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Grappling with Issues – 1/7/11

With Cain Velasquez out, should the UFC create an interim heavyweight title until he returns? What should the UFC do with Anthony Pettis now that Frank Edgar vs. Gray Maynard II is in the works? Why should fans tune into Strikeforce Challengers 13 tonight? Should the UFC cut ties altogether with Chael Sonnen rather than keep him on the roster?

Keyboard warrrrriors….come out to plaaaay-yay!

Happy New Year! Welcome to the first Grappling with Issues of 2011, our site’s regular weekly feature highlight insight and opinion from myself and Adam Tool. As always, just because we staffers get the fancy set-up, please don’t feel precluded from dishing out your own thoughts on each matter in the comments section at the bottom of the column.

As Gray Maynard has been given an immediate rematch with Frank Edgar, what would you suggest the UFC does with the man previously attached to the title-shot (Anthony Pettis)?

Tool: It’s hard to say. On one hand the UFC should want to capitalize on Pettis’ tremendous boost in popularity following his one-of-a-kind kick, and the best way to do that is to get him in a high profile match-up as soon as possible. Along those lines I’d say that the best possible opponent for such a fight would probably be Clay Guida. Guida has been holding down the lightweight gatekeeper role for some time now, and a win over him would only confirm Pettis’ position as the next contender.

On the other hand it’s a huge risk to book Pettis in another fight right now. He’s only 23 and is still developing as a mixed-martial artist, so if money isn’t an issue than why shouldn’t he wait his turn? This may very well be his one and only shot at UFC gold so if he gets an additional six months or so to train I don’t see how that could hurt him. The UFC loses out on a chance to capitalize on Pettis’ viral video success but I’m sure they’ll find a way to replay the fight with Ben Henderson once Pettis’ turn comes up.

Conlan: The UFC needs to capitalize on Pettis’ popularity as soon as possible even though it would mean risking the shot he was promised. Plenty of fighters have been assured a crack at the championship only to watch it slip away months later. Circumstances change in life and at the end of the day the UFC is a business. Beyond that, keep in mind Pettis hasn’t done as much in the context of contendership as your average individual who earns the opportunity. He’s not riding a series of wins over highly ranked opponents; he just happened to be champ when WEC flickered out of existence last month. A half-year from now Pettis’ showing against Henderson won’t have the same resonance with fans as it does right now. Sure, his cage-kick will remain a moment in MMA lore for years to come, but the impact of his performance won’t mean as much down the road because of its distance in the public’s collective rear-view mirror. That’s also assuming Maynard/Edgar II isn’t extremely close and dictates an immediate rubber-match, in which case Pettis would still be without his title-fight or an opponent.

As far as who I would book “Showtime” against, I think Guida would be a dangerous option if the UFC hopes to maintain Pettis’ place as contender. Someone like Jeremy Stephens or Melvin Guillard (unless he somehow beats Evan Dunham in a few weeks) makes more sense to me, as both are recognizable names who have experienced a good deal of success inside the Octagon but also aren’t fully rounded fighters with past “Top 10” victories to their credit. Having to notch another win might not sit well with Pettis, but then again he’s a competitor and there’s no doubt in my mind he’s confident enough in his abilities to feel the UFC lightweight strap is coming his way sooner or later no matter who he faces next.

TRUE/FALSE – The UFC should release Chael Sonnen.

Tool: False. I’m not a Sonnen fan by any means but even I can see that releasing Sonnen would be a short-sighted move. The man came closer than anyone else to beating Anderson Silva and that means something. It won’t take much for him to earn a second title shot and a potential rematch with Silva will likely be the highest drawing middleweight title fight in UFC history. He’s firmly established as the second best fighter in the world in his weight class, and for that reason alone he’s worth keeping on the roster. His money-laundering scandal is bad publicity for sure, but otherwise it’s completely unrelated to his MMA career. In my opinion it’s nonsense to consider releasing Sonnen for a white-collar crime when the UFC has kept fighters like Chris Leben and Josh Neer on their roster after the far more dangerous crime of driving under the influence. Maybe you think Sonnen should be released for his positive test on a banned substance, but again you’d also have to consider releasing guys like Leben (again!), Stephan Bonnar, and Nate Marquardt for their positive tests as well.

