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5 Oz. of Pain Presents: The DUEL

And welcome back to The Duel. This week we might not have had a great deal of news but we do have two excellent human beings. In one corner you have Sherdog’s Lotfi Sariahmed. In the other corner is his mortal enemy and 5 Oz. contributor Caleb Newby. Let us Duel:

1. Gegard Mousasi should be the second ranked middleweight in the world behind Anderson Silva.

Newby: FALSE. I suggest that Huckaby created this question due to his apparent man crush on Mousasi. It makes sense as his old flame, Scott Smith, is currently not doing so well as of late and Huckaby needs to move on to a new toy. But this is a bit of an emotional reaction and overestimation after Mousasi’s two recent victories. Obviously the number one middleweight is Anderson Silva and no one will debate that. But number two? Paulo Filho and Rich Franklin have something to say about that. Coming in to DREAM 6, Mousasi either wasn’t ranked or was hanging on at the number nine or ten spot by most major rankings. Impressive wins over Jacare and Manhoef are that, impressive, but neither are fellow top 10 fighters nor do they merit the slingshot of Mousasi past Franklin (who lest we forget has only lost to Anderson Silva and Machida) or Filho (undefeated and near universal number two middleweight). A much better debate is if Mousasi should be ranked number four or five… there are much better arguments for that.

Sariahmed: FALSE: No he’s not the #2 middleweight in the world. He can’t be no matter how much you try to swing it. Like Caleb said, Filho’s undefeated, Franklin’s only lost to Silva and Machida and you could make the argument he’s no higher than #5 of #6. Don’t get me wrong, the Dream MWGP Champion did a great job beating Manhoef and Jacare, but neither guy was a top 10 middleweight to begin with. Even the guys in the top 10 without a big middleweight win have strung together enough wins to justify their positioning. Mousasi’s made a splash early but needs to string together more wins to get into that #2 spot.

My Five Cents: You’re both probably wrong as his accomplishments pass other people based solely on that. He’s 24-2 with wins over Jacare, Manhoef, Kang and many other people. Had they won this tournament they would be ranked. Stop sleeping on Mousasi. And Caleb, I still have a mancrush on Scott Smith, win or lose.

2. Travis Lutter deserves a new chance in the UFC. (editor’s note: the article originally saying Lutter was back in the UFC was pulled.)

Newby: FALSE. Lutter missed weight, screwed up a title shot, pissed off and lost to Anderson Silva, pissed off Dana White, pissed off the UFC fanbase, lost to Rich Franklin, and continually likes to make excuses while saying he will beat Silva next time. Lutter is not a guy to listen to on how to win a popularity contest, make friends, and further your career. Lutter doesn’t even get heel heat, he gets Xpac heat. If Sokoudjou was ready to be dumped after a loss to Machida and Nakamura (had he lost), Lutter deserves the same treatment… particularly with his low popularity and reputation. The UFC isn’t going to sell a PPV or event with Lutter as a main attraction and the guy could stand to get some easier fights and turn things around. He is 4-4 since 2005 and really could use some easier fights for awhile. Give Lutter and the UFC some time apart and should he string a few victories together, bring him back then and see how things go.

Sariahmed: FALSE. Absolutely not and anyone who says otherwise here boggles my mind. How can you justify bringing a guy back to the UFC after not making weight for a title shot? How can you bring a guy back who just runs his mouth claiming he’s the best middleweight in the world…then gasses out in the 1st round? People will ask why crucify him for so long over missing weight against Anderson Silva. Here’s why, at the pinnacle of a fighter’s career you’re supposed to come in shape and be prepared. That’s not even supposed to be a question. Then his second chance came when he fought Franklin and ran his mouth assuming Franklin was ducking him…then Lutter gassed out in the 1st. No he doesn’t deserve another shot.

My Five Cents: You’re both right but Lotfi gets this one because Caleb makes terrible arguments and he’s also very awkward and stupid.

