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5 Oz. of Pain Presents: The DUEL

And welcome back to The Duel. This week I am joined by TKO Xtreme‘s Scott White and for half of the Duel by MMAJunkie‘s Dann Stupp. Dann was unable to be part of the second half as he had to fly out to the Playboy Mansion for an event. If you have a chance please pray for him as he has a very difficult life. FUN FACT: Dann did not get the nickname “Junkie” because it was fun for MMA, he’s actually deep into the world of heroin.

So with Dann out for the second half I will fill in for him. Consider me half a Junkie. Let us Duel:

1. An Affliction/Golden Boy tandem MMA and boxing card would work.

Junkie: FALSE. I believe Affliction and Golden Boy are trying to fill a niche where there is no desire for one. I know both are “combat sports,” but in terms of their audiences and even the media that covers each, MMA and boxing belong together no more than NASCAR and the PGA do. Everyone keeps pointing to the successful MMA/boxing show that took place earlier this year in Las Vegas (which featured John Alessio vs. Pete Spratt and Kim Couture vs. Kim Rose). Yes, that show was a success of sorts, but it didn’t really have anything to do with the novelty of MMA and boxing on the same card. That event drew well because all tickets were free and many Xtreme Couture fighters were signing free autographs throughout the night. The crowd was splintered, and the place didn’t really start filling up until the MMA portion of the event anyway. There may be some value in Affliction and Golden Boy teaming up, but the potential of MMA/boxing cards isn’t the reason why.

White: FALSE. The only way I see the Affliction/Golden Boy tandem working is if Golden Boy is able to use it’s connections to secure a TV deal with HBO. As of right now, HBO isn’t currently in discussions with any mixed martial arts organization and they have no intentions of doing so in the near future. As we saw with Affliction’s premier event, even with a stacked card it failed to garner a substantial amount of pay-per-view buys. We’re talking about two distinct fan bases and sports. Unless Golden Boy headlines the card with Oscar De la Hoya, which won’t happen, this move doesn’t seem extremely significant.

My Five Cents: I like Junkie’s Nascar and PGA joke. My main concern is a boxing match can last 50 minutes and your average MMA bout lasts about 5 minutes. How does that work exactly? It’s like a game of “HORSE” on the basketball court and then watching a 5-set tennis match.

2. Despite his improvements, Alistair Overeem will still be no match for Mirko Cro Cop at DREAM.6.

Junkie: FALSE. In the past 19 months, Cro Cop has defeated one fighter: Tatsuya Mizuno, who owns a lifetime 4-4 record. I don’t think Cro Cop is a shell of his former self, nor do I feel he’s suffering from some sort of PRIDE curse after the losses to Gabe Gonzaga and Cheick Kongo. But until he beats a solid heavyweight opponent and strikes fear in the heart of his opponent (remember the Eddie Sanchez fight?), the jury’s still out. Overeem has been on a tear since an absolute destruction of Paul Buentello for the Strikeforce world heavyweight title. He’s looked good against another striker (Mark Hunt) and a wrestler (Lee Tae-Hyun). Plus, Overeem is going to enter this fight with an abundance of confidence. You just don’t call out a fighter such as Cro Cop, which Overeem repeatedly did, unless you have a big swingin’ brass set. I still give Cro Cop the edge, but saying Overeem will be “no match” is just silly — especially considering Cro Cop’s past three fights.

White: FALSE. Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic is still regarded as a top-ten heavyweight but according to what we’ve seen recently, Cro Cop is a mirror of his former self. After securing numerous dominant wins in PRIDE, Cro Cop came to the UFC and ended up being one of the biggest busts in the organizations history after dropping bouts to heavyweights Cheick Kongo and Gabriel Gonzaga. Alistair Overeem on the other hand has been on a tear since his victory over Paul Buentello. This fight should be very interesting and will be no cake walk for Mr. Cro Cop.

My Five Cents: Man, you guys are beating on me today. I think it will be a bit of a cakewalk as Overeem can’t strike with Cro Cop, he can’t take him down and he still has no endurance. Fedor hadn’t “fought anyone” recently either but he didn’t turn stupid in his fight with Tim Sylvia and laid down the notice. Cro Cop first round strikes.

