Monday, April 27, 2009

My Take on the Kyle Maynard Fight

The sport of mixed martial arts was very lucky that Kyle Maynard wasn't hurt badly during his fight unsanctioned mma bout in Alabama. It has come a long way from the no hold barred shows with no weight classes that almost drove the sport to extinction.

Opponents of the sport will not understand, nor want to understand, that where he took this fight has no sanctioning body so he didn't have to be licensed to fight. Organizations such as the UFC, Strikeforce, Affliction, or even small local promotions like Next Level Fighting in Steubenville, OH and Tuff N Uff in Las Vegas, NV would never allow for fights like this to occur in their organizations nor would the states these organizations put their shows on in even license a fighter like Maynard to fight. Opponents of the sport will point to this fight as another reason why MMA is still nothing more than "human cockfighting" and that those involved do not care for the safety of the fighters.

While I respect Kyle as an athlete and a man as well as for wanting to chase his dreams, there is a reason he had to go to a state with no governing body in order to be able to fight. Football, basketball, baseball, hockey, and boxing wouldn't allow a spectacle like this to go on and I don't believe that there is a governing body in the country that would have licensed this fight either. Unfortunately at unsanctioned events such as these they can continue to risk fighters with no worry about the consequences to the people involved or the sport they are "promoting." I hope this pushes Alabama to form a governing body for the sport.

If this fight was going to occur the best result was what occurred. His opponent jabbed his way to a boring victory as Kyle shot in for takedowns and became frustrated. I just hope that someone doesn't end up teaching him a harsher lesson about the sport, seriously injuring him and quite possibly the sport he is trying so hard to be a part.

Middleweight Top 10: Anderson Silva and the Rest of the World

1. Anderson Silva- Despite less than exciting performances in his last two fights this is much like Fedor in the Heavyweight rankings. Is there really any question?

2. Yushin Okami- Give him a title shot soon please. He is a strong talented Middleweight with the ability to beat anyone in the division. Plus he owns a 2006 DQ victory over Anderson Silva. I for one am ready to see this one happen. Plus if Dana White wants to see Anderson Silva at his most dangerous and agressive then the taste left in his mouth when he thinks of his last fight with Okami should bring that out in him.

3. Nate Marquardt-A big win versus Wilson Gouveia has his fans clamouring for another fight with Silva. If he gets it I don't see it ending any better than the last one.

4. Dan Henderson- A win over Mike Bisping at UFC 100 solidifies him as a top 10 fighter in the weight class and ups his win streak to three after his post Pride rough patch. A loss drops him and propels Bisping to the top 10. I see the former happening.

5. Robbie Lawler- Dangerous striking combined with terrific takedown defense. His upcoming fight with Jake Shields for Strikeforce is one to be looked forward to as a fight of the year candidate.

6. Demain Maia- I thought Chael Sonnen would expose him as a one dimensional fighter. Less than one round later I felt foolish in picking against him. I still think he is one dimensional. Admittedly he is phenomenal at that one dimension. I just hope if he gets his title shot he doesn't fight like Leites did against Silva or Lister did against Okami.

7. Gegard Mousasi- Some have him ranked as high as 2 or 3. I feel that's a little high but he is definitely a force to be reckoned with. Would love to see him in the UFC to bolster their weakest division. Unfortunately I don't see that happening at this time. Oh well, it doesn't look like he is going to stay at Middleweight anyway.

8. Vitor Belfort- He sure as heck has looked like he is back. We'll see if he can stay hungry and winning.

9. Jorge Santiago- Nine straight wins. All of those nine by stoppage. He is on a roll and dangerous to anyone he fights right now.

10. Chael Sonnen- Sure he lost in the first round by submission to Demian Maia in his UFC debut. I chalk it up to the Octagon jitters that plague so many fighter in their first UFC appearance. Look for a far more impressive outing in his next appearance.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

My Light Heavyweight Top 10

1.Rashad Evans- This division is tough at the top but right now coming off the Griffin win I have to give the top spot to the UFC Champion. We'll see if he can hold on to it after his date with fellow undefeated light heavy Lyoto Machida at UFC 98 next month.