Conlan: I’ll play devil’s advocate here an say “true”. While I agree there is money to be made with Silva vs. Sonnen II, I don’t know that it will break a lot of fans’ hearts if the rematch never takes place. The reality is that no matter how close Sonnen came to winning the middleweight championship the bulk of his offense was related to holding “The Spider” down and smothering him. It was exciting from the standpoint Silva hadn’t been handled as thoroughly prior to the fight but not all that aesthetically pleasing (as few of Sonnen’s fights are). He was cleanly finished, not a victim of bad scoring or a cut, so there’s already closure involved. Plus, Sonnen was also popped for using PEDs offering yet another aspect to consider as well when looking at the performance.

Leben is still drawing a UFC paycheck but only because of his style. In no way, shape, or form would I ever say drunk driving is better than money laundering but from simply a legal standpoint there’s no comparison. One is a State crime (a misdemeanor in many cases), the other is federal. In a standard DUI situation the offender generally gets fined less than a thousand dollars and faces a short amount of jail time (if any). Sonnen was at risk of spending twenty years in a federal prison, dodged some of his sentencing by turning witness, and still paid out $10,000 with two years probation attached.

On top of his legal and drug-test issues, Sonnen is also notorious for saying absolutely asinine things in public forums. His comment regarding Lance Armstrong being responsible for his own cancer, then retracting it while audio of his voice played, was not only a blow to his personal reputation but to that of his employer as well. Also uncalled for were his remarks about the people of Brazil. Sonnen is a representative of the UFC, as Paul Daley was, and when you embarrass yourself, your sport, and the organization I don’t know that you deserve the honor of calling the UFC your home anymore no matter what talents you offer.

Out of the three major cards held in honor of the New Year Holiday, what result did you find to be most disappointing and what result did you find to be most pleasing?

Tool: Is there any question as to which result was most disappointing? After an absolutely classic battle between Edgar and Maynard we were all left with a bad taste in our mouths when the fight was ruled a draw. Granted, it was a result that most people could agree with but it’s still not the kind of thing you want to have happen in your title fights. Personally I scored the fight for Edgar upon that first viewing (giving Maynard a 10-8 in the first round with all four other rounds for Edgar) but I wouldn’t have been shocked if Maynard had gotten the nod. While I’m a little burned out by the UFC’s recent string of immediate rematches I can’t really argue with the decision to put these two together again right away.

As for which result was most pleasing, again there’s not much competition. I’ve had a personal distaste for Shinya Aoki for quite some time. In my opinion he’s consistently overrated by most MMA rankings, and I can think of at least 5 UFC lightweights that would wipe the floor with Aoki if he ever attempted a career on American soil. His mixed rules match-up with K-1 stand-out Yuichiro Nagashima seemed like a train wreck waiting to happen, but I don’t think anyone expected the result would be so satisfying. Aoki managed to do just about anything and everything to avoid his opponents striking during the kickboxing round, only to be brutally knocked out in less than 5 seconds once the MMA round started. In my eyes this was karma coming back around to slap Aoki silly after his flagrant disregard for Mizuto Hirota‘s safety at last year’s Dynamite!! event.

Conlan: I can’t agree with Adam’s disappointing in Edgar vs. Maynard, and in fact I’d say it was the most pleasing result of the trio for me. A fight many labeled as prime for providing a dull decision after twenty-five minutes of blanketing turned into an “ooh”-fest from the opening bell. Edgar was on the verge of being finished a number of times in the first before living up to the iron in his initials by making one of the most miraculous recoveries of the past few years. When the fight ended I wanted to see another round or two. Now I’ll be lucky enough to see up to five.

As far as the other end of the spectrum I’d say it’s a tie between Kazushi Sakuraba’s ear falling off at “Dynamite!! Power of Courage” and Roxanne Modafferi falling victim to illness shortly before her SRC bout against Hitomi Akano. It was disheartening to see a Sakuraba come apart like Jeff Goldblum in “The Fly” after everything he’s meant to MMA, plus I really felt like his match-up with Marius Zaromskis had potential for a being a fun fight (striker vs. grappler who both need a win). I was also bummed out to see Modafferi sidelined by sickness because in having spoken with her during the weeks leading up to the Akano fight I know how excited she was and how much she had sacrificed to fight at the show. It would have been one thing for her to be beaten in the ring but for Modafferi to have never had the chance to win or lose was far more disappointing to see.

Do you feel that the winner of Strikeforce’s upcoming heavyweight tournament should be considered the best heavyweight fighter in the world?

