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Grappling with Issues – 4/16/10

Should Anderson Silva take more risks to become a better champion? Does BJ Penn deserve an immediate rematch? Should Frank Edgar be ranked as the #1 lightweight? Which title fight at this weekend’s Strikeforce has you most excited? Does Jake Shields need to go to the UFC?

UFC 112 is over, Strikeforce: Nashville is this weekend, and we’ve got issues that need grappling with. As always, esteemed colleagues Adam Tool and Brendhan Conlan have plenty to say about the hot topics of the week. Each will have their say, and then it’s your turn to sound off in the comment box below.

Now, in the immortal words of Cecil Peoples…let’s dance!

Would Anderson Silva be a BETTER champion/fighter if he lost taking unnecessary risks to please fans/management rather than taking a more intelligent, less aesthetically pleasing approach to opponents?

Adam Tool: The only thing that makes Anderson Silva a better champion is defending his belt and winning fights. That’s his job. Yes the sport of MMA serves as entertainment for the millions of fans that watch it, but no mixed-martial artist is going to list “entertainer” on their resume (well, Jason “Mayhem” Miller and Akihiro Gono might). The excessive showboating in the first half of the Silva/Maia fight coupled with the complete lack of action in the second half left everyone with a bad taste in their mouth, but we can’t pretend to know what was going on in Silva’s head. The win may not have gotten him any new fans, but Silva did the job he was supposed to do: win the fight.

When there’s a fighter like Silva, who breathes such rarified air in the MMA world, people have a different set of expectations for how he should perform. He didn’t meet those expectations, and as a consumer you have the right to be dissatisfied with his performance. The fact remains though that this is a sport, and these athletes are going to do whatever they can (within the defined rules of engagement) to win.

Brendhan Conlan: I am surprised by Tool’s response but in a good way, because I completely agree with his viewpoint and felt I was probably one of the only folks in MMAville who hadn’t already sharpened his pitchfork in response to Silva’s antics against Demian Maia. As such, I’m prepared for the comment section to be riddled with posts from people with torch-in-hand, but it would be dishonest of me to wag my finger at “The Spider” for his behavior because I truly wasn’t upset by it. The overwhelming vibe I got in the aftermath of UFC 112 was people being okay with his showboating as long as it results in a finish (Forrest Griffin, Rich Franklin II) but feeling it is horribly disrespectful if not (Maia, Thales Leites, and to an extent Patrick Cote). It’s a hypocrisy I refuse to subscribe to, and furthermore I don’t think any Mixed Martial Artist needs to perform up to any standards beyond the ones he sets for himself.

I understand people feel like Silva owes them something. Yes, a small percentage of the money we fork out for events makes its way into his pockets. However, in reality the UFC benefits from the fans’ patronage to a far greater extent than any fighter, and while our business gives athletes a larger platform to perform on it is still the individual fighter at risk in the ring, i.e. our money being at stake pales in comparison to their actual health or even consciousness being on the line. Why should Silva press the issue of a finish if Maia, who realistically didn’t deserve the opportunity to begin with, refused to throw the same caution to the wind? The champion certainly has more to lose than the challenger, does he not? And would people have been heaping praise on him had he unnecessarily charged in, got caught in guard, and then ultimately submitted? He shouldn’t have, he does, and there would have been a huge uproar about Anderson’s susceptibility on the ground instead of supposed cockiness or lack of interest in fighting. I’d rather he just keeps being other-worldly in the Octagon, not change things up to satisfy others’ wishes.

Should BJ Penn get an immediate rematch with Frank Edgar after such a close fight and semi-questionable decision?

Tool: This past weekend there was a fight that was closely contested, and when the judges’ scores were read some people disagreed with the verdict. I know, this sort of crazy thing never happens in MMA, but I think we can all somehow move on past this.

Last week when everyone was still making predictions for how UFC 112 would go down, nobody was giving Edgar the slightest chance to pull off the upset. Okay there was one guy, but his opinions don’t really matter. Since Edgar wasn’t able to win in thoroughly convincing fashion, it seems that a lot of people want to see him do it again before they can get behind the idea of him as champion. For some reason Zuffa has this thing where if a fighter scores a major upset they have to do it again in order to prove that it wasn’t a fluke. They did it to Matt Serra, they did it to Mike Brown, and they could do it again to Frank Edgar.

