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Dolan: Winners & Losers for January

It’s time to declare the winners and losers for the first month of 2009. This month’s list might have some surprises in it, and it was a very busy month, so with that let’s dive right in.

Losers:

— Eddie Alvarez – Just as we ushered in the new year we had our first loser in Alvarez. He had a chance to cap off 2008 in style if he could defeat Shinya Aoki for the WAMMA lightweight title. Many thought Alvarez would win the fight but he was forced to tap at just 1:32 of the very first round. The way he lost, getting caught in a heel hook, will put a black eye on what should have been a spectacular year for the rising star.

— Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou – Maybe it’s just me but Sokoudjou is the most puzzling fighter in the world. His natural abilities to fight should make him a top five fighter at light heavyweight but he’s extremely inconsistent. His loss to Renato “Babalu” Sobral is just another example of him coming up short. All too often Sokoudjou will be winning a fight only to make a fatal mistake to cost him the fight. I’m officially off of the Sokoudjou bandwagon.

— Denis Kang – Kang dropped the ball in his UFC debut. His second round submission loss to Alan Belcher is just another example of Kang inability to stay focused. Kang has had a history of making rookie mistakes to lose fights that he is in total control of. He better make sure to avoid those mental lapses when he enters the octagon again or it could be his last.

— Jens Pulver – Have we seen the last of Pulver? His loss to Urijah Faber at WEC 38 was his fifth in his last six fights. Although he has been facing the cream of the crop that the WEC has to offer, you have to wonder how much “Lil’ Evil” has left in the tank. I would love to see him continue to fight and regain his old form, but I think his time as a fighter has come and gone.

— Georges St. Pierre – I never thought I would be able to put him on the loser list, especially after the dominating beat down he gave B.J. Penn, but George St. Pierre is a loser in January. Now GSP isn’t directly responsible for being on this list rather his corner is. The controversy surrounding the application of Vaseline to GSP in between the first and second round as well as the second and third have put a black eye on the fight and GSP himself. We all know he’s not a cheater, he’s a champion, but now everything is in question. Did the Vaseline change the outcome of the fight? I personally don’t think so, but we will never really know for sure, and the question will always loom. Despite the controversy GSP has made a statement to the world that he is right up there with Anderson Silva and Fedor Emelianenko as one of the best pound for pound fighters in the world.

Winners:

— Urijah Faber – “The California Kid” bounced back from his loss to Mike Thomas Brown with his first round domination of Pulver. This was the first step in the journey back to the WEC featherweight title for Faber, as he will need to pick up another win before he gets a shot at the title. If everything goes Faber’s way look for him to get that shot sometime this summer.

— Marcus Davis – Davis is starting to earn the reputation as the man who will have the fight of the night. At UFC 93 he put on a show with Chris Lytle in route to a spilt decision victory. Davis could also find his name in the title picture in the near future.

— Mirko Filipovic – In news that flew under the radar, earlier this month Dana White actually said the name Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic. On New Years Eve Cro Cop defeated the 7’2″ monster Hong Man Choi at the “K-1 Dynamite!!” event. A loss would have signaled the end of his career, but the win has made him somewhat relevant again. Following the win White stated that he could see Cro Cop once again fighting in the UFC, which no one would have thought possible a year ago.

— Andrei Arlovski – Usually you won’t find someone with a loss on the winners list but Andre Arlovski has done just that. Before getting overzealous with a flying knee attempt Arlovski was picking apart Fedor in the stand up game. He was even winning the round before being knocked out. Add in the fact he has now signed on with Golden Boy Promotions to pursue his boxing career and you can see how it has been a successful month for Arlovski. One can only hope Arlovski comes back to compete in MMA again and take another show at beating Fedor.

— Dan Henderson – Henderson has taken the first step towards a title shot at 185 with his win over Rich Franklin at UFC 93. He will first need to get through coaching the next season of The Ultimate Fighter and a battle vs. Michael Bisping to earn that title shot.