2.Rampage Jackson- After his win against Jardine he was in line to get a shot at winning the UFC title back but the turn around was too quick. That set up the Evans-Machida match up. I think this man is the only fighter capable of beating both Evans and Machida right now. Let's hope that some out of the cage drama or an upset in his next fight doesn't derail his chance to prove me right.

3. Lyoto Machida- He gets a shot at Evans and the UFC title at UFC 98. After he beat Thiago Silva his ditractors said that Silva was overrated anyway. What will they say if he is able to beat Evans?

4. Forrest Griffin- Forrest is an enigma to me. He is a tough fighter who on any given night is capable of beating any of the top fighters in his division. See the Rampage and Shogun fights. He is also capable of losing to them as well. See Evans and Jardine. We'll have to see if he can fight his way back into a title shot. At UFC 101 against Thiago Silva he gets to attempt his first step back there.

5. Shogun Rua- It actually pained me a little to put him at number 5 on this list but I couldn't in good conscience put any of the fighters I have below him above him. He hasn't fully impressed me since arriving in the UFC. He debuts by getting dominated by Forrest Griffin. His second fight had him look mediocre against a 44 year old Mark Coleman who was making his first cut to 205 as a fighter. Finally he looked impressive in knocking out a man that is now 1-4 in his last 5 fights including 2 other brutal KOs. Evan if that guy was Chuck Liddell it doesn't mean much in my eyes. He was the best in the world coming over from Pride and he has the potential at his young age to get there again. We shall see when he gets a rematch with Griffin or a shot at some other top 10 fighter in the cage.

6. Luis Cane- The up and comer doesn't have that resume' changing win on his record yet but he is 10-1 with his only loss coming by DQ when he kneed James Irvin to the head on the ground in his UFC debut. Look out for to make some noise in this division.

7. Antonio Rogerio Nogueria- Would like to see him go to the UFC and make an already deep pool of Light Heavys deeper. Don't think he would end up champion but he would surely cause a stir.

8. Wanderlei Silva- Would like to see him make the move down to 185 where he would fit better and make the division stronger. He is a dangerous opponent for anyone still and also a fun fight for the fans to watch whoever he is in the cage with. The Rich Franklin catchweight fight should be interesting.

9. Keith Jardine- The Dean of Mean's awkward style makes him dangerous against anyone. I never see him getting to the top of the division but I see him being there to mess it up for other wannabes who can't solve his jerky style for years to come.

10. Thiago Silva- Lyoto Machida handed him his first loss in emphatic fashion. Can he keep from tasting his first losing streak when he faces Forrest Griffin at UFC 101?

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

My Top 10 Heavyweights

1. Fedor Emelianenko- Is there any question?

2. Josh Barnett- He may not have had his best performance against Yvel but I can't see any of the other men on this list defeating him save possibly Arlovski on a good day. Josh should get his chance to show that there is not the gap between Fedor and the rest of the division that their appears to be at the next Affliction card.

3. Andrei Arlovski- Arlovski looked as good as anyone in the world for about 3 minutes in his fight with Fedor. And then he didn't anymore. Kids, I know flying knees look good in the highlight reels but they are not a toy and should be used responsibly.

4. Frank Mir- The interim UFC Heavyweigth Champion owns a win over the UFC Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar by submission and over Big Nog by TKO. We'll get to see if his BJJ has improved by as much as he said it has since he began training with Demian Maia or if Lesnar has improved his sub defense enough to avenge his loss at UFC 100.

5. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueria- Despite his losss to Mir, Nog is still one of the most dangerous fighters in the division. I'd probably pick him in a rematch with Mir should that happen and to beat The Natural at UFC 102.

6. Brock Lesnar- Can this monster with a terrific amateur wrestling background and fists like frozen turkeys defend submissions against a top BJJ guy? Stay tuned to UFC 100 to find out.