3. It’s smart for the UFC, apparently headed to the Philippines in 2009, to have cards in more countries.

Newby: TRUE. I disagree with Dana White on a lot of things, particularly when it comes to Fedor, but this is one thing he has spot on. Fighting is a universal language. Most people in Europe couldn’t care less about American Football but everyone understands a fight. Planting the seeds overseas now will only reap benefits for the future of their company as they diversify and expand their audience. What better time to increase the world wide expansion than now; the UFC is making money hand over fist and can afford the short term losses of revenue the overseas shows typically bring. One caveat though — the Zuffa just needs to make sure as to not neglect the American audience in the process and keep a strong stream of high quality events in North America or continue the Spike TV deal of giving wacky time zoned events away for free on cable.

Sariahmed: TRUE. Why not? For those of you who missed it, 4,000 people went to see Chuck Liddell at an open workout. That’s more people than will probably be in the arena for the next ShoXC card. And I’m only half joking. Here’s the real question though. Once the UFC conquers the Phillippines, what’s next? Forget Germany, Italy and Australia for a second. Lets look at the bigger picture. I want them in New Zealand, then Papua New Guinea and Indonesia just so we can get that Southeast Asia market out of the way. After that why not Africa? I know the Algerians need the UFC in their lives. The same can be said for Zimbabwe. South Africa has the World Cup in 2010 so we’ll have to wait on them but they already have a mascot with that leopard of theirs….So for the UFC first the Phillippines, then the World!

My Five Cents: Why don’t you two just make out? And Lotfi when it comes to comedic countries I would have went with like Benin and Tajikistan.


4. KJ Noons deserved to be stripped of his EXC title.

Sariahmed: FALSE. Of course he didn’t deserve to be stripped of his title. The man can’t be blamed for EliteXC’s joke of a financial situation. Noons is just trying to accomplish what really any one of us would be looking to do. He’s trying to get his and when his was around three times less than his opponent Nick Diaz he thought it needed changing. He beat Diaz already, was looking to fight Eddie Alvarez (though I admit that’s not his choice) and was making an absurd amount less than Diaz going into that potential rematch. I understand Diaz might be the bigger draw but to make that much less as champion is a joke. So he wanted to get his and it’d be hard for me to argue that he shouldn’t. So EliteXC decides to retaliate and strip him of his belt…probably the only move they could do considering but it doesn’t make it any less asinine. So now they’ll go with Diaz v. Eddie Alvarez and award the lightweight belt to their new “champion.” EliteXC just can’t seem to get out of its own way as it runs itself into the ground. No Noons didn’t deserve to be stripped of his title.

Newby: TRUE. Lotfi, Lotfi, Lotfi, Lotfi. If the champion declines to fight he deserves to be stripped of his title. Yes, EliteXC is run by a committee of drunken monkeys but they still call the shots and the fight was for Noons to take on Diaz. I actually feel dirty defending “Skala” in the slightest but the facts are the facts. Noons has every right to challenge his contract situation and complain. It’s his freedom and he sounds like he has some legit gripes. Good for him for standing up and doing what he needs to do. But the consequences are being stripped of his title, and that is what happened. I don’t see the argument here for otherwise. Who am I to say though? I am rooting for Ken Shamrock as the comedic value in their main star Kimbo losing to Shamrock is too awesome to ignore.

My Five Cents: You’re both right in a way. I think I’m going with Newby as Noons is a bit of a whiner and should stick to his contract just like a team/company should. You can’t turn down a title fight, especially on national primetime television. Diaz earns more money because he is a bigger draw, that is the way things work.

5. Mike Bisping and Dan Henderson would be great choices for the upcoming USA vs. UK TUF show.

Sariahmed: FALSE. Obviously saying false here means my problem is with Dan Henderson at the other coach and not Mike Bisping. There’s really no other choice you can make for the UK representative on this show. I’m not the biggest fan of Henderson as the other coach simply because his personality and it’s hard for me to see that translating well to reality TV. But the next part of that argument would be to name a guy better suited for the spot than Henderson. There’s the hard part. It’s not Franklin because the end game here don’t forget is to find a #1 contender to Silva’s belt. If Franklin beats Bisping…the UFC is stuck. Maybe Marquardt? But he’s not exactly a ray of sunshine for producers either. That’s the problem with the middleweight division. It’s lack of depth makes it almost impossible to come up with a better choice. So Henderson isn’t exactly the best choice as much as he is the only choice for coach of TUF 9.

