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Monday Morning Fighter

Welcome to Monday Morning Fighter, my new column at Five Ounces of Pain in which I look at what happened over the last week, and anything set to go down this week. This week I’ll look at UFC 112, The Anderson problem, and my shocking/idiotic prediction for the main event of “Strikeforce: Nashville”.

Let’s start with UFC 112:

-Amazing how fast they got the arena up in only a few weeks, and it didn’t look shoddy at all. The crowd was also very respectful towards the fighters considering the circumstances.

-Great fight between Munoz and Grove to open the show. I thought that Munoz was going to be submitted on numerous occasions, but managed to wiggle out. Munoz is still rough around the edges, but he has come along way from being head kicked by Matt Hamill back in March of 2009.

-Grove went for some chokes whenever Munoz shot in, but I think he ended up wearing himself out by going for it every time. It’s another setback for the former Ultimate Fighter winner, as his career progression is really perplexing. He came out of the show running through everybody, loses to Cote and Jorge Rivera, and it seems like he alternates between winning and losing.

-Munoz threw some nasty body shots while in Grove’s guard, just the nasty THWRAP from the leather hitting Grove made me cringe. He also had some great ground and pound to finish off Grove.

-I was confused by Rogan and Goldie’s hyping of Terry Etim. Not that he is a bad fighter, but you would honestly think that Etim was the drunken lovechild of Anderson Silva and Fedor if you never saw him fight and just listen to the announcing. I’m also surprised how much of a favorite Etim was with the fans at the card.

-Very good job by Dos Anjos by getting out of the arm-in Guillotine, but I agree with Joe on why Anjos was given a warning for what looked like shots to the body. Some great escapes by the both fighters during their fight, and beautiful armbar finish Anjos.

-Hughes vs. Gracie was…. very odd. I think Hughes didn’t want to take Gracie to the ground out of respect of Gracie’s ground game. It was a puzzling fight with Hughes deciding to stand with Gracie, although he did land some nice leg kicks.

-Those kicks did do some nasty damage to Renzo, and you could see the damage done throughout the fight. I also got a good laugh when Hughes dropped Renzo with the kick, and Hughes ended up helping him back up. I’m guessing that Renzo will probably fight at the next international card against….Baroni maybe?

-The Penn vs. Edgar fight was just odd. Penn looked off his game, and I honestly think he may have suffered an injury just prior to the bout. It was that or the climate, but I that fight was just surreal to watch live.

-The judge who scored the fight 50-45 was an absolute moro- It wasn’t Cecil Peoples? I had a joke about him set up. Personally, I thought that the fight was a little to close for my liking, and I still can’t make a decision about who actually won the fight. I wasn’t in rage like the people who claim they will never watch the sport again; I was sorta indifferent to the fight.

-I’m thinking that the UFC has its main two fights set-up for their first event in Boston. Edgar defends the belt against Kenny Florian while Penn faces either Takanori Gomi or Grey Maynard. It might not be the automatic rematch that people are calling for, but the fights still make some sense. Gomi and Penn has been a long awaited rematch, and Maynard is an up-and-comer.

-For three rounds, Anderson Silva just beat the living hell out of Demian Maia, landing precise strikes and blocking any sort of takedown attempts by Maia. Sure, he did some clowning around but I am enraged as some of the people who have talked about the fight.

-The taunting reminded me of the sort of stuff that Roy Jones Jr. used to do during his fights. Both are in the same sort of position in the sport: Much more physically gifted than the current opposition and he show’s their inferiority to his skills. Not justifying, but just a thought.

-A lot of people ragged on the matchmaking for this fight since Vitor ended up getting injured. I’m hearing that they should’ve offered the fight to a LHW, but who? Rampage/Rashad was booked, Randy just fought, Shogun was fighting Machida, and Chuck was doing TUF. So who?

-I personally thought that he just shut himself down after the third since Maia really did nothing until the last round. It take’s two to tango in our sport, and Maia did nothing to be aggressive outside of a few takedown attempts. It was nice to see him in try in the last round, but it was too little, too late.

-Phil Davis’s Anaconda Choke was beautiful, a great roll and getting his feet against the cage to add pressure. He has a great future in this sport, and evolved greatly from not being able to finish Brian Stann. In three years, I see Davis vs. Jon Jones for the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship headlining a card, but I just turned a potential Brock Lesnar/Anderson Silva fight into the Montreal Screwjob. The GIF of it is very hypnotic.