You may disagree with the decision but even if you could make the most convincing argument for Penn getting an immediate rematch, I believe there’s a more convincing argument to be made for Gray Maynard getting the first shot at Edgar’s title. Maynard was already in consideration before Edgar got the nod, so it’s not as though he isn’t a legitimate contender. The storyline is already built in with Edgar’s lone career loss coming against Maynard, and both fighters have stated that it’s the match-up they want. Edgar vs. Maynard II may not be the most appealing fight to headline a PPV, but it’s the right fight to make. Have Penn take on another upper-level fighter and give him the next shot if he wins, but for now let’s enjoy the fact that a once-stagnant division has now been blown wide open.

Conlan: I didn’t think the decision was horrific (certain scoring aside) because Edgar buzzed around Penn like a gnat the entire time, scored a few takedowns, and dished out fairly similar damage to what he received. However, I would still like to see Penn get an immediate rematch, and I think it’s short-sighted to say the only reason the UFC would book it is simply because the result of their first pairing was considered an “upset”.

For starters, the fight makes sense for competitive reasons. The first bout was closely contested throughout all five rounds and it’s hard to say either man definitively won in the allotted time period. A lot of people would argue a champion needs to be beaten convincingly in order to lose and that simply didn’t happen. Even the actual per-round statistics back up the case for a questioning the judges’ decision to award Edgar the UFC Lightweight Championship. Also, though talk about humidity and illness feel a little like excuses from Penn’s camp after a loss, Hilo’s favorite son definitely didn’t appear to be the same Mixed Martial Artist who’d shown up so many times before at 155-pounds so I think there’s something to be said about what condition he showed up in regardless of reasoning.

Beyond the in-ring aspect detailed above, the rematch also makes sense for business reasons. Penn is one of the biggest draws in MMA and easily the UFC’s top name at lightweight. Essentially, Penn vs. Edgar II headlines a PPV while Maynard vs. Edgar II plays second-fiddle to a bigger match-up. Gray is an exceptional wrestler with solid boxing, but he hasn’t exactly set the world ablaze with his style by winning six in a row via decision. Penn, on the other hand, hadn’t seen scorecards in the four years prior to UFC 112. There’s nothing wrong with fighting smart, and “The Bully” has compiled a very nice record in the UFC, but in terms of marketability there will always be an emphasis on promoting guys with a propensity for finishing fights.

Which of the three Strikeforce title fights are you most looking forward to?

Tool: This one isn’t hard for me to answer. All three title fights have some level of intrigue to them, but the light heavyweight bout is the one I’ll be paying most attention to. Both Gegard Mousasi and “King Mo” Lawal have a large amount of hype behind them, but that’s pretty much where the similarities end. Mousasi is a lethal striker with a huge advantage in experience, while Lawal is a powerhouse wrestler facing the biggest test of his career. It’s easy to pick Mousasi to win because that’s the safe bet, but at the same time we still don’t really know exactly how good “King Mo” is. There are plenty of questions hanging over either man’s head and I’m very much looking forward to getting some answers on Saturday night.

Conlan: I think Mousasi vs. Lawal is the toughest bout to pick regardless of the vast difference in both their experience and overall technical ability, so I can see why Tool is excited about either seeing the current Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Champion continue his ascension to greatness or watching “King Mo” finally sit atop a promotional throne when they throw down tomorrow night. However, I’m more geeked about Gilbert Melendez locking horns with Shinya Aoki in hopes of shaking up the lightweight rankings yet again as they were last weekend at UFC 112. It’s nice to finally see Aoki in action before 4:00 AM Central Standard Time courtesy of his American debut at the show, and I’m optimistic it won’t be the last time his colorful personality and choice of attire are seen by a live audience outside of Japan. The clash between Melendez’s wrestling/striking style and Aoki’s wizardry on the ground should play out nicely, and though I personally think “El Nino” will use his power to either TKO or grind out a win, it won’t be surprising to see him tapped out for the first time in his career because Shinya is so supremely talented when things hit the mat. It’s that sort of parity, as well as the promotional flag attached to each in this DREAM vs. Strikeforce showdown, that has me anticipating this particular championship fight more so than either of its counterparts on the card.