Conlan: Not necessarily, because it’s too early to know exactly how the Strikeforce World Grand Prix will unfold. For example, Andrei Arlovski could win the tournament by beating Sergei Kharitonov, Brett Rogers, and Valentijn Overeem depending on how things play out on the injury and performance fronts. Clearly accomplishing the feat would be impressive but hardly a case for Arlovski leapfrogging any number of top heavyweights. Likewise, if Alistair Overeem, Fabricio Werdum, or Fedor Emelianenko emerges unscathed at the end of the three-round event there could definitely be a case for unseating Cain Velasquez from the division’s throne (who also happens to be out for 6-8 months with an injured shoulder).

Tool: Bren’s pretty much right on the money here, as any of three top fighters in the brackets could easily jump to a #1 ranking with a win in this tournament. This is especially true given the way the tournament has been laid out, as Emelianenko, Werdum, and Overeem are all on the same side of the brackets. Josh Barnett has a fairly easy road to the finals (and I’d be surprised if he doesn’t make it there) and I don’t think he jumps to #1 with a win in the tournament, especially considering his inactivity in the last few years. Guys like Arlovski, Silva, Rogers, and Kharitonov are all wild card picks but I don’t expect to see them jumping too far up the heavyweight rankings even if they do manage to go all the way. I like Fedor to win the tournament and if he can do so then he’ll undoubtedly reclaim the top spot on most heavyweight lists.

Should the UFC create an interim heavyweight championship while Cain Velasquez is out for 6-8 months, and if so who would you slot in against Junior Dos Santos for that fight?

Conlan: Not only do I intensely dislike the concept of interim titles, I also don’t think one is close to being required in the case of the heavyweight division. The UFC generally puts their champions in the cage twice a year, maybe three times maximum, so being out until mid-2011 isn’t much longer than a promotional title-holder would normally sit out between defenses as is. I also see Velasquez’s work-ethic putting his recovery time on the early side of 6-8 months meaning he could still potentially be ready to fight Dos Santos at the UFC’s annual July 4 Weekend extravaganza.

However, for the sake of argument, if the UFC does decide to let Dos Santos square off against one of his peers and “Cigano” is willing to risk his crack at Cain I think the only logical choice is Brock Lesnar (assuming he still wants to fight). If you run down the list of potential contenders it is nearly impossible to find a notable UFC heavyweight who has strung more than two wins together as of late. Stefan Struve may be the only exception and I don’t see him as a realistic possibility. Lesnar brings an enormous amount drawing power with him into the ring, as well as the opportunity to set up either a rematch with Velasquez or offer a huge push to Dos Santos’ career depending on the end result of their fight. In a day where Vitor Belfort gets a title-shot without a win in the UFC’s middleweight division, or Edgar is given back-to-back immediate rematches, putting Lesnar and Dos Santos together for an interim belt makes as much sense as you could ask for given the situation.

Tool: Here’s some facts to consider. In the 17 year history of the UFC there have been five interim titles created, and three of those were in the heavyweight division. The history of the UFC Heavyweight Championship is wrecked with injuries, contract disputes, and positive steroid tests. No fighter in the history of the sport has defended the heavyweight strap on more than two occasions. For lack of a better explanation, that belt is apparently cursed.

Not only is the championship cursed, at the moment the entire UFC heavyweight division is in shambles. After a strong comeback in recent years the weight class is now a virtual standstill with fighters being injured (Carwin), locked in contract disputes (Nelson), or hiding somewhere in the Minnesota wilderness (Lesnar). Former kings of the division now appear to be on the downward slope of their career, while a number of younger fighters are still not quite ready for contention. Given all the options available I’d suggest that Dos Santos take up knitting or some other sort of hobby, as an interim title fight would make little-to-no sense with any opponent currently on the Zuffa roster.

Give our readers at least one good reason to tune in to Strikeforce Challengers tonight.

Conlan: I’ll highlight one of the obvious two and I suspect Adam may focus on the other – Stoney “The Skuller” Hale.

All due respect to Hale, and best of luck to him in his bout, but I’m kidding in the sense that Dan Cormier and Tyron Woodley are clearly the dynamic duo drawing fans’ attention to the event. As far as a good reason to tune in, I’ll offer you one better than simply breakdown of either’s skills. You should watch because you will see the first defeat of Woodley’s career when he faces 10-2 Tarec Saffiedine.