Newby: TRUE. Dan Henderson is absolutely the best choice here. Bisping is a no brainer. Henderson should be one too, LOTFI. Your rank and file UFC fan has knowledge of Henderson that goes something like this. Pre-Rampage fight: “So this guy is supposed to be good and is the champion of some Japanese organization. Everyone keeps talking about him like he’s great, so we’ll see. I wish it was Liddell fighting instead though.” Pre-Silva fight: “Henderson was actually pretty impressive against Rampage. Too bad neither guy got knocked out. Apparently Henderson is custom built to defeat Silva… wait? What was that? Henderson has ANOTHER championship title? They must give belts away like candy in Japan.” Pre-Palhares fight: “All Henderson has done is lose to Rampage and get choked out by Silva. Whatever.” Instead of leaving people with that impression of Henderson, why not give him a platform to make the fanbase more familiar with him? Henderson isn’t the sort of character that will energize you in interviews… fortunately that isn’t needed for coaching TUF where they have plenty of material to use along with copious amounts of editing should the need arise. I can’t imagine that over the course of a season Henderson’s personality won’t come through to the audience and familiarize them with one of the best the sport has to offer. Hendo is the best choice for the American side to represent the middleweight division.

My Five Cents: Not a massive fan of either argument but I do think it’s a decent choice. I’m just afraid the UFC won’t be able to find UK guys that can hang with the US castmembers. “Hello 10 Ross Pointons!”

6. While the fight might not be exciting, Fabricio Werdum deserves a shot at the UFC title.

Sariahmed: TRUE. If he wins enough fights…and I just don’t think he’s done that yet. At the time he became the “#1 contender” there just wasn’t anyone else in the division. Now not only are there fighters in the division there are actually a few fighters who probably deserve a shot ahead of him. Werdum is 2-1 in the UFC with wins over a light heavyweight in Vera and a win over Gabriel Gonzaga that’s not exactly one to hang a title shot on. I don’t care if he was guaranteed a title shot in his contract or what, the UFC will hold off on that shot until he clearly has shown he deserves it or there’s just no one els in the division, again. But the next three title fights have already been determined (Couture v. Lesnar, Mir v. Nogueira and the winner of those two fights facing off) and then who knows what happens after that. So sure, Werdum eventually deserves a shot at the title…but not just because he beats Junior dos Santos.

Newby: TRUE. Lotfi, why did you even say true? You answered True then gave an answer as though you’d answered False. I don’t understand you. Of course Werdum deserves a shot at the heavyweight title — either of them. Beating Vera and Gonzaga is as good a claim as anyone has to a title match these days in the UFC heavyweight scene. We do after all have Lesnar fighting for one title. No explanation needed there. And for the other we’ve got Frank Mir who has two victories in the last two years against Lesnar and Antoni Hardonk. There is no way you can say Werdum doesn’t “deserve” the shot next. While that’s true, what the UFC is doing is the smartest thing business wise and I don’t fault them for that. In the meantime all it means is Werdum has to win some more… something that shouldn’t be much of a problem.

My Five Cents: I have to go with Caleb here, you can’t say Werdum doesn’t deserve it when Lesnar and Mir both get a shot at the “title.” Werdum probably deserves it more than anyone and he can’t get any love.

And that is it for the Duel. Feel free to share who you believe won. Next week we have Sherdog’s Jordan Breen going up against someone…. perhaps me so we can snipe at one another as we do.

  • Philb says:

    Wow these two need to get a room. They both lose!!!!

    Not to mention neither of them cited coming off a loss to Leben, Bisping will look like a stupid choice as TUF coach

  • JoshK says:

    Jesus people, how anyone can say KJ Noons didn’t deserve to be stipped of the belt is mad.

    Fact: KJ Noons didn’t really win the belt, sure he cut Diaz, and they stopped the fight but get real.

    Fact: KJ Noons KNOWS he will lose the belt to Nick Diaz, therefore the longer he can draw this out, and hold up elite for money is to his ( managers) benefit.