7. Randy Couture- The Natural looked good in his fight with Lesnar until the superior strength of Lesnar caught up to him. A match up of legends is on the horizon with Nogueira at UFC 102.

8. Alistair Overeem- He is rumored to be defending his Strikeforce Heavyweight Title in 2009. Possibly with a chance to avenge an 2006 loss to Fabricio Werdum.

9. Shane Carwin- After a big win over Gabriel Gonzaga this monster is climbing the ranks. Can he keep his streak of stoppages alive against whoever the UFC next puts in his path?

10. Junior Dos Santos- The young Brazillian Heavyweight followed up his TKO win over Fabricio Werdum with a TKO over Stefan Struve at UFC 95. If he is as good as he has looked he should be able to get past his next hurdle, Justin McCully at UFC 102.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Anderson Silva Owes No One an Apology

According to Kevin Iole of Yahoo Sports Dana White and many other fans seem to think otherwise though.
http://sports.yahoo.com/mma/news;_ylt=Ap00z02T62kU_98u9tOwYx89Eo14?slug=ki-silva041909&prov=yhoo&type=lgns

I find it ridiculous that Dana White is apologizing for Anderson Silva and that fans and writers are attacking him for what was admittedly a very boring fight with Thales Leites on Saturday night in Canada. I am one of the few fools that decided to pick Leites to pull the upset in this fight but my pick was contingent on Leites actually wanting to fight. What is Silva supposed to do when a fighter runs the entire fight and when he feels he may be hit he flops to his back. Dean Lister and Kalib Starnes must have been watching and thinking to themselves, heck I could have done that why can't I get a title shot? Silva may have been able to push the pace a little more at times in this fight but the overall tone is mainly on Leites head. Was Silva supposed to reward Leites for his flopping by giving him what he wanted and falling into his guard making the fight a grappling match? That thought process is preposterous. Silva is much too smart a champion to get sucked into that type of game. I know he didn't want to stand with Silva but if he wanted to win he would have attempted to fight in and score takedowns or even got in close and attempted to pull guard. Instead of looking like a hungry fighter that wanted to be champion he looked every bit of the fighter that many said belonged nowhere near a title fight. Is it possible to go from challenger in a title fight to completely out of the UFC in one night? It may very well be after Saturday and Leites most likely laid the blueprint for any fighter trying to accomplish this embarrassing feat in the future.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Anderson Silva will lose at UFC 97

That's right. You read the headline correct. Anderson Silva is going to lose his fight with Thales Leites at UFC 97 this Saturday, April 18. The number one middleweight in the world and one of the fighters in the "best pound for pound" discussion is going to be upset by his fellow Brazillian. This fight has all the makings of an upset. You don't even hear much about it. It's a given in the minds of most that Silva will walk right through Letes using his superior striking ability. Also you hear more talk about Chuck Liddell fighting Mauricio "Shogun" Rua. Heck the UFC sign on the 15 here in Las Vegas has a picture of Liddell and Shogun on it. What does the UFC think of Leites chances in this title fight when their own billboard near the Las Vegas strip hypes a fight between a past his prime fighter that is 1-3 in his last 4 fights against a fighter that has nowhere near lived up to his hype since arriving in the UFC? That fight would have been a superfight 3 or 4 years ago. Today? Eh. The Silva fight is for the middleweight title for Pete's sake and it involves someone that Dana White hypes as the best pound for pound in the world and the UFC doesn't even put it on their own billboard? Let's be honest about it. When Silva is discusssed recently the only things you really hear are questions about whether he will be fighting GSP in a potential superfight or will he move up to 205 permanently where the proverbial water is deeper. People have seemed to forget that Thales Leites is 14-1 and has world class grappling skills. His submissions are deadly. He is not a fighter to be slept on. Travis Lutter in his loss to Anderson Silva was able to obtain a mount. You mean to tell me people don't believe Leites can put himself in the same position? He can and will. And believe you me when he finds himself in this position he will hand Silva his third loss by submission and fifth overall. Daiju Takase and Ryo Chonan own submission victories over Silva in their careers. Daiju Takse? Who? Exactly. You mean to tell me none of you believe that Leites is capable of pulling off this mythical feat? I'm not not one of those people that believe just because one guy wins in a certain way that another guy will definitely do the same. MMA doesn't work that way. And I also know Silva hasn't tasted defeat since 2006 against Yushin Okami by DQ and his last submission loss was 2004 to Chonan. But when something that is possible is believed to be impossible that is when big things happen. Sure, on most nights Anderson Silva is the superior fighter. On most nights I would pick him to win by a first round KO. Every fighter loses though. I just believe this is one of those times for Silva. The time and situation are ripe for one of those jaw dropping upsets. Thales Leites is going to pluck that upset right off the tree and bring himself home Anderson Silva's middleweight title along with one of his arms or legs.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Strikeforce musings.

