After an eventful first two rounds, the crew of 5 Oz. of Pain is back with the third round of our first annual Fantasy MMA Mock Draft.
For a full run down of the first two rounds and a detailed explanation about what this draft is about, just click here.
But to make a long story short, this is not a pound-for-pound top fighter list. What we’re doing is essentially pretending that every fighter in the world is suddenly declared a free agent with six new organizations selecting talent through a draft format.
The idea is to see how six different fans would construct their organization and which fighters they would select to help them execute their vision. Much like real world MMA, every promoter has their different philosophy with each organization establishing its own identity.
To see who the staff drafted in the third round, just click below.
ROUND 3 –
3.1 Adam Morgan: Jake Shields
Previous Picks: Georges St. Pierre (round 1) and Kimbo Slice (round 2)
Analysis: Now that I’ve got my two big stars, Georges St. Pierre and Kimbo Slice, I need to deepen my divisions with other top caliber talent. The addition of Jake Shields not only puts another top ten welterweight into my welterweight division, but it also creates an opportunity for a GSP vs. Shields fight sooner rather than later. This is a fight that would be impossible otherwise and is a dream matchup for hardcore fans.
Once we build Jake Shields into a star (he’s got the looks, he’s got the skills, and he trains with a high profile team), we’ll have one hell of a main event for an upcoming pay per view. We’ve seen GSP vs. Serra, Hughes, and Koscheck, but Shields has never been an option and he may be better than all three of those previously mentioned. Now that fight is a real possibility.
Some may view Shields as a questionable pick here, but to have a legitimate promotion I need at least one extremely deep division to put on entertaining fights and to make our titles meaningful. Shields not only brings top caliber talent to the division, he brings marketability potential as well. Shields has great value for me at this spot in the draft and he’s someone I couldn’t pass up on.
3.2 Mike Huckaby: Wanderlei Silva
Previous Picks: Chuck Liddell (round 1) and Forrest Griffin (round 2)
Analysis: Again, hurt by the fact I didn’t get Couture but I’m happy. Liddell, Forrest, Wanderlei. I want to sell tickets. Another top light heavyweight and this gives me the opportunity to fight in Japan and/or Brazil. He might have lost to Chuck but he should charge Jardine like Houston Alexander did and get the win that way. I can face him off with a top guy or have him fight Hironoshi Yoshiyoka (made up name), it doesn’t really matter. Three top light heavyweights.
3.3 Ram Maramba: Urijah Faber
Previous Picks: Quinton Jackson (round 1) and Randy Couture (round 2)
Analysis: Now I can focus strictly on talent rather than trying to take every facet into account. I also need to get younger, captain another division and if possible, someone dominant who can win long enough to stay in the limelight. Ah, there you are Urijah Faber!
It was a tough choice between him and J.Z. Calvan, but Faber gets the benefit of the doubt because of his stage presence. He’s young, blonde and chicks dig ‘im. He also brings up the bottom end of the divisions of SDRBFF, featherweight. I like the way Zuffa splits their divisions between the UFC and the WEC (though I think the LHW division should disappear from the latter), but I don’t have that luxury and I’d hate to cut out a division crowded with talent.
3.4 Matt Cava: Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira
Previous Picks: B.J. Penn (round 1) and Anderson Silva (round 2)
Analysis: Sniped by Ram again (was about to grab Urijah). As the anchor of my heavyweight division, Nogueira will leave it all in the cage for every fight. The guy is a warrior in every sense of the word. His record of 31-4 is filled with big wins over big names (Sylvia, Henderson, Herring, Cro Cop, Barnett) and likes to make his opponent cry “uncle”. Nog can take a beating and his never quit attitude demands respect from his peers and fans alike. Nogueira doesn’t need to smack talk; he steps into the cage, beats you down, taps you out, and then shakes your hand. Most people think Minotauro is older than dirt with 35 pro fights already under his belt, but the guy is only 32 and will be tops in the heavyweight division for several more years.
3.5 Sam Caplan: Josh Barnett
Previous Picks: Brock Lesnar (round 1) and Fedor Emelianenko (round 2)
Analysis: When I started out this draft, my strategy was to build a compelling heavyweight division. That was my plan going in and that’s the plan I am sticking to. My hope was that either Randy Couture or Kimbo Slice would fall to me in this spot but in hindsight, that was wishful thinking. Fortunately, Cava went with Nogueira over Barnett, because my preference in this spot is without question Barnett. I’m a Nogueira fan but the reality is that I have major questions whether his stardom in the U.S. will ever rival what it was in Japan. With Barnett, I feel he has all the skills needed to be every bit the star he was while with PRIDE.
Barnett is not a striker, but he’s a great fighter and very active on the ground. He also fights with tremendous heart and you know he’s going to give you 100% every time he fights. Barnett is also not afraid to fight injured, which is an asset when trying to market big fights that he’s involved in. In the cage or ring, he’s a standout but his ability to market himself is even more intriguing to me. The “Babyface Assassian” is articulate and knows how to get people interested in his fights. So while he’s not an overly recognizable star in the U.S. right now, all he needs is a platform to sell himself to the public.
Having Barnett puts SAMMA in a position where it can eventually make big-time matchups such as Fedor vs. Lesnar, Barnett vs. Fedor, and Barnett vs. Lesnar.
3.6 Sam Cupitt: Gesias “JZ Calvan” Calvancante
Previous Picks: Frank Shamrock (round 1) and Tito Ortiz (round 2)
Analysis: Lightweights baby, it’s the way to go. Heavyweights are good in theory but in reality most of their fights are very sloppy and can make for very dismal viewing. The exceptions to that rule are already spread amongst the rest of you, so I’m not really worried about getting trumped by any heavyweight superfights.
I chose J.Z. firstly because he can arguably be called the Number 1 lightweight fighter in the world and he’s a very exciting fighter. Sure, there’s probably a good chance your average fan knows me more than they know J.Z. but if Bob Meyrowitz has ever said anything right it’s that tournaments make stars. I don’t mean single night 8-man fatty fests held inside crockery shaped fighting arenas, but more so an 8-man tournament spread over three events.
The Frank Shamrock and Tito Ortiz rematch will reach more people than any other fight my other writers can make. Those viewers will come for the Superfight but will stick around for future events because of the always exciting lightweight division. J.Z. is at the top of the list when it comes to exciting lightweights.