Which option appeals most to you for Anderson Silva’s next fight: defending his title against Vitor Belfort or Chael Sonnen, taking a showcase fight at light heavyweight, or dropping down to 170 for a super-fight with Georges St. Pierre?

Conlan: Even though it has since been announced Silva is set to face Sonnen at an upcoming event, the question posed asks which of those scenarios I find to be the most appealing one, and as such I would have preferred to see “The Spider” take on a top level light heavyweight rather than defend his middleweight championship against another opponent with questionable contendership credentials. Sonnen’s trio of victories since losing to Demian Maia at UFC 95 featured impressive grappling and ground control on his part but nothing to merit any real confidence in his ability to compete against Silva. The UFC is risking another five-round, pick-and-pepper fest by throwing Anderson in the ring with yet one more adversary needing to get inside, and to the mat, to do any significant damage rather than someone who is both comfortable and a threat in the striking department. Then again, perhaps the UFC’s point in making the match is to do just that and see how Silva responds since he’s apparently at risk of release if he behaves similarly to how he has in the past when unimpressed by what an opponent brings to the cage.

Rather, I would have preferred to see the enigmatic Brazilian face a 205-pounder who can press for a finish while standing, is athletic enough to match Silva’s speed, and has enough of a grappling base to make things interesting on the ground if necessary. Two names fitting that bill are Jon Jones and Mauricio “Shogun” Rua (assuming Lyoto Machida retains his title at UFC 113). I also think Quinton Jackson’s concrete jaw, aggressive nature, and powerful striking would be an interesting test for the UFC Middleweight Champion, but ultimately I think “Rampage” might be a little too slow to avoid a forcible nap at the hands, feet, knees, and elbows of Silva.

Tool: There’s no shortage of interesting fights waiting for Silva at 205, and any one of the fights mentioned by Brendhan would be appealing. I also wouldn’t be opposed to the idea of Silva moving even further up, as he’s expressed an interest in doing exactly that. Frank Mir has already stated that he’s willing to fight “The Spider” at a catchweight of 235, and there’s little to no chance that the resulting fight would possibly be labeled “boring.” I also don’t want to see Dana White giving up on the idea of a Silva/GSP super-fight, as that bout needs to happen at some point sooner or later.

At the end of the day I’m pleased to see Silva stepping up to another title defense, although I’m not exactly pleased with the opponent. It is truly a sad day in mixed-martial arts when people are looking to Chael Sonnen to deliver an exciting fight. While Sonnen may have earned his spot in the contender’s list, the more appealing bout at this point has to be Silva vs. Belfort. Don’t bother filling the comment box with statements on how Belfort hasn’t earned his shot, as the fact of the matter is that he should have fought Silva this past Saturday. Had the fight gone down as originally intended the story of UFC 112 would have played out much differently. You want Anderson Silva to have an exciting fight? Put him in with an aggressive striker that won’t get scared when the cage door closes, then sit back and watch the fireworks.

Buy/Sell – Regardless of whether he wins or loses on Saturday, Jake Shields needs to leave Strikeforce for the UFC.

Conlan: Definitely a “buy”. And, as it turns out, Dan Henderson is actually the perfect opponent to help facilitate the transition between organizations. There’s no shame in losing to someone with Henderson’s credentials, and if such takes place it might remind Shields he seems to be best served by fighting at 170-pounds instead of against larger guys. The UFC’s roster of welterweights far eclipses that of Strikeforce so it’s naturally the place he should want to solidify his legacy in. On the other hand, if Shields beats “Hendo” he’ll have earned a win over a highly respected veteran with roots in the UFC and who recently had a less-than amicable falling out with the company. I’m confident a few Zuffa representatives with upstairs offices will be tuning in Saturday night, and if they like what they see they may try harder than ever to sign the Californian in hopes of finding a marketable threat to Georges St. Pierre’s welterweight championship. Shields is the only 170-pound gunslinger for hire who hasn’t tested his skills inside the Octagon with a list of past accomplishments impressive enough to make people believe he actually has a chance to dethrone GSP. I appreciate the credibility Shields has lent to Strikeforce with his name, as well as the publicity they’ve given him in the process, but as far as I’m concerned there’s no question it’s time for the vegetarian fighter to finally head towards greener pastures.