Now, let’s get onto my solution to the Anderson Problem conveniently titled: The Anderson Problem.

-I personally think that Anderson, Dana, and Ed Soares should have a meeting in Las Vegas about whether Anderson still wants to fight at middleweight. If Anderson wants to move up, have him relinquish the belt and he can test whatever division he wants for a year. If a year passes and Anderson wants to return, he can fight the number one contender for a title shot. If he agrees, then you can do an eight man mini tournament for the belt. Obviously you can’t do a tournament in one night, but it could be similar to the one that the UFC did in 2002 for the lightweight championship, and in 2008 with the heavyweight title.

Here are some fights you could book for the tournament:

Vitor Belfort vs. Chael Sonnen

Michael Bisping vs. Nate Marquardt

Rousimar Palhares vs. Yushin Okami

Wanderlei Silva vs. Yoshahiro Akiyama

-If Anderson stills at middleweight, then start to aggressively pursue fighters like Gegard Mousasi and Jake Shields to bring in some competition for Anderson.

-I’m hearing that people want to put Cain Velasquez or Jon Jones against Anderson in the near future. Why? If Anderson is serious about moving up, then those fights would be logical in about a year. But to potentially sacrifice two future stars for a potential one-off fight? A good fight for Anderson at heavyweight would Mir since Anderson has shown some interest in potentially fighting him. With Anderson’s diminishing ability as a draw, people would pay after Mir talks trash to see Mir get killed. At light heavyweight, I’d say the loser of Rampage and Rashad would be good since a lost wouldn’t kill their careers.

Time for my stupid prediction of the week!

-I’m picking Jake Shields to beat Dan Henderson by submission in round three on Saturday. Don’t know why, but I got a feeling Shields can pull it off.

-I also believe that Shield’s financial future might motivate him a lot more, since Shield’s is a free agent after this fight. I think the UFC is looking at Shields as a potential opponent for St. Pierre since Shields will be able to fight at welterweight again with no Nick Diaz in the promotion. A victory over Henderson would net Shields a big pay day or the UFC will only send him half-hearted offers to drive the amount that Strikeforce pays.

-If Henderson takes the fight to the ground, I think Shield’s wrestling and Jiu-Jitsu will be able to prevent Henderson from doing significant damage. While Henderson got Silva to the ground, Silva kept Henderson in his half-guard for the most of the round till Henderson got side-control near the end of the round.

-I know Hendo has the chance to nail the big right hand, but I’m guessing that Shields is training to not pull a Bisping and go for the takedown.

That’s all for this week.

26 COMMENTS
  • inkythewinky says:

    so pretty much u think everything was odd…….

  • Guthookd says:

    Maybe next monday will be better.

  • Jak says:

    Thanks to ADD i can’t really remember 112, i what i can remember is Shields/Hendo, Mo/Mousasi, and Melendez/Aoki!

    Woooo!

  • Dufresne says:

    I don’t see how Shields can out wrestle Hendo, it’s just not gonna happen. If this goes to the ground, Hendo has the clear advantage. Yeah, he’s been subbed before, but only by the Nogueira brothers (legends) and by one of their students, Anderson Silva (he’s pretty good as well). Let’s not forget the size difference here either. Shields is a tiny MW while Hendo held a belt at LHW and at MW. These are two guys basically separated by 2 weight classes. Shields isn’t gonna out muscle Hendo anywhere. If he’s going to win this fight he needs to employ an Edgar-ess game plan, keep moving and (Bisping, pay attention here) move unpredictably. Don’t let him measure you and set up that wrecking ball of a right unless you enjoy the aroma of smelling salts.

    Grove is starting to be another Jardine IMO. He’ll come out and just destroy someone, and then his next fight he’ll come out and drop a stinker leaving everyone to wonder what the hell just happened.

    The Hughes/Gracie fight was fun to watch (sorta), but it just didn’t seem like a real MMA matchup. I completely understand being respectful to your opponent and especially to a guy with the creds of Renzo, but that fight just seemed surreal. Hughes would land a shot that hurt Renzo, and then back off and let him recover. He’d kick Renzo’s legs out from under him, then literally help him to his feet. Just weird.