Woodley is a terrific wrestler, extremely athletic, and has improving stand-up but he has yet to face an opponent of Saffiedine’s caliber. Nicknamed “Sponge” because of his ability to soak up information while training, the 24-year old Belgian is currently on a three-fight win streak and found success nine of the last ten times he’s stepped into the ring including a decision over the always-tough Brock Larson last September at Shark Fights 13. He’s never been finished in his career with both losses coming by way of the judges’ scorecards and is good at submitting opponents off his back (meaning Woodley’s wrestling could work against him in a sense). Though I have a great deal of appreciation for the arsenal of “T-Wood”, I think Saffiedine is a bit more technical and will end up pulling out a victory this evening.

Also, and perhaps the best reason, the event is being shown during Showtime’s “Free Preview Weekend” so it’s live MMA everyone can watch even if they don’t have a subscription to the network its being broadcast on.

Tool: Woodley vs. Saffiedine is as fine a main event as the Strikeforce Challengers series has ever seen. That being said, I invite you to tune in this evening to see the best MMA prospect that was a part of the last Ultimate Fighter season. In fact you should try to watch him tonight since you didn’t get to see him fight on the Ultimate Fighter. I’m talking about former Olympic competitor (and “Team Koscheck” wrestling coach) Cormier. Cormier has been essentially unstoppable thus far in his career, winning six fights in 14 months after turning pro. I hate to overhype a guy who’s still awaiting his second year as a fighter but if there’s anybody on the card who stands to do big things in his division, it’s Cormier.

  • Niv says:

    Well guys this has become a dilemma for the UFC and more so for Pettis. It’s been stated over and over that the biggest loser of Edgar vs Maynard was Pettis and they’re right. The prospects of him even being fed an easy fight at LW are slim to none as it may be an even deeper division than LHW. I think the Guida fight is very dangerous for Pettis but I like it. If he wins against Guida it will prove to most he’s more than worthy of the next shot, if he loses well that’s the way the cookie crumbles.

    As for UFC interim HW title, forget it. What a monumental waste of time again the other loser here is JDS, but he either waits out his turn or gambles it away as there are very few prospects here.

    The winner of the SF HW tournament should be ranked #1 depending on who they go through agreed. If either Werdum, Overeem or Fedor win I’d say for sure. I like many believe Fedor will win it all, and have Overeem as the next best bet. However we’re all guilty of selling Werdum down the river as he’s beaten both fighters in the past, I will not count him out at all here.

    Chael Sonnen is a class A douchebag, he’s a cheater and a crook however I don’t see reason to cut him yet. On a disgust level he’s high on my list, but to compare a drunk driver to a white collar crime guy is missing the mark. No one that I know of has been killed by the act of money laundering, but as a guy who’s lost a family member to a drunk driver I think the two are worlds apart. There’s a much greater case for cutting Leben or Neer than Sonnen if we were to bring outside acts into the picture. Now if Sonnen gets caught again cheating there’s no excuse to keep him, I for one will not shed a tear if it happens.

    SF challengers series agreed is worth watching to see Cormier in action. I for one am glad he wasn’t thrust into the HW tournament as you don’t want to destroy the guys psyche before he gets more experience in the ring. I look forward to seeing big things from this horse in the near future.

  • MCM says:

    I think Pettis should have another fight at LW, but unlike most people I think Guida is a bad idea. A fight between these two is either gonna derail the momentum Guida has shut down any title shot for Anthony. No, what Pettis needs is a fighter that he has a fair chance of beating but one that, if he lost too, would not knock him too far down the ladder. Enter Sean Sherk.
    Sherk is a former UFC LW champ and former UFC WW #1 contender whose only losses in his entire career have come to champions. He has been out of the title mix for over a year and has said that he wants to fight these new up and comers.
    Pettis is an inventive striker that would easily hold the advantage in the stand up and has pretty damn good takedown defense as well. If Pettis were to win, he holds a win over a former champ and is right back into the #1 or #2 spot. If he loses, well it’s his first fight in the UFC and he lost to a former champ that only losses to champs, so another win or two puts him right back in the mix.

    I don’t want any more interim titles in the HW divsion. That said, if 6 months go by and it doesn’t look like Cain will be back for another 6 more, then I wouldn’t be opposed to it. By that time, someone else should have also worked their way back up to deserving a title shot (I’m looking at you Carwin).