3. The NSAC should have overturned the Anthony Johnson vs. Kevin Burns bout to a no contest.

Junkie: FALSE*. Yup, that’s an asterisk — and for good reason. As we know, Burns was repeatedly warned about his open-hand strikes and the potential for eye pokes — and it appeared to be an eye poke that put Johnson out for good. Unfortunately, the referee didn’t see it, so Burns was issued a TKO victory. Was it fair? Absolutely not. (Nor, do I believe was it intentional on Burns’ part.) However, given the NSAC’s current rules, a fight can be overturned for one of only three reasons: collusion (fixing a fight), errors when tabulating judges’ scoring decisions and the referee’s misinterpretation of a rule. And while some people have pointed to that last caveat, keep in mind the referee didn’t misinterpret anything — he just didn’t see the eye poke. So, to answer the question, I don’t believe the decision should have been overturned simply because there’s no way for the NSAC to do it without running afoul of its own guidelines. However, I’m optimistic the commission now sees a need to expand upon the provisions and provide some wiggle room in future situations such as this.

White: TRUE. During the fight Kevin Burns was warned numerous times for catching Anthony Johnson with a finger while tossing his jab. The referee was aware it was happening unfortunately at the time he made the wrong call and gave the victory to Burns. It was clear he made a mistake and even the referee admitted it. The commission should take all of the facts into consideration and at the very least switch the bout to a no contest when it should really be a disqualification victory for Johnson.

My Five Cents: I have to go with White here. Junkie is correct with his “facts” and whatnot but I’m not going to let bureaucratic crap get between me and what should be the right decision.

—-SWITCH IT UP—-

4. EliteXC will still be on CBS one year from today.

White: FALSE. I think the better question is will EliteXC, the promotion, still be around one year from today. Lately there has been a great deal of talk regarding EliteXC’s relationship with CBS and a lot of it has been negative. EliteXC doesn’t have the stable of fighters that can continuously draw the mainstream audience. Their two main draws are Gina Carano and Kevin “Kimbo Slice” Ferguson and as we saw with EliteXC’s Saturday Night Fights II, if their services are unavailable the product fails to draw ratings. Aside Carano and Ferguson, we’ve seen them put together different variations with middleweights Joey Villasenor, Robbie Lawler, Scott Smith, Murilo Rua and Phil Baroni. With all of their financial woes and low ratings, I see CBS parting ways with the promotion following the end of their current agreement. CBS has seen the ratings mixed martial arts can garner and they’ll likely look to pursue the Ultimate Fighting Championship, an organization who has the assets to consistently produce an innovative product.

Huckaby: FALSE. First of all don’t tell me what the better question is and second of all it’s not a question, sir, it’s a STATEMENT! This really pains me to say because I want them to be successful but I really can’t see EXC on CBS in September 2009. Hopefully I’m wrong but after this event with Slice and Carano, as White mentioned, they have nothing until they can fight again. I’m not really sure why people will only tune in to watch a couple of people — that’s like not watching the NBA and not liking basketball because Kobe Bryant isn’t playing that day. Sadly I have to go false here.

5. Kazuo Misaki will defeat Joe Riggs in Round 1 at Strikeforce at the Mansion II on Saturday.

White: FALSE. Joe Riggs is an experienced veteran who possesses the skill and intelligence to make it through the first round with Kazuo Misaki. While Riggs has had a recent run of negative luck with injuries, one has to remember that Misaki is known as a striker, a facet of the game that Riggs’ thrives in. Misaki’s record includes 8 submissions and 9 decisions but he usually sets his submission skills aside and engages in a brawl with opponent. Riggs has courted the help of kickboxer Duke Roufus and UFC veteran Frank Trigg so come Saturday night, Riggs should be more than ready to go three rounds with the former PRIDE welterweight grand prix champion.

Huckaby: FALSE. I have to agree here simply because Misaki isn’t the best finisher in the world and he doesn’t come out with that blood lust that gets you two minute KOs. That said, maybe Misaki’s best chance is to win by TKO via injury since Joe Riggs apparently gets hurt when you smell him. I look for Misaki to win this fight fairly easily but I won’t put money down that he will do it in the first five minutes. In a 10-minute Japanese ring, maybe, but not here. He’ll need a couple of rounds to finish the job.