Tool: I can’t go with anything else but “buy” here as well. Let’s say Shields does manage to upset Henderson, then what? Does he continue defending a title outside of his natural weight class? Does anybody want to see Shields vs. Smith? He can’t go after the Strikeforce Welterweight Championship, as that currently resides around the waist of his good friend Nick Diaz.

It makes far too much sense for Shields to go to the UFC. For one, the UFC could always use more high-level welterweights that they can get who aren’t members of American Kickboxing Academy. I think he would match up well with a lot of the premier fighters in the division, as his mix of wrestling and jiu-jitsu could provide a stern challenge for just about anyone he faces. If Shields signed with Zuffa in the near future I’d love to see him matched up with the winner of Paulo Thiago vs. Martin Kampmann, or you could throw him right into the deep end and match him up with the winner of Jon Fitch vs. Thiago Alves. Let’s not forget his recent victory over surging UFC contender Paul Daley either.

The biggest factor though is the way that Shields has made it very clear that he wants a fight with St. Pierre. This always seemed like posturing before, but now things are actually in motion to make that happen. Should Shields join the UFC and get a top-level opponent right away, he could conceivably be fighting for the title after one or two wins. Obviously this benefits the UFC, as they’re desperate for any and all credible challengers to St. Pierre’s seemingly endless reign of dominance.

Do you believe that Frank Edgar deserves to be ranked as the #1 lightweight in the world, or should that honor go to the winner of this weekend’s Aoki/Melendez fight?

Conlan I think a case can be made for Shinya Aoki if he beats Melendez, as he hasn’t been defeated at lightweight since being knocked out by Joachim Hansen in July 2008 and even that loss came in Aoki’s second fight of the night (his first was a hard fought decision over Caol Uno). Melendez also hasn’t tasted defeat at 155-pounds since mid-2008 but has only racked up three wins since last losing in comparison to Aoki’s six over that same span of time.

As far as Edgar goes, he clearly deserves a place towards the top of the rankings after coming away with a win against BJ Penn, but it’s hard to put him on the peak of the 155-pound mountain when it could be argued Penn didn’t appear to be at his best in the bout and still should have arguably won the fight. Additionally, Edgar has shown an inability to finish his opposition and looked relatively poor in his loss to Gray Maynard (mid-2008 as chance would have it).

Aoki is consistently a threat to end in-ring action before letting the likes of Douglas Crosby or Cecil Peoples influence a bout’s outcome, and, if he adds Melendez to a group of fallen foes already including fighters like Uno, Hansen, JZ Calvancante, Eddie Alvarez, “Shaolin” Ribeiro, he deserves consideration as the top lightweight in Mixed Martial Arts.

Tool: Say what you will about Penn’s performance this past weekend and the scoring controversy that came about as a result, to me this question was answered by Edgar in his post-fight interview. “BJ Penn is the best lightweight in the world, and I just beat him.” On that basis (along with Edgar’s other notable wins) I see no reason why he doesn’t deserve the top spot in the lightweight rankings. His spot at #1 is much more tenuous than Penn’s, as Edgar has not achieved the same level of dominance in the division as the now former champ did. However until someone beats him I believe it is the right decision to place Edgar at the top.

As for Aoki, I’m already skeptical of him being the #2 guy in the division. He’s been impressive (for the most part) but he hasn’t faced the level of competition to merit such a high placement. Truth be told, there are at least five UFC lightweights that I would pick to win in a hypothetical bout with Aoki. I reserve the right to change my tune if Aoki can pull off an impressive win over a top 10 opponent (something he has the opportunity to do this weekend) but for now I can’t justify having him at the very top.

I’ve always had a bit of a soft spot for Melendez and will be firmly rooting for him to successfully defend his Strikeforce Lightweight Championship this weekend. However, much like Aoki, Melendez has not faced enough members of the lightweight elite to warrant a spot at #1. Give him time and he may find himself in the upper echelon, but for now he’ll have to be content with the (possible) title of the best lightweight outside of the UFC.

13 COMMENTS
  • Rece Rock says:

    – Anderson is great and there’s no denying it, but if he doesn’t feel challenged then he shouldn’t resort to the antics he should just finish the fight. He is a P4P top 5 fighter but his antics and lack of connection to the fans doesn’t allow him to take his legacy to the very top. He doesn’t have to fight to please fans but he shouldn’t do silly things to turn them off either.

