Welcome to another edition of THE DUEL. Sorry for the delay but AT&T has had my internet off for two days and they can’t figure out how to fix a glitch in their own system. It’s fun spending 2-3 hours a day on the phone with someone with an Indian accent named “Albert” or “Jenny.” So this post live from my mom’s house! This week we feature our lovely editor and wonderful man, Mr. Adam Morgan. Battling him is Mr. Nokaut.com, Sir Randy Harrison. AND NOW WE DUEL.
1. Considering everything from tv ratings to the fights themselves, EXC on Saturday Night was a success.
Harrison: FALSE. Not in a million years. With the information that has come out now, the show was a pretty good-sized flop. Sure, the show on CBS turned out a LOT better and the action was a lot less controversial, but there was no buzz for the event, the ratings did a tank-job of about 40% and there was maybe a 1/4 of the building that actually paid to get into Stockton Arena. I loved the actual CBS show itself as the fights were exciting, the crowd that did show up was electric and the pace of the show was a million times better than the first show. Even with all of that, I can’t get past how the ratings sank and how few people bothered to show up, even with hometown hero Nick Diaz on the card. Add to that, the turmoil in the front office that has come out in the past few days and it’s starting to look like the Good Ship EliteXC might be taking on water faster than it can bail it out.
Morgan: FALSE. The fights were good and the improvements that were made upon the broadcast itself were very welcome. But these two things don’t make the show a success. The ratings were mediocre, which apparently ProElite expected, but now they have put a huge amount of pressure on the October show to draw a massive rating on the backs of Kimbo Slice and Gina Carano. EliteXC did little to no marketing for this card and it showed when the paid attendance was announced this week. How do you not have a packed crowd when local stars like Nick Diaz and Jake Shields are fighting on national television? It doesn’t make sense to me. The show was not a success, but it wasn’t a complete tank either. All this show did was put a massive amount of pressure on EliteXC to put on their best show yet in October. Here’s to hoping they pull it off.
My Five Cents: I will agree with Morgan though I don’t doubt the October show in the least. With Kimbo and Gina that show will get the same ratings the first show did and will be a fine success. Their problem, as everyone knew going into this, was that CBS rushed a second show which we all knew wouldn’t do all that well.
2. The UFC must find a way to make a rumored GSP vs BJ Penn bout go five rounds.
Harrison: TRUE. A fight of that stature needs to go five rounds, but the thing of it is that they may not have to fabricate a reason for it to go five rounds. With a successful GSP title defense at UFC 87, BJ will be challenging for the UFC Welterweight Championship and this fight will immediately go to a five round fight. If GSP loses, it might get a little tricky and I don’t think they would be able to justify pulling it off and changing the rules for one fight. Do I think it should be a five rounder? Undeniably yes, because they are two of the best fighters in the world and I would hate to see the fight be stopped after round three (if it got that far), when a fight of that magnitude should really get the extra ten minutes. Will it be a five rounder? Only if GSP keeps his crown. Just another reason for me to cheer for St. Pierre on the 9th.
Morgan: TRUE. Title or no title, this fight needs to be five rounds long. Considering the battle that the two had in their last fight against one another, a rematch warrants five rounds for a decisive finish. Fans don’t want to see a razor thin finish in a fight between these two like what happened last time, they want to see one fighter definitively come out on top over another fighter. Fights of this magnitude, title or no title, should always be five rounds because they are championship caliber fights. Without a doubt, the way the last fight ended between these two is not an acceptable way for a second fight between them to end. Five rounds is the only way to settle things.
My Five Cents: I like the title-caliber type statement. There are some fights that should go three rounds and some fights that should go five, we just need smart people making those decisions. This fight has to go five rounds whether it’s for a belt or not. The first one was a barnburner and I can’t wait if there is a second one.
3. Sengoku will outlast DREAM in Japan.
Harrison: FALSE. DREAM has shot a little higher and had some roadblocks along the way, but their talent is much better and their shows have been much more entertaining than the Sengoku shows. Things also seem to be turning around, if only slightly for DREAM because it sounds like their next show could be on live TV over there as opposed to the tape-delaying that has been going on with their previous shows. Sengoku doesn’t have the reach and it doesn’t really have the name fighters, outside of a few examples like Gomi, Barnett and Yoshida. To me, the only way that Sengoku will manage to outlast DREAM is if they fly so far under the radar that they end up being largely forgotten about while the vultures circle over DREAM. If it’s a straight head-to-head showdown, DREAM is going to come out on top, no questions asked.
Morgan: FALSE. But for how long? Just this week, DREAM is rumored to be doing so terrible in their ratings on television that they’re talking about putting Akiyama vs. Cro Cop together. If DREAM doesn’t do well from this point forward, it’s very possible that they could go in the tank as well. That being said, have you watched a Sengoku show? It’s worse than watching all day marathons of “The Rockford Files” with your grandma. Based on product alone, DREAM is killing Sengoku. DREAM 4 was one of the best shows all year. Sengoku hasn’t even had one single fight worth remembering.
My Five Cents: What is wrong with watching “The Rockford Files” with your grandma? My Saturday nights are outraged. And I go with my own statement, Sengoku sucks completely but DREAM, the better show, isn’t doing well and I don’t see them going far. I’m sure Dana White, after taking that horrible buyout of PRIDE, is giggling under his breath late at night.
