Uhhhh, I didn't even want to do one of these after the conclusion of Saturday's show just because there was so much to rant about that I thought I'd be here for days. However, I'm back for another edition of The Unpopular Opinion and as usual no one is safe! Hope you guys enjoyed the show Saturday, I did and didn't but let's just get right to it.
Saturday's debacle further proved why it is hard to use the Ultimate Fighter format with heavyweights. Guys that big (and old) just do not have the cardio needed to fight at the pace that the UFC is known for. Sure it is intriguing to watch the big men huff and puff while throwing wild haymakers, it does not look good for the sport. I think the heavyweight experiment for TUF will be long gone after this season and I can't say that I'm upset by that. As always I'm going to stick with the main card fights so that this doesn't become a novella by closing. Anywhom....
Not Much of An Opinion At All (The James Wilks Award) This section is for those guys that I really have nothing bad or good to say about but mostly neutral.
Matt Veach - You really can't fault the guy for his performance, he was facing a fighter with lots of octagon experience and someone extremely difficult to finish. His slams were something of beauty and his overall first round really had me worried for Frankie Edgar in this bout. Veach should get a step back in competition just to help build him as a fighter and not be thrown with the wolves too soon.
The Popular Opinion
Jon Jones - I had a LONG written tirade after the disqualification loss to the young upstart but after getting some clarification of Steve Mazzagatti's decision I understood a little better and realized it was one of his few options and he chose the one less appealing. Jones absolutely MURDERED Matt Hamill. As much as I had my doubts that Jones' past performances were going to eventually catch up to him with a tough as nails wrestler in Hamill, he completely shatterd that doubt. Not to mention the guy was all class in a situation that could have took an ugly turn. He could have blasted Mazz and went on a tangent with Joe Rogan but he didn't and showed true maturity for a 22 year old. Imagine if someone like Tito Ortiz lost that way. Jones has a very bright future as long as he #1 understands the rules and #2 stays in shape and keeps a positive head on his shoulders. Hell, my DAD was impressed, he jumped on the phone and said that Jones reminded him of Anderson Silva. What a compliment!
Matt Hamill - I would have placed him in the Unpopular Opinion but just listening and seeing how he looked in what was supposed to be his victory interview made me feel really bad for the guy. Did Matt Hamill even know he won? That was not the kind of interview a guy happy about a win would give but under the circumstances, I know why. Hamill will never be a breakout title contender but he's a guy that's always game for a good scrap.
Roy Nelson - You knew he was going to win due to his experience but I never thought he'd smash Brendan Schaub quite like he did. His entrance music, belly rub, and Burger King references may make him likeable to the blue collar beer belly types but I am not sure if it'll help MMA's plight seeing a guy that looks like he should be promoting a local eatery rather than beating up guys that look like Men's Fitness posterboys but hey, looks can be deceiving.
The Unpopular Opinion
Marcus Jones - Where to start? For such a menacing, hulk like physique this guy can not take a punch. I seemed to be one of the few people picking Mitrione in this fight but I simply felt that Marcus would get hit and as soon as he did he'd be done for. How sad I am that I was right. Marcus seems to use the Frankenstein approach to takedowns simply stiffly coming forwards with his arms out, wrapping you up, and dropping you to the mat. It works but unfortunately, if he doesn't finish you there, he's pretty much done for. I really liked Marcus on TUF 10 and I think many others did as well, it's just ashame that at his age and due to his inability to get the striking concept down he'll never amount to much in MMA, other than a big guy with good ground skills and no chin.
Matt Mitrione - I have a strong feeling the UFC was banking on Jones to be victorious because I am almost positive they do not want or even have any intentions of having Mitrione fight for their company. While he's big and he hits hard, that's all he has. I can see the Joe Silva feeding Mitrione to an up and coming heavyweight prospect, just to give that person a win against someone casual fans may have some knowledge of.
Frankie Edgar - It's really hard to talk bad about a guy that has beaten the likes of Sean Sherk, Tyson Griffin, and Hermes Franca all the while being an undersized lightweight but does anyone out there think Edgar has any chance whatsoever against a guy like BJ Penn or Diego Sanchez? However, he did show that he does have some killer instinct in putting away Matt Veach after a jawbreaking counter right but I doubt the upper echelon lightweights make that mistake, so where does Edgar go from here? I see that he believes this win should put him as the #1 contender for the lightweight title but I think there's a guy that recently beat him named Gray Maynard that would have some problems with that accusation. If Edgar does happen to get a title shot, I think he'll lose. While his overall game is solid, his size will be problematic if in there with a guy like BJ who will no doubt have a huge reach advantage and of course Diego is a big lightweight and if he returns to the older 'Nightmare' days of smothering his opponents, then Edgar has absolutely no chance. I still think it's hard to discredit a guy that's only lost once and faced some of UFC's best but sooner or later the size factor will come into play and they'll be more questions for 'The Answer'.
