Best Pound for Pound Fighters

1. Anderson Silva

2. Maurico “Shogun” Rua

3. B.J. Penn

4. Quinton “Rampage” Jackson”

5. Georges St. Pierre

6. Brandon “The Truth” Vera

7. Dan Henderson

8. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira

9. Matt Hughes

10. Sean Sherk

11. Chuck Liddell

12. Wanderlai Silva

13. Andrei Arlovski

14. Kenny Florian

15a. Jon Fitch

15b. Rich Franklin

Note: I would have included Randy Couture, but I guess he is not a UFC fighter any longer.

Others: Rashad Evans, Diego Sanchez, Matt Serra, Josh Koscheck, Nate Marquardt…

Best Pound for Pound in all MMA…

1. Fedor Emelianenko

2. Anderson Silva

3. Maurico “Shogun” Rua (I know he lost to Forrest Griffin, but he is the best fighter in that divison, and will hold the title if he stays with the UFC long enough)

4. Paulo Filho (The best competiton for Anderson Silva by far.  I hope Dana doesn’t mess this one up like he did getting Fedor for Randy)

5. B.J. Penn

6. Gilbert Melendez

7. Quinton “Rampage” Jackson

8. Georges St. Pierre

9. Urijah Faber (He is small, but if he moves up to 155 and over to the UFC, watch out!)

10. Takanori Gomi (After the title mess gets squared away at 155 in UFC, I’d love to see this unification bout…Picture Penn vs. Gomi)

11. Brandon “Truth” Vera (He said he wanted the Heavyweight and Ligh Heavyweight belts and he could do it)

12. Dan Henderson (Another guy capable of holding belts in two divisons and another guy that could really challenge Anderson Silva for the belt.)

13. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira

14. Matt Hughes

15. Sean Sherk

(Others: Kid Yamamoto, Nick Diaz, Matt Lindland, Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou, Josh Barnett)  

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Is UFC the best?

We often wonder why PRIDE fighters have struggled so much in the UFC.  Shogune lost to Forrest Griffin.  Dan Henderon lost to Rampage.  Big Nog barely beat Heath Herring.  Cro Cop has lost to Gonzaga and Kongo.  Other former PRIDE fighters have looked very un-impressive against UFC guys.  Are UFC fighters just that much better than anyone else?  Other UFC guys have had a lot of success in other places.  Robbie Lawler, Joe Riggs, and others have won fights in EliteXC and Strikeforce.  Nick Diaz who has never been considered the top UFC lightweight beat PRIDE’s best lightweight Gomi, even though he was high as a kite.  It seems everywhere you turn a former UFC guy is winning in another divison. 

    I think all these different leagues are hurting MMA.  I love, but it is nearly impossible to keep up with it all.  You’ve got UFC, IFL, Bodog, WEC, EliteXC, HDNet Fights, M1, K1-Heroes, Strikeforce, Cage Rage, King of the Cage, Pancrase and now defunct PRIDE.  No doubt UFC has the best fighters and the most money, but they don’t have all the best fighters.  I understand there will be other leagues out there, but I wonder why would a good fighter want to fight anywhere but the UFC.  In my opinion, UFC is tops followed distantly by EliteXC and WEC.  I wonder if it could be arranged to make UFC like the big leagues and WEC like a farm system.  If fighters aren’t cutting in the UFC move them down to the WEC.  If they are dominating the WEC, move them up to the UFC.  That would make the competiton better and remove the average or below avergae fighters, plus give the up and comings a place to make a name for themselves and get experience.  There are a good bit of fighters in WEC and EliteXC that should be in there against the best of the UFC (Filho, Condit, Faber, Lawler, Diaz and Shields).  For the betterment of MMA, put the best in one league together and let the cream rise to the top.  I don’t know why Dana White and the UFC don’t ask my opinion more often. 

Best Possible Fights In the UFC…

What fights can we expect to happen or want to happen.  I’ll break it down by weight class…If UFC gets a Shields, Filho or Melendez type guy they would come close to getting a title shot right away.