    – BJ should get an immediate rematch- cut and dry.

    – I want to see if King Mo gets shut up by Gergard or will he take advantage of the opportunity.

    -I think I’d rather see Vitor get the opportunity but chael is more likely to light a fire under silvas ass.

    – I buy that shields needs to be in UFC, so do a few of the other fighters in SF…

    – I still see BJ as the #1 with or with out the belt.

  • Dufresne says:

    Anderson is a beast but I don’t think taking unneccessary risks will make him a better champion. I was upset with his performance this past weekend not because he failed to finish, but because he failed to do anything in the last half of the fight. I wanted to see him fight, whether it was for 30 seconds or 25 minutes. Instead I got to see him fight for ~13 min and dance for another 12.

    I personally prefer that the loser of a fight fights at least once more before getting the rematch. They made GSP do it, and it was fun to watch. They didn’t do it to Arlovski and it sucked balls.

    I’m looking forward to seeing an Aoki match live without having to stay awake until the worst hours of God’s creation.

    I really think that Belfort is the only solid threat to Anderson at MW that’s left. After that I have no desire to see him go down in weight class. If GSP wants to go up to fight him, I’m all for it, but not the other way around. I think Anderson should go up in weight class as there are a ton of tough, exciting matchups for him at 205 and even some at HW.
    ” Frank Mir has already stated that he’s willing to fight “The Spider” at a catchweight of 235,” Am I the only one that doesn’t see this being feasible? Mir has gotten HUGE lately and he expects to be able to get down to 235? Not happening. If these two ever matchup it’s gonna be as a full blown HW bout.

    I’m not 100% sold on Shields in any regards to be honest. He’s a pretty solid fighter, but I don’t see him having the tools to get through the UFC’s WW or MW division. He matches up well with several of SF’s top fighters in each category, but how would he do against Kos, Alves, or Fitch at WW or Nate, Chael, Vitor, or even Maia at MW? I don’t honestly see him winning any of those fights on a regular basis. He might be able to surprise me a time or two, but in the long run I see him as just below the elite tier in the UFC.

    I’m personally putting my LW rankings on the shelf until I see Aoki/Melendez this weekend, and even after that I’ll probably still hold on to them until after I see Edgar fight again. It’s not that I don’t think Edgar is a great fighter, it’s just that I don’t really have that gut feeling that says “this guy’s gonna be a legend” like I do when I see BJ or some of the other big names fight. If Edgar comes out and dominates in his next fight, or even if he just out points him in impressive fashion like he did BJ, I’ll be much more willing to put Edgar in my top 3 LWs.

  • moosebaby02 says:

    -sorry but if your paid to do something and you know you can do it…then do it. yes i understand him being bored and yada yada yada but what better way to prove you point then kicking the shit of the guy in front of you as fast as you can and walk all the way back to your hotel room with out saying a word to anyone. No press conference, pic’s, nothing. Get dressed hit the club get some drinks and still say nothing. and every time Dana tries to say something to you just keep swearing at him in Portuguese until he goes away. what is he really going to do…..fire you?? but dont rip off the people/fans who are helping your bank account

    -i rather see Frankie vs Maynard but with all the suppose controversy i guess Penn should get a rematch cause i guess he does have a good excuses……but dosent he always or his trainers do when he loses?

    -GO MOUSASI but im really looking forward to seeing what Shields can bring to Hendo

    -I would like to see Anderson fight Vitor at MW. Rashad as LHW cause i dont like Rashad. Frank Mir looks interesting at HW. No GSP. I love him but i think Anderson is just to fast for him and i dont think i can stand to see GSP take a beating like i think he will take

    -BUY. there are some good match ups at WW for Shields that i would like to see.

    -i dont like him and yes he lost but BJ is still #1. Anyone can lose. Just like i did on that fight.