After watching the Strikeforce card on Showtime headlined by Nick Diaz and Frank Shamrock I have a few things to talk about.

1. Cris Cyborg and Gina Carano are setting back their sport with there inability to make weight for nationally televised fights. These are supposed to be the two best female fighters in the world and a potential match up between them should be huge for the sport of women's mma. Unfortunately a sport that would probably not even be noticed if it weren't for the fact that it's biggest star possesses covergirl looks takes another huge hit at legitimacy when said star and her potential biggest rival have these embarrassing moments for televised fights. How professional does it look to not make weight for a fight. Even for "women troubles." Women troubles? Are you serious? While I admit that there are physiological differences between men and women the athlete still needs to know her body and do her job by making the set weight for the fight she is getting paid for. I also find it extremely embarrassing that Cyborg had the audacity to celebrate beating a fighter that was a 128 lb champion in Japan and who typically fights at 135 like she had just won a world title in a legitimate fight. Jumping to the top of the cage after dominating a fight that you were 7 lbs overweight for is ridiculous. Hopefully women's mma's top two fighters get their act together professionally so they can help lift there sport for the future.

2. Scott Smith vs. Benji Radach is an early contender for fight of the year 2009. If you saw it you know why. If you haven't find a video of it and watch it. You will not be sorry. I look forward to a rematch between these tough, entertaining fighters.

3. Nick Diaz knocked out probably the only fighter in mma that I could enjoy watching Nick Diaz knock out. I have always thought of Diaz as a punk. A gifted punk but a punk nonetheless. Though I have felt this way Shamrock's arrogance has always rubbed me wrong and to see Diaz dominate him the way he did actually brought a smile to my face. Adding to it was the way Diaz handled his win. He helped Shamrock up, called him a legend, and displayed class in victory. Maybe I was wrong about Diaz. Is it possible to go from disliking a fighter to becoming a fan? After last night I think it may very well be.

4. Strikeforce and Showtime need to keep Pat Militich as a broadcaster. He is knowledgeable, well spoken, and seems to keep what he is watching in perspective. That being said Gus Johnson should go back to other sports and Mauro Ranallo should sign a deal with the WWE and stay out of legitimate sports broadcasting. I typically like Gus Johnson but with mma he seems like a fish out of water. Maybe with time though he can improve and I may change may mind but I'm not sure I can forgive him calling Seth Petruzelli Rocky after he knocked out that overhyped clown known as Kimbo Slice. Ranallo on the other hand is absolutely attrocious. He overhypes everything he sees, his comment are rarely on point and when he said to Militich that it must have been a wise man who said that Scott Smith could only win his fight with Radach by knockout I thought Pat was going to slap him. Please lose him.

5. Strikeforce overall put on a terrific mma show on Showtime. A solid, yet one-sided main event. A fight of the year candidate on the undercard. A bruising heavyweight match up featuring a tough up and comer in Brett Rogers. A world top 10 lightweight in Gilbert Melendez. Subtract a debacle of a female fight and some needed improvements in their announce crew and I would give it an A-. With those minor, fixable minuses I still give it a solid B.