Another busy week in the world of MMA, let’s take a look at some of the talking points:
· If you missed UFC 91, you missed a really solid card. From top to bottom, even though there was a lack of superstar level fighters (besides the main event) all the fights more than made up for this. Plus we got to see the entire card. Yep all nine fights. So all you Mark Bocek fans missed it!
· Randy fans seemed to have a problem with the fact that Brock Lesnar was the bigger fighter and won. Yeah, that sounds a little strange but their complaint was that maybe they need a Super Heavyweight division because of they feel the weight difference in the Heavyweight division is disproportionate. Well, I guess too much salt is affecting their thoughts. As was stated by Kelvin in his write up, it was Randy’s choice to come in at 220. In the end though, Brock’s the champ and did it through composure and improved striking, not size.
· Wednesday and Thursday was all Fitched up. The major story of the week was Fitch being cut and uncut in a matter of 24 hours. Since the news broke Wednesday night, everyone and their grandmother has chimed in with their opinions both negative and positive. I guess I’ll throw my two cents in. It’s a double edged sword. I think Dana White said it best ‘fighters need to be fighters’. Sure in other avenues, athletes and artists use their business acumen to venture into other profitable areas. However, signing over your likeness to a video game isn’t the end of the world. As great of a fighter as Jon Fitch is, I highly doubt his name and face will be tacked to non-UFC video game. While EA Sports is likely to put out their own MMA game, without the UFC ‘s name attached I can see it being one and done. MMA’s popular but not quite that popular. Plus a UFC video game is the ultimate (no pun intended) in promotion. I mean how many times do gamers find a new football player to follow thanks to reading or seeing player stats on Madden? Cooler heads prevailed though and hopefully these guys understand the marketing behind this and the good that will come from it. The other side is Dana White. We all know the guy is extremely passionate about the sport. However, his ‘my way or the highway’ attitude being displayed in the public is just bad business. Condemning an entire gym of fighters because of their concern over signing over their likenesses and doing it out in the open doesn’t help the UFC’s case in my opinion. Ultimately, having to have Lorenzo Fertitta step in to alleviate the problem doesn’t look good. We’ve seen in the past big time fighters unwilling or left out of the UFC because of Dana. I just think there needs to be a common median with Dana and his actions because in the end we would hate for him to alienate anyone for personal reasons or due to spitefulness. But like in life, there’s always two sides of a story and details that are left out.
· I’ll take the time to say farewell to a few fighters who were let go by Zuffa. First and not surprising, Paulo Filho will not be brought up to the UFC when the WEC & UFC middleweights combine in the new year. After a spectacular undefeated streak in Pride and winning the middleweight title in WEC, Filho has fought bouts of depression and drug abuse. His last foray in the cage had him come in 7 pounds overweight and almost comatose in his performance. Hopefully this is a wakeup call for him and he gets his life together. Jason Lambert, who was on a three fight losing streak was also let go. Lambert had lost two in the light heavyweight division and then dropped to middleweight and lost to Jason MacDonald at UFC 88. Lambert just seemed to peak with his win over Renato ‘Babalu’ Sobral and never got back to form since. Josh Hendricks, a Couture product, was Fabricio Werdum’d out of the UFC after a first round TKO loss to Gabriel Gonzaga. Finally, Marcus Aurelio was given his pink slip this week. Having ample chances to shine, Aurelio went 2-3 in his stay and was getting paid a hefty amount and not producing. I think the hype behind the Gomi win back in Pride may have fueled his big contract but his performances in the octagon didn’t add up.
· Finally, last night we witnessed Strikeforce: Destruction. Strikeforce usually puts on pretty good events. Notable fights included former UFC welterweight Joe Riggs defeating Luke Stewart by TKO in the 2nd Round. Randy’s better half, Kim Couture got her first MMA win by Lina Kvokov due to strikes in the first round. Duane ‘Bang’ Ludwig outlasted Yves Edwards to win a unanimous decision. My boy Yves just can’t put it all together anymore. ‘Babalu’ won the Strikeforce light heavyweight title from former TUF 1 participant Bobby Southworth due to a gash above his eye and not being able to continue after the first. To be so big and menacing, Terry Martin’s chin has got to be one of the weakest in MMA. Former UFC and EliteXC standout Scott ‘Hands of Steel’ Smith lived up to his nickname and took 24 seconds to dispatch Martin.
Well, that’ll do it for this week. Feel free to leave your comments or throw in your own two cents.