    Go Ahead KJ fight for 2 and 2 elsewhere.

  • Cathedron says:

    2. Lutter had his second chance already when he got a completely undeserved shot at the MW title. He completely blew it. He should have been dropped right after that. The UFC has been far too forgiving of him.

    3. I’m a little worried about the UFC spreading itself too thin. I understand going to the Philippines since it’s almost a US state, but the only way the UFC can grow in a new country is to find stars in that country. All this time and the UFC only has Bisping in England. At least they are trying to change that. But shouldn’t they wait until they’ve gained a reasonably sound foothold in the UK before moving on? And why wouldn’t they focus more on Canada first? Do they have some prospective fighters in the Philippines that we don’t know about?

    4. KJ Noons had legitamite issues with EliteXC, but he handled it badly in every way. I’m blaming his manager for that one. Not only did Noons guarantee he’ll never make more money in EliteXC, he’s now looking like a landmine to every other promotion who might have bought him (as well as looking like a puss to the fans). Know what’s the best way to make more money? Beat guys who make more than you.

    5. Hendo deserves a chance to develop a fanbase in the US. The next season of TUF is the best way to do it. Nothing gets people on your side better than a “my country” vs “their country” rivalry. If anything, the UFC needs to make a star out of Hendo just to justify his paycheck.

  • Matt Cava says:

    Newby wins based on this comment:
    “Lutter doesn’t even get heel heat, he gets Xpac heat.” Fans HATED XPac. And since Lutter has disrespected the sport so many times, he deserves the XPac hate he now gets.

  • Sam Malone says:

    I’ll take Sariahmed for the win. Great point with the no brainer of Bisping, and how the UFC is stuck. They are Stuck, with a stupid idea.

  • rob says:

    I think KJ should have had the chance to fight someone else besides Nick – but it’s limited to one person – Eddie Alvarez. But you know if we get the Diaz/Alvarez fight – -I’m happy with that as well – – maybe we will all get to see Noons/Crazy Horse Bennett II – -LOL!

  • Matt says:

    Call me new, but I’ve seen several references to “skala” or “$kala” and I honestly have no idea what it/he/she is. Can anyone please shed some light on this for me?

  • Sam Malone says:

    $kala , skala, the artist, all alias for Jared Shaw and his uber cool hip hop music

  • JTM says:

    The UK has had 5 shows in the last 18 months, Canada’s had 1. Name me 5 Canadian fighters, apart from GSP. OK well done. Now name me one Brit, apart from Bisping. Yeah, exactly! I’d rather see US vs. Canada, or Brazil, purely from a talent point of view.

    Don’t get me wrong, I will be rooting for my fellow Brits when TUF 9 starts, but I just see a very one-sided, boring series going the way of Hendo’s team. I don’t think the UK has the strength in depth yet to rival US MMA. I don’t think Bisping is a very charismatic guy when it boils down to it, and I don’t see either of these reasons as meaning USA vs UK is good business for the UFC in Britain. But what do I know? Zuffa have their reasons, and they’re sound. Right?

  • ACK! says:

    Turning down a title fight on national television because you don’t make as much money as your opponent is ridiculous. Exposure leads to better pay. Without exposure your pay is not going to increase on its own (title holder or not). Noons needs some basic business sense.

  • Imbecile says:

    Newby wins this one for correctly assessing that Huckaby needs to find a new boy toy to obsess about.

    Mousasi #2? Are you serious?

    Huckaby’s argument: “He’s 24-2 with wins over Jacare, Manhoef, Kang and many other people.”

    Really… what other people? You listed every important name right there, and then just put an enumeration at the end with your “many other people” so that we would assume there were plenty of other big names that fill out that 24 win record. There aren’t.

    It only gets better from there: “Had they [Jacare, Manhoef] won this tournament they would have been ranked.”

    So now we are improving a fighter’s ranking based on their opponents’ theoretical rankings if those opponents had accomplished much more than they actually did? That is worse than MMAth. Maybe it is some type of virtual, hypothetical, chaos theory MMAth that I just don’t understand.