    Penn looked off to me as well. I don’t know if it was the weather, humidity, whatever, but he didn’t look like the focused, conditioned destroyer that we’ve seen as of late. Edgar on the other hand looked like he could have gone another 25 rounds without a problem.

    I don’t get Anderson Silva. He could have ended that fight any time he wanted to. Granted, there is nothing saying that you have to end a fight, but if you’re then going to turn around and apologize or get pissy because the crowd boos you, then do something about it. He wasn’t getting booed when he was finishing fights, he wasn’t getting yelled at by Dana, I don’t remember any fighter disrespecting him as a person or as a fighter until after he started this “you can’t catch me” bullshit that he’s been using lately.

    Side note: don’t see how Shields would be a challenge for Anderson either. Shields is a small MW, Anderson is a huge MW. Shields has okay striking with a pretty good ground game, Anderson has the best striking I’ve ever seen and a world class BJJ black belt.

  • fanoftna33 says:

    Dufrense have you seen the stare down pictures of Henderson and Shields, Jake is the bigger guy not a tiny MW fighter. I also think Jake has a good chance here as Henderson hasnt exactly been a world beater lately, and Jake has a great chin and very solid JJ.

  • Dufresne says:

    Dufrense have you seen the stare down pictures of Henderson and Shields, Jake is the bigger guy not a tiny MW fighter. I also think Jake has a good chance here as Henderson hasnt exactly been a world beater lately, and Jake has a great chin and very solid JJ.  

    They are about the same height, I’m more referencing their builds. Shields is a WW naturally and bulks up a bit to fight MW. Hendo on the other hand is a natural LHW that cuts a decent amount of weight to make MW.

  • Rece Rock says:

    Whats odd is this article-

    i’m not sure if the author is serious but I don’t see shields beating Hendo…

    Felt like the author kind of compared Silva and Shields… no comparison.

    Note to author- Bisping got KTFO because he kept circling in the same direction and all it took was timing and a heavy hand to make that happen…

  • kwulguy says:

    I do agree if Shields wins he will get paid but, Shields isn’t a free agent after this fight, Strikeforce has a 1 fight option they can exercise if they want to.

  • bigbadjohn says:

    Mondays suck, and this gem of an article didn’t help

  • fetussandwich says:

    I feel like I just read the outcome of what would happen if a teacher tossed a pen and paper to a kindergarten student and said “Here–tell me about UFC 112 this weekend.”

  • blue says:

    5 ounces of Pain just took 5 giant steps back from being a respected MMA publication.

  • thomaswhigham says:

    Good to see an authority with a more even treatment of the silva fight.

  • hindsightufuk says:

    no disrespect to the writer but that article is a montage of what different readers have been saying here since 112 finished. i don’t see the point.
    I remember just a short while ago when 5oz would have had stacks of articles to read the week leading up to a big event, now we’re lucky if we get a brief run down the day of the fight.
    it’s a damn shame, but articles like this don’t help put 5oz back where it was

  • Davey D says:

    Bravo to Mark Munoz for coming back from the brink of defeat and finishing Kendal Grove. I kept thinking Grove was gonna land an up-kick or submission. Mark fought very well and came out victorious. Well earned FOTN by both men.

    I had picked Gracie to defeat Hughes prior to UFC 112. Seeing Matt put on that kind of display really made me appreciate to type of Fighter he is since it had been a year since he last fought. The guy never takes a break and will give you his all until the very end. I’ve heard rumblings from ppl out there how Matt is old, doesn’t train as hard as he used to, that he is a dickhead, etc. I’ve never met Matt Hughes personally, but I have read his book. If I ever get the chance to meet him, I’d shake his hand and tell him he is one of the best MMA fighter’s I’ve ever seen play the game.

    Props to Renzo Gracie for coming in and fighting Matt Hughes in his first UFC bout.. Even though he may never become Champion, I have a lot of respect for him stepping in there and giving his best. You could see he was totally exhausted while speaking to Joe “Pimpin since Pimpin” Rogan.

    Etim was on a nice run before meeting Dos Anjos. They clearly wanted to build him up as he is based in England and rightfully so. The guy has talent. But so does Dos Anjos. Anytime two LW guys go head-to-head like that, it is always fun to watch. I’d probably put Rafeal Dos Anjos against Ross Pearson next.