Heavyweights:

  • The winner of the Sylvia vs. Vera fight VS. the winner of the Nog. vs. Kongo fight for the Heavyweight title.  Perhaps in February or March. 
  • Perhaps they could take the loosers of the above fights and match them together
  • I expect to see Arlovski and Cro Cop in action soon perhaps against each other
  • I’d like to see a Werdum vs. Gonzaga
  • Maybe Jake O’brien will be in the mix as well soon

Light Heavyweights:

  • Wanderlai vs. Chuck (not what it was, but both are coming off of back to back losses)
  • The winner of the Evans vs. Bisping fight vs. Rampage
  • I still want Tito vs. Rashad II and Hamil vs. Bisping II
  • Could we see a Forrest Griffin vs. Keith Jardine II
  • Shogun vs. Machida !!

Middleweights:

  • Okami vs. McDonald winner vs. Franklin vs. Silva winner
  • I’d love to see Dan Henderson drop and fight here, he would get an immediate title shot

Welterweights:

  • Winner of Hughes vs. Serra vs Georges St. Pierre
  • Looser of the Highes vs. Serra vs Jon Fitch
  • Marcus Davis vs. Diego Sanchez

Lightweights:

  • B.J. Penn vs. Joe Stevenson
  • Kenny Florian vs. the winner of Huerta vs. Guida with the winner getting a title shot

Randy Couture’s Resignation

randyc.jpg

Since Randy Couture’s return to UFC’s octagon, he has become my favorite fighter.  He has been perhaps the most popular guy in the UFC ever.  When I watched him fight Sylvia and Gonzaga as a huge underdog, I never rooted for a fighter like I did Randy.  Everyone loves Randy.  He has been a sucessful fighter, and also a successful trainer.  He asked Dana White for a fight, against Fedor.  That takes some courage.  He wanted to fight the best.  Since Dana wanted to play around and not sign Fedor, he decided to reisgn from the UFC.  Shame of Dana White.  Let me tell us something, Randy Couture is more vital to the UFC than Dana White!  I say can Dana and get Randy back and beg Fedor to come to the UFC. 

    It is being reported that Randy is not retiring, but he is resigning from the UFC.  Some specualte this may give the chance for someone like Mark Cuban to work a Fedor vs. Randy fight.  Wow!  Dana White’s unwillingness to book the big fight is coming back to haunt him (shall I mention Wanderlai vs. Chuck in their prime).  I do not believe every UFC fighter has star power, and I do not believe the UFC should cater to every fighter, but there a few that should get catered to.  You have to treat your big stars and the big draws differently.  Not all fighters are equal.  There are only a few guys that are huge markets and they should have a huge say in who they fight, when the fight, and they should have ore pay and more allowances in their contract.  In case you don’t know those guys are…

  • Chuck Liddell
  • Randy Couture
  • Matt Hughes
  • Georges St. Pierre
  • Tito Ortiz (sorry to say it)
  • Rich Franklin

with a second tier of…

  • Forrest Griffin
  • B.J. Penn
  • Quinton Jackson
  • Cro Cop (we want him to do well, and want to like him, but he won’t win)

also these guys should have an edge over others…

  • Wanderlai Silva (Already a star and hasn’t fought yet)
  • Shogun Rua (He has major star power even though he lost to Forrest)
  • Anderon Silva (If he learns to speak English he can be more popular)
  • Brandon Vera (He was on track to be the next big thing)
  • Sean Sherk (Steroid Shark? Maybe.)

So the problem the UFC has is star power.  That top tier is slowly evaporating.  Randy resigned.  Chuck has lost two in a row.  Tito isn’t Tito of old.  Matt Hughes said on TUF he has two or three fights left.  If Franklin looses to Silva he is in trouble.  The reality is even some good fighters don’t have the draw as some charismatic fighters.  The UFC needs another Randy and Chuck.  Who will step up?  Maybe B.J. Penn will take the title.  Maybe St. Pierre will take the title soon and retain it.  Maybe Anderson Silva will dominate for a long time.  Maybe a guy like Wanderlai, Shogun, Cro Cop or Dan Henderson will emerge.  Maybe a guy like Vera will catch on more.  Maybe a new fighter will bust onto the scene.  Regardless, I want to see Randy vs. Fedor and if Mark Cuban can provide it, I will pay to see it, and he will laugh at Dana White all the way to the bank.  Fedor and Randy were not expenses they were investments that would have made the UFC a lot of money, not now. Until Dana wakes up the UFC will loose stars who want better competiton and better pay, and Randy resigning hurts the UFC bad and foils the plans for a Randy headliner on Super Bowl weekend.  I am disappointed to say the least as I anticipated a Fedor vs. Randy fight for the UFC title.  The fight may happen, but not likely in the UFC.  I hope I am wrong.