  • Milliniar says:

    -I don’t think any champion should take an unnecessary risk to win, but the fight is 25 mins and as such should engage for as much of the 25 minutes as possible. In the Silva vs Maia that didn’t happen, and a few more powershots or a good thai plum with knees in the first 2 rounds would’ve finshed the fight with little risk based on past fights.
    -I also don’t think any 2 fighters should fight twice in a row except in a draw.
    -Most interested in Mousasi vs Lawal
    -At middleweight on who is available sonnen makes sense, however giving Silva a fight at LHW, HW, or superfight vs GSP, while belfort recovers. If Anderson is bored at middleweight which it seems he is ask him if he really wants to fight sonnen or belfort if he says no relinquish the belt and set up a tournament of sorts over the next few PPVs and fight nights/live on vs
    -buy shields as long as he puts up a good fight vs Hendo win/lose/draw. if he gets dominated i think Zuffa will pass.
    -As Penn didn’t look like he normally does and it was close fight (i gave to Edgar) he is still the #1 lw 1 loss doesn’t change that for me, if Aoki wins he makes a case depending on domination or not. i still think 9/10 times BJ can beat any other LW in the world.

  • inkythewinky says:

    1. no, i think ppl are a lil crazy being mad at silva, watch the fight again, maia bearly did anything, it was maia’s fault ,not silva’s, if u don’t believe me look at the fight stats for yourself.
    2.yes , what other match-ups are there? bj shouldnt be dropped down so low on the latter, seriously who would they put him against maynard? yea right, maynard vs florian, bj vs edgar winners fight each other
    3.all of them, i hope strikeforce becomes an unstopable force, plus i find coker’s personality smooth and calm which i like, he isnt trying to be more popular than the sport which is also a plus.
    4.gsp, thats the fight i want the most, more than fedor vs brock or any other match up
    5.jake shields to me is soooo boring, not knocking anyone who likes him i just don’t like his style
    6.aoki/melendez
    i want to add that i truly think all the fighters everywhere need a union and contracts thru organizations should go thru a union, we could actually see fights that we always wanted and you wouldnt hear sad stories about contract issues that hurt the fighter (huerta, arvlovski and others)

  • Angry Mike says:

    1) Take unnecessary risks? Owes something to the fans? Interesting questions maybe, but they have nothing to do with happened at UFC 112. Silva signed a contract in which UFC agreed to pay him to fight, and that nonsense wasn’t a fight. What Silva did has nothing to do with risks, unnecessary or otherwise. And the fans who attended or purchased a ppv have the right to expect a fight, not five rounds of Bozo the Spider.

    2) Absolutely agree that Maynard or some other lightweight ought to get the next shot at Edgar. BJ’s a great fighter, blah blah blah, but the judges said he lost so he has to work his way back up.

    3) Tough call, but Lawal hasn’t proved much imo, and I’ve always wondered how Aoki would do outside Japan. Too bad Melendez can’t use elbows in his guard, but even with that limitation Melendez/Aoki is still a more interesting match up, imo.

    4) Would Shields have a chance to come to the UFC? He looks good in Strikeforce, but it’s a very deep talent pool in UFC, and I doubt he’s any better than mid-level.

  • Spoken says:

    anderson doesnt NEED to do anything but win fights. if he wants a fanbase and wants to entertain people, he should probably try a bit harder, but i get the impression that isnt all that important to him. the truth is, he doesnt owe anybody anything. not the fans, the ufc, dana white, or anyone else. he is a record setter in several instances, and dominates everyone who stands in front of him. boring or not, he does his job and does it well. if you dont like him, dont cheer for him, but dont act like he owes it to you to perform a certain way.

    im most curious about gsp vs silva than anything.

    although its going to hold up the division and cause lack of interest, im fine with bj getting the rematch. hes been the most impressive lw in the world for a long time now, and that fight was too close to say he truly lost.

    bj is easily the #1 lw even after a loss. hes fought the best of the best and come out on top. frankie edgar hasnt had the level of career and competition that bj has.

    saying that aoki isnt deserving of being right at the top of the division because of hypothetical losses is a bit strange. a mans legacy should only be judged by what he has done, not what he may possibly do should he happen upon a certain situation. he hasnt fought the proven level of competition bj has, but has been very effective against quality fighters. probably more than edgar and melendez. he deserves a top 3 spot at the absolute least. the fight this weekend will have a big impact on his ranking though.