    Yes, Chael should be fired. I understand the emotional reason behind those discussing the difference between Drunk Driving and Money Laundering, and IMO drunk driving is no different than walking down the street randomly firing off a loaded gun, but a DUI is, legally speaking, a misdemeanor. What Chael did is a felony. And to me, that makes all the difference. It’s not bad judgment done on the spur of the moment but a calculated, though out plan committed over a period time to knowingly commit a crime.

    I wish Cormier was in the tourney, but since he is not (at this point anyway), I hope he at least gets a high profile fight this year. Look at what one high profile win did for Brett Rogers. He went from a virtual unknown before his fight with AA to making most peoples top 10 list. Cormier has a much better combat sport background than Rogers and has the potential to make a much bigger in the HW division.

  • LiverPunch says:

    MCM said it perfectly. Although I think Leben is an idiot and is also a drug cheat, as far as I know he claimed full responsibility and paid for his crime in full. Sonnen on the other hand planned to commit his crime which is a felony and instead of taking responsibility he weaseled his way out by becoming a rat. He tried weaseling his way out of getting busted for PEDs too. I don’t like the way this dick operates.
    He is a real scum bag. Leben is just a F-ing idiot.
    I don’t care cut them both but I think the right thing to do is get rid of Sonnen. He is not the right person MMA wants as a future champion. Imagine if people look at MMA and see a drug cheat who committed a felony and weaseled his way out of going to jail by ratting out others as the UFC champ. Not good and not an option.
    As for Daley, trying to start a fight after a fight isn’t that bad. Most sports have punch ups and they get fined and suspended not sacked. He made a fool of himself but do you really think it had any long term impact on MMA or the way it is seen by the GP. It is fighting you know. He should have been held up as an example and fined heavily , with a suspension. He didn’t even hit him and who wouldn’t want to smack that fool in the teeth.
    Pettis vs whoever is thought of to be the other no.1 contender makes sense to me.
    Aoki being KOed after his time wasting in rd 1 was a thing of beauty. I don’t mind Aoki but I love poetic justice.
    The winner of the HWGP should be considered the no.1 outside of the UFC and Cain the no.1 inside. There is no point even ranking them on the same scale because they may as well be in different sports. I’m sick of imagining who is the best. If the UFC wont mingle then they are not part of the same rankings. World rankings and UFC rankings is the only way to go.
    Dos Santos should fight before his title shot but interim title is stupid. It is just another word for no.1 contender. It’s a title that never was.

  • BigDave says:

    I,m gonna make this short and sweet.

    Pettis needs to fight Guida and I said that before the fight between him and henderson happened the winner needs to fight Guida then if they get throught that which i dont see happening then a title shot.

    no the should not release shonnen.

    I agree with tool that the most pleasing moment was watching aoki get ktfo, and the most disappointing moment was watching the death of a legends career that was long over due.

    Should the winner of the strikefarce HW tourney be considered #1 in the world? Are you sniffing fucking glue? You can’t name a guy number one for winning a tourney that doesn’t have anyone in the top 5 in it plain and simple.

    Interm titles mean about as much as being the wwe champ, its a fake belt.

  • Pettis should take another fight. I understand he was promised a title shot, but let’s face it did Condit get a direct shot when they absorbed the WW division even though he had destroyed everyone in his way? No, he got Kapmann and lost but still put on an outstanding performance thus endearing himself to the casual fan and setting himself up for a run in the future, provided he is the first man to honestly finish chris lytle, he’ll be one of the most talked about fighters ever and Pettis could be the same. If he were to fight say…Sherk, Guida, Stephens, it provides the fans with an exciting fight, and gives Pettis a chance to showcase his skills on the big stage. He didnt run through most of his opponents in the WEC and while the kick was beautiful should he fail to perform those kicks again and again it will eventually be considered a one time thing….thankfully he always throw somethin pretty in a fight so i doubt that’ll be the case.

    Sonnen should be fired but not necessarily for the reasons everyone thinks. Yes he committed a felony crime and was popped for PEDs, but let’s look at it this way. He will be out for two years due to his probation. Two years out of the fight game is a long time. In those two years he will spend at least six months without training and the other 18 doing nothing but gym drills. Between the ring rust, the lack of exposure(let’s face it but he’s not endeared to the public after his dirty test plus a felony, so he’s not likely to land a commentary or jounalist gig) he will be semi forgotten. Couple that with the fact that he’ll be 35 by the time he gets back to working his way up the ranks again, by grinding decisions it would be another two years before he’ll get a shot at gold, and that’ll put him at 37 on the downside of his prime. Not a good sign for him.