    UFC in Boston on 8/28/10…I hope they set up Penn vs. Edgar 2 and Florian vs. Maynard on that card. Penn/Edgar was too close not to hold a rematch except maybe if BJ decides to move up to 170. If he does, I’d set Edgar vs. Maynard for August based on the fact Frankie has already lost to him. Give Florian somebody else at 155. It might be a long shot but Nathan Diaz vs. Kenny Florian would be an awesome fight to see.

    It is just too damn bad Vitor Belfort and Chael Sonnen were both unavilable for Anderson SIlva due to injuries. Likewise for Nate Marquardt, although he did it to himself. I think the UFC did the right thing considering they had already parted ways with Dan Henderson by the time Vitor had pulled out of the fight. You make do with the best you can, right?

    I had Silva winning via flying knee and it almost happened. I believe he dominated Maia for 3 rounds, then coasted for the last two by deliberately out pointing Demian. It worked but now Silva has also managed to piss off A LOT of people in the process. Something tells me didn’t want to finish Maia after 3 rounds. To me, I think he wanted to embarrass him and play the cat and mouse game for his own enjoyment. By taking the vengeance route, Anderson forgot about his duty to finish the fight as he should’ve.

    Going forward…I would ask Anderson Silva if he wants to stay at 185 or move up/down in weight. It wouldn’t be fair to strip a Champion who has never lost in his weight class unless he gives it up on his own terms. If Silva wants to stay. I’d ask Vitor Belfort if he can be ready by July or August. If not, ask Chael Sonnen the same. If Silva chooses to go up, give him the loser of Rampage/Rashad. If he really wants to fight at HW, give him Frank Mir. There is always Randy Couture, who can go LHW or HW any day of the week.

    Lastly, Silva vs. St. Pierre at 170 for GSP’s title would be worth considering. Most of the fans want it according to what I’ve been reading over the last few days. My question is…what if Anderson wins? Could he really make 170 over and over again to defend his Title when needed? I’d have him fight Belfort first then Sonnen second if staying at 185 is what they agree on. If he beats them, then Anderson should go up in weight, not down, unless fighting GSP is a must.

  • Rich S. says:

    “While Henderson got Silva to the ground, Silva kept Henderson in his half-guard for the most of the round till Henderson got side-control near the end of the round.”

    Please tell me you aren’t drawing some sort of link between Jake Shields and Anderson Silva here..

    I agree that Shields has a chance to win this fight, but only because of the “miracle” factor.. He has the same chance to win as Frankie did against BJ, or as Chael did against Nate.. It’s one of those things where Hendo wins 99 times out of 100, but we might just see that 1 Shields win on Saturday.. He could surprise me, but Hendo is way stronger, and better in all areas aside form Jiu Jitsu, but even in that department his defense is superb..

    As for 112:

    -It kind of sucks that we have to see Kendall lose time and time again.. I’ve never been a HUGE fan, but his striking AND submissions are both still rapidly improving.. It’d be nice to see him use them successfully more often..

    -The Hughes finish was nice.. It looked painful..

    -BJ did look a little off, but as a few others have said, I can’t tell why.. I can’t tell if he was sick, or if it was because of what Frankie was doing. Or maybe because he’s just so bored at LW now.. If he comes back for a shot at Frankie, then we’ll know it was one of the first two, if he moves to 170, we’ll know it was the latter..

  • Davey D says:

    @ Rich S.

    BJ Penn has long said he does not like fighting outside of America. In BJ’s case, he went from Hawaii to the Middle East; half a World away. That could have played a part in his preformance. Even getting to a place like Abu Dahbi one or two weeks in advance has different effects on different people no matter who you are. The fight was so close, it really could’ve went either way. I thought BJ Penn did enough to win. I was also screaming for him to get a take down in rounds 4 and 5. I also thought Shogun did enough to win and Lyoto won, go figure!

    Point Blank: Takedowns matter, even if the “takedownee” gets right back up. They matter to the only people who’s scores count at that moment and that is the Judges scoring the fight.

    As noted in my post above. I hope we see Penn vs. Edgar II in Boston this Summer.

  • edub says:

    Your article is kind of all over the place man.

