Welcome back to another edition of The Duel. Joining me this week is PunchDrunkGamer.com’s Dave Carpinello. We will be yelling at one another and as always your comments on the statements or opinions expressed are much appreciated. Let us Duel:
1. Evan Tanner’s death is the saddest story of the year.
Carpinello: DEPENDS. It depends on who you ask. There have been several athletes from different sports that have passed away this year, expected and unexpectedly. MMA fans may agree with that statement while fans who have experienced losses in other sports might disagree. But I would have to agree that at 37 years young it is a sad day for the sport, the fighters, his family and the fans.
Huckaby: TRUE. Evan Tanner may not be a sob story due to his personal struggles but it certainly saddened me to the core. My best friend’s favorite fighter was Evan Tanner and I had to call him and tell him he died. Especially troubling is the fact about heat exhaustion and his lack of water and that blog post saying he might die on the trip. It might have been a joke but it might not have been. I can’t think of a sadder story this year and certainly not a sadder sports story. I <3 Evan Tanner.
2. Rashad Evans only way to win was a random knockout.
Carpinello: FALSE. If Evans continued to fight with his strategy at the time of the knockout, he would have likely won a decision. Liddell has long been a counterpuncher and in this fight he forced to chase Evans around the cage. Which as any one who was watching the fight could tell….obviously was frustrating the former champion.
Huckaby: TRUE. Odd, I thought Liddell was kicking his ass at the time of the knockout. It’s funny because a friend that was over was yelling through the round, “he’s trying to Rampage him!” Meaning he felt his only way to win was an overhand right that knocked Liddell out. I paid it a bit of notice until it happened when I looked at him and he was smug. He was exactly right, Rashad was backing away and looking for the one punch KO to “Rampage” him with wild shots and no takedowns. It was a good strategy as it worked and I really do think the only way he could have won that fight.
3. Rich Franklin should stay at 205lbs.
Carpinello: TRUE. Unless Anderson Silva changes weight classes for good, Franklin has no chance to win the title again at middleweight. In fact I don’t envision many scenarios where the UFC would even give Franklin a third fight against Silva. The light-heavyweight division is wide open right now and would make for some very intriguing matchups for fans. Franklin versus Forrest Griffin or Keith Jardine would have the opportunity to be great fights.
Huckaby: TRUE. Hey we agreed on something. I like your analysis but I still think Silva vs. Franklin should happen every single October. Rich Franklin is probably my favorite fighter but watching him get beat up by Anderson Silva every year would be humbling and make you remember what to appreciate in life. My way of picking the fight was saying Hamill “beat” Bisping (fine, not really but in sane peoples heads) and with Bisping at 185lbs wouldn’t Franklin beat the crap out of him? Franklin has a long road ahead, not every battle is going to be Matt Hamill. I’m not dissing Matt Hamill, I’m just saying Rashad Evans and Wanderlei Silva are different beasts.
—-SWITCH IT UP—-
4. Affliction’s postponement states they’re in real trouble.
Huckaby: TRUE. Companies don’t just postpone dates for shows. It’s not as if this is a very common theme. I wished the best for Affliction but this shows something might be very wrong and even worse they could be out of business before Fedor fights the Arlovski/Barnett winner. Not that Fedor didn’t already prove he was the best fighter in the world by destroying Sylvia in 30 seconds but a win over the Arlovski/Barnett winner would only showcase that more.
Carpinello: FALSE. I would say trouble but not in danger of folding trouble. Atencio is a smart businessman and he has surrounded himself with some very successful people; i.e. Donald Trump. Although you have to wonder whose bright idea it was to try and host an event in Dana White’s backyard. By moving the show to January that will enable them to use the services of Fedor, Babalu, Belfort and others who are recovering from injuries. The question though is who will Fedor face if Andrei Arlovski and Barnett are already matched up?
5. Mac Danzig will get over the test of Clay Guida at UFN 15 on Wednesday.
Huckaby: TRUE. As always I will go with the, “who does Joe Silva think will win?” test. Danzig might win this fight by decision or a third round sub but Guida seemingly loves some decision losses so I have to go with Danzig to be more active here. Realistically there is an 85% chance of a decision and I think Danzig will win it. Guida is a solid fighter but he’s on my list as an absolute gatekeeper in the company.
Carpinello: TRUE. Danzig should be able to handle Guida and win by submission in either the second or third round. Although Guida’s fight style is exciting, it does leave him open to getting caught. Danzig has a bright future ahead of him and this fight should result in another victory for the Xtreme Couture product.
6. Nate Diaz will continue his roll and defeat Josh Neer.
Huckaby: TRUE. Diaz is 4-0 in the UFC and will get to 5-0 after this fight. I love Josh Neer and his odd professional relationship with Spencer Fisher but I believe he’s out of his league here. While I love Neer, Diaz showed me a ton in his win over Pellegrino, who I thought had an 80% chance of winning that fight. I’m not wrong much but I said the only way Diaz wins is a strange submission out of nowhere and if Pellegrino could avoid it he’d win the fight. Well he middle finger lost and I won’t doubt Diaz any longer. Diaz will take this fight by sub in the third round or by decision. After what he did against Pellegrino I’m going with the former. Nathan Diaz you may by psychotic but you are a good fighter.
Carpinello: TRUE. Diaz is a scrapper like his brother Nick. Don’t get me wrong, ‘The Dentist’ is a good fighter but his last victories were over 2 no names and an injured Din Thomas. Like his brother did 2 years, Nate will submit Neer at some point during this fight.
And that is our Duel for the week. Join us next week when two different MMA writers battle it out. I’ll also have a Pros and Cons for UFC 88 and other crap at some point in the coming week. And by “other crap” I mean Bulgarian hockey and fantasy football. You just wait.