—-SWITCH IT UP—-
4. Patrick Cote will last a full round with Anderson Silva.
Morgan: TRUE. But only because Silva will let him. More recently, Silva seems to like to feel his opponents out in round one and then devastate them in round two. Near the end of round one is when Silva seems to get comfortable and begins to unleash his vicious and accurate strikes. He did that to Rich Franklin the second time around and finished him in round two. He finished Dan Henderson in round two as well. And James Irvin doesn’t count because, well, because he’s James Irvin. I don’t think Cote is as good as Henderson or Franklin but I do feel that he has what it takes to at least last five minutes with the current pound for pound king.
Harrison: FALSE. If guys like Dan Henderson and Rich Franklin are barely surviving two rounds with Silva, and Nate Marquardt and James Irvin couldn’t make it out of the first, I’d think that Cote will be able to fit into the latter category rather than the former. Cote is a stand and bang guy, a lot like Chris Leben is, and we saw how well that ended up working out for “The Crippler”. In order for Cote to be able to land his cannon right hand he’s going to have to be in Anderson’s range, and there’s no way that he’s going to be able to withstand too much of that. Cote’s chin hasn’t shown itself to be terribly weak, but not many of Silva’s victims in the past two years have shown weak chins before they were dropped. Silva will be finished with this one before three minutes if I don’t miss my guess.
My Five Cents: I agree with Harrison about level of competition and I agree with Morgan about the feeling out. That was kind of the point of the statement. I’m going to have to go with Harrison here as Cote does indeed fit more in with Irvin than he does Rich Franklin.
5. Should the fight be made, Mirko Cro Cop would KO Alistair Overeem in the first round.
Morgan: TRUE. Alistair Overeem’s chin is extremely suspect and a fight with Mirko can only end one way for him and that’s a first round KO. Taking into account that the fight would be in Japan and that the first round is ten minutes, that gives Mirko ample time to land his vicious left hand or the patented left head kick that has made him so famous. As much as I like Overeem, I don’t think he has what it takes to contend with Cro Cop in a ten minute first round in Japan. The win over Mark Hunt was a quality one for Overeem but if he’s planning on trying to take Cro Cop to the ground then I think he has another thing coming. Cro Cop via first round KO, fo’ sho’.
Harrison: TRUE. Alistair Overeem has been knocked out by light-heavyweights in his career. While Mirko may not weigh much more than most light heavys after they’ve rehydrated, he’s got true heavyweight power. Sure, Overeem has won a couple in a row and Mirko’s been going through a rough stretch with injuries, but Overeem has also been talking some epic smack on Cro Cop leading into this fight. I’m not sure that pissing off a Mirko that already has something to prove is the greatest idea. By the by, does anyone know if Alistair is ever going to come back to America to defend his Strikeforce Heavyweight Title? If Mirko wins, would he be the linear Strikeforce champ? Just random stuff that popped into my head there, sorry. Anyhow, back to the question, Mirko is going to be very angry, he’s going to have a huge chip on his shoulder, and he’s going to have ten full minutes in the first round to unleash his fury. Alistair won’t survive the first.
My Five Cents: Yeah, no way he lasts 10 minutes with Mirko. Oops, I’m sorry, Mirko is overrated and sucks…. I forgot about the internet and his UFC fights. Five minute round? Maybe. Ten minute round? No chance. He gasses too easily and while Alistair is doing well it’s against slower, lumbering heavyweights and not against Mirko.
6. Carlos Condit, Brian Stann and Jamie Varner will all retain their titles on Sunday at WEC 35.
Morgan: FALSE. Carlos Condit, Brian Stann and Marcus Hicks will be your champions come Sunday night. That’s right, ladies and gentlemen, you heard it here first. Marcus Hicks will beat Jamie Varner on Saturday. Hicks is a monster for 155 lbs. He’s one of the most underrated fighters in the entire weight class. He absolutely devastated Ed Ratcliff He’s got great boxing, he’s a Golden Gloves champion, he’s a BJJ black belt and he’s undefeated. He’s extremely aggressive, has good cardio and is primed to take Varner by surprise. I realize that Varner trains with the better camp, has been in the bigger fights, and just defeated “Razor” Rob McCullough in devastating fashion, but I’m telling you people: Marcus Hicks is the real deal.
Harrison: TRUE. Condit is an absolute animal and I don’t see him losing until he’s possibly made his way into the UFC, if they ever decide to start calling up guys from the WEC. Stann has already beaten Cantwell in a fairly convincing fashion and I don’t think that Cantwell has grown enough as a fighter in the relatively short time period to make it even close to him overtaking a fully confident, fully dangerous Stann. As for the fight that Mr. Morgan believes will lead to a title change, I’d be inclined to agree with him if it wasn’t for one crucial factor. Hicks has no previous big fight experience. Sure, he’s fought in front of larger crowds in the WEC, but this is his first taste of a five-round title match. Varner may not have much more experience but he’s won in the UFC and he’s easily handled Rob McCullough, two things that Hicks hasn’t done. I’ll be more than willing to eat crow on Monday if Hicks pulls off the win, but I think that Varner is going to make it three-for-three for the defending champs on Sunday night.
My Five Cents: Basically if you say, “you heard it here first,” I think you should lose. I’m always with the “field” in these statements but I don’t see any of these three losing no matter what my instincts tell me. Varner is a beast and I really can’t see Hicks getting the job done.
And that does it for another edition of the DUEL. Join us next week for two more writers and their opinions on current events.