    – Why would Chael and Vitor fight each other in the tournament? They are both the top contenders for the belt. If you’re gonna have a tourney put both on opposite sides of the brackets.

    -Please don’t be one of those writers that puts the idea of Kenny Florian getting the first shot at Edgar’s title in the heads of the Brass at UFC. Gray Maynard far and away has earned his shot. He should’ve gotten the shot before Edgar.

    -Why would you talk about bringing in Jake Shields to challenge Silva? Shields has one win against a top ten ranked opponent at 185. If Jake Shields is brought to the UFC he will be fighting GSP.

    -Same goes for Gegard Mousasi. If he fights Anderson it would be at 205. If that is the case he could just be fighting guys like Rampage, Rua, or “Bones”.

    -As to your observation on how the Shields vs. Hendo fight is gonna go; I feel like I should ask if you have ever seen either of them fight. I’d be willing to put my whole paycheck against say the right to write this article next monday for who was closer with their pick.

    -Probably should try and not use the word “odd” so often. Give him some help editor.

    -A perfect fight right now at LHW is Jon Jones. He is arguably 2 fights away from a title shot, and the winner from the match would be right in line for a title shot. Plus both have the “OMG” or “Holy shit did you see that” factor going into the scrap.

    -My selfish idea for things to come is…I’d like to see Renzo Gracie fight James Toney next.

  • edub says:

    no disrespect to the writer but that article is a montage of what different readers have been saying here since 112 finished. i don’t see the point.I remember just a short while ago when 5oz would have had stacks of articles to read the week leading up to a big event, now we’re lucky if we get a brief run down the day of the fight.it’s a damn shame, but articles like this don’t help put 5oz back where it was  (Quote)

    Don’t mean to jump on the hate train, but I completely agree with this statement.

  • GIKE MOLDBERG says:

    This talk about “sacrificing future stars”(concerning Cain and Jon Jones) is absurd. The best should fight the best, always. This is what seperates our revolutionary sport from boxing. Both Cain and Jon Jones would bring out the best in Anderson Silva right now, win or lose. And I wouldn’t think any less of any of them if they lost.

  • bigbadjohn says:

    MOLDY hit the nail on the head.

  • moosebaby02 says:

    This talk about “sacrificing future stars”(concerning Cain and Jon Jones) is absurd. The best should fight the best, always. This is what seperates our revolutionary sport from boxing. Both Cain and Jon Jones would bring out the best in Anderson Silva right now, win or lose. And I wouldn’t think any less of any of them if they lost.  (Quote)

    if the best are suppose to fight then we would have seen Maynard vs Penn on Saturday instead of Frankie. But still good for Frankie

  • moosebaby02 says:

    but hell ya i agree with you MOLDY

  • GIKE MOLDBERG says:

    Maynard vs. Penn would have been much more exciting(believe it or not) because of the takedowns and scrambles that would have been imposed by “the bully”-I also think that a finish would have been much more likely

  • GIKE MOLDBERG says:

    Okay-just imagine punk ass silva vs.Belcher or Wanderlei-if not-then picture that little disrespectful cunt against Cain or Jon Jones-Yeah I think you can understand where we all are coming from

  • Guthookd says:

    Gike: I just pictured all those fights and saw A. Silva beating all their asses, except maybe Cain.

  • Spoken says:

    i actually like the tourney idea even if anderson doesnt want to give up the title. since selling his fight would be difficult, silva could move up to heavyweight and fight someone like todd duffee or pat barry as an early main card fight(hes still enough of a draw to keep him on the broadcast). meanwhile, have the tourney to distinguish a clear #1 contender so silva can earn his ability to draw a crowd back and the middleweight division can stay active with headliners that have legit title implications.

    i say coheadline a vitor/sonnen fight with bisping/marquardt and a few weeks later wanderlei/akiyama with palhares/okami. all fights are easy to sell.

    vitor/sonnen are both somehow #1’s at the moment so that fight would sell for sure. bisping/marquardt are 2 guys hanging just out of reach of the title given a chance to break through. wanderlei/akiyama are 2 legends in japan and both newcomers to ufc middleweight. palhares/okami are both the talented underdogs coming off of big wins after falling off the ladder to henderson/sonnen, respectively. all following fights sell themselves.

    note- i do realize this is a fantasy and would never happen, but it would be awesome none-the-less.

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