UFC, PRIDE, WEC, K1, EliteXC, IFL, Bodog, etc.

Not too long ago I posted regarding the signing of some of the other MMA stars.  I wonder with all the fighting organizations out there in MMA, does it hurt MMA?  for me it is hard to keep up, it is hard to determine the best fighters.  I would love to see all the best fighters be in one league.  Perhaps you could have another league to develop the lesser known guys, as a sort of farm system.  We have UFC, WEC, K1 Heroes, EliteXC, Bodog, Strikeforce and IFL.  We have more starting like Mark Cuban’s stuff.  I understand that there are politics and stuff invovled in which fighters go where, and there are slightly differing rules, but there are some guys I want to see in the UFC against the best of the UFC.  Here are some of the guys I want to see…

  • Fedor 
  • Urijah Faber (Can UFC start a 145 Lb. division with Faber, Pulver, Cub Swanson, Chase Beebe and Jeff Curran?)  I would make signing Faber a priority.
  • Carlos Condit (WEC)
  • Paulo Filho (WEC)
  • Takanori Gomi
  • Gilbert Melendez (Strikeforce)
  • Aleksander Emelianenko
  • Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou
  • Josh Barnett
  • Robbie Lawler (EliteXC)
  • Matt Lindland
  • Jake Shields (EliteXC)
  • Denis Kang
  • Nick Diaz (EliteXC)
  • Murilo “Ninja” Rua (EliteXC)
  • Cub Swanson (WEC)
  • Jeff Curran (WEC)
  • Brock Larson (WEC)
  • Rob McCullough (WEC)
  • Jason Miller (WEC)
  • Chase Beebe (He is at 135 and would have to put on some weight)

I would say UFC is the best by far.  K1 and EliteXC are growing because of the guys they are gettings.  WEC is solid.  UFC is 15 to 20 fights away from a monopoly of MMA.  Keep signing these guys…I would love to see these guys in the UFC.

Anyone have any info about the chances of the UFC getting any of these guys?

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UFC 76 Thoughts

Wow.  After having a full day to reflect on UFC 76, all I can say is wow.  I used to think I was good at predicting the outcome of fights.  Who could have predicted the outcome of some of those fights.  I don’t so much have a problem with Forrest Griffin, but I thought he had no chance against “Shogun”.  I went 4-5 in my UFC 76 precitions.  I can’t believe how sorry Chuck Liddell looked and Keith Jardine looked good.  I wanted Chuck to win, but how did one judge decide that fight went to Chuck?  He got killed.  He feared the “Dean of Mean”.  I say Chuck is done for, washed up.  He loves partying more than winning.  I used to like Chuck for his knockout power, but realized how one dimensional he is.  Jardine gave him some devestating kicks.  Also, the biggest shocker was Forrest Griffin beating Shogun in his debut.  I still say Shogun is better and will eventually hold the title in Light Heavyweight, but he needs to work on his cardio.  He won the early part of rounds and then was too tired to defend himself.  He needs to learn to go the distance.  He looked exhausted.  I hope to see Forrest get a title shot, he deserves it.   Then, I can brag about picking Fitch over Sanchez.  It looks like Fitch moved up in the rankings in a stacked weight class and I would say is one win away from a title shot.  It will be a bit considering they already have mapped out the next two title shots in that division with Hughes/Serra and then St. Pierre getting the winner for a title shot.  Look for Fitch to get one too.  Can I say he looked really good and he destroyed Diego.  Diego will be devestating at 155, wow!  Fight of the night: Tavares vs. Griffin.  Griffin shocked me.  He looked good.  It was a good night for Randy Couture trained guys (Forrest and Tyson). 

Overall, the fights were good.  I missed seeing the knockouts and tap outs that usually occur, but there were some good technical battles.   Time to look forward to UFC 77 and Silva vs. Franklin II, go Rich!

Fight Night 11 Thoughts

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The first thing that stood out to me was the Leben/Martin fight.  Everyone was saying Leben was in the best shape he has been in, but I thought he looked sickly.  Perhaps he is now Chris “the Crippled” Leben.  I was shocked that he beat Terry Martin.  I assumed Terry martin would be nearing a title shot.  It is a good thing he knocked out Martin because he was going to loose the decision and wasn’t far from being KO’d himself.  I still don’t think Leben is a better fighter than Martin, but he won so give him kudos for that.  By the way, can Terry martin say “conditioning”. 

   Also,  I thought Nate Quarry looked good.  I was glad to see him win.  Pete Sell isn;t a pushover fight either.  I can’t help but to root for the comeback fighters.  I hope he keeps doing well.  He looked rusty at first, but came into his own as the fight went on.

   The next thing that stood out was Nate Diaz.  I am not a Diaz fan, but I thought he looked real good and exerted very little effort to beat Assuancao.  He will climb the rankings some.  I still don’t think he is as good as Nick, but he did what he needed to do.  I imagine as the fights get tougher he better learn to improve his stand up.  On the ground it doesn’t get much better.  TUF 5 guys had a good night, with Gray Maynard winning quickly and Cole Miller also winning. 