6. DREAM.6 is the best major Japanese card (on paper) since the fall of PRIDE.

White: FALSE. This was a tough call but ultimately I felt DREAM.5 was the best major Japanese card (on paper) since the fall of PRIDE. Both cards are extremely similar in their makeup but I felt DREAM.5’s lightweight grand prix finals put it over the top. The DREAM.5 grand prix offered intriguing match-ups between Joachim Hansen, Eddie Alvarez, Tatsuya Kawajiri and Shinya Aoki – four of the world’s best lightweights. DREAM.6’s tournament only offers one top ten fighter, Gegard Mousasi. When looking at the main cards, both feature Yoshihiro Akiyama, Alistair Overeem and Kuniyoshi Hironaka. DREAM.6 offers some added star power with Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic, Sergei Kharitonov, and Hayato Sakurai but with that being said, I still feel DREAM.5 takes the cake offering top quality fights throughout their grand prix, the center point of the card.

Huckaby: TRUE. You make a solid argument and I suppose this is just up to the individual mind and what you like to see. I’m really amped for this card and I feel it’s the best (on paper) we’ve seen from Japan in a year or two. You have another GP (though I agree not as good as DREAM.5) but I get to see Minowa vs. Funaki, Cro Cop vs. Overeem, Kharitonov vs. Mighty Mo and on top of that I get Aoki, Mach, my boy Dong and my mancrush Melvin Manhoef (FUN FACT: my spell check says his name should be “manhole”). Again, I suppose this is an opinion question but I solidly feel like this is the best Japanese card we’ve seen in a while.

And that is our Duel. Join us next week when two other MMA writers battle it out on breaking news and upcoming fights. Again, if you’re not busy, please pray for Junkie at the Playboy Mansion. If you send him $10 it will feed a supermodel for a whole month. I could have been there with him but I’m an idiot…. next year, next year.

16 COMMENTS
  • mattio says:

    Why is Kevin Burns fighting if his hand isn’t 100 percent? He needs to let that hand heal so he can fight a fair fight. If he wants to rush it, he should be barred from throwing any strikes with the hand that can only throw out eye-pokes instead of punches.

  • flyingogoplata says:

    And Junkie takes the victory. Your analysis on the Golden Boy/Affliction partnership was bang on. You almost lost it on your opinion on DREAM 6, but I can see this card being very entertaining even if it doesn’t have the same level of fighters as DREAM 5 did.

    Oh yeah, Huckaby’s $10 for the supermodel comment was some hilarious stuff that puts the Junkie effort over the top.

  • Jason G says:

    it isn’t much of a duel if everybody agrees. did you guys hold hands afterwards?

  • BRAD says:

    great arguments but the Judges have ruled in favor of the Junkie 30-27 on all judges scorecards …..
    BRAD
    junkie forums

  • Again, I’m not going to make people disagree for entertainment. This isn’t ESPN.

  • Stephen says:

    If the NSAC actually followed their rules that you listed for overturning a decision, then how come they overturned the Diaz/Gomi fight when it didn’t fit in any of those categories?

    Does anyone else see the hypocrisy in this?

  • skwirrl says:

    Boxing PPV’s sell more than any MMA PPV except UFC. So really – They will bring in more viewers. If you wanna keep ***WWWAAAAAHHHHHH*** Crying about watching some, (if Golden Boy does their job right and puts action fights on the card), damn good boxing. Well thats too bad, any MMA fan that got into the sport and was previously based solely in the WWF world may hate it. But their opinion doesn’t really matter that much. Real Hardcores will watch – which is Afflictions base anyways, and real boxing fans will schell out for Boxing, because its business as usual. It keeps costs down for both companies and should be good if they pull it off right. Keep crying butt-hurt wrestling fans turned MMA bandwagon jumpers.

  • skwirrl says:

    Not to bust on you guys

    Good duel and I gotta say I go with Huckaby on DREAM 6 – Because despite the fact that DREAM 5 offered some of the best LW matchups in a longggg long time, I’m actually pretty damn excited for the MW tourney too. Mousasi might be the only ranked MW but you’re out of your mind if you don’t think Jacare or Manhoef couldn’t beat plenty of the folks at 185. I’d love to see Manhoef vs A. Silva and would put my money on the Vegas underdog for sure – Via KO. Mousasi would be wise to get this fight to the ground and work his competant JJ if he can. Jacare is a pretty skilled wrestler to go along with his JJ mastery so I see him taking down Zelg and giving him a lesson on the ground.