— Lyoto Machida – Many had pegged him as a boring fighter but Machida changed that notion and punched himself a ticket for a title shot with his first round KO of Thiago Silva at UFC 94. Both men entered the fight at 13-0 in their career and many thought if anyone would get knocked out it would be Machida at the heavy hands of Silva. But Machida was able to knock down Silva on three occasions the third being the last one that ended the fight at 4:59 of the first round. It’s unclear if Machida will get the first crack at Rashad Evans or if it will be Quinton “Rampage” Jackson. No matter who gets the title shot first one has to wonder who if anyone can defeat Machida when he’s at his best.

— Georges St. Pierre – I can’t leave him off the winners list so GSP is on both sides of the list. During the fight He took Penn’s strengths and made them look like huge weaknesses. GSP took him down with ease and was able to pass his guard almost at will. If GSP keeps this up, could we see a showdown with Anderson Silva in the near future? And is it a stretch to think that GSP could win that fight?

20 COMMENTS
  • Redwire says:

    Blah blah blah Vaseline blah blah blah.

    It’s such a non-issue, but it’s apparently pissing off the champ. Quote from a GSP interview:

    “Lets go do a rematch with B.J. Penn,” said St. Pierre. “We’re going to do it this summer. St. Pierre-Penn III — and this time we’ll wear a rash guard. I guarantee you the result will be the same or even worse for him.”

  • Mack says:

    Again, your getting the facts wrong about St. Pierre and I am beginning to think the oversight is intentional. St. Pierre was wiped down between every round after the first. This is a non-issue

    Editor’s Note: This is Chris Dolan’s first article on the subject so how could the “oversight” be intentional? Perhaps you think I wrote the article? Which would be yet another example of you not reading an article thoroughly enough to comment. If it’s a non-issue, why has both the commission and Dana White felt compelled to comment on the situation multiple occasions and introduce the possibility of a reprimand against St. Pierre’s camp? And your assertion that because he was wiped down A) makes the alleged act somehow okay and B) automatically means that all of the lubricant was sufficiently wiped off and had no impact just plain wrong and ignorant.

  • James says:

    so where’s bj penn on the losers side? come on he is the number 1 loser of the month and early favorite for the year…..especially since you chose to include gsp on the loser side, bj deserves a category all his own….”biggest hypocritic, self centered, waste of talent coward” comes to mind but you may want to add in some more negative adjs

  • Annonymous says:

    What is getting lost in this whole farsk, is the fact the BJ’s cardio sucked and his camp not preparing BJ for the biggest fight in his life. I mean, no one in the UFC has been able to hold 2 belts at the same time. BJ should have been ready to go 50 rounds, GSP looked like he could. And when I watched the fight, at the end of the fight when GSP walked over to talk to BJ, BJ’s trainer Rudy Valentino, had his hand on GSP’s back. If GSP’s back was so greasy, why hasn’t he come up and said you know I felt his back at the end of the fight and it was really greasy. Makes me wonder if it’s just BJ’s camp making up excuses so that they don’t look bad. The reason why BJ lost this fight is not because of Vaseline, it’s because he had no cardio and he wasn’t prepared.

  • DumbOut! says:

    Man leave GSP alone! He is in no way a loser, this is only an issue because people like you want to blow it out of proportion. Like James said where is BJ on the losers list?

  • Ft. Dub says:

    Let BJ and GSP fight again and the beat down will be twice as bad. Penn simply can’t hang with GSP whether they are covered in grease or sandpaper. It seems like this site is falling for the mainstream media tricks of trying to play up a controversy as much as possible to drive news. NOT ONE writer on here has said that they honestly believe that the incident changed the fight, so QUIT HYPING IT!!!

    The best thing to come from all this is that it’s going to piss off GSP even more and making him push even harder – future opponents including Spider better watch out!

  • ctownhood says:

    BJ is still the best LW in the world, so get over people. All you GSP lovers will see what happens when you move up in weight to fight a much larger opponent (Anderson Silva). As good as Rashad Evans has proven to be, how would he fair moving up a weight class to fight Brock Lesnar?