By the way I went 6 and 3 with my fight predictions, not too shabby, and I was right in many of the details of how the guys would win.  (I admit I got the Leben vs. martin fight wrong, but notice what I said Leben’s only chance at beating Martin was, “stun him with a hard hit and pounce on him”)

Mir vs. Nogueira

It is reported that Frank Mir, former UFC champ will face off against former PRIDE star Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira.  This is an interesting match to me.  I like it, but it is interesting to me.  First of all because most people have Nogueira as the number 2 Heavyweight, which would make you think he would get the next title shot.  By the way, I have Arlovski at number 2 and Nogueira at 5 with Frank Mir at 9. 

So, this brings three questions to my mind.  First, if this is true, when will they fight.  I saw somewhere a suggestion that they’d fight December 29th.  This could be a good night with Hughes vs. Serra, and the Wanderlia Silva debut, hopefully against Chuck.  Second, who would win this fight.  Nogueira is tough, but I believe Frank Mir is on the rise.  I’d pick Mir especially if he looks anything like he used to.  Third, if Nogueira isn’t getting the next title shot, who is?  Could it be Fedor early in ’08?  If not it is possible to assume that the winner of this fight would get Randy if Fedor isn’t signed.

Interesting math-up.  I like seeing of new and good fights in the works, time will tell if this one will really pan out. 

Check it out.

Thoughts on Hamill vs. Bisping

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I know it has been a bit since the fight, but this fight is the one that has bothered me more than any other.  There have been a few times I disagreed with a decision.  Every fighter knows to finish a fight because the judges score cards can be lousy from time to time, but this stunk.  I appreciate Dana White’s attempts to get a rematch, but a rematch doesn’t cut it.  I have never seen anything in the UFC enrage people like this decision.  Now, we learn that Hamill was fighting with a torn ACL.  That is irrelevant.  He pounded Bisping and Bisping knew it, you could see it in his face after the bell sounded.  I can’t believe that cocky fighter after the decision.  He acts like he is the man or the best thing ever to come out of TUF.  I hate to tell him, Hamill is better and he proved it and he did it with not just one disability, but two.  Hamill fights and can’t take instructions from his corner and he was hurting.  I look forward to the rematch.  I know that Bisping cannot help a bad decision, but I will always root against him now, and you know what?  I am a Matt Hamill fan now.  The best thing that could have happened to Matt Hamill was a horrible decision.  I’d still like to see Dana White come out and publically admit it was a bad decision, and then somehow remove some of the subjectivity from the judges.  Matt “the Hammer” Hamill will drop the hammer on Michael Bisping again.  I hope Bisping sleeps well knowing he has one win he doesn’t deserve.

MY UFC 76 Pedictions…

Rich Clementi vs. Anthony Johnson

I think Anthony Johnson will beat Clementi, but it won’t be easy as Clementi is not a push over of a fighter.

Christian Wellisch vs. Scott Junk

To be honest I don’t know much about these guys, but have heard good things about Scott Junk.  He is coming into this fight with very little notice, but people say he is tough.  I even saw he was a super-heavyweight.  I say Junk wins, but I am just guessing here since I have never seen him.

Diego Saraiva vs. Jeremy Stephens

Jeremy Stephens lost to Din Thomas in UFC 71.  I don;t expect him to loose to this guy.  Stephens is too good and Saraiva hasn’t given me one reason to pick him, since he has lost his 2 UFC appearances. 

Matt Wiman vs. Michihiro Omigawa

I like Matt Wiman for some reason.  I rooted for him somewhat in TUF 5.  He sometimes comes across as slightly timid.  I am taking Wiman to win by submission.

Tyson Griffin vs. Thiago Tavares

I’d say this will be a great fight and will be very technical.  Barring a submission I look for this fight to go the distance.  I am honestly torn between who to pick.  I’ll go with Tavares.  He is undefeated and I expect it to stay that way.  Griffin is good, and will move up the rankings, but he has only fought two notable guys and one he lost to (Edgar) and the other I believe he lost and got the decision (Guida).   I pick Tavares to go 14-0.

Ryoto Machida vs. Kazuhiro Nakamura

Wow. I just looked up Nakamura’s fights on Sherdog and he has fought some great fighters.  He hasn’t beaten them, but he has fought solid competiton (Wanderlai, Henderson, Shogun, Barnett, and Nogueira), he even beat Kevin Randleman.  Kaz hasn’t fought yet in 2007, which will hurt him.  Machida is good, real good.  He has beaten some quality guys such as B.J. Penn, David Heath, Rich Franklin, and Stephan Bonnar.  (B.J. was giving up a great deal of weight fighting a 205 guy).    I would say Machida will win and win big, and move quickly up into the very stacked light heavyweight division.

Diego Sanchez  vs. Jon Fitch

Between this fight and the Griffin/Rua fight I cannot decide which I am more excited about.  I have to tell you I am not the biggest Diego fan.  He will be fired up after a loss to Koscheck which will go in his favor and he is a great competitor.  My instinct tells me to pick Diego, but I am going to go with Fitch anyways.  I would say he wins by unanimous decision. 