    That is like saying that Alistair Overeem should be ranked near the top of the Heavyweight ladder because he beat Tae Hyun Lee, a fighter who would have been ranked among the top Heavyweight fighters in the world if he would have won the PRIDE Open Weight Grand Prix. Tae Hyun Lee didn’t make it past the first round, but if he had won the whole thing he would be very highly ranked. So let’s base the value of Overeem’s subsequent victory over him on the assumption of Lee’s rank had he actually accomplished that feat. Makes no sense at all.

  • Cash says:

    KJ Noons is a moron for having that manager. He is done in the biz

  • “That is like saying that Alistair Overeem should be ranked near the top of the Heavyweight ladder because he beat Tae Hyun Lee”

    No, great argument. That’s exactly what I was saying. Denis Kang, Tae Hyun Lee…. same diff dudez.

  • HexRei says:

    Michael Huckaby on September 26th, 2008 7:45 pm

    “That is like saying that Alistair Overeem should be ranked near the top of the Heavyweight ladder because he beat Tae Hyun Lee”

    No, great argument. That’s exactly what I was saying. Denis Kang, Tae Hyun Lee…. same diff dudez.

    Oh FFS Huckaby at least google the guy before you run your mouth.

    Name Denis Kang
    Record 30 – 10 – 1 (Win – Loss – Draw) ( 2 NC )

    11 (T)KOs ( 36.67 %)
    15 Submissions ( 50 %)
    4 Decisions ( 13.33 %)

    2 (T)KOs ( 20 %)
    6 Submissions ( 60 %)
    2 Decisions ( 20 %)

    Name Tae Hyun Lee
    Record 1 – 2 – 0 (Win – Loss – Draw)

    Wins 1 (T)KOs ( 100 %)

    Losses 2 (T)KOs ( 100 %)

    Oh gee, ya, exactly the same. Sometimes I wonder if you actually even pay attention to MMA or if Sam just brought you on cause you’re a kind of funny.

  • HexRei says:

    oh, oops. i just realized you were being sarcastic.

  • HexRei says:

    so if you WERE being sarcastic (im still not sure) i guess i owe you *shudder* apology.

  • David Andrest says:

    OH Jesus, now his head is gonna swell and he won’t be able to make it through the door.

  • I already can’t and wear a tight hat.

    “oh, oops. i just realized you were being sarcastic.”

    That actually happened to me today when Breen made a joke and I didn’t get it. That rarely happens but it does. I said something stupid and then a minute later I realized I just didn’t get the joke he was making.

  • Caleb Newby says:

    That has actually happened to me with Breen, too. If it’s happened to the both of us, we can put the fault on him I suppose.

  • roomservicetaco says:

    Why won’t the UFC go to Mexico before the Phillipines? Seems like it would be easier logistically and have far more $$ potential shoud it succeed. Also, both countries are known for lighter weight fighters (at least in boxing), where the UFC is not represented.

    I agree with the comment above about more shows in Canada, although I believe regulation – or lack of it – has become the main problem there.

  • Simon Cason says:

    If im not mistaken, both Paul Taylor and Paul Kelly from GB. ANd Brandon Vera is from the Phillipines. THe UFC has said lately that Vera is their ticket to a big showing in the Phillipines. But after seeing Chuck their Im not convinced they’ll even need Vera. Chuck had a huge crowd to come see him do a 1 hour work and a 1 hour meet and greet. Plus i think i read somewhere that the UFC just sign Cage Rage or King or the Cage’s top fighter. The UFC’s internation talent isnt as bad as you think. Its just the only time you seen them is when they do an oversees show and even then some internation fighters are on the undercards.

    Feel Free to correct me if Im wrong about this

  • Joey says:

    Would I put Mousasi number 2? No, but its not that absurd of an idea. I believe he cracks the top five.

    He hasn’t fought many big names, but watch him fight, just because the first 20 people you fought aren’t that awesome, that doesn’t take away from your talent any. He just hasn’t had a platform to showcase it.

    Dream showcased it. He beat Kang, who is an absolute bad ass (ALMOST as big of a force as Hyun Lee), then Kim (eh), Manhoef (this guy is scary), and Souza (serious serious ground game).