  • munche says:

    I find it a bit interesting that in the same article you state: “The only thing that makes Anderson Silva a better champion is defending his belt and winning fights. That’s his job.”

    and then “I would have preferred to see “The Spider” take on a top level light heavyweight rather than defend his middleweight championship”

    The guy is the middleweight champion. Focus on middleweight. I think saying he’s not challenged or these guys don’t belong in there is a complete cop out. Anderson is good, but he’s far from unbeatable. Sonnen and Belfort are legitimate threats to the belt. Frankie Edgar had no chance of beating BJ, and look at him now.

    My biggest issue with Silva is this: If he felt Maia didn’t belong in there and the fight bored him, or Leites, or Cote…why the hell was he in there? He knew who he was fighting. He signed the contract. He went out there uninterested in the fight. He knew who he was fighting the whole time!! If he wants to go play around in other divisions instead, go ahead! Ditch the 185 belt and move up to 205 or heavyweight or whatever.

    Agreeing to a fight then getting in the ring acting like you’d rather be doing anything but fighting is a slap in the face to the people who are responsible for him getting paid, which is the fans. I don’t care if he’s throwing a lazy Tim Sylvia jab the entire fight, just don’t get on your bicycle and Kalib Starnes rounds 4-5 when you’re supposed to be one of the best in the world.

  • Makington says:

    At first I was really frustrated watching the Silva fight as it was so obvious how much above Maia he was, and it seemed like he could have KO’d him literally anytime he wanted, but now that I’m cooled off about it I agree with most of the posters. He really shouldn’t have pushed the fight or done anything that he was uncomfortable doing when his sole purpose is to win. It’s stupid to fight where your opponent is strongest, and it’s not like Maia was pushing the pace. People were saying how Maia was showing a heart of steel and giving it his all, but he didn’t start even throwing punches until halfway through the last round.

    I found myself siding with Adam on every subject this week, and he words it twice as good as I can so I’ll keep it at that. Excited as hell for SF tomorrow, rooting for Melendez.

    Good post Dufresne.

  • Vogairian says:

    I don’t think Anderson needs to take “unnessecary risks”, I just think if he’s going to dance around and showboat he needs to bring it the whole fight and not shut down part way through. I enjoyed watching the first two rounds because even though he was messing around he was landing shots and doing damage. I lost interest when the last half of the fight saw barely any action at all.

    If Anderson feels that he’s bested everyone worth fighting at MW, why not just drop the belt and move up to LHW and do some work?

  • Vogairian says:

    I don’t think Anderson needs to take “unnecessary risks”, I just think if he’s going to dance around and showboat he needs to bring it the whole fight and not shut down part way through. I enjoyed watching the first two rounds because even though he was messing around he was landing shots and doing damage. I lost interest when the last half of the fight saw barely any action at all.

    If Anderson feels that he’s bested everyone worth fighting at MW, why not just drop the belt and move up to LHW and do some work?

  • Guthookd says:

    ….I don’t care if he’s throwing a lazy Tim Sylvia jab the entire fight, just don’t get on your bicycle and Kalib Starnes rounds 4-5 when you’re supposed to be one of the best in the world.  (Quote)

    Well said man. I agree. If the guys doesn’t belong in the ring with you then knock his ass out!!!!

    “no mixed-martial artist is going to list “entertainer” on their resume”

    I seem to remember one Diego Sanchez screaming into a microphone after the firm delivery of a thorough spanking…”ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED!!”

    Anderson needs to start really kicking asses. He needs to blow through everyone he can as fast as he can. IMO, that would make him a “better” champion.

    I think BJ should get a rematch, but you guys can just tell me how it went because if it is as boring as the first go round I’m not interested in actually seeing it.

    On Edgar being number one…I agree with Tool. He beat BJ so there it is.

    Strikeforce Titles – – – – Gagard vs. Mo is the one I’m looking out for.

    Dont’ care who A. Silva fights.

    If Shields beats Hendo….I think he should graduate to the big leagues…BUY>

  • LiverPunch says:

    I don’t know why Silva acts the way he does in the cage but it has to stop. I’m not saying he should be entertaining but he has to fight to finish, rather than acting like a dick in the cage and show boating. If he finds the UFC MW division too weak and unworthy, he should switch divisions.
    In a perfect world I would like to see him change to HW and prove he is the best fighter in the world and not just the best fighter in the imaginary division of P4P. The guy lost my respect a long time ago but this last effort had me really starting to resent and even hate him for acting like a spoiled child.

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