    Edgar vs Maynard was an outstanding event and i’ll give it most pleasing as the following took place: we saw an always exciting Guida submit a game Gomi, got to see a superb grappling match in Diaz vs. Dong where the loser came out looking better than the winner in his overall scope of career longevity, we got to see Chris Leben get TKO’d(which come on who saw THAT coming?), got to watch Thiago return to form and destroy Vera,and were treated to an outstanding(if not anticlimactic ending) LW title fight. and I didnt even mention the great prelim action we got to see.
    I also was sad to see Modaferri be out with an illness and even more sad to see The Gracie killer falling apart.

    No interim belt due to the afforementioned who would be the man on the other side of the cage from JDS? sadly, we might have to wait a bit longer but this is a fight that the anticipation could make the day it happens all the better. Jr has expressed being angry at the injury(almost insinuating it was faked) and that might produce a little drama, something neither of these two have ever been involved in, and while to me that makes no difference on the excitement of this fight, to the casual fan who might not be sold on JDS yet…it just might intrigue them a little more and make for those extra few PPV buys.

  • MMA-LOGIC says:

    “Should the winner of the strikefarce HW tourney be considered #1 in the world? Are you sniffing fucking glue? You can’t name a guy number one for winning a tourney that doesn’t have anyone in the top 5 in it plain and simple.”

    Zewkey has Fedor and Alistair in the top 5. Fight Matrix has Werdum and Fedor. Sherdog has Fedor and Werdum .MMA weekly has Fedor and Werdum. Fight magazine has Fedor, Werdum and Alistair. Independent world MMA rankings has Werdum and Fedor. USA today has Werdum and Fedor, This site has Fedor and Werdum etc etc

    BigDave has Who? who cares to be “plain and simple”. When every world ranking that means any thing has 2 or 3 guys in the top 5 that are participating in this tourney and you don’t, you need to take a good hard look at yourself. YOU ARE IN DENIAL. Why? I do not know or care. This tourney has 5 top 10s in my humble opinion (Alistair, Werdum, Fedor, Big Foot and Barnett) a couple of top 15s (Rogers and Arlovski) and 1 top 20 Kharitonov. Is it because they don’t have UFC HWs in their Dave?.

    The UFC would be absolutely crazy not to let Sonnen go. Like LP said, he could well beat Silva and the UFC does not want a rat bastard criminal who cheats as an ambassador for it’s brand. The guy is a bit of a dick anyway. Drop him quick.

    Pettis vs George, Jim, Sean, Kenny or Clay for the next shot.

    The most disappointing result for me was Duffee vs Overeem. Not because Overeem won but because Duffee lost so very quickly. The best was Aoki shooting into a jumping knee after being such a bad sport in the 1st.

    Watched SFC and it wasn’t that great. OSP looked good in patches but gassed.

  • BigDave says:

    Goes to show you the rankings system is so subjective. fight matrix has werdum ahead of JDS even though jds destroyed him in under a minute and a half. Allistar overeem has not fought anyone to be ranked in the top five and that is just a fact take a look at his MMA opponents. Werdum made fedor look stupid and like i said he lost to jds. So ill be a bit more fair to you and say that maybe wedum is ranked 5 in the world but that is the best i can do.

    And even if we go with your arguement and use all these other sites rankings you still make my point for me. You cant have a tourney that doesn’t involve the number 1 ranked fighter in the world and call the winner the best in the world. that would be like giving the super bowl to the team leading at the half and not the end of the game.

  • Niv says:

    BigDave, many fighters who have lost have been ranked higher than the guys they lost to.

    Example most people will still rank Fedor ahead of Werdum even though he beat Fedor. BJ Penn was ranked higher than Edgar after losing to him the first time, sometimes the benefit of doubt is given based off of past performance.

    I think Werdum in shape would have probably beaten JDS, but who knows? Go watch that fight, it’s entirely Werdum’s fault but if you can find a video of him in worse shape than that fight I’d be shocked.

    He drank his own koolaid and came in expecting to mop the floor and set up for his title shot. Totally unprofessional but that’s why he may be ranked ahead of JDS.

  • Jak says:

    2 things.

    I hate that people bring up Carlos Condit not getting a title shot when the WW division was merged. He wasn’t in a mini tournament and told he would get a title shot. this isn’t rocket science.

    and 2, everybody talks this and that about Pettis not deserving a title shot, but they negate that he did something that few fighters do. with 1 minute left after fighting 24 minutes, he pulled one of the most spectacular moves we’ve ever seen in MMA.