    Think of it this way, the average person is going to say Floyd Mayweather was/is (he’s ‘retired’) the pound for pound king. You look at his record and there are maybe seven names on his record that actually mean something. Doesn’t take away from his skills.

  • skwirrl says:

    Mousasi also has wins over Hector Lombard and Evangelista Santos

    He is just as qualified for the #3 spot as Franklin or Marquardt or Robbie Lawler

  • skwirrl says:

    The only two big names on Franklin’s legacy are Evan Tanner and Okami who didn’t even start fighting till it was already too late. So he beat a washed up Evan Tanner and Okami in his worst fight in recent memory – big whup. I honestly don’t even have Rich in my top 5 and I could push him to the bottom half of the top 10.

    Oh wait I forgot about his 2005 “win” over Ken Shamrock on the phantom punch. He’s definatly #3 *rolls eyes*

    Robbie Lawler’s record includes wins over Trigg and Ninja and losses to Mayhem and a KO loss to featherfisted Nick Diaz

    Marquardts only good win has been over Misaki before Misaki hit his stride.

    I can’t justify him as #2 because Filho hasn’t lost. But I have him firmly right there for #3. He on numbers alone deserves it more than any of the 3 mentioned above.

  • KJ Noons did not deserve to be stripped of his title.

    -Kimbo does not fight top competition, Neither does Gina Carano, but KJ has to?
    -EliteXC has made a habbit of letting their top stars duck their biggest threat.
    -Nick Diaz is not the best contender in EliteXC for KJ, Eddie Alvarez is.
    -KJ should be paid like a Champion if he is the Champion and defending his belt.

    If EliteXC has made a habbit of letting their other stars stay protected why is KJ the exception? Maybe because he is not Jarred Shaws friend?

  • Joey says:

    KJ Noons has a contract, honor your fucking contract or don’t sign it. Eddie Alvarez wants to fight Joachim Hansen, maybe hes not available. Deal with it. Every promotion does what they need to do from a business stand point. Verdum deserves a title shot, Yushin Okami deserves a title shot, Karo use to deserve one. They don’t get them . . . Hell, the interim hw champ doesn’t even get first crack at the title. Life’s unfair, businesses want to make money, Kimbo and Gina sell. DEAL WITH IT.

    KJ Noons is of the same cloth as football players that SIGN, mind you they AGREE, to a certain level of pay and then they turn around as soon as they do a little bit of good and then think they can hold out. Its disgusting. As much as I wanted Randy to leave the UFC and get his ass killed against Fedor, I am glad he threw away a year of his life and didn’t get out of it. I throw up a little bit every time I think that he probably got a raise though.

  • Robert says:

    Sounds like Joey thinks when management speaks people should put their tail between their legs,keep their mouth shut, and do as their told.Nobody supposed to have a backbone and speak up when they feel like it i guess.Talk about being a coward.

  • HexRei says:

    Um, yes Robert, when you have exactly two important wins, and you are refusing to rematch the one of those you won by cut… yes, you should stfu and fight. Seriously, what has KJ done to deserve to call the shots again?

    I don’t look down on KJ as cruelly as Joey does but the simple fact is HE IS AN MMA NOOB. He has absolutely no right to defy his promotion on a rematch with Diaz whose record makes Noons’ look like he has barely broken into the industry.

    Noons should feel free to sign with another promotion (Hah!!!) or continue his boxing career (bahahahah!!!!!!)

  • Robert says:

    You people have no idea what went on with KJ Noons and EliteXC as far as his contract what they were negotiating on or a rematch with Diaz or anything else your not his agent or employed by EliteXC management.You guys no nothing about what went on at all, and as far as this HexRei is concerned saying Diaz’s record compared to KJ’s makes it look like he barely broke into the industry.Did you watch their fight Diaz’s performance against KJ made it look like he barely broke into the industry he was completely outclassed and got tore up.You people really need to stop thinking you know what’s going on behind the scenes as far as contract negotiations,future fights,TV deals or anything else YOU DON’T KNOW. As much as you want to think your involved in what’s going on your not.

  • Joey says:

    Wow, Robert is ‘involved’


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