    Mayhem who is quite skilled looked thourghly outclassed down there and Zelg will tap quickly IMO – Then you’re set for a HELL of a matchup either way you slice it. Mousasi or Manhoef vs Jacare??? Standup dominant vs ground dominant – this is a styles-make-fights dream fight.

    Everything after that is also awesome though. Crocop over Overeem by brutality – pissing off the hibernating bear may be a very bad choice made by Alistair… Then Kharitonov vs Mighty Mo – Seriously am I the only person actually excited to see how Sergei does after his time off? (Also to see if he comes in to the fight in shape again) Also just talking theoretically, wouldn’t this make an Arlovski vs Kharitonov russian superfight possibly for NYE, since Affliction is not about exclusivity and his fight against Barnett could well be off and he’s not guaranteed to fight Fedor?

    I’m STOKED for the DREAM 6 card – counting the days

  • HexRei says:

    skwirrl on September 19th, 2008 3:16 pm

    Well thats too bad, any MMA fan that got into the sport and was previously based solely in the WWF world may hate it.

    That statement made no sense at all.

  • skwirrl says:

    oops forgot they are hoping for a CC vs AA NYE heavyweight championship fight

  • skwirrl says:

    HexRai – didn’t proof read it before I posted. I meant to use a comma earlier and period later. It should read

    If you wanna keep, ***WWWAAAAAHHHHHH***, crying about watching some, (if Golden Boy does their job right and puts action fights on the card), damn good boxing, well thats too bad. Any MMA fan that got into the sport and was previously based solely in the WWF world may hate it.

    (this is because many MMA fans that have converted from pro wrestling, in my experience, typically hate boxing. Most likely because some tactical fights are too slow for their short attention spans)

  • I’m still wondering why Mousasi is ranked like 10th at mmaweekly and not ranked other places when he should easily be in the top 5. He’s like 22-2 with a 3 minute win over Denis Kang. Give the man some respect.

  • skwirrl says:

    ^Exactamundo. I thought Kang was gonna tear him up on the ground and he was doing it… But he got cocky and Mousasi certainly does have enough Jiu Jitsu to sub people that leave an opening that bad.

  • […] If you’re like me, you think Scott White is a pretty great guy and his insight into MMA in this country is pretty much unmatched.  But there are some things that Scott doesn’t do well, and one of those things is blowing his own horn.  So, unless you’re an obsessive reader of every MMA blog known to humans – like I am – you may not know that Scott got down and dirty with not one but two bloggers, taking on Dann Stupp and Mike Huckaby in 5 Ounces of Pain’s regular feature, The Duel. […]

  • HexRei says:

    Junkie: FALSE*. Yup, that’s an asterisk — and for good reason. As we know, Burns was repeatedly warned about his open-hand strikes and the potential for eye pokes — and it appeared to be an eye poke that put Johnson out for good. Unfortunately, the referee didn’t see it, so Burns was issued a TKO victory. Was it fair? Absolutely not. (Nor, do I believe was it intentional on Burns’ part.) However, given the NSAC’s current rules, a fight can be overturned for one of only three reasons: collusion (fixing a fight), errors when tabulating judges’ scoring decisions and the referee’s misinterpretation of a rule.

    Junkie is wrong. Obviously, the NSAC can overturn fights for other reasons than the three listed above. They had no problem overturning Nick Diaz’ fight over a positive marijuana test, despite the fact that many fighters in the past have been allowed to keep their wins despite testing positive for not only drugs of abuse, but drugs that are in fact performance enhancers (Josh Barnett holds a win over Randy Couture despite testing positive for steroids).

    Why does the NSAC sometimes let a fighter keep a win despite having used steroids or actual painkillers, while overturning a win for a fighter who uses marijuana (which is actually not a pain blocker?) and ignoring the pleadings of a fighter who lost due to several on-tape illegal strikes?

    Please. The NSAC is practically an ungoverned body. Seriously, who is going to reprimand them over these decisions, the state government? Wake up. They do what they want for the reasons they want to. They didn’t feel like helping out Anthony Johnson, so they didn’t. They didn’t like Nick Diaz’ punkass attitude, so they doled out a punishment to him worse than any ever seen for his violation in the history of NSAC sanctions. The problem is they are an oligarchy with no oversight. Well-meaning? Perhaps sometimes, but the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

  • Sergio Hernandez says:

    Well said, Hex.

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