  • BigDave says:

    Ok lets just get this fucking over with. GSP DESTROYED Penn. end of story. Let them fight again ok great i love watching Penn get his punk ass kicked. Maybe next time GSP can really hurt bj Penn like snap his neck or give him permanent brain damage. ill get a great laugh out of that and there would be knowone to blame but bitchboy B.J..

    Now see how easy it to blow things out of preportion? Of course i dont want to see any fighter suffer a life threating injury even the fighters i have zero respect for. The fact is there may have been a small incident and it was dealt with right away and from the comishion itself they said that after the wipe down after round 2 it didnt happen again. So please stop making article after article about this its so pathetic to see you guys over and over again try to slam the greatest fighter on the planet over such a small incident that had no effect on the fight whatsoever.

  • Grappo says:

    Again the folks commenting by and large MISS. THE. POINT. It’s impossible have a discussion with people that are willfully ignorant.

    Get off your fighter’s bandwagon and look at things objectively ffs. If you can. I ahve my doubts about that.

    I agree that BJ should have been on the loser’s list, though. Vaseline or not, his performance was dreadful, and there’s no excuse for coming into a fight of that magnitude so unprepared. Or any fight for that matter.

  • Echolocating says:

    Chris Dolan wrote: “If GSP keeps this up, could we see a showdown with Anderson Silva in the near future? And is it a stretch to think that GSP could win that fight?”

    Um, yes it is a stretch. Silva is a much, much larger man (strength, height, weight). If the fight did happen, I’d cheer for Georges, but I wouldn’t expect him to win. Let’s be realistic here.

    Of course… there’s the GSP factor. It’s the one where in defeat , you suddenly improve drastically and come out stronger than ever before. Could you imagine how awesome Georges would be after he got a good beating at the hands of Silva?! Alright, let’s make this fight happen! 😉

  • JDamico23 says:

    echolocating- Are u saying GSP is one of the Dragon Ball z guys…the ones that get stronger the more of an asskicking they recieve?

  • JDamico23 says:

    PS Didnt Alvarez lose in december? he shouldnt be a loser for a new year for losing his last fight of 08 vs a guy people are touting as best in that class

  • JDamico23 says:

    if anything GSPs cornerman was the loser, Hard to call someone who practically 10-8’d BJ for 3 out of the 4 rounds fought a loser. No matter how much you love BJ. Id say Varner came out of this month a loser. Not only did he get all kinds of injured vs Cerrone, his fans turned on him. Id rather a broken foot, hand, and detached retina than to hear cheers turn to boos. Plus the way he handled the boos puts an L in his columb for me.

  • JDamico23 says:

    Oh and by the way…i havent seen anyone bring this up yet so i gotta ask. Were me and the four other people i watched the card with the only ones that thought Karo should have taken an L? i say the judges of that fight need an L for this month

  • Rich says:

    I agree with ya JDam….. I thought the stun gun was robbed in that fight. Its kinda like his bad karma coming around, because honestly i thought he lost the fight against matt brown but he pulled off that win. Now I thought he beat the heat, and got screwed out of this decision…

  • Rich B says:

    I love editor’s note. Snap.

  • Grappo says:

    Yeah, I thought Karo’s decision went the wrong way Guida as well..

  • Q says:

    Seriously. People are making a far bigger deal about this bullshit, and its people like you who are making it seem like more than it is. Georges St. Pierre is awesome, period, and no amount of crying is ever going to change that. You make me sick.

  • Grappo says:

    Don’t get a tummyache Q. GSP is still teh most awesomest evar.

  • JDamico23 says:

    I thought Clay won his, i called it a split too though. Karo however was ridiculous. Ive never seen a fighter have the others back for 10 out of 15 minutes and still lose. Thats like barnett having yvel in full mount for 10 minutes and not finishing…Number two heavyweight in the world….pfff

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