC195 predictions… I went 3 for 5 (though I totally disagree with the decisions on the 2 I missed… but that’s besides the point).

I would love your feedback on the points above so don’t be a stranger. Leave a comment. As long as it’s not violent or racist, I’m not one to censor. If you think I’m wrong – be my guest and explain why. I’m known to change my mind from time to time (when the argument makes sense).

Check out THIS POST by P-GreatWhite_J for more opinions regarding judging and other MMA topics!


Thank you for stopping by folks,

UFC 188 – Predictions and morning after

Hey folks!
Long time no see, and as explained on THIS post, I experienced some technical difficulties on top of some life’s miserable little moments. But we’re back in business and this is the second of the three posts I share with you this week to try to compensate for this short absence.

The format is “slightly” different as I couldn’t do a prediction post in time. You can see the below twit I shared the night of UFC 188 Which was pretty good all things considered. How did I do? Let’s look it over.

Let’s talk fight by fight:

Tecia Torres Vs. Angelah Hill: I have to say that, though I’m big on women MMA, this fight was likely the least exciting women fight in recent history. It looked like a case of styles cancelling each other out. While I expected Torres to win, being a little more well-rounded than Hill, I did not expect to see her going for take down after take down with little to no action on the ground. Hill disappointed me a but by not doing more than controlling Torres’s posture. Low striking, low submission attempts, very little action. 1 for 1.

Yair Rogriguez Vs. Charles Rosa: Thank the booking gods for giving us an immediate response with this fast pace, furious fight. One of the judges left his glasses at home and gave the fight to Rosa, but though he was a tough and worthy opponent, In the fight I watched, Yair won 29-28. I thoroughly enjoyed this one! 2 for 2.

Kelvin Gastelum Vs. Nate Marquardt: Kelvin – please ditch your ill-advised plan to drop back to 170. This is the weight class where Gastelum belongs. No issue cutting weight, or gassing out. It allowed Kelvin to keep a good pace even at Mexico City altitudes. Nate might be done. I’m sorry to say that as I think very highly of the great one. He did not find himself in 170 and 185 will not allow him to climb up the ladder and at 36 he needs to make a career choice. 3 for 3.

Gilbert Melendez Vs. Eddie Alvarez: Here’s where things started going south for me… Gilbert, who I fondly nicknamed “The best Diaz brother” looked way off his game. Either that, or he gave Eddie too much respect (Not that Alvarez doesn’t warrant some…). The normal in your face for 15 to 25 minutes Melendez did not capitalize on an early blow that rocked Eddie, and allowed him to make his way back into the fight and eventually win it by all rights. 3 for 4.

Cain Valasquez Vs. Fabricio Werdum: I did NOT see that coming. I admit. Not that I didn’t think Fabricio had a chance. I certainly knew he could. It was the how, not the win itself. We did see a consistent improvement in Fabricio’s striking in recent fights. I mean, almost unparalleled improvement. Just think Werdum/Overeem and then picture Werdum/Nelson. We know Werdum is the best HW BJJ (if not the best period) practitioner in UFC. What I did not see is a Werdum who’s better conditioned and more in your face – in other words, more Cain – than Cain. I really think Werdum opened up the question about the best HW of all times. I still need to sleep on that for a while, but just review his ongoing list of victims – The Emelianenko brothers, Overeem, Bigfoot, Nelson, Minotauro, Travis Browne, Hunt and now Cain Valasquez… this is by far the most impressive list I can think of. I’m sure he wants to avenge a loss to JDS and Arlovski and perhaps a rubber match with Reem. Kudos to the NEW HW champion of the world! 3 for 5.

Well folks, it was fun to watch, fun to review here. Now let’s saddle up as we prepare for WWE 189. that is UFC189 with Aldo Vs. McGregor and the overlooked Lawler Vs. MacDonald. See you then with a back-to-normal prediction post!

Until then, Let me know what you thought of UFC 188, comment, like and share like a champ!

(Fighter) Safety first

Welcome everybody.

Normally on the Monday following a UFC event, you’d expect to find the “morning after” report in the same prediction post, but since I have more to say than just after thoughts about my picks, I decided to do it in a whole new post of its own. More fun for you, I guess.

Let’s start with the original purpose.

The Morning after:

  1. Much like Joe Rogan, I was watching out for Jordan Mein to show us again why he’s considered such a promising young man. And not that he didn’t. THe first round was his, and he was able to do more than Thiago. The second round brought us Thiago “The Pitbull” Alves. With a beautiful body kick (More on this later) he enabled Mein enough to allow him to swarm with a perfectly legal knee to the head and a couple of punches before earning the TKO. 0 for 1.
  2. Tim Boetsch always come to work. For the majority of the fight he showed why he’s called the Barbarian. Leites did continue to show improved striking skills and held his own for the most part, though the strength differences were pretty obvious in the strikes. Then, Thales was finally able to bring the fight to his world, on the ground and after Boestch did the unthinkable and escaped the first attempt of Leites’ arm triangle, he was locked in a second one and Leites earned the submission victory. 1 for 2.
  3. I was fairly confident in this prediction. Though Lauzon is by far, no pushover, I just believed in Iaquinta’s chin and strength. It was a fun fight like any of Lauzon’s and Iaquinta eventually found the openings he needed and just punched Joe all over the cage (more on that later). 2 for 3.
  4. The crowd booed for the majority of the fight and if you don’t understand MMA, you’d think they were right. What the Vegas douches need to understand are two things. First, when two fighters with knock out power meet, especially when both are knocking on contender-ship door, they are likely not going to stand in front of each other and risk getting knocked out for your entertainment. If they would, I’d seriously doubt their legitimacy. The second thing is that, as opposed to most of the booing “fans”, these two are willing to get into the cage and fight. Easier said than done. Not a great fight, but a fight non the less. Woodley by a hair. 2 for 4.
  5. In the main event, Anderson Silva came back from a horrible injury to prove to himself that he could still do this. Nick Diaz… well, I just don’t know. Never was a fan of Nick (more of Nate). The constant whining, the delusional speeches, the childish behavior… He calls for fights then comes in and spends half of the time taunting (time he could be using to score points), then he’s frustrated. I don’t know. Silva dominated for the vast majority of the fight and clearly won. 3 for 5.