Mauricio “Shogun” Rua vs. Forrest Griffin shogun.jpg

I understand that Forrest Griffin is one of the more popular guys in the UFC, but this is a tough match-up for him.  Shogun is in many circles ranked the best in the light heavyweight division even above Rampage.  This is probably the fight I am most confident in my pick.  Forrest is improving and is moving up the ranks, but if he couldn’t beat Jardine he won’t beat Rua.  I look for Rua to make a statement and eventually take the title, if he doesn’t I will be shocked.  Regardless, the winner of this fight may get a title shot or may get the Liddell/Jardine winner.

Chuck Liddell vs. Keith Jardine

Can anyone honestly pick Keith Jardine for this fight?  I would say Chuck is coming back fired up after a loss.  I know Jardine has knockout power and one hit and Chuck could get knocked out, but I have to go with the experience in this fight.  I expect a first round knockout with Liddell pouncing on Jardine and the fight being stopped.

What Is the Best Weight Division in the UFC?

Which weight divison is the best.  There are a few ways to look at this and determine what division in the best.

  1. Based on realistic title contenders within the division
  2. Number of well-known fighters
  3. All around from top to bottom

Here is how I will score to come up with an objective best division.  I will give each realistic title contender 5 points.  Admittedly, the flaw in this is most likely a guy like Matt Serra previously would not have been considered a contender.   Therefore, I will be be liberal with giving the points for contenders.  Most likely anyone who could get a title shot will be considered a contender.  Since each divison will get that luxury it will balance out.  Also, I will give one point for each well-known or accomplished fighter in that division. 

  • Light Heavyweights: 69 Points 

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It was tought to assess point values, but I believe the lightheavyweight division is the best from top to bottom with the most title contenders.  I believe it may be one of the only divisions where on any given night 5 guys could probably beat the top guy.  I believe the top of this division is the best of any with: Jackson, Henderson, Rua, Liddell, and Rashasd Evans.  Then you throw in Wanderlai Silva, Forrest Griffin, and quickly rising Houston Alexander and it is stacked.  That does not even mention Tito Ortiz, Keith Jardine, Matt Hamill, Michael Bisping, or Stephan Bonnar.  Wow.  This division is stacked and in my book is the best and fastest growing.

  • Lightweights: 68 Points

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I would not have thought before of putting lightweights this high.  I would say there depth is strong, but they lack serious title contenders.  I generously consider maybe 7 or 8 guys title contenders.  Realisiticly the only guys that can win the title and hold it are Penn, Sherk and Stevenson.  I believe they stand head and shoulders above the second tier of Franca, Florian, Thomas and Lauzon.  However, when you think that a guys like Spencer Fisher would be #12 in my rankings thats pretty solid.  TUF really helpled this division’s depth and look to see some of the TUF 5 guys moving up (Lauzon, Wiman, Diaz, Gamburyan and Miller). 

  • Welterweights: 57 Points

I think the top is strong, but they have killed each other in this division.  It is like a merry-go-round title holding division.  I would have to say that St. Pierre, Hughes and Serra stand out above most, but you have Sanchez, Koscheck, Parisyan and Fitch which ain’t too shabby.  Throw in some of the new signed guys like Chonan and Sakurai and it helps the depth greatly.

  • Heavyweights: 56 Points

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I wanted this one at the top, but I couldn’t.  Most combat sports are best known for their Heavyweight division.  This is the most exciting division of all.  I think this also has the potential to be far and away the best division of the UFC, but not yet.  You have some serious contenders here with Randy, Arlovski, Gonzaga, Kongo, Vera, Mir, Sylvia, Nogueira and you still have to throw in Cro Cop in the mix.  What an exciting fight.  The Couture/Gonzaga fight was one of the most anticipated and exciting fights to me.  I love this division.  Dana White is three or four signing away from making this the best division not just in UFC, but of all combat sports.  You add Fedor you have immediate depth.  Then you ink Barnett, Lesnar, and Aleks Emilanenko, and wow this divison is STACKED, but not yet.  Heavyweights have many title contenders, but the fewest good fighters as of now.  Waiting anxiously for Fedor…

  • Middleweights: 52 Points

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I believe middleweights have the guy holding the title who is least likely to loose it.  There is some good competition here.  I think Franklin is a good contender, as is Okami and McDonald, but they aren’t Anderson Silva.  I am not saying a guy like Franklin can’t take the title on any given night.  I think if Dan Henderson jumps down it will seriously help, and he will be hard to beat, even for Anderson Silva.  I ranked Dan in my rankings, but it is hard to consider him a middleweight fighter unitl he fights.  Terry Martin can contend, but he has to get through Leben first.  You do have a host of recognizable names all throughout the division, but some are on the decline and haven’t proven themselves lately (Salaverry, Quarry, Tanner, and Lister).

Look for more to come from the fastest growing sport.