UFC 77 Predictions

Jason Black vs. Matt Grice                                                                                                               

I’ve seen Jason Black maybe one time, and don’t know much about Grice.  I’ll pick Jason Black just to make a pick, but I could be wrong.

Demian Maia  vs. Ryan Jensen

Jensen is coming off a loss to Thales Leites and Maia hasn’t lost yet, but thena gain hasn’t fought anyone yet.  I give experience to Jensen, but I pick Demian Maia to win in the second round. 

Jorge Gurgel  vs. Alvin Robinson

I don’t think Alvin Robinson can beat Jorge Gurgel.  They are both solid fighters, but I pick Robinson to go 0-2 in the UFC.

Stephan Bonnar vs. Eric Schafer

This is a fight for Stephan to win and win easily.  He hasn’t proven himself very well since TUF, or at least no where near the way Forrest Griffin has.  I expect Stephan to win easily, especially if they stay standing.  “Red” better hope to get on the ground. 

Josh Burkman vs. Forrest Petz

Both gusy have had some good fights.  Burkman’s losses came against top notch fighters (Jeremy Horn, Karo, and Jon Fitch).  Petz beat Luigi Fiorvanti and had a loss to Marcus Davis.  I have to pick Burkman to win, even though Petz will fight well.  Burkman has fought with the best and I think he can beat Petz.

Kalib Starnes  vs. Alan Belcher

If it matters both guys have lost to Okami.  I’ll be quick and pick Kalib Starnes, honestly this is just by looking at who they have beaten.   Starnes has beaten Leben and Jason McDonald.  I always have thought Starnes is underrated. 

Jason MacDonald vs. Yushin Okami

Both of these guys fight histories look like an all star cast.  Especially Okami who holds wins over: Mike Swick, Rory Singer, Kalib Starnes, Alan Belcher, Nick Thompson and last but not least Anderson Silva.  This fight is almost for sure going to be for a chance at the title.  I pick Okami to win.  I think he is too good for McDonald, and do not think McDonald can beat Silva or Franklin.

Tim Sylvia vs. Brandon Vera

This is an interesting fight.  One year ago this would have been a HUGE fight, but Vera has taken a year off and Sylvia has been declining since loosing to Randy.  I think this will still be a great fight.  There are some unknowns.  Will Brandon Vera be rusty?  If Vera is in top shape and is as good as he was when he left he will beat Sylvia.  I think Tim Sylvia’s reach will be a problem for Brandon though.  Also, Sylvia is all together much bigger, and Vera is a small Heavyweight.  I do not think we are far from seeing Vera get a title shot.  With Randy retiring, people are saying the winner of this fight will get the winner of the Kongo vs. Nog. fight.  Win or loose Vera will get a title shot.  If he looses he may drop to Light heavyweight and get a shot if he wins he will get a shot.  With all that said, I think Sylvia is on his way out and Vera who was once heralded the next big thing will step up.  With Couture out the UFC needs a star at the Heavyweight divison, if Vera wins that will quickly solve that problem.  I will go a step further, I believe Vera will be your next Heavyweight Champ, if he is in top shape and is not rusty that is. 

Rich Frankin vs. Anderson Silva

Oh boy, this is a good fight.  I love Rich Franklin.  He would make my top 3 list of MMA fighters and he is good, real good.  This is a much bigegr fight for Franklin than for Silva.  He had proven he is no doubt the best 185-lb contender.  None of the other guys can beat him, however, he can’t beat Silva.  He needs to win this fight or he is in trouble.  Anderson Silva is good, real good.  I would say he is most likely to kill someone in the octagon.  Rich Franklin cannot fight Silva like he did last time.  He has to stay away from that Thai Clinch which killed him.  This is in Franklin’s hometown, he will have the crowd.  If he will ever beat Silva now is the time.  He is an underdog though.  People have to ask, what makes this different than last time?  I think he has trained hard and is mentally tough.  I am going to pick Rich to win.  Why?  I don’t know, I am going with my gut and going against all reason and logic, but they are my picks so thats okay.  I have to say though that a Silva vs. Okami fight sounds good seeing as Okami beat Silva before, but it won’t happen if I am right.