You can watch highlights (Credit: mmaweekly.com) at the bottom of this post.

Now. Having said all that, I wanted to say a few things about fighter’s safety. These thoughts were always bouncing in my head, but I decided to write a little about it after this last week’s weigh in, as well as some of the recent fights.

We all like a good, action packed, aggression filled fight. We love us some knock outs and submission victories. Hell, there were quite a few fights that went the distance and were so full of action, we didn’t really want them to end. That’s why MMA is such a great sport. But what’s the price?

Fighters want to be champions. That is great and motivating. Without the competitive aspect, this sport would be WWE. But what’s the price?

I want to consider a couple of things, with your permission. Or without it, heck, it’s my blog.

Weight Cut

I view weight cut as the necessary evil to allow for a reasonable pairing. It’s not a n easy task for anyone, let alone those who cut a significant amount of weight in order to get to a lower weight class than they might seem to belong to. The motivation is clear. I might be a smaller Middleweight in frame, or height, or reach, so let me drop to 170 and be a big welterweight. Makes sense. Except it doesn’t.

Weight cut might seem trivial, but our bodies are not expecting this dramatic change, nor do they like it. Ask Kelvin Gastelum, or Jimy Hattes. You know what? Ask the new Light-Heavyweight challenger – Anthony “Rumble” Johnson who kept missing weight at Welterweight! A guy like Rumble who is a big LHW, trying to cut all the way down to 170. He’d gas out and not taken seriously. And that’s just the less significant aspect of standings in the organization.

My humble opinion is – if you can’t make weight with relative ease – seriously consider a heavier weight class. It would likely be better for both your health as well as your chances to succeed. And we won’t have to read about you being rushed to a hospital hours before a fight…

 Training Regime

Now I won’t go telling professional MMA fighters how to train. First, because I’m no expert on the matter, and second due to the fact tat the sport is relatively new and still evolving. It’s still somewhat a learning process and we can see new techniques being developed in different camps. Here, I only want to suggest that again, safety should come first. It’s frustrating for fans to see GSP, or Cain Valasquez, or Chris Weidman having to pull out of a an anticipated title fights. I’m sure it’s even more frustrating for the fighters themselves. After all that’s their livelihood.

So if I may use a TV term. Be safe out there!

Stoppages

Let’s talk about that touchy topic for a minute. Some fights end with a definite KO. The fighter is out, period. Some fights end with a tap-out. clear-cut. But what about those TKOs? And the submissions with no taps?

How many times did the referee stop a fight, only to spark the whole “Early stoppage or not?” argument? Or on the flip side – how many times did you wonder whether the referee should’ve stepped in earlier than he did?

Now, again, we want entertainment, but my humble opinion is – better if a fight is stopped a little earlier (to the best judgment of the ref) than too late. The safety of the fighter ensures that we’d be able to watch him fight again. It beats the alternative. We do not want unnecessary career risking injuries or god forbid death in the cage.

That’s it folks. Just wanted to get this out there and perhaps get your perspective on Fighter safety Vs. Fan entertainment Vs. Fighter’s goals and aspirations.

As usual, feel free to leave a comment, share, like and all that 🙂

Enjoy the highlights from UFC 183 below.

P.S. HERE IS an interesting article. Benson Henderson moving up to 170. Along the lines of what I said in the above, that may very well be a really good step for the champ.

P.S.S. LISTEN to what Anthony “Rumble” Johnson has to tell Kelvin Gastelum and John Lineker about weight management.

Thank you,

UFC 183 – Predictions

Hello everyone! New format for my predictions. All credits go to UFC/Zuffa for all photos.

So with no further ado, let’s get down to business. Here are my predictions for UFC 183 (On Monday morning we will revisit these so don’t forget to check back here for the “morning after”). We ride!

fight1

Jordan Mein by UD

fight2

Thales Leites by submission

fight3

Al Iaquinta by TKO

comain

Kelvin Gastelum by UD

and now! the moment millions of MMA fans have been waiting for, from Las Vegas Nevada! This is the main event of the evening!

main

Anderson Silva by TKO.

Don’t forget to get back here by Monday morning for the after MMAth!

And of course, don’t forget to watch UFC 183 on PPV – This Saturday, January 31st!

Iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii-t’s TIME!

SEE THE MORNING AFTER AND MORE ON THIS NEXT POST.