Houston Alexander - I don't even feel like wasting the energy on this one. All I could think about while Houston basically side stepped around the octagon for an entire round was if he had finally lost his mind. Whatever Houston's camp came up with they should never be allowed to train an MMA fighter again. Not only did he circle for pretty much a good portion of the fight, he threw some of the most awful looking leg kicks I've seen. However, all is well since this will likely land Houston back on the indy scene, so we'll more than likely be watching his next fights via Youtube instead of on Spike TV. Oh yeah, when Kimbo Slice can mount you with little to no effort, you might want to call it quits.
Kimbo Slice - The only question I left with after Kimbo's arm was raised was is Kimbo that good or is Houston just that bad? I think it's a little bit of both. While Kimbo showed some improved technique on the ground, watching him look completely lost while trying to apply a rear naked choke was more comical than anything else. I'm sure the ratings for this show all rest on his shoulders and they should be good as many of my family members who usually don't watch MMA unless I'm there were tuned in but will this leave a bitter taste with casual fans' when Kimbo looked far from stellar and his hand picked opponent looked even worse? Who can the UFC logically put Kimbo against and expect something worthwhile and not what we saw at the conclusion of their fight with both guys hunched over as if they had just ran a marathon? Is Kimbo Slice even worth the meticulous time it'll take to come up with future opponents? And ultimately can the UFC put Kimbo in a fight with a legit heavyweight and have him not get absolutely embarassed? I'm sure Dana and co. have probably begun mapping out Kimbo's path since they can breath a sigh of relief that he was even victorious Saturday but I fear that road will lead to Bo Cantrell-equivalents and Tank Abbott-esque big men for the future. And if they decide to get Kimbo into the light heavyweight division...well....I hope he's good with his finances because he'll be looking for work before the end of 2010.
Brendan Schaub - Schaub was basically everyone's darkhorse coming into the show and really proved to be a blue chipper as far as the heavyweight division. After basically obliterating all of his competition, most gave him a fairly good chance against the veteran Roy Nelson and for a few moments it looked as if that chance was valid but I think Schaub forgot one thing....Roy can hit too! Schaub looked to be comfortable on the feet but was actually getting hit often and hit hard throughout their fight and of course ended up on his back for a while but like during the show was able to power out. Schaub is a great prospect but he has a lot of work to do if he wants to make a name in the UFC heavyweight division, especially with the bigger, more athletic guys that are rising in the ranks these days. He's extremely suspectible to the takedown and now it's been shown that he can be beaten up on the feet, so if he can clean some of his technique up and get a sprawl of some sort, he may do well in the future, but I think Schaub will have a long road to actually making his name known in the UFC heavyweight division and I even see him being dropped only to be eventually brought back here in the near future. We shall see.
Tito Ortiz/Chuck Liddell 3 - Dana are we running out of ideas or what!? Who in their right mind wants to see this fight? Well I'm sure Chuck's hardcore backers will but is that enough to keep the ratings anywhere near mediocre for next season? Do people want to see Tito Ortiz anymore. He hasn't won a fight since 2006! By the time this fight takes place it will be close to FOUR years since Tito has even had his hand raised in victory and that came to an over the hill Ken Shamrock! Chuck Liddell hasn't won since 2007 and ironically since the last Tito fight has pretty much been embarassed by all of his opponents minus Wanderlei Silva but even then he was getting beat up. Maybe this is Dana simply wanting Chuck to go out with one more win and is given him a guy tailormade for him to beat but is it really necessary? Plus, with the way Chuck's been going down to shots lately, who knows of Tito will land a bomb and KO Chuck and further taint his legendary status. It just doesn't add up or make sense unless they are turning the Ultimate Fighter into a place for guys they have no use in the contention side of their division, which is a good thing because we don't have to tie up titles anymore but will anybody be watching this next season? Anybody?
While I tamed it down just because I had so much to say that I didn't have time to mesh it all out but I hope you all get the jist of things. You agree? Disagree? Have your own Unpopular Opinions, well let them be known in the comments section and enjoy the read. Join me next week as I 'hopefully' will be reviewing UFC 107 (still not sure if I'm ordering this or not).