    We’re so used to guys going for a takedown and riding out a win, and then blaming the judges when it doesn’t go their way that we can’t appreciate that at least one fighter gave us fans something unbelievable.

  • MMA-LOGIC says:

    I thought I made it clear. I don’t care what you can do or what Big Dave thinks about the top 10, you are clearly bias. The MMA world thinks Fedor, and Werdum are there and most want to put Overeem there but can’t justify it yet.
    I want to know why Joaquim Ferreira isn’t above JDS because he arm bared him in the 1st.
    Big Dave Fedor has lost once to Werdum in 30+ fights. Lesnar has lost twice in 7. You my friend are a bias UFC mark. Good luck tearing everyone out of the UFC down. They are baddies after all.

  • MMA-LOGIC says:

    Just to show you how stupid I find this UFC HWs are much better argument.

    Lets talk Cain Valasquez. He has fought 9 times. He is the UFC champ He first fought for Strikeforce. He has won against 4 UFC fighters that have not been cut. 2 of his last 6 victories were against fighters that Arlovski finished. He has only won against 2 top 10s and 1 top 5. He is justifiably no.1

    Lets talk Carwin. He has won against 1 guy in the top 10 (Mir). He has only won against 1 UFC fighter (MIR) who has not been cut. He has only won against 1 fighter in the UFC (Mir) who fought more than 10 times and has won more than half of their last 10 fights and that was a 6-4 record.

    Lets talk Dos Santos. His biggest victory was against Werdum. He has not faced a top 10 since. He has fought against Crocop 4-4 in the UFC, Nelson 2-1 in the UFC, Yvel 0-3 in the UFC and Struve who is 5-2 in the UFC. He has faced 1 top 10 and 2 top 20s.

    Now lets talk Lesnar. He is 3-2 against 4 top 10 opponents and 5-2 all up. Still a lot of question marks.

    Lets talk Mir. He is 6-4 from his last 10 and has beaten 1 top 10 and 2 top 20s. (Note he did beat Lesnar but in his 2nd MMA fight ever).

    Lets talk Nog. He is 7-3 from his last 10 with 3 victories over top 10s and 2 over top 20s.

    Lets talk Werdum. He is 7-3 from his last 10 with victories over 4 top 10s and 1 top 20 and Alistair Overeem.

    Lets talk Fedor. He is 30-2-1 and is 9-1 from his last 10 with 4 wins over top 10s which includes 2 over no.2s and 1 over no.5. with another 2 over top 20s.

    Now lets talk Alistair Overeem. He is9-0-1 from his last 10 with 1 victory over a top 10 and 1 over a top 20. He is the SF, Dream and K1 champ. His MMA opponents are highly questionable recently so he is considered a top 5 by many but needs to prove it.

    Now just to show you something. Lets talk AA. He is 5-5 over his last 10 but has 3 victories over top 20s. Roy nelson is 7-3 but has lost to the only 3 top 20 opponents he has faced in that time inclding Arlovski, Monson and Dos Santos. He is ranked 7th in the UFC.

  • MMA-LOGIC says:

    Oh meant to say AA would probably be ranked 7th-9th in SF.
    Big Foot
    and then AA, Del Rosario, Lavar, Kharitonov.

  • MCM says:

    “Now lets talk Alistair Overeem. He is9-0-1 from his last 10 with 1 victory over a top 10 and 1 over a top 20. He is the SF, Dream and K1 champ.” – MMA LOGIC

    Not to pick a fight Logic, but who was the top 10 fighter he beat? I know that Rogers was the top 20, but you’re not counting Paul Buentello as the top 10 are you? Also, did he win the Dream HW championship or not?
    I think you’re right when you said people want to rank him higher, but he’s never beaten anyone to prove it…..yet.

  • MMA-LOGIC says:

    No Brett Rogers was still considered top 10 and Buentello was top 20. Rogers was no.5 (approx)when he fought Fedor and dropped to 9 or 10 (approx) when he fought Overeem. He is now 12 on Fightmatrix and considered top 15 by most rankings (after losing to Overeem). My personal opinion is that he needs to prove himself a bit more. I would still give him top 20 though. I would love to see Rogers vs Carwin.
    Yeah he won the Dream HW championship against Duffee. Dumb I know but it’s true. I guess they had to start somewhere and Overeem is a good K1 company man and is worthy in a way.


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